I’m at the Brasscom Global IT Forum 2010 in Rio de Janeiro.
I was talking a couple of days ago to a very senior figure in the Brazilian technology industry and he listed all the benefits of working with Brazil, including the deep domain knowledge, heritage of the IT industry, and the flexibility of the people. But then he said that often the reality is that an executive will end up with two or three possible locations where they can work and so it’s soft benefits that will help influence the decision. On that note, he waved his arm at the winter sunshine and pretty girls around us in a cafe and said, would you rather be visiting Brazil or Bangladesh?
It’s a serious point. I have heard rumours in the past of one company that invested in a back office in Sri Lanka just because the wife of the CEO wanted the ability to regularly visit the beaches there.
And in terms of lifestyle, Brazil has to be one of the most favourable locations in the world – particularly here in Rio de Janeiro. As I write this blog I am in a major hotel conference centre, yet I am also about 10 metres from the golden sand of Ipanema beach, with waves crashing onto the shore as the only noise disturbing the conference speaker.
It’s winter in Brazil at present, yet it’s still 20c. In northern Europe, that’s quite a nice warm day. To many Brazilians it’s chilly, though the joggers on the beach are in shorts and T-shirts. The whole city screams work-life balance because offices can be just metres from the beach – like my hotel.
I was enjoying a drink on the rooftop bar of the hotel last night and I mentioned the ‘Brazil or Bangladesh’ comment to another leading Brazilian tech player. He immediately said: “It’s all about our business plan B – are you interested in bikinis or burqas?”
It’s not culturally sensitive or politically correct, but both commentators are telling a real truth in a humourous way. If you are an executive and you are choosing a place to invest, once basic competencies and price are all compared and a short list is created, the soft factors are going to play a major role in helping you choose where you want to work.
And it’s very hard to beat Brazil as a nice place to do business.
It turns out that there is wall-to-wall wifi at the Gartner conference in São Paulo today – so I apologise to anyone from Brasscom or Gartner who was upset by my earlier blog post… I found out that Angelica Mari from Computer Weekly had been told off by some of the conference organisers for complaining about the wifi on her Twitter feed.
I have to confess to everyone – I started it. I complained and moaned to Angelica, who also mentioned that it was not really acceptable in a modern-day conference… but she was making a fair business point and there was nothing unkind it what she – or I – said.
The situation was that our hosts had switched off the Internet access because a government minister was coming to speak at the event – so it was a “security” issue to have the wifi enabled during that time.
I did not find out this reason for the lack of Internet until hours later, after being told that I was just not allowed to use Internet in the conference hall. And furthermore, what a ridiculous reason anyway. Could the government minister in question email me and explain why we are not allowed to use the Internet in his presence please?
Thanks to Andrew Spender from Gartner in New York for helping to get to the bottom of the mystery – and he was just following our tweets from Brazil and able to coordinate better than some of the conference team on the ground. Interesting.
This is not a big issue though. I don’t have an axe to grind with anyone and especially not Brasscom or Gartner, but I thought I’d better follow up from the earlier blog because it seems some feathers were ruffled.
A note of reference for conference organisers everywhere, please just ensure the story is right. If you are switching off the net access temporarily, then why not let the audience know the reason?
It’s a whole lot better than someone giving out the wrong information “you are not allowed online in here…”
I’m at the Gartner outsourcing summit in São Paulo, Brazil today. I walked into the keynote session a little earlier this morning only to find that there is no Internet availability in the conference area of the hotel.
I asked the conference organisers why I can’t get online. They said that people at the conference are not allowed to get online.
Umm, so how is anyone supposed to blog the conference or make comments about what the speakers are saying?
I did ask them earlier what the hashtag for the event is, only to be greeted by blank stares… Come on Gartner, what’s going on? You can do a lot better than this in Brazil. At NASSCOM in Mumbai, bloggers are allowed seats at the front of the conference hall – with power sockets – so they can get unobstructed video and photo content out onto the web immediately.
This time it feels like I’m an imposition, asking constant questions and getting no answers.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged BPO, brasil, brasscom, brazil, conference, gartner, internet, IT, ITO, nasscom, outsourcing, sao, sao paulo, summit, wifi
I’m blogging next week from the Gartner Sourcing Summit in São Paulo, Brazil. And following that, I’ll be in Rio de Janeiro for a government led event focused on the tech industry in Brazil.
Take a look at the speakers at the Gartner summit by following the link above. If you want me to ask any questions about the tech industry in Brazil to any of these good people, or the government people, then just send me a message…
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged BPO, brasil, brasscom, brazil, gartner, IT, ITO, offshoring, outsourcing, rio, rio de janeiro, sao paulo, summit, tech, technology