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Q and A – Tobago ICT Summit and Expo

Thanks to event sponsor bmobile for facilitating this Q and A and Mr. Phil Edwards, CEO of Tobago Information Technology Limited for the answers.

What is the Tobago ICT Summit and Expo?

The annual Tobago ICT Summit and Expo 2017 is a forum that emphasizes the products and services offered by the Tobago Information Technology Limited, alongside other strategic business partners in a two part program with exhibits, demos and displays of the latest technologies in a number of industry areas which include but not limited to Medicine, Safety, Infrastructure, Education, Networking and Telecommunications, Security and Gaming. The EXPO is meant to exhibit technologies and technology companies with solutions to everyday business challenges and allow young persons a place to be exposed to new technologies and presented with career path choices in addition to speaking with educational content providers who can offer tertiary and special training to enter the workforce.

The second part of the program involves presentations by industry pioneers in the areas of Information Security, Digital Media and Advertising, Telecommunications, Regulatory Organizations and Industry representatives and Governmental Organization that address key concerns of private citizens, THA and the Business Community.

What are the aims and objectives of this event?

The event is a forum to discuss key topics in the realm of ICT that affect citizens of Tobago. This included

  • Analyzing big data Decision Making & Marketing
  • Global Digital Transformation trends and challenges in implementing a Smart City
  • Roles of Technology in Education and National Development
  • Smart City & Smart Design (round table design)
  • Why Data Centers and more so Cloud Technology
  • Technology and the Judiciary
  • E Government & Governance Structure
  • Technology and its role in improving quality of the lives of Citizens
  • Technology solutions for the blind
  • Women and Girls in ICT
  • Technology Solutions for the Hearing Impaired
  • Caribbean Video Assistance Service
  • Analytics in CCTV – Facial Recognition
  • The Power of Advertising in a Digital Environment
  • The Role of Data Centre’s in Smart Communities
  • The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago’s role in the Telecommunications and broadcasting sectors
  • Cyber Security and “Is the THA and Tobago Ready”
  • The Technology driving Prosperous, Effective & Efficient Business – ICT Cloud Infrastructure Management, Data Centre Specifications, Networking, Virtualization, Security, Software Defined Data Centers (SDDC)

Every year there will be an opportunity to add a new slate of discussion topics with both local and regional concerns addressed. This event also allowed for local small business to build partnerships with internationally established companies as well as learn how these companies operate. In addition, TITL also creates an avenue for the public to learn about its new products and services while having a hands on experience at the new and updated technology available.

How can persons and organizations get involved and give feedback?

Persons and Organizations can become involved and provide feedback via the following

  • Social media platforms
  • 211 Contact Centre
  • Sales and Marketing teams
  • Marketing and Communications Officer – Ms. Dena George
  • Lead Marketing, Sales and Corporate Communications – Mr. Curtis Balfour

Organizations interested in participating at next year’s EXPO and Summit 2018 as a presenter, sponsor or booth exhibitor can speak to our marketing team at 211- 110. Person or organization wishing to suggest topics for next years event can also communicate with our marketing, sales and corporate communications team at 211 extensions 110 or via our website ITC.gov.tt

What were the outcomes and action items from this year’s event?
  • The need for access to ICT training locally within Tobago and most students must travel to Trinidad to access this training.
  • The need for the THA to pay greater attention to information security and critical infrastructure.
  • The need to provide mechanisms for the differently abled to have access to and make use of ICT’s to improve their quality of life.
  • Development of training programs to address the skills gaps in ICT in Tobago particularly in the areas of ICT certification like CCNA, Microsoft etc.
  • Opportunities that exist for Tobago to become an event destination for EXPO’s and Summits.
  • Opportunities for local companies to showcase their product and service line up.

Action Items

  • TITL must complete the development of an ICT training catalogue and roadmap for Tobago House Assembly (THA).
  • Launch of a suite of programs at TITL Innovation Center carded for January 2018.
  • TITL must actively promote its diverse service offerings in the areas of Training, ICT and BPO services to the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), wider Tobago public including business community and regional.
  • The creation of an ICT exchange service where customers and providers can meet to discuss business problems and develop solutions.
  • Greater emphasis on training in java based programming, database development and design and other ICT certifications.
What are 5 concrete things that can be done to improve the ICT space in Tobago?
  • Creation of centralized ICT strategy for the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) that delivers the following
    • Lower technology costs
    • Better service and technology alignment
    • Easier implementation of ICT strategies across the THA
    • Improved services delivery and ICT Assurance as part of project management leading to lower costs, installation times and the intended results on the first try.
  • Second subsea cable landing point to provide additional internet capacity and redundancy to the island.
  • Creation of E-service sector in Tobago focused on crypto currencies and exchanges where vendors/customers/financier can meet and do business.
  • Single THA data and voice networks that provide single point of contact for all Tobagonians.
  • Digitization of all government records as part of wider Business Continuity plan for THA service in the event of natural disaster.
  • Greater access to ICT training and certification on the Island of Tobago (TITL’s Innovation Center is key element is delivering on this item).
What are the 5 main tech related tourist complaints for Tobago?
  • Lack of quality wifi access at all tourist facilities both private and public.
  • Lack of tourism based information systems that push information on sites of interest to tourists on entry to the island, at the airport or while the tourist maybe close to point of interest.
  • Application in the apple store that allow tourist to hail a taxi or rental service without leaving their hotel room or booked with their flight or upon landing at the airline. (TITL’s product development team is work on completing the project by first to second quarter 2018/19.
  • Lack of technology support delivery services for food and other services which are regularly available in other tourist destinations. This should part of wider tourist information system. (Part of TITL’s product development plans).
Define and explain the phrase – “A connected Tobago”

A Connected Tobago speaks to a Tobago that utilizes digital technologies to deliver services to its citizens cost effectively, improving the planning, design and delivery of transport, infrastructure and buildings to create healthy, sustainable, resilient and prosperous society.

What examples of tech improvements can we borrow from other countries?
  • Use of single THA company with responsibilities to provide ICT services across the THA at both the infrastructure and services levels. Deployment of single infrastructure network for all government agencies and divisions.
  • Use e-currencies as a means to earn foreign exchange for Tobago and also to facilitate payments by local entrepreneurs to and from international vendors and customers.
  • Use of ICT clusters to further cooperation and development in the Tobago ICT sector. A cluster is collaborative platform for enterprises that combines competencies and provides access to a dynamic network of companies.
  • Research into what is required for “Industry 4.0” which refers to an expected, fundamental shift in the manufacturing sector whereby advanced automation and data exchange leads to the creation of hyper-efficient ‘smart factories’ as well as other significant improvements in the ways producers operate” (e-Estonia.com, 2017).
  • Deployment of Intelligent Transportation systems and mobile parking.
What will be done to promote and facilitate “global freelance work” as mentioned in this article?

It proposed that we use ICT clusters to create an ecosystem composed of Data Center operators, Software development companies, Customers, ICT companies. It would allow customers to post projects and have software company develop prototype solutions utilizing server and network resources from data centers. The software consultancy companies would evaluate the design for it alignment with business requirements at which point a design will be chosen. After which the project will be fully priced out, project managed, delivered and paid for.

Event Website – expo.titl-tha.org

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