Top IT firm to invest $5 million in Bahrain; IceWrap in major tie-up with Kalaam Telecom

The tie-up between Kalaam and IceWarp aims to provide a cost-effective email and collaboration solution to enterprises

Image used for illustrative purpose. Close-Up Of Hand Using Phone At Table.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Close-Up Of Hand Using Phone At Table.

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MANAMA: A Czech-based IT firm plans to invest $5 million in Bahrain over the next five years as it launches its Middle East hub in the kingdom in partnership with Kalaam Telecom.

IceWarp, an email, messaging and collaboration solutions provider, has emerged as a challenger to global giants Microsoft and Google, whereas Bahraini firm Kalaam is the third largest Internet service provider in the GCC.

The tie-up between Kalaam and IceWarp aims to provide a cost-effective email and collaboration solution to enterprises as an alternative to Microsoft’s Exchange Server and Office 365 or Google’s G-Suite, while ensuring data privacy and security.

It has already signed up 15 customers in Bahrain in the last four months and is eyeing a 10pc share among the 40,000-odd medium sized enterprises in the kingdom over the next 12 months, Veer Passi the chief executive of Kalaam Telecom, told the GDN yesterday.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a Press conference held at the Jumeirah Royal Saray Bahrain.

Mr Passi said the joint venture will create around 50 jobs in Bahrain over the next six months and look to maintain the Bahrainisation ratio of 65 per cent, which Kalaam has achieved, as as it fills those positions.

IceWarp has been in business since 1998 and is used by over 50,000 businesses around the world.

The company claims its email solution is 40-50pc cheaper than competitors. It currently has more than 50 million users on the cloud platform and has launched five clusters worldwide with Bahrain being the sixth as its Middle East hub.

“Hosting the IceWarp cloud cluster at Kalaam’s state-of-the-art datacentre will allow our customers locally as well as regionally to opt for industry-grade email and collaboration services at a very cost-effective rate according to their needs,” said Mr Passi.


“Kalaam’s datacentre is designed to accommodate current generation cloud requirements by enabling leading cloud solution providers and offering high class of service and security.”

The Economic Development Board, Bahrain’s investment promotion agency, has played a key role in bringing IceWarp to the country.

Also present at the event was Dr Simon Galpin, senior adviser for investment promotion at the EDB, who said, “This exciting partnership is exactly the sort of venture the EDB seeks to support – it creates jobs for Bahrainis, catalyses growth for the companies involved and contributes to Bahrain’s rapidly maturing ecosystem.

“Hot on the heels of the AWS Middle East Region launch and the nationwide rollout of commercial 5G, the IceWarp-Kalaam partnership is just the latest example of what makes our ICT sector one of the region’s most advanced.”

IceWarp is bullish about prospects as studies have shown that the Middle East region is the second-fastest growing market in cloud email adoption, said IceWarp India & Middle East chief executive Pramod Sharda.

About 15pc of businesses have already migrated to the cloud in the region and nearly 50pc are expected to migrate over the next five years, he added.

“In the past few years, the growth of our clientele has helped shape our vision. The trust from our customers has given us a reason to upscale our infrastructure.”

According to him, while all businesses use email, only about 15pc are “power users” working on all applications in the suite, whereas 85pc just use email.

“We offer a flexible, customisable and hybrid solution making it easy for businesses to switch.”

Another key differentiator, he said, is the fact that IceWarp will offer local live support while client’s data will be stored locally in Kalaam’s data-centre.

“Kalaam’s rich experience in handling both small and medium business customers as well as large corporations will further help build confidence within customers to choose a cost-effective and robust messaging and collaboration partner for their unified communications requirements,” added Mr Sharda.

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