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Latin American Companies Report Technology Has Improved Customer Satisfaction, Reduced Costs and Increased Revenue


Seventy percent of those surveyed say technology has helped improve customer or citizen satisfaction

MIAMI, FL, June 24 2005 - Customer satisfaction and the desire to improve competitiveness are the main reasons Latin American companies invest in technology. Of the companies surveyed, 70 percent say that technology has helped improve customer or citizen satisfaction.

The study, Net Impact 2005 Latin America, From Connectivity to Growth, was sponsored by Cisco Systems and conducted by Momentum Research. The study involved interviews with more than 1,200 senior technology decision makers from Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile and Argentina, representing the retail, manufacturing, financial services and public sectors. The public sector includes government, healthcare and educational entities.

Other findings of the study presented today by the Institute for Connectivity in the Americas (ICA) and Cisco Systems, show that 45 percent of organizations have used technology to reduced operating costs and 32 percent of organizations have used technology to increase revenue.

However, the use of broadband by Latin American businesses and the public sector remains inadequate, with 62 percent reporting an average connection speed of 128-768 kilobits per second (kbps) and only 15 percent relying on E1 or greater average connections. In a comparable study in 2003, nearly 40 percent of U.S. companies reported an average bandwidth connection of 1.544 megabits per second (Mbps) or greater capacity.

“Companies of every size throughout Latin America are finding that investment in networks and improved connectivity are bringing them significant benefits,” said Keith Goodwin, president, Americas International, Cisco Systems. “We are pleased to present this study, which for the first time measures the impact of technology investments in the region, and also compares it to what has happened in the United States and Europe. One of its most important conclusions is that most Latin American businesses and governments have inadequate broadband connectivity. This is an area in which they must take urgent corrective measures.”

“The Internet is leveling the playing field for those who modernize the way business is done, both in the private and public sector,” said Randy Zadra, managing director, Institute for Connectivity in the Americas. “There is now ample evidence that it is possible for businesses and the public sector to leapfrog and modernize more rapidly using a network-based approach to information access.”

“The Internet is changing the way governments relate to their citizens, and ultimately improves democracy,” Zandra added. “It has created opportunities to enhance economic prosperity, and improved the ability of individual citizens to fulfill their human potential.”

The guiding assumption in Net Impact 2005 is that organizations using network-enabled applications have more sophisticated network and technology infrastructures. By aligning business processes with their technology investments, they will see better operating results than organizations that do not do so.

Other findings of the study include:

* Connected organizations in Latin America tend to focus first on introducing back-office applications such as finance and accounting, human resources, and inventory management tools before shifting to customer-facing applications.

* Sixty percent of surveyed organizations report that they provide external network access to internal users such as off-site employees and other staff members, as opposed to 74 percent in the United States.

* Forty-five percent of employees from surveyed organizations have access to deployed network base applications, compared to 74 percent in the United States.

* The networking technologies adopted by surveyed companies are focused on network security, and 81 percent report they have server-based virus protection while 72 percent report using network firewalls.

* Adoption of voice-over-IP technology among surveyed organizations is at 32 percent

* Like their U.S. counterparts, 44 percent of Latin American connected organizations rank the lack of employee training as the most common obstacle to implementing new technology.

Study Background

Net Impact 2005 is the fifth in a series of research projects evaluating the impact of Internet technologies on organizations. The guiding assumption in Net Impact 2005 is that best practices for Internet technologies identified in both U.S. and European studies have a similar influence in Latin America. The underlying hypothesis is that organizations that use networked applications have more sophisticated network and technology infrastructures, and by aligning business processes with their technology investments they will see greater operating outcomes than organizations that do not undertake these actions.

Net Impact 2005 studied organizations with more than 25 employees with at least one active “e-business” or network-enabled application used to improve or automate the delivery of products or services. More than 1,200 organizations qualified for and participated in this study across Latin America.

The study was conducted through interviews with senior technology-oriented decision makers. The survey process began by qualifying companies and conducting a 20-minute interview with a senior information and communications technology decision-maker responsible for organization-wide technology investments and implementation. In addition, qualified people had to be knowledgeable of the broader financial impact that network-enabled applications and other technology investments have had on their organization during the last year.

The study used stringent screening criteria to identify organizations that were most likely to have experienced increased productivity from network-enabled applications. These criteria included vertical industry, company size, and active deployment of at least one network-enabled application used to automate or improve the delivery of products or services.

To make the study more representative of the general market, Net Impact 2005 targeted a wide range of organization sizes within each industry to provide a broad view of technology adoption in Latin America, not just among the largest organizations. A bottom limit of 25 employees was set for organization size since it is unlikely that very small businesses would be investing in and using technology at the levels necessary to meet the qualification criteria.

About Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, celebrates 20 years of commitment to technology innovation, industry leadership, and corporate social responsibility. Information about Cisco can be found at
Institute for Connectivity in the Americas (ICA)

The Institute for Connectivity in the Americas (ICA) emerged from the 2001 Summit of the Americas. It is the forum for hemispheric innovation in the application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to strengthen democracy, create prosperity, and realize human potential. The ICA strives to create a true hemispheric community by connecting the citizens of the Americas and promoting hemispheric integration through innovative uses of ICTs.
Momentum Research Group

Momentum Research Group is a specialty practice of Incepta Marketing Intelligence, a UK-headquartered research consultancy. Incepta Marketing Intelligence employs more than 120 researchers and has offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, and Austin, TX.

Over the last six years, Momentum Research has examined the macro- and microeconomic impact that ICTs are having in the United States, UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Canada. In the course of these studies, Momentum Research has partnered with researchers from notable organizations including the University of Texas, University of California - Berkeley, and The Brookings Institution.

Cisco, Cisco Systems, and the Cisco Systems logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document or Website are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. This document is Cisco Public Information.


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