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A dose of reality in Lagos, Malaysia & West Bank February 18, 2011

Posted by Matthew Townend in Uncategorized.
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As some of you will know I have been travelling an awful lot in January/ February visiting Malaysia, Lagos Nigeria & The West Bank in the last 4 weeks. What these trips have reinforced to me is how in the UK and other European countries, a lot of manufacturers and service providers have really lost track of the requirements of customers and the amazing applications that technology can have in changing a nation.
As we talk about UC or FMC or the latest acronym thought up by some marketing person (no offence I was a marketing manager), I have had the pleasure to talk to people in Nigeria about how the first subsea cable into the country can change internet access for good, and now what applications we could run to change education or health over this infrastructure.
In Malaysia by using Video conferencing to reach out to remote parts of the country, and how by utilising homeworking in Government & enterprise we could increase social inclusion. Finally I entered the west bank, and talked to a service provider about how VPN services could really change the public services and economy. A truly odd experience passing through checkpoints and barriers, and thinking how networks and services could break down these barriers.
I think I had lost touch with how what appears simple technology can really change how companies and countries compete, but as an industry we need to focus on business applications and solutions rather than the technology itself. As I enter my judging period for various awards, I am always disappointed with the case studies that are offered up as part of these entries, and how they fail to articulate the business benefits their solution bring.
Well this weekend we will publish our end of 2010 figure for SIP trunking and Hosted VoIP that have both showed encouraging growth.

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