PATONG: The Software Industry Promotion Agency (Sipa) yesterday launched a two-week seminar with the aim of training software programmers in Thailand to develop open source software for Thai small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs).
Forty programmers from Phuket, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen assembled at the Patong Merlin Hotel, where software developer David Jones explained how to develop the commerce-focused open-source software OFBiz.
Mr Jones is one of the founders of OFBiz, an open-source suite of business software that includes applications for accounting, production, inventory and order management; and online marketing and e-commerce tools. Much of the software is free.
Hans Bakker, Managing Director of Ant Web systems, which promotes open-source software in Thailand and introduced the concept of OFBiz to Sipa, also addressed the participants, explaining the emerging role of open-source software in commerce, notably the travel-industry-focused OpenTravel software suite.
Sipa President Manoo Ordeedolchest, said, “When [the programmers] have finished the training, they can start creating software suitable for Thailand. Initially, there will be software for developing SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] to be more competitive and to expand their markets.”
K. Manoo also introduced a new catchphrase for attracting IT investment to Phuket: Phuket technotourism. He explained that the idea of the phrase was to conjure up an attractive image to entice IT investors from Bangkok and elsewhere to come and work in Phuket.
“We are also trying to attract foreign investors to Phuket to work with local people in establishing ICT businesses, particularly in software. We hope that by initiating ‘technotourism’ we can quickly [establish] a software industry in Phuket,” he said.
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