Korean software companies have set their sail for a lively voyage to overseas markets. Many companies, having reached the limit in the Korean market, are trying to expand their business by entering the whole wide world. "If you know your enemy and yourself, you can win every battle." In order to bear fresh fruit in unfamiliar surroundings, those who are well aware of the strengths and the weaknesses of themselves as well as others stand a chance. To find out what the necessities are for targeting the U.S., the home of software, we had a talk with Young Park, the well-known IT consultant.
A powerhouse of domestic web security solution, Fasoo.com is buckling down to targeting global markets, starting with their IKON Office Solutions in the latter half of 2009 and entering into a partnership contract with the largest bank in the U.S. just last year. And behind all this was Young Park. As the Practice Manager in IKON Office Solutions, the biggest document management solution and service company, he also commits himself as a consultant assisting Korean software companies to enter into the U.S. market.
Targeting Method for the U.S. Market from Park Young, "Prepare Yourself in This Way!"
There are three types of customers in the software business. The user, IT experts, and finance managers. The problem is that if you can't satisfy all of them, you won't be able to grab the opportunity even before you can show your capability.
Do Korean software lack technology compared to foreign-developed ones Do they lack functions Certainly not. The problems are rather simple and unexpected. At the center probably lies the language barrier. Young Park says, "There's no need for high-class English. The important point is delivering the message clearly!" In fact, the level in terms of vocabulary for Koreans who have done quite their studies is superb compared to average Americans. The problem lays in the fact that those words are not used properly. Each may seem great, but it is too bad there is congruity from the mismatch of things.
The first step for a successful overseas business that Mr. Park mentions comes from 'manners'. By manner, it means the full understanding and knowledge of a country's business culture, for instance, the email etiquette. In a way it is the most basic manner and the bottommost consideration which can be missed out surprisingly often. The voicemail service for missed calls and auto mail service for informing absence due to overseas business trips are the most basic necessities for a global business. Mr. Park mentioned that these tools can help to overcome the distances and the time differences.
Secondly, there are cases where generally, focus is mainly on company introduction when preparing for a presentation. Instead, gaining sympathy by introducing the product can be another way of approach. Presentations are also techniques. Explaining by building up a story in a relaxed manner can soften the audience's wariness and ultimately make it possible to win their hearts. That is the reason why understanding the culture is important as well. Even when making a single brochure, efforts need to be made to strictly understand the culture and make it tempting. Also, a variety of questions must be prepared in advance to be able to give favorable answers from the clients' point of view. By so doing you can catch the clients' needs in detail to ultimately provide satisfactory service. Only by understanding what the trouble is, you can give the right solution.
The third step, to emphasize again, is English. Solution is intangible. Unlike tangible products, services are invisible and thus you need to give all you can when given an opportunity for a presentation from A to Z. And from that credibility is gained Losing the credibility is simpler than one might think, resulting from spelling mistakes in brochures or inappropriate terminology. High-class English is not the way to go. There's no problem in doing business with the lack of English skills. However, if not correct nor clear, problems tend to follow. Deliver the message clearly!
For the fourth step, a substantial amount of preparation through reviews is needed. Checking to see if the English OS is based on adequate response method and preparing in advance thoroughly with test reviews at all times are the definite ways to cutting back potential failure. "Because software is an intangible service, all companies must possess correct methodology. If the process quality is proven to be scientifically viable through the right steps, and with the support from the Eastern philosophy based on its pushing energy, a success in the U.S. is by all means achievable.
He stresses again to say, "Solution sales occur in the blink of an eye." You never know who and when you will encounter someone in the so-called Land of Opportunity. "Have you heard of the 'elevator speech'" asks Young Park. Suppose you meet someone in an elevator. From the moment you get on the elevator till the time the door opens up, if the person next to you asks, "What do you do" you should be able to state your occupation in about 10 seconds and explain it within the next 60 seconds." This stranger in the elevator could in fact be your business partner or your client. You never know who you'll meet. Furthermore he wishes to emphasize on the readiness to expose one's product or business anytime, anywhere.
"If the Korean philosophy and the Western science are well-balanced, Korean software will show great competitiveness in the global market," he says. Devoted to the typical Korean attitude "All things are possible," Mr. Park explained that this kind of attitude together with thorough preparation to perfection would be all you need.
The truth is the U.S. is a country with high respects to software industry. That's why price-cut deals will not be effective at all. Instead, guaranteeing software maintenance would be far much better. If you can deliver more than you've promised, the 120%, you will become the angel offering ways to heaven. Simply put, you can always find these employees in a company; the ones who do only what they are told to do and the ones who accomplish more than told on their own initiatives. It is needless to say that the latter is the loved one.
The most appropriate words to describe the current trend of the U.S. software are probably 'efficiency' and 'specialty'. The Chief Information Office (CIO) with expertise in the IT industry has started to play a key role in management, and outsourcing has been increasing gradually. With companies defending each of their core industry and making good use of SLA to create highest profit from least effort in other industries being the general trend, there is always a good chance for Korean companies to succeed in the U.S. market through flawless preparation. To conclude, Par Young mentioned that by targeting niche markets instead of looking at the software industry as a great whole is one way of approach.
Who is Young Park
Practice Manager, Young Park is the Practice Manager for the IKON Consulting Services' Intelligent Document & Security Group. He is a Certified Document Imaging Architect (CDIA+) and is certified as an AIIM Enterprise Content Management Specialist (ecms). He has authored a white paper that offer a unique perspective on preventing document leaks with Enterprise Digital Rights Management.
Prior to joining IKON, Young spent over fifteen years in the Document Management and IT Industry and managed the Division of Enterprise Document Management Solutions Group for Ricoh and LaserFiche Document Imaging. During his 15 years in the industry, Young has served as Project Management and Document Imaging Specialist, and Solution Engineer.
Young has implemented document strategies in small and large organizations including Banner Health, Alliance Health, Global Healthcare, USAA,.Cisco Systems, Schlumberger, National Oilwell Varco, People's Bank, Lennar Homes, La Porte County, Los Angeles County Health Department, BAX Global, NYC, SUNY, CUNY, VeriCare, Warmington Homes, JH Snyder, City of New Haven, and Kumho Tires.
IKON Office Solutions, Inc., a Ricoh company, is a leading provider of innovative document management systems and services, enabling customers to improve document workflow and increase efficiency. IKON integrates copiers, printers and MFP technologies, and document management software and systems, to deliver tailored, high-value solutions, implemented and supported by its team of services professionals.
IKON leverages the manufacturing and engineering expertise of Ricoh, a more than $20 billion global technology innovator, with the experience and reach of its locally based sales and services teams, to provide end-to-end solutions and one of the industry's broadest portfolios of document management services, including on-site and off-site managed services, technical service and support, and customized workflow design and implementation.