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20 years of Tinhvan: Stamp of a trailblazer

In Vietnam IT village, Tinhvan is one of few companies with the development history of over 20 years and many outstanding technology stamps as well as leading position in many technology trends and IT products such as: search engine, portal, security, library solution, HR solution, etc.

Talking about Tinhvan, Mr Nguyen Thanh Nam, former CEO of FPT said that Tinhvan was the most typical IT company in Vietnam. Although the trend has changed and other competitors has encroached on different markets, Tinhvan is still faithful to its core areas which are information technology, telecommunication, and creates countless useful products and services with its diligence and cleverness. Such vitality and enthusiasm can be retained by not many companies after all up and down in a long road. This July, on the occasion of Tinhvan’s 20 year anniversary of establishment, remarkable milestones of this company shall be mentioned hereunder.

Search Engine: Ahead of the Giant

The first stamp of Tinhvan to be mentioned is in search field with the search engine Vinaseek. Before Google expanded the search market in Vietnam, Vinaseek of Tinhvan had been considered as the strongest Vietnamese search engine with a record number of users. At that time, the Vietnamese encodings were not consistent, there were 20 different encodings coexisting, and the search engine of Altavista or Yahoo did not support Vietnamese script. Vinaseek completely solved these weaknesses. After a year of operation, Vinaseek created index database with 6 million Vietnamese websites, every day handled hundreds of thousands of search requests and become the default search box of hundreds of reputable websites in Vietnam.

20 năm, Tinh Vân, mở đường, công nghệ, Việt Nam,

Vietnamese search machine Xalo.vn was launched in 2008

Later, when Google started supporting Vietnamese search with Unicode encoding, and all websites in Vietnam agreed on general use of this encoding, Vinaseek was developed into Portal Xalo.vn with new strategy.

From Intranet to portal

Period before 1997, when Vietnam had not officially connected to the global Internet, technology lover had to temporarily use the small-scale computer which simulated Internet, used technology TCP/IP, dial-up and the web server which was called Intranet. In those days, Tinhvan built and developed two first intranet networks in Vietnam which were ITNet of the Steering Committee of National Programme for IT and Netlab network. In which, Netlab is one of the first forum in Vietnam despite its rudiment. Many people, for the first time, experienced “chat” online in Netlab with very special feeling, when those people around just had a smattering of email, or traditional mail.

Not stopping there, Tinhvan always discover and explore and renew itself. Because only a year later, when the website construction technology is extremely new to many Vietnamese people, where the programmer has to build a website from a static HTML page with a set of manually built utilities, Tinhvan has developed the solution software set Electronic PortalTVIS. Mr Hoang To, chairman of Tinhvan is the one who writes the first code lines for TVIS. After being developed by other Tinhvan’s experts, TVIS has become the number one portal solution in Vietnam and accounted for the largest market share in this segment. Up to now, TVIS has been widely deployed for various ministries, Government agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government Information Portal (chinhphu.vn), the National Assembly Portal, portal of the Ministries, Departments and many large cities (Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Thai Binh, etc). It can be seen that TVIS reflects the market need and Tinhvan once again demonstrates the ability to anticipate user’s need and technology trend of the future.

Pioneering professional software solutions

While as for many other Vietnamese IT enterprises, giving birth to a professional solution “child” is something quite difficult, Tinhvan is the pioneer who owns a lot of number one business software solutions in Vietnam, typical of which is the Solution electronic Library –digital Library Libol.

Before 1998, common and unique library software in Vietnam was CDS / ISIS (a free product of UNESCO), with two versions on DOS and Windows, mainly for librarians. Library users still had to look up library books on posters, and most of the daily library operations was not computerized. Meanwhile, Tinhvan’s Libol built a whole new vision for that time. It was to build a general solution for management of all operational activities in the library rather than merely document management and especially bringing library on the Internet to serve readers as a digital library. This is what Vietnam library sector has never thought of.

Libol’s popularity for library sector was so large that in the period of the 2000s, Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hanoi was dubbed as «Libol City» because on this street, there were 6 organizations using digital library solution of Tinhvan. Currently Libol still accounts for over 60% market share in software libraries nationwide, grossing tens of billions each year for Tinhvan.

Another area of ​​potential solution that Tinhvan is also a pioneer is the solution of human resource management HiStaff. Originally HiStaff is offered upon the order of a big company which is Unilever Vietnam. After only a short time, HiStaff has quickly become the preferred solution in many leading enterprises in Vietnam such as Techcombank, Maritime Bank, Honda Vietnam, Vinamilk, Pepsico, Phu Thai, ect.And, of course, HiStaff has paved the way for a new market – the market for HR solutions with the participation of other names in IT village. But as the pioneer, HiStaff still leaves its own mark as the market share leader in HR management software in Vietnam with annual revenue of millions of dollars.

From 2002 to 2007, Tinhvan continuously released different software solutions such as University Management Solution Union, Storage Management Solution eFile, Asset Management Solution Qualita, Online Training SolutionClever, Test Bank and Multiple Choice Test Solution OmegaTest, English – Vietnamese Automatic Translation Solution Davit, etc. They are all massive software solutions, with high complexity and the first solutions developed and marketed by a Vietnamese company.

Mission of the pioneer

Talking about Tinhvan, people usually compare Tinhvan as a typical example of scientists doing business, somewhere with implication for the ideality. And the “ideality” flow is like Tinhvan people’s “nature” of in research and development activities, where recently Tinhvan once again has become the pioneer in the field of digital textbook. Derived from very simple idea, putting all the heavy textbooks on student’s shoulders in a thin and light tablet. This is what Vietnamese parents having their children attending school desire for and dream about a renovation of book burden over the past ten years. According to Vietnam educators in terms of Digital textbook’s significance Classbook, it is certainly an inevitable trend of the future and this is a meaningful innovation landmark to Vietnam’s education.

20 năm, Tinh Vân, mở đường, công nghệ, Việt Nam,

Digital Textbook Classbook was introduced in the 55th anniversary of establishing Vietnamese Education Publishing House

Regarding the story about company development over last 20 years and the development strategy in the future, Mr. Hoang To, Chairman and CEO of Tinhvan said: “As for me, over last 20 years, Tinhvan initially accumulated and confirmed the creation of a pioneering company in the market. Tinhvan will a keep the spirit of a start-up company with all good qualities such as passion, independence, enthusiasm, ambition, aspiration, always with full of daring creative ideas. Since 2014, the Board of Directors of Tinhvan has established strategy “Go Global”, strongly getting out of the domestic market with the determination to seek greater opportunities in new horizons.”

In the context of economic difficulties, many large businesses in IT village, mostly in services, outsourcing are lack of core products, a business like Tinhvan is indeed an admirable highlight. With 20 years of development, with the mission of a pioneer in many important fields, it is believed that Tinhvan will soon lead in many important sectors in Vietnam’s technology market, and with the strategy of “Go Global”, Tinhvan will strongly enter the global market.

(According to Dan Tri)