Engage Debuts Asian Software Unit

Online ad network and marketing technology firm Engage said it aims to take advantage of what it considers a booming Asian market, by establishing a software division centered in Hong Kong.

The new unit, like its American counterpart, will concentrate on sales of its AdManager fully on-site package, and its AdBureau outsourced solution, to Asian-Pacific companies. The products will be available in native-language versions, as well as English.

“Engage is seeking to capitalize on a vast market opportunity in Asia by introducing our popular marketing software,” said Dean Wiltse, executive vice president for worldwide software sales and service operations. “The Engage software products and support services that we are introducing to this market, have proven themselves to be industry leaders in the U.S.A., Australia and Europe.”

Just how much the current state of stateside affairs is affecting Andover, Mass.-based Engage will come out when the company gives guidance on its financial outlook Monday evening.

Nevertheless, the company is off to a running start in the regional software sales business, with deals already in place with several Asian Web publishers, including ISP/publisher Pacific Internet’s e-business site PacFusion.com; Taiwan’s China Times Interactive; Korean ad network AdSquare.com; and Singapore-based interactive agency AdExplorer.

The move to expand Engage’s software business in Asia likely could be good news for the ad network, which is suffering at home from poor ad spending. Technology, unlike media, is a high-margin sector of the company’s business. And building an Asian sales unit should help to entrench the firm in a region where the competition is better known for its media, rather than its software presence.

For instance, DoubleClick and AsiaContent.com have a joint venture in DoubleClick Media Asia, while 24/7 Media and Chinadotcom jointly operate 24/7 Media Asia.

However, both U.S.-based competitors do handle some software sales in the regions, though that fact doesn’t deter Engage.

“Because sites in Asia are now recognising the need to invest in scalable technology that impacts their revenues, our software division will make an important contribution to Engage’s business globally and regionally,” said Colin McIntosh, president of Engage Asia and Australia. “AdManager and AdBureau complement the needs of different sized companies, and have been received well thus far throughout the region.

Engage Asia grew out of last year’s acquisition of Space Media Ltd., a Hong Kong-based ad network.

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