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Internet for Business


Worldwide E-retail was about US$ 8 billion in 1998. Expected to be US$ 320 ... Travel (deals on tickets, events ) Banking ( fund transfers, savings, etc. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Internet for Business

Internet for Business
  • Making Money on the Web
  • A specialized workshop for
  • Executives and Entrepreneurs

Presented by
Jacques Rostenne President PERWIT
International Ottawa, Canada Produced by Jacques
Rostenne, Jeffrey Fine and Judith Stern
From humble beginnings
320 billion
700 million users
The Internet
What kind of businesses run on the net?
  • Worldwide E-retail was about US 8 billion in
    1998. Expected to be US 320 billion by 2002
  • Dell
  • Apple
  • Keys to E-retail Exposure , credibility, on-line
    transaction and next day delivery

E-retail- Buying books
  • One of the fastest areas of e-business.
    Companies, governments and NGOs post their
    requirements on the net and suppliers provide
    quotes by e-mail
  • Big companies such as Ford, GM and others are
    finding this a real cost saver.
  • Some attempts in Africa, no rousing success so

Business to business
  • Highly dependent on individual access to phone
    and Internet requires volume and significant
    average transactions.
  • There may be an opportunity to service the
    Diaspora and the local expat markets
  • Check your account balance
  • Pay bills
  • Transfer funds
  • Get a loan
  • Get a mortgage

Getting a loan on-line
  • Several hotels and safaris are already on-line,
    but the Net can do much more
  • Check routing and schedules
  • Make reservations
  • Purchase a ticket (virtual or otherwise)
  • Pay on line
  • Check your frequent flier points
  • Take advantage of last minute offers
  • Buy tickets at virtual auctions

E-zines and E-papers
  • These started as the electronic version of
    regular magazines, some now only exist on the
  • cheap to produce
  • cost nothing to distribute
  • can publish on a moments notice
  • carry advertisements
  • can target ads to specific on line reader
  • There are real opportunities here to create
    strong local Portal sites

E-zines and E-papers - some links
E-radios TVs
  • Also started as regular radio and TV station
    relayed through the net
  • time shift
  • different audiences
  • different content
  • different advertisers
  • More and more they are specific to the Net (even
    if they use material from the other)
  • There are opportunities here to create local
    Portal sites
  • Bandwidth may be a problem

The new portals
  • Also known as E-fleecing. You deposit a sum of
    money (via credit card) into the account of a
    Caribbean based casino. Then you bet on casino
    type games such as black jack, roulette, etc.
    Since you cannot see the actual dealer or
    roulette (there is none), and since the computer
    can generate results separately for each sucker,

There is one born every minute!
  • There are several types
  • a product is offered to the highest bidder, or
  • reverse auction you state how much you are
    willing to pay ( for example for an air ticket)
    and airlines make you offers.
  • E-auctions are a combination of E-retail commerce
    and entertainment.

What can we do, right now, right here in Africa!
  • Where is the market?
  • Where is the money ?
  • Where is the willingness to purchase from the
  • Who has the tools to purchase on-line?
  • The local market is not attractive!
  • Lets focus on export!
  • There are four basic export markets, lets look at

1-The overseas (NA/EU) consumer market!
  • Do you have the products? the services?
  • Can you get them there?
  • (Or bring the consumer here Tourism)
  • Are you competitive?

If you have an export product for the general
consumer market
  • What can the Web do for you?
  • It can create awareness (Banners, E-zines,
    E-publications, etc.)
  • It can connect you with interested people (search
    engines, e-mail, etc.)
  • It can provide a wealth of information to
    prospective buyers (websites)

  • It can help prospective clients compare your
    products with competitors (website links)
  • Clients can order on-line
  • Clients can pay on-line (by credit card)
  • You still have to ship and deliver.

If you have a service for the consumer market
  • You can deliver it on the net
  • You can do it all on the net!
  • But, getting exposure and acceptance is not easy.
  • You will need
  • A lot of specific business knowledge
  • A lot of web design and web management expertise
  • A lot of connectivity and bandwidth , and
  • Probably a fair amount of start up capital

Is anybody doing it successfully ?
  • Not too many
  • Some coop ventures are trying.
  • Some are doing it smartly
  • Unless you have a very special product or service
    (such as tourism) and you already have a strong
    market overseas, we do not recommend it!

Tourism is different
  • We bring the consumer to the product
  • What can the Web do for your tourism business?
  • It can create awareness (Banners, E-zines,
    E-publications, etc.)
  • It can connect you with interested people (search
    engines, etc.)
  • It can provide information to prospective
    visitors (websites)
  • It can show and promote your facilities (Webcam,
    video, sound)
  • It can help prospective visitors make-up their
  • Tourists can reserve on-line
  • Visitors can pre-pay or leave a deposit, or a

Any local success stories?
  • Some basic sites
  • No (known to us) examples of full use of

2-The Diaspora market
  • There are actually three ways to look at it
  • Home to diaspora
  • Diaspora to diaspora
  • Diaspora to home
  • What can you offer them (goods, services)?
  • Can you get it there?
  • Can they afford it?

The diaspora, a receptive market
  • Diaspora client are more tolerant
  • Willing to pay a bit more,
  • Willing to wait longer
  • Willing to accept less than perfection
  • They are overseas consumers, but better.

Do you have something for the Diaspora?
  • News Information (newspapers, radio, TV )
  • Food, other specialty items
  • Travel (deals on tickets, events )
  • Banking ( fund transfers, savings, etc.)
  • Real estate ( investments)
  • Legal and professional services ( accounting)
    groups , e.g. overseas students overseas
    professionals, etc.

  • Traditional medicine
  • Matchmaking
  • Advertising for overseas businesses also focused
    on Diaspora markets
  • London , Washington, etc.
  • Specialized discussion groups , e.g. overseas
    students overseas professionals, etc.

Anybody doing it successfully?
  • In a very limited way
  • We will be supporting two home to diaspora
  • Almost nothing in the diaspora to diaspora or
    diaspora to home country area (all of which can
    actually be run from home)

3-The offline Teleservices market
  • The overseas market for business to business
    offline Teleservices
  • If you have the specific service expertise
  • Africa has definite competitive advantages
  • You can get it there
  • They can pay
  • They are willing to buy
  • Can you deliver on time, on specs, all the time?

What role does the Net play?
  • In offline teleservices, the net is only used to
    communicate and send text back and forth.
  • You need to be online only infrequently
  • You need little bandwidth
  • No expensive equipment, no fancy offices
  • A lot of the staff can work at home
  • Its business to business, payment is by
    traditional means

Is anybody making money at it?
  • Yes, but not from Sub Saharan Africa (or at least
    not yet!)
  • We will be supporting a variety of Teleservices
  • Digital mapping
  • Accounting data entry
  • Business Safaris services

Some examples of African based Teleservices
E-Transcription (manuscripts)
  • Company A
  • Receive (scanned) manuscripts over the net
  • Split it into sections
  • Parallel imputing (redundant entry)
  • Full formatting
  • Electronic document returned within 24 hours or

  • Rates vary, US 1.00 to US 3.00 per page
  • One experienced operator can do up to six pages
    per hour
  • May require full redundant entry and quality
  • Must partner with an established local company
    which will interface with local clients
  • Quality and consistency are paramount

  • African group of legal professionals trained in
    the French (Napoleonic) legal system.
  • Receive daily, via net (scanned ) judgements
    issued by the Quebec courts ( in French)
  • Documents are summarized for publication
  • Overnight service
  • No details on rates (said to be excellent)
  • Need a formal contract with a local provider of
    such services
  • Need professional training and expertise

E-architectural support services
  • Company B receives electronic cad-cam files from
    Europe over the net
  • The European architects do the design, the West
    Africans do the detail work
  • Employs draftsmen and architects
  • Need powerful computers and software
  • Need training and experience
  • Multiple shift work
  • Well paid

E-Transcription (audio/video files)
  • Tests with African company
  • Receive audio tapes over the net
  • Split into sections
  • Parallel inputing (redundant entry)
  • Full formatting
  • Electronic document returned within 24 hours or

  • 1hour tape /- 5 to 6 typed pages
  • US going rate is US 60 to 100 per hour!
  • Must partner with an established local company
    which will interface with local clients
  • Quality and consistency are paramount

  • African companies and Perwit itself
  • Receive (scanned)documents over the net
  • Split it into sections
  • Quality control, revisions,
  • Full formatting
  • Depending on size of document, electronic
    document returned within 24 hours or less.

  • English to French per word rate is
    approximately US 10 to 15 cents.
  • Experienced translator can do 300 to 400 words
    per hour (especially using new softwares such as
    Dragon Dictate or Via voice and specialized
  • Must partner with an established local company
    which will interface with local clients
  • Quality , speed and consistency are paramount

  • New opportunity
  • Accounting data entry and statement preparation
  • Receive (scanned) documents over the net
  • Post to ledger, prepare statements
  • New market
  • Requires experienced operators
  • Speed, consistency, productivity, quality and

Lets take the accounting example
  • The work to be done
  • The people to do it
  • The facilities and hardware
  • The software
  • The connectivity
  • Performance criteria
  • Volume of business
  • Twinning
  • Mentoring

The work to be done
  • Read, interpret (all entries pre-coded)
  • Cheque stubs
  • Deposit books
  • Sales invoices (accounts receivables)
  • Bank statements
  • Supplier invoices (accounts payable)
  • Payroll data sheets

The people to do it
  • Able to read and write English
  • Introductory level Accounting training/experience
  • Computer skills - data entry proficiency
  • Basic personal skills - accuracy, organized,
  • Basic mathematical skills
  • Accounting software experience
  • -e.g. Quickbooks Pro V 6.0

The facilities and hardware
  • Reasonably secure facilities (data
  • Secure, surge protected power source
  • A good Internet server
  • A good back-up system
  • A good local Ethernet LAN
  • Pentium computers ( but not necessarily last
  • Phone and fax connection
  • Desk, chairs etc.

The software
  • Basic internet package (browser, FTP, e-mail,
    ICQ, Internet Telephony)
  • Specialized Accounting software ( depending on
  • MS Office or similar

The connectivity
  • Good, reliable, but
  • No need for high bandwidth Internet connection
  • No need to be online all the time.
  • Preferably, some redundancy

Performance criteria
  • Accuracy
  • Consistency
  • Professionalism
  • Confidentiality /security
  • Good work organization
  • Fast turn around
  • Cost

Volume of business
  • Can start small
  • Tremendous room for growth
  • May lead to more upscale work

4-Online Teleservices
  • Basically VOIP call centres
  • Brand new opportunity
  • We will support two/three VOIP call centre pilot
  • The technology is so new that African VOIP call
    centres are going to be among the first in the

Online Teleservices - the future
  • Live, interactive, on-line services provided over
    the net
  • Chat, e-mail, or more likely voice, video and
    assisted browsing
  • E-interpretation (as opposed to translation)
  • Telemedicine
  • Net based interactive education
  • VOIP business to business call centers
  • VOIP business to consumer voice buttons

What is a call center?
  • People prefer to talk to people !
  • Call centers are specialized facilities where
    phone operators use CIT to facilitate
    communications with the public
  • Dublin is the call center capital of the World
    (/- 130,000 operators)

  • Call centers are generally located in low cost
    communities with good phone facilities
  • e.g. Moncton, New Brunswick Pop, 100,000 0
    call centers, 7,000 operators
  • There are two basic types of call centers
  • Incoming call centers, and
  • Outgoing call centers.

Outgoing call centers
  • They originate the calls
  • Market research
  • Opinion polling
  • Telemarketing
  • Donation solicitation (Red Cross, ...)
  • etc.

Incoming call centers
  • The vast majority of all call centers receive
    incoming calls for
  • Reservation services (hotels, airlines, ...)
  • On line ordering (catalogue purchases, ...)
  • Technical support services (software companies,
  • Customer services (insurance companies,
    governments, ...)
  • Online transactions (banking, brokerage, ...)

How do telephone based call centers work?
  • Traditional call centers use WATTS line which may
    cover a single region, a country or a continent.
  • Traditional call centers MUST be located in the
    geographical area they serve (or have a special
    dedicated set of lines)
  • Traditional call centers use CIT (computer
    integrated telephony)

VOIP call centers, What is the difference?
  • Net based call centers do the same thing, but
    they use Internet telephony to do it
  • Advantages
  • Can be located anywhere in the world
  • Can take advantage of lower labor costs (and
  • VOIP calls do not incur long distance costs
  • Disadvantages
  • Sound quality is still not as good

VOIP voice buttons
  • They are the next (explosive) growth VOIP service
  • Click on the screen and TALK to (and see) a real
  • VOIP, VIDEOIP, Assisted browsing,..
  • You can think of them as VOIP distributed call
  • Ask questions
  • Bargain
  • Get assistance
  • E-law
  • E-medicine
  • etc.

Making a call using a voice button
Live online interaction
VOIP call centres, the jackpot
  • Could compete with current phone based call
  • Uniquely positioned to serve the needs of
    Websites with voice buttons
  • Phone based call centres currently employ
    hundreds of thousand individuals of all types and
    all levels of skills.

What does it take?
  • Enabling legislation
  • Direct access to the backbone via VSAT or similar
  • Significant investment in specialized equipment
  • Technical expertise
  • Training
  • A lot of mentoring, twining , and especially
  • NA or EU partnering

How is Perwit involved with e-commerce in Africa?
  • We are just starting an infoDev/IDRC sponsored
    program aimed at providing
  • Mentoring
  • Twining, and
  • Partnering
  • For 12 e-commerce private sector pilot ventures
    in Tanzania and Uganda

E-commerce is a knowledge based business
  • African entrepreneurs need to become much more
    familiar with the Internet as a business tool
  • African ISPs and Internet professionals need to
    be able to support sophisticated e-business
  • Governments need to understand how to create an
    e-commerce friendly environment
  • Perwit provides training, mentoring and consulting

Question period
  • For more information about
  • the infoDev/IDRC e-commerce support program
  • Our e-commerce training and support services
  • Our e-commerce competitiveness policy advice
  • Check out our website
  • Contact me at

Our services are available in English, French and
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