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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. $ 320 billion. From humble beginnings ….

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internet for business
Internet for Business

Making Money on the Web

A specialized workshop for

Executives and Entrepreneurs

presented by
Presented by

Jacques Rostenne

President PERWIT International

Ottawa, Canada

Produced by

Jacques Rostenne, Jeffrey Fine and Judith Stern

from humble beginnings

$ 320 billion

From humble beginnings…

700 million users


The Internet




e retail
  • 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 procurement
  • One of the fastest areas of e-business. Companies, governments and NGO’s 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 far.
e banking
  • 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
e travel
  • 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
E-zines and E-papers
  • These started as the electronic version of regular magazines, some now only exist on the net.
    • cheap to produce
    • cost nothing to distribute
    • can publish on a moment’s notice
    • carry advertisements
    • can target ads to specific on line reader (cookies)
  • There are real opportunities here to create strong local “Portal” sites
e radios tvs
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
e gambling
  • 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, ...
e auctions
  • 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
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 net?
    • 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 them
1 the overseas na eu consumer market
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
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
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
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
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 minds
    • Tourists can reserve on-line
    • Visitors can pre-pay or leave a deposit, or a guarantee
any local success stories
Any local success stories?
  • Some basic sites
  • No (known to us) examples of full use of capabilities
2 the diaspora market
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
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
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
Anybody doing it successfully?
  • In a very limited way
  • We will be supporting two home to diaspora portals.
  • 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
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
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
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
e transcription manuscripts
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 less
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 control
  • Must partner with an established local company which will interface with local clients
  • Quality and consistency are paramount
e editing
  • 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
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
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 less
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
e translation
  • 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 “Termium”)
  • Must partner with an established local company which will interface with local clients
  • Quality , speed and consistency are paramount
e accounting
  • 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 price
lets take the accounting example
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
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
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, conscientious
  • Basic mathematical skills
  • Accounting software experience
    • -e.g. Quickbooks Pro V 6.0
the facilities and hardware
The facilities and hardware
  • Reasonably secure facilities (data confidentiality)
  • 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 model)
  • Phone and fax connection
  • Desk, chairs etc.
the software
The software
  • Basic internet package (browser, FTP, e-mail, ICQ, Internet Telephony)
  • Specialized Accounting software ( depending on client)
  • MS Office or similar
the connectivity
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
Performance criteria
  • Accuracy
  • Consistency
  • Professionalism
  • Confidentiality /security
  • Good work organization
  • Fast turn around
  • Cost
volume of business
Volume of business
  • Can start small
  • Tremendous room for growth
  • May lead to more upscale work
4 online teleservices
4-Online Teleservices
  • Basically VOIP call centres
  • Brand new opportunity
  • We will support two/three VOIP call centre pilot projects
  • The technology is so new that African VOIP call centres are going to be among the first in the world
online teleservices the future
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
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
Outgoing call centers
  • They originate the calls:
    • Market research
    • Opinion polling
    • Telemarketing
    • Donation solicitation (Red Cross, ...)
    • etc.
incoming call centers
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
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
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 availability)
    • VOIP calls do not incur long distance costs
  • Disadvantages:
    • Sound quality is still not as good
voip voice buttons
VOIP voice buttons
  • They are the next (explosive) growth VOIP service
  • Click on the screen and TALK to (and see) a real person
  • VOIP, VIDEOIP, Assisted browsing,..
  • You can think of them as VOIP “distributed” call centers
    • Ask questions
    • Bargain
    • Get assistance
    • E-law
    • E-medicine
    • etc.
making a call using a voice button
Making a call using a voice button

voip call centres the jackpot
VOIP call centres, the jackpot
  • Could compete with current phone based call centres
  • 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
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
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
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 websites
  • Governments need to understand how to create an e-commerce friendly environment
  • Perwit provides training, mentoring and consulting
question period
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 Portuguese