Dice targets Latin America

Monday, July 1, 2002

ESSEXVILLE, Mich.-To go after what company officials estimate is a huge demand for GPS and other personal location services, Dice Corp. has opened an office in Houston and hired a salesman fluent in many of the Latin American languages to tackle new territory in Latin America.

Dice already has its automation software installed in five locations throughout Latin and South America, most notably at the central station of Santiago, Chile-based Telemergencia. The Chilean security company is the security arm of Telefonica, a telephone company that services more than 35 million subscribers in Chile and in Spain, said Cliff Dice, president and chief executive officer of the automation software company.

The opening of the new Houston office follows a movement by the company over the past year to develop a customer base in the Spanish speaking countries. The company has also been translating its product language, sales literature and other communications into Spanish. Dice has also contracted with a southern Texas central station to handle support calls in Spanish and also has a Spanish-speaking project manager located in Dallas.

"We see (Latin America) becoming a large percentage of our business," Dice said. While ADT has a large presence there, "there are a lot of independents starting up to compete with them and that's where we compete. We've been supplying those independents with software."

Compared to its presence in the U.S., where about five million accounts are being monitoring through his software, Dice said, the company has barely scratched the surface, with only a few hundred thousand accounts under its belt.

Marcos Lozano, key account manager for the company's sales expansion in Latin America, said the company hasn't yet begun to target the new market with advertising or any other marketing, but plans to attend Latin American trade shows to expand its presence in the market.

"It's such a wide open market in South America," Lozano said.

Over the next year and a half, Dice is also developing a comprehensive map of the Latin American Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) areas which will allow its software to automatically detect which public safety jurisdiction to report an alarm.

The company already has customers in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and another in Chile.