Nearshore IT outsourcing and BPO providers still face a collective uphill battle. At last year's Nearshore Nexus gathering of outsourcing sellers and buyers, you could almost hear a rallying cry: Get the word out, people! Too many CIOs and CFOs think automatically of the usual suspects – India, China, Philippines – when they think about shifting work to an offshore company.
This week, though, the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals revealed its Global Outsourcing 100 list, and it seems clear that at least some decision-makers have found advantages in working with Nearshore partners.
“The companies on this year's Global Outsourcing 100 list represent the elite in our field," said IAOP CEO Debi Hamill in an official statement.
Those "elite" companies include five IT/BPO providers from the Nearshore, as well as some very large traditional providers that have recognized the opportunity and talent available in the region and now have big operations there. The five Nearshore natives are:
• Ci&T, the Brazil-based agile software developer
• Grupo Prominente, which has been ITOing and BPOing from Argentina for about 30 years
• Neoris, the SAP specialist, of Mexican origin
• Softtek, the Monterrey-based IT services and BPO provider that coined the term "nearshore" (and is also host of this very blog)
• Tivit, another Brazilian, best known for serving the financial industry.
(Is this geographic distribution some weird predictor of the 2014 World Cup results?)
The IAOP's 2012 100 list has not yet been ranked. That happens later, after a board of independent judges does its sifting and scoring; results are slated to be announced in July. The ranking will also designate certain companies as "rising stars." At that point, providers will be cited for what the judges determine are their "key strength," such as "management capabilities," "balanced performance," "demonstrated competencies," and "customer references."
It's a tough world out there for IT and BPO providers, what with pricing demands, a world economy that does not suggest a happy face emoticon, talent shortages and attrition, and competitors seeming to pop up in every location. So, for anyone to make the same global "best" list as some of the very firms, and much larger firms, that have been in the business for ages is a sign of doing something very well. It confirms that international clients are happy with the relationships they've developed in the Nearshore region, and that there are Nearshore providers who can meet their clients' escalating needs. And it suggests that the word is spreading.
It will be interesting to see if that trend rolls into next year. There's more to it than successful promotion.
Meanwhile, I'd like to plug another list: If you want to learn a little more about some of the real and passionate individuals who have helped shape some of the Nearshore companies on the IAOP 100, check out the Power 50.