Software firm targets global market
- Eden Estopace () - February 28, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Once more: Yes, the Filipino can.

In another rendition of the battle cry to push for global recognition for Filipino talents, a local software development firm is making the move in the global spotlight.

“Our dream is to create a Filipino technology company admired by the world,” said Carlen Martin Legaspi, president and CEO of Orange & Bronze Software Labs (O&B).

“We have very good software developers and great IT talents but there isn’t one Filipino IT company that we can point to that is the peer of global players,” Legaspi said.

Monchito Ibrahim, commissioner of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT), who has more than 35 years’ experience in the ICT industry, graced the launch and lauded the move, saying ICT is one area where technopreneurs can be very successful, though the market space has changed a lot and there is going to be more competition.

“Today we are beginning to get the attention of more world players, which means that there’s going to be more competition in getting the right people. But that’s actually good because it keeps us on our toes to continue to innovate and that’s also good for young people starting early in their technopreneurship journey,” he said.

Legaspi, who is on the board of directors of the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) as technology director and head of its technology council, probably knows the software industry landscape very intimately.

A PSIA study made in 2009 shows that there is an estimated 38,000 Filipinos working in the IT industry and around 10,000 are in the software development field and were hired by at least 400 software companies in the Philippines. These same companies, Legaspi said, continue to hire software engineers and developers to accommodate the growing outsourced ICT services segment.

Pursuing the vision

This early, O&B is attracting these IT talents to join the company to pursue the vision.

Butch Landingin, O&B’s co-founder and chief technology officer, brings with him nearly 20 years of experience in software development, including nine years at Silicon Valley, mainly developing applications for the industry.

“Carlen and I started this company as a two-man team, based on a leap of faith that somehow we would make it through. And though the years I’ve learned a lot and probably learned a lot in the last six years running O&B. Based on the vision that we want to establish a global, world-class Filipino technology company, I can say that while we are not there yet, with the things that are happening today, we are getting closer to that vision,” he said.

Mike Mallete, O&B’s head of consulting services, on the other hand, was part of the global Agile coaching team for the biggest multinational corporation in the travel industry.

In introducing the newly formed company, Legaspi said O&B provides consulting, outsourcing and offshore product development using Spring, Hibernate and Grails frameworks, Google Technologies and the Pentaho Open Source Business Intelligence Suite.

It pioneered the implementation of industry best practices and is currently a strategic partner of Google and Pentaho and the first and only Philippine-based SpringSource partner. 

Its Java Boot camp training system is widely used by PSIA as a core program to develop skills among Filipino Java developers. O&B has become the go-to Java training facilitator for local companies including ABS-CBN, Philippine National Bank, Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, and BDO.

O&B has likewise trained developers working in multinational firms such as IBM, Headstrong, Pointwest, Cisco, Accenture, HP, and Cambridge University Press.

Investing in the future

“We are investing in the future, not just in our own company but in the Philippine industry,” Legaspi said, adding that the future is going to be the “Internet of things” or the networked interconnection of everyday objects.

“What’s happening around the world is the miniaturization and commoditization of technology and devices that are Internet-enabled, self-configured and discoverable in a network. This would be leading to smart building, smart things, smart homes. It’s a great time to be in the software industry,” she said. 

From 90 employees now, the company aims to grow to 300 employees in three years, as it sets up software development centers in next wave cities, a consulting office and a hopefully a scholarship program.

AMP BRONZE SOFTWARE LABS BUTCH LANDINGIN CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS CARLEN AND I CARLEN MARTIN LEGASPI COMPANY INDUSTRY LEGASPI SOFTWARE
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