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Sage to shut Bahrain office

Business software vendor Sage is closing its Bahrain office less than two years after it was opened

Business software vendor Sage is closing its Bahrain office less than two years after it was opened. The move is part of a consolidation exercise overseen by recently-installed Middle East managing director Vikram Suri.

Despite calling it a “sales hub” at the time it was launched with a five-strong team in 2007, Sage admits the office does not represent a significant part of its regional business and therefore its closure will allow it to devote more resources to the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

“We had three offices in the Middle East and we are consolidating our Bahrain office with our offices in Saudi,” confirmed former Symantec commercial chief Suri, who replaced previous regional boss Marc Van der Ven three months ago.

“The Bahrain office has largely been there as a support office for the technologies that we offer local support for. Whilst we are consolidating our operation in Bahrain we are also going to be offering local support from Saudi Arabia.”

News of the retreat from Bahrain comes at a time when there has been channel speculation over the future of the UK-based vendor’s office in Saudi Arabia. However, Suri insists Sage will maintain a presence in the Kingdom, even promising to “further strengthen” the in-country office.

He says the company is looking to increase its Saudi headcount to augment the investments it has already made in local sales and pre-sales resources.

“The channel structure that we have in Saudi is evolving,” said Suri. “We have a few very strong niche partners in Saudi, but I think as our business and local presence grows it will give partners in Saudi a lot of confidence in taking our solutions to the midmarket and small business sector.”

Sage has set its Middle East operation the target of growing 50% this year, which is leading it to evaluate additional markets for expansion. The ERP and CRM vendor is currently exploring opportunities in Iran and Syria for the sale of its non-US products.

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