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EMEA News In Brief

TEL AVIV—Business Communications Agency, the Russian member agency of the global PR network Eurocom Worldwide, has opened a new office in Israel, offering marketing and communications services. The agency focuses on technology markets both in Russia and the CIS countries. The new office will work with Russian companies and entrepreneurs entering the Israeli market requiring local PR and marketing support.
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ASTERA | 18.06/2013
Same Needs – Lower Budgets

Yulia Kursova, President of Business Communications Agency, speaks to Astera portal on Russia’s IT market situation.
Astera: Did you notice any changes in Russian IT market in early 2013? Is it the same as in 2012?
Y. Kursova: Overall trends include aggressive growth of tablet and smart phone sales that are pushing navigators off the market. Thanks to technology development, people can now use their handheld devices to find their way around. The trend was pretty clear last year, but now it is still more obvious. Consumables are in high demand as ever; but notebooks, desktops, monitors, and printers definitely go down. This trend primarily affects consumer market; however, corporate market, being quite strong, shows decline as well.
In general, I can see the market dropping and the players, economizing. They seem to stay high in needs – but go tight on budgets. As a marketing and PR agency, we can’t help but feel it. Customers get picky and we have to use thorough, tailored, highly competent approach to any solutions we offer – and implement!
Astera: What do you think is impeding local IT market this year? Does it affect your company?
Y. Kursova: IT market certainly follows the trends of Russian economy. The recession is due to companies experiencing growth of costs and decrease of income. Profitability often falls quicker than the company optimizes costs.
Government investments have a special influence. Many experts believe the soon-to-start Olympics negatively affect investments to other industries, IT included.
Astera: Does your company succeed in following the strategies scheduled for 2013? If not, why?
Y. Kursova: We are keeping to the strategy we developed. The market and consumer behavior patterns are pretty predictable, and we hope to make 2013 a success. Astera: Do you expect to change your overall strategy this year?
Y. Kursova: No we are not planning to change it; our work is always aimed at solving business challenges of our customers, and supporting their sales.
Astera: Is any diversification scheduled for 2013? If so, which directions does it affect; if not, why?
Y. Kursova: Our company has long felt the urge to diversify and we’ll continue developing several different lines of business. We’re planning to strengthen our position in promos and merchandizing, here is where we struggle to diversify.
Our customers demand a lot of social networks promotion; so here is another trend we will work on intensively, and offer it to customers a lot. However, I still do not consider it reasonable to make it a separate line of business. I believe this is a booming trend in Russia, but only efficient within a comprehensive PR campaign.
Astera: Do you expect local IT market to see new trends this year, to change its development directions? Does it affect your company?
Y. Kursova: Cost optimization will drive some business trends. Many experts foresee high demand for infrastructure software to save on staff management. Data safety will grow, and so will surveillance systems and security software. I’m sure mobile smart devices like phones, tablets, and e-books will grow.
Besides, cloud solutions are on the rise and aggressively promoted by providers. Cloud services are becoming a key element for an increasing number of vendors. Package vendors entering the SaaS segment will compete with this market’s ‘native’ players.
And it should also be noted that, according to the long-term social and economic development forecast of Russian government to cover March 2013 to 2030, Russia’s IT market will include less and less hardware and more and more software and services.
Our company, similarly to other market players, will try its best to meet expectations of current customers, i.e. to offer sales supporting tools and enter the zooming markets. All of this means to increase awareness, promote goods and services, and introduce the customers to their benefits and capabilities.
Astera:What can we expect for Russian IT market in 2H’13? How different can it be from what we saw earlier?
Y. Kursova:I expect most companies to go on economizing and cutting costs. I don’t expect the end of year to differ much from its start, and I believe major market trends will develop steadily.
For the full interview visit