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

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon

  • Migrant workers set to return from Malaysia

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation confirmed on Thursday that 158 Cambodian students and migrant workers will fly home from Malaysia on Friday morning. This is the second flight to bring Cambodians home from Malaysia. A ministry notice said Malaysia Airlines Flight MH754 will