Dec 18 - 24, 2000
Microsoft's .NET Vision and CodeBase Technologies'
Microsoft, the world's leading software solutions
provider, introduced the concept of .NET, to the IT heads of the
leading local and foreign banks, at a seminar titled "Banking on
the Microsoft Platform", held in Karachi, recently.
The speakers at the seminar explained Microsoft's
solutions framework for financial institutions, and how the new
concept of .NET can revolutionise banking, and the benefits to be
gained from it, such as lower transaction costs, reduced processing
time, expanded customer service portfolios and more profitable
Following Microsoft's presentation, CodeBase
Technologies, a local financial services software development house,
and Sysnet, a Microsoft Certified Solutions Provider (MCSP),
enlightened the audience with live case studies of some local banks
that had actually used and benefited from e-banking initiatives.
Officials from Soneri Bank and Bank Al-Falah also
made presentations on their IT experiences. In fact, the latter has
standardized on Microsoft's technology, and is using banking
applications developed by CodeBase Technologies.
Dilating upon Microsoft's e-banking initiatives,
Jawwad Rehman, Business Development Manager, Microsoft Pakistan said,
"Automation attempts in the banking industry in the past created
tangled computing environments that actually hindered the creation of
customer-focused organizations, but deploying e-banking initiatives
based on the Microsoft platform really simplifies the customer-bank
relationship and has opened up a whole new vista of opportunities for
Commenting further on the advantages of e-banking,
Nauman Ahmad, Business Solutions Specialist, Microsoft Gulf and
Eastern Mediterranean said, "The Microsoft e-banking platform is
a revolutionary development that will make the paper mountains and
time-consuming processes of back office operations in banks, a relic
of the past".
While answering queries related to his company's
banking software, Mr. Rizwan Warsi, Managing Director, CodeBase
Technologies said, ".Net has opened up a whole new world for all
businesses, especially banking, and we at CodeBase Technologies are
working hand in hand with Microsoft, both locally and regionally, to
develop top-of-the-line software for the Pakistani banking
Christmas Begins at Sheraton
The newly revamped, upscale Gourmet Shop at the
Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers is now presenting the delightful
Christmas goodies that everyone had been anxiously waiting for. During
this special season, the Gourmet Shop is all set to offer every thing
you need to complete your Christmas preparations.
Made with the finest ingredients, the wide
selection that's available during this festive season include Ginder
Bread & Chocolate Santa Claus, Christmas Stollen, Pudding and
Cakes, Chocolate Bells & Boots, Maraschino Fruit Ring, Yule
Christmas Log, Scottish Black Buns, Italian Panetone and much more.
Apart from this amazing variety of delectable Christmas goodies, a
variety of Eid cakes as well as original creations from the Sheraton
kitchen are also available for taking.
I.T. Seminar at IBA Sukkur
The IBA Sukkur has recently shifted to new Academic
Building at Airport Road Sukkur on 1st November 2000 and before
shifting business education in BBA (Hon) & MBA Programs were
continued at Public School Building since 1994. In the new building
the first academic activity of Seminar was organized by the BASC, IBA
Sukkur on 22-11-2000. The Seminar was on the "Role of I.T. in
Business". In the seminar proceedings Miss Irum Shoro of BBA-VI
and Mr. Zubair BBA-II performed as stage secretary. The welcome
address was made by Prof. Shah Muhammad Luhrani Director IBA Sukkur
and Mr. Khurum Pirzada, V.P, BASC. The participants were students,
Regional/ Zonal Heads of Banks & Industrial organizations,
educationists and Divisional Heads. Amongst the speakers who read very
important research papers on I.T. were IBA students & Faculty
members, and Business Executives Mr. Fareed Hussain Bhutto Principal
Petromen Sukkur, Mr. Abdul Qayoom Malik, Director SISTECH, Mr. A.
Hameed Khan, Principal PAK American Cultural Center. The Chief Guest,
Mr. Nisar Ahmed Siddiquie, Commissioner Sukkur Division & Chairman
BOGs IBA, in his speech identified the significance of the I.T and the
measures of the Government for the development of I.T education. He
also informed that Sindh Government has selected IBA Sukkur in the
interior Sindh for I.T. education & training of the college
Teachers and Officers, and he also informed that Oracle Co. is also
planning to start ERP-JAVA Program at IBA Sukkur. The honorary Guest
Brigadier Shafiqur Rehman, Incharge Education Monitoring Cell Sukkur
& Larkana Division, expressed in their speech the importance of
the I.T. education in the country and the prospect contribution of IBA
in promotion of I.T. Education in Sindh.
Acer's special Ramzan gesture
In a unique gesture announced the world's third
largest PC manufacturer, Acer, in a move aimed at embracing the
festive sentiment in the country, offered its popular range of Aspire
Multimedia PCs and TravelMate notebooks at highly subsidised prices.
On offer uptil Eid-ul-Fitr only, Acer has slashed prices on select
popular models of its award-winning range of PCs and notebooks.
Valid from now until Eid, the super deals, a great
opportunity for people who want to gift PCs and laptops this festive
occasion, will include Acer products including Acer Aspire 6600 Home
PCs and TravelMate 200DX and TravelMate 524TXV notebooks. By far one
of the best price campaigns ever to be offered by any computer company
in Pakistan, customers can avail of these special-offer Acer products
from any participating Acer dealer throughout the country or can
contact the Acer Computer Pakistan office for details.
NEW INTEL ROUTER SECURES BROADBAND CONNECTIONS
Intel Corporation announced the Intel® Express
8205 VPN Broadband Router, a device that helps protect the security of
small office and home office (SOHO) users with "always on"
broadband Internet connections.
According to Jupiter Communications, by the end of
2000 the number of people accessing the Web via such broadband methods
as DSL and cable modems will have increased threefold — from 1.3
million in 1999 to 4 million.** These always-on connections are
susceptible to security attacks, yet many customers do not have
adequate protection from this risk. The Intel Express 8205 VPN
Broadband Router provides security in a high-performance device that
can be installed quickly and easily.
"The Intel Express 8205 VPN Broadband Router
delivers exceptional virtual private networking (VPN) performance at
an attractive price for small sites, rounding out Intel's broad line
of high-performance VPN equipment," said Matt Rollender, Intel
Converged Edge Division marketing director. "The higher VPN
performance in this segment allows customers with broadband
connections to realize more of the bandwidth for which they are
paying, while also enjoying robust security."
The Intel Express 8205 VPN Broadband Router
offloads the processing required to run VPNs and firewalls on
individual PCs, aggregating these functions into a dedicated device
while helping maintain maximum performance of broadband connections.
The device supports unlimited users and can establish secure VPN
tunnels with 50 other sites. Using 3DES IPSec encryption, the router
provides VPN throughput up to 1.3 Mbps.*** The Intel Express 8205 VPN
Broadband Router can be easily installed by small business and home
users, allowing service providers to deliver high-performance security
with every broadband connection without expensive on-site
New Product Introduction By HP
A special team of IT experts from Hewlett Packard
Singapore has been brought in to introduce HP's solutions to meet the
business needs, as a strategy and direction of HP for the coming year
is geared towards small and medium sized businesses in Pakistan.
The SMB seminar held in Karachi and Lahore in the
last week of November, had a double connotation, where speakers at the
seminar talked about the potential and growth of small and medium
sized businesses, and the government's efforts to the economy
providing incentives and bank credit to this sector.
It is longing for cooperation of local IT players,
software houses and other institutions. Main purpose being to acquire
cooperation of local people so that they can assess the requirement of
local businesses and let HP develop their country specific devices for
better efficiency and greater productivity.
Kaiser Naseem, Managing Director of Small Business
Finance Corporation, Hamza Matin, President of Pakistan Software
Houses Association and Jawwad Rahman, Business Development Manager of
Microsoft were some of the speakers at Karachi seminar. Iqbal Mustafa,
Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) was the main
speaker at the Lahore seminar.
The HP team highlighted their products and
solutions for SMB's which according to them are "easy to buy,
easy to use and easy to own". HP introduced their new product
line of business PCs as perfect tool for small and medium sized
businesses. A new range of servers, printers, scanners and CD-writers
were also introduced in the seminar.
The strategies that were highlighted focused on
empowering SMBs with the technology advantages of large corporation
but at an affordable cost. As a key provider of e-services, HP offers
a large range of services that cover all aspects of e-business keeping
in view the growing need of today's businesses.
Mr. David Ong (Business Manager, Commercial
Channels Organization Asia Emerging Countries), Mr. Peter Quek
(Business Manager, Commercial Customer Organization Emerging
Countries) and Mr. Hamza Matin (President PASHA) addressing the
audience in SMB seminar by Hewlett Packard.
AMD computers exhibition at PAF-KIET
AMD Computers, an upkeeping marketing firm dealing
in microprocessors, laid on an exhibition of their products at PAF-Karachi
Institute of Economics and Technology (PAF-KIET) on 2nd December,
2000. The demonstration exhibited a competitive quality of resolution
and graphics on Computers as compared to famous Intel microprocessors.
The students benefited from the exhibition.
PAF-KIET takes part in educational exhibition
Recently an educational exhibition arranged by the
World Learning Bureau was held at Regent Plaza where national and
international institutes, universities participated. The exhibition
lasted from 22 to 23 Nov. 2000. Large number of prospective candidates
planning to further higher study visited the stalls and inquired about
Islamic Infrastructure Fund Regional Office for
Emerging Markets Partnership (Bahrain) E.C., the
General Partner and Manager for the targeted US$1.5 billion Islamic
Development Bank Infrastructure Fund L.P., announced in Brunei
Darussalam that it had received approval from the Ministry of Finance
to establish the Asia Regional Office of the Fund in Brunei.
His Excellency Dato Seri Paduka Haji Selamat Haji
Munap, Deputy Minister of Finance, said that the decision bf Emerging
Markets Partnership (Bahrain) E.C. and the Islamic Development Bank to
site the Fund's regional office in Brunei marked "an early
success in Brunei. Darussalam's strategy to develop an international
financial centre focusing upon activities in which this country has
strong comparative advantages, such as international investment and a
commitment to Islamic finance."
H.E. Dr. Ahmad Mohamad Ali, President of the
Islamic Development Bank and Chairman of the Policy Management Company
(PMC) of the Fund said that the "Islamic Development Bank is
delighted with the location of the Fund's Asia Regional Office in
Brunei. Both the Bank and the Fund look forward to using the upcoming
financial centre in Brunei as the focal point for promotion of the
IPOs of underlying equity investments of the Fund and making it the
regional hub for underwriting and syndication of Complementary Finance
Facility (CFF) of the Fund and securitization of Fund's assets for
disinvestment. IDB and the Fund will work closely with the Government
of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam to
support further the development of Brunei as an international
Mr. Mumtaz Khan, Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer, and Mr. Michael Lee, Deputy Chairman, of Emerging Markets
Partnership (Bahrain) E.C. were in Brunei for the announcement of the
Fund's Asia Regional Office.
Mr. Khan said, "Brunei is an ideal regional
location for the Fund. Our office here will be the focal point for our
sourcing of infrastructure projects in the Asia region; and for
maintaining and developing our relationships with Asian banks who may
wish to play a role in syndicated financings for the projects in which
the Fund invests equity. Such banks would most naturally relate to our
Asia region projects, but we might also be able to offer
participations in financings for the Fund's projects in selected other
member countries of the Islamic Development Bank."
Mr. Khan explained that the Fund, whose First
Closing is expected to be announced shortly from its headquarters in
Bahrain, could invest in private sector infrastructure projects in a
wide range of sectors, including power, telecom, transportation,
natural resources development, and infrastructure-related sectors such
A unique feature of this infrastructure fund is
that, in addition to its Equity Capital, targeted at US$1 billion,
which will be available for equity investment in projects, the Fund
has a Complementary Finance Facility (CFF), targeted at US$ 500
million. The CFF is an underwriting facility, designed to promote the
use of Islamic finance in infrastructure projects in which the Fund
Mr. Khan indicated that the Fund is keen to invest
equity and to make commitments for complementary financing in
infrastructure projects in the Asian Muslim countries, as regional
economic recovery continues apace, "The Fund can provide
diversified sources of financing for regional private sector
infrastructure projects. At an early stage, we shall be interested in
investing in eligible projects in both Brunei and Malaysia - and we
are also hopeful that, in due course, we shall be able to address
suitable opportunities in Indonesia."