Liquid Telecom held a cyber-security event on September 8, 2020, outlining its new suite of services that bring international partners offering solutions for Africa.
The company’s regional CEO Wellington Makamure (WM) spoke to our news editor Everson Mushava (EM) where he shared his views on what value Liquid can offer local companies across their business processes, with a particular focus on emerging trends such as working from home.
Below are excerpts from the interview.
EM: What unique challenges does Zimbabwe provide in terms of companies having to adapt their business processes and working arrangements?
WM: The working environment changed drastically with the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, this is not unique to Zimbabwe, coupled with new legislation put in place to ensure social distancing and control the spread of the disease.
Most businesses in Zimbabwe have had to adjust to the new normal where most are expected to work remotely from home as well as exercise social distancing in both the workplace and social gatherings.
Hence cyber threats have become a significant challenge, as corporates have to manage business processes in and outside the confines of their existing infrastructure.
This means and demands that cyber security now plays a pivotal role in managing and protecting the current operating environment. This is a challenge of infrastructure that affects adaptability and working arrangement.
EM: Working from home is a popular solution to the challenges posed by Covid-19 across the globe. Does Zimbabwe have the connectivity infrastructure to handle the work from home approach?
WM: Liquid Telecom has and continues to make a significant and extensive infrastructure growth towards connectivity.
To date Liquid Telecom has laid over 21 000km of fibre in Zimbabwe and over 70 000km of fibre across Africa.
It is reported that approximately 4,8 million people in Zimbabwe are using internet.
The Liquid Telecom robust fibre backbone is facilitating working from home for businesses, schools, enterprises and others.
Liquid Telecom also provides operational solutions and additional services such as Microsoft Teams that promote collaboration online.
Thus, Liquid is not only enabling working from home but online learning through its Eduzones project, giving free internet connectivity to over 40 tertiary and higher learning educational institutions across Zimbabwe.
EM: The Bring Your Own Device approach has proven very popular in the Zimbabwean environment.
How does Liquid help local companies and their staff manage devices being used for both work and personal use?
WM: Indeed the bring your own device has assisted in creating great leaps as far as connectivity is concerned.
Liquid Telecom, through managed services has supported businesses and retail customers to acquire devices on their own and this enabled efficient connectivity for more people.
The Liquid Telecom teams have configured most of these devices and hence, greatly extended the connectively for business and personal use.
EM: What opportunities does Liquid see for Zimbabwean businesses taking the work from home approach to improve their business processes? In what ways can working from home deliver better results in the Zimbabwean context?
WM: The major opportunity for any Zimbabwean business in taking the work from home approach is the aspect of efficiency, cost-cutting and availability at all times.
This has promoted Digital Transformation, which Liquid Telecom has been spearheading.
The global trend is digital transformation.
The work from home approach is easily aided through digital transformation. Digital transformation brings into play such advantages as, efficient collaboration, enhanced data collection and productivity, analysis, resource management as well as cost-saving.
EM: What product offerings from Liquid help Zimbabwean business take advantage of work from home for greater efficiency and productivity?
WM: Liquid Telecom offers reliable and redundant connectivity, internet home packages, mobile Wifi devices to enable people to access internet on the go, cloud services that allow safe and reliable remote access and data storage and Microsoft 365 solutions that enable immediate and on the go operability.