Svoe.IT: Highlights From a Major Software Showroom Event in Kyiv
On September 8, 2023, GigaCloud carried out a major ‘Svoe.IT. Ukrainian SW Showroom’ event. The project is aimed at showing that Ukrainian developers are on par with the foreign ones and can be a worthy alternative to the russian software.
We are the first in Ukraine to organize such an event. Over 1,500 guests have tested more than 30 programs produced by Ukrainian development companies.
Anton Khvastunov, GigaCloud Co-Founder and CBDO at GIGAGROUP noted, ‘It is a significant step towards promoting the Ukrainian IT industry and showcasing the country's potential in the global market. The event was the first of its kind in Ukraine. Relying on russian software is a vestige of the past, and I am glad to witness how Ukrainian business is shifting away from it. We have to encourage our developers to grow, rather than adapt to what the other markets are imposing on the Ukrainian customers’.
‘We have failed. Since the 90s, we all have let a chance to develop and support the Ukrainian software slip. We have missed the moment when russian 1C, Bitrix and other progs have captured our market. While they were pouring huge costs into their promotion and building a network of integrators — we have paid no attention to our, Ukrainian IT. Analysts estimate that russian software is now used by over 70% of Ukrainian business. It’s high time we gathered stones. High time to choose our own IT’, claimed Volodymyr Bielov, CEO at GigaCloud Ukraine.
We came up with an idea for a showroom event format to give visitors the opportunity to try out different programs, test them, get professional advice, and pick the right one for their business. This format simplifies the choice and time spent on finding the right software.
The range of our showroom consisted of software for document management, accounting, CRM, ERP systems and services for their implementation, software for call centers and technical support services, ED-Tech solutions, etc. There was also an opportunity to listen to presentations on automation, trends in software development, and the dangers of russian products.
A Matter of National Security
Oleksandr Borniakov, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation, spoke at the event. ‘Despite russia's bloody war against our country, some organizations in Ukraine continue not only to use russian software, but also to purchase it. In particular, I know about 1C, which operates in Ukraine under a different brand, Business Automation Framework (BAS). And this is a matter of national security, because the enemy actually gets access to our information systems. We need to tell users that there are superb alternatives. They already exist in Ukraine, and we can see them right here and now. We also need to support Ukrainian developers, and the Ministry of Digital Transformation will continue to help them develop, participate in international exhibitions, and gain publicity’, said Borniakov.
Anatoliy Komirnyi, CDTO at the Ministry of Infrastructure, took part in the panel discussion about the ban on russian software in Ukraine. He shared his insights on digital transformation in Ukraine.
Iryna Zabolotna, Head of the e-Services Implementation Team at the Ministry of Digital Transformation, spoke about the integration of the Diia system and its benefits for business.
Software for Guests to Test Out
- 1С analogues, accounting, and ERP systems – Debet Plus, MASTER:Accounting, Vpravno, ISPro, Universal 9:ERP, IT-Enterprise ERP system, ITFin, Self-ERP, BJet ERP. As well as localised accounting and HR software applications for the international ERP system SAP Business One.
- CRM systems and services for their implementation — Creatio, NetHunt, CRMiUM, SuiteCRM, Servio, VoIPTime CRM, MASTER:CRM, KeyCRM.
- Document management – applications that allow you to quickly exchange information and files, make digital signatures, and store documents in electronic archives. Solutions of this kind: Centredo, MEDoc, ASCOD, Vchasno, MASTER:Document Management, E-Docs, Megapolis.DocNet, Deals, Signy service, Infotech.
- Software for call centers and technical support services — VoIPTime Contact Centre, an AI-based IP telephony solution; UniTalk virtual telephony; HelpDeskStar, a ticketing system for customer communication.
- ED-Tech solutions are the educational information system ‘The Unified School’ and the digital platform for education NIT.
- Programs for the military, finance, education, catering, and social projects - TATL technology; Drivovo, a subscription car service; Uklon, an innovative company that has developed a unique cartography to replace russian Yandex; Poster, a program for automation and warehouse accounting of HoReCa and catering establishments; and SmartTender, a bidding and procurement service.
On Possibility of a Complete russian Software Ban
‘Svoe.IT. Ukrainian SW Showroom’ event partner, IT Ukraine Association, supports the idea to ban the use of aggressor state products and initiates a ‘Hostile Soft’ project, focused on making them outdated. The proposal is to be submitted to the National Security and Defense Council. Kostyantyn Vasyuk, the Association’s Executive Director, emphasizes that russian software can harm the Ukrainian economy, society, and security. IT Ukraine has already identified roughly 80 threatening programs that are still used by Ukrainians, including 1C, UA-Budget, Bitrix24, Advego, etc.
Another event partner, Work.ua, has already taken decisive steps by terminating contracts worth ₴8 million a year with 220 companies that continue to operate in the russian market. Work.ua supports the “Svoe.IT” initiative aimed at promoting Ukrainian software. And calls on other companies to stop interacting with hostile software.
There is another problem. Often, users themselves do not even realize that they are using products from russia. In particular, Rodion Yeroshek, CEO and co-founder of the restaurant automation company Poster, a showroom participant, said, ‘Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, russian iiko and r_keeper restaurant automation systems have been actively disguising their roots: they are changing their ownership structure, communicating about employee re-employment and independence from russian brands. iiko has even announced an international brand called Syrve, which is purchased by Ukrainian establishments and is allegedly not connected to russia. However, this is not the case’.
The ‘Svoe.IT’ event showed that Ukrainian software exists, and it is no worse than the russian one. ‘russia is not a dominant player in the IT market, and it is quite possible to live without using its software. Currently, Ukraine has its own software that is functionally comparable to 1C products, is sold at a similar price and fully covers the needs of accounting and automation,’ says Vadym Kozyak, co-founder of Vpravno LLC and a participant in the showroom. But he adds that since many companies have built their business processes with regard to this software, the transition to alternatives cannot be abrupt, ‘I am in favor of a planned and gradual imposition of sanctions against the russian closed source software. Business should understand that the process is irreversible, but the transition period should be sufficient’.