Auxis CEO Raul Vega was interviewed by Insights Success Magazine in the context of Auxis being awarded as one of The Most Admired Companies to watch in 2019. Read a summary of the interview below:
Briefly describe your company and its vision.
Auxis is a management consulting and outsourcing firm that was founded in 1997 with the purpose of providing a different alternative to the traditional consulting model. We focus on helping senior executives from mid to large enterprises achieve peak performance in their back office operations so they can become more strategic-oriented and be better positioned to compete in today’s business environment.
With today’s highly competitive marketplace and rapidly changing consumer behaviors, organizations need a back office operation that is more commercially savvy and an enabler of better business performance. Unfortunately, many back office operations such as the finance or IT department spend more than 70% of its team’s time on low-value, transactional activities, or what is called “keeping the lights on.” Our mission at Auxis is to help CFOs and CIOs change that balance by helping them implement innovative processes, technologies and business models so they can reduce that transactional burden and increase their focus as much as possible towards their core competencies and value-creation activities that enable business growth.
We focus on three primary areas: Finance & Accounting, Information Technology and Customer Service. Throughout the years, we have served hundreds of organizations and have built a unique, innovative delivery model that is focused on customization, flexibility and speed to benefit.
Brief us in detail about the services/solutions/products your company provides.
Our solutions include a combination of consulting services as well as outsourcing and managed services. In a nutshell, our key services include:
We provide our clients a world class, back office services platform out of our main delivery center in San Jose, Costa Rica. This is a 24 x7 operation where we support a diverse group of client operations across 12+ industries. Due to its close proximity to the majority of our clients which are based in the USA, our Costa Rica center enables us to deliver a better customer experience while helping clients rapidly transform their key back office functions to be both more operationally and cost effective.
Key services we provide here include:
- Finance & Accounting Managed Services –These services include financial reporting, procure to pay, order to cash, accounting operations and operational audits.
- IT Managed Services –These services focus on IT operations and include Service Desk, Data Center Operations, Cloud Management Network Operations, Security Management and Application Development.
- Customer Service – These services are very focused on high value activities and include B2B collections, customer order processing, returns management, HR level 1 service desk and product technical support.
Robotics Process Automation (RPA)
We bring proven end-to-end RPA capabilities, from the early stages of identifying and quantifying the best processes to automate, all the way to development and ongoing maintenance. The benefits of RPA are pretty substantial and they include: cost savings, significant process improvements: aka getting more done in less time, the ability to redeploy resources to higher value functions, improved productivity, quality, customer service and compliance. RPA is one of our hottest service areas.
Data, Analytics and Reporting
We help companies evolve their reporting capabilities from static and looking backwards to real-time, proactive analytics to meet the demanding expectations of their business users. The benefit of mining data for our clients is it leads to faster and accurate reporting, analysis and planning which ultimately translates into better business decisions. We’re experts on some of the leading BI tools in the market such as Microsoft Power BI and Tableau.
By helping our clients unravel the complexities of the cloud and maximize its value, they can quickly realize the benefits of cloud technology in order to grow and stay competitive. From the strategy to the architecture, to migration and ongoing operations and managed services, our deep industry expertise, track record, extensive resources and our Center of Excellence in Costa Rica, means that we can solve cloud challenges more quickly and effectively than most cloud partners. Our documented and proven ability to help clients accelerate their journey to the cloud and quickly realize its benefits is our strength. We’re partners with AWS, Google and Azure.
We help organizations through their entire shared services journey, from the early stages of defining the strategy (e.g. captive vs. hybrid model, functional scope, location selection, business case, etc.) all the way to implementation and ongoing optimization of their back office. The benefits are realized at three levels. At the strategic level our shared services solutions allow our clients to focus on the core business of their company. At the tactical level, our shared services model will allow for continuous improvement, and at an operational level, companies will realize a reduction in labor costs, which ultimately creates more efficiency and effectiveness.
What makes Auxis unique?
Modernizing the back office has been at the core of what we do as a firm for over 20 years. What makes our company unique is that we bring a distinctive model that focuses on innovative processes but with a really strong capability on the implementation of information technologies. When we add the flavor of being able to do it from a project based consulting perspective or with an option to do it from an outsourcing perspective, it’s a game-changer.
Our clients appreciate that we are 100% focused on getting them tangible benefits and results, with attractive ROIs and paybacks. At Auxis, our client’s success drives our success, and our culture is one of rolling-up our sleeves and ‘making things happen’. We know how to take a great strategy to reality with our strong operational execution capabilities.
What are the benefits that your clients receive that make them choose your company over your competitors?
A big differentiator that separates us from our competitors is that we’re blending and bringing to the table two mind-sets. The consulting with the operational. Of course we can help with the strategic focus, but we really understand what it truly takes to run the back office from closing the books, running the help desk, or managing your engineering services, and that combination of strategic advisory, information technology, innovative processes, and then that operational knowledge, really helps us stand out and deliver results for our clients more rapidly and more cost-effectively.
As an outsourcer, one of the key things that differentiate us is that our clients realize that we go beyond cost savings, providing them with the latest technologies and best practices to drive innovation and continuous improvement. Progressively, organizations are expecting much more than cost savings from their outsourcing partner. They expect us to bring innovation faster and more cost-effectively than they can do internally, and this is definitely an area we feel has been part of our DNA since we founded the firm in 1997.
The strong incorporation of Robotics Process Automation (RPA) as part of Auxis’ outsourcing offering, as well as our robust cloud practice with partnerships and certifications with AWS, Microsoft and Google, are two great examples of how Auxis is driving innovation in two key areas where organizations are focusing on: Process Automation and Cloud Transformation.
Our nearshore model is another key differentiator from our competitors. Traditional outsourcers all started their delivery models from Asia, and are now increasingly taking steps towards expanding their footprint in Latin America per the request of their clients in the US who are looking for a more collaborative and convenient solution. From the beginning, Auxis was always a firm believer in the advantages of Nearshoring, and as such, created its delivery center in Costa Rica in 2009 to support North American operations.
What additional advancements are you going to make in your services in the near future?
Three of our key innovation pillars include Process Automation, Cloud and Analytics. We’ve been making great progress in all three areas in the last 3 years and will continue focusing on these in the near future.
In the case of process automation, we have not only become a go-to implementation partner of UiPath—the #1 RPA software in the industry—but also with other key automation enablers for the back office such as Ephesoft (for intelligent data capture recognition) and Adra (for financial close management and automated reconciliations). Regardless of the specific technology tool, we’re experts on business processes and we leverage automation to holistically optimize end-to-end processes as much as possible.
In the case of Analytics and BI, we’ve developed strong capabilities with two of the leading software companies in the market – Power BI and Tableau. Both our outsourcing and consulting clients are benefiting from the increased operational visibility we’ve been able to provide through dashboards and better visualization tools to manage their performance much more proactively and future-oriented.
In the case of cloud, we’re very proud of having achieved our AWS Advanced Consulting Partner certification, and we also continue to nurture our deepening relationships with Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. In addition, we also are continuing to invest in our DevOps capabilities.
Lastly, Auxis is expanding its nearshore outsourcing platform by opening a new office in Colombia in 2020. Though Costa Rica continues to be the premier nearshore destination, in the last 5 years Colombia has become another great nearshore alternative with a large talent pool for a multitude of functions that Auxis currently focuses on such as Accounting and IT. We believe there are natural synergies with our current operations in Costa Rica and are ready to start unleashing all of the potential that Colombia has to offer!
What are the achievements and recognition you have achieved over the years?
Auxis has been recognized for the last 4 years in a row (2016-2019) as a Top 100 Global Outsourcing Provider by IAOP. The judging process for the IAOP Global Outsourcing 100 is based on a rigorous scoring methodology that includes an independent review by an independent panel of IAOP customer members with extensive experience in selecting outsourcing service providers and advisors for their organizations. Debi Hamill, IAOP CEO said, “Choosing the right partners is more important than ever. The GO100 is the definitive guide to help companies research and compare service providers with whom they are considering relationships.”
Lastly, Auxis was just ranked as one of the Best Companies to Work for by Zippia based on the high score we achieved on diversity, company pay relative to similar companies, and our financial performance. Zippia is a career portal that provides an unbiased, data-based ranking system that helps job seekers find the right company for them. Besides these most recent recognitions, Auxis has also achieved multiple technical certifications and partnerships that are core to the services we provide, including SSAE-18 certification, UiPath Gold Partners, AWS Advanced Consulting Partners and Microsoft Gold Partners.
Prior to Auxis, Mr. Vega started his career with Price Waterhouse and PepsiCo International, leading a highly successful, multi-year Latin America business transformation program. Raul’s areas of expertise include Finance Transformation, Shared Services, Nearshoring to Latin America and Overall Back Office Optimization. Raul is a frequent public speaker at industry conferences, including organizations such as the CFO Leadership Council, the Association for Corporate Growth and The Shared Services & Outsourcing Network by IQPC.
Raul was born and raised in South Florida and is a proud Gator from the University of Florida (UF) where he obtained both his Bachelor and Master Degrees in Accounting. His grandparents migrated from Spain to Cuba, and then his parents moved from Cuba to the United States, where Raul has spent all of his professional career and raised 3 beautiful daughters.