Toral: Cost effectiveness of local software
Last Sunday, an article was published in a national newspaper where a
multinational software company executive said locally made software will be more
expensive to support in the long run through upgrades and all.
It was quite a sweeping statement, so I talked to friends in the industry and
asked for their insights.
Mike Jurado, president of Primary Software and head of Cebu’s software
development organization, CebuSoft, is one of the pioneers in developing local
He said: “For Third World-country small and medium enterprises, local
software is practical, sensible and affordable. The essence of software is
quality in the lines of code used. The Filipino’s intellectual capacities are
not lacking. We can write good lines of code. We just need to increase our
quantity and sustain our quality.
“Changes and growth in the market environment that require IT
application upgrades are debatable. Prolonged and maximized use of current IT
resources is the priority. Companies need not change applications, hardware,
operating systems and network infrastructure when new products are introduced.
“Market changes have very little effect on an organization’s internal processes.
The exception would be the increase and decrease in sales-related activities and
“Our DOS-based applications for Windows 98 environments are still used by
approximately one-third of our client base... Local quality product and service
improvements will address local software long-term issues.”
Jupiter Systems and Philippine Software Industry Association president Fermin
Taruc shared similar views.
“I believe that whether you purchase from a local vendor or a foreign vendor, it
is more important to make sure that you enter into a partnership with the right
software provider. Jupiter Systems has been in the business for 20 years.”
“ERIC, JSI’s homegrown ERP software covering financial, distribution,
manufacturing and HR operations, has been installed in over 700 sites across
“Over this period, we pride ourselves in having kept in step with our customers’
requirements and technological evolutions. We have, in fact, several customers
who have been using ERIC since its early
DOS version until today, with ERIC’s most recent Web-based innovations.
“ERIC is among the select group of Filipino products that have gone global.
Translated/localized versions of ERIC are now in use in several markets,
China, Vietnam and Thailand.
For the Philippine market, while taking into account globally accepted “best
practice” principles, ERIC’s standard features automatically accommodate unique
Filipino business practices that have to be handled by foreign software products
through costly customizations or work-arounds.
“The above factors contribute not only to a low total cost of ownership for ERIC
but also an IT investment that pays off in the short and long terms. It is not
unusual for some local companies which may have started their ERP implementation
with one of the foreign products to either proceed to succeeding phases with a
linkage to ERIC or even switch to ERIC entirely.”
PCS CONGRESS. The Philippine Computer Society (PCS) (http://www.pcs-it.org) will
have its 10th IT Professionals’ Congress on June 14-16 at the Grand Ballroom of
Hotel Intercontinental Manila, Makati City, dubbed “In High Gear Toward Global
After 38 years, PCS continues to build the skills and capabilities of the
Filipino ICT professional through its development programs. The organization is
also known for its annual “CIO of the year” competition. The title is bestowed
by fellow IT professionals on chief information officers who have demonstrated
excellence in implementing and/or managing their organization’s enterprise-wide
information technology systems and applications.
By Janette Toral