Georgia companies should look to Brazil for near-shore information technology development because the country’s relative proximity to the United States allows firms to collaborate with Brazilian developers in real-time, said W. Henry Johns, president and chief consultant with Atlanta-based Vision TRE Inc.

Since there is only a one- to three-hour difference in time zones between Brazil and the eastern U.S., partnering with firms in Brazil for IT development is called “near-shore” rather than offshore, Mr. Johns explained.

He demonstrated his company’s use of voice over Internet protocol technology to work in real-time with a software developer in Brazil during a presentation at the World Trade Center Atlanta last week.

“Bill rates for IT work in Brazil are 50 to 70 percent cheaper than in the U.S., basically on par with India,” Mr. Johns said, but emphasized that unlike India, Brazilians work essentially the same workday hours as companies in Georgia.

“Near-shore work doesn’t require as much product documentation because there is no time lag. You can bring workers in Brazil virtually into your home office,” he said.

Using various free Internet-based live communication tools, like or, Mr. Johns explained how a Georgia-based company could take advantage of Brazil IT developers’ creativity and spontaneous collaboration on ideas when talking with them directly through the Internet during normal office hours.

When dealing with Indian firms, IT development can be delayed because of the large time lag caused by having to communicate via email, and teams across oceans cannot as easily collaborate on projects because they are never at work at the same time, he said.

New product and business knowledge created via real-time near-shore work can more easily stay within the company and its near-shore consultant, making data security less of an issue, while allowing the U.S. company to maintain control and flexibility over the project, he added.

A 10-hour flight between Atlanta and Brazil, plus the inviting climate and culture of the country, make it a preferable choice for offshore IT development, Mr. Johns concluded.

He added that it is important to train team members to get into the habit of coming into the office each day and logging on to their Internet-based communication system to greet their co-workers in Brazil in order to get accustomed to working together.

Visit or contact Mr. Johns at (770) 621-7702 for more information.