Friday, June 12, 2009

Fake automation in Singapore

From: "truth"
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 2009 06:21:34 GMT
Local: Fri, Jun 12 2009 2:21 pm
Subject: Fake automation in Singapore

THE IT industry is promoting a myth that Singapore leads the world in
automation. Small and medium-sized businesses like mine can only call it
'fake automation'.

a.. When I transact with my suppliers and customers using Internet banking,
I must wait up to three working days for clearance. Although my role in the
transaction is automated and that of the other party, payee or payer, is
too, the banks are still pushing paper around. Clearance is instant only if
the other party and I share the same bank.

a.. When I use GeBIZ, the government electronic procurement system, I have
no way to set up alerts. I have to visit GeBIZ every day to monitor business

a.. Recently, my company signed up as a vendor on the Accountant- General's
Department's e-invoicing system (Vendors@Gov). When we submitted our invoice
to a government agency, there was no acknowledgement. Apparently, it does
not receive the invoice instantly and when it is received, the invoice must
still traverse its own paper-based accounts system. Although the supplier is
expected to submit invoices electronically, there is no guarantee that it is
processed immediately as there is no back-to- back automation.

a.. My company, Iterate, is a member of the Singapore Infocomm Technology
Federation, which often sends out meeting notices with long lists of
attachments. Without at least a summary, it is unclear whether I need to
open them. Recently, the federation launched a new portal to 'better serve
the industry', so I suggested it post the attachments in the portal and send
out a summary with links. This was turned down on the basis that members
have personal assistants read their mail, and print the attachments for them
to review.

If the federation leadership continues to print reams just to decide what
and what not to read, if the Accountant-General's Department forces
suppliers to automate without doing back-to-back integration, if GeBIZ
cannot provide an alert system so vendors will know promptly about business
opportunities, and if banks cannot clear online payments immediately, there
is no point beating our breasts and saying how good we are in automation.

William Claxton

No comments:

Post a Comment