“Internationalisation is an integral part of our DNA”

Iñaki Maiz represents the generation of young managers who have assumed leadership in companies to transform the traditional concepts that made our business projects renowned in traditional industry.
Now, Iñaki and other young leaders have the mission of guiding these solvent and solid companies, based on the tangible value associated with their products, through the transition to becoming flexible, innovative, creative and cutting-edge organisations in the application of new technologies.

A few years ago, Iñaki participated in an internal meeting and when we asked him about the new management model that he was developing to take Ikusi into this new world, he told us: “I want my team to make decisions and take risks, and when we make a mistake, I’ll be there to try to resolve any issues as quickly as possible.”
This is a good summary of the new business world in which Ikusi is operating and carrying out its business. Iñaki’s reflections work well as a thermometer with which to assess the temperature of our future.

In the definition of the Ikusi of today, you say:
“Ikusi provides efficient and robust communications networks, deploying or offering integration, engineering and technological development services to digitise and modernise companies. We work together with customers in order to understand the peculiarities of their business and thus address the development of their full technological potential.”
This is your own definition of your activity. You use words such as development, technology and business etc.
How would you give a traditional definition of Ikusi, taking into account that the word product is not mentioned?
At Ikusi we provide the services that allow companies to manage their communications networks securely: the networks through which the company’s information circulates; its IT network. In other words, we make sure that this infrastructure is efficient and, based on that, we work on managing their data centres in the cloud, we provide them with collaboration tools, etc. All from the point of view of a transversal service that has security as the core focus. So, if I had to mention some terms that define us, they might be efficiency, technology, the cloud … and, at the centre of it all, security.

For Ikusi, to what extent is innovation a tool for the future that defines your DNA?
The technological environment is developing at an extraordinary pace and the Internet is now part of all our daily activities, so managing this extensive network becomes more and more complex. In this context, security is especially important, not only because we live in a more connected way, but also because our vulnerability as individuals or as companies if those technological tools on which we depend are not robust and secure has become critical. In addition, the damage to their reputations to which companies are exposed in the case of an attack can be irreparable.
This scenario, marked by the new uses that consumers and companies make of our applications, requires a permanent investment in innovation to keep us up to date in order to support our customers’ businesses and prevent attacks. We are all susceptible to them, but with a good design and operation of the network architecture we aim to ensure that nobody can stop our company.

What does the participation of a group like Velatia contribute to the development of your business model?
On the one hand, it provides us with scale, something fundamental at a time like this and in a sector like the one in which we operate; on the other hand, being a family business means that our work is based on values we share, and that we are geared towards generating value and have a mission focused on the long term. Velatia also encourages and supports us in innovation and technological improvement projects, in addition to facilitating our access to different markets.

“Belonging to a group like Velatia provides us with the advantage of scale and, at the same time, being a family business gives us fundamental values based on the long term”

 What does the “accelerated change of the company” mean in the current competitive context in which we have to operate?
The incorporation of the digital world into business management brings with it the need to overcome old fears such as the transition from physical media to the cloud. Ikusi accompanies customers on this journey from the data centres to managing the entire network, the applications installed in the cloud, etc. In addition, now more than ever we must have the ability to adapt to offer a robust network and also be the most agile. Until recently, the most important thing was that the infrastructures were secure, but today this is taken for granted and what is demanded is speed, and if we want to keep up with the pace, we must be ‘well trained’ because changes are taking place at breakneck speed. That’s why we are incorporating new solutions to simplify these technologies and automate processes. In other words, to make the complex simple.
Regarding diversification and open innovation, etc. How have you approached this at Ikusi?
Relying on the capabilities, responsibility and commitment of our team. The commitment to continuous training for modernisation makes us the first to achieve the highest certifications of the main technological manufacturers: Cisco, Fortinet, CyberArk, TrendMicro, VMware, F5, Amazon Web Services, Palo Alto Networks, etc.
Another essential factor for us is partnerships. In contrast with a sort of inbreeding that characterised the sector up to now, the value of companies today resides in the goodwill that alliances generate around them. This ecosystem is extremely important because in addition to working so that our own house is in order, we accept that there are others who are specialists in areas that can complement us, and we join together to continue in partnership. 

“The value of companies today resides in the goodwill that alliances generate around them”.

You insist in all these different ways on the need for the digital transformation of business. Is this a fad or an essential strategy for the survival of companies?As I was saying, these days it would be impossible to imagine ourselves without the Internet and without the mobile phone, which is now an essential part of our daily lives rather than a mere communication tool. We use it to travel, shop, access our bank, and so on. And getting the customer service we expect when we use these applications is essential.
In this regard, digital transformation is not an end, it is a path that companies must follow and a tool that supports their strategy. So perhaps what we should ask ourselves is not so much what our digital transformation strategy is but what our business strategy is, in the knowledge that digitisation will be an enabler for this. This does not mean that everything has to be digitised, but we have to integrate it into our roadmap to take advantage of the competitive advantages it offers.

You have about nine hundred staff, and you are in almost all the Latin American countries where GH is present. How do you see the future of your company from the point of view of internationalisation?
Around 80% of our turnover is international and a large part of the workforce works on projects is in Mexico, Colombia, Chile or Peru, so we can say that internationalisation is an integral part of our DNA. It is a process that we started more than two decades ago, and we have a very mature organisation in that sense, but we are also open to learning about new ways of doing things and looking at them in detail to better understand each context, so that we can make the best decision. I would say that, if we are talking about internationalisation, the challenge for Ikusi is to be able to steadily incorporate and develop new markets in the medium term.

What is the profile of the worker of the future? How are we going to incorporate it and motivate people in the new organisations based on digitisation, innovation and constant intensification of technological development?
What we do now has nothing to do with what we did a few years ago or, possibly, with what we will do, so I believe that the capacity for continuous learning will prevail over other factors that are not as important as they used to be. As a technology services company, this is an inherent characteristic of our identity, because when we hire people, we do it for what they can become. And something that we have achieved at Ikusi seems vital to us in this training process: feeling part of a big family in which there is a commitment to customers, the company, colleagues etc. In addition, we try to get younger people to share in strategic projects from the beginning alongside professionals with more experience, providing added value thanks to the exchange of knowledge between youth and experience.