Dau Tu Newspaper Interview: Vu Lam
Below we have translated the original interview that was used to write the article.
- Compared to rivals like FPT, CMC, Google, or Microsoft, what are the advantages of KMS’s products and solutions for the Vietnamese market?
Over the last 10 years, KMS Technology has focused on outsourcing and developing software products for the US market. We are proud of our many achievements including developing QASymphony – a software quality management platform with more than 700 corporate users worldwide. QASymphony has since merged with Tricentis and was ranked as a Unicorn startup for Europe in 2018.
Soon KMS will launch services in the Asian market – focusing on Vietnam – and invest our pioneering services in several specific industries.
With our years of technology experience and a team of over 1,000 US and Vietnam-based employees, KMS Technology has captured the international market. We have had the opportunity to partner with large corporations and created connections within the Vietnamese market. We promise to develop innovative technology products, increase competitive edge, and provide business solutions to help local and regional businesses quickly grow in today’s digital age.
- KMS is planning to launch some products for human resource management, can you tell us more about the strategy, objectives and revenue expectations?
Human resource management strategically affects the entire operational and development mechanisms of every enterprise. KMS Technology will soon launch a human resources product to support the development of a company’s culture, increase team cohesion, and measure employee satisfaction. This product’s target audience is the Asian market, specifically developing countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Reports indicate that for many years, these places have been lacking industry infrastructure, knowledge, and human resource management tools. These deficiencies cause organizations to be less competitive and lack high-end manpower. We are in the process of beta testing and collecting feedback before officially launching on the market.
- FPT has aimed to expand into the global market using M&A strategy to collaborate with companies in the US and Japan. What is KMS’s strategy for expansion?
Over the past 10 years, the primary market for KMS software outsourcing has been the United States. However, the products we have developed are used worldwide. For example, we have launched two testing software products: Katalon which has over 33,000 corporate customers and 180,000 user accounts, and Kobiton with more than 350 enterprise customers.
For our next move, KMS will focus on expanding to the Asian market, specifically focusing on Vietnam and Southeast Asia. In these markets, KMS specializes in consulting and providing solutions for data analysis, supply chain management solutions, and software quality management. We are targeting the mid-range customer market.
- Where are most of KMS engineers from? What is the ratio of Vietnamese compared to other nationalities? Does KMS prioritize hiring Vietnamese engineers?
Today KMS has 4 offices, 3 of which are in Vietnam and a head office in Atlanta, USA. Most of KMS’s software development and technology product engineers are Vietnamese, but we also have many industry experts and multinational employees from around the world.
At KMS, we highly respect and do our best to develop Vietnamese talent. However, KMS managers consider our employees based on their capabilities, and those with higher skillsets will be qualified for higher positions. We always provide opportunities for outstanding individuals to maximize their potential.
- What do you think when quality Vietnamese technology engineers choose to work for American and Japanese companies?
Japan and the US have always been the leaders in modern technology, with strong development strategies aimed to help keep up with the high demand for quality technology engineers. To attract potential employees, their recruiting and management policies are deeply focused to meet the demand.
In addition to high salaries and attractive benefits, Vietnamese engineers working in these companies will also have the opportunity to experience an international environment, access new technologies, and improve the IT of these industry leaders. For us, this means that there needs to be a push from Vietnamese IT/Technology companies to improve competitive edge and ensure they recruit and retain high-quality human resources.
- There is steep competition for good engineers in this field. How does KMS show its advantages in this competitive game? What steps does KMS take to attract these engineers?
The rate of personnel turnover at KMS is relatively insignificant, so the company does not feel too much pressure to recruit new employees.
KMS has the advantage of being an international technology company and working with many foreign partners. As such, KMS staff are rotated between different positions and projects and therefore given many opportunities to expand their skillset. Everyone is given the chance to try out different fields and access new technologies. The company also sponsors staff specialized courses at home, abroad, and onsite business trips in the US.
Moreover, the company always focus on the benefits and activities for employees, with the goal to build an environment in which people are the priority. This is the core value of the management team at KMS Technology.
- How are KMS businesses structured at the moment? What will be the main segment besides outsourcing?
KMS operates with four main businesses: Software outsourcing, Product development, Technology solutions, and incubating tech start-ups. Each business field is equally focused. Based on the current stability of the company, we will continue to invest long-term in product development. However, generally speaking, the company does not prioritize any business area.
- What is the best way to successfully close a deal?
One of the key factors for success is ensuring benefits for both parties with a deal that compromises what you want and investors want. However, each case will require different directions. Involving investment funds too soon will cause you to lose the true value that you initially wanted from the deal. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully consider the product status before calling for funding.
QASymphony is typically considered a successful case study. This “made in Vietnam” software product is a proud achievement of my 20+ year journey in the industry. QASymphony’s team successfully gained $40 million USD in funding from Insight Venture Partners, an impressive amount for a Vietnamese product. Since then, KMS no longer oversaw the startup. With only a 40 person team, QASymphony became valued at over $100 million. The product now belongs to Tricentis (Austria).
- Why did you decide to invest and do business in Vietnam? Was it because of the market potential or something else?
When we started the company Vietnamese engineers were excellent, but oftentimes our products could not reach the global market. So I decided to return and start my own business. With high confidence in the quality of Vietnamese people, I had a huge desire to create opportunities for those talents.
I must say that KMS was born from the concern that our Vietnamese engineers were not highly appreciated within the global technology space. I myself feel extremely lucky to have the opportunity to access modern education and gain experience working in the US, India, and then be able to bring this experience back to my homeland. After years of development in Vietnam, the KMS technical team is now more competitive and I want to take that advantage to further create more Vietnamese-based technology solutions to offer to the world.