US Robotics set to expand Middle East operation

US Robotics plans to boost its headcount in the Middle East after a sparkling first half sales performance in the region. The networking and internet access kit vendor boosted Middle East revenues 75% year-on-year during the first half of 2006, according to EMEA sales director Peter Blampied.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  September 9, 2006

US Robotics plans to boost its headcount in the Middle East after a sparkling first half sales performance in the region. The networking and internet access kit vendor boosted Middle East revenues 75% year-on-year during the first half of 2006, according to EMEA sales director Peter Blampied. Full year 2006 sales are expected to climb between 50% and 60% from the figure recorded in 2005. US Robotics refused to divulge its absolute sales figures for the region preferring instead to only provide percentage growth rates. “We had a review of the Middle East region with our CEO earlier this year and came up with a number of action points that we are now implementing,” said Blampied during a visit to US Robotics’ regional headquarters in Dubai last week. “The results in this region have been extremely positive and we are excited about the growth potential that exists in the Middle East market.” “We want to invest even more in the Middle East market and that covers two main areas: headcount and resources. Increasing both of these will allow us to target more customer segments and more markets. The demand exists and we need to ensure that we build up the sales capacity to take advantage of this,” he continued. US Robotics hopes to have recruited additional staff before this year’s Gitex. The company is confident that its strong growth rates will continue, supported by new products launches, a strong channel engagement model and the pursuit of new geographic and vertical markets. “The ADSL and wireless segments are strong growth markets for US Robotics,” added Blampied. “We are now well established in key markets such as the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and really want to now expand beyond that. At the same time we have won some key projects in the education and oil and gas verticals and this is another area of opportunity that we now need to focus on.” “The customer experience is just as important as the products themselves. In addition to looking at our current routes-to-market, we also need to build new ones and keep improving. We have strong coverage in the retail channel but there is always room to make it even better.” One area where US Robotics has been unable to make inroads in the retail channel is with its range of telephony handsets targeted at voice over IP users. With regulations still in place in many Middle East markets — including the UAE — to prevent usage of voice over IP, US Robotics has so far not launched these products in the region. “We would like to see the market open up for voice over IP products such as handsets, which have already proved extremely popular in Europe,” commented Blampied. “In the last year in Europe we have gone from zero to 2,900 retail outlets stocking our voice over IP handsets.” “In terms of Gitex, we hope to have reached a point where we can launch draft ‘n’ products during the event. The important point for US Robotics is to introduce friendly products into the market that have backwards compatibility to our highly successful MaxG range, because many of our customers have already made significant investments in that technology,” Blampied concluded.

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