Puerto Rico’s “solid and mature” geography and its proximity to powerful markets as the U.S. mainland make it a strong candidate to become the computer industry’s hub for the Caribbean, an executive from technology company Cisco said Tuesday.
“Puerto Rico is our operations center as it has the most robust and mature geography of the Caribbean, and a proximity to stronger markets like the United States,” said Gustavo Sorgente, Cisco’s regional director. “Our agenda is that Puerto Rico retake that leadership and start exporting services, create jobs and improve the quality of life of its citizens.”
The government of Puerto Rico has expressed an aspiration to explore technology as a resource for growth and Cisco is “interested in being one of the catalysts,” as it has been in other countries like Argentina and Uruguay for example. After the economic crises in these countries in 2001, the “software” industry was developed, achieving a resurgence in the economy, becoming the strongest Latin American countries in that respect.
“We’re interested in a strategic relationship with the government. We know that Puerto Rico is going through a fiscal and economic crisis and we want to invest in the island, in addition to creating jobs, to also maximize the government’s on information technology,” Sorgente said. “We are willing to talk to the public, private and academic sector on track to strengthen local projects and companies wanting to export.”
Cisco currently has about 1,000 certified engineers in Puerto Rico, more than 25 certified partners and more than 70 resellers. Those partners also have the ability to develop solutions with local talent to export to other countries.
‘Internet of Everything’
Sorgente said in times of crisis, it is logical that the government seek to save and cut costs, which is why he mentioned the so-called “Internet of Everything” as a smart investment given that through the effective use of data, processes and people end up achieving savings for the government and as well as benefit the quality of life of citizens.
Among the opportunities available through the “IoT” for Puerto Rico is public safety, an area in which Cisco is willing to explore. The system consists of cameras that not monitor, but provide connectivity to other networks that can send an ambulance to a car accident, alert police to crime and other public or private agencies.
The issue of Public Health in the “IoT” is also an important issue to Puerto Rico, he said.
At present, Cisco is working on deploying a fiber optic network with PrepaNet, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s Internet subsidiary.
“Once we finish, we can create a service platform for the government and third parties. But it is necessary to first open a dialogue and that is the agenda that we want to establish in Puerto Rico,” he said.
“There is no recipe, but we are making approaches to the government to help pave the way. We know that the development of broadband has an impact on the Gross Domestic Product of a country, and we must ensure that the Caribbean adopt broadband growth as a strategy. We have to reach beyond the island’s borders,” he said.