Friday, 23 October 2009

Software firm grooms the Philippines as cloud computing hub

By Anna Valmero

MANILA, Philippines - A US-based software firm specializing in “cloud computing” intends to double its local operations by adding 300 new seats to its Manila office over the next two years, an official said.

The expansion is part of Netsuite’s strategy to groom the Philippines as its “largest hub” for cloud computing services worldwide.

The country will have almost 50 percent of the company's total workforce when it adds 300 new staff to its current total of 907, according to Netsuite chief executive Zach Nelson.

Cloud computing refers to using software applications accessible over the Internet (or cloud). Search firm Google has evolved into a cloud computing firm since its services like email and document processing can also be purchased and installed as packaged products.

Nelson said the Philippines tops all of NetSuite's other global sites in terms of driving growth for the 11-year-old company although it has only started operations in the country in 2007 with less than 50 employees.

He added doing business in the country is beneficial for the company because of the country's reliable telecommunication infrastructure and supply of skilled workers, particularly certified public accountants.

“Since we started in 2007, growth has been phenomenal, even beyond our expectations. This expansion proves how the Philippines play a vital role for our global strategy,” he said.

To date, NetSuite's operations outside its North American headquarters account for 81 percent of the company's revenue for the first half of this year.

The company earned $152.5 million in revenues, with 40 percent year-on-year growth last year, while gaining 1.3 million unique logins last quarter for its product website.

Nelson said the Manila office will include product development and quality assurance capabilities in addition to technical support and back office services.

NetSuite developed cloud computing software specifically for the Philippines that offers a platform for companies to process their financial reports and taxes with the Department of Finance and Bureau of Internal Revenue, said Nelson.

Nelson said expansion locally is being done in anticipation of the further growth of cloud computing.

“Cloud computing is the disruptive technology for any business operating in this century. If you don't incorporate the Internet to harness the cloud for your business, you don't have much of a business. All kinds and sizes of business will need to harness the power of the cloud to manage operations and interact with customers in real-time,” he said.

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