Westfield Brings Uptime Institute to Nigeria for Data Centre Certification

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Emma Okonji

Westfield Consulting, a management consultancy firm, specialised in increasing business performance, with a mission to help clients make the right decisions and improve their organisational performance, has brought Uptime Institute to Nigeria, an advisory organisation in New York, United States, that is focused on improving the performance, efficiency, and reliability of business critical infrastructure through innovation, collaboration, and independent certifications.

The institute spent three days in Lagos, where it had training session for data centre engineers for two days and exam was taken on the third day for certification purpose.

Pleased with the coming of Uptime Institute to Nigeria, the Chief Executive Officer of Westfield, Oyeyinka Banjo, said Africa as a continent has limited data centre engineers yet they do not have international certification from globally recognised bodies like Uptime Institute, hence the need to bring the institute to Nigeria, which she said is a plus for Nigerians and the Nigerian economy.

According to her five companies were represented in the intensive training and certification examination. They include MainOne in Nigeria; Business Connexion in Nigeria; GCNet in Accra, Ghana; Schneider Electric and MTN Cameroon.

According to Banjo, Westfield made the efforts to bring its international partner, Uptime Institute to Nigeria, in order to bridge the skills gap in human resources in Nigeria. Although the training was the first of its kind by Uptime Institute in Nigeria, Banjo promised that the training would continue as long as Africans develop interest in data centre and other infrastructural development on the continent.

Speaking about the value of the training, the Business Development Director, Uptime Institute, Lilia Severina, who was in Nigeria to oversee the training and exam, spoke to THISDAY on the value of the training and certification.

According to her, once they are trained and certified, they become globally certified and acceptable.
“After training and certification, we will publish their names and their details on our website so that people from any part of the world can arrange data centre business with them. Millions of people from several countries visit our website to get information about experts on data centre design construction and management,” she said.

“We trained five persons from different companies from different countries in Africa, including Nigeria and these are the experts that will hold the key to high quality infrastructure about data centres in Africa.

They were trained for two days and they took exam on the third day, and it will take us few weeks to review their exam, after which we will offer them certificates,” Severina said.
Speaking on the levels of certification, Severina said: “There are there levels of certifications, design certification; facility certification, which comes after we must have done due diligence on the facilities of the data centre; and the operational certification. It is not compulsory for a local engineer to get all the certifications, but the first certification has a lifespan of two years, but the operational certification is for life, and the certificate could be revoked if the standard drops.”

“UpTime Institute helps organisations and governments to develop standards on a step-by-step basis on how to design, build and manage data centres. It works closely with its local partners in various countries to perfect its mission and goals.”

“A lot of data centre companies fly from United Kingdom, and Africa to UpTime Institute to get the training, but that amounts to huge cost of money on the part of the companies. Rather than flying people to Uptime Institute in US, we have decided to come to Nigeria to begin the training for local engineers who will in turn train local companies that are into data centre design and management,” Severina said.