We are in Brazil now, giving several presentations of the Usi4Biz Framework for some software companies, a big corporation and a university. Our intention is to listen to the vision and opinion of Brazilian business and research people about the framework and its adoption by companies of a country like Brazil. Our vision so far was built in a rich and well developed European country, where companies are more open to innovative ideas. Therefore, this geographical and cultural validation is very important to test how global the Usi4Biz Framework can be.
First of all, this experience has been very positive, actually, more than expected. We could feel a strong wave of positiveness as if there was no financial crisis out there. “We didn’t have any impact from the recent financial crisis. In fact, we are growing faster than ever and our single limitation today is the lack of high qualified professionals to perform more challenging projects”, said Márcio Braga, Ivia‘s Manager.
In the last 4 years, software companies were stimulated to approach universities in order to identify innovative ideas from the academia and analyse their capability of exploitation. Today, the links between companies and universities are stronger than ever. Some companies are in their fifth scientific project and currently getting ready for next calls. However, most companies are still figuring out how to transform a good idea in an innovative endeavor because the Brazilian academy is not so strong in applied research and researchers have some difficulty to visualize the exploitation of researches to the industry. But it is gradually changing thanks to government stimulus and the engagement of PhDs in companies’ teams.
Continuing the tour, we visited a large corporation, the Banco do Nordeste do Brasil – BNB (Bank of Northeast of Brazil), which is the third biggest public bank in Brazil and it is responsible for managing all investments of the federal government in the northeast of Brazil and providing credit at low cost for small and medium entrepreneurs. The bank is heavily investing on the definition and implementation of business processes and adopting a bunch of technologies to deploy processes through information systems. The same problematic we found in previous scenarios we also found in their environment, in other words, hundreds of applications, developed in several programming languages, running in a large variety of platforms and many process activities performed by information systems, composing a good case to take the framework into consideration.
Usi4Biz is also part of a long and serious research and we are gradually building a network of researchers around it. We made a presentation of the framework at University of Fortaleza – UNIFOR, where we had a good discussion about user interfaces in corporate environments and requirements elicitation. We are also celebrating a scientific partnership to permanently collaborate on joint researches between UCL and Unifor.