AMD ready to roar

‘The only way is up,’ is the message emanating from AMD as it gears up for an aggressive push in high growth markets around the world. The fierce rival to Intel created a high growth markets theatre at the beginning of 2006 headed up by former AMD Americas boss Gustavo Arenas.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  January 29, 2006

‘The only way is up,’ is the message emanating from AMD as it gears up for an aggressive push in high growth markets around the world. The fierce rival to Intel created a high growth markets theatre at the beginning of 2006 headed up by former AMD Americas boss Gustavo Arenas. AMD is determined to boost its market share in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, freely admitting that its MEA market share is still a single-digit percentage and claiming that channel expansion can be a catalyst for growth. Arenas flew into Dubai in mid-January to attend the launch event for AMD’s distribution tie-up with Almasa and whip the reseller crowd into a frenzy. “Bringing Almasa on board is a superb step for AMD,” said Arenas. “It gives us a foothold in a very important region. We are not interested in the quantity of distributors that we have, it is all about the quality.” “The market share in MEA is relatively low and that spells opportunity,” continued Arenas. “We need to start educating the resellers and this is the first step in that process. Then it is a case of educating the end users as well. That is how we will produce growth — in conjunction with our distributors, resellers and end-users.” Arenas certainly has pedigree when it comes to boosting AMD’s sales. His efforts in Latin America have resulted in AMD now claiming to hold 46% market share in Brazil. “We have done that by working with the government and making them understand that all we are after is a fair and open competitive environment,” explained Arenas. “We have a great deal of heart and passion and really want to see growth occur in MEA. I can’t sit here and tell you we will have the same number of people as our competitor, but we will have the quality of people,” he added. Arenas also confirmed that Gaith Kadir has now taken over as the permanent regional manager for AMD in the Middle East and Africa in the wake of Tarek Heiba's resignation in late 2005. AMD remains fully committed to building up its regional team hand-in-hand with its wider channel development efforts. The commercial distribution agreement struck between AMD and Almasa covers all countries within the Middle East region. The move marks yet another step in AMD’s quest to flesh out a distribution channel in MEA with genuine reseller reach. Recent moves have included both Sahara and Golden Systems picking up AMD distribution rights in the Middle East, in addition to the long-term relationship that has been in place with Thacker. “Almasa and AMD share similar goals in the industry, to be constantly innovative and bring needed technology to the market,” explained Syed Parvez Ahmed, VP at Almasa IT Distribution. “AMD’s powerful customer focus ties in extremely well with Almasa IT Distribution’s approach to strongly supporting regional resellers and contributing to pushing the local market forward.” Arenas has set clear goals for his first year in charge of AMD’s growth markets region: “We will make sure we have a local presence in as many countries as possible — especially in key markets. We will be consistent in our approach to distributors and resellers.” “AMD is here to stay and the channel should seriously consider working with us. We have demonstrated our ability around the world to provide technically excellent products that represent great value,” Arenas concluded.

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