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Businesses urged to leverage exciting world of tech

BY: Emmanuel Bruce
Sam Fifi Bartels (left) and Jacob Kwaku Gyan

Technology is fast changing the world in a way that has never been seen before, as individual continue to seek cheaper, convenient and easier ways of doing things.


Businesses across the world are therefore still grappling with how to use digital tools to deliver bespoke solutions to their customers.

This week on Springboard Your Virtual University, the Host, Rev. Albert Ocran engaged the Senior Manager, Regulatory Affairs at MTN Ghana, Sam Fifi A. Bartels and the Chief Executive Officer of Adroit 360, Jacob Kwaku Gyan who shared some tips on the exciting world of technology and innovation and how businesses can take advantage of this.

Commenting on how fast technology was changing the world, Sam Fifi Bartels, said the interaction between technological evolution and the changing expectations of consumers was driving many of the changes.

He said it had been a two-way approach which includes how the technology affected people’s lives and how the changing taste of people was also affecting technology.

He said it was the interaction between these two over the years that had determined how fast technology was changing the world.

“A lot of the technological developments that have happened have been on the basis of science that sometimes have existed for centuries and people just kept adding on and eventually somebody applied it to something that people could use.

“There are a few practical ones around us; they will say one of the greatest inventions ever was legal tender and its money which had to be shown physically but many years on, you don’t have to see the money but you believe you have it,” he explained.

He said Technology had given a greater level of faith because people don’t see the money but believe they have received it.

Intelligent solutions


Mr Bartels also pointed out how companies who offer streaming services were leveraging big data to provide solutions to customers.

He said due to the fact that cable TV did not allow customers to watch want they want and at the time they want it, streaming companies such as YouTube, Amazon Prime, Netflix among others introduced their services which allowed customers to watch what they want and at the time they want it.

He said companies like Netflix who were late to the game have now taken it a notch higher and was showing how the future would look like.

He said Netflix was now using big data to develop movies and programmes that customers would love to watch.
“They now know what you want and they develop programmes for you and not only that but when they commission a movie, that movie would have taken into consideration what people want and how they want the story to evolve.

“So when that movie comes out and its streamed widely, it is no longer by accident but it was pre-programmed based on the interactions between the streaming service and the people watching,” he stated.

Smart technologies


For his part, Jacob Kwaku Gyan, said the driving forces of technology in recent times were big data and perspective analysis.

“When you are on your computer or TV set, which now runs on complex softwares, these softwares are learning from you, they are looking at what you type, the movies you select and the things that interest you.

“So the computer is able to determine you like action movies and don’t like emotional movies and they gather these data for the video on demand companies,” he explained.

He said the streaming services providers also use this information to know exactly what a lot of their customers want and therefore make investments in those areas to produce movies that are fit for purpose.

“In the other life, they use that data to also drive agenda. Once they know all about you, they keep suggesting services to you.

“They are learning from you and there is artificial intelligence which is thinking that if this guy likes this then he might like this as well,” he stated.

Win-win situation

Mr Gyan said this was creating a win-win situation for both customers and the service providers.

He said the emergence of these technologies were being used to make businesses better through the use of data and also helping customers to make informed decisions.

Five tips from Fifi Bartels

1.    Convenience; technology appeals to our most basic human nature. When you log on and a system says hello and mentions your name, you feel good. We love hassle-free personalized services. That is why people prefer a ride share app to a taxi.

2.    Job losses; historically, technology takes out some jobs but also creates new jobs. Technological efficiencies lead to price drops, demand growth and new jobs. The key is for people to retrain and pivot.

3.    Aspirations; your aspirations must not be limited by where you live and the income of your parents. Like Jacob, I grew up selling coconut oil with my mother as well as old British newspapers, which were used as wrappers.

4.    Pivoting; while studying in the UK, I found myself attracted to applications of the law to technology in the cyberspace law, telecoms law, and media space law classes. I ended up with a new profession.

5.    Affirmation; family issues meant that I had to move from a preparatory school to a public school in class four. My mother dared me to see beyond my environment. I would school on a half-day shift and sell during the other shift.

Six tips from Kwaku Gyan


1.    Local participation; ride share technologies and the like have created side hustles for many; but they were built abroad. The good news is, there are some great technologies designed by Ghanaians.

2.    Life changer; at age 17, on assignment as a news intern, I met Joseph, another 17-year-old, in a taxi who was on his way to register a company to build websites and apps. He was a software engineer, so I offered to be his marketing partner.

3.    Persistence; every morning, I helped my mechanic father to carry car batteries just to make a few cedis. I would then walk to a hotel to attend the day’s conferences uninvited just to prospect. I did this for a year and a half before we got our first client.

4.    Shame; one day, while working in my father’s mechanic shop to raise my school fees, I run away when I saw my classmates were passing. Another time, a mate vividly described me selling ladies sandals with my mother. I was so ashamed, I cried and refused to join her. She quietly carried both loads.

5.    Learning on the job; I was still relying on google samples for all my invoices, contracts, and business documents, even when I had multinational clients. Someone saw what was going on and introduced me to a lawyer.

6.    Hope; you can only change the world if you’re crazy. The day you lose hope is the day you die. Don’t be scared.