Doing business with foreign governments can be rewarding, but information and communications technology (ICT) companies face a number of obstacles that can make accessing those opportunities challenging. Fortunately, CCC has services that can help.
Competition is steep
According to a recent CCC survey, almost two thirds of exporters said price competitiveness and international competition were challenges for them. CCC ICT Sector Director Jeff Tasseron says the challenge is even more pronounced for ICT companies because they compete not only with other vendors’ latest products but also with their own and others’ older solutions.
“Newer, more advanced options are often the best choice for buyers in the long term,” says Tasseron. “But they can be a tough sell for decision-makers who are more comfortable with known technologies and who may be under pressure to keep costs down.”
CCC’s government to government (G2G) contracting model helps counter that fear of the unknown and buyers’ cost pressures by providing the reassurance of guaranteed contract fulfillment. With less risk in front of them, buyers may be more open to considering novel technologies.
Decisionmakers can be hard to access
The second most-cited challenge (52%) for exporters was access to procurement decisionmakers in foreign governments. For ICT exporters offering innovative new technologies, it’s especially crucial to be able to get in front of the right person to make a pitch. CCC’s extensive worldwide network and association with the Canada brand can help build credibility and overcome this hurdle. Almost three-quarters of clients surveyed said partnering with government improved their access to high-level government officials.
Mastering local procurement practices and dealing with risk can be daunting
Even if you know your own field and products inside and out, there are non-commercial aspects of negotiating with foreign government buyers that many exporters find challenging. The complexities of unfamiliar government procurement processes paired with the political and business risks that can arise in foreign markets can leave exporters feeling quite vulnerable.
“Having CCC at the table with you — from initial buyer meetings to contract structuring negotiations — provides you with a really interesting advantage,” says Tasseron. “And there are benefits to all parties. We’re always working on behalf of the Canadian exporter, but when it comes to spanning points of difference, having a more neutral third party at the table can be a big difference-maker.”
Credit and financing can be barriers
Capital-intensive projects such as those related to brand-new smart infrastructure often demand access to credit and financing — to ensure healthy cash flows and capacity to deliver over the life of the contract. While CCC doesn’t provide financing, our involvement reduces the overall project risk, making it more appealing for lenders and financiers to get involved. We help build that financing and/or credit into the project package to put the strongest possible offer forward, often working with our partners at Canada’s export credit agency, Export Development Canada.
Whatever you consider your biggest challenge, Tasseron says involving CCC can help overcome it: “We give both buyers and sellers the confidence that, even though the technologies and business relationships may be new, you can rely on us to work with you to not only get the deal done but also ensure that what was promised is ultimately delivered.”
Do any of these challenges sound familiar? We can help. Contact CCC at 1-800-748-8191, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.