By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
The desire to get to the grassroots has prompted Botswana Post to roll out new technologies and offer digital services that take government closer to the people.
The corporation has launched IT flagship projects for infrastructure optimisation and counter automation, which are expected to deliver on Botswana Post’s business strategy.
“The upgrading converges with the e-government initiative and will certainly benefit communities by closing the digital gap,” said Nonofo Molefhi the Minister of Transport and Communications.
It is hoped that with automated post services, the communities can download and fill government or private companies’ forms online. “This will save their time as they can even pay their water, electricity bills at the post office, among other services.”
Molefhi added that these IT projects provide Botswana Post with a solid infrastructure that puts the parastatal on par with high performing postal operations globally, as well as giving it a platform from which to grow its revenue base.
The corporation recently engaged Microsoft Services to develop an IT strategy, upgrade core infrastructure software, deploy a private cloud infrastructure and implement a new communications solution.
Interestingly, the choice of the counter application makes Botswana Post among the 30 postal organisations globally that use this application. “It gives Botswana Post an opportunity to develop local skills to keep improving and modifying this software application,” said Molefhi.
Botswana Post is the first company in Botswana to use the internet protocol IP version 6. The new technologies will enable the post office to deliver a reliable, efficient and cost effective service to customers and business partners alike.
In comments related to the launch, the Board Chairman, Martin Makgatlhe, said: “We realised the need to embrace technology to achieve the goal of becoming a 500 million revenue company by 2014.” He explained that 121 outlets of Botswana Post have been computerised and interconnected to the postal network so far.
Warren La Fleur, Microsoft’s Senior Business Development Manager said: “Botswana Post’s achievement is a major milestone that exemplifies how government agencies can use technology to evolve their service delivery, increase their productivity and grow revenue.”