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The History Of RUSSOFT

    "The creation of RUSSOFT was heralded by significant changes in the global IT industry. Russia has now emerged as a creditable and mature, competitive IT nation, particularly in the fields of Science and Research & Development of software consumables. It would be fair to say that we now possess new and innovative advancements which easily bring us abreast of other international Information Technology competitors. Within a time period of just four years we have evolved from being an initial union of a mere dozen St-Petersburg-based companies, to a Multi-National Association, an acknowledged leader in the sphere of Russian-language based talking software".

    Valentin Makarov
    President - RUSSOFT
RUSSOFT is an association of leading companies working in the field of software development, with members from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Established in St-Petersburg on September 9th 1999 as the consortium "Fort-Ross", the organization changed it's name to RUSSOFT in September 2004, after having merged successfully with the National Software Development Association (NSDA). The President of RUSSOFT is Mr.Valentin Makarov.

RUSSOFT has proven to be the very first successful amalgamation of software businesses from within the territories of the former Soviet Union. It also continues to be the most experienced and well-known, both in Russia and in the global market because of its many activities and objectives which are all being targeted at the consolidation and promotion of the Russian-speaking software development industry worldwide.

A multitude of international marketing events have been successfully organized by Fort Ross (RUSSOFT) annually in Europe (Scandinavia, Germany and Britain) and in major American IT centres (New England, California and New York). We have organized Russian national stands at the most prestigious exhibitions including CeBIT (2001-2005), Comdex-Scandinavia (2002-2003), OutsourceWorld London (2002) and OutsourceWorld New York (2003). Road shows and matchmaking sessions (Germany, Sweden, Finland, USA) were also arranged by Fort-Ross in 2001-2005.

In St-Petersburg, in June each year since 2001, RUSSOFT (formerly Fort-Ross) has organized R.O.S.S. - or the 'Russian Outsourcing and Software Summit' (prior to 2005 it was called the 'Software Outsourcing Summit'). It is one of the largest events in the field of IT outsourcing and software development in Eastern Europe. Hundreds of official guests, industry leaders, customers, service providers, the media and political figures come to the 'Venice of the North of Russia' for the purpose of visiting it.

The first Russian CIO Summit was organized in 2003 and is now a "must" for every manager at CIO level. The concept of the conference is a forum to discuss the main problems and the way forward for the Russian software market from the customers' point of view - All sectors of business are represented, big, medium and small, along with representatives from ministries and regional administrations.

In Autumn 2004 the first Baltic IT Cruise was organized and was a great success. Now it is a unique meeting place for CEOs and CIOs of companies from around the Baltic Sea who would like to learn more about the IT resources available from the other side of the water.

We have built up beneficial cooperative relationships with similar organizations from across the Globe. Protocols and Memorandums of partnership agreements have been signed with leading IT Associations from many different parts of the World, including 4 IT Associations from New England (the Massachusetts Software Council, the Connecticut Technology Council, the Software Association of New Hampshire and Vermont Chamber of Commerce). KISA (Kansai Information Systems Association, Japan), AEII (the Association of Electronics and Information Industries, Israel) and International and National IT Associations from the USA and Germany, Scandinavian countries such as Finland, Great Britain, Austria and many others, have joined us in partnership for the purpose of carrying out projects.

In 2003 RUSSOFT (then - Fort Ross) received the status of "Expert-Partner" to the FASIE (Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises, which is owned by the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia) in its START program (investing in start-up companies in the field of high-technology).

In November 2003 RUSSOFT (then - Fort Ross) joined APKIT (the National Computer and IT Industry Association). The same month APKIT was admitted into the World IT and services Association (WITSA) thus providing RUSSOFT with access to the International IT Community. RUSSOFT still shoulders a great responsibility for export-related areas, being the core of the APKIT Committee in software development and export. Being an integral part of APKIT, RUSSOFT also has partnership relations with BITKOM Association (Germany).

Through APKIT, RUSSOFT maintains active contacts with all the major Ministries responsible for the development of the IT industry within Russia. In 2003 RUSSOFT was the major contractor in a team which successfully tendered for a contract from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade under the "E-Russia" Program.

In 2004 RUSSOFT contributed greatly in the formulation of the export-related measures contained in the "Conception of the Russian IT market Development". The Conception was created by APKIT and was finally adopted by the Government on November 18th 2004, thus becoming the turning point in the process of creating partnership between IT Community and the Government.

2004 also saw Fort Ross initiating a joint project with the CNews Agency regarding the organization of regular software outsourcing market studies in Russia. The results of the Russian export software market survey were published in 2004. An objective estimate of Russian software export had become available. The problems and prospects of the market have were also examined and subsequently given consideration during the Conception of the Russian IT market development.

During 2004-2005 RUSSOFT and its members have undertaken several projects of IT-parks development in Moscow, St Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Nizhny Novgorod areas. All these projects are focused on the creation of a modern infrastructure for development of the industry.

In September 2004, after merging with NSDA and changing name, RUSSOFT put its commercial activities aside and concentrated them on a separate commercial entity called "Fort Ross" which was majority-owned by the Consortium itself. Thus RUSSOFT will continue to lobby the Government and to run the PR campaign, leaving "Fort Ross" to organize international events and to conduct direct marketing activities.

We began in 1999 with just 10 companies from St Petersburg. RUSSOFT now consists of more than 75 companies with over 7000 highly qualified software developers, all of whom have accumulated vast experience in a broad range of applications and technical platforms.

We are not merely an organization of separate entities. Having, as we do now, more than 6 years of valuable experience, we form a coherent combination of professional service and products providers who together are able to provide effective solutions to the Global market, in every area of IT.