As an IT specialist, Peter Wiegandt knows that the basis for ensured social welfare and prosperity throughout Latin America lies in information technology. However, for technology to become a truly enabling force in the region’s social and economic development, there is one area in particular that will play an especially important role. This area is cloud computing.
The Second Wave of Cloud Computing
According to analysts and technology leaders in Latin America, the region has recently entered what is being called a “second wave” of cloud computing. In this wave, technological awareness has ceased to be an issue. Instead, businesses and other organizations are now focusing on how and where to properly invest in the cloud services on offer.
This growing awareness and acceptance of the cloud has been credited mainly to small and medium enterprises, or SMEs, throughout the region. These enterprises have been responsible for up to 45 percent of all medium-term cloud revenue. The technology bought by Latin American SMEs falls mainly under the distinction of software as a service (SaaS) and management purposes like supply chain solutions, CRM, ERP, and others.
Factors in the Growing Cloud
According to Peter Wiegandt, Latin American companies have stepped up their focus on cloud computing mainly as a way to reduce their costs while gaining efficiency and a competitive edge. This push has come due to a combination of certain market saturations, harsh internal economic environments, and the recent global economic crisis.
Another cloud adoption factor has been the reducing prices of utilizing the service thanks to the evolution of the technology and the emergence of new cloud service providers in Latin American markets. Because of this, many smaller companies have embraced cloud computing as a means to overcome the barriers on their own budgets.
Challenges to Cloud Adoption
Despite the increasing popularity of the cloud amongst companies and organizations in Latin America, challenges still exist concerning the widespread adoption of cloud computing. For instance, thanks to cloud technologies, datacenter services such as storage, collocation, and hosting are becoming increasingly cannibalized. This is particularly an issue in Brazil due to high energy prices that make the country one of the most expensive in Latin America in which to host a datacenter.
There are also many concerns with issues such as information and data security, says Peter Wiegandt, as well as legacy systems integration and connectivity.
On top of this, surveys are showing that many companies are falsely representing themselves under the “banner” of cloud computing when selling their services. In Brazil again, a survey of approximately 25 companies claiming to offer cloud services showed that about 80 percent of them actually were not; they were instead simply selling their own outsourced services.
According to Wiegandt, the main problem with current cloud service technology in Latin America is that the providers in these markets tend to be subscale organizations with sales teams that are relatively unsophisticated. As a result, many medium enterprises, including some selective government verticals, are being underserved in regards to cloud services.
Peter Wiegandt aims to change this with the formation of his new company, Tec 360.
The Goals of Tec 360
The main objective of Tec 360, says Wiegandt, is to meet this underserved space in cloud services for Latin American medium businesses and government entities. To accomplish this, Tec 360 has devised the following business plan:
- First, they are forming a portfolio of cloud services by buying an important equity position in the cloud service providers that sell in this space.
- Next, they are building alliances with other cloud service providers.
- They also have a sophisticated consultative sales team that is able to sell all of the cloud solutions in the company’s portfolio.
- They have formed a consulting unit that will be providing cloud consulting services.
- The services currently available in their portfolio include software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and many different apps for the cloud.
Tec 360’s Growing Alliances
Currently, says Peter Wiegandt, Tec 360 has made the following alliances:
- Mexis (secure cloud solutions) and CresCloud (ERP 3.0) for equity positions
- Declara INC (social collaboration intelligent platform) for sales distribution agreements
- Wincor/Nixdorf for cash management and POS solutions
- Cloud Magna for data center collocation.
More alliances are in the works and will be announced soon.
As Wiegandt explains, the initial acceptance of Tec 360’s powerful new concept has already been very strong in the customer space of Latin America. In fact, Wiegandt has found himself needing to work double shifts in order to satisfy this previously untapped demand and to ramp up the new team.
“The idea is a simple one,” Peter Wiegandt explains, “one-invoice-per-month-only cloud services for those that need it to help Latin America embrace the cloud and its full potential.”