Big Blue clearly didn't come here to sleep. It keeps inking them. Let's tick them. Airtel, Safaricom, Central Bank of Kenya and now, The Kenya Petroleum Refineries.
IBM has announced that it has signed with KPRL to provide a solution to increase productivity and efficiency of the companies operations.
This system called Maximo asset management software, "will allow KPRL to manage, measure and track the life cycle of its oil processing equipment such as pipes, heat exchangers, pumps, valves, boilers, furnaces, compressors, tanks and turbines."
No mention of blackouts though. KPRL has typically wrought havoc on the petroleum market especially around Christmas with its breakdowns which it attributes to power failures from fellow Energy parastatal Kenya Power.
Apparently, the catalysts that kick in the process of refining Super/Petrol take up to six days to bring the process back online.
Of course IBM has also been providing servers to CBK through Symphony for sometime though the last contract was based on the four day cheque clearance system.
With the introduction of cheque truncation, no word yet on what system the reserve bank is using.
And Airtel are currently overworking IBM Kenya's business services team. Tasked with offering business support services to Airtel Africa, the Kenyan team has been especially under pressure given the cut throat competition in the market.
Basically, the former Airtel business intelligence team was ported over to IBM just like IT went to Nokia Siemens.
But things have been hectic with all the departments from sales and marketing to different directors making different requests and terming them all urgent.
Things have eased somewhat with Safaricom increasing their tariffs forcing people to make more of their calls on Airtel. As a result, revenues are looking up.
Enter Safaricom and M-PESA. IBM runs M-PESA operations on behalf of Vodafone after it took over from the company that developed the platform for Vodafone in the first place, Sagentia.
Despite the company issuing two white papers on how money transfer services should be run it seems the platform is yet to get there.
The outage the other day was blamed on lack of connectivity between Safaricom and its M-PESA data center in Germany.
IBM, we were told were working full out to solve the problem.
Indeed they did.
Looking forward it is likely that Big Blue will eye more and more of the business services opportunities that will arise in the region particularly in e-government.
The company is among those slated to take up space on the proposed ICT City in Konza along with Samsung and a host of other companies and universities.