Groeber Burghardt, vice president, APAC, hybris Software.
In Asia, how do you overcome the problem that Asians might not understand you?
Groeber Burghardt: We already have a global footprint, global experiences, dealing with vast number of business models and different types of customers when it comes to e-commerce. We're also trying to be a local company. We already have a Japanese language version, Chinese language, and other native language version. We really try to integrate intensively into the existing ecosystem surrounding pure e-commerce software package. On the one side there's payment, but on the other side there's also fulfilment and logistics for example, which are very important aspects. The whole fulfilment cycle needs to be covered as well, so there will also be pre-integrating with existing providers. In Singapore for example, SingPost (a fulfilment house) is a partner. We provide a pre-packaged solution that leverages existing partnerships we have in the region. From our perspective, this is our road to success by really relying on local infrastructure, and local partners for bringing the global perspective.
MZ: In any markets where we operate, we hire locals. In Burghardt's team, apart from himself, everyone else is a local [hire]. That's how we do it everywhere else -- France, Italy, for example.
What are your challenges in Asia?
GB: Their concern is about big data. They are in a diverse environment and they all have very unique requirements in the way they want to be treated, the way they need to be served, the licensing models... and capturing that in a vast space like Asia is a challenge for us. Our success in China is all about working with local partners who are already established there -- they're already well integrated into the broader Chinese ecosystem where we can now bring in the expertise of a global company and into this currently thriving and expanding ecosystem.
What plans do you have for Asia?
GB: Singapore is at the forefront of looking for best practices and best technology globally. One good example is the adoption of NFC (near field communication) -- Singapore is definitely ahead. We're seeing how we can help to keep up the adoption of NFC. We see interesting market in China, where it will be the largest e-commerce market in terms of purchasing power, in a couple of years. That's why it's good time to enter the market right now. Things are consolidating more, chaotic times are over, the ecosystem is kind of stable now, where we have a good fit into it. on the other side, we also see, interesting business models emerging in markets like Thailand and India.
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