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Success in Asia-Pacific requires investment: F5 Networks

Success in Asia-Pacific requires investment: F5 Networks

Networking vendor sees common language as not enough for regional success

A significant investment is requires to succeed in the Asia-Pacific market, according to F5 Networks.

Vice-president of worldwide channels and alliances, Jim Ritchings, shared the observation during the vendor’s Agility conference.

Ritchings said it is important to have a representative investment in every market, though it is not something that comes easily.

“Despite a common language in Asia-Pacific, a country or region may want a local distributor and channel experts resident in that market,” he said.

For that reason Ritchings said Asia Pacific is similar to EMEA, where vendors tends to invest more than in other markets.

“It takes a bigger investment to go after the opportunity, and as a result you end up with more risk,” he said,

The US market may have many regions and a large population, though Ritchings said four distributors are enough for F5 Networks to service it.

In comparison, the vendor has dozens of distributors spread across countries and regions in Asia Pacific.

The US market contributes approximately 55 per cent of F5’s revenue, though Ritchings said it is important for the vendor to have local representation.

“You need to invest in teams in other countries, both from a sales and channel perspective,” he said.

Different verticals

The US market is not only bigger than Asia-Pacific, Ritchings said the composition is also significantly different.

“The American market is spread across various verticals while telcos and financial services are the big spenders in Asia-Pacific,” he said.

The two verticals may occupy 60 to 70 per cent of the market in Asia Pacific, though in the US they are more spread out.

Telco and finance may occupy 20 per cent of the market in the US, while healthcare, retail and manufacturing command a larger portion than in Asia Pacific.

When it comes to technology silos, Ritchings said it is mostly the same across the world.

“Consolidation around vertical markets is the biggest difference, and that’s not just limited to the channel but sales in general,” he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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