Gustavo Moya
CEO and Research Director
Ixaya
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View from the Top

Developing Big Data Solutions for Manufacturing Companies

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 10:52

Q: What advantages do Ixaya’s solutions offer to clients?

A: Ixaya adds value by managing both software and hardware solutions, while linking manufacturing operations with business intelligence. Other companies focus on equipment specialized in certain activities, which means adapting to the local market may turn out to be an expensive process. In contrast, we can modify our programmable logic controllers (PLC) and equipment to operate just as the client requires, obtaining only the most relevant information regarding each process. The company has 11 years of experience working on complementary systems for manufacturing and logistics operations.

Q: How can Ixaya support its clients in business intelligence activities?

A: Many companies see business intelligence as static reports without any added value. However, the benefit of business intelligence is to mix previous data to generate new information that can help your operations. Ixaya merges all the metadata generated by ERP software and consolidates it for the final user. Big Data is an important area of opportunity for many companies that did not know how to take advantage of the information they were generating.

The future of manufacturing is for all equipment to be integrated, transferring relevant data to the rest of the supply chain. Communication between clients and suppliers allows the process to be automatically adjusted. Data collection and process integration ensure effective resource management. Technology integration is also a good strategy to prevent future problems and its constant monitoring leads to productive maintenance and an effective decision-making process.

Q: What challenges do you see in being a technology developing company in Mexico?

A: The most common barrier for software companies in Mexico is patent generation. Software cannot be patented here since the Mexican Institute for Industrial Property does not consider these products an invention. Without protection, other players can simply copy what you have created, which evidently blocks the company’s development strategy. I am not completely against this idea because I believe technology should be access-free. Source code should be protected by copyright but not the idea in itself.

Another obstacle startups face in Mexico is getting funds and investors. When a company in the US fails to generate funding, it pivots and creates a new product from the original idea. This leads to what is now called a “unicorn” company, listed in the stock market and valued at more than US$1 billion. But launching an initial public offering in Mexico is expensive and even though there are a few financial structures like stock market promotion companies (SAPI), it is complicated for startups to participate in the Mexican stock market. Funding is more traditionally managed in this country and companies depend on the government or a bank trusting in their idea. The only other option is to get funding by selling your products but during the development phase, this is difficult. After 11 years in the market, we know it takes us around four years to start selling any new idea we generate.

Q: What are Ixaya’s investment needs and how have you promoted investment from external parties?

A: We have not requested external investment as we operate as a stock corporation with variable capital. But some of our new business lines act as an SAPI and we are analyzing the possibility of bringing in investors. We have always operated with our own capital, having initially commercialized our products to SMEs. The growth we saw in that sector allowed us to finance our entry to other markets. Our financing schemes with SMEs also gave us the experience needed to negotiate with automotive companies. These players normally ask for a 90-day interest-free loan. Since we offered our previous customers up to 60 months of credit, we shifted to this market with ease.