Posts Tagged ‘ICT’

Govt’s ignorance about ICT, threat to Vision 20:2020, says NITDA

September 12th, 2013

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has warned that if the ignorance about information communication technology (ICT) in and out of governmet is not tackled, attainment of Visions 20:2020 of the Federal Government will remain a wishful thinking.Outsourcing20

NITDA is the clearing house for IT projects in the public sector with the mandate to bring government and its services closer to the people through IT. It was also created to implement of the National IT policy, which seeks to make Nigeria an IT capable country in no distant future.

NITDA’s Director-General, Dr. Ashiru Sani Daura spoke during a visit by a delegation of the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) in Abuja led by its new President, Prof David Adewumi.

He lamented that Nigeria is lagging behind in lobal ranking as shown by the country’s position on the global e-readiness index.

According to him, though ICT penetration was improving, there is need for the country to do more and be front runners in Africa. He stressed the need for massive enlightenment, adding that there was also need for collaboration.
“The transformation agenda and achieving Vision 20:2020 also requires IT,” Daura said.

While noting that NCS had been playing an important role in accelerating IT development in Nigeria, Daura recommended that NCS and NITDA should meet to create an action plan on the issues mentioned, advising that both organisations should strengthen their relationship for better mileage and benefit for the nation.

The NCS boss solicited for strategic partnerships in programmes and projects relating to research and development (R&D), cybersecurity, IT-enabled employment generation, promotion of excellence and professionalism in the industry and IT policy formulation that are of immense benefit to the country.

He commended the NITDA chief for not only sponsoring but also taking time out to attend NCS last conference in Osun State.

He said the goals of NITDA are in line with the core objectives of the NCS. He also praised Daura’s efforts at developing the outsourcing sector of the country, adding that NCS is proud that NITDA, which was borne out of the NCS vision and initiative, has firmly established.


ESC Spearheading India’s ICT Exports – Aggressive marketing to tap booming Middle East

September 9th, 2013

It is estimated that electronics goods exports to Middle East Countries during 2012-13 were to the tune of US$ 1667 million whereas exports of software and related services to that region were US$ 1852 Million. This clearly shows the rising interest amongst the Indian ICT exporting community to explore Middle East and neighbouring countries, informed Mr Kamal Vachani.

Further Mr Kamal Vachani mentioned that Mr. Vinod Sharma has become the Chairman of Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) for a term of two years. Mr Vinod Sharma said in a statement that he is very happy and pleasure to be working with ESC’s Middle East Representation headed by Mr Kamal Vachani, who has been representing ESC since 1999. Mr Vinod Sharma further said that ESC is aggressively marketing to tap booking Middle East market and to further strengthen the IT relations between India and the Middle East, the Council is inviting a large delegation from Middle East to visit India for INDIA IT SHOW 2013, the largest IT global networking event in India.

“Mr Vinod Sharma, Chairman and Mr D.K. Sareen, Executive Director of ESC will be visiting Dubai to promote India Soft 2013 to be held in Mumbai, India in the last week of November this year and also to attend the Indian Trade Fair”, adds Mr Vachani.

Consul General of India in Dubai H.E. Mr Sanjav Verma praised the efforts taken by Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) in promoting the exports of Electronics Hardware and Computer Software & Services to this part of the world.

Around 500 software & services buyers from over 75 countries will be present at this business-to-business (B2B) partnering forum from USA, UK, Europe, Middle East, Japan, China, Korea, Latin America, Africa, CIS, ASEAN region etc.”Comprising of International Exhibition and Conference, INDIA IT SHOW 2013 is meant to facilitate joint ventures, collaboration and strategic alliances for outsourcing with overseas buyers,”says Mr Vachani, adding that the event will provide participants an opportunity to broaden their vision and take business to growth trajectory.


Upstart outsourcing firm banks on ICT to conquer the BPO industry

September 9th, 2013

EVERY starting company wants to achieve that long-term dream of making a big name for itself someday. For Axiem Corporation, a new business process outsourcing (BPO) company in the Philippines, it hopes to eventually become a player in the league of giants – even when it thrives in one of today’s most cutthroat industries.

With its operations going on full swing in December 2012 and a sizeable number of employees working at its humble office in Mandaluyong City, its leaders admit they still have a long way to go.

“I am not worried, though. I am positive that we will get to where we want to go,” said the very optimistic Peter De Angelis, who is spearheading the operations of Axiem Corporation in the Philippines.

This outlook, De Angelis explained, stems from the belief that Axiem Corporation is a company that can offer its clients something that has already diminished with the big names in the BPO industry today. “That is in the form of our more personal approach to them,” he said. “Because we are still starting, we are capable of personalizing our services to our clients. Hopefully, though, this is something that we could carry on even as we get bigger.”

Axiem Corporation primarily provides backend office outsourcing solutions to clients in various fields including communications, financial services, government, manufacturing, retail, technology and transportation. Being a BPO firm, it serves as a third party group for outsourced solutions especially to small and medium-sized companies looking to reduce operational costs while increasing productivity.

The company mainly handles accounts in Australia where its sister company Offshore Business Processing (OBP) is located. “They have engaged with us to conduct services here in the Philippines. Clients in Australia are really starting to demand more solutions so we decided to expand,” De Angelis explained about Axiem Corporation’s relationship with OBP, where De Angelis is also the Director of Finance and Operations.

“We chose to establish the business here in the Philippines because we’ve already had previous connections here. Also, the skills that Filipinos have are unparalleled with others,” he further said. “Right now, we only have the Australian market. But in the future, we hope to expand to other markets like the US.”

The long-term plans that Axiem Corporation has set out does not scare De Angelis one bit. He is further hopeful for its growth because it has chosen to trust a big name in information and communications technology (ICT) to assist its operations: Globe Business, the ICT arm of leading telecommunications company Globe Telecom.

“Yes, it’s true that it is a risk to trust anyone when we were just starting. We laid it all on the line,” he said. “So far, being with Globe Business diminishes that risk.”

“I can see the partnership expanding tremendously within our target over the next two years. My concrete vision is that I want to see our agents grow in numbers, and we are talking here about some big figures. Being affiliated with Globe Business can definitely help our growth. Globe Business has collaborations everywhere in the Philippines and even in other countries. Its sizeable reach will definitely help us obtain our goals to expand.”

“Starting companies must strategize on building partnerships that can be trusted for a very long time,” he added. “I can really see that with Globe Business.”

At the moment, the company has enlisted Globe Business’ PayrollCloud application to streamline its human resources functions. De Angelis shared that early this year, he was looking for a payroll solution in the Philippines that harnessed on the cloud. “I needed a software solution written in all database program languages that could blend with 64-bit operating systems. Then I found this innovation from Globe Business. I was drawn to their payroll solution. Then I said, ‘Okay, let’s do it.’ In about late March, we started processing our personnel’s requirements with it. And we have been very happy ever since.”

The Globe Business PayrollCloud is an innovative service which provides on-time and accurate payroll accounting system. The software has remarkable features such as automatically calculating salaries, organizing standard time and attendance reports, as well as a biometric integration, online application and approval of leaves, customizable approval hierarchy and online payslips access.

“For a company which specializes on IT and other technical solutions, it is a big deal to be able to trust its partner for technical expertise. I am a very technical guy myself, and I am very impressed with this solution that Globe Business offers,” confirmed the top Axiem official.

Aside from the application, De Angelis is also impressed with Globe Business’ promptness to its customers’ requests. “They are very customer oriented. They easily address our concerns and queries,” he shared.

De Angelis said that in the future, Axiem Corporation is interested to utilize more services from Globe Business. “From the way things are turning out, I wouldn’t even look out for other options. With the way they communicate and the manner in which they are able to respond quickly, it is simply outstanding.”

“Communication really is important. It is in this aspect that Globe Business has the biggest advantage,” he said. “If that breaks down between a client and a provider, well, there is no relationship that exists. And the other counterparts of Globe Business do not have that. This really makes me confident that what Axiem Corporation can provide, alongside Globe Business’ guidance, will get us to realize our dream someday.”

De Angelis is optimistic that someday, his company will look back and think how great their decision was to partner with Globe Business, and have their dream to make it big in the BPO industry come to its fruition.


Nigeria: Minister Harps On IT Synergy Among Government Institutions

September 6th, 2013

The Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, has called for synergy among national and sub-national institutions of governments, through the use of Information Technology (IT) solutions and tools.Outsourcing12

The minister made the call at the second meeting of the National Council on Communications Technology (NCCT) held recently in Akure, Ondo State.

According to the minister, “Synergy among national and sub-national institutions is of critical importance if the current Information and Communications Technology (ICT) gains are to be sustained.”

The NCCT has been established to facilitate inter-governmental consultations on ICT matters in order to avoid unnecessary disparities in ICT policies in the country. The council has two tiers, the ministerial meeting, which is normally attended by Commissioners in charge of ICT matters in the states as advised by their Permanent Secretaries and the officials meeting, attended by Permanent Secretaries or senior officials in charge of ICT matters in the government, with the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications Technology as Chairman. It is expected that the council would be used to drive the synergy among government institutions.

The minister said with time, the procedure of the council would be streamlined along the line of similar sector councils, such that meetings of the council would be held twice a year or as the amount of business dictates. “The renewed interest in promoting intergovernmental relations and cascading development to the grassroots makes it imperative to have such a sector forum where we can all network and share experiences as well as proffer solutions to common problems,” Johnson said.

To achieve result with the planned synergy, the minister said “Government has created ICT cadre in the ministries to ensure the right skills and capacity to pursue important egoverment initiatives are put in place. We now have a council of ICT Heads, the highest ICT advisory body of government, to ensure that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are pulling in the same direction and ensuring that we are receiving commensurate value for our significant IT spend in government.”

The immediate tasks of the council of ICT Heads, she said, would be to standardise and deliver all ministry websites on the platform and roll out standard email addresses to all federal civil servants before the end September this year.

We launched the pilot of the government services portal with five ministries in November last year, giving citizens access to 15 new online processes. By October this year we would have included all pre and post incorporation processes of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for online delivery, the minister said. She added that government was implementing an informed citizenry government contact centre, which would have the potential benefits of improving citizens’ access to information and services, increasing efficiency in service and information delivery to citizens and other stakeholders, creation of 1,250 jobs through outsourcing and stimulation of call centre outsourcing in the country, among others.

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The rise of the Network Service Integrator

September 5th, 2013

ICT outsourcing has evolved considerably over the last two decades. It has gone through a transition from the 1st generation monolithic deals of the 80s and 90s, when it was characterised by immature service management processes to 2nd generation deals and latterly multi-sourcing deals with centrally located IT Service Management. The focus has now shifted towards a more virtualised and geographically defined service with a more coordinated organisational retained function, to manage multiple ICT providers. Due to this complex service evolution, major service providers have started positioning themselves as Service Integrators (SI) including HP, Accenture, CSC etc. According to these service providers, in order to deliver consistent and quality IT service in today’s globalised multi vendor outsourcing environment, Service Management Integration is critical. At the same time, leading Telco operators are also recognising the  need to offer Network Service Integrator offers to reflect changing client requirements e.g. OBS, Verizon and Tata.


IT Service Management has evolved into a newer concept of independent Network Service Integrator, which has gained popularity within this new generation of ICT Outsourcing deals. The large global organisations have demonstrated interest in the NSI concept as an independent entity as opposed to being part of an outsource package. This emerging model of NSI interfaces between the client organisation and the relevant telecoms and network providers.

Network Service Integrator (NSI) is defined as the co-ordination of people, processes, tools and technology across multiple third party providers, both internal and external, to manage the delivery of end to end business and IT services to end-user. Having a Network Service Integrator boasts several benefits for organisations as they look to adapt themselves with the latest technology and implement emerging concepts in ICT. One of the key benefits of NSI is that it reduces complexity by allowing organisations to manage various regional and local telecom vendors within a single standardised framework. Similarly, with the help of NSI, having standardised, modularised and lean multi supplier governance and management structures, the opportunity exists for costs to be reduced to measurable extent benefitting both, the organisation and the suppliers. There are more benefits to NSI as well like clearer accountancy, local billing, greater transparency, much improved risk management and business relationship management.

It is important to recognise that NSI is not suitable for all organisations. It is critical to understand the organisation’s business needs and current service requirements, determine the strategic and cultural fit for the organisation before turning to NSI for any ICT outsourcing deal. Not every large organisation can expect to successfully adopt NSI and it needs to gauge if it can deliver the business benefits and savings intended. Key considerations should include:

  • What is the scope of the NSI?
  • How is the organisation going to manage and assess the performance of the NSI?
  • And what would be the exit plan for an organisation if the NSI model fails to deliver?

The Network Service Integrator model is an emerging outsourcing concept supported by both independent NSI’s and global telcos in the market. There needs to be careful consideration by organisations when deciding to implement the NSI model to be able to achieve the planned business benefits.


IT outsourcing and co-sourcing have promising future-proof direction in Saudi Arabia, says STC EVP of Technology and Operations

August 14th, 2013

Backed by the Saudi National Communication and Information Technology Plan, ICT outsourcing and public-private partnerships (PPP) seem to have a bright future in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia despite plenty of local ICT experts and companies evolving in the recent past.
Primarily due to the Kingdom’s vision of progressing towards a technologically advanced nation, there is still a great demand for outsourcing as the local number cannot suffice the increasing needs of both public and private sectors.

Dr Khalid Biyari, the Executive Vice President of Technology and Operations at Saudi Telecom Company (STC), said, “Outsourcing in Saudi Arabia has a promising future-proof direction. The outsourcing strategy is investigated carefully in terms of objective enterprises seek such as cost reduction, quality of service and improving the operational efficiency.”

On importance of security and privacy, Dr Biyari noted, “Given the increase in number of security breaches in recent years, security measures must be developed and deployed on priority to tighten our infrastructure and applications from any potential threats internally and externally. The privacy of our valued customers information are utmost important asset to STC, it is well-protected and monitored 24/7.”

The Security Operations Center (SOC) at STC has adopted best practices of policies, procedures, and preventive methods to protect their technology assets and network from any potential attack, proactively.

On his part, Dr Fahad Al Hoymany, H E the ICT Minister’s Senior Adviser and the Director General of National Center for Digital Certification, said, “A major challenge to outsourcing has been the security of data, transactions and communication between and among users, owners and providers. Digital certificates that are based on PKI can play a significant role in mitigating the security concern.”

The Chairman of the Saudi Computer Society Dr Abdulaziz Al Sadhan noted, “Held under the Auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the Honorary President of Saudi Computer Society (SCS), the summit is co-organised by Saudi Computer Society and French business information company naseba. The summit is strategically supported by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology represented by Yesser, the Kingdom’s e-Government programme.”

Besides the likes of Dr Al Hoymany and Eng Ali bin Saleh Al Soma, the DG of Yesser, the summit’s agenda includes speakers with immense experience like H E Prof Dr Ali Al Khouri, Director General of Emirates Identity Authority, H E Dr Essa Rawas, Deputy Minister of Hajj, Eng Yahya Ibrahim Abdulrahman, CIO of Saudi Electricity Company and Ministry of Health’s General Supervisor of ICT, Dr Abdullah Al-Wehaibi and more.

This 4th annual C- level meeting will take place on 8th and 9th September at the InterContinental Hotel, Riyadh. It aims to highlight the current situation and future of ICT outsourcing in Saudi Arabia and the region. Executive planning, outsourcing drivers, risks and challenges, and its benefits prevalent to the Kingdom and the region are some of the topics of discussion.


‘Storms’ don’t matter with a reliable ICT partner

August 12th, 2013

THERE always has to be a first time, so it is said.

For global business-process outsourcing (BPO) firm Sutherland Global Services, that “first time” came in the form of a once-in-fifty-years downpour.  It devastated a wide swath of Mindanao that until 2011 had never experienced a storm of such size and magnitude. The catastrophe also threatened a business that relied on an unfailing delivery of service—one that could not possibly experience a downtime for even a second because consequences would mean major disruption in operations and, in the long run, revenue losses.Outsourcing7

But the unthinkable did happen and the disaster struck, much to the horror of executives at the outsourcing and offshoring firm whose commitments to its own set of clients from around the world could not be interrupted, however briefly that disruption will happen.

The weather bureau has for hours warned inhabitants of the Surigao and Misamis provinces of an unusually nasty typhoon which formed over the Pacific Ocean and dumped millions of gallons of water over land where the annual rainfall was a few inches of rainwater in a year. Most people and businesses never had an inkling of the deluge that was coming and went about their daily affairs in much the same fashion they have done for decades at events that were about to unfold.

Print and broadcast journalists would later chronicle the devastation that swept Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental. Businesses such as those engaged in by Sutherland Global took a hit as well, with the communications link routed to its Cagayan de Oro offices having been severed by a landslide. This had the practical impact of isolating the BPO firm’s Davao City operations, disrupting a link that should be up again and running as quickly as possible.

AJ Enriquez, the self-acknowledged provin-ciano who made a career in Manila and now runs Sutherland Philippines as vice president and country manager, cannot afford a disaster so soon after a previously cut communications link in Cagayan de Oro City left Davao City marooned, albeit still able to deliver, however, in a diminished capacity.

Enriquez’s go-to guy, the technology-savvy Associate Vice President Michael Quiambao, would relate the floods in CDO a “major downtime event.” “It was the first time a typhoon of that magnitude hit Cagayan de Oro City and it isolated our Davao City operations,” Quiambao said of such critical BPO operations as data analytics.

“Disaster happens. But thankfully, we had the advantage of having Globe Business on our side with its rerouting scheme that allows redundancy in communications links that even if one circuit is cut, a reroute will take place in a few minutes,” Quiambao said.

As the corporate business arm of Globe catering to the wireless and wireline requirements of corporate clients such as Sutherland Global, Globe Business helped limit the BPO firm’s downtime to a minimum.

According to Enriquez, the company’s total downtime during the CDO disaster was only three hours and compared very favorably against the competition whose BPO clients allegedly complained of a two-day service disruption.

“We used the other service provider as backup, but unfortunately, it took them over 48 hours to restore their lines. The link provided by Globe Business held our trunkline,” Enriquez said.

According to him, BPOs like Sutherland need to be reliable and accurate all the time. Downtimes erode that veneer of reliability the company strives for and that is where Globe Business proves perfect for their requirements. “We are very satisfied with the services Globe Business provides us. What is good about them is that they respond fast enough for us to be able to respond to our timelines and deadlines with reliability and accuracy. Without Globe Business’s commitment of giving the right service level agreements, we will not be able to provide our clients the commitment to meet their business deadlines as well,” Enriquez said.

That relationship, according to Enriquez, dates back to Day One of Sutherland Global in 2005, when the company only had 150 employees housed in just a single location. Seven years later, Sutherland Global is present in nine locations across the Philippines, employing a hundred times more manpower with its current 15,000 headcount.

Quiambao describes an incident early in Sutherland’s corporate life in which they have to execute a multiyear contract with other telecommunications services providers in the Philippines to address the outsourcing require-ments of their own clients. He explained the short-lived arrangement was “part of the contract” and related to their need to grow the business of one of their sites. “We went back to Globe Business after about a year when the contract ended,” Quiambao explained.

Enriquez added that the experience brought home the message that more than anything else, both Sutherland and Globe Business value the partnership forged over the years far more than the business they get from each other.

“We have hit all our timelines and metrics. The beauty of this relationship is we can grow and expand to new sites and locations with a trusted partner in Globe Business. That reliability is key to our success in Sutherland,” the top executive of Sutherland emphasized.

That said, the local outsourcing and offshoring sectors will continue to remain the sunshine industries of the country—thanks to Globe Business, which powers BPOs like Sutherland Global with reliable connectivity to weather challenges, working closely with them and helping their enterprise grow further. Truly, it is an ICT partnership that will withstand all seasons.


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