To expand beyond its core market reselling software to Mexican financial clients and launch innovative new solutions, SOA Professionals needed a game-changing technology platform.
SOA Professionals uses IBM Watson Explorer to power a series of AI-based solutions for clients across the financial, medical, legal and call center sectors, helping them to work smarter and faster.
PositionsSOA Professionals as market leader in cognitive IT space in Mexico
Transformsservice offerings, providing cutting-edge new business solutions
Helpsto win new business from enterprise clients and other vendors
Business challenge story
Helping businesses to succeed
As the quantity of data they manage, store and analyze continues to grow exponentially, enterprises within Mexico and in Latin America must get the most from their data assets. Increasingly, businesses recognize that pinpointing a single piece of valuable information within a vast trove of data could provide opportunities to edge out rivals or identify the ideal candidate for a key position on a new project.
SOA Professionals helps businesses unlock insights to drive competitive advantage. An IBM Business Partner since 2004, the company originally focused its offerings on reselling solutions to clients within the Mexican financial market.
As the company grew and developed a deeper relationship with its clients, it began to envision how it could use more cutting-edge technologies to solve key business problems.
“We were one of many software resellers working within the market,” says Chema Alvarez, Sales Manager, CTO and Co-CEO at SOA Professionals. “Although we had worked with some clients within the financial space for over a decade and they valued our expertise, we wanted to develop a more innovative service to help them work smarter. To achieve that more creative approach, we needed a game-changing technology platform.”
Deploying cutting-edge cognitive tools
Following a meeting with an IBM representative seeking a partner keen to experiment with a new cognitive technology platform, SOA Professionals began to explore the potential of adopting a solution—the predecessor to IBM Watson Explorer—with the ability to read and understand unstructured text.
“We were using IBM Watson even before it was called Watson,” says Chema Alvarez. “As soon as I saw the new solution, I realized we had found just what we were looking for. We started our own lab to develop the capabilities of the tool and offered it to a client on a no-fee basis. This was our first cognitive offering, and the client remains a satisfied customer to this day.”
The following year, SOA Professionals attended a conference to learn more about the IBM solution, and started planning the development and launch of new product offerings based on IBM Watson Explorer and IBM Watson Developer Cloud for companies in the finance, HR, medical, and customer relationship management (CRM) industries.
The cognitive capabilities of the IBM solutions allow SOA Professionals to train these new systems to analyze and identify trends and patterns within large datasets for industry-specific use cases. Using IBM Watson Developer Cloud, the company integrates the Watson application within its software offerings.
For example, for HR teams, SOA Professionals developed the Cognitive Head Hunter application to help recruiters select the best talent. SOA Professionals trained the Watson solution to recognize specific criteria within resumes, employment test papers and psychological assessments, enabling it to reveal candidates best suited for the position.
The company also created Cognitive Legal Advisor, an application to support enterprises analyzing large volumes of contracts and legal documents. To enable faster decision-making, the solution automatically selects the most relevant subject matter within the documents and routes them to appropriate lawyers and administrative staff.
For the healthcare sector, SOA Professionals developed Cognitive ICD10 to help medical staff make accurate, speedy diagnoses. When healthcare providers enter a report detailing patients’ symptoms, the solution assesses the data and provides diagnostic guidance.
SOA Professionals also uses Watson Assistant to help its clients interact with the system’s cognitive tools. Rather than spending time clicking through multiple menus, users can ask questions in natural language to a virtual assistant that translates speech to text and delivers a reply.
“The Watson tools are simply amazing in what they allow us to achieve,” remarks Chema Alvarez. “As we move forward we will also be looking to expand our use of the IBM Cloud portfolio.”
SOA Professionals already uses IBM Db2® and IBM Informix® to store data generated by its cognitive solutions, and IBM Operational Decision Manager to enable clients to turn that data into valuable insights. In the coming years, the company plans to integrate even more IBM tools into its service offerings.
“I have worked as an IBM Business Partner for 15 years now,” adds Chema Alvarez. “Throughout that time, IBM has always supported us very well. We work alongside several other major vendors, but none provides the level of assistance that IBM delivers. Not only do they help us to design and build the solutions, but IBM has offered excellent support on the commercial side, enabling us to craft contracts and commercial agreements for even the most demanding clients.”
Leading the way in the market
Working with IBM Watson technology, SOA Professionals has transformed its business and service offerings, helping it to win new clients and become a pioneer of AI tools for enterprises in Mexico.
Its use of IBM Watson technology has turned SOA Professionals into a business totally focused on the AI and cognitive space. The company’s ground-breaking work with IBM Watson has made it the market leader and the go-to provider for cognitive solutions in Mexico. In fact, its clients deliver over half of all the Watson instances within the Mexican market.
The company’s thought leadership for cognitive solutions in Latin America has created high demand for SOA Professionals from other IBM Business Partners keen to expand their reach into cognitive services. In some cases, other service providers knew little about the Watson platform, and have approached SOA Professionals for expert guidance and support, allowing the company to lead a series of new collaborative ventures and generate valuable new revenue streams.
“We now provide our expertise in Watson to other vendors, so they can bring their own products to market in quick time,” says Chema Alvarez. “Of course, we could have taken the view that assisting potential competitors would cut into our market share. In fact, we recognized the value of spreading the use of the Watson technology, as greater visibility of the solutions has driven more inquiries for us.”
With its new service offerings, SOA Professionals has gained new customers eager to adopt cutting-edge cognitive solutions. Prospective clients regularly ask the company to provide demonstrations and Proof of Concepts for enterprises to explore the potential of implementing AI solutions to solve long-standing pain-points.
“There is a real wow factor when clients first see the Watson technology in action,” says Chema Alvarez. “The only problem we face is that sometimes potential buyers believe the solutions are too good to be true! It can take a few demonstrations and references before they are convinced by the exceptional capabilities.”
So far, user feedback on SOA Professionals’ cognitive tools has been positive. The company has heard great things from clients about how its solutions have dramatically changed how they perform key tasks. Users have been eager to showcase their cognitive initiatives to their management boards to highlight their innovative approach and gain support for new projects.
SOA Professionals has captured interest from new clients on a global level, from well beyond its core Mexican market. Recently, the company met with potential enterprise clients from the United States, as well as an IBM Business Partner from New Zealand eager to offer Watson solutions to its customers.
“We have become real evangelists for Watson,” concludes Chema Alvarez. “When we approach new clients and reveal our story, it is as if we are opening their eyes to a whole new way of working. At the start of this journey, we were one software vendor among many. Thanks to IBM Watson, we have entered a hugely exciting period where the possibilities for innovation are endless.”
About SOA Professionals
SOA Professionals is a leading provider of IT solutions based in Mexico City, Mexico. Part of the Spanish multinational Grupo CMC, which focuses on the delivery of outsourcing, technology and management consulting, SOA Professionals has led the way in the Mexican market in the use of cognitive solutions for clients in the financial, insurance and health and pharma sectors. The company offers solution design, development, implementation and ongoing support.