Based in West Yorkshire, Tellemachus has been supplying the security industry with innovative and secure IT, Communications and Surveillance Solutions since the business was established in 1994. With clients spanning a wide range of police, law enforcement and military sectors as well as the corporate sector, the company is responsible for the design, development, installation and support of an extensive range of networks and solutions across the world.
With advice and financial support from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), Michelle Kelly, International Business Development Manager explains how they have, in the last 2 years expanded their well-established domestic market into Europe and Asia. Public sector spending cuts in the UK significantly affected the UK market and exporting allowed for continued increases in profitability and contracts during what could have been very unstable times for the company.
Having worked with UKTI in a previous role, when the time came to look to the international market Michelle contacted UKTI straight away and she was put in touch with International Trade Advisor Brian Aungiers. Tellemachus had previously struggled to identify which market and country to focus on for export and the support from Brian was very helpful in this regard. Michelle explained that he really took the time to understand their reasons for looking to export their product, potential markets and how the support services offered by UKTI could possibly help. “Brian made us prioritise” explained Michelle, and Tellemachus settled on Asia.
Understanding the crucial need to travel overseas in order to begin developing projects in these markets, the first step was to participate in Milipol Paris 2009; a worldwide exhibition of Internal State Security.
Here, exhibitors from 43 countries showcased their products and services to over 20,000 professional visitors from 132 countries worldwide so it was an incredible opportunity for Tellemachus to bring their products to the international market.
UKTI helped Michelle to prepare for the exhibition through sourcing a translator and supporting with their application to exhibit at the event. UKTI funding was also granted to enable some of the costs towards the event to be met. With the majority of delegates being from the international market with the second most common language of French, the translator was an essential aspect of preparation. Michelle explained that Tellemachus’ marketing materials were not translated; having the advantage of a French-speaker to approach the press and French Ministers to visit the stand and promote their stand to the wider delegates was incredibly useful.
Tellemachus’ product Horizon proved to be the most successful from the event, securing significant orders from both European and Asian police forces.
Horizon is a portable video and audio transmission device utilised by police forces for static and mobile operations. Tellemachus has developed this innovative solution to transmit video, audio and telemetry across a mobile phone networks (in addition to other available networks), thereby allowing it to be set up literally anywhere. Information can then be transmitted back to and viewed in any operations room, command and control centre, studio or remote personnel.
Following the success of Milipol, Michelle focussed her sights on the Far East and company personnel attended a UKTI trade mission to Hong Kong, Malaysia and Taiwan with the objective of identifying and appointing resellers for Tellemachus’ products. To be effective in these markets local technical support for the products was going to be essential so the support from UKTI was required to help fund the mission and source contacts. UKTI support was very useful in order to understand these new markets through meetings with locally-based UKTI officers in the British Embassies who set up key meetings with potential resellers.
In Taiwan in particular, UKTI support for translation was very useful, to overcome the language barrier. Where possible though, when contacts spoke English, Tellemachus’ Sales Manager carried out the meetings.
Whilst identifying potential contacts was successful, the subsequent engagement with the resellers has been a particular challenge. Tellemachus designed a bespoke reseller package that would require some investment from the reseller to purchase demo equipment. When it came down to signing a reseller agreement and making this investment though, some resellers were unwilling to make a commitment to this. Michelle hopes to work with UKTI once again to find an appropriate solution to take the development of their reseller network forward.
If you are based in the Yorkshire and Humber region and are interested in developing your business overseas please contact:
Tel: 0300 365 1000
Countries: France, Taiwan, and Yorkshire and Humberside
Topics: Getting Started