Expanding horizons

Mohammed Amin, Senior VP and Regional Manager for Turkey, Emerging Africa and the Middle East, EMC

Mohammed Amin, EMC’s Senior VP and Regional Manager for Turkey, Emerging Africa and the Middle East, will now also oversee the fast-growing Eastern Europe region, excluding Russia. He spoke to us about the company’s strategy to grow the business in these dynamic markets and how EMC is uniquely positioned to exploit the opportunities around cloud and big data.

Now you are going to oversee the Eastern Europe market as well. What kind of opportunities do you see in these markets for EMC?

What we are trying to do is to create a go-to-market strategy for the emerging markets, which includes Eastern Europe. I am tasked with leading our sales efforts in what we now call the TEEAM region (Turkey, Eastern Europe, Africa and Middle East). Eastern Europe is a very dynamic market and growing at a faster pace from an economic growth perspective compared to Western Europe. Some of the big countries in this region, including Poland, Romania and Hungary, are witnessing high growth. Did you know the GDP of Poland equals that of Saudi Arabia? I am very excited about the opportunities we have there.

Last year, you were talking about ramping up your presence in Qatar and Kuwait, with a special focus on Africa. How have those plans panned out?

We are on track. Now, we have a 15-member team in Qatar, which is going to be 25 soon. We are growing close to 100 percent and according to the IDC report, we have more than 45 percent market share in Qatar alone. We are going to open an office in Kuwait soon and the African market is growing at a rate of more than 50 percent for us.

Have you been able to sustain the 30 percent year on year growth rate?

Yes we have. And in fact, we have 41 percent market share in the addressable market in the region, which comprises enterprises, mid-market and SMEs. As you know we are not a big player in the SME market, so if you look at the enterprise market our share would be close to 60 percent.

But hasn’t EMC been moving downstream over the last couple of years to address the SME market?

Historically, EMC was perceived as an expensive brand, which mainly caters to the enterprise market. But over the last years, we have rolled out products targeted at the SME market with products that start from $10,000. We are taking this market very seriously and we are pleased with the success in the last 12 months.

Which are the fastest growing markets within the Middle East for EMC?

EMC in the region has achieved significant revenue and market share, so we can’t afford to focus on one country and ignore others. For us to sustain the kind of growth rate we have, we need to fire on all cylinders. You just can’t focus only on Saudi, drop Qatar and Kuwait or vice versa. Our revenues are not in millions anymore, we are using another word that starts with B.

This sure looks like a good time to be in the storage business. Do you think this market will be commoditised?

First off, we are not a storage company. We are an information technology company. Only 43 percent of our revenues come from hardware, the rest comes from software and services. Our competitors who can’t offer what we can try to label us as a storage company. Now to answer your question, I wouldn’t say the storage market is a good place to be in today. If you look at the last quarter results of our competition, most of them have declined while we have grown. EMC has the right strategy and we are executing very well against it. Our market share equals that of our main three competitors’ market shares put together.

Having said that, I don’t think the storage market will be commoditised. There is more business coming in with lot of data being generated and the market will continue to grow in two dimensions – 75 percent of growth will be in the enterprise space, and the mid-tier and SME market will continue to grow in parallel. Analysts predict the global storage market will grow at CAGR of 7 percent over the next three years, which is not bad.

How do you differentiate in a market like that?

First is our vision. We were the first company to talk about cloud and big data. We were the first to raise the red flag about the data explosion, which will be 75 percent times more by 2020 while IT expertise is going to be only 1.5 times more around that time. One of the big problems here is that we need a new and different way to tackle the infrastructure. If we keep doing infrastructure like we do today, all the hard disks manufactured in the world wouldn’t be able to keep pace with the amount of data being generated. That is why we are talking about cloud and sharing resources and we have the right technology behind that vision.

What is the state of cloud in the Middle East?

In the region, so many large enterprise are building private clouds, and out of that 70 percent are working with us. In parallel, so many service providers including telcos are building their public clouds. Twelve months from now, I will be able to share with you some real-life examples of both private and public clouds built by EMC and how these worlds are meeting together to deliver dramatic cost-savings and efficiency to the users.

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