In this interview, we’re discussing some peculiarities of doing IT business in Indonesia with our local partner, Michael Chandra from Askarasoft, where he also shares how the 1C:Enterprise platform can be used to better meet the clients’ requirements.

Michael, so you are one of the 1Ci partners and you are also a Bitrix partner in Indonesia. Could you please tell us a little bit more about yourself?

Yeah, sure. I represent the CRM provider. In our early days, we cooperated with Bitrix International to promote or distribute CRM solutions. At the moment, we have multiple clients ranging from small and medium to large enterprises with thousands of users. We accommodate collaboration platforms, CRM and task and project management to help them make their business processes easier. We also expand our product in the e-learning sections and web security. And now we are partnering as well with 1C to provide ERP solutions.

Thank you so much for this introduction. Why did you decide to cooperate with Bitrix for providing CRM solutions to your clients?

Well, the first reason is because they integrate multiple functions into one single system. We already know a lot of CRM players out there, but they only focus on customer relationship management. But Bitrix also integrates tasks and projects, collaboration tools, and inventory management, including CRM. So all end-to-end processes of our clients can be accommodated in a Bitrix platform, except the finance module.

The second thing is that they provide partners with adequate training and they have a very good commission for a partner or reseller of up to 50 percent. Besides, their pricing is pretty affordable for the Indonesian market.

I see. How long have you been partners with Bitrix?

Since 2017, I think. It’s almost 6 years, right?

Yes, so it's quite a long time. Why did you choose to expand your business by offering ERP integrations?

We believe that CRM and ERP are connected, and we chose to expand our business in ERP because there were certain unmet client needs. We had a gap in our system, and while we were able to accommodate their sales module, when they asked for a finance module, we didn't have it in metrics.

And so we were looking for a partner to fill those gaps. The client asked for a platform that is easy to develop, can be deployed on-premise and can be modified or sampled.

So we examined plenty of solutions. We looked into Zero, QuickBooks, SAP, Epicore, etc. In the end, we chose 1Ci as our partner due to their flexibility in terms of development, their licensing model, and of course, the commission they offer to resellers as well is pretty good for us.  

So could you please tell us what the most challenging things in your work in Indonesia are and if you think they can be tackled by using this ERP from 1Ci.

The first challenge mostly concerns documentation. For example, Bitrix didn’t have a detailed documentation repository until recently when they developed that. So the first challenge was the documentation.

The second one was to suit features to customer needs in Indonesia. We have a different tax scheme, we have different processes, for example, early payment discount is not very widespread here in Indonesia. And there is a direct debit mandate, which is also not very common in Indonesia, but I think it's very popular in Europe. So those are some features we needed to explain to our client, specifying what the benefit of using them was.

Another thing that's pretty challenging is that the out-of-box features and modules are not really 100% suited to the Indonesian market. So we needed to do some modifications on that.

When it comes to advantages, with 1Ci we have a 1C:Enterprise platform, which we can use to do modifications to suit our needs. It is low code and we can deploy faster. Besides, we are provided with the developer course, so we can actually study how to modify the systems and how to configure them. So even though we might have some challenges in terms of the system capability and the fitness of some modules to the Indonesian market, we still can adjust that and the 1Ci team can assist us in the development process.

So, you are now in a project with one of the clients. Could you please share with us how the project has been going and what kind of project this is?

Sure. So, we have actually two running projects at the moment. Both of them are distribution companies. And so far, they have tried implementing the 1C:Drive with the entire functionality and features.

And of course, there have been different challenges during the implementation. For example, when we were doing some text calculations they wanted that discount per item to be made by the amount and not by percentage. And they also needed some additional modules such as a QR code for the goods receipt process.

They already used accounting systems previously and they wanted to compare that with what 1Ci offers. They wanted to make the process similar to their previous one and so we tried to accommodate some of their needs, especially if it was mandatory to comply with the regulations in Indonesia.

And we also have a cooperation with the 1C-Forus team. So when we are having some difficulties, aside from what we request in the ticketing systems, we can ask the 1Ci team to help us develop those modules by conducting some tutorials or workshops.

So the challenge mostly concerns the familiarization with the new system and with the law regulations in Asia. Some of them only require some minor adjustments, but some of them require major core modifications. And so far we have been able to do that with the help of  1Ci partners and the ticketing system as well.

Alright, so when will this project be implemented?

This project is expected to launch in August or September. So we are still in the process of development, including some requirements and reports that they want us to develop. So we expect this to be completed by August.

Could you please share with us one or two sentences about your experience as a 1Ci partner?

Okay, regarding the 1C:Enterprise platform and the technology that is used, I think it's very helpful for us because it is almost a no-code platform, so the development is much easier and much faster if the customer needs some modification. So I pretty much like the platform.

Regarding the cooperation with 1Ci, so far the support team has been pretty good in terms of the response rate. And we also have a 1C-Forus  as a partner, that was referred to us by the 1Ci team, because we had a challenge that we couldn’t solve with our limited resources since we are still learning how to use the new platform. The 1C-Forus has been pretty helpful. And also we have a local partner in Indonesia — that is, the 1Ci country manager. So that's really good for us.

Thank you so much, Michael, for your time today. Have a great day.

Okay, thank you very much.