Connecting Software hires and aims at the blockchain

Ruben Pires - Jornal Económico PT

Download PDF
Original article

A technological company created by Austrian Thomas Berndorfer wants to make his team more international - half foreigners and half Portuguese. And he aims to transform Madeira into a “Silicon Island”.

Connecting Sofware, a company installed in the Madeira Free Trade Zone, and with a presence in Austria, Slovakia, and the United States, wants to strengthen its team in the Madeira autonomous region, from 14 to 20 people, and to make a strong bet on the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain. Moving to larger facilities is also part of the plans for this year.

The company’s plans also include more human resources to make the Madeira team more international, with a 50% foreign and 50% Portuguese ratio.

The goal is simple: “We want to raise the quality in Madeira, to bring more quality from abroad. With this, the Madeirans start to think in international terms - we are an international company,” says Thomas Berndorfer, CEO and founder of Connecting Software.

Integration represents 25% of IT spending

One of the focuses of the technological company installed in the Madeira Free Trade Zone is to solve integration problems.

“The integration problem is a common one. We have more applications, and we have to be more productive. 25% of Information Technology (IT) expenditure is on integration. A cell phone is integrated with several applications and technologies. Everything has to be integrated. We wanted to build something to solve things and make them simpler. There are other solutions on the market, but they are very complex. We wanted any developer to be able to do the integration. That was the goal. We wanted to bring down the complexity of the integration projects,” says the Connecting Software’s CEO, explaining the initial idea that led to the creation of the company.

“We are like a translator between software programs. Programs have different languages. We help make programs speak between themselves more easily,” he adds.

Connect Bridge, Connecting Software’s platform that serves as the ‘translator’, already has more than a thousand installations and more than 70 partners promoting it, including companies such as Microsoft, SoftwareONE, ORBIS and OranguTech.

“We are selling globally without being global. We have a marketing team that creates content, and people find that content. We’re kind of like fishermen. We make content so that people who have a certain problem find us. They can test the product for free, and if they like it, they can buy it,” explains the CEO.

Internet of things and “blockchain” are bets

The authentication of documents using blockchain technology will be one of Connecting Software’s bets. “Imagine you suddenly find yourself flooded with thousands of documents and have no way of knowing if they are authentic, and even being sure of their authenticity, you don’t have the right tool to perform that verification. Connecting Software wants to respond to this problem through a mechanism that validates and ensures that the document you have in hand is indeed authentic, in a procedure that allows you almost instantly to validate those thousands of documents. With blockchain technology, we can prove that the entire process is correct,” stresses Thomas Berndorfer.

Connecting Software is pushing document authentication using blockchain technology and the use of the Internet of Things to connect the business software and the industrial world

The entrepreneur believes that this market will be of extreme relevance in the next years. “Currently, the market is worth around 10 billion euros, and within six years, the expectation is that it grows to 260 billion euros. The blockchain will have a great impact on the economy. We will be one of the great early movers with an out of the box solution to create seals and put them in the blockchain. We are a super fast mover. The idea of how to use the blockchain economically is not yet widespread,” explains Connecting Software’s CEO.

The Internet of Things is another business area in which they plan to invest, making a connection between the business software and the industrial world. “Imagine you work in the automotive industry and have to work with several suppliers. The factories have to deliver parts and ensure their quality control. But for this to happen, you have to ensure that the machines are operational, and need a mechanism to detect any problem in the machines to give a prompt response avoiding production delays,” he exemplifies. The solution presented by Connecting Software is to develop a solution that alerts a machine is about to have a problem, in advance, using the Internet of Things, so that resources are mobilized to repair this problem before the machine becomes inoperative.

Free Zone Incentives were attractive

Connecting Software launched in 2004, through Cross National Solution. It arrived in the United States, through Connecting Software Inc., Canada in 2016, and Madeira in 2017.

They are Microsoft Partners, with five gold competencies: Gold DevOps, Gold Data Platform, Gold Data Analytics, Gold Windows and Devices, Gold Application Development’.

The decision to invest in Madeira was due to the incentives of the Free Trade Zone. “I had a kind of winter depression. In Austria, we have four months without sun, and it’s cold. We were looking for a place to live in the winter months. We found Madeira. We were here for two hours and decided that this was the island. It was what we needed,” explains Thomas Berndorfer.

“We want to bring money to the island. We want to bring intellectual money. We want to bring stable and sustainable people and businesses to Madeira. We can work all over the world. Why not work on the most beautiful island in the world? We want to have Sillicon Madeira, Sillicon Island”, he reinforces.