An application platform that combines tradition with leading edge solutions for the Tea industry
24th March 2015, Colombo; Mobitel Business Solutions, a division of Mobitel Pvt Ltd together with John Keells PLC (the produce broking arm of the John Keells Group) today launched ‘mAuction’, a superior suite of solutions for the Colombo Tea Auction connecting tea brokers and buyers on a single platform through a live feed for the first time in the history of the 130 year old Colombo Tea Auction. It provides a good example of how contemporary technologies can be aligned to deliver unparalleled efficiencies to an industry that prides its success on conventional means and deeply enriched traditions that makes Ceylon Tea a global product par excellence. Grossing an annual market turnover of US$ 1.5+ Billion per annum at the tea auction, the potential of this joint initiative is extensive.
John Keells PLC, one of the premier brokers in the industry with a reputation of being in the forefront of introducing new technologies to uplift the efficiency in the trade, envisioned and provided the entire concept for the solution and worked with a likeminded partner, Mobitel, to make the solution also known as “mAuction” a reality. Speaking about this, Hisham Nazeem – Head of Business Solutions for John Keells PLC and Head of IT Governance Risk &Compliance, said “We saw an opportunity to innovate in an industry that has national significance – the uniqueness of this concept is that it ekes out linkages between multiple industry specific processes and a plethora of technologies, to drive unprecedented levels of efficiencies at every stage of the industry value chain.” These sentiments were supported by Chamith Hettiarachchi – Head of Business Solutions for Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd, who added “combining our agile technical skills together with the strength of Mobitel, provided the impetus to productize the concept given by John Keells PLC, to build the application portfolio taking into consideration, the versatility of open technologies that has the capability to integrate with any system varying from legacy applications to emerging technology based applications.”
‘mAuction’ provides a live channel that delivers real-time information directly to tea buyers, by pushing sale information that is captured by tea brokers at each auction room. mAuction’s key value addition for both brokers and buyers is its ability to facilitate both pre and post auction processes using state of the art mobile technologies and devices that are facilitated by Mobitel. The suite of products that make this a versatile platform of choice, has the ability to integrate with both brokers’ and buyers’ back office systems to enhance process efficiencies and reduce turn-around time with regards to the transparent flow of data for greater productivity. As a platform, it provides an appropriate channel to deliver the right information at the right time, in the right form using any device to the right people, supporting contextually aware predictive modelling and analysis to disseminate information in a multi-stakeholder environment, comprising all principal industry stakeholders – tea brokers, buyers and producers. This uniquely combines the bespoke needs of all industry stakeholders, by linking disparate tea auction related processes throughout the life span of key pre and post-sale activities of all stakeholder requirements through a single system.
This joint initiative between John Keells PLC and Mobitel commenced in January 2013 with the introduction of a pilot product ‘eGavel’, that was conceptualized by the former and built by the latter to capture tea auction information at the speed of the auction in real-time.
The ‘mAuction’ suite of solutions has been built from ground-up, taking inputs from the principles of the ‘eGavel’ solution to meet primarily, the demands of a multi broker/Buyer environment, making it a more comprehensive and secure solution to capture, transmit and deliver auction information as it happens to where it is needed. Prior to the auction, all participating buyers will be able to pre-mark the lots of interest, together with target prices, the potential standards to which the lots are likely to be aligned towards, and relevant commentary to support the purchase decision at the auction. At the auction, with the progression of each lot, the buyer’s component of the solution will be automatically updated by the data that is captured by each broker and unfettered by all limitations associated with time and resource constraints – all this and more, whilst ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data that is being shared and bringing convenience to the forefront of the buyers operations. Based on the data received, the buyers’ component computes in real-time and provides a summary of purchases, averages and what is required to be purchased. Upon completing the auction run, the requisite data for both brokers and buyers back office systems can be seamlessly exchanged for pre and post logistical operations. Furthermore, tea buyers could follow the live auction from anywhere and from any device with a browser and an internet connection.
The auction information can be further extended to the general public, related authorities and interested parties in real-time for the first time in Sri Lanka.
The ‘mAuction’ solution shall be hosted and managed by Mobitel, independently ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of stakeholder’s sensitive data.
Mobitel Business Solutions (MBS) is a dedicated division of Mobitel formulated to cater to the bespoke requirements of corporate clients to eke out unique solutions that draw upon the domain expertise of the clients with the ICT skills and portfolios that are inherent with leading telecommunications technology providers to help their clients towards achieving the fullest business potentials.
Caption – Seen from left are John Keells PLC Head of Business Solutions and Head of IT Governance Risk and Compliance Hisham Nazeem, John Keells PLC CEO Sudath Munasinghe, John Keells Holdings PLC President – Plantation Sector and ICT Sanjeewa Fernando, Mobitel Senior General Manager – Marketing Nalin Perera, Mobitel Head of Business Solutions Chamith Hettiarachchi, Mobitel Manager - Business Solutions Vajira De Silva and Mobitel Senior Account Manager - Enterprise Sales Dilshan Algama introducing mAuction.