TBY talks to the general directors of two IT firms on strengths, partnerships, and their outlooks on the sector.
What are your main strengths as an active participant in the local IT sector?
ZAUR MAMMADZADE The most important strength I’d say is our people, and we have been working over the last few years toward this target. We have a very strong team of professionals in our company; they are very young and ambitious. Their ambition is something that has driven the company’s growth over the years. ULTRA is also willing to grow and we have a clear understanding of what we are, what we do, and where we want to get. Therefore, we understand the market we are working in, we know the companies, the products, and also how to implement the best strategies. Having become a leading company in the region has also contributed to the development of ULTRA.
CEYHUN QULIYEV Caspel is one of the largest integrator companies in Azerbaijan, providing a full range of IT and telecommunications solutions. The company provides solutions for data transmission, software development, delivery, and the maintenance of advanced equipment from leading IT equipment producers and software developers. Caspel started operating in 1997 and a few years later, in 2005, we underwent a rebranding exercise in order to take the company forward. At present, we run our own fiber-optic network, and we provide the most effective project solutions to our customers through the use of the latest technology and the substantial experience of Caspel’s key personnel. In that regard, I would like to note that when we first started, there were some 35 staff, whereas now there are around 200.
How have your partnership agreements evolved?
ZM Our company started as a distribution company, supplying components to its customers. Intel Corporation is the worldwide leader in supplying components. Therefore, we started to collaborate with it and from the beginning we pumped out good volumes for Intel. The company authorized us to be its official partner here in Azerbaijan. After Intel, ULTRA has managed to get over 30 different contracts from vendors such as Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Cisco, and others.
CQ Caspel’s activities are focused on four areas; integration, supply and solutions, service center support, and our help desk. We currently have 38 different partnerships with companies such as HP, Microsoft, Dell, Hitachi, Oracle, 3M, Legrand, Iskratel, Siemens, ZyXEL, and IBM, with which we work very closely. Our main aim is to provide global solutions to complex projects, and Caspel is taking advantage of the knowledge and products of such brands. At the same time, we provide a full range of services for these international companies in Azerbaijan.
What is your outlook for the IT sector in Azerbaijan?
ZM ICT is a major sector in order to diversify Azerbaijan’s economy. I see stable growth and important investments in the sector in the near future. For example, 2012 is an important year for the sector with the launch of Azerbaijan’s first satellite, the Europe-Persia Express Gateway, as well as other initiatives. It is said that incomes from the ICT sector in Azerbaijan in 2020 will be the same as the oil and gas sector, and by 2030 it will be even bigger. Our government has a strong understanding of how the ICT sector will be growing in Azerbaijan, and we, as a key player in this sector, will be contributing to that. I think Azerbaijan has already become a regional hub in the ICT sector.
CQ Azerbaijan’s ICT sector is flourishing in the region. It is a politically stable country, the government’s policies are in the right direction, and many different companies are driving the growth of the sector, which is actually developing along with the country’s economy. In the near future we will see many Azerbaijani enterprises going abroad, especially to former Soviet republics and CIS countries. In that regard, Caspel does not exclude such a possibility either. We think the natural flow of the market and the sector will drive our operations in the future.
© The Business Year