The Software Outsourcing Show, Episode 15: Accelerance Travels to Latin America

October 31, 2019

By Bobby Dewrell

The Accelerance travel team is gearing up for their next trip to Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. The team consists of Jim Marascio, CDO, Ryan Schauer, Partner Success Manager and Lea Jesserer, Marketing Specialist. 

Join Jim, Ryan and Lea to learn more about why onsite assessments are essential to the Accelerance Global Network verification process, best travel practices and what the travel team is most excited about on this upcoming partner trip. Plus, they provide insights as to why Latin America is the hot spot for outsourcing your software development projects.

The Software Outsourcing Show is your #1 source for information, lessons learned, and exclusive insights into outsourcing. The show is produced by Accelerance, the leading consulting firm dedicated to helping companies reduce risk with software outsourcing. Make sure to follow the travel team as they make their way through Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina via InstagramLinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter using the #softwaretravels.

 

Transcript: 

Bobby: You're listening to "The Software Outsourcing Show," brought to you Accelerance, the global software outsourcing authority. Hello, and welcome to "The Software Outsourcing Show." My name's Bobby Dewrell, and I am your host here on the show. And I am excited to have in the studio with me today Jim Marascio, Ryan Schauer, and Lea Jesserer who are all with Accelerance. They are here to talk about their upcoming trip through Latin America. Several trips, several flights, all in a couple of days. It was a fun chat with them this morning in the studio as they were getting ready for that trip. So have a listen, hope you enjoy the show, and thanks for joining us again.

Good morning Jim, Ryan, Lea. Hey, thanks for joining me today on the show.

Jim: Good to be here.

Bobby: How is everybody this morning? It's good to have you.

Lea: Hey, Bobby.

Bobby: Yeah. Hey, wow. Sounds like two people just woke up, right? Yeah. We had Ryan...I'm not getting the energy over there that I felt that I got from Jim, so.

Lea: No, sorry, I need another coffee.

Bobby: Is that what it is?

Lea: Mm-hmm.

Bobby: Yeah, I had that conversation with Jim the other day. He caught me on an early morning call and was like, "What's wrong?" And I'm like, "I've only had one cup of coffee, so, you know, it is what it is." So...well, hey, guys.

Jim: The good news, today we're talking about where we're gonna go get coffee.

Bobby: That's true, and thanks for stealing my segue, Jim. That's why I always appreciate having you on the show.

Jim: You gotta stay on top of things, bro.

Bobby: So, I know you've got...you guys got some travel coming up, down through Latin America. Anybody wanna talk about where you're going? What do we got going on?

Ryan: We are doing a partner assessment and partner reassessments. So we'll be traveling for two weeks, all the way through Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. And we signed one new partner that we'll go and we'll do our assessment onsite with them in Brazil, and we're visiting x  other partners in Argentina and Uruguay that have been our partners for three to four-plus years. So we're going down there. They've got some...some of them have new offices, and some have just grown tremendously since the last time we've seen them, so we're going down to meet with them, collect new marketing content, and just reevaluate their whole process again.

Bobby: So, now, from a high level, let's talk about what we do when we do our partner assessment. We'll talk about the travel a little bit, but let's talk about that. Partner assessments, why do those? Jim, I'll kick that one to you to start with.

Jim: Way to throw it at me, not the guy that does them. No...

Bobby: Well, it's funny, Lea looks totally relieved.

Lea: Yeah, yeah.

Bobby: No, no, no. So...

Lea: I'm just going to drink my water.

Jim: You know, we like to talk about how, for nearly two decades, Accelerance has...you're gonna have to edit that part out, Bobby. For nearly two decades Accelerance has been vetting partners around the globe, about 8,000 different companies, and the reality is we're trying to boil it down to the top 2 to 3% that we can then introduce to our clients. So as part of the evaluation process we culminate that with a visit to them onsite.

Bobby: Yeah, it's cool. And those onsite visits are really what we started out doing 20 years ago, right?

Jim: Exactly.

Bobby: I mean, it's been the basis of everything. You've gotta go and see. So South America. I gotta tell you, a little jealous. One of the continents I haven't made it to yet. It's actually one of only two...well, three. I haven't been to Antarctica, either. But...so tell me a little bit. Lea, what are you looking forward to on the trip down?

Lea: You know, personally I'm really looking forward to Argentina. That's always been a country on my list, and South America, this'll be my first time on that continent as well, Bobby, so good to know that I'm beating you out.

Bobby: Yeah, thanks for rubbing it in.

Lea: Yeah, just a little bit. It's not fun if you don't make fun of someone else for not going, right?

Bobby: That's...that is true. That is true.

Lea: Yeah, no, but Buenos Aires has always been somewhere I wanna visit, so personally that's somewhere I'm really looking forward to visiting. But overall I'm just excited to go down, meet new partners, kind of get to see people that we've been having conversations with over the computer for months now. So it's good to meet everyone in person and really spend time with them.

Bobby: Yeah. So let's talk a little bit about weather differential, too, because you know, we're gonna be going from Northern Hemisphere to Southern Hemisphere, again, something I haven't done yet. So I mean, any plans? Ryan, have you looked at the weather? How different is it this time of year? I mean, is it...

Ryan: It's similar to the South here right now, in...like, in Charlotte, it's in the 70s. Gets colder at night, so probably wanna bring a jacket, and it's been some rain, so we'll see what happens, but we, you know, a couple months ago we trekked all through Mexico, Monterrey, while it was raining, so it wasn't too bad. So...

Bobby: Yeah. So you're...you've got some good rain boots, and ponchos, and umbrellas, and you're ready to go, huh?

Ryan: Yeah, hopefully...

Jim: I think we're really...

Ryan: Hopefully it doesn't look like the time in Ukraine. Was it our last day in Lviv when they got...we got stuck in the pouring rain? We didn't have an umbrella, we didn't have a rain coat, we didn't have anything.

Bobby: Yeah, we...

Ryan: Nice picture of those beautiful ponchos that guy gave us.

Bobby: Yeah, we...gave us? I think we bought them for, like, $5 US.

Ryan: Oh, that's true, I guess we did get robbed.

Bobby: That's right.

Ryan: I think we'll be a little bit more prepared this time.

Bobby: Yeah, yeah. So any...you know, for the travel down there, was there anything special anybody needed to do? I mean, you know I...for some of our listeners that maybe haven't done much international travel, was there, you know, any additional paperwork you had to worry about? Anything like that?

Ryan: No, the good part is that Brazil no longer requires a visa, so you just need a valid US passport, you know, the typical...it has to be valid for the next six months, I believe. So Uruguay, Argentina, all just accept ghost passports, so nothing crazy. Before when we went you have to get, you know, you got to get your visas, so.

Bobby: Right. So nothing there, no special shots or anything like that, like we had to do in the past, or like you do with some countries? It's just...so fairly easy travel down there?

Lea: Yeah, no, thankfully no shots. That's a phobia of mine, so...

Bobby: Oh, is that?

Lea: Yeah. Going to Asia was really exciting because we had to do some pre-trip shots, or at least I did, and that was absolutely terrifying for me.

Bobby: So we know the way to get Lea to tell all her secrets. Just grab a needle, right?

Lea: Yeah, exactly. This is sort of taking a weird turn, guys.

Bobby: That's right. So does everybody have Global Entry? I know Jim's done Global Entry, but Ryan, Lea, have y'all gone through that extra effort, or...?

Lea: No.

Bobby: You'll just be in gen...

Ryan: No, I probably should do that, but...

Bobby: You'll just be in genpop going through customs, trying to get back into the US, huh?

Ryan: Yeah. Well, I...

Lea: Yeah, I'm just a regular peasant.

Ryan: ...or it's like when you travel a lot, like last time Jim and I went down through Colombia, I just got to follow him. He gets all the perks of the...if you've got one of your travelers have that General Entry you can follow them through.

Bobby: Man, you know what? Now I...as...well, Jim knows, and a lot of people know, I usually take a trip once a year with my wife's middle school, and take all those students, and I never allow them to go through the Global Entry line with me, so thanks for ruining that for me, Ryan. They're all gonna be hating me.

Ryan: Sorry.

Bobby: I go through, I laugh at them in genpop and go hang out in the airport until they catch up with me.

Jim: An hour later, yeah.

Bobby: Yeah, literally. Literally like an hour to an hour and a half later. So...

Lea: Such a kind man you are.

Bobby: I'm sure there's some reasonable limit on that. Like, it can't be one traveler with 30 people, right?

Ryan: Probably not, yeah.

Bobby: Okay. Well, so Jim, you know, I said a little bit to Lea about what she's looking forward to. What are you looking forward to on this trip here?

Jim: Yeah, I'm actually looking forward to visiting one of our existing partners that I was with in Brazil a year ago, and they've got a new office that they were showing pictures of the buildout of when I was down there last, but they hadn't moved in. So looking forward to seeing that, and then, like Lea, I've never been to Argentina. Looking forward to the meat in Argentina, so I...everybody keeps telling me how great the wine and the steak is and everything down there. So looking forward to seeing Argentina for the first time.

Bobby: Cool, cool. Ryan, how about you? What do you think's top on your list?

Ryan: I am just gonna try to survive, because we are going, you know, we're gonna be in seven cities in, you know, 10...I think about 10 days. So each day we're on a...we're in a different hotel, we're on a flight from Sao Paolo to Curitiba to Porto Alegre. Buenos Aires, Montevideo to Cordoba, back to Buenos Aires...so we're gonna be flying, staying in literally a different hotel every single night, so survival will be key. But it'll be...it should be interesting. You know, I've been to Brazil already, it'll be good to get back to Curitiba and see everybody, but also, really, Buenos Aires is a...should be interesting. And there's a lot of really nice architecture through Montevideo, so it's gonna be nice to have a day on Saturday and walk through, and really soak up that culture.

Bobby: Yeah, so I have to ask, Ryan, I just heard something. With all those flights in that amount of time it reminds me of our Eastern European trip last year. Now, did you pick a hub airport this time like you did last time? Because I think we had 10 flights, and all of those flights had something to do with Warsaw.

Ryan: No. Well, yeah, Warsaw was our hub.

Bobby: Right.

Ryan: We love that airport. But no, this time, I mean, we just tried to work our way south. So we'll be just jumping from one city to the other.

Jim: I think we do hit airports in Buenos Aires three or four times, though.

Ryan: We do, but two different ones. The...your favorite...

Jim: There are two airports there, okay.

Ryan: Yeah, there's two different airports, so we'll hit both of them.

Bobby: Yeah, no, that trip to Eastern Europe last year, we...by the end we knew Warsaw airport very well. People were waving at us, thinking we were, like, regulars, you know? It was great. So, Lea, talk to me a little bit. Are we gonna...on the trip, any way anybody can follow us? Will we be updating anything? Social media, talking about where y'all are going?

Lea: Yeah, absolutely. 

Bobby: Any shameless plugs there?

Lea: Yeah, I was gonna say, way to fit that in, Bobby. Yeah, we will be promoting all of the travels via LinkedIn, our Instagram account, also Facebook, Twitter as well. So it's all Accelerance, you know, it's not really a fancy name or anything like that, it's just "Follow us at Accelerance."

Bobby: Sure.

Lea: And then our hashtag is #softwaretravels, so...

Bobby: #softwaretravels, yeah.

Lea: ...able to bring up all the photos, videos, anything that's really going on during the trip, so just anyone listening make sure to follow our trip, yeah.

Bobby: Yeah, absolutely, and probably in the show notes we can drop in links to those various handles so...

Lea: We can do that.

Bobby: ...we can even if you're somebody who doesn't know how to spell Accelerance, right?

Lea: Yeah, well, hopefully they can spell Accelerance, though, if they're listening to us.

Bobby: That's right.

Lea: It's right there, actually, just look up. Look up at the title.

Bobby: I think it's always best when you call out the people that are listening on the show.

Lea: Is it? Okay, good.

Bobby: That's awesome. Yeah, thank you. All right. So guys, anything y'all have wanted to talk about on this trip that I haven't asked you a question about yet? Any...who's already started packing?

Lea: I feel like you're looking at me, Bobby. That was a pointed question, and yes, I have started preparing my bag already. It's sitting right next to me. No, but honestly, it's probably about 15 feet away from me in my den, so...yeah, no, I've already started getting some things together. Like Ryan said, we're traveling so much the first leg of the trip, we're on a plane for, like, you said five or six days straight. So I've already Amazon Primed all my emergency and my vitamins to keep me strong and healthy, and already pulling out all my packing bags and things like that. But that's just...you know, I have a list. This is just how I function, guys.

Bobby: And just for clarity, I mean, you're traveling five or six days straight, but you're stopping in cities along the way. It's not, like, a five to six day flight to get there...

Lea: Right.

Bobby: ...to get to South America. Okay, I just...just wanted to make sure.

Ryan: No, but it is a different hotel every single night. I think we have two nights in a row at one point where we stay in the same hotel.

Lea: That's good at least.

Ryan: And we have 2 days that we're not traveling out of 12. Other than that we're on an airplane, or a ferry one day.

Bobby: Yeah, yeah, so...I was glad that Ryan brought up the travel, because as everybody was talking about all the things they wanted to do, I wanted to ask you all, how are you gonna have time? So...

Jim: We'll fit it in. I mean, the partners that we meet with, they're very...they do a really good job of hosting. We try to make it so it's a client-focused, like, type of visit. What...you know, so we get the client treatment. They roll out the red carpet and we get dinner, we get to see, you know, the atmosphere, the office culture, what it's like for their employees on a day-to-day basis. And it gives us really good insight on how they treat their clients, and what their employees look like and how they act throughout the day. You get a really good sense of the office culture, so it should be a...it's pretty exciting. Our clients really like it, and they love the content that we create and can show them when we're speaking to them about projects. They get a better feel for what the teams are like without having to go there, and then sometimes it's...they get so excited they wanna go, you know, the next week, so we win either way.

Bobby: Yeah, cool. Cool.

Lea: Yeah, and lot of our partners, too, from conversations that I've had, are preparing lists of areas or locations they think that we'd find interesting, so that we can kind of skip the whole Googling process and just go right to what the locals say are the good areas to go to with the good places to see or must-see. So, like Ryan said, they do a great job of hosting us and really taking care of us, and they know we're on a time crunch, so...

Bobby: Yeah. And that is a nice thing, too. I know, you know, with the clients that I've gone with when we've gone and made these trips, you know, you get with the partners down there and they do wanna...they wanna show you their country. They wanna show you where they live, how they live, you know, what they do, and that is just really a neat part of it. You know, even if it is just dinner one night, so. Well, cool. Well, guys, I really appreciate y'all joining me today and talking through this. And, you know, I wish you all some great travel. I know we're gonna have some great podcasts and conversations coming up with people as you're on the road and in the field, and we'll make sure everybody follows you on all those links. We'll get them down in the show notes. But until then, Lea, have fun packing. Jim, Ryan, start at some point, you know? Jim...

Ryan: The night before.

Bobby: ...you might be, like four hours before you fly, right?

Jim: Oh, probably the night before.

Lea: Oh, my gosh, you just gave me anxiety, Jim.

Bobby: Yeah, that's over-prepared for Jim.

Jim: I was in December where we're going this time. They do not celebrate Carnival at all. They have, like, zero interest in it. They also aren't really soccer fans in southern Brazil. It really stunned me because I got down to Curitiba and I was ready to talk Carnival and soccer, and they were all, "No." And it was very surprising.

Bobby: Awesome, so you were that American.

Jim: Exactly, I...exactly. I ...

Bobby: Thank you for listening to "The Software Outsourcing Show," brought to you by Accelerance, the global software outsourcing authority. Do you have a topic you'd like covered in a future show? Then send us an email at podcast@softwareoutsourcingshow.com. Podcast@softwareoutsourcingshow.com.

Show notes, links, and materials discussed on today's show may be found on our website at softwareoutsourcingshow.com. That's softwareoutsourcingshow.com

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