By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
A Bahamian software company is already targeting domestic and Caribbean expansion just over a year after it was formed, its founder revealed yesterday.
Duran Humes, also Plato Alpha's chief executive, told Tribune Business he is now expanding his office as he develops new tools for clients. Plato Alpha focuses on website development and inventory management systems, as well as “helping businesses improve efficiency and profitability with software”.
Mr Humes said: “People have been calling into us to help them improve their processes. One of our clients is a shipping company. They've been around in business for over 20 years, and they still have their customers write the name of the package and send it over.
“So they have no way to track who's who, when this package actually arrived, and when it's in Nassau and when it is in transit, so on and so forth. So what we're doing with them is we're building out a whole shipping platform for them. So that basically changes their entire process.”
“I see the software market going pretty well," Mr Humes added. "From the landscape that I've seen there isn't really a whole lot of software businesses. This is part of the reason why we want to come out here and be the most prominent one."
Asserting that many Bahamians who study in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields rarely return to The Bahamas because of a lack of opportunities, he said: “That is why me and my partner are taking it upon ourselves to actually go ahead and build out a big enough company where we can pay our people good and, obviously, live good.
"So that's what we're trying to do. We're trying to build the biggest software company in the entire Caribbean. We are in the process of expanding. We're actually moving from our current offices at the Hilton to Old Fort Bay. So we are expanding and, hopefully, we’re going to start hiring within the next month or so.”
Plato Alpha is looking to fill four vacancies for software engineers because it is “building out a few new products” targeted at local businesses. Mr Humes said it is also working to build up its client base and protect the intellectual property of its custom-made software applications.
He explained: “Right now, the main thing that we do is add our tag at the bottom of any software that we make. When it comes to things that are in the background, obviously, there's no real opportunity to brand that, but we also have that client that spreads the word about us to their friends.”
Admitting there is little software companies can do to prevent piracy, Mr Humes said: “Software is software. There isn’t much you can do to protect it unless you are a tech giant like Oracle or something. There's not really much you can do to protect yourself because there is nothing out here that is new. We are all just basically reinventing the same wheel."