Samsung SDS builds market awareness

Away from its larger and better known parent company in hall two, Samsung SDS is outlining its product portfolio in hall five. SDS has evolved from the vendor’s own internal IT department into a software and services organisation operating in Asia, Europe and the US.

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By  Mohammed Affan Published  October 6, 2002

Away from its larger and better known parent company in hall two, Samsung SDS is outlining its product portfolio in hall five. SDS has evolved from the vendor’s own internal IT department into a software and services organisation operating in Asia, Europe and the US.

“Customers aren’t aware that Samsung is involved in the software and services area,” says Gyu-Bong Oh, president, Europe, Middle East, Africa and CIS, Samsung SDS.

“Three years ago we started our business outside Korea. But we’re only starting in the Middle East business now. Before [Gitex] we’re opening our Middle East office in Dubai Internet City,” he adds.

The vendor is going to be giving presentations over the course of the five day show, illustrating the depth of its product portfolio both to potential customers and channel partners. “With our office in place, Gitex is going to be a good place to start our business,” comments Oh.

Initially, Samsung SDS is going to base its business on vertical industry smart card applications. However, the vendor has outlined an ambitious growth strategy, which if fulfilled, will see it engaged in systems integration and services contracts within the next six to 12 months. Within the space of 24 months Samsung SDS also hopes to be running a local data centre, offering a selection of application service provider (ASP) products. “We’re moving into the region with our smart card products, but next comes the systems integration. Later on we are planning to handle [enterprise resource planning] software in the region,” Oh explains.

According to Oh, Samsung has considerable experience with SAP R/3 and Unix platforms gained from projects with large corporates in Korea and elsewhere.

“We have 1300 SAP engineers and we also have extensive Unix expertise. We also have experience in consulting services,” adds Oh.
Currently, Samsung SDS’ go to market model focuses on the UAE and Saudi Arabia. However, assuming the company hits its aggressive growth targets it intends to stretch its reach across the Middle East over the next 18 months.

However, the local services and hosting market has become increasingly competitive. In the last 12 months, IBM and HP have been investing heavily in their respective services businesses.

Also both Etisalat and Jordan Telecom have attempted to lay claim to the local data hosting market with extensive investments in large data centre facilities. Samsung SDS intends to avoid the worst of the services fray by targeting niche companies, says Oh.

“For companies to grow quickly and effectively IT is very important… we can help them [in that,]” he adds.

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