Customer story

Coamo:
Strategic IT planning for a complex agro-industrial cooperative

Coamo is a Brazilian agro-industrial cooperative, based in Campo Mourão, Paraná, serving agricultural producers in the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Mato Grosso do Sul. Created in 1970, it is today considered the largest cooperative in Latin America—employing 9,000 staff to support more than 30,000 members across the agribusiness ecosystem. Revenue growth has been 210% over the last 5 years and expectations are that this will continue. Coamo is preparing by shoring up its IT governance and strengthening its IT capabilities to support the cooperative’s mission with innovative technology solutions for technical assistance, agricultural and veterinary counseling, produce storage, industrialization, marketing and logistics—ultimately helping its members generate income with a sustainable agribusiness.
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Challenges
  • Strategically supporting the cooperative’s business capabilities with the right technology
  • Maintaining good governance over a highly complex IT portfolio
  • Digital transformation and adopting new technologies (IoT, AI/ML) to support its members
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Outcomes
  • Deployed IT governance to better manage a growing IT portfolio
  • Introduced IT risk management
  • Introduced strategic portfolio management to align IT demands and investments to business strategy

 

Using the concept of platforms and solution ecosystems, we can better manage our IT portfolio. We consolidate information from many sources in Alfabet, giving us more insights for decisions on digital transformation.” 

- Ailton de Almeida Queiroz, CIO, COAMO
Rethinking technology for the benefit of members

Brazil has the climate conditions and technical capacity to produce up to three crops per year—and Coamo plays a fundamental role in making this possible. The organization is an agro-industrial cooperative that enables its members to connect and harness the latest technologies to boost their operations. Members receive agronomic and veterinary guidance, financial services and other assistance—combined with digital support—that allows them to manage their businesses sustainably aligned to ESG pillars. 

Since it was created as a union of 79 farmers over 50 years ago, the cooperative has grown exponentially. During this time, Coamo has built up its IT network with a range of hardware and software solutions to serve the needs of its diverse members across their developmental journeys and help them increase revenues. 

But the cooperative’s rapid expansion resulted in an IT portfolio with a multiplicity of technology components, data stores and business applications. Faced with this complexity, Coamo was struggling to efficiently align its business, application, information, and technical layers as well as develop standards for change aligned to its business needs and goals. Moreover, the team at Coamo were eager to introduce better governance: boosting its IT capabilities meant it was going to need a new level of control.

Starting the journey with an in-depth inventory 

To better serve the business ambitions of its members, Coamo wanted to increase digitalization across its value chain. This required IT to develop specialized management and operations systems for the entire value chain, causing the IT environment to become more and more complex and needing a greater degree of governance and management. Working together with a local Software AG partner, Smart Demand, the company was introduced to Alfabet—a leading enterprise solution for strategic portfolio management from Software AG.  

"We were introduced to Alfabet when we started our IT governance evolution journey. We could clearly see that it would support us; facilitating the management of our portfolios, and answering strategic business questions related to IT," says Ailton de Almeida Queiroz, CIO, COAMO.

Initially, Coamo adopted Alfabet FastLane, a cloud-ready version designed for a fast and easy start into IT portfolio management. Quickly convinced by Alfabet FastLane’s dashboarding that gave them clear insights into the make-up of its current IT portfolio, Coamo realized it could use those insights to better manage business demand for IT solutions, optimize IT investment, and plan the appropriate IT response to the company’s drive towards digitalization of its various value streams. Later, Coamo migrated to the Alfabet Enterprise product to take advantage of a broader range of functionality and the ability to configure the product to best fit the company’s processes and stakeholder needs.

"Alfabet integrates with other IT management tools to be able to provide a view of IT at different levels of depth and detail—and with it—a complete and accurate information base for organizations to make good decisions," says Queiroz. "For us, the objective was to improve transparency and support the direction of our IT efforts, maintaining the level of service that matches the demands our members place on us. We have now laid the groundwork for this as well as for making better decisions on where to apply our IT budget to ensure a return for the business.”

Making IT decisions simpler, faster and more effective with Alfabet

Coamo is currently using Alfabet to represent business capabilities (enterprise architecture) based on its value chain (primary activities, management and support) and its technological architecture (applications, information and infrastructure). This representation has been built using a detailed inventory of the IT portfolio (software, hardware, services and partners) and a record of its interdependencies.

Although strategic portfolio management is an ongoing process, Coamo is already benefiting from greater visibility. The cooperative now has a clear picture of how different parts of its IT portfolio are connected to each other and how significant each is in the context of its business strategy. This is helping Coamo understand the impact of planned changes and how to use its technology more efficiently across the entire value chain, from producer to consumer.

With Alfabet, Coamo also has a view of which technologies are most aligned with its business strategy, maximizing return on investment and minimizing risks. The goal is to create transparency, coherence, better collaboration, and agility in the delivery of new business solutions—ensuring that all parties involved are working with a single source of data. The integration of Alfabet with Coamo’s other ecosystem platforms, combined with change management, will streamline the maintenance of the data contained in them, ensuring that technological evolution happens at Coamo securely and agilely.

Sowing the seeds for future efficiencies

Coamo's ambitions don't stop there. Soon, it intends to use its new solution for strategic directions linked to investments and member demand: The cooperative, for example, intends to determine how much IT resources each business area consumes proportional to the portfolio used by that area. This will allow Coamo to demonstrate the value of each business product—and show return on investment to its members. 

Alfabet enables us to prioritize investments and pass financial benefits on to our members. We are all about maintaining an ecosystem where everyone thrives. Alfabet is key to this.” 

- Ailton de Almeida Queiroz, CIO, COAMO
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