Companies such as Salesforce and SuccessFactors are well-known case studies of companies promoting a new model of software delivery called Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). In Latin America, Salesforce and its CRM software has been a leader in terms of sales and top of mind in the last few years at his a built up an impressive cadre of clients. Nonetheless, data crunching software offered through a similar model from the likes of companies such as QlikTech have been less successful in the region. Colombian software company GED hopes to change this situation by introducing its analytics software (called Sikua) through the SaaS model.
Though 12 years old, GED has built up a client list in Colombia that includes a number of state agencies, hospitals and education institutions. After selling its enterprise Business Intelligence and Analytics software packages to large organizations implementing Balanced Scorecard management initiatives, the company decided to take advantage of newer Cloud Computing platforms in order to offer its software to smaller organizations.
Though most startups these days are focusing on consumer markets, as Venture Capitalist Peter Theil recently mentioned, there are interesting opportunities within the small business market. In Latin America, penetrating the small and medium business market is even more challenging. Payment infrastructures, cloud computing and SaaS based offerings as well as company cultures predisposed to technology investments are less developed. Nonetheless, GED is sanguine about its SaaS offering.
Up till now, 15 customers are using Sikua to generate specialized dashboards and help their organization with their strategic planning process. CEO, William Diaz, affirmed that he expects to more than quadruple that number by the end of 2012. Each installation includes a strong services component to configure the software for each customer’s organizational needs and to integrate the software with existing systems.
Though the company has grown organically since its inception, they will be raising a $1M round this year. The firm is eyeing geographic expansion opportunities into countries such as Peru, Ecuador, Mexico and Spain, among others.