The following article was published in the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) IT Report no. 3, Year 2006.

Established in 1987, Software Ventures International (SVI) has been the Philippines' pioneer company in offshore software development services. SVI's software services, whose processes were assessed at CMM Level 5 in 2005, generate 80% of its revenue from the U.S. market. The very first contract awarded to SVI was from Fujitsu for a systems conversion project based in Malaysia. SVI formally entered the Japanese market by establishing a branch office in Tokyo in 1997. Although the current service export to Japan comprises only about 2% of its revenue, Mr. Gil V. Guanio, the president of SVI, expressed strong interest in future expansion of business targeting Japanese companies.

Many of the founding members of the SVI, led by Mr. Guanio, came from CIS which was the information systems subsidiary of MERALCO (the largest electricity distribution Utility in the Philippines). Since MERALCO was also the biggest stockholder of the largest Philippine private commercial bank then, CIS was also heavily involved in the data processing service for that commercial bank. CIS then handled not only development but also implementation, operation and support of the enterprise systems of MERALCO and all its affiliates. Through its founding members from CIS, SVI inherited the expertise in information systems implementation and operation, as well as systems development.

One successful case study of such implementation/operation expertise can be found in the project for a government operated and controlled company that manages over 190,000 mortgage accounts valued at US$1 billion. Upon implementation of a Billing and Collection system, large volume of paper based data such as billing addresses, past payment records and other account data had to be cleaned up before they can be entered into the new system. 13 million remittance reports and mortgage documents were stored in 3 large warehouses. SVI provided a document scanning and indexing solution to facilitate retrieval of these data needed for payment data cleanup, reconciliation and verification. After the Billing and Collection system was implemented, web based system was also implemented to allow the borrowers to inquire their balance and receive confirmation of posted payment. Within 8 months after the system launch, the client company's collections increased by over 36%.

SVI has been known as a pioneer software services company in the Philippines for two decades. Today, the company is repositioning itself as a global BPO company, leveraging its deep knowledge and expertise in system operation, as discussed earlier. Of the 1,000 workforce of SVI, 300 are engaged in software development/maintenance/testing services (mainly legacy business application software, and web-enabling or portal development) while the rest are engaged in a wide range of BPO services including medical & business transcription, accounts payable processing, document management, records reconciliation, data abstraction/conversion, and contact center (technical support/help desk).

"We see great opportunities in BPO business for Japanese companies operating outside Japan. And we are currently in search of a strategic business partner to explore and implement the business scenario together." Mr. Guanio, who has lead the offshore IT service provider company for the past 20 years, told us with enthusiasm

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