Local Industry News
Demonstrating its commitment to add value to the Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry in the country, DialogTelekom, has come forward to sponsor Infotel 2008 as the strategic partner- Communications and Broadband. Infotel 2008 is one of the biggest ICT showcases in Sri Lanka.
The week long ICT event commencing on October 27, will bring together various segments of the IT industry including industry experts, professionals, academics and the user community on to a single platform.
Group Chief Commercial Officer, Dialog Telekom Thivanka Rangala, said, â€œAs front-runners in technological advancements in Sri Lanka, weâ€™re extremely glad to partner Infotel 2008 as strategic partner- Communications and Broadband.
Information Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) recently concluding a successful pilot project in computerising the operations of three Divisional Secretariats in Colombo district while enabling to serve the general public more efficiently and effectively.
Project Officer of ICTA D. C. Dissanayake, said Hanwella, Moratuwa, and Colombo Divisional Secretariat offices will be fully computerised.
With the new system in place, all documentations and manual filing will be minimised as much as possible while computerising the data and information for easy retrieval.
By Anjana SAMARASINGHE
In this region online transactions are expected to triple during 2007/2008, said Managing Director, India and SAARC Symantec Corporation Vishal Dhupuar.
Nearly 62 percent used credit cards for online transactions and 11 per cent of online users believe credit cards are very secure. Data security has become a very important factor, he said.
Symantec is a global provider of security, storage and systems management solutions for businesses and consumers to secure and manage their information.
â€œIn Sri Lanka the PC market is growing rapidly and broad band penetration is growing fast where it will create more access to the internet. Due to these reasons we have identified Sri Lanka as a growing market in this region. Sri Lanka is an exiting market for Symantec Corporation,â€ he said.
Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivaard Cabraal said that managing the countryâ€™s economy was like juggling several balls on a shaky platform. He said that several variables had to be looked at in order to make choices and take hard decisions.
Managing a company is somewhat similar but on micro level and a system that gives all the variables will go a long way in efficiently managing a company.
IFS Sri Lanka implemented the countries largest web-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system when it connected Singer Sri Lankaâ€™s branch network.
"The web-based ERP system was implemented in Singerâ€™s 390 branch network in stages over two years and the company will implement this network in its offices in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Thailand," Poorna Bandara, Consulting Services Manager, IFS, told the Island Financial Review.
by Devan Daniel
A booming construction industry and steadily growing apparel industry are in need of IT personnel that cannot be filled from elsewhere in the country and have launched a programme to groom the youth of the district to fill these vacancies and for vacancies that will be created as development shifts gear.
The Ampara Chamber of Commerce, an affiliate to Business for Peace Alliance, said that many of the IT training centres that had cropped up in the district did not work with the business community.
Many international and national NGOs had set up various vocational training centres in the Ampara district in response to the humanitarian calls after the devastation caused by the tsunami and the rebel conflict.
Regional Empowerment and Conflict Transformation through Skills Development of Tsunami Affected Business Community and Youthâ€ (REC TSDETA) project is currently underway in Akkaraipattu and Kalmunai funded by Mercy Corps and in strong collaboration with the Ampara District Chamber of Commerce in establishing two IT schools.
IDM Computer Studies (Pvt) Ltd., is drawn towards the project due to its strong commitment towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and social integration, and will provide the branding for the schools through a franchise agreement.
The project is spearheaded, directed, facilitated and monitored by the Business for Peace Alliance (BPA) Sri Lankaâ€™s network of regional chambers of commerce committed to regional empowerment, conflict transformation and CSR.
By Damayanthi Hewamanna
Former chairman of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Mahen Dayananda said that students have to develop their character and have an ideal balance between that and their education qualification.
â€œTheirs is a need for excellence knowledge in English and if you have more than one language itâ€™s a greater advantage. Also students should have an ideal balance between their personality and their academic specialist qualification,â€ Mr. Dayananda said at the launch of press briefing of the 4th Adyapana fair last week. He went on to add that now when you go for a job interview people who get chosen only for their personality donâ€™t get to stay for long as within a year or so the people get to see the real substance of the person emerges. Its all about excellence and nothing falls from heaven, one has to earn money through their own sweat.
The ability to communicate fluently in English, be it verbal or written, has become a necessary prerequisite for employment in todayâ€™s context. Recognizing this essential need, the John Keells Social Responsibility Foundation is launching the â€˜English for Lifeâ€™ programme, which would help young adults gain practical skills in English together with basic IT and soft skills in order to facilitate their employability.
This new initiative is a natural step following the popular and successful 6-month foundation programme and the 2-year EdExcel Diploma offered previously under the John Keells English Language Scholarship programme. The programme, which was launched in 2004, has since its inception empowered more than 1,400 school children in various parts of the island, from areas as diverse as Colombo and its suburbs, Galle, Kandy, Matara, Bandarawela, Wellawaya, Habarana, Vavuniya and Batticoloa.
The Private and Banking Sector in Sri Lanka to promote English Language Teaching
State and private sector banks and leading private sector companies have joined hands with the Ministry of Education to promote English Language teaching in Sri Lanka by supporting teacher professional development. The private sector in many countries such as India, have recognized that it is vital to develop the competences of its English teachers if they are to increase the English language competencies of its future employees. Given that English is the global second language, especially in trade and commerce, and that competency in the language is important to compete globally, the private sector and the banking sector in Sri Lanka are contributing to teacher professional development by supporting the 5th International SLELTA conference to be held at the NIE, Maharagama from 7th to the 10th of August, 2008. SLELTA, the Sri Lanka English Language Teachers' Association, is a voluntary, non-profit association set up for the professional development of English teachers in Sri Lanka. Its current President is Dr., Hemamala Ratwatte, Senior Lecturer in English at the Open University of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has significantly improved its position in the recently published Global Network Readiness Index (NRI) which measures a nationâ€™s or communityâ€™s degree of preparation, to participate in and benefit from ICT developments which happen to be the driving force in todayâ€™s world.
The NRI featured in the Global Information Technology Report (GITR) 2007, published by the World Economic Forum, establishes an international framework by which the performance in networked readiness of a large number of economies/countries can be assessed and benchmarked against one another over a period of time.
Promoting effective learning practices and
enabling students to develop state-of-the-art skills
Virtusa Corporation (NASDAQ:VRTU), a globally-renowned IT solutions provider and the leading IT services company operating in Sri Lanka has joined hands with Sarvodaya Fusion to boost the ICT knowledge within identified rural areas through a series of seminars and workshops enhancing IT literacy as a part of their CSR initiative â€œCampus Reachâ€.
Virtusa has encouraged a team of voluntary trainers to contribute to the series of workshops and seminars targeting students in selected rural communities. The program comprises a range of subjects ranging from career guidance and training to practical and theoretical aspects of using a computer. An introduction to computers, information on hardware, plus sessions providing students the necessary understanding of Microsoft Office products, such as Word, Excel and Adobe Photoshop are also included.
The Mount Lavinia Hotel, considered one of the oldest hotels in Sri Lanka has signed up with hSenid to automate its Human Resource Management and Development activities.
The fully functional human resource information system can cover the entire HR operations of Mount Lavinia Hotel which includes maintaining electronic copies of personnel files of this 200-year-old hotel plus tracking history records of its employees; online leave application and employee attendance tracking.
The solution is packed with rich analysis report generation tools which have been developed considering the different user groups which would be interacting with the solution. hSenid HRM Enterprise, a fully web-based HRIS solution will bring the industryâ€™s best HR processes to the Mount Lavinia Hotel and the solution will fine tune and streamline HR processes and make life easy for HR staff as well as its employees.
WSO2, the open source SOA Company, last week launched version 1.5 of the WSO2 Mashup Server. The open source WSO2 Mashup Server combines the simplicity and richness of mashups with the reusability, security, reliability and governance required for a service-oriented architecture (SOA).
With Version 1.5, the WSO2 Mashup Server adds powerful WSO2 Data Services and security features for enterprise-class service composition. The WSO2 Mashup Server 1.5, which builds on innovative technology introduced in the 1.0 release, is a freely available open source server for deploying mashup services.
The information technology sector (IT) that reported its slowest growth since the dotcom bubble burst in 2001 seems to be heading towards an era of snags.
With several of their clients in the US trimming down activity to suit an economy in a slowdown mode, the Indian IT sector that derives around 70 per cent of their annual revenues from them, seems to be running into rough weather too.
For example, a Latin American banking client of Indiaâ€™s biggest software exporter Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is cutting its discretionary spending due to restructuring, resulting the IT major witnessing delays in outsourcing orders for the second consecutive quarter now.
New Delhi, India: Bharti Airtel Limited announced its audited US GAAP results for its first quarter ended June 30, 2008. It has once again maintained its strong growth momentum.
The consolidated total revenues for the quarter ended June 30, 2008 of Rs. 8,483 crore as well as EBITDA of Rs. 3,522 crore grew by 44% on a year on year basis. The net income for the quarter ended June 30, 2008 was Rs. 2,025 crore, a growth of 34% over last year.
Bharti had 7.17 crore subscribers, as on June 30, 2008, an increase in the total subscriber base of 61%, over the corresponding period last year and maintained its leadership position through an improved market share of all India wireless subscribers at 24.2% as on June 30, 2008, up from 23.1% corresponding to the same period of last year.
Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content management solutions, announces the release of new generation products designed to protect home users from all types of security threat.
Version 2009 products combine the benefits of Kaspersky Lab's new antivirus engine, with its dramatically improved scanning speeds, and cutting-edge HIPS technology to block new malicious programs even before signatures have been added to the antivirus databases, a press release said.
Tens of millions of people worldwide currently use the version 7.0 personal products launched last summer. The products have consistently scored highly in independent tests and offer market-leading protection and reliability. Kaspersky Lab's newest products - Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2009 and Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 - are based on the very latest developments in security technologies.
By Uditha Jayasinghe
An increasing number of companies are using genuine software for their Information Technology needs in Sri Lanka, according to Symantec Software Solutions, thereby reducing the piracy rate that was estimated around 90% last year.
Global studies conducted independently by IDC, the information technology industryâ€™s leading global market research and forecasting firm in 2007, had revealed that Sri Lanka has the sixth highest software piracy rate in the world and was second highest in the Asian region. Sri Lanka was found to have a software piracy rate of 90% in a study conducted as an extension of the IDCâ€™s Global Software Piracy Study 2006. In effect, 9 out of 10 software programmes installed on personal computers in 2006 in Sri Lanka were unlicensed or obtained illegally via software theft. This high software piracy rate has resulted in US$86 million in retail revenue losses to the local Sri Lankan software economy according to the IDC. However, things are now looking up in the industry according to Ceylinco Networking Technologies (CNT) Director Sanjay Padmaperuma who insisted that the amount of losses would have reduced significantly over the past nine months. Despite the unavailability of fresh figures the benefits of reduced costs, improved compliance, higher-performance, better flexibility and tighter information security have all been positively accepted by companies resulting in a reduction of piracy. Mr. Dhupar noted that New Vision 2.0, the recent anti-virus software introduced by Symantec will spearhead the innovation.
The CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) professional qualification is equivalent to a Master Degree, the independent UK agency responsible for Government scoring of immigrantsâ€™ qualifications has said.
A point score of 35, the same as MSc, has been awarded to the CIMA professional qualification by UK NARIC, the independent body that assesses and scores qualifications from around the world.
The UK Government uses this information on its official database to benchmark qualifications held by potential immigrants to the UK under its highly skilled worker programmes.
Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), strengthened its services and broadened its reach by adding a new centre in Matara to its network of call centres. The network comprises of a main centre in Colombo and regional centres in Kandy, Galle, Anuradhapura and Matara.
SLT Call Centres have become an integral part of today's communication business, with its chain developing itself towards becoming a one stop contact centre for the customer, irrespective of the medium of communication used - voice, email, web, fax, text etc, in all three languages.
Offering customer focused problem solving over a wide area of queries, it handles directory assistance, customer queries on fixed line, broadband Internet, business solutions, data solutions as well as global services.
Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the nationâ€™s number one integrated communications service provider, was the principal sponsor and total communication provider for Broadcast Sri Lanka 2008 â€“ a Multimedia and Infotainment Technology Exhibition and Trade Fair held recently at the BMICH.
The purpose of the exhibition was to introduce and educate professionals in the broadcast industry, consumers as well as the general public on the modern and innovative technology and equipment used in the international arena.
Speaking on the significance of the exhibition, Mrs. Leisha De Silva Chandrasena, Chairperson of SLT, said, â€œWe take great pride in partnering this exhibition, which has attracted major players in the broadcasting equipment industry. Telecommunications began to serve as a support service to the media for information gathering and disseminating and it was accelerated by the advent of satellite communications and transâ€“oceanic cable systems. What was chiefly restricted to the business-to-business domain, has now advanced into the business-to-consumer domain, through satellite television broadcasting to the end consumer. Everything has changed with the communication revolution, which was propagated and powered by the internet, whose technologies and resources have enabled this convergence at the customerâ€™s premises.â€
This year, Raffles Solutions and Services, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, has again been honored with the top world-wide Microsoft Dynamics Partners.
Microsoft Dynmics Presidentâ€™s Club recognises the top 50 of Microsoft Dynamics partners worldwide and honors their constant dedication to delivering solutions that meet their customersâ€™ unique needs, active pursuit of product and technological advancement, and impressive sales performance.
Members of this elite partner club have demonstrated dedicated commitment and success in extending the Microsoft Dynamics platform to drive business advantages in companies worldwide. Presidentâ€™s Club also measures customer satisfaction and the level of competence within the consulting group of the incumbent Microsoft Partner.
Irish Solutions invest over USD 150,000 on a project to integrate health sector to medical insurance companies through IT enabled services.
The investment for Iris Solutions is sponsored by Iris Technologies, a UAE based company, which has operations in Bahrain, Qatar and Oman. This will create around 20 employment opportunities and will be located in Colombo. The venture is expected to commence operations in August.
This is a project to develop software and provide IT enabled services for the local market. A web based platform under the name and style of â€œGettWellâ€ is the premier product from Iris Solutions for the local market.
Interblocks announced it has implemented iSwitch - an ATM Switch and Monitoring System - at HDFC Bank, Sri Lanka.
The new applications will enable HDFC to be at the forefront in overall banking operations with quick and innovative products, and help the bank to maintain a healthy customer service. With its technology upgrade, HDFC can now offer its customers a wide range of new services, through the ATM network.
â€œWe are very happy to have signed this agreement with Interblocks to upgrade our customer service package. We are venturing into the field of savings, that is retail savings accounts and deposit accounts, and through this ATM network, customers will be able to access our services from any part of the country.
A major milestone in providing access to Sri Lankans to the World Wide Web in local languages has been achieved through the launch of Fire Fox 3, the world latest, fastest and safest web browser.
Up to now Sri Lankans had to browse the web in English, which prevented those who did not know the language unable to seek knowledge and information that they required to better them selves. However IT specialists point out, the launching of â€œMozilla Firefox 3.0â€ web browser would help to tackle that obstacle as it providers them access in Sinhala. Other localization work which will surely follow will bridge the gap overtime.
PC House Ltd., a leading IT solutions provider and the sole distributor for GIGABYTE Motherboards and Graphic Cards in Sri Lanka since 1997, announced its commitment to greener motherboards and VGA cards as part of the hardware giantâ€™s resolution this year. The leading PC Component vendor commits to greener products targeting 20% improved power efficiency throughout 2008.
The move follows a remarkable turnaround for GIGABYTE who has led the trend towards better quality PC components ever since the adoption of ROHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) manufacturing practices in 2005. The rest of the industry has been following GIGABYTEsâ€™ example ever since.