Focus on service levels prompts Bahrain push

Enterprise vendors and solutions providers have been fixing their sights on Bahrain during the past month as they look to strengthen their presence in a market that offers opportunities for those willing to make the right investment.

Tags: BahrainEgyptIn-country presenceJordanSTSUnited Arab Emirates
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Focus on service levels prompts Bahrain push Hilal Computers general manager Hardy Koshy overseen key company developments aimed at growing their Bahraini businesses.
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By  Andrew Seymour Published  September 3, 2009 Channel Middle East Logo

With the financial crisis prompting organisations to reassess which markets are key to the development of their businesses, Bahrain has emerged as a territory that warrants greater attention from both the vendor and channel community.

Jordan-based solutions provider STS is one IT supplier that has recognised the need to step up its efforts in Bahrain, opening a local office that is designed to increase its chances of grabbing future projects. Having already established points of presence in the major Gulf markets of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, STS regards Bahrain as the natural next step in its regional expansion strategy. 

The company, which specialises in solutions from vendors such as Dell, IBM and Microsoft, expects the facility to strengthen its presence in Bahrain and ensure a high level of service is afforded to existing clients based in the country. Ramzi Zeine, executive chairman at STS, calls the new office a “significant” step forward in the firm’s growth plan.

“Establishing a strong presence in Bahrain, STS would be able to provide an assortment of proven solutions to its customers, empowering them to leverage technology for increased productivity and improved profitability,” he stated.

STS isn’t the only company that is looking to base staff in Bahrain. VoIP services provider Skype Technologies is also understood to have expressed an interest in setting up its Middle East headquarters in the country.

Meanwhile, IT vendors are working to expand their domestic partner networks as they attempt to ensure adequate partner bandwidth is achieved.

Open source software vendor Red Hat has just named Bahrain-based Hilal Computers as an Advanced Business Partner for IT infrastructure — a move that Hilal boss Hardy Koshy insists is a reflection of the reseller’s “increased focus” on the local open source community.

Hilal previously only carried the lower-level Ready Business Partner status, but the company now ranks as the only Red Hat-certified partner in the Kingdom with the requisite technical and business capabilities to deploy local Red Hat open source solutions and support.

That expertise extends to Red Hat Enterprise Linux as well as middleware, applications and management solutions targeted at enterprises in the banking, oil and gas, telecoms, education and healthcare sectors in Bahrain.

“This partnership is an excellent fit for both parties and enables us to build on our expanding portfolio of products and services in Bahrain,” insisted Anuj Kumar, senior director and general manager at Red Hat Middle East and Africa. “As a Red Hat Advanced Business Partner, Hilal Computers is empowered to further expand the Red Hat customer base in Bahrain.”

Sun Microsystems has also been busy extending its support capabilities in the Kingdom by striking a partnership with Manama-based IT provider Computer World.

The agreement allows Computer World to resell and integrate Sun’s server and open storage offerings, as well as promote solutions around virtualisation in the Bahrain market. 

“Computer World will focus on building solutions around Sun’s reliable and scalable products, enabling us to expand our outreach in the country,” explained Bruno Haubertin, partner sales organisation manager at Sun Microsystems Middle East and North Africa.

Haubertin insists Sun chose to partner with Computer World for its strong presence in the Bahrain market and overall service record. “Computer World provides solutions to key government institutions as well as the banking, financial services and insurance sectors, which can avail from Sun’s advanced, open architecture to provide flexibility and robust management for risk management systems, and enhanced performance,” he said.

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