CONNECTIVITY AND SECURITY

Ecuador 2019 | TELECOMS & IT | VOX POPULI

As Ecuador continues its journey to become a modern economy, TotalTek and GMS are providing the solutions and services required by both public and private sectors.

How has the range of services you provide developed?

FRANCISCO CÓRDOVA CHEBAB TotalTek is an integrator-focused telecommunications company that deals with two main types of businesses: last-mile solutions and networking projects. For last-mile solutions, fiber optic deployments, full fiber optic projects, telecommunications services, and long-range microwave implementations are our main focus. Networking, wireless, switching, and security are the main solutions that we offer in the networking area. We have a strong partnership with Cisco Systems, the largest telecommunications manufacturer in the world. Lately, we have also started working on Internet of Things (IoT) projects, considering that this technology will be one of the most widely spread in the world, and that the new 5G cellular networks will offer the ability to communicate hundreds of millions of devices. Additionally, we have been renting equipment for a while and are now focusing on models as a service to serve our customers better and fit in the new financial trends. Similarly, we have another company NUO that offers radio frequency identification (RFID) systems, POS, and warehouse management development systems. These solutions have been implemented in the largest highway of Ecuador as well as in the most important Ecuadorian retail companies. Moving forward, we are also evaluating the design of sensors that will fit our country's needs.

XAVIER ALMEIDA GMS did not start as a cybersecurity company, but a computer company. We have evolved over the years, and in the last 12 years, we have started to focus on the security business. We are still an ISP and present in the telecommunications business. The first part of our focus is bringing security to our ISP and customers. Slowly, we realized people and companies were in need of more security services, and about 10 years ago, companies started to require security services. Initially, companies opted for open-source firewalls but after realizing how difficult they were to manage and update, they started seeking licensed solutions, which we offer. Our first partners were Kaspersky and Sophos. GMS was Kaspersky's exclusive distributor, which allowed us to expand significantly, reaching almost 3,000 customers in Ecuador. For perspective, we had USD2.5 million in revenue just from Kaspersky, making it a major component of the company. We have also developed our own services, such as incident response, forensic analysis, and a security operation center. We currently provide a security operation center for two major banks in Ecuador. As in most of the world, security awareness is low here, and people do not invest unless they have suffered a security breach.

Do you work primarily for the private or public sector?

FCC We work with both public and private sectors. In the private sector, our main focus is on telecommunications companies and large enterprises, providing services to the main telecom carriers in Ecuador. For nearly 10 years, we have helped them deploy fiber optic cables across the country, and we have supported them by providing design and deployment of microwave services. We also provide networking and service solutions to important retail firms in the country and the 100 largest enterprises in Ecuador. In the public sector, we have been deploying telecommunications projects, including wireless and fiber networks at large universities that have also benefited from our wireless infrastructure.

XA At present, GMS provides services to the retail, financial, pharmaceutical, industry, and education sectors. In terms of the public sector, we are working with the government in two different ways. In the past, there have been large investments in all kinds of technology, especially security, and we have been part of that. In the last two years, however, it has slowed down, as the government's budget is limited. We have an alliance with the National Telecommunications Company of Ecuador (CNT) to offer security solutions to its customers. We are not the only company that provides this to CNT, though we are the biggest and most successful. Our goal is to support CNT and offer our security solutions to the government.

What are your ambitions for the coming years?

FCC We will focus on the IoT and the designing and manufacturing of sensors. TotalTek wants to become a bigger player in the big data and analytics industry. Similarly, data security is also important and we are pushing to release solutions related to protecting technological assets of our customers.

XA We are expanding in many ways but since expansion has its costs, we do not expect to see high earnings. Peru will be a major boost because we are currently at 0, and we are aiming to reach 500,000-1 million customers. Our growth target for the whole group in 2018 is 20-30%.