2go goes Android
The company, which scaled to more than 10 million active users with only four developers, has been actively recruiting developer talent over the past six months to help accelerate it in to the smartphone market.
In Nigeria, where 2go is the largest social network, feature phones still dominate with around 88 percent market share, although AndroidT is growing increasingly important.
“Android is the fastest growing mobile platform across Africa, and with sub US$50 Android devices on the horizon, 2go’s mostly feature phone user base can now migrate with 2go as they move to smartphones”, said Alan Wolff, who founded 2go with Ashley Peter while still at university in Johannesburg in 2007.
According to Brad Taylor, Managing Director of GfK South Africa, Android phones now represent 5.2 percent of current monthly phone sales in Nigeria, up from 3.4 percent in September 2012.
Taylor notes that this trend is accelerating across Africa. “In Kenya, which is a more mature Android market, 52 percent of monthly sales are Android phones,” Taylor added.
Wolf explained that they took their time developing Android version of 2go to make sure it was just right. He said: “We wanted to make sure that the first version of 2go for Android met the high expectations of our passionate user base.”
“The team spent a long time refining the product to ensure that it matches, and hopefully surpasses the high quality, intuitive user experience of the feature phone version of 2go.
“We wanted to maintain the same fun social experience, but also create a beautiful product that looks, feels and behaves like a smartphone app”, said Ashley Peter, co-founder of 2go.
2go for Android now includes push notifications and a sleek user interface, which is intuitive and easy to use.
“Version 1 of 2go for Android is a good first step and we have received great feedback from users. But you can expect much more from us in the next few months as we refine the app and add functionality”, added Peter. “This is just the beginning for 2go on smartphones.”
2go is a chat-based mobile social network targeting users in emerging markets, particularly in Africa. The company has more than 30 million registered users with more than 10 million active users in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. 2go is the largest social network in Nigeria with more than nine million active users.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”