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Cisco to share roadmap with key MEA customers

Cisco is aiming to push growth in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) by working more closely with its key customers in the region, Yasser Elkady, managing director of Cisco Systems MEA, told IT Weekly.

Previously, the firm treated all its customers in the region equally, he explained.

“We are going to have dedicated teams that focus just on these accounts,” ElKady said.

“We are not just going to be a technology supplier for [these accounts], but a technology partner to them, so we are going to share together the go-to-market strategy.”

“We are going to share our roadmap with them, from the technology point of view, and invite them to events that have accounts of similar identity so they can share expertise with each other as well,” he added.

Elkady revealed that the company had introduced the organisational changes to maintain the high growth that the region has enjoyed recently.

The MEA region recorded the highest growth worldwide for Cisco in 2006, Elkady said.

Cisco is predicting that, as a result of the changes to its account management, its 35 top accounts in MEA will account for 50% of its total revenue in the region as compared to less than 20% at present.

Cisco’s key strategic accounts include Saudi Telecom, Telkom South Africa, Warid Telecom, MTN and Orascom Telecom.

Cisco has been investing heavily in the region, which it sees as a strong growth opportunity.

“We believe these markets are growing and we need to be here next to the markets while they are growing and to be part of this success and this growth. This is why we are trying to react to the market requirements and develop long-term relationships,” Elkady said.

It has already committed US$265million to Saudi Arabia, the fastest growing country in the region for Cisco, and is also investing US$10million to Lebanon, as well as investing in Jordan and Egypt.

Cisco has also been expanding its operations across the region. Over the last six months, it has opened new offices in Pakistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan and Algeria, and planned to open more offices in the region soon, Elkady revealed.

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