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December, 2008 The year that was, and the year ahead
The Manila Times – Techtimes page B4IT innovators honored
December 29, 2008
It was a rough ride indeed for many IT companies in 2008, particularly the latter part, all because of the global economic slowdown. In 2009, the projection by many industry analysts is nothing more but the same if not totally bleak. So, let’s hear it from the executives themselves as to what the year that was for them and their respective companies and what they expect in the year ahead.
Country Manager EMC Philippines
“Des pite the global economic crisis, EMC Philippines considers year 2008 as a better one compared to last year. This year, EMC maintained its position as the leading (external) storage provider in the country with a good share of both high and mid-range market. Over-all, this accounts to approximately more than 39 percent of the [external] storage market including both iSCSI and NAS users. EMC Philippines is also doing very well on software solutions providing information infrastructure security, protection, management and containment. Reenablement and recruitment of additional Tier 2 channels in addition to its roster of active partners contributed highly to making 2008 a better year for EMC and all its business partners. We expect 2009 to be tougher as a result of the unpredictable economic slowdown that will highly affect corporate expenditure, influence corporate IT infrastructure priorities and business alignment, and trigger key factors for management decision. Given these, EMC is also expected to be more competitive in terms of product/service offerings, more open to the sensitive requirements of the market, and will be seen three steps ahead of the competition.”
General Manager URSolutions
“We underwent a major evolution in 2008 when we partnered with a large corporate entity, Paxys. As we did, they saw that there was a need for enterprise-level support for open source/Linux infrastructure and in turn, infused capital to fund our growth. Our focus market then changed from SME to Enterprise. Our operating costs went up dramatically, but so did revenue, as we handled much larger projects. Now, there are two factors that will affect us: first, open source goes even more mainstream, as we expect to penetrate even the most conservative IT departments, where saving money being its main advantage; second, with the looming worldwide recession, companies will be slashing IT budgets, and this will be our challenge: educating our clients on how to cut costs without sacrificing value and functionality.”
President Pointwest Technologies
“Business was generally good for Pointwest. While we will not hit our 2008 lofty goals, Pointwest ends the year with close to 30 percent growth in revenue over last year. In the year ahead, we expect a diversification in our client portfolio and presence in markets beyond the US.”
Enrique Y. Gonzales
“2008 was a phenomenal year for IPVG in terms of operating and financial performance. We made the successful transition from a local company with 252 employees, to a global company with more than 2,500 employees across seven countries. Our revenue growth was 354 percent year-on-year and we are on track to reach P3.3B in sales this year. What we do find challenging is the global macro-environment with a financial crises in the US and Europe, which is unprecedented. This contagion has sucked up liquidity from the markets, depressed asset classes (real estate, equities, etc.) and translated to intense volatility. We expect a slowdown in global economic growth with many of the first world economies (USA, UK, Japan) going into recession. This slowdown in consumption expenditures in the first world will affect exports from Asia. This compounded by the global financial crises and scarcity of capital will lead to a very tough 2009. Fortunately, IPVG’s businesses are resilient to this and our sectors (communications, games and BPO) forecast healthy organic growth rates of 20 percent to 30 percent. So while our business fundamentals are improving, we need to wait for capital markets to recover in order to reap the full value of our operating performance.”
“2008 was another profitable year for IP-Converge. We were able to increase our customer base and penetrate new markets. Moreover, we were able to extend beyond the Philippines and bring our data center business to Hong Kong and Singapore and turn those two PoPs into profitable business units within this year. As for next year, there will be many challenges especially since we predict a recovery from the worldwide economic downturn most likely after 2009. We expect a price war and slow decision-making as we foresee customers holding out for the products and services that will bring the highest return on their investment. However, we look forward to another growth year in 2009 as we leverage on our new product and service offerings, including our focus on the IT markets with new partnerships with leaders in the industry.”
By Riza T. Olchondra
MANILA, Philippines—The country’s organization of IT reporters held this year its first CyberPress IT Choice Awards to honor the entities and technologies that made their mark in the local market this year.
In a ceremony held recently, CyberPress named the “Rise of the Netbooks” as the Newsmaker of the Year. The mini-laptop revolution edged social networks, broadband breaks into the mass market, green IT and the gil@s program as the technology trend that made the most impact to Filipinos.
As the pioneer in the netbook segment, the Asus Eee PC was honored as the Gadget of the Year. It bested iPhone 3G, Canon cameras, Globe Visibility and Sony Bravia.
Named IT Startup of the Year was G2VC, a venture capital firm that operates open-source companies Morph Labs and Exist Global, which have successfully expanded overseas, particularly in the US.
For the IT Company of the Year category, Bayan Telecommunications won.
The IT Executive of the Year award went to Enrique Y. Gonzales, who steered technology conglomerate IPVG to unprecedented heights this year.
In what it hoped would become an annual tradition, the country’s organization of IT reporters held this year its first CyberPress IT Choice Awards, which is meant to honor the persons and entities, as well as technologies, that made their mark in the local market for 2008.
The awards ceremony, which was held in conjunction with the group’s Christmas party on Dec. 19, recognized this year’s achievers in five categories: IT Start-Up of the Year, IT Company of the Year, IT Executive of the Year, Gadget of the Year, and Newsmaker of the Year.
The netbook phenomenon continued to impress the market, as well as those in the IT media which gave a nod to “Rise of the Netbooks” as the Newsmaker of the Year. The mini-laptop revolution edged Social networks, Broadband breaks into the mass market, Green IT, and the Gil@s program as the technology trend that mattered most to people.
As the pioneer in the netbook segment, the Asus eee PC was also honored as the Gadget of the Year. It won over a tough field composed of iPhone 3G, Canon cameras, Globe Visibility, and Sony Bravia.
Named IT Startup of the Year was G2VC, a venture capital firm and holdings company that operates open-source companies Morph Labs and Exist Global – two Filipino firms which have successfully expanded abroad, particularly the US. Other nominees in the category were Pointwest Technologies Corp, UR Solutions, MyGame.Ph, and EGG (Entertainment Gateway Group).
The selection process was especially tight in the IT Company of the Year category, with eventual winner Bayan Telecommunications narrowly beating Yahoo Philippines for the award.
CyberPress members were impressed with Bayan’s turnaround story this year and the previous year, particularly with its innovative wireless landline offering, although many thought that Yahoo’s bold move to set up an office here and carry out “Pinoy-centric” programs -- despite the uncertainty in its financial standing -- was equally outstanding. The other candidates were BPO firm Accenture, consumer electronics giant Samsung Philippines, and IT distributor Axis Global Technologies.
The IT Executive of the Year award, meanwhile, went to Enrique Y. Gonzales, who steered technology conglomerate IPVG to unprecedented heights this year. Under his bold leadership, IPVG has risen to the top as a major provider of online games, call center and data center services, and other IT offerings. He was chosen over a competitive list that included Marife Zamora of Convergys, Manuel Wong of Acer, and G2VC’s Damarillo.
The CyberPress IT Choice Awards follows the lead of other press groups which have been bestowing awards over the years in their respective sectors. Examples include the “Athlete of the Year” award of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) and the “Car of the Year” award of the motoring press corps.
The list of nominees for the awards was drawn up during the CyberPress writers’ workshop and election on Nov. 22 in Taal View Heights in Talisay, Batangas. CyberPress members, who write for the country’s top newspapers and IT publications, then voted for their choices via an online poll.
TOP IT TREND. Intel Microelectronics Philippines country manager Ricky Banaag (right) receives the Newsmaker of the Year award for "Rise of the Netbooks." The chipmaker coined the term "netbook."
Top IT FIRM. Tunde Fafunwa (second from right), chief operating advisor of Bayan Telecommunications, receives the award "IT Company of the Year."With him are (second from left) DOST executive Maribel Carag-Dario and Bayan communications manager John Rojo (extreme right).
TOP IT STARTUP. Macel Legaspi (right), representative of G2Vc, receives the award "IT Startup of the Year."