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Mexico 2015 | TELECOMS & IT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Rafael Funes, Executive Chairman of LOVIS Holdings, on the innovations it has brought to the IT sector.

Rafael Funes
BIOGRAPHY
Rafael Funes is the creator of DynaWare Online and has been a pioneer in cloud computing since 2003. He is currently the Executive Chairman of LOVIS Holdings and Vice-President of the Board at AMITI.

LOVIS Holdings was created in 2014. Why did you create it and what is it bringing to the IT arena?

I might go back a bit before the creation of LOVIS and talk about DynaWare, the first company I created. What we did for many years in Mexico was develop a highly innovative and forward-thinking type of business technology. We call it the Enterprise Operating System (EOS), and the brand name of the product is DynaWare. We tried and succeeded in solving the three most important problems faced by companies, here in Mexico as well as abroad. We must figure out how to get more time to do what is important and to focus on what really matters, to make more money, or to become more profitable. And finally, how can we enhance the wellbeing of our staff? We focus on productivity, profitability, and wellbeing. To handle all three at the same time is very complex, so we work on all three fronts simultaneously. We are about 10 years ahead of the common enterprise resources planning software offered around the world. We moved the concepts to the cloud in 2003, before that term even existed. Companies need real-time online enterprise software that helps improve the business value of their companies. That underpins our decision to migrate our software to the cloud.

DynaWare has had much success. Were you focused only on Mexico or were you planning on expanding abroad from the very outset?

In the beginning it was just Mexico we targeted. In Mexico, we used to work with companies selling at least $10 million a year and above, and now we have moved to companies selling $30 million per year and above, our minimum requirement to work with a company. The first part was envisioning the software and building it, the second part was building the methodologies to bring in new processes and new ways of working, and the third component was working with positive and cognitive psychologists to help people adopt the new processes and technology in a much easier, faster way. All that happened here in Mexico. Then we opened a subsidiary in Madrid in 2008 for DynaWare software, our first DynaWare subsidiary with an office. We did not perform well. At the beginning of 2012, we decided to launch another attempt to globalize the company. Our first office abroad was not making money, and was not expanding. We hired a global consultancy firm and they told us we had to move to London, because of the business model. So that is what we did in September 2013, and in January 2014 we opened our first subsidiary.

What made London the ideal location for your model?

Essentially, it was the dynamic relationship between the UK and Mexico that has been growing over the past few years. The UK has been strengthening its presence in Mexico, and Mexico has a correspondingly strong commitment to the UK. Second is the ease of doing business there, including opening a company. Once we analyzed the strengths of the financial sector in London, it seemed like a highly reliable market. It's interesting, because in our business model, all our subscriptions to our cloud service for our business applications and enterprise applications are now signed from one of our subsidiaries in London.

What advantages have you found to being established in London?

It's very interesting to say the least, how reality is perceived and how our clients are more eager to sign with our London subsidiary than from Spain or Mexico. This helps us to market the company. Suddenly we found that companies in Thailand and in Turkey were interested. An impression of credibility and reliability, from basing our business in London, has helped accelerate company performance. Relations with Ireland, Canada, and New Zealand had been improving rapidly. Our Mexican and Spanish subsidiaries were already up and running. We are about to open, depending on interest, subsidiaries in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Ireland. The idea is that we will deliver consultancy services directly, while developing business partners in these countries. For the UK, the simple fact that we are based there makes us a British company. They do not care about the origins of the investment. This is fantastic, because we have the support of both Mexico and the UK at the same time, and in countries where Mexico is stronger, we will look to Mexico for support, and in other countries ask for the support of the UK. It's excellent, because the goal is to bring this highly advanced technology that we created to the world. So it doesn't matter where the help comes from.