Renton-based virtualization and automation software company Parallels is launching operations in Africa later this month, joining a string of tech companies, including Microsoft, IBM and Google, that have launched or expanded operations on that continent.
“Over the last couple of years, it’s become very clear that there is real and sustained growth in many of the African countries,” said Parallels CEO Birger Steen. “This is the fastest growing IT and telecoms market in the world right now.”
Parallels is planning to open its office in Johannesburg, South Africa. Steen declined to say how many people will be employed there but said both sales and professional services staff will be based there.
Perhaps best known to consumers as producers of a product that allows Mac users to run Windows on their machines, Parallels in Africa will be selling its Parallels Automation platform. The platform, used to build, operate and manage cloud services, helps telecom providers, Web hosters and others to use Microsoft technologies (such as hosted Exchange or Lync) for their services.
Parallels said it already counts Business Connexion, a South Africa-based information and communications technology company, and Global Micro, a South Africa-based hosted infrastructure IT provider, as customers who’ve adopted the Parallels Automation platform.
Parallels currently has 25 offices in 15 countries.
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced it was making a big push in Africa with plans to spend an additional $75 million over the next three years over what it’s currently investing there to grow the market there.