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Pierre Havenga, the managing director of Emerson Network Power, Middle East and North Africa, says there is a big drive to localise employees. Jaime Puebla / The National
Pierre Havenga, the managing director of Emerson Network Power, Middle East and North Africa, says there is a big drive to localise employees. Jaime Puebla / The National

Emerson to train Saudis in new facility at Dammam

Emerson is building a US$25 million training facility in Dammam in Saudi Arabia in conjunction with the local university to help train and develop talent while also showcasing their technologies.

Emerson is building a US$25 million training facility in Dammam in Saudi Arabia in conjunction with the local university to help train and develop talent while also showcasing their technologies. The facility will be ready by December 2014.

The company, which supplies cooling technology and infrastructure for data centres, will also grow its presence in the UAE by opening a 350 square metre technical training and support facility in Jebel Ali by the end of this year.

"We are expanding our investment in the region. There is a big drive to localise employees. We have spent a lot of money on educating people and we are investing in Saudisation and Emiratisation," said Pierre Havenga, the managing director of Emerson Network Power, Middle East and North Africa.

"It helps to create visibility and awareness and bring the technologies to the market, which will also give us huge growth."

Emerson currently employees more than 1,000 people across Mena, but is planning to hire more technical staff in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

"We are employing one employee a day. It has been an excellent year for us.

"The growth we have experienced has been great. We have legal entities in most countries now," said Mr Havenga.

The proliferation of data from consumer and business applications has helped Emerson increase its business by 18 per cent in the region over the past year, recording sales of $1.3 billion.

The company is expecting to double the rate of growth this year, as more data centres are needed.

"There has been a growth in projects due to demand for data storage driven by mobile apps. That information needs to be stored somewhere.

"We have seen growth in education and health care. That's the two areas we've seen material growth in activities," said Mr Havenga.

According to research from Gartner, IT infrastructure growth in the Middle East will be driven by the need for data centres. Servers are the largest segment of the IT infrastructure market with revenue reaching $1.54bn this year, and this is expected grow to $1.69bn by 2016.

"Broadly, data centres are a growth area and telcos are interested in getting into it and there are all kinds of growth in business applications that are behind it," said Matthew Reed, the principal analyst at Informa Telecoms and Media.

Emerson supplies the technologies to house these servers, but also to cool them, which is one of the biggest challenges for data centres in the GCC.

"Cooling in this region is one of the big consumers of power, but there are various technologies looking at reducing the cost," said Mr Havenga.

Emerson spent $800m on product research last year. The company registered 1,600 patents last year, up from 864 patents in 2011

 

thamid@thenational.ae

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