Carlos Gradanos, CIO, explains Talisis Project’s digital transformation for education
The well-known Grupo Topaz aims to generate transformation, impact and leadership in the industries in which it operates in Mexico. It entered the education sector in 2012 and it was in 2017 when the project took the name of Talisis Project, shaping its commitment to transform communities through learning. With it Grupo Topaz complemented its portfolio of business units, in which real estate operations (Topaz Bienes Raíces) together with exploration and production of hydrocarbons (Jaguar E & P) were already in place.
TALISIS PROJECT® seeks to transform its environment through innovative learning experiences at different stages of human development, both in early childhood and in professional development and corporate solutions. Talisis has a defined purpose, committed talent, growing infrastructure and multidisciplinary models that result in integral learning, and also in a culture dedicated to transforming communities in a competitive and challenging working culture.
It is a platform with operational units, among which are UNID (Inter-American University for Development) with more than 45 campuses in Mexico, U-ERRE Regiomontana University in Monterrey, IESALUD (Institute of Higher Education in Health Studies), Talisis: Smart Management and Talisis: Learning & Development. These last two correspond to the Corporate Solutions division.
The scope of TALISIS PROJECT® is outstanding – it boasts more than 1,700 employees, 55,000 current students, 5,000 teachers and coaches, 120,000 alumni, 4,500 business agreements, 200 institutional clients and more than 70 learning centres in 80 cities in Mexico and Latin America.
Business Chief Latin America had the honour of talking with Carlos Granados-Villanueva, Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Talisis Project and with his team, about the company's path and trajectory and how technology is helping to improve and develop the educational experience of more than 55,000 students in Mexico.
Smart management of the learning experience
As the CIO remembers, what attracted him first of Talisis Project is its focus on people: "I immediately felt connected, since it is a company whose main objective is to make a mark transforming communities through the different business areas and resources that are currently available. Quality of education, a focus on human development and above all, a high sense of responsibility within the community, are key priorities.”
Carlos Granados-Villanueva joined as CIO two years ago. This has been a time of intense activity in which the technological innovation applied to the education system of Talisis has been his main professional priority.
As an example, Talisis Project has invested a total of $2mn to date in wi-fi technology and its administration, as demonstrated by the collaboration with the internet company Ruckus for the implementation of the wi-fi network in the UNID, improving the performance of students, teachers and administrative staff.
In its wide range of services, the company offers everything from the most basic IT services, to the creation of redundant Business Resource Planning (ERP) systems that always remain online, and this marks a clear difference with other education platforms.
On the application of technologies to the internal management of the group, Granados-Villanueva offers a strategic vision: "The group invests in better and more advanced systems each year for administrative management, administration and operation of curricula and students. We use CRM by Microsoft Dynamics in the platforms that help us to generate services of complete and integral formative offers to the students.
"A clear example is our Lab Industry 4.0 for the teaching of current technologies in the labour market, in which we teach about robotics, artificial intelligence and the development of high-level software and virtual reality, among others.
“Is the first in its kind in Mexico, where not only are we as a group, but we also have the participation of the most important Universities located in Monterrey, Nuevo León, the private initiative and the government.”
Technological innovation for companies and students
As it transpires in conversation with Carlos Granados-Villanueva, Talisis is also a link and a channel to connect the development of students and employees with innovations in the current job market.
For this, Talisis Project has created the Smart Management programme, operator of office services for educational institutions and corporate universities with major investments in software and hardware, such as Microsoft Power BI.
It has a positive effect on the students since they can engage in internships at real corporations through Talisis’ training programme.
In this sense, technology plays a fundamental role since it allows monitoring both students and companies during the months of the internship, leading to an integrated and practical learning. As Granados-Villanueva explains: "Based on the students’ development in companies we see what we have to focus on to keep improving, all through technology.”
For this, Talisis Project has agreements with more than 4,500 companies along with its own offer in business management.
Hitting future goals
Talisis Project has ambitious plans to continue its development in the future. This includes predictive models and indicators to provide students with early support as well as mentorship. On that line, the group plans a future full of new education models together in new learning centres.
Granados-Villanueva envisions the organisation as benchmark in the application and development of technological platforms, customised and adaptive to the needs presented by students, organisations and companies and offering an exceptional experience.
As a conclusion and reflection on what will take place in Talisis Project, Granados-Villanueva and his team foresee a solid future in full development: "We aim to continue building, with solid foundations, the educational offer in Mexico, transforming current educational models with the help of technology.
“We wish to develop to have a greater and better presence, giving the opportunity for students from our country to have a world-class platform.”