Dell and Tecom to ‘forge’ partnership

DUBAI — Leading PC vendor Dell and Dubai’s Tecom Investments are in discussions to forge a strategic partnership, according to chairman and CEO of the US computer giant.

By Issac John (Deputy Business Editor)

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Published: Mon 7 Apr 2008, 9:44 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:36 AM

Michael Dell, on his first visit to Dubai, however, declined to give further details about the nature of the initiative. “We had some good discussions with the government officials, customers and channel partners.”

He said Dell’s business in the Middle East and Gulf region grew 70 per cent last year, three times the overall market growth. “This market, underestimated by industry pundits in terms of growth, has been very dynamic and we see enormous potential for faster growth,” Dell said. Last year, globally, Dell posted an annual growth rate of 13-14 per cent. Promising further enhancement in services, products and customisation for the region, the founder of the world’s second largest PC company said he would also be seeking to boost Dell’s investments in the region.

Abdulatif Almulla, CEO of Tecom Investments, said Dell’s visit clearly reflects Dell’s focus on the needs of the Middle Eastern market and its commitment to supporting this key region during the next phase of its growth. “With the overall IT spend in the Middle East and Africa expected to exceed $40 billion in 2008 and with the Gulf Cooperation Council accounting for nearly 23 per cent of the total, the region’s IT sector has significantly evolved into one of the key players in the global IT industry. We will be working closely with Dell to find ways to bring the benefits of its best practice approaches to this region,” said Abdulatif.

According to him, IT business in the UAE posted an annul growth of 10 per cent to hit $1 billion. Dell has been crucial to this growth, he added.

The US company, which set up presence in the UAE 11 years ago, has been operating from Dubai Internet City for the past seven years. He said the Middle East and Gulf region is one of the fastest growing market, but declined to disclose the size of the business generated from the region. Last year, Dell’s global revenues surged to $61 billion, while profits rose to $3.4 billion.

Allaying fears of the US recessionary impact on Dell’s business outlook, he said the computer vendor’s business outside the US, particularly in emerging markets including the UAE, is on a fast growth track. ‘Over the past 10 years, units exported from the US rose from 1.7 million to 20.5 million.”

Speaking to the media, Dell said his company would be cutting costs to revive earnings. It is getting bids for its consumer-lending unit after putting the business up for sale. It will probably take six months to complete the process’ of arranging a sale or possibly deciding to keep the business, Dell said.

According to him, the world is witnessing an exciting and promising period for technology ever seen. “We call it the Connected Era. The second billion people coming online, many from the world’s fast growing and emerging economies expect a different technology experience to the first. The Internet has unleashed billions of new conversations and made it possible for people to connect in new ways. The emergence of this Connected Era is arguably the most influential single trend remodelling the world today.”

He said the Connected Era is transforming the way technology is used to drive conversations and communities online.

It is also creating an urgent need to simplify IT infrastructures and address concerns about how this escalating demand might impact the planet.

Dell said while IT has made lives simpler and more efficient, somewhere along the way, all this efficiency got complicated.

“For many businesses, governments and consumers technology is too expensive, too complex and uses far too much power. We have made it our mission to simplify IT for customers.”

“More than one billion people are online today. By 2011, another billion are expected to join. Reaching these new users will require tailoring products to their needs and paying attention to how they prefer to learn about and purchase computers systems.”

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