Nearshore Americas

Brazil’s CI&T Makes a Play for Smart Computing

Operating in the United States since 2006, the Brazilian IT company CI&T, which works with consultancy and software development, has invested in smart computing and in the development of customized solutions using the Google Cloud Platform to grow in the U.S. market.

The company, which was founded in 1995 and has its headquarters in Campinas in the state of São Paulo, provides enterprise applications using several technologies such as mobile, cloud computing, analytics and social media and has among its customers large multinationals such as Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Pfizer, Walmart and others.

One of the solutions created in partnership with Google was the software as a service called Smart Canvas, which makes it possible to offer custom digital content using the Google Cloud Platform and employs big data analytics technology. The tool uses machine learning and predictive analysis advanced algorithms to personalize customer experiences and recommend customized content to clients according to their preferences. “The tool makes it possible to understand how consumers relate to companies, based on data collection from a range of sources such as social media, stores, as well as CMS (Content Management System), such as websites and e-commerce information, allowing companies to improve consumer experience with the brand,” said Leonardo Mattiazzi, vice president of Innovation at CI&T.

The partnership with Google has helped the company gain new customers in the competitive American market. This year, CI&T was awarded the 2014 Global Partner of the Year by Google for Cloud Platforms. Currently, CI&T has more than 20 customers in the US using this technology. “Our goal for next year is to make this solution scalable, offering the technology developed for the Smart Canvas through customized solutions designed for large customers using the Google Cloud Platform,” said Mattiazzi.

Leonardo Mattiazzi, vice president of Innovation at CI&T
Leonardo Mattiazzi, vice president of Innovation at CI&T

The work developed together with Google, helped CI&T to win a worldwide competition to create a global marketing digital campaign for Coca-Cola for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The project was built in Atlanta using the Google Cloud Platform. Coca-Cola invited fans around the world to share their photos to create the Happiness Flag — the world’s largest mosaic flag crafted from thousands of crowd-sourced images, submitted by people in more than 200 countries. The flag was unveiled during the opening ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The Google award also acknowledged CI&T’s consistent development and workforce growth, which includes the world’s largest team of developers – fully certified in the five GCP disciplines (Cloud Storage, Big Query, GAE, Cloud SQL and Google Compute Engine).

The CI&T strategy for 2016 is to implement the technology developed for Smart Canvas in any type of project. “What we will do is to extend the capacity to recommend personalized content using artificial intelligence, allowing its application in other contexts,” explained Mattiazzi.

Companies such as Amazon and Netflix, for example, already use contextual marketing concept to recommend customized content based on the recent choices of customers.

The international operations accounted for 35% of CI&T’s annual turnover, being the most part from the US. “We plan to increase international operations’ share to 50% of our turnover,” said Mattiazzi.

The US market has gained greater relevance in face of the slowdown in the Brazilian economy. CI&T has six units in the US, which are located in Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, Houston and San Francisco. The company employs 50 workers, and the team is made up of both Brazilian and foreign employees.

The work developed for Johnson & Johnson, involving digital experiences, opened the door to CI&T winning other multinationals customers. “In the beginning, we provided services to smaller businesses and even startups, which helped us to learn new technologies and gain more agility. But currently, our main focus is on large companies,” said Mattiazzi.

The international certification CMMI Level 5 — the highest level related to software development processes — obtained in 2007, was also very important for CI&T attracting large clients at the beginning of its operations in the US. That year, CI&T was chosen by Fortune magazine as one of the 10 rising stars companies, which considers companies that are on the rise in the global outsourcing market. “Today these certifications have become irrelevant because software development processes have changed, with agility becoming more important,” explains Mattiazzi.

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The company adopted the lean management system — the production model employed by Toyota that aims to eliminate time and resource waste through the continuous improvement of processes — and has invested in research, planning to open an innovation center in the US next year focused on digital experiences. “We will likely open an innovation center in San Francisco or New York,” said Mattiazzi. Worldwide, CI&T has 11 offices abroad.

The company ended the first half with 46% growth in annual revenues, compared to the same period last year. By the end of this year, the company plans to achieve BRL 330 million in annual turnover. In 2014, CI&T annual revenues totaled approximately BRL 240 million. For 2016, the company’s goal is to reach a turnover exceeding BRL 400 million. “We aim to double the business size every three years,” said Mattiazzi.

Kirk Laughlin

Kirk Laughlin is an award-winning editor and subject expert in information technology and offshore BPO/ contact center strategies.

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