Scottish software firm iPort expands in Mexico

Date Published: 12/03/2013

A fast-growing Scottish software company has opened an office in the upmarket tourist resort of Cabo San Lucas in Baja California, Mexico, and revealed plans for further expansion.

Glasgow-based iPort Software International, whose UK clients include NHS Scotland, West Coast Trains and grocery chain SPAR, is building a new customer base in Mexico after launching its latest version of its iPort Business Platform which enables businesses to use the web in a more integrated way to generate traffic and sales.

New clients in Mexico include the Grupo Cuestro conglomerate, whose brands include Corona Beer, real estate specialists BajaSmart, marina and resorts group Puerto Los Cabos, hotels including Los Milagros and The Hotelito and yacht charter company, Pisces.

The business platform includes content management services, customer relationship management and App and mobile device support.

Its success is already attracting interest from other resort areas in Mexico and iPort Software International is planning to roll out the same model in Puerto Vallarta this year and Cancun in 2014.

iPort Software International director Chic McSherry decided to expand in Mexico after identifying a business opportunity while holidaying in the Baja Peninsula.

Chic said: “I started going there about 10 years ago and was struck by the dynamism of the local economy and the business opportunities. Yet the lack of IT infrastructure and business experience was really holding things back.

“We already had an office in Houston, Texas, and an ethos of going wherever opportunity took us, so it just seemed to me a great fit for us.”

As well as developing a number of important websites for businesses in Cabo, the new business platform was used to develop and deliver another new venture for iPort - an interactive Tourist Information Resource ( which has just been officially launched.

The site offers a completely free directory service to tourists as well as a wealth of current information on Los Cabos ranging from cultural events to fishing reports. With more than 5000 pages of content, it is already the largest independent information resource for tourists visiting the area.

Chic added: “Unlike most software projects where you develop something for use by a client, in this case we are using our own system to roll out an end product for users. The risk, and the rewards, will be all ours.”

Chic added: “We see this as having global potential. The way we structured the development means that we have effectively created a turnkey, franchisable model and this makes it easy to quickly tailor the solution to a wide range of business requirements.

“The software underpinning is basically the same as the software we use to roll out developments to our Scottish and UK Customers such as SPAR, NHS Health Scotland and West Coast Trains. It is tried and tested.”

Scottish Development International provided early help in setting up the project and Chic said: “They recognised that this represents a really exciting and challenging opportunity for us.

“For sure, it’s a risk to set up something so far away, but nothing great was ever achieved without a little bit of risk and a lot of enthusiasm.”

The new venture has created two full time and two part time posts in Mexico so far and sustains three jobs in Scotland with more recruitment planned in both countries.

iPort Software International is the holding company for private equity company Coralinn LLP’s IT and eCommerce businesses in the UK, the USA and Mexico and Coralinn’s managing partner Hugh Stewart said the iPort Business Platform was a “superb product”.

He said: “It provides excellent opportunities for iPort to significantly grow its client base as well as being a platform for growth in Coralinn’s other investments.

“Chic McSherry has a proven track record for growing IT businesses and with Coralinn’s support the new platform has already proved successful.

“Our new iCabo venture in Mexico proves that small Scottish IT companies can successfully succeed in international markets and we have ambitious plans for growth over the next few years.”

He added: “Coralinn recognises that IT is a strategic resource for all companies both large and small, especially SME’s. For too many businesses in Scotland IT is a completely neglected strategic resource, most companies viewing it simply as a cost.”

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