The outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic has within a reasonably short period of time changed the operating system of the entire world with up to 190 countries currently experiencing cases of the virus. Applying the social distancing policy, businesses, churches and even schools have been shut down all around the world in an attempt to reduce and control the spread of the now famous COVID-19. Leaving over half a billion learners out of school for the first time ever.

With education known to be the backbone of every society, governments in all affected countries, Cameroon notwithstanding, are coming up with measures to ensure the continuity of education in the present crisis time.Leading the Cameroon government on Thursday, March 27th 2020 to release 13 measures to help fight the COVID-19, with one of these measures being the promotion of the use of Education Technology as a means of education during this period. This being remarkably the very first time the Cameroon Government openly encourages the use of e-learning. The only learning method which has so far proven itself stable and effective, by countries already applying it with the help of newly developed tech learning platforms.

An innovative startup in Cameroon called Visionary Technologies Company (VTC) relaunches its e-learning platform SIMS® (Scholar Information Management System) a learning and school management app built to enable distant learning, accessible 24/7 anytime anywhere.

The app comprises two major features:

  1. The SIMS® Learner, which simulates the traditional classroom with features built to enable the same teacher-student exchange a real-world classroom offers. Where learners login and get access to lectures through videos and notes uploaded by teachers, get evaluated and promoted to the next class. Providing school programmes in rich content, a built-in networking for teacher-student interactions, file sharing and assignment grading, with a live chat room.
  2. The SIMS® Manager on its part is a  secure efficient management portal for schools to manage invoices and auto reconcile fees payment, with other operations like timetables and report card generations, fees collection, a database of all teachers and students, also including communication facilities. The App so far has already been tested and is currently being used by two schools with proof of efficiency.  See how it works here www.manager.sims.cm

The first version of the platform SIMS® was launched in 2017 in an effort to lend an intervening arm in the educational problem caused by the Anglophone crisis in the Northwest and Southwest regions but had to be put on hold at the time, due to insufficient funding and the lack of human resource which unfortunately is still the case at the moment.

It is to be noted that the SIMS® project is not just personal company project but a community project and flagship product of VTC which recently won a 5000 USD in seed funding from Tony Elumelu Foundation 2019 and also won West Africa’s Innovation Awards 2019; AWARD CATEGORY: Most Customer-Focused Digital Marketing Company of the Year, ICT Leadership Category.

Therefore every interested party, be it volunteers, angel investors or goodwill ambassadors are all welcomed to join the already existing team who are doing everything possible to not only beat the current crisis by bringing education beyond walls through SIMS®, but also contribute in achieving United Nation’s SDG4 (Sustainable Development Goal four): Quality Education, not only for Cameroon but Africa and beyond.

As of now out of the 24.05 million  in Cameroon , 7.8 million people are connected to the internet(Source=Hootsuite and We Are Social). 

“Two decades ago in Cameroon, we could count the number of people who used the internet by hand pointing”.

 

Information and communications technology (ICT) has grown over the past decade thanks to the mobile telephone revolution and the exponential growth of the Internet. 

In 2016, Cameroonian companies met 14.4% of their turnover through orders received via the Internet, the National Statistics Institute (INS) 

 

In Cameroon, Internet seems to be a major development instrument within the corporate world. According to the INS survey, 9 companies out of 10 (92.3% of survey sample) have an Internet connection. 

 

This helps the companies expand activities through websites and digital applications, making it possible to receive orders via the Internet to boost revenues.

 

However other sectors like the educational sector, agriculture, health are not yet benefiting in ICT.

The Cameroonian government in the face of Internet development 

The Cameroonian government is responsible for the entire national policy on ICT development. But it has created specific institutions to oversee the implementation of this policy. The National Agency for Information and Communication Technology (Agence Nationale des Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication, ANTIC) is responsible for

  1. Security intelligence
  2. Promotion of ICT development
  3. Electronic certification
  4. Security audit
  5. Management of internet resources

Over the recent years, ANTIC has organised serveral forums  on ICT development in Cameroon. This year the fourth forum themed “Technological Innovations at the service of education’’ from 11th to 13th of march, taking place in the SAWA Hotel in Bonanjo, Douala caught the attention of Visionary Technologies Company (VTC). 

Within the framework of this forum ICT innovators had the chance to present their solutions and applications developed for the advancement of Cameroon’s educational sector to the educational community. 9 start-ups were invited to present. 

To give an example

 

Why a forum on the contribution of Technology in the educational sector in Cameroon? 

 

forum on the contribution of Technology in the educational sector in CameroonThe educational sector in Cameroon just like other developing countries face dozens of problems . One of the biggest challenges in the education system of Cameroon is the gap between available resources and its distribution within the various regions in the country. These resources include the available professional, well-trained and well-supported teachers and their distribution within the Cameroonian territory.



These problems hinder the progress & development of Cameroon reason why the government of Cameroon through Ministries of Education-higher , Private sector and even international organizations like the UNESCO have within their pla

 

Government and the international community have made progress on getting children into

school, but significant work remains to be done. 



VTC’s contributions to the Digital economy … of Cameroon starting with the Educational Sector

 

Having studied & understood the market,  we've identified two sectors whose challenges are hindrances to developmental growth especially in Cameroon. 





(Remark : we need a linking phase here that brings sims into the picture)

 

SIMS®, a community project which recently won a 5000 USD seed funding from Tony Elumelu Foundation 2019 , West Africa Innovation Awards 2019 and 2019 Global EdTech Startup Awards Africa Finalist. 

 

Inline with SDG4, SIMS® is a cross-platform app for students, teachers & school administrators  which helps to identify, create and connect all learners with the resources and tools needed to reach their full education, career & business potential even without Internet or Smart Phones in conflict & crisis areas across the world.




Might also read : Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon provokes a young Cameroonian IT Entrepreneur to develop a learning system for students even without internet and or smart phones

 

More information about SIMS Project https://www.sims.cm

 

During the forum Q/A, VTC through its Managing Director asked the following questions

 

 

 

SIMS® Tablets being tested Cameroon to enable students learn

 

More than 80 per cent of schools in the English-speaking North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon are closed, as the security situation and living conditions continue to deteriorate due to the three-year conflict between the Government and armed groups, the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, reported on Friday, 21 June 2019

Effects of the Anglophone Crisis on the educational sector in CameroonThis among other reasons provoked a young Cameroonian Technology Entrepreneur- Francis FON TEBOH to create a solution to keep learning on-going with an innovative app  called “SIMS®that works even without internet access and or smart phones. Inspired by the challenges he faced decades ago and also by the on-going crisis, he dropped out of school to create a company that created an app that is making others now learn anywhere anytime now.

Just like an Antivirus, the Cross platform application SIMS® will work almost free of charge and internet conenctivity taking into consideration the socio-economic situation of pupils and students in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon which is the app’s sample case of implementation.

An innovative cross-platform app for students, teachers & school administrators  which helps to identify, create and connect all learners with the resources and tools needed to reach their full education, career & business potential even without Internet or Smart Phones in conflict & crisis areas across the worldA cross-platform app for students, teachers & school administrators  which helps to identify, create and connect all learners with the resources and tools needed to reach their full education, career & business potential even without Internet or Smart Phones in conflict & crisis areas across the world

The Anglophone crisis that started in October 2016 has made thousands of pupils and students school dropouts, thousands of administrators jobless and thousands of Youths idling and indulging into preventive vices . The UN Recently reported, over 80 percent of schools in these regions have been shot down….

SIMS® is capable of helping these actors learn, teach and take exams even from their bedroom simply with their smartphones or computers.

“The vision with SIMS® is for it to be the world’s largest learning platform designed to provide learners (students, business owners, etc.), educators and administrators with a single robust, secured and integrated system to create personalized learning environments” says VTC’s CEO Francis Fon Teboh.

“My Head master use to tell me that learning never ends so why will the war in our regions end learning now?” asked the 30 year old engineer to a journalist on interview.

Education, access to quality education unleashes the potential in us to innovate the future of our continent and gives us the tools , ideas, knowledge, creativity, etc. required to develop innovative solutions to the world’s greatest problems.

"Education is the only tool to solving the puzzles of the Universe. Francis FON TEBOH- CEO of VTC.

According to VTC, their soon to be released Education digital system will be tackling problems such as:

  • Lack of real time career orientation especially for university students in developing countries
  • Inadequate rich-educational & customized learning resources in developing countries
  • Lack of unique collaborative platform between learners of same educational institutions in or out of school for research & brainstorming
  • Poor administration of schools  by proprietors, administrators or managers

At the moment, SIMS® is made up of ;

School App in Cameroon solves Anglophone Crisis

 

SIMS® Learner-Learning app & tablet for students & teachers in developing countries especially in war or crisis areas like the NW/SW

SIMS® Manager-School Information Management System for school professionals

SIMS® Business-  A learning App for Entrepreneurs, SME Owners & Professionals to learn the skills they need in businesses,  their career and or jobs without leaving their respective environments and at their own pace. 

SIMS® Lab: A Virtual Reality Eye Glass to be used by students or learners in developing to get real time experience in laboratory learning and so on. With this, students in African could diagnose animals, etc. in real time using Virtual Reality.

Two educational Instutions in Cameroon have been benefiting from SIMS Manager already for more than a 2 years.

 " As a proprietor, even while I travel out of Douala/Cameroon, I am able to manage my school using" As a proprietor, even while I travel out of Douala/Cameroon, I am able to manage my school usingSIMS Manager"  Frederic Tchouta-Propritor , Groupe Bilingue Scholaire La Fierte Kotto

SIMS is set to be launched in September 2019 as parents prepare to send their children back to School. Meticulous Francis Fon believes that those in the English speaking regions who can no longer be able to sit in a formal classroom can still comfortably study at home and take exams if the Government, civil societies and International Donors fund the messiah project. More information on www.sims.cm 

VTC is an innovation-centered company that designs, develops, and coordinates digital technology solutions that solve real societal, industrial & business problems. Founded in Buea early 2012, operations later moved to Douala 2015 where in was legally registered have served close to 500 clients mostly SMES within Cameroon and a few abroad

SIMS® is a community project and flagship product of VTC which recently won a 5000 USD seed funding from Tony Elumelu Foundation 2019 and Won West Africa Innovation Awards 2019; AWARD CATEGORY: Most Customers Focused Digital Marketing Company of the Year, ICT Leadership Category.

VTC now prides herself as one of TOP IT companies attracting multinationals as clients and has recently been nominated for best Tech companies in the AB Afrikpreneur Awards 2019

 

Tony_Elumelu_Foundation Winners 2019 Cameroon

Every year since 2015, the Tony Elumelu Foundation—Africa’s foremost champion of entrepreneurship—hosts the largest convening of entrepreneurs, policymakers and business leaders in one location.Every year, the Tony Elumelu Foundation—Africa’s foremost champion of entrepreneurship—hosts the largest convening of entrepreneurs, policymakers and business leaders in one location.


This year, the 5th edition themed “Empowering African Entrepreneurs” will take place at the iconic Transcorp Hilton, in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

 

The forum will feature masterclasses, a dynamic pitching competition, electrifying panel debates, and the Presidential Dialogue. It will engage an audience of 5,000 comprising of startup entrepreneurs, development institutions and policymakers.

 

Visionary Technologies Company's CEO Mr. Francis FON TEBOH among other one hundred and two Cameroonians have been selected to take part in the 5th cycle of this programme. 

Tony_Elumelu_Foundation Winners 2019 Cameroon

 

Best Nominated Technology Company in Cameroon

 

Visionary Technologies ™ Company (VTC) has been nominated among the best Tech companies in Cameroon for the 2019 AB Afrikpreneur Awards.

 

The AB Afrikpreneur Awards in its second edition seeks to recognize entrepreneurs and businesses by adding value to their works measurably and immeasurably.

 

Visionary Technologies ™ Company is an innovation-centered company that designs, develops, and coordinates digital technology solutions that solve real societal, industrial & business problems.

 

 

 

VTC is a full-fledged Tech-centered company offering solutions comprising:

  • Web Solutions (Professional Web Design, Hosting/Domain name/SSL/Email, Web Maintenance)
  • Mobile solutions (Mobile App Development, BULK SMS)
  • Software development (Custom Software development, Software Testing/QA, etc.)
  • Digital marketing solutions (SEO and Social media marketing, Professional emailing)
  • Creative design (Logos, Business cards, Brochures, banners/flyers, Animation)
  • Business Intelligence solutions (ERP integration and Training, Data mining)
  • IT Infrastructure Management Solutions (Supplies, Networking, Installations/maintenance, Support )
  • IT/Cyber security & Compliance ( Security Audits/PEN, Cloud Security, Infrastructure Security)
  • Internet Connectivity Solution (Satellite Internet Services, Optical Fibre Internet Connection)

In over five years of existence, VTC has succeeded to build a business portfolio and now prides herself in her core values – Innovation, Professionalism and Creativity which have helped her make a difference in the highly competitive Digital world.

This is why big companies such as L’Atrium Spar, Dee-Lite, Jeffersons Group, Platinum Real Estate, The Sun Newspaper,  ST. Louis Group, PNDP,  Longrich, and many other big and small companies trust in her IT solutions.

While preparing to be in Nigeria on the 26th  and 27th of July 2019 as laureate for the African Entrepreneurs’ Championship (Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship – TEF2019, the Founder/Managing Director of Visionary Technologies ™ Company Francis Fon Teboh receives with great honor the nomination of VTC for the AB Afrikpreneur 2019 Awards.

VTC herein thank her clients and followers for nominating her among the best Tech Companies in Cameroon and as well, call on all to vote massively through this link abafrikpreneur.com/vote/

George Munang

Corporate communication & PR

VTC  

Tel: +237 652503860

11/06/2019

We know two different specification types, one is that client gives by ordering a new web project, and other is technical project documentation which is created by web design agency when taking client specification.

This article is dedicated to ones who want to engage a web design agency for creating a website or a web application, and also as guide for web design agencies which doesn’t have defined methodology jet.

It is often case that when client order a website, there is not enough specific and crucial information which are very important both for client so he can comprehensively examine their own project, and for a web design agency so it can create offer, considering all demands, wishes and to obtain clear picture of the client’s needs.

It is very rare case when client provide serious project documentation which tells precisely about all demands, project description, process flow and provides clear picture about what is expected.

Considering this, in this article you have 10 key items/elements which will help you to create a specification.

Also, on the bottom of this article there is an example of blank document/specification which is filled by clients, and one example of filled documentation.

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Necessary elements and questions for creating specification:

 1.  GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT COMPANY OR INDIVIDUAL / PURCHASER

General information is elementary introduction for a specification and it provides relevant information about:

  • Which company is that (Company name)
  • Company activities
  • Number of employees
  • Competition (link for competition websites)

It is very important that web design agency get to know with purchaser’s activities, his current presentation on the market, his marketing goals and strategy, so it can be integrated in the potential project.

 2. IS IT COMPLETELY NEW PROJECT OR IT IS REDESIGN/REPROGRAMMING OF EXISTING ONE?

Specific questions for which client should give an answer are:

  • Do you currently have a website?
  • What is the web address of that website?
  • Do you want a website redesign or completely new website?

If you already have a website, link for it will be very helpful so web design agency can get to know with currently structure of website and activities.

3. WHAT DO YOU CONCRETELY EXPECT FROM A WEBSITE?

  • New presentation which will get new clients and reflect company credibility with its high quality design
  • Sale increase of some certain product or group of products
  • Increase of visits on a website which will be converted in the concrete inquiries for product or service
  • Portfolio for presentation

Expectations from a website determine the way of its creating. This information can be useful for getting known with client’s wishes and where you should put most focus.

Very useful information is when client delivers link for websites which are closely relative to his expectations of his future website with design and functionalities.

4. WHICH TYPE IS YOUR WEBSITE?

Website types:

  • Corporate company presentation
  • Personal Page
  • Online shop (E-commerce Websites)
  • Web application
  • Social network
  • Portfolio
  • Blog
  • Website with specific functionalities

This information is very useful because it tells us which potentially CMS platform should be suitable or if it is for custom solution. This data tell us what program language should be used and which framework.

5. WEBSITE STRUCTURE

  • What is the number of webpages?
  • Sitemap is very helpful
  • How many different page type/layout (Homepage, About us, Portfolio/Gallery, Contact page)
  • Is it single language or multi language website and what is the number of languages?

It isn’t same if you want website with 4 pages or a website which has thousands of pages. Site with 4 pages also can be very complicated in terms of dedicating attention to every detail on the page and high quality design.

WEB PACKETS AREN’T THE BEST SOLUTION FOR CLIENTS.

They doesn’t precisely define client needs and purchaser or agency can be very easily damaged.

If in web package is stated that number of the pages is unlimited or 50+, and you sign contract, then it isn’t defined how much you really have to work.

It is very important not to approach website creating like “stamping” of the pages/segments. Every information is important, every layout has its purpose and for every detail attention should be dedicated.

Homepage is dominant page, but it is needed to dedicate attention to all other pages.

6.  STATIC OR DYNAMIC WEBSITE

  • Who will do importing of the content on a website (purchaser or agency)?
  • Does site needs a CMS system so purchaser can import content?
  • How often do you plan changes on site and what elements would you change?

If purchaser wants presentation which doesn’t require changes, then there is no need for creating CMS system or using some platform. First of all, client doesn’t want to pay for that, he doesn’t need that, popular platforms has vulnerability.

In reality 99% of purchasers except that their website is dynamic so they can change its content, so it is needed to plan a training for them.

7. A WEBSITE FUNCTIONALITIES

This is one of the crucial items.

At this point it is necessary that purchaser provide as much as it is possible information about the functionality itself.

Example 1:

Users have to register. After registration they receive activation mail and then they fill next info… After logging in users will have their profiles with these elements…

So, every functionality and phase/flow are explained and on basis of that it is possible to create offer and eventually sub questions.

For functionalities it is important to tell if it is online shop, social network, an auction website, portal for real estate or tourist destination searching…

Example 2:

It is needed to put 10 companies/MPs on a website, and there is 3 categories and 2 subcategories for every company. I also want you to create complete functionality, categories and subcategories and we will add the products. Payment will be by delivery, by credit cards, PayPal…

One of important information is that if website has to be responsive, adjusted for all mobile devices. This functionality has become standard and it’s almost considered as default functionality, but it is needed to discus with purchaser about that, because there are exceptions and different demands.

8. BUDGET

Information about budget which you plan to invest in potential project, may be indicator for agency about seriousness and how much you really know about the price for that kind of services.

Many purchasers avoid to define their budget, and expect that they will get offer first so in that way they «doesn’t show their cards».

However, by telling your budget you are providing agency with possibility to tell what is possible to make within that budget.

Price isn’t being calculated on basis of client’s budget, but on basis of demand, so if it is project which cost 900 euros, and client defined budget of 5000 euros, price will be 900 euros, but information about budget will be used to give additional offer to client and tell him what is possible to do to improve the project.

Also if real price for project is 2000 euros, and client defined budget of 1000 euros, it is possible to make offer within that budget, which will be without some items that increase price of creating project.

Because of that we suggest as solution to provide approximate budget, (from – to).

That is very useful information in tactic and informative way and it is favorably for both sides.

9. DEADLINES

Deadlines are very important factor that greatly impact on intern work distribution, sorting project by priority and price.

If you don’t have defined Timeframe, a deadline, then project is created in standard regime and that deadline isn’t defined doesn’t mean that the project will be created out of real Timeframe.

Project defining is directly associated with project documentation and in 99% of cases, web design agency is the one who establish approximately deadline for that project.

If purchaser demands that project has to be out of real timeframe then it is needed to work overtime, and that will affect the final price of the project.

10. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Additional information can be used for everything what isn’t cited in previously items or something what is off topic and provided questions.

I hope that this will help to ones who want to offer service, and to web design agencies who had problems with this topic

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