Latin American firms still not keen on digitalizing certain documents

Friday, January 28, 2011

Latin American companies are still showing reluctance to digitalize documents related to business management, French document management company STS Group's VP for business development, Rodolfo Lomascolo, told BNamericas.

Evangelization efforts have their work cut out, according to the executive.

"The first challenge is convincing the client that a document has the same value in electronic form as it does in paper form," he said. "There are a lot of tasks where paper is still used today."

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"You see it [paper document use] in billing, orders and delivery notices. Everything that's related to commercial management and sales management, for example, and distribution."

Despite incipient product awareness, local legislation is playing a crucial role in encouraging document digitalization.

"The legislation exists; it's good and one can take advantage of it," he said. "There are two countries leading the way, and they are Mexico and Brazil. Governments in those countries have bet on this [digitalization] for a long time. ... They are followed by Argentina with its electronic billing legislation and Chile with its e-government."


STS Group provides SaaS-based solutions for such tasks as document digitalization and long-term storage and digital signature.

The company has 25 joint ventures worldwide, including in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Peru, and plans to establish 3-4 additional partnerships in Brazil during 1H11. Lomascolo said each alliance is expected to pull in US$10mn-US$15mn within three years.

"In Brazil, we want to enter 3-4 different segments with 3-4 different companies," he said. "The segments are call centers, electronic printing and electronic billing."

"We're going to be making moves mainly in São Paulo, although we also have a partner that's in Belo Horizonte and another one in Rio de Janeiro."

STS Group's existing client base includes firms in the telecommunications, education and financial sectors.