The Business Year

Ed Callen

NIGERIA - Telecoms & IT

Ed Callen

Managing Director, Hewlett Packard Enterprise operated by Selectium, Nigeria

Bio

Edwin Callen is the Managing Director of Hewlett Packard Enterprise operated by Selectium, Nigeria. Prior to this role, he was the managing director of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Kenya, covering the East African region. With more than 50 years’ experience in the information technology sector working both in the US and Africa region, he has led the successful expansion of HPE’s business across Africa.

Offering a complete suite of solutions to clients as well as a flexible “pay by use“ plan, Hewlett Packard Enterprise operated by Selectium, Nigeria is doing its part to help all businesses big and small.

Can you give us some background to your operations and services in Nigeria?

The HPE footprint has been in Nigeria for about 20 years as one of the leading IT suppliers. Our 1,200 customers and companies are spread across our five key sectors: the government; oil and gas; telecommunications; finance; and SMEs. One of the key elements of our business in Nigeria is our strong support capability; Based on customer and partner feedback, we are the strongest IT company in Nigeria when it comes to support. We have zero problems when it comes to customer satisfaction and have an open-door policy. We have a superb engineering team that makes up the backbone of our organization. Not only do we maintain equipment, but we also provide managed services. One of the main problems for companies in Nigeria is retaining their staff. We fill the gap created through our managed services, thereby managing client infrastructure. We also have an outstanding sales team. We not only sell hardware and operational software, but also solutions that help our customers grow quickly.

How did Hewlett Packard Enterprise operated by Selectium Nigeria come to be?

With the split of Hewlett Packard into Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and HP Inc. in 2014, HPE Nigeria provided the market with a unique portfolio and strong multi-year innovation roadmap across technology infrastructure, software, and services to allow customers to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by cloud, big data, security, and mobility. The separation allowed for greater flexibility in completing the turnaround of enterprise services and strengthening the company’s go-to-market capabilities. As further restructuring of HPE, in 2018 Hewlett Packard Enterprise operated by Selectium, Nigeria was instituted as part of the HPE Master Area Partner (MAP) model.

How did you transform and innovate due to the pandemic?

We are providing a new HPE service to the Nigeria market called HPE Greenlake, which is “pay by use” model. It is an opportunity for customers to get an OPEX purchase plan rather than a CAPEX purchase plan. Instead of paying all the money upfront for hardware, we offer a monthly or quarterly payment plan. There are monitoring tools on our hardware and determine how much is being used on a monthly basis or quarterly basis. Our model offers the customer a cloud-like experience, while equipment is on premise, giving the customer full control of the infrastructure and allowing clients information confidentiality. We are excited by this new service as it helps smaller companies that are struggling. The HPE Greenlake — Selectium program is a unique pay-by-use model, which is our way of helping the Nigerian economy.

What does the digital transformation mean for Nigerian businesses, and what is the status of digital adoption here?

Digital transformation has been happening for a long time; people are putting new names on old trends. Digital transformation means bringing technology into your environment and making it work for you. Many things are still manual in Nigeria, so it means digitalizing and making things easier for the population. The government is building various portals for people to do more online. Nigeria has a long way to go from being where it wants to be, though in some areas it leads the pack. That is the same with most African countries. My home base is in South Africa, where some things are run well, and others are not. Here, I have been consistently amazed at how easy and affordable things are compared to South Africa at times. Nigeria is working to bring in technology that can do the job and maintain equipment to make sure it will continue to do that. The companies we deal with understand that they may need support, where other areas of Africa are more apt to buy equipment and just hope it runs as long as they need it.

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