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INFOMAN Credits Survival To Focus On Niche Market
Manila Bulletin, C6 - Infotech
Melvin G. Calimag - April 17, 2006

       Local IT solutions provider Information Managers Inc. (Infoman) said its unrelenting focus on a particular segment of the market, in this case the manufacturing sector, has enabled the company to become resilient and in tiptop shape over the last 18 years.

       The tech firm, now headed by former Oracle Philippines country manager Bernard Yu, said it did not abandon its strategy of promoting and selling manufacturing solutions to the local market even when many manufacturing plants were closing shops or transferring to other countries.

       An affirmation of this is the fact that Infoman has been distributing Progress software, which is used by manufacturing firms, since the start of its operations.

       For "staying the course," the company is also now amply rewarded as it was recently granted the sole right by QAD, a US-based software company, to distribute its manufacturing solutions in the country.

       QAD is used by manufacturers of automotive, consumer products, electronics, food and beverage, industrial, and medical products at approximately 5,300 license sites in about 90 countries.

       Informan's confidence in the local market for QAD technology for the manufacturing sector is anchored on an unexpected increase in demand for QAD's suite of software application modules by small and medium enterprises. This quarter alone, some new QAD modules are slated to roll out in the country, including the flagship product eB2.

       For Progress software, the company had a 110 percent new license revenue growth in 2005 for OpenEdge v. 10, its premier product. This allowed Infoman to become the second best license performer in Asia Pacific.

       Yu said its partnership with QAD would complement its existing Progress solutions and allow Infoman to offer a complete end-to-end solution for the manufacturing industries.

       But Yu, the company's CEO and vice chairman, said apart from the manufacturing sector, another area where Infoman would likely dip its hand is in the food retail sector.

       "Food will always be a growth area," he said, noting that the burgeoning call center industry is also fueling the expansion of fastfood shops. With this, Yu said the company is now planning to offer new software products that will cater to this market.

       "We're starting talks this year to bring in new products, although there's no definite deal yet because this will also entail investments on our side," said Yu, who served the longest term as head of Oracle Phils. for ten years.

       For his part, Foo Chuen Yong, head of QAD South Asia, underlined the crucial role of Infoman in propagating QAD software solutions in the Philippines. "A local representative with the ability to cover the local market, deliver cost competitiveness, and ease customer's concern on issues such as local support is important to out initiative in every country we venture into where we do not have an office."



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