Teams in startups or smaller companies often have to expand very quickly. This means that you may need to get hardware and infrastructure into countries where you may not even have operations in yet – the classic “chicken and egg” problem.
If you’re a cloud based startup, you may be launching your application in countries all over the world, but you’ve never shipped hardware there before (nor are you likely to understand the commercial implications of standing up virtual operations in another country, see our CDN and cloud post to learn more). If you’re a SaaS business, you may need to stand up a data center, a new office, and remote-work infrastructures.
In all cases, there are different ways to tackle expansion, based on the business outcomes you’re looking to achieve and by when.
Solving the chicken and the egg problem
FGX often runs into startups that are looking to start working within a market as soon as possible. Tactically, this means that startups need to stand up their IT infrastructure (often at a colocation data center like Equinix) even before they have a registered entity setup. FGX Go helps startups hit the ground running by providing our Importer of Record service. With our IOR service, FGX can import your IT infrastructure and equipment even before you have a business entity locally. Once you’ve setup your entity, we can support and enable you to act as your own IOR to reduce costs.
What is FGX Go?
FGX Go is our turnkey, door-to-data center shipping solution that’s built for companies of all sizes and industries. Whether you’re looking to setup a new data center or ship to an existing PoP, we’ll manage everything from the time you order the equipment from your reseller or OEM to the second it’s delivered to its destination.
How does FGX Go work?
FGX Go is a service level that enables our clients to obtain quotes on a shipment-by-shipment basis, and doesn’t lock you into any contracts, allowing you flexibility to scale up and down as needed. When we provide our quotes, we’ll also do an import check to make sure that the equipment is eligible for use in the country you’re looking to ship to. We’ll also let you know what we’ll be executing on your behalf (for example, applying for permits, funding international deferment accounts, etc.) and how long it’ll take so that you can plan your deployments in advance.
What’s special about FGX Go is that our quotes take into account your company’s international footprint to look for cost reduction and operational efficiency wherever possible. For example, the reduction or elimination of import VAT in certain countries or the capability to reclaim it in others.
After a shipment’s quote is approved, FGX will prepare all of the documentation and licenses, perform all of the necessary compliance work, fund duties and taxes, etc., prior to anything being shipped out. By doing so, we limit the amount of time your hardware is sitting in international customs, thus reducing uncertainty and risk in the process. Once all of the documentation and pre-shipment work have been approved, your equipment will be routed via our private supply-chain to its destination’s port of entry, where our in-house customs brokers take over.
During customs clearance, officials may inquire about the import by asking questions, requesting backup documentation, and more – all of which FGX will manage on your behalf. After customs clearance has been completed, we’ll arrange for the shipment to be delivered via a direct drive to the data center or colocation site and provide you with a POD (proof of delivery).
How much work will I have to do?
As little as possible. There are, however, situations where our clients want to commercialize their shipments in a specific way and in order for FGX to make that happen, we have to work with their international counterparts. In cases like that, our clients have to do a bit of administrative and communication work, but throughout the entire process, FGX acts as the project manager and takes ownership over moving things forward. But in 99% of shipments, FGX is able to manage all of the shipments with zero end-user interaction.