Nearshore Americas

FutureSource Preview: Buy-Side Decision Makers See Multiple Reasons to Bet on Mexico

Industry influencers and outsourcing decision-makers are looking forward to forging new relationships, while capturing a more realistic understanding of Mexico’s business climate at next week’s FutureSource Summit.

The event, which takes place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mexico City on November 6 and 7, will unite buyers from the United States with Mexico’s leading BPO and IT outsourcing firms. It features an enticing agenda packed with matchmaking sessions and an array of speeches, panels and case studies delivered by key industry players. Approximately 125 people are set to attend the event, including representatives of major U.S. and multinational firms such as Google, State Street, RealD, Honeywell, Staples, Teradada, ScotiaBank and Cisco Systems, among many others.

Mark Ferri, Senior Manager in Service Contract Management and Install Base IT Systems at Cisco, said “we’re interested in understanding what the capabilities are of the vendors that are there today, particularly on the IT side … and what their strategic plan is for the development of IT and BPO resources over the next ten years.”

Cisco already has a support operation in Mexico, Ferri said, “but we want to gain a greater understanding of what’s going on in terms of developing a skilled resource pool, what capabilities are already there, what is involved in building a particular site, the difference in the cultural aspects in terms of working with Mexico versus working with other offshore partners, and the ability to implement Agile – or a virtual form of Agile – so that we can do a continuous delivery model.”

Ferri will be participating in the Super Panel on “Collaboration and the New Demands of Americas’ Outsourcing Leadership.” Having attended the Nexus 14 conference organized by Nearshore Americas in Jersey City earlier this year, he said he is convinced that FSS will be an event worth attending.

As for Cisco’s interest in Mexico, he attributed it to the fact that “right now Mexico’s fairly stable, especially in the Mexico City area, while Monterrey has very good universities. Travel there is very convenient so if we’re managing projects out of our locations in North America we can do a day trip to Mexico, whereas in India, for instance, our average trip length is 13 days.”

“We’re looking to move to a nearshore model and we’re looking to see if Mexico is a reasonable place for us to move to. At my previous job I did work in Mexico but I’d like to hear other people’s experiences” – Chris Snyder, Director of Software Development at Scantron Corporation

Furthermore, Ferri added, “some of the hidden costs that we’ve experienced in offshore are less pronounced in nearshore, that’s one of the differentiating factors. The other thing is the ability to collaborate in real time with our resources, which is true throughout the region but Mexico’s more cost competitive and resource competitive right now than most of the rest of the region.”

Chris Snyder, Director of Software Development at Scantron Corporation, said “We’re looking to move to a nearshore model and we’re looking to see if Mexico is a reasonable place for us to move to. At my previous job I did work in Mexico but I’d like to hear other people’s experiences.”

In Synder’s mind, one of Mexico’s primary advantages as a nearshore location is its well stocked talent pool. “They’ve got large financial centers there and some of the best developers that I’ve worked with have come from the financial industry. They’ve got a full economic system that would make the developers suitable for the work that I do. I’ve had problems in other locations in terms of finding people because they didn’t have the industries aligned at all,” he said.

“I think English-speaking workers are more common in Mexico than in a lot of South American countries because of Mexico’s proximity to the United States,” Synder added. “The time zone issue is also very important to us because we treat our nearshore people like our own staff. We call them throughout the day and they work directly with our project managers and so on.”

Synder will also be on the lookout for service providers. “We’re pretty set on nearshore but we still have to decide who we’re going to work with so I hope to get some of the answers to that question at FutureSource,” he said. “I hope to meet some people that I can begin some actual service business with.”

Having been to several events organized by Nearshore Americas in the past, Snyder said “every time I go to one of these things it gives me more knowledge and this time it’s more specific to Mexico as a location for nearshoring so I anticipate that we’ll get great value out of it.”

Oscar Mario Garcia Tirado, who will take part in the CIO Panel on Smarter Outsourcing Practices in an Era of Digital Disruption,” said he is “looking forward to participating.”

Garcia is the head of Information Technology Manager at Financiera Planfia, a company created by a network of Chrysler dealers that offers credit to people and companies to buy cars. He believes Mexico’s economy is “growing increasingly mature in diverse sectors,” partly thanks to the recent economic reforms that are making it an ever-more attractive proposition in the eyes of foreign investors. “Mexico has remained financially stable, its economy has not fluctuated much and this could be a plus point for foreign investors without doubt,” Garcia added.

But not all attendees are interested in investing in Mexico. Mario Merino, the Country Manager in Costa Rica for U.S.-based custom application developer Gorilla Logic, said he will be attending FSS “to understand what our competition is doing in Mexico.” Merino said he aims to “see how things are looking in terms of scale, because we are a boutique development firm, we’re very prestigious and highly capable but in the scheme of things we’re still small compared to one of the large development firms.” Merino also added that he also hopes to gain greater understanding of the latest nearshore trends, to hear about the needs of big companies that are hiring in the region, and to network with potential buyers.

Duncan Tucker

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