Managing Director, SEAMFIX, Mr. Chimezie Emewulu
Managing Director, SEAMFIX, Mr. Chimezie Emewulu, spoke to Emma Okonji on the benefits of BioRegistra in digitising data capture and archiving for organisational growth. Excerpts:
Your company SEAMFIX, recently launched a new data management solution called BioRegistra. What is the solution all about and what does it seek to address?
BioRegistra is a platform for all forms of registrations that are designed to capture data for various reasons. So the platform helps people in digitising their data, which is critical for business growth. People acquire data because they need the information captured in the data to do a lot of things. The need to digitise data in the first instance, will enable custodians of data to see their data realtime and make the best of decision, based on the information they have at hand. BioRegistra can capture all forms of demographic data, including finger print and facial capture. We were motivated to design and create the BioRegistra based on the request we got from customers who felt the need for a solution that can capture data accurately and safely store such data for future use. Over the years. SEAMFIX has been involved in data capturing for various organisations and it was based on our pedigree that customers came to us to seek for a solution that will address their business needs. So we decided to create the BioRegistra, which is a generic platform that captures all manners of data from where people and businesses could source information from. So with the ready platform, businesses will roll out much faster since every single data they need to promote their business, is already captured.
What is the cost implication of the solution for customers?
The cost implication is very minimal and it is almost free because businesses do no longer need to build their own data centre to begin business. Again, customers pay according to what they use on the platform. It is easy to deploy, since it is mobile device-based and most people have mobile phones that are connected to the internet.
So the solution can be on the mobile phone, or on any device that is not mobile.
So how does it operate and what specific challenges does it address?
BioRegistra was designed to help businesses do more and achieve more. A lot of businesses that spend time capturing and analysing data will find our solution very helpful. So it is a platform used for direct data acquisition such that the user does not need to start any form of reconciliation and that is a lot of value added for the customer. So SEAMFIX is adding value to the Nigerian economy, through its solutions that support businesses.
What is the advantage of the solution to customers?
Any customer that keys into the solution, gets the business transacted earlier than estimated. It helps to make quick and on the spot assessment and the decision making is faster once they have the data. It also helps to address a lot of reconciliatory issues with customers’ businesses. Again they do not need to invest in data, neither will they have to get worried about losing their data, since their data is securely kept. It is an enterprise portal system that provides business owners with access to data, anytime any day.
What kind of support does SEAMFIX offer the society where it operates?
We have a lot of internship progrmmes where we develop a lot of talents and we do a lot of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes to further add value to businesses. We are in partnership with the Education Society Council in Enugu State and we partnered them to provide educational materials, and classroom infrastructure and renovation, among others.
Data explosion is on the increase and the volume of communication is moving from voice to data. What is your take about data growth in Nigeria?
There has been tremendous growth in data across all sectors of the Nigerian economy, but the issue on ground is that most of the data are not digitally archived for the future. In the education sector, most schools, including tertiary institutions still keep data in hard copies of papers instead of in electronic form, which I refer to as digital archiving. University of Nigeria, Nsukka for instance, until last year, had all its students data in physical hard copies, which could be lost to fire outbreak or even insects at any given time, but when the school authority invited us to help them out, we took all the physical copies of students’ results, certificates and other academic records and digitised them, after which we ran analysis on them to find out the courses that students passed the most and courses that students failed the most. So the school is now able to know, within seconds, the number of students that graduated with first class, second class upper, second class lower and third class in a particular year, a situation that takes them months to analyse before we were introduced to the school system. So the consciousness of digitally archiving data is gradually gaining grounds in most sectors of the economy.
Most organisations still host their data outside the country for fear of data loss due to insecurity. How can you raise the confidence of organisations to begin to capture data in Nigeria and host same in Nigeria?
With our solution, which is cloud-based, customers do not need to entertain fears about generating data and hosting such data in Nigeria because our solution comes with high level of security protection.
Most data generated in Nigeria, operate in silos, but there is a need to harmonise the various data into a single data platform. What is your take on this?
SEAMFIX is worried that several data in Nigeria operate in silos and we are interested in harmonising such data into a single platform for easy access, if given the opportunity to do so. Again, we have the capacity to harmonise existing government data that are seated in various offices, but my worry is that government may not want to give such task to a home grown company like SEAMFIX, despite the fact that we are capable of achieving good result if given the opportunity. If allowed to do so, I am assuring the federal government, state and local governments that SEAMFIX will always deliver in record breaking time.
Most times organisations need solutions that could cleanup their existing data that may have been wrongly captured. Do you have solutions for that?
The BioRegistra solution that we just launched has the capabilities to cleanup all existing data of organisations that were improperly captured. The solution is able to carry out deep facial analysis of photographs of people that had long been captured and identify whether the earlier registration captured the picture very well. The analysis will detect errors in registration and flag it down to identify it. Once that is detected, the person could be invited for re-capturing.
How will your solution enhance quality data capturing for organisations that are known for quality?
In data capturing, quality is key, and three major things could lead to quality. They are the demographics capturing, the finger print capturing and the facial capturing. In capturing demographics, we need to consider the regular patterns of some names and validate them, and this will help to easily identify wrong names. For the facial capturing, we consider the analysis and validation of the photo at the point of capture to ascertain the real photo of the person involved. We are also able to capture data offline and that makes it easier for data capturing in areas where there is no internet connection. For the finger print, we also consider capturing the exact template size that will enable the creation of template for identification purpose. Our solution ensures that the right quality finger print is captured and stored in the right format for easy conversion.
How cost effective is your solution, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs)?
Our solution is extremely cost effective, both for SMEs and big enterprises, and this is so because customers pay for what they use and the burden of getting the infrastructure to capture organisational data, is completely removed from the organisation, and this of course allows them to face their core businesses. What they need do is to pay per capture and that makes it less expensive for customers. All we need to know at SEAMFIX is about the volume of data that the organisation wants to capture and in record time, we get it done for the customer.
How do you address downtime in an organisation, using your solution?
We have uptime objective of 99.997per cent, which is a very high signal level for any business to thrive on. A lot of time, we maintain high level uptime in our data capturing and management.
Is your solution secured and easily assessable?
Our solution is highly secured and easily assessable because of the high quality features embedded in it. It has high level of encryption that makes it highly secured and it is user friendly, such that customers can adopt it and use it with ease. Again the backend has a lot of fire works that makes it even more secured.
The federal government is particular about local content development. What amount of local content is embedded in your solution?
The BioRegistra we just launched, has 100 per cent local content. It was developed by Nigerians and the solution was developed from the beginning to the end with local materials and by local software developers. Again, the company is managed by Nigerians and the staff comprises young Nigerians.
You started SEAMFIX about 10 years ago from a three bedroom flat with N75,000, but today it has grown into millions of naira investments. What has been the challenges and prospects?
There has been a lot of challenges ranging from personal experience and from the government side of it. Funding used to be a major challenge at a time but we were able to overcome it through resilience and perseverance. A lot of customers who did not understand what we were doing, tried to discourage us, but we remained resolute and committed to our goals. Another challenge we had was that of mentorship but it was also resolved when we met some good industry players who understood our dreams and aspirations and they stood by us. We had challenge of infrastructure and we had to provide internet connectivity for ourselves by investing in fibre cable laying, which often times they are destroyed by government during road construction.
How will you rate customers’ acceptability and adaptability to the BioRegistra solution?
Acceptance rate is growing as customers get to understand the unique features of our solution. The solution is also app-based and could be downloaded from the Google Play Store and it comes with an education menu that teaches people how to apply it in their various businesses. The site is very flexible and has a lot of training materials that customer could use for self training. The solution will be quite useful for internal revenue generation because it captures right data that will address revenue loss in organisations.