Softtek’s Camila Casale considers her parents role models but she herself is a leader to aspire to for many women. Following the advice her mother and father gave their Buenos Aires-born daughter of not being afraid of failure, Casale is inspiring women to take risks and embrace change.
In her role as Chief Marketing Office for the U.S. and Canada for Sofftek for approaching a year, Casale continues to push herself beyond her comfort zone. As President and Founder of Women in Technology (WITech) Miami Council, she is working passionately to connect, advance and empower women tech leaders of all backgrounds and nationalities to succeed.
It’s no surprise that Casale is flourishing at Softtek, the global provider of process-driven IT solutions founded by female entrepreneur Blanca Treviño, who is considered one of the most influential Latin America executives, and also a member of the IAOP Leadership Hall of Fame. (To read our View from the C-Suite interview with Treviño, see PULSE Issue 13.)
Before Casale’s current position, she was responsible for the creation and delivery of Softtek’s portfolio of value-added services, which were launched in early 2015. Throughout her career, Casale has consistently performed as a top executive with the acquisition and retention of major accounts in North America, Europe and Latin America.
Casale took time out from her summer to talk with PULSE about the benefits of nearshore managed services, the state of outsourcing of IT and software services and the impact of automation, and also shared where she finds balance in her life and the unusual request she sometimes gets on airplanes.
P: You’ll soon be celebrating your one year anniversary as CMO of U.S. and Canada at Softtek – congratulations! Tell me about your role.
Thank you! I oversee the planning, development and execution of the organization’s marketing and strategy initiatives. Leveraging an industry-focused segmentation strategy, I manage a wide range of programs designed to increase revenue, drive new sales, and retain and expand existing client relationships.
My team is aligned to industry sectors – retail, banking, manufacturing and so forth. So each person on the team works with their business line to oversee the development of business strategies, lead generation and sales, research, campaigns, events, messaging and content. And while everyone on the team has their particular area of focus, a lot of collaboration is needed to make sure that schedules are met and deliverables achieved. Since the team is mostly remote we have to rely on technology and collaborative tools to ensure we’re all aligned. For me personally the challenge is to stay on top of things so I can lead them to succeed at what they do and be able to deliver real business results. I am very proud to be part of such an amazing organization.
P: What is the best advice you’ve received or give to others?
The best advice that I’ve ever received actually comes from my parents and it is to always push yourself and to never allow yourself to be comfortable. Get out of your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to fail. If you allow yourself to become complacent, you lose focus, fall behind the competition and stop learning. I am also a believer in the idea that, while failing is all right, it’s important to have a process/methodology in place to learn from those failures, and to understand what we did wrong and what we did right. Otherwise, you fail and get nothing out of it.
P: How does your background of 10 years as a consultant help in your current role?
I think it helps me to understand the challenges and opportunities we face in working with our customers and prospects. Because I’ve been there, I have a strong understanding of what our customers’ needs and pain points are, as well as what works and what doesn’t from a marketing and strategy standpoint.
P: What is the state of the industry of outsourcing of IT and software services?
The outsourcing industry is in the midst of a profound transformation triggered by automation and the need for higher quality outsourcing services. Clients are increasingly looking beyond labor arbitrage and demanding higher quality, more efficient and more cost effective managed services. The main challenge is that the speed of transformation required to adapt to these market needs requires a fearless corporate culture regarding change. Companies that embrace change faster are the ones that will be more successful in a very crowded, competitive and noisy marketplace.
There are plenty of opportunities for both clients and services providers. Clients will have access to more advanced, higher quality and efficient managed services and solutions. Innovative service providers will have access to larger contract opportunities and accelerated growth. Traditional outsourcing service providers will face stiff competition to win and retain existing clients after decades of lack of innovation and inability to deliver real value.
P: What is the outlook for nearshore outsourcing?
It is definitely more favorable not only due to the restrictions on H1-B visas, but more importantly because of clients’ focus on agile and accelerated transformation. Nearshore managed services are better integrated to clients’ business processes, organizations and business culture.
P: How are automation and RPA affecting your business model?
These technologies are having a huge impact and redefining the entire outsourcing industry. For us it’s a huge opportunity, because unlike the major offshoring firms, we have not invested millions in developing a labor arbitrage-based delivery model and hiring hundreds of thousands of people. So we can focus on how to leverage the technology to do more work with fewer people, rather than figure out how we’re going to redeploy thousands of people. Also, because we don’t have huge labor arbitrage-based legacy contracts, we don’t have to worry about cannibalizing existing revenue when our clients ask us to deploy these technologies.
P: What is happening in the workplace as far as talent and attracting/retaining the best workers?
Well, it’s certainly a challenge for everyone in the industry. As the tech services space becomes increasingly crowded and competitive, we can’t simply rely on traditional ways of doing things, and we can’t try new things simply because they’re new. We have to constantly focus on programs that have an impact, and that we can continually evaluate and improve. As an organization, our strategy is to focus on offering opportunities for growth and development, to make a difference for our customers and to have some fun in the process, of course!
P: What culture are you working to create at Softtek?
As I mentioned, for the marketing team it’s all about collaboration and welcoming ideas. I’ve strived to create an environment where everyone is encouraged to fight for their ideas, value their own ideas and those of others, and not be afraid of failing. Our team has a range of backgrounds and experiences, and I want to make sure that everyone is open to ideas, whether they come from someone with 20 years of experience or from someone who is two years out of college.
P: IAOP has been working to launch a Women Empowerment chapter over the past year. Do you feel woman are empowered in the outsourcing industry? What more can be done to help women succeed in this industry?
I think progress has been made, but to be honest, a lot of work still needs to be done. If you look at the latest surveys on women in the workplace, the numbers speak for themselves. In my opinion mentoring and sponsorships are essential. I’ve benefitted greatly from mentors, such as my leader Marcos Jimenez, CEO, Softtek U.S. & Canada, who is constantly pushing and empowering me to be very successful at what I do, as well as Myrna Soto, Corporate Senior Vice President Chief Technology Risk Officer and Global CISO of Comcast, who has been a huge influence and source of inspiration to me. I’m 100 percent committed to keeping that cycle going, and recently founded WITech Miami Council, a group focused on connecting, advancing and empowering women from different nationalities and technological backgrounds to advance and succeed in technology. I believe such programs are critical, not just for developing new talent and the leaders of tomorrow, but for keeping today’s leaders out of their comfort zone by helping them to stay engaged, curious and relevant.
P: What are your interests outside work?
I am a certified Skanda Yoga Instructor. Yoga has become a key element in my life as it helps me to stay grounded and in balance in such a challenging environment. Being from Argentina I am also a big fan of wine and food. I am an animal lover. I have two dogs, one of them is a rescue dog. I love to hike and snowboard and spend time with my husband, family and friends.
P: What books do you like to read?
It’s quite challenging to keep up with what’s going on in the technology space, especially with my work schedule. I try to read quality articles on major topics. For recreational reading, I also enjoy topics related to healthy living, yoga, travel and leisure.
P: What do you like to eat at home and on the road?
This is a very interesting question for me. I am actually in my journey of becoming vegan. I have been vegetarian for over three years now and I have found that it has positively impacted my health and well-being. And yes, it’s a challenge to keep up with this diet when I am on the road. I have been spotted more than once opening my home-made bag lunch in the airplane on long flights. And I have to confess that more than once, people have asked to try my food!
Camila Casale At a Glance
Current Role: Chief Marketing Officer U.S. & Canada, Softtek (since September 2016)
Prior Roles: Senior Vice President Consulting Services, Softtek (since 2014); Director of Business Development Latin America/Global Account Leader Frost & Sullivan; Account Manager Telecom Argentina
Education: Holds an MBA in management from Universidad de San Andrés and a bachelor’s degree from University of Buenos Aires
Languages: English, Portuguese and Spanish
Interests: Skanda Yoga and snowboarding
Founded in 1982, Softtek is a global company helping organizations bridge the digital gap. With presence in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia, Softtek provides Global 2000 organizations with technology solutions that create value through technology. Visit www.softtek.com, follow @Softtek, connect with Softtek on LinkedIn and read Softtek’s blog.