Peru Starts to Shape Software Outsourcing Message Around Specialization

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Edery: Peru’s mining industry is a catalyst for tech growth

By Jon Tonti

The gains Peru has made in the development of its IT Services export sector over the past few years are only being outstripped by the impressive diversification of services the industry produces.  PromPeru, the country’s IPA, will be looking to highlight just that at the 2013 Peru Service Summit, which gets underway in Lima on June 17.We thought it is relevant to talk to PromPeru’s Export Services Coordinator, David Edery, to find out if Peru is just enjoying a short-lived nearshore sweet spot or taking steps to develop a sustained value proposition that will propel it into the future.

Although the summit promotes a broad range of services, special attention will be given to software, editorial, contact center, graphic, animation and video game related services.  PromPeru aims to push the image that Peru has high value-added services at competitive prices and is at your service.

“The interesting thing about Peru’s software exports is that 53 percent of software exports are specialized solutions.  For example, Peru accounts for a large portion of the software that runs ATM machines here in Peru and Latin America in general, obviously we have specialized solutions related to the control of mining processes, and Peruvian companies are on top of solutions related to social media analytics,” said Edery. He went on to say that Peru’s software firms are in line with current practices offering software products on a SaaS model as opposed to licensing.  Internal demand for outsourced services also help move Peru on the maturity curve.

“Mining generates a lot of support industry in services, and services are where 70 percent of the working population is focused on.” That is good because much of the competitive advantage of Peru’s mining industry is based on the supporting BPO and KPO companies that provide services to the mining companies, according to Edery.  Advancement of the Peru’s services sector can in part be contributed to demand from mining, there are aims to take it to the next level.

Contact Centers & Business Intelligence

Edery says the services offered by the contact centers are migrating to higher value added services like collections, tech support, and business intelligence.  PromPeru wants a tighter relationship between contact centers and Peru’s professional services community.  The cross-integration aims to not just create entry-level jobs for young Peruvians, but instead generate full spectrum employment that satisfies Peru’s mid-career professionals and provides advanced consulting and analysis services.  At the summit, PromPeru plans to explain this dynamic and position it as a new exportable service to complement basic BPO.  “In the next two years, we want to have about 100 BPO companies exporting high value added services,” affirmed Edery.

Nearshore software development across LATAM has responded to the demand for mobile technologies. Some countries like Argentina that have a more mature software industry had tended to control the space, but now a leveling of the LATAM playing field is beginning to take shape. Countries like Peru that were dominated by .NET and Java are beginning to see a great diversification into other technologies. Edery stated that Peruvian firms are not just catering to the demand for mobile, but also breaking ground in Smart TV.

Peruvian 3D animation companies are responsible for producing seven animated films that have been received well internationally, Rodencia being one of the latest. The Summit will play host to Asian companies coming specifically to meet with animation firms. Video game publishers are not to be left out either, Peru’s knack for graphics and animation talent is being sought.

Lack of Startup Accelerators

When asked if there are weaknesses in Peru services for export sector, Edery candidly stated that they are many and varied, and that Peru could be much stronger if the proper means were to be taken to encourage the services sector.  Peru doesn’t have a technology park and lacks startup accelerators.  Trade agreements with other countries are also lacking that can affect not just the trade of goods but also services.  Human resource development is another concern of Edery, he is quite conscious of the fact that nearshore destinations have a sweet spot, which can turn bitter if labor development doesn’t coordinate with demand both in numbers and type. Development of an English-speaking labor force, a concern for any LATAM destination, is being addressed in Lima through a program that will be launched in the coming months by Lima’s Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with a private provider.

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