Ovamba & Microsoft Join Forces to Innovation Solutions for SMEs

Ovamba & Microsoft Join Forces to Innovation Solutions for SMEs

Ovamba Solutions, Inc. has joined Microsoft in a partnership aiming to develop and then produce the first chat-bot that uses African language.

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Ovamba Solutions, Inc. based in London, UK, has formed an interesting partnership with Microsoft. The aim of the partnership is to develop and then produce the first chat-bot that uses African language that will serve many millions SMEs in Africa. The same people are currently facing an exclusion from most financial services because of problems related to business and functional literacy. Now, the same chat-bot should be rolled out using the Ovamba Plus, a mobile app designed by the company.

Viola Llewellyn, the co-founder and president of Ovamba, along with the company’s CTO Prashant Mahajan, expressed their clear desire to innovate in this field directly to Josh Holmes, the Microsoft representative. Holmes, acting as the Director of Microsoft Partner Catalyst Division, hosted the meeting in their Seattle, Washington campus. Llewellyn underlined the challenges of applying FinTech solution in Africa and the need to use the merger of FinTech and banking solutions as a way to help the financially downtrodden. Today, bank application forms, solutions and contracts take for granted that all of the SMEs are completely literate. But, instead, they often end up alienating those who do not know how to speak or read French, Arabic, English and other languages of the colonial powers.
If the chance to upgrade these solutions to native languages is missed, so will be the opportunity to use the promise and potential of FinTech to boost the GDP in the informal sector of these regions. Microsoft responded to this opportunity by making a team headed by Lilian Kasem, Claudius Mbemba and Shawn Cicoria that will help in the creation of the chat-bot. On the other hand, the Ovamba tech team will be led by Prashant Mahajan. According to Mahajan, millions of individual need support to grow out of their current predicament. He also said that his company has been a staunch supporter of SMEs, especially with their Growth-As-A-Service approach from the previous years.
Mahajan also said that he and his company understand that a formal education and business training is a luxury that is not provided to Africa’s entrepreneurial sector in equal measure. Also, the same domain often is only taught using outsider languages. Now, the product of this partnership can help sustain their growth through business support and dedicated training using their native languages.
Claudius Mbemba used a blog post on the Microsoft Developer page to underline the enthusiasm of the Partner Catalyst Teams for the project with Ovamba, especially relating to building a system for recognition of dialect language. The same should be able to include application localization and also cater to a range of specific dialect used by their customers. The team statement ended with the notion of them looking forward to the conquering of challenges that will arise from their future work with the Ovamba team.

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