At that time, many people didn’t know (and we were probably among them too), that 20 years later there probably won’t be any family in the world that won’t be able to use the services of the personal computers. But, we have sensed that, there was some strange flavor in the air then. It smelt like changes, new times, new players in the world of computers, by that time completely reserved for the big companies, says Mr. Peshev.
The company ULTRA, based in Skopje, is one for the few in this country that can say it has a successful business –story, 20 years old. This year, just at the time of the jubilee, ULTRA computers are the winner of the first prize at the competition of software organized by the MASIT IKT 2010. The award is a software solution: “One-stop-shop system for permits for import, export and transit of the goods and the tariff systems”, project financed by USAID, coordinated by the customs administration of the Republic of Macedonia. On that occasion, we talked with Mr. Anotni Peshev, president of the board of the company Ultra DOO-Skopje and one of its founders.
What the award represents to Ultra, especially to you as the fist man and the founder of the company?
– Above all, a great honor and pleasure. Especially today, when we celebrate this small-big jubilee. The award has completed the whole cycle over the past 20 years as a nice tie on a worthy gift. It is also an obligation to continue with more ambitions in the future.
How do you rate the market conditions and does anybody evaluate it?
-Well, you’re right. It turned out to be like that somehow. This business is one of the most competitive businesses, not only for us, but throughout the world too. In this business the world statistics have shown that there is the largest migration of the employees from one company to another company. We have a correct and incorrect competition. This business is a business of the clever, well educated and fast thinking people. The market is the ultimate judge and the landmark of who you are and how do you perform what you are supposed to perform. The awards that we are winning very often, whether of the local or the international rank, mean a lot to me. They somehow give a realistic dimension to the whole story. The last award that we won was the first place at the national competition for informatics- technological solution in the public sector of the Republic of Macedonia and the automatic nomination for award in the organization of the World IT Association WITSA. It is a project financed by USAID, coordinated by the Customs administration, and it is regarding EXIM – one-stop-shop system of permits for import, export and transit of goods and tariff goods (www.exim.gov.mk).
The beginnings of your company are interesting, since it was in the period when our country was still part of Yugoslavia. Can you tell us in short when and how was ULTRA created? – ULTRA was born as an idea of four just graduated students of the Electro-Technical Faculty in Skopje. In the far year of 1988, immediately after finishing of the studies, after the initiative for us to be admitted in this educational institution as associates failed, we decided to start working on projects for production of software for the needs of “Stopanska Banka”, based on use of the newest technology at that time- personal computers. To have a personal computer in the year of 1988 was a sign of prestige, technological innovation and to be at the very top in using of the technology. Today we call it “Cutting edge technology”. At that time many people didn’t know (and we were probably among them too), that 20 years later probably there won’t be any family in the world that won’t be able to use the services of the personal computers. But, we have sensed that, there was some strange flavor in the air then. It smelt like changes, new times, new players in the world of computers, by that time completely reserved for the big companies.
How did this successful story further develop. Why did you have problems at the beginning in registering of the company? – Everything here goes in ups-and downs all of the time, but generally speaking, the trend was positive. Until 1990, the company was registered as a craftsman workshop for production of software and repairing of electro-technical devices. Additional efforts were needed for registering it in the municipality of Center at that time. In those conditions, we were in the group of the noisy crafts, so we were redirected to register in the village of Oresani that was set for development of small business with that profile. We used the first possibility to register our company in the Socialistic Federative Republic of Yugoslavia that still existed at that time, in 1990 under number that was smaller than 100. From that time a cooperative life of the company ULTRA DOO Skopje begins.
What is today’s reputation of ULTRA in the country, and in the region too? –Today ULTRA is one of the leading companies in the field of the informatics –communication technologies. With its activity it is a system integrator with highly emphasized strategy to be a partner of the strongest companies in our state and outside. About 120 employees work in the company, mainly young people, some of them with age similar to the company’s age. We are partner of many world leading brands, we are authorized and competent for the biggest IKT projects, but we have never abandoned, and we don’t plan to abandon the production of our own software products on which many generations of employees have worked and are still working with our clients.
ULTRA is well known exactly for the production of good quality software. Is that process complicated and a hard one? -I’m not saying that the process of production of software is an easy and comfortable work to be done. In that process you have to work a lot with the user. To understand the business-logics of the processes and if that is possible, and sometimes it isn’t, to influence in simplifying of the procedures, processes, flow of information that has to be minimal, consistent and in function of speeding up the processes. That process sometimes generates nervous situations, but it is also part of our business.
Is there a competition in this sector and how do you deal with it? –Macedonia is not the easiest place in the world for our business. There are only few professions in the world where at the age of 35 you feel like a veteran. Many successful managers of the companies have passed through our company and they are now our fierce competition, the heads of the sectors of informatics in many companies in Macedonia, successful people and businessmen. All of them are our good friends and our greatest ambassadors of good will, I hope.
What are your future ideas, plans and perspectives? – I won’t tell you anything new if I say that the trends of the globalization won’t bypass our country and our market. Our business is already a global one and almost everything is applicable through the internet. As the country approaches Europe more and more, the competition will became more international and all the big players will appear on the market, more aggressively and more unscrupulously. Our place is somewhere there, as a part of a big consortium. For us it will be one of the many changes that we have surpassed so far. I am satisfied the way we play, especially at the domestic field.
How difficult is to install 24-processor server? – At least one crane is needed and a lot of knowledge. That is just the reason why ULTRA maintains the only installed MAINFRAME in the country! With over 70 POWER installations, with over 20 SAN sites and over 50 terabytes of physical capacity, as well as with installation of impressive 84-processor system, ULTRA is a proved technological partner for the most complicated informatics installations in the country – in T-mobile, “Stopanska Banka”, Ministry of finance, Ministry of interior Affairs, Public revenues office, Customs, Ministry of education and others.