Unosquare is a bi-national corporation providing software development, testing, and support for a set of highly valued customers. We serve North American clients from offices in Oregon and our Nearshore delivery center in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Vesta’s International Recharge Portal

Unosquare Provides Development and Localization for  Vesta’s International Recharge Portal

Guadalajara, Mexico and Portland, Oregon (July 26, 2010) Unosquare, an IT service provider with operations in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Portland, Oregon, today announced the completion of a development project with Portland-based Vesta Corporation supporting the latest release of The payment portal was developed and launched by Vesta, and allows anyone, anywhere in the world to recharge airtime for Telcel, Movistar, Iusacell or Unefon prepaid mobile phones for friends and family in Mexico.

In order to better tailor the site to Mexican and Mexican-American consumers, Vesta worked with Unosquare’s Guadalajara office to provide software development, testing services, and translation services for

“ provides a valuable service that allows US friends and family members to stay connected by securely sending minutes to prepaid mobile phones in Mexico,” said Unosquare CEO, Michael Barrett. “We are pleased that we could provide the resources and local expertise necessary to bring this solution to market.”

“As we were developing this release of, it was important that the site appealed to consumers both in the US and Latin America,” added Joshua Rush, director of marketing at Vesta. “With its development team in Mexico, Unosquare was the perfect partner for Vesta to collaborate with on this project.”

"The Mexican government, over several years, has invested significant energy in building a robust information technology sector and the schools needed to build that economic segment. The schools graduate nearly 60,000 to 75,000 students over several IT fields," said Unosquare’s Barrett. "A vast majority of these engineers are proficient in English, and of course, their native language. That makes them a valuable asset for North American and Mexican IT projects. Unosquare's mission is to leverage that asset to deliver the greatest value possible to our clients," Barrett said.
Additional information on Vesta Corporation can be found at, or

Monday, July 26, 2010

Juan Roman Lands in Portland for NW Natural

Unosquare partner and lead Microsoft architect, Juan Roman Escamilla (El Flaco) will be in Portland all week setting up a SharePoint Portal architecture for NW Natural Gas.  This solution will incorporate a third party Sarbanes Oxley tool along with complete document library migration... fun stuff.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Emmett Zahn Throws Down a Rap about Nearshore Versus Offshore

I'm being asked by CxO's "How do you compare the costs of the nearshore labor force in Mexico with offshore [India] teams?"  You can probably guess my answer, "Hourly rate is not the only metric to be considered." Correct.  Several factors should be evaluated to find the right Total Cost of Service (TCOS);

1. Teams more than 3 time zones apart require special management, collaboration, and communication overhead. This is provided by relocation of personnel for periods of time at the 'other' facility and/or an individual at each company working a 'swing shift' to bridge the timezone gap.

2. Productivity for Indian engineers has been measured to be at a ratio of approximately 3 required versus 2 on-site workers. Various opinions exist for this cause... there is general agreement on a productivity discount.

3. For ongoing software development, QA testing or managed services such as administration / configuration, the outsourced workforce becomes a critical part of the service you provide to your customers. Both parties should have incentive to maintain low turnover, consistent knowledge of the work process and motivation to deliver good results on-time. The culture in Mexico plus the relatively smaller sizes of the companies located there, promote continuity, involvement and sense of ownership. Unosquare references will tell you "...they care about our projects as much as we do!"

4. Travel time and costs add-up significantly if the two firms are working to maintain a solid long-term relationship. Mexico can be reached in 4-6 hours versus 20 - 30 to Asia.

5. The Intellectual Property that your firm develops, is fully protected under the NAFTA treaty with enforcement recourse available.  Plus, hardware doesn't get stuck in customs for a month.  More like a few hours when shipping servers to Mexico.

6. Finally, certain projects just require a period of working together onsite. That necessitates a work visa. Providers from Mexico, like Unosquare, have a streamlined process that allows consultants to obtain travel documents in 1-2 weeks.

As a CIO/CTO, I have engaged teams from China and India for many years. At the end of each year, I added up the above hard-costs and found that they typically amounted to an extra 20-25% of the contracted hourly rate from the vendor. This number applied when I have two different vendors with team sizes of roughly 50 persons each. Smaller team sizes would have required similar overhead which would could make this markup percentage to be considered in a TCOS even higher.

About Unosquare

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Portland, OR, United States
Unosquare provides US based IT consulting and Mexico based software development and testing.