Ikusi Colombia: Our essence.

Ikusi - colombia - nuestra - esencia

Germán Agúndez, CEO of Ikusi Colombia

 

Surprise me!

Anyone who has seen the movie ‘Ratatouille’ may remember the evocative scene featuring the endearing food critic Anton Ego; when asked by the waiter what he wants for dessert, with exuberance and empathy he gives an enormously challenging answer: “Surprise me!”

I believe we can draw an analogy between this scene and our activity, and that one of our main aims is to achieve this relationship status with our customers.

Because to make that scene happen, two “ingredients” that could be pursued in any business activity are needed:

Firstly, one has to deserve great customer trust and empathy, made possible by success in the challenges that they have entrusted us with up until that moment.

Secondly, one has to be proactive, and get the customer to encourage us and challenge us to improve and to continue innovating.

And thus respond to their trust by surprising them with new creations.

 

In our case at IKUSI, a solutions and services integrator, the synergy that is produced with the customer when this collaboration is achieved generates a win-win process in which anticipation and a proactive spirit are the key components in a trusting, long-term relationship.

But I also believe that, just as no two restaurants use the same recipes, no two integrators are the same. Each one is distinguished by its DNA. Below I would like to present what I consider to be our five most relevant characteristics. What I would call our essence.

 

#1-. Customer knowledge

Achieving a deep understanding of the customer is a long process. You can only achieve true customer insight if you are familiar with and experience their operational needs, if you understand their processes and if you are very well acquainted with the people who are part of their organization.

Without genuinely wanting to get to know our customers’ needs, it would not be possible to build, in advance, an offer of solutions and services that would really generate value for them.

At Ikusi we are firmly committed to this way of understanding the relationship with our customers.

 

#2-. The team, our cornerstone

If there is one thing we can be proud of at IKUSI, it is not the good results we have achieved, or the trust our customers place in us (although they remain a source of pride, of course). What we are really proud of is the great team we have been able to build.

Thanks to our commitment to training, regarding our “demo-office” as a test bench for our engineers, and the dynamics of incorporating the ecosystem’s best professionals, we have managed to build a highly talented team. In addition, and to ensure that this talent continues to progress, the organization has cemented its foundations and policies around the values of the Velatia Group by promoting personal development and the mind-set of internal promotion; we also pay great attention to the combination of the professional and personal environment, thanks to being genuinely geared towards the work-family balance.

The huge growth we are experiencing in our sector, combined with the disappearance of borders for recruiting professionals, has led to an exponential need to generate fresh talent. That is why at IKUSI we continue to encourage growth at the grassroots level. And from our “Seedbed” project at IKUSI we give opportunities to the youngest, who undoubtedly find a platform for developing their potential at IKUSI. Like so many of my colleagues, I can proudly say that I myself started my career at IKUSI as an intern 25 years ago.

I would not want to conclude this section without highlighting the most valuable characteristic of our team. I believe that what best projects our team is neither their great technical knowledge nor their extensive experience. I think it is their attitude that really makes them the best. And that the reason our customers love them so much is not because of their years of experience or their qualifications. But because of the way they are.

 

#3-. Expertise. The best designs and a great programming team.

At IKUSI we are committed to understanding the customer’s needs well in advance in order to build a design with the highest value for their business requirements. As a result of this anticipation and deep technical knowledge about the solutions of our technology partners, our Engineering team is able to come up with the design that offers the highest value for each customer’s operation.

But over the last five years at IKUSI we have been enriching this expertise through the setting up of a great team of programmers that complement the design of our architectures to perfection.

Combining design and programmability allows us to give each customer a rich distinctive edge. And so, as a result of discussions relating to their operational needs, IKUSI’s architects and programmers are able to develop specific use cases from which to exploit the full potential of the manufacturer’s solution; this is achieved by generating added value with which to meet a need that on occasions cannot be met by the manufacturer’s solution natively. In recent years, and thanks to the possibility of programming via APIs provided by manufacturers, at IKUSI we have developed a host of applications that have enabled our customers to secure a return on their investments much faster, thus giving them the distinctive edge when optimizing their operations.

With all this and as a result of this vision, today at IKUSI we have a broad set of use cases with which we solve many challenges, and which a few years ago were unattainable; they are in areas such as mobility, connectivity, security, integration between multi-domain networks, smart spaces or energy efficiency.

 

#4-. Excellence in Execution.

There are numerous occasions in which an Integrator secures a contract with a new customer. But this does not mean that a new customer has been won over. It is just a contract. And the difference is substantial: the implementation has to be excellent and the customer’s expectations have to be exceeded, if they are really to become a true customer.

And it is in this phase where excellence in Operations, in the contract implementation, in which the difference is made. Because goals are scored by strikers, whereas championships are won as a team.

If I had to describe what our customers perceive when they entrust their projects to our Operations team, I would highlight the team’s talent and expertise, the method, the mind-set to continuously make the customer visible, and their orientation towards a job well done.

Finally, I would like to highlight one of our distinctive edges at IKUSI: our way of understanding contracts as transversal throughout the organization. The cohesion of our teams provides us with a virtuous cycle in which all areas are coordinated to continue supporting and advising the customer throughout the life cycle of the contract. So there are countless occasions in which our implementation teams or our monitoring center detect new customer needs, which quickly lead to new engineering projects. In short, it is a matter of combining all our values so that the customer always obtains a real, tangible experience of support and continuous improvement.

 

#5-. Customer experience.

Thanks to our commitment to service and integration with our principal technology partner Cisco, we have succeeded in becoming the first integrator in Colombia to secure the prestigious Advanced Customer Experience Specialization certification. An honor achieved by our Services practice that multiple customers recognize when they entrust us with the management of critical services for their operations.

In their managed services in the past, customers called for areas such as monitoring or management of connectivity and cybersecurity. These needs remain, but they have evolved: today’s most demanding customers are calling for higher-value services. So our services offer integrates areas such as cloud adoption assurance, user training, customer experience management, optimization of purchased licenses, and dynamics for roadmap building.

But at IKUSI we are strengthening our services thanks to one of the trends exerting the greatest impact in recent years: “Observability”. Today our customers require connectivity, cloud adoption and support. And much more: it is imperative to manage the health of one’s applications, to monitor one’s omnichannel customer experience, and monitor the connection status between one’s user device and the microservice of one’s applications hosted on public clouds. This is another of our distinctive edges at IKUSI, having integrated into our offer of services multiple use cases designed to ensure observability.

So thanks to combining our CX practices with observability services, we at IKUSI have managed to turn our services into a strategic pillar, and that is yet another reason why our customers go on choosing us as their trusted technology partner.

At IKUSI we will continue to strive to do our very best to improve Colombian society, the operation of our customers. And of course we will continue to strive to … Surprise!

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