Interview with Iguan Systems
In it’s third edition, itechnology.am is focusing on WordPress. It started as a free and open source blogging tool and a content management system(CMS). But it evolved into a broadly used as a platform by an increasing and thriving community of developers from all over the world. The increasing availability of APIs, plugins and other tools take web development to a different level. It has even enabled businesses fully based on it, such as theme development.
itechnology.am wanted to investigate the crossroad between WordPress and the Armenian tech community by seeking answers to questions such as: how much is WordPress spread in Armenia? Is it a good solution for doing business in the IT sector? Are there companies in Armenia actively using WordPress? How are they using it?
So we focused on bringing you grassroots examples of companies using WordPress to develop web products to clients to help us answer those questions.
One of the companies we are proud to bring you is Iguan Systems. We recently spoke with Iguan Systems Head of Technologies and Projects, Project Manager Karen Hovhannisyan and Staff Manager, Armine Hovhannisyan who kindly helped us answer these and other questions in the interview below.
Why do we choose this company? Because they use WorPress as a a platform to develop projects for clients. They have specialized professionals working with WordPress development. Also, Iguan Systems develops a big variety of tailored projects catering the highly competitive European and American markets, helping companies develop their online business.
iTechnology.am: Tell us more about Iguan Systems?
Iguan Systems: Iguan Systems was founded in 1995 in Armenia. That means we have over 16 years experience in the the industry. Our main office is located in Amsterdam, which was founded in 2004. The company focuses on the European market, especially the Dutch and the German ones. It also has developed a big variety of projects to the US market. There are also some projects which we developed for the Australian market. We don’t offer any projects to the Armenian market, because the prices here are too low. We can’t cover our expenses if we concentrate on the Armenian market.
iTechnology.am: What are the products and services you offer?
Iguan Systems: We offer web sites and projects to our customers. Besides the web sites and projects, Iguan Systems also offers technical support for the websites and also online/digital marketing services.
iTechnology.am: How do you find people to grow the team? Do you provide training? What do you think about the quality of the people you hire?
Iguan Systems: We find our professionals by advertising our vacancies on the Internet. We look through their resumes and invite them for an interview. We don’t hold any official training but if a candidate doesn’t have some of the required knowledge we train him/her before accepting. But in the framework of “WebWork” project we have training and seminars. The problem of finding professionals is a great one in Armenia, because the IT sector the demand for employees is much higher than the supply. In our opinion this is the main problem of Armenian IT sector.
iTechnology.am: How is the business growing? How do you see Armenian IT developing?
Iguan Systems: As we mentioned above we don’t deal with the Armenian market at all. Armenian IT is developing, but still the prices for IT products are to low here to cover all the expenses of the company. The prices can’t even be compared with the European ones, that’s why many individuals and companies prefer to offer their products to the markets abroad. Also, no normal e-commerce can be conducted in Armenia as we don’t have appropriate banking system.
iTechnology.am: How is it to work with a client who is outside the country?
Iguan Systems: We don’t see any difficulties to work with clients abroad. They are very punctual. This is the main characteristic for which we choose them. Besides it is also very good for our professionals to deal with the foreigners as an opportunity to develop the command of foreign language and communication skills. As you know the literature of IT is mainly in English. So once an employee has dealt with a foreign client, it certainly helps improve language skills.
iTechnology.am: What are the plans for the future?
Iguan Systems: Now we are focused on the opening of our office in Berlin, Germany. As we mentioned, Germany is our second large market that is why it is important to have a physical presence there. The second goal that we want to achieve is the production of our own technology. We have such kind of technology which still is not presented to the market. We developed it and now we wish to offer it to the market. [can they say what this technology is about?]
The third one that we can mention is the goal to go deeper and deeper into Search Engine Optimization (SEO). And for the last important point, we have a goal to solve the issues concerning the lack of professionals.
iTechnology.am: How do you use WordPress as a company? Do you develop themes and plugins and then sell them in the market or you build custom solutions for each client? How does WordPress help you make money?
Iguan Systems: As you know WordPress is broadly used in the whole world. It was the demand from our foreign clients that made us start using it. So we also included this CMS in our portfolio of skills and began developing projects in WordPress. We customize WordPress to meet the demands of each client. We can say that WordPress is a perfect solution for an average client, especially for bloggers, or to spread news, photos and videos. In our opinion there are much stronger CMSs for more serious projects like banking systems. One example is a paid e-commerce platform called Magento.
iTechnology.am: How does it help you serve your clients?
Iguan Systems: One characteristic of WordPress is that it is very fast. A project can be ready within a week. Besides, it is very cheap for the company that ordered the project since it doesn’t require a highly skilled professional to run it. Any average web developer can command it. So it is fast and cheap. It is a perfect solution for an average consumer.
iTechnology.am: How spread is WP among the Armenian developer community? What do you think could help improve WordPress awareness and use?
Iguan Systems: Today’s opportunities provided by the Internet let Armenian developers follow modern trends. As local developers deal with international markets and have many clients from abroad they get exposed to WordPress since it is broadly used. But we want to mention again that it is very good for bloggers, news pages and something like that. But for online markets and e-commerce, WordPress is weaker. For example we offer Magento instead of WordPress to our clients who want an online market.
But for Armenian market WordPress is very convenient as it is flexible and cheap, and there really is a demand for websites based on WordPress CMS.
iTechnology.am: What type of projects have you used WordPress for?
Iguan Systems: As we mentioned we prefer to use it for blogs and news pages. But many examples can be found in our portfolio. Some examples are:
iTechnology.am: Thank you Iguan Systems! You are doing amazing work!
This post is also available in: Armenian