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Tarsus exceeds forecasts, bullish on 2008

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Despite the relative slowdown being experienced by companies all across the South African technology channel, Tarsus Technologies has reported strong growth figures for the first half of 2007 and is ahead of its budgets. 

Looking into his company's figures for the first six months of this year, Pierre Spies, Tarsus CEO says that the company's biggest growth percentage-wise has come from the sub-Saharan Africa market.
The appetite in the African market has been so strong in fact, that Spies says the company's figures are up exponentially over the same period in 2006.
Another strong growth market for Tarsus has been the retail vertical, where its investments in new product lines such as HP's Pavilion range have achieved very favourable progress, to the point where it warrants serious and ongoing focus from the company.
Spies adds: "We have numerous opportunities to look forward to and believe that retail will be as rewarding, if not more so during the course of 2008."
Spies is quick to point out, though, that the purely channel-focused portion of Tarsus' business continues to be its biggest revenue contributor.
"Our diversification strategy in terms of the channel partners with whom we engage in this area has been very successful," he continues. "Where the vast majority of our revenues on the channel front have in the past come from a handful of large clients, today the top clients represent a much smaller portion of our total channel revenues.
"This tells us that we are getting a larger share of wallet from our entire reseller base, and that the predominant growth area within the channel-focused portion of our business has been in the SMB market."
Spies anticipates that in the years to come the majority of their revenue will stem from the SMB channel, and to keep that momentum going, Tarsus will be placing additional focus on this market in the coming year.
At the same time, the public sector has also shown a great deal of promise, and definitely requires further investigation.  
From a brands perspective, Tarsus will also be increasing resources to focus on the networking side of the Cisco and HP Procurve business units.
While all of the other brands represented by Tarsus are experiencing healthy progress, two of the business units the company set up in the past year didn't fare as well as the company had anticipated.
"The first of these, namely T-POS (Tarsus' point of sale focused business unit) was in hindsight too specialised an area for Tarsus' traditional business model and we are currently in the process of migrating this division into one of the MB Technologies Group's subsidiaries.
"The second business unit that we have had to reduce focus on is the dedicated business group we set-up around the i-mate brand."
Spies says this division was set up with the express purpose of launching a bigger presence into the handheld market.
"The decision to close it, though, was not as a result of underperformance but rather as a result of the increased focus that HP, the most prominent brand in our portfolio is dedicating to the handheld market.
"We thought about it long and hard and concluded that there was a conflict of interest in carrying a brand that was in direct competition to our largest and longest standing relationship," he says.
"The year ahead looks positive and we will continue with our focused approach on tier-one brands. With the market shifting strongly to international brands over local brands, we believe this will act as a catalyst to our own business," he says.