Minutes – ICT Committee – 2007-01-23

Information and Communications Technology Committee

Minutes of Meeting

Date: Thursday, 23 January 2007
Place: New World Hotel Saigon
Time: 8:30 am – 10:00 am


Rick Yvanovich, TRG – Chair
Karl Theisen, RMIT – Vice Chair
Shekhar Bhusannavar, SilkRoad
Frank Huang, Tan Thuan Industrial Park
Dr. Le Nguyen, TMA
Chris Harvey, VietnamWorks
Noah Litten, Blackhorse
H.V. Hieu, TUV Rheinland

Meeting called to order at 8:15 am

1 News and announcements

1.1 This was the initial meeting for 2007, and several new members joined. This gives the committee representation from a broad array of industries. For example, this initial meeting had representation from the IT services, software outsourcing, BPO, investments, land development, education, and online HR services industries.

1.2 2007 committee leadership. From the outcome of the November 2006 meeting the new leadership for 2007 will be:

  • Chair: Rick Yvanovich of TRG
  • Vice Chair: Karl Theisen of RMIT

1.3 It was agreed that the committee would adopt a policy of rotating leadership, similar to that of the AmCham Board of Governors. Each tenure would be for a period of 2 years, thus:

  • The current Chair and Vice Chair will lead for the period of 2007 – 2009.
  • In 2008 a 2nd Vice Chair would be appointed for the period 2008 – 2010
  • In 2009 the 1st Vice Chair will become Chair, 2nd Vice Chair will become 1st Vice Chair (having an immediate past Chair remain for an advisory year).

2 Presentation by Chris Harvey of VietnamWorks (in the 50 Top Sites Vietnam)

Download Chris Harvey’s Presentation: Internet Trends in Vietnam

2.1 Chris provided a very enlightening presentation of Vietnam’s online services industry. As the GM of VietnamWorks, Chris has gained very valuable insight into this rapidly expanding industry and his presentation is available from the ICT Committee. Notable insights included;

  • Vietnam will have an estimated 30 million people online by 2010
  • Current there is a 15% internet penetration rate
  • Payment for online transactions remains an issue, but a particularly successful business has been VinaGame, which is using a scratch card payment method.
  • Currently graphical ads account for about $US 3 – 4 million / year of total advertising revenues.
  • Some future trends:
    • Online ads maturing – now being more accepted by advertisers as a legitimate and useful means of spending advertising dollars.
    • Yahoo was recently in town and may be looking to establish a presence in Vietnam this year. [Note: Yahoo is the most popular site for users in Vietnam. Other top sites are google.com.vn, VnExpress, VietnamNet. AmCham member VietnamWorks.com is in the Top 50 Vietnam Sites, according to www.alexa.com, a global website ranking service, part of www.amazon.com. Click here for more info: Computing Tips: 81% of VN firms use broadband, 17.5% of population go online, top sites for Vietnamese users.
    • Payment systems continue to mature.
    • Paid search listing (buying key words via a bidding process on search engines such as Google) – an untapped resource.

3 AmCham ICT Goals for 2007.

Following the discussion of our November meeting, and the agenda for this meeting, the types and timing of events was discussed with the aim of providing committee members and AmCham members’ added value in lieu of monthly meetings by a small number of committee members only.

  • It was agreed that the committee would NOT hold meetings for the sake of meeting each month.
  • Goal: to create more networking opportunities through sharing. This would include having the members host meetings at their premises instead of using the New World Hotel. This also includes sharing information regarding visitor that member companies receive, and having the ICT Committee host visits of companies introduced by AmCham, such as the visit by McGraw-Hill in March.
  • Goal: to reach out beyond committee members to include AmCham members, as well as engage other chambers such as BBVG, EuroCham and HCA.
  • White Paper: there is still strong interest in producing a White Paper, albeit a more modest approach. The primary goal would be to “market” Vietnam and provide a space for ICT member companies to profile their businesses to potential investors / partners.
  • Question box: to develop a blog on www.amchamvietnam.com as a way for the general public/AmCham members to pose ICT related questions to the committee. Answering would be voluntary.

4 Update by TT EPZ.

Frank explained that TT EPZ is installing a fiber optic infrastructure and that 2 large ISPs will be moving in. Renasas, the first IT company to establish in the zone, is scheduled to open their new building in Aug ’07, and they are planning for 1000 software engineers within 2 years.

5 Next meeting scheduled for 27 February, 4:30 pm.

To be hosted by TMA @ TMA –meeting room # will be provided in advance. We also will arrange another speaker at this event from Mobile Telco solution provider. There will be an informal networking opportunity in a more convivial location after the meeting.

6 Additional confirmed events / activities for 2007

We list the company plus the areas they are involved in. These are (nearly) all US companies that Rick has contacted to participate in an AmCham ICT event. Also note that we will be seeking a variety of venues to host some of these events.

  • Citrix: Business Continuity & securing the enterprise (seminar + lunch?). onfirmed their participation in a lunch on 22-23 March (whichever is convenient for AmCham) on the theme Business continuity & securing the enterprise.
  • Chris Harvey #2 : eMarketing (lunch) Chris (Vietnamworks.com) has been persuaded to talk at a lunch in April (at a date convenient for AmCham) focusing on eMarketing
  • Island Pacific: RetailPro Retail POS & Supply Chain solutions for Vietnam (seminar)
  • Infor: Supply Chain, RFID, Transportation Management, Warehousing (seminar)

Possible additional events (tentative and seeking final commitment)

  • SAP : Business solutions for Vietnam (lunch? Seminar?)
  • Stockbroker solutions (seminar + lunch?)
  • IBM … wanted to find out more about their outsourcing aspirations
  • SaaS .. .looking for someone to talk on this
  • Web 2.0 … Rick gave talk at BBGV/Eurocham already to 40 attendees
  • WIPRO inward visit
  • McGraw-Hill inward visit
  • IT and SOX, JSOX, EuroSOX etc

Meeting adjourned at 10:30 am

Next meeting: * 2007-02-27 ICT Committee Meeting – at TMA Solutions