Cutting-edge technology:

Business solutions for today and beyond

The Latin American market for technology is in a comeback, and companies throughout the region are eager to take advantage of new generations of products that help them do business more efficiently and profitably.

Latin America's purchases of technology-related equipment are on the rise, according to Gartner, a leading provider of research and analysis on the global information technology industry. PC shipments in Latin America grew 29% in the third quarter of the year over their number in the same quarter of 2003, the group says, even though PC purchases in some other regions of the world have decreased.

The strong shipment increase is attributed to demand for PC replacement, lower interest rates, flexible PC vendor purchasing programs, broadband deployment and better system specification/ price point positioning.

Worldwide spending on information technology (IT) in general will increase by 5% in 2005, Gartner predicts. As companies respond to increasing competition from India, China, Brazil and other emerging economies and to rising energy costs, their pursuit of productivity gains through investments in new IT products and services will continue to be a strategic priority.


Mobile communications companies throughout Latin America today are actively using Axalto's smart cards, says Arnaud Laurans, marketing director of Latin America.

Gartner Dataquest ranked Axalto as the world's leading provider of microprocessor cards (smart cards)--the key to digital networks--and a major supplier of point-of-sale terminals. The company, which has offered its products throughout Latin America for the past decade, has 25 years of experience in smart card innovation and leads the industry in security technology and open systems.

"Consumer demand is increasing for content and the convenience of m-commerce, m-banking and real-time data via mobile phones," says Laurans. "Axalto specializes in finding fast and secure ways to deliver value-added services across mobile networks." The company's services include creation of SIM cards that give operators the most competitive and interoperable platform for second and third-generation mobile communications; specially designed and implemented innovative applications; the deployment of proven software and hardware platforms for reliable services; and ensuring that new applications and content deliver optimum performance.

Telcel, the leading wireless services provider in Mexico, recently chose Axalto to provide SIM cards and services for subscriber access to dynamic Internet content and services to any GSM mobile phone. To date, Axalto has shipped one million Simera N@vigate 3.4 64K SIM cards under the program in use by Telcel.

Financial institutions in the region have also begun to use the state-of-the-art smart card technology to help reduce fraud.

"Banks are finding that smart cards with EMV Migration Features have benefits in addition to security," Laurans adds. "Smart cards help banks differentiate their credit or debit cards from others because they have the capability of unique design and the ability to offer special services--such as loyalty program participation and e-banking."

Axalto continuously creates new generations of products for use in a variety of applications in the telecommunications, finance, retail, transport, entertainment, health care, personal identification, information technology and public sector markets. Microprocessor cards provide convenience, security and privacy to public and private services operators, their customers and end users, according to Laurans.


Businesses throughout Latin America are beginning to realize the benefits of using videoconferencing technology.

"Now that telecommunications are improving and the use of broadband and digital services are becoming less expensive in the region, videoconference use is taking off," says Guillermo Gasparini, sales manager, Application Systems for Sony Latin America.

Sony recently launched the PCS-TL50 All-in-One, a transportable videoconferencing desktop package for executive personal communication and/or small meeting space usage. Bringing a new level of versatility and convenience to videoconferencing, the breakthrough system features a unique pan-tilt-zoom camera embedded in an attractive 20-inch wide LCD display that doubles as a PC monitor.

In addition to the embedded camera, the PCS-TL50 includes an embedded codec, microphone and speakers to minimize desktop clutter and simplified set-up. A new user-friendly graphic interface assists in call execution, while a convenient remote control directs the camera.

"This is a complete videoconferencing solution in just one piece of equipment, offering the ultimate in convenience and cost-savings," Gasparini says. "The feedback we have had so far from end-users of the PCS-TL50 has been great. They love its stylish design and privacy features."

Sony's new system allows for six conference call points and has the option of a data solution box that enables users to show Power Point, Excel files and/or any other PC applications to call participants. It is also possible to work independently on the PC monitor even as the system is employed in a videoconference.


The most useful technology for financial institutions in Latin America will assist them in the key functions of rolling out new products and services quickly. It will also help them adjust to change in a fast-paced market, says Sudheer Padiyar, marketing manager of the Americas for Infosys Technologies, a worldwide leading provider of IT consulting and implementation services.

To fill that bill, Infosys now offers the region's banks Finacle--a new generation universal banking solution using state-of-the-art technology. The solution addresses the core banking, e-banking, treasury, wealth management, customer relationship management, and cash management requirements of universal, retail, corporate, community and private banks worldwide.

"It is a flexible solution, which will adapt to changing business and operational requirements, ensuring that banks can continuously innovate and be agile," Padiyar says. "One of the unique capabilities of the solution is that banks can customize the application without touching the source code."

Finacle leverages Internet technology and has a browser-based front-end supported over intranet. This thin client architecture eliminates the issues of software distribution and maintenance, and it enables significantly better performance over traditional client-server applications, thus providing the right architecture for a centralized solution. In addition, the Finacle solution employs a message-based architecture, which ensures openness and facilitates easy integration with other existing applications.

In recent benchmarks, Finacle has set a new threshold in core banking scalability (11,180 transactions per second), improving its own record in the process. The benchmark has set new scalability standards for the industry and reinforced its status as the most scalable core banking solution.

"Infosys is one of the few vendors with a 100% track record when it comes to implementation of web-based solutions," says Padiyar. "Clients have the benefit of our strong implementation framework that helps them migrate to our technologies very easily and rapidly. They also have the backing of a world-class company that has a great depth of domain and technology strengths: We are a SEI CMM Level 5 company."


Technology should provide businesses with access to good information about their operations at all times to allow for effective decisions and to help companies grow without having to radically change their systems, says Santiago Martinez, director of Latin America for ACCPAC International.

ACCPAC is a Best Software company and part of The Sage Group, which provides small and mid-sized businesses with a broad range of end-to-end business management applications designed to enhance customers' competitive advantage.

"Our objective in Latin America is to offer affordable technology that satisfies the needs of customers and allows their systems to grow along with their business," says Martinez. "ACCPAC's products are specifically designed for an international market and answer fiscal compliance and accounting requirements throughout the region."

Through headquarters in Mexico City and channel partners in nearly every country in Latin America, ACCPAC offers a complete ERP solution, including the Advantage Series accounting and operations solution, along with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions and ePOS--a point-of-service (POS) solution.

"All of the applications are available in Spanish, are fully Web deployable, and are integrated--allowing communication between them and the core accounting solution," says Martinez. "This reduces the cost of integration and deployment. Accounting and CRM modules can be purchased or rented, providing businesses with an ideal entry into the technology for minimal cost. As companies grow to the next level, they can expand their technology without having to re-install a system or change their business structure."

ACCPAC hopes to launch a solution designed especially for micro-companies throughout Latin America in 2005 that will have an integrated database and will require minimum consulting services to deploy and maintain.


PeopleSoft is delivering new functionality to its EnterpriseOne customers with the introduction of PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne 8.11, says Alejandro Correa, pre-sales manager, Mexico, for PeopleSoft.

The new solution is designed for manufacturers in consumer goods, industrial, life sciences, asset intensive, and project-oriented services industries.

PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne 8.11's breakthrough solutions include:

* PeopleSoft Demand Flow[R] Manufacturing: Formalizes patented approaches for designing production lines, managing material replenishment, and staffing manufacturing production lines based on production volume and skill levels.

* PeopleSoft RFID Processor: Provides manufacturing professionals immediate visibility into inventory.

* PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne CRM: The first enterprise CRM solution to incorporate manufacturing-specific business processes for sales and after-sales service interactions, including lead and opportunity management, consensus-based forecasting, real-time order promising, and case and service management.

* PeopleSoft Sales and Operations Planning: Provides a single repository for sales, manufacturing operations, engineering and finance information.

PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne 8.11, which includes numerous Total Ownership Experience enhancements, has already demonstrated performance gains. After extensive testing in PeopleSoft's lab environment, the company reported 38% reduction in overall installation time; 28% reduced time to complete key user tasks and 40% reduced time to implement applications using Latin America Solution Centers (based in Miami and Buenos Aires).

With PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne, it is also possible to transform the source-to-settle processes to deliver value in real time. EnterpriseOne 8.11 offers the ability to automate the source-to-settle process, which is based on real-time integration and collaboration with suppliers.


Each year, Convergys Corporation (NYSE:CVG) invests over US$100 million in development to constantly upgrade its solutions. To this end, the company has research and development centers throughout the world, including Brazil, where it has a team of over 200 people.

A world leader in providing integrated billing services and business support services, Convergys features cutting-edge technology. For example, the Infinys solution for convergent services is capable of meeting telecommunications carriers' different needs for business support services (BSS). Infinys includes modules for Rating and Billing, Customer Service Management, Activation Management, Mediation Management and Partner Relationship Management. It also encompasses best market solutions, such as Geneva, Atlys and Cygent, already utilized by major carriers in Latin America.

"We distinguish ourselves in offering a truly convergent service, which allows for the rapid launching of services and packages and makes possible the creation of new business models, besides partnership management, even for the big revolution in the sector, which is WiFi," observes Roberto de Atayde, Convergys marketing director for Latin America.

Infinys modular solutions can complement existing platforms in accordance with the needs of each customer. One example is a project for Vivo, the largest mobile telephone carrier in Latin America with 23 million users, launched this year and which boasts Convergys integration of different billing systems. "We utilize the local Professional Services team's expertise to help the carrier provide convergent services and consolidate the national scope of its services," says Atayde.