Uruguayan Enterprise IP strategy in the IT sector - Memory Computación
At the same megaevent during which Bill Gates launched Office XP in New York at the end of 2001, with the song Ray of Light by Madonna playing in the background, Microsoft introduced to the audience a software package Made in Uruguay. Created by Memory Computación, the software was Memory Conty, an accounting program for small and medium-sized enterprises, developed so as to be integrated with Office XP.
How does an enterprise from a small country such as Uruguay manage to transform itself into a global enterprise, present in the main Latin American markets? That is the challenge which Memory Computación set itself, as a company which claims to be synonymous with technological solutions for SMEs.
Memory Computación is an enterprise not unaccustomed to receiving recognition. In the course of its 17-year existence, it has received the El Genio (The Genius) prize, the classic statuette by the sculptor Pablo Damiani, which symbolizes the prize of the ProSMEs network for innovation, in 1999, under the heading of goods and services design. The National Quality Assessment Committee honored it in a television tribute and its product Memory Magus was presented with the distinguished Guía Award, as the best Uruguayan software. The Endeavor Foundation selected Memory from among 500 enterprises in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay as an example of entrepreneurship in the region.
With a solid course of development in Uruguay, Memory represents the de facto standard in the Uruguayan market for small and medium-sized enterprises that need to solve their administrative, commercial and accounting requirements.
An independent study recognizes it as representing 71 per cent of the market, with more than 40,000 enterprises which use the Memory software directly or indirectly for management purposes. It is used directly in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay, and soon will be in Spain, while its products are in demand in virtually all the countries of Latin America.
Immediately after cornering the market in its country of origin, Memory undertook to consolidate its operations in the rest of Latin America. For this reason, it understood that the success of its management was due not only to its series of products, but to a carefully composed and improved business model, directed toward the SMEs segment, which has proved itself to be successful and profitable, and that can be reproduced in different countries.
The business is based on a proven methodology which provides SMEs with technological solutions, using appropriate procedures for generating demand, marketing and after-sales service.
The international development of Memory Computación has been based on a Franchising Model which has proved to be successful and profitable, and can be reproduced in all the countries where it has been implemented; it has been highlighted by publications such as América Economía and the Entrepreneur Magazine as a great opportunity for business.
Memory Computación has three main assets which are intangible, all of them IP assets:
- The Memory Computación Software
- The Memory Computación Trademark
- The Memory Computación Business Model.
For this reason, Memory systematically considers the measures necessary for the protection, management and enforcement of its rights, for the purposes of obtaining the best possible commercial results through its ownership.
The Memory Computación Software
The development of the Memory Software involves a team effort which combines the creative ideas and talents of engineers, management and administration experts, and graphic designers. In the same way as the majority of creative works, the software is protected by intellectual property laws, more specifically by copyright laws.
Each copy of the Memory Software includes a license for use, which states that the software is duly protected by copyright laws and prohibits it being copied or reproduced in full or in part for any purpose other than back-up as a form of support for use of the software.
Memory has taken a conscious and proactive approach, and has duly registered its software in the different countries in which it operates.
Nevertheless, as it is aware that intellectual property infringements and, in particular, software piracy continue to be very high in number, especially in these regions of the world, Memory Computación has defined a parallel strategy to protect its products.
On the one hand, it has incorporated in its software a series of technological mechanisms to avoid the software being too easy to copy, and has based itself on the quality of its after-sales service and permanent innovation in new versions of its products which are delivered to legitimate clients, so that those clients prefer to use and see value in using legal rather than pirate software.
The Memory Computación Trademark
Memory Computación has invested a great deal of effort in establishing itself as an enterprise synonymous with technological solutions for SMEs, in the countries in which it operates. The main reason for this outcome in creating a valuable trademark has not been to engage in self-publicity, but to make a promise to clients which it keeps.
The value of this trademark relates to the prestige which the enterprise has created throughout its history and with what consumers expect from the product or service provided.
Memory has registered its trademarks in each of the countries in which it operates and this has allowed it to protect itself in legal terms, in specific situations in which it has had to defend its lawful rights.
The Memory Computación Business Model
The success of Memory Computación is due not only to its series of products but to a carefully composed and improved business model, directed toward the SMEs segment.
Conscious of this fact, Memory has made this intangible asset profitable. Its international expansion model has been based on franchising this business model, so as to duplicate successfully its strategy in each market.
In this commercial relationship, Memory Computación grants the franchise holder the right to use its business idea in accordance with his own conception and approach. This right grants the franchise holder entitlement to use the trade name, trademarks and service marks, know-how and other intellectual property rights which the franchise holder possesses, in exchange for economic compensation, agreed within the legal framework of a written contract and signed by both parties.
Innovators are those who create things in places where others have never seen any possibility of doing so. Memory Computación was founded with no capital other than a creative idea and a vision. It has based itself on its constant innovation in achieving and maintaining its current leadership position. An appropriate intellectual property strategy has been key to achieving this success and it will be vital in the forthcoming stages of consolidation and growth.