We do our best to bring our innovations to Armenia

Vladimir Isaev, Charles McCathieNevile:

We do our best to bring our innovations to Armenia

PanARMENIAN.Net - Two representatives of Opera Software Charles McCathieNevile Chief Standards Officer and Vladimir Isaev Communications Manager recently visited Yerevan during BarCamp Yerevan 2011. They told PanARMENIAN.Net correspondent in an interview, how Opera makes money having free of charge products. Vladimir Isaev said he is impressed with the huge interest of Armenians to Opera.
How do you promote your browsers?
Vladimir Isaev - We attend events like BarCamp and talk about us. Actually, users are our promoters. The second thing is that it’s free. You don’t need to pay for it. For example, we didn’t do a marketing campaign in Armenia, but we still have here a 72% market share. It’s quite a lot.

What about the desktop Opera browser? Is it as popular as the mobile one?
Vladimir Isaev - It’s not as successful as mobile one but we do our best. There is a lot of innovation. Opera is specifically popular in CIS historically. We are not so successful in terms of user numbers and in terms of market share around the world, but again, this is what we are going to change. Now desktop Opera has 60 million users around the world while mobile has 150 million users. So it’s quite impressive to have more than 200 million users around.

How does Opera Software make money?
Charles McCathieNevile - We have two ways of making money. First one is that we sell software. For example, Airbus comes to us and says “We want Opera on airplanes”. We say “ok, we can do that” and we make software for them and they pay us.

The other way is advertising. A lot of companies like Google, Microsoft and Yandex pay for search traffic: when you have a little search box in your browser, they all pay to be there. We started the first partnership with Google ten years ago.

The other thing that we do more often is working with infrastructure people: network operators and owners. Opera Mini, mobile or desktop, actually does a lot of compression. It makes a network more efficient. If you’re using one tenth of the network capacity and the network can do ten times as much - that’s actually valuable to operators. They attract more internet users into the networks, because people understand that the internet will be faster and it’s really cheap because of the compression. So they are just saving on traffic and that’s one of the business models. They are saving money, we can work with them. We get part of it.

How do you evaluate IT sphere in Armenia?
Charles McCathieNevile - I’ve spent 15 hours in Armenia. The people that I’ve seen look smart; the BarCamp looks good. The healthy BarCamp means a healthy development community. And a healthy development community is usually doing a good job.

Vladimir Isaev – In Opera Mini statistics Armenia is in top countries in CIS, because users from Armenia view more pages on average. If Russia has 100 average page view per person, Armenia has almost 1400. And it’s the biggest result. That’s a question for me. We don’t know why this happens. In Belarus, it’s really understandable, because they have a lot of websites which are blocked by government and Opera Mini allows them to use proxy to go these websites just to avoid this blocking. It’s not like a promotion. We use these proxies just to make the web browsers faster and to make it work.

What plans do you have concerning Armenia?
Vladimir Isaev - We have some business cases coming in Armenia. That’s a partnership with local operators who suggest unlimited internet packages or special options if you browse internet through Opera Mini. Users get fast internet, operator saves the infrastructure just by optimizing it and we get revenue sharing. That’s our main business model in CIS now. We are in talks with operators to sign contracts. We can’t name the operator we are negotiating with but we will do an announcement soon.

Do you have something to add?
Vladimir Isaev - We are getting a warm welcome in Armenia as it is my second time here. Me and Charles are impressed. There is a huge interest to Opera in this small market share. We are ready to do our best to bring here our innovations.

Charles McCathieNevile - I’m here to talk about what people can develop. I want to see people using open technologies. I want the people here, who are going to develop applications, to make them really cool.

Lusine Paravyan / PanARMENIAN News
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