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Fri 27 Oct 2006 08:00 PM

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Brocade sets up base in Dubai

Vendor will use office to establish presence in the region

Storage vendor Brocade is opening an office in Dubai in an effort to strengthen its presence in the Middle East.

The office, which will be officially launched this month, will serve as a local base for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The company said that the facility would initially be staffed by only two employees, but it planned to add a further three people over the next six months as part of a phased approach to growth.

“We want to approach the Middle East in a prudent way. This method of entering markets worked tremendously well in countries such as Russia, and we want to gradually establish a firm base in the region,” said Khalid Khalil, regional manager for Brocade.

“We’re currently growing at a very good rate and need a local base in order to maintain this growth. Our vision is to place 14 or 15 people in offices in countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey within the next two and a half years.”

News of Brocade’s Middle East expansion follows its acquisition of rival company McData.

Khalil claimed the deal puts the vendor, which makes 40% of its sales outside the US, in a strong position with two-thirds of the worldwide storage area network (SAN) market.

Although Brocade’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners are largely responsible for the distribution of its products, the vendor hoped to begin selling its Tapestry product-line through channel partners.

Khalil believed opening an office in Dubai was an ideal way of making Brocade’s presence felt in the Middle East.

“We can’t keep operating remotely in the Middle East if our competitors are here operating locally. At the moment, there is a blackout of communication from us as we cannot discuss the McData acquisition while the finishing touches are being put on the deal,” Khalil explained.

“Our competitors are capitalising on this situation, and [other company] representatives are telling our customers stories that we are closing down product lines and that they won’t continue to be supported by us.”

“But we have sent letters and communicated with our customers to reassure them that they will be protected, which I think is a wise move,” he added.

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