New Hackathon Challenge: Desarrollando América 2012

Well, we have signed up to carry the Informatech banner once again at a hackathon.

This time it will be at the Latin America-wide Desarrollando América Latina 2012.


From Informatech we will have: Adriana JaraJohan Rodríguez, André Curione and myself.

Joining us will be Eliécer Leitón from BackCountry, and our social and analysis liaison Cecilia Salazar.

We’ll be developing a native Android application and reporting Dec. 1-2 from the hackathon.

– Michael Holst


CONCACAF Semi-Finals

Saprissa of Costa Rica and Real Salt Lake will meet in the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Tournament for a home and home match beginning March 15th, 2011 in Utah and April 5th in Costa Rica.

This is the furthest that an MLS squad has ever gone in the CONCACAF tournament so needless to say that the RSL fans are pretty excited about it. Personally, I have been hoping for this match-up for several weeks now — and watching to make sure that Saprissa advanced along with RSL.

After watching Saprissa beat Olimpia last night, I immediately booked my flight to Costa Rica so I can attend the match in April. Of course, I will be in Salt Lake for Game 1 on March 15th — cheering RSL on. (Sorry Saprissa fans). And, I will be wearing my #15 jersey — Saborio. 🙂

Anyone that wishes to join me at the stadium April 5th is welcome — but just know that I will be the one guy in the stands cheering for the guys in Red & Blue.

See you all very soon.


HOW TO: Win the War for the Most Talented Employees

Hi Everyone!

To start this new year I would like to share an article I recently read and enjoyed on HR management and recruitment and some best practices and recommendations on hiring and retaining great talent!

It’s very nice to know that we are on the right track here @ Informatech CR.  😉

Have a good one!

Cheers from Costa Rica

Outsourcing offshore: Costa Rica, where are we?

I recently had an assignment at university regarding outsourcing offshore, especially Costa Rica and India current situation, advantages and disadvantages.

I worked together with Leonor Anglada and Esteban Fuentes and we researched in the Internet. We found very interesting studies and articles, i.e. “Gartner’s 30 Leading Locations for Offshore Services”, “Gartner rates offshore outsourcing hot spots” and “Traditional Offshore Outsourcing on the Skids”. We also consulted CAMTIC (Camara de de Tecnologias de Informacion y Comunicacion), CINDE (Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency), Wikipedia and IP Mall and websites. Finally, since offshoring is what Informatech does, we decided to interview Phil Palmer (Informatech CR president). We also took some information from people that are customers of offshore services, including big companies and middle size ones.

According with our findings, making a decision to use offshore services usually would require analyze different variables like: language skills, costs, government support, infrastructure, talented people, employment pool, educational system, political and socioeconomic situation, cultural compatibility, maturity, data security and privacy. Also, there must be a reason why a company wants to try offshore services: sometimes is hard to get talented or specialized people where the company has its office, sometimes having resources in a different time zone will benefit for example if a 24/7 tech support schema is required. Finally, having resources overseas could help companies to reduce costs.

India is still country #1 in the top of offshore service providers around world. However in the recent years some other countries have started to grow and follow it very close, like China, Philippines, Ireland… India bests Costa Rica in most of the decision criteria according to Gartner studios, but I would say it is because of the proportion of people… for example, if 20% of Indian citizens speak English, it represent more than 200 million people. So, they have more English speaking people. However, Costa Rican accent is more familiar for the US people. India graduates about 300,000 software developers every year while Costa Rican public universities receive every year only about 400 people. So, their employment pool is definitively wider than Costa Rican. However, some companies that have experience with both India and Costa Rica say ticos are more proactive. I think it is hard to compare it because of the huge proportional differences between the two countries. We found cases of US companies that went to India, failed and then came to Costa Rica and succeed. We also found cases of companies that currently have services offshore in both countries with success: they decide countries according to each specific need.

Costa Rica has experienced a great increment as an offshore provider in the recent years, and today is part of the 7 Latin America countries that are part of the top 30 world countries to contract offshore services, according to Gartner. As an advantage, Costa Rica is located in a geographical strategic location, pretty close to time zone of most of North America and easy and cheap to travel. Also, Costa Rican pronunciation is very friendly for US people, professionals here are proactive, dedicated, have willing to learn, to improve, and to grow; those are qualities that US companies value. So, Costa Rica is very attractive and especially for US companies.

There is a challenge for the government here to go forward in making Costa Rica a more attractive place for business. But this is not only an effort of the government. The challenge for us, IT people that work for offshore companies, is to keep the good work and delivering results to our customer so Costa Rica can continue incrementing its rating between the best places to do offshore.

Ricardo Sánchez

Poll: Favorite Vacation Spot in Costa Rica

A New Week, A New Blog

Well, so far I am the only blogger on our website. (hint, hint). That’s okay, I am having a difficult time myself trying to be creative and come up with something interesting to say. However, I think it’s important to post something this week. What’s been happening since our last chat? Well, thanks for asking. Here we go.

If you haven’t noticed,  I have become a HUGE soccer fan this year. Sure, it’s only MLS soccer, but it’s all we have. ReAL Salt Lake happens to be the defending MLS champions and Sue and I have Lions 100 club season tickets. It’s true, we’ve become HUGE fans of ReAL Salt Lake, and soccer. Our team has the chance to win the Supporters Cup this season and have the best record in MLS for 2010. At the same time, we have qualified for the CONCACAF tournament and have high hopes. Of course, we are led by our best player — #15, Alvaro Saborio, a Tico for RLS. He happens to be rocking the MLS this season and all Salt Lakers hope that he will sign a long-term contract to stay with RLS for many years to come.

So, if you are a Tico…you’ve gotta become a RSL fan. Forgive and forget — Sabo has become a Utahn. Embrace it. If you are a Utahn, you need to learn to appreciate soccer, or futbol. I mean, the rest of the freaking world loves this sport…it’s about time you learn to love it too!

Go Sabo. So ReAL Salt Lake. Pura Vida.

Thanksgiving in Costa Rica

Believe it or not, this is my very first blog post ever. {scary}  So, I thought I would write something about my trips to Costa Rica — since it’s one of my favorite places to visit.   My next visit is scheduled for November 22-26, 2010, which is the same week the USA celebrates Thanksgiving.  Why that week, especially since it’s one of the busiest airline travel weeks of the year?  Well, I can only take a few days off from the University of Utah since I’m relatively new there, and I figured I would take advantage of the two-day holiday and get back down to Costa Rica.

My first trip to CR was several years ago. I was invited by the CIO of to come down and see their operation.   Since we were helping BC with their recruiting in the USA, they also had us assist with their recruiting in Costa Rica. That first year, we probably were involved with recruiting and hiring over 25 BC employees.  On that first visit, we went on a canopy tour to Turu Ba Ri. I did the superman ride and had a blast!

From that very first visit, I was hooked! I have made about 8-10 trips since then and have been able to see some beautiful sights — beaches, volcanoes, monkeys, and the rain-forest, just to name a few. I still would like to try deep-sea fishing at Jaco Beach one of these next trips.

So, we’ll see you very soon for a good old-fashioned Thanksgiving feast!

– Phil
President & Founder, Informatech Costa Rica