WAZIUP - Open IoT and Big Data platform, from Africans for Africans

 
 
About WAZIUP

Undeniably, IoT and Cloud are complementary paradigms and can improve each other’s performance and use when combined appropriately. The WAZIUP project combines both with the third ingredient unequivocally needed in this context: BigData.  IoT devices, certainly when deployed on a large scale, can produce BigData which needs to be handled accordingly.

Characterised using the four Vs “Velocity”, “Volume”, “Veracity” and “Variability”, any combination of these characteristics requires an appropriate IT infrastructure to handle the data. Cloud-based infrastructures are the right choice of means.

WAZIUP at IST Africa Namibia and in a meeting with Bangladesh government

WAZIUP Value Proposition

WAZIUP aims to develop and provide a cloud platform (a PaaS solution) offering SMEs an environment to develop BigData and IoT solutions. The project’s intention is to engage African SMEs to develop solutions for the African market, particularly rural environments. WAZIUP started in February 2016 and will end in January 2019.

WAZIUP integrates a number of key components that already exist in production with supporting communities (TRL 9), but binds itself to a relatively young and new platform that still needs to find and demonstrate its own sustainability. Regardless, the platform itself does exist as a current lab prototype and awaits its use and deployment “in the field”.

WAZIUP partners include PAs and NGOs from African countries, who form the direct liaison to the target sector, the SMEs developing and producing the solutions, and the villages in rural Africa who would consume these solutions. A plethora of use cases (user stories) exists, and WAZIUP selected five key use cases for trailblazing and validation.

WAZIUP & TRL and MRL

In November 2016, we scored WAZIUP at (MRL 3 : TRL 4). Although one might consider it a low scoring, it reflects the projects’ spot on state according to its own plan.

Without going into details of the recommendations, WAZIUP has an unusually diverse set of (potential) stakeholders that may group into clusters with quite different potential business models and agendas. It is important for WAZIUP to develop the stakeholder personas and produce material tailored to each of these groups. Likewise, different stakeholder groups acting as product/service providers, may provide different services and thus need to develop different service catalogues - by trailblazing through publishing blueprint service catalogues with the effect of faster uptake and traction in the market.

A number of specific recommendations were made related to connection and networking for synergy of hardware development and software development. On the commercial front, a number of high potential funding stakeholders were recommended. Incorporating recommendations from the CloudWATCH2 year 1 review, we followed up with the WAZIUP project to see where support with the Common Exploitation Boostermay be needed. However, at that point in time, the Common Exploitation Booster project was not able to accept any more applications until further notice.

Since the assessment in November 2016, WAZIUP clearly improved on the value propositions the developed platform will provide to those who use it. In close collaboration with its local project partners, WAZIUP improved on understanding the needs of its direct customers (African start-ups), as well as its indirect customers (i.e. the customers of its direct customers). Combined with sharpening its philanthropist approach reflected in the overall business model (of the project not intending to generate direct revenue for its European consortium partners, but to emphasise developing and kick-starting a viable and sustainable business model for African companies) WAZIUP has developed a solid understanding of the various elements of the MTRL framework (particularly the Four Fits model).

Following the MVP technique, WAZIUP has already deployed five environmental prototypes (in Ghana, Senegal, and Togo) within 1 year of the project’s inception. In parallel, WAZIUP has selected 11 African start-ups it will work with on bringing their solutions to the market. WAZIUP has partnered with FIGLOBAL, and has received numerous prestigious awards, for example a travel award supporting its participation in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Based on the exceptional progress, we estimate WAZIUP to have progressed from (MRL 3 : TRL 4) to (MRL : 4 : TRL 5) in little more than 6 months’ time.

 

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