COLOMBIA - Telecoms & IT
Operations Director, South America SYKES Colombia
Wendy Quesada is passionate about people in all aspects of her life. She currently serves as Director of Operations for South America, overseeing both SYKES Colombia and Brazil. She holds a BA in business administration and a master’s in finance and marketing. Upon completing her studies in the US, she started her career with SYKES in Costa Rica over 20 years ago. During her time in the company, she has been responsible for various roles such as operations manager, regional performance excellence manager, and Colombia’s country leader before assuming her current position.
At SYKES, we want to be recognized for creating intelligent customer experiences. We have been a leading provider worldwide in multichannel demand and customer engagement services for over 40 years. In November 2020, we formally launched Sykes digital services that combines the digital transformation capabilities we have been acquiring and developing in past years. The focus is on transforming business operations with attention to customer experience; we are being true to our core. We design or redesign a company’s digital strategy to guarantee an excellent user experience. SYKES counts on its methodologies, tools, expertise, and skill sets. Collaboration with our clients is paramount and ensures we understand the customer journey map and company processes that show where we can add value to the end user.
Part of our culture is having a team that works, learns, and grows together; we want to make sure we continue to replicate our culture to our employees work from home experience. With regard to recruiting, we launched SARA, SYKES Automated Recruitment Assistance, which uses AI to help us maximize the candidate’s experience. SARA has been an innovative tool that incorporates digital transformation and adds value to one of the most important processes in our industry. We need optimized processes that ensure we stay efficient through growth. Regarding training, we have adapted active learning to the virtual environment, which required updating tools and methodologies to ensure we continue to capture the attention of trainees. Keeping on-screen attention for six to eight hours of training is a big challenge. Gamification is something we have been incorporating that has great potential to be part of our virtual training and learning methodologies, especially in making our self-study modules more attractive.
SYKES Colombia began in 2013 with training classes and went live in 2014; it has been seven years of a successful story out of Barranquilla. We started on one site, and, despite the pandemic, we have grown and are in the process of opening a second site in Barranquilla. We are also evaluating a second city in Colombia, which speaks highly of our success story in the country. The service and delivery that we promise is high quality and leans on the quality of the Colombian workforce. We will definitely continue to grow in Colombia.
One of the synergies that Colombia can continue to leverage on is the country’s technology know-how. The government is committed to investing on skillsets related to technology and software development. Today, 50% of SYKES’ services in Colombia is focused on technology, and it continues to be one of the areas we prioritize for Colombia, especially with the country’s large youth population. Still, Colombia needs to ensure it accelerates English proficiency, and it is important for the local workforce to have strong handling of the English language.
From a strategy perspective, technology is central. Colombia is considered an attractive nearshore location to the US and has demonstrated stability. Technology and software development continue to be an area of growth and new opportunities, as part of the near future strategy for Colombia. We are focused on ensuring the sustainable capabilities to build medium- to long-term strategies, which requires a country-coordinated effort. There has to be a single country strategy to ensure we have the right skillsets, technology, and language skills. SYKES has also been successful in its efforts to promote English and technical education in Colombia through different social responsibility initiatives.
COLOMBIA - Industry
Sales & Marketing Director, Western States Machine Company
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