Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Software vendor cites growth among SMBs

Alexander Villafania

MANILA, Philippines – With the economy seen improving, the market for enterprise software is expected to grow as businesses prepare to become more competitive.

Small-to-medium scale businesses, which make up more than 90 percent of registered businesses in the country, have traditionally been able to weather economic downturns.

Patrick Tan, small and medium businesses director for software firm SAP Philippines, said consumer demand remains strong in the country and many distribution businesses want to maintain their lead.

Tan said that for this year, there had been several project wins for SAP from at least 60 companies.

“We already had around 80 to 100 projects,” he said. SAP clients in this segment include food stall companies Bibingkinitan, Rice-in-a-Box, Metro Oil Subic, among others.

It also recently won a project for Altus, the electronic device distribution firm of Tao Corporation.

While the project with Altus is small, it is expected to expand to Tao Corporation’s other business units, some are in the consumer goods distribution, while others are in the healthcare and commodity trading.

Tao Chief Financial Officer Christine Roquim said the corporation’s migration to a new ERP system stemmed from the need to expand their business to other locations as well as to ensure constant supplies to existing ones.

She added that the company’s business divisions are also slowly growing, which meant operational complexity is also becoming apparent.

“We needed to implement a level of control. We found out that we missed certain business opportunities when we didn’t have the proper ERP system,” said Roquim.

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