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Friday 18.08.2017 | Name days: Liene, Helēna, Elena, Ellena, Liena

Ozols Grupa: legislative requirements in Latvia are over-complex

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULegislative requirements in Latvia are over-complex and unjustifiably complicated in many areas, as Chairman of Ozols Grupa Arnis Putniņš said in his interview to BNN. At the same time he believes changes to legislation is exactly what benefits his company, which is engaged in business management software development and maintenance.

What are some of the most notable recent events in your sector?

The most notable of recent events is the introduction of euro in Latvia. Our product is management software, which is closely tied to Latvia’s legislation. Adapting software in order to make the currency transition as seamless and comfortable as possible was our main objective in 2013. Cooperation with our customers in the beginning and middle of the year allowed us to coordinate and develop plans for euro transition. Our company performed the conversion of databases and successful completion of the transition process for all OZOLS users.

We have since received positive feedback from our users regarding the successful transition to euro. We have also found new customers as a result.

Can you say economic conditions are improving and there is a lot of potential for economic growth in the market?

It is hard for me to comment on possible improvements in the business environment or economic conditions in general. What we feel now is a rapidly growing interest of entrepreneurs towards business management systems. This trend is self-explanatory – the market was in wait during currency transition. Now, however, business automation is in high demand, because it provides a significant increase in business competitiveness.

How would you describe the government’s economy policy aimed at improving the economic situation in the country?

I cannot say there are any positive results from the current economic policy. I believe the economic situation in Latvia complies with that in Europe and the world. IT is the sector where Latvia can compete on an international level. However, other than talk, there does not seem to be any policy in play that would allow this sector to develop in Latvia.

How is the industry affected by Latvia’s policy? What changes to legislation would you like to see? What helps? What makes things more complicated?

The transition to euro had a positive impact on our business sector – demand for common business management and accounting software continues to grow. Knowledge of local legislation allows us to provide Latvian companies suitable solutions. As odd as this may sound, changes to Latvia’s legislation contributes to our business, because we are the ones who are expected to provide software that complies with suggested changes.

Legislative requirements in general, however, are over-complex in many sectors in Latvia. I believe most of them are unjustifiably complicated and do not contribute to business development. For example, technical requirements for fiscal equipment – cash registers and their systems are higher than those other European countries. This makes the use of such systems more expensive and inconvenient to use. Tax calculation is also over-complex in Latvia.

How would you describe the industry’s position in the Baltics? What about competition with Estonia and Lithuania?

Our speciality is the development of appropriate IT solutions for Latvian businesses, their introduction and maintenance. This is why we do not compete with Lithuanian and Estonian service providers. We consider ERP system providers to be our competitors. However, we regularly update our systems. This allows us to provide high-quality IT solutions in Latvia.

What can you can your ‘trump card’? What is your ‘Achilles’ heel’?

Our sector’s trump card is the necessity to work fast and effective under modern business conditions, which is nearly impossible to do without having a unified resource management system. Companies that lack operative and quality information regarding all processes that transpire in the company will undoubtedly lose in competition. Our company’s trump card is that we provide, introduce and maintain such systems for Latvian companies in an acceptable and effective way.

The Achilles’ heel is the level of education of businessmen and their ability and desire to employ advantages provided by IT systems. Under modern conditions, business managers can no longer afford to remain distant from IT systems. Seeing as how technologies tend to develop rapidly, businessmen should consider increasing their knowledge base and skills in order to effectively use IT in their business.

Can you say there is a lack of skilled workers in Latvia?

Yes, searching for qualified programmers, consultants, project managers and their future training and education requires more and more time nowadays. Unlike large IT companies, we can afford individual approach per employee. Each person in our company is a member of the team; his or her opinion, ideas and contribution is important to the management and other members of the team. I believe this individual approach helps us keep employees and attract new ones.

What do you predict for the next five years? Will the situation in the industry improve, worsen or remain the same?

The sector’s economic situation will improve. Demand for high-quality and specialized IT services will increase. It is undoubtedly that demand for information systems and related services will increase. Companies will have to work even faster, more effectively and more dynamically. Old IT solutions are no longer enough to satisfy people. Old technologies have to be regularly replaced by new ones.


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