Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Software developers eye strong market potential

Software developers eye strong market potential

Software developers eye strong market potential

090331_04ict_a.jpg
090331_04ict_a.jpg

Photo by: Anne Laure Poree

Kit Hargreaves says money spent on a good IT system is money well spent.

Opportunities are opening up for local developers of software and applications as the number of firms in Cambodia using information technology continues to grow.

"Locally produced software is a better fit to the local market than off-the-shelf international variants, as most available software doesn't account for local laws and often can't work with Khmer characters," said Sous Sakal, a business development manager at Blue Technology.

Accounting software was a good money-earner for the company, he said, fetching between $300 and $20,000 per program, depending on its complexity.

Erya Houn Heng, president and CEO of First Cambodia, a company specialising in system integration, said the local IT sector had almost unlimited opportunity to grow.

"Only about 5 percent of small and medium-sized enterprises in Cambodia are using computer systems," he said.

But for many companies, cost is a real obstacle to using advanced technology, said Kit Hargreaves, the 23-year-old boss of Arocore, a new arrival on the local technology development scene.

"But an IT system is the backbone, the life of the company in many ways," he said "If the money is spent well, you don't have any issues."

Arocore recently customised an ordering system for Elements, a new nightclub set to open in Phnom Penh, using an iPod Touch device, which allows waiters to transmit orders to the bar in real-time, improving efficiency and reducing errors. Integration with a central billing and inventory system also helps manage stock levels.

"The income generated was average compared to the time passed on this project, but through it we developed our skills and it is exactly what we love doing," Hargreaves said. "We like creativity."

Locally produced software is a better fit to the local market.

Theara Sam, Blue Technology's sales director, said the sector needed to be led.

"This is the story of the chicken and the egg," he said. "If there is more money injected in IT, IT will help the industry to grow. If we don't have the resources for a good product, it affects innovation." As the local market for software grows, many developers are looking further afield for sales opportunities.

"There is a strong market in Cambodia," Theara Sam said. "SMEs [Small and medium-sized enterprises] need to use technology, otherwise there will be obstacles to their growth. But we are thinking about expanding in the international market. A shop in Singapore will pay much more than a shop in Cambodia for the same kind of software."

Erya Houn Heng said First Cambodia was looking to expand throughout the ASEAN region. It already had an office in Laos and is in the process of registering an office in Vietnam for a launch later this year, he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Ranariddh 'seriously injured', his wife dies in accident in Preah Sihanouk

    THE wife of former first prime minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh has died. Ouk Phalla succumbed to injuries sustained in a traffic accident on National Road 4 in Preah Sihanouk’s Prey Nub district this morning. She and the prince were immediately rushed to the Preah Sihanouk

  • US slammed over BGU head as Foreign Ministry says sanctions violate international principles

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFAIC) has condemned the US Department of Treasury for its sanctions, announced on Tuesday, against Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang for his alleged role in infringing human rights. In a statement, the ministry said it is disturbing