A roundup of Middle East and Africa’s PC market
The International Data Corporation (IDC) has announced that he Middle East and Africa PC market exited the third quarter of 2016 almost flat, with a year-on-year growth of 0.4 percent based on shipments of 3 million units. Desktop shipments suffered a decline of 16.9 percent while notebook shipments grew 14.5 percent.
"The recovery witnessed in Turkey, the largest single market in the MEA region, was the biggest contributor towards this growth, due to unusually low shipments in Q3 2015 and a faster-than-expected recovery from the failed military coup," says Fouad Charakla, senior research manager for client devices at IDC MEA. "At the same time, some recovery from instability in the North African markets, when compared to last year, also contributed towards PC shipment growth, while deliveries as part of large education deals in the UAE and Kenya were other notable market drivers."
Microsoft no longer groups the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC) with its emerging markets when it comes to setting prices for its operating systems. As a result, these countries are now charged more for Windows OS on PC’s than before, meaning new vendors began pushing their selling orders prior to the change coming into effect. This was one of the factors driving notebook shipments across the six gulf countries.
HP recorded significant growth both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year in the last quarter of 2016, accounting for the highest market share ever secured by a single PC vendor over the past decade. Lenovo maintained a high position in second place, with large deliveries in the UAE education sector helping sales.
"IDC's forecast for the MEA PC market has been revised downwards owing to a range of factors that are expected to cause the regional PC market to decline over the coming two quarters," says Charakla. "These vary from country to country, but primarily include currency issues, which are affecting key markets such as Nigeria, Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa, and the constriction of government initiatives caused by low crude oil prices. Such factors are expected to lead to project delays or even cancellations across the GCC, as well as in Nigeria and other African countries."
IDC has said it does not predict any significant change in PC shipments in 2017. However starting in 2018, it is expected there will be marginal growth until 2020.
Photo credit: Marcie Casas
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”