In commemoration of Women in Science Day, we want to highlight Nelsy Velosa's fascinating journey in the field of technology and enterprise software. Nelsy, a passionate systems engineer, shares her experience from her early steps in mathematics to becoming a prominent figure in ERP solutions development in Colombia. Her inspiring story reflects not only her dedication and exceptional technical skills but also the ability of women to excel in the technological field.

Hi Nelsy. It's a pleasure to meet you. We'd love to learn about your career in enterprise software and your professional evolution in this process. How did you choose your career?

My career choice began with the study of mathematics. Initially, I enrolled in a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and completed three semesters. In the fourth semester, a Mathematical Logic professor approached me at the beginning of his class. He asked if I was happy with my major and assessed my skills. Instead of lecturing, he devoted his time to advising me. In the end, he recommended that I switch to Systems Engineering and offered his support.

Fascinating. What was your experience like at the beginning of your career?

My experience at the beginning of my career was excellent. In the first two semesters, I was motivated to explore which areas I could excel in. Before graduating, the course monitoring advisor involved us in consulting work, so before obtaining my degree, I already had a job at the Ministry of Finance, specifically in the tax area. From the legal department, they requested the development of an application to improve legal department management. The technology area director referred me to consulting, taking me out of purely systems and into consulting, where I developed an application with the technology available at that time.

Then, I worked for a consulting company where I did very well. Later, another individual contacted me to work on new designs in a different area, and that's how I started working for a state-owned company. With this experience, from the beginning, I could see how the idea of a project is formed and how needs are identified. When I entered the state-owned company, I went directly to the Engineering department, where I found specialists of all kinds. At first, I was the only woman in the engineering department, but I have never felt isolated by gender or anything like that. I worked in the communications area, learned, and started solving problems from the systems engineering perspective. I participated in a project that sought to reduce the classification time of a system that came in text format and was converted to a flat file before being loaded into the system, where statistics had to be configured. I was called to improve this process, and I developed a program in 1С:Enterprise that significantly reduced classification times, generating reports in a matter of seconds. This project opened many doors for me.

As a systems engineer, I learned that limiting yourself to a niche is not necessary but to have an open imagination and constantly evolve. In addition, the ability of leaders and the ability to manage resources a crucial aspects for success. I am very grateful to those who have trusted me throughout my career.

How have you seen the evolution of ERP technologies throughout your career?

Well, initially in Colombia, the focus was mainly on the administrative side. ERP was talked about in terms of administrative and accounting aspects, then integrating some aspects of human resources, but it stayed only at that level. Later, some software companies started developing production software, but very specialized, without considering a general approach but a specific approach for each case, almost like custom-made software.

So, it wasn't as comprehensive as it is now. We can see the flexibility in the different software now.

Exactly. There was a company that wanted more than just the administrative and accounting part. They focused on business processes, but it wasn't a general and complete perspective of seeing all processes as a system, as a whole, and as an interconnection between those processes.

Interesting. Wow! When do you think this evolution from custom systems to the flexibility of each system occurred?

Well, I started to become familiar with the systems of an Indian company around 2007. By 2007, they already had a completely integrated approach, suitable for all types of companies: industrial, service, commercial, and corporate. So that approach was very oriented towards large companies, but small and medium-sized companies in Colombia still did not have that integration factor that contributes to business improvement and transformation.

So it was gradually introduced.

Gradually introduced, yes, and then I met a product from Russia and saw that it really convinced me because it had the same comprehensive approach. Furthermore, it convinced me that it is flexible in its implementation because, from the perspective of advising a company to configure its system, in the end, an ERP becomes the software for the entire company. From that point of view, it convinced me. However, the product had a similar approach to that of the Indian company, that is, comprehensive. I began to see that it was very flexible to adapt to Colombian companies.

Throughout this incredible journey you've had, what do you think has been one of the biggest challenges you've faced?

The challenge is that there is a lack of understanding from the client about what an ERP is.


That's right. When it is offered, they compare it with what already exists. And what exists is... limited. There is another software with international fame, but its implementation is very rigid. It lacks the flexibility that 1C:Drive has. So, many implementations have failed. Of course, when they compare us and try to introduce it, they say, "No, but we already have a terrible experience." Others say, "No, but this other one...". They compare it by price because if the software is limited and does not have all the components, then the price is lower. Of course, the implementation cost is lower than the price of the solution itself.

It's a lot of work.

A lot of work, very detailed work for the entire company. You have to understand the company, understand its processes, and understand the stakeholders to know what the best implementation solution is. It allows you to do everything, but when they see the work involved, they compare it with software that you simply install and it works.

So, there is a significant conflict. What project, in particular, do you recall most throughout your career?

Well, there is one ongoing, but due to political issues within the client's company, they have not resolved it yet. They have decided to buy it, but they have not decided when. However, it is an interesting project because in that process, the stakeholders have been working on the solution. They are interested, and we understood their processes well, and they understood our product very well. So now they see the solution and have already started because it requires an interface with another communication part. They are already working on the communication part, but due to regulations, they have not yet started the ERP part. But, for example, it has been a very interesting job because they have deeply analyzed their processes. Saying: "Wait a minute, because you are talking to us about something and we really do not know our company well." So they paused a bit, and that was very interesting.

Taking that retrospective is excellent. In your career, how have you seen the involvement of other women in IT companies?

Well, here in Colombia, the participation is good. I've had female colleagues in courses; excellent, good participation. I think we're accepted, and it's going very well. It's excellent for us.

With these words, we say goodbye to Nelsy Velosa, who emerges as a prominent leader in enterprise systems integration, demonstrating that gender is not a barrier to success in technology. Currently, Nelsy is one of our valuable Partners at 1Ci, offering a portfolio of ERP solutions tailored to the specific needs of the Colombian market. Her ongoing contribution to the world of technology is not only highlights her technical ability but also her fundamental role in driving diversity and inclusion in the field of science and technology. Happy Women in Science Day to all the incredible women who, like Nelsy, have made their mark on this exciting path.