ECONOMY

Small size does matter for local software firms

Flexibility is crucial in such a fast-changing industry as information technology. When many large companies fail to be flexible enough, small ones such as d.d. Synergy and iTEAM are the answer. These two firms, both established in 1999 by young businessmen, have chartered a positive course amid the gray landscape of the industry in Greece. Their size also allows them to specialize, maintaining profit margins when the market is tormented by other pressures. It was former SAP Hellas consultants who set up d.d. Synergy. Today they can pride themselves on its 15 percent share of the corporate software market, based on the platform of Germany’s SAP. In a similar vein, iTEAM was created because its founders realized that companies are looking for small enterprises that can develop absolutely specialized applications and provide satisfactory technical support. It later expanded to represent foreign software companies, today enjoying a considerable share of the market in the management and improvement of companies’ technological infrastructures. According to Yiannis Bratakos, CEO of d.d. Synergy, «the company’s revenues in 2004 were at 2.6 million euros, while profits exceeded 210,000 euros. For 2005, the initial estimate, according to existing contracts, is that revenues will exceed 3.35 million euros and profits will reach 410,000 euros.» The target for iTEAM is 3 million euros in revenues for 2005, its CEO Angelos Astrinidis says. Last year it had a 2.2-million-euro turnover and profits of 240,000 euros. Today the two companies employ about 45 people each. The Ideal group (facing excessive debt problems) and the holdings company Vectis Capital control 37.5 percent of d.d. Synergy. Bratakos stresses that the problems of the shareholders do not affect the course of the company, estimating that among the company’s advantages are the pre-parameterized solutions developed according to mySAP All-In-One software, and cooperations. The help desk of d.d. Synergy today handles 15 contracts. Bratakos says the target for 2006 «is the handling of at least 25 contracts supporting SAP clients and the full automation of the process.» Its cooperation with Real Consulting, the strongest player in the sector of SAP software, is very important. Bratakos adds that d.d. Synergy also utilizes «its associate enterprise, Wellnet, which is involved in the hotel software Blaunia, and Cape Consulting, which provides consultancy about customer relationship management, where our company owns 40 percent.» Astrinidis, for his part, argues that the main assets of iTEAM are its tailor-made software solutions for the needs of every customer and its cooperation with Quest Software for Greece and Cyprus. Quest Software develops tools which allow companies to use to the full infrastructure in IT and software equipment. Astrinidis believes these tools are more necessary in a tough period when enterprises are trying to cut costs and improve their existing technological infrastructure. For the completion of those solutions, the company cooperates with Mercury Interactive, which develops Software testing & Quality Assurance applications and intends to promote more products by Quest Software.