For more than three decades, this private higher education institution has contributed to the education of young professionals and entrepreneurs in Chile. To continue to carry out their mission, Universidad Mayor chose IFX as their technology partner to manage critical processes in their organization.
To learn more about how working with IFX impacted their organization and what led them to work with us, we talked to Inés Canales, Director of Information Technologies, and Michael Corvalán, Senior Consultant, both from Universidad Mayor.
What objective and needs did you identify at Universidad Mayor?
Inés Canales: We were mainly looking to find a partner: someone who, from a technological point of view, could be part of our company and understand our needs.
Universities are very particular institutions; in three days, you can calculate the projected income for the next five years. Those three days of enrollment are crucial in the sense that not filling the expected vacancies implies a financial deficit for the next five years.
Therefore, our main challenge was to find a partner that understood this process. Even though we generally require a so-called “simple” service, there are three critical moments every year that can determine everything.
Historically, our suppliers did not understand the criticality of our processes in the sense that an hour without service throughout any of those three days would have enormous consequences. Consequently, this became our main challenge and our greatest anguish.
Michael Corvalán: Indeed, what we as a university were looking for was to find a partner that could accompany us and give us security throughout every process, giving us peace of mind and continuously excellent assistance.
These issues had to be solved somehow. How did you find out about IFX Networks? And how did IFX Networks become the partner and ally you needed?
Michael Corvalán: We met IFX through Luz Eliana, our commercial executive. She introduced us to IFX Networks’ services and told us that they had a data center and cloud services here in Santiago, Chile. Sure enough, that’s where we started working together.
It was a gamble because we did not know IFX nor had we ever worked with them. We also did not have a close reference that could guarantee us the quality of the service we required. Deciding to work with them was a risk that we definitely do not regret taking.
While making a decision with a broad and rigorous bidding process, did consulting our clients references give you greater confidence to choose us?
Inés Canales: The truth is that the bidding process was long because doubts regarding the proposal appeared along the way. For us it was a very critical process. Therefore, we were willing to devote all the time in the world to them. Nevertheless, we also would like to highlight the positive attitude and approach IFX Networks had throughout the process. They took the time to answer each of our questions and provide excellent service when we needed, thus gaining our trust.
We could say that thanks to the dedication, commitment, and service you received from IFX Networks in the bidding process, you decided to shake hands with this great alliance. But tell us a little more. What solution did IFX offer you and what benefits or advantages did you find stood out from the other bidders?
Michael Corvalán: One of the biggest advantages of IFX’s proposal was the alliance with APTEC, given that it is a company that already knew our system. Therefore, it was not going to be so complicated to resume our services or systems. That was one of the guarantees we saw at IFX Networks.
Secondly, the availability and quality of service on behalf of the executives was extremely valuable since they were openly available to answer our questions and concerns.
However, the main and most important aspect was their price point. Given the global context, having quality service for a reasonable price was crucial.
Inés Canales: In terms of services, today we have applications and services both in hardware and administration throughout the SAP platform. SAP is the core of Universidad Mayor. Therefore, we entrust all of our processes to IFX Networks. If at some point SAP goes down, our entire internal processes collapse.
One question that arose while selecting proposals was whether or not to work with two companies. The University knew that if a direct service was hired with IFX Networks, our partners would be involved. The University always tried to avoid this because, historically, when a problem arose, our partners would always be stuck in the middle without a concrete answer. However, this has not been the case with IFX Networks. After hiring IFX, the service has been provided as a single service provider and that has incredible value for the client. IFX Networks has been transparent with its management which is an unparalleled benefit.
Have you seen accountability on behalf of IFX for its services?
Inés Canales: Exactly. IFX Networks’ guarantee is unique in the sense that regardless of whether the service is provided directly or by its partner, it is perceived as a single service.
We love to be seen as one with all our services. Tell us in detail. What results you have obtained with IFX’s solution in terms of our value proposal, what we promised to do, and what we have achieved? What would you identify as IFX’s strengths?
Inés Canales: Your commitment with Universidad Mayor was precisely to be part of critical processes and to do everything in your power to solve any problem that arose. In this sense, our expectations have been entirely met. We carried out our first 100% remote enrollment process (something we had never done before) during a pandemic which added a huge degree of complexity to the process. However, the process was carried out smoothly without the slightest technical failure.
Michael Corvalán: In that sense, not only did IFX deliver on what was promised, but so far they have exceeded our expectations. I sincerely thank IFX for their service. Clearly, since we acquired their service all our expectations have been met.
SAP services have always been working 100%. Any work we have had to do after hours or overtime have always been accompanied by IFX Networks. It is extremely reassuring to know that we have a partner working with us. We are very happy with their service.
Inés Canales: In fact, it is extremely calming to have a partner who anticipates situations and does not need to be told what they need to look ahead for. This is new for Universidad Mayor since we focus on solving problems quickly rather than avoiding incidents altogether.
What was the migration process like?
Inés Canales: It was a wonderful and smooth process.
Michael Corvalán: The migration was a success for us. The servers that IFX Networks arranged for the university were immediately available and had no major problems. As the services were enabled, we were able to start working on time.
The productive migration was the most critical environment for us so we anticipated a week to carry it out. Nevertheless, we were able to complete it in three days making it a quick and transparent process.
About the critical processes you mentioned, in terms of enrollment, signing up classes, and other services, what are your business’s needs? What other processes do you consider critical?
Michael Corvalán: We have had a couple of critical processes such as course registration at the beginning of the year. Indeed, IFX was consistently there to accompany us. We had had Monica, our Service Manager, who has always been aware of our needs. She has become our ally in coordinating every logistical detail during critical processes. At IFX Networks we found the partner and value we needed.
Did you previously have a Service Manager at your disposal?
Michael Corvalán: Yes and no. Previously, we had a Service Manager but the relationship was not so dedicated and committed. We felt like another customer. They were never able to manage resources according to our needs. On the contrary, IFX Networks is always understanding and committed to solve each of our questions and meet our requirements and needs.
Inés Canales: We have managed to create the alliance we were looking for. We are now able to relax with IFX’s services and support since they help us feel that everything is being taken care of and that they understand our needs. That is something you don’t always get with your suppliers. Not all suppliers become your partners or allies.
As Chief Technology Officer, the services contracted with IFX Networks are not a concern.
How would you summarize IFX Networks’ strengths?
Inés Canales: Although IFX is listed as a technology company, they focus on the customer’s needs rather than the technology. Their ability to profoundly understand the customer’s needs, process, and business is truly a one-of-a-kind service.
Following that line, how would you describe IFX Networks in five words?
Inés Canales: Knowledge, empathy, competence, closeness, goal-oriented, a very good partner.
Why would you recommend IFX Networks?
Inés Canales: For Universidad Mayor, it has been a radical change. It changed our lives.
They have been the solution to not just one but to several critical issues. It has been an excellent experience.
I would recommend them because they have helped us regain confidence in suppliers. After all, they make customers happy and they understand any needs and contingencies that arise.
Therefore, working with IFX is always a wonderful experience.For us, it is also very gratifying to work with you. We work from all areas of IFX to provide an excellent service and help companies feel like they have a team. This constitutes our main objective: to be present and provide the best services and solutions not only for one problem but for any and every issue that may arise. For us it is also very valuable to know that we are doing well to continue providing the best to each of our customers.