Interwoven takes aim at A-P market

Content management company Interwoven Inc., which opened its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore last week, is expecting half of its revenues to come from customers outside the US by next year.

Currently, about 80 percent of the sales revenue comes from the US and 20 percent from the rest of the world, but this ratio is expected to change significantly in the coming year, said Jose Briceno, vice president of Asia Pacific Operations, Interwoven.

The company provides content management solutions for large businesses. Its flagship product, TeamSite, controls the development, management and deployment of business-critical Web sites. It targets industry sectors such as financial services, manufacturing and telecommunications.

Interwoven, which was set up in 1995, is a US$3 billion company with 950 employees worldwide. Though its Asia-Pacific operation is just one year old, it has already garnered 48 customers, including Singapore Airlines, Accenture and (Japan).

The company plans to at least double its sales growth and staff count (which currently stands at 28) in this region by next year. "We are confident that we have a niche in the region. The explosion of Internet commerce will mean that more and more companies need our software," said Briceno, who is charged with spearheading Interwoven's foray into the region.

Quoting Gartner Research, he said that in Asia Pacific, the e-business services market is expected to grow to US$41.4 billion in 2005 from US$2 billion in 1999.

And while Asia may face the repercussions from a US downturn, Briceno remains upbeat about the region's prospects. He said, "Our software is targeted at large organizations, who even if there is a recession will still need these applications to lower operating costs and overheads. And this need becomes more acute in a recession."

One of the challenges to doing business here, said Briceno, was to establish Interwoven's credibility.

"In the beginning it was tough because potential customers wanted to see our references and testimonials from existing customers in the region. Basically, they wanted to know that we are not a company that lands in Singapore and takes off after a sojourn. Once they had that assurance, the process of winning them over became much easier," said Briceno

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