Countless times this question had been asked at our corporate events: Workshops, exhibitions, product launches, award ceremonies and crucially through our public interaction channels i.e. website, social media platforms and mail updates. Similarly, some other people have concluded that we sell computers, if not manufacture or maintain them, thanks to the initial word in our name (Computer) and the suggestive “Warehouse” right after.
Computer Warehouse Group (CWG Plc) is a leading provider of Information Technology solutions across West, Central and Eastern Africa with annual revenue of $120 million and staff strength of over 650.
CWG Plc commenced operations in September, 1992 as Computer Warehouse Limited with only Four (4) staff members to undertake hardware projects. Five (5) years later, DCC Networks, the communications arm of the group was established to provide VSAT, Metropolitan, Wide Area and Local area networks to corporate organisations. In 1999, based on the existing demands in the area of software solutions, system and training, ExpertEdge Software was acquired as the company’s third arm.
In pursuit of its Pan-African Vision, CWG Plc has established its regional offices in the West, East and Central Africa. CWG Ghana limited (2003), CWG Uganda Limited (2010) and CWG Cameroon Limited (2012) to handle the business interest of these regions. On the 6th of march, 2012, CWG Plc merged with its three (3) subsidiaries; CWL Systems, ExpertEdge Software and DCC Networks, thereby leaving CWG Plc as the only surviving entity and the subsidiaries becoming divisions.
In February 2013, CWG Plc became a Public Company. In November 15 of the same year, CWG Plc listed its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The listing boosted the market Capitalization of the NSE by about N14 billion naira, making CWG Plc the highest capitalized security in the ICT sector. CWG PLC listing also marked the first listing on the exchange after the launch of the X-Gen trading engine.
At inception, CWG was essentially an IT infrastructure sales firm. Thereafter, the group has evolved into an IT Powerhouse with a focus on enabling businesses through strategic partnerships with world-class partners. As it stands, the future of CWG is encapsulated in her new business model: CWG 2.0.
CWG 2.0 is a subscription business model birthed and driven by the quest to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) grow and has made a notable social impact. This includes Openshopen.ng, a website that affords shop owners open their own virtual store online. SMERP, our Enterprise Resource Planning solution (ERP) that is built to assist business owners manage their business inventories, both on a subscription basis.
Mr. Austin Okere, Founder and CEO, CWG Plc while explaining the driving motivation behind the dual solutions explained that “there are about 17.7 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Nigeria. With their own online stores and with the aid of enterprise resource planning, we will empower SMEs to be able to keep their own records. Then, they can present their records to get credits from the banks. With these loans, they can be able to expand their businesses. If they are able to expand their businesses, each of them can employ one more person. If each of them employs one more person, we will end up creating 17.7 million more jobs. The unemployment rate in Nigeria is about 23%, which amounts to about 16 million jobless youths. With this development, we will eradicate unemployment and have more jobs to spare”
Similarly, in cooperation with SES, a global satellite company, CWG has launched a new digital television platform on SES’s ASTRA 2F satellite, at 28.2 degrees East. This collaboration entailed that SES provide the broadcast platform while CWG offer teleport support using her satellite infrastructure. The DTH broadcast platform would provide access to a greater number of stations to households in Nigeria and across West Africa, at a relatively low cost. Compared to the existing providers that offer access to TV channels at monthly subscription rates, subscribers will only be required to pay for a decoder and satellite dish to view television stations. Coupled with affordability, the TV platform will afford broadcasters the platform to reach millions of viewers at a reduced cost, afford access to an increased number of channels and alter TV content and marketing in the region.
We have also developed a number of businesses enabling solutions in the fields of power, Payment Terminal Solution, connectivity, deployment of banking software (Finacle) and ATM support. It is worthy of note that CWG Plc has been named Wincor Nixdorf Best Absolute Achievement award in the entire Portugal, Middle East and Africa (PMEA) Region successively.
Perhaps you have heard of Diamond Yello account. In furtherance of the Cashless Initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Computer Warehouse Group Plc extended her MTN XaaS platform to power the Diamond Y’ello Account in collaboration with Diamond Bank and MTN Nigeria. MTN XaaS runs on indigenous software from Computer Warehouse Group Plc designed to provide efficient cloud based banking services. Diamond Y’ello Account is a mobile banking product built on MTN Xaas platform to enable MTN subscribers, including the unbanked and under-banked populace in Nigeria enjoy the banking services from Diamond Bank.
CWG Academy is a unique component of the CWG 2.0 model. It mirrors the place of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the business focus of CWG. The goal of the CWG Academy is to bridge the workforce knowledge gap in Africa by equipping fresh graduates with the required skills that will make them employable or become successful entrepreneurs.
The highly acclaimed CWG Academy which started at her Lagos Headquarters four years ago, and has successfully trained and placed over 500 ICT professionals into various fields of industry, has now been extended to the other operational bases of the Pan African Company, including Accra, Kampala, Port Harcourt and Abuja, with plans to incorporate Cameroon by the first half of 2015. Of the over 500 graduates from the Academy, about 85% have been employed in leading companies while about 10% have opted to become technology entrepreneurs.
The Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN) is another unique project that emphasizes the premium CWG 2.0 places on education. NgREN is the first of its kind in West and Central Africa. It was built by a consortium of technology companies led by the Computer Warehouse Group (CWG Plc). The first phase of the project, under the Science and Technology Education Post-Basic (STEP-B) initiative covers the 27 Premier Federal Universities in Nigeria and their over one million students and staff. This interconnection will be conducted via a fully redundant broadband network.
CWG Data Centre
Coupled with these, CWG operates a Tier 3 world class Data Centre. It provides a platform for CWG’s cloud computing business as well as offer excess capacity to enterprises, especially banks for use as a Disaster Recovery Data Centre on a co-location basis.
CWG’s Data Center is equipped with state of the art N+1 power and environmental management infrastructure, which provides a combined generating capacity of 0.7MVA. To ensure incoming mains power is conditioned and available at all times, there are redundant and Modular 250KVA Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems. The UPS also function as bull-mark against power surges and blowout.
CWG’s CSR policy thrust is built on the twin pillars of Educational and intellectual development. This choice, he said, is steeped in the company’s belief that the best way to create a technologically driven society is through the support and reward for technological expertise.
Recently, CWG hosted the first Oracle Partner Summer School in the entire sub-Sahara Africa in conjunction with Oracle at no cost to the candidates.
Similarly, the CWG reward scheme which is designed to extol the essence of attaining academic excellence among students of Universities within CWG community that started with the University of Lagos, a couple of years back and has since been extended to Universities in Doula, Accra, Kampala, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
At the moment, CWG Plc has her physical presence in Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon as well as having a virtual presence in 17 other African countries. Our Vision is to be Africa’s number one IT Utility provider by 2020. Hence, we are extending the frontiers of services to the ends of the continent and beyond, 27 countries in 2 years.
This will be achieved on the strength of our Pan-African partnership initiative. This aims at creating a network Technology Services provide across the continent that will guarantee quality service delivery, improved business processes and revenue increase.
After a facility tour of CWG, Nigeria Stock Exchange CEO, Mr. Oscar Onyema has this to say “From their subscription businesses which they call CWG 2.0, to their legacy business which is more of infrastructure based, CWG has done quite well. We have been to their tier3 Datacentre, which supports multiple businesses. We have seen their contact centre, where they handle inbound calls. In all, it is professionally run. We are quite excited at the possibility of growth and how the Company might be the next Alibaba for Nigeria.”
We will love to hear from you: CWG-Marketing @CWG-PLC.com; @CWGAfrica (Twitter)