Marcos Blas, Managing Director SNP Latin America
WE WILL RISE TO THE COVID-19 CHALLENGE
Like everywhere else in the world, COVID-19 has been posing new challenges to SNP in Latin America for some time now. In light of the current situation, SNP LATAM’s number one priority is to protect the health of its employees, customers and partners above all else. However, the company also finds it important to be there for its customers without interruption and to implement projects as planned, on schedule and with the usual quality. This is possible because SNP LATAM can draw on more than 25 years of experience in virtual collaboration, allowing it to guarantee smooth progress for all customer and partner projects. In this interview, Marcos Blas, Managing Director of SNP Latin America, gives an overview of the current challenges and talks about what is especially important to ensure that transformation projects run seamlessly and successfully amid the coronavirus.
What measures has SNP LATAM taken to protect employees as well as to ensure business continuity and agreements on ongoing or planned projects, and what distinguishes a globally operating modern company such as the SNP Group from others amid COVID-19?
Marcos Blas: Fortunately, a significant part of our projects is normally delivered remotely, as well as AMS and other services. Therefore, the adaptation to working from home full-time and fully remote delivery was not as severe as it would have been years ago. The most complicated part was to repatriate consultants in other countries before the borders were closed, which we achieved without major problems.
It took us some days to conclude all the agreements with customers on how to function during the lockdown, but I must say that cooperation and flexibility from all sides helped a lot. Anyway, without the technological platform that we rely on, it would not have been possible to sustain the situation in the medium-term.
"Since the pandemic was declared, we have been able to go live with important projects, start new ones in places severely hit by COVID-19, and even close new contracts."
Bluefield was definitely not stopped by the crisis.
A strong capability to work remotely guarantees a company’s ability to deliver. What conditions must be created to be able to serve customers or support projects literally from any place and at any time, and how do cloud solutions leverage and accelerate remote capability?
Marcos Blas: The first element is having a well-trained, customer-centric, adaptable workforce. The people and their well-being are crucial. Secondly, having our operations based on world-class up-to-date solutions hosted by the major cloud providers allows us to communicate, run services, develop and test whenever we need to without any disruption. We serve customers from Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America to the US and across the oceans, so we must have our systems up and running 24/7 in all conditions. We are responsible for mission-critical systems in the health and social security sectors, which are under high pressure during COVID-19, and we must respond accordingly to challenges that were unimaginable until recently.
COVID-19 has made many companies realize the enormous importance and the benefits of digitalization, and they have moved the project to the top of their to-do list. Why is it so important to prepare systems and processes for new technological challenges, digitalization and globalization now?
Marcos Blas: "If you turn your sails when the storm is upon you, or after the wind has changed, it is already too late and you are bound to lose the race or even your boat."
In today’s globalized world, you must assume that changes will happen at a speed or in a direction that you cannot easily foresee, therefore your processes and systems that support them must adapt swiftly. Updating or adjusting your old systems will take precious time and focus when you should be acting to protect your business or, more importantly, getting ahead of your competitors. If changes are compromised by old environments, innovation will definitely never take place.