Tuesday, December 11, 2012


It is very rare that we can think that a house of worship can take active rule in promoting digital culture in term of producting and consuming its contents. All is possible by utilizing recent digital technology. In open culture the mosque should take part in sharing its messages and contributing to a creative and dynamic society.

For its contribution in society engagement, Salman mosque has won some international recognitions, including UNICEF (1986). Recently its disaster management corps has been invited to Japan to share the mosque-based disaster mitigation concept and its film maker division is also invited to France for an international short film festival in Clermont-Ferrand. Its online media Chief Editor, Yudha Sunandar, is invited by US Department of State to talk about mosque media and its role in promoting democracy at four US States in February 2013.
The Salman Mosque has a unique history as one of prominent campus mosque in Indonesia. It was founded in 1960s, in era where nobody in Indonesia thought that a state secular university can have a big mosque.

Salman Mosque is a mosque within ITB campus in Bandung. ITB is one of the best state technical university in Indonesia. It all began when some lecturers and students had difficulty to find a place that they can perform Friday prayer. Male Muslims are obliged to do Friday congregation prayer (Jum´ah) whenever it is possible, so they formed a committee for a campus mosque in 1960.
Somewhat miracolous in a high tense of ideological fightings in Indonesia at that time (the Nasakom era – in which President Sukarno coined an idea to unite the nationalists, the religious people, and the communists in one front and it gave the facto opportunity for the communists to launch some objections of any religious expressions in secular campus), the President himself supported the idea in May 1964 and even gave the name Salman. Salman was a Prophets´ companion who was an engineer in building defense trench outside beleaguered Madina city. So the plan was rolling and and in the end of 1964, Salman Mosque is already operational.

Today as a mosque within a technical university. Salman Mosque is equipped by Wireless Fidelity (Wi-fi) service provided by State-Owned telecommunication company, Telkom. It is a part of Telkom´s CSR and he users could expect a fast Speedy service connection up to 3 Mbps.
Budhiana Kartawijaya, the Chief Editor of the prestigious local newspaper Pikiran Rakyat, has volunteered as Head of Research and Publishing Division in the mosque. He has coined Salman Cybermosque concept in which the engagement of the users is emphasized. Wi-fi or computers are only hardware thing and it is only a part of the whole cybermosque concept. One important aspect is how to turn the users into prosumers (producer-consumer). The key is to give opportunities for the users not only to consume but also to produce the content. Salim Rusli, the Manager of the Division has held wide range topics of discussions -sometimes controversial topics are also discussed - from Marxism to hyper-reality and upload the discussion results to the online media. This www.salmanitb.com has many sections from news, opinion, the mosque´s agenda and calendar, religious consultation, and even some funny cartoons. There are approximately 1,000 visitors per month to the site. The Salman Film Maker has trained some young people to make their own films and as told in the beginning of this article, they will go to one of International Film Festival. They even once had online radio whose apps for Android can be downloaded in the internet. It is a eligion audio content provider featuring audio inspiration, motivation, education, and religion content including talk shows.

I think Salman Cybermosque can be an excellent example how to transform a traditional mosque into pro-active prosumer mosque in digital world.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Plantation Holding: A New Learning Giant?

Estananto (Researcher at PIKIR Institute, Jakarta. This is my personal view)

The State Minister for SOE Dahlan Iskan in many occasions has announced that Plantation Holding will be conducted in this year. The PTPN III has been appointed as holding company. Megananda, former Deputy of SOE Ministry for Primary Industry Business, has been appointed as President Director of PTPN III. The asset of newly founded holding company is approximately IDR 50 trillion; its book total revenue is prognosed to be IDR 45 trillion. It is seeking for bank loan and equity at least IDR 5 trillion in the first year for expansion within the holding (Bisnis Indonesia, March 2, 2012). It is poised to be a tough competitor for big regional plantations like Singapore’s Wilmar or Malaysia’s Sime Darby (Kontan Online, February 6, 2012).
The holding company of plantation was actually expected to be formed before the end of 2007. The plantation holding company would aim at value creation by improving capital structure and enhancing financial capacity through the synergy effect of a holding company. One issue was the lack of legal basis for the holding company (Wicaksono, 2008). There were heavy critics on this plan, for example economist Faisal Basri who argued that the plantation holding company would not be effective in improving PTPN’s competitiveness because the plantations are scattered across the archipelago (Basri, 2007).
SOE Holding Experiences
It seems that the appointment of PTPN III as operating holding company is following model of previous SOE’s holdingization process already took place since 1990s. It was a very long story involving many stakeholders. Cement producer holding model by placing Semen Gresik as holding company and fertilizer producer holding model with Pupuk Indonesia as holding company are good examples of this.
Irnanda Laksanawan, a deputy at Ministry of SOE said that the holding process is already ongoing. The first phase is that Semen Gresik is the Operating Holding and Semen Padang and Semen Tonasa are units under the holding. Now they run marketing activities together. The second phase is a Functional Holding, where marketing, procurement, and project activities of the companies are under one roof. The third phase is that the three companies are placed under a new holding company named Semen Indonesia (Fajar Online, October 5, 2011). The last issue concerning Semen Gresik holding plan was the local government of Padang wanted to be a shareholder of Semen Padang whose shares are owned 99.9% by PT. Semen Gresik, Tbk. The holding company said it is no problem as long as the intention is approved by its shareholders (Bisnis Indonesia, January 20, 2012). The holding currently occupies 43% Indonesian cement market.
The holding process of Pupuk Sriwidjaja (now Pupuk Indonesia) was also not without question; the South Sumatra provincial parliament had even asked the government to “delay” the holding process. They discussed local shares problem of the provincial government in Pusri. Some Pusri’s retirees even rejected the plan because by rooting out the holding, it will be taxed in Jakarta instead in Palembang (Republika Online, October 28, 2008).

Challenges and Prospects of Plantation Holding
The state-owned plantations roots could be traced back to 1958, when nationalization of Dutch plantations took place. Through some long reorganization processes they were becoming 14 state plantations in 1996. The potential is high. The total landbank size is very big, approximately one million hectares, the plantations have good know how and human resources, the future prospect is very good, and the domestic and international market is still developing. Study shows that the best holding form in this case would be Investment Holding, not Operational Holding, with one addition that marketing and procurement activities would also be performed by the holding company (Muluk et. al., 2007).
Goold (1995) warned that any misinterpretation on how synergy between units under parent should be done can backfire. Linkage influence is about creating value by fostering cooperation and synergy between the parent’s business units. For instance, a global consulting company can endorse a sharing back-office system such as client billing and data processing for its newly acquired consulting services, or a sharing brand name, or even client managers for a whole client activities in the group. However, the intention to make a synergy might result anergy, a term coined by Guy Jillings, Head of Strategic Planning of Shell International Petroleum. Anergy emerges when sharing effort backfires because, for instance, the sharing billing system becomes complicated because the needs of each business units are different. Such thing may force the managers to prefer to do business with outsiders rather than insiders to avoid parental intervention.
In term of the ongoing plantation holding, it is very important to learn extensively from Semen Gresik and Pupuk Indonesia’s experiences. Given the fact that the plantation locations scatter across archipelago and even each plantation has its own regional characteristics, there should be careful holding process in order not to even overcomplicate the linkage between units or overburden the budget. In era of regional autonomy in Indonesia, some local aspects should be also adhered; it is not only about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), but also about how to maintain the holding’s business sustainable. Sometimes numbers are not enough, but whatever underlying those numbers are the most important.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Telkom Sigma welcomes Big Data Era

Telkom Sigma, a subsidiary of state-owned Telkom Group, has provided Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) as new cloud service products. They offer mobile M-force which has gained 7,000 users and I-connet with 5,000 users. They also provide 50 BPR (Bank Perkreditan Rakyat - small and micro/rural banking sector) in 600 nodes. The service costs only Rp. 7.5 million per month.

Cloud service will slash down IT infrastructure costs in many businesses as well as much operational IT costs. The users can also be very flexible with changing business environment because the infrastructure and even in SaaS also software maintenance is not managed internally.

Telkom Sigma has occupied 33% cloud market in banking sector and their target is to raise the market share   within opportunities created by a Bank Indonesia regulation. Bank Indonesia is Indonesian Central Bank has endorsed that all banks should have their Data Center and Disaster Recovery Center in Indonesia. Telkom Sigma has targeted more revenues and in 2013 the target is 1 trillion rupiah. In 2012, they targeted to have 29% y-o-y more revenue than 2011, which is Rp. 578 billion.

To achieve those targets, Telkom Sigma has acquired 4,000 square meter IBM data center in Sentul. The data center is categorized as Tier-III-plus because it has two different power sources, guaranting redundant capacity components and 99.982% availability. In total, Telkom Sigma will invest Rp. 1 trillion for all new big data strategy.