Key success factors for your nearshore initiative

Highlights of Cinq’s webinar on essential guidelines for nearshore/offshore projects.

IT talent shortage is becoming a growing problem; Gartner estimated 1.4 million opening positions in the US tech industry for 2020. As an alternative to this issue, having a nearshore partner brings a lot of value to North American enterprises, since it helps to scale operations and deliver digital solutions with the velocity the market requires. 

India is the largest exporter of IT, with 4.36 million employees in the segment, but Brazil’s IT services exports have grown 1000% in the last 10 years, gaining increasing importance among the United States’ favorite countries for nearshore outsourcing.

To discuss the best practices when working with nearshore and offshore teams, Cinq promoted a webinar on September 15th, 2020. Andy Hilliard – Chief Executive Officer at Accelerance, Maria Sullivan – International Trade and Business Consultant at The Channel Company, Olivier P. Poulard – Enterprise & Digital Transformation Strategist at RAPI²D, and the host and moderator, Marcelo Wzorek – Head of Software Delivery at Cinq were invited to the talk.

It was an amazing discussion, with so much rich information for companies which want to start working with nearshore partners or are looking to enhance their outsourcing operations. Some of the most mentioned topics were time zone proximity, cultural alignment, and how to build a profitable relationship with partners. 

When looking for a nearshore provider, find a company easy to do business with. As Maria commented, “If you are looking for an offshoring partner, you don’t want to increase you workload by having to manage that partner. You want to take things off your plate, so you definitely want a partner that is easy to work with.” 

The nearshore provider must communicate well and have good English skills, talent and expertise. As pointed out by all the speakers, more than taking direction, it is important for the partner to offer suggestions on better ways to do things and how to improve the project, that is, come up with a different model which is less expensive and can be done in less time. 

Andy mentioned that the “benefits of proximity and time zone overlap, as well as cultural alignment, are such a great value driver in the holistic measurement of a relationship,” especially with “things that require collaboration, coordination, and people interacting with people; you cannot overlook the value of time zone and culture.”

About the cultural topic, Olivier said, “Sometimes, the best solutions come from different minds and different cultures.” Therefore, it is really important to understand and respect cultural differences. Even though they tend to be similar in nearshore relationships, each country and each company has its own culture.” 

Marcelo pointed out that both the provider and the customer must respect cultural differences. It is not about enforcing your culture, “it is about having a mix of cultures and respecting them: we shouldn’t underestimate cultural changes.”

Even in this cultural scenario, or thinking about methodologies, Olivier completes, “You have to empower both the client and the offshore provider, so it’s not just one side or the other, it is a true partnership.”

“When we talk about partnership, both the client
and the service provider must work together towards the right solution.”

There are two different entities, therefore “the commitment in the relationship, both from a contractual standpoint and from a team building and partnership standpoint, has to be built from the ground as part of your engineering function,” concludes Andy. 

To get the full content about the best practices when working with a nearshore partner, watch the webinar:  

About the speakers: 

Andy Hilliard is an expert supporting companies in creating and executing better software engineering strategies using global outsourcing. 

Maria Sullivan is an expert consultant in international trade with great experience in the Brazilian and US markets.

Marcelo Wzorek is a software development delivery head, leading nearshore teams for more than 15 years, supporting various customers in the US and Western Europe. 

Olivier P. Poulard is a seasoned executive that directed multiple strategic offshore partners in large and complex transformation programs.

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