Wireless Technology Summit to Target Business Decision Makers


Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Central Information Technology Office (CITO), Michael duQuesnay has explained that the 2005 Regional Summit on Wireless Technology is not aimed at Information Technology (IT) personnel, but would target business decision makers.
“The April 14 summit is a conference for business people who are faced with the challenge of making decisions about IT increasingly on a day to day basis, and who are faced with making decisions on behalf of their organisations, based on recommendations that are coming to them from technology people within their organizations,” he said.
Mr. duQuesnay was speaking at the launch of the Summit, held at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica auditorium in Kingston, today (February 17).
Some 600 persons from across the region and Jamaica have been invited to the summit, with the theme: ‘Demystifying the Technology for Decision Makers’. The conference will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
The CEO said that sometimes decision makers did not understand what those recommendations really meant, because they did not fundamentally understand the technologies. “That is not a criticism of the business executive, it’s just a fact of life. They come from a background of finance or marketing or operations and are not IT people, so it is an attempt to educate these people in some of the critical technology areas and that is why we are using the phrase demystifying as a theme for the conference,” he pointed out.
The event has been timed to follow two other important regional events. These are the meeting of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, which will be held from April 4 to 8, and a meeting of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation to be held April 11 to13. For the Caribbean Telecommunications Union meeting, Mr. duQuesnay said a significant representation of people from the English speaking Caribbean was expected, particularly senior persons from the public sector.
“These are two important international events which are focused around the area of the increasing convergence of data, voice, image and phone and traditional IT. There is also going to be a Jamaica Computer Society sponsored event on the 15th and they will be targeting the ‘techies’, but covering the same areas,” he informed. This forum on the 15th will enable IT oriented persons in the industry to understand some of the implementations and emerging standards.
Expounding on the areas to be explored at the summit, Mr. duQuesnay said, “the structure of the event is based around spending a short time talking about the technologies and explaining them, hopefully in understandable English, and then the bulk of the time will be spent talking about the business of wireless”.
“The first chunk of that will talk about business applications, the opportunities that exist, the emerging new business opportunities that wireless creates, as well as the opportunities for businesses to take advantage of wireless, to cut costs or reduce their overheads by applying this technology. We will also be addressing security and the other implementation issues,” he added.
The second portion of the business aspect of the summit and the note on which the conference will end, involves a plenary session where some successful implementations of wireless technology will be highlighted.
“There are a lot of things around us that depend on wireless technology, but we don’t actually know that, so it is important for some people who have successfully implemented wireless to talk about what it is doing for them, so that hopefully at the end of the day, the business executive will walk away with ideas to take to his/her technology people,” he told the gathering.
Mr. duQuesnay expressed gratitude to the sponsors, which have made this year’s conference a reality. He noted that some partners from last year’s conference had also offered their assistance again, including Microsoft, Fijitsu and IBM.
He pointed out that the sponsors represented three groups: traditional telecommunication providers (Digicel); traditional ICT providers (Microsoft, Fijitsu, IBM); and the financial services industry (National Commercial Bank), as well as partners and sister agency, Spectrum Management Authority.
Meanwhile, the sponsors expressed pleasure at being associated with the event. Managing Director of Spectrum Management Authority, Ernest Smith said the authority had a direct interest in a summit on wireless technology. “The radio frequency spectrum is indeed the medium that facilitates wireless communication and therefore we thought this is an appropriate opportunity to get on board with CITO to educate the public about wireless and indeed the spectrum,” he said.
Advisory Client Representative at IBM, Cuthbert Lloyd said the company in Jamaica was supporting the CITO summit to accelerate the adoption of information and communication technologies in Jamaica. “It is a demonstration of IBM’s commitment to the Government of Jamaica, recognizing the importance of CITO and the role that CITO has to play as we move forward to drive to an e-government,” he stated.
In her remarks, Sandy Jones of Fijitsu said the company was committed to using technology to improve communication and the way business was done. “We believe that mobile and wireless technologies is the future of how we will work and conduct business,” she said.
Heston Hutton of NCB said his organization saw wireless technology as another way of providing greater levels of convenience for retail and corporate customers, and that it was important to explore and understand what the technology could bring to the table and how it could be utilized.
Meanwhile, Carol Wongsam of regional IT provider Illuminat said her company was taking part in the event because, education was a part the entity’s marketing strategy and an informed executive was important. “So we want to take the technologies and the experiences and competencies that we have in Trinidad and bring it to the rest of the region,” she said.
In his remarks, Chris Hyman of Digicel said a lot of business efficiencies gained were as a result of the “untethering of communications and making them wireless”.
“Why there is a multi-vendor platform here, is because as we move into applications, they inherently get more complex and our view is that no one vendor can actually deliver the entire solution,” he added. Other sponsors include the Jamaica Computer Society, Anbell Media Limited and Spatial Innovision Limited.

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