Ms Sharon Teo (Front row, second from left) with her colleagues in the InspireTech team. (Photo: InspireTech)
By Billy Teo
It is not just tech startups here that are hungry to break into the Chinese market. Local companies with a longer track record are also keen to explore opportunities with an eye for expansion.
Case in point: InspireTech. Established in 2000 in Singapore as a platform service company, it has grown into an organization with international presence around the region – and beyond.
It has pivoted since its early days to become a developer of software for enterprises, with an edge in making the technology as easy to use as consumer apps.
InspireTech’s flagship EasiShare, for example, is designed as a secure private cloud solution that enables enterprises and government to modernise their IT infrastructure through more user-friendly way of content collaboration and backup – think Dropbox for enterprises.
The company also created the EasiSMS and RapidSMS push notification and SMS messaging solutions for client communications, marketing campaigns and system monitoring notifications. Its latest solution, GigaCentral, ensures business continuity via backup and recovery, and optimizes storage space through the concept of a hybrid tiered storage, among other features.
InspireTech, which is in the Infocomm Media Development Authority's (IMDA) Accreditation@SGD programme, will be in the IMDA-led delegation of over 40 companies participating in the inaugural Smart Expo China. Taking place from 23 to 25 August 2018, the event is reportedly one of the largest ICT events in China and will be held in Chongqing.
Ms Sharon Teo, Co-founder & Managing Director, chatted with IMpact to share her thoughts about going international – and into China.
What are some of the countries or markets that InspireTech has expanded to?
We have offices and development centers in UAE, US, Russia and Indonesia. Apart from that, our partner network extends to Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and the GCC region. We are currently exploring markets like India, Japan and Turkey. Our clients come from various industries, including financial institutions, government-related organizations and agencies, healthcare and education.
Our multi-cultural team has the knowledge, expertise and passion to create smart products which are easy to use, highly secure, reliable and value-add to the organizations of different types and size.
What are your objectives in going to Chongqing, and what do you hope to achieve?
InspireTech is expanding quickly, and we are looking for more opportunities to expand our international presence. In Chongqing, we are aiming to find new partners among local Cloud Service Providers, Internet Service Providers and System Integrators.
If our expectations are met and we find the right partners, we will focus our efforts on establishing joint ventures with the Chinese companies.
Ms Sharon Teo with InspireTech colleagues at an exhibition booth featuring the company's enterprise technologies. (Photo: InspireTech)
What are your thoughts on the Chinese market for your solutions?
It is definitely an important market. China is the world’s second largest economy by nominal GDP and the world’s largest economy by purchasing power parity. Our target customers, which are mainly Small and Medium Businesses, make up around 97% of all enterprises in China.
Although China’s IT industry is vast, sophisticated and filled with a wide variety of domestic products, the digitalisation of industries and the spread of cloud computing is still ongoing. We see a potential for us there, and we are optimistic about the new opportunities in the country. We believe that we can find a suitable niche for our solutions.
What do you hope to learn from attending the Smart China Expo?
I think the Smart China Expo will allow us to get an insight into the potential market opportunities and also let us explore partnership opportunities with Chinese tech companies. It is also a great place to see the latest technological achievements, and an ideal showcase for us to learn from the experience of other companies coming from around the world. In particular, we are watching AI and Blockchain technologies very closely, as we believe they will allow us to create better value for our customers.