IBM looks to Africa’s mobile future

COMPUTING

|
Image: Mweene Monze. By BiztechAfrica
Mweene Monze

While most people don’t associate IBM with mobile phones, the computing giant has been behind the technologies that make mobility possible for decades. With the acquisition of Israeli firm Worklight, the company is adding focus to its mobile platform development.

IBM innovation is behind the call, cell tower, network assurance and other key elements to today’s mobile applications. IBM is proud to state that its innovations underpin the mobile tools used by over a billion cellphone users every day. In fact, says the company, 80% of the world’s smart phone software is generated from IBM development products and 170 of the top 198 communications service providers have selected IBM technology.

With the acquisition of Worklight in February this year, IBM has added an important new component to its mobility strategy.

Worklight develops mobile software for smartphones and tablets. Its acquisition is expected to help speed delivery of new and existing mobile applications for multiple devices.

The Worklight acquisition accelerates IBM's comprehensive mobile portfolio, which is designed to help global corporations leverage the proliferation of mobile devices for B2C, B2E, and B2B. IBM has been steadily investing in this space for more than a decade, both organically and through acquisitions. 

Mweene Monze, Executive Architect at IBM Software Group in South Africa, says the office of the future will be ‘no office’. Already, major corporations – including IBM – have a large proportion of their workforce working from home or on the road.

Offices are becoming smaller, he says, with staff ‘hotdesking’ (sharing desk and PC access) on the occasions when they go in to the office.

With a growing trend for workforces to be based away from traditional offices, managing their access devices becomes complicated, he says. Employees have their own mobile devices and individual preferences for the software and applications they use.

“IT infrastructures aren’t centralised any more,” he says. “Enterprises can no longer ignore diversity in devices and locations.”

“Worklight build on IBM’s existing mobility offerings and helps us to offer complete enterprise mobility solutions.”

Monze says IBM has a complete portfolio of enterprise-grade mobility solutions. He highlights IBM’s Lotus Expeditor software, which supports client integration on laptops, desktops, kiosks and mobile device clients; its Cast Iron cloud solutions that allow for integration into existing infrastructures, and IBM’s Bigfix acquisition that allows it to offer end-to-end security.

“IBM’s latest acquisitions – like Worklight – are specifically targeted at the mobile enterprise,” says Monze.

“Virtual, mobile workplaces are not an ‘if’, they’re a ‘when’. IBM is seeking out the best ways to support this changing environment,” he says.

In Africa, where many enterprises are only beginning their infrastructure growth, Monze expects systems to leapfrog the rest of the world and move straight into mobile.  “The complexity of integrating legacy systems can slow down an enterprise mobility strategy,” says Monze.

“So, in Africa, where many enterprises are in a greenfields stage, they can leap straight into the mobile workforce future.”

Monze says mobility is an important part of IBM’s strategy for the next few years. So are smarter planet initiatives and developing markets.

“We recently opened an office in Mauritius, and now have more than 20 offices across Africa,” says Monze. “IBM is focusing on the continent – growth markets are a key part of our growth strategy.” In 2011, revenues from growth markets – including Africa – increased by 16% and represent 22% of IBM’s total geographic revenue. Growth markets are expected to contribute 30% of IBM’s revenue by 2015.”

“Mobility is very important in these markets,” Monze says. This applies in particular to the private sector, which sees the benefits of being always connected and able to move around.

“IBM has always underpinned the technology driving mobile enterprises, now we are becoming more public about it,” Monze concludes.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE COMPUTING NEWS

BNPC releases Global Information Technology Report 2015

The Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC) in partnership with Ministry of Transport and Communications and its related public institutions, has released the 2015 Global Information Technology Report (GITR).  Read More

Africa’s competitive business environment spurs IT services adoption

Emerging African economies are increasingly embracing IT services solutions in a bid to support their growth initiatives, according to the latest insights released by International Data Corporation (IDC). Read More

DevOps: The worst-kept secret to winning in the application economy

CA reveals how DevOps is the key to winning in the brave new world of the application economy.   Read More

Tech in South Sudan “born with teeth” – analyst

South Sudan was “born with teeth” as far as its ICT development is concerned, according to an analyst, with the country having made positive steps even pre-independence. Read More

Innovative BAC Stand gets an A++ at BTE Fair 2015

BAC Executive Director Mike Lesolle Botswana Accountancy College (BAC) which recently unveiled two new industry technology courses received top accolades among several other international awards for their exhibition stand at the Botswana Tertiary Education Conference and Fair 2015 (BTEF).  Read More

@iLabAfrica to stage kids’ ICT boot camp

@iLabAfrica, Strathmore University is organizing a 9-day Holiday Boot Camp for Primary and High School Students from 7th April 2015 to 17th April. Read More

Light sensor market to grow 16% by 2016

Samsung, Apple and Chinese OEMs will drive revenue in the light sensor market to grow 16 percent between 2013 and 2016, according to a new report from IHS.  Read More

Nairobi to host regional digital fair

Nairobi is set to host the second annual East Africa digital Marketing Summit & Show, an annual event designed to bring together key players in the digital marketing space from the East African region. Read More

Is Africa ready to facilitate large-scale satellite deployments?

With the advent of High Throughput Satellite (HTS) services within Africa’s connected business environment, the question of what happens with the remainder of the satellite supply value chain is relevant. Read More

VMware unveils vCloud for NFV with Integrated OpenStack to accelerate service innovation

VMware, the global leader in virtualisation and cloud infrastructure, today debuted VMware vCloud for NFV, an integrated Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) platform that will combine VMware’s production-proven virtualised compute, networking, storage and management solutions with integrated OpenStack support.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

e-commerce space untapped, says phonekings heade-commerce space untapped, says phonekings head

E-commerce is the future, says the head of a new online electronics mall launched in Nigeria. Tayo Olusanya spoke to Kokumo Goodie in Lagos.

IN DEPTH

Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College

The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India.