Bridging Borders: 7 key lessons learned over 18 years of serving US Clients

Bridging Borders: 7 key lessons learned over 18 years of serving US Clients

Curated by: Rod Aburto

For over 18 years, I have had the privilege of working with software development teams in Mexico and other countries in Latin America, while serving clients based in the United States. This unique professional journey has provided me with invaluable insights and experiences, highlighting the benefits and challenges of the Nearshore model in the realm of software development. In this blog post, I will share some of the key lessons learned and the remarkable advantages that emerge from this collaborative approach. 

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1. The Nearshore Advantage: 

The Nearshore model refers to the practice of outsourcing software development services to neighboring countries with geographical proximity and cultural affinity. Latin America, with its rich pool of talented professionals, has emerged as a preferred destination for US clients seeking high-quality software solutions. The proximity offers significant advantages such as overlapping time zones, cultural similarities, and ease of travel, making collaboration seamless and effective. 

2. Cultural Alignment: 

Latin American countries, including Mexico, share cultural affinities with the United States, such as a similar work ethic, business practices, and familiarity with American market dynamics. This cultural alignment fosters effective communication, shared values, and a deep understanding of client requirements. It also helps create a harmonious work environment that facilitates collaboration, trust-building, and successful project outcomes. 

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3. Proximity and Time Zone Synergy:

Latin American countries, including Mexico, offer a nearshore advantage to US clients by being in the same or similar time zones. This proximity allows for real-time collaboration, agile development cycles, and seamless communication. The ability to address client queries, provide timely updates, and resolve issues promptly has been instrumental in maintaining high client satisfaction levels and fostering long-term partnerships.

4. Cost-effectiveness and Value Proposition:

The Nearshore model in Latin America provides a cost-effective alternative to onshore development while ensuring the delivery of high-quality software solutions. The region offers competitive rates for software development services compared to the US market, without

compromising on talent and expertise. The cost advantage is complemented by the region’s robust infrastructure, technological capabilities, and access to a skilled workforce, making it an attractive proposition for US clients.

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5. Language Proficiency and Communication:

Proficiency in the English language is a key strength of Latin American software development teams. English language skills are highly emphasized in education and professional settings, enabling effective communication and seamless collaboration with US clients. The ability to comprehend complex requirements, actively participate in discussions, and articulate ideas fluently has been a significant enabler of successful project outcomes and client satisfaction.

6. Agile and Collaborative Approach:

Latin American software development teams have embraced agile methodologies and collaborative work environments. They prioritize close collaboration with clients, iterative development cycles, and frequent communication to ensure that project goals are met effectively. This agile approach, coupled with the Nearshore advantage, allows for rapid adaptation to changing requirements, quick decision-making, and accelerated time-to-market for software solutions.

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7. Knowledge Sharing and Professional Growth:

The Nearshore model in Latin America has created opportunities for knowledge sharing and professional growth, both for the software development teams and the clients. The exchange of best practices, industry insights, and technological advancements between the US and Latin American professionals has fostered a mutually beneficial learning environment. This continuous knowledge transfer has elevated the skill sets of the software engineers, enabling them to deliver cutting-edge solutions.


The experience gained over 18+ years of working with software development teams in Latin America, particularly Mexico, while serving US clients, has reaffirmed the remarkable advantages of the Nearshore model. The cultural alignment, time zone synergy, cost-effectiveness, language proficiency, agile approach, and knowledge sharing have collectively contributed to the success of this collaborative model. Through bridging borders, we have witnessed the power of diversity, innovation, and efficient project execution. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the lessons learned from this experience will continue to shape the future of software development, encouraging global collaboration for mutual growth and success.

CPH Success Story: The Key to a Winning Partnership between Nearshore Companies and their Clients

CPH Success Story: The Key to a Winning Partnership between Nearshore Companies and their Clients

Curated by: Sergio A. Martínez

True collaboration creates great software. It’s more than a buzzword—it’s an essential part of development, with meaning beyond just sharing information back and forth. The collaboration is about forming strong relationships, providing clear communication pathways, and proactively anticipating problems before they arise, so if you’re partnering with a Nearshore company like Scio, you can have the comfort of knowing that any challenge that might get in the way will have a swift response from everyone involved if this approach is shared among developers, managers, and shareholders.

Benefits of having a software partner and making the leap to a more tech-focused productivity

After all, we believe true collaboration means that projects are no longer siloed on an individual basis but rather function as a collective effort, allowing everyone to quickly come up with creative solutions that benefit from a diversity of ideas and thought processes. A good dynamic between partners allows developers of various contexts to join forces and reach new heights in software innovation, and having both entities coming together in agreement is key. Otherwise, the failure to establish this kind of relationship almost guarantees the worst outcome conceivable, so recognizing the similarities and differences between service providers and clients, and building upon areas of agreement, is what makes true innovation flourish. 

However, what is the “magic ingredient” that makes this kind of collaboration work? Is a software project just one party simply providing services for the other, or should it be more than that? To this end, we want to share the story of Ameet Shahani, Director of Technology at CPH & Associates, which is one of Scio’s longest partnerships to date, to understand how building these relationships are more critical than ever to create, how products that innovate are produced, and the importance of a cultural match to reach a positive outcome for everyone involved, from shareholders to management, to developers on both sides.

Dissecting the meaning of collaboration

Effective Collaboration: The Key to a Winning Partnership between Nearshore Companies and their Clients

When both organizations share a business culture affinity, they are better equipped to understand each other’s priorities and expectations. This is clear and almost self-evident, but in settings that involve business expectations, specific requirements, and solving the complex system of interconnected puzzles that is software development, the concepts of transparency, open communication, and building trust to reach mutual understanding have some nuance that need to be carefully navigated.

So, while success ultimately comes down to implementing the solutions designed by the experienced software engineers and developers from both organizations, achieving this level of collaboration calls for a type of “cultural” match that needs to be taken into account. In the specific context of Nearshore partnerships, development teams that work across borders should seek an alignment between values, beliefs, and approaches that allows both sides to learn and support each other during their product development journey. If both groups have a culture match (i.e. if they mirror one another in how they approach software development and hold similar standards) this will prevent a lot of friction or misunderstandings, making for a more balanced relationship that leads to successful outcomes for the software project down the road.

In consequence, establishing a successful software development business relationship requires certain factors to make it thrive, and Nearshore software partnerships can provide the optimal combination of many of these elements necessary for success, namely: Trust, Communication, Industry experience, and Technology expertise. 

  • Trust: Building trust should be the center of any successful business relationship, with both parties gaining a mutual understanding that allows for the creation of quality software without putting too much pressure on resources or scope. If partners don’t trust each other, the frustration and bad communication that follows will ultimately result in delays and mistakes during the project timeline. Achieving a successful software development partnership requires that everyone involved has a good faith approach and the necessary confidence in one another throughout the entire process.
  • Communication: Good communication ensures everyone is up-to-date on decisions, making sure there is no wasted effort with conflicting ideas. In addition, discussing potential solutions to problems that arise helps keep the project moving forward while ensuring design decisions match the vision of both partners in the software development partnership. Therefore, it’s clear that effective communication is key for any successful project.
  • Industry experience: It helps providers craft better solutions to address a client’s needs, as well as establish smoother workflows that result in remarkable deliverables. Through experience, a provider can evaluate what will benefit their client the most, allowing an organization to suggest innovative approaches and technological advancements that expand the capabilities of existing applications or systems, which increases productivity and efficiency as well as reducing operational costs on the client’s side. Simply put, customers can be sure they are getting the highest quality services when they pick an experienced software provider.
  • Technology expertise: No matter the size of the company, its success relies heavily upon its team’s ability to use technology efficiently and innovatively. By guiding those who may have less experience with technology, teams can leverage their strengths to create better outcomes than any individual would be able to accomplish alone. This makes having strong technical proficiency mandatory for any successful software development collaboration.

In short, the correct combination of these elements is what enables a partnership to work productively, guaranteeing successful outcomes at the end of any development cycle. However, after all this theoretical understanding of how these relationships work, how does it look in practice? To illustrate with an example, let’s check out one of Scio’s very own study cases when it comes to collaboration and partnership in Nearshore development projects.

A first approach

Effective Collaboration: The Key to a Winning Partnership between Nearshore Companies and their Clients

In 2014, Scio took on a new challenge. CPH & Associates, an insurance company based in Chicago, was looking to streamline its operations by deploying a digital platform where a customer could connect with their insurance providers in a single place. On paper, that sounds like a straightforward idea that theoretically would just need a list of requirements and adequate talent to pull off. And this talent was to be found outside the immediate location of Chicago; the management at CPH decided that it would be best to work with a Nearshore development company in Mexico.

As one might expect, getting these projects off the ground is different from just assembling the necessary pieces of a puzzle: the process to get there has to make sense. And paying attention to the corporate culture fit between a software development company and their client is the first step: clients want to be reassured that any software developers they choose understand their core values and aren’t just focusing on the task at hand, but building towards a long-term goal. As a result, making sure that both parties share similar philosophies and outlooks can have an exponential effect on the success of any project. 

In this retrospective talk with Ameet, we discussed how refining the collaboration between both companies took some time, but the decision came about when Scio started proposing the kind of solutions that CPH wanted and saw opportunities that others didn’t, instead of just talking numbers. In his words, their first approach to working together had “the most substance”, so we took a chance and got to work. However, establishing a productive collaboration dynamic took careful calibration, even if both parties had the best disposition and the necessary expertise to make it work. The first team from Scio that joined this project was pretty good, in Ameet’s own words, but the specific requirements needed for a company that delves into insurance, as well as developing a product unprecedented for CPH, made it necessary to invest some time to iron out the kinks of the collaboration to a state of equilibrium where both parties were comfortable. Almost a decade later, this partnership thrives thanks to this effort, and the learning experience for Scio and CPH has been invaluable.  

This highlights how establishing a good remote partnership between software development companies and clients is no small feat. It relies on how well both parties communicate and cooperate, and this in turn is largely dictated by the internal culture of each organization, which reflects their core values, approaches, and general viewpoint. In the case of Scio and CPH, this cultural match was apparent from the get-go, which allowed for experimentation before going into full-fledged collaboration in development. Cultural affinity paves the way for a mutually beneficial working environment, not just between the two companies but also with other partners or stakeholders that may be involved, and in this case, it created an environment where growth and learning were a core element of the overall partnership, with interesting implications for both teams in the long turn.

A learning experience

Learning through collaboration between software development companies is a powerful idea, meaning more than sharing knowledge or brainstorming innovative solutions; it is a growth process that could be mutually beneficial for both organizations if they approach this concept the correct way. Collaboration helps teams become confident, capable, and successful, yes, but the opportunities to learn on the field, so to speak, can be few and far between when most projects have goals that need to be reached as soon as possible. That is usually not an environment conducive to learning, but it also sets apart the kind of collaborative spirit built between Scio and CPH over the course of their partnership.

After all, through 9 years of working together, it’s natural that plenty of Scio’s developers have had the chance to participate in this project. On one hand, this gives them the unique chance of trying their hand at a project with a very well-established workflow, plenty of documentation, and steady progress. On the other hand, this opportunity wouldn’t exist without a trust built upon years of collaboration, where Scio is sending the kind of talent that can shine if given the chance to learn and grow in their skills. 

Ameet would be the first to admit that the project at CPH isn’t the sexiest out there (at least not compared with recent technology developments like AI, the metaverse, or blockchains), but it requires attention, experience, and high-level skills that could lead to burnout if a developer stays for too long on the project. And this is a situation that neither CPH nor Scio wants to encourage, which is an important cultural match between both companies. As we mentioned earlier, far from creating additional challenges thanks to a steady rotation of talent, trust, and technological expertise ensure this dynamic works; on one hand, CPH trusts Scio to always bring their best talent forward, experienced or not, to contribute to the project in a meaningful way, and Scio leverages their industry know-how to create a highly efficient product that stands out against competitors in the market. By working together and sharing information, both companies can hone their craft, develop new ideas, and ultimately deliver better products to their clients. 

Final words

“You teach and learn at the same time”: The value of an internal project for a Nearshore company like Scio

Ultimately, learning through collaboration is just one of many ways these kinds of Nearshore partnerships provide an efficient way for businesses to build upon the expertise of the entire industry—all while ensuring that everyone involved benefits from shared experiences. An experienced Nearshore software company will have the resources and expertise to ensure everyone involved forms a cohesive team, acting as mediators for any communication breakdowns. However, an effective relationship requires more than technology: it also needs an equal acknowledgment of all sides, and the capability to learn quickly. Software development is a complex process that requires various skills and coordination, so by joining forces and pooling their knowledge, the strengths of each company can be combined to create innovative solutions at any time. This sort of synergy is essential for software development teams to have to stay ahead of the competition, develop stronger products, and ultimately, change things for the better.

Nearshoring, in other words, allows companies to create a cultural match with their clients, resulting in better products that lead to more positive outcomes because it enables firms to leverage the skills and qualifications of local professionals abroad while fostering improved collaboration due to a common language and cultural backgrounds. Working Nearshore also facilitates better communication since it reduces geographical barriers and helps ensure that software developers around the world have access to advanced technology without disruption. However, beyond these numerous benefits, it’s about creating an environment where both companies can comfortably understand each other, allowing them both to work together optimally. Upon making this connection, the result will be more successful outcomes of high-quality products that deliver exactly what everyone wants.

The Key Takeaways

  • The meaning of collaboration between client and Nearshore development company is more nuanced and complex than it might look at first glance.
  • Building a partnership and collaboration dynamic that benefits both parties requires a cultural match that ensures a smooth integration that leads to innovation and positive outcomes.
  • In the case of Scio and CPH, one of our longest partnerships, this cultural match has given both companies the opportunity to grow and learn thanks to their collaboration dynamic.
  • Ultimately, the idea of “culture” in a corporate context is more than a buzzword; it’s a way to ensure a positive outcome by examining affinities between companies, so they can develop great products.