Central Gate

Catching the eye of an international retail powerhouse

Organization profile

Central Gate is the official Costa Rica high-tech services association gathering top-quality export outsourcing providers in BPO (Business Process Outsourcing), ITO (Internet Technology Outsourcing), and Digital Marketing. This is the one-stop-shot for offshore and nearshore contractors looking for trusted and proven suppliers delivering human talent, competitiveness, and added value in developing business solutions.

Since its very origins, Central Gate has been supported by CINDE (The Costa Rican Investment Promotion Company) and developed an innovative and effective public-private alliance with PROCOMER (The Foreign Trade Corporation of Costa Rica) to become a strategic cluster for attracting incoming business opportunities for its members.

Established on December 2012, it was presented internationally at the 2013 IAOP Outsourcing World Summit. Since then, the organization has been a frequent participant in international industry events, representing over 13 Costa Rican companies to dozens of potential clients in the United States, particularly in New York, Virginia, Texas, California, and Florida.

Strict membership criteria ensure that the organization enlists the best and most recognized providers in the exporting services sector. These specific standards include: being up to date with the corresponding legal responsibilities in Costa Rica, holding at least 50% bilingual resources within the company (English-Spanish), having at least one international client, reporting minimum annual sales of US$200,000 for international clients, and presenting a customized recommendation from CINDE, PROCOMER, or any other current member of Central Gate.

As a not-for-profit organization, Central Gate is a business opportunity facilitator and it does not charge any commission not does it obtain any form of revenue from the leads signed by its members; nonetheless it works as a platform for the interchange of good practices and partnerships, and it does promote specific ethical policies that guarantee impartiality, honesty, confidentiality, transparency, and avoidance of any conflict of interest.

Strategic Partners

2018 in review:

  • Active associations with local strategic partners: 31 business opportunities explored for the cluster during the year – 10 generated directly by Central Gate´s marketing efforts, 14 incoming from CINDE, 7 referred from PROCOMER
  • Dynamic business interest: at least 32% of business opportunities kept active by the end of the year

2019 at a glance:

  • Progressive increase in leads: in one semester, the amount of business opportunities almost tied the total produced during the previous year: 25 leads by July (8 generated by Central Gate, 15 incoming from CINDE, 2 referred from PROCOMER
  • Growing attention in local capabilities: 14 pitches aimed at ITO services, 9 at BPO, 1 emerging at Digital Marketing, 1 for a BPO-ITO mix.
  • Rising business contract consideration: 65% active deal pitches by July 2019

Five certain reasons to contact Central Gate for your ITO outsourcing services:

  1. Diverse ITO services offering: The list of ITO capabilities services you can hire through Central Gate includes network design, architecture design, application engineering, and more. Central Gate’s members offer specialized technology-oriented solutions, internet-related programming and information technology-enabled services such as infrastructure support, Cloud solutions, full life cycle software engineering, web and mobile development, legacy system, and EPR support just to name a few.
  2. Efficient match between your business needs and required solutions: When contacting a third-party provider, you certainly need a quick but trusted reference. Why not seek it in just one reliable, supportive, businesslike cluster instead of running a long trial-and-error process with first-starters?
  3. Internationally suitable providers that guarantee your business continuity: Because of its adherence to Costa Rican official trading institutions, Central Gate certifies only the most recognized, recommended, current exporter providers as its members, meaning that learning curves have been clearly surpassed and that legal agreement, as well as technical and exporting processes, have become inbound settled procedures.
  4. Robust technical know-how and expertise: At Central Gate, you will find all your ITO services ready in the right place at the right time, thanks to compliance with relevant in-demand certifications and satisfactory delivery of complex processes and best practices. Bilingual skills and cultural affinity also stand for some of the proficient features your business requires for developing accessible, cost-effective relationships and archiving success.
  5. Proven relevant experience: On average, each Central Gate member has around a 10-year background experience offering its services in the USA and Canada when becoming part of the association. Thus, when contacting one of Central Gate’s members you will find a clear and straightforward business culture and a proactive approach to resolve problems, just as you need.

About this case study

International competence, trustworthy validations endowed by Central Gate, and strict agreement to demanded capabilities and standards were key in winning this particular lead.

  • Catching the eye of an international retail powerhouse

Among several global opportunities, the client followed CINDE’s recommendation of contacting Central Gate to analyze possible local ITO providers to support and back up very complex and strict technical and operative specifications. Ultimately, local talent, technological assets, provider’s flexibility, and Central Gate’s method and validations proved positive in the client’s partner selection.

  • Four feasible providers in exactly just two days

Central Gate’s agile methodology and operations fast-tracked the client’s prospect providers validation. After the first approach, Central Gate arranged an immediate meeting with the client to explore the business opportunity and understand the technical needs. A business opportunity alert was submitted at once to the ITO members so they could assess their interest and participation in the provider reference list for the client’s own selection process. 48 hours after the first contact with Central Gate, the client received a list of four interested providers ready to be contacted for direct negotiations. Subsequent executive assistance by Central Gate included refined service suggestions by the network, coordination of meetings, agendas, and follow-ups with the selected provider to satisfy early contracting processes. This whole pipeline reveals three key virtues of Central Gate’s methodology: proactivity, efficiency, impartiality.

  • Willingness and disposition to adapt to the client’s selective conditions

A set of definite, rigorous specificities -some not even demanded in the provider’s country of origin- would make most offering companies shy away from a business opportunity. Nonetheless, in this case, Central Gate’s member selected by the client expressed full engagement and readiness by satisfying crucial conditions set by the contractor.

Member profile

Sapiens Development

Based in Costa Rica and with presence in Austin, Texas, and Raleigh, North Carolina, Sapiens Development specializes in Software Development, Application Integration, Mobile App Development, Application Support and Maintenance, QA and Automated Testing, CRM, CMS, Portal and ERP Solution Implementation. Since 2009, the company has provided specific, on-time, well-crafted. on-budget business solutions to a wide variety of firms, from Startups to Midsize to Fortune 500 companies in diverse industries, such as accounting, agriculture, automotive, aeronautics, banking and finance, e-commerce, healthcare, insurance, IT services, logistics, media, among others. Sapiens technology proficiency includes IOS, Java, JS, .NET, Android, CMS, PHP, Selenium, Xamarin, etc.

Client profile

L.L. Bean

L.L.Bean is American mail order, internet sales and retail company, based in Freeport (Maine), specialized in outdoor clothing and recreational gear for over 100 years. Its website (llbean.com) was launched in 1995 and is among the top-rated e-commerce sites in the industry. Customers can shop thousands of products, book courses, locate nearby parks, find store information and much more. L.L.Bean also has 27 retail stores outside of Maine, as well as 10 outlets, with new stores opening each year. Its global website serves over 200 countries and territories.

Business situation

LL Bean’s market requires a dynamic new services delivery where IT solutions support the business all along. As business is in constant expansion, the company needs to handle a variety of projects in Maine lead by professionals such as JAVA experts, web developers, front end developers, QA specialists, project managers, and Security contractors, among others.

Technical situation

L.L.Bean’s headquarters in Maine were unsuccessful in finding the qualified staff they were looking for. Reasons such as lack of applicants, lack of experience, and applicants expecting a disproportioned payment (much higher than the one offered) urged the company to look for nearshore outsourcing options. Additionally, explicit requirements like years in business, specific US insurance coverage (not available in Costa Rica), revenue level with financial capacity, Business English Level Test (BELT) competence, and specific PCI certification, made the provider selection process hard in itself.

Solution

Sapiens Development provides remote talent in team augmentation mode, which will work under agile methodologies in sync with the LL Bean IT department as an in-house extension, with frameworks that facilitate the company’s technical requirements, security policy, technical and internal procedures, etc.

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