'Jamaica to be ICT hub of the Caribbean'Sunday, October 09, 2011
BY PAUL ALLEN Business reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
"JAMAICA is on an exciting journey to transform information and communication technology (ICT) structure and skills base. Jamaica's place is to lead, not to follow," said Colm Delves, chief executive officer of the Digicel Group.
Speaking at last Thursday's 43rd staging of the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association (JMA) Awards Banquet, Delves spoke to the importance of ICT in the development of the manufacturing sector.
Claiming that government has much to do with driving investments in ICT, the Digicel Group executive said that such technologies can be used to greatly improve the communication between individuals and organisations and also provide secure services that are not only effective by being less reliant on paper-based areas, but also cost-effective. Rarely forgotten in any address nowadays, Delves added that the high cost of electricity is negatively affecting businesses and that an enabling environment must be created to foster the development and use of ICTs.
Quoting recently deceased Steve Jobs, co-founder of personal computer giant Apple, he said "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower" and that, with Digicel's assistance, Jamaica is poised to be the ICT hub of the Caribbean.
He said that since 2001 Digicel has invested $72 billion in its Broadband 4G network and that it plans to invest more here and in other areas.
He said; "Over the next 10 years you will see Digicel become much more than that, as we work with business, government, and universities to improve the country's ICT infrastructure with our ever-growing suite of products and services."
True to its vision, the telecommunications giant sponsored the Digicel Business ICT Award at the ceremony, recognising the organisation that made the best use of the technology and as such was reaping the rewards found in the improved efficiency. The winner of that distinction was liquor manufacturers, J Wray & Nephew.
"When you have a good ICT framework, it really helps to improve efficiency," said Greta Bogues, general manager of corporate affairs at the company.
Bogues said that the company has implemented two systems recently, that contributed to the recognition that the company earned. She said one such system is a supply chain management system that forecasts company needs and which helps to determine the amount of supplies needed, when it's needed from their suppliers in the various countries.
The other is a phone-based ICT system which allows orders to be taken and recorded in J Wray and Nephew's database simultaneously, making the systems more timely.
She also said the use of their brand's website has been a significant help as its interactivity allows for communication with customers which makes them aware of suggestions and trends while also enabling them to offer recipes and other product information.
The awards' night's big winners were beer manufacturers, Red Stripe and Jamaica Fibreglass Products, both copping three awards each. Red Stripe won awards for Skills and Productivity, Champion Exporter for large businesses and Community Development, also for large manufacturers.
Jamaica Fibreglass Products won for Best Use of Energy and Resource Efficiency, Furniture, Bedding & Wooden Products and Champion Exporter for medium-sized businesses.
The frequently mentioned need for innovation was recognised by the JMA which presented its Breakthrough Product of the Year award to Agricultural Chemicals Plant for its insecticide, "Tropi-gro Insect Powder".
The most coveted award of the night, Manufacturer of the Year, was presented to Newport Fersan Jamaica Limited, manufacturers of inorganic fertiliser. The company had earlier won another award for Chemicals, Cosmetics and Pharmaceutical Products.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login