Global technology services provider Softtek has built its business on delivering innovation. Whether it's helping a restaurant chain redefine the way diners order and pay for their meals, or working with an airline to enable a seamless travel experience, Softtek applies modern cloud-based and mobile applications that allow customers in a wide range of industries to fundamentally reimagine their operations. And while innovation is essential, security, stability and efficiency are also critical. Many initiatives involve transitioning away from outdated "legacy" systems to leverage emerging digital, Artificial Intelligence and automation technologies to reduce costs, improve productivity and enhance security.

The company's success stems in large measure from its ability to offer customers what they aren't getting from the traditional "offshore" model of IT outsourcing. Under the offshore approach, laige teams of India-based workers engage in clearly defined tasks spelled out in an extensive and detailed services agreement. The premise is that Indian funis can leverage the competitive advantage of large pools of highly skilled, low-cost labor to provide customers cost-efficient service and technical expertise. But in many cases, the model doesn't work as advertised.

"The past 20 years have shown that offshore delivery and labor arbitrage consistently fail to deliver," says Marcos Jimenez, CEO of Softtek's US and Canada operations. "The so-called 'low rates' of offshore resources are often offset by poor quality, inefficiency and low utilization of automation tools, resulting in a very high total cost. More importantly, the lack of innovation from offshore is costing businesses billions. We're able to offer a different approach by committing to high-quality, highly innovative and highly automated IT services for the digital enterprise."

Entrepreneurial Culture

Founded in 1982 in Monterrey, Mexico, as a niche technology services provider, Softtek initially focused on hiring entrepreneurial "associates" to incubate, grow and manage their own lines of business. The strategy was perhaps overly successful--by the mid-1990s, Softtek had become a loose collection of fiefdoms throughout the Americas. "The partners running the various businesses were very independent-minded," says Jimenez, who joined Softtek in 1992. "As the company grew, we needed to consolidate and introduce a level of corporate governance."

By the early 2000s, Softtek was...

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