Posts Tagged ‘Manuel Pietra’

FreeBalance Contributing to Global Public Financial Management (PFM) Innovation

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Conference to Bring the Latest Good Practices in Managing Public Finances


Washington D.C., USA (December 6, 2013) – FreeBalance, a leading vendor of Government Resource Planning (GRP) software, is pleased to announce attendance at the 2013 Winter International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management (ICGFM) Conference. The theme of the conference is PFM Innovations. It takes place in Washington DC hosted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from December 9 to 11.

ICGFM conferences typically attract PFM professionals and practitioners from more than 30 countries. The conference sub-themes are:

  • Innovative approaches to managing resources including performance and results
  • Emerging international standards and guidelines
  • Addressing the human resources aspect of public financial management
  • Methods of accountability including internal and external audit and social media
  • Country case studies
  • Expanding the use of E-Government to improve efficiency, effectiveness and transparency

Premier global PFM professionals are attracted to speak at ICGFM conferences. The Winter Conference includes speakers, discussants and session moderators including:

ICGFM and Grant Thornton will be releasing the results of the ICGFM Global Financial Management Leaders Survey Report: PFM Reform in a Period of Global Adjustment at the conference. The survey interviewed PFM professional from 51 countries.

FreeBalance will be live tweeting (@freebalance) and blogging during the conference. Manuel Pietra, FreeBalance President and CEO, and the current President of ICGFM said: “FreeBalance is committed to the transfer of knowledge and good PFM practices across the global community as part of our mission of improving governance.”

About FreeBalance
FreeBalance helps governments around the world leverage robust Government Resource Planning (GRP) technology to accelerate country growth. FreeBalance software solutions for public financial and human resource management support reform and modernization to improve governance, transparency and accountability. Good governance is required to improve development results. FreeBalance solutions are active in 22 countries managing more than a quarter trillion ($US) in annual budgets worldwide. For more information, visit the FreeBalance website.

About ICGFM
Working globally with governments, organizations, and individuals, the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management (ICGFM) is dedicated to improving financial management by providing opportunities for professional development and information exchange. The ICGFM was established over two decades ago to serve as an international forum for public sector financial managers. More at www.icgfm.org.

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Government of Sri Lanka to Leverage FreeBalance Technology to Drive Public Financial Management (PFM) Reform

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Samsung SDS and FreeBalance selected for a country-wide implementation of FreeBalance Government Resource Planning (GRP) solutions in Sri Lanka

Ottawa, Canada (November 5, 2013) – FreeBalance, a leading vendor of Government Resource Planning (GRP) software, today announced that the Government of Sri Lanka will be leveraging FreeBalance technology for the implementation of an Integrated Treasury Management Information System (ITMIS) for the Ministry of Finance and Planning (MoFP). The ITMIS will be rolled out government-wide to all Government spending agencies which will automate the entire Public Financial Management (PFM) lifecycle in Sri Lanka. FreeBalance will be acting as a sub-contractor to Samsung SDS on the multiple year ITMIS implementation.

The ITMIS project is part of a major reform initiative towards improving fiscal management in Sri Lanka through the Fiscal Management Efficiency Project (FMEP) – an Asian Development Bank assisted project under the Ministry of Finance and Planning in Sri Lanka. “The Government of Sri Lanka is committed to the reform and modernization of its public financial management system,” said Dr. P B Jayasundera, Secretary to the Treasury, Government of Sri Lanka. “The ITMIS will provide us with a technology platform upon which we can accelerate reforms and economic development in support of our citizens.” The ITMIS is expected to improve the timeliness, accuracy and integrity of reporting and thereby creating an efficient public financial management system in Sri Lanka.

The ITMIS will enable the Government of Sri Lanka to improve governance by taking advantage of web-based technology to improve transparency, accountability and development outcomes. “FreeBalance fully supports the Government of Sri Lanka’s vision for PFM reform and enhanced governance,” said Manuel Pietra, President & CEO of FreeBalance. “We look forward to working with the Government of Sri Lanka and being partners in ensuring the success of this important project by providing good practices and domain expertise to facilitate the transition to the new ITMIS.” The Government of Sri Lanka, Ministry of Finance and Planning, adds to a growing list of FreeBalance government customers in Asia, which includes Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Pakistan and Timor-Leste.

The scope of the ITMIS implementation in Sri Lanka includes:

  • Budget Management
  • Commitment Management
  • Imprest Release (Treasury fund release)
  • Receipts Management
  • Payment Management
  • Payroll Management (MoFP only)
  • Pension Management (interface)
  • Debt Management (interface)
  • Cash Management
  • General Ledger
  • Fiscal Reporting
  • Internal Audit Management
  • Cadre Information Management
  • Public Sector Data Management
  • Court Case Tracking (MoFP only)
  • Asset Management

The Government of Sri Lanka will leverage the strengths of the FreeBalance and Samsung SDS alliance to implement the ITMIS. The global product and services alliance between FreeBalance and Samsung SDS is focused on public financial management and e-government. “The Ministry of Finance and Planning is using technology to improve governance and make a difference in the lives of the citizens of Sri Lanka,” said Jaehan Lee, Senior Vice President, Smart Manufacturing & Town Business Unit, Samsung SDS. The product and services portfolio from the FreeBalance and Samsung SDS partnership covers the entire spectrum of open government, transparency, public financials, procurement, revenue and human resources.

About Samsung SDS
Samsung SDS is a global information and communication technology (ICT) service provider, striving to help customers increase their competitiveness by offering optimal ICT services. Its services are customized for customer business environments and leverage the most knowledgeable professionals and proven, innovative technologies. Samsung SDS is specialized in smart manufacturing, smart town, smart convergence, smart security, smart logistics, and smart ICT outsourcing. For more information, please visit the Samsung SDS website.

About FreeBalance
FreeBalance helps governments around the world leverage robust Government Resource Planning (GRP) technology to accelerate country growth. FreeBalance software solutions for public financial and human resource management support reform and modernization to improve governance, transparency and accountability. Good governance is required to improve development results. FreeBalance solutions are active in 22 countries managing more than a quarter trillion ($US) in annual budgets worldwide. For more information, visit the FreeBalance website.

FreeBalance Weekly Update – Thursday, May 10, 2012

Friday, May 11th, 2012

What’s new at FreeBalance?

This weekly news update provides the Government Resource Planning (GRP) community with a brief overview of recent FreeBalance developments and relevant industry news.

Manuel Pietra Elected President of the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management (ICGFM) for 2013-14

FreeBalance is pleased to announce that its President & CEO, Manuel Pietra, has been elected President of the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management (ICGFM) for 2013-14. As President, Mr. Pietra will serve as the Chair of the Executive Committee and will provide vision and leadership to support the continued growth of the ICGFM as the world’s foremost community of PFM practitioners.
Find out more >>

FreeBalance Presents “The [Social] Future of Public Financial Management” at Annual ICGFM Conference in Miami

Doug Hadden, Vice President of Products, presented at the 26th Annual International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management (ICGFM) Conference this past week in Miami, Florida. The FreeBalance presentation provided a roadmap for Public Financial Management (PFM) in the 21st century by examining how developing nations and emerging economies are leveraging technology to leapfrog developed countries.
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FreeBalance Showcases Cutting-Edge Government Performance & Transparency Solutions at Annual ICGFM Conference in Miami

FreeBalance showcased the latest Government Resource Planning (GRP) solutions for public sector performance and transparency at the 26th Annual International Consortium on Government Financial Management (ICGFM) conference this past week, which focused on Public Financial Management (PFM) in the 21st century. FreeBalance showcased government performance management and open data software and implementation methodology proven to improve government results and value for money at interactive sessions.
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Meet FreeBalance in New Brunswick at the FMI Public Sector Management Workshop

FreeBalance continues to attend and participate in conferences and events around the world including the upcoming Financial Management Institute of Canada (FMI) Public Sector Management Workshop on May 27-29, 2012 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The theme for this year’s Public Sector Management Workshop is “Sustainability in the Public Sector – Securing the Future.”
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The Institutional Structures of Financial Sector Supervision

The global financial crisis made us rethink financial sector regulation and supervision. As part of this process there has been a renewed interest in the institutional structure of financial services supervision. This includes reflections on the differences in these structures across countries, their development over time and their relative performance in the run-up and during the crisis.
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Extending Treasury Single Account Coverage in Rwanda to Include Development Partners Project Accounts

International good practice dictates that government controlled trust funds and extra-budgetary funds should be brought within the Treasury Single Account (TSA). Although all Rwandan donor project accounts reside within the National Bank of Rwanda, none of these project accounts have been integrated with the government’s primary Treasury Single Account. From a cash management perspective, shifting donor project funds from their current accounts in the Central Bank into the Treasury Single Account (TSA) will be of immense benefit to the government.
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Manuel Pietra to Provide Government Resource Planning (GRP) Domain Expertise as Member of AuthenWare Advisory Board

Monday, June 27th, 2011

FreeBalance President & CEO joins Advisory Board of leading cybersecurity software company

Ottawa, Canada (June 27, 2011) – FreeBalance, a global Government Resource Planning (GRP) software company, and AuthenWare®, a leading cybersecurity software provider, today announced that FreeBalance President & CEO, Manuel Pietra has joined the AuthenWare Advisory Board. Manuel Pietra is a global executive with more than 25 years of successful information technology management experience from companies in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa, and Latin America. Mr. Pietra recently won the 2011 Next Generation Executive of the Year Award sponsored by the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI).

“We are pleased to have Manuel Pietra join the AuthenWare Advisory Board,” said Tom Helou, President and COO of AuthenWare. “Manuel’s extensive professional experience and public sector domain expertise will be invaluable to support the continued growth of AuthenWare.”

FreeBalance integrates the AuthenWare identity authentication software to provide government customers with a robust security solution that practically eliminates the risk of identity theft when users logon to the web-based FreeBalance Accountability Suite. The integrated FreeBalance AuthenWare solution helps GRP customers prevent identify thefts and web fraud by rendering phishing and key logging attacks useless.

“It is an honour to join the AuthenWare Advisory Board,” said Manuel Pietra, President & CEO at FreeBalance. “AuthenWare technology delivers a seamless layer of strong security to prevent cyber threats and user ID theft. Governments around the world are faced with increasing pressure to protect the integrity and security of public data. Authenware provides an innovative cost-effective solution to this challenge.”

AuthenWare technology offers a radically different approach towards handling security by securing information access through keystroke dynamics and rendering any stolen credentials useless. It accomplishes this through a proprietary protocol that creates and maintains a unique personal security pattern for each user every time that he or she enters data using the keyboard (for example, their user name and password). By doing so, AuthenWare technology delivers the highest levels of security without the need for any additional hardware or to store any personally identifiable information (PII).

FreeBalance software solution are being used by governments in 19 countries, including Antigua & Barbuda, Afghanistan, Canada, Iraq, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Mongolia, Namibia, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan, Timor-Leste, and Uganda among others. FreeBalance software manages more than a quarter trillion ($US) annual budgets worldwide. More than 70,000 users around the world use FreeBalance software to manage a global civil service workforce of 1,500,000.

About AuthenWare
AuthenWare® Corporation is a leading cybersecurity software innovator focused on fighting identity theft. The Company’s tokenless 2-factor authentication system delivers strong security through a combination of keystroke dynamics, behavioral and environmental characteristics to minimize identity theft, web fraud and other system vulnerabilities. The AuthenWare solution creates a unique personal security pattern that recognizes authorized users while keeping hackers out. AuthenWare is headquartered in Miami, FL, with offices around the world. Tens of millions of people use the company’s products every day in a variety of industries, including financial services, government, healthcare, telecommunications and online retailers. For more information, visitwww.authenware.com.

About FreeBalance
FreeBalance helps governments around the world leverage robust Government Resource Planning (GRP) technology to accelerate country growth. FreeBalance software solutions for public financial and human resource management support reform and modernization to improve governance, transparency and accountability. Good governance is required to improve development results. For more information, visit www.freebalance.com.

About Manuel Pietra, FreeBalance President and CEO
Manuel Pietra is a global executive with more than 25 years of successful management experience from companies in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa, and Latin America. As President and CEO of FreeBalance, Mr. Pietra leads global growth strategies and customer engagement. Mr. Pietra has transformed FreeBalance into a customer-centric and socially responsible company. Mr. Pietra won the 2011 Next Generation Executive of the Year Award sponsored by the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI). His leadership and vision also led the company to win the prestigious 2009 Canada Export Achievement Award.

Manuel Pietra has held executive positions on the boards of several international companies and actively participated in the venture capital arena. Mr. Pietra has participated in several successful IPO’s in the USA, Europe and South Africa and presently is a board member for the International Consortium on Government Financial Management (ICGFM).

Mr. Pietra is multilingual and graduated in Business Management from the South African Institute of Management. He often speaks at high profile investment seminars and technology conferences across the world in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French.

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Manuel Pietra Acceptance Speech for Next Generation Executive

Thursday, April 14th, 2011


Short acceptance speech by FreeBalance President and CEO on receiving “Next Generation Executive Award” by the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI). OCRI explained that the Next Generation Executive Award was given to Pietra in recognition of the dynamic change he has led at FreeBalance. This change has resulted in a new corporate culture that includes Corporate Social Responsibility as the core to company mission. FreeBalance financial results continue to improve thanks to a growing international client roster.

FreeBalance President & CEO Manuel Pietra Wins OCRI Next Generation Executive Award

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Recognized for international country development, active participation in the global community, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) 

Timor-Leste

Ottawa, Canada (April 8, 2011) – FreeBalance, a For Profit Social Enterprise (FOPSE) software company that helps governments around the world to leverage robust Government Resource Planning (GRP) technology to accelerate country growth, is pleased to announce that FreeBalance President & CEO, Manuel Pietra, won the Next Generation Executive Award at the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI) Awards Gala last night.

OCRI explains that the Next Generation Executive Award was given to Pietra in recognition of the dynamic change he has led at FreeBalance. This change has resulted in a new corporate culture that includes Corporate Social Responsibility as the core to company mission. FreeBalance financial results continue to improve thanks to a growing international client roster.

“This honour is very much a recognition of the positive change that people at FreeBalance are helping make around the world,” said Manuel Pietra, President & CEO at FreeBalance. “Corporate social responsibility is core to decision-making at FreeBalance. As a for profit social enterprise, our mission is to help governments leverage our government resource planning technology to improve development outcomes for country growth.”

In mid-2006 following his appointment as FreeBalance President & CEO, Mr. Pietra initiated a new business strategy. This new business plan better addressed the global government market. Strategic goals were changed. The company re-organized. The new FreeBalance business model and planning process was based on the premise of earning “customers for life”.

Social responsibility at FreeBalance extends beyond providing tools for country growth and government transparency. FreeBalance is committed to supporting children’s programs in the developing world. FreeBalance has established partnerships with organizations such as SOS Children’s Villages to directly impact the lives of thousands of children.

Refining processes to be more customer-centric has resulted in improvements in FreeBalance sales execution and operational efficiency. The company is growing at a rate of 18-20% per year thanks to operationalizing and adapting the strategy originally developed in 2006. FreeBalance is active in 19 countries, including Antigua & Barbuda, Panama, Canada, Iraq, Kosovo, Liberia, Mongolia, Namibia, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan, Timor-Leste, and Uganda among others.

FreeBalance software manages more than a quarter trillion ($US) annual budgets worldwide. More than 70,000 users around the world use FreeBalance software to manage a global civil service workforce of 1,500,000.

About FreeBalance
FreeBalance helps governments around the world leverage robust Government Resource Planning (GRP) technology to accelerate country growth. FreeBalance software solutions for public financial and human resource management support reform and modernization to improve governance, transparency and accountability. Good governance is required to improve development results. For more information, visit www.freebalance.com

About Manuel Pietra, FreeBalance President and CEO
Manuel Pietra is a global executive with more than 20 years of successful management experience from companies in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa, and Latin America. As President and CEO of FreeBalance, Mr. Pietra leads global growth strategies, organizational restructuring and customer engagement. Manuel Pietra has held executive positions on the boards of several international companies and actively participated in the venture capital arena. He holds a degree in Business Management from the South African Institute of Management and is a board member for the International Consortium on Government Financial Management (ICGFM). Mr. Pietra is multilingual and often speaks at high profile investment seminars and technology conferences across the world in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French. 

About Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI)
Leading the way for Ottawa, OCRI is the city’s economic development agency. OCRI is the rallying point to bring business, education, research and talent together to create the winning economic conditions that allow Ottawa’s knowledge-based companies to thrive locally and compete globally. At OCRI we promote sustainable economic development to maintain our high quality of life. For more information on OCRI visit our website at www.ocri.ca and for more information on the Ottawa Region please visit www.ottawaregion.com. In 2010, Ottawa was named one of the world’s top seven intelligent communities by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF). 

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Manuel Pietra Nominated for Next Generation Executive Award

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Global customer-centric strategy and corporate social responsibility recognized by leading research and innovation organization

Ottawa, Canada (April 7, 2011) – FreeBalance, a For Profit Social Enterprise (FOPSE) software company that helps governments around the world to leverage robust Government Resource Planning (GRP) technology to accelerate country growth, today announced that FreeBalance President & CEO, Manuel Pietra, has been nominated for the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI) Next Generation Executive Award. This “award recognizes an individual who has had a significant impact on the success and/or transformation of their organization as a direct result of their leadership.”

Winners will be announced at the OCRI Awards Gala on Thursday April 7, 2011 at the Hilton Lac-Leamy. The OCRI Awards Gala is the premier awards event for the region’s business, research and academic community. The annual event recognizes the achievements of successful entrepreneurs and in National Capital region.

“This award validates the positive changes that people at FreeBalance are helping make around the world,” said Manuel Pietra, President & CEO of FreeBalance. “Global citizenship commits FreeBalance to international country development, active participation in the global community, and corporate social responsibility.”

In mid-2006 following his appointment as FreeBalance President & CEO, Mr. Pietra initiated a new business strategy. This new business plan better addressed the global government market. Strategic goals were changed. The company re-organized. The new FreeBalance business model and planning process was based on the premise of “customers for life” The company added new customers in Canada, Pakistan, Panama, Palestine, Uganda, Kyrgyzstan, Namibia, and Liberia. FreeBalance is committed to supporting children’s programs in the developing world. FreeBalance has established partnerships with organizations such as SOS Children’s Villages to directly impact the lives of thousands of children.

Mr. Pietra spearheaded a transition to a FOPSE software company where Corporate Social Responsibility is core to decision-making. FreeBalance solutions for Public Financial Management (PFM) help developing nation government improve governance and improve development outcomes.

Refining processes to be more customer-centric has resulted in improvements in FreeBalance sales execution and operational efficiency. The company is growing at a rate of 18-20% per year thanks to operationalizing and adapting the strategy originally developed in 2006. FreeBalance customers span the globe and the user community includes public financial management professionals in 19 countries, including Liberia, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Southern Sudan. FreeBalance operates in 15 customer time zones. FreeBalance has more than 70,000 users around the world. FreeBalance software manages a global civil service workforce of 1,500,000, and also manages a quarter trillion ($US) annual budgets worldwide. 

About FreeBalance
FreeBalance helps governments around the world leverage robust Government Resource Planning (GRP) technology to accelerate country growth. FreeBalance software solutions for public financial and human resource management support reform and modernization to improve governance, transparency and accountability. Good governance is required to improve development results. For more information, visit www.freebalance.com

About Manuel Pietra, FreeBalance President and CEO
Manuel Pietra is a global executive with more than 20 years of successful management experience from companies in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa, and Latin America. As President and CEO of FreeBalance, Mr. Pietra leads global growth strategies, organizational restructuring and customer engagement. Manuel Pietra has held executive positions on the boards of several international companies and actively participated in the venture capital arena. He holds a degree in Business Management from the South African Institute of Management and is a board member for the International Consortium on Government Financial Management (ICGFM). Mr. Pietra is multilingual and often speaks at high profile investment seminars and technology conferences across the world in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French. 

About Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI)
Leading the way for Ottawa, OCRI is the city’s economic development agency. OCRI is the rallying point to bring business, education, research and talent together to create the winning economic conditions that allow Ottawa’s knowledge-based companies to thrive locally and compete globally. At OCRI we promote sustainable economic development to maintain our high quality of life. For more information on OCRI visit our website at www.ocri.ca and for more information on the Ottawa Region please visit www.ottawaregion.com. In 2010, Ottawa was named one of the world’s top seven intelligent communities by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF).

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FreeBalance to present at the upcoming Aid & International Development Forum in Washington, DC

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

By James Elrick

The Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF) is a leading global event dedicated to the effective delivery of humanitarian aid, disaster relief and development programs. It aims to facilitate networking, partnership building, information sharing and cross-organization operations amongst those involved in the sector. The event runs from June 8-9, 2011 and takes place in Washington, DC. It is a free to attend. Make sure you register to secure your place.

FreeBalance President & CEO Manuel Pietra will be speaking at AIDF. Mr. Pietra will be participating in the Finance workshop on Thursday June 9 2011 at 10:15 – 11:00. The aim of this workshop is to discuss the effectiveness of current finance solutions in the disaster relief and development sector and look at current trends and how they can be improved/adapted to increase coordination and a better approach. After his presentation, there will be time for questions.

During Mr. Pietra’s presentation, he will be discussing if a country’s Public Financial Management (PFM) system is the ideal solution to manage the post-disaster reconstruction relief funds. Can a PFM system spend resources fast enough for disaster relief and development? What level of speed is acceptable, especially regarding such immediate needs as infrastructure spending and printing checks? And more.

To learn more about the FreeBalance Government Resource Planning solution, please drop by the Finance workshop, or visit the FreeBalance booth at the show.

Interested in scheduling a meeting with FreeBalance at the show, please send us an email at info@freebalance.com.

Manuel Pietra Nominated for OCRI Next Generation Executive Award

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

By James Elrick

Good news. FreeBalance President & CEO Manuel Pietra is an awards finalist for the OCRI Next Generation Executive Award. OCRI is Ottawa’s economic development agency. It is the rallying point to bring business, education, research and talent together to create the winning economic conditions that allow Ottawa’s knowledge-based companies to thrive locally and compete globally. OCRI promotes sustainable economic development to maintain Ottawa’s high quality of life.

This award recognizes an individual who has had a significant impact on the success and/or transformation of their organization as a direct result of their leadership. The winner will be announced at the OCRI Awards on April 7, 2011 at the Hilton Lac Leamy. Here are reasons why Manuel is an awards finalist:

Unique Approach
In 2006, Pietra brought international experience to FreeBalance and introduced a new management team. FreeBalance was restructured into a global customer-centric company with a focus on government financial sustainability. The company added new customers in Canada, Pakistan, Panama, Palestine, Uganda, Kyrgyzstan, Namibia, and Liberia.

Pietra developed a unique approach to involve customers in the product development process, including the FreeBalance International Steering Committee (FISC). The steering committee is all about the government customers. FISC is an opportunity for public financial managers to share lessons learned. To discuss emerging trends. And, to set company direction. This is necessary for a customer-centric approach.

With the introduction of a new business strategy and customer-centric approach, FreeBalance is growing at a rate of 18-20% per year. And, the third quarter in 2010 has been the best in the company history. Global employee growth has kept pace as FreeBalance has been actively hiring to support the growing customer base.

FreeBalance customers span the globe and the user community includes public financial management (PFM) professionals in 18 countries, including Afghanistan, Canada, Iraq, Kosovo, Mongolia, Pakistan, Panama, Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan, and Timor-Leste among others. FreeBalance has more than 60,000 users around the world. FreeBalance software manages a global civil service workforce of 1.5 million and also manages a quarter trillion ($US) annual budgets worldwide.

Organizational Results
Pietra realized that values were important to sustain long-term corporate success. Effective PFM transforms countries. He implemented the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) philosophy at the core to the company mission. Global citizenship commits FreeBalance to international country development, knowledge sharing and service improvement.

Technology Results
Since 2006, Pietra has ensured that FreeBalance offers leading-edge technology that uses sustainable and proven open-source middleware and modern component-level Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA).

Unlike competitors, FreeBalance does not hide old technology with a web “wrapper”. The FreeBalance Accountability Suite is pure web. FreeBalance technology is optimized for government needs for scalability, usability and maintainability. FreeBalance software is built with reusable PFM components. This lowers total cost of ownership (TCO) for government customers and makes the technology more extensible. FreeBalance leverages technology best practices to achieve technology leapfrog over our competitors. FreeBalance offers full support for any commercial technology stack, so FreeBalance can support customer requirements with both open source and commercial technology.  

Towards Open Systems

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Doug Hadden, VP Products

There was an interesting tweet moment at the FreeBalance International Steering Committee meeting last week requesting a transcipt of some comments about open systems made by our President and CEO Manuel Pietra.  Manuel’s viewpoint was that developing software using open systems enables FreeBalance (and others) to more easily extend applications. That’s because the nature of software development has changed over the years from very explicit “use cases.” Software was developed with an end in mind. Workflow, rules and reports were developed to meet the articulated need. This methodology is changing to where software components could be reused for purposes beyond the imagination of the software developer. Open systems will become the norm because of this efficiency provided. It breaks the economy of scale advantage that large companies hold in the software industry.

Technology Transition to Open Systems

We are in a transition period from closed to open systems in the software industry. In the closed system era, integration within the product suite was considered paramount. Enterprise software companies competed on the basis of horizontal and vertical functionality.  Economies of scale meant that the largest vendors provided the best extensibility. Proprietary middleware was used to lock customers into the entire “stack”. Open systems were presented as risky because proprietary standards tended to be faster.

The software industry is in a transition period where proprietary systems are opening up. This is often seen as a way to extend proprietary systems by the larger vendors. There is a concerted effort to build out an eco-system of partners who add value to proprietary systems. We believe that this will transition to fully open systems. Software companies will compete on openness and customer processes rather than lock-in.

Transparency Transition to Open Systems

We also appear to be in a transition period in government transparency. Governments have begun to publish information in document or machine readable format rather than relying on access to information requests as the primary method of transparency. The press is becoming “disintermediated” thanks to transparency portals. And, more governments are realizing that publication of government data can act as an economic engine, or, as Tim O’Reilly calls it, “government as platform.”These two trends in open systems an open government are more than coincidental. It is difficult and expensive to create open data from closed systems. That’s why many open government projects run into problems.

Historical Perspective

Software systems have become more open over time. Early computing did not have the luxury of processing and memory that we have today. The environment was closed and applications were closed systems.  Applications were focused on high value elements of business processes. Software has become more open as the software footprint has grown.

1990s to early 2000s saw the rise of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software replacing  previous business systems. These applications covered multiple horizontal and vertical markets (as defined as ERP II by Gartner Group). Instrasuite integration became a competitive differentiator. The “dot com” era saw a boom and bust of e-commerce applications. The key problem in for dot com providers was the need to create the entire transaction infrastructure. This left some winners like eBay and Amazon who were able to achieve the economies of scale.

We are currently in the early days of “cloud computing” and “Web 2.0″ eras. Although there remains some closed systems, the software market is moving rapidly to open systems. This includes the use of open source middleware like MySQL, Linux, Hibernate that enables organizations to develop extensible and robust transaction systems. Middleware has become commoditized.

The Future of Open Systems

Government Resource Planning (GRP), transparency portals and enterprise software are transitioning to open systems. The next era will be characterized by:

  • Component-based Service-Oriented Architectures where applications can be assembled from Object Oriented components from different manufacturers.
  • Machine readable systems where applications will support domain industry standards, XML/Web services as a matter of course rather than explicit interfaces on monolithic architecture (what we call Monolithic Integration Architecture).
  • Deployment options for centralized, de-centralized, shared services, and hosted without compromising functional completeness or system flexibility.