European security distributor ponders Middle East move

One of Europe's leading IT security distribution companies is exploring the possibility of expanding into the Middle East. ComputerLinks - a Germany-based wholesaler with offices in numerous countries including the US - insists its plans have received the backing of unnamed vendor partners.

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By  Administrator Published  April 1, 2007

One of Europe's leading IT security distribution companies is exploring the possibility of expanding into the Middle East. ComputerLinks - a Germany-based wholesaler with offices in numerous countries including the US - insists its plans have received the backing of unnamed vendor partners.

ComputerLinks' admission that it is weighing up entry to the Middle East region came last week when the company published its 2006 financial results. In a brief statement at the end of its annual report, the distributor revealed that it is "assessing opportunities in the Middle East for further market expansion".

ComputerLinks CEO and founder, Stefan Link, was unwilling to provide specific details on the plans, but confirmed that the company is currently surveying the landscape for opportunities.

"We have plans to make some investment in the Middle East and that's all I can tell you," he said. "I think it's a very attractive market, which is booming. It is an interesting region and there are a lot of developments happening. I think we have to make a decision [to expand into the market] this year."

Link admits that ComputerLinks' motivation for checking out expansion possibilities in the region is "partly" driven by vendor partners who are keen to see the company's expertise deployed in the region. "The more interesting thing for us is that it is an emerging market," he said. "But some of the vendors are quite interested that we might come to this area."

ComputerLinks operates training and professional services divisions as well as e-business and e-security units. Its e-business unit is built around vendors such as ADIC, Citrix, Packeteer and Neoware, while its security portfolio encompasses names such as BlueCoat, Fortinet, RSA Security, Sonicwall, Trend Micro and Websense.

Link declined to comment on whether the company is considering potential partnerships as part of its evaluation, citing confidentially due to ComputerLinks' status as a public company.

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