Westerners have a hard time breaking through to the Japanese market. Language barrier, extreme requirements on product quality, and vastly different sales tactics are some of the reasons why many prominent and globally successful companies have failed to gain a foothold even after several attempts. But Flowmon managed.
While reviewing companies as potential value-added distributors of Flowmon in Japan, one organization that stood out was Orizon Systems. Although cultural differences may have created some initial challenges to our negotiations, a great product will speak for itself, and at the end of one historic meeting we shook hands with Yoshigo Suga, the president and founder of Orizon, who green-lighted our long-lasting partnership with the words, “If you have a quality product that is missing on the Japanese market, let’s bring it in.
Here is where the real work started. Normally, it takes us a month to agree on the go-to-market plan with a new distributor, with customer revenue coming in within a year. However, in Japan, we spent almost two years refining, validating, and localizing the product, going into the minutest detail to really make sure it can stand up to the harsh quality requirements of the market. It was bitter work, but the results were worth it.
During the years that followed, revenue from our partnership grew incrementally year after year. We managed to secure 200 customers in the region from all market segments and generated over $5 million in revenue. Today we take up 20% of the Japanese NPMD and NTA/NDR market, second only to Cisco, and have established partnerships with some of the biggest players in the region, e.g. UNIADEX, CTCSP, or Net One Systems to name but a few.
Orizon established a special division of up to 25 sales and engineering experts dedicated to the Flowmon solution alone. But selling the product was not the only benefit for Orizon; Flowmon enables valueadded partners to generate an additional revenue stream from services, which can reach over 50% of standard revenue.
“My father had a gift for identifying opportunities for Orizon,” says Kenichi Suga, current president of Orizon Systems, “When we started working together, Flowmon counted only 10 people. Since then, we’ve seen them grow and achieve Gartner recognition and success in over 40 countries all over the world. We are proud to have been with them all these years and are looking forward to many more years of prosperity.”