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3Com eyes up enterprise for future growth

Networking firm 3Com is taking steps to significantly strengthen its presence in the enterprise space in the region, 3Com Middle East general manager Issac Shihabi has revealed.

“We are putting a lot of effort into building relationships with the enterprise market,” Shihabi told IT Weekly.

He said the company is aiming to raise its profile among enterprise customers in the region through initiatives such as its recent IT roadshow held in collaboration with IDC and by having a larger presence at the upcoming Gitex show.

The Massachusetts, US-based firm was also planning to increase its headcount in the Middle East, he said, taking on extra sales and technical support staff to boost its numbers from 37 people at present to 50 by the end of 2007.

The company is eyeing the Middle East as a significant growth opportunity, according to Shihabi.

“The growth potential in the region is much bigger than in the rest of the world. Lots of regional countries are still developing, there are huge growth opportunities here, major infrastructure projects especially around the Gulf area,” he said.

He revealed that the firm had won a number of deals in the enterprise space over the past year particularly in Saudi Arabia where it was selected by Arab National Bank to upgrade its network infrastructure, as well as winning an infrastructure deal with the Civil Aviation Authority and an IP telephony contract with the Ministry of Health in the Kingdom.

New deals in the region are currently under negotiation, Shihabi said, without divulging additional details.

3Com is hoping that its initiatives in the enterprise space will help it boost its share of the networking market in the region up from around 10% at present to no less than 25 to 30% in the next two or three years.

The networking firm has already grown its enterprise business 50% year-on-year for the last five quarters in the Middle East, as well as 25 to 30% in small to medium-sized business (SMB) space quarter over quarter in the last 12 months.

Shihabi said the firm is confident of achieving its growth targets.

“There are very few companies that offer end-to-end solutions and 3Com is one of them,” he commented.

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