CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS EDUCATION AND RESEARCH
(GT CIBER)
WORKING PAPER SERIES
95005

U.S. Software Exports to Japan : Issues and Conernscenter>

by Edmund Prater & John R. McIntyre

Abstract

US software manufacturers are placing greater emphasis on international markets. Due to better political conditions in the world and increasing technical and market standards, the world markets are growing substantially. This is true in all categories but specially in software. Up to now Europe has received most of the attention. This can be attributed to several factors including the EC92 common union initiatives. However, Japan's is beginning to garner interest as well with a software market growing at an annual rate of 31%.

A survey of software companies in the southeastern US identifies several issues and concerns these comparnies have with exports to Japan. All companies expect US software sales growth in Japan to be either stable or high. However, all feel that penetrating the Japanese market will be either moderately or extremely difficult. Barriers include the need for product adaptation, product-specific technical standards, compatibility of Japanese computer systems, and language difficulties among others.

Previous research addressed many of the cultural, technical and logistical issues US manufacturers face when selling in Japan. This research shows US software firms face many of these same issues as well as problems related only to their own industry.