Software for power plants, energy companies driving Visual K in LatAm

Bnamericas Published: Friday, December 16, 2022

Increased demand for industrial asset management solutions, as well as ERP software for manufacturing processes, are the chief drivers of IT firm Visual K's business in Latin America.

The company, the channel partner of software group Infor and industrial solutions provider Hexagon for the US, Caribbean and Latin America, has been riding the wave of automation and digital transformation in the region in the power and energy verticals, according to its CEO Rene Nazario.

"We are focused on helping all these companies improve their asset management, especially in this transformation that we’re seeing towards digital reality. This goes beyond having a digital twin, for example, but rather being able to use it remotely, in a practical and simple way, such as through a mobile device," Nazario told BNamericas.

"The asset management solution [Hexagon] with which we have been working is a leader in the world, and the idea is that it should also be a leader in Latin America." 

Founded 25 years, Stockholm-headquartered Hexagon has expanded mainly on the back of a series of acquisitions. It claims to be a global leader in digital reality solutions, combining sensor, software and autonomous technologies. 

In 2021, Hexagon bought cloud software provider Infor's enterprise asset management (EAM) division for US$2.7bn in cash. 

That deal, which was concluded this year, ended up forging ties between Hexagon and Infor’s controller, the Koch Industries. Through an MOU, the agreement provided for the expanded use of EAM in Koch businesses and cross-selling opportunities.

Hexagon posted 3.77bn euros (US$4bn) in net revenues for the first nine months, up 8% year-over-year, and 728mn in net earnings, up 9%.

Around 5% of revenues come from South America, but the Americas was the region that contributed the most to sales during the third quarter at 40% of the total. It was also one of the few geographies contributing to growth in the period, which could be mainly attributed to Visual K. 

According to Hexagon, South America recorded double-digit organic growth in Q3, with a strong performance particularly in mining and power/energy.

"The idea is to continue upping the region's share for Hexagon's total. Our target is 25% in sales growth per year," said Nazario. 

"They [Hexagon] are very strong in oil and gas too, and we come here with many solutions for everything that is powergen. We are pretty much involved in the power generation part, as well as distribution and transmission, renewables..."

Argentina, driven by projects on the renewable energy front, Peru and Caribbean islands have been chief business highlights for Visual K in 2022. Mexico, on the other hand, has underperformed, which Nazario attributes mostly to the economic and political context.

With offices in the US, Puerto Rico, Guatemala and El Salvador, physical presence in Mexico and Colombia, and operations through distributors and integrators in several other markets in the region, Visual K has a customer base of 200 Latin American clients and delivers services to 95 plants, according to the CEO.

Pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, as well as utilities and "other industries with mission-critical assets" are also among the customers of Visual K. In facilities, the company also has projects with ports and airports in countries such as Chile, said Nazario.

In addition to ERP and EAM, Visual K offers human talent platforms and point-of-sales (POS) solutions. 

And while the type of competition varies depending on the solutions provided and the client supplied, Visual K's main rivals in the region are traditional software vendors IBM, through its Maximo EAM suite, SAP and Oracle.


The company does not disclose specific capex figures, but a sizeable part of Visual K's investments in Latin America is going towards talent, according to Nazario.

At present, the company has 50 professionals in the region, 90% of whom are operating remotely and serving different countries. The goal is to increase that headcount in the next months as new projects are closed.

"We have high stakes for 2023. With all that’s going on in industry automation, we expect to continue growing at solid rates in the region," said the CEO.

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