Go Global or No?

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Go Global—or No? In my view, the answer is "not yet." To survive, DataClear has to go global in the future but its current decision-making process and rationale are flawed. What DataClear needs to do is to not panic, slow down, and take a clearer look at its situation and the business environment and develop some strategic options that will allow it to go global when the time comes.

They've got some time but not a whole lot of it. As stated in the case, they need to focus.

Despite VisiDat's emergence and its contract with Shell, DataClear still has the data analysis market in the U.S. to itself, as well as a proven product to sell. VisiDat's product was still in beta and had no successful installations, and there is no guarantee that it will perform as well as—much less outperform—DataClear's.

DataClear had also recorded very impressive sales growth in its first two years and, given the projections, were looking at 300 percent average revenue growth thru '02. The case analysis available shows that DataClear has a $600 million annual domestic market for its current product and $1.2 billion when you add in the global market in telecommunications and financial services. With product expansion, there was a potential annual $2.7 billion market ($1.5billion domestic/$1.26 billion abroad) to target in the telecommunications, financial services, chemical, petrochemical, and pharmaceutical industries combined.

The case also suggests that DataClear would not have to substantially modify its core software product in order to accommodate expansion into new markets for its services, although the total cost of expanding both product and infrastructure/staff support was put at $4 million. The cost of immediate global expansion was not explicitly stated but probably somewhere around $2 million just for infrastructure and staff support, before product development (let's call that $2 million—so it's even).

What was clear in the case was the lack of international...
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