Puerto Rico Nearshoring Benefits: Language and Culture

This is the second of a series of posts about the benefits of nearshoring your software development to Puerto Rico. As we mentioned in a previous post, there’s a variety of reasons why nearshoring to Puerto Rico can bring huge benefit for your company. In summary, our advantages are simple: distance, price, quality and language.

In this post, we are going to specifically talk about the nearshoring benefits of having a partner with an international reach, no language barriers, no cultural shock, and why it is one of the biggest advantages over traditional offshore software development.

Companies who offshore or nearshore their software developments look for partners who can understand their needs and are easy to communicate with. Communication problems are one of the reasons why software development projects sometimes fail. Nearshoring benefits include having a partner that speaks your same language and understands your business culture can be the difference that makes your software development project a success.

No Language Barriers

Puerto Rico is a US territory, which means we speak both, English and Spanish (actually both English and Spanish are the official languages of the Island); this guarantees clients that they are working with a truly bilingual team of experienced professionals. Nearshoring benefits companies in a big way because this means an easier communication process with the developer in charge of the project; this at the same time ensures a quicker, smoother and successful engagement.

Your company can work directly with staff from Puerto Rico without any language miscommunication or need for translators. Also companies that decide to work with a Puerto Rico Software Development Company have the added benefit of working with a partner that can help them in the process of creating apps and programs to the Hispanic market, which is one of the biggest and fastest growing segment of the population in the United States.

A fact mentioned in The Economist that is very important for companies considering nearshoring to Puerto Rico is that, “Spanish has more native speakers than any language other than Mandarin”. This means that around 414 millions of people in over 31 countries are fluent Spanish speakers. So when you consider nearshoring to Puerto Rico do not think about it twice, remember that Spanish is one of our main languages and we can help your company expand into the Latin-American market with no language-related problem.

No Cultural Shock

As we have mentioned before, Puerto Rico is a US territory. So taking this point into consideration, it can be said that your company won’t suffer from cultural shock. No lost in translation. Why? Because being part of the United States means that we share countless similarities, and those are not only about the language we speak. We have been a US territory since 1898 and we have adapted not only traditions, but also laws among other things.

Usually when people work with other countries they confront this so called cultural shock, that has a huge impact on the interpretation of the project mission, vision and goals. In Puerto Rico you will not experiment that; from food, hotels, language and activities you will feel like you are home, but with tropical weather all year round.


Nearshore Software Development Language and Culture AdvantageBased in San Juan, Wovenware provides nearshore software development to various clients in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, US Virgin Islands, Alberta (Canada), and London. As a US based company, regulated by Federal Law, we follow the same best practices, standards, and procedures as other US companies, but with a cost reduction because of our unique location and cost of living. Be it because of our high quality software developers, IP protection laws, price reduction, warm culture or distance proximity, hire Wovenware for your next software development.

Click here to view our infographic on the nearshoring benefits of moving your software development to Puerto Rico with Wovenware.

Nearshore Software Development in Puerto Rico: Distance Advantage

This is the first of a series of posts about the advantages of nearshoring your software development to Puerto Rico. As we mentioned in a previous post, there’s a variety of reasons why nearshoring to Puerto Rico can bring huge benefit for your company. In summary, our advantages are simple: distance, price, quality and language.

In this post, we are going to specifically talk about the benefits of having a partner at a close distance and why it is one of the biggest advantages of near shoring versus traditional offshore software development.

Often, companies worry that offshoring their software development projects may not be suitable for them because of the risks and cultural barriers involved in this practice. They give special importance to the location; they tend to weigh whether the location is near versus far away. Given that the success of your project is at stakes, choosing the right partner, a geographically close partner, makes sense.

Same Time Zone

Puerto Rico does not observe Daylight Saving Time and is in the Atlantic Standard Time Zone all year around (AST) (EST +1; GMT-4). This means that Puerto Rico is usually at the same time as the East Coast US. Working with a partner in Puerto Rico will not affect communications between developers and stakeholders, a clear advantage of Puerto Rico over other standard offshore locations like India. For example, let’s say you decide to work with a company in India, the time zones are completely different, which means somebody is going to be off regular business hours in order to discuss the project status. Can you imagine waking up in the middle of the night to have a conference call to discuss your very important project details?

If you work with a nearshore software development company in Puerto Rico, you will always be working with a partner that works during your business hours. One of the advantages of nearshoring to Puerto Rico, is that you will not have to deal with tired software developers or middle of the night status calls. Best of all you will see changes and support requests immediately, no more waiting until the next day for results.

Onsite in Hours

Because of Puerto Rico’s proximity to the United States, your nearshore software development team can be at your location in hours. For example, the flight time from Puerto Rico to Miami is 2.5 hours, to Washington, DC is 3.5 hours, to New York 3 hours, to Boston 4 hours. Proximity and similar time zone facilitates constant communication during the same business hours and with the added peace of mind that your offsite nearshore software development team can be in your location at a moments notice.

Since Puerto Rico is part of the US there is no need for a passport to travel to the Island. We are home to over a dozen airlines, some of the most known are: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways, which give direct flight access to all major US cities.


Nearshore Software Development Distance Benefit

Based in San Juan, Wovenware provides nearshore software development to various clients in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, US Virgin Islands, Alberta (Canada), and London. As a US based company, we follow the same best practices, standards, and procedures as other US companies, but with a cost reduction because of our unique location and cost of living. Whether it’s because of our high quality software developers, IP protection laws, price reduction, warm culture or distance proximity, hiring Wovenware developers for your next software development project could be a smart decision.

Click here to view our infographic on the benefits of nearshoring your software development to Puerto Rico with Wovenware.

5 Reasons to Consider Puerto Rico for your Nearshore Software Development [Infographic]

Call it what you want.  IT outsourcing, offshore, or nearshore, companies have been hiring offsite software development teams for multiple reasons.

Be it cost reductions, better talent, special projects, or finding expertise that companies can’t get in-house, this trend has been growing for the past 25 years. Companies started focusing on their core competencies and began outsourcing their IT and software development operations elsewhere.  India benefitted the most from this trend.

But having tried this model all these years has revealed that it is not easy to manage a team that’s thousands of miles away. Issues like intellectual property protection, information security, language and communication barriers, timezone difference, and political instability represent a challenge that most companies aren’t ignoring anymore.

We want to offer you Nearshore as an alternative. Wikipedia says that “Nearshoring is the transfer of business or IT processes to companies in a nearby country, often sharing a border with your own country”.  As the title suggests, Puerto Rico is one of those alternatives but with one  advantage that no one else can offer.  Puerto Rico is part of the US.  We are all US citizens and Federal law applies here as much as in New York.

In our case, we can even call it Inshoring. That is “offshoring that has been brought back onshore”.

Based in San Juan, Wovenware has clients in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, US Virgin Islands, Alberta (Canada), and London. We were recently hired by a company to substitute a software development team they had in Romania. We now provide services to four of their clients.

The reason for the change: quality and timezone issues. Not only could we provide quality with our engineers and computer scientists but we were in the same timezone and travel time is only a few hours away. Although still lower than US rates, price became a secondary issue.

Other reasons include Intelectual Property protection.  Being part of the US, our customer’s IP is protected by Federal Copyright and Patent Laws. According to the 2013 UPS Change in the (Supply) Chain Survey, 55% of high tech companies cited “Improving control over quality and intellectual property” as their main driver to nearshore.

There are lots of stories like this from companies that outsourced their software development teams to the wrong partner for the wrong reasons. We believe that there are very compelling reasons to consider a partner like Wovenware to help you with your software development needs.  The top 5 reasons are:

  1. Quality
  2. IP Protection
  3. Distance
  4. Price
  5. Culture

We will expand on each of these issues in a series of blogs during the following weeks. In the mean time, we have prepared the following Infographic to show you the top reasons to consider us.

So remember, no matter what name you use for it: offshore, nearshore, or inshore, consider the benefits to you company and think of Wovenware as your partner for you software development.



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What Happened in the Puerto Rico Taskforce Meetings

I’ve got to be honest. I love politics. I follow news daily and have opinions on almost every topic. I’m not a blind supporter of a political party views nor part of “el corazón del rollo” of any party. I have my own opinions on issues and on status.

I mention this to say that the taskforce meeting and the roundtables didn’t have a political feel to me. There are people saying that this was a show from the current Administration to promote the Lufthansa deal. Of course there were politicians and officials in the meeting from the party in power. But who else was supposed to go? They have the Constitutional power to represent us like it or not. There were also representatives from the minority party, business leaders from both parties, and NGOs that did a great job promoting their agenda.  As I explained in a previous post, it was an honor to be there.

Getting In

The meeting was held in the Eisenhower Executive Building inside the White House complex. To get in, you have to send some information to the Secret Service before the meeting. Once there, you pass several checkpoints where you are checked as if you were on the TSA Precheck line in the airport.

White House Eisenhower Building

After that, we were escorted to the meeting in the second floor.

The Meeting Room

After registering at the entrance and receiving an agenda with the assigned roundtable, we proceeded to walk into the room.

White House Puerto Rico Task Force - Agenda

As we walked in, it was obvious that the attendees to this meeting were in another level. I again asked myself, what am I doing here? The who’s who of Puerto Rico’s Businesses and NGOs was there. Universities, local businesses, multinationals, non for profits, local and Federal Government … And the list goes on.

The greeting and initial remarks were given by David Agnew, co-chair of the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico. He presented the agenda and explained that we were going to be separated in three group, one for each of the roundtables and after that we would come back to have a debriefing from the leaders of each roundtable. Then, he introduced Eduardo Carrera from The Boys and Girls Club to give a presentation and put everything that’s going on in Puerto Rico in context. You can see more in www.juventudpr.org.

White House Puerto Rico Task Force

After the presentation, the meeting was opened to questions before we left for the roundtables. Eduardo Bhatia, President of Puerto Rico’s Senate, asked, “What is the desired outcome from the roundtables?” David Agnew responded, “What steps can the federal government take to help? What are the big items? We want concrete actions.”

They acknowledged the huge response and that the time allocated for the meeting wasn’t enough. Maybe we’ll have another meeting soon … maybe.

Roundtable on Economic Competitiveness

So we walked to the other meeting room. It was a smaller room with a beautiful colonial feel. Wood everywhere and your traditional George Washington painting on the wall.

Economic Competitiveness & Knowledge Economy Roundtable

We started with a presentation from Dr. José Lasalde Dominichi and President Uroyoan Walker form the University of Puerto Rico (UPR). They explained how a joint venture from the NIH and the UPR allowed them to start a project to develop a manufacturing process on an HIV vaccine based on the only successful study on the subject. This was to prove how Puerto Rico’s advantage on STEM and in manufacturing drugs and medical devices was paying off.

Then, everyone started sharing his or her views on economic competitiveness and a knowledge based economy. We had very little time as the presentation took a good 15 minutes. John Uvin, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Education, did a good job making sure everyone had some time to speak and Antonio Medina, Executive Director for the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO), did an excellent job summarizing each of the proposals.

There were proposals on:

  • Green technology and how Puerto Rico could become a leader in the Caribbean in this area.
  • Patent generation and how we are last when compared to all the States.
  • Focusing on K-12 students to be able to excel in the knowledge based economy.
  • Making all federal opportunities open for Puerto Rico companies to bid on. Most of the time opportunities are open to continental US based companies only.
  • Bringing new capital to the system. Without it, it will be difficult to move the economy from the state it is to a growing one.

The Debriefing

As we got back from the roundtables, everyone had an opportunity to network. It was an amazing opportunity and that alone made the trip worthwhile.

Every roundtable gave a brief list of the proposals of each roundtable. Some were specific, and some were broad and general. Some of the most important proposals, aside form the ones in the roundtable I attended, were:

  • To expedite the Federal agencies permit process for infrastructure projects.
  • To allow the international airport to have a staging area for flights in transit. This would allow it to create more flights and traffic.
  • To make the whole island a HubZone. HubZone is a special certification by the SBA given to companies that are established in underutilized business zones.
  • How the FDIC requirements are not working in Puerto Rico and how rules had to be changed to allow lending to businesses relaxed.

In the end, a call was made to the Taskforce. “We are here in good faith presenting proposals on the things we think can help Puerto Rico jumps start its economy. We expect that you (the Taskforce) don’t let these initiatives die and that there is follow-up on them” said Alberto Cordero. When confronted with this statement, David Agnew responded with a surprising statement, “Very rarely the White House convenes public elected officials and the private sector in an event like this. Take that for what it is.”.

Final comments

I hope that these roundtables have some effect and help Puerto Rico move its economy in the right direction. The Federal Government is as responsible as we are for the precarious situation we are in. But there are a lot of people and companies that have the right intentions and the drive to do what they can to make Puerto Rico’s economy strong again. I know that at Wovenware we are doing just that.

Consistency Matters Too!

Yeah, Social Media…we have talked about it haven’t we? But we haven’t talked about how important consistency is in all of the social networks. I’m pretty sure you have created an account in every social network; at least on Facebook or Twitter so you must know how important it is for your company to participate in them and stay on top. Right now, April 2014, COMPANIES MUST GET SOCIAL and give consistent, new, and unique content to their followers, friends…customers.

If you have a blog on your company site you will have probably post links of blogs posts in the company’s Twitter or LinkedIn account so your friends can see it and read it…oh and share it. This is one of many things we can do with social media, we can also retweet cat photos and other stuff but if we want people to see our company as professional and a serious business we should post the same things (as blog posts, news, job openings) in all of the networks we contribute to in order to maintain consistency. Another thing that is very important when using social networks, and this is something we have discussed previously, is content…you need content that attracts your consumers attention. Even nowadays companies say they don’t have time or resources to invest in social media, well if you are not eager to risk a little you may remain unknown for some consumers and you are throwing away the perfect opportunity of branding through social networks. Social media is not just another channel; social media is the perfect tool for collaboration.

Wovenware Software Development BlogAs a company you can hire someone to be in charge of publishing constant content on your social networks; blog post, solutions, case studies and create engaging customer experiences. Social networks are essential in a marketing plan mostly because a way of communicating with our clients. Everyone is constantly refreshing their Facebook’s feed to read how good that burger was or how thrilled someone is because they are going to be a daddy, so this is our chance to post things that make us relevant and interesting; but let’s not forget that you shouldn’t stay with social media only, you should build your own customer network. Remember that your goal is to gain your customers trust, so please use these tools wisely and be careful with the things you post.

Wovenware Puerto Rico

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE….quit advertising through social media. Imagine if you were tagged in promotional posts constantly, what would you do? Social media is an essential tool for business these days and as we have mentioned we must focus on posting constantly and consistently content that’s relevant and is useful to your audience. Try to have at least one person in charge of all your social networks, someone who can post different topics and make your company known for its different approach and strategy. Your company wants to be different and stand out so take matters into it, if you have a blog stay alert to questions that can be asked and answer them as quickly as possible. This shows the consumer that you care about what they have to say.  When blogging remember to stick to your industry, this rule goes as well with posting things. You can post a diversity of content but all of them have to be related to your industry, staying on track assures your company a strong branded social media presence.

A Reflection Before the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico Roundtable Discussions

Two weeks ago, I was invited to participate in the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status Roundtable Discussions. The meeting is on April 9 on The White House Executive Office Building.  The Task Force roundtable discussions are focused on 3 subjects: Making Puerto Rico Open for Business, Economic Competitiveness and the Knowledge-Based Economy, and Energy Leadership and Innovation

I have to be honest. I was really shocked when I received the invitation from James Albino to participate.  How do they know Wovenware and the work we’ve done? Who am I to represent so many Puerto Ricans in such an important platform?  It was a challenge to grasp the magnitude of the opportunity and almost didn’t confirm my attendance.

It was my partner at Wovenware and partner in crime Carlos Melendez who shook me into submission. “Do you know what a great opportunity this is?”, he said with a  disgustedly surprised face.

After a few days of disbelief, I accepted the invitation to participate in the Economic Competitiveness and the Knowledge-Based Economy.

Days later, I learned the names of some of the attendees. Friends like Nestor Figueroa from Nagnoi and Alberto Cordero from E3 Consulting with whom I share in the Puerto Rico IT Cluster. Success stories like Carlos Cobian and his company Cobian Media who has been motivating and advising entrepreneurs. My good friend Eduardo Emanuelli from CLC Insurance (Hub International), a self taught angel investor that works hard every day to help and learn from local entrepreneurs. Our champion Jaime Yordán, who has been a leader with his efforts to promote Puerto Rico with his work with PRIDCO. Dan Navarro from Pragmatics, who believed in Wovenware and Puerto Rico for Federal IT projects before anyone else. That’s just the ones I know.

The challenge was big and now it just got bigger!

And that’s when it hit me.  The benefit for Puerto Rico from our individual business efforts is more than the simple summation of those efforts. That’s what brought us to this moment and the opportunity to share what we’ve done and what we think has to be done to keep moving forward.

We are all doing our part and our companies have transcended our geographical limits.  Now we need to double-down and get this economy going.