Lithuanian IT Export Pioneers
Over recent years positive export trends are observed in Lithuania. In 2007 the Lithuanian IT export made up EUR 553 million (LTL 1,907.8 million). This represented 4.4% of total Lithuanian export. The association “Infobalt” forecasts that within the next five years IT export may represent up to 10% of total Lithuanian export.
Computer Export from Estonia to Georgia
Computers as well as audio and video equipment so far represent over 60% of total export. The Lithuanian retail electronic trading centres occupied quite a great part of the Latvian market. The wholesale IT companies opened their subsidiaries in the Baltic States, Byelorussia and Kaliningrad Oblast in Russia. One of the examples is a Lithuanian capital company “Acme kompiuteriř komponentai” UAB, which started its activities in 1998. The initial capital was twenty thousand US dollars. Over ten years this company reached the turnover of EUR 129 million (LTL 446 million) and expanded the region of its activities. In 2007, “Acme kompiuteriř komponentai” UAB had its subsidiaries already in five neighbouring countries, opened its subsidiary in Georgia. During the military conflict in August 2008 the activities was temporarily suspended; however, already in a few months the flows of IT goods to Georgia were renewed. The company became the first IT wholesaler in Georgia and strives for establishing its market positions there.
Other related company “ACME Baltija” produces and distributes products under ACME trademark: media products, MP3 players, headsets, sound speakers, gaming control panels, mice, keyboards, navigation systems, “Bluetooth” equipment, etc.
Over recent 6–7 years the company expanded the range of products under ACME trademark and from the production of media products it focused more to the production of computer accessories. The products are exported to more than 22 countries. The products are offered in the Baltic States, Scandinavian countries, from Eastern Europe to Balkan countries, Caucasian countries and Turkey.
Despite the economic recession in the region, trade volumes of the company were constantly increasing from EUR 4.9 million in 2004 to EUR 16 million in 2008. This year the company already for the third time participated in the exhibition “CeBIT” in Germany and was happy with the new contacts established and plans developing its activities on the new Western markets: in Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland, England.
Telecommunication Products to 90 Countries
In the world the market of wireless communication devices grew up from USD 562 million (in 2005) to USD 1.2 billion (in 2007). The potential of the market is very high, as a stable growth of consumers is observed. In 2004 there were 130 million users, while at the end of 2007 – already 350 million users. At present over 200 million potential users have Internet access via telephone line and modem, while 900 million users do not use services of wireless connection operators at all; therefore, these numbers reflect a very high potential and opportunities on the market of wireless connection devices. As modern society and demanding users further require high-quality services and Internet connection at any place of the world, the government is interested in giving as much as possible radio frequency to wireless connection operators and in this way satisfying the growing needs of residents. The forecasted size of the market in 2014 is USD 42 billion. At present hardware and software is being created and exported by several companies.
The producer of telecommunication products “Teltonika” UAB was capable of penetrating into the markets of China, India and Pakistan and currently exports its products into 96 countries. Still in 2004 the company employed 22 employees, its annual turnover amounted to EUR 0.174 million (LTL 0.6 million). In 2008 the turnover went up to EUR 13.03 million (LTL 45 million), while the number of employees increased to 300. “Teltonika” creates and produces mobile devices starting with 3G modems and ending with transport management systems. The greater part of devices is produced in small series, upon the customers’ requests. The owner and manager of the company Arvydas Paukđtys is confident that it is possible to compete with the largest telecommunication producers in the world if one is capable of updating their product lines every half-year. Each year the company invests up to 40% of its income into the creation of new products and creates at least ten new products. “Teltonika” constructs M2M (i.e. machine to machine) devices – modems, transport management systems, personal observation systems, wireless control systems and produces them near Vilnius. A stepping-stone into international markets became an active participation in international exhibitions. “Nokia” invited “Teltonika” into one of “CeBIT” exhibitions as its partner. That was a great opportunity to establish contacts with future customers. Currently “Teltonika” itself takes an active part in exhibitions, in particular on the markets of Near and Far Eastern Asia. In 2005 “Teltonika” founded its subsidiaries in London, Helsinki, Düsseldorf, Los Angelo. Some time later a subsidiary was opened in Singapore. “While communicating with our clients, who are located in 96 countries, so far we see more opportunities to expand our activities than challenges. In fact, the financial crisis affected more than one client; however, I would think that this is temporary”, – the manager of “Teltonika” Arvydas Paukđtys said.
In 2007 total export of the Lithuanian telecommunication devices amounted to EUR 55 million (LTL 189.9 million).
In 2008 another company – “WILIBOX“ UAB – was acknowledged as one of the most innovative companies in Lithuania, it was awarded the prize for innovations. The company creates and produces wireless data transfer equipment.
“WILIBOX“ started its activities as a company creating software for WiFi products in 2005. At present the company successfully by itself constructs and produces WiFielectronic part and unique software designed for managing it. It is difficult to describe in a sentence the exceptionality of “WILIBOX“ products. The products are designed for wireless network infrastructure. The company production varies from simple equipment modules for clients (CPE) to complex “point-to-point“ (PTP) and MESH topology products. “WILIBOX“, one of the first in the world, used WiFi MESH network topology solutions, i.e. on the basis of WiFi it created self-recovering network equipment. These technologies by different producers are rapidly installed in the whole world and enhance Internet accessibility, in particular in public places.
The key advantage of “WILIBOX“ products is that each of them is characteristic of all the required modern technology and features, which may be adjusted by every client and used to maximum upon their needs. The company gives great attention to these features and product quality, therefore, a constant creation and improvement work is being done.
In 2009 the company plans to carry out two new technical feasibility studies for creating high speed data transfer equipment and presenting the new network products already under creation.
The beginning of export – the year 2007, export volumes amounted to EUR 87 thousand (about LTL 300 thousand), i.e. about 8% of total company turnover. These so far include individual selling cases in the global context based on the proposal to try and evaluate. Over 2008 export volumes made up about EUR 0.435 million (LTL 1.5 million). Due to creation and presentation of new products to the market in 2008 about 50% of total annual turnover made export. The main export countries include the USA, EU countries, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, India, Canada, East Korea, Taiwan, Finland, and Pakistan.
“WILIBOX“ is capable of evaluating rivals as potential partners and finds mutually beneficial solutions. For example, electronic platforms created by the company “WILIBOX“ are sold by the partners alongside with the software created by different other cooperating companies.
This year successful cooperation and good results are expected in the countries of China (Asia) and Africa. In these regions the growth of the market is very fast, and wireless networks are installed.
IT Service Export
The greater share of the Lithuanian IT service providing companies is oriented toward local market – 93% of installation and programming services are carried out in the Baltic States. On the other hand, tens of IT companies already have great experience in providing IT services for foreign companies.
“Alna Software” UAB for already more than a decade programmes for its partner “Bentley Systems”. Another its client – “Deutsche Bank”, for which this Lithuanian company creates programming modules. According to Michailas Traubas, export service manager of “Alna Software”, the company is oriented towards high qualification requiring orders. “Alna Software” belongs to “Alna grupe” – the largest IT service provider in Lithuania. Over the first half-year of 2008 its income equalled EUR 13.812 million, while income from services – EUR 8.978 million.
Other Lithuanian companies – specialization of “Baltijos informacinës sistemos” UAB is the creation of technology process monitoring system and its installation in nuclear power plants. This monitoring system enables observation and management of up to 750,000 technology points. The company started export of its services in 2001 to the United States of America, while in 2003 systemic products were already exported to Great Britain, were they are used by “Data Systems & Solutions” Ltd . This system was installed by four nuclear power plants in Russia. In 2008 company income from export made up EUR 0.58 million. “The need for our exported products is closely related to energy strategies of the countries, nuclear safety programmes, EU and Russian cooperation”, – Ţilvinas Binevičius, manager of the company states.
The company “Elsis Pro” engaged in IT service lease belonging to “Elsis group” provides database creation and other programming services. The first project was created in 2001–2002 for the company “Bang&Olufsen”. Currently the company is in the negotiations with several potential clients in Sweden, Italy, Germany.
“EVP International” UAB having installed online payment system suggests e-management of purchase-sales processes. This is a safe and fast settlement system enabling the companies selling goods or services to make both large and small settlements. An interesting fact is that it is possible to pay not only via Internet but also by SMS, WAP channels and telephone lines. As of 2006 the company started exporting its services. The first foreign country where this service was installed was Russia, later on the service started functioning in Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Spain, Great Britain and other countries. “In 2008, we received 60% of income from foreign countries, the payments made up EUR 4 million (LTL 14 million).
In 2008 in Lithuania the best IT product creator was acknowledged the company “Midpoint systems” UAB. It presented to the market the integrated security system “SimpleID”. “SimpleID” is software designed for the management of security and passage control. The programme was created for the new generation security systems, where all the components are connected to the computer network. The product is one of several appropriate for new generation IP technology non-contact card readers and biometric fingerprint readers, where open protocols are used. System data is provided intuitively, this shortens instruction time from usual 3-4 days to 2 hours. “We started export in May 2008. The systems have already been installed in the USA, England, Poland, Estonia, Israel, Egypt, Jordan,” – Andrius Valentukonis, the manager of the company, says.
In 2007 “Sintagma” UAB became the members of one of the largest Central and Eastern Europe IT group “Asseco”. Specialisation of the company is the creation of programming products to libriaries, archives, public, insurance and financial sectors. Their product was installed in the Byelorussian national library, Byelorussian President Office, as well as their services are used by “Sampo Life Insurance Baltic” located in Latvia.
From Wireless Network Planning to Transport Coordination
The software product “Cellular Expert” was created by the Lithuanian specialists – the staff of the company “HNIT-BALTIC”. This is a wireless network planning, optimising and data managing means designed for telecommunication companies. The creation of the product started in 1995, while in 2000 it was already exported to Israel, Egypt, Island, Costa Rica. The main users of “Cellular Expert” are telecommunication operators, mobile connection providers, military organizers, support services, Internet providers and other companies, consultation companies. “Cellular Expert” is also used by world known companies: “Siemens”, “Motorola”, “Alcatel-Lucent”, “Vodafone”, “Telenor”. At present “Cellular Expert” is installed in more than 70 companies in 30 countries of the world, such as the USA, Japan, Sweden, Norway, Croatia, Greece, Russia, etc. In the entire world just a few companies create similar products. The product “Cellular Expert” is constantly being improved, wireless technology support is installed, functions enabling a simple and convenient use of this software are included. In 2008 “Cellular Expert” and export of its related amounted to EUR 267 thousand.
Another company – “Merakas” UAB – created an original graphic traffic schedule driver enabling to coordinate public transport traffic schedules in all directions and at any places of a town. This enables to greatly improve servicing quality. The company also created an algorithm that allows saving vehicle resources, fuel and electrical power. This programme was evaluated as excellent in the international conference “Computer Aided Scheduling in Public Transport” held in Berlin. The main partners of the company are “Cybernetica” AS, “Eomap” AS in Estonia and “Thoreb” AB. The director of the company Romas Mickus is confident that the perspectives of their created products are very good.
Banking Technology from Asian to African Markets
Over the last year the export of goods and services by the “Penki kontinentai” group companies amounted to a little more than LTL 250 million. The company started the export of different equipment already at the beginning of the 90’s. The first export countries were the neighbouring Latvia and Central Asian countries – Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, etc. “Being aware of a local communication code and being able to offer modern as well as competitive solutions, we quickly got into those markets. Furthermore, in many Central Asian countries by the banking equipment installed we occupy from 50 to 90% of local markets. At present our created products have been installed in more than 60 Northern and Eastern European, Asian, African countries, – the manager of the company “Penki kontinentai“ Idrakas Dadađevas states. – The majority of direct clients includes local banks and branch offices of international banks. We are proud that among them there are quite a few such that fall under the group of the largest Asian, European or even the entire world banks. We also cooperate with local companies, which represent us by providing the clients with technical maintenance services.”
In 2008 the largest share of export by “Penki kontinentai” was to Kazakhstan and the Ukraine. The export mostly focused on the optimisation of different services (consultations, training, servicing), banks and products enhancing efficiency. These services are marketable both on the eastern and western markets.
Lithuanian Internet Business Companies Open Their Offices in London and Silicon Valley
The first Lithuanian IT company was founded in Silicon Valley in 2008. That company is “GetJar Baltic” UAB. “GetJar” (www.getjar.com / wap.getjar.com) is the most popular mobile application website in the world, having about 200 thousand registered mobile programme creators and users-testers, still called beta-testers. About 20 million downloads per month are performed on the website from 135 different countries of the world.
“GetJar” website unites mobile application creator and user community. The website, which is accessible via Internet by the computer or the mobile phone, creators of mobile programmes and games provide their own created applications, while the users acquire the possibility of downloading and using them, for that granting the creators feedback – evaluating the programmes, indicating shortages, features requiring improvement, etc.
The year 2008 was in particular successful to the company – last year from this Lithuanian website the users in the entire world downloaded the mobile programmes 170 million times, i.e. by 200% more than in 2007. Last year the turnover of the company despite global economic crisis also grew twice.
“Having established a central office in the Silicon Valley we hope to more rapidly develop business, as here strategic our business partners are established – “Google”, “Sun”, „Microsoft“, „Adobe“, residence is also being established by “Nokia” mobile service division. Furthermore, this year we expect a rapid growth on the US market, where millions of Americans will be offered to extend the possibilities of telephones by downloading to them the programmes performing different functions – from telephone Internet browsers or e-mail programmes to music players or social network applications”, – “GetJar” creator and manager Ilja Laursas.
“GetJar” also has offices in Lithuania and Great Britain. In Lithuania on the “GetJar“ project an elite programmer team is working, which creates new products and services to the users, programme creators and mobile connection operators.”
Currently each month the users from the website “GetJar” download the programmes and games to their phones about 20 million times. In 2008 “GetJar” was under intensive development by creating mobile application distribution channels for mobile operators “Vodafone” (Great Britain), “3UK” (Great Britain), “Smart” (Philippines), “Maxis” and “Celcom” (Malaysia) and others, also the mobile phone producer “Blackberry”. Via these distribution channels for the users it is easy to download different mobile programmes – navigation programme “Google Maps for Mobile”, “Yahoo!Go”, fast messaging programmes “Nimbuzz”, “eBuddy”, “MIG33” and many others.
A young e-goods company “Gaumina” started its activities in Great Britain. There it created the first projects “Britush Telecom”, “British Airways” and furniture manufacturers “IKEA”. “So far we are a small fish on the large market, – Darius Bagdţiűnas says, – however, we attempt to change a stereotype, we wish to prove that we are able to implement the most complex and high-quality projects.”
|Association INFOBALT||Akademijos str. 2 - 519/520, LT-08412 Vilnius, Lithuania|
Tel.: +370 5 2 622 623, fax: +370 5 2 622 624. E.mail: office (et) infobalt.lt