Technology is a big business in West Africa. Nigerian systems integrator and IT specialists Algorism is fast establishing itself as the preeminent technology partner to enterprise companies in the region looking to modernise, secure and digitally transform their technology real estate. Being a notable player in the Nigerian tech sector, Algorism began pushing the use of hyperconverged infrastructure as far back as 2018, which ultimately led to its establishment as one of the first Nutanix partners in country. Established in 2016, Algorism assists customers in West Africa with digital transformation projects, builds enterprise infrastructure environments, and has a platform business developing African-centric software solutions to meet the specific vertical needs of its customers. Today the company leads the local market as one of the biggest suppliers of technology solutions to businesses within the Nigerian financial services sector alongside its clients in the real estate, healthcare, government, and utility sectors.
Our goal is to help customers turn digital transformation projects into a strategic business advantage. It is this very ethos that led us to partner with Nutanix because infrastructure plays such an important role in the success of any digital project. We spend a lot of time educating our clients on how unsustainable old three-tier architectures are, especially because they require a literal forklift upgrade every three years. Hyperconvergence is the best fit for any transformation efforts right from the infrastructure to the app. - Rasheed Adegoke, CEO
In 2018 Algorism was called on by a large bank in the capital city, Abuja, to assist in developing a future-proof technology infrastructure from which the bank could innovate. While hyperconvergence was new to the local market, Algorism identified it was the perfect fit for the bank’s needs. It began investigating the available solutions and decided that Nutanix met scalability, flexibility, and cost concerns facing the local business. The only challenge? Nutanix was not in the country, so Adegoke and his team approached the vendor and were advised to work through its existing OEM partner Lenovo to deliver the Nutanix solution. “Nutanix saw the opportunity and were willing to help us get its technology to our customer. Not only did we then sign the first Nutanix customer in Nigeria, but when it established its partner channel and a presence in the country, we became its first partner,” added Adegoke.
Taking a chance on hyperconvergence has served Algorism well. Today it is viewed as the premier player on this technology in the local market. It has all but sewn up the local financial services industry with no less than six of the most innovative banks and financial institutions in West Africa as its customers. This also includes a major industry regulator and the Nigerian central securities clearing system. “Nutanix is a very strategic part of our business as it aligns well with Algorism’s strategy, which is to offer unique solutions that truly connect with our customer’s vision for growth and innovation. Today it makes up between 60% - 70% of our business and is growing every day.” Adegoke attributes this growth to the speed at which it can deploy and scale Nutanix. While other solutions are at the mercy of long sales cycles, it can rapidly deploy a new infrastructure using hyperconvergence as the premise of digital infrastructure. This has proved invaluable for the Algorism team when working with newly licensed banks and new digital-centric businesses who don’t have years, but rather weeks and months, to get a business up and running. “We work exceptionally closely with Nutanix and our local distributors in terms of securing technology and deploying it. Most importantly to our customers, we can meet their timelines, and we can show cost savings and a return on investment almost immediately. For example, one of the banks we worked with started just before COVID, and in just ten months, they broke even. Not just because they had an exceptional business model but also because they were smart about their technology investments. They didn’t fall into the trap of an old school three-tier architecture that would take months to arrive and even longer to deploy,” mentioned Adegoke. Algorism is today sitting with an exceptionally healthy pipeline, and since its inception in 2016, the company has managed to grow its business exponentially. Adegoke says the company is optimistic that it can reach triple digit revenue growth in this financial year, which it attributes in part to Nutanix’s fit for market solution portfolio and its evolving Elevate Partner program that rewards partners consistently for their sales efforts.
Central to the company’s success is that it doesn’t just sell technology to clinch a sale. It works hand in glove with customers to map out solutions that make a real impact and scale with a business. “Most customers want a technology that supports zero downtime, is simple to deploy and manage, and don’t want to be held to ransom by unattainable specialist skills required to keep the lights on. Because of its simplicity, our customers don’t have to dedicate very high-end specialist skills to manage their Nutanix infrastructure. This enables them to focus their top talents on innovating in the business. This is a huge value-add, and I can’t stress enough just how important it is to have flexibility in your skillset,” said Adegoke. Algorism has already invested significantly in training its Nutanix resources. As a local employer of choice, it is even looking at adding at least four more people to its team over the next year. The goal? To be the premier support house for Nutanix in the region and offer professional services to its customers and the local channel. Avoiding mammoth forklift upgrades is also top of the agenda for customers. According to Algorism, technology refreshes should happen instantly and not depend on a three-to-five-year refresh cycle. Wavering the time and costs of this model by going a software-defined route is a real game-changer for Nigerian businesses. It also offers these customers the duality of model they need when negotiating to put specific workloads in the cloud. “Customers are caught in the trap of thinking they need to balance between a private and public cloud. We suggest they synthesise these operations and take advantage of seamless integrations by using Nutanix. They can then manage the hybridity needed between clouds while ensuring it’s secure and the experience is consistent. It just makes financial and business sense.”.
Nigeria continues to be positioned as one of the biggest growing economies of the developing world. Something Adegoke says was not hampered by the COVID pandemic. “Our business grew last year, not because COVID made people rush to get new systems. We went into the year with a healthy pipeline. Instead of our peers, who had to wait for months to get shipments, we carried on business as usual and completed implementations remotely. Customers were delighted that it wasn’t a requirement to get into their physical data centre to work, and we just carried on,” commented Adegoke. The future of Nigeria is very closely aligned to a technology story, and Adegoke says that digital transformation is now top of mind for all businesses. Other technology areas where the country sees huge growth include analytics, open banking, API-led application development, application collaboration, cybersecurity, and the modernisation of all systems that support customer service. “We are in an exciting but competitive market. Our goal at Algorism is to continue to seek out technologies like Nutanix that allow us to lead innovation and that will make sure we don’t become dinosaurs in this ecosystem,” concluded Adegoke.