Google Apps has been introduced to Malaysian for more than 5 years and it is starting to gain its popularity in year 2012. There are not many authorized reseller in Malaysia especially those who equipped with skills and knowledge to perform large deployments.
Being one of the authorized reseller in Malaysia, I understand all those factors which slowing down or stopping both resellers and potential buyers in Malaysia market. Gosh, I could even write few thousand words to brag about this.
Understanding the demands
What most Malaysian businesses need is just to have a functional email system. Overwhelming them with all the Google Apps features actually scares them. However, this is actually what we can educate and sells the customers, especially the micro and SME businesses.
Over 90% of the SMEs that I’ve consulted never really utilize Microsoft office, why are they even bother buying the software which is going to obsolete in every 2-3 years?
Based on our research, big corporates like TV and radio stations, listed companies and so on, at least half of them has a Gmail account as a alternative email platform either it is used personally by staff or registered by the company.
Just to get things done – email delivery and document processing.
You don’t need to install so powerful word and data (Excel) processing programs if you don’t really need it. (This is one of the big reason of pirated software, they think that it is not worth to pay for it as never fully utilizing it).
The Switching Cost
Google Apps for business is not cheap for 70% of the micro and SME businesses in Malaysia after all. This market segment is big and widely spread, it is very hard to capture it to achieve an economic of scale to run a Google Apps reselling business solely in Malaysia without big business model or perhaps good planning on strategic alliance.
Hack, even Google told resellers that solely rely on commission is very hard for business to sell Google Apps and survive. Value added service is required. Most importantly, Google don’t actually cares about companies which has less than 500 email users. So the question is, how many companies in Malaysia can afford a big amount of investment in IT, email to be specified.
New Google Apps Business Model
How small Google Apps resellers to compete with International resellers? Perhaps commission or affiliate based methods to have small resellers work together is the key.
Big local companies which invested by International Google Apps resellers in fact are lack of local specialists in market education (exploration), leads capture, deployment and customization. Therefore they are only able to target big corporates which can give them sufficient license volume to run the business .
Therefore, it is possible to have this small resellers to become certified Google Apps Sales and Deployment specialist instead of a becoming reseller at first. These specialists can then form a joint venture among themselves to provide greater competitive advantage against large reseller OR even better, sign up to them as an agent.
This will helps big reseller to penetrate the market broader and faster while other can receive their pay in more direct way either in commission or per job deployment salary basic
I should discuss more in the topic especially on the switching cost. I will leave that in future posts. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in using Google Apps for your business, you’re welcome to contact me via my company website – www.innochannel.com.my.