Can you tell us more about your specific expertise in software development and the services you provide?
DIEGO MENESES E. Provedatos has been in the software industry for 25 years. It is the first firm established in Ecuador's history in consultancy and software development. As pioneers in the industry, we have created innovative software that has been essential in helping thousands of companies grow. Provedatos developed one of the most used accounting systems of the 1980s and 1990s in Ecuador and during the early 2000s, the firm developed the country's first web-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Provedatos' core business unit has been ERP systems; however, during the last few years, the firm has expanded regionally with new products and with new companies as part of the corporative group. For instance, the group has consolidated with Idukay, a company that develops and offers a School Management System. It has more than 300,000 active users, with 150,000 students and more than 120 schools in Ecuador and Peru. Provedatos has also developed a payroll system called Nominaz that it intends to expand regionally in the next years.
WILLIAM MOSS Over the last five years, COBIS received an injection of institutional investment that strengthened its execution capacity. That was the main impediment to our growth, and once we got that onboard, we moved on to the next constraint, which was to not only modernize our software by following our roadmap, but also our methods of executing work. We adopted Scale Agile, a combination of Agile and Lean that enables us to manage the execution of strategy all the way from the top-level, key strategic initiatives, and management level down to the execution level. It has to do with our company developing software at the level of our scrum teams as well as ensuring that the entire organization is being orchestrated according to strategic priorities. This was a significant challenge, as the company has been in business for 65 years and is not a start-up without legacy. We have a base of clients and, at the same time, we have software that needs to be modernized. To overcome that, we first made our platform less monolithic. We invested in componentizing and breaking it into smaller pieces to make it more manageable, allowing us to sell ancillary pieces on a stand-alone basis. COBIS is now more modular, which was a preliminary step in our vision of eventually provisioning COBIS as a service. This was before the advent of cloud architecture, and more recently we have taken that componentization and further developed it so that we can use it on cloud architecture. We are beginning to win clients now based on that cloud architecture and are aiming to scale our markets, especially in the US and Mexico.
How is Quito as a basis for your industry regarding work force and staff?
DME As the country's capital, Quito has been identified as a great city for qualified developers. The city has many young people involved in technology, and there are great schools and universities focused on software development. We have dedicated a large amount of time to train young people, and we have an efficient team that can work with any technology. We have developed software for the major industries such as construction, vehicles, insurance, and education, among others. This has been possible with the effort and results of our highly skilled staff.
How receptive is the market of cloud architecture and technology in Ecuador?
WM Large banks are much more cautious about putting information on the cloud, while regulators have a guarded mentality with respect to putting confidential financial data on the cloud. Things are starting to change, and smaller institutions are more amenable. If the scale of economy is irrefutable for larger companies, then it is even more so for a smaller institution as the cloud argument becomes more compelling.
What are your plans to enter new markets?
DME We have important plans to expand into other Latin American countries. We are already making an important investment to expand to new markets, starting with Peru and Mexico. We are involved in all industries, especially education and ERP. The intention is to create a new generation of software in Ecuador and then to continue our expansion to new markets that fit with our products and services.