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ISSUE 243 | MARCH 2017


How specialised security distributor Spectrami plans to hit the $100 million mark in the next three years


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ISSUE 243 // MARCH 2017


Anand Choudha, Founder and Managing Director, Spectrami shares how the company aims to grow to $100 milliion in three years.








NEWS We help you catch up on all the major news and announcements in the regional channel community.




Scott Gegenheimer from Zain Group expains the use cases of 5G and how operators can prepare for it.





HPE Aruba’s Hemayun Bazaz on why specialisation can help partners with securing SMEs.

A round-up of IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference in Las Vegas.

Industry experts share strategies for resellers to deliver networking solutions to SMEs.



Karl Meulema and Ramzi Itani from Riverbed discuss solutions-centric approach for partners.

We examine how partners can enhance their offering to banking and finance customers. // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017


EDITORIAL Aspire to be the best

Janees Reghelini Editor

E-mail: janees.reghelini@ Facebook: ResellerME Twitter: @ResellerME

FOUNDER, CPI MEDIA GROUP Dominic De Sousa (1959-2015) Publishing Director Natasha Pendleton +971 4 440 9139

Published by

Registered at Dubai Production City, DCCA PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 4 447 2409 © Copyright 2017 CPI All rights reserved While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.

Solutions selling is no longer a novel concept for the channel industry. Most partners understand the benefits of providing a comprehensive solution to customers rather than focusing on a single component. They also know that by building services around these solutions, they can make much better margins. However, this is easier said than done. There are several key aspects in achieving this. The first one is selecting the right combination of products to make a strong portfolio of solutions. The most important factor here is understanding the customer’s requirement thoroughly. This will help partners to customise solutions to specific needs. Creating a tailor-made offering will always help partners stand out from the competition. But they can do this only if they have in-depth technical skills and market knowledge. Another key is specialisation. Partners should focus on a particular vertical and develop their skillsets in that domain so that

they are in a position to help customers resolve any issues that may arise within that sector. And if they achieve verticalspecific certifications, their credibility with customers increases significantly. Partners will have to invest in time and resources to be able to successfully do this. Often, partners’ vision doesn’t go beyond everyday objectives. It is necessary to look at the bigger picture to not only sustain growth but to also be recognised. Speaking of recognition, we are in the midst of preparing for the eighth edition of our Partner Excellence Awards 2017. Overwhelming number of nominations has been flowing in over the last few weeks. This year the final winners will be decided through online voting after the judging panel shortlists the finalists in each category. If you make the cut, we would be excited to see you campaign and encourage your stakeholders to vote for you. Stay tuned for the final nominees list towards the end of this month.

EDITORIAL Group Editor Jeevan Thankappan +971 4 440 9129

ADVERTISING Group Sales Director Kausar Syed +971 4 440 9130

Editor Janees Reghelini +971 4 440 9167

Sales Manager Merle Carrasco +971 4 440 9147

Online Editor Adelle Geronimo +971 4 440 9135

CIRCULATION Database and Circulation Manager Rajeesh M +971 4440 9119

DESIGN Senior Designer Analou Balbero Designer Neha Kalvani

PRODUCTION Production Manager James P Tharian +971 4 440 9159

Operations Manager Shweta Santosh +971 4 440 9107 DIGITAL SERVICES Web Developers Jefferson de Joya Abbas Madh Photographers Max Poriechkin Charls Thomas +971 4 440 9100 DIGITAL Printed by Printwell Printing Press // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017



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Dell EMC unveils new integrated partner programme


ell EMC has officially launched its integrated partner programme, which according to the company, was built from the ground up and retains the best characteristics from its legacy programmes. The comany highlighted that the new programme caters to the needs of partners today while also keeping in mind how that might evolve in the future. The programme’s primary tenets are to be simple, predictable and profitable, said the company. “Global business is rapidly changing as more and more customers prioritise investment in digital transformation. Dell EMC and its partners are uniquely positioned to help customers through this evolution,” said John Byrne, President, Global Channel,

Dell EMC. “Dell EMC provides vast opportunities to our partners through an industry leading portfolio of innovative products, services and solutions, and with the new programme, provides the support for partners to excel.” The new programme tiers, developed to elevate the company’s partners over competitors and establish a clear path to level-up, include Titanium, Platinum and Gold, as well as a new status level within the Titanium Tier, Titanium Black. Benefits to solution provider partners include generous rebates focused on profitable behaviours such as driving new business, service sales (inclusive of consulting, deployment, support and education services), training participation and selling the full portfolio. As a partner progresses their tier and benefits also increase.

The Titanium Black Status is an invitation John Byrne, Dell EMC only, special designation created to strengthen the relationship with partners who are extremely aligned with the company. The unified programme embraces the entire Dell EMC partner ecosystem, inclusive of solution providers, cloud service providers, strategic outsourcers, OEM partners, systems integrators and distribution partners. It includes unique tracks with specific advantages and incentives that align to a particular partner type and attained tier designation. As part of this full ecosystem strategy, included as well is the “Powered by Dell EMC” brand programme for those businesses that embed Dell EMC technologies into the marketplace.

Mindware signs regional agreement with Barracuda Networks Mindware has announced the expansion of its vendor portfolio with the addition of Barracuda Nicholas Argyrides, Mindware Networks’ security and data protection products to its offerings in the META region – including the Gulf, Levant, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Chris Ross, SVP International, Barracuda Networks, said, “We are excited to have Mindware as part of our distribution channel, and

to gain access to their extensive breadth of channel partners within the META region. The relationship with them will enable us to expand our distribution and reseller channel ecosystem. It will also allow us to bring our solutions to customers in the region who are looking to protect their networks, applications and data.” Barracuda designs and delivers security and data protection solutions. The company offers solutions that help its customers address security threats, improve network performance and protect their data. Nicholas Argyrides, Chief of Sales and Deputy General Manager,

Mindware, said, “Barracuda Networks complements the rest of our product offerings and we are delighted that this business collaboration is now in place. The combination of Mindware’s focus on the security vertical across our regional distribution network’s along with Barracuda Networks’ top-class solutions will enable our channel partner community to expand their reach into more projects and more end-clients. Presently, our collective priority is to work hand-in-hand with them to train, qualify, and eventually develop our partners’ security capabilities, which will ultimately help in increasing in their customer’s growth.” // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017



Arrow named as strategic partner for Dell EMC channel programme


rrow Electronics has announced that it was named as one of the key global distribution partners for Dell EMC’s new integrated partner programme. “The Dell EMC programme offers Arrow’s global IT reseller ecosystem great opportunities to deliver enhanced customer value and increased profitability,” said Sean Kerins, President, Global Enterprise Computing Solutions Business, Arrow. “We are proud to collaborate with Dell EMC on this new channel programme, which combines the best of the legacy Dell and EMC partner programmes.” The new and integrated Dell EMC Partner Program was built on channel partner feedback and embodies core

tenets of simplicity, predictability and profitability. It includes a distributionspecific track with comprehensive benefits and will provide Arrow’s global ecosystem of value-added resellers (VARs), managed service providers (MSPs) and systems integrators with generous rebates

The Dell EMC programme offers Arrow’s global IT reseller ecosystem great opportunities to deliver enhanced customer value and increased profitability.”

Ingram Micro Cloud automates market delivery of NCR Silver Ingram Micro has announced the addition of NCR Silver and NCR Silver Pro Restaurant Edition in the US to the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace. According to the company, its Ingram Micro Cloud is the “first cloud service provider” to offer NCR Silver subscriptions through an automated cloud delivery platform. NCR Silver is an all-in-one mobile point-of-sale (POS) system by NCR that makes it easier for small to medium-sized businesses to transact sales, market to customers, manage day-to-day operations and grow their business. In addition to its cloudbased POS functionality, NCR Silver offers inventory management, email marketing and loyalty programmes, plus reporting tools available through the NCR Console add-on, to help


businesses better understand and engage with their customer base while maximising ROI. “The point-of-sale industry is at the brink of a major transformation as more retailers embrace mobile technology to better align their businesses to the way consumers want to transact,” said Tarik Faouzi, Vice President, Global Cloud Partners and Solutions, Ingram Micro. “We are pleased to add NCR Silver to the Cloud Marketplace to anchor our retail cloud portfolio. This also signifies our continuous commitment to our vision of better serving SMBs in this segment.” By relying on off-the-shelf technology that merchants likely already own, such as tablets, Ingram Micro highlighted that NCR Silver enables small to medium-

MARCH 2017 // Reseller Middle East //

focused on profitable behaviours; one partner portal with Sean Kerins, Arrow single sign-on and onedeal registration; simplified training; market-aligned targets and much more. Jim DeFoe, Senior Vice President, Global Distribution, Dell EMC,“Arrow Electronics has been a strong partner to both Dell and EMC for several years. As we launch the newly combined Dell EMC Partner Program, we look forward to expanding this collaboration and maximising the value of distribution for our joint partners.”

sized businesses to set up a POS system for a fraction of the price of traditional systems and maximise business efficiency by minimising the common challenges associated with the implementation of enterprisegrade systems. The Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace automates the service delivery, customer management and invoicing of NCR Silver subscriptions allowing Ingram Micro resellers to quickly and easily offer an advanced cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) system to their end-customers in an industry where traditional POS use is declining.



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Nexthink signs StarLink to strengthen META distribution channel

Mitsumi to distribute HP Supplies in the Middle East

Mitesh Shah, Mitsumi

Mitsumi Distribution has announced that it was appointed by Hewlett Packard (HP) Middle East, as an authorised HP Supplies distributor for

the Middle East region. Both companies have been working together for the last six years and this agreement further extends Mitsumi’s East African distribution rights to the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, and Yemen. As an authorised distributor, Mitsumi will deliver HP Supplies’ entire range of products in the Middle East and will further strengthen the vendor’s channel ecosystem, expand its customer base, provide better service inventory and delivery, and training and support to resellers in these markets.

Mikhail Voronov, PPS Supplies Distribution Business Manager, Africa, Hewlett-Packard, said, “Innovation at HP is not just about products, but about processes— With Mitsumi’s experience and commitment, we are confident that this strategic partnership will help us deliver our business objective to better reach our resellers and customers. We look forward to a more successful partnership with Mitsumi.” Mitesh Shah, Managing Director, Mitsumi Distribution said, “HP and Mitsumi have always had a strong partnership; expanding our rights not only reflects the vendors’ but also the markets (resellers and stakeholders) confidence and trust in Mitsumi. We will continue to work with HP to realise their business objective; ensuring every option is available to our resellers and customers.”

Alpha Data brings Global Village ticketing to the cloud Alpha Data has recently completed its work on hosting the e-Commerce portal of Global Village, the region’s multicultural festival park, at its ‘Alpha Murugesan Vaithilingam, Cloud’ public cloud Alpha Data service. Global Village is claimed to be the “region’s largest” tourism, leisure, and entertainment project. Located in the Dubailand entertainment complex in Dubai, the venue receives an estimated five millionplus guests over an area of 1.6 million sqm annually. To accommodate more visitors and provide greater convenience, its management recently consulted with several reliable cloud service providers to host their e-Commerce portal before eventually choosing Alpha Data as the preferred partner.

Alpha Data offered an Infrastructure as-a-Service (IaaS) model for hosting the Global Village portal on Alpha Cloud, a cloud service that enables adopters to “scale on-demand, optimise for price, and enjoy high levels of performance and business continuity.” Aside from these advantages, the systems integrator also met Global Village’s strict compliance requirements as an ISO 27001-certified organisation; ISO 27001 is the global standard for Information Security Management. Murugesan Vaithilingam, Services Director, Alpha Data, said, “Global Village is one of the biggest destinations of its kind, so we focused on developing a hosted environment that could seamlessly support its ticketing transactions and bring added convenience to its customers. We were able to deliver a quick turnaround time and fully comply with theme park’s requirements.”

StarLink has announced that it signed a distribution agreement with Nexthink to sell, install and support the latter’s endNidal Othman, StarLink user IT analytics solutions through its network of channel partners in the region. Nidal Othman, Managing Director, StarLink, said, “We are happy to be appointed as a Nexthink distributor for the META region especially since their strategies complement our Solutions Lifecycle Portfolio. Offering unique end-user experience management solutions to enable companies to improve their IT services, enhance their security and ensure compliance, Nexthink shows great potential in the market.” Ghassan Al Kahlout, Regional Director Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Nexthink, said, “Nexthink aims to establish a strong foothold in META regions and StarLink can make this possible with its expertise and rich experience in enabling technology companies reach full market potential. Teaming up with StarLink moves us even closer to delivering on the promise of enduser experience management for organisations of all sizes.”





Help AG moves up its vendors’ programme rankings


elp AG has announced that it has been awarded the Platinum Partner status by Symantec and also received the authorised reseller status for Middle East by Fortinet. Under Syamantec’s Secure One channel partner programme, Help AG has achieved the highest level of support from the vendor and access to benefits and technical resources. To achieve the Platinum Partner status, Help AG met a number of criteria including technical validation, customer references, and sales certification requirements which confirmed its high level of technical expertise on Symantec’s portfolio. “We are very pleased to extend our partnership with Symantec given our success in delivering their solutions to customers across the Middle East. They

have been one of our longest standing vendor partners and we have developed in-depth technical competency on their solutions. This has enabled us to deliver robust security solutions in the areas of Data Loss Prevention, encryption, endpoint protection, and data centre security, and incorporate their products in our security frameworks,” said Stephan Berner, CEO, Help AG. Moreover, the reseller has also been awarded the authorised reseller status for the Middle East region by Fortinet. “Fortinet recently crossed a milestone by successfully being awarded over 350 patents, which is testament to the effort they put into research and development in the field of cybersecurity. Help AG shares this commitment to technical expertise and their technologies fit well into our overall strategy to provide best-of-breed cybersecurity solutions

to distributed and large enterprises,” said Berner. The partnership will focus on the UAE, Qatar and Stephan Berner, Help AG Saudi Arabia with Help AG expecting good uptake of the vendor’s solutions across various industry sectors. The reseller will provide the consultative, installation and support services associated with Fortinet’s deployments. Help AG is currently a Silver partner in the Fortinet Partner Program, and Berner explained that his company is working to achieve the highest partnership level within the coming quarter.

KBM recognised as a VMware premier level partner

Abdullah Al Najjar and Riccardo Palumbo, KBM; and Khitam Al Hindi, and Wafiq Al Husseini, VMware

Gulf Business Machine’s (GBM) Kuwaiti arm, Khorafi Business Machines (KBM), has announced that it had been awarded the distinction of Solution Provider Premier Partner by VMware. This accolade, according to the vendor, was achieved by KBM through investment in training and dedication to excellence in delivering VMware virtualisation solutions. KBM has also been announced as a VMware Professional Services Organisation


(PSO) in Kuwait, which is in recognition to the expertise of KBM’s employees on VMware products and services. Abdullah Al Najjar, Brands Manager, KBM, said, “KBM has been a key player in the Kuwait IT market since 1990 and our clients value our in-depth local knowledge and our expertise in deploying international solutions through a strong, collaborative regional network. Our partnership with

MARCH 2017 // Reseller Middle East //

VMware has enabled us to provide virtualised infrastructure offerings to the Kuwait IT market, thus allowing our customers to do businesses with greater efficiency, agility, control and in a cost-effective manner. “We are proud to be recognised as a Premier level partner as well as receive the distinction of being a VMware PSO, and we look forward to advancing our collaborative relationship with VMware in Kuwait.”




Symantec unveils integrated partner programme Post cybersecurity firm Symantec’s acquisition of Blue Coat last year, the company has unveiled an integrated partner programme – Symantec Secure One. According to the company’s Global Partner Sales Leader Torjus Gylstorf, the programme, which will be launched this spring, is designed to give partners more opportunity for growth and profitability. “The new programme will be even easier to navigate based on two competences – Core Security and Enterprise Security – for our combined enterprise portfolio,” he said. “Partners will have a huge opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell, providing our mutual customers with leading solutions to solve the world’s

biggest cybersecurity problems.” Other key initiatives that partners can expect from Symantec Secure One include transitioning opportunity registration to a front-end discount only, which ensures that the

Partners will have a huge opportunity to cross-sell and upsell, providing our mutual customers with leading solutions to solve the world’s biggest cybersecurity problems.”

TP-Link launches mobile offerings to partners in RAK

Lucas Jiang, TP-Link

TP-Link Technologies has recently hosted a partner event in Ras AlKhaimah, where the company introduced its Neffos X series

smartphone range. During the event, the company highlighted its plans to continuously raise partner awareness on its mobile device business. TP-Link showcased its Neffos X1 and X1 Max smartphones during the occasion. Lucas Jiang, General Manager, TPLink Middle East and Africa, said the unveiling of the Neffos X1 and X1 Max smartphones, which were also recently exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 in Las Vegas, will help partners to unlock more business

opportunities in the retail sector because the handsets combine quality design and craftsmanship with high performance. Jiang said since the launch of the Neffos smartphone portfolio, TP-Link has invested heavily in research and development (R&D) and business development initiatives to ensure that the superior technology in the devices is backed by a business model that helps partners to be profitable when they invest in this business. “We have already received positive feedback from partners in Dubai about the Neffos X series array,” he said. “By hosting a dedicated partner event in Ras Al-Khaimah, we demonstrated our commitment to developing the mobile devices business across the UAE together with our distribution and channel partners.” He added that TP-Link is looking to strengthen its position in the mobile

financials of doing business with the company will be more predictable moving forward. Gylstorf added, “We’re also creating new opportunities to earn with a Platinum Performance Rebate, Renewal Incumbency, and by enabling partners to submit an unlimited number of activity proposals for Symantec Partner Development Funds. “With a $30 billion opportunity in cybersecurity, we will see massive growth potential in our industry this year. We’re excited about this new era for our company, our partnership and our programme, and we look forward to defining the future of cybersecurity, together.”

By hosting a dedicated partner event in Ras Al-Khaimah, we demonstrated our commitment to developing the mobile devices business across the UAE together with our distribution and channel partners.” devices space and the event gave the company an opportunity to update partners on the roadmap, business development strategy and how the mobile offering fit with the connected lifestyle and smart home offerings. TP-Link entered the mobile devices market in January 2016, a move that marked the company’s expansion from being a fixed networking and wireless equipment supplier of products that like routers, switches, range extenders and the likes to a consumer and lifestyle devices vendor. // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017



DVCOM, 2N host partner event for IT resellers in Dubai Value-added distributor (VAD) DVCOM Technology and 2N, a subsidiary of the Axis Group and provider of intercoms systems, elevator systems, access control, IP audio systems, M2M and telecommunications solutions, have recently held the 2N Partner Event 2017 in Dubai. According to the VAD, which distributes products, solutions and services from vendors including Digium, DrayTek, Yealink, Yeastar, 2N and many others, the partner event has been an important platform where both 2N and DVCOM met channel partners to update them on the product roadmap and outline the channel strategy for the new calendar year. Renjan George, Managing Director, DVCOM Technology, said that apart from the event being an important networking platform, the significance of updating channel partners on product and technology roadmaps, and outlining the channel strategy at the start of the year, gives them the necessary tools to go after opportunities that are emerging in the market. “IP intercoms, IP audio systems, access control and telecommunications solutions bring efficiencies and productivity to the workplace,” he said. “By bringing together UAE-based channel partners, the event created better opportunities for networking, partner enablement and provided insight into 2N’s product portfolio and 2017 channel strategy for the region.” Attendees engaged in a series of presentations that focused on technical and sales aspects of 2N’s IT solutions for partners in the Middle East.


Micromax enters ME with Tchannl partnership


icromax Informatics, India-based handset manufacturer, has announced its foray into the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with the entry into the UAE smartphone market. Under the partnership, Tchannl will make Micromax’s products available across the GCC and North Africa market. It will introduce its flagship ‘Bolt Series’ of smartphones, which have already sold more than 20 million devices across its operating markets, as per the statement provided by the company. Furthermore, the smartphone portfolio will be expanded based on consumer insights. Micromax aims to “extend and solidify its presence in the region armed with in-depth market insights from Tchannl Co-Founders, Sandeep Saihgal and Ashraf Fawakherji, who have spent

more than two decades in the region settingup presence of Rahul Sharma, Micromax several global telecom brands.” The company believes Tchannl’s extensive relationships with key distributors, understanding of distribution networks, know-how on channel and retail management will be crucial to building the profile of Micromax brand in the region. Rahul Sharma, Co-Founder, Micromax, said, “We have tasted success in many International markets and feel this is the opportune time to expand our reach in the MENA region. This region will be one of the key international markets for us after Russia. The market opportunity is huge and our large portfolio of devices will be able to cater the customer’s need here.”

Ferrostaal Group launches ME cybersecurity practice Global provider of industrial solutions, Ferrostaal Group, has announced the opening of Ferrostaal Technology Solutions (FSTS), its cybersecurityfocused systems integration division. With its headquarters based in Dubai Silicon Oasis, the new division will leverage the firm’s global cybersecurity expertise to help businesses in the Middle East reduce their risk and comply with evolving regional and international security legislation and regulations. Yazen Jammalieh, Sales Director, FSTS, said, “With a rich 90-year history in just about every vertical across 30 countries, an in-house team of over 70 cybersecurity and IT specialists that have amassed a wealth of experience dealing with the latest and sophisticated cyber threats across the globe, and a strong balance sheet that will allow us to offer customers in the region attractive financing options,

MARCH 2017 // Reseller Middle East //

Ferrostaal Group provides us with a significant parenting advantage Yazen Jammalieh, FSTS that we will leverage to offer Middle East organisations bespoke security solutions that will protect them against cyber-attacks and drive their productivity and efficiency.” Focusing initially on enterprises in the UAE, particularly in the government and financial sectors, FSTS will work with global security vendors including F5 Networks, IBM, Kaspersky, and Symantec, to offer a broad range of solutions and services that include risk analysis, penetration testing, information security strategy, security architecture and design, infrastructure deployment and integration, and training. In addition, the company will offer specialised solutions for SAP, Oracle and Microsoft platforms.


Veeam launches ‘free’ cloud services programme


eeam Software has announced a new initiative in partnership with its Veeam Cloud and Service Provider (VCSP) partners that will enable current customers, using the company’s Availability Suite, Backup and Replication, and/or Backup Essentials solutions, to extend their ‘availability’ strategy to the cloud at no cost. According to the company, its products are being used by more than 230,000 organisations around the world to protect more than 12.5 million virtual machines (VMs). Many of these organisations are looking to extend their on-premises deployments of Veeam to the cloud. Effective immediately, every customer using the vendor’s solutions for onpremises backup and recovery is

now eligible for up to $1,000 in free cloud backup and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) from Veeam and its VCSP partners. Veeam highlighted that Cloud Connect enables VCSP partners to offer cloud-based disaster recovery and offsite backup. “Organisations across the globe are increasingly adopting cloud platforms for IT and business solutions, and they need an availability platform that is scalable, reliable, secure and adaptable enough to leverage multi-cloud infrastructures,” said Paul Mattes, Vice President, Global Cloud Group, Veeam. “We, along with our partners, recognise this opportunity and are fully committing to major investments supporting our partners and endusers, and further delivering on our cloud vision and strategy.”

In addition to helping customers embrace the benefits of DRaaS and Cloud Backup, the company underlined that the Free Cloud Services programme is designed to help traditional resellers expand in the midst of a cloud-based services market shift. Veeam is connecting resellers with VCSP partners, helping them establish cloud services businesses that generate growing monthly recurring revenue streams. This limited time offer is available for all Veeam Availability Suite, Backup and Replication and Backup Essentials end-user customers with active Veeam maintenance contracts. The Veeam Free Cloud Services programme will initially launch in North America, with plans to expand into EMEA, LATAM and ANZ regions in the next few months.


Xerox, EFI partner to enhance digital production processes Xerox Corporation and Electronics for Imaging (EFI) has announced a strategic partnership to bring to market a next-generation digital front end Andrew Copley, Xerox (DFE) to drive Xerox digital production presses. The agreement includes the sale of Xerox’s FreeFlow Print Server (FFPS) DFE business to EFI. Under the terms of the deal, EFI will continue to produce and support FFPS so current customers do not experience interruptions in sales or service. “Customers will gain a powerful

solution with more efficiency, performance and quality to meet the most demanding production requirements,” said Andrew Copley, President, Graphic Communications Solutions, Xerox. “EFI is an industry leader and has a proven track record with performance, ease of use and seamless integration with industry workflow solutions.” According to Xerox, their expertise and unique functionality from FFPS will be integrated with EFI’s best-of-breed Fiery product, giving customers a market-leading offering. Customers will benefit from EFI sales and technical field resources working side-by-side with their Xerox sales representatives to offer a “best-in-class” solution.

EFI is an industry leader and has a proven track record with performance, ease of use and seamless integration with industry workflow solutions.” Guy Gecht, CEO, EFI, said, “EFI integration among the DFE, workflow software, and management information systems products deliver the higher levels of automation and productivity that are key to print businesses taking full advantage of the opportunities with digital printing.” Other terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Sage, Dynamic Cloud partner in Saudi Arabia Sage has appointed Dynamic Cloud as an authorised partner for Sage X3, Sage X3 People, Sage 300 and Sage CRM business Keith Fenner, Sage management solutions in Saudi Arabia. Dynamic Cloud, a subsidiary of Dynamic Energy, provides cloudbased business management software including ERP solutions in the Al Khobar IT sector. The company is engaged in the research and development of new technologies and innovative products around areas such big data analytics and IoT. It also constantly seeks partnerships with globally recognised brands to maximise market share and profitability.


“We are excited by the potential of this partnership with Dynamic Cloud to reach clients across a variety of industries. As the country’s focus on economic development and modernisation of existing businesses continues into 2017, we are thrilled to be an enabler of sustainable, and robust business solutions in Saudi Arabia,” said Keith Fenner, Vice President, Sage Enterprise Africa and Middle East. Dynamic Cloud caters to industries ranging from oil and gas, to healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, and education. The partnership agreement will offer Sage a springboard to reach new clients with its state-of-the-art business management solutions. Othman Al Othman, CEO, Dynamic Energy, said, “Dynamic Cloud and Sage are working together

MARCH 2017 // Reseller Middle East //

to increase market share while providing professional sustainable solutions to the Saudi market, especially in Al Khobar. Further, partnering with Sage gives us an insight into the future of business management solutions utilising the best technology, and best support.”



Unify signs Brightstar Communications as distributor for KSA Unify has announced the appointment of Brightstar Communications (BSC) as its distributor for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Feras Zeidan, Unify According to the vendor, the move to appoint Brightstar Communications is in line with its strategy to grow its footprint in the SMB segment in Saudi Arabia. In terms of the deal, Brightstar Communications is the authorised distributor in Saudi Arabia and will supply the channel with Unify’s entire UC and collaboration solutions and help the vendor to recruit new solutions providers and systems integrators (SIs) in the Kingdom. Feras Zeidan, Vice President, Middle

Brightstar Communications is well-known within the IT and telecommunication services sector focusing on providing integrated IT and telecoms services to channel partners in Saudi Arabia.” East and Africa (MEA), Unify, said the company is delighted to have signed Brightstar Communications as its distribution partner in Saudi Arabia. “Brightstar Communications is well-known within the IT and telecommunication services sector focusing on providing integrated IT and telecoms services to channel partners in Saudi Arabia,” he said. “We look forward to working with the distributor in developing the SMB business and channel partners in the market.

Zeidan said the appointment of Brightstar Communications demonstrates the commitment Unify has to growing the business in KSA. “Unify wants to help channel partners to unlock the emerging opportunities in the SMB space with end-to-end collaboration solutions. The alliance with Brightstar Communications, opens up huge opportunities for channel partners to create subscription-based revenue streams on top of existing CAPEX models.”


SCOPE Middle East joins HID Advantage Partner Program SCOPE Middle East has announced that it is now a member of the HID Advantage Partner Program, a loyalty-based programme which advances a partner’s relationship with HID Global. As a member of the programme, SCOPE will distribute the full range of IAM Solutions, including HID Global’s ActivID Authentication Solutions and ActivID Credential Management System. Fadi Abu Eqab, Chief Executive Officer, SCOPE Middle East, said, “HID Global has pioneered a new generation of identity and access management solutions. The company’s solutions deliver a range of security features that uses multi-factor authentication solutions to help protect digital identities.

Partnering with HID Global perfectly positions our resellers to address these concerns by offering regional organisations a host of world-class security solutions.” The VAD provides a range of valueadded services, including sales, marketing and technical support. As a member of the HID Advantage Partner Program, the company will work closely with HID Global to enhance end-user value in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region SCOPE Middle East has built a new cybersecurity division promoting a wide range of market-leading security solutions from Symantec Blue Coat, Stormshield and Kaspersky lab including DDoS protection, SSL Insight, data centre firewall,

Secure Web Gateway, web Fadi Abu Eqab, SCOPE application Middle East firewall (WAF) and DNS Application Firewall. Miguel Braojos, Vice President Global Sales, IAM Solutions, HID Global, said, “Addressing and fulfilling end-users requirements is critical in order to invest with confidence in HID Global’s trusted identity solutions. As a member of the HID Advantage Partner Program, SCOPE helps support the essential links in the HID Global value chain. The company’s strong team of security experts has extensive experience working with enterprises and financial institutions, further extending our commitment to quality and driving end-user value.”

Experts Computer, Global Aiptek sign distribution deal Experts Computer has signed an agreement with Global Aiptek, a mobile projector vendor, to become its Shailendra Rughwani, distributor in the Experts Computer UAE. According to Aiptek, the partnership is an important strategic move for the company as they are currently operating in Europe, USA, China and Taiwan, providing these markets with mobile projection products. As part of the deal, Aiptek can bring their “Mobile Projection Products” to the UAE and GCC countries delivering visual and aural experiences that can “empower, inspire, entertain and enrich the lives of their customers.”


Experts Computer sees a strong fit for Aiptek products to fulfil the unmet Middle East demand towards Mobile Projection Technology. Shailendra Rughwani, Chairman, Experts Computer, said, “With one of the highest penetration rates of smartphones and tablets, the demand for mobile projectors to complement the on-the-go lifestyle has constantly increased in UAE and GCC.” Rughwani underlined that Aiptek offers a full range of high quality mobile projectors ranging from the Move Series, Apex Series to Touch Series that can address all kind of user needs: deliver business presentations, educational purpose, hosting movie nights, gaming or camping outdoors and so on. Frank Sheu, CEO, Global Aiptek, said, “Experts Computer’s focus

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With one of the highest penetration rates of smartphones and tablets, the demand for mobile projectors to complement the onthe-go lifestyle has constantly increased in UAE and GCC.” on the fundamentals of distribution enables them to be one of the most trustworthy and reliable channel partners. Their extensive customer base also gives us the best opportunity to reach targeted verticals and reseller types throughout UAE and GCC.”


Kodak Alaris names Microfilm Egypt as ‘Top Performer’ Microfilm Egypt (MFE) has been presented with the ‘Top Performer’ partner award at the recently concluded Kodak Alaris Partner David Whitton, Kodak Alaris Summit held in Lisbon, Portugal. MFE is an IT solutions company in Egypt specialising in document management and archival solutions and document based business process management solutions. According to the company, the accolade acknowledges its success in helping promote Kodak Alaris’

range of information management related hardware, software and services and significantly growing the company’s customer base in Egypt. Bahig El Mehallawi, President and Founder, MFE, said, “We are honoured to have won this award. This distinction marks our commitment to Kodak Alaris and sets Microfilm apart as a leading regional provider of document management and archiving solutions. Our success lies in continually analysing market trends, identifying the most innovative solutions that address customer needs and challenges, investing to gain deep technical competency and creating an ecosystem that can deliver an end-to-end solution.”

According to Kodak Alaris, MFE is among the first companies in Egypt to introduce document imaging technology in the country in 1977 when the company started its operations. David Whitton, General Manager, Kodak Alaris Information Management – Eastern Cluster, said, “MFE is key to our success in the Middle East and Africa region. With a great mix of staff who are highly skilled in design, installation and after sales support, an innovative approach to marketing, expertise in customer service management, customer focused delivery processes and a general commitment to excellence, Microfilm has spearheaded our growth and the company will no doubt play an even bigger role as we continue to expand our business in the region in the future.”

axiom telecom wins MRM Business Award

axiom telecom Wins Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award

axiom telecom has recently been presented with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award. According to th company, the recognition was for its ability to enhance both its own internal operations as well as the overall customer experience through its unconventional and non-traditional approach to business.

“We are truly honoured to have received this esteemed award, and I would like to thank our wonderful team at axiom for their unwavering commitment to breaking the boundaries of innovation to create new experiences for our customers,” said Fahad Al Bannai, CEO, axiom telecom. “The last year has been a very exciting time for axiom – many of our stores

underwent a complete transformation in line with evolving customer expectations and demands, and the response so far has been phenomenal. At axiom, we realise the important role that mobile technology plays in people’s daily lives, and we promise to continue upholding business excellence across all our operations to deliver a seamless mobile experience to our valued customers.” Launched by the Dubai Chamber, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award aims to embrace all GCC businesses in their journey of excellence. The Award recognises and celebrates the success of these organisations that are leading the way in establishing new business excellence standards, and those whose continuous and outstanding achievements serve as an inspiration for all like-minded organisations in the region. // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017



INDUSTRY APPOINTMENTS F5 Networks names new director for Gulf, Levant and North Africa

Taj El Khayat, F5 Networks

F5 Networks has announced the appointment of Taj El Khayat as its new director for the Gulf, Levant and

North Africa region. Reporting directly to Diego Arrabal, Middle East and Africa VP, F5 Networks, El Khayat will lead a team comprising of salespeople, channel staff, and system engineers focused on consolidating F5’s position as the region’s leading application delivery company. In particular, there will be a strong emphasis on security and multicloud projects. El Khayat brings with him over 17-years’ industry experience, having played a major role in driving profit and market-share for a range of top IT companies. He joins F5 from Riverbed, where he was the Regional Vice President for Middle East, Turkey and Africa. “I am honoured to join F5 Networks, and be part of a successful and striving region at a time where the market is rapidly embracing cloud and implementing their digital transformation strategies,” said El Khayat. “We already have a fantastic team in place, and I look forward to partnering with them to empower businesses and our F5 channel to expand in new and dynamic ways, delivering the applications that matter – anywhere, at any time, on any device.”


Microsoft appoints new head for MEA region Microsoft has announced the appointment of Samer Abu Samer Abu Ltaif, Ltaif as the Microsoft President of its operations in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. Abu Ltaif, who joined Microsoft in 2004 was most recently the regional general manager of Microsoft Gulf. “MEA has tremendous potential. The rich diversity across the region, combined with the fast-growing youth population and innovative spirit, opens up enormous opportunity,” said Abu Ltaif. “As Microsoft, we have an important role to play, not only through the innovative technology that we bring to market, but also through our presence across the region, our focus on developing local talent, and our deep commitment to the communities in which we operate,” he said. A key part of Abu Ltaif’s new role will be to drive the digital transformation agenda of the region

across governments, enterprises, developers and small and medium businesses. The company highlighted that his role will be instrumental in progressing its commitment to empower people, transform businesses, impact societies and fuel a knowledge economy in MEA. He takes over the reins from Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Ali Faramawy, who has headed the region for thirteen years. Faramawy, in turn, takes on a newly announced global role as the head of the Emerging Markets Digital Transformation Organisation which has been established within the company. The new organisation will focus primarily on building the capability in emerging markets to drive the adoption of cloud technologies and contribute to sustainable growth. Innovation, agility, strategic partnerships, modern business models and building cloud skills for its partners, will be the core focus of this team.

Ericsson announces new Middle East leader for IT and Cloud Ericsson has appointed Indranil Das as the Head of its IT and Cloud division for the Middle East region. In his new role he will be responsible for driving business growth and capturing market opportunities within the Middle East and Turkey region in the areas of IT and cloud within Ericsson. Das started his career with Ericsson in 2011 as the Vice President of Ericsson Global Services in India. He was part

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of the high performing team that established Indranil Das, Ericsson the IT and cloud Practice in India. “The IT and Cloud Unit forms a vital part of Ericsson’s business, and I am very excited to join the team in the Middle East to further develop this particular segment of the Ericsson offering in the region,” said Das.

An overview of the latest people movement within the IT channel business.

CNL Software appoints new GM for Middle East CNL Software, a Physical Security Craig Menzies, CNL Software Information Management (PSIM) software, has announced the appointment of Craig Menzies to the role of General Manager for Middle East. As the new GM, Menzies will assume direct responsibility for all customer-facing departments as the company prepares for further expansion in the region. “I have worked alongside CNL Software for several years on some

exceptional security programmes and believe firmly in the solution the company has to offer. I am delighted to join an already impressive team with a great track record of innovation and with the aptitude to shape the future of security within the region,” said Craig Menzies. “Aside from security, CNL Software has the right approach and technology to contribute towards regional smart programmes, such as the ‘UAE Strategy for the Future’ which encompasses the future of smart technology to support national development.”

HDS announces executive leadership changes

Brian Householder as President and COO

Bobby Soni, SVP, Cloud, Services and Emerging Solutions

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, has announced Brian Householder as the company’s President and Chief Operating officer. Householder, who joined the company in 2003, will oversee the daily operations of HDS. Prior to his current role, Householder held multiple leadership positions of increasing responsibility within HDS in areas such as strategic planning, worldwide marketing, business development, partner enablement, acquisitions, and most recently, as COO. Householder helped lead many key initiatives at HDS, including acquisitions of Pentaho, oXya and Archivas, as well as

improvements to HDS’s marketing and partner enablement capabilities. Additionally, HDS announced also appointed Bobby Soni as Senior Vice President of Cloud, Services and Emerging Solutions. Soni will lead the worldwide cloud, professional services, managed services and customer support organizations at HDS. As part of his new role, Soni will further drive the company’s considerable strengths in Big Data, helping to provide the foundation for Hitachi’s Internet of Things (IoT) portfolio and advanced cloud storage. “Bobby has an extensive background in driving fast-paced, transformative initiatives in services, technology and operations,” said Brian Householder, President and COO. “He exemplifies HDS’s culture and values, and will be critical in driving our services-led approach to help our customers on their digital transformation journeys. To accelerate our transformation to become a leading software and services company, we must have the right talent in the right roles and Bobby embodies that requirement.”

Riverbed names new Senior Regional Director for METNA Riverbed Technology has announced the promotion of Elie Dib to the position of Senior Managing Elie Dib, Riverbed Director, Middle Technology East, Turkey and North Africa (METNA). According to the company, the announcement positions Dib at the head of Riverbed’s regional operations and he will now engage with the sales, technical and channel teams to strengthen the company’s position as the key technology provider for the hybrid enterprise in the cloud-first era. Drawing from his previous experience as Riverbed’s Head of Channels in the METNA region and subsequently as its Managing Director, Dib will base his strategy for the region around two key areas – direct sales and partner driven. For the former, he intends to introduce new leadership roles and responsibilities within the team and at the same time, assure partners that Riverbed’s sales model will remain 100 percent channel driven. Under his new role, Elie will also see his territory expand as he will now be responsible for Riverbed’s business in Saudi Arabia and Turkey. “It is an extremely opportune time to be at the helm of Riverbed in METNA,” said Dib. “Several strategic initiatives that we outlined and implemented a couple years ago, have now been successfully executed. We have the strong regional presence of a seasoned team, a finely-tuned distribution network, and a portfolio of solutions that address some of the most pressing IT challenges that enterprises face. // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017




Scott Gegenheimer, Zain Group CEO and GSMA Board Member, explains the use cases of 5G and how operators can better prepare to enhance the opportunities the technology brings. s the introduction of ubiquitous 5G technology approaches, understanding its use cases and defining the deployment strategies are going to be the key to integrating it on a large-scale, accessible basis. As technology with the potential to revolutionise almost every aspect of modern life for governments, industries, enterprises, and individuals, operators must evaluate the benefits of 5G and set implementation strategies to ensure that they stay ahead of the perpetually transforming ICT industry curve. For operators, the concept of 5G is not difficult to grasp; but understanding and communicating its many use cases is pertinent in bridging the gap between operator and customer. This begins with understanding how nextgeneration technology will alter everyday operations. According to the Middle East and North East Africa appendix of Ericsson’s 2016


Mobility Report, between 2016 and 2022, smartphone subscriptions will more than double from 230 million to 480 million. And while 33 percent of subscribers currently have smartphones, this figure will increase to 56 percent in the next five years. Because smartphone traffic is a key driver for data traffic, 5G will be integral in the adoption of mobile broadband. Additionally, it is predicted that average active smartphone data consumption per month will increase from 1.8 Gigabytes (GB) at the end of 2016 to 13 GB by 2022. What’s

more, mobile data traffic in the region is expected to reach around 4.8 Exabytes (EB) per month by the end of 2022, which is almost 13 times greater than it is estimated to be at the end of 2016. Taken together, these factors indicate immense growth potential for Big Data in the coming years, and 5G will provide the necessary means to function efficiently and effectively at such advanced data transmission levels. Beyond keeping pace with the rapid increase of smartphone use, 5G will also enable new opportunities for the Internet of Things (IoT), as vendors push the limits of technology. As more and more devices, sensors, and appliances connect to each other and to the Internet, security and sustainability are key requirements for the successful uptake of 5G services. By 2022, it is reported that the Middle East and North East Africa will have around 20 million 5G subscribers and cellular IoT connections will reach 45 million from 10 million in 2016. 5G use cases span nearly every industry. In the TV and media industry, the technology will allow for broadband and media presence everywhere, making it possible to communicate in crowded or remote areas at high speed.

“Operators need to take a holistic approach to investment with the view to adapting nextgeneration technology in its earliest stages in order to optimise the technology’s uses moving forward.”

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In the transportation industry, sensors embedded in roads, railways, airfields, and vehicles will communicate with each other through the 5G network. In the infrastructure industry, 5G will bring the high reliability and low latency required to control critical services and infrastructure. In the manufacturing industry, 5G will allow for remote control of heavy machinery, in turn increasing efficiency and reducing costs and risks. But the use cases don’t stop there; 5G will also transform healthcare, agriculture, utilities, and many other commercial sectors—and telecommunications operators will be at the centre of the transformation. IoT has the power to facilitate the digital transformation of nearly every industry, unleashing creative business models that will help network operators in the region to prosper into the future. Moreover, greater technology investments are foreseen in the region, with manufacturing and transportation sectors expected to be the largest contributors. The growth of 5G is linked to the expansion of the complete digital ecosystem and the realisation of the Internet of Things. Network development and rollout must occur in tandem with the development of terminals and devices. In a world where the technologies of the future are approaching at an unprecedented pace, operators must start assessing the cost associated with the deployment of 5G versus its revenuegenerating potential. Operators need to take a holistic approach to investment

with the view to adapting nextgeneration technology in its earliest stages in order to optimise the technology’s uses moving forward. With nearly one third (31 percent) of the global operator community expecting to launch full commercial 5G service by the end of 2021, and almost a further half (44 percent) anticipating this outcome by the end of 2025, operators must recognise the urgent requirement for collaboration between fixed and mobile networks, and the need to share resources more effectively and pro-actively. Success in the investment in 5G use cases is what will ultimately fuel the overall realisation and success of the Networked Society. // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017



SECURING SMEs Hemayun Bazaz, Regional Manager, Channel Sales, Middle East and Turkey at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, elaborates on how SMEs are a growing target for cybercriminals in the Middle East and why specialisation can help partners be successful here.


he threat to SMEs comes from the wider trend for cybercriminals to target the individual, as well as the enterprise. With the consumerisation of IT and BYOD, workers carry a great deal of sensitive data on their smartphones that is exchanged back with their company servers. This makes single devices a potential gateway to a wealth of company and private data. If employees are working remotely, for example from a cafĂŠ using guest Wi-Fi, that can also add a layer of vulnerability unless the correct security policies have been applied to the user and device based upon their location. Typically, the SME market lacks the in-house IT expertise that is required to monitor and secure the network at the individual device level, meaning they may be viewed as an easier target by cybercriminals, as recent attacks have suggested. KEY CYBER THREATS FACING SMEs Most employees believe IT has their back so the weakest link are many times the staff themselves. Our recent research has shown that, in order to get the job done, 6 in 10


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workers are sharing their personal device with colleagues. In the fastmoving world of SMEs, we see a good deal of entrepreneurial spirit, lots of sharing of information and a fairly minimal focus on company security policies. This has an impact – a third of workers admit to losing company data through misusing a mobile device. The answer is not to restrict employees sharing data or connecting using mobile devices. It’s about providing a secure infrastructure for them to work in. Even for a small firm of just two employees, formalising an approach to information security is crucial. Such a policy should cover roles, devices, locations and other contextual attributes, securing corporate information and systems without impacting usability and employee productivity. In the past, SMEs have lacked this kind of expertise in-house, but through growing partner networks that offer service models via the cloud, they are now able to access expert consultancy and infrastructure without paying the premium price. PROTECTION MEASURES FOR SMEs SME leaders need to nurture creativity and a degree of risk taking in order to get the best from their workforce, while at the same time recognising that attacks will happen and to have a contingency plan for this. Inevitably, this puts a lot of pressure on IT to take an adaptive trust approach to device connectivity and data security. It starts with identifying individual worker preferences in order to build secure infrastructures around them. Employee training comes next, and

“Channel partners need to realise that if they are to capitalise on business opportunities in the increasingly growing SME space, they need to develop strong security capabilities in terms of both product portfolio and technical capabilities to act as consultants as well as carry out implementations.” this should not only include a needsassessment by employee type, but should also educate employees on why such actions are important and how they can assist in improving company security. There must be a mechanism for employees to provide feedback to IT and a service level agreement should be in place for how to respond to employee input and requests. Often IT is able to improve the effectiveness of workflows and policies simply by listening to employee feedback. How SMEs adapt to the preferred behaviours of their workforce may be the make or break for long term growth. Embracing the need for openness, innovation, collaboration and some degree of risk is good – but only when an organisation can understand and plan for the security risks these behaviours bring with them. PARTNERS’ PERSPECTIVE From a channel point of view, the SME segment is a very lucrative one. The sales cycles are comparatively

shorter and more predictable. Channel partners need to realise that if they are to capitalise on business opportunities in the increasingly growing SME space, they need to develop strong security capabilities in terms of both product portfolio and technical capabilities to act as consultants as well as carry out implementations. They also need to create specific SME focused teams and work very closely with vendors to address this space. Security is still one of the least crowded areas within the channel and partners who take the lead and invest in being ready to serve customer security needs will certainly be selling into a less competitive area as compared to traditional systems integration within networking or other IT fields. Specialisation is the key to success. Specialisation requires a mid to long term approach. Planning for training and certification is a core requirement of specialisation and needs to be proactively managed. If done early it becomes a natural strength of the partner organisation. // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017




Ginni Rometty, IBM

Adelle Geronimo reports from IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, where IBM executives introduced new innovations and strategies to enable IT channel partners compete and succeed in the ‘cognitive era.’


ver 1,300 IBM business partners ranging from technology alliances, resellers, systems integrators to consultants from 78 countries across the globe convened at the Chelsea Theatre, The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas for IBM’s PartnerWorld Leadership Conference. In her keynote address IBM President, Chairwoman and CEO Ginni Rometty commended the company’s business partners for their hard work and success and expressed her gratitude for their continued support to the company. “All of you are vital to IBM’s success,” she said. “More importantly, we want you to keep in mind how committed we are to helping you accelerate your business.” “The definition of success in this industry is evolving, this is probably because of the quick changes that are


happening in the IT landscape today,” said Rometty. “We know that you can feel it as much as we do.” Rometty recalled past conversations with partners over the years have been centred around business transformation. “There are multiple shifts happening within the industry on a regular basis and there will be winners and losers,” she said. Cloud, Big Data analytics, mobility and security are areas IBM calls as ‘strategic imperatives,’ which according to Rometty are key businesses for the company. “These market segments are generating $33 billion in revenue–more than 40 percent of IBM’s revenue and are producing double-digit growth,” she explained. The IBM chief also shed light on the company’s business transformation workshops that they believe are enabling channel partners enhance

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their capabilities and venture into new market opportunities. “Together we have come a long way. We have built a very strong foundation and we are going to continue modernising our offerings in these strategic segments and remain committed to helping you grow.” She then identified three areas that IBM believes will define architectural decisions in the long run: the data platform, the cognitive or AI platform, and the cloud platform. These three platforms, she said, will go a long way to determining the environment into which partners sell, and the capabilities customers need going forward. Further into the event, Marc Dupaquier, General Manager, Global Business Partners, IBM, detailed the strategic enhancements to its PartnerWorld programme, which the company believes will help IBM business partners spur

growth, customer satisfaction and revenue in the cognitive era. “In the past, channel partners have expressed concerns that our PartnerWorld channel programme had been inconsistent within business units, that it was too complex and was sending mixed signals to partners as to where we wanted them to be,” said Dupaquier, during his keynote speech. “So we’ve expanded and redesigned the PartnerWorld programme to guide business partners of all types and models in developing capabilities that are aligned with our growth strategies.” Dupaquier also underscored that one important goal of the revamped programme is to shift IBM’s channel from being product-aligned to competency aligned. Doing so, will prep partners for doing business in what the vendor calls the ‘Cognitive Era.’ The newly restructured PartnerWorld programme includes over 40 competencies to help business partners build greater expertise in high growth areas, like cloud, cognitive and security. IBM introduced four tiers of membership – Registered, Silver, Gold and Platinum – to reward and recognise partner competencies and sales success. As partners advance to the next level, they’ll receive additional benefits. According to Dupaquier, the

Marc Dupaquier, IBM

“We’ve expanded and redesigned the PartnerWorld programme to guide business partners of all types and models in developing capabilities that are aligned with our growth strategies.”

competency-based programme has seen incredible momentum since its launch at the beginning of the year, with thousands of business partners embracing the simplified and integrated approach to growth, recognition and benefits. “We have also launched a new and simplified partner contract,” he said. “You sign a contract at a certain price point, then you can start selling IBM products. This new contract is all about simplification. In addition, we have also reduced the partner onboarding process from seven weeks to between one and three days, depending on the country. Currently, we are trying to come up with ways as to how we can further reduce that time to just a few hours.” The tech giant also announced that in the second quarter of the year, they will begin offering competency in information, risk and protection to protect

Jamie Mendez, Director, Channel Marketing, IBM PartnerWorld “IBM PartnerWorld is a global programme, however, we do recognise that the Middle East market is in many ways different from North America. For one, there are countries in this region that offer more business opportunities than others. We also understood that the way of doing business and the overall IT environment in the different parts of the Middle East vary from one another. Therefore, we had to customise our partner programme based on market opportunities and capabilities in each country. We have done this by segmenting the region into small, medium and large group countries. Accordingly, the competencies and revenue targets required to reach a tier level for partners in these three segments vary.”

customers’ critical information. For IBM Cloud, the company will launch two new competencies: one in Cloud Video to help customers stream, capture, manage and deliver video, and another in high speed transfer to bring breakthrough cost savings and efficiency gains to customers who need to move large volumes of data over public and private IP networks. Watson Internet of Things will offer ‘Continuous Engineering’ to help with engineering innovative products and systems in the face of complexity. The company will also add a new competency in IBM Global Financing to help partners mainstream financing as a core capability they can use to differentiate themselves. The event also saw the company make major announcements including its partnership with VMware, which is aimed at accelerating hybrid cloud adoption by providing its channel partners with an easy way to sell VMware Cloud Foundation and other VMware-based cloud services. Through the agreement, IBM Business Partners can now provide a one-stop shop for clients looking to migrate their onpremises VMware platforms to the cloud by providing a portfolio of lifecycle services including planning, architecture, migration and end-to-end management. Lastly, IBM unveiled the PartnerWorld Advisor, a new voice and text activated Watson-based support tool on the PartnerWorld portal. “Advisor was designed to help partners quickly find information related to the PartnerWorld programme structure, competencies, programme levels, incentives contracts and more,” explained Dupaquier. // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017




SOLUTIONS PLAY Karl Meulema, Senior Vice President Global Channels and Ramzi Itani, Regional Channel Sales Director, META, Riverbed Technology, talks about why it is important for partners to become solutions-centric to drive businesses.


ver the last couple of years, regional resellers have been gradually moving towards solutions and value-added selling, rather than only focusing on a single product. When offering a solution to customers, resellers are viewed as consultants who are thinking of the overall business enhancement. This is what Riverbed Technology is urging its partners to become and emphasise on. Traditionally, the vendor has been a product company but in the last couple of years it has begun the move towards solutions, says Karl Meulema, the company’s Senior Vice President Global Channels. “This meant even our interaction with channel partners needed to be different,” he says. “Because now our partner expectations have changed and also we need to ensure we are relevant with the channel. In the last two and half years, we have narrowed down the number of partners we are working with. Our aim was to have


few focused partners who are loyal to us in terms of building the business around us. This also helps us to be crisp and clear on what we can expect from each other.” Riverbed’s expectations from its partners are straightforward – build a portfolio of partners who can cover them in all the areas. The important focus areas include traditional business, network and application performance management, solutions around SteelFusion and support its SD-WAN business. He adds, “We understand that not all partners want to do that. Therefore, the first thing we do is assess partners and understand their focus areas. Once we do that, we then have a better idea of how well we are covered in which all areas. We can also then zero in on what kind of investments need to be done on which partners.” Ramzi Itani, Regional Channel Sales Director, META, Riverbed Technology, says, “The decision to

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work with fewer number of partners is because we need to become more relevant. We have decided to work with some large as well as boutique partners who know the business thoroughly.” The vendor has reduced its number of partners from 175 in 2015 to 101 over the last 24 months. Meulema says although it is a dramatic reduction, it doesn’t mean the company works with only 101 partners. “But these 101 partners bring us 80 percent of our business. This is where we will spend most of our energy on. At the same time, we are open to inviting new partners if there is a business plan to help us understand how they can become one of those top 100 partners.” Riverbed assesses partners in four key areas – commitment, capability, capacity and competition. Under each, the company poses couple of questions to help judge if partners across its markets globally are on the same page as the vendor.

Itani says, “We have a programme to make sure partners can meet all the key areas. The more they invest in us, the more they remain committed and this is what grows the business.” Meulema says there are five guiding principles to the company’s programme – consistency, predictability, cross product and services, value-base and simplicity. “We are trying to ensure the programme is straightforward and at the same time is in line with partners’ expectations,” he adds. Like most organisation, Riverbed also has a registration programme in place where partners register a deal and are eligible for discounts. Moreover, all partners receive one percent on everything that is sold beyond WAN optimisation. “This is because we want to make sure our partners are developing the business and focusing beyond performance and WAN optimisation. We want to see them build solutions with more than one product and pay attention to other technologies as well.” Over and above that, the company has two major partner programmes called joint

Ramzi Itani, Riverbed Technology

Karl Meulema, Riverbed Technology

“We only end up sharing this kind of information when there is an opportunity on the table. If we sit together to share that knowledge and build a plan on how together, with partners’ skills and our technology, can enhance more productivity for that customer, it would drive business outcomes.”

engagement and embedded solutions. While the vendor has key insights on technology and partners have on customer behaviour, seldom do we see them share this information and act based on it. Meulema says, “We only end up sharing this kind of information when there is an opportunity on the table. If we sit together to share that knowledge and build a plan on how together, with partners’ skills and our technology, can enhance more productivity for that customer, it would drive business outcomes.”

“The decision to work with fewer number of partners is because we need to become more relevant. We have decided to work with some large as well as boutique partners who know the business thoroughly.”

How will partners benefit? They will get extra five percent discount on all the opportunities that are a result of this. The embedded solutions programme encourages partners to think of the company’s technology as a part of a larger solution. “If you look at our technology, in many cases, it is not an endto-end solution. We are usually a component of a larger solution. If partners think in solutions and make Riverbed a component in solutions, every sales person will be focused on our offerings. “The second benefit to partners is that it helps them think more in creating solutions. When partners build embedded solutions, every time they sell that offering, we give them an extra discount and rebate, which is really aimed at building new embedded solutions, training their people, driving marketing campaigns and the like,” Meulema says. With these two programmes, the company is aiming to change the direction it has with its resellers while also enhancing partners’ offerings. // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017



COMPANY: Spectrami TYPE: Distributor YEAR OF START-UP: 2011 MANAGING DIRECTOR: Anand Choudha FINANCIAL YEAR: April – March TOP VENDORS: LogRhythm, Tenable Network Security, Fidelis Security, A10 Networks, Blackberry and Anomali GEOGRAPHICAL PRESENCE: UAE, KSA, Oman, Kuwait and UK


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Anand Choudha, Founder and Managing Director of the specialised security distributor, Spectrami, gives us the lowdown of how he plans to grow the business to $100 million in the span of next three years.

he regional distribution space has witnessed several lows and highs over the last decade resulting in a number of players entering and exiting the market. Many have come with claims of ambitious growth and only a few have been able to survive the complex nuances of the IT landscape. With consistent growth year-onyear, the security-focused value-added distributor, Spectrami has been able to thrive in a market that is dominated by established players. The six-yearold company’s Founder and Managing Director, Anand Choudha, attributes its

success to bringing niche technologies to market. Having closed the year at $20 million in 2015, he is on a mission to grow the business to $100 million in three years, which might seem like a tall order to most, but focusing on delivering new and niche technologies is one of the reasons why Choudha is confident of hitting it. When he set up the firm in 2011, his expansion plans didn’t just limit to the GCC but the aim was to be an EMEA player eventually. “We always hear of global companies coming into the Middle East region. We aspired to be a Middle East

“We don’t owe anyone anything and, therefore, are in the best spot possible. And additional investments from KBBO Group have only made us even stronger financially. This should also give our partner community confidence in our intentions to stay and grow in this market.”

company venturing into the Europe market. But first we had to achieve certain milestones,” he says. Once the distributor had a strong footprint in GCC countries such as UAE, KSA, Oman and Kuwait, Choudha decided to make the Europe dream happen. Consequently, it was important to strengthen itself financially, he says. “Abu Dhabi-based KBBO Group, a leading investment company with a diverse portfolio of projects, invested in Spectrami last year and now have a sizable equity. With their support and funding, we can move across the European market and have created a strategy of being an EMEA player over the next two to three years. We are looking to grow the business five fold over this time period.” The KBBO Group backing is the second reason why Choudha is certain that the goal of $100 million in three years is attainable. He believes this will only happen if there is a combination of both organic and inorganic growth. Organically, a business can grow around 20 to 40 percent year-on-year. “Our plan is to enter new geographies through the acquisition // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017



model, which constitutes the inorganic growth aspect. Last year, we set up business in UK on our own, which will be the headquarters for our Northern Europe operations. We are now in the process of finalising an acquisition in Germany and will have footprint in Amsterdam soon.” Next year, we will see the distributor entering countries across Nordic, Eastern Europe and South Africa. The company is looking at achieving approximately $45 million in the next financial year and subsequently the final figure. “The third reason and perhaps the most important one as to why we are certain we can achieve this is the fact that Spectrami is a self-funded company without any debts or outstanding liabilities from banks,” he says. The biggest problem the industry faces today, is players doing business on borrowed funds, then when a situation arises where banks reduce their facilities or squeeze their liquidity they are compelled to exit the market. “We don’t owe anyone anything and, therefore, are in the best spot possible,” he explains. “And additional investments from KBBO Group have only made us even stronger financially. This should also give our partner community confidence in our intentions to stay and grow in this market.” According to Choudha, the firm’s Vendor Extension Model (VEM) strategy has enabled it to be a success with key brands. “We had started off by betting on new vendors and developed a market for future technologies at that time such as SIEM, APT, vulnerability management and MDM,” he adds. “But it was important to consciously differ ourselves from other value-added distributors. This is why we introduced VEM to this region. “When bringing in new technologies, we need to go beyond the role of valueadded distributors, we need to become an extension of the vendor themselves.”


“Our objective is to always empower and enable the channel for the long run. We want our partners to be profitable. When partners work with us, they can be certain of higher margins compared to our competition.” The distributor has a direct touch model with end-users from an engagement perspective, creating a market for the niche technologies. Usually, partners have inhibitions when it comes to new technologies because they are not aware if there is a market for it, if the technology will work in the customer environment and are not aware of the support system it comes with. He says, “We create the customer engagement model to ensure we have identified the opportunities for our channel partners. This way, partner engagement goes to the next level. When they see the opportunity, they are excited to be a part of it and want to be onboard.”

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While introducing new technologies, it is necessary to have a bit of hand-holding, says Choudha. “Being the representatives of the vendors in the region, it is paramount for us to have pre-sales resources, PoCs and an adept post-sales team for implementations, because this is what a vendor would have as well – sales and channel approach along with technical resources located on ground.” Once the products become mature and successful in the market, the distributor takes a back seat and hands it over to its partner ecosystem to deliver the solutions completely. “We rather have a deep engagement model with end-users when the vendor is new to the territory. We are proud to have been able to identify the right set of future technologies and see these vendors increase their sales force and invest into the region. We believe the vendor extension model which was unique, has helped us onboard new technology vendors.” Choudha says partners should opt to work with Spectrami because they can be assured of not becoming transactional entities. “We engage with customers only for new products. Our objective is to always empower and enable the channel for the long run. We want our partners to be profitable. When partners work with us, they can be certain of higher margins compared to our competition. “We urge our partners to invest on services so that they don’t just remain transactional entities and can make better margins. Most of our resellers are not transactional any more for the mature products we have brought into the market. We will continue supporting our channel partners with best possible investments in enabling them through training, skills and incentive programmes,” he adds. The distributor is expecting to clock in around 30 percent growth for this year.


INGRAM MICRO CLOUD MARKETPLACE Rahul Bhavsar, Director, Cloud Sales, META, Ingram Micro, shares how the firm’s Cloud Marketplace stands out from competition.


ngram Micro Cloud Marketplace is the key driver for Ingram’s cloud strategy worldwide. Today in META region, our Cloud Marketplace covers nine countries, which include UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. This provides us with a strong coverage in the Middle East and we are working to expand the marketplace to Egypt and Morocco over the next few weeks. Our marketplace offers five different products such as Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft EMS, Dropbox for Business and BitTitan (Migration and Deployment Tools). Soon, we will also be adding Acronis Cloud, which will provide Ingram’s cloud partners a strong portfolio to go to the customers and offer a range of cloud solutions via marketplace. Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace provides a full automated experience to the reseller right from ordering, provisioning, management and billing. Our key differentiators are the following: • We have multiple vendor and products portfolio – as of today, comparing with Crayon and Redington, we have more products on the Marketplace such as: – Office 365 – EMS

– Convert to CSP – Azure – BitTitan (Exclusive to Ingram - META – Dropbox for Business (Exclusive to Ingram) – Acronis Cloud (17th March, 2017) • Hard Bundles are only available on our marketplace – Office + BitTitan – Office + Acronis (17th March, 2017) – Azure + Acronis (17th March, 2017) • Yearly Options – We have yearly SKU for Office 365 and Dropbox, which our competition lacks. • Roadmap for Q2 and Q3 – Kaspersky – Dynamics 365 – Symantec • Consolidated Billing – This is a unique feature of our marketplace, which makes our resellers’ life easy by having one transaction per month so that they can also do the same for their customers and focus on selling the whole month. • Cloud Store – This is for UAE resellers only and it should be available by Q2. • Odin Essentials – This is an easy to deploy automated system for All T1 CSP resellers – For Ingram’s resellers, we are

launching Odin essentials version, which will be available in Q3 during the WPC. • Support – We have 150 Support Engineers support 24x7 to all the resellers worldwide, which competition cannot compare. • Programmes – We have programmes to support and help our resellers to grow in their cloud business PMP: Partner marketing Programmes and Microsoft have invested in this and we will be going live with over 100 Resellers across META including Gulf Reseller by 15th April Azure Programme: There is a new team across EMEA of 16 people and we have one Technical head who will be in Dubai to support META region for bringing focus on Azure to training resellers and our presales team. Focus 50 Programme: This is a programme to pick the top 50 partners in each sub and across the META to give them additional benefits to create a win-win situation for both Ingram and its partners to drive cloud business. In addition to the launch of the Cloud Marketplace, Ingram leads worldwide and in the region with its unique initiative of organising a large-scale event, which is Cloud Summit. The Cloud Summit brings all the key Cloud Vendors, Cloud Resellers and Ingram Cloud Leaders in the same place to share the cloud vision, best practices and technology updates. Ingram Micro has been organising the summits for the last seven years and 2017 will mark the eighth year. In 2017, we are having two Cloud Summits, one is in April in US, which is a worldwide summit and the second one is META Summit, which will take place in September this year. The US summit is expected to have over 1800 attendees and the META Summit will be having over 200 plus attendees. // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017





Industry experts share strategies for resellers to deliver networking solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises, which accounts for the majority of the regional businesses.


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mall and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) constitute the majority of the Middle East economic landscape. A recent study done by BLOOVO Middle East revealed that 90 percent of the total registered companies in MENA are in fact SMEs. And in UAE alone, more than 350,000 SMEs account for over 94 percent of the companies operating in the country. And these small and mediumsized firms are realising the importance of having a robust networking infrastructure in place to be able to meet customers’ evolving demands. Manoj P K, Senior Business Unit Manager, Gulf, Aptec- An Ingram Micro Company, says that small and midsize business customers are increasingly accepting and implementing new technologies such as mobility, network and cloud solutions in order to increase productivity and to help compete cost-effectively in a mobile work environment, with a minimum capital investment. “As the technology is changing rapidly, those who stay up-todate are the ones who will emerge as winners. Partners should be equipped and keep an open mind to embrace and find opportunities from both, a technology and a business perspective,” he says. “Some trends we are seeing with SMEs include the fact that they are betting their trust on everything wireless, from accessing the Internet to streaming data from the cloud, they require simple management tools to deploy and administer, and robust networking hardware that support growing bandwidth needs.”

Sakkeer Hussain, D-Link Middle East and Africa

“Understanding each company’s requirements and developing domain expertise will lead to partners offering the right solutions that help small and medium-sized businesses to thrive and increase productivity.”

SMEs face a number of challenges when it comes to their networks and this is where channel partners can stand out through customised offerings. According to Bruce Zhou, CEO, AXILSPOT, the issues SME customers usually face include high bandwidth, high-density connection needs, interferences, user authentication and recognition of network application, all of which severely affect network efficiency. “Also, cost-effective project installation and deployment are undoubtedly required to reduce considerable technological expenses. To tackle these problems, SMEs notably require more comprehensive and tailormade networking solutions that would ultimately increase enterprise efficiency,” he adds. In order to offer customised solutions, reseller partners need to first have the knowledge about the specific industry features that define the networking solutions, says Zhou.

“They need to know what the project entails in detail, price expectations, budgets, ROI, requirements for technical support and after-sales service and also their own IT maintenance capability.” Manoj adds that the complexity of enterprise networks still remains one of the major challenges for most IT organisations. He says, “Partners need to be attentive to new networking solutions that better address the changing needs of applications to solutions. Customers look for robust approach that reduces the total cost of operating networks, when added applications on a daily basis are dependent on network services. “Often partners find themselves in a difficult situation when they have to explain to their customers that the technology that was sold to them just a few months ago was not the latest and they have to propose a new one.” It is paramount for partners to know their solutions thoroughly. They // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017



Zacky Vaz, Fortinet

“Due to lack of IT resources and financial challenges, SMEs depend on their channel partners to provide end-toend solutions that meet their requirements and budgets, yet provide high levels of security.”

should be in a position to counsel customers on best practices and how that can be customised based on individual business needs. Khalid Khan, Mid-market Director, Avaya MEA, says, “When partners approach SME customers, it is important to note that their offering should be plug-and-play, affordable and support mobility and other highend applications. SMEs typically have a smaller number of staff who often are required to multi-task. This is why it is important to ensure the offerings are apt for a mobile environment.” Manoj adds, “Most IT organisations have started to realise the fact that networking as a whole is becoming software-defined. As most of the existing network deployments are of previous generations, the challenge lies in the implementation of nextgeneration networking technologies. We recommend, enable and train our channel partners to position networking solutions to suit customers’ economic as well performance demands.”


Agreeing, Sakkeer Hussain, Director, Sales and Marketing, D-Link Middle East and Africa, says, although the SME sector offers a huge opportunity to partners, it is vital not to have a generalist approach when talking to customers. He says, “Understanding each company’s requirements and developing domain expertise will lead to partners offering the right solutions that help small and medium-sized businesses to thrive and increase productivity.” Fortinet’s Regional Channel Manager, Zacky Vaz, says, security is increasingly becoming another big priority for SMEs. He says, “Due to lack of IT resources and financial challenges, SMEs depend on their channel partners to provide end-toend solutions that meet their requirements and budgets, yet provide high levels of security.” The biggest challenge for partners when talking to SME customers is the fact that they are priceconscious.

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Hussain says, “Affordability tops the priority list for any SME business. Partners have to put together an offering that matches their requirements.” “Partners should keep in mind that SMEs have limited budgets, and look to invest strategically in solutions that will deliver more for less. Also, it is important to note that most of these companies lack dedicated IT resources and security expertise. They are looking for solutions that are easy to manage and are competitively priced. Also, it is crucial to offer after-sales support because this is the value they sought from their channel partners,” says Vaz. Manoj says that building effective SME-focused channel account managers in organisations with adequate coverage remains one of the hardest business development tasks for vendors, VADs and for channel partners. He adds, “Create your new GTM with a clear definition to include a clear understanding of desired activities from all involved with a

90% of the total registered companies in MENA are SMEs

Source: BLOOVO Middle East

Bruce Zhou, AXILSPOT

“Cost-effective project installation and deployment are undoubtedly required to reduce considerable technological expenses. To tackle these problems, SMEs notably require more comprehensive and tailor-made networking solutions that would ultimately increase enterprise efficiency.”

clear strategy to support your goals. Be flexible, bold, and agile and be at the centre, before competitions capture the customer mindshare.” He believes partners who use content marketing and social media platform to drive awareness with useful information by understanding buying patterns and requirements will be able to differentiate from competition. While knowing the industry and customers’ businesses are important factors, identifying your own strengths are even more crucial to succeed, adds Hussain.

Khalid Khan, Avaya MEA

He says, “To serve any customer, big or small, a partner should understand and know their key strengths and expertise. Partners that develop mastery skills in the offerings they take to market are more likely to succeed than those resellers that depend on the brand name or the vendor’s reputation to win new business.” Vendors and distributors play a huge role in enabling partners to stay updated and garner specific skillset to deploy these solutions efficiently. Khan from Avaya says, “We have programmes such as iConnect Lite, which specifically caters to the

“When partners approach SME customers, it is important to note that their offering should be plug-and-play, affordable and support mobility and other high-end applications.”

SME-focused resellers. Partners receive end-to-end training on our solutions meant for SMEs including networking, pre- and post-sales. We are also enabling partners to deploy networking video conferencing and voice communication solutions.” With 90 percent of regional companies being SMEs, partners have a tremendous opportunity to optimise and scale-up, provided they have the right skills and market knowledge. “As SMEs increasingly adopt cloud-based technologies, we will see a shift happening in the market. Today many customers are not able to leverage the benefits of higher-end applications because either they are too complex to deploy and manage or is too expensive to acquire. Cloud-based technologies will eliminate these concerns as the consumption model picks up,” adds Khan. Partners should keep an eye out on market developments and go the extra mile to offer comprehensive solutions to SME customers. // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017




VALUE Reseller ME examines how partners can enhance their offering to customers in the banking and finance vertical by ensuring genuine value-add.


MARCH 2017 // Reseller Middle East //

igital transformation is increasingly becoming the biggest priority for businesses across all sectors and this shift is being led by end-user demands. Organisations in the banking and finance vertical also find themselves amid this evolution to offer the millennial generation of end-users, services that are easily available, at any point in time and on any device. “Banks are continuously investing in digital banking as part of their key strategy to respond to enduser demand and meet customer expectations. Without a doubt, banks have to rethink their role and put customers at the heart of their strategy if they want to stay ahead of competition,” says Marwan Elnakat, Digital Banking Solutions Director, Middle East and Africa, Gemalto. “Therefore, the biggest challenge for resellers today is to establish ways to support banks in effective manners so they can progress their IT infrastructure to cope with the everchanging needs of customers.”

Gopi Krishnan, Al Hilal Bank

Keeping this mind, it is important for channel partners to understand that banks are looking for reliable solution partners who can guide them through this journey. According to Elnakat, three technology areas where resellers must provide support to banks include mobility, cloud and data analytics. He adds, “With more and more banking services available on mobile, solution partners need to provide banks with enhanced secure mobile banking and payment solutions through strong authentication, manage digital identities and protect their data at the same time.” And as banks progressively adopt hosted services, it is up to partners to efficiently deploy cloud-based technologies and offer pre- and postsales support. Analytics play a big role in creating solutions and services best suited to customer preferences and requirements. Apart from the move to digitalisation, Philippe de Mazieres, General Manager, Gulf Software

“The reason why we go to a reseller partner is primarily because of the fact that they can offer us local support and expertise among other benefits.”

Distribution, says, there are several key challenges that banks and financial services firms face in the post-recovery era that resellers need to focus on. He adds, “From a compliance perspective, the regulatory landscape for banks has never been more challenging. The requirements are multiplying and the scrutiny is increasing, from DFAST to CCAR to Basel II. Additionally, the enhanced threat from cybercrime and new forms of fraud makes for an extremely challenging management environment at a bank’s core systems.” He further says that there are key themes that the company has noticed emerging with organisations in this vertical. “Firstly, all of them are looking to build a customer-focused enterprise. The second theme revolves around risk and compliance that may seem at times like the biggest albatross around the neck of an established firm. However, leveraging historical data and applying discipline to a consolidated approach to risk and compliance can create new advantages that will produce a leaner, more efficient business.” Mazieres then highlights the third theme being the combination of modernisation and innovative business models. “We recommend that our partners build their own transformation plan based on client needs and the skills and strategy of each partner company,” he adds. Alaa Elshimy, Managing Director and Vice President, Enterprise Business, Huawei Middle East, believes the key to understanding the banking and financial services sector is education. // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017



“Resellers need to dedicate resources to the sector and equip their dedicated teams with training and knowledge so that they are up to date with the trends and challenges in the industry. A dedicated team could be a key differentiator in their offering to end-users. “Working closely with vendors, and tapping on their resources and knowledge banks would also help resellers to better understand the industry. Partners could also adopt a specialised go-to-market strategy that is tailored especially for decisionmakers in the banking and financial services sector,” he adds. Rami Bachir, Channel Sales Manager, Information Management Division, Middle East, Kodak Alaris, says, “Resellers need to have more industry-focused expertise, which can enhance the implementation process. They need to be able to understand the full scope of their requirement from an IT as well as a business perspective. They need to be consultants and only if they have a good understanding of the banking and finance industry, will they be able to provide the best solutions.” But what is a banking organisation’s expectations from a reseller partner?

Philippe de Mazieres, Gulf Software Distribution


Marwan Elnakat, Gemalto

“The biggest challenge for resellers today is to establish ways to support banks in effective manners so they can progress their IT infrastructure to cope with the ever-changing needs of customers.”

Agreeing with Bachir, Gopi Krishnan, Chief Information Officer, Al Hilal Bank, adds, “The primary reason why we go to a reseller partner is the fact that they can offer us local support and expertise among other benefits. When we select a reseller partner, one of the key criteria that we look at is how much expertise they have in a specific technology. We check how many previous engagements they have had in the past for the particular technology we are discussing.” According to Krishnan, another

“We recommend that our partners build their own transformation plan based on client needs and the skills and strategy of each partner company.”

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key point is finding out the kind of contract that exists between the reseller and the vendor in terms of supporting a customer. He adds, “We always look for resellers who can add genuine value in supporting us. Partners should always ensure that they are delivering what they have promised at the beginning of a project.” Krishnan also advises partners to have an ecosystem of solutions in their portfolio to stand out from competition. Niranj Sangal, Group CEO, OMA Emirates, says, “While products and solutions are available, it is up to us as a solution provider to showcase the intrinsic value that they are able to bring to merchants. With strong proof of concept, we have been able to introduce and begin sales of new payment options.” Once partners understand the challenges banks are facing today, they will be in a better position to offer customised solutions with value-added services.


THEME: VINTAGE CIRCUS In its eighth edition, Reseller Middle East Partner Excellence Awards continue to recognise the commitment and achievements of the industry players in the regional channel ecosystem. Bringing together the industry’s best from across the Gulf, the Awards is considered to be the most prestigious honour for those who have reached the pinnacle of the channel business in the Middle East.

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Alaa Elshimy, Managing Director and Vice President, Huawei Enterprise, takes us through the company’s new ‘SMB Seed partner programme’, the firm’s first step into focusing on the SMB business in the region.

Today, the biggest challenge that resellers face in the market is leading business-driven infrastructure discussions. SMBfocused partners are only talking about infrastructure business, which is why they need to transform,” says Alaa Elshimy, Managing Director and Vice President, Huawei Enterprise. Having identified this opportunity in the SMB segment, Huawei Enterprise held an event, ‘Seed to Suceed’, last month to inform partners about the ‘SMB Seed partner programme’, which is aimed at enabling them to have comprehensive ICT discussions with their customers. According to Elshimy, regional SMB resellers need to understand the importance of offering their customers end-to-end solutions.

“Customers are no longer only talking about buying desktops or servers, they are seeking solutions that can have an impact on their overall business. Our aim is to enable and empower resellers to go to the next phase of transforming into an ICT solutions provider.” With this programme, the company has added the SMB market into its objectives for the year and have increased its budget to continue training, enabling and developing partners. He adds, “The customer is now focusing on spending on targeted business objectives, and not just infrastructure. Some customers are able to cope with the change and some don’t. Here is where our partners will play an important role.” At the event, the company

“Today, the biggest challenge that resellers face in the market is leading business-driven infrastructure discussions. SMB-focused partners are only talking about infrastructure business, which is why they need to transform.” 40

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onboarded more than 50 new SMBfocused partners, from the 200 plus resellers in attendance. According to the MD, the first step is to train and certify partners to enable them to talk the language of digital transformation. “They need to be trained on the new cloud era and how Internet of Things is driving business processes in the SMB segment. The access to training and educational resources is one of the advantages of partnering with us in this programme,” he says. The second benefit is that the company is offering partners a portfolio of products and solutions that will increase their addressable market. “By training them to offer comprehensive solutions, we are increasing their business opportunities in the market. But we also understand that not everyone will want to make this transformation. This is why we will also sit down and understand their focus areas so we can help them prepare for the future.” The programme also allows a reseller who has developed his own software or is a partner for another vendor, to integrate the products into the overall solution offered to customers. Elshimy says, “We have our open lab where partners can come to test

their product and discuss ideas that they want to innovate and develop. This also means even other partners in the ecosystem will be selling our offering. The idea behind this is that everyone who wants to innovate can become a component of a bigger ecosystem where there is mutual support and simultaneously a better solution is provided to the customer and market. “There is mutual commitment from us to help them grow the business. We are targeting to have around 100 partners in this segment. Till date, we have signed up around 55 partners, so the door is still open. We have a clear objective to help SMB players to transform in the market by becoming Huawei partners,” he adds. But leading business-driven infrastructure discussions also

“They need to be trained on the new cloud era and how Internet of Things is driving business processes in the SMB segment. The access to training and educational resources is one of the advantages of partnering with us.” means partners have to identify their strengths and core focus. “We are hoping to have joint business planning with our partners where we can identify the demand in key verticals to leverage our partners’ strengths in those areas.” Low margins are one of the biggest challenges regional partners face

today and according to Elshimy, partners can be assured of doubledigit margins with this programme. “When partners sell solutions and services around it, they will definitely make better margins. We have also ensured there is a strong rebate structure within this programme,” he adds. // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017






We got our hands on the first handset to feature Google’s augmented reality (AR) software Tango and it was ‘phabulous.’ irst things first, the Phab 2 Pro is a ‘huge’ device. It has a 6.4-inch IPS LCD touchscreen display, which is coated in Gorilla Glass and is quite hefty at 259 grams. With its size, it’s fitting to say that using the device with one hand is nearly impossible. Nevertheless, its size does help show off its design. The phone sports a slick matte aluminium finish and shiny diamond-cut edging, which adds a premium touch to its look. It has a fingerprint sensor at the back, which is in our opinion, awkwardly placed considering the size of the device. The phablet is also equipped with powerful speakers and – wait for it – a headphone jack. Under the hood, it runs on Android Marshmallow and a customised version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 652 processor with 4GB of RAM. While apt, the performance doesn’t quite match Qualcomm’s latest processor, the Snapdragon 821. It also has a 64GB built-in memory that’s expandable up to 128GB via a microSD. With a big 4,050mAh battery, you’d expect the device to run for days but unfortunately, it doesn’t. It’ll probably last you up to 12-hours of continuous web browsing, multimedia and playing with Tango apps. The Quickcharge is also quite disappointing as it took more than an hour of recharging before it reached 100 percent of power. The cameras are where things get interesting – it doesn’t have just one or two, it has four cameras! Phab 2 Pro has three cameras on


the rear and an 8MP selfie camera on the front. The device’s main shutter is a 16MP RGB cam, it also has a wideangle fisheye camera and another camera with an infrared emitter, which are all part of the Google Tango experience of the phone. Now for the crème dela crème of Phab 2 Pro’s features, Google Tango. Tango is all about AR, it inserts virtual objects into the realworld environment captured the smartphone’s lens. The phablet is equipped with an accelerometer, a gyroscope and rear-facing sensors that work in tandem to gather visual information on the specific environment, like where the walls are, as well the position of the

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Price: AED 2,299

phone within that space. The software is both useful and entertaining. It lets users utilise apps like iStaging, which is useful for interior design; Signal Mapper, which lets you map out areas of a certain space based on WiFi signals; then there are apps like the Raise and Hot Wheels that lets you have a virtual pet and race cars. However, the Tango is far from perfect, after all, its implementation is still in its early stages. It’s still glitchy and some apps take time to load and even crash. All in all, if you are a tech aficionado who want to have a smartphone with a big display and are keen to experience cool software like Tango, Phab 2 Pro may just be the device for you.



RIVERBED ENHANCES SD-WAN OFFERINGS Riverbed has announced availability of a new line of SteelHead SD models, which combines SteelConnect and WAN optimisation into a streamlined single-device solution, providing networkagility and one-click connectivity into Microsoft Azure and AWS for superior app and cloud performance. According to the company, the new SteelConnect SDI-5030 Data Center Gateway Appliances simplify the deployment of SD-WAN for large-scale global networks. SteelConnect benefits from integration with the battle-tested Riverbed Interceptor appliance to nondisruptively integrate and orchestrate SD-WAN and WAN Optimisation services into data centre networks, with elastic scale and high-availability to support application delivery across thousands of remote locations.

TOSHIBA UNVEILS NEW STORAGE OFFERINGS Riverbed also highlighted that the SteelConnect and SteelHead WAN optimisation work together to exchange application identification and classification information to ensure an end-to-end application-centric solution across the network and into the cloud. The new line of SteelHead SD models (570-SD, 770-SD and 3070-SD) seamlessly integrates SDWAN and WAN optimisation services into a streamlined single-device offering. SteelConnect, initially launched as an early access offering in April 2016 unifies deployment and orchestration of hybrid WANs, branch networks, and cloud environments, including one-click connectivity to AWS and Microsoft Azure.

AXILSPOT LAUNCHES AEC120 CEILING ACCESS POINT Axilspot has announced the availability of its AEC120 Smart Antenna Ceiling Access Point in the Middle East and Africa to help businesses manage their growing workloads with a secure and reliable network and Internet connectivity. The AEC120 ceiling access point, according to the vendor, has the inbuilt and patented Rscan multibeam smart-selection antenna system. Nick Huang, Regional Sales Manager, Axilspot, said, “The AEC120 ceiling access point is an innovative enterprise wireless networking product that provides a perfect solution for high user density and high workload congestion areas. These include restaurants, meeting rooms, exhibition halls, specialty leisure clubs, hospitals, campuses, department stores, offices, waiting halls, terminal buildings and among others.”

He also highlighted that Axilspot has a good understanding of the requirements of its customers, the product has been built to deliver safer and reliable access experience. “Enterprise wireless networks face local challenges such as consistent data rate transfer, generation of signal blind spots, local interference, and high density workload pressures. These requirements have been built into the AEC120 ceiling access point, through the use of Axilspot’s patented RScan multibeam smart-selection antenna system. The access point supports an amazing connectivity speed of 1,000+ Mbps using the 11ac dual band,” said Huang.

Toshiba Gulf has launched its latest innovations in storage solutions, debuting three new products in the market, which include EyeFi, Canvio and TransJet. The ‘Canvio for Smartphone’ is a portable storage device for backing up and charging Android phones in a single operation. The device backs up and charges a connected phone in one single user operation, saving important personal data such as photos, videos, music, documents, and contacts. Backups are automatically created each time the smartphone connects without the need for user intervention and after activating this function in the intuitive Android app. For PC users, the Canvio for smartphone can also be used as a conventional external hard drive, backing up data via USB Type-A and USB Type-C interfaces. Finally, it can be shared by several devices, enabling multiple users to benefit from data backup and data sharing. The Canvio for smartphone comes in a circular white casing and has a storage capacity of 500 GB. The device is supplied with an AC adapter, a USB 2.0 Micro-B cable, a USB 2.0 Type-C cable and a USB Micro-B – Type-A adapter. // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017




MESUIT RUNS ANDROID ON YOUR IPHONE Dubai-based e-Commerce company,, has launched Mesuit, a gadget that lets users retain the functionality of a smartphone without a screen and bridges iOS with the Android operating system. The device can convert iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, and 6s Plus into a dual sim phone and give users full access to Android along with iOS. iPhone users can slip their phones into the casing of a Mesuit phone and benefit from being able to use the free apps. says carrying a Mesuit with an iPhone is like having two phones without the extra weight. Both phones are charged simultaneously with a single charger, and Mesuit’s MTK 8 core CPU helps lower the power consumption while adding to the battery life of the phone, the firm claims.


TCL Communication has unveiled the new 4.5-inch BlackBerry KEYone, the first smartphone from BlackBerry and TCL’s licensing partnership. Throwing back to old school BlackBerry, the KEYone features a physical keyboard. The keys also serve as a touchpad, as each letter can be used as a shortcut, with a short or long keypress. “Imagine, F for Facebook or U for Uber,” said Logan Bell, Senior Product Manager, BlackBerry Mobile. The phone has a 3505 mAh battery, the “largest ever” in a BlackBerry smartphone – and a fast-charging mode TCL calls Boost, powered by Qualcomm’s QuickCharge, that puts the phone into a power-saving mode while it charges. The KEYone runs Android 7.1 (Nougat) and has a custom interface including BlackBerry Hub, which pulls

messages from email, texting and social media accounts into a single inbox. TCL and BlackBerry have tweaked the stock Android code to make it more secure, and added a special security dashboard, DTEK, which allows users to check what security permissions each app has requested. Inside, the KEYone has a SnapDragon 625 processor, an Adreno 506 graphics chip, and an X9 LTE modem from Qualcomm, an 8MP front camera and a Sony IMX378 camera sensor powering the 12 MP autofocus rear camera. Outside, it has a 4.5-inch, 1620×1080 pixel display covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 above the keyboard, and a rubberised non-slip back.

XIAOMI BRINGS LATEST SMARTPHONE OFFERINGS TO MENA REGION Xiaomi, in partnership with its authorised distribution partner TASK, has announced that it will be launching three of its smartphones in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The company has announced that Mi MIX, Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4A will be made available in March across the UAE through select retail partners. Mi MIX will be priced at AED 2,999, followed by Redmi Note 4 starting at AED 659 and Redmi 4A at AED 389. Mi MIX has a unibody construction and comes in black and white. The smartphone is scratch resistant and made of ceramics, including the back panel, the frame, and buttons. It is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor with a 6.4-inches IPS LCD edgeless display with 2040×1080

MARCH 2017 // Reseller Middle East //

FHD resolution and 362 ppi pixel density. It has a 16MP rear camera and 8MP front camera. Redmi Note 4 features a full-HD display and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, Redmi Note 4 delivers fast and seamless performance. The Redmi 4A is also powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, and comes with two SIM slots and 4G support. The device weighs just 131.5g and comes with a large 3120mAh battery with seven-days standby time, according to Xiaomi. The three smartphones ship with the latest version of Xiaomi’s Android-based user interface called MIUI 8.


NOKIA BRINGS BACK THE 3310 MOBILE PHONE HMD Global, Nokia’s parent company, has unveiled a revamped version of the iconic 3310 phone during the Mobile World Congress 2017. The redesigned 3310, according to the company, is a modernised version of the rugged candy bar handset that was made obsolete by the iPhone. While it’s not an Android phone, HMD believes that it will appeal to smartphone users as a secondary phone. The device is equipped with a 2.4-inch screen, voice and text messaging, limited Internet browsing via an Opera Mini browser, a 2MP camera, and a 22-hour battery. It also features the iconic mobile


game, Snake. It will be available in four colours – black, silver, red, and yellow. The phone packs 16MB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 32GB via a microSD card. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Nokia 3310 (2017) packs a 2MP primary camera on the rear. It runs Series 30 and is powered by a 1200mAh removable battery. It is a dual SIM (GSM) mobile that accepts microSIM. Connectivity options include Bluetooth and FM.

HP LAUNCHES NEW 2-IN-1 DETACHABLE DEVICE HP Inc. has announced a new commercial 2-in-1 detachable, the HP Pro x2 612 G2. According to the company, the new Pro x2 612 G2 is designed for today’s mobile professionals who want a stylish device that is easy to use. At the same time, they need applications that automate workflows in field services, government, healthcare, and retail verticals while delivering high productivity with the enterprise-class security and serviceability IT requires. The Pro x2 feature multiple modes ideal for commercial use, including presentation mode, inking mode for taking notes, tablet mode for data collection, and notebook mode. The Pro x2 can be configured with a choice of the latest 7th generation Intel processors, providing reliable performance to meet a

variety of end users’ needs. The device, according to HP, was built around mobile productivity, which includes WLAN and optional WWAN, with a fast-charging battery that offers up to 11 hours of battery life. The device’s magnetically attached Collaboration Keyboard features dedicated keys to directly manage voice and video conference calls. For drawing and taking notes, the HP Active Wacom Pen with App Launch combined with the extended 165-degree kickstand make it easy to present and share. The Pro x2 includes a USB-C connection for quick charging and data transfers and USB-A for accessing traditional legacy peripherals.

Huawei Consumer Business Group has launched the new P10 and P10 Plus smartphones. The additions to the P series feature new colours and finishes, and introduce new Leica front and rear cameras. The P10’s new Leica dualcamera 2.0 and P10 Plus’ Leica dual-Camera 2.0 Pro Edition, according to Huawei, will enable consumers to explore the full range of portrait photography. With a 12MP RGB sensor, a 20MP monochrome sensor and enhanced fusion algorithms, the Huawei P10 and Huawei P10 Plus deliver superior technical and artistic photography features on a smartphone. The vendor also highlighted that the devices are available in a selection of unique colours as a result of the first cross-industry partnership with Pantone Colour Institute. The devices come in eight different colours namely “greenery, dazzling blue, dazzling gold, graphite black, rose gold, white ceramic, mystic silver and prestige gold.” The P10 and P10 Plus are powered by the Kirin 960 processor and all-new EMUI 5.1. Kirin 960 is Huawei’s latest highperformance SoC chipset. With 3,200 and 3750 mAh batteries respectively, the P10 and P10 Plus support Huawei’s SuperCharge technology. // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017


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SYNOLOGY RELEASES DSM 6.1 Synology has announced the official release of DiskStation Manager (DSM) 6.1. According to the vendor, the DSM 6.1 is constantly evolving to help businesses tackle new challenges. This time, it delivers better IT efficiency with Active Directory Server, enhances performance with instant SMB serverside copy, ensures reliability with file self-healing, provides stability and security enhancements, and more. DSM 6.1 features an extended coverage of the Btrfs file system, which enables advanced data protection technologies on more Synology NAS models, including file self-healing and instant SMB server-side copy. The new manager can also transform the Synology NAS to serve as a domain controller and streamline IT maintenance by creating policies to automatically install certain software

TOSHIBA LAUNCHES FLASHAIR or system updates on all employees’ computers without having to visit each one individually. DSM 6.1 also allows users to encrypt pre-existing shared folders, including home folders, whenever needed. For higher security and convenience, users can now mount encrypted folders automatically using a physical USB flash drive without having to memorise encryption keys. The new platform, according to Synology, also offers a powerful search tool that helps users find everything including multimedia/applications on their Synology NAS and offers quick preview into file contents and metadata with just one click.

CANON LAUNCHES I-SENSYS LBP312X Canon Middle East has announced the release of the i-SENSYS LBP312x, “a small footprint, high-productivity printer for use in fast-paced work environments.” The new device, according to Canon, combines sharp, rich print output at fast speeds with high capacity paper trays, double-sided printing and versatile mobile connectivity, making it ideal for busy workgroups in small office spaces. The Canon LBP312x is a black and white printer for busy office workgroups. The device is also equipped with a print engine that’s both “compact and also highly efficient,” delivering fast A4 and A5 print at speeds of 43ppm and 65ppm respectively.

The printer has one 550-sheet paper cassette built in, and can be extended with up to three more standard cassettes of 550 sheets each. The LBP312x supports a wide range of cloud and mobile technologies, including the vendor’s Print Business app, Apple AirPrint, Mopria and Google Cloud Print. Moreover, it’s optimised for PCL and PostScript environments, and compatible with managed services, including our e-Maintenance remote service management system and uniFLOW output management.

Toshiba Gulf has recently unveiled FlashAir, a wireless SD Card that includes a wireless LAN chip which allows users to share pictures with friends or connect to smartphones and tablets to upload images to a social media platform. To view the pictures stored on the FlashAir card, simply use a standard Browser or download the free apps that’s available at the Apple App Store and Google Play. According to Toshiba, optimised for battery powered devices, the wireless function can be switched ‘on’ only when necessary, keeping the power consumption low. The vendor also introduced a new firmware for the device, which features an ‘internet pass-through’ mode that further simplifies photo sharing. Once a mobile device is connected to the FlashAir card, the Internet pass-through functionality enables it to access the Internet via a wireless access point. This removes the need for users to swap between a WiFi connection and the FlashAir card when uploading images to social media sites. // Reseller Middle East // MARCH 2017




InnJoo has unveiled its “first” Deca-Core smartphone the InnJoo 4 and 6GB smartphone InnJoo Pro2 at the Mobile World Congress. The InnJoo 4 is the company’s latest flagship model of the with 5.5-inches of full HD display on IPS screen. The new Dual-SIM, 4G LTE smartphone is powered by 2.3GHz deca-core MediaTek Helio X20 CPU and Mali-T880 GPU. The Android 6.0 device comes with 4GB RAM and packs 64GB inbuilt storage with a flexibility to expand storage up to 128GB via micro SD card. The smartphone sports a 16MP rear autofocus PDAF camera with flash and f/1.8 aperture, whereas, the 5MP front camera allows picture perfect selfie. The device is backed by a 3400mAh battery and is available in two shades – gold and black.



LENOVO LAUNCHES THE THINKPAD X1 CARBON The ThinkPad X1 Carbon, according to Lenovo, is the lightest notebook in its class at under 2.5 pounds (1.14kg), it is also the smallest, fitting a high quality 14-inch IPS display into a typical 13-inch form factor. The device is equipped with a six-row ThinkPad keyboard features an improved Microsoft Precision Touchpad (with physical buttons) and iconic TrackPoint. The device comes in classic ThinkPad black and a new silver colour. Under the hood, it is equipped with a battery that can last up to 15.5 hours per MobileMark 2014. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon X7. It has Thunderbolt 3 ports, type-A USB 3.0 ports and HDMI ports. Lenovo highlighted that ThinkPad X1 Carbon is more secure than ever with multi-factor authentication improvements such as: an enhanced biometric

authentication with the addition of an IR camera with face recognition support for Windows Hello logon; and the Match-onChip touch fingerprint sensor for added security layer. According to Lenovo, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is also the first business-class notebook to support FIDO-enabled biometric authentication for PayPal. Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX) secures users’ FIDO credentials and the Synaptics Natural ID fingerprint sensor features enterprise-level security with TLS 1.2 encryption. This hardwarelevel protection will enable users to authenticate to online FIDO-enabled services like PayPal by using a fingerprint instead of a password.

HUAWEI WATCH 2 UNVEILED Huawei, during the recently held Mobile World Congress, has announced the second-generation smartwatch collection, the Huawei Watch 2 and Watch 2 Classic. The Huawei Watch 2 is a little different to the fashion-focused firstgeneration Huawei Watch. According to the vendor, while the original was based on the design of a standard high-end watch, the Watch 2 features a sporty vibe with a metal body and vibrant, plastic wrist straps. Featuring a double chrome design on the 45mm circular watch face, the Watch 2 is a blend of high-end premium design with the durability and comfort of a fitness tracker. The device sports a VO2Max assessment, a training effect evaluation and recovery time advice feature The Watch 2 is also equipped

MARCH 2017 // Reseller Middle East //

with 4G connectivity alongside Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS support, allowing users to utilise the Watch and even make calls without needing to be near their smartphones. It also has its own built-in app store for browsing and installing apps, and even offers 2GB of built-in storage with support for downloads via Google Play Music.

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Tech talk Reseller Middle East's Online Editor Adelle Geronimo shares her views on the regional tech scene.

Adelle Geronimo, Online Editor, Technology Division

Chain reaction One of the hottest topics in the industry today is blockchain, a technology that was popularised by digital currency Bitcoin, which was launched in 2009. It has, over the last couple of years, received a huge amount of attention, especially from the financial industry. But what exactly is the hype all about? According to the World Economic Forum, blockchain could revolutionise the way financial institutions conduct business worldwide. This is because the technology can help organisations reduce time and operating costs, and make financial services more secure and transparent. Blockchain is essentially a database that can serve as a ledger for digital transactions. At the same time, it is a network where data and value can be transferred via a distributed system that runs on multiple computers in real-time. Since the information is spread across multiple computers using sophisticated cryptography, it can be viewed by all those with access


rights to the network. Once the data has been entered, the information will be incorruptible. It will stay on the network for the right parties to see. Meaning, we no longer need confirmation from our banks to know that we have paid our bills anymore, consequently, they won’t be able to claim that they haven’t received the payment. Moreover, no single machine contains all the information needed in a transaction, therefore, a hacker won’t find it so easy to extract information and value. Apart from financial services, blockchain holds great promise for improving the supply chain of many other industries including insurance, retail and trade among others. In fact, there are several companies that have already successfully implemented the technology. One example is the Australian firm Everledger, which uses a blockchain-based system to record information on transfers of ownership of physical assets like diamonds, rather than accounting transfers of digital currency.

MARCH 2017 // Reseller Middle East //

With its benefits coming into perspective and investments on it increasing, private enterprises and event governments have already taken steps to get into the blockchain bandwagon. In UAE, the Dubai government had, late last year, announced its ambitions to becoming the first 100 percent blockchainpowered entity in the world by 2020. The emirate has also launched the Dubai Future Foundation and a Global Blockchain Council that are both tasked with ensuring that this ambition comes to fruition. It will be interesting to see where this technology will take us. Nevertheless, with industry-spanning innovations like these, mainstream adoption is not something we can expect to happen overnight. We still need to figure out the nuts and bolts that will enable organisations and economies to run blockchain technologies smoothly. Meanwhile, there’s also the question of who will reap the most benefit from this technology. Is it the people who generate the data — or the people who run the networks?

Thank you! We at Trigon take pleasure in thanking our partners vendors, resellers, retailers and corporate clientele, for their faith and trust in Trigon over the years. We also take this opportunity to wish all a very prosperous and successful business year ahead.

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Reseller Middle East March 2017  

Man on a mission | How specialised security distributor Spectrami plans to hit the $100 million mark in the next three years

Reseller Middle East March 2017  

Man on a mission | How specialised security distributor Spectrami plans to hit the $100 million mark in the next three years