"There is always a better way" seems to be the guiding philosophy behind the success of Exist Software Engineering, which seeks to make the Philippines known as a source of creative and innovative software engineering.
Founded in 2001 by Chairman Winston Damarillo and some college friends, Exist has developed a reputation for its expertise in utilising open source technologies and processes to design, develop, test and manage enterprise-class software solutions.
Banking on open source technologies provides Exist not just a better way but also a key differentiator--lower infrastructure component costs for its software solutions, as compared to proprietary software products.
Major clients include Alignent Software, Mergere and LogicBlaze. Exist maintains a presence in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as North America and Europe, to cater to them.
Catching the open source wave since five years ago, Exist's engineers are now experts in J2EE, XML and Web Services, and some staffers have earned Committer privileges with leading open-source projects.
The company's primary source of revenue comes from providing contract engineering services, to develop enterprise applications for clients including the likes of IBM, Seagull Software and Scalix.
But software quality engineering, in which automation and manual services are combined to test complex software, is its fastest growing business aspect.
The company's e-Den (Exist Development and Engineering Network) hosted engineering platform lets clients get up to speed on software development, without incurring hefty infrastructure costs--with the benefit of real-time remote collaboration, to boot.
The e-Den platform will also be a future growth driver, as the company is banking on offering it as a "software as a service platform".
Exist is proud of its heritage as an "all-Filipino" company run by an all-Filipino management.
Founder, Exist Software Engineering
The company has maintained its average ROI (Return on Investment) at 100 percent for three years in a row since 2003.
The company estimates sales of close to US$2 million for 2006, more than double that of 2004.
On the cards are an original software product based on open source technologies.
The commitment to open source software goes beyond just dollars and cents.
The company is spearheading the creation of the Philippines Organisation for Joint Open Source Development (POJO) to jumpstart the open source movement in the country.
It also runs a training camp programme to equip recent college graduates with fundamental knowledge of open source technologies, including Java skills.
2007 looks set to bring further growth, as the company is set to expand its current Ortigas and new Cebu facilities, with the number of in-house software developers growing to 150 strong.
Said Founder and Chairman Winston Damarillo: "This honour (of winning the ZDNet Asia Technovisionary Award) serves as a testimony to the global market of the talented software pool that thrives in the Philippines.
"It is our hope that other Philippines IT companies will see this as an incentive to continue their investment in human resource development and infrastructure improvement," he added.
And they will likely thank Exist for showing them the better way.