Sherpa Hossainy's Blog

Microsoft appoints market development partner in Myanmar

Posted in Business, Computer, Investment, IT, Myanmar, Software, Technology, Yangon by Sherpa Hossainy on July 10, 2013

Cites close collaboration with local experts as key to ensure sustainable economic growth

Published in Myanmar Business Today (Vol 1, Issue 20) on June 20, 2013

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American IT giant Microsoft announced that it has appointed local IT company Myanmar Information Technology (MIT) as its first market development partner to grow its presence in Myanmar.

MIT will be responsible for expanding the Microsoft ecosystem in the country and work with local businesses and government to provide ICT solutions that will drive greater economic growth.

Jamie Harper, Microsoft’s general manager of Southeast Asia, said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Nay Pyi Taw, “Microsoft is delighted to be forming this partnership in Myanmar. I am excited by what the future holds for Myanmar, a future we believe technology will be a vital part of.”

Describing Microsoft’s entry into Myanmar and other emerging markets, Harper said that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula for ensuring success, but the company is committed for the long haul in Myanmar.

“Microsoft’s business is built on partners. Understanding the nuances of conducting business in each and every market we invest in is critical. That’s why we focus on building sustainable partnerships with local experts. A strong local ICT industry and robust partner network can create a positive impact in any country.”

Currently the largest software company in Myanmar, MIT was founded in 1997 and is a co-founder of the MICT Park with the Myanmar ICT Development Corporation. The company has more than 300 employees.

Dr Tun Thura Thet, chief executive of MIT, said, “We are very proud that Microsoft chose MIT to be its market development partner in Myanmar and we are very excited to build upon a long and fruitful relationship that will benefit our country. I believe Microsoft’s global experience and solutions will be invaluable in building the Myanmar ICT industry.”

Market intelligence firm IDC expects IT spending in Myanmar to reach $233.56 million by 2016, representing a compound annual growth rate of 16 percent between 2011 and 2016.

Harper said, “We believe that only through working closely with the public and private sector, can technology be part of the national agenda and play its role in ensuring competitiveness and capacity building.”

Microsoft has more than 28,000 partners in Asia Pacific. These companies generated nearly $125 billion in revenues, according to an IDC study. The study concluded that for every $1 that Microsoft generated in Asia Pacific, its partners generated more than $10.

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Promoting green technology is the goal

Posted in Bangladesh, Business, Computer, Dhaka, Environment, Internet, IT, Software, Technology by Sherpa Hossainy on December 23, 2011

Published in The Independent on 20 December 2011

Read the article online in Independent website

Digital print version

With the motto “Go green with ICT”, the fifth digital ICT fair is eyeing to endorse the latest environment friendly information and communication technology products, organisers of the fair said.

“This fair aims to promote green ICT products at affordable prices and take part in mitigation of climate change through the use of environment friendly technology,” said Tawfique Ehsan, president of Multiplan Centre Shop Owners Association, organiser of the fair.

Ehsan said, “We want to raise public awareness regarding use of green technology and integrate information and technology in everyday life.” Ehsan, convener of the fair, said this fair will also help increase the penetration of ICT throughout Bangladesh.

Visitors at Digital ICT fair checking out laptops

Leading computer and computer accessories importers will showcase the latest technologies from global brands, organisers said. More than 450 stalls will take part in the fair and some will display the local laptop brand “Doel”. The introduction of recent digital innovations around the world will help achieve the vision of “digital Bangladesh”, they said.

Kazi Obaid Alam, sales executive of Flora Ltd, said, “We are promoting technology, which is environment friendly, and at the same time energy efficient and cost effective. It is imperative to move to low-radiation, low-noise and low-heat emitting energy efficient devices. This fair will promote use of green ICT products.”

Flora Ltd is displaying two new printers from Epson — K100 and L100. The cost of printing a page in the K100 model is only Tk .90, whereas for a laser printer the cost is Tk 2 and for an inkjet Tk 4-4.5. The L100 model is designed for photo studio professionals and it can print 18,500 pages or 1,200 pictures with its “inktank” technology.

Flora Ltd, the leading computer retailer in Bangladesh, is also showcasing second generation laptops and notebooks with core i5 technology, and some environment friendly computer accessories from global brands like Uniross and Sony. The company is mainly targeting bulk buyers, Alam said. The fair is providing customers with a great opportunity as prices at the fair are competitive and they can choose from a range of options, he added.

The fair, which started yesterday, will continue until 26 December at the Multiplan Computer City Centre. Citycell is the platinum sponsor of the fair and Acer, Avira and Fujitsu is among other sponsors. More information can be found on the fair website: www.digitalictfair.com.

Visitors at Digital ICT fair check products at a stall

Although free for school students, a mandatory Tk 10 ticket to enter the fair has drawn flak from regular customers in the market who were not necessarily coming as a fair visitor. Many of them refused to pay the entry fee saying that they didn’t come to attend the fair. However there seemed to be no way of distinguishing between the fair visitors and others coming for repairing or warranty issues.

Many customers who were obstructed from going up without a ticket were told to get permission from higher authorities. But many didn’t seem to bother to go up and left.

Md Asaduzzaman Khan, a businessperson, who came to fix TV card problems, was not let in without a ticket. “It’s like a forceful sale of tickets. Do they think everyone is coming to join the fair? There are many other customers too,” Khan said. This entry fee might actually backfire by resulting in a waning number of visitors, he said.

Ehsan said with permission from the authority anyone can go up without having to buy a ticket. He stood by the decision of charging an entrance fee and hoped for a major turnout at the eight-day long event. “We are hoping to get 25-30,000 visitors in the fair,” he said.

First-ever laptop bazaar slowly packing a punch

Posted in Business, Computer, IT, Software, Technology by Sherpa Hossainy on October 22, 2011

Published in The Independent on 20 October 2011

Read the article on Independent website

Digital print version

With the motto of “Laptop in every house”, Bangladesh’s first dedicated laptop market is steadily pulling crowds while sales are yet to pick up to the expected level.

The Eastern Plus BCS laptop bazaar started on  October 13 in the city’s Shantinagar area with a view to creating a one-stop market for laptops, including notebooks, tablets, smartphones and portable computer accessories and software.

To kick it off, Eastern Plus Shop Owners Association and Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS) has jointly organised a nine-day laptop fair until October 21 in the market, which showcases 52 global brands at 74 shops. While there is a plethora of visitors in the market, vendors are yet to be satisfied with the pace of sales.

“Many people are coming in and checking out machines, but we didn’t sell that many,” said Abu Siddik, an executive of International Office Machines Ltd, authorised dealer of Toshiba — one of the sponsors.

Sumon Al Mamun, branch in charge of Computer Source, the country’s one of the biggest PC vendors, said his stall had 2,000 visitors until Tuesday, but most of them only had queries about laptop prices.

“But I’m upbeat about the prospect of the market as desktop sales are going down and demand for laptops are shooting up day by day,” Mamun said.

Visitors checking out computers at Laptop Bazaar in Dhaka

Mustafa Jabbar, president of BCS, said doing some hurried sales is not the main motive of the fair; rather it is important to get many visitors and raise awareness.

“Computer is not like rice or daal. People will come and have a look, compare prices and then buy one. It might take a week or even a month for one to decide,” he said.

Jabbar, also chief executive officer of Ananda Computers, said he is happy with the turnout and the main purpose of the fair is served. “Before the laptop market this place was like a ghost house and now it feels so vibrant,” he said.

The visitors and prospective buyers were also satisfied with the dedicated laptop market.

Md Mazharul Haque, a business person, who wanted a laptop for official use, said he came to the fair to “have a look” and compare prices. “All the big brands are available here and I hope I’ll get a good quote,” he said.

Haque said these fairs should not only be capital-based and there should be rural versions so that mass people can come in touch with affordable technology.

Torsten Malmdorf, a Danish national, who also came to the fair to buy a laptop, said, “I came to know about the market from facebook. I’m still searching and comparing prices, but most laptops here are for low-end users,” he said.

Of all the laptop brands and models, the customers seemed eager to check out the newly unveiled domestically made laptop, Doel. The state-owned telecom company Telephone Shilpa Sangstha (TSS) is producing four models of the laptop while the most basic one is priced at Tk 10,000 ($130). Bijoy Digital is the only shop in the fair authorised by the government for limited scale sales and display.

Tareq Ahmed, attendant at the Doel display corner, said, “There are so many customers who want to buy Doel, but there is not enough supply.” The most hunted model is Doel 1612, priced at Tk 27,000, he said.

“We are providing necessary information and taking bookings on the spot. But we have to deliver the laptops later,” Ahmed said.

SM Sobill Hossain, who works for Destiny 2000 Ltd, said he wanted to buy a Doel laptop for official use but the attendant said it will be available tomorrow. “This is a Bangladeshi product and it’s cheap. I want to be a proud user of my country’s product,” he said.

The BCS chief urged the government to formulate an effective policy and give distributorship to experienced computer vendors and said his company Bijoy Digital is interested in marketing Doel laptops.

“The government hasn’t yet got any marketing plan for Doel. If the government thinks Telegraph and Telecommunication Board will sell and market laptops, then those will stay in the warehouses.

“We sell computers, so we know best how to market those laptops,” Jabbar said.

Kazi Hasibur Rahman Shakil, general secretary of Eastern Plus Shop Owners Association, said this dedicated laptop market will save traffic hassles, time and money of the people living around the market area.

“In other computer markets people have to look around all over the market for laptops but here we have a dedicated floor. You can get everything in one place,” Shakil said.
Jabbar hoped that with the changing trends and rising awareness, Dhaka-centric computer markets will shift to district and rural areas. BCS will organise eight fairs all around the country from November to January to promote awareness, he said.

“The market trends are changing and it’s not at all desktop-based now. So laptops will be integrated with the rural scenario hopefully within two to three years,” he said.

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Clouding Your Mind: Marketing and Cloud Computing

Posted in Business, Computer, Guest posts, Internet, IT by Sherpa Hossainy on August 13, 2011

This is a blog post on cloud computing by James Kim,  who wrote this article as a guest writer for my blog:

From tech magazines to business blogs, it seems like all we hear nowadays is “cloud” this and “cloud” that. Newscasters, journalists, bloggers, and marketing pros have stretched the term to the point where it’s, well, nebulous. Everything from online fax services to data storage has evolved out of cloud computing technology. But, how is this technological advancement changing marketing? And how will it influence your world?

What is “the Cloud?”

In a cloud computing system, the network of computers performs what would normally be performed by individual, local computers in an on-premise installation. In its simplest terms, the Cloud is the internet. Cloud computing can be defined as web services for the users on the internet, or the cloud. Many people discuss cloud computing in terms of front end and back end. The front end is what we can see: the interface, the side of the computer client. The Web 1.0 internet revolution allowed everyone to access the front end of the cloud by using a standard client application. The back end houses the different layers of the software stack that composite the cloud. Now, in the Web 2.0 boom, we see increased communication between applications on the back end.

The Cloud in Marketing and Sales

There are tons of ways that companies are using this increased back end communication, or “application interoperability,” to tap into social networks and improve Customer Relationship Management (CRM):

-Real time, in process analytics have made it possible for companies to analyze and predict customer behavior.  It is now easy and inexpensive for business to examine customer behavior at every stage of the product: from design to consumer response. Through cloud applications, we can better pinpoint customer dissatisfaction and take corrective action.

-A company can also utilize the increased application interoperability by taking advantage of SaaS (software-as-a-service) application marketing. Under the SaaS model, a company can add a new social media channel or feed to an application and make it available to customers on-demand.

-It is now becoming easier and easier for a company to achieve mass customization. Each customer is assigned a unique ID so that web services can be tailored to that individual.

While discussion of the Cloud may seem foreign, inconsistent, and obnoxiously over-generalized, it is crutial to understand this technology to stay ahead of the curve. This technological shift will soon inform nearly all aspects of a business, from CRM to in-house organization. Once you’re familiar with the basics, you can increase efficiency and better understand your customer.

[James Kim is a writer for Choosewhat.com, which provides product reviews and test data for business services and products. Choosewhat.com’s goal is to help small companies make informed buying decisions on business solutions that help their business.]

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SAP to help Bangladesh enterprises run better

Posted in Bangladesh, Business, Computer, Corporate, Dhaka, IT, Software by Sherpa Hossainy on July 30, 2011

Published in The Independent on 28 July 2011

Read the article on Independent website

Digital print version

Leading German enterprise application software company SAP AG on Wednesday announced the launch of its “run better solutions road show” in Bangladesh in a bid to deliver proficient and effective business outcomes for its customers here.

“The show aims to provide a platform for businesses to meet, learn, understand and interact with industry and solutions experts and other successful SAP customers,” said Deb Deep Sengupta, vice president, enterprise sales of SAP.

Enterprises across industries in Bangladesh are relying on SAP software and services to automate and gain better customer insights as well as enhance their global competitiveness, he added.

SAP felicitated nine Bangladeshi enterprises for their successful adoption of SAP enterprise solutions at the event held in Hotel Westin organised by Concito PR.

Leading customers in Bangladesh who use SAP platform include: Berger Paints Bangladesh Ltd, Viyellatex Ltd, Robi Axiata Ltd, Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Rahimafrooz Bangladesh Ltd, Gemcon Foods and Agricultural Products Ltd, Otobi Ltd, MGH Holdings Ltd, and Karnaphuli Fertiliser Company Ltd.

Peter Gartenberg, managing director of SAP, said, “We will focus on Bangladesh to deliver world class business solutions to enable enterprises of all sizes run better and achieve business excellence.”

SAP empowers people and organisations to work together efficiently and use business insight to stay ahead of the competition by extending the availability of software across on-premise installations, on-demand deployments, and mobile devices, he added.

Over the years, SAP has been involved with many projects across industry segments including telecom, banking and financial services, pharmaceuticals, textiles, ready-made garments, retail, real-estate and several diversified conglomerates.

SAP has invested in creating an ecosystem of partners including Optimal Solutions and Aamra Management Solutions Ltd to expand its footprint. SAP leads the enterprise applications market with its portfolio of flexible, cutting-edge solutions and continued innovation, Gartenberg said.

Sengupta said SAP’s power of people, products, and partners unleash growth and create significant new value for customers, and ultimately entire industries and the economy at large.

“The technology platform will allow customers and partners to gain insights for improved performance, efficiency for optimised operations and the flexibility to adjust to new business requirements,” he said.

SAP is headquartered in Walldorf, Germany, providing enterprise software applications and support to businesses of all sizes globally. SAP is the largest enterprise software company in the world, as of 2009 and best known for its SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (SAP ERP) and SAP Business Objects software.

Founded in 1972, SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) has more than 109,000 customers worldwide and operating revenue of over €12.4 billion (2010). SAP employs more than 53,000 employees in more than 75 countries worldwide.

Acer launches flagship ICONIA tablet PCs

Posted in Bangladesh, Business, Computer, Corporate, Dhaka, Internet, IT, Software, Technology by Sherpa Hossainy on July 21, 2011

Published in The Independent on 15 July 2011

Read the article on Independent website

Digital print version

Acer, world’s second largest PC vendor, on Wednesday launched five of its ICONIA series tablet PCs on Google Android Honeycomb platform for the first time in the Bangladesh market.

The new range of tablets — ICONIA Tab A500 and W500, ICONIA dual screen notebook, ICONIA A100 and Smart S300 — will be marketed by Acer’s authorised distributor, Executive Technologies Ltd (ETL). However, A100 and S300 models will be available in the market after four months, ETL officials said.

A model displays an Acer Iconia tablet

The ICONIA Tab A500 will be priced at 45,800, and the 10″ Windows Home Premium, with portable keyboard and Windows 7 operating system, will be priced at Tk 52,800.

The ICONIA Tab A500 and W500 are 13.3mm thick and have 10.1″ touch screen and Aluminum casing. The A500 is equipped with NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core 1.0 GHz processor with Flash 10.1 support featuring Sky Cross antenna and ZTE LTE wireless module.

ICONIA Dual screen notebook has Intel Core i5 processor with Windows 7 operating system. The 14” notebook has high-definition widescreen LED backlit LCD screen.

The Acer tablets are equipped with a full size USB port, mini USB port, HDMI output, Micro SD card and SIM card support.

S Rajendran, chief marketing officer of Acer India, said, “With a first mover advantage on our Android 3.0 Operating System, we are confident to address the rapidly growing consumer IT segment in Bangladesh.”

The ICONIA A100, a 7” Android tablet, is designed for mobile experience and includes video chat and video recording options. The S300 model, a 4.8” Smartphone on Android Gingerbread 2.3 operating system with 8 megapixel camera, is targeted at avid mobile internet users.

The ICONIA series is a concept device featuring an intuitive all-point multi-touch functionality, offering a range of devices such as smartphones, notebooks and tablets.

Acer is the first PC vendor to launch its tablets under both operating systems — Google Android Honeycomb 3.0 and Windows 7, the officials said.

The Acer tablets also feature Clear.fi media sharing system to share content amongst the gadgets. It will be preloaded on the device to access, play and share multimedia across the home network and to instantly publish updates to social media networks.

Salman Ali Khan, deputy general manager of Executive Technologies Ltd, said, “We believe our association with Acer will bring a new dimension and help us deliver through our distribution network.”

As consumers adapt to new technologies ETL is confident to address the growing IT market of Bangladesh, he added.

Acer registered 100 per cent growth for the last two years, and employs about 8,000 people worldwide. In 2010, Acer’s revenues reached $19.9 billion, and it sold 39,926 units worldwide.

Software piracy reaches $137m in Bangladesh

Posted in Bangladesh, Business, Computer, Dhaka, Economy, Export and Import, Internet, IT, Software, Technology by Sherpa Hossainy on May 26, 2011

Published in The Daily Independent on 20 May, 2011

Read the article on The Independent website

Digital print edition

The value of unlicensed softwares installed on personal computers in Bangladesh reached a record $137 million in 2010, a study revealed.

The Global Software Piracy Study 2010 by Business Software Alliance (BSA), which evaluates the global state of software piracy, found that 90 percent of the softwares installed on PCs in Bangladesh are pirated.

The value of illegally obtained software was $127 million in 2009, while the piracy rate was 91 percent.

“Although we have seen a one-point reduction in the software piracy rate over the previous year, we continue to face huge challenges to keep the piracy rate down,” BSA said in the study.

“Even as the Bangladesh IT industry is developing, many companies are still oblivious to what constitutes illegal software use,” said Roland Chan, senior director (marketing), Asia-Pacific, BSA.

The survey found seven out of 10 respondents expressing support for paying inventors for their creations to promote more technology advances. However, support for intellectual property rights was strongest in markets with higher piracy rates.

The commercial value of stolen software in Asia Pacific totaled over $18.7 billion, while  the global value was $59 billion — nearly double than the value in 2003.

Half of the 116 geographies studied in 2010 had piracy rates of 62 percent or higher, with the global average piracy rate at 42 percent.

The study found the piracy rate in the developing world was 2.5 times higher than the developed world, and the commercial value of pirated softwares were $31.9 billion, which accounts for more than half of the world total.

Globally, 59 percent of the respondents said IP rights benefit local economies, while 61 percent said that IP rights create jobs.

Among the common ways of people engaging in piracy was to buy a single copy of software and installing it on multiple computers. The survey found that 51 percent of business-decision makers in developing markets erroneously believed that the softwares were legal.

This was the eighth study of global software piracy conducted by BSA in partnership with IDC, the IT industry’s leading market research and forecasting firm, using a methodology that incorporates 182 discrete data inputs for 116 regions around the world.

This year’s study also included a public opinion survey of PC users on key social attitudes and behaviors related to software piracy, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs.

The study covers piracy of all software that runs on PCs, including desktops, laptops, and ultra-portables and netbooks. This includes operating systems, databases and security packages, and applications software.

The BSA works in 80 countries to expand software markets and create conditions for innovation and growth. BSA members include giant software makers like Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Corel, Microsoft, Siemens and Symantec.

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