Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Public and private initiatives building greater infrastructure

Public and private initiatives building greater infrastructure

During the past year, many initiatives have been made to encourage the local ICT industry in different fields to build infrastructure.

Published on December 25, 2007

Regional software park alliance

Software park operators in 17 countries from the Asia and Oceania region created the first ever alliance to pool resources among the country members.

The alliance, which was formed in Bangkok during the Regional Software Park Forum 2007 in September, will help software businesses expand to international markets through assistance from software-park operators in each country.

Information related to software technology and businesses among members will be shared to encourage each member's local software business and this is an important step for the members' expansion to regional markets.

In the alliance, software parks in each country will assist software companies from other countries to expand, penetrate markets, find local partners, assist in setting up companies or with business matching.

This partnership will offer more opportunities for Thai software companies to penetrate the Asia and Oceania market.

IASA Thailand Chapter

The IASA Thailand Chapter was established by the Office of Computer Clustering Promotion to train people in the Thai software industry to become software architects.

Realising that having software programmers alone is not enough, the chapter plans to promote the shift from programmers to architects of whole software systems.

The chapter hopes to promote 1 per cent of the people in the software industry, which has around 40,000 to 50,000 persons, to software architects.

Set up as a part of the International Association of Software Architects (IASA), a worldwide organisation to oversee the improvement of the quality of the software architecture industry, the Thailand chapter will also utilise IASA's resources and guidelines for local development while creating worldwide networking with 50 other IASA country members for the development of the software architect profession.

The formation of IASA Thailand Chapter will make the local software industry stronger and take local software development to the next level of system design, a key area to increase competitive advantages in the software development area.

Local software for export

A group of local software companies established Thai Software Export Promotion Association to strengthen the export market for Thai software and to have it recognised in the international market.

The objectives of the group are to prepare global businesses for Thai software and to encourage the local software industry to train more people in terms of quality and quantity. The association's strategy is to select software which is in niche areas, has solid target groups and involves innovations.

Initially, the areas of focus are enterprise software such as that used in workflow, call centre and financial management areas. The early markets are in Southeast Asia and then it could expand to China, the Middle East and Europe.

This is expected to increase the strength of Thai software in terms of both product and marketing quality. The association also plans to help the whole software industry develop more software staff to have both technical and business competence.

Thai game software

There was another attempt to lift local mobile game software to international standards through the setting up of the Thai Game Software Industry Association.

The association is to encourage the growth of the local game industry, especially with standardisation of game software developments among Thai game software companies. The association not only sets standards but also gives certification to local game products.

Creating standards for local mobile game development, training developers, finding sources of funding and creating an international market will be the focus.

The association also hopes to collaborate with universities and government organisations to train game developers.

The industry has around 300 developers but to make Thailand a game-software development destination requires 5,000 developers.

Open-source software

With support from the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec), 25 open-source software companies formed the Open Source Software Network (OSSN) to encourage open-source software in Thailand.

The network plans to focus on open-source software research and development, creation of awareness, policy development and building markets. As an initiator and a facilitator, Nectec provides feed money to the network.

Its goal is to increase the number of open-source software users by 500 per cent. Open-source users now account for only 0.01 per cent of software users in the country.

It also plans to increase the number of open-source software firms from 10 to 50 in the next three years and then 100 in the next five years.

OSSN is planning to set up the country's first Linux Technology Centre next year to push local software developers to develop original open-source applications.

It is to train people in the area and eventually encourage them to develop products based on open-source software under Thai brands.

Grid computing facilities

Grid computing has seen much activity throughout the year, from the mid-year launch of facilities, followed by several international grid-computing conferences in Thailand hosted by TNGC such as Thai Grid Computing Conference 2007 and Workshop on Trends, Technologies and Collaborative Opportunities in High Performance and Grid Computing.

Several research and development applications are using TNGC's facility including In-Silico Mutagenesis of H5N1 Hemagglutinin, Gene Mapping Study for Severity Expression in Thalasssemia Patients, Simulation of the Switched Reluctance, Virtual Research Centre, Drug Discovery Grid, Bio Grid and Animation Grid projects.

The Nation

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