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Brazilian tech giant makes Silicon Valley play

Brazilian tech giant TOTVS says it has established TOTVS Labs, A Silicon Valley based research and development facility that will be used to create new software and spearhead an expansion into North American markets.

TOTVS is the largest enterprise software company in Latin America with more than 10 000 staff. I spoke with Vicente Goetten, executive director of TOTVS Labs. Here are some of my notes from our conversation:

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  • The move is a strategic one and will help the company become a global IT brand by leveraging the specialist cutting edge expertise of top Silicon Valley engineers.
  • The primary focus is on four areas: cloud computing, social media, big data, and mobile technologies.
  • Primary development in Silicon Valley will be supported by developers in Brazil.
  • The company said that it came to Silicon Valley because there are engineers here that know how to develop cloud and other applications that can be quickly scaled. There is a lack of engineers with that experience in South America.
  • Recruiting engineers has been challenging but the company now has more than 20. They are attracted to the challenges offered by TOTVS.
  • The culture of the company is like a startup, very energetic with lots of opportunities to work on interesting projects and to make a large contribution. But there is the stability of a large organization to support the work, which helps to attract engineers.
  • The Silicon Valley facility will also identify and work with partner companies, helping them enter the South American market and also Brazil, where the economy is growing at a healthy rate and has good momentum because it is hosting two major events: World Cup Soccer and the next Olympics.
  • English is used extensively within the organization.
  • TOTVS can provide partners with unique insights into the Latin American culture and introductions to businesses in Brazil. The Brazilian culture is very similar to that of the US.
  • TOTVS began in 1983 and has a strong customer base among small and medium-sized businesses but many of its clients have now become large corporations.
  • The Silicon Valley venture began in March and the company has very aggressive plans for 2013.
  • The first products from the Silicon Valley facility are scheduled to appear in the second quarter of 2013.
  • TOTVS also plans to make investments in local startups and to make acquisitions following partnerships.

    This article by Tom Foremski originally appeared on Silicon Valley Watcher and is republished with permission.

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