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Homepage: Think global for a motza pay

Homepage: Think global for a motza pay

Remember back in the good old days when you used to rush off to Comdex in Vegas every November, trawl the endless corridors of all things IT then head back to your hotel room to catch a few hours on the nudie channel (or was that just me?).

I'm sorry, let's get serious here. Doing business globally has brought some serious financial rewards to many budding Australian software developers who have discovered that Australia is unfortunately still an isolated island.

Last week I spoke to Ed Reynolds from Adelaide-based software developer Prophecy International about a cosy $5 million deal it had just signed with a South African electronics outfit.

Initially, I thought this would be just another story of a homegrown talent living its dream of cracking an overseas market.

However, I was somewhat surprised when Reynolds revealed that more than 80 per cent of Prophecy's entire revenue streams from a host of deals the developer, in conjunction with business partners, has won all over the globe.

Now, I know that Prophecy is not alone when it comes to achieving consistent success on the IT battlefields of the world, but Reynolds' comments serve to heighten acceptance of what is quickly becoming common knowledge.

Australia is a small, insulated market with limited business opportunities, while the branding kudos and megabuck deals associated with global business is too good to pass up.

As Reynolds explained: "Being an Australian supplier of an internationally recognised product is not an easy job," he said. "But that's why we scout around for the best partners in each region."

And it's hard to argue with Reynolds' reasoning here, considering the organisation now operates on margin levels as high as 36 per cent. You probably couldn't name too many local channel partners that could lay claim to that sort of success.

However, success on the global stage is not just determined by selling a flashy product, you've got to have the bucks to back up the hype.

So why not make it easier on your bottom line and partner up with an EDS or recognised partners in the regions you would like to enter? Despite reports to the contrary, outsourcers are always on the lookout for smart partners simply because they cannot be all things to all people (although that doesn't stop them from trying!).

Why not piggyback on the branding and reputation that a massive global player has established and then make sure your product can be used as part of a service solution?

You could still run the business from Manly beach and let your partners walk the talk.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on global expansion. E-mail me at cameron_tomes@idg.com.au


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