Cobion increases local productivity

Web & e-mail filtering company, Cobion, is looking to increase its market share in the Middle East by expanding its channel and improving customer support. Key to this drive will be the company’s local distributor, GDI.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  June 4, 2003

Web & e-mail filtering company, Cobion, is looking to increase its market share in the Middle East by expanding its channel and improving customer support. Key to this drive will be the company’s local distributor, Gulf Data International (GDI), and references from existing customers, such as Abu Dhabi’s Chamber of Finance.

“We are in the process of channel building and setting up a help desk and full support for both our customers and partners. We also have a lot of potential leads and we are currently bidding on eight tenders in the Middle East. And, although there is a very long sales cycle [here], we are hoping for a good market share in the near future,” says Michael Chehata, consultancy & projects manager, GDI.

“The Middle East market has a lot of potential and we are putting lot of efforts into it with our partners. It may not contribute as much [in terms of revenue] as the US or European market, but is certainly a part of the cake,” adds Olaf Jacobi, member of the board, Cobion.

Furthermore, Cobion and GDI believe that the regional market is growing, as an increasing number of businesses incorporate the internet into their daily operations and face the prospect of staff wasting time and bandwidth.

“We have put entertainment centres on people’s desks and it has become a problem. In Egypt, for example, a lot of people like to download songs, and this has a huge impact on the bandwidth usage of a company,” says Chehata.

“By using Cobion’s solution, a business can set the system so that it doesn’t allow the downloading of music or movies from particular sites during certain times. It gives the company the tools it needs to become more efficient from a human resources and cost point of view, while also helping prevent the spread of viruses,” he adds.

Cobion argues that its technology-based approach to web filtering sets it apart from other market rivals, such as Websense and SurfControl. Rather than relying on a team of individuals to classify sites and place them in categories that users can then block, it uses data analysis tools and web crawlers.

“Our products are based on two technology layers — data analysis and crawlers. We have 500 crawlers in the internet looking for the latest links and our IT infrastructure has 1000 clustered servers are doing nothing but identifying content in data. We then download the content of the new URLs and the technology analyses it and decides what category it belongs to,” explains Jacobi.

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