Brocade sets sights on Middle East growth

Storage and file area network vendor Brocade has announced that it will be opening an office in Dubai, in an effort to strengthen its presence in the Middle East. The office, which will be officially launched after Ramadan, will serve as a local base for the MENA region.

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By  Dawinderpal Sahota Published  October 19, 2006

Storage and file area network vendor Brocade has announced that it will be opening an office in Dubai, in an effort to strengthen its presence in the Middle East. The office, which will be officially launched after Ramadan, will serve as a local base for the MENA region. The company told Channel Middle East that the facility would initially be staffed by only two employees. However it plans to add a further three heads over the next six months as part of a phased approach to growth. Khalid Khalil, regional manager MEA at Brocade, said: “We want to approach the Middle East in a prudent way. This method of entering markets worked tremendously well in countries like Russia, and we want to gradually establish a firm base in the region. We’re currently growing at a very good rate and need a local base in order to maintain this growth. Our vision is to place 14 or 15 people in offices in countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey within the next two and a half years.” News of Brocade’s Middle East expansion comes just weeks after it announced the acquisition of rival company McData. Khalil claims the deal puts the vendor, which makes 40% of its sales ouside the US, in a strong position with two-thirds of the worldwide SAN market. Although Brocade’s OEM partners are largely responsible for the distribution of its products, the vendor is hoping to begin selling its Tapestry product-line through channel partners. Khalil believes opening an office in Dubai is an ideal way of making Brocade’s presence felt in the Middle East. “We can’t keep operating remotely in the Middle East if our competitors are here, operating locally. At the moment, there is a blackout of communication from us as we cannot discuss the McData acquisition while the finishing touches are being put on the deal. Our competitors are capitalising on this situation, and Cisco representatives are telling our customers stories that we are closing down product lines and that they won’t continue to be supported by us. But we have sent letters and communicated with our customers to reassure them that they will be protected, which I think is a wise move,” added Khalil.

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