TBY talks to Gaby Aued, General Manager of TECNASA Group, on expansion into new markets, catching up with modern IT standards, and future plans for the overall region.

How was 2017 for TECNASA?

It was a challenging year for the country and its socio-economic status in the region. TECNASA is a company that has been able to diversify its risks by expanding geographically. So, when one country in the region faces economic difficulties, we have other geographic locations that are able to grow and compensate for it. We are a company that has consistently been growing throughout our 45 years of history. Our market share depends on the service and solutions we provide. One of our most important solutions throughout the region are the financial solutions and ATM's, especially in Panama where we cover over 80% of the market. We also have over 2,000 clients in the region that are the most important companies in each their respective industries. We are a business-to-business company focused on mid to large-sized enterprises.

Are you looking to expand into new markets?

Our vision has always been to become a regional leader in IT solution integrations. In 2017, we analyzed that TECNASA has become the IT solutions leader in Central America and Ecuador. After more than two years of planning, we launched our new strategy in 2017, which is focused on managed services. It is not a strategy based on geographic expansion but on improving the quality of our services and transforming our portfolio from the hardware sales to service solution implementation. Our strategy is also based on becoming consultants for our clients and helping them understand the new disruptive technologies present in the market and how it can help them improve their business operations.

Are IT companies getting more into IT services instead of hardware?

It is no longer a trend, but a fact—and not only for services focused on repairing the technology, but the entire solution for a monthly fee. Then, it is up to us as their technology partner to make sure these solutions are available 100% of the time.

How is TECNASA University progressing?

We are launching it with 13 online courses focused on customer services. These are courses that every new recruit for the company has to take when they join as new associates so they can understand our new vision and mission and see how we are becoming a management services and consultancy company.

TECNASA has received multiple awards recently. What do these mean for the company?

It is a result of our hard work and a benchmark for how TECNASA compares to competitors in the region. We strive to be the best at everything we do, and that includes our partnerships with the most important IT leaders in the world. These awards show that the company is on the right track.

What do you want to achieve for Panama and the region?

We have a five-year strategy that we want to incorporate into the entire region in order to deliver the best integrated technology to the entire region. Therefore, our challenge is being able to evolve and grow our human talent up to the company's and its clients' expectations.