Vodacom stresses the need for unified communication for the growth of Nigerian SMEs

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

At the recently held Nigerian-South African Chamber of Commerce monthly meeting, the topic of discussion was how technology can increase the productivity of Small and Medium Enterprise businesses in Nigeria. Speaking at the event, Dare Ogunlade, General Manager Cisco (Nigeria) Limited highlighted the benefits of Unified Communications (UC) to SMEs which includes cost reduction on communication as the technology increasingly enables Voice calls, instant messaging, document sharing and video conferencing allowing SME employees work from any device, anywhere, anytime.

Ogunlade explained that Nigerian SME’s employ around 84.02% of Nigeria’s labour force and contributes about 48.47% on the nations GDP. Empowering this workforce with technology that enables them work from home, log on to a system, contact and provide services to their customers even after close of business goes a long way to improve the productivity of these SME businesses in Nigeria. He also spoke about how Nigerian SME’s can improve profit margins by boosting overall operational efficiency; this is especially true for businesses that have mobile employees.

Mark Shoebridge, the Executive Head of Operations, Vodacom Business Nigeria, was present at the meeting and added that with unified communications, SME employees do not have to be in the office to perform their duties. They can access their system from anywhere with an Internet connection. By making and receiving calls over the internet, executing meetings using Video Conferencing and sharing files remotely, SME’s can significantly reduce their communication, travel and operational cost; making them run their businesses more efficiently.

Vodacom Business Nigeria has been in the fore on the adoption of Unified Communications in growth Nigerian SMEs. The solution will enable SME businesses speedily adapt to market changes, increase productivity and ultimately improve their competitive advantage. 

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