Distribution Channels and Supporting Institutions
Foreign companies wanting to enter the German ICT market must carefully select the distribution channel appropriate for their products. Depending on the nature of the product, foreign ICT companies can contact specialized sales agents or distributors. Another possibility to enter the market is to form a joint venture with a local ICT company or of course to open a subsidiary.
Foreign ICT exporters should keep in mind that German customers prefer to rely on local support for the maintenance of these products. For this reason, Foreign ICT enterprises must make sure that their troubleshooting and service departments are easily accessible to their customers. ICT related institutions in Germany can be of great help in finding the best way of approaching the market. The German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunication and New Media (BITKOM) represents 90 percent of the ICT market which comprises more than 2,300 companies including 800 midsized companies. BITKOM also offers a Supplier Directory which is the central online catalogue for the entire German IT, Telecommunications and New Media Trade. The directory/database contains around 7,400 entries of companies in the ICT sector.
Other helpful organizations in the ICT sector are the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI), the German Federal Association of the Digital Economy (BVDW) and the German E-Commerce Association (ECO).