Volume 6 (1) 2012
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PROF. JOSEPH M. KIZZA,
Africa Can Greatly Benefit from Virtualization Technology – Part 1| Abstract
In my last issue in Volume 5 Issue 1, I articulated the benefits of Clouding computing and in particular, I focused on how Africa might benefit if there is a drive to change the model of computing. In this follow-up piece, I was to go more into the virtualization technology and how Africa especially African Higher Education institutions chocked with the scarcity of resources and severely under funded, can benefit from virtualization technology. We will start by defining virtualization to give everyone a fair understanding of the technology before we start our discussion. Virtualization is a process through which one can create something that is there in effect and performance but in reality not there � that is virtual. VMware.com, a software developer and a global leader in the virtualization market defines virtualization as a process in which software creates virtual machines including a virtual machine monitor called 'hypervisor,' that allocates hardware resources dynamically and transparently so that multiple operating systems, called �guest operating systems� can run concurrently on a single physical computer without even knowing it (VMware.com ) For example using software virtualization, one can, using the existing underlying hardware and software resources like operating systems create and run several independent virtual operating systems on top of one physical operating system using the existing hardware resources to execute independent system tasks. Hardware virtualization also takes the same concept where several servers or client machines can be created based on one underlying hardware. The virtualization concept has been with us for sometime. The potential power of virtualization in substantially increasing the performance of computing systems such as hardware and software through division of the underlying physical computing resources into many equally powerful virtual machines, has increased the popularity of the technology in the last twenty years and this love continues today. According to the IDC, an IT research firm, 2012 ranking of Chief Information Officers (CIO) priorities, virtualization and the server consolidation that it delivers were the top priority for chief information officers. Fourty percent of CIOs picked virtualization and server consolidation, more than any other area of IT [Mullins, Robert]. The rush to virtulization is driven by its resulting server consolidation creating savings to be invested in new IT initiatives such as cloud computing, mobility, data analytics, and use of social media for business purposes. This rapid growth is a reflection of the changing benefits of virtualization from being used only as a tactical tool to drive consolidation and higher system utilization to leveraging the mobility of virtual machines to improve management and operations of IT environments. The virtualization concept now includes a|Full-Text|
|PROF. FRANCIS WAMBALABA, AKOSA WAMBALABA, PHILIP MACHOKA, PATRICK AFUNDI||
E-Money for Enhancing MDGs at Bottom of the Pyramid: A Case Study of Mpesa Agents in Kenya |Abstract
The general objective of this study was to investigate the implications of mobile money (M-Money) in society and document the experiences of respective service agents. Specifically, this study sought to determine performance and how business partnerships and agent networks had responded to the developments in the m-money economy. Implicit in the study were challenges that the agents face in doing their business, the potential for m-transaction's enhancement of MDGs at the bottom of the pyramid and challenges regulators must confound to create a financial inclusive environment. The research used a case study approach. To do this, the study used a triangulation of exploratory and descriptive research design approaches. The target population consisted of MPESA Agents across the country. The sampling technique used was a combination of cluster and convenient sampling. With respect to business partnership and agent networking performance, the study found that KCB commanded a disproportionately large control on provision of the float, followed by Cooperative Bank. In most cases the float was between Ksh 5,000 and Ksh 100,000, and the level of the float increased with the age of the business and it was clear that there was a close correlation between the age of the business and the amount of the float. It was also found that most agents served less than 100 customers per day and there was also a correlation between the age of the business and the number of customers. Other pertinent findings showed that the majority of transactions per customer were below Ksh 20,000 the average age of the customer was between 26 and 40 years of age and most of them were men, even though the majority indicated they served equal numbers of men and women. With respect to business challenges and welfare implications, the study found that fraud was the major challenge followed by a slow system due to network congestion. A challenge cited for not participating in new MKESHO product included technical problems, lack of MKESHO facilities nearby, customer confusion between MKESHO and MPESA, and lack on information. On the issue of welfare implications, respondents felt that the business had improved their welfare through job creation, improved incomes and general livability.
Determination of the End-To-End Delays of any Switched Local Area Network |Abstract
In designing Switched Local Area Networks (Switched LANs), there is the inherent need of being able to compute all the end-to-end delays and hence, the average end-to-end delays of such LANs. The widely held notion in the literature is that, the ability to perform this computation is contingent on the formulation of an origin-destination traffic matrix of the network with respect to the hosts that are attached to it. We have shown in a previous paper that this notion does not seem to be correct. In this paper, we explain a methodology for enumerating all the end-to-end delays of any switched LAN and hence, of determining the average (or average of maximum) end-to-end delay of any LAN.
|ISAIAH LULE, Tonny Kerage Omwansa ,Prof. Timothy Mwololo Waema||
Application of Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) in M-Banking Adoption in Kenya |Abstract
Mobile phones with Mobile Commerce technology are becoming more readily available in Kenya. Similarly many financial institutions and mobile phone service providers are teaming up to provide banking services to customers via the mobile phone. However the number of people who choose to adopt or use such technologies is still relatively low. Therefore there is need to assess the acceptance of such technologies to establish factors that hinder or promote their acceptance. This study applied Technology Acceptance Model to examine the factors that influence the adoption of M-banking in Kenya. The study specifically focused on the evaluation of M-Kesho, an M-banking application in Kenya. A survey was conducted to gather data which was coded in SPSS 16. Confirmatory Factor Analysis was used to analyze the data and Structural Equation Modeling using Analysis of Moment Structures was used to validate the research model. Out of a total of 450 questionnaires distributed to M-Kesho users, 395 were returned and validated. The analysis revealed that Perceived Ease of Use, Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Self Efficacy and Perceived Credibility significantly influenced customers' attitude towards usage of M-banking. The results of the data analysis contributes to the body of knowledge by demonstrating that the above factors are critical in attitude towards usage of M-banking in a developing country context. The implications of the results form a good basis for providing practical recommendations to the banking industry, and directions for further work. Keywords: M-banking, Technology Acceptance Model, Adoption
Development of a Real-time Customer Service System |Abstract
Good customer service is essential for business to grow. One of the major challenges facing most companies has been how to keep their customers satisfied and properly serviced. The existing customer service systems have limitations such as poor customer service and relations. Hence, a real-time customer service system is proposed. The system was developed by using incremental model development process. The front end was designed using Macromedia DreamWeaver 8.0, Macromedia Flash and Java server page. The business logic and the work flow was developed using Java Servlet and Apache Tomcat Server. MySql 5.0 was used as the back end. Keywords: Customer service, e-commerce, customer support, help desk
|ISAAC B. OLUWATAYO||
Mobile Phones as Mobile Banks and Credit Outlets: The Experience of Farming Households in Rural Southwest Nigeria |Abstract
There is no gainsaying the fact that the increasing awareness and penetration of information and communication technologies (ICTs) into the developing world has transformed the economy of these countries. In fact, the banking sector in many of these countries is not spared. In Nigeria for instance, there has been a lot of awareness and transformation brought about by the ICTs' revolution. Notable among these is the introduction of mobile and e-banking especially into the banking industry. This paper was based on the study conducted to examine the extent to which mobile phones have aided financial services among farming households in rural southwest Nigeria. Data for this study were collected from a random sample of 360 farming households in Ekiti and Osun States. Descriptive analysis of socioeconomic characteristics of respondents showed their average age to be 45 years with only about one third (34.7percent) of them having tertiary education. While about 38.3 percent had no formal education, the rest had primary (15.8 percent) and secondary (11.2 percent) education. Distribution of respondents by the kind of services conducted through their mobile phones indicated credit acquisition in the form of transfer of recharge cards which are later converted into money as the most priotized. Next to this is getting information about personal account information (debiting and crediting) while making business transaction through mobile phones was the least patronised of all the services provided. A tobit analysis performed to ascertain the correlates of usage of mobile phones as mobile banks and credit outlets revealed age, years of formal education, membership of cooperative society/social groups, gender, poverty status, household size, location and access to power (electricity) as important determinants. While the coefficients of age (p<0.10), years of formal education (p<0.01), membership of cooperatives/social groups (p<0.01) and were positive, those of gender (p<0.05), poverty status (p<0.01), household size (p<0.00), location and access to power were negative. Thus, as the years of formal education increases, the more the usage of mobile phones as mobile banks/credit outlets and membership of cooperative society enhances the likelihood of farming households' usage of mobile phones for these services. However, as household size increases, income per-capita declines (poverty level soars) and this to a large extent reduces the likelihood of using mobile phones as outlet for financial transactions. It is therefore suggested that effort should be geared at building capacity of farming households through education. This is because education enhances earning potentials of farmers through adoption of modern farming practices and technologies. Also, cooperative activities should also be encouraged among farming households to increase awareness since cooperative societies and social groups provide avenues for training on new inventions and other technologies that can better enhance the living conditions of members. Key words: Credit outlets, Farming households, Mobile banks, Mobile phones, Poverty, Southwest Nigeria
Obstacles in Bridging the Digital Divide in Tanzania |Abstract
This paper presents the primary findings of a study carried out in Tanzania. The study aimed to investigate the main obstacles in addressing digital divide initiatives in this developing country. Data collection techniques such as questionnaires, group discussions and interviews were employed to gather data used in this study. More than 20 rural areas were also visited to study the state of communication facilities in the country. The aim of the paper was to investigate the digital divide initiatives from technical, economical, social, cultural, habitual and institutional perspectives. The results of the study suggest Low financial power to be the key source of the gap which results into blocking the bridging initiatives and ultimately impairs the technical ability to provide connectivity to users. The willingness of people to adapt the use of the Internet still remains a challenge. The move to bridge the divide will hugely rely on government initiatives and support. This paper gives the reader the current situation in Tanzania, pointing out different challenges facing the initiatives to bridge the divide. It explains the effects that financial differences in society have on digital divide. It also explains how a significant lack of technical means increases the gap to information access. Although the study was conducted in Tanzania, the findings may be generalized to other developing countries with similar economical, geographical and demographical settings/framework Keywords: Digital divide, Tanzania, developing countries, rural connectivity, access challenges.
|LAWRENCE M. MURIIRA ,NIMROD KIBUA||
Near Field Communication (NFC) Technology: The Future Mobile Money Service for Kenya |Abstract
NFC technology allows two active devices embedded with chips transmit small pieces of data between each other via short range wireless connection and at low speeds depending on the configurations. It is a low friction process because of the close range that two NFC enabled devices can setup a connection. With the launch of wallet NFC payments by Google Wallet, Samsung's Nexus S/Galaxy II powered by Android Operating System and NFC features in Nokia's C9 & 6212 Classic NFC powered by Symbian Operating System (OS), this will turn the devices running on these platforms into mobile payment systems. Wallet NFC will allow Smartphone users to pay for their transactions and such payment solutions are seen by OS developers, handset makers, banks and telecoms as a money making transaction. Different modes of mobile payments have been well adopted in many parts of Europe, Asia and African especially Kenya. Users of Smartphone and ordinary mobile phones in Kenya pay for a wide range of services, and digital and hard goods using the three most commonly used modes of mobile payments; the premium SMS based transactional payments, direct mobile billing, and mobile web payments. The main objective of this research paper was a feasibility study of the common primary modes of mobile payments, that is, premium SMS based transactional payments, direct mobile billing, mobile web payments and most importantly for this paper - the future opportunities of NFC; and how with the adoption of the technology in mobile payment solution may affect the customer, banks and the telecommunication industry in Kenya.
|O.F. ADEBOWALE, DARE, N. O||
Teachers' Awareness of Nigeria's Educational Policy on ICT and the use of ICT in Oyo State Secondary Schools |Abstract
This study is designed to investigate the level of awareness of primary and secondary school teachers invited for a capacity building workshop on ICT of Nigeria's educational policy on ICT as well as its possible influence on the use of ICT for classroom teaching and learning. Two hundred volunteers (out of the 250 participants invited from all the Local Government Areas of the state) at an ICT training workshop organized for Oyo state (Nigeria) teachers participated in this study. Data was collected using a self-constructed and validated questionnaire titled �Teachers awareness of Nigeria's educational policy on ICT� and the data were analyzed using simple percentage, t-test and ANOVA. The study found that only a small percentage of the respondents possess a high level of awareness of the country's educational policy on ICT, in fact, a considerable proportion of the respondents (35.1%) of the respondents were either completely ignorant of the policy or possess poor levels of its awareness. previous training which some of these respondents attended had no significant influence on their awareness of the country's educational policy on ICT. The study also presented some implications of this to ICTs use for teaching and learning purposes in the schools. Key words: ICT policy, awareness, teachers, schools