COVID-19 has forced businesses to gravitate to online platforms and develop proper software management solutions, in order to better serve their customers.
Ping Networks, which offers software solutions for businesses, has been facilitating these customers 2019.
Located at Fitt Street, Woodbrook, Ping Networks offers software as a service, network infrastructure deployment, managed Wi-Fi, managed security and help desk support.
Chief executive officer Dr Jim Lee Young in an interview with Express Business last week, said the company provides various services to the retail, manufacturing and hospitality sectors.
Lee Young explained that while forming the company in early 2019 his team identified the problem of overpriced business management solutions, which limited access for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
That’s when Ping Network introduced an entirely modular software at a much lower cost with even more functionality, essentially democratising enterprise solutions.
Mikhial Morton, director of sales and marketing who was also part of the interview, said the outsourced IT Firm has also partnered with Odoo, an international business software development company. They have been able to introduce this modular software to the regional market, as well.
“Odoo platform, which Ping Networks uses, is an entirely modular software, so businesses only need to buy the functions that are essential to their operations. This unique sales process allows businesses to save money without compromising on functionality. Ping Networks localises and customises the Odoo software
“Odoo’s ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Management System) software contains modules that allow companies to manage payroll, monitor sales, generate leads, communicate with customers, and so much more. Our impressive sales within only a few years have made us the only Odoo gold partner in the market,” Morton said.
He noted that considering the economic impact caused by Covid-19, and the hardships that the SME sector has faced, Ping Network has been deploying packages from as low as $15,000.
“That’s the good thing about the Odoo platform. Anyone can use this once it’s properly implemented. Your barbershop, your small restaurant competing with KFC and Rituals, they can use Odoo for payroll.
“The price can go to $1 million or $2 million, which is the higher echelon of the sector and depending on the software solution you want for your business,” he said.
According to Morton, in order to assist business owners in these rough times, the IT firm is making its payroll software available free of charge to anyone who requires it.
The CEO chimed back in and said the company has been seeing an increase in customers since the pandemic, as word spread that the cost is right and security features are up to international standards.
“We have customers in Dominica, Guyana and one in Jamaica. The company is currently engaging other businesses in the region to come on board and it’s not just about sealing off on the deal. It’s explaining how the different software services can enhance their day-to-day operations and the security features to protect your company’s information.
“We have localised the payroll module to handle all statutory deductions as well printing of TD-4s and TD-1s,” the business executive said.
Lee Young noted that as more opportunities are established throughout the region Ping Networks will have more access to foreign currency which is definitely needed now more than ever.
However, he stated that foreign exchange is not a problem for Ping Networks at this point in time.
“One attraction for our local clients is they can pay in TT dollars. The licenses and so on we pay for in foreign currency. However, we are developing our wireless Internet side of the businesses that is hardware intensive and that will require access to significant amounts of foreign exchange which we don’t have at the moment.”
Lee Young added that by doing business up the islands the company is hopeful it could obtain the foreign exchange, which can then help the wireless service section of the business off the ground.
“But that’s in the future and hopefully by the end of the year. And like I like to say, it’s a pleasant problem to have,” the business executive chuckled.
Ping Networks CEO Dr Jim Lee Young has over 25 years of experience in the upstream oil and gas sector both locally and internationally, where he has held many leadership positions, including as a general manager for British Borneo and as country manager of Venture Production.
He started his career in the energy industry at Shell international and came back to Trinidad in 1999 to set up a small oil company in South called Venture Productions Trinidad Ltd.
In 2005 he led a management buyout and bought the Trinidad operations for US$30 million from the British parent company in Aberdeen.
Young said he then renamed it to Ten Degrees North Energy Limited.
According to the businessman, he wanted a change and left the energy industry in 2009.
Young said for the past 11 years, he has also been the owner of ESG Business Suites, which services offices and co-working spaces, meeting spaces and desks.
Asked why he decided to enter the software space, he quickly stated that Mikhial Morton approached him with the idea to form the company in early 2019 and he admitted it was not an area he was familiar with.
“I then said let me come out of my comfort zone and challenge myself with an executive of five persons with various expertise in the software realm. I know it would pivot well as technology continues to change,” Young said.
He has a BSc. (Hons) from Imperial College, London and a MA and PhD from St John’ s College, Cambridge University
Director Sales & Marketing Mikhial Morton has over ten years of experience in the B2B Telecommunications and ICT industry, spending time at companies such as Cable & Wireless and Huawei Technologies. He has worked closely with many medium and large enterprises to deploy cloud technologies over broadband backbones thus enabling organisations to meet international standards.