Software Park Thailand is a semi-government operation under the
National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) within the
Ministry of Science and Technology. It was approved by the government
in 1997 and became fully operational in 2000 with the aim to promote
the growth of the Thai software industry by attracting local and
international partners to form a cluster of software-related businesses
supported by worldclass infrastructure and technologies.
To become a first-rate learning organization that supports
entrepreneurs to create a strong world-class software industry, making
software an enabler for competitiveness of the Thai economy.
The main missions of Software Park Thailand are to:
Some of the
missions resulted from studies done in 1996 by the National IT
Committee to find ways to create strong viable software industry. The
last one was added on after a study by the National Economic and Social
Development Board in 2000 (McKinsey) on
quality standards of local software companies to international level
-through software process improvement frameworks (such as CMM).
transfer of relevant technologies for the software industry - directed
at professionals and management levels.
capability building for mature companies and incubation of new
start-ups software entrepreneurs.
new market opportunities for local software businesses at domestic and
international levels, including business match-making, finding new
market channels as well as funding sources.
use of IT, especially through use of appropriate software, to all
sectors of the economy to help increase productivity and
productivity of Thai industries which showed most industries to be
using too little IT, and in 2003 (Harvard Business School) on five
strategic industries: food, fashion, automotive, Software Park Thailand
2 27/5/2004 tourism, and software – showing the need to have software
as an enabler for all economic sectors).
These missions are served by operational units within Software Park
Thailand, i.e. Technology Transfer, Business Development and
Market Enabling, Incubation Center, IT Center for Industry and
specialized programs set up with our technology and business partners,
for example: E-Services Bazaar, Center of Excellence for Computer
Security, Database Technology Competency Center, etc. Also provided is
the facilitation of technical and business infrastructure and some
Software Park Thailand maintains very close interactions with the
private sector directly to the software companies as well as to the
industry associations. Its Steering Committee consists primarily of
private sector representatives. It also operates a few centers of
excellence that bridge business corporations with academic institutions
in order to organize collaborative activities that enhance a rapid
movement toward international best practices and subsequently enable
the entire Thai software industry to proudly have its place in the
world software community.
Although its role is limited to that of an experimental station for the
Thai government due to budget limitations, it has the demonstration
effects for different private sector groups to set up a number of
software parks and technology parks in various parts of Thailand. These
of Thailand named Software Park Thailand as one of the three major ICT success cases for
Thailand at the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) conference in Geneva
- IT park in Bangkok (operational in
- E-Saan Software Park in Khon Kaen,
capital of the northeast (operational in December 2003);
- Samui IT Complex in Samui - a famous
resort island (operational in October 2003),
- Phuket Software Park in the South
(in progress); and
- ICT Knowledge Park in Chiangmai (in
progress), to name a few.
As of April 2004 Software Park Thailand:
activities of Software Park Thailand are in the following areas:
- houses 50
mature software companies (ranging from a few people to about 30 people
- totaling about 550 IT professionals)
another 32 start-up software companies and free-lancers in its
Incubation Center (for one year)
and cooperates with more than 350 software companies in the rest of the
country (mostly in Bangkok)
process improvement – software quality standards
enabling: visits, networking functions, missions (domestic and abroad)
match-making (domestic and abroad)
coordination (through venture capital investor, angel investors, banks,
and legal information service
training (technical and non-technical)
events (domestic and abroad)
space facilitation and business support
centers operation (with technology vendors, e.g. Mobile E-services
Bazaar, M-Lab, Center of Excellence for Computer Security-CeCOS,
Database Competency Center)
community events (e.g. Thai Java User Group-ThaiJUG, Security Forum,
Linux Community, ThaiXML Group)
Over the past decade much work has been done in the ICT policy making,
including the National ICT Master Plan
(ICT 2010) was handled through the National
Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) under the National Science and Technology Agency
(NSTDA). Software Park Thailand was established as part of
NECTEC’s national project before becoming a separate unit under NSTDA
However, in October 2002, a new Ministry
of Information and Communication Technology was established as
part of the government bureaucracy reform, which transferred almost all
of NECTEC’s role in ICT policy making.
The present government has adopted five national strategic industries;
food, fashion, tourism, automotive, and software as part of the
National Competitiveness Program under the National Economic and Social Development
Board (NESDB) programs for the next five years. In November 2003
the Software Industry Promotion
Agency (SIPA) was set up under the Ministry of ICT with the
mandate to help promote software industry at the policy and
macro-economic level. This was part the ICT Master Plan of Thailand
(ICT2010 Plan), which was approved by the government in 2001. The role
of Software Park Thailand under the Ministry
of Science and Technology then became more focused as the
operator for promotional activities at micro-economic (company) level
in line with SIPA’s national policy.
Since the beginning of Software Park Thailand in 1998, there have been
many activities and co-operations with the Secretariat Office of the Board of
Investment in the promotion of software industry investment
from abroad with incentives on par with neighboring countries. The
collaboration with the Ministry of
Commerce has also been strong; especially with the Department of Intellectual Propery
in various activities regarding intellectual property protection; and
the Department of Export Promotion
in the activities regarding export of software products and services.
From 2001 onward, close collaboration with the Department of Industry Promotion, Ministry
of Industry took place in the area of software start-up
companies incubation. This was done as part of the Small and Medium
Entrepreneurs (SMEs) promotion activities which is a major government
Close collaborations have also been established with industry
associations such as the Association
of Thai Computer Industry (ATCI) and the Association of Thai Software Industry
(ATSI), the Federation of Thai
Industries (FTI), the various chambers of commerce, and
commercial sections of many embassies.
Software Park Thailand worked with many counterpart organizations in
various countries to create potential markets for each other’s software
businesses. For example:
Note: The partial list of some of the
contacts for these international counterparts are shown in the appendix.
Technology Parks India (STPI): India
and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC): India
- Korea IT
Promotion Agency (KIPA): Korea
Super Corridor: Malaysia
ICT Park: Myanmar
Software Park: Vietnam
Technology Park (ATP): Australia
Fair (CeBIT): Germany
Development Agency (IDA): Singapore
City of Sapporo: Japan
Exchange programs have been arranged with some of these counterparts to
allow for easy access into each other’s market opportunities
Many local and international bodies have been working with Software
Park Thailand on various fronts to help create greater awareness on:
policy, regulations, rights, and threats of ICT for the individuals and
the public. Critical issues such as intellectual property rights and
protection have been worked on with the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and various
international vendors. However, the local piracy rate for home-use
software (at about 75-80%) is comparatively lower than the overall
Southeast Asia region (at about 80-85%, BSA figure) but still much
higher than the global rate (at about 40%). This domestic rate of
home-use software (in PCs and games) is much higher than the corporate
rate since violations in corporations and large offices are much lower.
Software Park Thailand played a direct role in promoting awareness and
concern about the rights of software developers.
Note: In 2003, the Ministry of ICT
introduced the “Low Cost PC” project which create large low-end market
of about one hundred thousand
PCs at about US$250 each. With these fast growing numbers of PC users
(at about 7 million PCs in
2004) the number of first-time PCs who may not be aware of the rights
and IP issues will create more
The ICT Master Plan set some domestic and government target to increase
more open source software uses. Software Park Thailand has the policy
of treating open source software as simply another category of software
platform. However, it should be noted that the first Thai language
Open-Source Office software was initiated and developed at a local
company (Algorithms Co., Ltd.) within Software Park Thailand in 2001.
This was the collaboration of Sun Microsystems and local software
developers to produce an alternative desktop products to those of
Later on, NECTEC produced its own version of Office Thai Language
Edition (Office TLE) as well as Linux TLE. With two standards present
in the same market, use of open source is increasing, although it would
have been more effective if there were just one unified effort. Today,
there are a number of small companies who are working on Linux-based
desk top applications and back-end office applications that are
targeting users who want to be legitimate and do not wish to pay on the
per-user basis. There has not been a direct
Software Park Thailand 5 27/5/2004 government announcement on the
promotion of open source software as had been for many countries.
within Software Park Thailand
The following discussion focuses on just a few of the more
ground-breaking activities for Thailand and may be viewed as a role
model for the other operations of similar types.
The incubator facility provides help to nurture technology ideas into
commercial successes. Software Incubation Center is an integral part of
Software Park Thailand’s mission to provide the most enabling
environment for start-up companies or individuals who have growth
potential in software development to create a successful business. Part
of the Center’s funding comes from other government agencies such as
the Department of Industry Promotion.
Software Park Thailand provides workspace, constructive and supportive
environments to software entrepreneurs at start-up and during the early
stages of their businesses at no charge for a period of one year.
Entrepreneurs will continue to be supported for another two years
outside of the incubator. The strength of this program comes from the
tremendous support given by successful business people who act as
mentors, judges, instructors, etc. to help new start-ups.
Individuals and start-up companies that meet the following
qualifications can apply for entry into the program:
know-how in software development
- Have been
an entrepreneur for no more than 2 years
- Have a
viable business plan
potential growth in revenue and employment
in provided training, business networking and other events
- Ready to
commit to a one year incubation program
- Willing to
work in a cooperative environment with other entrepreneurs and
Business Development and Market Enabling
initial training in business plan writing is given free of charge about
one month prior to application due date.
applicant submits the business plan to a panel of software business
experts, business executives, technologists, and representatives from
funding sources. The selectioncriteria are strict but based most
importantly on their potential for business success.
selected entrepreneurs (participants) then begin their period of
incubation with anassigned mentor (most of whom are successful managing
directors in IT businesses).These mentors volunteer their time once a
month to advise the incubating entrepreneurs. Each month, a progress
report is required from each participant to the incubator’s management.
this period a number of practical courses are offered to the
participant in areas such as project management, marketing techniques,
negotiation techniques, sale tips, presentation skills, legal and
business practices, software process improvement overview,etc.
- In the
first year, participants are invited to exhibitions, trade shows, site
visits to successful companies, special seminars, and all events
participated by Software Park Thailand.
coverage of the products and services and other marketing efforts to
help getting their product and services to the market are also
with other businesses and funding sources (including venture capital
investor and angel investor) are also organized for the participants.
Through the Business Development and Market Enabling arm, Software Park
Thailand creates an environment conducive to growing and to networking
of businesses. This helps strengthen local software industry by:
1. Activating and
expanding market channels for Thai software businesses both domestically and
Thai ICT advantage.
skills needed for successful businesses of local software entrepreneurs.
business linkages between domestic and international software entrepreneurs.
5. Providing and
maintaining the information database of IT software and services in Thailand.
coordination for small-and medium-sized software companies with local and
international venture capital investors, angel investors and other financial resources.
Key Activities include:
IT Center for
Thailand and promote Thai companies to foreign clients through
participations of Thai software companies in the domestic and
international trade events and international ICT conferences such as
APEC Investment Mart (Thailand), SoftExpo (Korea), CeBIT (Australia),
IndiaSoft (India), Hong Kong ICT Trade Exhibition, e-Silk Road
Convention, ASOCIO Meetings, etc.
- Conduct IT
business seminars and business-oriented trainings in topics such as
marketing techniques, business law and legal tips, intellectual
property rights protection, government policy updates, new market
- Act as the
domestic market place where software companies can meet with potential
buyers from other industries.
strategic alliances with international public and private organizations
such as KIPA (Korea), AusTrade (Australia), GTCC (Germany), ESC
(India), etc.; to formulate strategic business networking and exchange
business missions to visit potential markets. This is done in
collaboration with various counterparts in many countries as well as by
partnering with Thai government agencies such as the Department of
forum for overseas and domestic companies to explore potentials for
joint ventures, strategic and marketing alliance, outsourcing
information on IT companies and software products in Thailand. This is
done via website www.swpark.or.th and yearly publication of software
company profiles in CD-ROM format.
with the venture capital investors and link them with the Thai software
- Link with
software parks (or IT parks, technology parks, or similar counterparts)
in other cities within Thailand as well as those abroad to create
closer ties, exchange of best practices, and business opportunities.
English language legal contract templates for various business
situations. This helps small companies with limited resources. It also
helps standardizing some contract features for this industry. (This
work also involves the government agencies such as the Department of
Intellectual Property and the Department of Business Promotion.)
This unit handles industrial/business process fusion within the IT
environment. We learned that many local industries over the past decade
have been slow in utilizing IT tools and as a result has become less
competitive. The old assumption that once the entrepreneurs became more
educated they will themselves introduce the use of more productive
processes and tools has not proved to be correct. Therefore, a
more proactive role of IT and business process fusion has been adopted
by Software Park Thailand in conjunction with many institutions
representing various industries to identify and create pool of people
with both IT skills (especially in software technology) and specific
business domain expertise. IT Center for Industry was set up as an
extension of Market Enabling to:
competitiveness of all other manufacturing and service industries
through the use of software,
which enables the business to grow as well as contributes to the wealth of the nation.
2. Form special
interest clusters for software businesses that support interactions and
of practical knowledge and best practices among themselves and across clusters.
The Technology Transfer Unit aims to strengthen the capability of local
professionals. It acts as a center for technology transfer by way
of formal and informal training, seminars, workshops, discussion
groups, and community forums to facilitate information sharing among IT
professionals in the technical as well as management areas. The work is
done both through in-house staff and with knowledge partners from
outside. Areas of knowledge transfer range from software technologies,
software engineering process, to IT management. The primary
emphasis is on practical aspects of industry and user needs. Most of
the courses are designed for either practitioners or for training of
Technologies – provide knowledge and skills necessary for IT
professionals responding to present-day needs of the software industry.
The courses mostly focus on practical and hands-on experience, the
majority of these classes lead to technology specific professional
certifications. The focus is at the level of vendor specific
specialization and certification programs (such as: Sun, Microsoft, Red
Hat Linux, Cisco, SAP). Specific topics of great need such as IT
security are also organized as a special training track.
Engineering Process – involves systematic approaches into the software
development life-cycle (analysis, design, programming, testing, and
deployment) and quality management. Best practices for developing and
improving software development process. The classes include: SDLC
process design, requirement analysis, software configuration
management, software quality assurance, etc.
Management – helps organizations to make the most of IT utilization by
proper management of IT resources. The courses are designed for IT
professionals, IT and non-IT managers and executives (CIOs, CEOs) on
how to plan and manage IT more effectively as well as how to manage
effectively by using IT. Classes include: strategic IT planning, IT
architecture, project management (both IT and general projects), etc.
Activities- besides regular scheduled training, series of seminars and
events are organized to keep abreast with rapid advances in IT.
Community forums to provide updates and sharing of information are run
on monthly basis such as Thai JUG (Java User Group), Thai Linux
Community, IT Security Forum, and Thai XML Group.
Process Improvement Center (SPIC)
This Center provides competitive advantage to software producing units
in the area of software process improvement. The mission is to serve
the software industry as a knowledge center to increase productivity
and quality of software companies to achieve business excellence
through software process improvement and management services. This is
done through consulting, training, assessments, seminars and Software
Process Improvement Network (SPIN).
SPIC offers consulting service in not only software process improvement
but also implementing and institutionalizing the international
well-recognized frameworks such as SW-CMM® (Capability Maturity
Model for Software), CMMI® (CMM Integration), ISO 15504 (Known as
SPICE–Software Process Improvement and Capability dEtermination) and
other compliance standards.
The consulting team members are equipped with experience in the areas
of software process improvement (SPI), software engineering, and
quality management. Moreover, SPIC has an innovative and systematic
unified process to ensure practical ready-to-use solutions for all
aspects of SPI.
SPIC provides a suite of on-site public and customized training
programs in software process improvement, software engineering and
management. (SPIC has trained over 1,500 IT professionals since 1999 in
the Introduction to SW-CMM® by authorized SW-CMM® instructors,
Software Quality Management, Software Project Management, Software
Testing, Software Estimations, Process and Template Writing and so on.
In the near future, there will be more training on other SPI
standard/frameworks to the industry.)
Software Park Thailand was the first organization to offer commercial
SW-CMM® Assessments and CMMI Appraisals in Thailand by authorized
SW-CMM® Lead Assessors and CMMI Lead Appraiser. It is also
designated as an accredited coordinator for SEI in Thailand. Besides
formal assessment, mini-assessments to diagnose the organization’s
readiness for the formal Assessment are also conducted.
SPIC provides a forum for exchanging and sharing knowledge and best
practices through bi-monthly Software Improvement Process Network
(SPIN) meeting. SPIC also co-organizes with QAI India to arrange the
Annual SEPG (Software Engineering Process Group)
Conference in Asia.
Note: Through working with Software Engineering
Institute (SEI), Carnegie Mellon University, the core group for this
activity was built using strong public-private partnership model of
collaboration between technical staff of Software Park Thailand and a
group of local private sector specialists. Since 1999, a group of Thai
software specialists were sponsored by Software Park Thailand to be
trained and certified as SW-CMM instructors.
Resulting in 5 certified SW-CMM
instructors, 7 SW-CMM Lead Assessors, and 1 CMMI Lead Appraiser. Now the transition is being prepared for
transition toward CMMI. Software Park Thailand supported private sector
individuals to be certified as
instructors and assessors. This group has help local Thai companies to
achieve SW-CMM since 2000.
Using the model of knowledge sharing,
Software Park Thailand has worked with private sector partners to get more software companies to become
aware of the necessity of the process improvement standards (such as ISO9000, CMM, etc.). The need is not just
to make them stronger and better as an organization but also to get them recognized at the international level
in order to get into the global market. The plan is to get more of the small size companies to create their
internal processes within the CMM framework as early in their business
life as possible.
By April 2004, through the
collaboration of Software Park Thailand and local software companies
over a number of years, some
very encouraging results can be seen:
- SW-CMM: 12 companies at level 2, 1 company
at level 4
- CMMI: 1 company at level 5.
- There are also about a dozen software
companies with ISO9001 and ISO9000:2000.
Software Park Thailand is a center providing appropriate facilities for
software businesses (office space and technical infrastructures). With
its five main missions mandated by the Thai government, Software Park
Thailand’s role has grown to become much more than an industrial estate
operation that many people initially understood it to be. Some of the
lessons learned over the past few years can be summarized as follows:
apparent success of Software Park Thailand is due to the private
sector’s (both entrepreneurs and vendors) continuing support of its
operations. The fact that many private sector and some public-private
software park projects have been developed in various locations of
Thailand where there are possibilities for software businesses to grow
are perhaps the best proof that something was done right to convince
private sector replication of Software Park Thailand’s effort. The
future will soon show if the overall economic impact to the country in
software industry as well as in other sector of the economy are
actually worth the effort.
- It should
be noted that Software Park Thailand is the forerunner of “Thailand
Science Park” (also under NSTDA), which is a much bigger government
supported project for science and technology. Some of the roles played
by Software Park Thailand are really the initial experiences for the
Thai government in getting directly involved with hightech niche areas
of IT industry. Since starting in 2000, there has not been sufficient
time for complete evaluation to measure the performance of its many
roles in fulfilling its missions. However, the various indications from
industry feed back and private sector participation have been very
positive for its continuing and evolving operations.
distinction from some of the other industry promotion policy is the
fact that the direction of Software Park Thailand is not focused just
in the export of software but in getting software to become the enabler
of other local businesses, industries, and agriculture. To this end the
overall benefit to the country has to be measured not just within the
software industry but has to include the extra value added to the
competitiveness of other economic sectors when IT (especially software)
has been utilized.
- The major
drawback for Software Park Thailand operation has been the limitation
of government support – not just in funding. This is due to a
misunderstanding of what Software Park Thailand is supposed to do. Also
the lack of proper integration of activities among many government
agencies has led to unnecessary duplication of efforts. The National
ICT Master Plan was not adhered to at the time of the formation of the
Ministry of ICT, which makes ICT resources split among many agencies.
- One of the
major successes of the project has been the formation of the national
software industry cluster which has the impact of getting software
businesses involved and moving faster in becoming a major player in
raising the competitiveness of the other business sectors.
significant lesson learned over the past five years is the necessity
for close collaboration with business partners and to listen carefully
at the needs and to come up with the appropriate response in a timely
of Software Parks and Software Industry Organizations Thailand
1. Software Park Thailand
National Science and Technology Development Agency
Dr. Rom Hiranpruk
Software Park Building, 4th Floor
99 Chaengwattana Road, Pakkred,
Nontaburi 11120, Thailand
2. IT Park
Internet Thailand Public Co.Ltd.
Mr. Paramentra Ruckwong, Project Manager
1768 IFCT Tower, 10th-12th and IT Floor
New Petchburi Road, Huay Khwang
Bangkok 10320, Thailand
3. E-Saan Software Park
Khon Kaen University
Dr. Arom Tattawasart, Chairman
Academic Building, 4th Floor, Khon Kaen University
Mittrapharb Road, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
4. Samui IT Complex
Web Sawadee Co.,Ltd
Mr.Roland Schetter, CEO
142/17 M.4, Maret Road, Samui,
Tel.: 0-7745 8000
Fax: 0-7741 8528
5. Phuket Software Park (in
Dr.Kongkiat Kespechara, Managing Director
Open Source Technology Co.Ltd.
75/34 Phuket Garden Ville
Phuket 83000, Thailand
6. Software Industry Promotion Agency
Ministry of Information and Communication
Mr.Manoo Oradeedolchest, President
89/2 ToT Corporation Pub.Co.Ltd.
Buidling 9, 11th Floor
Chaengwattana Road, Laksi 10210, Thailand