DataStreams is one of the 30 Korean software companies that selected as the worthy of global recognition in 2012. This is the second story of series articles.
The current world is overburdened with information. There is too much unidentified stuff out there which people can easily access. Without a discernible ability to sift through the bits and bytes of this humongous information sea, locating one right piece of it is more difficult than finding a needle in a haystack. Confusion and misleading information may disrupt or destroy a seeker's work, or worse, his or her life. The absolute worst-case scenario is that a whole nation's security could be at stake. Its importance just cannot be over-emphasized.
To reboot and regulate the situation, Data Streams would like to take the wheel with their data management solutions. The company has been consistently committed to offer their unified solutions, consulting and services over the past decade, believing that creating value through data integration can be maximized with an excellent and solid management system that processes and manages target data. Data Streams's bargain tools are TeraStream, which offers a high-performance ETL solution, MetaStream for Meta Data management solutions, QualityStream for data quality management solutions, ImpactStream for impact analysis tools, and MasterStream for MDM solutions.
DataStreams into Overseas Markets
Currently, Data Streams is looking into an opportunity to first stream its major solution TeraStream in the overseas market; the other solution items are waiting in line to launch in sequence. TeraStream is the solution that is capable of processing and managing the source data fast in various server environments; it is performing the core functional ETL routines, high-volume batch processing, real-time data connectivity and data conversion, guaranteeing speedy and high performance when processing files and large size data in comparison with the other data integration solutions.
Lee Young-Sang residing over Korea Software Enterprise Association (KOSEA) as Chairman is also CEO for DataStreams. And he recently took some time to map out his strategic plans for the future of his company and talk about his struggles.
For his business plan for the overseas market and achievement, he said, "DataStreams is trying to penetrate into the overseas market with our major Data Integration products. For this, we are preparing to incorporate a new joint company as the stepping stone for the Chinese market while contacting several big software vendors for reselling business. We expect to build a complete network for sales within 2 to 3 years. For Japan and U.S., we plan to work with our local partners who are now learning about the products. Once Data Integration items take root in the market, Data Quality products will come next, then, Master Data Management (MDM) which is still in development. DataStreams is determined to gradually reshape itself to be ready for the international market by globalizing the products and hiring more competitive specialists for the job."
Overseas is a necessity, not an option
Lee has been able to develop a number of successful items in the Korean software market, "The key to any successful item is all about being different. My differentiation means the Korean products that, more powerful than the foreign ones, enable people to work for only 5 hours for a 10-hour task. In particular, I think, creating the product that can quickly process both data and answer a lot of demands from the customer is the reason for such recognition from at home and overseas. Almost 85% of the domestic banks are using our system."
"Generally, most Korean companies who have done next generation projects have chosen Big Bang methodology which completely abandons the past system by replacing with the new one in very short term. The first major bank who overcome that risk is KEB (Korea Exchange Bank) in 2004. Following the first successful case, almost all major bank chose the same methodology. This choice was so successful that the levels of IT services of Korean bank have been skyrocketed in very short time. As foreign companies use the different method by which they add or update to the existing system, the Korean companies have more sharp edge," he stated. "The same goes for Data Streams' software, it is not benchmarking but a complete new creation in case of any new software development for the overseas market, and a lot of foreign competitors are keeping their eyes on us."
"The overseas market is a necessity, not an option. The market size will limit the ceiling of generating profits here in Korea. And we have not spared efforts and actively are investing in the development of new product that can be potentially successful outside."
Look For a Breakthrough Overseas
Upon his struggles, he mentioned "Quality matters just as much as performance does. It is directly related to reliability. Here in South Korea, people can have easy access to After-Sales service, but not overseas. Also Documentation support and language support is very crucial. For Japan and English-speaking countries, those services are running without any difficulty, and for China, we are planning to incorporate soon. "
"Another obstacle is the fact that it is hard to locate any local partners who is savvy with the business. The only way is to find the one by taking part in many exhibitions before the incorporation which costs a lot. Of course, we need two different partners; the one who can provide technological support, and the other one who knows how to market a new product."
"Cultivating manpower in the software industry is up to the nature of market itself. Say, the domestic film industry is focusing on only the Korean market, and any blockbuster materials like big Hollywood films will never come to realization here. In the same way, any newly developed products targeting only the Korean software market cannot go beyond the border. Especially, many small to medium companies are obliged to develop its own product based on the requests from big SI corporations, which creates certain culture where S&M companies cannot but rely on such relationship at development stage. Even, there is no regulation that can legally keep big boys from stealing creative ideas."
Future is Bright For South Korea's Software Industry
Lastly, is there anything that should be changed in terms of the government policy for software development in South Korea He answered, "The democratic policy must be in place for creative software work. In the U.S., as one of the cultural power players in the world, there exist many well-established democratic policies surrounding Fair Trade Practices and related legal system. They already decided to distance from manufacturing in order to extensively promote cultural industries 20 to 30 years ago, plus installing anti-monopoly law to induce fair business market between big corporations and S&M companies. But our business atmosphere still lags behind in such department; people assume the other people's knowledge and creation, and they do not know that it is harmful to our knowledge industry. This is why the government must lead and guide the industry with proper measures as they did for manufacturing industry in the past. Of course, it is a long way to go. But it is important to facilitate export with more effective government policies at least."
"The United States ranks No.1 for knowledge industry. However, only big international corporations are evolving in technology, not regional governments and small companies, and they are our potential market. Our dramatic growth of IT and software industry is contributing to export of BPM, security solution, GIS etc., to the regional governments. Also, I think that the items like embedded software from one of the major corporations, X-internet, web UI and medical solution are going to draw some attention in the overseas market. People can set their expectation bar high for our future software industry."