By Simon Duddy
Research firm acquires local distributor and gears up for regional expansion.
Global IT research and consultancy firm Meta Group has acquired its Middle East distributor in Dubai and signalled intentions for a major regional expansion. The acquisition gives Meta Group offices in Kuwait City, Riyadh, Cairo and Mumbai, India, as well as Dubai. New offices planned in Qatar and Bahrain could become a reality within six months, depending on making satisfactory appointments.
Meta Group has operated in the Middle East since 2000, via a regional distributor headquartered in Dubai, which also went under the name Meta Group.
Todd McGregor, the new Middle East vice president and general manager at Meta Group, says, “The local distributor model works just fine when you’re new in a market,” says McGregor. “But as Meta Group’s business has expanded and the regional potential has grown, more investment was required. That meant taking direct control. We have acquired an excellent going concern. Now we’re going to invest in it heavily for the benefit of our clients, our employees and the region at large.” Meta Group has recently carried our similar acquisitions in the UK and Italy.
The company plans to emphasise IT research and consultancy with a local flavour and plans to employ more analysts based in the Middle East.
At today’s press conference in Dubai, Meta Group outlined objectivity as its key selling point. “Our competitors in the region still operate via distributors (who) are also in the business of selling hardware, software and systems integration,” says McGregor. “At Meta Group, we don’t have that conflict of interest. Corporate clients need to be sure the advice they are paying for is genuinely independent and objective.”
On May 10-11, Meta Group is holding its METAmorphosis 2004 conference, focused on helping Middle East enterprises use information technology to become more effective. The event, sponsored by Samsung and is in association with Dubai Internet City, takes place at Emirates Towers Hotel. METAmorphosis will feature presentations by 11 analysts and consultants with the keynote presentation conducted by Jean-Louis Previdi, Meta Group’s senior vice president and EMEA research director.