Sunday, 23 November 2008

How can we increase innovation among the digitally deprived community?

Innovation is important among the rural just as it is among those in the urban society. Aside from economic benefits, progress would arise in terms of social and cultural life. Areas to consider when enabling an innovative driven rural society are as follows:

  1. Have instruments to make knowledge more accessible for the community

- Instruments such as libraries and even Telecentres may not be enough. Knowledge can be accessible in other various ways from setting up a calling centre – allowing farmers to get Internet information by calling a free 1800 number, creating mechanisms to make computer based device cheaper or simply by distributing Internet based devices among field agencies who continuously visits farmers for inspection, assessment or other various purposes.

  1. Generally improve the network of telecentres, schools and libraries and offices

- ensuring operations of telecentres, to be more connected to a network of other similar organizations would certainly raise the sustainability as well as the progress of the telecentre. With such network, the centre would be able to learn on best practices and new ideas of others to create a more effective service to the society. This connectivity should not be limited to telecentre but should include other “points of information” such as schools, libraries and district/agency offices. “Points of information” would also benefit since it will assist them in benchmarking the ideal set up for their organizations.

  1. Promote open telecom infrastructure

- Promoting to telecom companies to set up various infrastructures in the community will increase the accessibility of knowledge among society. Although the government can play a major role, communities can assist in terms of setting up various terrain or towers deem fit for wireless access points and offer it freely to companies or ISPs for the benefit of the society.

  1. Reduce Government bureaucratic processes

- Sales and purchase of land, taxes, security issues, registration offices and various other government applications are important to be accessible for transaction online not only for those living in the city but more so for those in the rural areas. Aside from high transportation cost, the rural areas are facing increasing criminal activities and rising natural disasters. These activities are typically not monitored in detail by central governments who only respond to such activity when it is already too late. A case in hand is the forest fires that has been consistently troubling Indonesia and the region

Culture is the key

- Many a times, Governments fail to see that in order to create an innovative society; the culture plays the most vital role. The framework laid above will only lead to failure in efforts if the culture for innovation is not inculcated among the community. The need to persuade farmers to use IT must be done not only by advocators such as champions of telecentres but also by the community themselves. More importantly, the budget to build programmes that can blend differing cultures among the community by setting up domains to express the feelings of both the community and those outside of the community is necessary. It will create a spiral need to communicate and learn from one another to gain better economic benefits. The aim to build a civil society will be more effective in the long term.

Obviously, when more creativity is applied, innovation even among the deprived will inevitably increase.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Mira Razman Azrai

My daughter is so pretty. Mira Razman Azrai. I love you till death
Publish Post

Monday, 27 October 2008

Merger of TM & Astro to drive IPTV take-up?

IPTV and merger of Telekom Malaysia (TM) and Astro is the right thing to do? The rumours and logical reasoning appears to point it in that direction

Let us study the numbers:

Currently TM has about 1.2 Million broadband subscribers where else Astro has passed the 1 million subscribers years ago. This gives us a present market potential of 1 million IPTV subscribers. The problem of deploying IPTV in Malaysia is quite evident. The Malaysian government will never allow free content through IPTV. Thus, Malaysians are expected to pay higher than Astro (excluding maintenance cost) for content that is believed to be the same if not less exciting than Astro since TM has very little experience in the broadcasting, media and film industry. Based on TM's main options it could approach the strategy by either
  1. Highlighting its superior content by working with other content providers or create its own content that will make it more difficult for new entrance. The fact is it doesn't matter anyway since content variety will be the same as long as the freedom to watch anything is not permitted.
  2. TM could leverage on its capability to provide higher value added services such as chatting, user interactivity or HDTV quality. But this will be costly since it may either result in higher cost of Set Top Boxes, middleware maintenance or IPMS system and higher bandwidth (users need at least 17 to 18Mbps for HDTV). As of right now, users are still struggling for 1Mbps
  3. TM could concentrate more on its bundling by making it clear to the market that the content matters little, but you can get broadband and digital TV at a discounted price. We believe TM would highly likely take this approach initially. The problem to this is that the model will not last since cable TV operators will not sit down and allow it to happen forever. Furthermore, the actual benefits to Malaysians become trivial.
For the sake of the progress of the country and profitability, TM should have its own division handling IPTV and it should merge with Astro. Of course that will lead to a more monopoly market, but building an industry by initially monopolizing it is something Malaysians are very much an expert of. Besides, IPTV will initially be deployed by a dominant company anyways.

Astro is very much way ahead in terms of delivering content and knows the interest and requirement of pay tv users. At the same time, TM knows where such value added services can be offered geographically due to its capability in building a nationwide broadband bandwidth. The synergy, aside from profitability for both companies, it will also give Malaysians a good first time impression of IPTV and gain more benefit out of it. In this way, Telecom and broadcast regulators can also combine and the IPTV service can then be deployed immediately. Malaysians are currently behind. Way behind others such as China, Singapore if not the rest of the world. It is advised that the country should stop playing around - testing and start the marriage for immediate productivity.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Enterprise Asset Management still an opportunity for the unknown players

Enterprise Asset Management is worth $1.2 billion today and is expected to cumulatively grow at 6.5%. How can solution providers succeed given the fact that there are just so many players out there? Even if you provide the latest tools that works on SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) platform and that integrates with wireless applications, you may still end up struggling to compete against giants such as IBM, IFS and Invensys who currently employs more than 1,000 programmers, salesmen and marketers serving multiple sectors, generating revenues of at least $20 million from EAM alone.

However, its not totally bleak for unknown solution providers. Even major players lack dominance in certain geography market and segment area. One hint is in the Middle East where there are just so many untouched market segments. They include the increasing trend of instant knowledge cities popping up within the region. Those intelligent buildings, power generators, office maintenance, and smart public transportation are assets that not only needs to be monitored but the technology that comes with them may require complex assessment of depreciation value and lifecycle management

The key here is to find the niche that your company is most capable of doing. Just like any businesses, if you are not IBM of the day, the only way forward is to value add your solution by collaborating with reputable and effective partners. Naturally, working with those whose brands are known worldwide would heighten your level playing field and if done smartly, will minimize your client acquisition cost. From AGIT Consulting's experience, getting players a list of possible clients are a necessity, but it's also too basic. More importantly is the need to assess your company properly in the market and do a detail planning before attacking the ocean, blue or red.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Multilateral Engagement ~ fast track industry development

Industrialisation drove world economies to move from traditional unilateral and bilateral relationships to a multilateral, hub and spoke, economic system.

The ICT industry personifies the global hub and spoke economic contribution of nations, cutting across the value chain, and beyond geographies.

We now live in a global age; with ability to seamlessly access vast quantities of information from all around the world and interact with a far greater diversity of people than has ever been possible before.

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2008 Global ICT Trends

This whitepaper was published in February 2008

Innovation is the buzzword and excitement is rife in the IT and telecommunications industry. The industry, perhaps more than any other leading industry, has witnessed dynamic “structural changes”, whilst continuing its feverish growth patterns. In 2008, the global ICT market is touted to be worth in excess of US$3.730 trillion, nearly double the size in 2001.

AG IT Consulting picks out the leading trends in 2008:

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  1. With the HSDPA emergence, is it the end of the road for WiMAX?
  2. Offshore Outsourcing to rise and rise with upselling
  3. Mobile PC will grow faster among emerging nations
  4. Mobile and virtualisation to drive Next Generation Networks
  5. Cleantech will be accelerated among developed nations
  6. Commercialisation over innovation for Technology parks?
  7. All rise for the Software giants from the East
  8. Increased VCs flocking into emerging nations
  9. Tech gadgets will find its way into Global networks
  10. Digital content goes real-time