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Panama 2015 | TELECOMS & IT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Victor Evans, Director of Smartbytes, on meeting the needs of the local IT market, staying ahead of the curve, and the nuances of the regional IT sector.

Victor Evans
BIOGRAPHY
Victor Evans started his career in finance. In 2002, he fell in love with technology and started a technology company. Finding the hardware market too saturated, he decided to enter the market for solutions. He started the company in 2003 from his apartment. By 2004, the company had tripled its income. In 2005, they became partners with Microsoft and HP.

How would you assess the evolution of the IT sector in Panama?

Panama is like a small version of the US Silicon Valley in terms of technology, where customers demand the latest releases. From a sales and innovation perspective, they also want the best solutions. Panama invests heavily in technology. On the street you see people everywhere with the latest cell phones and tablets; the country, then, is open to innovation.

How are you bridging your clients to the future?

I am an innovator, and act on this principle to deliver the best service to my clients. With cloud computing, while all are familiar with it, few fully know what it enables. The future lies in cloud solutions. We have been selling cloud solutions for three years, and the issue of security has been high on the agenda. Security is not a product, but a process, and to my thinking the future of security lies not in products.

Are local companies willing to invest in innovative and modern IT solutions?

SMEs are our current focus. When I approach businesses I talk to people who share the same problems as the largest companies. At the bigger companies it takes months to make decisions. Companies, large or small—always require assistance. We work with both construction and engineering companies, where payroll management can be a particular challenge. We put the payroll software and hardware on the cloud facilitating project operations and seamless payments.

How much are you investing to establish strategic partnerships to enhance the quality of your service?

We have partnerships with Microsoft, HP, Fortinet, F5, Acronis, and VMware. We are the first company in the region to have received Gold Partner of F5 and HP Cloud Builder Certification. Our partners support us to offer the best service in the country. That is why we don't sell servers, networks or computers. We convert components into a single product for our customers, whom we also service at no charge. This is our collateral service that makes our company highly competitive.

Do you have plans to expand your business beyond Panama?

We are trying to plan to expand into Costa Rica. Another place we are looking into is Guatemala. I think that for now, Costa Rica is a priority because there is a secure environment without many risks.

You work both for the government and the private sector. What specific area of the economy are you targeting to expand into?

I would identify health. We started a few months ago supporting a small number of doctors but today service 75, confirming the potential of the sector.