Building the Next Tech Hub for AI Innovation
From our founding in 2003, Wovenware has never been content to just do the ordinary when it comes to technology services and solutions. As a custom software engineering and AI consultancy, we’ve always looked for the complex and challenging projects that disrupt regulated industries with better ways to work in a digital first world. We have always been committed to doing things differently – to blazing new trails in tech innovation.
Yet, when we started out more than 19 years ago, custom software engineering services were pretty much non-existent in Puerto Rico. But, traditional industries that drove the Puerto Rican economy – i.e. tourism, banking services and telecommunications – were beginning to understand that a software revolution was making every company a software company.
We’ve always looked for the complex and challenging projects that disrupt regulated industries with better ways to work in a digital-first world.
We got our first break developing a web application to handle DSL provisioning for Claro, one of the largest telecommunications companies in Puerto Rico. The next break was a web-based invoicing system for a major healthcare insurance firm. At that time, the Internet was just starting to take off and if you wanted to develop web projects, you needed to leave the island to do that and go to the mainland – but we thought differently. We brought on-board world-class software engineers and programmers and from those first two projects – a spark of tech innovation was ignited in Puerto Rico.
Nearshore Model Brings Global Business To Puerto Rico’s Shores
By 2012 we were servicing customers beyond the borders of Puerto Rico, with a staff far exceeding our six team members of the early days. The nearshore model of outsourcing was becoming quite attractive to companies looking for cost effective software development services, as an alternative to offshoring to far-off locations, and Puerto Rico became a prime destination. Companies were catching on that Puerto Rico provides the best of both worlds – its software development service fees are significantly lower than those of the mainland, but with the convenience of a closer location, with the same language, culture, federal regulations and time zones.
At the same time that nearshore was catching on, “big data,” and business intelligence (BI) were taking hold as a precursor to data-driven AI. Wovenware was busy developing BI solutions, data warehouses and data-driven applications and we grew our business delivering these types of solutions via the nearshore model.
Wovenware Expands Services, Gets More Intelligent
Keeping true to form, we were seeing great success delivering custom software engineering services and data-driven solutions, but it wasn’t enough. AI was entering the scene in a big way around 2016 and we wanted a part of it. Pragmatic AI was helping companies automate tedious, time-consuming tasks, leverage data to uncover hidden insights that could help them forecast future activities and make better business decisions.
We assembled a team of data scientists, built the infrastructure and became proficient in the cutting-edge tools and technologies driving this new AI era. We then got our first big AI break with Maxar Technologies, developing labeled datasets from their satellite imagery and helping them leverage a form of AI called computer vision to count and classify objects. From there, we developed chatbots for universities, deep learning tools for governments and predictive machine learning tools for insurance firms, to name a few.
Learning to Be Resilient Against Natural Disasters, Pandemics
By 2017 we were on quite a roll. We had expanded our staff to close to 100 people and had dozens of software engineering and AI clients – and then disaster struck. Hurricanes Maria and Irma hit Puerto Rico and caused devastation across the island, wiping out power and cell phone service, and threatening basic needs like water, food and medicine. It also blurred the lines between business needs and personal survival. At one point, we were working against a deadline to deliver a custom product update to a key client. Realizing the impact that this major storm would have on our software engineering services business, we moved up the deadline for client delivery by two days. That meant an all-hands- on- deck effort as we worked to finish the job. And, since our power was out, we worked out of the offices of Foundation for Puerto Rico, a local non-profit organization, until our back-up power was restored.
We approached the challenges like an emergency room, triaging the most important client needs first and re-assigning workloads, sending staff to work on-site at customer locations on the mainland and making sure we were addressing the most pressing client needs first. We also personally reached out to clients every day after the storms to keep them updated on the status of their work.
As did everyone in Puerto Rico, we learned valuable lessons about how to be resilient during the hurricanes. Lessons that came in quite handy during the pandemic, when we were forced to operate remotely, keep business running smoothly and employees protected and engaged.
Wovenware Once Again Adds a New Dimension
With a growing and successful software engineering and AI practice, in 2020 Wovenware once again sensed a new direction in the technology industry headwinds – the role of design experience in ensuring that software and other technology is developed to meet real-world needs.
We launched our Service Design practice and became a trail blazer, offering an interdisciplinary approach to digital transformation and AI projects, through design, development and delivery of digital solutions within a single consultancy. Today, our Service Design practice leverages Design Thinking and Agile methodologies, as well as creative problem solving, storytelling, and business discipline to help customers identify their unique business challenges and ensure that the digital transformation technologies that Wovenware develops for them are designed to specifically address those challenges.
Women’s Empowerment in Tech – March 2022
Nearshore Model Brings Global Business To Puerto Rico’s Shores
Our fortitude, resilience and constant quest to expand the boundaries of tech innovation have earned us a position as a global provider of software engineering and AI solutions and services.
“We’re proud to be recognized as a key AI and computer vision provider by some of the world’s largest market research firms, such as IDC, Gartner and Forrester.”, joining the ranks of some of the world’s largest tech companies. And, HFS Research marked us as a “Hot Vendor,” noted for our “outcome-centric, consultative approach that blends a broad set of AI disciplines with software development.”
And we continue to grow. In November 2022 we became part of Maxar, a world-leading earth intelligence and space solutions company, where we serve as a Maxar’s software development and AI/machine learning (ML) center of excellence in Puerto Rico. We continue to serve dozens of customers in regulated industries in 12 U.S. cities and six countries – from Japan to Denmark. While we also have offices that extend beyond Puerto Rico, into California and Missouri, our headquarters and roots remain in Puerto Rico. We have made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in the US six times.
We’re committed to giving back to an island that has given us so many opportunities to succeed and we’re proud to be doing our part to put Puerto Rico on a clear path to becoming one of the next AI innovation hubs.
Wovenware has received many accolades and awards for its innovation in AI services and solutions.
- 2014 INC 5000 #3928
- 2017 INC 5000 #3566
- 2018 INC 5000 #2141
- 2020 INC 5000 #3335
- HFS Hot Vendor – Q4 2021
- SBA Hubzone Certified
- IDC Innovator 2020 Automation Solutions Provider
- Forbes – Official Member – Technology Council
- 2021 Microsoft Inner Circle – Artificial Intelligence
- ISO 27001 – Information Security Management System – Compliant
- Forrester – New Wave Leaders 2020 – Computer Vision Consultancies
- 2022 INC 5000#3281