The software industry is not slowing down, but its clients are

The industry of software in Córdoba it maintains the level of activity from the start of the emergency by Covid-19. But his main concern is his clients.

According to a Córdoba Technology Cluster (CTC) survey, 75 percent of its partners maintain the work rhythm prior to the start of the quarantine. The other 25 percent had a partial decline due to inactivity in the firms they work for.

This sector, until the end of 2019, grew at a rate of 25 percent per year, even in times of recession. Many implement their solutions directly in their clients’ offices or industrial plants. If these are considered non-essential sectors, quarantine forces them to suspend their activity, including the implementation of new technologies.

“Most of them work normally, with their teams operating remotely. What fell is the activity of the clients ”, explained Pablo Gigy, secretary of the CTC.

However, eight out of 10 companies in the sector are concerned about the payment chain, as they observe a very significant decrease in collection.

“70 percent of companies expect billing falls in March and April ranging from 20 percent to more than 50 percent year-on-year,” he said.

The industry of software in the province it generates about 15 thousand jobs. Only in the CTC there are 320 associated companies; to these must be added independent micro and SMEs.

This sector enjoys full employment, since the demand in companies exceeds the number of technicians that the education system can generate.

In part, for this reason, the problems generated by the quarantine will not cause changes in employment levels. But there may be some adjustments.

“Almost 80 percent will keep its endowment unchanged; less than 10 percent will make some salary adjustments, and the rest will suspend increases planned for the coming months, “said Gigy.

Global demand

Demand fell globally, which also affects Cordovan companies, which export 25 percent of their production.

It is also observed by Mercado Libre, which has half its activity in Brazil. Of the other 50 percent, its main markets are Argentina and Mexico. The firm has a development center for software in Córdoba, with 600 people who have been under the system since March 16 working from home (working from home).

“The rhythm of production is the same; the team will not change, surely the forecast of adding 100 more positions before the end of the year will accommodate the times of the pandemic. The economy will be affected, we have to make things work as well as possible and help users to survive at this time “, explains Daniel Gandara, local manager of the center of software.

One of its divisions, Mercado Crédito, announced that it will not charge merchants and SME sellers the interest surcharges for arrears on the installments overdue in March on their loans, which finance sales at Mercado Libre, and those who process collections with Mercado Pago (QR or Point).

A similar panorama is registered in Globant, a firm born in Argentina and with a presence in Brazil, North America, Europe and Asia.

“The activity remains the same, but you can see that there are problems at the global level; the payment chain is affected throughout the world ”, explains Gabriel Allasia, responsible for the development center that the company has in Córdoba.

Of the 12 thousand employees that it has in the world (30 percent of which are in Argentina), 90 percent maintain isolation in their homes. “There are project monitoring schemes that allow maintaining productivity; it’s more challenging, “he added.

Delays: New context

They warn that the key is to accompany customers.

At Santex, a Cordovan firm that exports 90 percent of its software production, they believe that there is a “complicated context” that delays business decisions and conditions new opportunities. “The general decision is to accompany customers, see what situation they are going through and what they need,” they say from the company. “This support includes closely following the business opportunities that, in this situation, can be delayed,” said the firm.

Print edition

The original text of this article was published on 04/03/2020 in our printed edition.