Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Here we grow again ... into Asia

As a startup matures, the company comes to understand its customers, markets, distribution channels, and the cultures of the counties or regions it serves on a deeper level. There are many data points along the way that serve to inform, but it takes time to parse out the data, make decisions, and take actions.

Black Duck made an early investment in international sales. This stemmed partially from having multinational customers (including Samsung, SAP, and Siemens) very early in the company’s life. It also stemmed from the realization that open source and composite software developments were challenges encountered by companies and developers all over the world –- not just the U.S. market. Also, the company had the management experience to go global.

While some believe that startups and emerging companies in the U.S. should focus on the domestic market until they reach critical mass, I think international expansion is a must-have for any growing company, not simply a nice-to-have. There is especially true at times like the present, when the U.S. economy is facing stormy waters and the weak dollar is making it easier for U.S. companies to expand internationally.

Black Duck is expanding aggressively into Far Eastern markets. On Monday we announced a new partnership with Japan's NEC Corp. to resell Black Duck's flagship product, protexIP. In addition, we announced the signing of Gamatech Ltd., a subsidiary of the Karin Group, and Pacific Advantage International Ltd. (PAL) -- both distributors in Hong Kong.

NEC will use protexIP code analysis and license compliance and sell protexIP in Japan through its own sales force, as well as develop custom solutions that use the product for NEC customers. In Hong Kong, both Gamatech and PAL are partnering with Black Duck. PAL will now operate as Black Duck in Hong Kong.

In addition, back in June, Black Duck announced the addition of three new European partners -- Purple Scout, Software Quality Systems (SQS), and SourceSense.

These new relationships represent channel improvements that will help customers in new ways. This new phase of relationships is possible because we're always listening to our customers, learning from them, and providing them with the complete support and service they need.

In the coming months, we expect to grow even more in the U.S. and Canada and expand into new markets in Asia and EMEA. There are new challenges ahead, but we at Black Duck are confident and excited as we expand into new markets.

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