Translated by
Sviridenko Andrey Vladimirovich

Professional biography

Andrey Sviridenko finished VMK MSU with the diploma with honors.

In 1991 the ASKER software product developed by Andrey Sviridenko together with the classmate was purchased by the German firm GTS Group GmbH. The amount of the license was the start capital of SPIRIT.

The Russian company SPIRIT founded by Sviridenko in 1992 began to be engaged in development and promotion of the Russian software products and technologies abroad. From the moment of the basis and still SPIRIT nearly 100% the exporter are, delivering the products of a world class telecommunication, software and to the Internet companies, leaders of the world technology industry and also world telecom operators.

Today the SPIRIT group is the developer leading in the world and the licensor of software products in the field of Voice and Video over IP and Internet video telephony. Clients of SPIRIT are more than 250 largest global manufacturers of the communication equipment and software, including more than 30 companies clients from the list of Fortune-500. In December, 2007 the SPIRIT company was included into top ten of the world market of Internet telephony according to the American analytical edition FierceVoIP. In a company asset more than 20 prestigious world awards Product of Year for quality and innovation of software products of SPIRIT.

Sviridenko is an active participant of different professional communities as Russian (Russoft, ARPP, APEAP), and international (as US-RBC, etc.), the member of the intergovernmental working groups in the field of telecommunications, software and high technologies in about ten different countries, he is a frequent guest and the speaker at the known international and Russian professional forums.

Andrey Sviridenko is also the founder of companies, the SaaS developer of services for multipoint Internet video conferences, SeeStorm developing the innovative technologies in the field of synthetic 3D video, and SPIRIT Telecom which is engaged in the GLONASS GPS in software and designs, KV and satellite communication since 1995.

The SPIRIT group conducting the activity in international market of software 18 years is engaged in development and licensing of hi-tech software products for conference communication, speech processing and video. Among clients of SPIRIT there are such leaders of the world telecommunication market as Apple, Adobe, ARM, AT&T, Blizzard, BT, China Mobile, Cisco, Ericsson, HP, HTC, Huawei, Korea Telecom, Kyocera, LG, Microsoft, NEC, Oracle, Polycom, Radvision, Samsung, Skype, Texas Instruments, Toshiba, Veraz, ZTE and more than 250 other producers of telecommunication equipment and the software and also the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and Presidential Administration.

Direct clients of SPIRIT control more than 60% of the world market of smartphones. Software of SPIRIT provides more than 200 million communication channels in 80 countries of the world.

2012: A performance against domination of foreign suppliers

In October, 2012 Andrey Sviridenko in the report on expert advice FULL FACE announced monopolization of the Russian market IT solutions of the American suppliers. This situation, according to him, is supported by domestic integrators and distributors, "paying unscrupulous officials high rollbacks". For change of the developed Sviridenko's order proposed a number of measures. The complete text of the report is included below.

The world software market is captured by monopolists. Such companies as Microsoft, Google, Cisco-Webex, Apple, etc. - everyone occupies more than 60% of the world market in the product niches which are extremely wide, and constantly grow. The USA actually supports world expansion of the technology monopolists, but does not fight against it. Europe goes in a channel of the USA, and only state-regulated China tries to build the own and independent system of national hi-tech producers that is absolutely necessary for information security and technology independence of the country in the modern information world.

As it is well known, it is impossible to fight against monopolism by market methods, on the contrary, public market (including the WTO) is arranged so that supports and strengthens the developed monopolist. It is possible to prevent and limit monopolism only to competent state regulation.

Software monopolism is even more terrible and stronger than monopolism in other areas because the cost of replication of software products is equal 0, is not present the minimum manufacturing cost. It allows the monopolist to distribute at first the product for free to kill all competitors, and then when the market is completely taken, to quote on the product any prices (or conditions that it is sometimes in addition more important than money and it is more dangerous) in lack of any real alternative. Free cheese, as we know, happens only in the mousetrap. World monopolists with great success place the whole world on a needle of the free products to dictate the terms, and to earn tens of billions of dollars from adjacent or connected products.

For example free open Android OS for mobile devices already became the world leader in a market share, and has in fact the only purpose – to advance search, etc. products of Google which bring a basic income, on mobile platforms, and to maintain world search monopoly of Google. The same with the popular free Google Chrome browser.

Each of the companies Microsoft Google, Cisco-Webex, Apple not only already has extremely wide product lines which cover practically all real needs of users, but also actively and constantly expand the product lines, way and own developments for which billions of dollars, and purchases of the American startups are spent. All clear reasonable product niches are already occupied, all basic needs of users are already covered, products of foreign monopolists. The state, as we know, is not engaged in technology experiments, and buys only the known products for clear requirements.

The destiny of the innovation startups with the American venture funding – narrow side niches, tests of new technologies, and their destiny - or to be ruined within the first 2 years (9 of 10), or to be the purchased world leader (1 of 10), startups have no other real alternatives. Informative and systematic exits of domestic investors (exit) from the innovation startups without the American venture funding are not known at present and even their practical opportunity raises great doubts at experts.

For the last 20 years we did not see other good options of development and growth for not the American startups worldwide. Examples of progress of IPO Google and Facebook are not applicable to startups in Russia at all, on the contrary it is examples of support by the American investors and the state of USA of own monopolists. The Skype company is a rare example of the European startup which was purchased by the American leading company for money more than normal hundreds of of millions couple of dollars. And purchase of a perspective technology startup for $200 million is a change for the monopolist with market capitalization more than $200 billion.

California aggressively and very successfully vacuums long ago the best brains from around the world. Cases of purchases of the Russian software startups by the American technology leaders for the last 20 years are practically not known at all. To receive the venture funding from Silicon Valley, the founder of the company and the CEO, a key command of developer firm, all technologies (intellectual property) and financial flows should be in California, at distance of at most 40 minutes drive by the machine from the venture investor (this requirement of the investing funds). Only R&D the command can remain in Russia. Attracting the venture funding, all perspective startups, including with R&D in the territory of Russia, very quickly become American on structure of property.

All Russian Internet in the last 15 years was busy with the most part copying of foreign products and business models, and gave rise to not enough unique and new. In Russia for the last 20 years world software monopolists also took all command heights. Numerous domestic system integrators and distributors start working hundreds of millions dollars, selling to our state and the companies foreign software, and paying unscrupulous officials high rollbacks. The purchasing amount of foreign software products state bodies and the companies in Russia exceeds $2 billion a year.

As the officials and persons making decisions in large purchasers well are also fed in advance up by local partners of the leading foreign software vendors, at emergence of competitive Russian vendor which is always significantly less by the size and turnover, than the world monopolist, cut it from tender at a stage of drawing up technical requirements, on the basis of allegedly insufficient functionality of a domestic product.

Thus, in tender on FZ-94 case does not reach price competition, and significantly more expensive foreign product with a brand is bought, rollbacks on it are significantly higher, and to a name of the world leader and to wide functionality of a product there are no claims. The domestic manufacturer, by his discharge from financial flows of state procurements, by non-admission to tenders is so killed. At the same time the excess product functionality of the world monopolist at significantly higher price is often really not necessary to the customer (as you know 80% of requirements become covered by 20% of functionality), and is used only for cutting off of potential competitors with lower price, for receiving higher rollbacks by the interested corrupted buyers.

Domestic software product companies, with turnover as a rule less than $100 million (domestic developers with big turnover can be considered on fingers of one hand), cannot just compete on the width of product functionality with world monopolists with turnover more than $30 billion everyone. Without having even opportunities to participate in tenders, domestic software manufacturers do not receive money, and have no chances to catch up with world monopolists on functionality, even in the market of own country.

20 years ago many domestic software companies became exporters, not from good life but only because other demand (within the country) for our products and services was not. But 5 years ago price advantage of the Russian programmers was lost. Today ZP of developers continue to grow promptly, long ago overtook ZP of Hindus and Chinese, and today are at the pay level of the European programmers. The number of the qualified developers decreases in connection with deterioration in demographic country situation and falling of prestige of technical professions. The youth sees for itself warm places of employees large and goskompniya, but not domestic technology innovators.

Today new domestic developer firms just have no chances quickly and successfully to export the products and services, for this purpose they have neither money, nor experience of international sales and marketing. Practically all investment funds which offer domestic startups of smart-money and experience are money of foreign investors which just buys up the Russian talents on a root, i.e. at the bottom price.

By that moment as the domestic developer spent $10 million and 3 years for creation of a new product, the world monopolist already spent more than $100 million on a similar rival product, or purchased the American startup which did such advanced technology for couple of hundreds of millions of dollars.

As a result there are only several domestic software product companies which achieved informative success in export on foreign markets because these companies always worked in niches where Microsoft did not work, and all were created 20 years ago using price and technology advantage of domestic programmers which disappeared today. The new strong technology software companies in Russia in the last 10 years practically did not arise. Only several domestic product companies which achieved informative success in a share of domestic market arose more than 12 years ago when Google was not monopolist, more precisely Google then still did not exist as the company at all.

Without intervention of the regulator, the state, it is impossible to win against world monopolism (Russia) a public sector by purely market methods, and the Russian software companies, despite a good education system, institutes of development, tax benefits, grants from funds, etc. will be doomed to be on the distant periphery of the technology markets and products, even in a public sector, even in the own country.

Institutes of development, venture investors, the system of grants and funds it is necessary, but is not sufficient because these important tools do not create demand for the innovation software product within the country.

Only the state can create demand for competitive domestic software products. And state expenditure within the country as you know are the main the driver of growth of economy of Russia.

Offers on fight against monopolism in a public sector in the Russian Federation

1. Develop the exact mechanism real (but not on paper) participation in state procurements of the competitive domestic software companies. For example, to demand that at least 1 domestic manufacturer participated in any state tender for the procurement of software provided that in this product niche competitive domestic manufacturers are (the centers of software examination in Russia are not in all product niches, and it does not make sense to do a domestic analog of Windows or Word OS just). Ministry or other state agency of m b. the holder of the register of competitive domestic manufacturers and their product niches, by analogy with accreditation of software makers for receiving tax benefits.

2. Develop the exact mechanism of coercion to obligatory export for the domestic software companies with turnover more than $ХХХ one million and market shares in the product niche in Russia more than XX % and a share of state clients in turnover of the company more than XX % which got support at state procurements earlier.

3. It is active to domestic software associations to support by the specific actions Vladimir Putin's solution of 2/17/2012 (protocol VP-P10-4pr, point 4) to oblige all public authorities to keep public statistics of a share of purchases of domestic and foreign software, and to help the responsible ministries (The Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications and the Ministry of Finance) to work actively on its fast and practical enforcement in 2012[1]