Mabel Montalvo Vice-President at Visual Communications Inc. “VICOM,” believes that local technology companies should not be competing against each other.
“I think the local competition no longer exists, the competition is with the world,” Montalvo said. “In technology we should all work in an integrated manner, strategically integrated to compete outside of Puerto Rico.”
Founded by Salvatore Nolfo over 40-years ago, the company kicked off operations at a time when videos were not “commercial yet.”
“VICOM worked with 35mm slides in multiple carousels programmed to be synchronized to an audio track, as a communication tool designed to deliver a robust message that impacts the most important operations and communities within the organization,” she said.
Located in Santurce, VICOM has continued evolving through the years “in everything related to videos.”
“Historically we have been working for all of these years on video productions for multinational companies,” Montalvo explained.
In 1995, Banco Popular asked “us for a training on federal laws” and VICOM spoke to the bank’s officials about doing trainings on computers and program them in “such a way that it would recognize the student that was going in and taking the course, take a test and the system administrator could tell who entered and who passed the test.”
“Then we started working with our manufacturing clients,” she said. “And through them we learned that when we integrated what is video with technology and online education the number of employee commitment increased.”
In 2000, VICOM started creating digital communities, an “innovative vision” that transforms its clients’ communities by integrating “our strengths to foster the short and long-term engagement of their customers, employees, shareholders, colleagues and fans.”
“These communities are internal communications, we don’t work on external communications,” Montalvo explained. “What we work on every day is internal communications. Communication to the employees. And, to a certain extent we apply what is publicity to communicate with the employees but instead of the focus being the sale of a product it’s the change of a conduct.”
VICOM continued evolving, Montalvo said, and started working with countries outside of Puerto Rico because the leaders of the manufacturing companies “have become global leaders of these companies.”
“Puerto Rico is a hub of leaders,” she added.
Finally, as the pandemic hit in 2020, VICOM developed two new products. One of the products is a platform of on demand courses for professional associations, such as the Puerto Rico Bar Association.
“They asked us to give the courses they offer there members online and be able to sell them,” Montalvo said. “Right now, I have proposals for associations that are seeing this as step to create a new means of income and offer a service of advanced technology to their members.”
That product was created during the pandemic and offers these associations or organizations a way to make income and a platform that is connected to their website.
Montalvo said that these are short video courses and one course could have four modules and each one can last 30 minutes.
The product is called VICOMeLearn an on-demand course platform focused on the educational needs of organizations. It provides the most advanced educational technology and meets strict compliance requirements of regulatory entities.
The other product created during the pandemic is VICOMeVote, an electronic voting system.
At VICOMeVOTE, you can vote for an association’s board of directors or “define rules, you can vote to say if these rules should be passed or not.”
“The pandemic was very interesting for the digital transformation we were working on with PYMES and other companies in Puerto Rico,” Montalvo said. “All the work I had done blew up in the pandemic because it forced companies to transform themselves. There was no alternative, you had to transform and move forward.”