Abaco Consultores: internationalization in expansion

Abaco Consultores is one of the biggest Portuguese companies of SAP ERP systems implementation. With offices in Portugal and Brazil, projects across several European and North African countries, and more than 180 active customers, the company now intends to expand its internationalization and release its new business line, EDGE, in foreign markets.
With offices in Portugal – Porto and Lisbon – and in Brazil – Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro – as well as nearshore operations in Algeria, France, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Switzerland, Abaco is a company dedicated to the implementation and maintenance of SAP information systems (worldwide leader in software management). The company is one of the largest SAP Value Added Resellers nationally and, nowadays, has more than 180 consultants with high experience in the market.
In addition to SAP implementation and maintenance, Abaco has been growing through the development of new product lines in areas such as sales mobility or health and safety at work. To respond to its growth challenges, the company hired 35 new employees in the last year. Its goal is to be one of the biggest and best companies implementing management information systems.
“The main characteristics that led us to achieve the success we achieved in the past ten years are, on one hand, the commitment to guarantee the competence of our consultants and, on the other hand, the fact that we are always really attentive to the key market trends, something that has helped us offer the best solutions to our customers and follow them more closely”, said João Moreira, Chairman of the Board.
Mr. Moreira says that 2014 was an “extremely positive year” to the company, which has had a total turnover of 10.229 million euros. That represents an increase of 46.6% over the previous year. The company’s international business has been growing steadily, representing 4.419 million euros of Abaco’s total business volume.
According to João Moreira, the international business – which integrates the Brazilian operation and the projects developed in Europe and North Africa – has a significant weight in the total turnover of the group, something that the company wants to maintain and expand with some new operations, in addition to the development of international projects in a nearshore model, from Portugal. It should be noted that, in 2014, Abaco entered the international pharmaceutical industry in the United Kingdom and Switzerland, and also won important projects in the Brazilian financial sector.
In Brazil the company even doubled its turnover, a relevant fact if we consider the local situation, with a stagnant economy and a GDP growth of only 0.1%. “The investment that the company has been doing in the international market already has remarkable results in locations such as Brazil, where Abaco has a great growth, contrary to the local market”, adds João Moreira.
Abaco’s international strategy is to reinforce investment, particularly in Europe and North Africa, and in Latin America, through Brazil. In addition to the natural focus on SAP ERP projects, Abaco will also invest in opportunities to be a service provider in nearshore model, as it has been doing successfully. Over the past months, the company has also reorganized its support and maintenance area, linking Portugal and Brazil, in order to expand the coverage of its “Global Support Center”, taking advantage of the different time zones of the two geographies.
With more than 180 active customers in the different regions of the globe, Abaco’s activity is based on two models: one of own structure, like Portugal and Brazil; and another one based on a nearshore model, through which the company wants to keep exporting services from Portugal. An example of this situation is the recent project in the Lithuanian Public Administration (conversion from the LIT system to EUR).
“The focus on internationalization through nearshore is one of the initiatives under way to ensure our growth and diversification of markets. Through nearshore we already developed relevant projects in competitive European markets, something that makes us extremely excited and expectant”, says João Moreira.
The international growth of the company was also supported by the entry in new countries, like Algeria, France, United Kingdom and The Netherlands, apart from Switzerland, where the company is already present for more than three years. The company’s main goal this year is the release of its new business line: EDGE. This business line, for now only available in Portugal, is one of the company’s strengths to increase its offer in 2015 for foreign markets.
Also according to the chairman of the board, Abaco is an “international reference in the apparel and footwear industry, where the company leads in both markets – Portugal and Brazil – because of its strong competencies in this sector, recognized worldwide”.

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