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parallelsParallels, a privately-held company based in Renton, Wash., today announced an expansion into South Africa to help African service providers deliver applications and cloud services to small and medium enterprises.

The company, founded in 1999 and employing more than 900 worldwide, will open an office in Johannesburg. Parallels has also partnered with African companies Business Connexion, an IT consulting firm, and Global Micro, a hosted infrastructure IT provider.

The two companies will take advantage of Parallels’ Automation platform and join the 9,000-plus service providers around the globe that rely on Parallels and its Application Packaging Standard to deliver applications and cloud services.

Parallels predicts that the small and medium enterprise cloud market in Africa could grow from $1.6 billion to $4.1 billion in the next three years.

“We are excited about the Cloud opportunity that Africa presents,” said former Microsoft exec and current Parallels CEO Birger Steen in a press release. “Diverse service offerings enabled by Parallels Automation and Parallels APS ecosystem have never been more relevant to SMEs and are critical to drive increased innovation and cloud adoption in Africa.”

While cloud services account for a large chunk of its business, Parallels is best known for its desktop virtualization service that allows computer users to utilize Mac and PC applications at the same time.

Previously on GeekWire: Macs in the mainstream: Parallels giving IT staff more control over Apple machines 

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