Friday, October 21, 2011

End of Assignment

Today marks the end of my Corporate Services Corps assignment. We have left Coimbatore and arrived in Mumbai and some of the IBMers have even started their return trips back home.

Earlier this week we briefed our recommended solution to our client. Diana Price, a U.S. citizen who has spent the last 4 years volunteering as a trainer for Isha Vidhya’s teachers, expressed some concerns about the inability to interact in real-time with remote teachers via video-conferencing technology from our recommended solution.

Our team quickly incorporated Diana’s feedback and came back with a modified solution that would allow trainers and teachers to interact with each other via video-conferencing technology but in a limited fashion due to the limited bandwidth. Rather than having all schools connect with each other, our modified solution proposed having a few schools monitored by a trainer each time. This solution relied on network bandwidth advertised by the Internet Service Provider (ISP) that provides service to the rural schools and nationwide.

Unfortunately, when this solution was presented to Diana this week, we learned from her that in reality the rural schools do not get the bandwidth that is advertised by the carrier. This was a disappointing finding. Nevertheless, our recommended solution was still not economical until Isha Vidhya opens 11 schools (currently they have 7). Our final recommendation was that Isha Vidhya delay the implementation of our recommended solution for 2 years until enough schools are opened, giving also time to the ISP to improve network bandwidth in the rural areas.


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