THE RIGHT KIND OF PAPER TRAIL

Colombia 2019 | TELECOMS & IT | INTERVIEW

Prioritizing clients' needs in every corner of the country has been key to ARUS' remarkable recent success.

Maria Claudia Rey
BIOGRAPHY
Maria Claudia Rey is an economist from the Universidad Javeriana with a specialization in corporate finance and extensive experience in general, financial, and administrative management, as well as leading commercial and operations areas. Passionate about service and the development of new businesses, she is responsible for the direction and legal representation of ARUS, establishing the strategy and general policies that will govern the company. She is also in charge of the charting the company’s short- and long-term growth.

What can you tell us about the merger that led to the creation of Arus?
ARUS is the result of two very interesting organizations. On the one hand, Enlace Operativo came as an exercise in innovation in the area of labor risk management for Sura, whose chief aim was to facilitate data entry for payments and updates for companies' social security policies. On the other hand, Compuredes was born 35 years ago from a group of friends who decided to venture into the market of computer sales and network design. In 2016, both companies were merged into ARUS as a way to further spearhead innovation in our country. The merger allowed us to uncover a transformation path that has led us to consolidate our portfolio in order to provide our clients a truly revolutionary set of services. We take pride in making use of groundbreaking technology to propel our mission of supporting our clients in their digital transformation.

ARUS ended 2018 with a revenue of COP250 billion (USD77.9 million). How did it achieve this?
Our main focus was to include cutting edge products in our service portfolio. Partnerships with established providers in cloud computing, machine learning, and robotic process automation also resulted in more than USD3 million in investments to update our existing services, which played an enormous part in our success. Additionally, we solidified our philosophy as a tech company that centers itself on the client experience with our services. We have focused on achieving this through partners and collaborators that share our commitment to speeding up transformation. When it comes to our PILA services (online transactional social security services), we have migrated to a digital experience for our clients. Understanding that Colombian labor has evolved and the independent worker has become more prevalent, we have committed to making payment tools more accessible and simple than ever before.

ARUS' broad service portfolio includes tech solutions and ITO-BPO services. What role do your different lines of business play in your firm's overall portfolio?
ARUS has four major lines to our portfolio, the first of which is outsourcing corporate tech solutions featuring data center management, network, and equipment implementations. Through these services we have aided our clients in managing their tech infrastructures so they can shift their focus on their business strategy. Our second focus is outsourcing digital documentation. Instead we have transformed paper-based data entry services into digital documentation. As a third focus, we have a cutting-edge portfolio in RPA, cloud computing, and analysis, thus growing and developing the portion of our portfolio and spurring innovation in all our existing lines. Our last but certainly not least line is our participation in social security payments through the PILA platform.

ARUS has also developed technological solutions to facilitate social security payments for self-employed workers. How do you do this?
ARUS is one of the pioneers of PILA, an integrated payment platform for social security. Before PILA, companies and independent businesses would submit handwritten reports on a monthly basis. PILA has led to the automation of this system, allowing for real-time updated information, giving all Colombian employees access to social security services immediately after payment. Administrators are authenticated in this system, which guarantees there is no fraud or mismatch of payments. Furthermore, PILA gives detailed information to beneficiaries of the employee that gives support and peace of mind to their families.

What kind of firms form your client portfolio?
ARUS has a presence in all the main cities in the country (the north coast, the west, Antioquia, and Bogotá), where we have established ourselves with high quality corporate services and always prioritize our clients' needs. We are also focusing on medium-sized corporations, where we can provide them with the tools necessary to nurture their tremendous potential to unlock new niches in their respective markets.