Showing posts with label SMS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SMS. Show all posts

Thursday, March 27, 2014

VOTOmobile platform Hackathon

Photo Credit: www.votomobile.org

Earlier this week, I caught up with George, who works with VOTO Mobile, and asked him a few questions on the company's hackathon happening at iSpace tomorrow.

Here's the discourse:
Me: Who are you and what do you do? (Of course I know him, but I asked for the benefit of you, my readers)
George: I am George Arthur-Sarpong, I am a Senior Software Engineer at VOTO Mobile.

Me: How long have you worked with VOTO Mobile?
George: I have been on #teamVOTO since January 2013.

Me: What exactly does VOTO Mobile do?
George: At VOTO Mobile, we look to solving solutions to communication barriers between organizations, governments and institutions and the people they serve.
Our tools, available via the VOTO platform enables organizations to engage thousands to millions of people in decision making, feedback gathering, monitoring and evaluation, general information dissemination and    mass education through a simple phone call in the language of the receiving individual.
Our hopes are that these tools amplify the 'voices' of the under heard making them important stakeholders in decision making. It in turn directs and makes organization projects and programmes much more effective by reaching the masses through channels they can easily understand and thus achieving impact.

Me:
What is the hackathon about? What  are participants expected to get out of it?
George: Our Mobile Engagement platform for voice and SMS has been developed over the past year into a robust and global platform with excitingly new features every two weeks.
Also in line with our vision for open communication and towards Social impact, we created our API to engage firstly as in the case of this weekend's hackathon, the Ghana developer community on smart and innovative tools and apps that can be built to reach masses via voice and or SMS.
Let's call it an 'out-dooring' where it's officially open to third party app developers to do wonderful things with it.
Participants would be motivated and rewarded for their efforts at the end of the 2-day event.
They would be judged and awarded in three categories
  1. Most innovative application: The one that causes us to step back and say, "Wow – never thought of that!"
  2. Strongest execution: The most complete, most polished, ready-to-use application
  3. Strongest social impact potential: An idea that thoughtfully creates impact on a local or national issue.
So yeah there is a lot of interesting and thrilling prospects for the Hackathon happening at iSpace in Osu-Accra this weekend and of course, the entire #teamVOTO is in Accra to join our Accra developer community hack with VOTO.

Me: Why is the event being held in Accra, as VOTO Mobile is a Kumasi-based firm?
George: Yeah we are based in Kumasi operating globally, and we had and still have interactions with our local developer community in Kumasi.
We chose Accra this time to also have a feel of the developer community outside Kumasi.
So yes, it's an opportunity to interact and see what's the latest also in Accra, and meet and hack with the developers you know via mail or social media in person.

Me: Okay, sounds like a fun-packed weekend. Thanks for this opportunity. (hand shake)
George: Thanks for the time. Glad I was able to do this with you.

Friday, April 27, 2012

So much for Data Management

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve not been able to get a printed copy of my pay slip as I usually do. The excuse: “We are now sending the pay slips through e-mails. The organization is going hi-tech.”

That sounded cool – or so I thought at the time.

So I waited patiently for my pay slip to be delivered via e-mail – NONE delivered! I decided to ask the finance department at the end of March. Surprisingly, I got a text message from the finance department informing me that payments have been made. I thought the e-mail will follow. It didn’t.
I asked a colleague at the office why still I haven’t got the mail. His answer, “Well, you will have to provide your e-mail address, so we send the pay slip to you.” You can imagine my surprise.

Me provide my e-mail address? Where did you people get my phone number from? Is it not from the same form with my details that I provided when was employed? Argh!

But you see I really don’t blame them. Most of our institutions rush into the use of technology without really doing their homework/research thoroughly and so end up being stuck at a point.

This problem wouldn’t be surfacing if our data are being managed effectively. I don’t even want to recount the number of times e-mail addresses have been collected form staff during meetings. What becomes of them?

We need to be up to the tasks we assign ourselves. Period!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ghanaians embrace Glo

Dr. Adenuga’s Globacom entered the Ghanaian market in a quiet fashion earlier today.
The network mostly allowed prospective customers to reserve numbers they would like to use on the network. Customers were to send an SMS of their desired number (in the format: 0233******) to the service number, 0230010100.
The reserved numbers will be available for a period of 7 days after the official launch of the network.
This move allowed customers to have a feel of Glo’s messaging system, which by the way has an impressive response time (less than a minute).
It is expected that phone calls would be made by customers on the network by a month’s time.
There’s a lot of expectations though. What services is Glo going to provide that would give them a competitive edge over existing providers? The major point of curiousity, I reckon, is the urge to experience their Internet service which is supported by their fibre optic framework.
Welcome Glo. Glo: Rule Your World.