Blue Coat sees opportunity

The WAN optimisation vendor remains confident regarding region.

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By  Sean Robson Published  May 3, 2009

The WAN optimisation vendor remains confident regarding region.

As the impact of the financial crisis still resounds across the Middle East many vendors and users are counting the costs of technologies that before were non-negotiable. WAN optimisation and secure gateway purveyor Blue Coat though is confident that the future will yield even more growth.

"If you look at the figures we returned in the final quarter for EMEA and this region in particular it's quite notable how strongly we performed, so much so that EMEA grew in comparison to our overall business worldwide. This is made even more remarkable given that our final quarter was December, January and February," said Nigel Hawthorn, vice president EMEA for Blue Coat.

The Middle East has always been a very strong market for Blue Coat. What we are seeing is that while economic questions exist it actually gives people an opportunity.

Hawthorn was quick to point out that while the company still believes in the region's growth, this development is now being tempered by enterprises investing in technology in order to make the systems more efficient as opposed to purely for technology's sake.

"We are making sure that our messages do try to emphasise the return on investment that users can get and that they might actually reduce costs that they might have elsewhere in the organisation," Hawthorn said.

Blue Coat is observing a change in the market as organisations look more closely at their internal business processes and re-evaluating expenditure and projects. Hawthorn believes that this will only improve the market.

"I think that makes the market that much stronger because really WAN optimisation is all about making better use of the resources you already have," he said.

Although projects are being frozen, and sometimes even cancelled, the American based organisation remains committed to continuing its investment in the Middle East.

"We have no plans to cut back or even freeze at this point because we still see a growing opportunity. We saw a very similar situation in 2000, the business has since grown that much larger around the world that we need to make sure that we are delivering solutions for every region and taking into account the current economic turmoil," Hawthorn explained carefully.

When it comes to changes in the market in the past 18 months, the man from Blue Coat points to a raised awareness in the security field regarding the increase in malicious attacks.

Hawthorn explained: "Threats may not be as high profile as in years before but they are even more real in terms of financial losses. Another trend that I am seeing is that globalisation and distribution of users means that companies who perhaps a year or so ago were more interested in investment for headquarters are realising that they need to make sure that their users in small offices and travelling also need to be getting investment to be able to be successful."

The Middle East by its very geography presents Blue Coat with an opportunity to leverage the interest in this growing trend and Hawthorn affirms his organisation's commitment to the region.

"The Middle East has always been a very strong market for Blue Coat. What we are seeing is that while economic questions exist it actually gives people an opportunity. The companies who really provide strong business benefit and are real experts in their field are likely to win," Hawthorn said.

In terms of challenges that Blue Coat faces, Hawthorn admits that the company has to resize its solutions in order to fit the exact needs with the current financial challenges and make sure that every dollar spent has a value add in the deployed solution.

As enterprises begin to move into the second quarter of the year, Hawthorn is confident that Blue Coat can benefit the region's enterprises by offering technologies that provide multiple benefits.

Said Hawthorn: "I think especially in 2009 people need to invest in technologies that give them many advantages and Blue Coat is the only company that gives you three things in just one package solution."

"The Middle East has always been a very good area for us. We are still seeing great growth here and there is a lot of new business available to us as well as supplying enhanced updates of products and technologies to our existing customer base," concluded Hawthorn.

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