Onyx Expands Its Global Focus

Proving that CRM resonates from Oshkosh to Osaka, Onyx today announced that Fujitsu Limited will formally resell Onyx in the Japanese market, where the two companies already have jointly implemented CRM to customers there. The move is Onyx's latest as the company aggressively looks beyond the United States for new growth opportunities. "Thirty-five to forty percent of our revenues over the past four quarters--and some of our larger implementations--are non-US based," says Chad Hamblin, director of international markets for Onyx. Just under 500 companies--a number slightly less than half of Onyx's client base--are located outside the U.S., a trend the Onyx expects to continue as it pushes into some of Asia's hottest markets. Forays into the Chinese and Koran markets have so far yielded just a handful of clients, but Hamblin says the growth potential is significant. "China is still a fairly nascent market when it comes to enterprise software," he says. Onyx currently operates nine offices outside the U.S. Hamblin insists that they are not "lone outposts," but they also lack the scope of the international office of large enterprise competitors. As a result, Onyx has paired with North 22 Technology Services Group to penetrate the Chinese market. Other such partnerships are likely to continue. "They are obviously not big enough to have a worldwide sales force, so reseller agreements and partnerships make sense for them," says Scott Nelson, vice president at Gartner. Hamblin says North 22's expertise and established market presence were crucial to getting a foothold in China. "It's a huge market, dispersed, complicated...not an easy market to break into." Experienced integrators like North 22 also have greater expertise building a value proposition for packaged software in markets like China where the build-versus-buy decision is weighed, with significantly lower IT costs than those found in the U.S. Going overseas can radically change the competitive landscape. Although each country has its collection of small integrators and independent developers with native CRM solutions, "[Onyx is] not competing against virtually the entire spectrum of small North American companies that don't have a footprint in countries like Korea." Nelson says. "It puts them on more equal footing, because the name recognition is not as strong." According to Nelson, those benefits come with a caveat: "You're only going to be as good as the partners in the [overseas] market. But it is a way for [Onyx] to expand market share by going into markets they otherwise wouldn't have a chance in."
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