SQL Software aiming to bill US$5mn with new Southern Cone focus

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Colombian human resources provider SQL Software expects to bring in US$1mn in the first year of operations at its new Chile office and US$5mn in the next 3-4 years, company executive president Alex Casanova told BNamericas.

The company opened an office in capital Santiago, the first outside of Colombia, and the idea is to use it as a base to reach out to Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. In recent years, the company has been seeing annual growth of 10-20%.

Before launching in Chile, the company already had clients in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica and El Salvador, all of which it attends from Colombia.

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Brazil is still not on the roadmap because of the language difference and the complexity of the local federal system, which makes each state a country in and of itself, he said.

SQL offers human resource management software based on relational databases from Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL).

The company competes in Latin America mainly with Spain's Meta4 and Mexico's Adam5, but believes it has a competitive advantage in a number of areas.

Firstly SQL offers 40 different modules such as payroll, which it says is more than what the competition offers.

The company also believes its software is quicker to implement and easier to maintain than competing offers.

SQL is certified ISO 9001, now in its version 2008, and expects to be certified ISO 27000 by the end of this year.

SQL offers three different levels of service. Its entry level offering is cloud-based software-as-a-service and charged on a per-user, per-month basis for companies with up to 100 employees.

According to Casanova, the idea of cloud has still not taken off yet.

"There is a lot of talk about cloud computing, but it still hasn't grown very much. We only have some 10 customers for this model, and we've been offering it since March. There is still a lack of understanding regarding what it is about. For the moment, it's more of a technological curiosity than a real solution," Casanova said.

The second level is called Application Process Provider, which allows more flexibility and more personalization than the SaaS model and is designed for companies with 500-1,500 employees.

Then there is a fully licensed model that is sold per module. But Casanova is convinced that the licensing model has its days numbered and that in the future all will go over to cloud offerings.

SQL Software focuses mainly on large companies and multinationals that want to centralize their human resource management in the region, instead of having different departments in each country.