Expansion plans

Expand looks to exploit Citrix tie-up by inking distribution deal with Mindware for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  January 23, 2005

|~|Venning_m.jpg|~|“There is a lot of potential business in the region. If you look at the Saudi market, with the wide distribution of cities such as Riyadh, Damman and Jeddah and factor in the high cost of bandwidth, there is clearly a need for WAN optimisation technology.” - David Venning, regional channel manager for Southern Europe and Middle East at Expand Networks.|~|Wide area network (WAN) traffic optimisation vendor Expand Networks has opened an office in Dubai Internet City (DIC) in a bid to win more business in the region and provide support for customers it has already won. The office was opened in October 2004 and employs six sales and technical staff. The vendor has also signed a distribution deal with Mindware covering the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region. “There is a lot of potential business in the region,” says David Venning, regional channel manager for Southern Europe and Middle East at Expand Networks. “If you look at the Saudi market, with the wide distribution of cities such as Riyadh, Damman and Jeddah and factor in the high cost of bandwidth, there is clearly a need for WAN optimisation technology,” he adds. A combination of tight budgets and increasingly sophisticated applications are putting pressure on WAN bandwidth. In some instances, business critical applications are losing out to non-business critical applications. For example, in an office a user could be hogging the company’s bandwidth by running an internet radio application and slowing down SAP traffic. Expand claims its solution allows users to manage and control WAN traffic as well as optimise information packets before they are sent out on the wide area. “A lot of what we do is help the customer understand their network, they have a wide area network but they can’t differentiate between the protocols that run there and they need to prioritise them according to business requirements,” says Venning. Expand is looking to leverage its relationship with Mindware to gain access to Cirix customers. Mindware is the sole Citrix distributor in the region and the tie-in gives Expand Networks a huge list of potential customers, including Saudi Aramco, to pitch to. Citrix solutions, which focus on remote office management, typically increase the demands placed on WAN bandwidth in the enterprise, leading to an obvious opportunity for WAN optimisation players. For Citrix resellers, a partnership with a WAN optimisation vendor an obvious value-add. “Customers can enjoy performance improvements by deploying Citrix and Expand technologies simultaneously,” says Antoine Aguado, regional manager, Citrix Systems. “A Citrix customer using Expand technology will typically be able to add three or four more Citrix users on the same bandwidth,” he adds. The company claims to have invented the WAN optimisation market when it opened for business six years ago and also claims that it has the most efficient technology, with Venning citing a recent report by the Tolly Group as proof of its prowess. The vendor concedes, however, that it has arrived late in the region and that other vendors have had a head start. Nevertheless, Expand is targeting the number one spot and to help with its goal it is looking to recruit expert partners as soon as possible. To assist its resellers, the vendor is bringing an accreditation programme, as well as market development and support help. Although Expand is well positioned to take advantage of its Mindware relationship to open up Citrix related business, it does not have an exclusive relationship with Citrix and other WAN optimisation vendors are also chasing the same customers. Steve Wastie, international marketing director at Expand rival Peribit says, “We have partnered with Citrix at several iForum events in the Middle East and will continue to do so. Peribit saw the market opportunity in the Middle East some time ago and has been operating successfully and generating business in the region since 2002. Expand’s, or any other competitor’s, decision to enter the market at this late stage further validates Peribit’s vision for the Middle East market.”||**||

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