Thursday, January 31, 2008

Valentine's Day di Tahun Tikus


MEMASUKI bulan Februari ini ada dua peristiwa penting, yang banyak orang merayakannya. Yang pertama adalah imlek, tahun baru Imlek, yang tahun ini jatuh pada 7 Februari. Yang kedua, apalagi kalau bukan Valentine’s Day yang selalu hadir setiap 14 Februari. 

Imlek adalah salah satu hari raya Tionghoa tradisional, yang dirayakan pada hari pertama dalam bulan pertama kalender Tionghoa, bulan baru kedua setelah hari terjadinya hari terpendek musim dingin. Hari raya yang juga dikenal sebagai “Festival Musim Semi” dirayakan oleh ras keturunan Cina di seluruh dunia, tak terkecuali Indonesia. Tidak hanya tradisi yang khas, tapi juga makanannya pun khas.

Sementara Valentine’s Day, meski bukan budaya asli Indonesia, mendapat perhatian khusus bagi para pasangan yang ingin melanggengkan cinta dan tali kasihnya. Sebenarnya, ada berbagai ersi bagaimana hari kasih sayang ini terbentuk. Versi yang populer adalah, berawal dari pernyataan oleh Paus Gelasius sebagai hari untuk memperingati Santo Valentine. Ia adalah orang yang dianggap suci dan berjasa menyebarkan cinta kasih kepada manusia. Berawal dari itu, Valentine’s Day akhirnya dikenal sebagai hari yang dipenuhi kasih sayang. Termasuk segala perbuatan seperti berbagi hadiah dengan orang yang disayangi, pernyataan cinta, dan hal-hal indah lainnya. Lalu, tradisi ini berjalan secara turun-temurun hingga saat ini. Bagaimana cara Anda merayakannya? Atau justru anti perayaan ini? (Abe)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Truffle


Para pecinta makanan Italia pasti tidak asing dengan Rosso. Restoran (dan lounge) mewah itu terletak di Hotel Shangri-La Jakarta. Rosso, dalam bahasa Italia, berarti merah, "the colour of passion, heat, and everything exciting in life, and Rosso prides itself with presenting authentic northern Italian cuisine with a fiery Italian vibe."

Tapi bukan hanya keotentikan kuliner Italia versi "utara" yang pastanya lebih banyak menggunakan butter, cream, polenta, mascarpone dan parmigiano cheese itu. Yang menarik perhatian saya adalah menu dengan menggunakan truffle.

Truffle adalah bahan sejenis jamur yang tumbuh 5 cm-40 cm di bawah tanah dan hanya ada di tempat-tempat tertentu. Truffle putih (Tuber magnatum) yang baunya lebih tajam dibandingkan dengan truffle hitam (Tuber melanosporum), adalah makanan yang sejak beratus tahun telah dikenal sebagai makanan lezat di Italia dan kemudian keterkenalannya menyebar ke berbagai tempat di dunia.

Selain tidak bisa dibudidayakan, truffle tumbuh liar dan bersimbiosis saling menguntungkan dengan pohon oak, juga masa panennya pendek. Truffle dipanen antara pertengahan Oktober sampai pertengahan Desember. Di luar waktu itu tidak ada truffle putih. Asal tahu saja, karena langka harga truffle putih disebut sebagai emasnya masakan bisa mencapai 3.500 dollar AS atau sekitar Rp 31,5 juta per kilogram. Rosso hanya dapat menyediakan menu truffle (putih) pada November dan Desember saja.

Untuk indra pengecap, truffle terasa agak menggigit. Aromanya yang amat tajam terus menemani setiap suapan. Dan inilah yang luar biasa, meskipun belum terbukti secara ilmiah, ada yang memercayai truffle memiliki khasiat afrodisiak alias membangkitkan gairah seks. "Efeknya mungkin seperti viagra," tukas Chef Rosso, Alessandro Santi, sambil tertawa. Wow!

Bagaimana mungkin makanan disamakan dengan viagra? Tapi yang jelas, cerita tentang makanan-makanan tertentu yang bisa membangkitkan gairah asmara bukan omong kosong belaka. Kepercayaan bahwa afrodiasiak ampuh membangkitkan libido juga bukan isapan jempol. Konon, otak kita merupakan organ seks terbesar yang kita milki. Makanan, wewangian, dan minuman merupakan 'benda' menyenangkan yang dikenali otak.

Ada beberapa, yaitu bumbu, seperti cabe, kare, dan makanan yang berbau merangsang memicu keluarnya keringat diyakini sebagai afrodisiak yang ampuh. Lalu ada tiram. Makanan laut yang satu ini sudah lama dipercaya mampu membantu aktivitas seksual untuk berbagai golongan usia. Masih banyak deretan makanan yang diyakini sebagai afrodisiak; kaviar, wasabi (horseradish), jahe, bawang putih, ketumbar, pare, kucai, seledri, ginseng, ginko biloba, vanila, cokelat, pisang, madu, dan lain-lain.

Boleh percaya, boleh tidak, tapi jawaban yang lebih masuk akal saya peroleh dari Sezai Zorlu, Head Chef Anatolia Restaurant Group. Makanan Turki, katanya, banyak memiliki syarat sebagai makanan sehat, bahkan lebih dari itu makanan afrodisiak. Negeri dari selat Bosphorus itu menawarkan petualangan kuliner dengan cita rasa khas: dari menu sehat ala vegetarian sampai yang berbahan daging pilihan dengan kandungan protein tinggi. Selain kaya sayur-sayuran segar, masakan Turki juga boros dengan minyak zaitun yang menyehatkan dan konon mengandung antioksidan tinggi.

Makanan afrodisiak agaknya ada hubungannya makanan sehat. Menurut Sezai, pada dasarnya, makanan yang sehat membuat tubuh menjadi sehat pula. Dan dalam tubuh yang sehat terdapat jiwa yang sehat, eit kok mirip "Men sana in corpore sano". Maksudnya, tubuh yang sehat berarti sirkulasi darah ke jantung juga lancar, tidak tersumbat kolesterol jahat, bebas dari asam urat, organ-organ tubuh pun dapat berfungsi dengan baik pula, tak terkecuali organ seksual. So, seberapa sehatkah makanan Anda? (Abe)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

From low wattage to killer of bacteria


An air-conditioner capable of killing viruses, such as the avian flu virus? At least, this is what LG Electronics Indonesia (LGEIN) claims its Neo Plasma Plus Ion air-conditioners can do in various ads. "LG introduced Plasma technology in its air-conditioners in 1999. This technology has since been improved upon in many aspects," said Ariawan Ferianto, head of AC product marketing of LGEIN when launching its latest air-conditioner recently.

LG plasma air-conditioners have special filters that reportedly make them suitable for the health-conscience. Technology-wise, these AC models have an ion generator that reportedly releases millions of hydrogen and oxygen ions into the air, which interact with the air to form OH- ions. The OH- ions in turn seek out and destroy bacteria and viruses, which contain negative ions.

OH- ions are useful to destroy bacteria and viruses and are therefore beneficial to people using this particular air-conditioner. In addition, the air-conditioner freshens the air by removing hazardous pollutants, releasing anti-bacteria elements into the air and eliminating bad odors.

The Neo Plasma Plus Ion products have a five-layer filter, each with its respective function, ranging from filtering moderate-sized particles like dust and fungi to reducing chemicals that can cause sensitive eyes and neck pain.

LG claims that this neo-plasma technology can destroy 99.99 percent of air-borne viruses, as verified by a series of tests conducted by Harbin Veterinary Research Institute of China, a standard health laboratory for virology research. It has also been verified by Osaka Prefectural Institute of Public Health in Japan.

Regardless of the its reported ability to destroy viruses, this air-conditioner, ads for which have starred singer and TV actress Agnes Monica, is popular among customers in Indonesia. No fewer than 35,000 Neo Plasma Plus Ion air-conditioners were sold in 2007, an increase in the premium air-conditioning market share from 20 percent in 2006 to 25 percent in 2007.

Air-conditioners capable of destroying bacteria are not produced only by LG. Samsung also applies micro plasma ion (MPI) technology in one of its air-conditioners. Like the LG technology, Samsung's MPI technology is claimed to be able to remove the corona virus, which is related to SARS, and the flu virus. The "good-sleep" mode of this particular air-conditioner maintains the room temperature at a level that is conducive to a good night's sleep.

This Samsung air-conditioner also has a multi-air purifying system, including a silver-lined evaporating and filtering machine, an anti-allergy filter, a filter to eliminate bad odors and a filter for catching bacteria. All this helps remove various hazardous elements, particles and dust. As air-conditioners have become increasingly more affordable in Indonesia, they have become hot items. After buying a television and a refrigerator, a family often decides to buy an air-conditioner. The number of people buying air-conditioners increases from year to year.

That's why Sharp consistently introduces new models. One of its prime products today is the Plasma-cluster Sayonara air-conditioner. This product is reportedly power efficient and suitable for a house with an electricity supply of between 900 and 1,300 watts. This air-conditioner has a Jetstream feature, which can cool a room in a very short time with a very strong blow of air.

Sharp's Plasma-cluster ion technology produces positive and negative ions in a particular quantity to destroy hazardous micro-organisms in the air such as viruses, fungi, allergens and bad odors (e.g. cigarette smoke) so that the air quality in a room will be better and healthier.

This model also has a four-way auto air swing feature to ensure that air is evenly distributed in a room and an anti-rust evaporator feature, which can lengthen the durability of the evaporator and prevent the evaporator from rusting. The auto re-start function and low voltage also enables it to continue to operate normally even when the voltage drops to 160 volts.

For the Indonesian market, PT Sharp Electronics Indonesia has set its sales target at 10,000 units, particularly for its hi-end air-conditioners intended for upper-class consumers. Sharp hopes that all these products can improve the brand image of Sharp in the domestic air-conditioner market, where it has secured about 10 percent of the market, just below Panasonic and LG.

Besides the three aforementioned strong brands, a number of newcomers must also be taken into account. One of them is Haier. This Chinese air-conditioner maker has introduced two superior models: HSU-09LR03 and HSU-12LR03. To meet the present demand for household equipment, these air-conditioners have an attractive design. Like other air-conditioners on the market, Haier air-conditioners also use a microgen filter to minimize and overcome bad odors and remove fungi. Believe it or not, these air-conditioners also reportedly produce Vitamin C, which is good for your skin. With these superior elements, Haier, which controls 22.5 percent of the Chinese market, is bound to make its presence felt in the Indonesian market.

The Indonesian market is indeed lucrative and interesting for air-conditioner producers. As for competition, it is quite tight in the air-condition business. This is obviously marked with the presence of upper-end and new players. Besides well-known brands like LG, Sharp, National, Samsung and Electrolux, there is also another new player, Sanken. Without an appropriate strategy to capture the budding market, targets may not be reached because of the increasing competition. (Burhanuddin Abe)

The Jakarta Post, January 24, 2008

Which television would you choose: LCD or Plasma?


Perhaps it is time that the convex TV was relegated to the museum. These old TVs are rarely found in electronics shops these days. Mostly you will see slim, flat screen TVs. These TVs, with an elegant design, more easily suit the modern home as they can be placed just about anywhere, such as hung on a wall.

Manufacturers are paying attention not only to the design of their TVs but are also including sophisticated features to produce pictures with a fast-motion mode, reinforcing the quality of the pictures, design and audio quality, as well as making their products environmentally friendly.

Yes, LCD television sets have now rapidly begun to be used for various purposes and are replacing cathode ray tube (CRT) flat-screen TVs as more and more old-model TVs in the living room have given way to TVs with a larger screen and a higher picture resolution. All Sharp TVs in the A-Series (A33, A53 and A83), for example, feature a slim-line design with a trimmer profile and offer a "small footprint with a big screen" which reinforces the meaning of place-efficiency. Another advantage is that all models use LCD Kameyama panels to produces fine pictures with fast-motion and high-definition features, a quick response time and a wide viewpoint.

In addition, this model, which is referred to as Aquos Full HD, gives a dynamic contrast ratio of 10,000:1 (the contrast ratio of dark room being 2000:1), which produces fine, clear and living pictures in pitch dark color like velvet, even in a brightly lit living room. Therefore, viewers can enjoy the pictures in the same quality as their originals, in a TV program, movie or video format.

Following the Aquos series, in early November 2007, Sharp Electronics Indonesia (SEID) launched the world's largest LCD 65-inch Full High-Definition monitor, the PN-G655E, which is the outcome of intense research and huge investment in the development of wide-screen technology. The imposing 65" display panel, with an original resolution of 1920 x 1080, has been designed for accurate and precise picture reproduction.

With its special components for commercial application, the PN-G655E provides superior resilience for continuous use in various series of applications such as for a teleconference and medical simulation, for banking/finance purposes, for CAD/CAM or for retail use or in educational institutions, in a control room, in showroom, as signage digital and others. Complete with the input for video signals, HD signals and basic PC signals, the PN-G655E will lead to a bright and color-rich presentation as well as sharp pictures in high resolution.

In short, Sharp is pursuing the quality of pictures and audio, product design as well as an environmentally friendly product. In this way Sharp is making its TVs new lifestyle equipment for audio-visual purposes in various sizes, ranging from units for the living-room to special models.

Not to be left behind, PT Panasonic Gobel Indonesia, the producer of Panasonic TVs, has met the market demand for flat panels by launching several types of Plasma television sets. Take the Plasma Viera series, for example. These TVs have V-Real II processor technology with a capability of promoting the quality of pictures reproduced from the signal video in-out. This processor can receive and transmit 1080p video signals without changing their natural specification and at the same time present pictures as beautiful as the objects that come from the High-Definition video signals.

According to the president director of Panasonic Gobel Indonesia, Ichiro Suganuma, the growth of flat panels in Indonesia has continued to increase from year to year and this has led to fiercer competition. The growth of LCD TVs alone in 2007 reached 700 percent over the level reached the year before, while as for Plasma TVs, growth reached 120 percent over the figure recorded in 2006. Panasonic alone enjoys an average increase of 200 percent per year.

Similar growth has also been enjoyed by LG, with the introduction of its latest flat-screen TVs in September last year, the LCD LB9 series. LCD TV is part of LG Pearl Black Series, which present an elegant and dynamic design. Coming out in glossy black, this product looks to be of premium quality. In addition, the TV is only 8.85 cm thick, making it more refined.

In terms of technology, the LB9 applies 2007 XD Engine with a contrast ratio of 10,000:1. Aside from sharp pictures, it has the Dynamic Movement feature, which enables it to switch channels in just five micro seconds.

Besides the LB9, LG also has the superior second generation of Time Machine TVs, a legendary technology enabling TV viewers to control time by putting an ongoing TV broadcast on pause and replaying it at a later time. The second-generation Time Machine TV is really superior in that it has a recording memory of 80 gigabytes that can be taken off and installed on other LG FPD television sets.

The new Time Machine TV also has a USB connection so that viewers can see pictures, photographs and even their favorite music on the TV. There are two choices: Plasma TV and LCD TV. The question now is what is the difference between a Plasma TV and an LCD TV.

A Plasma TV comprises two glass plates filled with hundreds or thousands of gas-filled cells. These cells contain a neon gas and are lined with phosphorus so that they look like mini neon lights. Each Plasma cell can be charged electrically so that it releases ultraviolet photons. These photons cause the phosphorus lining the cells to change color. A picture will form by means of turning on and off these cells at the right time and series every 1/1000 second.

As for the LCD TV, the pixels do not produce their own light. A liquid crystal is trapped in two glass sheets and receives light that comes from behind. If you vary the electricity current coming from behind, you will control the light that illuminates each pixel.

Both LCD and Plasma televisions sets are slim. Both can hardly be distinguished visually. Both are capable of producing the best results, but it is also here that the difference lies. Indeed, a Plasma TV is relatively superior to an LCD TV in terms of appearance. A Plasma television is also more expensive than an LCD TV. Recently, however, choices have become increasingly more difficult as the technology used in an LCD television and the performance of this TV have been increasingly improved while its price has continued to drop. It can even be said that both are of the same class. Which is your preference? (Reyhan Fabiano)

The Jakarta Post, January 24, 2008

Location means everything


Memilih kantor ternyata bukan perkara mudah. Di gedung mana perusahaan berkantor, termasuk lokasi yang dipilih, misalnya, sekaligus menegaskan positioning perusahaan tersebut – tidak hanya jenis usahanya, tapi di kelas mana ia berada. Seorang pengusaha post production mengungkapkan, klien yang datang ke perusahaannya ketika ia berkantor di Tebet dan sekarang di kawasan Kebun Jeruk Jakara, sangat berbeda. “Karena sekarang saya berkantor di kawasan yang lebih elite, meski dengan peralatan yang sama saya bisa menawarkan harga yang lebih tinggi,” katanya.

Memang, beberapa perusahaan post production yang tergolong kelas atas, umumnya mempunyai workshop di kawasan Kebun Jeruk. Lokasi tersebut sekaligus menjadi benchmark perusahaan-perusahaan baru yang bergerak di bidang yang sama. Mereka tidak mau mengambil risiko dengan berkantor di seputar Cawang, misalnya, yang pasarnya belum terbentuk.

Inilah yang disebut pengelompokan. Perusahaan-perusahaan dengan bidang jasa yang sama cenderung berkumpul di suatu lokasi tertentu, karena pasarnya memang sudah terbentuk. Penjual elektronik, misalnya, lebih suka memilih tempat usahanya di bilangan Glodok, Kota, karena sudah dikenal sebagai sentra penjualan elektronik terbesar di Jakarta atau bahkan di Indonesia. Pengusaha furniture lebih sreg membuka show roomnya di sepanjang Jl Panglima Polim – Jl RS Fatmawati mebel lebih Pedagang kain, untuk menyebut contoh yang lain, lebih suka berdagang di Pasar Baru atau Pasar Tanah Abang. Sementara penjual bunga hias memilih Barito, Kebayoran Baru.

Daftar contoh pengelompokan di atas, penjual jasa yang serupa “berkantor” di kawasan yang sama, masih bisa panjang. Ini bisa terjadi secara alami atau pun memang diciptaan oleh, sebutlah pemerintah atau pengembang besar, misalnya. Kawasan Kemang adalah contoh kawasan yang berkembang secara alami sebagai sebagai kawasan kafe dan usaha-usaha yang berkaitan dengan kebutuhan kaum ekspatriat – seperti galeri. Sementara kawasan Kemayoran, misalnya, ada developer yang ingin menyulapnya sebagai sentra otomotif, termasuk perbengkelan. Kita juga tidak heran kalau pengembang Jababeka berambisi menjadikan sebuah kawasan di Cikarang sebagai industrial estate berskala global, sementara pengembang Lippo Cikarang lebih spesifik berusaha mengumpulkan perusahaan-perusahaan IT di kawasan yang disebut sebagai “Delta Silikon” – mengingatkan kita pada kawasan serupa di AS.

Di kota-kota besar beberapa negara pengelompokan usaha-usaha tertentu dalam satu kawasan bahkan mempunyai sejarah yang lebih panjang. Di New York, misalnya, institusi-institusi yang bergerak dalam bidang finansial khususnya saham berkumpul di Wall Street. Kawasan industri perfileman terbesar di dunia, di mana lagi kalau tidak di Hollywood. Bagaimana dengan Jakarta?

Kecenderungan seperti itu memang ada, tapi menurut Irma Kurnia, Marketing Manager GandaRia 8, perusahaan pengelola gedung perkantoran baru yang berlokasi di Gandaria Jakarta, tidak seekstrem yang terjadi di kota-kota besar dunia lainnya. Apalagi, perkembangan perkantoran modern di Jakarta belum mempunyai sejarah yang panjang seperti di negara maju. Memang, secara ”tradisional”, sudah berada di sentra-sentra untuk komiditi tertentu – sebutlah sentra elektronik Harco, sentra grosir Mangga Dua, sentra ponsel Roxy, meski bukan monopoli lagi. Tapi jenis-jenis usaha yang tergolong “modern”, sebutlah perbankan, konsultan manajemen, law firm, publishing company, PR, dan lain-lain, pengelompokannya tidak terlalu tajam.

Tapi yang jelas, pasar perkantoran di Jakarta menunjukkan peningkatan aktivitas yang signifikan. Tak sebatas hanya di central business district (CBD), pasar perkantoran di luar CBD juga menunjukkan gairah tersendiri. Pembangunan gedung perkantoran baru di Jakarta dipicu tingginya permintaan dari tenant akan ruang kantor berkualitas baik, mengingat stabilnya perekonomian sehingga banyak perusahaan lokal meminta penambahan luas ruang kantor.

Setelah sempat slow-down dalam beberapa tahun belakangan ini, pasar perkantoran di Jakarta mulai kembali menunjukkan tanda-tanda pemulihan. Bahkan dalam 1-2 tahun ke depan, demikian analisis Jones Lang LaSalle Indonesia, pasar perkantoran akan menjadi ‘primadona’ di pasar properti Jakarta, selama kondisi makro ekonomi dan stabilitas politik mampu dipertahankan.

Sinyal tanda-tanda bergairahnya pasar perkantoran itu setidaknya bisa dilihat pada peningkatan penyerapan bersih (net take-up) ruang perkantoran di Jakarta selama kuartal ketiga tahun 2007, yakni sebanyak 13.700 m2 atau meningkat 23% dibandingkan kuartal sebelumnya

Memang pengelompokan kantor berdasarkan jenis usahanya tidak terjadi secara langsung. Tapi tidak bisa dimungkiri perusahaan-perusahaan besar yang mempunyai positioning tinggi memilih gedung perkantoran yang prestisius pula, yang secara tidak langsung membuat pengelompokan dengan sendirinya. Penyewa utama di kawasan CDB masih didominasi banking, trading, business and financial services, dan perusahaan pertambangan. Perusahaan-perusahaan jasa yang berkaitan dengan pasar modal, di mana lagi kalau bukan di Gedung Bursa Efek Indonesia. Di Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD) setidaknya ada dua jenis usaha yang berada di atap yang sama, elektronik di Jakarta Electronic Centre dan mobil mewah di Automall.

Sementara itu, perusahaan minyak, consumer goods dan engineering kini memilih lokasi di Jakarta Selatan — terutama di sepanjang Jl. TB Simatupang karena dekat dengan jalan tol — sebagai lokasi kantor barunya. So, tetap saja, kalau tidak mau ambil risiko, jangan salah pilih lokasi kantor. (Burhanuddin Abe)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Having (low-cost) office at prestigious location


It is understandable if Mee Kim, president of CEO Suite, which provides instant office services, has a broad smile on her face. Early in December, CEO Suite, the company under her leadership, opened its 10th branch at One Pacific Place in the Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD). This new building is a business and commercial center united with serviced apartments, a hotel and hi-end shopping center.

According to Mee King, many multinational companies make use of the instant office services her company provides. It is common for them to choose professionally managed ready-to-occupy offices, which is why she was prompted to open a new branch in Jakarta, after providing the same services on the 39th floor of the GKBI building and on 17th floor of the Indonesian Stock Exchange (BEI) building, with an occupancy rate of 85 to 95 percent.

Aside from these three office locations in Jakarta, which have been in operation since 1977, CEO Suite also has office locations in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai Puxy and Shanghai Pudong.

The improving economy, marked by the entry of foreign direct investment, Mee Kim said, has made Indonesia increasingly more attractive in the eyes of foreign investors, which is why there is a bigger demand for serviced offices. "We focus on serving the premium market requiring hi-end services, ranging from office space, human resources, sophisticated technology and any other services that tenants may need," she said.

Serviced offices are the type of offices that business players in major cities in the world, Jakarta included, need. Take Yogswara, for example. This accountant requires an office in Jakarta's Golden Triangle. Although he has a spacious house in an upmarket area in the eastern part of Jakarta, which he could use as an office, he feels the need to have a more strategic business address.

That's why he needs the services of a company that rents office space in the Central Business District (CBD). And it is not just any office space that he needs, but office space that comes with modern office facilities such as a fax machine, a telephone, an Internet connection and, most importantly, secretarial services. According to Yogas, the facilities provided in this office space are more than sufficient for his business. "I feel as though I have hired my own dedicated secretary," he said.

For an accountant like Yogas, an instant office is a wise choice. To rent office space is common, but not the type of office that he is renting. Although his office is not as vast as an office on the fringes of town would be, it is more than adequate for his needs. Plus having all the facilities available helped keep his initial financial layout low. This type of small office is indeed made available by the office building management for those desiring a virtual office, which may be used just as a mailing office or just for an identity.

There is indeed nothing new about having a (low-cost) office in a prestigious building. Providers of office space services, for example, operate like a business center. It is not just the space but the space plus office facilities, such as chairs, desks, telephone lines, a fax machine, filing cabinets, electricity and air-conditioning. A meeting room is also available, as are secretarial services to deal with appointment schedules, sending facsimiles and photocopying files.

These business center rooms can be rented monthly at competitive rates. A person wanting to rent a room is merely required to submit copies of their resident identity card and business license (SIUPP) and then pay the rent. A room measuring 16 to 20 square meters rents for Rp 3 million to Rp 4 million a month. This includes office equipment such as a chair and a desk for the director, a telephone line, a filing cabinet, office boy service and a cleaning service. There is a meeting room that can be used alternately with other tenants. Usually, each tenant is given a schedule for this room. Bigger rooms are also available for rent.

The serviced office concept has developed over the years, with services becoming more complete and more sophisticated. It is not just empty rooms that are leased but complete office services. Besides CEO Suite, there are several other serviced office providers in Jakarta, like The Executive Center in the Sudirman area and Marquee Executive Offices, which manage office space on the 11th floor of the Mayapada Building (Sudirman) and the 28th floor of Menara Karya (HR Rasuna Said). In the works is the company's premises on the 28th floor of Talavera office park (TB Simatupang).

Cost efficiency is indeed one of the things that makes serviced offices attractive. Marquee rates, for example, start at Rp 11 million per month for a 170-square-meter room, which is large enough for four people. This rate includes furniture, reception service, electricity, air-conditioning, cleaning service and around-the-clock security.

Meanwhile, for a virtual office the rate is between Rp 800,000 and Rp 1.9 million a month, depending on the features and facilities. A virtual office enables you to enjoy virtually all facilities of a permanent office without having to pay rent for the building. At the same time you can enjoy the prestige of having an office at such an address.

Marquee provides an individual phone line with a trained secretary. The secretary answers, on your behalf, all incoming telephone calls and takes messages or forwards calls to you. You can also use the meeting room any time. This room is large enough for 38 people. In addition, you can enjoy other instant office facilities such as a scanner, a photocopier and a fax machine. Audio-visual equipment is also available. "In short, our service is highly customized. We serve to suit our client's needs," said Lena Thong, director of Marquee Executive Offices.

Marquee, whose motto is "one-stop business solutions" is an Indonesian company with global affiliations in 230 strategic locations in major cities across the globe. In Jakarta, Marquee not only chooses strategic sites but also buildings of the highest standing. The Menara Karya building, which it manages, has earned the Award of Excellence in Architecture (Arquitectonica) from The Miami Chapter of The American Institute of Architects.

Menara Karya was developed in 2006 by a business group quite famous in the development of office buildings. The group also developed the Cyber Building (1995) and Menara Kadin (1997). Currently the company is developing Cyber2. This office building, located at the junction of HR Rasuna Said - Prof Dr Satrio and Jl. Denpasar Raya, is of the latest design and will have the latest facilities. "Designed by a reputable architect company, AVRP of USA, the building is a reflection of the latest technology supported by connectivity," said Cynthia Sulistyo, marketing manager of Cyber2. And Cyber2 is the next project for Marquee. What is to be said here is that serviced offices are not the kind of business that you can do just for fun. "What we provide is the best. The best building. Number-one facility. Professional human resources. Business made easy," Lena Thong said. (Burhanuddin Abe)

The Jakarta Post, January 22, 2008

For mobile workers, office location not important




Doing office work does not necessarily translate to working in an office, which in the conservative sense is a building or a room where business activities are conducted. Professionals of this day and age can do their assignments anywhere, such as at a cafe or a mall. For mobile workers, meeting a client, negotiating or even getting in touch with clients all over the world can be done from a coffee shop.

For Irfan Setiaputra, an employee of Cisco, an IT company, working does not necessarily mean being stationed at a particular location. Relying on the Internet, he can establish communication with fellow employees, customers, suppliers and business partners. He can use the Instant Message facility to communication with many people on an online basis and get a quick response. Email is his main tool of communication in his work. Even when his computer is not within reach, he can send and receive emails through his cell phone or PDA.

In addition, at Cisco Systems there is a Unified Communications facility. In cooperation with Hewlett-Packard (HP), all professionals at Cisco can make use of this technology. They can make a phone call through the softphone in their computer and video pictures can appear on the IP Phone, a handset that can be used as an IP phone through Wi-Fi and at the same time as GSM, to receive voice mail, etc.

In advanced countries, UC is a popular technology that was introduced in Indonesia four years ago. UC is a technology that make use of the superior elements of an IP-based phone system as well the convergence of data and audio networks. This system can present not only voice communications but also unified messaging, a feature allowing mobile connectivity. This means integrating communications from the various media that people use.

Separately, Cisco Systems Indonesia has announced an increase in the wireless capacity in its ISR (Integrated Services Router) with 3G connectivity addition. This solution is part of the architecture of the Internet Protocol of Next Generation Network (IP-NGN), which makes it possible for service providers to offer 3G connectivity to their corporate customers.

This technology enables companies with a lot of branch offices to hold teleconferences. Branch offices generally require access to the business applications available at the head office through a Wide Area Network (WAN). However, the main constraint for the application of this technology in Indonesia is that the equitable scope of 3rd-generation wireless technology is yet to be achieved.

In fact, today's work demands do not entail where we work but, rather, what activities we carry out. This is true not only of Cisco. Working does not depend on office space as with the progress of technology we can do it just about anywhere. Although his office is located in Kebon Sirih, Jakarta, Bayu Guntaryo, for example, can work from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi hotspot, such as a cafe.

Bayu is a layout designer offering his services through the Internet under a bidding system. His clients come from anywhere in the world. What exists here is a relationship between a service user and a service provider. That's why he has a number of devices that support his work.

The devices that a professional working under the virtual office concept needs include:

1) Notebook. Besides being mobile and dynamic, today's professional must be able to response instantly to satisfy customers. To this end, a notebook must have complete facilities for communications and networks. While in the past it was enough for a notebook to have an internal modem & IrDa (Infra Red), today, a notebook usually has LAN-Card (ethernet), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Even a Flybook has a built-in GSM (via GPRS) module.

2) Mobile phone. Although this is a common piece of equipment these days, a mobile worker should have a mobile phone that can be used as a GPRS/CDMA modern for times when there is no cable LAN network or Wi-Fi in a particular area. If you just want to browse a simple website, you can do so via your SmartPhone but when you must send data, which is more complex in nature and of a large size, through an e-mail, a laptop is still the first choice.

3) PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), which is small, light and always on, so that professionals can work to the optimum with this device. The main function of a PDA is to manage tasks and schedule, but you can also use it to look for information on the Internet.

To have a complete range of equipment is the dream of every mobile worker. However, there is more fun in it when the functions of all these devices have been converged in just one device alone. Carrying a device that has various functions is very practical, especially because technology-wise this trend continues to strengthen. (Eddy P. Kasdiono)

The Jakarta Post, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 07, 2008

210 Episode per Minggu



Aroma persaingan dalam program acara infotainment antarstasiun televisi nyaris tak terhindari. Dalam beberapa tahun terakhir ini, infotainment menjadi salah satu sajian acara yang diandalkan, bahkan dalam seminggu saat ini ditayangkan rata-rata 210 episode infotainment dengan beragam nama. "Selama penelitian Januari-Agustus 2007 tercatat jumlah acara infotainment yang ditayangkan dalam sehari rata-rata lebih dari 15 jam atau dalam satu minggu lebih dari 210 episode," kata Agus Maladi Irianto saat memaparkan disertasinya untuk mencapai gelar doktor antropologi pada Program Pascasarjana Fakultas Ilmu Sosial dan Ilmu Politik Universitas Indonesia, Depok, 3 Januari 2008.

Agus Maladi Irianto dengan disertasinya berjudul Kontestasi Kekuasaan Sajian Acara Televisi: Studi tentang Program Tayangan Infotainment yang dipromotori oleh Prof Dr Achmad Fedyani Saifuddin akhirnya lulus dengan predikat cum laude. Menurut promovendus, mengutip catatan Komisi Penyiaran Indonesia (KPI) Pusat tahun 2002 tercatat frekuensi tayangan infotainment hanya sebanyak 24 episode setiap minggu atau tiga episode per hari yang ditayangkan 10 stasiun televisi swasta di Tanah Air.

Tahun 2003, jumlah itu melonjak menjadi empat kali lipat menjadi 101 episode setiap minggu (14 episode per hari). Tahun 2004, frekuensi pun kian bertambah menjadi 151 episode per minggu (22 episode per hari), dan tahun 2005 penayangan infotainment melonjak lagi menjadi 180 episode per minggu (26 episode per hari). Bahkan, selama penelitian dilakukan Januari-Agustus 2007, Agus Maladi Irianto mencatat penayangan infotainment melonjak lagi menjadi 210 episode per minggu atau sekitar 15 jam sehari.

Kompas, 04 Januari 2008