Business Development Manager, Priority Communications Limited, Mr. Franklin Nkadi, spoke with Emma Okonji on the need for organisations to deploy the right technology solutions in order to remain competitive in business. Excerpts:
What has been your experience in the telecoms business space in Nigeria?
I have been in the telecoms industry for over 15 years, providing telecoms services to oil and gas companies, health sector, as well as the small and medium enterprises (SME) market in Nigeria. Having worked in several telecoms companies, I joined Priority Communications Limited few months ago to drive business development and logistics for the company.
So what is your role in driving business development and logistics for Priority Communications?
As a Business Development Manager, I oversee the entire business development of the company, generating workable business ideas that will bring value to its customers and to the organisation itself in such a way that it will enable the company to operate profitably in business, even in a competitive market environment like the Nigerian telecoms space. I am responsible for driving products and services as well as sales. At Priority, we have a bouquet of telecoms services that we offer to our customers.
Priority Communications will be clocking 11 years in the provision of telecoms services to a whole range of customers by June this year. What have been the business challenges and the strategies for sustainability in the past 10 years?
Yes, we clocked 10 years in telecoms business in June last year, and by June this year, which is two months away, we will be clocking 11 years in telecoms business and we are still very strong in business, thanks to our customers who have been with us all these years. Their continued patronage and support have kept the business going in the last 10 years. I want to use this medium to thank the management of Priority Communications for its resilience in the face of business challenges all through the years. We cannot forget the financial institutions in Nigeria that have been doing businesses with us in the past years, their support and patronage have to a greater extent, kept us strong in business all these years.
So what have been the strategies for survivability in the face of recession and business challenges?
At priority Communications, we pay so much attention to our customers’ needs and we ensure that their challenges are addressed promptly. We are a technology company that researches in new technology solutions that will enhance customer business and our focus is centered around our customers. For these reasons, customers have always believed in our service offerings and it has helped us as a company to continue to survive, despite the harsh business environment. As a technology company, we are always innovating to bring the latest technology solutions to our customers.
What kind of business support do you have for partners and customers?
As an enterprise company, Priority Communications offers support services to our partners and customers in various ways that are designed to enhance business excellence. For us, partnership is the key because technology is evolving and we need to keep our customers abreast with new trends in the technology space. We have business relationships with local and international partners, to provide the best technology solutions to customers. We offer our customers the best of training in modern technology solutions and we go as far as creating awareness on current technology solutions for both our partners and customers. Whenever we have new solutions, we do well to invite our customers and partners to educate them on the trending technology solution.
What are the new solutions that Priority Communications is bringing to the table for customers and how effective are the solutions?
We currently have a number of solutions we are deploying to customers. These solutions offer new ways of achieving faster results in business and at the same time, blocking financial leakages. The solutions offer improved methods of responding to business challenges and they provide ease of doing business in a way that controls operational expenditure (OPEX) of the business.
We have a solution that addresses issues associated with internally generated revenue (IGR), and most customers that have deployed the solution are fast reaping from it. We have a solution that addresses data loss and downtime in organisation and most of our customers are currently running the solution. We have a solution that addresses disaster recovery in realtime. We operate cloud technology, where we store data in the cloud and provide full protection of such data. We also provide document and archive management services to our customers. The solution helps in proper documentation of documents in such a way that they are safe and could be easily retrieved at anytime.
In spite of technology solutions available to customers, organisations and government agencies still suffer revenue leakages, which have always affected their internally generated revenues. How can Priority Communications help in mitigating financial losses in organisations?
We have a solution that is capable of not just reducing financial leakages in organisations, but will also put a total stop to any form of financial leakages. As a technology solution company, we understand the various ways through which organisations lose money and some may not even be known to the organisation and we have gone ahead to develop solutions that address all of that at minimal cost to the customer. What organisations should do is to constantly put a check on the financial team that manages organisational finances to avoid any form of financial leakages. Our financial solution is automated and eliminates physical cash handling.
Having invested in technology solutions for businesses, how affordable are your solutions?
Our solutions are tailored made to address specific challenges and the solutions are not above the reach of organisations, even small organisations with little cash flow can afford our solutions. The most important thing is that our solutions are tailored-made to address specific organisational issues.
Cyberattacks have been on the increase in recent times. What is Priority Communications doing to protect customers from malicious attacks that are launched from the cyberspace?
Yes, we are aware of the rising rate of cyberattacks on organisational data, and we have solutions to mitigate various kinds of cyberattacks. We are in partnership with global security companies to address insecurity in the cyberspace, and our customers are currently enjoying such solutions that have always kept their data protected. A lot of researches have been carried out on cyberattacks and we have solutions to address all of that. Our solutions offer first-hand security protection to customers’ data, and this is the reason why we had to invest in cloud-based technology solution that provides maximum protection to customer database.
So what will you say are the advantages of cloud computing solutions to your customers?
Cloud computing is key to data protection. It gives customers peace of mind that their data is fully secured, aside helping to solve the challenges of getting the adequate storage space to store data on-premise. Again, we backup data in the cloud in such a way that customers could access their data outside their location, especially when they travel outside the country. In the case of disaster on organisation’s data, we are able to retrieve backup data from the cloud and make them accessible to the organisation, without its customers feeling the impact of the disaster.
As Business Development Manager for Priority Communications, what are your strategies on customer satisfaction and for quick return on investment?
My mission is to ensure that Priority Communications remains a big time enterprise company, providing value added technology solutions to both enterprise and small businesses across Nigeria and beyond. My desire is to position Priority Communications as one-stop solution company that addresses the needs of its customers on realtime basis. The strategy is to continue to build on customer satisfaction, though world-class technology solution that will address the needs of customers.
Priority Communications have won several awards as Best IT Service Provider of the Year consecutively. What is the impact of the awards on your customers’ businesses?
Yes, we won the award twice back to back as the Best IT Service Provider of the Year, and this portends so much value for the businesses of our customers. It has helped them to add value to their businesses, knowing fully well that their service provider has been adjudged as the best in the industry. It goes to show that our customers are in safe hands and the continuous growth of their business is guaranteed.
What is your candid advice for business owners in search of quality technology solution?
My candid advice is for customers to remain with the best service provider to grow their business. Customers should not dabble into solutions they do not actually require. They must seek professional advice from the right technology solution company. At Priority Communications, we do consultative selling and we do not sell solutions for the sake of money. Any solution that a company invest in, must address specific challenges. Customers must therefore prioritise their Information and Communications Technology (ICT) needs to achieve better results.
So what are the bouquet of telecoms services that Priority Communications offer to its customers?
We offer a wide range of technology solutions that meet the needs of customers. Our solutions are tailor-made to address specific challenges. We offer Point-to-Point Link solutions that connects all branch offices; we have Point-to-Multiple-Points solutions; Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution that supports Automated Teller Machines (ATMs); Last-mile connectivity over radio as well as offering mast solutions by building telecoms masts and maintaining them for our customers. We also provide Local Area Network (LAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN) solutions and Metropolitan Area Network solution, among others.
What percentage of local content are embedded in your solutions?
We take the local content policy of the federal government very seriously. In all our solutions, we use local materials that are sourced from within the country. A typical example is in our telecoms masts that we build and manage for customers. The materials are standard, yet locally sourced and our trained engineers are Nigerians. Although we still import some foreign masts to meet local demands.
Do you have solutions for small businesses like the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) business?
We have solutions for both enterprise companies and SMEs. For the SMEs, there are solutions that meet their size of business that are affordable. We have mobile LTE devices that SMES could use for their businesses that can serve fewer number of staff.
Businesses are meant to grow bigger with time. Do your solutions provide room for scalability?
Absolutely! Our solutions are interoperable and scalable at the same time, thus giving room for business expansion.