By Joanna Hartley
Technology giant plans to tap 100 emerging markets in Central, Eastern Europe, MENA.
Global technology giant IBM has relocated its regional headquarters for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa to Dubai, it was reported on Tuesday.
Previously based in Zurich, IBM said it had moved its headquarters to be nearer to the emerging markets of 100 countries, where it intends to concentrate future business development.
Underdeveloped markets were "very different from established markets in terms of growth and skills," said Steve Cowley, general manager for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, known also as the Ceemea region.
"Customers in this territory are very ambitious and look for leading-edge skills. They really want to leap-frog in terms of technology,” he added.
IBM had chosen Dubai chosen "because of the city's ability to attract talented people. It's a vibrant place to live and work," Cowley told UAE daily Khaleej Times.
Overall IBM employs 15,000 across the region, known as Ceemea, plus another 12,000 employees in global delivery centres that serve customers around the world.
IBM plans to invest heavily in building data centres and software development centres across Ceemea and plans further expansion in Abu Dhabi and Qatar.
"We have repositioned from a predominantly hardware business to software. While, we continue to divest from hardware, we are keen to bring the most advanced skills by working closely with regional universities,” Cowley said.
IBM announced in January it would carry out advanced research through cloud computing - the use of virtual servers - at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Qatar University and Texas A &M University in Qatar.