CEO, Intelics Solutions, Mr. Satyamohan Yanambaka, speaks with Emma Okonji about data protection, the impact of technology on global business and how Intelics will drive business growth in Nigeria with its complete bouquet of digital service offerings. Excerpts:
As a technocrat of many years’ experience, how were you able to leverage technology to drive business transformation at Intelics and what in your view has been the impact of technology on global business?
Yes, technology has been at the forefront of today’s business transformation. When we talk about our journey, so far the digital transformation has been our major business driver globally. In Nigeria, the digital transformation solutions are the ones which our customers are embracing. Today we are assisting our customers with complete bouquet of services ranging from cyber security to Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) wherein we have been able to help our customers automate multiple processes to bring in values.
Digital Transformation has been the biggest business driver off late because it helps our customers leverage technologies to bring in values and customer experience. Gone are those days when papers use to move from one office to the other, today information flows at a speed of light and our customers have also been expecting our services at such high speed. With barrage of technical disruptions comes the threat which prompts customers to look for data safeguarding tools and solutions where we play a major role. And I think our digital transformation solutions across multiple divisions within the organisation are actually helping us position Intelics as one-stop-solution for all digital transformation needs.
How will you describe the challenges and successes of Intelics operations in Nigeria and other countries of the world?
When we talk about Nigeria it was our first journey in Africa and like every business does, we too had our bit of challenges and I think we have successfully overcome those challenges. One good thing what we have realised in Nigeria is that the customers are aware and customers are open for digital transformation. Nigeria is mainly an in-sourced market and to bring anybody out of their comfort zone is a challenge but I think in the tech space Nigeria is moving past this resistance and in the times to come Nigeria is going to leap frog in the adaptation of digital transformation.
Information management is key to the growth of any business. How does Intelics see information management in the areas of growth and business continuity?
Information Management is a critical aspect of data Driven Business which allows companies to make better decision and deliver values across value chain. In today’s world the amount of data being generated day in day out is humongous and we need those tech solutions tools to protect your information. Today data is new oil and companies mastering the art of data management are the ones who are going to succeed and sustain over a long-term. It is critically important for every organisation to protect its data diligently and Intelics has the required tools to protect vital information. I think our customers can comfortably rely on us for their data protection, which is an edge for Intelics.
The cybercrimes which have seen an increase in trend, not only in Nigeria but around the world it is very important that every organisation must have capable solutions to protect its information. Our solutions can help our customers protect its information real-time. We have been able to automate security operation Centre to that great extent that your data is always protected.
What are some of Intelics service streams that have changed the face of business in Nigeria?
We are into complete end to end data protection and information management services. Many of our services have actually helped our customers change the way they operate initially. Today Nigerian customers have actually realised the importance of securely storing physical office records so that in case of non-availability of digital information, they can comfortably rely on physical office documents. They have been using our state of the art physical office documents archival Centre in Nigeria. There is a lot to be done in terms of educating all our customers in Nigeria on how important it is to securely store and manage physical office records so that in the absence of access to digital information, you can comfortably have an access to physical office documents and information with ease.
On the digital front, I see lot of small banks, MfB’s have been operating without much of safety and security protocol because of some reasons, may be because of non-availability of required tools and technologies. But we have carved out our solutions, especially for small and medium size customers on SaaS platform so that all the tools and technologies of the world can be made available to them at much more affordable prices, and the customers are embracing these initiatives.
What are your key priorities in the areas of data safety and security?
Intelics is working on ensuring data safety and security for all its customers in Nigeria and our most important priority is to ensure that all the products and solutions or available at much affordable prices so that all the data safety and security aspects of our customers are taken care of by Intelics to let our customers focus on their core activities. And this is possible only when we achieve scale.
Data Protection is going to be major focus areas for all the countries and we intend to have our products and services to be compliant to country specific norms.
We want to create and serve our customers across NOC, SOC, SIEM, SOAR solutions so that the critical information of our customers can be protected from any and every attacks. We are trying to create a cohesive partner ecosystem so that together as a team, we can address any and every instance.
Domestication of data in Nigeria is key to the Nigerian government in order to keep available data local. To what extent is Intelics addressing the issue of data domestication in Nigeria?
Yes, we understand that data localisation, data protection, data confidentiality is a primary key for any and every government. We have been operating in multiple geographies with different governmental laws, which prohibits movement of data out of their border. And whichever geographies we enter, we carve out our solutions and products in such a way that the data resides within the geography. We always try and avoid taking data out for that country. That’s the reason we have established our own team here in Nigeria and we have an established partner ecosystem so that a solution in case stitched together, can be efficiently delivered. All our products and services, catering to different data safety and security requirements of customers in Nigeria are residing very much within Nigeria. We have been training the local talents here so that the dependency on experts gradually goes down but yes, for some time I think we will have to be heavily dependent on foreign expertise.
To what extent is Intelics keeping with best practices in areas of logistics, infrastructure, technology and cost optimization?
I think our SOPs processes are matured enough over several decades. When it comes to our infrastructure, the Technology we use and the solutions we deploy, right from the vehicles we use in the logistics of the physical office documents or the data media tape containing several terabytes of data for our customers are always climate controlled, with GPS tracked vehicles. There are multiple redundancies built into the system in transferring data from one site to the other. There are backups maintained for sufficient period of time, logs are maintained for audit by our customer at any given point in time, DR and BCP drills are conducted regularly to test the reliability of solutions deployed so that at no point in time, the data of our customers are exposed to risk.
How has the service offering from Intelics helped business growth in Nigeria and beyond?
Best part of digital transformation is that once it is deployed at one location, it can easily be replicated in other locations. Today lot of our customers have consolidated their non-core activities under one Common Shared Service catering to multiple geographies, so they don’t need establish setup for common services across multiple geographies they operate in. We have helped multiple customers centralise their services in Nigeria to achieve standardisation of services at reduced cost. With the retail asset portfolio growing for the financial institutions in Nigeria, automation and digital transformation will actually help them achieve in consolidation. Automation in serving the customers is another great example of consolidation at the same time achieving customer delight by signing multi geography deals with Intelics.
How robust is your storage and cloud services in meeting the needs of today’s customers who are tilting towards cloud service?
It is only a global service that can be accessible from anywhere in the world according to the access provided. Cloud storage keeps data secure in transit and rest.
It is scalable and high-performance. It is highly available in availability zones specific, and it is automatically replicated to protect from failure.
There is no storage limit in the cloud; it can scale as much as the customer requires and the data stored in storage are automatically replicated in 6 AZ’s/Datacentres. The availability is 99.99 per cent and durability is 99.999999999 per cent.
Customers store data in the cloud in different formats and different storage types like Files Storage, Blob, Table, que, Block and Elastic block Storage.
Cloud storage solutions help customers to ease of access, cost effective, secure and manage data life cycle.
Technology has made it easier for businesses to store and retrieve information digitally. How digitally ready is Intelics to help businesses achieve digital archiving?
Our product for digital archiving has gone multi-decade, maturity process, after incorporating diversified needs of our customers in several odd geographies. Today that product is available on both on-Prim to take care of the data localisation at the same time on SaaS model. Gone are those days when digital archival used to only digitally archive the information and retrieve when asked for, but today with several automation tools being available, our solution can do predictive analysis and much more and throw realtime data for customer assessment.
Given the rise of cyber insecurity across the globe, how prepared is Intelics to nip the challenge in the bud and protect businesses from being hacked?
Managed Security Services are a great way to protect organization’s data and systems from hackers. If you want to increase your company’s cybersecurity, the best way to do so is by hiring a managed security service provider who can provide all of the necessary tools and services for preventing attacks on your network.
Intellics can offer you great flexibility because they can take different forms depending on your needs. For example, the managed security services may be used as part of a more comprehensive security solution, or they could just be used to secure your assets.
We have all the cyber security tools and services needed to protect businesses from hackers trying to crack their network. Moreover, we can help you use cloud computing to store backups of all your data off-site, so if by some chance your network is attacked, you’ll never have to worry about losing data.
What is your take about startup development in Nigeria and its impact on the Nigerian economy and on businesses operating in Nigeria?
I think Nigeria has been experiencing a significant increase in the development of tech hubs, which are aimed at creating and enabling various start-ups to contribute to the overall growth of technology ecosystem here in Nigeria. These hubs are doing commendable job by providing access to funding, resources, networking, etc. And all these initiatives have really contributed to reducing the unemployment rate by providing job opportunities to highly talented Nigerian youth.
What I think is required now is to bridge the digital divide and promote inclusive growth.
Towards the end I want to give one message to everyone from the experience and exposure I got so far here in Nigeria that, ‘if you can operate in Nigeria, you can operate anywhere.’