Crystalis: Due to crisis, fewer but more serious ERP shoppers

- Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Crystalis: Due to crisis, fewer but more serious ERP shoppers

Companies in Chile looking for ERP solutions now, during the economic crisis, are more likely to purchase a solution rather than solely weigh the virtues of solutions, the commercial manager of the SAP practice at the Chilean unit of Spanish IT consultancy firm Crystalis Consulting, Raül Cerdá, told BNamericas.

According to Cerdá, before the crisis period, companies put time and money into analyzing possible solutions, but did not necessarily acquire the software. Nowadays, however, companies analyzing ERPs will probably follow through with the investment, because they don't bother wasting resources on the investigation process unless they are already fairly sure of their need for such a solution.

"We believe there will be less but better quality opportunities; it won't be a fruitless process. Everyone today knows the period we are going through, so if a company is looking for an ERP, they will buy one," Cerdá said.

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Crystalis saw its 2008 Latin America revenues rise to US$30mn, surging 87%. Cerdá said the firm is eyeing 5-10% growth this year, considering the overall economy scenario, as again aiming for double digit growth would be "audacious."

Crystalis is one of SAP's 10 largest partners, globally, and one of its three largest in Latin America. The company is a SAP services, licenses and education partner. The integrator was named SAP Master VAR, which means Crystalis is now acting as a license wholesaler.

Cerdá believes the most growth in Chile will come from SAP's business user unit, which includes business intelligence platforms, enterprise performance management and governance, risk and compliance solutions.

"And we also see growth in an area that can be considered 'forced investments,' related to the new IFRS standard. There are companies that can't avoid such a project because next year they will have to report based on these standards, so they need to face the project today," Cerdá added.

When asked for the verticals where Crystalis sees opportunities this year, Cerdá said it is easier to name those that will certainly reduce their IT investments: housing construction; real estate; aquiculture, particularly the salmon industry; and retailers, to some extent.

On the other hand, Cerdá said, the government - particularly municipalities and ministries - will continue investing in IT, because as presidential elections will be held next year, politicians will be increasing social projects as a way to win votes.