Texthelp wins new business in France

As part of a drive to expand sales in Europe, Texthelp Systems of Antrim, the worldwide leader of literacy software solutions, has signed strategic deals in France for its text-to-speech software BrowseAloud, with assistance from Invest Northern Ireland.

BrowseAloud was developed to support those who find it difficult to read online content and has already proved immensely successful in the UK, North American and Australian markets. This success encouraged the company to explore other global markets in which accessibility requirements are either already being implemented or are planned.

Texthelp has been assisted to explore opportunities for BrowseAloud in France by Invest NI through a Passport to Export consultancy support programme. Norbert Sagnard, an Invest NI export consultant, helped to identify potential customers and to develop a market entry strategy. As a result of this focus on France, they identified and agreed a strategic partnership with Jouve in Paris, a leading provider of accessibility services to public sector organisations across the country. The company has also signed agreements with IPOP and NVN Studios to become resellers for France.

Nigel Cunningham, BrowseAloud’s International Business Manager, commenting on the new business in France said: “France is one of the biggest European markets for software solutions.  The partnership with Jouve will enable us to access bodies that require an accessibility solution for their websites.

“Success in France gives us a platform for further growth in other parts of Europe which, under European Union laws, are required to ensure high levels of accessibility.

“The advice and practical support provided by Norbert Sagnard through Invest NI’s Passport to Export programme have been invaluable. He has helped us with information about market requirements and how to do business successfully in France, as well as identifying suitable resellers for BrowseAloud in target sectors such as public bodies across the country”, he added.

Welcoming Texthelp’s success, Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, said: “This is a tremendous boost for this export-led company and also for our Passport to Export consultancy programme. The consultant has helped Texthelp to position itself and develop partnerships for growth in one of Europe’s most challenging marketplaces. It shows that a local technology company can succeed in even the most difficult of marketplaces when it has access to experienced support on-the-ground.

“As Texthelp’s success shows, our export consultants provide very practical support particularly in key activities such as lead generation. They work closely with companies in identifying their individual requirements and then support them in the target market. This customised support is readily available to companies, both large and small, which share Texthelp’s determination to win new business abroad.”

Texthelp develops assistive software to support individuals with their reading, writing and research skills. The company’s innovative text-to-speech software, BrowseAloud, assists those with literacy difficulties, dyslexia, mild visual impairments and those who speak English as a second language.