eAsia2009 (I): Plenary Session, Track 2, pt.1

Notes from Asian Telecentre Forum 2009 / eAsia 2009 held in the BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka, on December 2-4th, 2009. More notes on this event: easia2009.

Plenary Session, Track 2 (pt.1)

Telecentre for a digital divergence era
Florencio Ceballos, telecentre.org

More and more mobiles in people’s hands, many of them in developing countries. 4.6 billion estimated by end of 2009. Thus, we might be facing not a digital divide, but a digital divergence: it’s not that people do not have access to ICTs, but that they have access to different qualities of ICTs. Difference between full access to the Knowledge Economy to restricted access to the Knowledge Economy.

Telecentres are a way to share enhanced access to the Knowledge Economy. But not only they provide access, but also skills, etc.

Why shared access? Well, not that new:

  • Public transportation
  • Shared bycicles in many cities in the world
  • Access to water through fountains at streets
  • Public libraires

Ownership, thus, is not the issue, but access to knowledge. And telecentres are the “sherpas” that facilitate this access to people.

Though sustainability is quite often raised as an issue, in fact, many times is lack of investment what strangles the viability of certain telecentres. With the appropriate investment, more (business) opportinities come at hand.

And public access is not at all a “solution for very poor countries”. Germany, Sweden, Spain, UK, etc. are amongst the countries that have a more developed (in quantity and quality) network of telecentes.

But of course, telecentres have to evolve. Some are using telecentres to access higher education courses, others to bring microcredit to rural areas…

The impact of the Cloud on Public Sector
Bash Badawi, Microsoft Public Sector APAC

The cloud:

  • software as a service,
  • data as a service,
  • platform as a service,
  • infrastructure as a service,
  • everything as a service.

It lowers the entrance costs to ITs, forces integration.

On the other hand, it’s fully scalable and you don’t even have to care about predicting how much usage, computing power, storage, etc. you will be needing. It’s just a pay-as-you-go.

Building a Smarter Planet: Government
Kevin North, IBM Asia Pacific Public Sector Business

We now have the aility to measure the condition of almost anything: e.g. with RFID cards we can constantl monitor the temperature of each and every cow in our herd.

The imperative for government today:

  • Deliver value
  • Exploit opportunities
  • Act with speed

The road to outsourcing:

  • Staff augmentation
  • Out-tasking
  • Co-sourcing
  • Portfolio outsourcing
  • Outsourcing


Comment by attendant: India is increasing the number of mobile phones by 18,000,000 monthly, thrice the population of Finland.


Telecentre Forum 2009 - eAsia 2009 (2009)