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The Kingsbury Hotel Colombo was buzzing with enthusiasm and anticipation on the evening of 27th Friday (September), as many corporate and individual quiz teams gathered to battle it out at the ‘Quizathon’ organized by SLASSCOM. This was the second edition of the annual quiz competition that acts as a testament of SLASSCOM’s objective of acting as a catalyst for growth of the Sri Lankan IT and BPO industry.

Forty teams in total took part in this year’s edition of Quizathon, which was immensely competitive and intense compared to previous year. Quiz teams representing IT companies, BPO/KPO companies, Schools and Educational Institutes, Finance and Banking sector were present. Individual teams and teams representing ‘Other’ category too had registered for the event. All the teams appeared to have done their home work and were prepared for a closely contested Quizathon.

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The Quizathon consisted of five rounds and was hosted by Imran Furkan who himself is a prominent Quiz Master in the country and also the Executive Director of SLASSCOM. Every round consisted of ten questions that ranged from general knowledge to finance and accounting, from the exact age of papa Smurf to World politics. Every round produced a winning team, which had answered most questions correctly. In case there was tie, three more questions were presented as a tie breaker.

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Vindhana Ariyawansa’s team emerged as the Overall Champions of Slasscom Quizathon 2013

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IFS – Ostrinus became the Runners up of SLASSCOM Quizathon 2013

After an intense competition that expanded for five rounds, the team led by Vindhana Ariyawansa emerged as the Overall Champions of Slasscom Quizathon 2013. IFS R and D International become the runners up and Nalaka De Silva’s team achieved the overall 3rd place. In addition to this, winners were selected from each team category after evaluating the aggregated scores after the five rounds.

  • Banking & Financing Sector – The Obvious Experts of Team Seylan

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  • IT Sector – IFS Ostrinus

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  • Business Process Management Sector – HSBC Team No. 1

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  • Schools and Educational Sector –  National Institute of Business Management

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  • Individual Teams – Vindhana Ariyawansha’s team

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  • Other Category (teams that did not belong to above categories) – Team Dialog

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Most of the contestants were keen on winning another award that was exclusively presented for the ‘Best Dressed Team’ during the Quizathon.  Here we saw a brilliant display of imagination and creativity from the teams and after what appeared to be a tough decision for the judges, Team ‘SoWrong’ who were dressed in sarongs was selected as the team that dressed best for the occasion.

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At the end of the Quizathon, teams and the audience had the opportunity to network, to make new friends and share a word while enjoying the sumptuous dinner provided for the event. It was indeed a wonderful event that lasted throughout the Friday night and ended on a high.

For full photo coverage from the event, visit our Facebook Album here (Photo credit Sameera Wimalaratne).

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ISACA Sri Lanka chapter aim to sponsor local educational seminars and workshops, conducts regular chapter meetings, and help to further promote and elevate the visibility of the IS audit, control and security profession throughout the area. In line with its mission, ISACA is organising a Confernce on ‘Securing our bid data’. An eminent list of speakers will grace the occasion.  CPE Credits for this event is 7.

The conference is sponsored by Oracle and CICRA Holdings.

We will be bringing updates from the conference so stay tuned in case you missed out on attending the event.

We are live from Hilton Residencies.

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We are live from CSSL auditorium to bring to you the proceedings from the session ‘The other side -dark side- of the internet’ by Prof Abhaya Induruwa who has arrived from UK on a short visit to Sri Lanka.

About the speaker – Professor Induruwa founded the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Moratuwa in 1985, the first department of its kind in a Sri Lankan university, and served as its Head until 1998. In 1989 he pioneered and served as the Principal Investigator of project LEARN

Live updates:

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    ISACA Sri Lanka chapter aim to sponsor local educational seminars and workshops, conducts regular chapter meetings, and help to further promote and elevate the visibility of the IS audit, control and security profession throughout the area. In line with its mission, ISACA is organising a Confernce on
    ‘Securing our bid data’. An eminent list of speakers will grace the occasion.  CPE Credits for this event is 7.

    diGIT calendar details here for this event.

    The conference is sponsored by Oracle and CICRA Holdings.

    diGIT IT magazine is the Online Media Partner.

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    With the aim of contributing towards national reconciliation and awakening the youth of North in the dawn of a new era, 99X Technology as part of its Uni-relations initiative successfully concluded a two-day workshop at the University of Jaffna (UOJ) on the 23rd and 24th of August.

    Proceeding from the first session held back in 2011, this year’s workshop titled ‘Life Skills Development’, visited by a team of 15 members with the CEO of 99X Technology Mano Sekaram, exhibited a much higher degree of enthusiasm and participation not only from second year students but everyone including lecturers at the Department of Computer Sciences, UOJ.

    Inspired by the speech of Mano Sekaram during the introductory session, students were hopeful that a world exists beyond the outskirts of Jaffna and that their talent pool can be the future of what Sri Lanka has to offer to the world. ‘‘We are excited to integrate the potential of North into the Sri Lankan society and connect them to a world of opportunities with limitless possibilities.’’

    99X Technology CEO Mano Sekaram during his Speech

    ‘‘Jaffna can eventually become the next Silicon Valley with all the transformation taking place both physically and psychologically. We want to help them build their own personality brands with the blend of technical and organizational skills. It was heart warming to interact with the youth of Jaffna and make them feel that they are as equally Sri Lankan as we are.” he added.

    Luckshika Dhayaparan, a past student of UOJ and presently an intern at 99X Technology, delivered an eye-opening speech to her juniors as to how her positive attitude secured her a place in this dynamic industry and how she reached this milestone of her life.

    At the end of the first day session, a friendly cricket match was organized between the team at 99X Technology and the students of UOJ, which gave a boost to an energetic start the following day with engaging topics such as the role of team building and architecture in creating and innovating successful products that can make market-entry, the vast career opportunities to be explored upon graduating, perspective of how to think like an Engineer and aspire to become one, and an informative and interesting session on Agile. The session started off with an Introduction to 99X Technology and its culture and its stance in the subject of University Relationships by Kripa Jayakumar. The session was preceded by Shenika Herath who conducted a Team building activity among the students which explained to the students about the importance of having a strong architecture in order to be able to build a stable and successful product that would go into the market.

    Dr. Charles Eugene, Head of the Department, said that the workshop was energetic, informative and encouraging which made a positive effect on students towards determination, team spirit and communication. ‘‘This has definitely helped the students to decide their future career goals which will contribute to their self improvement and betterment of the society.’’

    Students of the Dept. of Computer Science during the two-day workshop at the UOJ

    Concluding the workshop focusing on how to think outside-the-box and to face the real world existing outside their accustomed terrain, students clutched a new sense of self-confidence and a spirit of determination to push across boundaries for further knowledge and opportunities in the future, and they never miss to visit 99X Technology during their visit to the City of Colombo.

    This reconciliation workshop was conducted to ensure that the youth of the North will be integrated into the Sri Lankan society very soon. The workshop focused mainly on areas focusing on how to improve their personalities, how to think outside the box, and most importantly on how to face the real world existing outside their accustomed terrain. The workshop concluded successfully with the objectives of 99X Technologies met. There was a drastic difference in the students of Jaffna after the workshop as the corporate team was able to witness changes in their attitude about being noticeable and visible to the outside world. They had a new sense of confidence about themselves and a determination to push their knowledge across the boundaries.

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    Bharti Airtel, the world’s fourth largest telecom operator by subscribers, is in advanced discussions to sell off its Sri Lankan operations to Abu Dhabi’s Etisalat, said two persons aware of the development.

    According to one such person, Standard Chartered Bank is advising the Indian company in the transaction. Bharti AirtelBSE -2.60 % Lanka, which has a subscriber base of 1.7 million, has been valued between $110 million and $130 million. Etisalat is Sri Lanka’s third-largest operator with 4.5 million subscribers and it will move up to the second spot if the deal goes through.

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    Responding to a questionnaire on the sale of its operations to Etisalat, Airtel said as a policy it didn’t respond to market speculations. Standard Chartered declined comment while Etisalat could not be reached for comments. Sri Lanka reportedly has an addressable mobile market of about 22 million, with penetration levels of around 85%.

    “In a country like Sri Lanka, an operator has to be either the largest or the second-largest to make money,” said the second person aware of the development, while explaining why the deal was important for the Abu Dhabibased operator. Airtel’s growth prospects in the island nation, on the other hand, were limited as it just had 1.7 million subscribers.

    The company’s subscribers have not grown in the past four quarters and despite investing over $300 million since 2007, the unit continues to make losses. “The Sri Lankan operation has been a cash guzzler for Bharti,” said the first person.

    While Bharti Airtel doesn’t report the financial numbers for Sri Lanka separately, sources told ET that the company had posted revenue of Rs 320 crore for the quarter ended June 2013 and a net loss of Rs 190 crore.

    The company, which entered the Sri Lankan market in 2009 as the country’s fifth operator, offers 2G, 3G and 3.5G services in the island nation across all the 25 districts and it has built a distributor network of 40,500 retailers.

    With a small population, the Sri Lankan market turned out to be a difficult game for India’s largest telecom operator whose foray had begun with stiff resistance from the local operators in 2009.

    Fearing the size and scale of Airtel’s operations, incumbent operators had resisted giving interconnection to it, a trouble which later resolved. Airtel’s operations were later mired in controversy as it tried to launch a price war in the market, which was later thwarted by the telecom regulator for being anti-competitive.

    (Source: The Economic Times)

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    The popular Sri Lankan cricket website Island Cricket (www.islandcricket.lk) was the recipient of multiple awards at the BestWeb 2013 Sri Lanka web awards, which took place at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo on August 14.

    The website was adjudged the ‘Best Sports and Entertainment Website’ in Sri Lanka and also won the Bronze Award for ‘Best Sri Lankan Website’.

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    Many prominent Sri Lankan websites representing Sri Lanka’s print and electronic media, popular retail brands, corporate entities and state institutions were nominated for awards in a number of categories this year.

    “As a community-driven website that relies on fan-submitted content, every award Island Cricket wins is thanks largely to Sri Lanka cricket fans around the globe who submit great content,” Island Cricket’s founder and editor Hilal Suhaib said.

    “The website empowers fans and allows members of the public to submit Sri Lanka cricket content such as articles and photos, so this is very much a victory for Sri Lanka cricket fans who help run the site.”

    Suhaib said the purpose for launching the site in 2008 was to “fill a void” at a time when Sri Lanka cricket had very little representation on the internet.

    “There was very little content on the net for Sri Lanka cricket fans before Island Cricket. As an ardent fan myself, I began developing the site, learning along the way through trial and error, and focused on utilising fan-generated media as the foundation of the site,” Suhaib explained.

    “As a fan of the Sri Lankan team and the players, I was in a great position to identify what would appeal to fans, and armed with that knowledge and my experience in web development, broadcast and media I was able to develop a website that appeals to cricket fans of all ages.

     

    “Hopefully, we have filled the void that once existed, and future generations of Sri Lanka cricket fans have a wealth of content to enjoy. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported and helped Island Cricket and helped us win these awards”

    Since 2010, Island Cricket has won consecutive awards at Sri Lanka’s only web awards, which highlights both the website’s appeal and its ability to deliver engaging content consistently over a number of years.

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    The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York co-hosted with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) a luncheon to share information and discuss issues related to internet governance on 30th July 2013.

    Major General Shavendra Silva, Ambassador and the Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations welcomed participants and opened the session.

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    Discussions focused on how the evolving set of Internet governance issues in various fora, such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) relate to the upcoming deliberations at the UN General Assembly sessions in New York. The multistakeholder model functions, in particular the role of the Government Advisory Committee (GAC), was further clarified by the ICANN representatives. 128 government and observer members are represented on this Committee, including the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka. ICANN announced the addition of new members: Madagascar, Namibia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Swaziland, and Zambia at the recent meeting in June 2013 in Durban.

    Delegates stressed the importance of ICT as a cross-cutting priority of the UN, especially as it relates to the post-2015 development agenda including sustainable development goals, education, youth empowerment and employment.

    Participants also discussed the positive and practical momentum seen during the recent substantive session of ECOSOC in July 2013 in Geneva, where Member States approved the resolution on the Commission on Science, Technology and Development (CSTD). Delegates explored areas for discussion around Internet governance, in particular the need for transparency and inclusivity. It was observed that there is a need for ICANN and other Internet governance institutions to further engage on these issues

    Source : MEA

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    TweetupSL 2 - The Cake, coutesy @PereraAndSons

    The TweetupSL 2 Cake, courtesy @PereraAndSons

    The Tipping Point

    A small group of individuals accidently created the first Tweetup in Sri Lanka. It was when @udaraumd, @moshanthi and @rebelinpurple were discussing on Twitter about meeting up. A few others joined in tweeting to meetup in person too. This ultimately resulted in having the first Tweetup in Sri Lanka with just over a hundred participating. That was 26th August 2010.

    The Second Tweetup

    Event compered by Halik Azeez (Snap by @udithaumesh)

    Jump to 27th August 2011. Close to 300 participants turned up at Dialog Future World in Colombo. The organizers had really got themselves a role model concept with a dedicated Tweetup website with in-built apps to monitor reservations, hold interesting polls and also assign personalized t-shirts courtesy @dialoglk.

    @GBSlk provided a memorabilia too with a notebook (with DPs of most of the registered Tweeps printed on the cover) and @PereraAndSons provided a Rs 100 voucher for all who turned up. To feed all these hungry souls, @cocoveranda took on the responsibility and did a praise worthy effort. @ITNsl provided the media coverage.

    The event was compered by @HalikAzeez (aka Kamal Addararachchi in disguise) and entertained the tweeps throughout the event.

    So the cake was cut, the food was served and the tweeps had a great time meeting in flesh all the people behind the twitter handles.

    The most interesting part was when the results from the twitter poll was announced. 10 notable tweeps walked away with valuable gadgets from @dialoglk, few books from @GBSlk and Rs 500 vouchers from @PereraAndSons. The winners list can be found on the tweetupsl.org website. (but be sure to watch the video embedded below to see what the winners (and some of the crowd) had to say) :)

    TweetupSL 2 crowd

    TweetupSL 2 crowd (Snap by @udithaumesh)

    Video shown below was recorded by @AnjulaMalshan and @ghost_xaIn

     

    The Team

    The organising team worked really hard behind the scene to prepare for the large crowd and it was an awesome team effort in the end.

    TweetupSL 2 – Organising Team (Snap by @udithaumesh)

    Organising team comprised of Amitha Amarasinghe, Gihan Fernando, Shazly Makeen, Nazly Ahmed, Muhammad Bin Nasir, Sarath Sathiamoorthy, Himal Kotelawala, Milinda Tillekeratne, Indulekha NanayakkaraLasantha David, Udara Dharmasena.

     Opportunity

    Although social media is still not used as a major component of marketing in Sri Lanka, events such as this would certainly open up the eyes of the companies that are still putting in big budgets on traditional media. Compared to last year’s event, this year had many more sponsors involved and they have all been very generous in assigning various gifts/giveaways since they know the importance of these twitter individuals who are trend setters in their own rights.

    Connectivity

    With Sri Lankans crossing 1 million mark on Facebook just a few weeks back, it seems that twitter is also fast becoming a platform to get customers involved as can be seen with a number of large companies being actively involved on twitter having a dedicated team to listen and respond to queries (such as @dialoglk, @Pereraandsons).

    Once the event concluded, the enthusiasm did not run dry as the #TweetupSL hashtag kept appearing on the timeline frequently. The event also opened up the accounts of some twitter users who had earlier had reservations about following the unknown. With more followers and followings, the experience for twitter users in Sri Lanka will only get better and could create a platform for many more users to join the twitter platform.

    The Future

    With technology and devices becoming cheaper in the country, it can be certain that these trends will only get better and whatever platform arrives, there is a surely a crowd that wants to ride it. Look forward to TweetupSL3 and I have a feeling that we might need to book BMICH to accompany the expanding tweeps.

    For more snaps of the event,see http://www.liveshare.com/#&id=1564687

    TweetupSL twitter handle – @TweetupSL