A FAIR DAY’S WAGE

Colombia 2015 | TELECOMS & IT | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Jorge Camilo Bernal Martínez, President & CEO of Digital Ware, on more than two decades of operations, serving public institutions, and expansion to Ecuador and beyond.

What have been the greatest achievements of Digital Ware over its 23-year history?

Today Digital Ware has over 23 years in the market and over 250 direct employees, as well as some indirect employees. We have offices in Medellín and Quito as well. We have alliances with companies including PWC, Stefanini, Everis, and Inda. We have won various prizes in the country, including the recognition for being the 'Most Innovative Company in Colombia,' from Portafolio. That prize was awarded due to the range of our services, for security, government institutions, health, and in each one we have offered innovative solutions unlike any other IT company. In pension and payroll systems, for example, many of the largest companies in Colombia use the Kactus payroll system, which is one of our products. We are very visible in all of these segments. Our focus is medium to large companies, rather than SMEs, companies such as Compensar, Aviatur, Chevron, Mazda, Ecopetrol, and Oxy are all our clients, so we have an impressive portfolio of both domestic and international companies. Our focus back in 1992 was definitely on payroll systems. Since then, we have worked in developing other REPS systems. Large multinational companies from Mexico to Argentina have used our Kactus platform, which is a very robust system for managing complex payrolls with an increasing number of employees coming and going and working part-time. There are 30,000 employees in our Chamber of Law. All our products have been engineered with great care. We have a concept called Quebristica, where we apply to various tax regimes within companies. We also have a program called Ophelia that integrates the characteristics of the Seven and Kactus programs, which allows clients to conserve their investments and grow their client base. Our systems manage a mass of big data and work in a robust manner, requiring a high level of engineering. These systems have gradually evolved and become more perfect over the years, as we've worked with a greater range of clients.

Which of your solutions have seen the greatest commercial success since their introduction into the various industrial segments in which you work?

Over the past year, KACTUS-HCM has experienced a wealth of commercial success. I also mentioned earlier the success of HOSVITAL-HIS, which we developed thanks to our strategic alliance with PwC, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the world's largest consulting group.

Why do you think your software has been considered so innovative that it is used by a mass of public institutions, such as the National Directorate of Taxes and Customs (DIAN)?

After the DIAN's selection process, in which several software companies with extensive experience both nationally and internationally were invited, the Digital Ware KACTUS-HCM solution was chosen. Thus, a team from the DIAN and Digitalware worked together to mount KACTUS-HCM, which is the information system for human resources and payroll most widely implemented in the Colombian government. DIAN has made KACTUS-HCM one of its most effective processing tools, allowing it to optimize its processes and add value to the most important asset of this entity: its human capital. So far we have issued more than 10,000 certificates and 36,000 settlements in the period between July and October at the national level, this is possible thanks to the modules and applications of KACTUS-HCM: payroll, self-service, recruiting, selection, performance evaluation, and welfare related products.

You have offices in Quito today. Do you have other regional expansion plans?

For the past five years or so, Digital Ware has been developing strategies to expand its presence throughout America. Therefore, it has defined a model of partnerships to help expand its presence, leveraging our positioning in the local market by working closely with each of our partners with which we have signed agreements. As a result of this strategy, Digital Ware has signed an alliance with PwC at a regional level, to integrate into the practice of PwC Health Solutions and other Digital Ware products and services to other institutions to which PwC provides services. This alliance in its first phase will allow us to consolidate our presence in countries like Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. Digital Ware will therefore advance its strategy of expanding hand-in-hand with one of the largest health practice consultancy firms that exists worldwide.