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A Perspective On Philippines' Business Software Industry

Mr. Joey Gurango, the Founder and Managing Director of Gurango Software Corporation.

We recently got an opportunity to interview with Mr. Joey Gurango, the Founder and Managing Director of Gurango Software Corporation. An industry veteran, Mr. Gurango shared with us some of his experiences in the field of software development and his thoughts on the use of business software in the Philippines.

Gurango Software Corporation (GSC) is primarily involved in providing business applications to other firms. Can you elaborate the nature of your business?

In a traditional approach, especially during the 1960s and the 1970s, companies typically hire programmers to create applications for their business operations. Around the late 1980s and the early 1990s, the concept of packaged applications arose and it was pioneered by the German software firm SAP. Choosing packaged business applications turned out to be more cost-effective and more predictable than having someone write a program from the scratch. To be more specific, Gurango Software Corporation (GSC) has been deeply into offering packaged business applications to different organizations.

Business applications are software products that help organizations effectively manage relationships with their stakeholders. We categorize our business applications into three areas. The first one falls under the traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) which includes accounting, logistics, and other fields that a business needs to run its operations. The second is human capital management (HCM) which is more related with HR, payroll, and other matters in dealing with employees. The third and last is customer relationship management (CRM).

What particular types/nature of businesses, if any, is GSC targeting?

Our target customers are categorized into three. The first belongs to the companies that are into manufacturing. The next are those firms that are into distribution like grocery chains. The last group is comprised of organizations that have a lot of employees, generally those with a starting headcount of 1,000 and above. Globally, Microsoft considers these under the midmarket category, which consists of companies that are above SMEs but below Fortune 500.

Why did you choose Microsoft as a partner among the other ERP providers in the market?

Allow me to answer that by citing, first, my personal reason. I grew up in Seattle, less than five miles away where Microsoft is. I used to shop in the same grocery store where Bill Gates bought things. My first job was with Apple Computer. I worked there for two years, but since they are more into hardware, I left them for a company that is more focused on software, which is Microsoft, since I live in Seattle. I worked for two years on Excel 1.0 for the Windows project directly under Bill Gates. In spite of the presence of other software environments from Oracle, SAP, Linux, and so on, I have never been attracted to them. I believe that catching up with Microsoft is already a full-time job.

Now, let us talk about the business aspect. If you look at the technology landscape today, every business entity that you know has computers that run Windows and Microsoft Office on it. If there is a vendor who can take responsibility from the operating system level to the database to the application to the Web server, that is Microsoft. Let us say that 95% that we do and that we need to solve the problems our customers that involves software, we can get them from Microsoft. If our customer encountered a problem in relation to a certain application, we will not have to call two or more vendors. We will just work with one vendor and that is Microsoft.

Can you talk about your cloud-based service, Gurango Hosted Solutions (GHS)?

The cloud requirement is a very new thing to us. Since the company started, we have been deploying business applications on premise. Late last year, we have started offering the cloud deployment as an option. All of our software offerings are both available on premise and in the cloud. We call the cloud deployment of our business applications as Gurango Hosted Solutions (GHS) and that business unit is based in Singapore. GHS is recommended for small enterprises which do not want to go through the hassle of building their own IT infrastructure and recruiting IT staff. While on-premise deployment of business applications may take several months, on-the-cloud, on the other hand, may take only weeks.

Can you give us a view of the status of ERP adoption in the Philippines during the previous years? Can you provide us with a forecast of ERP adoption in the Philippines in the coming years?

The ERP adoption in the Philippines is partly analogous to the status of its Internet adoption. By 1995, Internet use was already high in the United States. The Philippines did not get that rate of usage at that time. It took five years before we were able to reach that level. Whatever the United States had in the year 2000 in terms of Internet usage, the Philippine was able to catch up with it in 2003.

The use of packaged business applications has been prevalent since the late 1970s in other parts of the world. Looking at the local level, we can say that the Philippines is behind the United States in terms of the adoption of this technology. Our country was able to catch up with the United States until 2006 and 2007. But recently, the rate of adoption has become faster. Last year, the Philippines was at the level of the United States in 2009 in terms of ERP adoption. By 2015, we will be almost at par with the United States.

For more information on Gurango Software Corporation, visit www.gurango.com.

Lionell Go Macahilig / Group Editor

Building on the learnings that he earned from the academe and his almost three-year professional experience in the outsourcing industry, Lionell joined HardwareZone Philippines in 2007. In his free time, he runs his PC shop and reads various articles online. He also likes cats and jogging.

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