Collaboration the Key to Software Success In Europe

Collaboration the Key to Software Success In Europe

Innovation driving sales as skills shortages start to bite

London - Europe’s Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) are in good health, with innovation in applications driving growth across the IT and Telecoms sectors. However, the challenge of growing across national boundaries and increasing skills shortages are beginning to threaten further expansion. These were two of the key themes that emerged from the European ISV Convention 2008 staged in Frankfurt last week.

The convention brought together more than 100 senior executives from many of Europe’s leading Independent Software Vendors to address some of the key issues impacting the development of the IT Industry in Europe. Alan Norman, Managing Director of IT Europa, the convention organisers, told delegates: “Europe has long been a hot-bed for innovation in application development, but the fragmentation of the market and its cultural, political and economic diversity make it a challenging environment in which to grow.”

This theme was echoed in a number of the convention conference sessions. For Jeremy Roche, Chairman of the European Software Association & CEO, CODA Group, the most effective means by which to grow internationally was by acquisition: “the acceleration you can achieve with the right level of local expertise makes acquisition the most successful way of moving into a new European territory,” he said. For others partnerships and exploiting vendor ecosystems provided the road to success. While she didn’t rule out the possibility of going it alone to achieve success “I don’t see why you would!” said Melinda Matthews, Director of ISV Business EMEA, IBM “Vendors such as ourselves, Microsoft, SAP etc have large global programmes designed to help”

For others finding the right skills was the major barrier to international expansion. “It is one of the biggest challenges across Europe” said Vincent Smyth, Regional Vice President EMEA, Macrovision. “Collectively, we must find out a way of making it better and make the industry more appealing” he added.

The European ISV Convention 2008 took place at the InterContinental Hotel, Frankfurt. Other conference sessions during the convention addressed such issues as Collaboration & Cooperation, Globalisation and the impact of software as a service (SaaS).