IT: Even the unlettered will be able to access information for business transactions.
In an effort to take technology to the grassroot level, IT major IBM India Private Limited is now working on a talking website at its India Research Laboratory. This will ensure that even the unlettered can create a website and access information from others for business transactions.
The India centre is leading the global project that is being carried out in all the eight IBM research centres. Disclosing the details to Business Standard, IBM India Research Laboratory Director Guruduth Banavar said pilots of the project have been completed and were in the final stages.
The highlight is that it will be a spoken website. An individual can call up the registry (agency) to create a site for him. There will be a list of services and products available, the price and time frame set for him. The clients will call up the same registry to perform a 'search'. Instead of keying it on a computer, they will spell out the requirements.
The registry will throw up choices that are closest to the search criterion.
Banavar said several such registries will be created for locale and product-specific talking websites. "This project is scalable and can be used across sectors,'' he said, adding that the booming mobile revolution in India was the basis for this mobile-web initiative.
This also transcends language barriers. The idea is to reach out to a large section of the population and this will eventually be part of the IBM business units.
IBM, which has a foothold in the service sector through a skill enhancement programme, is now tying up with various institutions to train people for the service sector. "Several people coming in the service industry are trained in one domain area and seek employment in another. Retraining is time-consuming and costly," he said.
The company is also interacting with its partners to explain the specific skills that are required in the service sector. These institutes will design certificate and degree courses that span from one month to two years, varying with the structure and rigour. It has academic tie-ups with around 150 institutions across the continents.
SP Jain Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai, XIBM in Bhubaneswar, Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi, National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, and ISB, Hyderabad, among others, are incorporating the "service science" concepts into their curriculum. IBM ll be the consultant on this matter.
"We want young graduates joining the service sector to know their roles and expectations,'' he said.