BY GIDEON LONG
SANTIAGO — When he’s not surfing the internet, Pablo Iturbe can often be found surfing Pacific breakers off the Chilean coast. And it was there – literally out at sea—that Iturbe and his business partner, Tim Delhaes, came up with an idea that has transformed the fortunes of their Santiago-based technology company Tigabytes.
It was late 2006 and Iturbe and Delhaes had noted that Google Inc., the search engine giant, had branched out into providing an e-mail service - g-mail – and a shared calendar. They figured that Google might also go a step further and develop its own version of all the other applications that one might find on a typical office PC, such as Microsoft Word and Excel spread sheets.
“I remember that it was a weekend and Tim and I were out surfing,” Iturbe recalls. “The waves were pretty flat and we were just hanging out in the water, talking about Google, and it dawned on us that having developed g-mail they might start challenging Microsoft directly.”
“We figured that if they were going to do that in Latin America they would need partners in the region. So, we said ‘We’d better give them a call on Monday morning and get on board, because this is one wave we don’t want to miss’.”
Call they did, and soon Delhaes was on a plane bound for Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, to discuss an alliance. Within weeks, Tigabytes had reached a historic deal with the technology giant: it became the first company in Latin America to sign up as a partner of Google Enterprise, the corporate applications arm of Google.
“We had to invest over $20,000 in licence fees...
Keywords: Andromica, Colombia, El Comercio, Falabella Pro, Mexico, Microsoft, Peru