Top of the rung

BT is planning on doubling its market share and its current staff in the region over the next three years.

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By  Sathya Mithra Ashok Published  June 30, 2008

BT is planning on doubling its market share and its current staff in the region over the next three years, as it invests US$50m in network expansion.

BT is planning to take on more of the service provider market in the Middle East, fuelled by new services and a renewed investment strategy.

"One of the reasons for me coming here is to accelerate our current growth. We have two key objectives in mind. One is around customer centricity and the other is creating a strong growth trajectory. And those are the key elements that we now want to promote in the Middle East. What I am here to do is take this organisation to the next level of growth," says Jinna Bains, the new Middle East managing director at BT.

I see more management services taking off, I see more outsourcing as an opportunity going forward, and that will encompass the full range of ICT. There is an evolution from predominantly DIY and spot products to managed services.

According to Bains, BT will work with global companies that are coming in, purely local set-ups, as well as regional companies that are growing globally. BT is setting out on a clear path of expansion in the region as it aims to double its market share in the Middle East and grow its current staff of 150 to 300 in the next three years.

"We have recently announced an investment of US$50 million over the next three years in the region. This is in keeping with the global next generation network that we are deploying and for which additional network nodes are going up at the average rate of one in a new city every ten days. Demand is driving the need for additional network density. We want to add resilience to the network as we have added new service offerings for our customers," remarks Bains.

As part of its drive to grow in the region, BT has launched new services aimed at specific verticals including financial institutions, media and broadcasting as well as oil and gas industries. It plans on introducing further services in the future.

"Business continuity and disaster recovery as a service is a key thing that we launched at the recently held MECOM event. This service is aimed at all sectors and is a capability that we have developed. Another capability involves what we call application insured infrastructure. This involves BT going into a customer's location and assessing a particular application group. We then advise them on how to utilise their existing network in a more appropriate manner" says Bains.

While traditional telco and consultancy services, along with ICT delivery from other parts of the globe into the Middle East remain popular, Bains sees business continuity and disaster recovery services becoming increasingly popular among regional enterprises.

"I see more management services taking off, I see more outsourcing going forward, and that will encompass the full range of ICT. There is an evolution from predominantly DIY and spot products to managed services. In some verticals it is well advanced, while in others it is still nascent," states Bains.

While competitors abound, Bains points out that BT works with a lot of them, buying and selling services to such a degree that it has become more of a co-existent ecosystem than an aggressive jungle.

"Our challenges going forward are those connected to the areas of liberalisation and co-opetition. The challenge on an internal level, is about getting all of the different members of our team to deliver exceptional service that is at it's core, customer centric," says Bains.

He adds that, all of this not withstanding, growth in the Middle East will remain consistent with, if not more than, the global growth of services for BT.

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