Siemens reinforces presence in region

German conglomerate to bring its dedicated IT solutions and services business to the lower Gulf.

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By  Michele Howe Published  September 22, 2007

German conglomerate Siemens is setting up a dedicated IT solutions and services business in the lower Gulf region in a bid to strengthen its position in the region.

It will launch its Siemens IT Solutions and Services division (SIS), which already operates in some 40 other countries, in the region shortly, its regional company Siemens LLC has announced.

The business will serve the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen, the firm said.

Announcing the launch at a press conference in Dubai, Anil Laud, member of the group executive board of SIS, said the time was right for Siemens to bring the business to the Lower Gulf.

"The substantial growth currently being experienced in the region, especially in the UAE and Qatar is rapidly driving up the demand for medium and large scale IT services," he said.

"With the formation of a local presence, Siemens is now ideally placed to fulfil these demands, and has the unique advantage of providing customers with end-to-end solutions all from a single source," he added.

Asked why the business would not cover Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Joachim Kundt, CEO, Siemens LLC, the regional company of Siemens AG, said the company was starting where it saw the highest integration of infrastructure, adding that there were no plans at present to expand the operations.

The value of the market for IT services and solutions in the UAE is around $526 million per year, and growing at a yearly rate of around 23%, according to Siemens.

The operations will be based in Abu Dhabi and will launch on 1 October, the executives said.

It will start with 40 employees, but the firm said it plans to take on an extra 70 people over the next couple of years.

The business will focus on two specific market segments, airports and the public sector, Kundt said. Approximately 24% of IT services in the lower Gulf region comes from the public sector, according to Siemens.

"One area where we have a competitive advantage is that of enabling electronic processing for government," Kundt said. "We have excellent experience in building integrated security for identification systems, including e-passports, border control and command and control centres."

He cited Dubai Police as an example of a recent project Siemens had done in this area.

Kundt said the new business would be working with Nokia Siemens Networks, the joint venture Siemens has with Nokia, on some projects.

Founded in January this year, Siemens IT Solutions and Services is the bundling together of Siemens IT solutions and software expertise into a separate group through the merger of five previously diverse IT and software houses.

The SIS Group currently has 43,000 employees in total worldwide and global sales of approximately $7.02 billion.

"A regional presence here means that we are now in the position that we can work closely with our customers here, but with the full backing of an extensive global network of IT know-how," Kundt added.

In addition to IT, Siemens has activities straddling a range of different sectors from industrial automation and control, information and communications, lighting, medical, power transmission and transport.

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