Introduction To Business in Thailand
Whether you are setting up a completely new business in Thailand, or just launching a new branch, the way you structure your company’s IT components can determine its success or failure.
Clarity IT is a Bangkok-based one-stop complete IT solution and service provider, with experience providing IT maintenance and support as well as consulting and project delivery.
We met with Jack Nathan, Clarity’s Solution Director to create an IT checklist that should help you get started on the right foot.
Setting up a new Thai company – Where to start?
One of the most apparent IT necessities for any new venture is the hardware.
Nowadays, every type of business in Thailand needs at least a few computers to run day-to-day operations – marketing, accounting, operations, R&D, and pretty much any other facet of the business you can imagine, see efficiency boosts and operational improvements when a degree of digitization and computer usage are brought to play.
When buying computers we must choose between Desktop or Laptop machines, according to our business requirements:
Desktop PCs vs. Laptops
Desktops come with better processors and are usually cheaper, but require more space for setting up and get affected when there are power fluctuations. They make the best sense when the position where they’re planned for usage is static, and the person using them is expected to only ever need them only at that location.
Laptops are great for portability and make perfect sense for employees who work on the go, like sales agents, field reps, etc., but they might be limiting when it comes to upgrade options or affordable computing power.
Phones & Phone Systems
Phones and phone systems are your company’s communication lifeline, making their selection another important decision you need to consider. If you need multiple lines, a Private Automatic Branch Exchange (or “PABX” system), is a solution that provides a designated extension number to all the devices connected to it. These devices can be desk phones, fax machines or Multi Function Printers (MFP). PABX systems are routinely used by medium companies, enterprises and call centers, and are robust enough to handle large call volumes.
Thinking on the global scale, you need to ask yourself how much of your phone usage is likely to be for international calls. If you have global offices you need to speak to regularly, digital and IP phones are a great option, since they’re internet based they represent a massive saving in international phone call costs and can be configured to make calling a brand in another country as simple as dialing in to the extension down the hallway.
OK, so you’ve got computers and phones all sorted, the next step is connecting them so that you can work together in teams/departments. It’s time for network cabling…
The easiest solution is to minimize cabling and keep to connecting between Wireless Access Points, while using Wi-Fi for all devices, alternatively you can choose to run cables between all devices: PCs, printers, servers and your external communication (leased lines or internet).
Servers vs. Cloud
Thinking about how your core applications support your business is one of the most important considerations you need to resolve before starting operations – A failing server can cause your business devastating losses. The choice of whether to host applications in-house and on premise, on the cloud, or as a hybrid solution is one that can make or break your business, particularly during periods of adversity. Let’s look at some pros and cons of in-house servers and cloud:
In-house servers are great for ensuring physical control and security over data and can be configured to meet whatever regulatory and compliance requirements are demanded by legislators in your jurisdiction. They can be more cost effective in certain conditions, and their most salient benefit is that they have no dependencies on internet access in order to work.
Their biggest disadvantage is that you need to hire an IT specialist to manage and maintain them. When servers are poorly maintained, badly secured or not properly backed-up; the results can lead to catastrophic data losses or breaches.
Cloud hosting outsources the most painful issues related to hosting to large and highly experienced global brand-names that have made eradicating those concerns the heart of their business.
Cloud hosting with Amazon, Microsoft Azure, Google, Huawei, or any of the other innumerable options that are available on the market offer the benefits of flexibility, scalability, security and convenience. Not to mention peace of mind.
The cons of these services are mostly cost and compliance associated. Some types of data are simply legally forbidden to be hosted on “the cloud”.
While most corporates don’t normally allow branch offices to select their own email provider SMEs have more flexibility and choices tend to be driven by whatever the founder / CEO is most comfortable with. The two primary providers being Google (i.e. Gmail for business), and Microsoft Office 365 (Outlook).
Having your own server: For proprietary confidential information and compliance matters this is one of the best options. For companies with 2,000 mailboxes and over, having your own server is possibly the most cost-effective option.
Note that the first three email solutions outlined above cannot support mass emailing campaigns, and will require a company to rely on a 3rd party solution for any such planned activities.
Website & Website Domain
The web is Southeast Asia’s fastest growing brand engagement channel. The move to the Internet is being accelerated even more by the impacts of Covid-19. Simply put your website, on mobile, is likely to be the 1st, and most commonly used touch-point for your brand. A poorly designed site will cost you not only immediate losses of opportunity, but will also have a durable negative impact on your company’s credibility.
Whether your looking to build a brand website that will drive leads and inquiries, or aiming to launch an ecommerce site that will generate direct sales, building an effective website requires managing three complementary efforts:
One of the first decisions to make as you build your website is what will your domain be. You’ll want to think about your company size and whether you’re B2B or B2C – MNCs need to protect their domain globally, a concern that isn’t shared by SMEs.Some common domain names variations are:
Setting up a new business in Thailand, or branch office (or indeed anywhere) is a huge undertaking, and while entrepreneurs are often focused on the human and financial resources required to realize their vision, it’s increasingly the case that IT infrastructure questions are no less important.
Setting up your business to correctly leverage the operational opportunities a solid IT infrastructure delivers can often make the difference between success and failure.
If you’re ready to start leveraging the internet to take your company to the next level, reach out to us – We’re happy to help!