IBM outlined a comprehensive strategy for Sri Lanka driven by Hybrid Cloud, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), underpinned by Cybersecurity at a virtual round-table meeting. As organisations are beginning to reset, recover and revive their business to emerge smarter from the pandemic, IBM will focus on helping them adapt to the new normal by infusing AI into their workflows, shifting to hybrid cloud, strengthening cybersecurity and automating IT processes.
As part of this strategy, IBM announced the extension of its global partnership with PMsquare, a Platinum IBM business partner in Sri Lanka. PMsquare will collaborate with IBM on Data & Business Analytics solutions to co-create and co-innovate with, and for clients in the market. IBM has been a key partner in the technology driven development of Sri Lanka’s business & industry for over 58 years.
Sandip Patel, Managing Director, IBM India/South Asia said, “Sri Lanka has managed to successfully navigate one of the most difficult crises in recent human history and turn around its biggest challenges. The move to Digital has accelerated in the new normal and IBM is leading the way in helping our clients build resilience through a technology driven business transformation. With a strong channel ecosystem, a robust hybrid cloud capability and deep cybersecurity expertise, we are poised to take the lead in helping Sri Lankan enterprises emerge smarter in their digital transformation journey.”
IBM works with several partners in Sri Lanka, helping clients leverage technology in their digital transformation journey. IBM’s strong ecosystem strategy in Sri Lanka enables it to reach out to companies across different sectors, regardless of their size and revenue models.
“IBM nurtures an ecosystem of global business partners that operate in more than 170 countries. Sri Lanka’s partner ecosystem plays an important role in IBMs business strategy as we build deep engagements with our partners to co-create and co-innovate for our customers. Post pandemic, businesses will turn to solutions like Watson AIOps and Cloud Paks to future proof their business. As a global partner, PMsquare’s entry into the Sri Lankan market will make these technologies more accessible and easier to implement for customers,” stated Riza Wadood, Country General Manager, IBM Sri Lanka
Reinforcing IBM’s ecosystem commitment, IBM recently announced a new PartnerWorld programme that provides clear pathways for business partners to create applications, develop code, integrate their intellectual property (IP) or deliver services with the IBM Cloud. This includes helping clients with their hybrid multicloud strategies, which is not limited to just solutions but also services to deliver them successfully.
PMsquare, a leading data analytics consultancy combining international reach with experience across Asia. PMsquare has been an IBM business partner for over 13 years. The company has offices across APAC with representative offices in Europe and North America. It has delivered over 300 performance management and Business Intelligence implementations across the globe. PMsquare Sri Lanka office is located in Colombo.
“PMsquare Sri Lanka already has a customer base of large companies whose combined revenue figures are close to USD 88bn –the annual GDP of Sri Lanka.” said Jason Rankin CA, Regional Director Asia and Group CFO, PMsquare. “After developing the team in Sri Lanka, PMsquare has partnered with IBM to promote IBM Business Analytics solutions to Sri Lankan businesses. IBM is well known for its technology capabilities and now with PMsquare, clients can focus on improving their collaborative planning by using AI powered solutions such as IBM Planning Analytics© and IBM Decision Optimization©.”
PMsquare provides AI-powered IBM Business Analytics solutions that can help companies tackle complex tasks like production optimization, scheduling, routing, demand management and improve their strategy planning with forecasting and advanced predictive capabilities. Many companies have strong ERP tools, but when it comes to strategic planning most still use single user applications that do not have features to support actual planning functions such as stress testing, scenario planning, sensitivity analysis, what-if analysis, simulations, discovering trends/correlations, etc. PMsquare will leverage solutions like IBM Planning Analytics©to streamline, automate and enhance the capabilities of current tools and provide a collaborative planning platform for multiple departments to work together.
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Unlimited music streaming platform in Sri Lanka
SLT-Mobitel, the nation’s ICT and Telecommunications Service Provider recently partnered with Spotify, to mark their launch in Sri Lanka. Spotify is a paid premium music streaming app which allows subscribers to listen to music to their hearts content. Both, SLT-Mobitel Post-Paid and Pre-Paid customers will now be able to enjoy Spotify by activating a monthly recurring subscription or one-time subscription plan and access unlimited music streaming and downloading facilities.
The subscription charges will get added to the user’s customary billing, where payment will be deducted in real time. Starting from the payment date, the user will be able to access Spotify and download their favourite songs, for the next 30 days. Users who sign up for their first monthly subscription will receive an additional one month, courtesy of Spotify. The one-month subscription plan is not applicable with one-time subscription plans. SLT-Mobitel data rates, depending on the user’s respective broadband charges, will apply.
Spotify also has some exciting features that will provide SLT-Mobitel customers with the opportunity to listen to ad-free music, access millions of uninterrupted music under one platform, play any song they like, anywhere they go, and also be able to enjoy their music offline.
SLT-Mobitel customers can select their preferred premium package under four categories; Individual, Duo, Family, Student. Each category has recurring and non-recurring plans. After one month of free streaming, the package will activate once the offer period terminates. While both, the Individual and Student premiums are limited to one account user, the Duo package offers two accounts and the Family premium is accessible through six accounts. To view Spotify plans, users can log on to https://spoti.fi/3aLWvce
Sri Lanka using ‘sovereign power’ over economy: CB Governor
by Sanath Nanayakkare
Anyone conversant with the elements of a political economy would know that Sri Lanka is using its ‘sovereign power’ to manage the different dynamics of the economy in a sustainable manner, Professor W. D Lakshman Governor of the Central Bank said on Wednesday.
“Some critics are saying that we adopt a so-called modern monetary theory. That’s not the case. In fact, Sri Lanka is using its sovereign power in a number of economic aspects to honour its external debt repayment commitments as well as to reduce its debt burden in the medium term as well as achieve resilient growth in the medium to long term, he said.
“We make policy decisions to boost our gross foreign reserves, meet our external debt servicing, to facilitate monetary expansion, to boost our GDP growth, to strengthen our current account balance and manage our domestic and external economic variables in a sustainable manner. This is not a modern monetary theory. This is an age-old tool used by central banks around the world when the circumstances demand it, he said.
“Certain trade-offs will be necessary when dealing with an economy which has a big fiscal gap to bridge. There are efforts to push Sri Lanka towards the IMF again which would in turn have influence on our policymaking. We have taken policy measures to stabilize the economy and we have adequate reserve levels to meet our debt repayments. Meanwhile, we are in negotiations with overseas central banks and multilateral agencies to further boost our reserve level and it would materialise within a matter of weeks,” he noted.
“One of the tools the Central Bank has introduced is in respect of repatriation of export proceeds into Sri Lanka and conversion of such proceeds into Sri Lankan rupees in order to strengthen the foreign exchange situation of the country,” he said.
The Governor made these remarks while delivering the keynote speech at a webinar organised by the Veemansa Initiative led by its Managing Director Luxman Siriwardene – the former Executive Director of Pathfinder Foundation.
The webinar revolved round the topic ‘External debt situation in Sri Lanka: Are we heading for a resolution or crisis?’
Professor Sirimal Abeyratne, Prof. Sumanasiri Liyanage, Dr. Nishan de Mel and Dr. Ravi Liyanage were the other speakers on the panel.
CSE on the rebound; indices close positive
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
CSE produced signs of a rebound yesterday with both indices closing positive, though turnover remained low. Central Bank Governor W.D Lakshman’s recent statement on managing foreign reserves gave some boost to the market yesterday, stock market analysts said.
The index experienced a zigzag movement within the early hours of trading; thereafter, it recorded a slight up-trend as it reached its intraday high of 7,439. Later, the market witnessed a down-trend at mid-day, followed by a sideways movement and closed at 7,372, gaining 43 points during the month of February, market sources said.
It is said the banking sector dominated turnover with a contribution of considerable parcel trades in Sampath Bank, Commercial Bank and HNB.
Further, the Commercial Bank’s impressive quarterly results during the recent turbulent period also built investor confidence. Commercial Bank was able to register a18 percent net interest income when other banks were reporting a decline. Its share price increased by Rs. 3 or 3.5 percent. On the previous day, its shares started trading at Rs. 85 and at the end of the day they moved up to Rs. 88. Due to the positive growth results, the bank announced a Rs. 4.40 dividend per share, plus a Rs. 2 script divergent for every share.
Further, Sampath Bank shares also appreciated in both crossing and retail. In crossings its shares appreciated by Rs. 1.At the end of the day they moved up to Rs. 154.50. In the retail market, its shares moved up by Rs. 2 or 1.3 percent. Previously, its shares fetched Rs. 154 and at the end of yesterday they moved up to Rs. 156.
Amid those developments, both indices moved upwards. The All Share Price Index went up by 104.48 points and S and P SL20 rose by 67.78 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3 billion with four crossings. Those crossings were reported in Sampath Bank, where 3.9 million shares crossed for Rs. 602.2 million, its share price being Rs. 154.50, HNB 375,000 shares crossed for Rs. 39.4 million, its shares traded at Rs. 105, Pan Asia Power 9.5 million shares crossed for Rs. 33.2 million, its shares traded at Rs. 3.50 and Access Engineering 1.2 million shares crossed for Rs. 28.2 million; its shares traded at Rs. 24.
In the retail market top five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Expolanka Rs. 450 million (10 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 205 million (1.3 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs. 199 million (34.9 million shares traded), Sampath Bank Rs. 191 million (1.2 million shares traded) and Dipped Products Rs. 137.7 million (2.8 million shares traded). During the day 101 million share volumes changed hands in 18046 transactions.
During the day, Expolanka, the biggest contributor to the turnover, saw its share price appreciating by Rs. 6.20 or 15 percent. Its share price quoted on the previous day was Rs. 41 and at the end of trading yesterday it moved up to Rs. 47.
Sri Lanka’s rupee quoted wider at 193.50/195.50 levels to the US dollar in the spot next market on Thursday while bond yields remained unchanged, dealers said. The rupee last closed in the spot market at 194.50/195.00 to the dollar on Wednesday.