Bolivian software and applications 101: They are booming!

Marcelo Campos reports for El Dia:

A company has 1.4 million downloads of mobile apps and other digital products exported.

Bolivian software and applications are booming

Technology. The products are not limited to the domestic market which is still small. Bolivia Mozilla Firefox browser will be translated to Quechua and Aymara.

2014-05-04 08.51.06 amSome years ago it was hard to believe that a Bolivian company that develops software or mobile application and that is successful abroad. Currently opportunities are endless, so companies are innovating in this broad field; Pinch Multimedia developed with excellent results and applications for smartphones, are exporting Bolivian Axon software to Guatemala and Peru. Moreover, Bolivia Mozilla is working to develop a Firefox (web browser) in Quechua and Aymara, after having it done in Guarani.

Pinch Multimedia an earthling company. Branko Zabala, director of the company Pinch Multimedia said that to date, they have 16 applications in the App Store, of which two have been in the top 10 in over 50 countries. As the only company in Bolivia that got more than a million downloads in a year (2013), currently has almost 1.4 million downloads and over 1 million updates.

“Definitely our number one market where we get as many downloads as much revenue, is the USA. Indeed, all our applications are in English, except the “jigote” application and interactive children’s story of Samson, which is in two languages. In that sense, I think, made ​​in Bolivia is now no longer relevant, our company is earthling. We work with large companies abroad and they are quite very happy with our work,” said Zabala.

Pinch Multimedia is part of a business group; BZ Group is dedicated to web development, software and online marketing in general, while Contadesk provides ERP management software for businesses, that is why  they are creating mobile applications that connect to the operation of the enterprise, systems track sales and tracking clients (CRM).

“We want all our products to be accessible from a mobile. We are innovating in areas where we can bring many benefits to private enterprise. Imagine ordering a coffee or a pizza without picking up the phone (to speak obviously) We are about to launch an application to the public of this type for a client in Santa Cruz,” Zabala said.

Bolivian software to Peru and Guatemala. For his part, Alfredo Ameller, Axon’s National Project Manager, said they have 40 Bolivian professionals who develop software for the financial market, risk management and business management. Thus have successfully exported to Guatemala, the Prosecutor SPY product that monitors your “suspicious” transactions with the aim of countering money laundering or their diversion to illicit activities. Recently exported their Netbank to a bank in Peru, this product is the “heart” of the system with the financial management of banks.

“We are 20 years developing software and in that time we have covered much of the financial market, banks, cooperatives and mutuals. We are about to launch a new product Micro UPS, which is ideal for small businesses to make their billing and inventory, including invoices that are printed with QR Code as set the current rules,” noted Ameller.

Axon has pioneered the development of software against money laundering in the region, so Ameller ensures that we are not behind in some fields of technology.

A new company that develops web applications and is now dabbling in mobile value-added applications, is WAPP. Hermany Terrazas, manager of the company, believes it is an interesting field, but not yet rated by national corporations.

“Every time the local firm relies more on the Bolivian software, then is coming little by little more attractive, but in my view they are not really appreciated nor used, it’s amazing that larger software companies have as their main foreign customers and non-national companies, is a waste of technological capital. All sectors require some software, because it is a vital need for business management, small or large, but the most formal are the oil and massive commercial” said Terrazas Hermany in time to add that the Bolivian software is already exported to foreign corporations and compete globally, but national corporations are not taking advantage of it.

Firefox in native languages ​. Moreover, the Mozilla community is present in Bolivia since 2007, has been working quite in the original language and Bolivian slang, so the location of Firefox has introduced the “Bolivian Spanish” (sp – BO) besides this has translated into Guarani the language browser and soon will do with Quechua and Aymara.

“We are the first country in South America to have such a technology, translated to a native language, at this point, have been referred in Paraguay. Under this line, we are working to have Firefox in other native languages,” said Hugo Acosta, representative of Mozilla in Bolivia.

Acosta also points out that have launched the Operative System Mobile Firefox web based OS and develop courses and activities that show and teach how to develop the Web Applications Mobile System.

“Through this initiative, we are making more developers working on the development of mobile applications that are made in Bolivia and Bolivian use, and provide local solutions for local use,” concluded the expert.

Seven years for total migration

Public sector will use free software

Law. Public sector institutions should migrate to the use of free software (software) over the next seven years, according to 1783 Regulatory Supreme Decree of Law 164, Development of Information and Communication Technologies.

The rule provides for the development of an Implementation Plan “e-government” and establish the use and certification of digital signatures for entities in the public and private sectors that will benefit especially commerce. The new regulation is based on the principles of technological sovereignty, computer security and decolonization of knowledge. “We are taking a very important to ensure that the state depends on its own technology development step,” said Minister of Development Planning, Viviana Caro.

Point of view: Hugo Acosta – Mozilla – Bolivia

“The impact of technology arrives late for Bolivia”

The great distinction we have as a country, unfortunately, is that the impact of technology arrives much later than in other developed countries. The importance of impact affects the development of these technologies, so there are two ways to view it: One. Both consumption growth and the development of Software and essentially mobile Software, has grown exponentially over previous years when looked at sporadic initiatives that were not enough to grow as expected. Two. If we put in perspective with other countries, I have not seen much growth in this sector, but that does not mean that compared with Latin American countries such as Peru, Paraguay or Chile itself, I can assure that we are not so far behind and took some steadily steps. Bolivia in the development and use of these technologies will definitely keep growing and this will further increase on perseverance.

Meanwhile, in Bolivia the sectors that are the first or the most common in this technology that consume are banking, marketing companies and even now the health sector. The big difference will be marked from now on, thanks to the implementation of a decree dictates to use Free Software and specially developed in our country, in Bolivian public institutions. This will make the consumption and therefore the development of local software , increase considerably.

The world should look after this Bolivian proven capacity, come and invest! It will be a win-win for both sides!

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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