Uplifting Women in IT

Published March 1, 2009 by Syllable

Verizon Business committed to improving skills

Verizon Business was the first Internet Service Provider (ISP) that entered the African market, and since then the company has developed a solid understanding and knowledge of business operations across the continent, to ultimately meet the demands and requirements of customers in many different countries. They have a physical presence in Namibia, Botswana, Kenya and Zambia. Through various partnerships, Verizon Business is also able to service customers in 22 countries throughout the continent.

“The African continent is one of immense growth and expansion possibilities for both the corporate and SME markets in all sectors of business,” says Nomalanga Nkosi, Marketing and CSI Executive at Verizon Business South Africa. “One of the key enablers to business efficiencies is technology, and a number of countries have taken advantage of this immense growth opportunity through openly embracing technological advancements. Verison Business is proud to have played an integral part in enabling and developing these new technologies for existing and potential customers.”
Over the years Verizon Business has been working closely with customers in various African countries, investing in building in-country capacity and skills, to ensure that their presence and solution offerings are sustainable.

Nomalanga notes that the telecoms industry is currently one of the fastest growing sectors in South Africa, notably due to market liberalization. Most markedly, the advance of the global converged network is changing the telecommunications space completely, resulting in the emergence of new services and applications.

“The future of communications in the South African telecoms industry is undoubtedly full of opportunity,” she says. “The consolidation of communications will ultimately continue, increasing the number of potential ways businesses can work, communicate and collaborate around the world. In addition to this, other future developments such as fixed broadband WiMax to support local market needs, are undeniably creating exciting prospects for the local telecommunication landscape.”

Verizon Business is fully committed to developing the skills and talents of individuals within the Information Technology (IT) industry. To meet the country’s objectives of increased skills development and labour-absorption, local businesses need to pay particular attention to developing and growing a workforce that will be able to answer South Africa’s outcry and address the shortfall. This means that organisations need to take a proactive stance and aggressive drive towards attracting, developing and retaining skills, not only in terms of professionals, but basic, fundamental skills as well.

To this extent, Verizon Business is involved with ‘Women in IT’ – a bursary and mentorship programme that aims to create insight, opportunity, growth and development for women within the IT sector. “Women in IT creates formal and informal networks between female IT students, tertiary institutions, South African IT professionals, and corporates. Business professionals who register have access to Verizon Business’ annual bursary and mentoring scheme, a quarterly newsletter, website and special events. By joining the community, people will also be helping to build a platform for skills development, knowledge transfer and the advancement of women in the IT field. In total, 50 percent of Verizon Business’ training and development budget is spent on training and developing the skills of females in the business,” concludes Nomalanga.

Verizon Business has focused its efforts on being the foremost converged communications provider in Africa. They offer global solutions from a local base, and are committed to uplift the communities in which they operate.

Originally appeared in African Connexion Magazine 2007

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