July 10, 2013
Good new (re)start for PH eGov development

Grace Mirandilla-Santos

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Grace Mirandilla-Santos | July 05, 2013

The Philippines celebrated “National ICT month” last June. But unlike in previous years, the government unveiled quite a number of ICT programs and services this time around.

The ICT Office (ICTO) under the Department of Science and Technology, which now handles the functions of the defunct Commission on ICT, first launched its flagshipIntegrated Government Philippines (iGovPhil) Project in June 2012.

ICTO’s executive director Louis C. Casambre said the project would integrate and provide “essential core services, and the necessary protocols and standards to make feasible secure yet open and efficient interoperability among all government ICT systems.” iGovPhil was also designed to solve the problems of poor synergies and cross-project collaborations, which the 8 billion peso ($186 million) eGovernment Fund for 2003-2011 failed to meet.

Last month, ICTO introduced supporting ICT apps and services, such as the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), a government-wide email system (GovMail), the government cloud (GovCloud), Agency Records Inventory System (AgRIS), and the government website template.

The skeptic would simply dismiss these as a rehash of the same old ICT programs that would forever remain on the drawing board. But these initiatives and the progress thus far are actually impressive by PH government standard.

 

Read the full entry here. Visit Telecom Asia for news and analysis for Asia’s telecoms operators.

April 25, 2013
Are social media helping improve telcos’ CRM?

Grace Mirandilla-Santos

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Grace Mirandilla-Santos | April 25, 2013

Unless you live under a rock or in North Korea, you should know that social is the way to go.

Social media - blogging, online social networking, and micro-blogging - have become so pervasive that it is almost unthinkable for a business entity - at least those who want to remain relevant - not to use them.

In telecom, social media have transformed not only business models but the very concept of customer service. Never before have consumers been given the power and ability to inquire, give feedback, complain, demand, or throw a fit with the whole of cyberspace as audience. 

But are telcos using Facebook and Twitter in a way that improves customer experience? Or are they using social media only because they have to? My Facebook newsfeed and Twitter timeline are a rich source of anecdotes telling me that it’s more the latter than the former.

I have read a variety of posts ranging from simple complaints (“My internet is slow today.”), to clarificatory (“Is there a way to fix this?”), to violent (“Magsara na lang kayo!”). That last quote in Filipino roughly translates to “just close shop!”, which doesn’t quite capture how an irate, desperate customer truly feels once all civility and options have been exhausted.

Read the full entry here. Visit Telecom Asia for news and analysis for Asia’s telecoms operators.

April 25, 2013
Is PH telecom moving fast enough?

Grace Mirandilla-Santos

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Grace Mirandilla-Santos | March 18, 2013

 

“Arangkada” is a Filipino word which roughly translates to “move fast” or “accelerate.” The Joint Foreign Chamber (JFC) in the Philippines chose this term to call its advocacy paper of recommendations that could potentially lead to job creation, foreign investment, and revenue. To achieve these outcomes, the JFC posits that the country must focus on fast tracking reforms in what it labels as the “Seven Big Winner Sectors”, one of them being telecommunications.

It was a privilege to be invited as one of the assessment experts on telecom. Given a list of key reform areas, the exercise gave me the opportunity to step back, reflect on the past year, and look at the telecom and ICT sector from a broad perspective. The scoring method was simple and based on whether there was any movement in key recommendations or none. Experts had to substantiate their scores by citing references and examples. In short, the scores had to be based on fact, not impression.

Of the JFC’s 11 recommendations, three things stood out for me as areas where the government can and should initiate the reform.

Read the full entry here. Visit Telecom Asia for news and analysis for Asia’s telecoms operators.

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