Contracts scored after trip to US
The "Go to US" programme, initiated and operated by Software Park Thailand, has proved that local software companies are competent enough to have their products accepted, meeting global requirements along the way.
After rolling out the programme early this year, eight of the nine companies selected to join the programme have succeeded in getting deals with business partners and have good potential to do further business abroad.
Suwipa Wanasathop, director of Software Park Thailand, said the park arranged for nine companies to visit three states in the US to meet seven business partners who are leading agents and outsourcers in the US market.
The program is designed differently to former programmes which usually took software companies to global exhibitions such as CeBIT and ICT Expo. Instead, this programme chose to focus on potential targets that are not end-users, but outsourcers or agents with their own customer database as well as having potential projects in the US market.
"After we went to the US in early April, we found there were many opportunities there. We used a new, efficient business model, exploring the market through business partners who actually know their areas. We dealt with them through our referrals. It is much easier for customers to decide to buy software and services from Thai companies," said Suwipa.
The park focuses on four areas of software including outsourcing services, mobile applications, multimedia and animation, and software for specific industries such as hospitality and healthcare.
Suwipa said that local software companies have to prepare themselves. First of all they have to know their own strengths and what would be valuable propositions. To join the programme companies have to pass many criteria such as having their own products and services and an intention to go abroad.
"We will roll out further programmes suitable for other markets following this US programme. We hope this kind of programme will help strengthen local software companies and prepare them for the international market. We plan to continue this programme every year and expand to countries such as Japan and others in Europe," said Suwipa.
Meanwhile, Bunprasit Tangchaisuk, managing director of Application Hosting Services, or A-Host, as one of the nine companies joining programme and winning a deal, said it was a very good project and suitable for local software companies. By joining the programme, companies can focus on potential targets and have much greater chances to find customers.
The company's strength is being an Oracle certified partner, competent in software and services built around the Oracle platform.
"We signed one deal valued at less than Bt10 million. It is not a big deal, but joining this programme is the starting point for us to step into the global market. We plan to close this deal this year. Once we have the first customer, it seems easier to have more in the future," said Bunprasit.
He said the company has some customers from abroad but they came along and approached the company themselves.
From now on, the company's business focus will be on the global market. However, he said this year is the first year for the company to look for global opportunities and by the end of this year the company will set up a business plan for the overseas market.
This year revenue is targeted to meet Bt390 million, of which around 70 to 80 per cent is from the private sector including manufacturing, banking, telecommunications, and distribution. The remainder is from the government sector.
Bunprasit said "Go to US" is a good programme that should continue and there should be a follow-up trip. "There should be trips twice a year at least in order to follow up on possible deals," he said.
This is only one programme by Software Park Thailand to encourage the local software industry. The park also has training projects to educate people in the industry.
The park is launching training programmes to certify people in five areas - Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Systems and Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Software Project Manager (CSPM), Certified Software Quality Analyst (CSQA), and Certified Software Tester (CSTE).
Suwipa said people who are interested can apply until May 11, and for more information they can visit www.swpark.or.th.