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

Botswana women missing from ICT

There has been a rallying call for women in Botswana to consider a lifetime participation in the Information and Communication Technology if the sector is to realise any meaningful growth as well as a fair gender representation.   Read More

Globecomm, Tanzania Support Foundation take computers to rural school

Globecomm announced today that it has donated desktop computers to a school in the Tanzanian village of Selela to aid the mission of the Tanzanian Support Foundation to help small communities become more self-sufficient in education, healthcare, hygiene and clean water.   Read More

The Network is dead. Long live the network!

Your network is vastly bigger than the Internet itself, says Infoblox.  Read More

Schneider Electric’s off-grid solar and backup power inverter/charger now in southern Africa

Schneider Electric Solar Business, a global leader in solutions for the solar power conversion chain, has released its off-grid solar and backup power inverter/charger, the Conext SW, in the southern African region.  Read More

Phase3 seeks digitally enhanced life for special needs kids

West Africa’s largest independent fibre optic infrastructure and telecommunications services provider, Phase3 Telecom, has urged stakeholders in the ICT industry to offer children living with disabilities a good quality of life through the deployment of assistive technology. Read More

Kenya, China partner to grow ICT skills

Global technology company Huawei, in partnership with Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Technology, has dispatched to China the first beneficiaries of the “Huawei Seeds for the Future” Internship programme. Read More

Big trends for 2015

Industry experts share their thoughts on the innovations that will impact business next year. Read More

ASUS appoints Andre Goosen as Country Service Manager

ASUS, the Taiwanese technology innovation brand, has appointed Andre Goosen to the position of Country Service Manager, a new role created in line with ASUS’ increased focus on after sales service. Read More

iWayAfrica managed service solution launched in Kenya

Pan African telecoms operator, Gondwana International Networks (GIN) has announced that its iWayAfrica business has launched a managed infrastructure and services solution in Kenya.  Read More

Kenya Ports Authority first to deploy Pamoja’s RUBiQ cloud platform

The Kenya Ports Authority is the first institution in East Africa to adopt the RUBiQ Cloud-based governance, risk and compliance platform.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

PWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for somePWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some

PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.

IN DEPTH

Africa lags on digital migration Africa lags on digital migration

Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.