by Beth Bacheldor

Brazil: An IT Outsourcing Alternative to India

Sep 12, 2010
Enterprise Applications

Brazilian provider Stefanini is focused on North American market with IT outsourcing, consulting and systems integration.

India may get all the attention when it comes to outsourcing, but there are a variety of companies in a number of other countries who offering services as well. Stefanini IT Solutions, a provider of onshore and nearshore IT and business process outsourcing services as well as IT consulting and systems integration, with headquarters in Brazil.

The company has a presence in in Europe, Asia and both South and North America. I had the opportunity to talk with Antonio Moreira, CEO of the North American division of Stefanini, and thought I’d share with you some of the highlights of our conversation.

For background, Stefanini was started in 1987 in Brazil. It began its first international expansion in 1995, opening an office in Argentina. In 2001, Moreira opened the first office in the United States. “Since then, we have been growing our presence in the United States to try and prove and establish that Brazil—and Latin America—is an alternative to India,” Moreira says.

Stefanini’s expansion has been conservative, but always with an eye for growth. The company is debt free, and its growth has always been backed by positive cashflow. “We’ve never had a loss, and all the expansion has been funded with our own financial resources,” Moreira says. Today, the company operates in 16 countries and has more than 9,000 employees. In North America, Stefanini has and has sales offices in Fort Lauderdale (there’s a help desk facility in Florida also), Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Montreal. According to its web site, the firm has more than 320 active clients. Moreira says while its clients represent a variety of industries, 30% of the company’s income comes from the financial secotor. Stefanini has CMMI 5 and ISO 9001:2000 certifications.

A Brazilian outsourcing provider may not be the first option that comes to mind when considering a solution, but Moreira says Brazil offers several benefits for U.S. companies. There is a lot of IT talent with not only technical expertise, but also business acumen, he says. That translates into a highly skilled staff at Stefanini, he says. “In Brazil, we utilize more senior level professionals in engagements,” Moreira says. “Other companies’ projects typically have a composition rate of 70 percent junior-level professionals, 20 percent intermediate and 10 percent senior-level. By utilizing more senior-level staff, we can deliver faster.” Also, there’s no difference in time zones.

He also points to the fact that Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is going to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games—an event that will bolster “an already have a very reasonably good infrastructure. But there will be improvements not only in communications but transportation and other areas,” he says. Finally, the Brazilian economy and government are both stable, and because of that, Brazilian companies are expanding internationally.

Stefanini continues to focus its attentions on expanding its presence in North America and elsewhere. The company has a well-established enterprise resource planning (ERP) practice, working with both SAP and Oracle solutions. It is also building out services aimed at mid-size companies, many of whom are now realizing that IT outsourcing is a good option for them, Moreira says. In an effort to help mid-size companies test the outsourcing waters, Stefanini is offering a pilot program, which allows for focused engagements designed to show businesses the benefits up front — realizing the cost savings and improved productivity — before committing to a full outsourcing model.