CHAPTER 7: TECNOLATINAS PROFILES
The leader of software in emerging markets is Brazilian
CEO: Laércio Cosentino
HQ: Sao Paulo
Offices: Sao Paulo, Alagoas, Joinville, Buenos Aires, Mexico
Totvs is the leading enterprise solutions software development firm in Latin America, and the 6th largest worldwide. Founded in 1983 under the name Microsiga (which it retained until 2005), the company was started by then 23 year old Laércio Cosentino, and by Ernesto Haberkon, his former employer at Siga, a data processing business. Together they started developing software for small and mid-sized companies, which were just starting to get advantage of personal computers, a technology that was barely entering the workplace.
In 1989 the founders made the decision to start a franchising plan that would enable its growth throughout the Brazilian market. This daring decision would pay off, as it cemented the way for the company’s rapid expansion. However, it wasn’t until 1997 that Totvs left its home market, and began its international operations in neighboring Argentina, furthering its expansion in 2003 when it reached Mexico.
In 2006, one year after redoing its whole corporate image, Totvs became the first tech company ever to IPO in the New Sao Paulo Stock Market (Bovespa). This gave it the momentum to expand even further via a series of acquisitions, which included its main competitor Datasul, and 49 additional firms in the corporate software industry, mainly in Latin America.
Today Totvs is valued at almost R$6.4 Billion (almost $2 billion dollars). According to its own financial statement, as of the second quarter of 2016, the company’s yearly revenue amounted to R$2,244 million ($704.7 million dollars), derived mostly from its software business, and, to a lesser extent, by its corporate services division.
With 50% market share in Brazil, the company has become an undisputed leader in its home country. Nationwide, it also possesses the 21st most valuable brand, according to the Interbrand ranking. Internationally, Totvs is present in 41 countries, mainly through local representatives and franchised resellers, which amount to roughly five thousand different distribution channels.
Productwise Totvs has a vast portfolio, that includes specialized software for a great variety of industries including agribusinesses, construction, distribution and logistics, financial services, legal services, the manufacturing sector, healthcare, retail, microenterprises, and even education.
Besides its impressive catalogue specialized tools crafted for each of these industries, the company offers solutions and infrastructure aimed at the whole corporate world with tools as varied as enterprise content management software, workflow and business process management solutions, enterprise social networks, CRM and call center software, financial and accounting solutions, budget planning, project management, and business analytics tools, among many others.
Lately the company has been investing hard in developing a cloud platform that allows it to offer its software solutions straight from its own servers, making roll out, scale, and management easy for clients of all sizes across all segments and industries.
Additionally, Totvs excels in the business consulting sector, where it offers services in the company performance field, in operations and supply chain optimization, in the development of digital transformation processes, and technological upgrades for companies of all types and sizes. On the same line, the company offers a wide set of corporate training programs, that help its clients’ employees get acquainted with the tools it develops, but also with new methodologies and other business and industrial processes.
The company currently operates ten product development centers in Brazil, including Latin America’s largest in Joinville, in the Santa Catarina State. Internationally, it operates five additional development offices in the United States, Mexico, China, and Taiwan.
However, one of the company’s most interesting research and development facilities is Totvs Labs. With offices in Silicon Valley and Sao Paulo, this division mission is to stay ahead and develop innovative solutions in the fields of cloud computing, artificial intelligence and data processing, blockchain, user experience and other new technologies. This way, the company expects to attract new talent, and to apply agile innovation methodologies that are not always possible on its traditional development centers, allowing it to compete with the increasing amount of startups, both in the region and worldwide, which are creating novel solutions for the enterprise market, thus potentially threatening its leadership position.
Throughout its more than 30 years in the market, Totvs has proven that innovation and boldness can turn a small local company into a world player, and that the Latin American market offers more than enough volume and opportunities to build truly successful companies through original solutions crafted with the region’s needs in mind.
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