Monday, March 10, 2008

Reflections On 10 Years In Business

Alliance International was founded in June 1997. Our first client was JABRA Corporation, which hired us to assist it market and sell its unique hands-free Earset for mobile phones in Japan. We incorporated the business in 1998. Ten years later, we're still here. What a journey!

The goals of the company have been simple:

* To assist US companies market and export their products abroad

* To find unique products to bring to North America

Our focus has been on industry sectors we know best: professional audio visual equipment, mobile phone accessories, computer peripherals & computer software.

Ten years in business. We must be doing something right. Looking back, there are a few things to be proud of (and many more to be embarrassed by that are saved for future posts):

* Helping to build the market for JABRA's Earset for mobile phones in Asia-Pacific when it was an unknown fledgling

* Introduction to the US of a series of document cameras made by Yokogawa with unique features such as rotating camera head, open stage (platen), integrated writing tablet, integrated LCD monitor (which are now common).

* Introduction to to the US of the Digital Class LCD touch-screen writing monitor made by Media Go Technologies, which forced market leaders such as SmartBoard and Crestron to re-think the way they did touchscreens and interactive monitors.

* Distribution of Nippon Avionics AVIO projectors in North America, which are unique because they include a high resolution camera for viewing documents and 3-D solid objects.

* Assisting InFocus Corporation market its projectors in Japan and Korea.

* Assisting PolyVision sell its interactive, electronic whiteboards in Japan and China.

Through the school of hard-knocks, I've learned some valuable lessons about the difficulty of competing against established market leaders. (It's not easy!) On the other hand, if we've been a "thorn in the side" of market leaders, our efforts have been a catalyst to industry innovation and improvement, resulting in better products for consumers. And it's certainly been a lot of fun.

To all of our customers, we express our most sincere thanks. Here's to another 10 years!

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