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Cisco reported better-than-expected fiscal second-quarter results on Wednesday and lifted its forecast for the full year. Shares of the computer networking company initially jumped in extended trading before paring most of their gains.
Here's how the company did:
Cisco's total revenue grew 7% year over year in the quarter, which ended Jan. 28, according to a statement. Net income fell about 7% to $2.77 billion.
Some components that go in Cisco's hardware products remain constraints, but the company did see an improvement across the board, CEO Chuck Robbins said on a conference call with analysts.
"Based on the sequentials that we saw, demand remains stable," he said, although he added some sales cycles are longer than usual.
Cisco's public sector business performed more strongly than it has historically, while in the service provider category, some customers are adjusting to the better delivery of the company's products into their environments, Robbins said.
The company called for fiscal third-quarter adjusted earnings of 96 cents to 98 cents per share and 11% to 13% revenue growth. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv had been looking for adjusted earnings per share of 89 cents and revenue of $13.58 billion, which implies almost 6% growth.
Cisco lifted its guidance for the 2023 fiscal year, and now expects $3.73 to $3.78 in adjusted earnings per share and 9% to 10.5% revenue growth. Both numbers are well ahead of analysts' estimates.
But Cisco said its backlog increased year over year. The backlog for both hardware and software is still considerably higher than usual for Cisco because of limited supply availability, said Scott Herren, Cisco's finance chief.
"We continue to have very low order cancellation rates, which remain below pre-pandemic levels," Herren said.
Logistics costs have come down somewhat, he said.
In the fiscal second quarter Cisco's largest business segment, Secure, Agile Networks, featuring networking switches for data centers, posted $6.75 billion in revenue. That was up 14% and more than the $6.52 billion consensus among analysts polled by StreetAccount.
The Internet for the Future unit, which includes routed optical networking hardware, contributed $1.31 billion, down 1% and just below the $1.32 billion StreetAccount consensus.
Revenue from Cisco's Collaboration division containing Webex fell by 10% to $958 million, falling short of StreetAccount's $1.06 billion consensus.
In the quarter, Cisco announced updates to its AppDynamics cloud software for application monitoring and disclosed a restructuring plan that includes changes to its real estate portfolio.
Notwithstanding the after-hours move, Cisco shares have inched about 2% higher, while the S&P 500 index is up 8% in the same time period.
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The world’s leading telecommunications companies are often branded as monopolies that lack innovation. Telcos have been great at operational efficiency, connectivity and living off of transmission costs.
But in a world beyond telephone poles and basic wireless services, how will telcos modernize, become more agile and monetize new opportunities brought about by 5G, private wireless and a spate of new innovations in infrastructure, cloud, data, artificial intelligence and apps? It has become table stakes for carriers to evolve their hardened, proprietary infrastructure stacks to more open, flexible, cloudlike models. But doing so brings risks that telcos must carefully balance as they strive to deliver consistent quality of service while at the same time moving faster and avoiding disruption.
In this Breaking Analysis and ahead of MWC 2023, we explore the evolution of the telco business and how the industry is in many ways, mimicking a transformation that took place decades ago in enterprise information technology. We’ll model some of the traditional enterprise vendors using Enterprise Technology Research data and investigate how they’re faring in the telecom vertical. And we’ll pose some of the key issues facing the industry this decade.
First, let’s take a look at what the GSMA has in store for MWC 2023.
GSMA, the host of what used to be called Mobile World Congress, has set the theme for this year’s event as velocity. It has rebranded MWC to reflect the fact that mobile technology is only one part of the story. MWC has become one of the world’s premier tech events highlighting innovations not only in telco, mobile and 5G but the colliding forces of cloud, infrastructure, apps, private network, smart industries, machine intelligence and AI, and more. MWC comprises an enormous ecosystem of service providers, technology companies, and firms from all industries, including sports and entertainment.
As well, the GSMA, along with its venue partner at the Fira Barcelona, have placed a major emphasis on sustainability and public/private partnerships. Virtually every industry will be represented at the event because every industry is affected by the trends and opportunities in the communications space.
GSMA has said it expects 80,000 attendees at this year’s event – not back to 2019 levels but trending in that direction. Attendance by participants from China has historically been very high at the show and obviously the continued travel issues from that region are affecting the overall attendance. But still very strong. Despite these concerns, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., the giant Chinese technology company, has the largest presence of any exhibitor at the show.
And finally, GSMA estimates that more than 300 million Euro in economic benefit will result from the event, which takes place at the end of February and early March in Barcelona.
The team from SiliconANGLE theCUBE will be back at MWC this year with a major presence thanks to our anchor sponsor, Dell Technologies Inc., and other supporters of our content program, including EnterpriseWeb LLC, Arrcus Inc., VMware Inc., Snowflake Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Amazon Web Services Inc. and others.
At the heart of our ongoing research and reporting is the importance of leading carriers evolving their technology stacks. It’s a Topic that’s often talked about and one that we observed took place in the 1990s when the vertically integrated IBM Corp. mainframe monopoly gave way to a disintegrated and horizontal industry structure.
In many ways the same thing is happening today in telecommunications, shown on the lefthand side of the above diagram. Historically, telcos have relied on a hardened, integrated and incredibly reliable and secure set of hardware and software services that have been fully vetted, tested, certified and confidently deployed for decades.
And at the top of that stack on the left are the crown jewels, the operational support systems or OSS and the business support systems or BSS. The OSS deals with network management, network operations, service delivery, quality of service, fulfillment assurance and the like. The BSS systems look after the customer-facing elements of the stack such as revenue, order management, product offerings, billing and customer service.
Historically telcos have been strong at operational efficiency and making money off transport and connectivity. But they’ve lacked the innovation in services. They own the pipes and that works well. But others – such as over-the-top or OTT content companies (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu…) or private network providers and increasingly cloud providers – have been able to bypass the telcos to drive innovation and secure customer relationships (and data) directly.
As with enterprise IT, we’re seeing multiple models emerge including an embrace of the public cloud, but more often hybrid models that might selectively tap certain public cloud services but maintaining control of core systems in house.
In the early part of last decade, network function virtualization or NFV was touted by a number of vendors to solve the problem of inflexible telco infrastructure. NFV failed. It turned out to be complicated and too expensive and it got blindsided by the cloud operating model. Carriers were left with the choice of moving their stacks into the public cloud or doing their own time-consuming integration and testing to achieve a more flexible operating model.
The rightmost part of the diagram above conceptualizes where we think the industry is headed. It addresses the trend toward disaggregating key pieces of the stack. And though the similarities to the 1990s in enterprise IT are greater than the differences, there are things that are new. For example, the granularity of hardware infrastructure may not be as high where competition occurred at every layer of the value chain with very little infrastructure integration. That of course changed in the 2010s with converged infrastructure and hyperconverged and software-defined… so that’s different today.
As well, the advent of cloud, containers, microservices and AI… none of these was a major factor in the disintegration of legacy IT. And that probably means that todays disruptors can move even faster than did Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp., Cisco and Seagate Technology in the 1990s.
In addition, though many of the products and services will come from traditional enterprise IT names such as Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., Cisco, Red Hat, VMware, AWS, Microsoft and Google LLC, the names will also include different suppliers and come from traditional network equipment providers such as Ericsson AB, Huawei and Nokia Corp.. And the partner ecosystem will be more diverse as well with other names such as Wind River Systems Inc., Rakuten Inc. and Dish Network Corp.
Enormous opportunities exist in data too. Telecom companies and their competitors must go beyond telemetry data into more advanced analytics and data monetization. There will also be an entirely new set of apps based on the workloads and use cases ranging from hospitals and sports arenas to race tracks, shipping ports and more. You name it, virtually every vertical will participate in this transformation as the industry evolves its focus toward innovation, agility and open ecosystems.
Remember also that this is not a binary state. There will be greenfield companies disrupting the apple cart, but incumbent telcos will continue to ensure newer systems work with legacy infrastructure and, as we know, that’s not an overnight task. Which makes this all so interesting because of the friction between the need for speed juxtaposed with quality.
As such, telco equipment buyers will benefit from those providers that can help simplify integration with engineered systems, pre-packaged layers of the stack and lab certifications that go beyond reference models and actually guarantee the efficacy of SKUs that include ecosystem components.
As stated, several traditional enterprise companies are or will be playing in this space. ETR doesn’t have a ton of data on specific telecom equipment and software providers, but it does have some interesting data that we cut for this Breaking Analysis.
Above we show a graphic with some of the names that we’ve followed over the years in Breaking Analysis and how they’re faring specifically within the telco sector.
The Y axis shows Net Score or spending velocity and the horizontal axis shows the presence or pervasiveness in the data set. The table insert in the upper left informs how the dots are plotted. And that red dotted line at 40% indicates a highly elevated level. Below we comment on some of the cohorts and share with you how they’re doing in telecommunications sector relative to their position overall.
Let’s start with the public cloud players. They’re prominent in every industry and an interesting group in telco. On the one hand, they can help telecommunication firms modernize and become more agile by eliminating heavy lifting, data center costs and all the cloud benefits. At the same time, public cloud players are bringing their services to the edge, building out their own global networks and are a disruptive force to traditional telcos. The following summarizes the position of hyperscalers relative to their average Net Score in the ETR data set:
So all three hyperscalers have an equal or stronger presence in telco than their average.
Next let’s look at the traditional enterprise hardware and software infrastructure cohort: Dell, Cisco, HPE, Red Hat, VMware, Oracle.
Red Hat is interesting. OpenStack, as we’ve previously reported, is popular with telcos wanting to build out their own private cloud and the data shows:
Oracle’s spending momentum is somewhat lower in the sector than its average despite the firm having a decent telco business. IBM and Accenture plc are both meaningfully lower in the sector than their average overall.
We’ve also highlighted two data platform players, Snowflake and Databricks Inc.:
Both companies are superglued to the cloud and so their fortunes in telco should follow a similar adoption curve, but based on what we shared above regarding public cloud, there seems to be some catching up to do for these firms. It’s likely because they both play further up the stack and that will take more time.
Let’s close out on what we’re going to be talking about at MWC 2023 on theCUBE and some of the key issues we’ll be unpacking.
We’ve talked about stack disaggregation today, but the key here will be the pace at which it will reach the operational efficiency and reliability of closed stacks. Telcos are engineering-heavy firms and much of their work takes place in the “basements” of their firms. They tend to move slowly and cautiously. Although they understand the importance of agility, telcos will be careful because that’s in their DNA. At the same time, if they don’t move fast enough, they will get hurt.
So that will be a Topic of conversation and we’ll be looking for proof points. The other comment we’ll add is around integration. Telcos, because of their conservatism, will benefit from better testing and those firms that can innovate on the testing front with labs and certifications for their ecosystems will be in a better position. Open sometimes means Wild West, so the more players such as Dell, HPE, Cisco, Red Hat and the like that offer integration capabilities out of the box, the faster adoption will go.
O-RAN, or open radio access networks, allow operators more easily to mix and match RAN subcomponents from different vendors and innovate faster. O-RAN is an emerging network architecture that enables the use of open technologies from an ecosystem. Over time, almost all RAN will likely be open, but questions remain as to when the industry will be able to deliver the operational efficiency of traditional RAN. Rakuten, for example, is a company with an emphasis on improving the operational efficiency of OpenRAN. Dish Network is also embracing O-RAN but coming at if from more of a service innovation angle. So we’ll test this assertion and investigate where the various models on the spectrum fit.
On the one hand, cloud can help drive agility, optionality and innovation for incumbent telcos… but the flip side is it can do the same for startups trying to disrupt. And while some telcos are embracing the cloud, many are being cautious. So that’s going to be an interesting Topic of discussion.
Private wireless networks, 5G, Wi-Fi 6 and local private networks are being deployed and this trend will accelerate. The importance here is that the use cases will be widely varied. The needs of a hospital will be different than those of a sports venue or a remote drilling site or a concert venue. Private networks will utilize spectrum across a range of frequencies and are beholden to a variety of local laws and licensing restrictions. New technologies and spectrum utilization choices are emerging to facilitate faster adoption. We’ll be probing for the rate this will occur.
As always, we’ll be looking at the data angles. It’s in theCUBE’s DNA to follow the data to understand the opportunities, risks, challenges and technologies that drive data value. Real-time AI inference at the edge and changing data flows will bring new services and monetization opportunities. With the advent of private networks, many firms will be bypassing traditional telecommunications carriers to build these out to gain proprietary access to customer relationships and data.
How will this disrupt industries and incumbents? What risks are involved in terms of ethics, privacy, governance and the like and which players will emerge as winners?
The news organization at SiliconANGLE and theCUBE broadcast team will be on location at MWC 2023 at the end of this month with a great set. We’re in the walkway between Halls 4 and 5 right in Congress Square. We have a full schedule with a great lineup, so if you have editorial ideas, news stories, customers that want to share their stories, don’t hesitate to reach out.
See you in person or online.
Many thanks to Alex Myerson and Ken Shifman on production, podcasts and media workflows for Breaking Analysis. Special thanks to Kristen Martin and Cheryl Knight, who help us keep our community informed and get the word out, and to Rob Hof, our editor in chief at SiliconANGLE.
Remember we publish each week on Wikibon and SiliconANGLE. These episodes are all available as podcasts wherever you listen.
Email email@example.com, DM @dvellante on Twitter and comment on our LinkedIn posts.
Also, check out this ETR Tutorial we created, which explains the spending methodology in more detail. Note: ETR is a separate company from Wikibon and SiliconANGLE. If you would like to cite or republish any of the company’s data, or inquire about its services, please contact ETR at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s the full video analysis:
All statements made regarding companies or securities are strictly beliefs, points of view and opinions held by SiliconANGLE Media, Enterprise Technology Research, other guests on theCUBE and guest writers. Such statements are not recommendations by these individuals to buy, sell or hold any security. The content presented does not constitute investment advice and should not be used as the basis for any investment decision. You and only you are responsible for your investment decisions.
Disclosure: Many of the companies cited in Breaking Analysis are sponsors of theCUBE and/or clients of Wikibon. None of these firms or other companies have any editorial control over or advanced viewing of what’s published in Breaking Analysis.
Cisco Systems shares were trading sharply higher after the networking equipment provider posted solid results for its fiscal second quarter ended Jan. 28, while sharply increasing its outlook for the full year.
Cisco (ticker: CSCO) now expects fiscal 2023 to be its best growth year in at least a decade. The strong earnings report and surprising outlook should provide a boost to investor sentiment on the outlook for enterprise technology spending.
Sesh Tirumala. Image: PagerDuty.
PagerDuty’s Sesh Tirumala speaks to SiliconRepublic.com about his role as CIO and the vital role of automation in digital transformation.
Sesh Tirumala is the CIO of PagerDuty, a cloud computing company specialising in a SaaS incident response platform for IT departments.
Prior to joining PagerDuty, Tirumala served as divisional CIO at software company Cisco Systems. He then went on to serve as the CIO at Anaplan, where he oversaw IT and partnered closely with Anaplan’s product, go-to-market and business operations and systems teams.
In his current role, Tirumala and his team are responsible for creating data-driven relationships with customers while improving operational efficiency and streamlining employee experience.
“At the end of the day, I’m responsible for ensuring that PagerDuty retains the trust of our customers when it comes to all things information and data,” he told SiliconRepublic.com.
‘Many organisations can tell you what happened yesterday, but very few can tell you what will happen tomorrow’
– SESH TIRUMALA
The current IT landscape is defined by a set of challenges, all colliding simultaneously. IT leaders are facing downward budget pressure to consolidate vendors, deal with understaffed and overworked teams, and generally do more with less. The digital operations they manage are more important to their business’ success than ever and consumer expectations continue to rise.
So, IT leaders must stay laser focused on improving customer experience amid their organisations’ digital transformations. Forrester says that 82pc of customers say they are likely to spend more with brands that make them feel appreciated and respected. Delivering on that requires a lot of internal collaboration between customer-facing teams and the developers and engineers who are responsible for delivering interactions they don’t often see themselves!
This leads onto another challenge – how can tech help create a culture of accountability as companies grow? DevOps encodes for a culture of accountability. You might say ‘don’t wait for things to break – test, fix and innovate before they break’. Cloud, automation, and great communications and software are needed to make this happen.
Operational efficiency will need to be a big mantra. Learning to love automation and AIOps is key – but it involves keeping staff happy with processes so the technology works for the domain experts, not the people working to tech’s rule. That’s a recipe for burnout and certified quitting.
As most organisations must, PagerDuty continues to increase and Strengthen our security posture in an environment where security threats are rapidly changing and generally increasing year-over-year. All of these challenges are vital for trust.
Covid-19 brought opportunities for companies who invested early in their digital operations. Those that struggled found employee burnout and many of them were the main victims of the ‘great resignation’ and ‘quiet quitting’. But now, every business is a digital business and transformation can’t be halted midway through.
Part of the solution lies in the adoption of automation across IT and the rest of the organisation. Most places of work have a digital offering, either their own customer or internal services. Where there are digital operations, there is room to use automation to support faster and more agile work.
PagerDuty works to Strengthen our customers’ digital operations by resolving incidents faster, automating tasks across teams, and helping our users build more resilient services. While helping drive customers’ digital transformation journeys, we’re also implementing practices learned along the way into our own business. Design thinking and agility are at the heart of how we work, but staying close to our users, listening to their needs and pivoting our own models is just as crucial in transforming our customers’ and employees’ experiences.
Being a modern SaaS company, we’re naturally asset light. Everything is consumed as a service. That means no data centres, no lab infrastructures and so on. We view this as a key part of our own sustainability measures.
Integrating environmental, social and governance goals into daily operations is critical to corporate resiliency. Making efficient operations a major goal is key, not only for environmental sustainability, but for measuring and solving broader social goals. IT can help make this easier, but again, to not add to the burden, automation is a critical component in taking away burdens, time and energy from valuable people’s remits.
Businesses need to think about DataOps as inseparable from DevOps – especially if you want to treat data, both structured and unstructured, as an asset. As businesses have found with DevOps and digital operations already, they need to move to a proactive stance to achieve the best efficiency. Many organisations can tell you what happened yesterday, but very few can tell you what will happen tomorrow, and as an industry we need to collectively change that orientation. When we mature our customers’ digital operations, we can deliver that foresight to them.
Investments in DevOps that power teams to accelerate operational maturity means more consistent working hours for teams and fewer fire alarms going off in the middle of the night, which improves attrition and burnout rates. And finally, operational maturity and investment in modern practices leads to better response time and more even distribution of work across teammates.
Organisations have come to understand the risk of external threats, but we need to continue proactively looking for the weakest link within an organisation. It may sound pessimistic, but one of the biggest threats facing an enterprise is that of internal threats. Taking this approach requires continuous monitoring and evaluation of software passage levels, admin access, software updates and more.
In addition to taking stock of internal processes, it’s imperative to have an outside-in view, where organisations evaluate what industry peers are doing and implement the best practices.
Lastly, automation is an organisation’s friend when it comes to security. Consider an employee who may have previously had top-level security clearance and access within an organisation who changed roles and no longer needs those same privileges. By leveraging automation, seemingly tedious (but nevertheless critical) processes such as provisioning and deprovisioning become more consistent and leave less room for operational error.
The key to facing ever-evolving security threats is to have a similarly ever-evolving mindset of learning. Consider what you learnt from a previous incident and what the root cause was. From there, we can strengthen processes and establish guardrails, and create a formula for success with the right people, the right processes, and the right technologies.
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The Covid-19 pandemic turbocharged digitisation across industries, such as transport, healthcare, energy and education, and now technology company Cisco is now working on optimising the hybrid working system.
At its Cisco Live conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands, recently the company said it was evolving from digitising manual processes to focusing on experience and automation, in order to free up time and increase productivity.
The year ahead presents many challenges including security risks which are increasing exponentially, partly due to geopolitical turmoil, said Wendy Mars, president of Cisco’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.
“The economy is challenged in many of our countries and we have inflation at 40-year highs. We also have an energy crisis that we’re trying to manage as citizens, and within our businesses, while feeling the increased pressure on sustainability,” Mars said.
Despite these challenges, including the supply chain, Mars said the company needed to focus on the growing digital skills gap. Cisco announced a 10-year goal for the EMEA region to upskill 10 million people in the digital and cybersecurity space, under the Cisco Networking Academy.
Three million will be trained in Africa, Reem Asaad, vice president, Cisco Middle East and Africa told the Mail & Guardian.
“The youth of today will be the green engineers of tomorrow. We need engineers with new skill sets to build solar panels and wind turbines, sustainability offices and become new energy analysts,” Asaad said.
On the African continent, Cisco first launched its country digital acceleration programme in South Africa, followed by Egypt.
“We started in South Africa because it has the greatest short-term promise for growth and opportunity. We opened our Edge centre there that is not dedicated to just training and education but mentorship and managerial consulting to help small businesses flourish,” its global innovation officer Guy Diedrich said.
“The challenge in South Africa is how to take an already young, agile, well-educated and ambitious population and deliver them a pathway to success.”
Cisco says about 45% of the world remains unconnected and Africa would be a big part of the equation in trying to tackle that.
“We would lift 500 million people out of poverty and, at the same time, contribute $6.7 trillion to the global GDP,” Diedrich said. “It’s not just the ethical and moral thing to do, it’s also the economically prudent thing to do in the digital age.”
Hybrid work is still an experiment which is difficult and different from how people have worked over the last couple of years, Cisco says.
Companies need to rethink employee experiences, workspaces and the new security attacks which seem to be expanding, said Javed Khan, general manager at Cisco Collaboration.
“It requires a holistic approach across networking, security, collaborative software and hardware — that is the future of work,” Khan said, adding that the solution lies in reimagining workspaces in the home or office; optimising collaboration across an ecosystem to enable new types of interaction and making sure the enterprise is protected.
Cybersecurity is a big factor in hybrid work, said Asaad, citing Cisco’s 2022 Consumer Security Survey which showed that nearly 37% of users had no idea what multi-factor authentication is, and worryingly, about half got their security advice from family and friends.
“The level of aptitude when it comes to security is a concern but we’re seeing more cybersecurity trends in our region, which is very security conscientious; there’s a big need for it,” Asaad said.
Cisco has a team working closely with the South African government to understand and promote policy shaping around cybersecurity policies, data sovereignty and data privacy.
“We operate in over 90 countries and can bring our expertise and experience in how we help other governments in shaping their policies to safeguard their countries,” said Asaad.
“South Africa has a lot of power-shedding issues so we’re trying to work with the government and its entities, like Eskom, to help build a reliable network with more business continuity to not have additional challenges besides power challenges.”
The Cisco Networking Academy, launched at the South African State Information Technology Agency in 2010, has since trained over 1.5 million people, over a third of them women.
In the Middle East and Africa region, South Africa has the highest percentage of female participation, with 46% enrolling for courses in IT, cybersecurity and the internet of things, Asaad said.
Oluchi Enebeli, one of the most sought blockchain engineers on the African continent, started as a software engineer/web developer in 2016. But within six years, she honed her skills to become a renowned blockchain engineer.
Apart from the phenomenal feat of becoming Nigeria’s first female blockchain engineer, she is the founder of Web3Ladies, a female-focused community to drive female inclusion in the web3 space.
In an exclusive interview with Technext, Oluchi Enebeli narrates her journey into continental acclaim and the impacts of Web3Ladies in the blockchain space.
“I finished my BSc. Mathematics in 2015 from the University of Benin. After that, the question on my mind was what next? What do I do after school? How do I get into the job market?”
Before graduating from school, Oluchi had a coursemate who was into computer networking and was doing a masterclass for people interested. It caught her attention, and she went for it. It, however, got difficult when she got to the stage of paying for the Cisco Certified Network Associate professional exam because she couldn’t due to monetary constraints.
Linda Obi speaks on solving the problem of women’s underrepresentation in crypto with Techonomy
Oluchi got introduced to WordPress through a training program at her church, Harvesters International Christian Center. She started learning how to build websites, but she knew there was more. Then, she got an opportunity to intern as a web developer at a company called Crenet Tech Labs in 2016.
“That was my first experience in the tech space and it was in the midst of ladies. There was no guy on the team. It was nice, we synergised and worked on projects a lot.”
While in the company, Oluchi went into a blockchain hackathon even though she knew nothing about blockchain then. According to her, she was clueless. She didn’t know what they were talking about, but it was about building an NGO platform on the blockchain that would increase the transparency of funding received by the NGO.
“It was interesting and I was excited because it was solving a real life problem. So I had so many questions then. Why can’t we do it the regular way? Why the blockchain? What is the blockchain? All of that stuff.”
It started getting interesting when Oluchi began understanding the technical side and what could be built on the blockchain. She explored more and attended blockchain events and hackathons, where she met notable personalities.
Oluchi Enebeli recounts that between 2017 to 2019, there were not enough blockchain engineers in Nigeria. People didn’t know much about the technology apart from crypto trading and ICO, which made it a bit tough to get onboarded into the space.
“Blockchain opened new doors of opportunities and possibilities for me. As a blockchain engineer, it makes an impact on your finances. It made me more financially literate. Blockchain forces you to learn more about your finances. I started learning about finances, origin of money and how crypto changed the trajectory.
Being a stakeholder in an industry dominated by men is an eye-opener to Oluchi Enebeli that more work is needed.
“There are massive opportunities available, it only makes sense for me to bring others or open the eyes of others to see what the tech can present. Blockchain has a key role to play in the future of tech.”
Ultimately, Oluchi Enebeli stresses the importance of having an experience in programming/web development before going into blockchain engineering.
“There’s nothing anyone cannot do, if they put their mind to it. In Web3ladies, we run blockchain engineering programs and we’ve seen ladies from different backgrounds learn this tech. But what we’ve noticed overtime, coupled with my personal experiences while transitioning into the blockchain space, is the fact that, having a level programming experience is important to building a robust career in blockchain engineering. So if you already have experience with programming/web development, it’s easier to get onboard and progress in blockchain engineering unlike when you’re totally new to tech.” – Oluchi Enebeli.
It is a known fact that the female gender is sparsely represented in the blockchain space and tech in general. Looking at the blockchain space, there’s still a struggle for talent.
Technext’s top 5 women that defined the Nigerian tech space in 2022
Coming to women representation, Oluchi Enebeli says in a blockchain engineering team, you may only find 2-5% of the members being women. This means that a lot of work needs to be done to onboard women into technical roles. The primary reason why she founded Web3Ladies.
“My motivation is the gap to be filled in the senior technical blockchain roles. And as a female in blockchain, having started quite early, I’ve seen the demand for highly skilled female blockchain engineers grow, but there is very little supply. That’s one of the major reasons why we started Web3Ladies.
One of the major ways we make an impact is through our mentorships. We are not just in for creating awareness, but we ensure ladies are technically equipped to be sound enough to compete for technical roles in the space.
We’ve gone out of our way to train ladies and partnered with other web2 female-focused organisations to onboard more ladies into the space. In our last cohort sponsored by polygon, we saw about 14 different web3 projects built by 14 different groups of ladies. And it was amazing seeing what these ladies could do in the space of four months of mentorship.”
According to Oluchi Enebeli, Web3Ladies has really grown just in the space of a year. They now have community members worldwide in countries like South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and others.
“It is important to add that in our last cohort, we had over 825 ladies applied to be mentored. This shows ladies are ready to take that bold step into web3, but most don’t know how, they need guidance.
And that’s where Web3Ladies thrives, to provide mentorship to these ladies and we’ve been doing that to a large extent. We’ve graduated over 200 ladies so far with projects that can be validated. Some of the projects are here and on LinkedIn. I tell people we don’t need to speak about the impacts, just on our Twitter page, you can see what these ladies have to say. Web3ladies opened them to a whole new world, and it made them more independent.”
Joining the community is quite straightforward. Web3Ladies Discord server link is open to any female, and it can be found on their Twitter page and website. They are focusing on African ladies, but anyone from anywhere in the world can join the program.
Subsequently, Oluchi Enebeli and Web3Ladies would continue to close the gender gap in the blockchain workforce. They will be working on a talent pool product which should be launched soon. Web3Ladies also intends to enter more universities and campuses to reach out to ladies.
“At their academic level, we want to introduce web3/blockchain to them. We will be partnering with more companies/communities to provide more job opportunities for ladies. We will be spreading to other African countries.”
Since it is believed that real innovative solutions on the blockchain will come from African countries like Nigeria due to accountability and ownership challenges plaguing the region, Web3ladies is looking to open an innovative project-focused lab where there would be women building blockchain projects that solve real-time problems.
Be on the lookout!
Other investors who participated include Kae Capital and multiple senior engineering executives from Google, Uber, Twitter, Okta and Notion, such as Akshay Kothari, Apurva Dalal, Ashutosh Agrawal, Gaurav Lahoti, Punit Soni, Peeyush Ranjan and Pratyus Patnaik.
Since most of the company’s sales are in-bound, it will focus on increasing headcount by three times from its 22-member team, founder and chief executive Naomi Chopra told ET.
Hatica’s platform, which aims to increase software developers’ productivity, aggregates activity from all work apps and builds insights and software engineering dashboards to help teams drive efficiency.
Hatica solves problems such as alert fatigue, automated code reviews, automated bug fixes, and analysis of development time.
Singh, an IIT-Kharagpur alumni, previously worked at Uber, while Chopra, a Georgia Institute of Technology alumni, had worked at Cisco.
The startup launched around June 2022, as it was only working with five companies till then to understand the platform’s product market fit and test features, Chopra told ET.
“Developers are depending on tools to get their work done while engineering costs are burgeoning, making the developer experience and productivity a critical problem. With Hatica, we've embarked on a mission to equip engineering leaders with crucial and actionable insights to help them build effective and happy engineering teams,” Chopra added.
A rise of distributed teams with remote and hybrid working environments has made it challenging for engineering teams across companies to uncover inefficiencies in the software development lifecycle.
Accordingly, over the last couple of years, a number of startups have sprung up in the larger ambit of DevOps, that solve for developer productivity and automation. These include Last9, Adaptive, Facets.cloud, Shovel.Company, and Signoz.
Investors such as Sequoia, Elevation Capital, Stellaris, Accel, and Antler have been actively looking for investments in the space.
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