Business News Americas – Cloud barriers still too big for 2011 entrance, Grupo Softland says

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    Spanish administration software provider Grupo Softland will shy away from introducing cloud-based versions of its ERPs into Latin America next year, Grupo Softland vice president Oscar Saez de Bergia told BNamericas. Unwillingness to store ERP information outside company premises and also sub-par networking performance represent the two flies in the ointment.

    Saez emphasized that there are variations between Latin American countries, but noted that these challenges are especially prevalent among medium-sized companies, which represent Grupo Softland’s bread-and-butter market. Cloud computing “is in our agenda, but not in the short-term,” he said. “There are information barriers because companies still want to have information in their possession…and we understand that the mid-market does not perceive the network as being unfaultable.”

    Grupo Softland’s 2011 priorities in Latin America include extending the reach of its partner network, which accounts for roughly 20% of regional sales. Geographically, the Spanish firm will be honing its partner efforts on Mexico and Colombia.

    “Without a doubt, the challenges are in Colombia and Mexico. In Colombia, this is due to our need to consolidate operations there, [coupled with] the large amount of companies and also the GDP growth. The business climate is favorable in Colombia,” he said. “In Mexico, this is due to electronic billing and certain legislative measures that are aimed at improving tax collections.”

    Aside from its regional partner network, Grupo Softland currently has direct presence in Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama and the Dominican Republic. Saez said the software provider is on the verge of setting up offices in another Andean country, but was unable to confirm which one.

    Grupo Softland expects 2011 revenues to increase to the tune of 12-14%, after the company closes the books on 10% growth this year. Argentina and Chile have been tops with 30% and 16% year-over-year growth, respectively, while Central America and Mexico are seen registering single-digit increases. Grupo Softland has more than 400 employees, of which 100 are trained solely on R&D activities, while 120 focus on customer relations. Within Latin America, the company has more than 35,000 clients.