Nearshore Software Development Outsourcing

The advantages of Nearshore Software Development Outsourcing today are undeniable

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Over the last ten years, the number of viable options for outsourcing software development have exploded.  Most fall into one of three categories:  nearshoring, offshoring and onshoring. While offshoring to Asia or Eastern Europe maintains its attractive cheap labor value proposition, nearshore software development has quickly established itself as a superior outsourcing model for agile software development.  With most development models shifting from linear-oriented Waterfall, to flexible and iterative Agile, the rewards of nearshoring have come into full view.

Simply put, proximity matters.  Agile done right requires constant contact, communication and collaboration between in-house and outsourced teams.  Monthly and quarterly development cycles have been replaced with short sprints, daily standups and the need for improved collaboration.  Opposing time zones and cultural variances disrupt productivity and solution quality.

At Tiempo, we’ve identified the four most critical abilities that make for a good nearshore software development partner.

The 4 Essential Qualities of a Good Nearshore Software Development Partner are:

  1. Experience
  2. Communication
  3. Quality and Productivity
  4. IP Protection


Nearshore service providers must use a mature, disciplined approach to software development if their total cost-of-engagement (TCE) is to prove competitive with offshoring. Nearshore rates are generally higher than offshore rates, so nearshore providers need to take full advantage of their geographical proximity to the client. For example, the ability to work in the same time zone as your nearshore partner allows for greater operational efficiency than offshoring.

Efficiency also increases as a provider gains more experience with long-term engagements in the form of service level agreements (SLAs). These clients are better able to leverage the advantages of nearshoring by transitioning from engagements based on time and materials to those based on service. This change in the delivery model allows the client to hire software developers more easily, since value can be measured by the results achieved rather than the time spent on the project.

Nearshore providers should also use the latest software development methodologies such as Outsourcing 2.0. CIO describes this methodology as the next stage in software development, which focuses on simplifying the development process and establishing long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial to the provider and client. The traditional method of developing software is commonly known as “waterfall” development, since the project progresses steadily through sequential stages, including conception, initiation, analysis, design, development, testing and maintenance. However, this approach loses its value when the requirements change rapidly, as is often the case with modern software development.


The geographical proximity between client and service provider allows for greater collaboration during the development process. This advantage is a major reason for the recent success of nearshoring as compared to offshoring. Ventoro Institute, a global sourcing research organization, reports that clients often avoid face-to-face meetings with their offshoring partners because of the time and expense required for an international trip. However, live communication is essential for the success of an IT project. It allows customers and vendors to share knowledge in a sophisticated manner, and identify the best solution for a particular problem.

Some of the newest nearshoring companies provide interactive IT teams that work directly with their clients’ employees, thus freeing them from the rigid hierarchy and complex procedures that characterize traditional project management. When you work with a nearshore partner and can communicate more frequently and at greater length, your nearshore partner becomes intimately involved and invested in your success and your business. A nearshore partner wants to know your team members and how they function to understand your ultimate goals and objectives. For example, Felipe Sanchez Romero is an executive for Hildebrando, who is responsible for building the outsourcing firm’s business in the Pacific Northwest. He said in an interview with Puget Sound Business Journal, “We believe nearshore provides the highest productivity when you combine the proximity of Mexico and the time zone.” Romero adds that “Mexicans and Americans are very close, very familiar, very strong business partners. In terms of visas, that is easier for us to fly back and forth.”


The difference in time zones has historically created a significant challenge in developing quality software with offshoring. Developers must often work at night, which necessarily reduces the quality of the end product. Software errors are typically the result of stress, and many programmers for offshore vendors will burn out before the project is complete. A nearshore solution is able to fix bugs more quickly and shorten the time-to-market schedule for both new and established clients, simply by being in closer proximity.

The high turnover rate of employees is a particularly severe problem for software developers. The 7th Annual Conference on Information Science, Technology & Management noted that the annual turnover for Indian software developers is typically in the range of 30 to 40 percent, much higher than the average turnover in Mexico. This difference in turnover means that a nearshore partner can take the time needed to develop a talent pool without fear of losing staff members in the process.

The ability to work directly with clients allows developers to be more responsible for their actions and more responsive to changes in the client’s requirements. It also helps developers understand that their pay and other benefits are directly dependent on the client’s level of satisfaction. In the case of traditional outsourcing, developer incentives are more likely to depend on employees of the service provider, such as IT directors, project managers, and team leaders. This difference in fiduciary responsibility improves the productivity and efficiency in the workplace of a nearshore partner.


The protection of intellectual property (IP) is another factor that clients must consider when moving their business operations. IP is a vital part of outsourcing because an organization’s ideas must be protected under law if it is to develop software in another country. U.S. laws provide very strong protection for IP, which is one of the major factors for its success in software development. Mexico also has a respect for IP that’s unmatched by many other popular outsourcing locations, especially IP in the form of patents and trademarks.
In addition to its own laws, Mexico is a member of many multinational agreements that protect IP. For example, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) protects many forms of IP such as trademarks, patents, inventions and trade secrets. The U.S. and Canada are also members of NAFTA, which creates a single trading bloc for the entire North American continent.

Mexico is also a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which it joined in 2008 along with the U.S. The primary purpose of this agreement is to facilitate innovation between participating countries. The TPP renewed its IP provisions in 2013, which provides particularly strong protection for digital innovation and pharmaceutical patents.


• Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks
• Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and Their International Registration
• Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
• World Intellectual Property Organization


If the nearshore partners you are considering seem to have these aforementioned qualities in place, you may be wondering how to determine which will be an optimal nearshore software development partner. It’s important that you and your nearshore partner have similar cultures. You need to be comfortable in providing expectations and feedback to your partner. If issues arise, you need to be comfortable addressing them with your partner so you can tackle them head-on as a team. For this reason, it is important to get to know your nearshore partner’s company culture, how they work, how they communicate, etc.

When you meet with a potential nearshore partner, you need to interview them like you would any potential partner or employee candidate. The communication that takes place during the initial meeting can usually give you a good idea of what the working tone will be and how your teams might interact in the long run. Listen to your instincts – you will know a good nearshore partner from a bad, or simply not ideal, nearshore partner.


1. Are you headquartered in the U.S.?
• If the answer is yes, then that’s a positive start. It may not seem important, but a domestic liaison connecting you to your nearshore software development partner usually means fewer bumps along the way. Having a partner with U.S. headquarters makes expanding your team easier. It also leaves less room for confusion since your partner will operate under the same laws. It means fewer complications since the business uses the same currency. And finally, and perhaps most importantly, it can mean fewer communication gaps – resulting in a smoother and more agile development process.

2. Are you big enough to scale, but small enough to care?
• Partnering with a company the right size can make a huge difference. Ideally, you will want to look for a company that is large enough to scale and support your business as it grows. With the industry booming, there are constantly new outsourcing companies launching. Many of them are still growing and may lack the resources necessary to support your team’s efficiency.
• At the same time, your outsourcing partner should be moderately-enough sized to ensure that your business is valued over the long-term and you’re receiving the responsive support you deserve. Larger outsourcing conglomerates have less time to spend getting to know the unique and individual needs of each of their clients. You’ll want to partner with a development team that will act like an extension of your own. That requires them having a specific understanding of your company history, customers, and goals for the future.

3. Are you an established business that won’t disappear?
• Again, as the popularity of outsourcing grows, so does the industry. But, that boom can be problematic – too many software development outsourcing businesses take off virtually overnight and are gone almost as quickly. Make sure you do your research.
• Not sure what to ask? No problem. To start, begin by asking how long they’ve been in business, what awards they’ve won and what testimonials or whitepapers they can share to back their results.
• But, don’t stop there. Get more specifics so you know exactly who you’re dealing with and how they can support both your agility and bottom line.
– How long has the nearshore software development partner been in business?
– Have they grown continually or has their business dipped over time?
– What does their client list look like? Who are their largest clients? In what industries, if any, do they focus?
– Can they confirm how long their current client base has been working with them?

4. What does your onboarding process look like?
• Developers build software, but when you find a nearshore software development partner, you need to dig deeper to learn about their specific methodology. Before you commit you should know exactly what your potential partner’s onboarding process looks like and how it aligns with your team’s own processes, expectations and goals.
• Want some clues on the questions you should be asking? Here are some questions that will let you know if an offshore partner can position you for success from the start:
– What is the nearshore partner’s methodology to empower a development team to deliver innovation?
– How do they handle broad projects that are often complicated while still delivering a powerful end-user experience?
– On governance, how well can they document their processes and commitments, and what assurances are in place to ensure your results are accurate, reliable and repeatable?
– What are the performance indicators they’ve established?
– How are they connecting with your team and keeping them informed at every stage of the project?
– Finally, where’s the proof, (i.e. case studies, testimonials and client references)?

5. Do you have an agile development model for faster ROI?
• Agile Development is the new approach to fast-tracking quality software and app development. It breaks all the parts of the project or application into smaller functionalities via “stories.”
• Stories are then organized on a central storyboard before the IT team tackles each functionality (one at a time) in order of priority. Unlike dated software development models that can take 12 months to implement and start realizing a Return on Investment, the agile method’s bite-sized deliverables mean faster timeframes and profits.
• When you are vetting nearshore vendors, it is important to know that they are going to streamline your development process for faster time-to-market and resulting revenue. Do they use an Agile Development model for faster results to streamline software development and outcomes? (If the answer is no, then yours should be too… keep looking.)

6. How do you empower your development team to produce quality software?
• The team needs to have open communication with the client and a strong grasp of the development processes it will use. Each delay in implementing the code also delays the development of any functionality dependent upon that code. Coding delays, therefore, increase the risk of undesired consequences once they are implemented. Intertech classifies work quality for software development into code quality, process quality and inter-team communication.
• Quality code should be clean, extensible and documented. It should also adhere to accepted coding standards, including automated testing and version control. Applications should be highly modular, with sufficient inline documentation to adequately describe each module’s function. In-line comments are much easier to keep current than separate documentation, since the programmer can easily update comments when updating the code. The development process should be well-organized and highly repeatable. It should also be transparent, allowing you to determine how the developers are performing their work. The agile development methodology also relies on simple processes that will not impede productivity.
• Effective inter-team communication is essential for creating bug-free code that provides usable functionality for the user. It also prevents developers from writing good code that solves the wrong problem. Individual developers must therefore communicate directly with each other as well as the project manager and other stakeholders.

7. Does your team have a team spirit?
• A development team must have a positive energy to become a productive part of the project, according to Inbound Logistics. This energy can become infectious and drive team members to excel when it’s in the right place. Team spirit, therefore, needs to be encouraged from the beginning of the project, so that it can carry members through the inevitable challenges that occur for all projects.

Tiempo Has Emerged as a Leader of Nearshore Software Development Outsourcing

Tiempo Development has emerged as a pioneer and leader in the delivery of nearshore software development services.  For over thirteen years, the company has refined it approach to attract, retain, develop and deploy teams of some of the top software engineers in Mexico.  Today, about 400 of Mexico’s top software engineers call Tiempo home. These team members are comprised of critical thinkers, agile masters and chief engineers that focus on being agile and continuously delivering with daily client collaboration.

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Proximity, Culture and Language are the Keys to Successful Nearshore Outsourcing

Mexico has a vast, diverse pool of technology talent. In the last five years, an average of 130,000 engineers and technicians are graduating annually from more than 120 universities in Mexico.  Mexico’s proximity to the United States has created an undeniable cultural affinity between the two nations. Tiempo Software Development Teams speak English well and are intimately familiar with the expectations of the modern American workplace. Good English skills and cultural alignment accelerate relationship building and the integration of teams.  Rapport is built quickly, enabling instantaneous acceptance, teamwork and shared responsibility.

In addition to sharing a border with the world’s strongest economy, Mexico and the US share time zones, making daily standups and ad-hoc communication seamless.  Short travel distances make getting face to face easy during critical stages of projects.  It is not unusual for our teams and our client’s teams to co-locate for portions of a project.


When you’re looking to expand your development team with Nearshore Development, you aren’t just looking to increase agility, but also velocity – they go hand-in-hand. Velocity (V) is a crucial software performance indicator. Velocity = Units of Effort Completed / Sprint.


Velocity explains how much a given project team has been able to achieve over a defined period or iteration.


Because no two Agile projects are alike, it’s important to specify exactly what ‘units’ mean. Examples can include use cases, user stories, test cases, new functionality or bugs.


Sprint is defined by the period of time in which the sprint is accomplished. For Agile, this is usually around two weeks, but you might opt to define it in hours.

One of the greatest advantages of Agile Software Development is its immense potential to increase Velocity. High-Velocity levels mean consistent releases of product into the market, balanced Business and IT stakeholder goals, and satisfied end-users.

Velocity measures how effectively a nearshore software development partner is in completing their objectives (or user stories) during a given sprint, or series of sprints. Just adopting Agile isn’t an immediate solution for optimizing Velocity. Reaching strong Velocity levels takes an understanding of the concept and the factors that influence it.


Tiempo’s Quality System can help you reach previously unmatched levels of Quality, Velocity, and Scalability. The proprietary development process was created to help move our client’s businesses faster and farther ahead without going into valuable resources. TQS combines best practices from enterprise, mid-market and cloud development into a single system that can be configured to a variety of development projects.

This model supports companies in growing faster, and mid-market businesses can easily customize the process to their unique needs without the challenges and uncertainty that comes from starting completely from scratch.


Here’s an easy way of understanding TQS: It is a defined set of best practices and processes that standardizes and streamlines the way to create and manage the entire software engineering process through agile methodologies. TQS supports partnering businesses with the structure and information required to create, operationalize and scale with innovative, reliable software. The result? More control and continuous improvement throughout your software development process.


Tiempo Development has brought together experienced thought leaders throughout the software development industry, including senior professionals who have executed a wide range of software launches under various circumstances and conditions. Together, these leaders assembled methods and processes necessary for the best possible outcomes. Tiempo has spent the seven years refining these results for our clients and their end-users.

In the process, we have standardized both development and management. Tiempo has built an environment and discipline that supports governance and reliability, achieving predictable and repeatable results over time. With the consistent application of these processes (systems, training, enablement, empowering teams to have resources and training). This way, Tiempo can provide the same discipline and results to each of our clients.


Our main requirement for leveraging TQS is to apply agile methodologies. This means having an environment conducive to agile practices and making the transition to self-organized teams. It also means relinquishing a lot of the command and control that was previously deemed necessary.


The primary benefits our clients experience from TQS are a higher level of quality, self-organized teams, and fast time-to-market. Higher quality software supports the alignment, transformation and enhancement of the development, deployment and support processes for a higher quality end product.

In other words, higher quality software means better performance, and fewer unexpected challenges throughout its lifecycle.

TQS provides a specialized team solution that is based on your specific requirements. These teams are both self-organized and cross-functional with continuous collaboration and communication for synchronicity, rhythm and consistency in delivery. These processes are smoother, streamlined and alleviate unnecessary obstacles that can keep you from meeting your deadlines and your budget requirements.


Enjoy the advantages of outsourcing offshore without flying half-way around the world to meet your software development team. Working with a nearshore partner like Tiempo Development will the many benefits already mentioned while driving velocity and a faster-time-to market for your business.

Finding and hiring great developers is only the tip of the iceberg. Cost, quality, dependability and process are all critical factors. Companies that develop or rely heavily on software, turn to
Tiempo Development for:
• Cost-Effective Software Development Resources
• Dedicated High-Performing Agile Teams
• Commitment to Ultimate Client Outcomes
• Fast Ramp Up and Seamless Integration
• Expert Resources Available in Almost Every Technology; Java, Python, .NET, React, Angular, PHP, etc.
• Headquartered in the United States

Software Development Centers Designed for Tight Collaboration

Tiempo operates four world-class development centers in Mexico.  Each modern center is built out to improve the communication and collaboration of our top talent with our US clients.  Workspaces and workflows are designed to instill and optimize the attributes of team building, motivation, accountability, problem solving and integrity.


Tempe Nearshore Software Development Center

US Headquarters


Tiempo Development LLC
1050 W. Washington Street, Suite 115 Tempe, AZ 85281 USA(602) 910-4646

Monterrey Nearshore Software Development Center



Development Center
Val Paraiso 49 Col. AltaVista Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, México+52 (811) 088-9827

Guadalajara Nearshore Software Development Center



Development Center
Justo Sierra # 2464 Ladrón de Guevara Guadalajara , Jalisco 44600, México+52 (333) 615-00-97

Development Center



Development Center
San Dionisio 25-B Jardines de San Ignacio Zapopan, Jalisco 45040, México+52 (333) 647-26-71

Hermosillo Development Center



Development Center
Blvd. Antonio Quiroga No. 547 Local 23 Corner of Blvd. García Morales. Col. El Llano Hermosillo, Sonora 83210, México+52 (662) 260-96-75


At Tiempo, we are making the business of software development easier and more affordable with a unique combination of a nearshore business model, agile methodology, and advanced talent management. Our Development teams engineer powerful technologies that align with the goals and strategies of our customers for both their internal and public-facing development initiatives. Tiempo supports companies in launching software releases sooner without draining important resources.

Learn how we can fast track your projects and increase your ROI within weeks. If we’re not 100% certain we can fundamentally improve your performance, we’ll help you find someone who can.
Tripwire II Case Study

"Tiempo continues to get better with every challenge we present to them, and they excel when it comes to the mastery of agile methodology and Microsoft technology especially. I look forward to the results of our continuing collaboration."

- Robert McEwin, Director of Engineering, Tripwire
ATA Retail Services Case Study

"Tiempo offers a highly experienced group of technologists with a wealth of diverse skills and insights. This increases the value of Tiempo for us."

- Mike Fujikawa, IT Director, ATA Retail Services
CBT Nuggets Case Study

“Clearly, Tiempo has a very mature practice of identifying the right resources to participate in high-performance teams and managing them to achieve the outcomes clients seek.”

Sean Sullivan, CTO ,CBT Nuggets

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