The Business Year

By advancing software-based and other solutions, Colombia's leading software companies are helping spur a digital and cultural transformation.

Erick Cepeda

Federation Leader, Softwareone

Unfortunately, overall the local IT market has not grown sufficiently, with growth rates of only 1%-2% over the past two years. Fortunately for Softwareone, however, we saw impressive local market growth. This is mainly based on our portfolio of capabilities where we help companies save money and as a result reinvest in their digital transformation. These digital initiatives have helped them grow their own businesses. This is the biggest competitive advantage Softwareone has in Colombia and globally. In 2018, Softwareone’s YoY growth was 55%, an amazing result for the company. Overall, companies are seeing numerous barriers to faster growth in Colombia. Unfortunately, bureaucracy in the country is one of these. The government is putting a great deal of effort into simplifying bureaucratic processes to gain efficiencies, and these are based on technology. Corruption is another barrier in Colombia and the Latin American region, where, again, technology is helpful in battling the phenomenon. AI and analytics have given the government and authorities new tools to address corruption. This is another important initiative of the new administration. Despite these barriers, Colombia is an attractive country for international investors because of its stable economy and democracy. When it comes to our technical solutions for local businesses, we have an attractive portfolio that helps local businesses have a clear vision of how technology and digital transformation can help boost efficiency, reduce costs, and adjust their processes, products, and culture to increase competitiveness.

Ví­ctor Garcí­a

General Director, Softland

SQL Software has the potential to raise payroll solutions for human capital for companies much larger than we usually handle in Colombia. For example, in Colombia, Softland has companies with up to 10,000 employees, but SQL has airlines, multinationals, and public companies with more than 60,000. The payroll system in Colombia represents one of the most complex softwares. For each regulation that is made in other Central American countries, 11 are made in Colombia. The solvency of SQL Software helps us reduce the complexity of our local adaptation. SQL Software produces Human Capital modules too. In short, it complements the most complex part of the business that we manage. In terms of expanding our service portfolio, we have decided to use the payroll portfolio of SQL; however, we start from our products and solutions with everything related to human resources such as selection, hiring, and performance evaluation. It is easier to integrate our group’s products, although we are prepared to integrate with other solutions, or solutions from other distributors and manufacturers. The first integration we are going to make is with our products. In general, what makes Colombia competitive is its regulation of tax management and business management and the continuous changes in control and security. Traditionally, technology advances here from the approach of security. On the other hand, is the tax issue; taxes are much higher here than other regional countries.

Carlos Moreno

Country Manager, Carlos Moreno

Overall, the company has steadily grown at an average of 20% over the last five years. That growth has primarily been achieved due to a new portfolio that we are presenting to our clients. The company started exclusively as a software development firm, but now we have a larger portfolio with more services. Basically, we offer two services: an upselling based on quality certifications to show the clients how existing projects can be better performed and cross-selling. The latter has to be attractive for the client and focus on digital and cultural transformation, including innovation initiatives to adapt to ongoing changes worldwide. Most of our competitors are talking about the same thing, but our strategy is to present this portfolio to the clients we already have, which can give us the edge to strengthen our relationship with clients. When we acquired Sysman in 2016, it also helped our portfolio. Sysman sells ERP products and provides services related to it. The acquisition is complementary to our strategy to enter into new industries. Previously, we only sold about 3% of our sales to the government, a number that has now doubled, thanks to Sysman’s client portfolio. In addition to that, we have optimized all the maintenance services of the ERP and turned into a cloud-based product. Moving forward, we want to create a spinoff of that ERP product for the private sector.



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