Discordant technology systems at county level: our house of cards

Masterplans have been the order of the day with literally all key ministries articulating their road to utopia where the citizen is served efficiently and cost-effectively, corruption is neutered and a host of other benefits that read well in an election manifesto. Excellent documents in themselves, these masterplans lack the granularity that should guide the day to day in terms of the resources, infrastructure and frameworks needed at ground zero where the true implementation and adoption begins.The magnitude of what is lost in the big picture view might only come to the fore in another two years just as the election bug bites us again and we start to compare what really is and what should have been. Continue reading Discordant technology systems at county level: our house of cards

The 1 thing you must do right on mobile

Three days to the much anticipated Saba Saba date (7th July 2014) millions of mobile consumers received a message from the Inter Religious Council of Kenya approved by the Communications Authority. The lash back on social media was expected but in my opinion misdirected as most of the “feedback” was laced with emotion due to the historical and current sensitivities surrounding the date. It does however offer the opportunity to dissect best practice when it comes to the mobile channel with education to consumers, businesses and even government as an imperative. Life is indeed mobile, with the device having become part of our daily lives. For any intrusion into this life to be tolerated; it must be anticipated and approved making consumer onboarding the most important element of any mobile strategy. Continue reading The 1 thing you must do right on mobile

A primer to mobile value added services in Kenya

An addressable market of over 30 million is sure to attract the attention of many entrepreneurs, and indeed it has. The mobile value added service industry in Kenya generates billions in gross revenue annually, making bank for mobile operators, licensed providers and third parties who leverage connectivity infrastructure offered by the providers.

The nature of the business model is revenue share, meaning on any given transaction revenues are split either two or three ways with a bulk of the revenue for many services going the operator’s way based on the cascading volume model adopted.   Continue reading A primer to mobile value added services in Kenya

The mobile ecosystem gravy train

Without a doubt the most awaited corporate report this month was that of local mobile operator Safaricom, and the results did not disappoint and pointed to the evolving and cash rich ecosystem that is mobile.The factors that lead and will continue to lead bottom-line growth for those invested in one way or another in mobile are in plain sight for the discerning. Continue reading The mobile ecosystem gravy train

How to engage government for a robust local ICT sector

In the last decade having been thrust into the innards of various technology based businesses it has become apparent that a key factor in maintaining industry frameworks and sustainable profitability is the constant engagement of industry publics to ensure big picture alignment. These publics range from suppliers, customers, competitors and most importantly government. As we shift to a knowledge based society, we become a prime market for solutions that help achieve this objective. These solutions can be home grown or from outside our borders. A key differentiator in the season and opportunity we are in compared to days gone by is simple. We have the knowledge and talent to add value to homegrown solutions without the need to import. Unfortunately, government policy since independence never quite catered for such a time as this and we must move swiftly to ensure that local enterprise is well taken care of and protected. At all the recent major stakeholder meetings with His Excellency the President in attendance, keen to engage and with his generals tasked to give explanation, timelines or other important feedback, there was not a whiff of the ICT agenda, despite the value proposition from ICT cutting across all conceivable sectors.  This calls for consistent, informed and knowledgeable lobbying.

Continue reading How to engage government for a robust local ICT sector

The Betting Control and Licensing Board done right; two moves

Advances in technology will always see the morphing of previously offline services to the mobile channel due to its obvious ubiquity. Every industry has seen this shift, but with requisite structures done right to ensure service longevity and adherence to standards. The gaming sector however, seems to have been left behind and playing catch up with the result being; in my opinion a suppression of an industry that could actually deliver the much needed financial support for many social programs run by government and other well meaning Kenyans. The Betting Control and Licensing Board governs the authorization of lotteries and prize competition as well as eradication of illegal gambling activities in Kenya. It was established through an Act of Parliament (Chapter 131 Laws of Kenya of 1966). Here is how I would empower the board to meet its mandate using technology especially for mobile and online gaming. Continue reading The Betting Control and Licensing Board done right; two moves