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What is Nearshore?

Nearshore is "the transfer of business or IT processes to companies in a nearby country, often sharing a border with your own country", where both parties expect to benefit from one or more of the following dimensions of proximity: geographic, temporal (time zone), cultural, linguistic, economic, political, or historical linkages.
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About
Analysis and insights regarding the IT outsourcing industry & technology perspectives. Contributors of this blog include journalists of Nearshore Americas and of Softtek. The views expressed in the content by Nearshore Americas, or any other author, do not necessarily reflect the position of Softtek.
Nearshore Outsourcing
Softtek created the nearshore concept in 1997. While the nearshore industry is maturing nicely, there is still room for growth. This space is dedicated to providing our takes and perspectives on nearshoring across the globe.
The Process of Creating
Creativity, while in its essence is free of rules, follows a process. A discussion of the evolution of services, this blog allows us to participate and share our thoughts and ideas more openly during a time of disruptive IT evolution.

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Kirk Laughlin

 
Kirk Laughlin
 
Managing Editor, Nearshore Americas.

Follow NSAmericas on Twitter @NSAmericas / All author's posts
September 01, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Sourcing’s Opportunity to Interconnect with Mobile

 It says a lot when perhaps the most powerful and influential brands of our time – Google – decides to point its prodigious resources in the direction of mobile technology. We have been hearing it for years: “mobile is the future.” With its well-timed introduction of the Android OS a few years ago, to the recently announced acquisition of Motorola’s mobility division, Google is making clear that it doesn’t want to be forced to play ‘catch up’ in the mobile space.

Read On

August 17, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Outsourcing Buyers: Take Advantage of Latin America's Uncharacteristic 'Access'

A little talked about facet of the Nearshore outsourcing industry in the Americas is something that more buyers need to pay heed to: Access to top goverment and policy making officials.

Meeting with government officials, especially heads of ministries that are focused on science and technology, is an invaluable part of assessing a country's viability for third-party outsourcing as well as investment into captives and shared services centers. There is nothing quite like having a sit-down meeting with government leaders to discern, in a 'heart to heart' sense, the level of awareness and commitment these officials have in cultivating probably the most essential element to your offshore outsourcing strategy: human capital.

In the last four years, I have probably met with close to 100 top government officials - from ministry heads to presidents to investment promotion executives - across Latin America and the Caribbean. In general, these meetings have been exceptionally enlightening. For instances, in meeting with the President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla, last year,  I heard - very clearly - her passion for eliminating bureaucratic red-tape to enable foreign investors to tap into Costa Rica's thriving IT sector.

On the other hand, there have been a few instances where government leaders would struggle to explain what the acronym "BPO" stands for.

I describe this feature of the Nearshore outsourcing industry as a 'little known facet' because very few people seem to recognize that Latin America - as a whole region - has done a tremendous job creating an 'accessible' environment for those probing to learn more. In many larger cities across Latin America there are agencies established to focus solely on raising awareness and disseminating useful information for outsourcers. For example, there is "Curitiba Offshore' for the Curitiba, Brazil region, "Invest in Bogota" for Bogota, Colombia, and Jalisco State Economic Development Agency (for the Mexican state that includes Guadalajara, Mexico).

There are obviously simliar groups in other offshore havens around the world. But, in my own encounters, the fact that Latin America shares unique bonds with North America - meetings with government officials more often than not has the ring of becoming "reaquainted" with a country that has already established formidable social, economic and cultural ties with the United States.

The final consideration in making the most of this 'access' lies in the hands of BPO/ITO and offshoring investors themselves. It is only through active pursuit of knowledge that such doors to these important officials are opened. In other words, buyers have to be willing to make contact with country promotion agencies and top vendors in the region - and board planes to see the countries first hand.

I have been in touch in recent months with a CIO based in New Jersey who has been to over five Nearshore countries in the last four months, examining a variety of Nearshore vendors in their ability to develop e-commerce applications for his corporation. As a result of these missions, the CIO is more prepared than many to maximize his investment and anticipate - in parallel - how the government, private enterprise and universities can be supportive of his investment roadmap.

The door to Latin America is wide open - but decision-makers have to willing to walk through it.

 

 

August 11, 2011 at 4:36 PM

IT Security is Global, So Let's Start Treating it that Way: Interview with Softtek's Security Ace

 The Internet is global.  In order to do business today, executives have to interact with global partners and customers. But, despite these realities, there remains a lot of trepidation among CIOs about the ability to manage information security in a global scope.

One person who knows a lot about the realities of maintaining robust security practices worldwide is Leonel Navarro Segura, Business Information Security Leader at Softtek’s global delivery center in Aguascalientes.

Read On

July 20, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Responsible Journalism, Mexico and Getting Real

Facts can sometimes be hard to decipher in our hyper-frenzied media culture. Take Mexico for example. We of course know about the escalation of violence over the last few years in which President Felipe Calderon has asserted a tightening grip on the country’s drug cartels.

But let’s be honest - the drug-related violence has been overplayed in US media. Put another way– the US population has been flooded with negative images of Mexico over the last few years. What has been sacrificed during this period is more pronounced analysis of Mexico as a rising economic power; its growing influence as a center of excellence for IT and BPO; and the increasing expansion of the country’s middle class.

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July 08, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Making the Most of Peer Insights in LatAm Site Selection and Sourcing

There is nothing more irksome than hearing a CIO or Global Sourcing chief determine that X city is Latin America is 'unsuitable' for their sourcing needs, basing their decision on advisories given by firms and people who have not actually visited X city.

Sounds crazy, but it happens all the time. The truth of the matter is advisory firms are paid to crunch data and come up with 'conclusive' findings that are supposed to be definitive and defensible. What's so wrong such clean and unequivocally precise 'guidance'? Actually a lot.

Read On

July 01, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Global Services Industry Should Not Take Telecom for Granted

It's not the T1 line or boring issues like throughput speeds that get people excited about mobility, broadband and the massive advancements we've seen in telecommunications over the last 15 years. End-users are fixated on the utility of their end-device. How that service is rendered and, in the wireless realm, how an air interface is put to service to transmit bits of data across the clear blue sky is essential irrelevant. End-users want their data anytime, anywhere on any device.

Read On

June 23, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Visibility, Risk and the Real World CIOs Live In

It’s not hard to notice that the words  ‘transparency’ and ‘visibility’ are dominate themes in the things CIOs talk about these days . You have had CIOs like Vivek Kundra, who until recently served in the White House as Federal CIO, call on fellow bureaucrats to catapult into a culture of "radical transparency"  where end-users (in this case US citizens) would receive more complete access to records and information.

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June 17, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Nearshore is an Advantage in Lean Methodology: A New Q/ A Feature

We are starting a new series in the pages of the Softtek Nearshore Outsourcing blog that will speak with executives and business leaders focused on driving outsourced service excellence. Our first guest is Efraín T. González, a process improvement manager with Softtek, based on Monterrey.

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June 11, 2011 at 3:45 PM

A Country’s BPO ‘Tone’ Comes from the Top

In the corporate world, it is common to see organizations march to the directives of C-level executives who may implore their associates to do everything from follow corporate security guidelines to come up with innovative new product suggestions to park their car in designated slots at corporate headquarters.

The concept of ‘tone from the top’ has a wide range of implications. But when it comes to the performance of a corporation, ‘tone from the top’ is used as a telling berometer in the wake of a major achievement or a miserable collapse. (One example: Those who worked for Bernie Ebbers, past CEO at WorldCom, during the months before his demise around 2001, describe that the only tone heard from Bernie was the buzz of his computer screen as he was transfixed by the stock performance of WorldCom and little else seemed to matter.)

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June 03, 2011 at 1:32 PM

When "Yes" Means "No" and Other Cultural Hazards

It wasn't until I had a long interview with Jane Siegel, the esteemed Senior Scientist at Carnegie   Mellon University, did I realize how profound an effect 'culture' has on outsourcing relationships.

Until my conversation with Siegel, I had viewed culture as somewhat of a 'soft' issue. First off, my contention has always been: culture is a 'nice to have', but when it comes to the hard-core delivery of IT and BPO services, cultural barriers are not insurmountable. In other words, there's nothing terribly disruptive to a few more phone calls or sit-down meetings in order to overcome any gaps around getting aligment between project owners and delivery partners. In other words, I believed, cultural issues are manageable.

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