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Home | News and Events | Technopreneur Peter Valdes
 
Technopreneur Peter Valdes
Entrepreneur Magazine May 2006 (Jacklyn Lutanco-Chua and Marie Anne Fajardo)

Technopreneur Peter Valdes’s passion had always been in engineering and software development. Next was teaching. In fact, before he made a name in the information technology industry, he was an instructor at the University of the Philippines and De La Salle University, teaching Operations Research (the science of using mathematics for making business decisions). “ Teaching has its own satisfaction, since you are able to share knowledge with younger students,” Valdes shares. “At the same time, it reinforces your understanding of a particular field.”

Valdes pursued graduate studies in the United States and worked as a Software Architect and engineer with IBM in Austin, Texas. “At IBM, I was assigned in the system management architecture group, where we worked on the operating system that runs the IBM servers and workstations. At some point, my supervisor, Robert Fabbio, got this idea of starting a company, and he invited me and two other co-worker to partner with him.”

The result of that partnership was Tivoli Systems Inc., which started in 1989 and is now considered one of the most successful start-ups in the United States.

“At Tivoli we developed a software that manages networks of interconnected computers,” Valdes says. “This was a time when there weren’t a lot of computers networked together yet and supporting the operations of enterprises. But we knew that in time, the Internet would become very popular and enterprises would start networking all their computers, so we came up with a vendor-neutral solution that would manage this.”

“One thing that made this product very hot was we were one of the first to offer it in the United States and the rest of the world would need such a product. Valdes explains.

Even then, Tivoli’s first years were tough, “Everybody had to work hard, work long hours everyday to complete the product,” he recalls. “And there was no certainty that even after that we complete the product, it would sell because basically, we were trying to build something that have not been proven. We really had to believe in what we were doing.”

Valdes, a former himself, had to adjust to the shift to being his own boss. “When you’re an employee, you focus on a specific task or assignment,” he points out. “But when you have your own business, you have to worry about everything, from getting supplies to hiring the right people to cleaning the office, and do your real work.”

After Tivoli, Valdes consulted for other U.S. companies for a couple of years until he began feeling restless again. “I wanted to go back to building technology products again,” he shares. Valdes came back to the Philippines, believing this was the best place to start over. “After talking to professors, students and businessmen here, I made a decision that could find the right people – both managerial and technical – here.”

Late 1998, Valdes co-founded Vinta Systems, a software product development company. “The ‘int’ in ‘Vinta’ stands for ‘intelligence.’ Our focus was really to develop intelligence software that can increase the level of efficiencies of business enterprises.” Already, Vinta Systems is making waves in the advertising industry through its Media Optimization and Administration Systems (MOAS) software, a program that not only automates the entire media planning process, but also revolutionizes the way media plans are crafted.” “Even the most experienced media planner can only do so much,” Valdes explains. “But MOAS can look at hundreds of thousands of advertising combinations in a very intelligent manner, and it will come up with a combination that is better that your most experienced planner. That translates to a lot of savings for the customers.” Also, MOAS can compute advertising reach in a thousand of a second, as opposed 20 seconds by a rival program. “This is an innovative, all-Filipino product,” Valdes says.

It may have been a while since Valdes taught students, but what he was doing at present was something similar – mentoring aspiring and neophyte technopreneurs in the Philippines. “ Most of the products that made it globally were made in the U.S., “ he points out. “ But I know that if given the proper environment and ingredients, you can do the same here in the Philippines.”

Valdes was one of the first to sign up with the Brain Gain Network, an online network and productivity site hosting the largest database of Filipino technical express based here and abroad. ‘Even today, many keep asking me why I cam back to the Philippines,’ he says. “For me, its about doing that can have a lasting impact in the country. If I can develop just one product that can go global, I’ve done something that I and the Philippines can be proud of. That’s what keeps me motivated.”
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