Kenyan ICT Sharks: Mindless Project costs

Posted on Monday, January 24, 2011, under


Timages (2)his post is a product of a conversation I recently held with a friend. The discussion was about Kenya and the ICT industry. My friend wants to take his good business skills a notch higher by investing in a couple of online businesses which to him are gaining popularity and are the thing for the future. Saving money, he says, has taken him years and he is finally confident that the few bucks he has will catapult him to the thick profit making end of life. He is however a frustrated man and likens investing in Kenya to walking into a pub and later leaving there penniless with nothing to show of it; Wake up in the morning with coins just enough to take you the nearest ATM.

Here’s Why

While he was making rounds and getting Website Design quotations from local companies, John-my friend, says he only met cruel sharks dressed in pretty suites. The quotations were signed with hefty sums of money as fees. His conclusion was that farming in his two acre plot in Kiambaa was now his only priority. His concern also came with the mention of countries like Bulgaria, Thailand, India and Singapore as places he would rather outsource business to than his home country. Truly, the mindless payoffs industry players in Kenya are used to asking, even for small jobs, are a concern many business clients raise.

Its now or never

To sustain a business, one needs to motivate the customer. Through quality services and reasonable pricing, a business can sustain and gain more customers by the day. This also holds true for the ICT industry that is no longer in its infancy. Getting rich over one project is a behavior that signals greed and ignorance towards factors that promote business growth.

My Review

This issue took me to the street to help clarify my friend’s allegations. Whether true or not, I found out that small IT companies have gained entry into the market with cost leadership as their motivator. Just wake up any day and you’ll comfortably be able to purchase an International TLD (Domain name) for as low as KSHs. 850 per year. Professional web designers will charge you Kshs 8, 000-Kshs 10, 000 for a basic website with a complex website going for as much as 25, 000 or less. With this information, my friend was able to find a good company and for a mere Kshs 20, 000, his website will be ready to launch in a few weeks.

The Intelligent Client

A great client usually lacks the time to sit down, program, design or brand but this is usually replaced by inquisition and great attention to detail. Don’t get into a project that you won’t  be able to personally inspire and steer. Furthermore, the Idea starter must be the idea holder.

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Dear Diary: Installing the Meraki Outdoor

Posted on Monday, January 24, 2011, under


December 2010

img_product_outdoor_mantle_250x280_bInternet installation was quick and easy. The connection was also superb. Unplanned for technical and financial activities followed up making the day a very busy one. Once the ISP link was working, it was now time to install the Meraki (looks like something you’d want to show off in your living room instead of outdoors). The Meraki powered up fine and seemed to receive the Ethernet signal quite well but there was a problem, No internet connection. The initial connection was a PPPOE which only meant that a router was needed to allow the necessary configuration of IP to the Meraki device. Since the Outdoor was powered up and searching for a signal, two wireless signals appeared (I read this from my laptop). One wireless signal read with an SSID Meraki bad gateway and another with an SSID Meraki Scanning. Meraki bad gateway signal will appear when the outdoor is connected but not receiving any signal at all-happens mostly within the minutes you power it up or when the IP configuration on your device isn’t so good.

As soon as it is powered up and with a few minutes to wait, the Meraki will start scanning which will be visible to you through the moving LED lights. In the event that the connection and signal is good, the SSID will change either to Meraki or your customized SSID. You can Learn how to configure customize an SSID through the Pro Cloud Controller (dashboard). With a good range and a few hours into installation, your wireless network should be visible to connected persons in your area. Also remember that configuring the Meraki from the central management point (Meraki Dashboard for pro) just doesn’t make it alright. You need to ensure that the connected device checks in and that the status on the dashboard registers as active. An outdoor acts like an access point, a gateway and repeater.

In case you need to set up a mesh network, only one of your outdoors or any other Meraki device needs to be connected to the internet so that it can act as a gateway. All the other devices will communicate with the single gateway wirelessly thus eliminating the need for connecting each network device with a separate Ethernet connection and will be identified as repeaters. They however need to be powered up which is something that has been taken care of by the PoE (power over Ethernet). PoE allows you to transmit data and power using a single Ethernet cable. This eliminates the headache of tricky outdoor power/electrical mappings.

Well, I’ve finally picked up a router from a local dealer. I gotta run but I hope to see you when I discuss the outcome-Meraki outdoor: days into installation.


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