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Is it time for partners to go global or go home?

James Henderson | Oct. 18, 2017
Being global is great and if you’re a software start-up, you must seize the day.

Another expansion approach, according to Iles, is the notion of the joint venture, setting up shop with an in-country provider to help build the foundations for a sustained local push.

“People don’t think about joining forces with another partner but we pursued a joint venture in New Zealand,” Iles said. “It’s about getting a bit more skin in the game and it doesn’t cost you as much as a full- blown subsidiary you’re setting up.

“We found a partner that we thought could help us add significant footprint so we set up a company that we owned 50-50. So if the whole company did well, we all did well.

“We both put some capital in to get it started and this is also a good approach for Asia, which is difficult to set up and build a channel.”


Leveraging alliances

Whether it be established providers or fledging start-ups, Iles believes opportunities are arising for partners to leverage local vendor alliances, in a bid to tap into global footprints.

“There’s a role for vendors to step up,” Iles added. “Partners are keen for key cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Google to help them expand.

“That’s the direction the market is taking but it’s a little nascent at the minute. I wouldn’t say that it’s working particularly well at this stage but it’s clear that’s where the market is heading.

“There’s potential for a vendor to take a leadership position in that respect.”

In comparing today’s business climate with that of 5-10 years ago, Iles acknowledged that going global from day one is “a lot easier than it once was”, especially within the context of localisation and customisation.

“It depends on the size of the software you have, particularly when you have cloud orientated solutions,” Iles said. “With AWS, Microsoft and Google, if you take a solution you’ve built on the cloud, you can literally replicate your infrastructure on a global basis.

“Therefore, all you’re really worrying about is actually tracking customers and a bit of consulting services on top.

“Also, if your software is relatively vanilla and there’s not huge amounts of customisation to the code, then that removes a lot of barriers.”


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