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Survival of the fittest in the Orient

Written by Remko Weijers on . Posted in Exact Online

As Darwin put it about 150 years ago, those adjusting best to the environment will survive the best. He also noticed how environmental changes can lead to new species arising that fit the new conditions better. For those slightly familiar with economics, great similarity can be seen with the concepts surrounding free markets – a similarity that makes Darwin directly applicable to Exact Online. We’re growing eastwards, the product entering a new market last month (press release): Turkey.

First, let’s start with the changes in the environment. Internet usage in general has been growing significantly in Turkey over the last 10 years. The strong economic growth there (around 8% on yearly basis since 2000) is a second factor. Third, the population division shows that the average population is very young. Thanks to this combination, the Turkish environment offers a great opportunity for cloud-based products like Exact Online.

But how do these changes in the environment lead to a new species evolving? Well, Exact Online targets a local market and therefore must compete with other local products on that market. These are often long-existing (10+ years) and fully tailored to local legislation, regulations and business habits. Unlike Exact Online, most of these products are installed on-premise. However, realizing the “in-the-cloud” advantage successfully – turning it into actual customers – demands a 100% match with local requirements. Anything less will be insufficient. This is especially the case with auditors, an important target group unlikely to switch if the new product doesn’t meet their expectations

How was the match with the Turkish requirements achieved? It obviously wasn’t left to a random code generator to come up with the correct product (as nature would do). Making the product fit the market requirements was a result of careful study, design and engineering. At an early stage of research for the market introduction, a meeting was organized with a Turkish auditor. A wide range of topics were discussed and the existing product used to check the current match. Furthermore, Exact also enjoys significant localization experience from its growth over the last 25 years. The interaction of these factors generated a list of areas that needed adjusting. Anyone familiar with localization will not find the summary a surprise: local VAT and taxation rules, local official returns and reports, depreciation methods for assets and local payment instruments among the most important topics.

After this first research and the go-to-market decision, several meetings were organized to dive deeper into the requirements for each specific area and ensure that the product would be adjusted accordingly. One of the real challenges here was to stick to the “simple and fast” principles of Exact Online. During the development process, other auditors were kept frequently up-to-date and informed about the solutions’ progress. This early feedback was essential in keeping us on the right track. The whole process ended with a controlled release stage, in which a group of 20 auditors started to use Exact Online for their daily activities. In the end, the new species was born on May 12 2010: Exact Online for the Turkish market.

It’s now up to natural selection to highlight Exact Online’s perfect fit with the Turkish market. Of course, you’re welcom to give it a try. Visit the website and take a tour.

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