Wednesday, September 29, 2004

PASHA: ICT Awards on Saturday

On Saturday, Pakistan Software Houses Association, the trade body representing ICT companies in Pakistan, is celebrating its first ever awards ceremony.

Nearly 14 awards are being presented to various software houses for their products. See the website for details on nomination. 300 people are expected at the ceremony taking place in Karachi. One of the more interesting cateogries is a prize for student projects and I'm hoping publicity by the media will help both PASHA and educational institutes and varsities to pursue this more actively next year. All details courtesy Jehan Ara, president PASHA. Will bring you up to speed with how the colorful ceremony turned out. If you know students who are interested in volunteering at the event [they are needed on Friday and Saturday], then email me [zd at spider dot tm]. Both the Minister IT and Black Fish are expected to show up ;~)

The only national IT awards Pakistan has seen so far have come from NCR. For the past four years, NCR has celebrated the IT industry's various assortments and achievements including a variety of categories. The process is self-nomination, followed by an evaluation by an NCR selected panel.


Anonymous said...

If you want to connect to educational institutions here you should request your message to be forwarded to their respective alumni forums. Most all universities have them these days and if you know people from different universities, they should be able to get your message across to their groups. That would be the quickest and most far-reaching method.

"Black Fish".........???

Anonymous said...

Send a press release or a notice to the universities to get the volunteer recruits. But please explain the point of having these awards and in what way is it making any difference to the lazy ventures of our IT industry? Is it really supplementing the 'IT boom' in our country? Also how many companies in pk have actually excelled in IT, or competed with the products from their rivals in the nieghboring countries and those in the far east?

Zunaira said...

That we frequently get asked what companies are actually doing any work in Pakistan as far as software development is concerned--such excercises help pin point names in the industry.

The question is of credibility. Who should award whom? I've mentioned how NCR evaluate. PASHA elected a panel of renowned judges from the industry [including country managers of blue chip companies] to rate products developed locally. I've outlined it rather simplistically.

No doubt, there's room to discuss how and what should be done to acknowledge good work. What are your thoughts?

Black Fish is a stand-up comic act based in Karachi.

Anonymous said...

If it is credibility that they're concerned with, they're barking up the wrong tree. The people who should really be considered in the success of what we produce are the customers who use these solutions whether they are in Pakistan or USA or the EU. It doesn't make a difference how many brass-studded bigwigs, execs and technocrats line up to stamp their seals of approval on this stuff. It is who uses it who is the true judge of how "successful" a piece of software is. Especially if we are targeting a consumer market, it is the consumer ratings that count. Instead of getting a bunch of brass-assed judges lined up to eye this like the Miss America pageant, the responsible panel should be asking for statistics, testimonials, sales metrics and other relevant stuff to be submitted and evaluated so they know how much weight the entries really carry and where these companies really stand. The need of the hour is that we need awards that are more quantitive in nature and less qualitative based on the opinions of a few privileged people. If they don't do this, all these "awards" will be doing is stroking some egos but not really contributing anything to the country's IT industry.

Anonymous said...

lol...I totally agree with you . Such awards don't make much of a difference.

Usman Shahzada said...

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Zunaira said...

If the business of statistics would get as sophisticated as some of us would like them to be, then products out of Pakistan would get the attention they deserve. No one discloses 'figures'. However, I agree, sales and QA should drive award delegation. PASHA and PSEB need to print industry reviews carrying proper stats on their companies. Only then will such processes become transparent.

Having said that, this IT award event was the need of the hour. We need to see our companies in the spotlight and this is one way to know a handful of them.

Anonymous said...

You hide statistics or references when there's either nothing to show or there's something that you don't want to show. Have you ever heard of Microsoft being bashful about trumpeting how many copies of Windows it has sold? Or Oracle about how many companies use its DBMS? The entire concept of NOT collecting statistics and metrics is a self-defeating notion. Nothing speaks louder than numbers. Maybe we don't collect numbers because we don't have any worth showing?

As for the need of the hour, that's all peachy. But sooner or later we're going to have to start highlighting what we bring to the table rather than patting ourselves on the back and feeling high. On the global platform, no one really cares about who we are, but only what we have to offer to them will get us somewhere.

Anonymous said...

To quote a line from a song:"Show me the money!". I totally agree that the reason the figures weren't released is most probably because we don't have any thing to show. And worse, If we do tell the world the figures there would be many red faced individuals in the audience at the awards.

Anonymous II

Zunaira said...

Having national awards for IT is peachy? Nope! The criteria is debatable yes.

Entries are judged by a panel everywhere in the world, be it the Oscars or the Webbys. Who do you think is ranking those? I've emphasized the need for declaring revenues, stats, etc in Spider but awards the IT sector needs. I didn't come across any new names as winners with the exception of a student from KIIT and I see this as a competitive excercise. No doubt, the process needs more than mere fine-tuning.

Anonymous said...

Actually in the case of the Oscars that's almost 6,000 judges and the administration of the balloting process is managed by PricewaterhouseCoopers...

Keep up the good work. :-)

Zunaira said...

Merci! :~)

Judges count at NCR last year was over 30 and balloting was managed by AF Ferguson's local affiliate.

Human beings--not machines--evaluate and score the entries in both cases.

Anonymous said...

Vous etes bienvenu.

I'm sure all you influential, journalist types that mold the opinions of the masses will do all you can to take us towards enlightenment. ;-)

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