Q and A with CARICOM on Single ICT Space

Q and A with CARICOM on Single ICT Space

What is the Single ICT Space?

Heads of Government gave a mandate in March 2014 at the 25th Intercessional meeting to develop a Single ICT Space as a component to building the Digital Economy.

The CARICOM Single ICT Space is an ecosystem of regionally harmonised ICT policies, legislation, regulations, technical standards, best practices, networks and services.

It is envisioned as

an ICT-enabled borderless space that fosters economic, social and cultural integration for the betterment of Caribbean citizens.

The CARICOM Single ICT Space will promote investment, create digital citizens, safeguard against cyber security threats and advance the CARICOM Digital Agenda 2025.

The CARICOM Single ICT Space will foster the digital environment which will be used to support and further the development of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The CARICOM Single ICT Space is characterised by:

  • Regionally harmonised ICT policy, legal and regulatory regimes;
  • Robust national and regional broadband infrastructure;
  • Common frameworks for Governments, ICT service providers and consumers; and
  • Effective, secure technology and management systems.

What are the Benefits?

Some of the benefits of the CARICOM Single ICT Space include:

  • Enhancing the national and regional markets and the environment for investment
  • Entrepreneur development, innovation and advancement
  • Ubiquity and consistency of ICT services across CARICOM at affordable prices to citizens
  • Equitable, affordable access to broadband information and communication technologies, which are secure, ubiquitous and reliable; and which facilitate rapid acquisition, processing and dissemination of information
  • Facilitating collaboration and sharing of resources
  • Enhancing regional trade, innovation, competitiveness and citizen welfare
  • Providing digital support for the CSME and support for the realisation of the CARICOM digital economy;
  • Harmonised Policy, Legal and Regulatory framework

What are some of the Challenges in getting this done?

  • How to leverage ICT, to assure the development of CARICOM, and to clearly articulate its role in the region
  • How to foster a more dynamic and competitive business environment that encourages services firms to enhance productivity, offer new services and create new employment
  • Financial resources to implement various activities

Does something similar exist anywhere else in the world?

Germany and Austria have worked aspects of a Single ICT Space.

When is the expected launch date?

There is no specific launch date for the Single ICT Space. The integrated work plan for the Single ICT Space will be presented to Heads of Government in July 2017 for their approval. It is expected to be a five year plan.

It is important to note that some of the work that is required for the Space have already been started or completed in some member states.

How can persons make suggestions for consideration?

Persons can send their suggestions to ict4dstaff@caricom.org

Where can persons get more information?

More information can be sourced on the CARICOM website (caricom.org).

Q and A with Oracle Caribbean Office

Does Oracle have an office in Trinidad?

We are committed to the country success and we work very closely with our partners to deliver the best technology options to the country.

Although Oracle does not have an office in Trinidad & Tobago, our specialized partner community in the island is our greatest asset. They are an integral part of Oracle’s success in the country, you can find our entire ecosystem in our Web site oracle.com/partners/index.html

How can persons contact Oracle Caribbean?

Persons interested in our solutions can contact the Caribbean office located in Puerto Rico or through our partners in Trinidad & Tobago. For more information, we invite you to visit our web site oracle.com/pr/index.html for details and follow our social networks to stay tuned! (Twitter: @OracleCarib, Facebook and LinkedIN: Oracle Latin America)

Is there an Oracle Users Group for the Caribbean?

There are two Oracle User Groups for the Caribbean and both are located in Trinidad & Tobago. The Oracle Applications Caribbean User Group (OACUG) which its core theme is Oracle’s applications; and the Caribbean Oracle User Group (COUG) which concentrates in technology solutions.

Any statistics for the Caribbean that you can share

Oracle Corporation is a public company as a result we have restrictions to share any statistics. We invite you to visit oracle.com/index.html where you can find and share interesting information about our company and our solutions.

Is there a partner listing for Trinidad and the Caribbean?

You can visit the following link to find all registered Oracle partners: solutions.oracle.com/scwar/scr/Partners/index.html. Please go to to Location → Latin America → Trinidad & Tobago

What key features are coming to Oracle in the future?

Oracle is a dynamic company, we are moving forward the technology to give benefits for our customers. The cloud is part of the present and will be the future for companies. In 2020, most of the data of the companies will be held on the cloud, this will be the safest environment on IT and 80% of the workloads will run on the cloud.

Users need their data to be available at any time and in every place, so that is one of the reasons why this is becoming so big for tech process. Oracle is ahead with this, we are running strategies focused on what the users need, created to solve their everyday work and also to make their lives easier.

Also, we at Oracle listen constantly to the users, we work very close to them to understand how we can transform their business, give those solutions that provide them with the latest technology, so they can be more agile.

Why choose Oracle?

Oracle is the only provider that has an end to end solution, with its applications available at a local datacenter or in the cloud, easy to migrate and proven by thousands of customers in the world.

Oracle provides a wide choice of software, systems, and cloud deployment models—including public, on-premises, and hybrid clouds—to ensure that technology flexes to the unique needs of a business.

Also, Oracle Cloud is a complete, integrated stack of platform, infrastructure, and application services. With advanced scalability and security, Oracle Cloud enables technical agility across the enterprise, connects people to information for clearer insights, and fosters efficiency through simplified workflows.

With more than 420,000 customers across 145 countries, the market knows our products and have harnessed Oracle technology to accelerate their digital transformation.

Anything else you would like to add?

We invite the users to try our technology, to know our products and start imaging what can Oracle do for their business, how they can change the company using technology as a service, with a cloud that provide them all the benefits that they need and that their clients are asking for, like flexibility, agility, solutions and answers for those problems that doesn’t let them evolve.

Q and A with Guyana based Slingshot Funding

Note : I have indicated to them that there is no HTTPS on member areas and was told that they are working on this. As you browse and test the website, please send them your feedback.

Website : slingshotfunding.com

How did you come up with the name Slingshot?

The name ‘Slingshot’ came about serendipitously. We were looking for something that would ‘ring a bell’ with the Guyanese at home and abroad, which meant it had to have a colloquial sound to it and spur nostalgia. After brainstorming and bouncing ideas back and forth nothing seemed to stick or sound just right. One evening as we were sharing stories of childhood days and reflecting on how youth ‘back in the day’ appreciated the outdoors way more than the youth of today, we realized that we all at some point in our childhoods owned or played around with slingshots and that was our eureka moment.

What problem is this trying to solve?

Undoubtedly, Guyanese entrepreneurs and small business owners have great ideas and concepts and promising businesses. However, most entrepreneurs lack the support they need to bring their ideas to reality.

It’s no secret that today small and aspiring entrepreneurs face many challenges, especially in developing countries, from financing opportunities to business support services and product development. While these issues are not exclusive to developing countries alone, the level of under-banked and unbanked businesses and entrepreneurs are much higher in developing countries.

Recognizing that the playing field can sometimes be imbalanced or unfair, Slingshot is founded on the principle of inclusivity and equal opportunity. At Slingshot Funding we want to link entrepreneurs with ideas to people who share the same interests and are just as passionate about idea.

In a snapshot, we want to, on the one hand, meet the changing and dynamic financing needs of entrepreneurs and small business owners in Guyana and in the wider Caribbean Community, and go beyond just financing to non-financial support and partnerships in business.

On the other hand, we want to provide economically sound business opportunities, projects and ideas to people and organizations that have interests in seeing our Caribbean communities grow, giving them an opportunity to become development partners, sponsors and ambassadors for development.

Is this for Guyanese projects only?

There is a saying that goes (paraphrase) “there are a lot of problems in the world, but if you want to solve world problems you must first start with the ones at home”. While Slingshot Funding will focus on Guyanese projects for now, we are definitely looking to expand and accept projects form entrepreneurs and organizations from the wider Caribbean and possibly even spread our winds South.

Are there other crowd sourcing platforms in the Caribbean?

As far as we are aware there is one other crowdfunding platform emanating from Jamaica – Pitch and Choose / Fund Rise Her.

Any plans to cater for persons without credit cards?

We are currently working with local telephone providers to have a payment system based on mobile money or mobile money transfers.

Why should someone choose Slingshot instead of one of the globally recognized options?

Slingshot Funding is a hybrid crowdfunding platform, which means it is designed with developing economies in mind. Unlike other crowd funding platforms that provide only the basics, that is, a platform to which anyone can upload projects, we recognized that, at least in Guyana’s context, there are youth and women with great potential and with sound entrepreneurial ideas, however they many not be in a position to bring their ideas to the forefront. Slingshot assists from the ground up – project proposal development, project designs (videos and pictures), getting the word out and even post funding business support services. Slingshot is more than just a crowdfunding platform it’s a ‘development ecosystem’ for budding entrepreneurs, community organizations and groups.

What technologies were used to build out the Slingshot platform?

Simple is always good and there was no need to ‘reinvent the wheel’. Our platform is similar to many others out there (indiegogo, kickstarter, go fund me and others), based on simple HTML coding and JavaScript. What sets us apart is how we use the technology and the added value of the services we bring to the table.

Anything else you would like to add?

We welcome all projects: green projects to film; theater; technology; art and craft; agriculture etc. It must be noted however, that in order to safeguard creators and innovators from being stuck “between a rock and a hard place”, that is, with only half or a fraction of the funding they require for a project and project supporters expecting full results, we do all or nothing funding.

Our point of view is that funders may be more likely to support a project if they are assured that they will be reimbursed or at least have the option of supporting another project if an initial project does not garner 100% funding support by a set deadline.

Q and A | Global Services Promotion Programme

Q and A | Global Services Promotion Programme

What is the Global Services Promotion Programme?

On January 27, 2014 the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, through the Ministry of Planning and Development (MPD) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) entered into a contract for the Global Services Offshoring Promotion Programme (TT-L1038).

The Programme is expected to increase exports and employment in the Information Technology enabled Services (ITeS) sector in Trinidad and Tobago, through sector-specific training and support services, investment promotion and branding and capacity building to improve the business climate and regulatory framework.

A critical element of this programme is the establishment of the Global Services Internationalization (GSI) Hub which will entail the retrofitting and outfitting of a building’s interior and exterior to include a publicly accessible co-working space comprising collaborative physical and technological Infrastructure for students, professionals and local service providers designed to foster networking, collaboration and research and development, rental spaces for exporting ITeS Sector companies, a family room, flexible training and conference facilities and sector-specific shared facilities and services.

Whose idea was it to start this in Trinidad?

The Programme was jointly developed by the Inter-American Development Bank, the Government of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago (specifically the Ministry of Planning & Development) with significant input private sector stakeholders such as the Trinidad & Tobago Coalition of Services Industries.

What are some of the tools and skills this programme will cover?

The Programme seeks to develop skills and competencies required by entrepreneurs and firms operating in the ITeS Sector. Based on our consultations with stakeholders in the sector, including those in TT AND those who have and/or are seeking to invest in TT, we are seeking to develop – by both increasing the quantity and quality – skills and competencies in the following categories:

ICT technical (and certifiable) : application development, digital media, animation, e-sports, cloud & infrastructure, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, IoT, machine learning, data science etc.

Managerial (and certifiable) : internationalization, marketing, project & risk management, business analysis, customer service etc.

Life skills (not necessarily certifiable): leadership, creativity, teamwork, team building, stress management, etc.

Is there a website?

We are currently in the process of developing our public materials including our various online presences. However, we are not waiting for this process to be completed to get moving. At this time, you can find relevant information about the Programme on the Ministry of Planning & Development website, the Ministry of Planning & Development Facebook page, and the Programme’s YouTube Channel – where you can also sneak a peek at what we’ve been up to so far. We have recorded live streams of a series of activities conducted in late November 2016 where one of our international partners, Google, has already visited TT and enagaged in workshops and hands-on activities with a selection of UWI, UTT and COSTAATT students as well as a sample of just over 30 firms and entrepreneurs in the local ITeS Sector through its “Launchpad” initiative.

How can someone sign up for this programme?

The Programme is about to issue a Call for Proposals where firms, entrepreneurs and training providers will be able to join with us to collaborate and participate in this Skills for Global Services initiative – a competitive process that is being designed encourage employer-led skills development partnerships within the ITeS Sector. To register to obtain further information, please visit globalskills.gov.tt

How are you going to measure the success of this programme?

Our success indicators are based on outputs and outcomes primarily focused on increased number of entrepreneurs & firms exporting ITeS (including new firms who have broken into new international markets), and the related quantifiable increase in the value of these exports and the contribution to the National GDP. Underlying these larger macro indicators we are measuring, among other items, the increased number of persons gainfully employed in the sector, the number of firms who we have successfully tenanted in the aforementioned GSI Hub and the number of successful graduates from the Programme’s Finishing School.