Sun | Dec 4, 2022

PBS partners with Google on education project

Published:Sunday | September 25, 2022 | 12:09 AM

In this September 18, 2018 file photo, Chairman of Productive Business Solutions Paul Scott (left) consults with CEO Pedro Parris.
In this September 18, 2018 file photo, Chairman of Productive Business Solutions Paul Scott (left) consults with CEO Pedro Parris.

Technology provider Productive Business Solutions Limited said Friday that it had a regional partnership with Google, one of several projects undertaken this year.

“We are privileged to represent Google,” said PBS Chairman Paul ‘PB’ Scott in response to a query regarding education initiatives at the company’s annual general meeting in Kingston.

“Google is at the forefront of that revolution. We are lucky and privileged to work with them in Central America to implement a lot of solutions. It has to be holistic. You cannot just hand out tablets to people and think that’s technology. You need to have an ecosystem that’s sustainable and that’s global,” Scott said

Most persons use Google for search, mail, documents, and YouTube streaming. The American company also offers Google Workspace and Google Classroom as products for education.

“People use Google every day in life. That’s just a reality,” said Scott.

The key projects for 2022 recently completed by PBS include Google Workspace for the Ministry of Education in El Salvador, DGII Cisco in the Dominican Republic, 50,000 computers for El Salvador, and technology upgrade at Punta Cana Airport in the Dominican Republic.

Ongoing projects include HCM software for a national bank in Costa Rica, Oracle software licence agreements for banks in Honduras and El Salvador, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago.

PBS forecasts that its annual revenue will grow by one-third to US$300 million in 2022 from US$224 million last year. It also forecasts that net profit will grow by four-fifths to US$10 million from US$5.6 million.

PBS distributes and maintains Xerox and other business-to-business technologies in the Caribbean and Central America. Its dealing are with companies, organisations, and governments.

Many of the brands it represents are household names, but PBS itself remains largely unknown to consumers.

“Even without PBS being highly visible for some, we still generate US$1 million in a working day,” said CEO Pedro Paris in his address at the annual general meeting. “PBS is going in the right direction. It has an upward trajectory and has a fantastic platform for continued growth,” he said.

Paris added that the pace of growth since the pandemic resulted in the company requiring more funds to finance the business. Consequently, PBS approached the market with two preference share offers that raised over $2.7 billion. The offers were oversubscribed and closed on September 9.

Productive Business Solutions, a member of the Jamaican-owned Musson Group, operates offices in 20 countries in the region with 2,111 employees, up from 1,600 in 2020.

Paris said the company has engaged in various educational projects since the pandemic, including the distribution of 26,000 tablets and 800 desktop computers in Jamaica; 69,000 tablets and 2,700 interactive assistants in Guatemala; 1.6 million textbooks printed for the Government of Panama, along with Wi-Fi access; 500 tablets for Honduras; and PBS and Google deployment of Teamwork virtual classrooms in Costa Rica.

“These projects may change the lives of 15 million young people,” Paris said.

Since the pandemic, the company’s holdings have grown substantially due mainly to the September 2021 acquisition of a regional business, PBS Technology Group Limited, formerly Massy Technologies Limited. The acquisition added new markets and scale and shifted the product mix further towards enterprise information technology, communications, and advanced services, PBS said.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com