Mark O’Connell – 15 Nov, 2020 General

A pervasive dilemma for public funded trade and investment agencies when they are asked by their clients to recommend a service provider is how to maintain independence and impartiality and avoid the allegation that they are giving ‘jobs to the boys’. And yet these clients may be new to the region have a genuine need for good quality legal, tax, accounting, banking and HR advice to complete their trade and investment transactions. So Hobson’s choice- damned if you do and damned if you don’t give a recommendation. And even when a referral is made, the agency has no visibility of what happens next and loses control of the client relationship.

OCO have formed a commercial alliance with Get Proven; a US West Coast platform provider who have developed a digital workaround to this dilemma that is a win-win for both clients, the agencies and the intermediaries. The Proven platform hosts a list of vetted intermediaries on the clients website which contains contact details and description of their services, and clients are directed to browse and select from the list. But the best bit is that the agency has visibility and can track which intermediaries have received clicks/enquiries independently of their referral, and the platform captures and reports on all the activity, giving them control of the relationship and allowing them to leverage the value of the channel. In other words the Proven platform can generate leads both for the intermediaries and the agency, without any compromise to client confidentiality and no risk of impartiality. And it is completely GDPR compliant.

Phil from Get Proven commented “As a guy working for the last decade in big tech on the West Coast I was constantly and randomly being targeted by agencies for FDI and Trade opportunities and saw the market failure. The vision for Proven was to create a digital community that would connect buyers, suppliers and intermediaries in a structured, independent and non-intrusive way. We have seen good early adoption from VC clients you use our platform to connect their investees with their affinity partners such as shared workplaces, cloud services, IP lawyers, tax advisors. I am very excited about our alliance with OCO who understand the challenges faced by economic developers in this space and can demonstrate the value of our digital solution. We have recently set up intermediary referral platforms for EDB Singapore, IDA Ireland and UK Department for International Trade who are delighted with the solution”

In an environment where our clients have been forced to embrace digital solutions due to travel restrictions and social distancing, I can genuinely say I have seen the future and it is Proven.