Download the authoritative guide: Cloud Computing 2018: Using the Cloud to Transform Your BusinessVertical service provider (VSP) Portera announced today that it has signed five new professional service customers in Latin America to use its subscription-based Portera ServicePort application suite. "Professional service firms are, by nature, geographically distributed and highly mobile. This is why they have been underserved by traditional software vendors," said Gary Steele, CEO of Portera. "By developing and delivering our software as a service over the Internet, we enable our customers to efficiently manage international expansion and effectively serve their multinational clients." As a result of growing demand in Latin America, Portera recently expanded its sales operation to include Sao Paulo, Brazil. Azurian, a leading Latin American e-business professional services firm with offices in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Miami and Mexico, will use ServicePort to help solve the problem of how to operate a service firm across multiple geographies without massive investments in infrastructure. "Our company was founded on the premise of combining local market expertise and global Internet strategy. With ServicePort, we have a technology infrastructure that ensures that our clients benefit from our entire talent base and the whole of our strategic, creative and technological capabilities, irrespective of their location," said Alvaro Jaramillo, CEO of Azurian. Another company benefiting from Portera ServicePort is Alterbrain, whose service professionals span six offices across Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and the United States. "As Latin America's largest Web development firm, we have clients like Coca Cola and Mexicana Airlines that rely on our pan-American presence. ServicePort enables us to effectively manage our entire business, without the expense and effort of building and maintaining a global IT system," said Lionel Carrasco, president of Alterbrain. "One of the long standing issues in the enterprise software arena has been the difficulty associated with building and maintaining an integrated global IT infrastructure," said David Lindheimer, program director for application delivery strategies at Meta Group. "Subscription-based enterprise software helps address this issue by providing a globally connected system without major capital investments or the associated drain on resources." ServicePort is an suite made up of several modules, including Opportunity Management, Resource Management, Knowledge Management, Engagement Management and Operations Management. Customers can add on to the core modules with options like project accounting management and issue management modules. "The capabilities we deliver drive the basic business processes of a service organization," Steele told InternetNews. "We've focused on an expansive suite of capabilities, and will continue to expand the core with our intellectual property." Portera, a privately held company based in Campbell, Calif., closed 34 new sales in the first quarter of 2001, which included 21 sales to new customers and 13 new contracts to existing customers, according to company reports. The government-contracting sector accounted for approximately 30 percent of new customers in the quarter, and companies based outside the United States accounting for more than 20 percent of new customers in the quarter. Revenues for the period were up more than 300 percent over Q1 2000.