[Skunkworks] [kictanet] Day 3 of 6 (Wednesday) :-Innovators, Innovations & Suppliers

Walubengo J jwalu at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 8 16:14:22 EAT 2017


@Kieti,
Am with you on this.  Indeed many have said Bitcoin (crytpo-currency) will kill MPESA.  Whereas that maybe true or not, I think Safcom has to think beyond Bitcoin and harness the underlying Blockchain technology.  
So the question would be whether or not Safaricom has a Blockchain Strategy that innovators can then begin to play around with.  I think that would be a game-changer as opposed to trying to block the inevitable reality of crypto-currencies.
walu.

      From: John Kieti <jkieti at gmail.com>
 To: Walubengo J <jwalu at yahoo.com>; KICTAnet ICT Policy Discussions <kictanet at lists.kictanet.or.ke> 
Cc: "skunkworks at lists.my.co.ke" <skunkworks at lists.my.co.ke>
 Sent: Wednesday, February 8, 2017 2:58 PM
 Subject: Re: [kictanet] Day 3 of 6 (Wednesday) :-Innovators, Innovations & Suppliers
   
Good afternoon,
My take on Safaricom and the innovation ecosystem / community is that although they have evolved slowly, Safaricom has contributed significantly and positively to our collective innovativeness as an economy. That we have moved beyond demanding an API for Mpesa and now we are talking about the API's openness is progress. That Safaricom's Spark Fund has invested in Sendy and other startups is laudable. That Safaricom entered useful partnerships with for likes of iCow, EnezaEducation, and Craft Silicon (Little Cabs), Mledger (acquisition) and many other startups must not be downplayed. That Safaricom gave free bandwidth to iHub for several years  and sponsored activities at iLabAfrica is laudable.
That said, I would wish Safaricom embraced open innovation and co-entrepreneurship more. For instance it was quite short sighted the way Safaricom flexed its muscle on Kipochi / Kopokopo, and BitPesa / Lipisha Consortium with regard to the BitCoin gateway for M-Pesa top ups and withdrawals. If I were them, I would embrace these startups and others building on block chain technology to further disrupt the Financial Services sector. It does not make sense for Safaricom / Mpesa to embrace the plastic card technology side of FinTech as they are doing with the M-Pesa card while frustrating the block-chain side.
By and large let us give credit where its due. Safaricom has truly pushed the limits of innovation to increase value for its shareholders who include our Government. They just need to do more to figure out an ecosystem / collaborative approach to innovation. If they do that, we shall collectively and successfully attack the global marketplace for gains to our national economy.
Just my 20 cents. 

On Wed, Feb 8, 2017 at 1:54 PM, Walubengo J via kictanet <kictanet at lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:

@Ahmed,
Do you mind clarifying a few things.  
I take it that you agree that Safcoms APIs are not too open.  Particularly the payment solution.  I presume that would be the MPESA platform which seems limited or restricted to some chosen few developers. 
Further you say that solutions built around the MPESA  APIs are not scaleable to other domains and you seem to suggest a better option out of this.
What would this option be?
Are you suggesting that rather than trying to plug into MPESA through APIs, MPESA should be released and sold as a module that developers can plug into just about anything they need to  - and pay royalties to Safcom on per use basis? 
walu.

      From: Ahmed Mohamed Maawy <ultimateprogramer at gmail.com>
 To: Walubengo J <jwalu at yahoo.com>; KICTAnet ICT Policy Discussions <kictanet at lists.kictanet.or.ke > 
Cc: "skunkworks at lists.my.co.ke" <skunkworks at lists.my.co.ke>
 Sent: Wednesday, February 8, 2017 12:29 PM
 Subject: Re: [kictanet] Day 3 of 6 (Wednesday) :-Innovators, Innovations & Suppliers
   
I will ask 2 questions as a Solutions Architect myself:
   
   - As a solutions developer, Safaricom does not provide its platform openly to allow 3rd party integration as does other service providers. And even if some lucky 3rd party do it, the flexibility to implement the solution to meet a diverse set of needs is quite limiting. Somehow makes a lot of us feel as if the payment solution is a "premium access" product available to specific players. The Safaricom API is not a convenient way out of it. Bootsrapping a solution around the API itself requires dedicated develper(s). For instance, stripe payments makes payment gateway integration part of the process not a separate development process.   

   - Where is the guarantee (legally binding) also that I can deploy freely a solution based on your payment platform without it being replicated?   


On Wed, Feb 8, 2017 at 12:20 PM, Walubengo J via kictanet <kictanet at lists.kictanet.or.ke > wrote:

Good point @ Mildred,
What role can Safcom play in promoting our own version of 'Nollywood'?  
During Ndemo days, there was talk of 'Riverwood' productions from River Road, Nairobi. Looks like they died a silent death?
walu.

      From: Mildred Achoch <mildandred at gmail.com>
 To: Walubengo J <jwalu at yahoo.com>; KICTAnet ICT Policy Discussions <kictanet at lists.kictanet.or.ke > 
Cc: "skunkworks at lists.my.co.ke" <skunkworks at lists.my.co.ke>
 Sent: Wednesday, February 8, 2017 9:32 AM
 Subject: Re: [kictanet] Day 3 of 6 (Wednesday) :-Innovators, Innovations & Suppliers
  
Good morning everyone,

Thank you to the KICTANET moderators and Safaricom for this opportunity to engage.

First, I would like to echo Grace B's sentiments. Thank you Safaricom for being in almost every part of Kenya. It goes a long way in assuring me that you guys will be around for a long time. Secondly, kudos for being one of the first companies in Kenya to embrace the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the goals)

Regarding the fact that you are in almost every part of Kenya, my question is: is there a way you can partner with Kenyan filmmakers to promote Kenyan films and series/web series? Especially the work of independent and upcoming filmmakers who usually don't have the connections or resources to plug into the existing broadcasting/screening channels. I applaud innovative initiatives such as Skiza tunes and Blaze. These say to me that similar initiatives can be implemented to promote Kenyan filmmakers. Media convergence is already here with us; as a market leader, Safaricom should be at the forefront of innovative initiatives related to this.

Regards,
Mildred Achoch.

Check out the Rock 'n' roll film festival, Kenya TV Channel! 
http:// kenyarockfilmfestivaljournal. blogspot.com



On Wed, Feb 8, 2017 at 8:11 AM, Walubengo J via kictanet <kictanet at lists.kictanet.or.ke > wrote:

Morning Listers,
As usual, feel free to do belated questions for Safaricom on previous thematic areas.  However, today we want to move onto Day 3 Theme - Innovators, Innovations & Suppliers.    I have copied in the innovators on Skunkworks and hope to hear their views as well.
So straight into the theme:
Safaricom has been quite innovative andkeeps coming up with new ways of doing things. As an innovator/developer/supplier, please tell us your experiences with regard to Safaricom Innovation as well as theirprocurement ecosystem. a) Is their development platform and applicationprogrammable interface (API) sufficiently open?b) Are the issues to do withIntellectual property /Patents/Procurement clear and adequate?c) Whereas the gain-sharing agreementsare private and confidential, how can they be made better?d) What is Safcom take onBitcoin/Blockchain technologies?
Lets hear your views, experiences and proposals.
We have only one day on this.
walu.----List of Themes---1. Consumer Issues Day, 2. Competition Issues Day, 3. Innovators, Innovations &Suppliers Day, 4. Infrastructure & Universal AccessDay, 5. Technology & Elections Day 

 
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Blog: gmeltdown.com // LinkedIn: https://ke.linkedin.com/in/kieti
The ordinary just won't do

   
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