One year ago, Perficient announced our expansion into Colombia, South America, through one of our largest acquisitions in company history! Perficient Latin America brought more than 600 smart, creative, and collaborative colleagues to our team and strengthened our global delivery capabilities with the addition of their nearshore software development expertise.
Since then, our clients have experienced the benefits of time zone compatibility, bilingual developers, and high-quality teams delivering cost-effective solutions. As a result of our enhanced optimized global delivery capabilities, Perficient has experienced significant global growth, and we’re seeing tremendous momentum in the market.
Equally exciting, our colleagues worldwide continue to connect and collaborate with one another and bring new, diverse perspectives and innovative approaches to our day-to-day interactions.
It’s been an incredible year of learning and growth, and we’re proud of our nearly 5,000 colleagues who continue to make Perficient the unique, formidable force it is today.
As we celebrate the one-year anniversary of Perficient Latin America – a milestone we’re thrilled to reach – we sat down with members of our nearshore leadership team Jorge Aramburo and Camilo Gomez to look back on our many accomplishments this year, and also discussed what’s next for the team, our clients and the industry.
A Q&A WITH PERFICIENT LATIN AMERICA LEADERS
CONGRATULATIONS ON ONE YEAR WITH PERFICIENT!
Q: What has this year been like for Perficient Latin America?
Jorge Aramburo: What a year! We joined forces in the midst of a global pandemic, one the world had not experienced in 100 years. After the initial months in which we dedicated our time to getting to know each other and integrating administrative and financial systems and processes, marketing, sales, and engineering teams, the projects began to flow. Today, we have more than 130 new colleagues deployed from Perficient Latin America for Perficient US clients and also have a portfolio of approximately 40 additional open positions that adds up to 170 new employees.
Q: How has it lived up to the expectations you had when first joining forces with Perficient?
Jorge: The reality has definitely lived up to our expectations! We wanted to join with a company with a strong presence in the U.S. and a global reach, with greater resources and access to larger clients, but we especially wanted to join with a company with which we complemented each other and had a strong cultural fit.
Before joining forces with Perficient, we were approached by several companies from the United States and Europe, but months of conversations convinced us that we share most of our principles and values with Perficient. Especially in these types of companies, culture is key to success. We didn’t make a mistake joining the Perficient team!
We have grown and had access to various clients and projects. But the most important thing that guarantees us a promising future is the people – people who have supported us, who care about us, each other and our clients, people who understand we have an obligation to do our best to serve those who trust us – our clients, employees, and society in general. It has been great from our perspective!
Q: Describe the growth you’ve experienced in the last year.
Camilo Gomez: It has been a really interesting year in terms of growth, not just in terms of revenue and headcount, but also in terms of growth around learning how to collaborate in a global environment with global colleagues.
We’ve grown in around 15 Perficient accounts, most of which have been Fortune 500 clients.
We’re now collaborating in different engagement models. Before, we were delivering 100% from Latin America. We’ve grown into hybrid models where we’re collaborating with our U.S. counterparts, and even in complex hybrid models where we’re collaborating across three shores, with our Colombia team and India and U.S. counterparts.
We’re able to create engagement models and deliver based on the true client needs to make the best solution for them that adds the most value. And we’ve built a very high level of trust with our colleagues and are guided by the same principles and values. It’s been great in that sense.
Regarding new skillsets – just this year, we’ve created new centers of expertise for Salesforce and AEM, and we’ve evolved our data capabilities to complement Perficient’s data delivery capabilities. We’re always continuing to learn and collaborate with our U.S. and global counterparts.
DRIVING GROWTH IN A DIGITAL-FIRST WORLD
Q: The team’s nearshore software development capabilities and expertise has helped Perficient’s clients – some of the world’s biggest brands – accelerate their digital strategies and maximize their investments. What makes nearshore such an attractive approach to digital transformation?
Jorge: There is a shortage of software developers in the world, including in the U.S. Offshore and nearshore provides access to that talent. When the operation is moved to nearshore, it has the additional advantage of working in the same time zone – we’re awake when clients are awake, facilitating software projects, reducing costs compared to onshore operations. It allows the true deployment of agile approaches, which requires constant communication with customers.
Nearshore operations in a middle-income country like Colombia or other Latin American countries allows Perficient to reduce costs for clients, operating at a fraction of the cost. Currently, our clients face great pressure to grow while reducing costs, especially now in the middle of a pandemic. After the pandemic, companies will be used to working remotely and will increasingly ask about nearshore services.
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Camilo: A nearshore approach also allows us to celebrate the differences everybody has, leveraging various approaches or viewpoints from people. When you’re building a team with different talents and mindsets from all around the world, you’re able to create better products. It brings a special flavor to nearshore.
What does it mean to you and the team to be such an important element to our organization’s ongoing success?
Jorge: It’s an honor, but it’s also a great responsibility. Perficient Latin America can and must provide high-quality services at lower costs to remain competitive and grow in such a dynamic market. That’s why we try to be better every day – we know we have to grow, and we have to grow by providing quality services. This is fundamental for the success of Perficient in the long term.
Camilo: This drive to be better every day has been part of the essence of our business for more than 36 years, and it continues to be part of the essence of the Colombia GDC team. We’re always looking for excellence – we understand it’s not a destination; it’s a path. So we’re looking to become better as individuals, as team members, as a unit, but also in helping our clients become better.
It is exhilarating! We thrive on the challenge to become better. We learn from mistakes and become better the next day and the one after that.
Jorge: Our mission has always been to help our clients, our colleagues, and society to be better through the creation of world-class IT solutions. We get up every day trying to live up to our promise, and that means we get up every day trying to become better and better. When you have a purpose, you do what it takes in order for you to live up to your purpose and promise.
How has evolving your brand accelerated opportunities within the market?
Camilo: As we join a global digital consultancy with 5,000 colleagues, it means we’re part of something larger. We get to be part of the proposal, the delivery of value. We help clients with strategy, design, and execution for the largest brands globally. Perficient brings this to the table. We’re allowing people an opportunity to play in the big leagues and really leverage their potential.
You realize your potential when you combine talent, interest, and passion with the opportunities you get. Through Perficient, we’re able to provide incredible opportunities to people in Latin America to work as part of a global, multicultural, multidisciplinary team and bring world-class solutions to our clients.
What are some of the most exciting client engagements you’ve been a part of?
Camilo: We’re doing some great things with a Fortune 100 manufacturer that encompasses a multi-shore approach with colleagues in Colombia, India, and the U.S. across multiple disciplines and products. This includes Commerce, Salesforce, and custom product development. Interestingly, Salesforce was a capability we didn’t have six months ago, and now we’re part of a team delivering Salesforce solutions. Our people trained from scratch to be able to deliver for the clients. So, you can see how being part of Perficient allows you to continually learn new skills and participate in world-class solutions for clients.
GUIDED BY OUR PEOPLE-CENTRIC, PURPOSE-DRIVEN CULTURE
What is behind that drive and commitment for our clients, our business, and one another?
Jorge: The success of an organization depends on many factors – the market, the right business strategy, adequate resources, good organizational design, etc. But it’s all irrelevant if the organization doesn’t have the right people and culture.
People want to have a purpose and meaning in their lives, and good companies must contribute. For that reason, we have built a culture around doing good – working to help organizations, people, and the society in which we operate to be better through the creation of world-class IT solutions. That’s our secret. When people believe in your mission, you build a culture driven by purpose, which operates with integrity and truth and drives people to do their best because they’re happy to work and feel part of a noble purpose.
Camilo: As we’ve learned to trust each other more, we have a seat at the table. We’re working together to craft an approach for the client for how best to leverage our software engineering talent to deliver for our customer. Our U.S. colleagues have reached out, partnered with us, and it has felt really good.
How have our colleagues grown in the last year regarding career opportunities, advancement, and experiences?
Camilo: I personally have grown so much with the amount and level of interactions and in-depth conversations and teachings from so many different individuals in Perficient, with so many years of experience and very valuable points of view. When you come into this relationship with 5,000 colleagues, and you have an open mind and understand perspectives and all these points of view, I honestly believe that my personal learning has just accelerated because of that exposure. And I think it’s the same with many other people. Every person that has been exposed to collaborating directly with Perficient counterparts has been able to leverage that.
What can new colleagues expect to experience when joining our team?
Jorge: With Perficient Latin America, they will experience being part of a people-centric and purpose-driven company. We are a company that cares about our clients and our people. We’re committed to the development of colleagues both as professionals and as human beings. They will work for an organization that understands and accepts human vulnerabilities and sees mistakes as opportunities to improve instead of punishing. It is a place where happiness at work is of the utmost importance. They can also expect to be part of a global community that provides advantages in terms of knowledge, career path, culture interchange, challenging projects, big clients, net technologies, and so forth.
We have a lot to offer to new colleagues.
LOOKING AHEAD: A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR OUR COLLEAGUES, OUR CLIENTS & OUR BUSINESS
Q: What’s next for the technology industry, specifically software development and nearshore?
Jorge: The demand for software development services in the world will continue to grow. Specifically, clients in the U.S. and Canada will demand nearshore services mitigate its talent shortage and cut costs. So we have to be prepared to manage an explosion in demand for our services.
Access to talent has been and will continue to be the greatest challenge for technology companies. Due to the increasing demand for nearshore services, tech companies will have to attract and hire hundreds of new employees – train them, keep them happy, focused, and motivated, and support their development both as professionals and human beings, and this includes remote workers.
Access to any talent anywhere will be mandatory for companies if they want to survive. Remote working is here to stay, and companies must adapt their processes to support this.
Another aspect in the industry is Cybersecurity. If it wasn’t top of mind prior to the pandemic, the shift from offices to home presents new and unique challenges.
Q: Where do you see the biggest opportunity for growth?
Camilo: In terms of technology, we’ve always seen the market from an agnostic perspective. New tech is constantly evolving, and we’re focused on understanding what’s coming while making bets on what will be most successful. We constantly consider how we can evolve, become better for our clients, learn from cutting-edge clients, adapt to new technologies, and use that to empower our employees and allow them to evolve with us, both strategically and at the individual level.
Jorge: As Camilo said, new technology has been a constant in our business. We’re focused on how to build a learning organization. Good IT professionals can learn new technologies very easily. So we look at the human side of the equation – if you have good people, the right culture, and a learning organization, you’ll succeed, no matter the technology. There are tremendous opportunities for growth out there – the secret is our people.
Q: What are you most excited about in 2021 and beyond?
Jorge: Nearshore is important to the success of Perficient. We’re growing and developing the teams and the culture while being part of a global community. It’s exciting, and we have the support of the Perficient team – the people are really good people. I see a bright future ahead of us.
Camilo: It’s just the beginning of a wonderful evolution of being part of this larger company where since day one, we’ve felt welcomed and part of the team. We want to keep helping be part of the engine that drives Perficient forward. We’re excited about how this looks in the future – being part of an organization with huge potential, great momentum. It’s amazing to be here.