Dokeos in Peru

In case it would be of any interest to you, I am currently developing a kind of “branch” of Dokeos (although nothing legally-binding about the branch stuff) in Latin America, and more specifically in Peru.

Peru is still what I would call a developing country, so at the same time it is hard to get used to (living there) and possibly excellent for future business opportunities. Of course, “developing” comes from “development”, and “development” means investments, which means a lot of money could be made (theoretically) from being in the right place at the right time.

Although I feel I’m still a bit ahead of “the right time”, I’ve invested a considerable amount of my time in developing the presence of Dokeos locally, and until now (about a year on) it’s not been very rewarding.

As I’m writing these lines, however, I just finished my first installation of Dokeos, or rather its videoconference module, on a Fedora 7 system. It ended up working nicely, but there wasn’t really any other expected outcome.

However, the interesting bit here is that it’s my first contract in Peru (most of my work so far has been a continuation of my work in Belgium) and it comes with a lot of simultaneous requests for information. I don’t know exactly why it’s all starting at the same time, but it is. So I might only have finished my first Peruvian job, but I’m still with 4 very serious leads for large-scale installations and training sessions, and a few more of unqualified leads, plus a bunch of people that know they can act as resellers of my (or should I say “our” as we’re a company of three now) services and take a nice commission.

So, today I might only be up to my first install, yet I am really positive about the future!

One of my serious leads is actually for software development, and is a request for a quote about the development of an add-on to the videoconference tool that will enable teachers to pass the video and voice to the user to ask a question. The feature has been requested a few times in the past, but we never managed to suggest a development time that satisfied the customers. However, now we have a much more reliable videoconferencing system (thanks to Arnaud Ligot and Frédéric Burlet), this might be much easier to work on (and so, cheaper). If you have an interest in this feature and would like to contribute to make it possible, just give me a shout. Otherwise, there is still a possibility that this client will not be able to finance the development and that we just leave it for another client, later on…

It always surprises me, though, how people are happy to pay 10u a year for a finished product, but reluctant to pay 2u for the development of the only missing feature in a product that costs 1u… (values provided for demonstration purposes, it doesn’t match anything).

Well, anyway, the point of this article was to let you know a little bit about my stuff, locally. The next articles will be a bunch of incredibly technical stuff, so this was just a big breath before the dive.

  1. August 4, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Nice story, our company is in video conferencing for more then 5 years in Lima Peru and now one of the leading company’s in Peru in the branche, but it was a hard job.
    My biggest problem was also the difference in business culture (import from Holland)
    Maybe its an idea to contact each other to see for possibilities to do things together.

  2. ywarnier
    August 4, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Hi Eric,

    Calle Porta is not very far from here (i was here at lunchtime) so yes, it would be a good idea. I frequently – but only since very recently – organise Drupal bug-squishing party on saturdays or sundays. You’re welcome to join us if you’re into that kind of activity (I’ll send you an e-mail for the next one) or we can go have a drink at some point. I have *a lot* of work at the moment, so not this week, but maybe the next one…

    I went to see the SpeedNet site (Profetional Support link is a typo ;-)) but it’s difficult to get an idea of the type of solutions you provide (and the prices). Like if it’s based on a software solution or you have to buy a hardware part or only rent it, etc…

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