PROGRESS SOFTWARE CORP STRENGTHENS RP PRESENCE
MANILA, MAY 10, 2006 (STAR) By Eden Estopace - Progress Software Corp., a supplier of application infrastructure software for the management, deployment and integration of business applications, has strengthened its local presence and is gearing up to expand its presence elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region.
At the launching of Progress Day 2006 Philippines at the New World Renaissance Hotel recently, Larry DiLoreto, VP for Asia-Pacific of Progress Software, unveiled the company’s new global strategy in view of its recent acquisitions that are expected to considerably expand its product offerings.
Buoyed by an inspiring performance in the Asia-Pacific in 2005, exceeding revenue targets and posting double-digit growth year on year for over 60 percent of its distributors, Progress is looking forward to raising its profile in the region by extending a more comprehensive support to companies utilizing Progress technologies, galvanizing its own developer and user communities, and marketing its products more aggressively.
DiLoreto conceded though that Europe is still its number one market, although the Asia-Pacific is closing in. In 2005 alone, it gained 150 new customers in the region.
In a presentation, DiLoreto explained that Progress Software’s operating units – Open Edge, Data Direct, Real Time and Sonic Software – have gotten a tremendous boost in recent years, thanks to the company’s acquisitions that gave its customers the edge in state-of-the-art technology.
These acquisitions included EasyAsk, a leading natural language search and query; Persistence, an object-relationship mapping and caching mechanism; Apama, a leader in event stream processing with applications for online gaming and algorithmic trading; NEON Systems, a leader in mainframe data access and service-oriented architecture (SOA) integration; and Actional, which provides visibility and governance to SOAs.
Progress’ goal, according to DiLoreto, is to maximize the benefits of information while minimizing total cost of ownership.
Currently, over 60,000 organizations in over 135 countries, including nearly 80 percent of Fortune 100 companies, utilize over $5 billion of Progress technology and partner applications and services annually.
Progress Software delivers products and services to end-user organizations via distributors and partnerships with independent software vendors.
In the Philippines, Progress software is distributed by Information Managers Inc. (Infoman), an IT solutions provider.
Infoman is also the oldest distributor of Progress in the Asia-Pacific, beginning in 1988.
In the past 18 years, it has served the automation needs of close to 200 Philippine clients, including those in the banking, insurance, retail, manufacturing, distribution, food service, construction, education, and government services sectors.
"Infoman provides application packages, database management systems, development tools as well as custom development services to help businesses build, customize and deploy solutions for their business needs," said Bernard Yu, vice chairman and CEO of Infoman. RP strategy
DiLoreto’s presence at Progress Day 2006 came on the heels of a Philippine business landscape that is looking toward exploring new business opportunities and additional revenue from software applications developed in-house for countryside enterprises, urban car dealerships and delivery of services by local governments.
Yu said Progress Software has users across the country, including Honda Cars Kalookan Inc., the provincial government and several municipal governments of Negros Occidental, and PhilCom Corp.
Honda Cars Kalookan, for example, now offers an Integrated Dealership Management System (IDMS) that tackles car sales, service and parts as well as finance, credit and collection. Outside of its own organization, Honda Cars Kalookan’s IDMS is also being used by eight dealers of Honda and other car brands.
Infoman helped Honda Cars Kalookan design its IDMS and made it an applications provider.
"Progress is an easy-to-use and flexible software. We saw how Progress worked. It is best fitted to our size of operation and growth. We need an easy-to-use system because every month we need to accommodate new Honda models, parts inventory and policies," said Johnny Fetalvero, general manager of Honda Cars Kalookan.
Fetalvero also revealed that their customer satisfaction rating has been a high 92 percent in the past six years, allowing them to increase their technical staff from 10 to 100 and expand their building to accommodate 350 cars from just 15 units at the beginning.
In the case of PhilCom, which services Eastern Mindanao, Infoman provided it with the Progress relational database management system and software and development tools and with these, it was able to roll out its own Enterprise solution, a financial software application for payroll, inventory management and production.
Clarence Lagera, PhilCom’s assistant vice president for sales and marketing, said agribusiness companies were the application’s first takers. The application, currently being offered to trucking, trading and finance companies, will soon roll out in schools.
"Our edge is we made our own financial system software program," Lagera said.
The two latest products in PhilCom’s portfolio are business and call center solutions.
"We are encouraging small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Mindanao to set up call centers," Lagera said.
A telecommunications firm, PhilCom (formerly the Radio Corporation of America) now offers Internet voice services, Concert frame relay, international private lines, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), domestic private lines, domestic frame relay, telex and card services.
In the Visayas, Infoman partnered with the Negros Occidental provincial government to develop local government software applications for its use as well as by major cities and municipalities in the province.
Infoman’s other clients in Negros Occidental include BACIWA, CENECO, Lopue Department Stores, and Victorias Milling Company Inc.
Elsewhere in the country, Infoman’s roster of clients include AB Foods, Active Realty, Anchor Bank, AmEuropharma, BankOne, Chowking Foods, EEI Corp., Emilio S. Lim Appliances, Havi Foods, Honda Cars Quezon City, Sara Lee Direct Selling, Isetann Department Stores, IslaBank, Pepsi Cola, Pioneer Asia Insurance, Philtrust Bank, Red Ribbon Bake Shop, Sta. Lucia Realty, Standard Insurance, Lyceum University of Batangas, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Davao City Water District, and the city governments of Pasay, Pasig and Lapu-Lapu.
Yu said the strength of Progress and Infoman in the Philippines is their expansive local presence. Partnering with companies to develop customized IT solutions for their business needs is their value proposition.
DiLoreto is himself bullish on the Philippine market, especially the SME sector.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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