Global Competitiveness for a Long-Term Business

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  • Date Published
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Continuous designing of their own products and investing in young local experts could ensure the company competitiveness in the global market.

The Montenegrin market until recently was dominantly covered by foreign IT companies. The company Amplitudo in a few years succeeded in attracting their clients and proving through practical examples that local intelligence and expertise are equally competitive. In teamwork, we managed to create excellent digital products that can solve certain problems in the work of our clients. Our software solutions are as follows: eTenders, SHIFT, Indigo, VIA, IRIS, dHUB, etc. In 2018, with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, we will implement an ambitious project, the sumMEr, which will include a range of digital services that will be available to domestic and foreign tourists. For the software solution eTenders we have received the trademark “Good from Montenegro”, which we perceive as a kind of recognition to our work, since our goal is to stay in this group of successful companies that stand out for the excellent quality of products and services”, said Nenad Novovic, owner and director of the company Amplitudo.

Glasnik: At the beginning of this interview, could you please tell us what your company does.

N. Novovic: Amplitudo is a company that has been engaged in developing and improving the use of ICT tools in the modern business environment in Montenegro and the region for five years now. We are active in various types of digital services, on-line payments and promotions. We managed to build our own development team composed of young and educated experts from Montenegro, as well as to create an efficient sales network made up of experienced professionals.

Glasnik: Could you describe your products and projects that you are implementing.

N. Novovic: We managed in a teamwork to create excellent digital products. We are trying to make them visually appealing and easy to use, with a high quality user experience. The key thing is, of course, for the product to be able to solve a particular problem that our clients have. I would like to highlight some of our software solutions: eTenders, SHIFT, Indigo, VIA, IRIS, dHUB, etc.

During 2018, with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, we will implement an ambitious project, the sumMEr, which will include a range of digital services that will be available to domestic and foreign tourists (booking of the beach deck chairs, buying tickets for concerts, buying online vouchers on the beach, etc.). We hope that this project will include a special hardware component that we have designed – it is a model of sunshades with a solar panel for charging of mobile phones.

In addition to the excellent team, we have excellent partners, both in Montenegro and in the region and abroad. In cooperation with them we managed to implement several projects that we are proud of. I would especially like to highlight the conference Digital Day, which we organized for the second time with the Business Academy Vijesti. In 2018, we wish to join forces with other ICT companies from Montenegro and organize jointly an outstanding digital event that would attract the attention that this industry deserves.

Glasnik: You create and distribute products to the outstanding local companies. Is it difficult to win a position on the market?

N. Novovic: If we exclude “C” (communication), IT industry is specific because it is not limited to territories and a physical space. In practical terms, it means that you must be globally competitive to survive in the long run. The Montenegrin market is not large and until recently it was dominantly covered by foreign IT companies. The company Amplitudo in a few years succeeded in attracting their clients and proving through practical examples that local intelligence and expertise are equally competitive.

Glasnik: Do you, and in what form, cooperate with the foreign market?

N. Novovic: 2017 was the year very important for us in several aspects. One of the most important things we did was opening of a daughter company in Tirana, Amplitudo shpk. The idea is to try to take advantage of the experience and knowledge we have acquired and the products we have created in a market that is physically close, but in size several times larger than Montenegro.

Moreover, this year we have created a unique application for the well-known TV show “24 minutes with Zoran Kesic”. It is available for iOS and Android devices and it offers a variety of exclusive digital content. I suggest installing and testing it.

In this year we also expect to make an important step forward in terms of cooperation with foreign partners. We worked very hard and seriously to build our capacities and resources, which we hope will make us competitive on the global market.

Since in the modern world the crypto-currencies are becoming an ever more present way of paying both for the purchase of services and goods and for transactions between individuals and companies, our plan is in 2018 to make a connection with that component as well. We have already started a joint project in this regard, which will be soon implemented and made public, and we are also preparing the possibility for payment of services in our applications with crypto currencies.

Glasnik: The European Commission (EC) and the European Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) have launched a pilot project called “Ready2GO” aimed at supporting European SMEs to become internationalized and active in the five targeted markets of third countries. This program involved the economic chambers of Montenegro and Milan. Your company is one of two Montenegrin companies that participated in the aforementioned program. What are your experiences?

N. Novovic: The program was implemented by the Milan Chamber of Commerce, Italy, with the support of the local chambers including the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro. Small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of the Italian economy, so they were the most qualified with their expertise to help SMEs from other countries to become export-oriented.

After the selection process, which involved hundreds of companies from all over Europe, the Amplitudo was selected as one of the participating companies of this program financed by the EU.

We got an experienced and qualified mentor who worked with our team on developing a business plan for the presentation on the foreign market and who, through several workshops held in Podgorica, conveyed significant knowledge and tools related to the internationalization of the company.

As the best part of the program, during November we visited B2B Fair in Duala, Cameroon, and together with 15 European companies we had the opportunity to hold numerous meetings with the local business community and provide several opportunities for opening this exotic and interesting market.

Glasnik: You are the first company in the sector of services that received the trademark “Good from Montenegro”, which is awarded for the products or services of above-average quality. Congratulations for that! What are your impressions when it comes to joining the club of the successful ones? What benefits could you get from this trademark which is awarded for the “above-average quality”?

N. Novovic: Thank you very much for your congratulations. We perceive this trademark as a kind of recognition of our way of working, approach to partners and specific problems we are addressing. Software solution eTenders, which we designed, developed, distributed and maintained with the help of a team of local young people, brought us into the “club of successful ones” and it depends on our hard work whether we will remain in this great company.

We hope that our example will be followed by other IT companies from Montenegro and that together we will create as many Montenegrin digital products as possible.

Glasnik: You have an intense cooperation with the scientific community. Could you tell us more about your cooperation with the BIO ICT Center of Excellence (projects: smart buoys, practice for students …).

N. Novovic: Cooperation with the BIO ICT Center of Excellence and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Podgorica is very important for me and I am especially proud of it. Our company got a rare opportunity and privilege to work on the development of innovative products through the strategic partnership and cooperation with young scientists from Montenegro.

I would like to highlight the smart buoys project, which was designed within the BIO ICT Center, and with our help transformed into a specific product. With the support of the Public Enterprise for Coastal Zone Management from Budva, three smart buoys were set on the Montenegrin beaches this summer. The smart buoy is IoT device with an independent solar power supply, which in a real time sends data to the cloud server related to temperature of water, air, UV radiation, etc. In 2018, we hope that together with our partners we will succeed in exporting smart buoys to several countries that have shown their interest in this Montenegrin product.

Glasnik: Today, at the threshold of the fourth industrial revolution, in the global world, the ICT and the digital economy have no alternative. Simply, it is not possible to have a competitive economy without ICT, which, although an independent industrial branch, is also horizontally “permeated” across all industrial branches. What is the situation in Montenegro and do we have a stimulating environment for the development of this important activity?

N. Novovic: Excellent question. I think that a country which, unfortunately, did not have a chance in the past to go properly through the first three industrial revolutions, must take advantage of the opportunity offered by the so-called fourth industrial revolution.

Young people are increasingly turning to modern technologies because they realize that the advantages and opportunities that they offer are practically at hand, for everyone who is willing to use them through hard work and the right kind of education.

Glasnik: Often it can be heard that our IT companies are more involved in distributing foreign products than in creating their own software. What do you think about it?

N. Novovic: From the beginning, the Amplitudo has been trying to swim in a “blue ocean market”. Its a synonym for a space thats not so full of competition and in order to conquer it you have to put much effort. After several years of development and hard-work, we can praise by a range of our digital products. I am deeply convinced that this is the best way.

Glasnik: Mainly, this has been the answer to my next question. However, what are the development plans of your company?

N. Novovic: All our plans are related to the digital economy, further creation of our own products, development and investing into human capital and the potential of young local experts. We hope that these elements will bring us into the position of competitiveness in the global market and, therefore, ensure necessary resources for investing into further development.