In this interview, Moses Uvomata talks about Focus 9 server and cloud-based solution and how it can enhance the productivity of organizations from private sector to public. He also hinted on the need for hospitals to deploy robust eHealth and HMS softwares to enable quick and efficient management of facilities and patients. Anthony Nwosu captures all these in an exclusive interview.
Tell us about Focus solutions especially your flagship Focus 9?
Focus 9 is one software that is very amazing for organizations be it public or private sector. It is a full enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. This ERP can be deployed in the cloud as well as in-house and with AI integrated in it. If deployed as a cloud solution, it can work offline and syncs automatically when there is internet availability issue. As the world is tilting towards cloud computing, FOCUS 9 enables organizations to work seamlessly. With this software, the company has all it needs to work and enhance productivity. This is a full ERP solution that caters for everything that the organization does, you don’t need any other solution. It takes care of Procurement, Accounts Payable, Accounts receivable, Manufacturing, Contract costing, HR & Payroll etc. Our CRM can also be integrated with this world class solution. With Focus 9, we say “if you can think it, we can deliver it”.
We have to look at your pricing and is it designed for small and medium enterprises (SMEs)?
Well, to answer your question, FOCUS 9 software is targeted at medium and large enterprises or companies. ERP is enterprise resource planning and by with word “enterprise” we are looking at medium and big, but that doesn’t mean we are overlooking the small guys. We have ERP products that are designed for small and medium. You cannot use a hammer to kill a mosquito. For instance, we have FOCUS 6 and FOCUS RT that can meet the requirements of these small firms. We have FOCUS I for relatively big firms. All our products are end to end, no matter the nature of business, be it manufacturing, services or public sector.
Is it possible to have a typical process flow in your ERP?
The whole objective of our deployment is to achieve a paperless environment. Let us take procurement as a process. What we do is to map the way you buy into the software including all the approvals within the process. For instance you may start with requisition for the item to be purchased. That requisition will be done in the software. From requisition to purchase order, through the receipt of the item and filling of supplier invoice, everything is done in the system. And all the controls necessary are embedded in the mapping of the process to almost eliminate human intervention in the process except physical inspection of item supplied.
What is distinguishes Focus 9 from other tons of ERP solutions in the market?
The core thing that makes us unique not only Focus 9, but all focus products is that our solutions are user friendly. With our solutions you can handle a lot of things from the front without going through the backend. You can take full ownership unlike the others that you have to go through the backend. With the right investment in personnel, you do not need to pay for Annual Maintenance. Above all, our support is so robust that we make things very seamless for the user, we are a phone call away. We have offices worldwide with head office in Dubai. We don’t have a problem with support.
How can you describe Focus Nigeria as an IT firm?
Well, we are a software solution provider. We do not develop the software, we are just a branch. The bulk of development is done in India while we concentrate on understanding your challenges and mapping our product to deliver your requirements. We also take into consideration local/country requirements like Nigerian tax.
As an eHealth solution provider, how has your solution been able to provide succor to hospitals during Covid 19 lockdown period?
We have Insta/Practo, this is a hospital management software not an eHealth software but an HMS. This software is designed to manage physical hospitals no matter how big or small they are. It can also manage a facility with multiple branches. This feature makes it good for Ministries of health in countries and commissioners of health in various states. With this software, a commissioner can have a look at the inventory, patience records and all the daily activities going on in various hospitals from one solution. This software is fully encrypted with various levels of security and controls.
How is this different from the other solutions deployed in the medical sector?
We do not allow you to do things half measures like other solutions. We want you to achieve full electronic medical record (EMR). That local file you carry, we ensure that you achieve this in the system and can be accessed anywhere in the world. Let us take for instance, a patient is sick in Germany and the hospital wants the medical history of the patient from the Nigerian hospital, what the software does is to transfer the medical record of this patient from the Nigerian hospital to the German counterparts in a matter of minutes. This saves life and time that would be used to guess things. During the lockdown, many high net worth individuals were not visiting hospitals, they just call up the hospital and the doctor attends to them, the doctors of some of our hospital sit at home, log into the software and see his case file, as he is talking to the man, he is making prescription and once he clicks okay, the pharmacist sees the prescription and delivers the medication via courier. As you can see this software limited the high level of visitation to hospitals, whether or patients or staff.
Are public hospitals open to these solutions?
Yes, I think they are open to it, just that they do not have enough knowledge of what they should be deploying. Many of the heads of these hospitals are not so computer literate. I suggest that they employ project managers to drive their software acquisition process. This would help them get good solutions. We have a client, Imo State Government during the time of Governor Rochas Okorocha, the government built a world-class hospital in a place called Ikeduru. The government of Imo state gave it to expatriate consultants to build the hospital and manage it and this is showing. The expatriates interviewed us online without us knowing them and we won the bid. The government was not in their way and if you go there today, the hospital is world class, the whites managing the hospital demonstrated professionalism. Three years after implementation, I ran into Rochas and thanked him for it, I never met Okorochas ab initio and I recommend states should emulate this way of doing things.
What are hospitals doing to digitize their processes?
Well, I think it is left for the media, we can give you knowledge so that you tell them. If we tell them, they will look at it as a form of marketing, but if you go electronic, you minimize waste. You can know what happened to drugs and where these drugs are going to. You cannot render service without collecting appropriate fee, etc. With software like ours we can help them reduce cost of operation, e.g. printing cost, and help reduce corruption generally.
As people are getting used to working from home, this last quarter will see many organizations having few staff, do you think that FOCUS 9 can bridge this gap?
This last quarter, we are going to concentrate and push FOCUS 9 to the fore. As we are emerging in a post Covid 19 economy, people are working from home and many organizations are embarrassed that their people are not able to work from home. So, what we are doing is that we want them to know that Focus 9 can enable you to work from any part of the world. Anybody can work from home and deepen the productivity of their organizations. Focus 9 tries to bridge this gap efficiently. With or without internet, one can work anywhere and the server synchronizes your work later.
Apart from the one in Imo State, have you deployed in other public hospitals?
Afe Babalola Multisystems Hospital also managed by expatriates, is a 400 bed teaching hospital using our software. Another fully equipped facility that can handle any case. No need to fly people abroad anymore.
About the End – to – End solution of Focus can 9 may we know the gaps you are managing?
Our major challenge in this market is the issue of appreciation of what an ERP is. Most people who are looking to automate their processes confuse ERP with accounting software. Accounting software is as the name is. Just accounting. Meaning that you still have to do your business manually and post into the software, whereas, you do your business with the ERP. There is nothing like posting in an ERP environment.
I suggest that they employ project managers to drive their software acquisition process. This would help them get good solutions. We have a client, Imo State Government during the time of Governor Rochas Okorocha, the government built a world-class hospital in a place called Ikeduru. The government of Imo state gave it to expatriate consultants to build the hospital and manage it and this is showing. The expatriates interviewed us online without us knowing them and we won the bid.