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Cisco revamps strategy

Networking giant overhauls Gulf model by splitting business into three regions

Cisco has officially rolled out its new strategy in the Gulf after restructuring the way it geographically addresses the region. The company has created three key territories within the GCC zone as part of a move to put "greater emphasis" on the Gulf market. The networking behemoth has also appointed country managers for the South and North Gulf - a move that it claims will provide partners with stronger levels of support in those markets.

As exclusively reported by Channel Middle East in November 2006, regional commercial manager Wayne Hull has been promoted to country manager for the South Gulf region, which covers Oman and Qatar, while Tarek Ghoul has been given the same responsibilities for the North Gulf. His patch incorporates Bahrain and Kuwait. Note that Ghoul's previous commitments as regional channel sales manager have been handed to Adrian Taylor, who moved across from Cisco's European operation at the end of last year.

Meanwhile, Mazen Jabri, who formerly served as country manager for the UAE has been elevated to UAE general manager.

He will spearhead Cisco's efforts across fast-growing vertical sectors such as tourism, real estate, retail and banking.

"The creation of the key territories and the appointment of respective country managers reiterates our commitment to our customers and our active participation in the economic development of the region using technology as a prime enabler," said Samer Alkharrat, general manager at Cisco Gulf.

The management reshuffle looks set to spark a lively period of expansion for Cisco, which operates its regional headquarters out of Dubai. Hull is expected to oversee the opening of further offices in Oman, while Ghoul has been handed the task of adding extra manpower in Kuwait.

He will also strengthen his team by recruiting personnel dedicated purely to increasing sales in Bahrain's telecom and real estate sectors.

"Cisco's worldwide growth has been phenomenal and the Gulf region has been amongst the top three fastest growing regions for us globally," added Alkharrat. "Our leadership in unified communications and IP telephony and Cisco's adoption as the core infrastructure player for many new world IP service providers has helped fuel this growth. Further, increasing our coverage has allowed us to touch more customers and deliver the Cisco value proposition."

Cisco has secured a number of big customer projects in recent months. It signed a contract to provide advanced technology solutions to Gulf Energy and completed a sizeable deal with Wataniya, the Kuwait-based mobile operator.