Exclusive: Dell Combines Social Impact with BPO Delivery from North of the Border

In the year 1775, with the blessing of King Carlos III, Spanish tycoon Don Pedro Romero de Terreros founded the “Nacional Monte de Piedad” in Mexico City, endowing …

MNP Chairman Raul Medina Mora Icaza (left) with Eric Hutto, VP Americas at Dell Services.

In the year 1775, with the blessing of King Carlos III, Spanish tycoon Don Pedro Romero de Terreros founded the “Nacional Monte de Piedad” in Mexico City, endowing the new charity with 300,000 pesos of gold and a mission to help anyone in need, in perpetuity. Today, almost 240 years later, the non-profit organization still serves its mission by offering low-interest loans to borrowers across the economic spectrum – from the very poorest to the entrepreneur in a cash-crunch – and uses the interest to provide emergency relief, assistance and charitable grants to social causes throughout Mexico.

Processing over 9.6 million loans via 310 branches in every city throughout Mexico, Nacional Monte de Piedad has an IT network that rivals or surpasses many traditional corporations. When it launched a rapid expansion plan that doubled its locations over three years, Nacional Monte de Piedad knew it needed to re-examine its information ecosystem.

“We already had as an institution, an outsourcing contract. The realization that the operation needed to be managed by a third party that was expert in this was something that had been decided before. We knew that we needed to grow, we really had to expand … and we knew that technology had to play a major part in that,” says Dr. Raul Medina Mora Icaza, Chairman of the Board of Nacional Monte de Piedad.

A formal RFP was issued in Mexico, and “we were surprised that Dell was included in the (response) list, we learned afterwards why they had chosen to participate and we were glad that they did. It was a process that originally would take eight or nine months but took more than a year-and-a-half to come to a decision. We were able to interact with Dell customers, we were able to learn about the Perot Systems Story (acquired by Dell), we were able to meet with top Dell executives … It was a trust-building exercise.”

Outsourcing from Mexico to the US

Though most Nearshore attention seems to focus on the Anglo-client and LatAm service delivery, that’s not all that is happening. Even though Dell has a large operations center in Guadalajara, Jalisco, many of the services provided to Nacional Monte de Piedad actually are sourced from a Dell operations center outside of Plano, Texas. Outsourcing has long since evolved from a cost-cutting measure into deep collaboration as companies worldwide look for simply the best strategic partner, domestically or across borders. Given the type of comprehensive service portfolio Nacional Monte de Piedad was looking for, it was clear they had to go with a top-tier provider.

“One of the things we saw immediately is that they were forward-thinking. So because they were forward-thinking and we were forward-thinking, we would both be going in the same direction with our companies. A lot of times companies hold back in the advancement of their own operating models. It’s hard for us to move forward if we are serving a customer base that doesn’t want to move forward, so our strategies were aligned to go forward,” said Eric Hutto, vice president and general manager, Americas for Dell Services.

Dell’s large facility in Guadalajara is able to service many customers, with data center, help desk and other support functionalities. Though they already had a strong brand as an equipment vendor in Mexico, the acquisition of Perot Systems in 2009 established Dell as a credible player in the services and consulting business.

“I would say the real push to becoming a solutions company, solving problems, being able to do the things we do for NMP (Nacional Monte de Piedad) has probably been in the last five years.  The future is the ability to build applications to solve functionality problems, to create things that open up channels and marketplaces for customers—to help NMP create (for example) a CRM solution that makes sense for them, that gives them the ability to actually know the customer and not the items,” adds Hutto.

Enhancing the Dell Brand

NMP fits into Dell’s marketing strategy to back up their push into nearshore services. Hutto explains, “In the marketplace, our strategy frankly is, we could spend all the money in the world in marketing and not build the brand they (Nacional Monte de Piedad) have. So our strategy is: There are 10 top brands in Mexico, let’s go do business with them. We’ll do business and do business well. And if we do, then that creates our brand … MNP was our first outsourcing contract in Mexico. And it was sizeable, and clearly got people’s attention.”

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“The other thing that really caught our eye, and I think what my conversations revolved around in Plano, was it was just the mission of the company. It was their purpose and what they exist for … At the end of the day it was just a cultural fit. They’re good to work with. At no point did I think anybody in (NMP), especially Raul, was worried about the contract we would write together, they were worried about ‘could we operate businesses together?’ And I think that just that cultural fit and the direction that they were headed, it fit with us, and we like to do business with good people. So why wouldn’t you want to be associated with such a great cause and a great company?,” Hutto says.

“The thing I like a lot (about Dell) in the relationship is that they have also embraced our social causes. The reason we are in business is to help people, and we need to do that forever. It’s a big challenge,” adds Mora. First and foremost a charity, Nacional Monte de Piedad supports many community efforts with its nonprofit surpluses, including a scholarship program called “Becas Generación Bicentenario Nacional Monte de Piedad” (Scholarships Bicentennial Generation Nacional Monte de Piedad).

“We chose to give them a scholarship until they finish their graduate (university) education. So the (Dell) Guadalajara group that was there already – one of the reasons we were convinced in addition to the merits of the offering, the relationship and the contract, was that Dell was present in Mexico and willing to do something – so the Guadalajara team runs a weeklong camp for the kids.

“When we had the opportunity to go and work with these very bright young students, to participate in advancing people, then it fit right in line with what Michael (Dell) wants to do. That’s how he sees his purpose, he just happens to do it through a technology company. I think we both serve the same end result. Help people grow and thrive. The future of both countries is our children. We know that and they know that in Mexico,” Hutto adds.

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