A question of survival...

Have you ever tried working your way throught Europe in order to establish business for your company in any country outside of your homemarket? You will have encountered a vast variety of nationalities, languages, different cultures, mentalities, business manners, social conditions, technical requirements, levels of economical development et cetera, et cetera, et cetera....

The picture on the right (taken in Germany) is an example. Not exactly the most obvious tool to help you find your way... - why don't you use some local advice...?

It won't cost you more than a phonecall...

Who we are:
We are a group of highly experienced individuals from the European IT-industry with backgrounds in a wide variety of sectors of this industry. This includes general business development, retail sales, OEM, sales to corporate customers and large accounts, distributors, VARS and resellers as well as end-users. Besides the practical experience and proven track record, each individual partner in the group has excellent management and organizational skills - adding to the value which they bring to the table when questions about organization and structure have to be answered.

What we do:
Our services are focusing on Europe and the different local marketplaces in this region of the world. Despite the European Monetary Unit with one single currency, Europe is not a single marketplace and each market is best addressed differently. Our network consists of several independent professionals, each based in his/her home country who know best the essential requirements of their home markets. They each have their own network of people and companies which they can activate. So if one of the European countries is an international market for you, we should be your partner.

Why us?
We know that there are a lot of consultants around, it is a big market and it is your choice. On this website, we could go into a lot of explanations why and how we are better, but you know that this is what is usually known as marketing. It won't prove that it works for you - each product and every company is different and there is no fixed scheme that can be applied to all the cases. Talk to us and we can discuss the specific nature of your exact requirements...

A spoken word is much less confusing then applying a theoretical scheme to try and solve a given problem. So what are you waiting for ? Give it a try and us a call!

What is at risk?
Ask yourself "what is at risk?" What advantages can I and my company gain ? Do you want to re-invent the wheel and have someone from your own staff "conquer the world" or might it be better to use someone who already has the basics and the contacts in place...? Thinking about exclusive re-publishing, a joint venture, setting up your own channel, buying a company or opening up a subsidiary ??? Why not talk to somebody who has done it before in a given European market and discuss your options. It doesn't cost much, but it might save you a lot further down the road...

LEVEL 1 - Short-term assignment
You are looking for the right person to talk to within an organization in order to make the first move? We'll find exactly the right person responsible for your kind of product and we'll arrange an appointment allowing you to present your offering. How often have you tried, in any organization, to understand the responsibilities and authorities and finally ended up presenting your product and/or your company to the wrong person?

Or how about us pointing you to the right company which might be the best one for you to work with? You know your product(s) - we know the channels and the players. Why not give it a try?

We cover the task of finding the right person, making the cold call, giving a brief introduction and arranging an appointment - be it at a vendor, distributor, manufacturer, corporate account, retailer, VAR etc. You pick the country and the "target" - we take care of the rest...

LEVEL 2 - Temporary assignment with monthly retainer
You "rent" us on a time-limited base and we consult and advise you in any area of the services provided by the network. The fee splits up into a retainer - which is a fixed monthly amount - and a flexible part based on sales commission. On top, the Client covers additional expenses occuring (T&E, communication, administration and external services, which need to be subcontracted e.g. in the production area where the retainer covers our involvement in project management and the real-time printing costs for - let's say - the package).

LEVEL 3 - Assignment based on commission (sales model)
In this model, we will go out and actively sell your product(s)/service(s) to potential customers. You can recommend specific accounts, the final choice is ours. You tell us the history with a given (potential) customer, the reasons why it hasn't worked out and give us a flexible base for negotiating a deal (e.g. same price and volume conditions as a comparable customer in a given category has bought your product(s)/service(s) for) and we will go out and sell for you. Expenses incurred for travel will be covered by you, once a deal is cut (which might require your presence for any final discussions), our fee is based on the total revenue achieved. Our share in most cases - based on the sales of your products - is around 15% to 20% of total gross revenues. Our sales activities cover the following areas/channels:

* Distribution (IT and Telco)
* VAD/Niche distribution
* Republishing
* Retail
* VAR/IT- and Telco-Reseller
* ATOs (Alternate Telcos), (City-) Carrier

We are a professional services firm helping technology companies to solve revenue and growth issues - for example when internal resources are stretched to the limit - delivering sales services is the main focus area of our company. More detailed information about the sales services offered can be found in the section "Consulting levels" of this website.

We assist, advice, plan and fulfill your marketing activities and product promotions. It does not require a degree in rocket science to do marketing in a foreign country, but it does help to tweak your "homegrown" materials to fit the taste, culture and mentality of foreign customers. Our activities include:

* Web design
* Direct Mailings
* Print media (broshures, ads etc.) and
* Public Relations
* Fairs and exhibitions (planning, organisation etc.)

Market Analysis
You want to find out how big the potential for your product in a market is, what the possible sales channels are, who your potential partners for co-operations might be, who your competitors are and what they do ? Try doing this remotely and you might end up with a lot of outdated, irrelevant and most likely wrong information. We do the market analysis and help you collecting exactly the information that you need to make your business decisions. For your convenience, we have added the sections "Europe" and "Marketdata" to our webpage. Both give you more information about the markets we cover, some valuable data about the present and the future of those markets and some interesting links where you can gather additional information for creating your business case.

Creating and growing your marketing and sales programs
Do you know if your standard sales program would work in a foreign country? We help you by validating your program against the local requirements of a market and advise you on how to make it work under local conditions where the channel structure might differ from your usual setup. If required, we design a customised plan and program meeting exactly your product and local target market needs.

Representation/Administration (*)
Need some office space? A local postbox to which the letters to your company can be addressed? Or do you need an administrative resource to answer phone calls for your company? All this can be booked as a service - helping you to minimize the startup phase and reduce your investment for your entry into your chosen market.

As you know, in Europe there is more than one language... It might be acceptable to ship an English language product in markets like Benelux or Scandinavia, but doing this in countries like Germany or France - who together make up about 30 % of the total European market - will certainly limit your chances of success.

Again, we are in close cooperation with a series of IT-experienced translators who will be able not only to translate, but to localize your product (ever thought about hard-coded strings in your software...?). For us, localization means not just translating words, but using appropriate phrasing which reflect literal meaning in "national" marketing.

Think global - act local.

Speaking of printed materials... In order to act on local European markets - would you ship your (US) marketing materials over to Europe and use those for promotion?

Besides the language question we have commented on above - how would you fit this legal-sized material in - let's say - French ;-) envelopes? Anyway: It is often less expensive to print and manufacture materials in Europe. Countries like Ireland are a valid option offering extremely competitive rates. Why not talk to us?

What about reducing Time to Market? Why not stock your products for Europe in Europe? Therefore you'll be shipping products for Europe from Europe. Again, there are very good infra-structural possibilities in this area which make a separate logistical setup very attractive. We can advice on what the most cost effective way could be.

Future services (planned)
In order to provide our customers with the full range of services, we are currently working on making the following services available soon:

* Support/Helpdesk (*)
* Pre- and Postsales (*)
* Legal advice

What is Europe:
This map is used by permission of The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin. More
details can be found at A very detailed interactive and "zoomable" map of Europe can be found here (*). We are currently updating on this section - Sometimes it takes a bit longer to get the external approval when third party material is used. The European Union currently consists of 15 member states, giving it the power of a total of more than 370 million consumers. In May 2004, the EU will welcome 10 new members giving rise to an even bigger single market in Europe. You can get more details about Europe, its members and its people through this link (*) or this link (*).

Do you want to know, how big your worldwide base of potential customers is ? Then this link (*) is for you... (This info is not necessarily related to Europe, but we found it interesting anyway...) The "world-population clock" is used by permission of Mr. Robert Riha, Statistik Austria. Special thanks to him for this nice Web-App. What time is it in Europe ? Why is nobody answering the phone ? Is it a public holiday ? Follow this link (*) and you will never (by accident) call your business partner in the middle of the night again, nor will you confuse summer- and wintertime. On top, you will be able to calculate the official Internet time and find out all about the different public holidays.

Recommended links with further statistical data that we found very useful: Statistik Austria: (*) - German language site, containing very interesting data.

The World Bank Group: (*) - Site in muliple languages with all sorts of information on the economic, financial and development stage of all countries.

The Central Intellignce Agency:*)- World famous site containing loads of tax-payed data provided by one of the "federal research agencies" of the United States. The "Northern Region": United Kingdom, Ireland We will shortly provide you with some data for these countries. The "Central Region": Germany Austria Switzerland (NOT a member of the EU) We will shortly provide you with some data for these countries.

In the meantime, some useful data for Germany can be provided through this link (*) and for Austria through this link (*) France We will shortly provide you with some data for these country.

In the meantime, some useful data for France through this link (*) Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg We will shortly provide you with some data for these European countries. Scandinavia: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden We will shortly provide you with some data for this area. The "Southern Region": Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece We will shortly provide you with some data for this area. The "Eastern Region": Russia Belarus Estonia Latvia Lithuan Moldovia Ukraine We will shortly provide you with some data for this area.

Our adress:
We are located in different European countries which makes sure that we are as close to our markets as we can be. Please call for inquiries on where the closest office for you would be. Just call our main number in Germany at: Phone (Voice-over-IP) +49 (0) 64 21 - 176 87 15 UMS (Fax & Phone) +49 (0) 12 12 6 - C A P R I C O R N (=) +49 (0) 12126-227 742 676 or send an E-Mail to our backoffice From there, we can point you to the right person for your specific requirements. In most cases, our local partners will then contact you and manage everything necessary in order to get you going in your country of choice. postal/ visitors address Software Center 3
35037 Marburg/Germany

Capricornconsult (Germany) has its offices in the town of Marburg, located about 90 km north of Frankfurt - right in the geographical center of Germany.

Join the Network
Are you interested in joining our network? If you can help expanding this network, then please contact us. We will provide you with a questionnaire giving us the opportunity to evaluate your own experience and areas of occupancy and - if judged positively - provide you with a partnership proposal to join the network. Please attach your CV when contacting us and give us insight in your local as well as professional strengthes in regard to our networks services. Join the network

Request more information
If you have any questions you would rather have answered in writing then discussing them on the phone, then please do not hesitate to send us an email. Our staff will channel your inquiry into the right hands and get back to you with an answer in the shortest time possible. Request more information

All links mentioned in this site that are marked with an asterics (*) are external links. Capricornconsult is not responsible for the content of these external links or resources which may be accessed via this web site. The full disclaimer (*) can be found here (*) German-specific legalities & Haftungsausschluss: Hinweise zum Haftungsausschluss (*) Impressum: (Hinweise gem. § 6 des Teledienstegesetzes (TDG) in der Fassung des Gesetzes über rechtliche Rahmenbedingungen für den elektronischen Geschäftsverkehr vom 20.12.2001) Verantwortlicher Redakteur für die Planung der Internetinhalte sowie für die Administration der Domain ist: Capricornconsult (Germany), Software Center 3, 5. Etage, 35037 Marburg, Inhaber: Mike Kugland, Tel.: 06421-581 215, Fax: 012126-227742676; Mailadresse: Geschäftszweck des Unternehmens liegt in der Vertriebs- und Marketingberatung von Firmen im IT-Sektor.

Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer gemäß § 27 a Umsatzsteuergesetz (Ust-Nr.): DE 221 300 339