Interview

We Have Brought Cloud Closer to Usage Point

We Have Brought Cloud Closer to Usage Point

– CEO, Rack Centre

Ayotunde Coker, MD and CEO, Rack Centre, a data hosting firm, explained the level of his efforts to convince Nigerians companies to host their data locally and more.

Take me through the landmark achievement of Rack Centre

It’s been a successful journey especially when it comes to the issue of global recognition, which is what we are proud to have achieved. We have won an award in Monaco at the Digital Cloud last year. We have been shortlisted as a finalist in two categories but we emerged a winner in one of these awards. It takes global voting to win these awards. Now we are a finalist in three award categories and we believe that our supporters and people will vote for us on this.

We have also won the Best Data Centre Innovation award last year, which has helped us in our global rating. We have got the West Africa Fintech Recognition award. It’s has been a remarkable year and we will continue to build on our customer base and continue to build our market relationship within the ecosystem.  Presently, we have 32 carriers that are located in the Rack Centre and we have established our name as a household brand in Nigeria and we will continue to do that.  

We are very proud of what we are doing in Africa. We have an Africa perspective and we have a global recognition, which we will continue to ride on. One other thing we are very proud of is our customer base satisfaction. We are very passionate about our customers and we work hard to ensure that we satisfy our customers. The customers are our future. They represent us and they reflect what we do. We plan to double our effort and capacity to keep satisfying our customers.

What is the new service on the stable of Rack Centre?

We have started with co-location service. It’s the base of our services. The world is changing and the cloud is a significant progression of technology in the world. As the consumption of cloud grows then the proximity to the users becomes more important. This is why a data centre is very important. We have brought the cloud closer to the usage point.

The cloud service is close to the usage point. We are working closely with Microsoft, IBM and other global cloud services. One thing we are also building is the ability to help our customers to properly take what they need for their enterprise and help them deliver significant efficiency and value in their business. We have realised that customers want more knowledgeable experience. So we have been giving advisory in this area. We have also given our customers knowledge about cloud security on how to secure the enterprise with proper operation and capability.

We are implementing a power upgrade now. Before the end of the year, we will be in compliance with tier-four. In whatever we do, we do it to the satisfaction of our customers and our customers can see it and attest to it. We are focused on delivering first-class services to our customers and that is what we focus on.

We have been recognised by the most respected institutions in the globe. Authenticity is key for us. We do what we say and we say what we do. We are recognised in Sub-Sahara Africa as a co-location service provider. What customers want to buy is a proven track record of consistency, availability, trust and ability to reliably engage with them. The tiers certifications matter a lot because it tells you there’s a minimum level of quality of what the company has.

You have said that Nigeria cannot survive without the data centre. What do you mean?

Data is the future and this is why Africa must take this seriously. The telcos industry is dominating the economy now. Every sector needs data even the oil and gas industry. Where will all the data be put? It’s the data centres. Data centres are growing significantly in China, South Africa and some other countries. Data will have to be put in a data centre that is highly reliable and a company that is with a track record, integrity and reliability.

Nigeria needs data centres and we must also ensure that the centres that we have been built with the right quality. We must have the best global standard otherwise we would be embedding mediocrity which will be bad for the country. We need data and we need data centres to host the data. In Nigeria, we also need to have a level playing field so that the cost that we incur in bringing technology to the country enables us to be competitive. 

How do you convince Nigerians to host their data locally?

The issue is when Nigerians are dissatisfied, they would patronise foreign companies for their data hosting. Government and agency do this and some oil and gas firms.  What we are doing is that we are poised to change the narrative so that people can start hosting in Nigeria. It’s a continuous journey of innovation. At Rack centre, we bring in capability and innovative inputs. We now have quality here.

One major thing we have been doing in the last couple of years is raising awareness. We have kept demonstrating and making people know the kind of quality that we have here. It’s tasking. It is not easy but we are really pushing it. We are changing people’s beliefs and the perception that we have quality data centres in the country. It’s important that all these companies have access to the right technology and facilities. We have 32 carriers that are hosted here. We are changing the the setting and mindset.

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