The Red.es Digital Kit for the Digitalisierung of Small Enterprises in our country is becoming a bureaucratic ball, with already more victims than beneficiaries. It all started in March, when the first companies that could provide digital solutions to small entrepreneurs were approved, the so-called Digitizing Agents.
Today reports that in Spain, 2,935,000 small enterprises and around 100,000 bonds will be formed. The first and second sections (the largest firms) would have already been able to request their bonus, while the smallest segment (between one and two workers) would be absent.
It is certainly a huge amount of information and a significant volume of work. It appears that the Administration had already warned that they would pay two months after the work justification was verified. But some Digitizing Agents, who already submitted the receipts in June, have yet to receive them; others have yet to receive validation three months later.
Tono Mestre, the founding partner of the consultancy Innóvate 4.0 and a collaborator at Fandit, has already warned that the payment would not be immediate. The first payments are expected in October, which would already be tardy.
"One of the difficulties of Digitizing Agents is the difference between the implementation of solutions and the effective collection of such works." "Companies are used to charging even before they do the work, but you also have to realize that they have expenses and personnel to support and cannot afford to go four or five months without being paid."
Mestre says that Red.es would have signed deals with banks to secure ICO financing lines in this regard and advance the bond money. Therefore, although it appears that the agreement is already signed, it is the ICO that has to sign with the banks, but nobody knows whether additional agreements will be required or «if the ones they already have in place for the rest of the lines are useful».
The problem with this is that not only are such lines nowhere to be found, but many firms are reluctant to sign a credit for these characteristics. "At least it is a way to be able to pay the bills more quickly, until bond money arrives," Mestre adds.
Although the Administration has already warned that this "it was not sew and sing," companies are aware of the volume of work, it is evident that there are several bottlenecks. According to Tono Mestre, the latter is a "black hole" for which the procedures and waiting times are unknown, although it is crucial for companies to begin charging.
We have spoken with some of the Digitizing Agents to understand their opinions on a project that, a priori, appeared to be quite exciting, but for which results have not yet been seen. Flxa365.com, its CEO, describes the aid process as "inefficiency." This SME, which provides Microsoft cloud solutions, has told us that they are waiting months for the validation of their justifications.
«We'll get paid on the first day,' they say, acknowledging that the program's complexity is quite overwhelming, but the worst thing is not knowing when you'll get paid. «The best thing would have been to provide direct assistance to clients, although they would later have to justify it.« Regarding ICO aid, no one informed them that "He has reported nothing."
Sources from JAN TelecomDigitizer Agent, a company specialising in data transmission, voice, and security, say that all of this is a "unease" and that they appear to be in some sort of 'limbo.' Your particular situation is also a validation wait of their offers, in which considering an ICO loan seems "bread for today" and "hunger for tomorrow."
During this long wait, certain rumors are heard in the gossips of IT companies that the money might already be invested in "great Digitizing Agents." «So the SMEs that have signed up are not going to see the benefit of this assistance either. » In the end, "much expectation has been created and it has generated a lot of effort for us to have no return ».
EuskoData, a digital agency providing software and technological solutions for all kinds of businesses, has issued a bonus in June, but they are still waiting for payment. Moreover, they do not intend to apply for an ICO loan, precisely because of many entrepreneurs' concerns about obtaining the money through this channel as well. "We do not believe that simplicity is a problem, since these loans are very necessary, but they must be flexible in time and simplify the processing."
Euskodata, like many other ICT companies, approved the Digital Kit program with a lot of enthusiasm: "It was presented as a good opportunity for the digitizing agent to make money, but the technical requirements of some of the items make little sense, so there are projects that the client wants to tackle that do not fit into any of the items. And they have taken too long to publish and respond to requests, resulting in a delay in the start of projects."
«In addition, there is not enough information to assist us in guiding some customer operations. Too much administrative and financial burden also falls on digitizing agents, who in the end have to dedicate an additional effort to the justification and many times without being able to pass it on. This is without counting on the requirements of having a website, obviously, where a series of requirements and the entire structure are collected, which has meant a very significant cost, and that finally we do not know whether or not we will recover it.»
Anything else optimistic There are the businesses that have begun their journey in the second segment, that is, at the beginning of September. They think that for them, the application process for the Digital Kit on Red.es is straightforward and straightforward. (...) The ICO solution is interesting.
Discom, which is also a partner of NFON, has not received any payment, although they understand «it is still early with validations of the beginning of summer.« They also believe it is beneficial for ICO loans to be implemented. «The solvent company must have lungs for that and much more».