Japan's Trend Micro, the No.3 maker of computer security programmes, will review selling its product and solutions through the retail platform in the Middle East.
"Retail business has not happened and the decision is yet to be made in the Middle East. It is under review and if it happens it will only be by the middle or end of year 2009," said Chris Moore, newly-appointed regional Managing Director for Trend Micro Mena. "Trend Micro has done well in its traditional businesses, which are SMBs and enterprise customer base. Globally the security company has done well on the retail front especially in the Japanese market. It has been a successful model in Japan and is a strong sector. Therefore for the Middle East the capability for products and solutions have to be checked in the market. We will be reviewing if the market is ready as retail is a complete different business."
Trend Micro's rival Symantec, No.1-security vendor and close competitor of Trend Micro, has been aggressive on the retail front.
"Customers definitely go and buy security even in today's economic scenario and therefore after our review and understanding the different market dynamics the decision will be made," said Moore.
He has also not seen any reduction in security requirements or needs of the customer in the region. "Customers typically want to be looked after and the priorities in the region focus on the security needs which has not increased or decreased. IT security has to be maintained, as customers need to be vigilant. This has to be done keeping in mind the limit of the IT budget," said Moore.
For Trend Micro, the Middle East is within the top three growth numbers in spite of the general market remaining flat. Moore claimed that the company would also focus on increasing market share.
"Trend is going to take into consideration customer interest and focus to increase market share among competitors. The first indication is the headcount reducing in the competitor offices. At Trend since middle of last year to where we will be in a quarter has seen an increase of 50 per cent in headcount."
Trend Micro operates through its business channel network across Middle East and Africa and also has its direct offices. "In Africa, we do not have our direct office but will explore that in the future. Our channel partner is very strong in Africa therefore no plans to open an office. As the market dynamics change we will decide to open our office but not this year."