Sophos sets up shop

The security provider plans to open more offices in the Middle East to strengthen customer relationships and ensure improved technical support.

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By  Sathya Mithra Ashok Published  November 17, 2008

The security provider plans to open more offices in the Middle East to strengthen customer relationships and ensure improved technical support.

IT security and control outfit Sophos recently confirmed its plans to open its inaugural office in the Middle East. The move is meant to help the company target the growing regional market better.

Steve Munford, CEO at Sophos, says that the company is keen to use the new office as a launch pad for signing further partnerships with enterprise resellers, particularly those boasting experience in the education and financial sectors.

The Middle East is a valued market for Sophos. Having been committed to serving this region for a number of years via a network of partners, we felt it was time to open a dedicated office.

"The Middle East is a valued market for Sophos. Having been committed to serving this region for a number of years via a network of partners, we felt it was the right time to strengthen our presence here by opening an office dedicated to the market," he adds.

The new office will be set up in Dubai Internet City and will be headed by Kamel Heus, who had previously been overseeing the company's Middle East strategy from the UK. By year end, the plan is to recruit a number of technical staff and an administrative resource. By October 2009, the company plans to increase total headcount in the region to ten.

Munford claims that with some of its nearest competitors facing over-distribution issues and end-user organisations increasingly looking for easily-deployable security solutions, Sophos' expansion comes at just the right time.

"The growth of internet accessibility is opening doors to new threats, so it is no surprise to see security shooting up the priority list for businesses here," he says.

The UK-based software developer, believes the addition of the regional headquarters will strengthen customer relationships and ensure improved technical support in the region.

"The primary function of the Middle East office will be to provide local service and support to a growing customer base throughout the region. Sophos, by opening the Dubai office demonstrates its commitment to the region. The recent visit of Steve Munford, CEO of the company, affirms that the senior management team is committed to developing the company's business here," says Kamel Heus, director of MEA and India at Sophos.

The company states that this is not the end of the road for Sophos, and offices across the region are likely in the future.

"We expect to have a presence in Saudi Arabia by the first half of next year. This will increase our reach and assist us in providing local services and support to this major Middle East economy," says Peter Barlow, director of international sales at Sophos.

Sophos says it has no plans of looking for a distributor apart from Secureway to address the region in the near future.

"We have had a very good relationship with Secureway who will be Sophos sole distribution point in the region. Sophos will work with Secureway to develop a highly focused and exclusive reseller channel. The company will gear our resellers to add real value to our customers through training designed to raise awareness of the Sophos security portfolio," Heus concludes.

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