MARIA MERCEDES TRUJILLO

Mexico 2022 | TELECOMS & IT | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Maria Mercedes Trujillo, LATAM Customer Care Director of Oracle NetSuite, about business opportunities in Latin America, the benefits of cloud technology, and competition.

What are the main challenges companies are facing in Latin America?

These days, financing can pose a significant challenge. The current economic climate has forced CFOs to take a step back, define their immediate needs, and make decisions based on the technological and digital foundation of their companies. This pandemic has taught businesses many lessons on how to manage people and deploy technology properly. IT is now the most important enabler for companies as it allows for the possibility of operating remotely and of meeting the growing needs of customers and their new ways of working. NetSuite provides solid data that helps support reliable operations. With our suite, employees can use the platform from anywhere at any time, allowing company leaders to manage their business, safe in the knowledge that they have the right tools to drive growth, adapt to new market demands, and make the best decisions.

In what ways have the needs of companies changed in the last few years?

The needs of many organizations have evolved in the past two years. Part of our role is to ensure that we are providing the right data to allow them to make business decisions. Change is a constant in every industry and region, and decision-makers need the best information to run their operations. We create a foundation on which clients can build their organizations with a clear vision.

What primary business opportunities do you see in Latin America?

We see many varied and important opportunities. Challenges create opportunities, and each company needs to reevaluate its strategy and operations to properly position itself for recovery. Fortune favors the bold, and to overcome this crisis, organizations must take decisive action. Two critical areas for the reopening of all industries are new customer experience models and technology-supported employee retention. Companies need to offer digital experiences, minimize human interaction, and exploit opportunities to simplify and optimize business processes such as payments, orders, or cash flow control, for example. We are seeing companies that pivoted during the pandemic to offer something else or uncover new revenue streams. We are seeing new complementary services, such as transportation companies also working as logistics operators, or travel companies offering new online experiences. We also found a wave of new technology start-ups offering new products and services that satisfy the new habits of consumers. In the area of services there are great opportunities because these are the companies that will become more agile when it comes to offering solutions to new social behaviors. Industries such as leisure, entertainment, and tourism are offering new experiences and using technology as a solution. They are reducing manual processes using virtual assistants and self-booking. In the future, we will see a lot of these kinds of services and products in emerging markets in Latin America, not to mention telemedicine health services and improved sustainability processes, all of which are built on technology.

How are you helping your clients transition toward cloud-based operations and expand their businesses?

Our role is to understand our customers' needs by having our teams carefully evaluate their processes and the technology they use so we can provide tailor-made services. A lot of startups in Latin America are working with NetSuite, and they usually need to put their financial information in order in the first stage of their growing process, and, after that, they need to grow at a global level. We are working with these Latin American players, helping them grow in different markets across the world. Many companies want reassurance that NetSuite can operate globally, and we provide that confidence by expanding their business into new countries or complementing their operations with new channels, new product lines, and by developing alliances with other companies. We easily add and customize functionality by leveraging a highly scalable business management system.

What are the main advantages of shifting to the cloud?

NetSuite is a 100% cloud suite that supports financial operations, customer management, and provides all the necessary analytics for any organization; with us a single application manages an entire business, without the need of any other apps. Thanks to our high standards and more than 20 years in the market, we provide broad flexibility for making customizations and expanding functionality according to the needs of a given organization. The pandemic has reinforced the need to have company data available anywhere and at any time, and for this reason organizations are looking at ways of migrating to the cloud. This can also improve customer experiences and generate new work methods for employees, connecting internal and external areas and making it easier get businesses back on track in the post-pandemic world. There are many reasons to be in the NetSuite cloud, namely the elimination of on-premises IT costs, real-time visibility, access from anywhere, scalable solutions as businesses grow, and up-to-date technology with the latest innovations. The cloud has a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) compared to other solutions, and we have faster implementation times and offer customers the ability to expand their business easily or reduce their use as circumstances change.

What is the most important added value that NetSuite can offer compared to other market players?

NetSuite's main added value is that it allows all sizes of organization the ability to focus more on management activities and to reduce spending. NetSuite is an integrated suite that offers elements such as ERP, CRM, and analytics integration, covering all aspects of business, global subsidiaries to support international growth, customization without risking version lock, and industry best practices.