I'm back home at Quito, Ecuador, after an amazing week in El Salvador. Travelling home was fine: I arrived just in time to board my plane in Comalapa, had three pupusas for breakfast, transited in Costa Rica without inconveniences and landed in Quito on schedule, with no queues at Police and/or Customs.
While media releases of last week's activities continue to appear in the net, I want to share with my readers the client's perspective of Microsoft Openness.
Fondo Social para la Vivienda in El Salvador is a public institution which has about 70% market share on housing loans in the country. It has benefited 1.2 million salvadoreans, and is positioned as one of the most important tools for the El Salvador government to achieve its socioeconomical goals.
A few months ago, all government offices in El Salvador received instructions from ITIGES (somehow equivalent to Subsecretaria de Informatica in Ecuador or CNTI in Venezuela) to adopt a Joomla! template which had been designed by an external consultant, template which had implemented some 60+ international standards and best practices on e-government.
Since FSV is a user of Microsoft technologies, an external observer might think "hey, that's odd, so they need to migrate to a LAMP stack with Joomla! on top of it? what about time and costs? will they arrive in time?" -- and it's not a frivolous observation: originally, FSV IT department thought they would not arrive in time to the deadline, since they were having issues with their LAMP stack and didn't budgeted for external support.
But here comes a fresh, assertive view from Microsoft to the industry and its customers. We helped Fondo Social para la Vivienda to setup a Joomla! site as their new portal, deploy ITIGES template and run this on top of their existing Windows Server and IIS infrastructure. So they are now leveraging PHP, MySQL in a mixed environment with their existing Silverlight, .NET and SQL Server applications.
And, most importantly, they did it within budget and within the deadline, and even managed to get a nomination as one of El Salvador's best web sites by Arroba de Oro!
As we looked forward to share this success story with other CIOs of Latin America at CIO Forum, we visited them last week and I got the opportunity to understand from the customer's perspective the positive impact of Microsoft's Openness -- and the overall positive impact on their operational needs: to help people get decent and better housing.
Finally, here's what FSV shared with their users on their Facebook page:
This is A very interesting history...thanks to the effort of the FSV team