President’s Club

Michael Alan Hamlin

Posted on August 6, 2007

The Philippine is just one market for this mini-multinational

Earlier this month, approximately 13,000 partners, industry experts, speakers, exhibitors, business executives and others attended the annual Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Denver, Colorado. Among the 7,300 Microsoft partners in attendance were a number of Philippine-based software developers. They included Gurango Software.

In the interest of full disclosure, Gurango Software is a client of my firm. I first met up with its founder, Joey Gurango, when he was regional director for products and services for Microsoft Business Solutions. Another one of those serial entrepreneurs, as a young professional Gurango co-founded Match Data Systems, a U.S.-based software developer. That firm was later merged with Great Plains Software, which itself was eventually acquired by Microsoft.

That’s how Gurango wound up at Microsoft as an employee. But as a contractor to Microsoft even before founding Match Data, Gurango was one of the original contributors to the development of Microsoft Excel, the spreadsheet bundled in Microsoft Office. So his involvement with the development of core Microsoft applications and applications developed to run on the Windows operating system spans both the entrepreneurial and employment chapters of his life.

Three years ago, after departing from Microsoft, Gurango founded Gurango Software with the support of a close group of angel investors. Since that time, the company has become a mini-multinational, with software installations in Asia and Australia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S. Its solutions are designed to support events management, financial services, membership management, and manufacturing, non-profit, and training operations.

In Denver, as reported last week in this paper, this young but successful company received special recognition from Microsoft for outstanding customer commitment and sales achievement and was named to the Microsoft Dynamics President’s Club. The President’s Club was formed to honor top global Microsoft Dynamics partners whose commitment to customers is reflected in outstanding business performance, revenues and sales growth, and high levels of customer satisfaction. Less than five percent of thousands of Microsoft Business Solutions partners worldwide receive this recognition annually.

Gurango himself was elevated earlier this year to the Microsoft Asia Pacific Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Hall of Fame, a status reserved for perennial MVP awardees. Individual employees have also been recognized. For example, Microsoft Philippines named Bing Ortega Microsoft Dynamics Sales Executive of the Year. Sunbeam de Jesus was singled out for outstanding performance as a senior implementation consultant.

According to Fermin Taruc, the company’s managing director and concurrent three-term president of the Philippine Software Industry Association (Another disclosure: My firm provides pro bono public relations services to the PSIA.), Gurango Software has developed multiple revenue streams. First, it resells, implements, and maintains Microsoft Dynamics applications for its clients, which automate business, financial and accounting, and other business processes for companies of all sizes.

Second, it develops, acquires, and refines a proprietary series of applications. For example, in an unusual strategic development move for a just-founded startup, in a matter of months after starting operations, Gurango Software acquired a Florida-based company’s intellectual property (IP) rights to a series of management systems that support membership, subscription, training and event activities. That system is now marketed by the company globally as the Forum Management Series. According to Taruc Gurango Software is presently in negotiations to acquire another foreign software company, adding to its portfolio of products and services.

On its own, Gurango Software created the SIBIL Multinational Payroll Framework and CRM2OA (with 2OA referring to “to Office Accounting). According to Taruc, SIBIL can be adapted to varied regulatory frameworks and unique business processes in any economy. CRMS2OA is a Microsoft Dynamics CRM, or customer relationship management, application that tightly integrates with Microsoft Office Accounting. It enables companies to better understand their customers, thereby enhancing service and generating additional revenue opportunities.

Gurango Software sells licenses for its applications to clients, provides customization and implementation services when required, and assists clients in cost-effectively maintaining the applications they have licensed. The close and productive relationships that result help account for rapid growth in the company’s client base, which has grown to 60 corporations and nonprofits in the two-year period that followed Gurango Software’s first year of research and product development.

Gurango Software is another example of Philippine entrepreneurship practiced at global standards. And the company has big plans. With clients around the world, Gurango Software is fast learning how to develop global markets. “The Philippines is an important market for us,” Taruc told me earlier this week, “but it’s just one market.” Stay tuned.

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