ICT to Canada
(Last updated: 13 Oct 2011)
Trends and opportunities
ICT business opportunities
Canada is a significant player in the global ICT industry with a strong technology service oriented industry. There’s an appetite for high quality, creative, innovative, and unique service and product features that can provide subtle or significant points of differentiation. Opportunities exist in the following areas:
- Business technology and efficiency solutions (mainly software and computer services) in most vertical markets including education, security, infrastructure, health, government, and transportation
- Technologies that provide new ways to capture, store, analyse, access, share and deliver enterprise information
- Leading wireless technologies – particularly machine to machine, next gen networks, mobile software apps
- Smart city technologies to address traffic congestion, infrastructure, and other civil engineering issues
- Clean technologies that mitigate environmental issues within mining, resources, energy, and agriculture industries
- Digital entertainment including film, animation, interactive design, video gaming
Why is this market attractive for Australian companies?
- Mature and highly competitive market with well-developed financial markets, low business costs, sophisticated tech infrastructure and a highly educated workforce (575,000+ highly skilled ICT workers, 92 universities)
- Incrementally larger market than Australia = good next market and a 'training market' in preparation for the US
- Boasts relatively short supply chains and distinct regional markets hence making business growth manageable
- Similar cultural and business practices to Australia and is considered a relatively low risk market
- Open economy with strong import culture that views Australia as an innovative, safe, and reliable trading partner
- Australia’s proximity has had little influence when product features, performance, and price points fit a market need
Marketing your products and services
Top tips to be successful in Canada
- Point of differentiation (uniqueness) in the market and pricing that’s well researched, realistic and competitive
- Research and develop a reliable and appropriate channel of distribution and take time to find the right partner(s)
- Plan and budget for quality promotional material specific to the Canadian market
- Detailed pre-entry market research that is market and sector specific
- Pre-plan for reliable after-sales-service and be ready to provide details about it during prospective partner meetings
- An understanding it will take time and commitment before good results occur
How does doing business in the Canada differ from Australia and what do Australian companies need to do in approaching this market?
- Treat Canada as a highly competitive, mature and demanding market that has similar expectations in terms of readiness, competitiveness, and quick communication as compared to the US and UK.
- Don’t automatically assume that Canada is the perfect 'spring board' into the US market. It can be, but many companies find that Canada is a high performing market on its own that can be very rewarding.
- Be humble in your approach and do your research first – as much as Canadians enjoy dealing with Australia the ideas and solutions presented must make sense for the market, be competitive, and show clear ROI.
- Understand that Canadians prefer to establish rapport and that relationships are key - multiple face to face meetings may be needed and your presence in the market will be expected periodically.
- Prompt response and easy communication is expected (ie. suggest a North America telephone number and marketing materials).
- Although Canada and Australia share almost the same legal systems it is best to secure a legal and taxation contact early that can assist quickly when needed (don’t let this slow momentum).
Key ICT events in Canada
Vertical and/or technology specific events in Canada can be researched at www.backbonemag.com/Events/
The larger technology events and trade shows tend to take place in the US with many Canadians attending.
The Australian Trade Commission – Austrade – is the Australian Government’s trade and investment development agency.
Through Austrade’s network of offices in over 50 countries, we assist Australian companies to succeed in international business, attract productive foreign direct investment into Australia and promote Australia's education sector internationally.
For more information on how Austrade can assist you, contact us on:
Australia ph: 13 28 78 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A list of Austrade offices (in alphabetical order of country) is also available.