The Slovenia Times

Innovative Means Competitive



The year 2011 was challenging for the economy. How satisfied are you with ComTrade's business results?
We are very pleased with last year's business results.The group as a whole increased its revenue by 12%, and we increased our net profit ten times comparing to the 2010. We increased the share of exports of our solutions and services, which in 2011 accounted for as much as 73% of our sales. Besides, we also managed to increase our sales of software solutions with our intellectual right, which now represents 10% of our total revenue.

In what areas were you most active last year?
Our main areas of activity remain the same as those we defined in the 2010-2015 Strategic Plan: telecommunications, financial institutions, the public sector and healthcare institutions, the gaming industry, solutions for system control and data storage, embedded system development and custom specialised software solutions.We also remain a strategic partner of Hewlett Packard for solution development, and this year we celebrate the 20th anniversary of our cooperation.

What solutions are mostly sought by domestic companies?
The common denominator of most software development projects last year can be classified into one of the following categories:
- customer management (Customer Experience)
- solutions to enhance business agility and transparency (Time to Market, Business Intelligence)
- solutions to optimize IT business (IT agility & Operational Efficiency)

How popular is the development of custom applications? Who needs it and is also willing to pay for it?
The use of software solutions has for some time been directed towards a balanced use of purpose-built software solutions and their adjustment (custom development) for specific business needs.
We also greatly support the increasing trend of basing decisions on the content and amount of investment in software solutions on detailed analyses of investments (ROI).
The success of IT giants in Slovenia is usually very dependent upon their skill in obtaining tenders.

The coming years will see the overhaul of the health care system within the public administration, from which all providers expect a lot. What is your view of e-health care and the position of the public administration on IT solutions?
Of course, we are also present in the public administration, but the proportion of public procurement projects in our revenue is less than 15%, which means that our exposure there is relatively small.
Health care is one of our strategic guidelines for solutions in the public administration area. At this moment, as much as one third of Slovenia's primary health care uses our business health care solution called IRIS. We are also closely monitoring all developments related to the e-health care project, although in our opinion, they are too slow. We believe that by introducing IT solutions based on the latest technologies a considerable portion of the money spent on health care can be saved in the long term.

Many experts believe that the ICT industry is on the threshold of a new revolution. Cloud computing and mobile technologies are radically changing the way companies communicate and work. What is your view of these changes and what impact will they have on your business operation?
Both paradigms, cloud computing and mobile technologies have radically changed the world. We are developing solutions in both areas, in practically all of our main areas of activity.
The last project we recently finished was a mobile banking solution, which allows users to use virtually all major banking services via mobile phones and tablet computers in a simple, intuitive and secure way.The solution will be on the market very soon.

Who do you currently see as your biggest competitor in the market and why?
The main "competitor" to us as a major exporter of solutions and services is the domestic economic environment and labor market, where we can hardly remain competitive.
We hope and believe that new Government will act fast and do the right steps to turn around the trend of losing our competitiveness against other western and eastern countries.

Where do you see ComTrade in 2, 5 or 10 years from now? How far is your strategy reaching at this moment?
We have prepared a very clear vision of our company, supported by strategic plans; we want to remain a global provider of technologically advanced solutions and a partner who is able to "communicate the future" and realize the most complex technological projects.
We will continue focusing to build a flexible and agile organisation capable to act as a long term business partner to our loyal customers.
We want to continue the tradition of business excellence, which largely depends on our employees, which is why they remain at the heart of all our plans. Our status as a "family-friendly company" which was re-established this very day is one of the confirmations of these efforts.


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