Magirus Middle East vows to profit from Allasso

Magirus Middle East is set to mirror the strategy of its European parent by pushing deeper into the security sector, according to regional general manager Patrick Eichstaedt. The move comes almost nine months after storage-focused Magirus, which is headquartered in Germany, bolstered its European business with the purchase of security distribution specialist Allasso.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  January 14, 2007

Magirus Middle East is set to mirror the strategy of its European parent by pushing deeper into the security sector, according to regional general manager Patrick Eichstaedt. The move comes almost nine months after storage-focused Magirus, which is headquartered in Germany, bolstered its European business with the purchase of security distribution specialist Allasso. “One of the things that you are going to see happening in 2007 is that Magirus Middle East will also move into the security space,” declared Eichstaedt. “At this point in time I cannot say with which vendors that will be, but you can expect it to be a vendor with products in the enterprise space, which is where we have our home in this market.” Magirus only paid a nominal fee to snap up Allasso from former UK owner InTechnology last April, but the acquisition was one of the most significant distribution acquisitions of the year. At the time of the agreement, the unit was pulling in sales of US$130m, employed 120 staff and boasted subsidiaries in all of the major European markets. More significantly, it catapulted Magirus — primarily an IBM, HP and EMC distributor — into the security arena courtesy of distribution agreements with vendors such as Check Point, Nortel, Juniper, Nokia and Websense. Magirus Middle East is now exploring the possibility of activating some of the ‘EMEA-wide’ distribution contracts that were previously only being utilised in Europe. Although it can legally source products from its European operation, the company insists it is looking to establish formal relationships in the region to ensure that any agreements are sanctioned at a local vendor level. “The biggest mistake you can make with a leading vendor in the market is trying to out-smart them by getting stuff from somewhere else based on a contract that legally gives you that opportunity — even if you haven’t agreed to it locally,” said Eichstaedt. “You have to partner up with the company because in the enterprise space that is very important.” Obtaining security expertise has become a common move for distributors in the data storage space during the last few years due to the technology fit and potential cross-selling opportunities it offers. Embarking on that move in the Middle East is vital to Magirus’ development in the region, explains Eichstaedt. “We are strong today in the enterprise space when it comes to the classical infrastructure products, management products and some of the third party software intelligence that you add in to make a perfect solution like VMware, Datacore or PlateSpin. But that still does not touch one of the most important elements addressable in the market around IT infrastructure which is security,” he added. Meanwhile, the distributor has revealed that it is planning to supplement its 20-strong Dubai-based operation with a subsidiary in Riyadh. The move — which would mark Magirus’ first major piece of Middle East expansion since it initially broke into the region — is scheduled to take place in the second half of 2007.

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