Friday, 15 June 2012

IT in the Bush

Contributed by Guillaume Foutry 

I think we made it clear in the previous posts that operating business in Liberia is not necessarily easy. Sometimes to find the appropriate solution, we have to be quite innovative and resourceful. That means if one of our clients operates in the middle of the bush, we have to go there and make it happen.

So two weeks ago, I took a plane to go to the PIOM (Putu Iron Ore Mining) site in the Grand Gedeh County. There is only one way to describe it: this is in the middle of the bush. Everything that is there has been brought/built by the company. So the least I can say it is challenging to do any type of IT operation there.

I went there to assist one of our technicians to set up a server, and I have to say it was quite a challenging operation: between spending 2 hours on Skype to get the manufacturer resetting its equipment to dealing with Russian employees not speaking much English, we had our faire share of difficult moments. But we managed to get everything done in time. 

It was a great experience and an eye-opener on how challenging it can be to operate a business outside the capital, and even more so in the bush. I also saw how much Liberia desperately needs better infrastructure and more skilled people to keep on moving forward. So at NATC, we believe that, by training our Liberian IT staff, we are doing our share and contributing to the progress of Liberia.