Reliance Inspires

CBN, UAC and Appzone.

Bringing UACN out of a 5-year dark posture to a $350k initial cloud investment, Capturing CBN from a $9k to a $86k monthly ACR within 9 months and helping Appzone mature cloud strategy as it executes first round of $10m Series A funded investment are all representatives of how Reliance Infosystems is evangelizing Microsoft Cloud transformation across Nigeria.


Across public sector, commercial or not-for-profit, every organization typically has a set of core objectives around which it is founded. Pursuing core business objectives remains the sole goal of organizations but such goal must be supported by myriad of initiatives hence the need to have several departments each providing its supporting contributions towards driving the main goal. Until Microsoft invented the disruptive cloud technology in the name of Azure, IT departments had always provided technology services from support standpoints. On-premise datacenters and commercial collocation providers only served users in the conventional way.

Business Problem and Opportunities

Central Bank of Nigeria

Since Nigeria independence in 1960, the Central Bank of Nigeria organically evolved technology support system using a combination of on-premise data center and outsourced collocation. Both scenarios continue to stretch CBN leadership to devote dedicated attention to data center availability, security, and data governance.


Having been in existence and survived for over 140 years, UACN group decided to execute pivotal strategy that will springboard its viability for another 50 years. In this age, Digital Transformation broadly accounts for how centenary organizations like UACN successfully trans-mutate and reincarnate into younger outfits with fresh energies and renewed strategies to competing in the evolving marketplace.


Appzone (headquartered in Nigeria) serves 70% of Microfinance Banks for banking platform and omnichannel infrastructure in form of PaaS. They had initially maintained on-premise data center and had to battle with data center upkeep for many years.

Driving Cloud uptake and

Central Bank of Nigeria and Appzone both had similar challenges of having to split limited resource and executive attentions between data center upkeep and core business operations. This challenge is representative of the pains most organizations are going through across Africa. UAC of Nigeria needed to undergo a total refresh of its business model and technology strategy. Reliance Infosystems worked with Microsoft team to build success roadmaps for these customers to digitize, modernize, and transform their businesses.

Dimensioning Business Impact

Microsoft Azure provides the much-needed rescue to many organizations struggling with technology infrastructure hosting and security. Its consumption-driven value realization model aligns perfectly with customer’s expectation on ROI. Though not a cost-conscious customer, Central Bank of Nigeria finds value in being able to predict its investment model across many years helping to adequately project budgetary provisioning and avoid unplanned investments. By optimizing its compute needs, Appzone lowered its cost structure saving 40% on unutilized Azure resources. Being a PaaS provider to more than 700 Microfinance Banks across Africa, Appzone can empirically deduce the unit cost of onboarding new customer from infrastructure compute standpoint.

By optimizing its compute needs, Appzone lowered its
cost structure saving 40% on unutilized Azure resources.


Cost structure saving


Microfinance banks PaaS beneficiaries

Engaging with Microsoft Nigeria

For more than 5 years, UAC of Nigeria went dark on Microsoft investments and remained on-premises. It took the incredible inputs from Hakeem Adewale, Tosin Okubanjo, Oluwaremilekun Olowu, and Josh Adekeye to revive the account from zero to about $300,000 cloud spend on Modern Work SKUs.


Cloud spend on Modern Work SKUs.

In the month of July 2020, Reliance Infosystems crafted a success plan with Microsoft Technology Strategist and Account Executive for CBN to drive Azure consumption. We beamed spotlights on all the technology initiatives happening within the organizations so we could translate same to Azure consumptions conversation. This strategy paid off. Today we are proud to see CBN ACR grow consumption from $9,000 USD in June 2020 to $82,000 in February 2021 representing a staggering 900% growth. By the end of FY21, we are projecting a $1m ACR from CBN. This would not have been possible without the relentless support from Babajide Adeyemo, Damola Solanke and Akin Banuso.