IBM i Vendors Look to Middle East for Growth
January 11, 2011 Alex Woodie
Software sales may be flat across North America and Europe. But for IBM i software vendors like Magic Software and Vision Solutions, recent announcements indicate the Middle East has become an oasis of opportunity.
Last month, Vision announced that its Middle Eastern sales increased by 20 percent in 2010–the third consecutive year that sales have grown by more than 20 percent. The Irvine, California-based provider of IBM i high availability software attributes its success in the region to solid partnerships, such as the one it has Gulf Business Systems of the United Arab Emirates.
“One of the fundamental reasons why business has continued to thrive in this region, despite the global downturn, is an economic stronghold in the Middle East that has shown great resiliency through the recession,” says Mike Khattab, Vision’s vice president of sales. “With continued fast growth and impressive investment in infrastructure, the region is set to prosper.”
This month, Magic Software announced that it has entered into a partnership to expand its presence in Turkey, which has the largest economy in the Middle East, with a gross domestic product of more than $1 trillion.
Magic has appointed Senoglu Yazilim as its head distributor in Turkey. The company, which is active in the healthcare, finance, government, retail, and manufacturing industries, will concentrate on selling and finding new resellers for uniPaaS, Magic’s development and runtime environment for creating on-premise and hosted applications.
Vision and Magic aren’t the only vendors expanding shop in the Middle East. SAP, which develops ERP software for the IBM i OS, also recently announced plans to expand its presence in the Middle East. The software giant also appointed a new general manager to oversee its operations in Egypt and expand business in the North Africa region.
IT spending in the Middle East is growing at a faster rate than in many other regions. In September, Gartner said IT spending in the Middle East and Africa was on pace to reach nearly $213 billion for 2010, which would account for almost a 4 percent increase from 2009 levels.