FLYING HIGH

Colombia 2016 | TELECOMS & IT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Erick H. Cepeda, General Manager of SoftwareONE, on the company's investments in the past year, the importance of its Colombia operations, and the opportunities available in the local IT sector.

Erick H. Cepeda
BIOGRAPHY
Erick H. Cepeda has more than 18 years of experience leading sales, service, and marketing areas, with expertise in negotiation skills and strategic alliances implementation. His expertise has been developed in technology companies such as IBM, Lexmark, Intergroup, and SAS.

What factors have underscored SoftwareONE's performance in Colombia?

The talent and passion of our people is a critical factor. Our recruitment team in Colombia uses a refined process to ensure our employees are fully aligned with our organizational culture and Seven Core Values. We aim to create a fun place to work, and we provide flexible time shifts and opportunities for our people to be able to work from home or from other cities. The idea is to work hard but have fun; we believe this enables our people to bring their best selves to the job everyday. In addition to our company culture, our portfolio of products and services supports companies to be successful in other businesses and more efficient in their IT infrastructure in a way that goes hand-in-hand with their business needs and goals, providing a complete return on every dollar that they put into their technology capabilities. We have the tools and methodology to help IT professionals be successful in their business, mitigate their unique challenges, and fully realize their IT vision. SoftwareONE adapts its service delivery according to meet our clients' business needs.

What have been your main investments over the last year?

We have been investing in platforms and solutions such as PyraCloud, through which our clients can manage their entire global software portfolio through a single pane of glass. It integrates seamlessly with their internal ERP systems such as SAP, Oracle, or Ariba, as well as their Software Asset Management tools such as Snow or Flexera. What truly makes PyraCloud unique, however, is its ability to help organizations that have a Microsoft Azure deployment better forecast their resource and budget allocation to key business segments based on a usage trend analytics. In other words, just like with your phone bill, you can see which departments are using Azure the most, and budget for them accordingly. As one of Microsoft's premier partners, we offer end-to-end Advisory Services to help put all of this software and infrastructure in our PyraCloud platform so that our clients can analyze how much space they are using and what kind of contracts they have. We have invested more than $10 million in this platform worldwide and we are using scaled economies, developing the software from our corporation to deploy it around the world.

What services and solutions are most in demand in Colombia?

Every single IT manager, CFO, or COO seeks efficient solutions that allow them to do more with less money. Companies are cutting their budgets, their investments are constrained, and in some industries all investments are on hold. People measure every single dollar spent and evaluate how much value it generates for the business, while trimming costs that are considered superfluous. Our portfolio is in a great position right now to cope with the challenges that businesses are facing during this global economic downturn.

How important is Colombia within the global operations of SoftwareONE?

Colombia is an important market, and we are proud of that. We are one of the most efficient subsidiaries of SoftwareONE around the world, and we are ranked eighth worldwide and third in terms of efficiency. That is an important statement for us, as SoftwareONE is a multinational company with offices in 62 countries around the world that cover 145 countries on five continents.

What opportunities does the Colombian IT sector offer to international investors?

Creativity is an important asset that Colombians have. It is a highly creative and innovative sector and we are well prepared to offer services from Colombia to other countries. The government is investing a great deal of money to sign international agreements with other governments in Europe to generate knowledge, studies, and skills in order to grow in the IT industry, and Colombians are responding well to those new opportunities. There are excellent opportunities in this sector, and people in this country are well prepared to face global challenges and provide knowledge, talent, and services around the world.