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ISSUE 202 // october 2013 WWW.RESELLERME.COM

PUBLICATION LICENSED BY IMPZ


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CONTENTS

ISSUE 202 // October 2013

Highlights 6

cover feature

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

analysis 24 A new dawn of security

Reseller ME’s Partner Connect event brought together channel partners and thought-leaders from the security industry to discuss the latest trends and solutions in the market.

feature 76 Taking on the network

With networking technologies evolving at a rate of knots, the channel is finding that it must adapt just as quickly in order to stay profitable.

Opinion 80 How the channel can

benefit from SDN

30

The future of the data centre is increasingly virtualised and the model is going to evolve towards more automation and more software-enabled solutions.

Interview 82 The regional vision

Reseller ME speaks with Kevin Kennedy, President and CEO, Avaya, as well as the vendor’s regional Vice President, Nidal Abou Ltaif, to find out what kinds of customers the company is targeting, and how partners can share in the success.

86 Best-kept secret

Reseller Middle East catches up with Carlo Wolf, VP of Sales, Allied Telesis, who was in Dubai recently and wanted to share insights on how the company plans to grow.

Channel Elite 2013 The annual industry survey

Hot products WD expands Red line with 2.5-inch SATA hard drive

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Sony’s Alpha 3000 enables professional quality

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editorial Publisher Dominic De Sousa Group COO Nadeem Hood

Editorial Group Editor Jeevan Thankappan jeevan.thankappan@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 4409109

Honey, I shrunk the market

Assistant Editor Janees Reghelini Contributing Editor Ben Rossi Online Editor Tom Paye

Advertising Commercial Director Rajashree R Kumar raj.ram@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 440 9131 Key Account Manager Merle Carrasco merle.carrasco@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 440 9134 Sales Manager Nasir Bazaz nasir.bazaz@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 440 9144

Jeevan Thankappan Group Editor

Circulation Database and Circulation Manager Rajeesh M rajeesh.nair@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 440 9147 Production and Design Production Manager James P Tharian james.tharian@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 440 9146 Designer Analou Balbero analou.balbero@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 440 9104 Digital www.resellerme.com DIGITAL SERVICES Digital Services Manager Tristan Troy P Maagma

Talk to us: E-mail: jeevan.thankappan@ cpimediagroup.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/ ResellerME Twitter: @ResellerME

Need evidence that 2012 was the toughest year for the Middle East channel industry? Look no further than our annual industry survey. The painstakingly collected empirical data for the last year indicates that the channel has actually shrunk, with most distributors and resellers reporting flat or declining revenues Though our pecking order is pretty much the same as last year, a couple of biggies are missing this year, either because they didn’t want to disclose the sales figures or they’d gone through a merger and acquisition process. Cases in point are Aptec—an Ingram Micro Company and Computerlinks. What is more worrisome is the fact that the industry is still heavily dependent on hardware. It’s a well-known fact that hardware is getting commoditised and margins are heading southwards, and if channel partners want to stay in the game, it is imperative for them to pay more attention to the opportunities in the services space. It’s heartening to notice that some have already taken steps to move in this direction. A bright spot in the otherwise bleak scenario has been the emergence of power retail, which doesn’t bode really well for traditional resellers focused on the consumer market. With the emergence of mobility as the most lucrative segment, distributors will have no choice but to set up dedicated business units to cater to the retail segment or risk getting left behind. But on the flip side, 2013 is looking much better and most channel players are bullish about their growth prospects. The last quarter of 2013 is going to be absolutely crucial and one can only hope that history doesn’t repeat. On a different note, the 33rd edition of GITEX is around the corner and this is an ideal opportunity for channel players to be seen and heard. Most of the big distributors are going to be at the show either on their own or through their partners’ booths. The show promises to be bigger and better this year, and it would be good idea for you to head to Dubai World Trade Centre to get some insights into what’s hot or not in the IT industry right now.

Web Developers Erik Briones Jefferson de Joya Photographer and Social Media Co-ordinator Jay Colina webmaster@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 440 9100 Published by

Registered at IMPZ PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 4 447 2409 Printed by Printwell Printing Press © Copyright 2013 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.

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highlights

News

FDC kick-starts value arm FCD International is re-launching its value added distribution unit to cater to the demand of its customers. “Though we have been in value for almost more than two years, FDC is taking a very professional approach to value added distribution now. Today, the market dynamics are changing with end-users getting more technically oriented. And the channel is moving more towards niche services and solutions to be more relevant to the end users. FDC, after understanding vendor and partner requirements, has taken this initiative at a very strategic time. Vendors are facing troubles in the current distribution landscape and they need to provide value based system for partners to work on products and services,” says Ram Praveen, Business Unit Manager, ProValue Division at FDC. FDC is currently in the process of fleshing out its value-added portfolio and has signed up brands around security, cloud and networking. “We are expanding in terms of geography and product portfolio. Initially, the focus has been on software security and now we are moving more towards networking, security and cloud. ProValue Division of FDC would create a value space which is unique and provide a compelling value proposition to vendors and channel partners alike,” says Praveen.

Ram Praveen, Business Unit Manager, ProValue Division, FDC He adds that value-added distribution is a sweet spot within the broadline set up. “Some people term value addition as providing presales or services support. But if you look at the term in its true sense, value in the eyes of the vendors and partners should be about being relevant to the channel community, and acting as an extended arm for enterprise and SMB vendors. It can range from pre-sales to post-sales to implementation and training. I would say training has real value because you are not giving someone fish but teaching how to fish.”

Gartner predicts global IT spending growth Worldwide IT spending is forecast to reach $3.8 trillion in 2014, a 3.6 percent increase from 2013, but it’s the opportunities of a digital world that have IT leaders excited, according to Gartner. This results in every budget being an IT budget; every company being a technology company; every business is becoming a digital leader; and every person is becoming a technology company. This is resulting in the beginning of an era: the Digital Industrial Economy. “The Digital Industrial Economy will be built on the foundations of the Nexus of Forces (which includes a confluence and integration of cloud, social collaboration, mobile and information) and the Internet of Everything by combining the physical world and the virtual,” said Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of Research. “Digitalisation exposes every part of your business and its operations to these forces. It is how you reach customers and constituents; how you run your physical plant; and how you generate revenue or deliver services. Enterprises doing this today are setting themselves apart and will collectively lead the new Digital Industrial Economy,” Sondergaard said.

Global Distribution eyes Middle East

Rohit Mathur, Business Head, Value Division, Global Distribution

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Global Distribution, part of a group with business interests in North America, Europe and Asia, is ramping up its Middle East operations by setting up a value-added division. The company has recently hired Rohit Mathur as the business head of value division. “My role is to set up a sales and marketing team and also develop a network of VARs. We are going to leverage the strength of Global Distribution globally, which is a specialist distributor with experience in providing storage and infrastructure solution,” he says. In the Middle East, Global Distribution plans to focus on primarily three technology areas—storage, networking and security. “We have already started off with storage by signing up Qnap and Tandberg Data. Also, we have signed up with TP-Link for networking and the discussions are at an advanced stage with other vendors around security,” says Mathur. Global Distribution is looking to target the region’s booming SMB market. “We are not looking to tap the enterprise market and our focus is mainly on the SMB markets and products that are specialized in this area,” says Mathur.

www.resellerme.com


Redefining office IT. PowerEdge VRTX.

The first and only full integration of servers, storage, networking and management in only 5U. Up until now, there hasn’t been an IT solution designed specifically for an office environment. Enter the new Dell PowerEdge VRTX powered by the Intel® Xeon® processor, an integrated end-to-end solution built specifically for the growing office. It’s the only 5U PowerEdge shared infrastructure platform design based on input from over 7,000 customers, featuring four integrated servers, 48TBs of storage, networking and systems management to simplify all aspects of IT. You inspired it. We built it. To see how we can redefine your office IT, visit www.dell.com/ae/vrtx

Dell PowerEdge VRTX is a trademark of Dell Inc. Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. ©2013 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.


highlights

News

SAP to focus on m-Government, cloud, in-memory computing and SMEs at GITEX

Sam Alkharrat, Managing Director, SAP MENA SAP has announced it will strongly focus on m-Government, cloud, in-memory computing and SMEs at this year’s GITEX Technology Week. In what is its most extensive investment in GITEX Technology Week yet, SAP will also showcase all product lines and services, host key players from its ecosystem and promote its industry expertise. “Revealing how SAP can make a difference in this hugely exciting and game-changing space will form a central part of our GITEX Technology Week presence this year,” said Sam Alkharrat, Manging Director, SAP MENA. SAP is also keen to flex its cloud muscles in the region. In July’s Q2 global earnings announcement, the company revealed triple digit year-over-year growth for cloud subscription and support revenue. Its annual cloud revenue run was reported to exceed €930 Million. And with approximately 30 million users in the cloud, SAP has the largest subscriber base in the cloud market. “We know the cloud is absolutely an essential part of helping companies run better and there are two aspects to it,” said Alkharrat. Demetris Demetriou & Richard Lee, Chairman of Qnap Another SAP solution likely to generate much GITEX buzz is HANA. The in-memory computing business platform has been described by SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott as “the fastest growing software product in the history of the world”, and is rapidly gaining popularity in MENA. SAP is also keen to emphasise its SME credentials.  Globally, 80 percent of SAP customers are SMEs and 88 percent of SAP’s new business clients are SMEs.

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HP to tackle cloud, security, Big Data, mobility at GITEX 2013 HP aims to showcase an enormous range of enterprise solutions at GITEX Technology Week 2013, with cloud, security, Big Data and mobility forming the crux of the vendor’s participation at the show.  According to a statement, HP hopes to bring enterprise customers new ways to “unlock the new style of IT” with its products at GITEX. In the realm of Big Data, HP will showcase HAVEn, a Big Data analytics platform that combines technologies from HP Autonomy, HP Vertica, HP ArcSight and HP Operations Management, as well as Hadoop. In terms of security products, HP said that its approach to security disrupts the cycle of an attack with prevention and real-time threat detection. New offerings that will be showcased at GITEX include HP Threat Central,HP TippingPoint NextGeneration Firewall, HP ArcSight, HP Fortify and HP SureStart. The vendor will also educate GITEX attendees about HP Managed Security Services, which HP said can help

internal security teams accelerate threat identification, response and remediation by providing expertise and advanced security intelligence. Of course, cloud will be a big feature of HP’s participation at GITEX. The base of HP’s cloud offering will be HP Cloud OS, an open and extensible cloud technology platform that leverages the power of OpenStack technology to enable workload portability, simplified installation and enhanced life cycle management across hybrid clouds. The vendor will also showcase HP CloudSystem, its private cloud offering, which embeds HP Cloud OS technology, offering customers greater choice in deployment options. To tackle mobility, HP will also feature a portfolio of new business notebooks and Ultrabooks. At its stand will be the HP EliteBook 800 series – due to be released in the Middle East at the end of October – and the HP ProBook 600 Series, which will be released at the end of November. HP’s stand will be at CLD-7, Hall 6, Dubai World Trade Centre.

Spectrami to showcase ‘award-winning’ solutions at GITEX Spectrami recently announced that it will be showcasing its “award-winning” range of enterprise-grade security and storage solutions at GITEX Technology Week 2013, which will be held at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Dubai from October 20 to 24. The solutions in question will come from the value-added distributor’s vendor partners – Actifio, General Dynamics Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions, Tenable, Verdasys and LogRhythm. Senior executives from these vendors will be present at the show and leading the pack will be Ash Ashutosh, Co-founder and CEO, Actifio, and Peter George, president of General Dynamics Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions, among others. “GITEX plays an important role in spreading the message and connecting with

key business decision makers from across the region,” said Anand Choudha, Managing Director, Spectrami. “We believe GITEX will help us identify and leverage growth opportunities in the Middle East and we look forward to establish a strong channel network and liaise with industry representatives looking for business opportunities in the region.” During GITEX, Spectrami will also be honouring its key partners and customers for their support at the Spectrami Partner and Customer Awards Night, due to take place on October 21 at Hotel Crowne Plaza in Dubai. “We are expecting a gathering of over 80 partners and customers to attend the award night,” said Choudha. During GITEX Technology Week 2013, Spectrami can be found at Hall No. 1 – Stand A1-2.

www.resellerme.com


Breathe easy. Partner with Redington Value.

For more information, contact sales.value@redingtongulf.com

Redington Value is a value-added distributor for the following brands in parts of Middle East and Africa:


highlights

News

Red Hat announces improved EMEA partner programme Provider of open source solutions, Red Hat now plans to strengthen its Partner Program in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) with a new program designed to focus on solution-based portfolios to sell to enterprises. The new program is scheduled to replace the existing partner program in May 2014. According to the announcement made yesterday, the program is created to reward and motivate partners to build multi-product knowledge within the company’s three core partner specialisations—datacenter infrastructure, middleware solutions and cloud infrastructure. After being trained, partners will be rewarded as they build knowledge and create go-to-market programs within each of the areas.  And products too, will be categorised within these three segments. Red Hat plans to give partners access to its new Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN) to help build capabilities within each specialisation. Under this network, partners can expect virtual training, demos and access

to a robust technical library. Advanced and Premier Partners will not be charged for the library facility. Premier Partners can expect higher deal registrations debates and along with Advance Partners, they will have the opportunity to earn access to business development funds for executing sales activities, which are some of the program benefits. “Categorising by solution, rather than capability or product, can be attractive to customers who want to move from siloed legacy assets to standardised open platforms. Our new program is designed to enable our partners to effectively sell across our portfolio in these new solution areas and gain new skills. The more skills a partner accumulates, the higher the benefits offered by the program. Not only will our partners benefit, but so should our customers,” said Petra Heinrich, Vice-President, Partners and Alliances, EMEA, Red Hat. The enhanced program hopes to meet both the needs of the channel business in

Petra Heinrich, Vice-President, Partners and Alliances, EMEA, Red Hat EMEA and the expectations of company’s growing customer base in the region.

help AG launces new cloud service, analysis division

Stephan Berner, Managing Director, Help AG Help AG, an information security services player, announced the launch of its Security Analysis division and a cloudbased Co-ordinated Threat Mitigation (CTM) service for its enterprise customers at the company’s recently concluded Security Spotlight forum (SSF) events.

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Khaled Al Hawasli, a former member of the Dubai Police will be heading the Security Analysis division, which will offer five new and imperative services such as Security Review, Penetration Testing, Configuration Architecture Review, Vulnerability Assessment (including mobile platforms) and Social Engineering

and Exploitation; to uncover security vulnerabilities that might have gone unnoticed previously. Although other organisations too offer penetration testing and vulnerability assessment, Hawasli believes Help AG will have an upper hand as the company plans to leverage its extensive technical expertise to ensure that customers can reap the maximum benefits of their IT investments. Stephan Berner, Managing Director at Help AG  says,“Today’s cyber threats have evolved to a stage where traditional security technologies and procedures are no longer effective in pre-empting malicious attacks or mitigating losses from such acts. CTM is a central intelligence and control environment solution which enables early detection and mitigation of attacks on customer environments.” “Currently we will deliver application level DDOS mitigation and anti-defacement services to our customers and we are confident of seeing a growing uptake of these solutions across the region,” he further adds.

www.resellerme.com


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Visit Cyberoam at GITEX 2013 (Booth C1-8) For latest updates on network security and our channel programs.

For Partnership Enquiries and Demo Requests, please contact: Surender Bishnoi (General Manager- Cyberoam ME) Tel:+971-4-214 9860 Mobile: +971-55-9745182 Email: surender.bishnoi@cyberoam.com Š Copyright 2013 Cyberoam Technologies Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


highlights

News

FVC partners with Cyan for SDN Dubai-based value-added distributor FVC has signed a premier partner agreement with Cyan, a provider of software-defined network (SDN) and packet-optical solutions. As part of the agreement, FVC will provide business development and channel support. FVC’s sales, pre-sales and post-sales team will also be trained and certified so that it can provide localised support and services to its partners from its regional offices. K.S. Parag, Managing Director at FVC, said, “This distribution agreement will expand our networking solutions and enable our partners to offer cutting-edge SDN and packet-optical technology to our customers across the region. Both companies are committed to taking a leadership position in the region focused on ‘SDN for transport networks’ targeting large enterprise campus networks, cloud data centres, fixed network service providers and mobile operators.” Ravi Mali, General Manager and Regional Director – Middle East & Africa, Cyan, echoed Parag’s sentiments. “The joint FVC and Cyan

value proposition will help reduce capital and operating costs, while giving customers the capability to offer new SDN-based services that link applications and networks in a way that could never have been done before.” “Using Cyan’s Blue Planet SDN system, customers have the unique ability to visualise, manage, operate and orchestrate their multilayer and multi-vendor network. Operators can save costs by leveraging existing network devices that are able to migrate to SDN instead versus ripping and replacing the current infrastructure. “FVC is one of the few companies that specialises in bringing emerging technology to both integrators and customers in the MENA region. This gives Cyan a launch pad to bring SDN for transport networks to the region,” he added. FVC will be Cyan’s regional Premier Partner with the right to assign Cyan resellers in the MENA region. The partnership will be supported by Cyan resources located in the Middle East.

Dimension Data expands relationship with Citrix

Peter Menadue, General Manager for Microsoft Solutions, Dimension Data In a move to broaden its scope across solutions surrounding client computing, cloud, networking, data centre and enterprise mobility, Dimension Data has expanded its global collaboration with Citrix. The two-year global market acceleration

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agreement will see the two organisations co-invest to drive product management, sales and marketing efforts across Asia, Australia, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East and Africa, a statement from Dimension Data said. Dimension Data will develop and integrate Citrix technologies more deeply in its existing solutions and services, all designed to meet growing client demand. Joint initiatives will be governed globally and executed locally to maximise market penetration, Dimension Data said. “There’s been an increase in the number of clients wanting us to help them enable their mobile workforce securely, while reducing costs and complexity of managing desktops and applications. Citrix technologies will enable us to do that. With Citrix bringing desktop solutions to market for a number of years now, it is very exciting to ramp up for even greater success across a wider range of solutions and services areas,” said Peter Menadue, Dimension Data’s General Manager for Microsoft Solutions.

K.S. Parag, Managing Director, FVC

Citrix has had a strong relationship with Dimension Data for many years, particularly in the Asia Pacific region. “We have a natural alignment through our mutual partnerships with Microsoft and Cisco – both of which have consistently supported the expansion of the Dimension Data and Citrix relationship,” Menadue added. The two companies have already seen success with their mutual clients. For example, Dimension Data worked with ICT at the University of Sydney to deploy software and support its networks for several years. Dimension Data has completed multiple projects and still maintains a strong relationship with the university. Tom Flink, VP Channels and Market Development at Citrix, said, “Dimension Data’s focus on innovation in cloud, networking and mobility mirrors our own, and makes our plans to expand our relationship an exciting opportunity for both parties. Additionally, their strong partnerships with both Microsoft and Cisco make them a unique partner to us.”

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highlights

News

Nicholas returns to Logicom

Nicholas Argyrides, Director of Sales and Marketing, Logicom Logicom has announced the appointment of Nicholas Argyrides as Director of Sales and Marketing. Argyrides will be responsible for driving sales at Logicom in the EMEA region and leading the marketing strategy of the Group’s distribution arm. Argyrides has over ten years’ experience in IT Distribution. His professional career includes an impressive array of leadership roles within the United States, Europe and the Middle East. His experience with Logicom dates from 2001 where he took the role of Project Fulfillment Manager/ Product Manager at the company’s headquarters in Nicosia, Cyprus. He has also served as General Manager of Logicom Jordan and Logicom Dubai. Michael Papaeracleous, Executive Director of Distribution at Logicom said: “Nicholas’ wealth of experience in IT Distribution will be an invaluable asset to Logicom. I am confident that together, we will continue to successfully execute our customer-focused strategies and to introduce initiatives for the expansion of our business.” Argyrides holds an MBA from the London Business School. He currently resides in Dubai.

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EMT names Mobasseri as CEO EMT Distribution has appointed Mohammad Mobasseri as its CEO. In his new role, Mobasseri will manage and grow the company’s business across West Asia, Middle East and Africa. Mobasseri also joins EMT Distribution as a board member and shareholder of the group’s holding company EMT Holdings, after decades of experience in the regional value added distribution arena. Mobasseri is a seasoned business leader with a strong track record in the regional IT and value added distribution industry. As the new CEO of EMT Distribution, Mobasseri will be responsible for strategic planning, investments, growth areas, geographical expansion, and vendor management for the global operations. Prior to joining EMT Distribution, Mobasseri headed the regional operations at a major regional value added distributor. “I am thrilled to be joining EMT Distribution. The regional IT industry is at a turning point and my objectives are to develop into new areas of growth, to further enhance the customer experience

Mohammad Mobasseri, CEO, EMT Distribution and service offerings to the regional market, and to strengthen relationships with all other stakeholders,” added Mobasseri. “Our key channel strategies will be to recruit channel partners during the rest of 2013. In addition, I will be working closely with our partners to enhance our partner program so we are able to satisfy our partners and serve them in the best possible way.”

StorIT signs up SAS The data storage specialist value added distributor in the MENA region, StorIT announced yesterday that it had signed a distribution agreement with SAS, a player in business intelligence and analytics software.  The agreement enables StorIT to promote and distribute SAS Visual Analytics through its channel network in the region through which, it can now also offer Big Data solutions to its customers in the Middle East. Boby Joseph, CEO, StorIT Distribution, said, “SAS Visual Analytics brings together analytics, reporting and visualisation in one simple-to-use product, where companies will be able to use the speed of thought analysis and its capability to explore huge amounts of data to make quick business decisions. We are delighted to partner with SAS to bring this innovative solution to our customers in the region. Ravi Acharya, Regional Channel Manager, SAS Middle East, added: “At SAS, we have a rigorous selection criteria while choosing partners. We want to ensure that our partners

Boby Joseph, CEO, StorIT Distribution can add value to our products, invest in skills training and have consulting and implementation skills. StorIT was selected as a key partner based on its strong regional knowledge, domain and market expertise and extensive technical skills. By including SAS Visual Analytics to its portfolio, StorIT will be able to deliver tremendous value and support to its reseller network.”

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highlights

News

Smartworld names new CEO

HP announces new GM for Printing and Personal Systems

Mathew Thomas, General Manager, Printing and Personal Systems, HP Middle East

Mohamed Fouz, Chief Executive Officer, Smartworld Smartworld, a systems integrator and next generation ICT service provider in the Middle East, has named Mohamed Fouz, a known figure in the region’s IT industry, as its new CEO, effective since August 2013. Fouz will be expected to further strengthen the company’s position as a premier player in the region. With a career spanned over three decades of international and multi-regional experience and association in IT and business, Fouz is passionate about technology. And is known for his strategic leadership and focused approach to problem solving. Prior to Smartworld, the positions he has held include being CIO of Mashreq Bank, a leading financial institution in the UAE, CEO of Mindscape an IT spinoff of Mashreqbank IT and also as CEO for eHosting DataFort (eHDF), the region’s managed IT service provider and a member of TECOM Investments.

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HP announced the appointment of Mathew Thomas to the position of General Manager for Printing and Personal Systems (PPS), HP Middle East. In his new post, Thomas is in charge of HP PPS in the region, which includes profitable business growth, people development and superior partner and customer experience.

Thomas joined HP in 2010 as the Channel Director for the MEMA region and has over 20 years’ experience in sales and marketing, mainly in the IT industry. With the company planning to launch many next generation products to the consumer and commercial markers, Thomas’ expertise will be significant. Prior to HP, he has held various senior level posts in this space.

NComputing announces expansion plans in the Middle East  NComputing partnered with Middle Eastern distributor, Solutions Middle East to meet the region’s growing demand for NComputing’s Citrix Ready HDX Verified System-on-Chip (SoC) N-series thin clients. Through Solutions Middle East, the company can now further expand its presence in the region by leveraging the distributor’s strong network of local Citrix resellers and its expertise. While the distributor will be able to benefit from NComputing’s cost-effective thin client technology at half the cost of competitors’ prices, providing them with a greater ROI. Additionally, they will be able to take advantage of NComputing’s Partner Network which provides dedicated resources and expertise, a comprehensive training programme, and various support resources. As per the partnership, Solutions Middle East will be distributing the N-series

thin client solution, giving customers the chance to rapidly accelerate their Citrix HDX deployments. “We’re really looking forward to working with Solutions Middle East to respond to the growing demand for Citrix products in the Middle East. Solutions Middle East has the needed expertise and relationships to enable us to further grow our business in the region,” said Maurice Johnson, Middle East Regional Director for NComputing. Pankaj Singh, Division Manager IMEA at Solutions Middle East said: “We are delighted to expand our solutions portfolio with NComputing and to give more customers the chance to maximise the advantages of Citrix HDX environments. N-Series offers superior performance for task and knowledge workers while delivering greater flexibility and faster ROI compared to competing solutions.”

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highlights

News

Simmtronics partners with Jumbo   Jumbo Electronics has been appointed by consumer electronics player Simmtronics as a channel distributor for tablet PCs in the GCC. Ravi Rao, Assistant Vice President of Jumbo and Indrajit Sabharwal, Managing Director, Simmtronics signed the distribution agreement in Dubai last month. The deal further reinforces Simmtronics’ position in the world tablet business while Jumbo Electronics brings to the partnership its strength as a distributor and retailer for IT and consumer electronics. According to Sabharwal, the development is an example of Simmtronics’ long-term commitment of investing in the GCC. “The UAE has been one of our important markets and our agreement with Jumbo continues our expansion in as many new markets as possible,” he explained. “Jumbo understands our business philosophy and has already outlined a solid strategy to reach out to consumers in this pricesensitive market.” Ravi Rao, Assistant Vice President, Jumbo Group, said, “Jumbo has over 40 years’ experience as a trusted professional regional distribution and retail partner for many of the world’s leading brands. Our award-winning best practices are benchmarked globally and help our clients

maintain pricing uniformity, excellent visibility, and expand to new markets strategically. We are delighted to have extended our distribution services and retail capabilities to support Simmtronics’ ambitious growth plans in the region.”

Rajesh Aiyar, Head, IT Division, Jumbo Electronics, added that the alliance with Simmtronics will see the introduction of a range of high-performance XPad tablets (pictured) in the region. These will be rolled out over the coming months.

Alcatel-Lucent appoints Manish Punjabi as Channel Marketing Manager Alcatel-Lucent has expanded its Enterprise channel support team with the appointment of Manish Punjabi as its Channel Marketing Manager for Middle East & Africa. Punjabi will focus on Alcatel-Lucent’s Enterprise partners to transition from using one-off marketing tactics to multi-touch programs that make use of PR, social media and digital marketing in order to generate better awareness, demand and consequently, revenue. Celia Croize, Marketing Director Middle East & Africa, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, said,

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Reseller Middle East

October 2013

“We are pleased to welcome Manish to the team. He will bring a lot of experience and value to the role and will be in a position to assist our channel partners across the region get more out of the marketing support tools we provide as part of our partner programs across the region.” Starting out as an Intern with Alcatel 10 years ago in Velizy, France, Punjabi worked with its local partner, Al Futtaim Technologies. Prior to Alcatel-Lucent, Punjabi ran marketing for chip manufacturer, AMD, across ME, Turkey and Africa.

Manish Punjabi, Channel Marketing Manager, MEA, Alcatel-Lucent

www.resellerme.com


highlights

News

Microsoft to showcase latest products at GITEX 2013 Microsoft Gulf has announced plans for GITEX 2013 to provide visitors with access to its latest technologies in-line with the IT industry’s current disruptive trends. The next generation Microsoft solutions will be available on interactive demonstration stations, with experts on hand to provide insight into the ways Microsoft is helping businesses, educators and governments with their business needs. The Windows 8.1 update will be demonstrated on the stand, bringing to life the new features on a range of the latest Windows devices allowing users to rediscover cloud connectivity through the SkyDrive and the updated Windows Store. Microsoft has designed Windows 8.1 help deliver the experiences that people want on the latest PCs, tablets and other devices running modern apps along with exclusive cloud-connected services. Microsoft Gulf will also be showcasing the recently acquired Yammer, an enterprise

Join us @

social network that brings together people, conversations, content, and business data in a single location. Over 20,000 organisations globally are using Yammer to connect to co-workers and information, collaborate with team members, and make an impact at work. Microsoft Gulf will also present updates to its cloud portfolio, including Office 365, Azure and Windows Intune. Commenting on Microsoft Gulf’s upcoming participation at GITEX, Samer Abu Ltaif, Regional General Manager at Microsoft Gulf said: “We are looking forward to participating at GITEX this year as it is an important technology event for the region and a unique platform to experience all the latest innovation from around the world. “IT spending in the Middle East region is projected to total $192.9 billion in 2013, a 5.5 percent increase from 2012, according to Gartner, and we know that GITEX is a significant opportunity for organisations to

connect with and decide on their priorities for IT investments. “The world of IT is evolving at a rapid pace and we continue to see disruption dominated by four main mega-trends: mobility, cloud, big data and social networking. Microsoft will be presenting solutions that are in-line with these mega-trends, enabling businesses and users to do more of activities they value the most, whether they are at home, at work or on-the-go.”

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ies in Security & Storage g o l o 3 n 1 h c e 0 T 2 e v Gitex Disrupti e t a t c e Sp

Tel: +971 44357209 | Email: info@spectrami.com Fax: +971 44357216 | www.spectrami.com


opinion

Condo Protego

Storage values Data optimisation and timing is everything when it comes to getting the most out of your storage technology, says Condo Protego CEO Andrew Calthorpe.

Andrew Calthrope, CEO, Condo Protego

22

Whether it is the weekly shop, a holiday or the latest personal or enterprise technology, nobody likes to get short-changed. It is basic human nature to want to extract the best possible value from any given investment—particularly if a lot of money has changed hands. When it comes to data storage and disaster recovery, having the right technology in place at the right time is inestimably important. And, in the context of today’s hypercharged competitive landscape, so too is gaining maximum value from every step of the technology’s lifecycle. In the Middle East, one of the most compelling value-added optimisation

Reseller Middle East

October 2013

tactics making waves at the moment is data deduplication. More than ever before, companies in the region understand the need for cost-appropriate storage and that duplicating unstructured production data from sources like exchange servers and sharepoint via a data archival strategy can be a worthwhile, cost-effective strategy. All data is not created equal and its value surely decreases with age. This is why it makes logical sense that storage costs should come down as the data becomes long in the tooth. However, deduplication can only optimise your performance so far, and astute business-leaders will always have technology upgrades at the back of their minds.

The trick here is to not become unnecessarily dazzled by new kit on the market when you don’t need it. It is also equally important to avoid the trap of hanging on for too long due to concerns about price. When it comes to upgrading technology, timing is everything and, generally speaking, technology refreshes are usually pencilled in to happen every three years. This is where confusion can sometimes set in, with many arguing that enterprise-class technologies are built to last a lot longer than the average three-year warranty. While that is certainly true, it overlooks the fact that ageing equipment tends to have a higher rate of component failures resulting from simple wear and tear. There are also considerable cost implications for maintenance of out-of-warranty equipment, and the obvious reputational hits that result from business downtime or an inability to handle increasingly complex operations or data loads on older technology storage platforms. Ideally, you will have a genuine partner that can act as a trusted advisor, discuss all the options and help you make the best decision. Ultimately, it is up to CIOs to present a compelling business case as to why upgrades are necessary, which shouldn’t be too difficult as a simple TCO table will bring out the costversus-benefit comparison with ease.   Technology is rapidly changing, and the pressure to adapt to the exponential growth of data is astonishing. If you can’t scale, you are going to get left behind. Playing catchup is likely to be far more expensive and damaging than staying ahead of, or at least keeping pace with, the curve. Optimise as far as you can, know when to let go and, above all, treat a tech refresh as a chance to change things for the better, to eliminate past mistakes and build a platform for a better-run, more-profitable business. //

www.resellerme.com


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Analysis

Partner Connect

A new dawn of security Reseller ME’s Partner Connect event brought together channel partners and thoughtleaders from the security industry to discuss the latest trends and solutions in the market.

24

Reseller Middle East

October 2013

www.resellerme.com


Are we on the brink of a new dawn of security? Some experts believe so. Over the past few years, emerging trends have heightened the senses of the channel when it comes to protecting important assets within the business. On top of this, customers have demanded even more expertise, support, and control from security vendors, distributors and integrators. How can vendors in the security space improve their partnership profiles while addressing these concerns? Bring high-quality products into the market that partners can easily sell, while supplying them with the right training, tools, and resources to be able to improve sales and profits. Security is a constantly changing landscape and one that the channel must continue to keep a fixed eye on. It is time for the channel to move beyond commoditised security technologies to new breeding ground. The Reseller ME Partner Connect event highlighted some of the hottest trends in the security market and

the ways partners can capitalise on it. The event featured industry experts and was kicked off by Michel Chahine, Regional Channel Manager, MEA, HP Enterprise Security. He talked about addressing modern day cyber-threats with HP Enterprise Security, and the need for improved security and counter-intelligence. “What we need is a risk-based, adversary-centric approach and systems that can proactively monitor, improve and protect,” Chahine said. This was followed by a presentation from Christiaan Beek, Director of Incident Response and Forensics, EMEA, McAfee, who talked about delivering intelligent security based on local intelligence and a security-connected platform. “KSA is the most attacked country over the last six months. The government sector is the most targeted one followed by the oil and gas and financial sector. DDoS attacks and SQL injction are the top types, followed closely by defacements and targeted malware,” he said. Surender Bishnoi, GM of

Cyberoam, explained the way his company can help IT managers address their security challenges. “The cost of security is stopping IT managers from taking advantage of increasing Internet speed. They want security devices that offer higher throughputs but not at additional cost. Cyberoam solves this challenge with its NG series appliances, with the entry-level appliance offering you Gigabit Firewall and high UTM throughputs,” he explained. The final speaker of the evening was Eyad Al Shami, Channel Manager of Fortinet, whose presentation centred around how to protect against DDoS attacks. “Any company with a Web presence is a potential target. And traditional measures are ineffective against DDoS attacks. Fortinet has a range of solutions that can protect you against these type of attacks,” he said. The evening, which brought together some of the top security resellers in the market, also witnessed a lucky winner walking away with the new G-Smart from Gigabyte, courtesy of Asbis Middle East. //

october 2013

Reseller Middle East

25


analysis

EMC

The jewel of the Nile EMC tells resellers to stand by as it prepares to combat the public-cloud market with Project Nile, an appliance which boasts similar benefits as the cloud, but with the added bonus of keeping everything in-house. EMC is planning an attack on a public-cloud market dominated by Amazon, Microsoft and Google, marking the first half of 2014 as the launch of its complete Web-scale storage infrastructure for the data centre. The storage giant unveiled the new product initiative, currently called Project Nile, at its Speed To Lead event in Italy last month. The machines will provide an “elastic cloud storage platform” that is focused on delivering private cloud control, security and flexibility, with the scale, economics and ease-of-use

26

Reseller Middle East

October 2013

generally associated with the public cloud, EMC said. They will boast a fast and simplified buying process—with customers receiving a complete system within 48 hours—and will directly challenge public cloud offerings. EMC will utilise technologies from its software-defined storage platform, ViPR, and unified storage family, VNX, in Nile, which will do block, file and object at Web-scale. President and COO David Goulden called the initiative “revolutionary”. As data continues to explode, organisations around the world are

looking for ways to store it in an easy and affordable way. Amazon has taken a clear lead in the public cloud space by providing an online platform for such functions. However, many customers have cited security and trust concerns as holding them back from entrusting more sensitive corporate information in the cloud. Until now, there hasn’t been a product which fully encompasses the productivity and cost benefits of Web-based services, whilst allowing customers to keep their data in-house. With Project Nile, EMC is taking

www.resellerme.com


ICT System Integrator

IT - TELECOM - CONSULTING - OUTSOURCING

Seven Seas are a leading system integrator and an ICT solution provider in the UAE. Seven Seas Computers is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company since 1983 and a Tiered partner to almost all major technology vendors and are pioneers in delivering ICT solutions and services in Enterprise Systems, Data Networking & Security, Voice & Telephony, Microsoft Licensing & Solutions, Value Added Services, Business Continuity & Disaster  Recovery, Data Centers, Audio Visual, Access Control, CCTV, Video Conferencing and above all Functional Outsourcing & Managed Services. Seven Seas partners with leading technology vendors including IBM, Microsoft, HP, DELL, CA, CISCO, AVAYA, MITEL, CITRIX, Websense, Stonesoft, ESET, Symantec, MessageLabs, Panduit, BrandRex, among few others. With over 300+ ICT trained and certified professionals, Seven Seas Computers delivers cost effective and efficient design, project implementations, maintenance contracts to further provide the customer with highest level of service in all industry verticals such as Large and Medium Enterprises, Conglomerates & Airlines, Government, Oil & Gas, Banking & Finance, Hospitality, Retail, Healthcare and Education sector. Seven Seas Computers can be your ideal ICT provider for all your IT projects and intents at hand.

Enterprise Systems

(Servers, Blades, Storage Solutions, High-availability Systems, Enterprise Management, Cloud Solutions, Data Management)

Voice & Telephony

(VoIP based PABX, Contact Center, Call-billing /recording, Wireless Voice, UM, SIP and SMS Gateways and Fax solutions)

Data-networking & Security Infrastructure & ELV Microsoft Licensing & Solutions Managed Services

(Routing, Switching, Wireless solutions, Firewalls, besides Perimeter Security, End-point Security, e-mail security, content management, UTM, DLP, MDM and consulting)   (Structured Cabling, Data Center setup, Power solutions, Infrastructure Projects and Corporate fit-outs, CCTV, Access Control (certified by Dubai Police), Smart Office, Video Conferencing and Audio Visual Solutions ( Infrastructure Projects, Corporate and Fit-outs ) (Volume Licensing, Virtualization, MS-Exchange, Server Platform, Portals, Unified Communication, System Center, Desktop Deployment, VDI, & Cloud Services) (AMCs, SSIPs, FMS, Functional Outsourcing, Disaster Recovery, Hosting, NOC, Value Added Services, Service Management and Consulting) Seven Seas represent its Solutions offering to all the industry verticals like Enterprise, Medium Enterprise, Conglomerates & Aviation, BFSI, Retail Sector, Government, Oil & Gas, Hospitality, Healthcare and Education. Our strategic alliances with the below technology vendors further reinforces our status of a leading System integrator representing the ICT with the most prevailing technologies installed across industry verticals. Our roadmap further is to get endorsed with industry certifications on compliance, frameworks and best practices on the technologies and services offered. The support team comprises of more than 150+ technical specialists across technology horizontals on Systems, Data Networks/Security, Voice & Telephony, Microsoft Solutions, Data Centers, Infrastructure, Structured Cabling, Smart-homes and Audio /Video. Having a fleet of trained and certified professionals across all such technologies, Seven Seas has maintained extreme levels of customer delight and is continuing to build portfolios on the existing technology dominance. Our reference clients list comprises almost all the big names in these verticals, where we can provide references and testimonials against the availed skills and capability of Seven Seas resources.

Enabling continuous improvement Seven Seas Computers P .O. Box 8469 Dubai – UAE Phone: +971 4 308 3555 Fax : +971 4 336 6727 ssc@sscomp.ae http://www.sscomp.ae

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analysis

EMC

a huge bet to combat Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft’s attempts to lure customers away from its high-end storage products, by offering a legitimate alternative to the more security-conscious CIOs. With the products not set to be launched until next year, it may be too early to speculate on economics. However, Jeremy Burton, Executive VP, Product Operations and Marketing, EMC, has already predicted the new range of products will cost 40 to 60 percent less than public cloud options. “To be competitive, we plan to deliver these systems at a lower price point than Web-scale providers do today,” Burton said. “And we plan to make them as easy to buy and as easy

quick and convenient deployment, which we plan to offer with a new goto-market model for EMC: go online, order what you need, buy it, and use it in your data centre.” The next frontier The man behind Nile, Amitabh Srivastava, President, Advanced Software Division, EMC, said it should be considered as the next stage of ViPR, which launched back at EMC World in May and was made generally available on 27 September. “It was kind of a foundation we laid out,” he said, listing heterogeneous arrays, EMC and non-EMC commodity underneath, automation going on through the controller, and building and

“To be competitive, we plan to deliver these systems at a lower price point than Web-scale providers do today. And we plan to make them as easy to buy and easy to consume as public cloud services. So a CIO will be able to implement this infrastructure at a lower cost.” to consume as public cloud services. “So a CIO will be able to implement this infrastructure at a lower cost than handing over company data to Web-scale public cloud providers. And service providers will be able to stand up their own services to compete with the big guys.” Burton added that public cloud offerings can actually be a lot more costly than people presume, and, on price point alone, there is an opening in the marketplace for what EMC is planning to offer. “Even customers who use them today will acknowledge that public clouds are not cheaper over the long run,” he said. “Their attractiveness is

28

Reseller Middle East

October 2013

layering data services on top of it. “Nile focuses on one segment of the market.” According to Srivastava, EMC found that a lot of its customers liked the cloud storage provided by Azure and AWS. “They like it for two reasons; the simplicity to get it and use it, and the price,” he said. “But there are a lot of constraints. If you want block, you’ve got to go here, if it’s object, you’ve got to go here, and if it’s file, you’ve got to go there. It’s silos, even in the public cloud today. You’ve also got to go off-premise.” The aim with Nile, he emphasised, is to provide cloud storage without these constraints, giving block, file and object in the same box, and

configurable by the user. “It’s got all the properties of elasticity, dual distribution and high availability that you expect from a cloud,” he said. “It’s also click and go, so we leverage ViPR’s automation and things like that, so that it’s all automated and simple to order and consume.” With the movement into this new market, EMC will likely be aggressive in accentuating how CIOs are feeling conflicted over moving critical amounts of data to the public cloud. However, Srivastava was keen to do exactly the opposite, calling the solution “just another choice” for organisations looking to embrace cloud models. “If it is cheaper for them to move to the public cloud, go for it—and ViPR will connect you to the public clouds also because it is agnostic,” he said. “But Nile gives our customers the choice that we wanted to give of what is the best way they want to run their business. “The whole reason we built this project is because we really believe our customers need something like this. The customers who want the simplicity and pricing structure from the public cloud, but do not want take their data off premise, can turn to Nile.” He was also eager to stress that, despite Nile seemingly tempting endusers away from the public cloud, EMC is not for or against the model. “The way I like to think about our stuff is, we’ve got to do everything we can to help our customers,” he said. “If customers need X, we’re going to go do it. Remember ViPR works on EMC, non-EMC and commodity. “It’s not in our interest to support our competitors’ arrays with ViPR, but we did it—not because it’s good for EMC, but because that’s what our customers need. All our customers have heterogeneous environments, so we have to do what our customers want.” //

www.resellerme.com


channel elite 2013


channel elite 2013

Ranking of channel players Top 10 ranking NAME

OVERALL RANK

CATEGORY

INDUSTRY RANK

TOP EXECUTIVE

REVENUE ($M)

Redington Gulf

1

Distributor

1

Raj Shankar

2123

BDL Group

2

Distributor

2

Tamer Ismail

765

MDS UAE

3

System Integrator

1

Sami Esber

650 422

FDC

4

Distributor

3

Marissa Safe

Emax Electronics

5

Retail

1

Neelesh Bhatnagar

415

EES

6

System Integrator

2

Miguel Villalonga

325

Logicom

7

Distributor

4

Michael Papaeracleous

321

Almasa IT Distribution

8

Distributor

5

Mehdi Amjed

310

Jacky’s Electronics

9

Retail

2

Ashish Panjabi

300+

Mitsumi Distribution

10

Distributor

6

Mitesh Shah

245

NAME

OVERALL RANK

CATEGORY

INDUSTRY RANK

TOP EXECUTIVE

REVENUE ($M)

Mindware

11

Distributor

7

Mario Gay

235

Asbis Middle East

12

Distributor

8

Hesham Tantawi

230

CNS

13

Systems Integrator

3

Ihab Al Saheli

170

Westcon Group

14

Distributor

9

Steve Lockie

161

Trigon

15

Distributor

10

Arun Chawla

160

others

Unatrac ITD

15

Distributor

10

Ashraf Serag

160

Visionaire

16

Systems Integrator

4

Aneeta Gupta

121.5

Despec

17

Distributor

11

Jaison Korath

120

GSME

17

Distributor

11

Ali Sharifi

120

Seven Seas Computer

17

Systems Integrator

5

Nayagam Pillai

120

Aljammaz Distribution

18

Distributor

12

Asim Aljammaz

112

Secureway

19

Distributor

13

Fadi Boustanchi

100

Jumbo Electronics

20

Retail

3

Vishesh Bhatia

72.5

Comguard

21

Distributor

14

Ajay Chauhan

40

Intertec

22

Systems Integrator

6

Naresh Kothari

34

Almoayyed Computers

23

Systems Integrator

7

S.M. Hussaini

32

Prologix

23

Distributor

15

Sarwan Singh

32

Printek Supplies

23

Reseller

1

Manoj Tiwari

32

StarLink

24

Distributor

16

Nidal Othman

30

StorIT

24

Distributor

16

Suren Vedantham

30

HelpAG

24

Systems Integrator

8

Stephan Berner

30

Premier Computers

25

Reseller

2

Prem Menghani

27.6

Al Rostamani Communications

26

Systems Integrator

9

Mohammed Zameer

27.2

Nanjgel

27

Systems Integrator

10

Jude Pereira

25

Paramount

27

Systems Integrator

10

Premchand Kurup

25

Optimus Computer Trading

28

Distributor

17

Meera Kaul

22.5

Lucky Star Computers

29

Reseller

3

K.U. Shankari

18

Spectrami

30

Distributor

18

Anand Chauda

6.7

32

Reseller Middle East

October 2013

www.resellerme.com


Top Distributors

Industry rank

Top value-added distributors

2.123 billion

1

Comguard

BDL Group

765 million

2

StorIT

FDC

422 million

3

StarLink

Redington Gulf

Westcon Group

Logicom

321 million

4

Optimus Computer Trading

Almasa IT Distribution

310 million

5

Spectrami

Mitsumi Distribution

245 million

6

Mindware

235 million

7

Asbis Middle East

230 million

8

Westcon Group

161 million

9

Unatrac ITD

160 million

10

Trigon

160 million

10

MDS UAE

GSME

120 million

11

Emitac Enterprise Solutions

Top systems integrators

Despec

120 million

11

CNS

Aljammaz Distribution

112 million

12

Visionaire

Secureway

100 million

13

Seven Seas Computer

Comguard

40 million

14

Intertec

Prologix

32 million

15

Almoayyed Computers

StorIT

30 million

16

HelpAG

StarLink

30 million

16

Nanjgel

Optimus Computer Trading

22.5 million

17

Al Rostamani Communications

Spectrami

6.7 million

18

Paramount

MarKET SHARE BY industry activity

Aptec—an Ingram Micro company Aptec, which was acquired last year and rebranded as Aptec—an Ingram Micro Company, did not reveal sales figures, citing new company policy. It may be recalled that VAD was the fifth in our previous year’s ranking.

System Integrator 19%

Retailer 9% Reseller 1%

And those who didn’t make the list

Distributor 71% Base=$8.23B, 38 companies

Key to rankings: Companies have been ranked based on the annual revenue figures supplied by them Overall rank refers to the rank of the player across all submissions received Industry rank refers to the rank of the player within the appropriate category

Computerlinks The VAD is in the process of being acquired by Arrow Electronics, and didn’t participate in the survey this year. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013. Computerlinks was placed 20th in the last year’s ranking. Metra Computer Group Another distribution powerhouse conspicuous by absence this year is Metra, which was placed third in our previous year’s ranking.


channel elite 2013

01 $2.123BN Revenue for 2012

Redington Gulf Redington Gulf has cemented its position as the biggest distributor in the region with its product and channel breadth. Raj Shankar, MD

Redington Gulf, which straddles both volume and value aspects of business with consummate ease, is perched on top of the pecking order in the regional distribution landscape, thanks to its geographical footprint and burgeoning portfolio. Last year, the distributor increased its customer base to 12,000-plus customers spanning the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. It also forayed into the CIS region by setting up operations in Kazakhstan. Redington’s volume arm, which is the largest broadline distributor in terms of turnover, number of units sold, channel and product breadth, witnessed a decline in terms of units across most hardware categories. However, the division managed to grow its revenue by product depth and breadth, and it now distributes over 40 product categories from over 20 global IT vendors. Redington Volume division transacted with over 1,500 active across the region during the previous year with almost 15 percent of partners increasing their transaction value year over year. To drive deeper engagement with the channel, Redington Volume launched its Elite Club programme under the theme “Sultans of Arabia”. Over 800 partners participated in the programme, which helped the company drive incremental revenue from qualified partners. However, the bright spot for the company has been its value division, which has recorded a commendable 50 percent year on year growth. Redington Value increased its product offering from 15-plus vendors to more than 25 and also expanded its partnership into new region with some vendors such as EMC and Symantec. In 2012, Redington Value has trained over 2,500 channel executives, both sales and technical, in over 15 countries in the Middle East and Africa. Redington Value has a dedicated pre-sales team based in-country, specialised in different technology domains. Around 20 percent of the Value team workforce consists of pre-sales based out of regional hubs such as the UAE, KSA, Nigeria and Kenya.

Revenue chart

Channel-facing executives

2.5

2.024 billion

2.123 billion

2.0

1.65 billion 1.5

2010

34

2011

Reseller Middle East

2012

October 2013

Ashish Bharti, PresidentVolume Division, Redington Gulf

Ramkumar Balakrishnan, Senior Vice President- Value Division, Redington Gulf

Year of start-up: 1997 Total number of active resellers: 12000 + Total number of employees: 1400 Technical staff: 300

Vendor profile Systems: Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, Lenovo, Samsung, Toshiba, HP, Sony Software and security: Barracuda, Check Point, Dell Software, EMC, HP, Palo Alto, Red Hat, Symantec, Fortinet, Trend Micro, Neverfail Printers and peripherals: Acer, Dell, Canon, Epson, Samsung, HP, LG Networking: Avaya, Cisco, HP, LifeSize, Siemens, Fujitsu, Imation, Ncomputing Accessories and consumables: Belkin, HP, Imation, Targus, XtremeMac Components: SanDisk, Seagate, Western Digital Others: APC by Schneider Electric, Mobotix, Molex, Tripp-Lite Top five vendors by revenue contribution: Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung

www.resellerme.com


Tel +971 4 3754052


channel elite 2013

02 $765m

Revenue for 2012

BDL Group Having experienced strong growth over the last few years, Saudi Arabia’s BDL Group aims to replicate its success at home across the rest of the Gulf region.

Tamer Ismail, CEO, BDL

36

Reseller Middle East

October 2013

Address: PO Box 68787 Riyadh 11537 , KSA Location of sales offices: KSA, UAE, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman Location of support offices: KSA, UAE, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain , Qatar, Oman Year of start up: 1999 Total employees: 240 Engineers: 45

Value-added services Pre-sales support, solutions sizing and BoQ; Proof of concept and demonstration; Training, documentation and knowledge transfer

Revenue chart 800 700 600 500 400

100

2012

200

2011

300

2010

Whatever BDL Group is doing at the moment, it’s certainly working well for the distributor. Having recently diversified into the smartphone and tablet markets, BDL has enjoyed 15-percent year-on-year growth over the past three years. Yet the growth numbers only tell half the story. According to Tamer Ismail, the firm’s CEO, BDL has seen plenty more big wins over the past 12 months. For example, the distributor recently strengthened its ties with Intel and Microsoft, and it has seen good business with some of the region’s largest telecoms operators, such as Mobily in Saudi Arabia and Etisalat in the UAE. BDL Group sold more than 300,000 laptops in 2012, and this year it will have sold over 400,000. The company is becoming something of an unstoppable force when it comes to broadline distribution, then. But despite all these successes, Ismail believes that BDL’s ability to become more localised in various Gulf countries has been the distributor’s biggest win in recent years. “The biggest success that BDL has seen in the last two years is that we’ve established in-country roots in the Gulf. In Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, we have a good presence,” he says. “We have logistics in these countries, as well as sales offices and warehouses. The reach in these countries is really good, and this is the main success I believe we’ve seen.” Indeed, Ismail has made it something of a personal mission to grow BDL’s business in the rest of the Gulf. And with such strong growth behind him in the distributor’s home country, he believes that he can replicate the same success across the rest of the region. “It will be the major mission I have to grow the business across the Gulf. I think we’ll try to do the same that we’re doing in Saudi—we will try to repeat the same success story there but with a different flavour,” he says. BDL will do things by the book when it comes to expanding across the Gulf. Ismail believes that a “back-to-basics” approach will serve the distributor well as it tries to grow its business across the region. He says that, first and foremost, BDL is an IT distributor, so it is looking to enhance its IT product portfolio. That said, BDL will naturally respond to any demands from the mobile and telecoms markets. “We will not go do something untraditional, but we’ll try to enhance the portfolio and diversify the business,” Ismail says. Ismail says that success will also come because of BDL’s outlook towards the channel. He says that the distributor differentiates itself with the way it treats partners and customers—indeed, it runs its business by working extremely closely with partners. “We consider partners to be part of the company, so we keep a high level of care with them in terms of supply, logistics, services, finance—all those kinds of things. I believe the main things a distributor can focus on are the channel network he has, the depth and breadth of the market, as well as logistics and finance. I think we’re doing this perfectly,” Ismail explains. If he’s right about that, then BDL could well be seeing its strong Saudi growth being replicated across the region. The distributor hopes to see 30-percent growth over the course of 2014. With any other company, this might sound like a stretch, but with BDL, which seems to have a knack for success, the number sounds entirely plausible.

0

www.resellerme.com


03 $650m

MDS UAE When it comes to local service providers, you don’t get much bigger than MDS.

Revenue for 2012

Sami Abi Esber, CEO

Operating in the Middle East since it set up shop in the UAE in 1981, MDS has witnessed, and been involved in, every twist and turn as the region’s technology industry took shape over the last four decades. Its local experience is unparalleled; a sentiment echoed by IDC announcing the company as the number one service provider for the last nine years. “Our growth as a group has been amazing,” says Sami Abi Esber, President, MDS UAE Holdings. “We started in the UAE and Saudi, then we went to Qatar and Oman, and we are now covering the whole Gulf. “For the Gulf we have enjoyed some really nice growth over the last two years. We grew by 24 percent with the biggest growth in Saudi, then Qatar, then the UAE and Oman.” Whilst MDS offers end-to-end solutions to all companies, it specialises in solutions for medium and large enterprise customers. Its offerings can now be categorised into three main lines of business: systems integration, data centre infrastructure, and software applications. Whilst it caters to all verticals, its main business comes from the region’s leading telcos, oil and gas governments, and government entities. “We deal with the major vendors in the IT world and we also deal with some vendors which are not very strong yet but are looking very promising in Gartner’s quadrants and which we can see potential growth in the future,” Esber says. But being a veteran doesn’t mean change isn’t necessary. In fact, much of MDS’ success can be attributed to its ability to adapt to ever-changing technology trends. “Around 10 years ago we moved from being mainly a box-mover to being mainly a serviceorientated company,” Esber says. “When we sell products form major vendors like HP, Microsoft, IBM and Dell, we add services, solutions and systems

integration to that for our customers.” According to Esber, this transition was necessary to get around the big vendors which have increasingly established presences in the region over the years. Indeed, it has been MDS’ local expertise, as well as competitive costs, which has allowed the company to combat offerings from these global players. “The margins for box-moves were getting lower and lower, so we adapted to the service-orientated approach,” he says. “We introduced many new products and services to improve our margin again, and it has provided us with great growth.” And further change is already in motion, with MDS transforming its business to cope with the cloud hype that was taken the industry by storm. “We now have an important part of our business doing the IT and data centre infrastructure for companies looking to build their own private cloud,” Esber says. “I think this is the major thing we are doing these days.” “We are always changing. You cannot just stick to your plan, you have to keep changing and following the technology trends.”

Year of start-up: 1982 Address: PO Box 7899, Abu Dhabi, UAE Total number of employees: 1,000 Engineers: 600 Vendor certifications: EMC—Tier one premier signature partner; Symantec—Specialised partner: e-discovery and archiving solutions; HP—Top EG MEMA partner; Microsoft— Gold server platform, gold software asset management, gold volume licensing, and gold communication

Vendor profile Systems: HP, Dell Software and security: IBM Maximo, Microsoft, Symantec Storage: EMC, HDS Networking: Juniper, Cisco, Avaya

Revenue breakup by category Systems and components: 40% Software and security: 15% Peripherals and storage: 10% Networking: 10% Services and training: 25%

october 2013

Reseller Middle East

37


channel elite 2013

04 $422m

Revenue for 2012

FDC International Despite the shrinking components market as a result of sluggish PC sales, this specialised distributor has weathered the storm and posted an impressive growth in numbers. Marissa Safe, COO/VP

In 2012, FDC sharpened its focus on enterprise, notebook, mobility and storage markets, and added new vendors to its portfolio. The distributor has also started focusing more on selling in-country by setting up local offices and expanded the distribution rights of the existing vendors to outside the UAE such as Lenovo for Carrefour Egypt. It has also opened its first service centre in Iraq, which is staffed with skilled, vendor certified personnel to resolve after-sales service issues, diagnosis and repair. Last year, FDC streamlined its operations to enhance efficiency with a new ERP infrastructure that allows the company to capture new opportunities in different segments of the IT industry. Another major milestone was the restructuring and optimisation of sales and retail department, and reducing inventory days by 40 percent. FDC believes its real USP is the proactive communication with its channel partners and it tries to bridge the gap between them and manufacturers to produce best price/performance products. This year, the distributor is planning to sign up new vendors such as Ricoh and expand its mobility product portfolio and markets with Asus and Acer. It has also invested significantly in a value-added division with a focus on technology areas such as networking, storage and security. FDC has reaped many accolades from its vendor partners last year including outstanding consumer distributor from Lenovo and super strength distribution network from WD.

Vendor profile Systems/Tablets: Lenovo, Acer, Asus, i-Life Software and security: Kaspersky, ESET, Cyberoam, Bitdefender Networking: TP-Link, WD Peripherals and storage: Seagate, Western Digital Accessories and consumables: Tech21 Components: Apacer, Asrock, Asus, ECS, Intel, Kingston, GeIL, Liteon, Palit, Plextor, Shuttle

Reseller Middle East

October 2013

Year of start-up: 1989 Total number of employees: 180 Location of sales offices: Egypt, Saudi, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria, Iraq, Jebel Ali (Dubai) Location of support offices: Egypt, Saudi, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Qatar, Kuwait, Algeria, Iraq, Jebel Ali (Dubai)

Top five vendors in terms of years of relationship: Seagate, ECS, Apacer, Western Digital, Liteon

Revenue chart

Channel-facing executives

420

422

2011

2012

405 2010

38

Address: Plot No. S60511—South Zone 6, Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai, UAE

Girish Kewalramani, Deputy Alan Pourmizra, Infrastructure Manager VP

www.resellerme.com


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channel elite 2013

05

Emax Electronics

$415m

Emax has high hopes for the future, thanks to its ability to retain top-notch talent and plans to bring in brands that are not yet present in the region.

Revenue for 2012

Neelesh Bhatnagar, CEO of Emax Electronics Although a recent entrant, Emax Electronics has managed to gain a fair share in the market—35 percent in the last year alone. The company’s business philosophy revolves around ‘electronics simplified’ and ‘customer centric’. Keeping this in mind, it has also launched its distribution division under the banner of Emax Electronics. Today, the company distributes around 15 international labels and is convinced that this part of the business will be a significant division going forward. Emax is also in the process of launching a separate division that will handle ‘after-sales services’ and other value-added services such as on-site installation, repair and Wi-Fi installment. The company is also the branded retail partner for Nokia, which is under Microsoft now. “And there are plans in the pipeline to launch shop-in-shop formats of Emax in the outlets of a non-electronic retail chain. We hope to make this announcement in the near future,” says Neelesh Bhatnagar, CEO of Emax Electronics With the vision to be customers’ most preferred electronics brand, Emax has launched various

Revenue breakup

initiatives. ‘Think electronics, think Emax’ is about becoming market leaders and making sure customers think of the company for all their electronic needs. ‘Emax Millionaire’ is where Dh1 million is awarded to the winner at DSF and the annual ‘GITEX campaign’, where the Emax army, comprising all staff from cashiers to technical employees, is present on the ground, increasing brand awareness and attracting more customers. “For us, the biggest challenge has been finding the right people to run the electronics business and finding the right training material to train them. But we have countered the problem by aggressive head hunting, maintaining a personal rapport and undertaking training initiatives to ensure that the employees remain. The Landmark Group label also helps us to retain employees,” says Bhatnagar. Like any other business in modern retail, finding a good location is a challenge. When the company started out in 2006, most of the existing malls didn’t have any tenant space but today, out of 17 Emax showrooms, at least 13 are in malls.

percent

Total number of employees: 2,000

Top five vendors by revenue: HP, Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, Toshiba

Revenue chart 500

415

million

61

400

330

percent

UAE 40

Address: PO Box 120010, Dubai, UAE

Revenue breakup by category

Outside of UAE

39

Year of start-up: 2006

Reseller Middle East

October 2013

Systems and components: 75% Peripherals and storage: 21% Networking: 3% Others: 1%

million 300

2011

2012

www.resellerme.com


06 $325m

Revenue for 2012

Emitac Enterprise Solutions Emitac Enterprise Solutions (EES) is a veteran of the regional market, having been a leading systems integrator for almost 37 years.

As the systems integration arm of the Emitac Group, which is also present in areas like mobility and healthcare, EES has a large presence in the Middle East, with operations also across Africa, Eastern Europe and the Subcontinent. Mainly operating out of its headquarters in the UAE, the company has built up core competencies across the entire enterprise IT build. With experience and solutions across all verticals, it covers a broad range of horizontal data centre solutions. Furthermore, it also caters to specific sectors, like its popular Microsoft-based e-services solution for government, as well as a focus towards banks and telcos. “We have seen growth in the last couple of years in the range of 10 percent,” says Miguel Angel Villalonga, CEO, Emitac Enterprise Solutions. This growth can be attributed to certain areas, mainly in the solutions space, where EES has grown quite aggressively. Driving this growth has been its strategy to diversify its portfolio more into specific domains, like its Microsoft solutions’ domain. “This will be the foundation for a more aggressive regional expansion, which we are planning as we speak,” Villalonga adds. Like any good systems integrator, EES differentiates itself with references, which have built up healthily over the previous decades. “We sell our ability to executive, predictability in the results of our customers, and references,” Villalonga says. “So the fact that we have been working successfully with our large customers is a testimony of our capabilities, and this is how we can differentiate.” On the vendor side, EES is well-tuned in delivering complex solutions, as well as accumulating the relevant expertise and certifications to integrate and implement products in its partners’ portfolios.

“If you look at companies like HP or Microsoft, their portfolios cover a very broad range of areas like infrastructure, cloud, IT services, management, business process automation, and CRM, so having the experience and expertise to do all of that is definitely something that differentiates us,” Villalonga says. “What we try to find are vendors that can provide future-proof and leading-edge technology that can help our customers to differentiate themselves in their own environments. So, normally, keeping the relationships is a higher focus for us, rather than trying to have a lot of different vendors. This is where we are very proud of our partnerships with large vendors like Microsoft and HP.” Looking forward, EES will no doubt continue to work with its strongly established vendor-partners, whilst also adding some new solutions. Furthermore, it is keen to capitalise further on new trends sweeping through the enterprise. “We are working on cloud delivery platforms, where we are becoming more of a service provider,” Villalonga says.

Revenue chart

340

350

million

300

324

million

250

150

74

million 50

2010

Year of start-up: 1976 Address: PO Box 8391, Garhoud, Next to Al Tayer Motors; Dubai, UAE Total number of employees: 160 Engineers: 80

Vendor profile Systems: HP Software and security: Microsoft, HP Software, Oracle, Asset, Juniper, Symantec, McAfee, Aruba, Cisco, SafeNet, HP Networks Peripherals and storage: HP, EMC, Oracle Networking: HP, Juniper, Symantec, McAfee, Cisco, Aruba Revenue break up: Systems and components: 20% Software and security: 24% Peripherals and storage:20% Networking: 4% Services and training: 32%

200

100

Miguel Angel Villalonga, CEO

2011

2012

october 2013

Reseller Middle East

41


channel elite 2013

07 $321m

Revenue for 2012

Logicom Group Logicom is a leading ICT distributor of computer systems, networking products, components and peripherals. In addition to components and peripherals, the distributor offers value-added services to its partners such as solution configuration, pre-and post-sales support, training and marketing initiatives in addition to finance services.

Logicom Dubai operates out of a wholly-owned, and brand new purpose-built 5,000-square-metre facility located in Jebel Ali Free Zone and a secondary depot in the heart of the city for local resellers to collect their orders fast and easy. The distributor is currently looking to broaden the solutions and services provided to second-tier channels by adding a more extensive solutions portfolio. It has recently added NetApp to the portfolio with a vision to provide infrastructure support through cloud services. Over the last 12 months, Logicom has enhanced its partnerships with Cisco and added new lines of business with HP in the Gulf, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. It has also signed up Nokia in Lebanon as well regional cooperation with new vendors such as Lenovo, Citrix, Jabra and ZTE. Additionally, Logicom has embarked on a major rebranding exercise this year, which includes the adoption of a revamped logo, updated social networking presence and a brand new web site with graphical language. Logicom says it is continuously evolving its business model to reflect the advancements in the market and plans to expand its mobility portfolio, which already boasts Nokia and ZTE. The distributor attributes its success to the strength of relationship with its partners and says its mission is to continue to develop and extend the value it delivers to a loyal network of partners. In order to offer the best pre-sales support to its partners, Logicom has recruited pre-sales engineers, product specialists, and invested in offering demo labs and specialised training to its channel.

Vendor profile Systems: HP, Cisco, Lenovo, Samsung Software and security: Adobe, Microsoft, WatchGuard Networking: Cisco, HP Peripherals and storage: Qnap, WD, NetApp Components: Intel, Kingston Others: ZTE, Nokia

Location of sales offices

Reseller Middle East

Address: PO Box 23472, CY 1683 Nicosia, Cyprus Year of start-up: 1992 Total number of resellers: 6,800 Total number of employees: 250

Top five vendors by revenue contribution: HP, Cisco, Intel, Kingston, Schneider Electric Top vendors by years of relationship: Intel, Cisco, Microsoft, Kingston, HP

Revenue break up by category

11%

Networking

83%

Hardware

2%

Peripherals and storage

UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan and Lebanon

42

Michael Papaeracleous, Director of Distribution

4%

Software and security

October 2013

www.resellerme.com


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channel elite 2013

08 $310m

Revenue for 2012

Almasa IT Distribution Buoyed by the mobility business and new markets, Almasa is gearing up for double-digit growth this year.

Mehdi Amjad, CEO and Chairman

Almasa IT distribution, which has been predominantly focused on notebooks and components, forayed into mobility market by setting up a business unit focused on smartphones and tablets, and also kick-started its value-added divisions. The distributor’s expansion plan in remote markets such as Iraq has also paid off well. “Ever since we set up our first office in Iraq a year and half ago, our operations in the country is getting bigger and we are in the process of opening up our third office. By the end of 2014, we will have around four to five offices in Iraq offering the complete portfolio from Almasa,” says Mehdi Amjad, CEO and Chairman. Almasa is also planning to go full steam on the mobility business by expanding the portfolio. “There is a phenomenal growth in the tablet space and we are selling 100,000 tablets in a quarter, which will soon go up to 150,000 ,” says Amjad. Almasa’s strategy is to look at challenging markets and find ways to address the demands of these marketing by investing locally. “Because of the way we are structured as a company we can cater to the remote market. In fact, we are the only large distributor that provides credit inside the country in Iraq. In markets such as Iraq credit insurance doesn’t work and we have a very capable credit function in remote countries,” says Amjad. Almasa’s value distribution arm, focused on communications and networking, has also turned in a good performance last year. And while most distributors have been dogged by the profitability issue with shrinking margins and rising operation costs, Almasa says it’s been able to ensure a healthy bottom line. “What we have done successfully at Almasa is to manage and control costs while growing our revenues. We are gearing up for a double-digit growth this year, and will be investing 30 to 40 percent more than we have ever done before to cater to the growth, especially from the mobility market,” says Amjad. Almasa is exploring the option of coming out with its own-branded tablet to cash in on the booming tier II market. “In the mobility portfolio, in order for us to fulfill our growth plans, we need eight brands of tablets and another three to four key smartphone brands in addition to the existing ones. So we are seeking new relationships in this area” says Amjad.

Year of start-up: 1995 Total number of active reseller: 1,000 Total number of employees: 175 Location of sales offices: UAE, Iraq, Kuwait, and KSA

Channel-facing executives

Vendor profile Systems: Asus, Lenovo, Acer, HP, Dell and Toshiba Networking: Avaya Peripherals and storage: Seagate, WD, Teleadapt Components: Intel, AMD, Asrock, Transcend Others: HP, LG

Asheem Abdulla – GM Sales

44

Reseller Middle East

October 2013

Manoj Kumar – Sales Manager

Satjeet Sangha – Sales Director

Janet Noronha – Marketing Manager

www.resellerme.com


09 $300m+

Revenue for 2012*

Jacky’s Electronics Operating in the UAE since 1988, Jacky’s Electronics is now a leading multi-brand consumer electronics retailer. The company opened its first retail showroom in Deira, Dubai and since then has grown steadily with eight outlets across the UAE to date.

*RME estimate Jacky’s Electronics has pioneered new concepts and approach to electronics retailing. All Jacky’s outlets are innovative and showcase leading-edge products including photography, audio and video, information and digital lifestyle technology, office automation, small and major appliances, personal items, and mobile phones. The retail chain has won various awards and accolades for its market leading retail concept and customer service, bringing wholesome electronics shopping experience to its customer from the leading UAE malls and award-giving bodies. Jacky’s Electronics is the only consumer electronic retailer to be awarded ‘Superbrand’ status six times in a row by the UAE Superbrand Council. GITEX Shopper 2012 also marked the company’s most successful participation in the event surpassing initial projections by posting 11 percent sales increase. This was due to developing a deeper understanding of customer expectations due to decade long association and presence at the event, as well as trendsetting marketing and promotional initiatives that contributed in positioning Jacky’s as a destination at GITEX Shopper for consumers. One of the key initiatives that Jacky’s reinforced in 2012 is its partnership with leading banks in the UAE providing customers a variety of choices. Among the banks that Jacky’s partners with are First Gulf Bank, Dubai First, Standard Chartered, Emirates NBD, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Citibank, Barclays, MashreqBank, HSBC, and ADCB. One of the major focus points for Jacky’s Electronics as a retailer in 2012 was to educate the consumers about grey imports and work with vendors to ensure the problem of grey imports was kept to a minimum in cases where there is a presence of an active distributor in the region. The company has also increased its focus on being a part of the customer conversation and has been at the forefront of connecting with its consumers through the social media platforms. Through Jacky’s Facebook fan page (www.facebook.com/jackysuae), Twitter account (www.twitter. com/jackysuae), and blog site (http://blogs.jackys.com) customers are given real-time updates for upcoming product launches, current promotion and product reviews, and they can share opinions and hold discussions on various technology trends.

Ashish Panjabi, COO

Year of start-up: 1970 Address: PO Box 13745, Dubai, UAE Total number of employees: 480

Revenue break up by technology category

IT 37% Audio / Video 5% Photography 13% Mobility 18% Appliances 12% Accessories 5%

Top five vendors by revenue contribution: HP, Apple, Dell, Toshiba, Sony

october 2013

Reseller Middle East

45


channel elite 2013

10

Mitsumi Distribution

$245m

Revenue for 2012

The Africa-centric distributor is on the look-out to explore opportunities with companies present in the Lower Gulf and Saudi market. Mitesh Shah, MD

With its business structured into five units, Mitsumi Distribution aims to focus on verticals such as value, telco, power and tablets in 2014. Mitesh Shah, MD, Mitsumi Distribution, says, “As these verticals are growing and have huge potential in our market, we want to concentrate on them. Also in other plans, we want to work with our resellers and partners to certify and help them enhance technical skills by ways of trainings and seminars planned across Africa regions.” The African centric distributor has recently launched its Value Division deploying high skilled resources, which are going to drive large enterprise deals in Africa. Last year, the company moved its head office from Kenya to Dubai in order to ensure a smooth vendor and logistical support to all its operations in 19 countries in East, West, North and Southern Africa. Also it is looking at growing in the Middle East by way of acquisition and would be keen to actively explore potential opportunities from companies who have presence in lower Gulf and Saudi market. Having established new offices last year in North Africa, the company hopes to strengthen its position in Southern Africa region which will be supported by a logistic hub in South Africa by next year. Launched with the vision to be the ‘Distributor of Choice’ in IT and Consumer Electronics in Africa by providing affordable technologies, the company is looking to add full implementation functions to its business model and enhance its support offerings to its partners in the region. Today, the company is the authorised distributor of Dell, HP, Acer, Toshiba, Lenovo, Samsung, Epson, Microsoft, Western Digital, Sandisk, BenQ, Huawei, Dell SonicWALL, Riverbed, IBM, Linksys, Dlink and Tripplite in Africa. “We are investing in all functions heavily and intend to be best in class in logistics, telesales, field sales, channel marketing, end user pull, finance and credit and geographical coverage as the market is constantly evolving,” explains Shah.

Revenue break up by category Hardware: 68%

Networking: 5%

Software: 3%

Accessories and consumables: 7%

Peripherals and storage: 12%

46

Services and training : 5%

Reseller Middle East

October 2013

Year of start-up: 1996 Address: PO Box 262059, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Location of sales offices: Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, South Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana, cameron, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Morocco, Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia, Mauritius, Madagascar and UAE Location of support offices: Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique

Top five vendors by revenue contribution: Dell, HP, Toshiba, Samsung, Acer

Vendor profile Systems: HP, Dell, Acer, Toshiba, Lenovo, Samsung, Asus Software and security: Microsoft Peripherals and storage: Western Digital, Toshiba Networking: Tripp-Lite, Dell SonicWall, HP Networking, Riverbed, IBM, D-Link, Linksys Accessories and consumables: HP, Samsung

www.resellerme.com


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channel elite 2013

11 $235m

Revenue for 2012

mindware Mindware reinforces its commitment to the channel by streamlining its operations, focusing more on value-added products and enabling its partners in the process.

Mario Gay, General Manager Year of start-up: 1991 Established in 1991 and with over 22 years of operations in the industry, Mindware has successfully aligned itself with vendor strategies and adapted to the changing market landscape. The distributor has invested heavily in several initiatives to support the channel experience and ensure favourable return on investment. It also focused heavily in delivering key objectives to the channel, including the addition of value-added products, sales and technical trainings, incentives, and providing the best pre-and and post-sales support to its partners. In terms of business development Mindware has already successfully built a solid foundation for its channel partner programme, which enables it to provide end-to-end solutions to partners across a wide array of segments, including networking, components, hardware, servers, storage, software, and security, all under one hub. As a market initiative, the distributor has also introduced a channel loyalty programme with the intention of enhancing and bringing value to the current incentive schemes and to reward partners for selling products under Mindware’s portfolio. While Mindware already has an impressive bouquet of vendors including Microsoft, Citrix, Juniper, Symantec, Dell, it also added Emerson, Lenovo and Motorola to the portfolio in 2012. Another important development was the improvement of the B2B platform, which provides a direct line of communication between the distributor’s own Orion ERP system and major vendors it represents to automate processes involving purchase orders, GRNs and reporting. The system, which is based on Microsoft’s BizTalk Server technology, has resulted in immediate benefits for the company, and now has been improved to distinguish annuity renewals, pipeline generation, inventory, ROC, partner targets, and inventory. “Our systems talk directly with the vendors’ systems, which simplifies the type of operation that we are running, reduces paperwork and cuts down the time of carrying out a transaction. In less than two or three minutes, we can place an order, receive confirmation and complete a transaction,” says Mario Gay, Managing Director of the company. Currently, Mindware has synchronised its systems with Intel, Symantec, McAfee and Microsoft.

Revenue breakup Hardware: 42%

Address: PO Box 55609, Dubai, UAE Total number of active resellers: 2,000 Total number of employees: 137 Technical staff: 11

Vendor profile Systems: Dell, Lenovo Software and security: Microsoft, Symantec, Citrix, McAfee Peripherals and storage: Symantec, Apacer, Wyse Networking: Juniper, Nexans, Pace, Emerson Components: Intel

Revenue breakup Outside of UAE

Software and security: 25% Peripherals and storage: 5%

58

percent

Networking: 25%

42

percent

Services and training: 3%

UAE october 2013

Reseller Middle East

49


channel elite 2013

12

Asbis Middle East

$230m

The distributor bets big on its mobility business to fuel its future growth.

Revenue for 2012

Hesham Tantawi, VP-META As part of a group with operations in 55 countries, Asbis Middle East has been able to leverage its vast reach to create a unique competitive advantage for itself in the regional landscape. It is the only distributor of both Intel and AMD in the Middle East and boasts some of the leading brands in its portfolio. Asbis has developed a strategy that looks at each brand from training and marketing perspective and assists its vendors to enable the channel though regular training programmes. During 2012, Asbis pulled the plug on certain product categories including notebooks and started to focus on smartphones and tablets, mainly its in-house brand Prestigio. “We may have not grown very rapidly from a revenue standpoint because of the decision to stop certain product lines but it has helped us achieve healthy net profitability and cash flow,” says Hesham Tantawi, VP-META, Asbis. The decision to focus on Prestigio has paid off for the distributor as the brand is already the fifth-largest selling tablet in EMEA region. “In fact, we are number

one ahead of Samsung and Apple in some countries,” says Tantawi. While the components market has shrunk, Asbis says it still has a good traction in this space. “Intel and AMD contribute around 30 percent to our total revenues and components business will continue to do well in the next three to four years,” says Tantawi. One of the milestones for the distributor for 2012 was the launch of Asbis Fusion Club, a unique long term loyalty programme for AMD customers in more than 13 countries. The aim of the club is to unite partners who provide AMD technologies into one team. Asbis has also opened up services centres in eight counties to support its thriving mobility business. “We have extended partnerships to African market by forging allliances in countries such as Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda, and have started working directly with telcos. Going ahead, we will expand our mobility portfolio, which already has Prestigo and Gigabyte. We are not into volume business, and we’d rather focus on quality and profitability,” says Tantawi.

Top five vendors by revenue contribution: Intel, Lenovo, Seagate, Toshiba, AMD

Revenue breakup Outside of UAE

45 55 percent

percent

UAE 50

Reseller Middle East

Vendor profile Systems: Toshiba, Lenovo, Prestigio , Intel Software and security: AVG, Symantec, ESET, Netgear, Evault Peripherals and storage: AOC, Seagate, Promise, Netgear ReadyNAS, Infotrend, Patriot, Lexmark, Canyon, Prestigio Networking: TP-Link, Netgear Accessories and consumables: Canyon, Prestigio Components: AMD, Intel, Gainward, Point of View, Foxconn, ECS, Sapphire

October 2013

Year of start-up: 1998 Address: PO Box 17706, Dubai, UAE Total number of active resellers: 2,000 Total number of employees: 95 Technical staff: 12

Revenue chart 250

230

209

200

2010

209

2011

2012

Revenue breakup by category Hardware: 29% Software and security: 11 % Peripherals and storage: 23% Networking: 29% Accessories and consumables: 8%

www.resellerme.com


13 $170m*

Computer Network Systems

Revenue for 2012

The system integrator has made a name for itself by providing turnkey IT solutions backed by a commitment to provide a high level of services.

*RME estimate

Ihab Al Saheli, GM Year of start-up: 1987

CNS offers a host of turnkey IT solutions supported by a collaborative network of IT professionals and services to help its clients improve IT processes, optimise and reduce data centre and infrastructure costs. CNS believes in architecting the IT infrastructure around the customer’s needs—be it a multinational corporation or a small to medium-sized enterprise. Founded in 1987 by the Ghobash Trading and Investment Group, CNS has steadily built a reputation for delivering quality, professional services alongside an innovative, enterprising approach. CNS currently has offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Muscat, as well as strategic partnerships with IT organisations across the region to extend our distinctive array of services to clients spread far and wide. With technology constantly evolving and needs becoming more and more individual, CNS is increasingly focusing on optimisation through innovation. “We have formed strategic alliances with the world’s leading IT brands and best-of-breed Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) to make sure our clients are privy to some of the best-in-class products,” says Ihab Al Saheli. CNS has also developed its proprietary DREAM methodology (Define, Review, Engineer, Accelerate and Manage) to develop a scalable ICT solution that takes into full consideration the users’ current operational requirements as well as their future needs. “The successful implementations of the DREAM methodology in major private and public organizations have directly translated into the CNS success story—with requests inviting CNS to be their new IT partner building up,” says Saheli. As technology is being invented and re-invented to improve lives, CNS keeps itself updated by monitoring trends and partnering with OEMs that are ahead of the development curve. Trusted to deliver, and encouraged to be innovative, CNS works hard to extend businesses a competitive advantage.

Revenue breakup by category Systems and components: 10 percent Software and security: 15 percent Peripherals

and storage: 25 percent

Address: PO Box 46144, Abu Dhabi, UAE Engineers: 31

Vendor profile Systems: Microsoft Software and security: Oracle, Fortinet, Symantec, Blue Coat, VMware Peripherals and storage: EMC, HP Networking: Cisco

Top five vendors by revenue contribution: Wincor Dixdorf, HP, Oracle, Microsoft, Cisco

Revenue breakup Outside of UAE

Networking: 25 percent

30

percent

Services and training: 25 percent

70

percent

UAE october 2013

Reseller Middle East

51


channel elite 2013

14 $161m

Revenue for 2012

Westcon Group The well-known distributor is focusing on strong growth for the coming years, driven by a localised presence and new business units. Steve Lockie, Group Managing Director Year of start-up: 1993

WestconME is growing at about 15 percent year-on-year and is clear on the fact that if a particular market doesn’t require value-add then it is time for the company to move on as its focus is on profitable growth for the company and its partners. With significant sales channels for Avaya, Blue Coat, Cisco, Juniper, Motorola and close to 100 other industry-leading vendors, the company has specific expertise in the convergence of voice, data and video application technologies, including VoIP, internet security, wireless and mobility solutions. One of the highlights for the value-added distributor in the past six months has been the expansion to countries such as Egypt and Libya, as well as extending existing teams in the UAE and KSA to Iraq and Kuwait. Steve Lockie, Group Managing Director, WestconME Group says, “Having inventory in Iraq is quite a major move forward for us. The changing landscape, with the recent exit of Avnet and entry of Ingram is an important development. And we are waiting to see how this settles in the second half of the year.” The distributor is planning to build its portfolio in certain areas, and this is illustrated by Comstor becoming more data-centric and the launch of Security Incubator, a dedicated unit under Westcon Security. “At the moment we have Arbor, Forescout and Algosec. That’s been a real game-changer for us because it allows us to compete head-on with those niche security specialists,” explains Lockie. The company is functioning under three guiding principles: the first is to have ‘one Westcon’ so that the customer can do business easily across divisions. The second is to be a market vanguard in thought leadership and lastly the distributor wants to continue with its ‘great workplace initiative’ to motivate employees and to be able to retain them. With these three market differentiators in place, the company believes in delighting its customers. In order to get closer to its customers, which is a challenge, Westcon has been trying to get more people in the field. The strength of the model is the fact that the distributor speaks the language of its resellers and is trying to view the company as a whole. Lockie says that channel financing is always a problem, which Westcon is trying to overcome by its offering—credit as a service. And keeping the markets aware of the new technologies is not an easy task, as there is a lot going on.

Revenue breakup Outside of UAE

70

percent

30

percent

UAE

Vendor profile Systems: Cisco Software and security: Algosec, Arbor, Blue Coat, Cisco, Dell Sonicwall, Forescout, Juniper, Kasperksy Peripherals and storage: NetApp Networking: APC by Schneider Electric, Avaya, Acme Packet, Avocent, AT&T, Brocade, Cisco, Ciena, Emerson, Extreme Network, Juniper, LifeSize, Motorola, Meru Networks, Polycom, Proxim, Sonus

Address: PO Box 17124, Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai, UAE Total number of active resellers: 1,500 Total number of employees: 125 Engineers: 28 Location of sales offices: UAE, KSA, Oman, Yemen, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq Location of support offices: UAE, KSA

Revenue breakup by category

Networking: 81 percent Services and training: 12 percent Software and security: 7 percent

october 2013

Reseller Middle East

53


channel elite 2013

15 $160m

Trigon Having made significant investments in resources and facilities, Trigon is all set to reap the rewards.

Revenue for 2012

Arun Chawla, CEO

In 2012 when most of the distributors were cutting corners, Trigon stood out from the pack by investing heavily in a new office, resources and new brands, which paid handsome dividends to the company. Trigon’s business model works on a mix of value and volume. Last year, the distributor placed different resources to enhance the value business segment while increasing the market share in volume business the same time. “We moved into a new office to instill confidence and send out the message that we are here to stay. We engaged KMPG for auditing and decided to implement SAP to create strong operational backhone,” says Arun Chawla. During 2012, Trigon has expanded its product breadth by entering into distribution agreements with prominent technology brands like Acer, 3M, Optoma and Netgear. “These new brands have contributed to a healthy bottom line for us,” says Chawla. Currently, Trigon has 20 brands in its product portfolio, which is structured around the four key market segments that company caters to retail, resellers, corporate and re-exports. “We have a good mix and the products complement each other. The growth primarily from retail and corporate sector,” says Chawla. Trigon has also been able to replicate its success formula in the UAE to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, where it has achieved around 30 percent and 70 percent revenue growth respectively. Trigon is also eyeing the opportunities in the mobility market but with a different approach. “We are not looking at product categories such as smartphones because it requires a different mindset. What we have in the mobility portfolio are products such as mobile scanners, portable

54

Reseller Middle East

October 2013

hard disk drives, etc cetera,” says Chawla. Trigon is all set to ride the crest of the growth wave over the next 12 months, with eyes on 15-percent growth. “We will continue to hunt for new vendors. We don’t sign up a brand just for the sake of it. If their product line or business strategy doesn’t align with ours, there is no point in taking on a brand. It is easy to sell yourself to a new vendor but in the process you would end up damaging the brand and harm your own reputation in the market,” says Chawla, a firm believer in ethical business practices.

Year of start-up: 1997 Address: PO Box 32610, Dubai, UAE Total number of employees: 106

Revenue chart 200

160

Vendor profile

million

160

150

million

125

million 100

2010

2011

2012

Systems: Acer, LG, Samsung Networking: D-Link, Netgear Accessories and consumables: Xerox, Creative, Elo, BenQ, Ergotron Top five vendors by revenue: Samsung, LG, D-Link, Creative, Acer

www.resellerme.com


15 $160m

Revenue for 2012

Unatrac IT Distribution The Egyptian powerhouse is spreading its wings in the Middle East.

Ashraf Serag, Country Manager

Unatrac is part of the Mantrac Group, a subsidiary of the Egyptian business conglomerate Mansour Group. Unatrac operates out of its head office in Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai, with branches in KSA and Kuwait. The distributor provides its channel with technical and financial assistance as well immediate order processing capabilities supported and backed by adequate stock levels. Last year, Unatrac has branched out of its home base in Egypt, where it distributes more than 15 bands and started focusing more on the Middle East. As part of this strategy, the company set up a 4,000-square-metre warehouse in Jebel Ali, and is in the process of bringing more brands to the region. Unatrac, which believes in long-term relationships have been distributing Dell and IBM for more than 15 years in the region. In fact, it is the only Dell partner with distributions rights spanning Egypt, Gulf and KSA. Recently, it has also expanded distribution rights with Fortinet to bring the brand to Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. The distributor, which has a loyal network of more than 1,000 partners, is focused on the commercial sector and is planning to expand its solutions portfolio to emerge as a value-added distributor. With this in mind, it has signed up brands such as Avaya, HP and Microsoft. It has also set up a service centre in KSA and another one will be set in the UAE soon. Unatrac is also expanding its geographical footprint in the region with plans to set up an office in Qatar sometime next year.

Vendor profile Systems: Dell, IBM, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Fujitsu Software and security: Microsoft, Fortinet, Trend Micro Peripheral and storage: Dell, HP Networking: Dell, HP, Avaya

Year of start- up: 1997 Address: PO Box 18673, Dubai. UAE Total number of employees: 112 Value added services: Pre-sales support, implementation, training, knowledge transfer, and after-sales support

Top five vendors by years of relationship: HP, IBM, Microsoft, Dell, Fortinet

Revenue breakup by category

30% UAE

70%

Othside UAE

october 2013

Reseller Middle East

55


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channel elite 2013

16

$121.5m

Visionaire Visionaire is all about its ‘technomics’ business model, a single-integrated-system mode of deployment that has helped it emerge as a big name in the Middle East. Aneeta Gupta, President and CEO

Revenue for 2012 Visionaire’s model is designed to combat the single vendorcentred strategies that rely on vendor rebates and end-ofyear hand-outs. Instead, the SI works on providing organisations the ability to achieve perpetuity in transformational ICT, by focusing on customer and business needs to gain market share and meet revenue objectives. Many are refreshed by its mission statement to work for the customers benefit, rather than over-engineer the customers’ trust and make wasteful or vendor lockin proposals—an approach which has led to some big customer-wins. Key projects included the design, build and operations of the UAEU campus (valued at Dh178 million) and the Zayed University Khalifa City campus (valued at Dh69 million).

17

$120m

Revenue breakup Systems and components: 14% Software and security: 12% Peripherals and storage: 20% Networking: 38% Accessories and consumables:6% Services and training: 10%

Revenue breakup by region Outside ofUAE: 20% UAE: 80%

Year of start-up: 1995 Address: PO Box 16928, Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai, UAE Total number of employees: 585 Engineers: 388

Vendor profile Systems: HP, Brocade, EMC, Cisco, Juniper Software and security: Microsoft, EMC, NetApp, VMWare, EMC, Palo Alto, Juniper Peripherals and storage: Samsung, LG, Sharp, Rave, Polycom Networking: Microsoft, Avaya, Aruba, Cisco, VMWare, Brocade, HP, EMC, F5, Cisco, Palo Alto, Juniper

DESPEC The distributor focused on after-market supplies and went through a business restructuring last year. Jaison Korath, CEO

Revenue for 2012 Last year was a transition year for Despec with the completion of its restructuring in Europe and shift in focus to its East African operations. “We also fine-tuned our business and divided the brands into four product groups—printing supplies, paper, networking and accessories, storage and optical. We realised that we were too HP-centric and, ironically, it was the smaller brands there were giving us more profitability,” says Jaison Korath, CEO of Despec. During the same time, Despec expanded its portfolio by signing up companies such as ADATA, TDK, XtremeMac and Trust. It also extended its hardware range to include brands such as D-Link, Powerocks and Tripp-Lite in certain markets. In addition, it acquired the master distribution rights for Pantum Printers in the MEA region.

Revenue breakup Software and security: 0.5% Peripherals and storage: 12.5% Accessories and consumables: 87%

Revenue breakup by region UAE: 40% Outside of UAE: 60%

Top five vendors by revenue: HP, Lexmark, Imation, ADATA, Wacom

Year of start-up: 1996 Address: PO Box 61050, Dubai, UAE Total number of active resellers: 2,100 Location of sales offices: UAE, KSA, Jordan, Lebanon, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Kuwait

Vendor profile Software and security: Norton Peripherals and storage: HP, Imation, Verbatim, IBM, Sony Networking: D-Link Accessories and consumables: HP, Lexmark, Transcend, PNY, Samsung, Canon, Printronix, Tally Genicom, Imation, Verbatim, Wacom, Double A, Targus, XtremeMac, ICIDU, Powerocks, Trust, Orient Pearl

october 2013

Reseller Middle East

57


channel elite 2013

17

$120m

Revenue for 2012

Golden Systems Middle East GSME is exploring opportunities in new product and market segments.

During 2012, Golden Systems increased its push and exposure into CIS countries, North Africa and Iraq while strengthening its channel network by signing on new resellers across the Middle East. To counter market conditions in 2012, GSME made concerted efforts to concentrate and shift its sales volume from the entry-level range to the mid and high level market segments. GSME also expanded its product portfolio by adding brands such as Asus and Epson to the portfolio. The increased demand for mobility products encouraged GSME to restructure its business model to focus on its OEM brand Axtrom, which is distributed in CIS countries, North Africa, and has a distribution partnership with BDL for GCC countries.

17

$120m

Revenue for 2012

Revenue breakup Hardware: 60% Software and security: 5% Peripherals and storage: 30% Networking: 5%

Revenue breakup by region UAE: 40% Outside of UAE: 60%

Ali Sharifi, CEO Year of start-up: 1996 Address: PO Box 262221, Dubai, UAE Total number of active resellers: 1,036 Total number of employees: 140 Technical staff: 20

Vendor profile Systems: Gigabyte, Asus Software and security: Kaspersky Peripherals and storage: Logitech, Cooler Master, Kingmax, Epson, Axtrom, Zotac, WD, Kingston

Seven Seas Computer LLC The systems integrator works with some of the biggest brands in the industry with a specialised focus on verticals.

Seven Seas is a leading systems integrator and an ICT solution provider in the UAE. Seven Seas Computers is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company since 1983 and a tiered partner to almost all major technology vendors and are pioneers in delivering ICT solutions and services in enterprise systems, networking, security, business continuity, DR, and managed services. Since its inception, Seven Seas has grown rapidly into a diversified solutions provider with international presence in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore. Seven Seas’ own and strategic intellectual property includes its flagship application, momentohs, an innovative and integrated modular Enterprise Software for the hospitality industry. Top five vendors by revenue contribution: Microsoft, IBM, HP, Cisco, Dell

Revenue breakup Systems and components: 30% Software and security: 34% Peripherals and storage: 11% Networking: 17% Accessories and consumables: 1% Services and training: 7%

Revenue breakup by region UAE: 85% Outside of UAE: 15%

Nayagam Pillai, CEO Year of start-up: 1983 Address: PO Box 8469, Dubai, UAE Total number of employees: 344 Technical staff: 254

Vendor profile Systems: IBM, HP, Dell Software and security: Microsoft, Cisco, Symantec, Websense, Stonesoft, MessageLabs, CITRIX, CA, RedHat, VMware, Veeam Peripherals and storage: HP, IBM, CA, Citrix, NetApp, EMC Networking: Cisco, HP, Avaya, Aruba, Panduit, Brand-Rex Others: Polycom, Arecont, Life Size,

october 2013

Reseller Middle East

59


channel elite 2013

18 $112m

Revenue for 2012

Al-Jammaz Distribution The Saudi distribution major is focusing more on customised solutions to drive growth.

The Saudi-based Al-Jammaz Distribution focuses on advanced technology products, solutions and services in the areas of networking, data centre, storage, wireless, broadband and mobile applications. Al-Jammaz is one of the first distributors in the country to specialise in advanced technologies with a focus on key vertical markets such as finance, education, healthcare and hospitality. “This year, we see the growth coming from different areas. Corporates are starting to invest more in storage, data centres, video conferencing and they are starting to understand the importance of cloud services. As broadband becomes an integral part of any business, any solutions around connectivity and security will have a good demand. We are also increasing our focus on SMB products and solutions,” says Asim AlJammaz, VP of the company.

19

$100m

Revenue for 2012

Reseller Middle East

Top five vendors by years of relationship: TCL, Cisco, Linksys, Technicolor, APC by Scheider Electric

Year of start-up: 1998 Address: PO Box 4310, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Total number of active resellers: 800 Total number of sales offices: Riyadh, Jeddah, Khobar, Qassim, Tabuk, Sajer, Wadi Aldwaser, Najran Total number of employees: 170 Technical staff: 25

Vendor profile Systems: APC Software and security: Symantec Peripherals and storage: EMC, Iomega Networking: Cisco, Linksys, Panduit

Secureway Network Distributors The VAD’s wide geographical reach plays a major role in providing one-stop-shop solutions across the region.

Secureway continues to remain a specialist distributor providing end-to-end IT security solutions, while assisting vendors in the full lifecycle of the project from proof of concept to after sales support. The extensive GCC reach and the additional markets of Jordan and the large market of Egypt and Pakistan is a strong advantage for Secureway and its vendors and partners. Secureway continues to remain a specialist distributor providing end-to-end IT security solutions, while assisting vendors in the full lifecycle of the project from proof of concept to after sales support. The extensive GCC reach and the additional markets of Jordan and the large market of Egypt and Pakistan is a strong advantage for Secureway and its vendors and partners.

60

Revenue breakup Hardware: 5% Software and security: 5% Peripherals and storage: 25% Networking: 60% Services and training: 5%

Asim AlJammaz, VP

October 2013

Top five vendors by revenue contribution: Fortinet, F5, Sourcefire, Infoblox, Lumension

Fari Boustantchi, CEO Year of start-up: 2005 Address: P.O. Box 500640, Dubai, UAE Location of sales offices: Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, France, Egypt Total number of employees: 59 Technical staff: 15 Primary market segment focus: Telcos, energy, banking & finance, healthcare, airlines, hospitality, education

Vendor profile Systems: Oracle Software and security: TIBCO, Fortinet, F5, Sourcefire, HID, Lumension, Infoblox

www.resellerme.com


channel elite 2013

20

$72.5m

Revenue for 2012

Jumbo Electronics Jumbo Electronics sustains growth momentum through strategic relationships with specific brands.

Established in 1974, Jumbo Electronics is a leading player in the field of consumer electronics, information technology, telecommunications, home appliances, office automation and entertainment in the UAE. One of the first trans-national corporations, it has a wide network of 27 retail stores and nine service centres across the emirates of Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Ajman. One of the largest distributors of Sony products, Jumbo also distributes for other brands such as Acer, Blackberry, Brother, Casio, HP, LG, Ricoh, NCR, Rionet, Sennheiser, Supra, among others. The company works mainly in five principal divisions— Sony, Information Technology, Telecom, Supra and Agencies—which function together with channels like Retail and Corporate Sales along with support from Central Services and Logistics.

21 $40m

Year of start-up: 1974 Address: PO Box 3426, Dubai, UAE Total number of employees: 260 Technical staff: 60

Vendor profile Revenue breakup Systems and components: 94.5% Software and security: 0.80% Peripherals and storage: 1.84% Networking: 1 % Accessories and consumables: 1.95%

Comguard is looking forward to strengthening its channel network by adding new resellers from all across various countries in the Middle East region. Ajay Singh Chauhan, CEO

ComGuard has been the first choice IT Distributor in the region for leading security vendors like Acunetix, Kaspersky, GFI, iolo, Infowatch and EC Council. In 2012, the VAD took a strategic approach to invest by reinforcing its value added services. This led to the expansion of its services portfolio and training facilities. Comguard leverages its in-house technical strength and availability of a pool of 50 engineers to provide technical support to resellers and customers. The VAD has also invested in a strong pre-sales team which helps partners with customer meetings and proof-of-concept demonstrations. This helps the company to approach and handle complex project scenarios.

Reseller Middle East

Systems: Sony, Apple, HP, Samsung, Lenovo, Dell, Acer, Toshiba, Asus, Fujitsu, Microsoft Software and security: Microsoft, Kaspersky, Symantec, Quick Heal, Bitdefender, Adobe, McAfee Peripherals and storage: Seagate, WD, Buffalo, Logitech, Iomega, Transcend Networking: Linksys, D-Link, Netgear, Buffalo, Belkin, Netgenie, WD Accessories and consumables: Apple, Sony, Targus, Belkin, Case Logic, Travel Pac, Tucano, Samsung

Comguard

Revenue for 2012

62

Vishesh L Bhatia,

October 2013

Revenue breakup Hardware: 10 percent Software and security: 40 percent Sevices and training: 20 percent

Revenue breakup by region Outside of UAE: 30% UAE: 70%

Year of start-up: 2002 Address: 29th Floor, BB2, Mazaya Business Avenue, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai, U.A.E Total number of active resellers: 700 plus Total number of employees: 140 Technical staff: 65

Vendor profile Systems: Beyond Trust, Winmagic Software and security: Kaspersky, GFI, ECCouncil, Acunetix, gateprotect, HP Enterprise Security, WinMagic, Tripwire, Clavister Networking: Array Networks, Bluecat, AirTight Accessories and consumables: Engenius Others: Cambium, Safenet, Meru Networks, Damballa

www.resellerme.com


october 2013

Reseller Middle East

63


channel elite 2013

22 $34m

Revenue for 2012

Intertec Systems The Dubai-based SI strives towards service delivery excellence in its 23rd year of operations.

Established in 1991, Intertec is a leading IT systems integrator and solution provider. The SI has 20-plus highaccreditation alliances with industry leaders, and follows PMI project methodologies, using systems to manage its internal and customer interactions. The SI has achieved 30-percent growth over the last 12 months and has invested heavily in a large pre-sales team for various solutions, supported by technical staff. Intertec plans to develop market segmentation deeper, and create consulting practice around the solutions the SI wants to market. “We will also develop two to three IPRs in niche areas, which help customers manage and analyse their business better, and increase revenue or decrease cost,” says Naresh Kothari, Managing Director of the company.

23 $32m

Revenue for 2012

Reseller Middle East

Systems and components: 26% Software and security: 31% Peripherals and storage: 7% Networking: 14% Accessories and consumables: 2% Services and training: 20%

Year of start-up: 1991 Address: PO Box 27130, Dubai, UAE Location of sales offices: UAE, Bahrain, Oman, KSA, India Total number of employees: 244 Technical staff: 90

Revenue breakup by region UAE: 94% Outside of UAE: 6%

Top 5 vendors by revenue contribution: HP, Cisco, LanDesk, Oracle, Infor

Almoayyed Computers The Bahrain-based SI has started focusing more on services, which helped increase its overall profitability.

Almoayyed has partnered with leading ICT vendors across the globe to become a strong systems integrator while providing best-of-breed options. These partnerships include the likes of Microsoft, HP, Oracle, Cisco, Symantec, EMC and VMware. On the application front, the Almoayyed has acquired capabilities of addressing the horizontal requirements of users in the areas of ERP and HR with its home-grown solutions. Almoayyed has invested in a state-of-the-art technology centre to showcase a host of technology solutions offered by its partners in addition to solution-staging facilities. Due to such well-placed investment, the SI has managed to gain a number of high-profile customer wins over the past year.

64

Revenue breakup

Naresh Kothari, Managing Director

October 2013

Revenue breakup Systems and components: 18% Software and security: 30% Peripherals and storage: 6% Networking: 20% Accessories and consumables: 5% Services and training: 16%

SM Hussaini, GM Year of start-up: 1979 Address: PO Box 26259, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Total number of employees: 150 Technical staff: 80

Vendor profile Systems: HP, Oracle, EMC, Cisco Software and security: Asset Tech Group, Business Objects, Citrix, CA, Ducont, General Dynamics, Maximo, Microsoft, Sanako, Symantec, VMware Networking: Avaya, Cisco Applications: SmartServiceDesk, BCT, ITWorx, Informatique, Nalsoft, Levtech, Istasharat, 3i Infotech, Ducont

www.resellerme.com


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channel elite 2013

23 $32m

Prologix Distribution This VAD is ramping up its service capabilities. Sarwan Singh, CEO

Revenue for 2012 Prologix began in 1998 as a PC assembling and maintenance company, transitioned to a systems integrator and finally transformed into one of the region’s leading value added distributors in the IT and Telecom domain. The company’s focus is on ‘value’ products, which help resellers provide innovative solutions to their customers and at the same time provide them with the opportunity to earn margins. Over the years, Prologix had studied the market and created a distribution network across the region by appointing VARs and subdistributors, enabling it to serve the demands of a growing market, not just as a distribution company, but as a ‘total solutions to supply’ provider. Over the last 12 months, the company has signed a number of strategic partnerships with vendors such as Anite Finland, Agilent Technologies, Fluke Networks and Digital Lightwave. “The win-win distribution model implemented by us has resulted in pricing and service benefits for all our partners and customers, making us a trusted IT distributor in the MENA region,” says Sarwan Singh, CEO of the company.

23 $32m

Revenue for 2012

Revenue breakup Test & measurement: 60% Wireless: 35%

Year of start-up: 1998 Address: PO Box 71790, Dubai, UAE Location of sales offices: UAE, Kenya, Qatar, Nigeria Number of active resellers: 272 Total number of employees: 30 Technical staff: 12

Revenue breakup by region Outside of UAE: 40% UAE: 60%

Printek Supplies The SMB reseller has recorded a good year, thanks to robust demand for printing supplies and storage media.

As a specialist consumables reseller, Printek has a portfolio comprising best-of-breed brands such as HP, Canon, Xerox, IBM, Lexmark, Brother, Sharp and Sony. “2012 was really good for us, especially since we achieved more targets compared to 2011. As a company, we have grown about 20 to 30 percent more in 2012 than 2011,” says Manoj Tiwari, Managing Partner of the company. Right now, the company is focusing on Printek, and wants to expand to African markets such as Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria. “And also we want to cover more GCC countries. More than expanding our product portfolio, our focus is to expand our reach to more markets. This will be our key focus for 2014 as well,” says Tiwari. Printek currently has two showrooms in Dubai and one in Saudi Arabia.

Revenue breakup

Year of start-up: 2004 Total number of employees: 18 Revenue breakup: UAE: 70% Outside of UAE: 30%

UAE

70

percent

Manoj Tiwari, Managing Partner

30

percent Outside of UAE october 2013

Reseller Middle East

67


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channel elite 2013

24 $30m

Revenue for 2012

Starlink The VAD’s domain expertise helps it deliver solutions across the region

StarLink, headquartered in Dubai, is an IT compliance driven solutions provider and was founded in 2005. StarLink specialises in automating the entire IT compliance auditing process to help customers in the Middle East region reduce IT Risk, with a focus on enterprises in the financial, telco and government sectors. StarLink’s solution offerings are now installed in more than 200 data centers in the Middle East, including 100 of the top regional banks and 15 of the regional’s top Telcos. StarLink’s portfolio includes brands such as Dell Software, SafeNet, RedSeal Networks, Titus, SecureLink, Boole Server, NetOptics, Guidance Sofrware and Ipswitch.

24 $30m

Revenue breakup Software and security: 85% Networking: 5% Services and training: 10%

Nidal Othman, CEO Year of start-up: 2005 Address: P O Box 99580, Dubai, UAE Total number of sales offices: UAE, KSA, Turkey, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya Total number of active resellers: 50

Revenue breakup by region UAE: 25% Outside of UAE: 75%

Vendor profile Software and security: FireEye, Dell Quest, Dell SonicWall, IBM Guardium, SafeNet, Tripwire, Blue Coat Solera, Vormetric, Titus, Guidance Software, Ipswitch, Boole Server, IBM AppScan, IronKey, Core Security, RedSeal, Bit9, Venafi

StorIT The VAD’s domain expertise helps it deliver solutions across the region. Suren Vedantham, MD

Revenue for 2012 Incorporated in 2002 in Dubai, StorIT Distribution is a specialist VAD of enterprise data storage, data protection and data management solutions in the Middle East. With offices in Dubai, Riyadh and Doha and active operations spanning more than 12 countries across the region, StorIT works with a wide channel network comprising VARs and solution providers in offering comprehensive endto-end turnkey solutions in the SMB, SME and high enterprise segments of the market. Supported by enhanced distribution services right from pre-sales consultancy, marketing support, post- sales professional services, project financing options, warehousing and logistics, StorIT has witnessed stupendous year-on-year growth over a decade by offering great value proposition as a dependable long-term partner to both their vendors and channel partners.

Vendor profile Systems: SuperMicro Software and security: EMC, SAS, Quantum, Aptare, Moonwalk Peripherals and storage: EMC, Quantum, Qlogic, Emulex Networking: Mellanox

Year of start-up: 2002 Address: PO Box 17416, Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai, UAE Location of sales offices: UAE, KSA Total number of employees: 35 Technical staff: 6

Top five vendors by years of relationship: EMC, Qlogic, Quantum, Emulex, Mellanox

october 2013

Reseller Middle East

69


channel elite 2013

24 $30m

Help AG The security specialist is cashing in on the demand for security solutions in the region. Stephen Berner, CEO

Revenue for 2012 Since its inception in 2004, help AG has achieved an average 80 percent year on year growth and 2012 was no exception. Last year, it also managed to double its staff strength and most of its new recruitments were for technical positions. Help AG, which set up shop in Qatar two years back, saw excellent revenue growth in the country through 2012 with around 24 customer wins from both public and private sectors. During the same period, the SI signed an agreement with Exitor to distribute the company’s enterprise mobility management. The SI also boasts of one of the strongest and most technically skilled teams in the region, which help the company to assist its customers through every phase of the project from consultancy, planning, implementation and 24/7 post-implementation support.

25

$27.6m

Revenue for 2012

Reseller Middle East

Revenue breakup by geography UAE: 85 percent Outside of UAE: 15 percent

Vendor profile Software and security: F5 Networks, Palo Alto Networks, Juniper Networks, Blue Coat, Infoblox, riverbed, Sourcefire, nCircle, RSA, HP ArcSight, McAfee, Symantec, FireEye, Mi-Token, Qualys, Cyber-Ark Networking: Juniper Networks

Premier Computers The company sharpens focus on quality products and services, catering to both local and export markets.

Established in 1997, Premier Computers is primarily focused on the exports market while also fulfilling the demand of local dealer and corporate market. Premier represents some of the leading brands in the industry including Acer, Dell, HP, Kingston, Intel, D-Link, among others. The reseller is also the preferred and diamond partners for some of the brands, which means it gets special rates, rebates, and RMA support, which are in turn passed on to clients. “Our stability in the market has been increasing as our major advertisement source are our clients who refer our products and services to others. And our strength is the trained and skilled team and transparent business practices in addition to genuine product deals,” says Prem Menghani, Managing Director of the company.

70

Revenue breakup Software and security: 60% Networking: 10% Services and training: 30%

Year of start-up: 2004 Address: PO Box 500741, Arjaan Office Tower, Dubai, UAE Total number of employees: 60 Technical staff: 40

October 2013

Revenue breakup Systems and components: 29% Software and security: 6% Peripherals and storage: 14% Networking: 15% Accessories and consumables: 27% Services and training: 9%

Revenue breakup by region UAE: 64% Outside of UAE: 36%

Prem Menghani, MD Year of start-up: 1997 Address: PO Box 30816, Dubai, UAE Total number of employees: 22 Technical staff: 5

Vendor profile Systems: Dell, HP Software and security: Microsoft, Kaspersky, Norton Peripherals and storage: Seagate, WD, Transcend, Logitech, PCOM Networking: D-Link, Linksys, Cisco, TP-Link Accessories and consumables: HP, Canon, Samsung Components: Asrock, Boistar, Intel, Gigabyte

www.resellerme.com


26

$27.2m

Revenue for 2012

Al Rostamani Communications Al Rostamani Communications, part of one of the largest business conglomerates in the UAE, diversified its business to suit market conditions and requirements.

The SI’s business is structured around business units catering to infrastructure, enterprise communications, and IT/networking. It offers end-to-end solutions starting from cabling, IP PBX, data centre, networking, IPTV, and physical security solutions. To tide over the challenging year, it has tied up with a range of new partners that help the company to offer advanced technology solutions at aggressive pricing. ARC also enhanced its resources, arming itself with more training and certifications. Among the projects implemented by ARC in 2012, the notable one was the Marriott Marquis in Dubai, said to the world’s largest hotel. “Our approach to any project starts from a consultancy perspective. This is why our customers are very happy with our services, as we define initially why they need the project and all the questions are answered and documented,” says Mohammed Zameer, GM of Al Rostamani Communications.

27 $25m

Revenue for 2012

Revenue breakup Systems and components: 10% Software and security: 25% Peripherals and storage: 10% Networking: 30% Accessories and consumables: 5% Services and training: 20%

Mohammed Zameer, GM Year of start-up: 2002 Address: PO Box 30420, Dubai, UAE Total number of employees: 222 Technical staff: 136

Vendor profile Systems: Fujitsu, Cisco, IBM, HP Software and security: McAfee, Symantec, VMware, Microsoft, Veeam, Juniper, Dell, Fortinet Peripherals and storage: NetApp, Fujitsu, HP Networking: Cisco, HP, Alcatel-Lucent, Juniper, Schneider Electric, NEC, D-Link Components: Sagemcom, Aztech, Media5, IPM, NagraVision

Nanjgel Nanjgel is a fast-growing SI that offers business and IT solutions, services and training in the region.

Its three dimensional portfolio – processes, people and technologies – delivers business value to its customers through a combination of process excellence, quality frameworks, and service delivery innovation. Nanjgel partners with several hardware and software vendors, service providers and subcontractors to provide one-stop-shop IT integration services. The biggest achievement for the company in 2012 was the completion of a DLP project for the Crown Prince Court (CPC) in Abu Dhabi. The project consisted of nine technologies. It was the complete network-based DLP, not endpoint-based DLP – the email and web gateway and PKI solutions, which is complicated because CPC now has UAE: 70% the ability to issue its own PKI certificates internally.

Revenue breakup by region

“Going forward, we want to focus more on how solutions can help customers mitigate threats and attacks in real-time, rather than just detection and protection,” says Jude Pereira, MD of the company.

Outside of UAE: 30%

Jude Periera, MD Year of start-up: 2006 Address: Office 2204, Shatha Towers, DIC, Dubai, UAE Total number of employees: 32 Technical staff: 16

Vendor profile Systems: IBM Software and security: IBM, McAfee, Safenet Services and training: IBM, McAfee, Forescout Top five vendors by revenue contribution: IBM, McAfee, Forescout, ObserveIT, Sensage

october 2013

Reseller Middle East

71


channel elite 2013

27 $25m

Paramount Computer Systems Paramount is the leading regional provider of technology and services for securing the information assets of enterprises. Premchand Kurup, CEO

Revenue for 2012 From the development of a security policy, security awareness training, through to the delivery of complete end-to-end solutions that encompass perimeter security, secure content management, IAM, vulnerability assessment, risk, policy and compliance management, Paramount helps leading organisations in the Arabian Gulf understand, monitor and mitigate the risks in their IT infrastructure.  Paramount has established a reputation for providing practical solutions that are both business-driven and cost-effective. This has enabled the company to secure the IT Infrastructure of leading government undertakings, banks and financial institutions, airlines and transportation companies, telcos, universities and large corporates in the region.

28

$22.5m

Revenue breakup by region UAE: 75 % Outside of UAE: 25%

Top five vendors by revenue contribution: McAfee, HP TippingPoint, Fortinet, RSA, Websense

The company provides its partners with efficient presales, implementation and support services. Meera Kaul, Managing Director

Optimus is a channel development and distribution company that helps leading technology and telecom vendors to develop and create business revenue streams in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia Regions. Headquartered in Dubai, Optimus is able to provide its vendors and channel partners the most efficient presales, sales, marketing, channel acquisition, channel management, implementation services and support services bundled with its core operation of supply chain and inventory management of technology and telecommunication products. As with a pure value product strategy, Optimus’ portfolio includes a range of products that enables its reseller partners to sell and execute solutions for its end customers. Optimus added five new vendors, including Swivel and NetIQ, to its portfolio in 2012 to enhance the channel offerings.

Reseller Middle East

Vendor profile Software and security: McAfee, Websense, RSA, BlueCoat, HP Tipping Point, HP ArcSight, Tripwire, Fortinet, Imprivata, Lancope, Juniper, Palo Alto, Cisco, Vasco, Proofpoint, Forescout, Courion

Optimus Computers Trading

Revenue for 2012

72

Address: PO Box 25703, Dubai, UAE Location of sales offices: UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, KSA Total number of employees: 98 Technical staff: 64

October 2013

Revenue breakup Software and security: 12% Peripherals and storage: 5% Networking: 38% Accessories and consumables: 10% Services and training: 35%

Revenue breakup by region UAE: 30% Outside of UAE: 70% Top five vendors by years of relationship: Avaya, Molex, Quest (Dell Software), Netgear, NetIQ

Year of start-up: 2008 Address: PO Box 262934, Dubai, UAE Location of sales offices: UAE, Qatar, KSA, Egypt and Pakistan Total number of active resellers: 303 Total number of employees: 60 Technical staff: 24

Vendor profile Software and security: Swivel, NetIQ, Novell, Bitdefender Peripherals and storage: Netgear, Dell Software Networking: Avaya, Molex, Netgear

www.resellerme.com


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channel elite 2013

29 $18m

Revenue for 2012

Lucky Star Computers The SMB reseller records impressive growth amidst volatile market and shrinking margins.

Lucky Star Computers, which started in 1998, has now grown to an $18 million company based on excellent customer service and trustworthy reputation. The reseller now boasts of four outlets in Al Ain Centre, located in Dubai’s buzzing high-street. As part of the expansion plans, Lucky Star expanded into the commercial SMB sector on the strength of HP workstations. Last year, it also entered the Indian market with the opening of two showrooms in the IT city of Bangalore in India. Lucky Star differentiates itself from others based on the personalised services provided. “This is what sets us apart from power retailers as we become trusted advisors to our customers. And this is the reason why we have around 700-plus repeat customers and repeat sales account for 30 percent of our revenues,” says K.U. Shankari, Founder and CEO of the company.

K.U. Shankari, Founder and CEO Year of start-up: 1998 Address: P O Box 43675, Dubai, UAE Total number of employees: 25 Technical staff: 5

Vendor profile Systems: HP, Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba

Revenue breakup Systems and components: 65% Software and security: 10% Peripherals and storage: 5% Networking: 5% Accessories and consumables: 10% Services and training: 5%

30 $6.7m

Spectrami Spectrami is the new face of value-added distribution in the region. Anand Choudha, Managing Director

Revenue for 2012 Spectrami, which is primarily focused on security and storage availability, has been successful in creating the right channels, enabling partners and working through various mechanisms like tech workshops. “We’ve been profitable as a company right from day one. In the first six months of our existence, we started off with $1 million of business. And then we built on very good growth in 2012, and 2013 has been good as well. Yes, there have been some challenges as well, because when you’re growing quickly, you have to make sure the correct processes are in place, and at the same time get new people on board as quickly as possible. That’s one of the challenges because you need to get people with the same passion for business as you have right now on the team,” says Anand Choudha, Managing Director of the company.

74

Reseller Middle East

October 2013

Revenue breakup

Year of start: 2011 Address: PO Box 487840 , Dubai U.A.E Total number of employees: 15

Vendor profile Security: 75%

Storage: 25%

Security and storage: Fidelis, Actifio, Verdasys, Tenable, Logrhythm

www.resellerme.com


feature

Networking

Taking on the network With networking technologies evolving at a rate of knots, the channel is finding that it must adapt just as quickly in order to stay profitable.

76

Reseller Middle East

October 2013

www.resellerme.com


There is hardly another area of IT that has transformed so quickly over the last five years than networking. From the transformation of the data centre to the ascent of cloud computing, the world of networking is changing fast. And riding into the equation comes the desire for businesses to run highperformance networks that never fail. The channel supporting all of these networking technologies is still working out how best to respond to the emerging trends. The good thing, though, is that many businesses are looking to update their legacy networks in order to become more agile. The challenge for the channel is how to capitalise on this. But there are significant opportunities to grasp. “Enterprises are continuing to review all aspects of outsourcing in order to improve their efficiency, costs and IT application performance. Enterprise cloud adoption continues to grow as they look at outsourcing compute and storage capabilities, and this in turn leads to the need for high-performance network connectivity. They are also looking at more consumption-based service models to allow controlled IT growth in line with their business growth,” says Mervyn Kelly, EMEA Marketing Director, Ciena.

The way Kelly sees things, this state of affairs creates an opportunity for partners to adopt a services-led approach to business. Instead of selling boxed products, which offer smaller and smaller margins by the year, partners can use these emerging networking trends to clinch deals surrounding the services associated with the ‘always-on’ network. “From a channel business perspective, we are seeing that, for sustained growth, more and more, the channel needs to adopt annuity-based revenues or recurring revenue models. This can help build a stable revenue stream during uncertain times,” Kelly explains. “These trends lead to possible winwin opportunities for both the channel and enterprise, from value-added services such as technical support and maintenance to full system integrator capabilities, where they can advise and implement all aspects of IT evolution for the enterprise.” At the centre of all this is the cloud. Kelly believes that, should a partner wish to really succeed in the face of the emerging networking trends, he has to skill up his team in order to accommodate cloud needs. After this, providing a consultancy service and technical support to customers should be easy. The point is echoed by Khaled Kamel, Territory Channel Manager, MENA, Brocade, who says, “With

cloud computing being one of the biggest trends in this region, the potential for uptake of cloud-optimised networking solutions is huge. Channel partners need to skill up and develop cloud expertise in order to be trusted advisors. End customers are increasingly looking to the channel for guidance and technical expertise to help them successfully navigate the journey to the cloud.” This, however, is entirely dependent on having customers who are convinced that they need to update their network infrastructures. And with IT budgets still under considerable stress, such customers may be difficult to find. Indeed, even customers with enough budget may not go for the cloud option. Handily, there are a number of other trends affecting networking that the channel can take advantage of, according to Kamel. “SDN is still a new technology and the definition and understanding of it seems to differ from organisation to organisation. Initially the role of the channel will be that of an adviser. Once the requirements have been well understood by both parties, the channel will have to step in to customise each implementation in order to best meet customer expectations,” he says. Again, this demands a serviceoriented approach to business. It also

october 2013

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feature

Networking

demands that the channel can convince customers to upgrade their infrastructures at all. According to Kelly, though, there are certain points that partners can make to unsure customers—and these points should resonate particularly well in a costcutting environment. “By upgrading their existing infrastructure, enterprises can reduce their Opex by lowering their operation and maintenance costs, as well as the total cost of ownership for the network. It can also reduce Capex by futureproofing the network, so the network is ready to meet their demands,” he says. “Across different enterprise verticals, enterprises can monetise the new infrastructure as it provides the ability to offer new services, such as cloud connectivity, high-frequency trading, and healthcare applications. This will also enable them to target new customers with new connectivity services. And with an upgraded network, enterprises are able to have longer uptimes, greater scalability, lower latency and a more resilient network that will contribute to overall customer satisfaction.” It all sounds great, but customers are difficult to convince on words alone. According to Kamel, a more radical approach is required, and it’s one that offers actions instead of words. If partners can provide customers with innovative financing models—provided vendorpartners enable them—IT departments are much more likely to be able to get

“From a channel business perspective, we are seeing that, for sustained growth, more and more, the channel needs to adopt annuity-based revenues or recurring revenue models.” Mervyn Kelly, EMEA Marketing Director, Ciena

network upgrade projects approved by line-of-business managers. “With financial assistance from banking institutions becoming more difficult to attain, businesses hoping to upgrade their IT infrastructures are now beginning to look to the channel. The channel should be enabled (by vendors) to provide subscriptionbased financing wherein the customer is permitted to increase or decrease the number of network ports they pay for on a ‘pay-as-you-go-bundle’ subscription basis,” he explains. “Extending this further, vendors may even enable their partners to offer finance on complete end-to-end solutions, including all third-party technology and services, thereby helping customers escape the Capex trap and gain the solution they want on subscription. For the customer, this translates to simplicity— one contract, one deal and one solution through one partner.” After the cost issues are resolved,

“End customers are increasingly looking to the channel for guidance and technical expertise to help them successfully navigate the journey to the cloud.” Khaled Kamel, Territory Channel Manager, MENA, Brocade

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however, there is one more hurdle to overcome. Given downtime is becoming almost acceptable for businesses, partners must be able to upgrade their customers’ infrastructures with minimal effect during the transition period. If a business has to go offline for a week in order to upgrade, the costs of the project skyrocket. “The channel needs to also show its capabilities in helping enterprises transition to the new infrastructure with minimal business disruption. One way to achieve this is to help train the enterprise operation teams on the new infrastructure. Additionally, the channel can act in a system integrator capability to offload the full complexity of the upgrade and manage the end-to-end migration activities,” Kelly explains. According to Kamel, this may not be as difficult as it sounds. Brocade, he explains, ensures that all partners are given the right technical skills for adopting such a consultancy approach, even if they’re selling boxed products. This means that the partner need not undergo a huge restructuring. That said, there are still challenges that the channel must face when it comes to networking. From working out how to capitalise on the cloud to being able to offer weird and wonderful financing models, partners have their work cut out for them over the next couple of years. One thing is for sure, though: the traditional way of selling networking kit is moving ever-closer to irrelevance. //

www.resellerme.com


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SDN

How the channel can benefit from SDN The future of the data centre is increasingly virtualised and the model is going to evolve towards more automation and more software-enabled solutions. Khaled Kamel, Territory Channel Manager, MENA, Brocade

The emergence of software-defined networking (SDN) as part of this change is a potentially disruptive trend for enterprise networking, but it is one that opens up significant opportunities in this sector—both now in developing the infrastructure required, and tomorrow as SDN deployments become wide-scale. SDN has broad implications across the data, control, and management planes of the network. Early adopters of SDN are currently investigating a wide range of applications and use cases that include network virtualisation, large-scale data centre infrastructure

management, traffic engineering, and Wide Area Network (WAN) flow management. By providing a framework for utilising networks more effectively, efficiently and by simplifying the processes inherent in such networks, SDN can provide a wealth of benefits both technical and operational. In the Middle East, SDN is still something of a buzz word with organisations seeking to learn more from initial SDN roll-outs to understand how the approach could be adopted at the enterprise level. The challenge facing resellers and solution providers in the region is in educating customers about SDN, and explaining the need to review the readiness of their current networks to support SDN deployment. Despite the hype, SDN is not a replacement of the physical infrastructure; it still requires a level of physical infrastructure and as with all forms of virtualisation is sensitive to time-lag, latency and downtime. Therefore, if the customer’s physical infrastructure is still a threetier, legacy affair, with redundancy and resilience issues, any investment is SDN may reap little real reward. Short-term strategies, long-term gains for the IT channel As with any technology rising in popularity, SDN has attracted a number of announcements from big industry players. What the channel needs to do is to understand the reality of the situation and relate it to the actual requirements of their customers. For the Middle East,

opinion

the next two years offer a window of trial—pilot and proof of concept. This is the period when partners must identify “high value, high reward” areas of the customer’s businesses where SDN may solve actual business problems or drive new business opportunities. Given the timeframe, channel organisations can make great headway in preparing for the inevitable shift towards SDN and similar and related solutions. Nurturing and developing the right skill sets during these formulative years will allow the partner to rapidly gain market share in this emerging field and guarantee its position as a ‘trusted advisor’ and solutions provider. SDN offers immediate and future growth opportunities for those who begin to prepare now. SDN is about better utilisation and increasing the agility of the underlying infrastructure— not about replacing it. It will be easier to sell because partners get to layer the virtualised functions that the customer needs at the time on top of per-requisite physical layer. Those specialising in the data centre business and cloud services with proven expertise in this area will be in demand.  By helping customers prepare and build a path towards a more effective infrastructure that can support SDN and other evolutions in data centre design and management, the channel can be a trusted, central part of the customers’ journey as they evolve their data centre requirements. Organisations hoping to position themselves technically and operationally to address trends such as mobility, bring your own device and virtualisation while establishing the right data centre environment for the ongoing network traffic explosion will seek out and invest in new technologies such as SDN. Recognising the signs and accepting the inevitability of the situation, channel organisations would be wise to begin treading down the SDN path if they hope to become the forerunners in this technology in the future, who can support customers through the entirety of this transition. //

october 2013

Reseller Middle East

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INTERVIEW

Avaya

The regional vision Reseller ME speaks with Kevin Kennedy, President and CEO, Avaya, as well as the vendor’s regional Vice President, Nidal Abou Ltaif, to find out what kinds of customers the company is targeting, and how partners can share in the success. services that are offered either to the public or employees, and making them more reliable. In no case was there a situation where we were reflecting upon what’s not working. I think these conversations were all reflections upon things that have yet to be done and probably not implemented in other places in the world. You’ve highlighted surveillance as a big growing point over here. What do you attribute that growth to? KK: One is new infrastructure—airports everywhere in the world are putting cameras all over. Two is that people want to manage risk, and so in the hospitality sector, and in banks, you see increasing amounts of cameras. And it’s just the security of nations. I think it’s a growing market. For us, it’s the realisation that, today, those networks have been separate, those networks tend not to be on IP-based networks, and so for us to be able to handle that kind of traffic simply, scale it quickly and actually move that traffic onto an IP network, that’s a new market for us. K evin Kennedy, President and CEO, Avaya

Would you describe customers from this region as quite demanding? KK: I do. First, they have very specific initiatives, and secondly they want to be respected for having made investments and created outcomes that are recognised to be the best. It’s not everyday that you have a customer who just says, “Please bring me more ideas.” That’s an open door for great conversation. What kinds of improvements are there to be made in this region? KK: I think most of the conversations we had were about expanding the

82

Reseller Middle East

October 2013

What kind of appetite have you seen for cloud in the Middle East? NAL: The appetite has been very good. We’ve been responding to and seeing a lot of tenders from the private sector, as well as the government. Definitely the service providers are very interested. We see it coming—as they say the train has left the station. Everybody is going that way, or the majority of people want to at least have the choice. And with security, as Kevin mentioned, some people want to go to the cloud, but they want it on their premises and they want to have the control over it.

KK: What I will say is that there is a difference. That difference is almost every conversation we had here started with innovation and new outcomes that leaders wanted to create. In the rest of the world, people often lead with cloud because they’re trying to solve their financial mechanisms first. In the industrialised world, you don’t want to spend this money, so you’ll amortise it over the next five or seven years. Here, it will be about innovation first, or new outcomes, and then decisions on how human resources are best used. In other parts of the world, it’s an economic alternative that you start with and then the outcomes are sometimes secondary. You have big customers like the RTA, Emirates NBD and Etisalat in this region, and presumably you met with all of them. So what technologies are these organisations looking for? NAL: We also met with Dubai Police, and we met with customers in airports. Customers asked Kevin what’s new, what’s innovative, how can you can help us to be what the leaders ask us to be? Everybody wants to meet the objective of being the best, and being numberone by utilising technology. I think that hunger continues to be in our region. It’s not about the budget. The budget was not the discussion—the discussion is that they want to be proud of what they’re doing, they want to match the vision of the leaders. Definitely, even if they have budget, they want to do it in the most cost-effective way. But then they want to see the outcome—that’s what the focus is.

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INTERVIEW

Avaya

KK: There’s a reality that most of our discussions here were about driving change. In other regions sometimes, it’s people reacting to change. The mid-market holds strong potential for Avaya, so did you meet any SMB customers? KK: I met with 30 to 35 channel partners, some which have SMB customers. But I didn’t meet with a specific SMB customer. Avaya says that there’s a large appetite for video-conferencing and video-calling in this region. Who are these offerings targeted at? KK: It’s ready for anyone. Let me remind you, in our parlance, we’re talking about SMBs anywhere from, say, 25 or 50 users all the way up to 5,000 users. Those are pretty big companies, and it’s a pretty big range. The big thing about the SMBs is that they don’t have a lot of time to hire out IT resources. They don’t have big staffs, and they want things when they want them. For this technology, we bought a company called Radvision, which is really a mobile video solution. It rolls out in less than a day, everybody’s using their mobile devices, it’s very high-definition, but it works over a 128 kb/s or 256 kb/s line. The business model of SMB for channel partners is that you’d better be able to do it quick. Our video solutions and our data solutions all support that kind of mid-market approach. What have your partners been saying? KK: We basically walked people through our strategy—what we’re trying to become, what we’ve invested in, what technology products we have. And we asked them give us feedback. I think they were generally pleased to see the investment in R&D that we’ve had, I think they recognised the need to go after the mid-market as an expansion opportunity, I think they like the fact that we’ve virtualised all of our software and have a cloud offering capability for them, and if there was a debate, it’s over how we can meet more customers. It’s all

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Nidal Abou Ltaif, Vice President, MEA, India and Turkey, Avaya

the normal kinds of conversations you would expect. Are you quite channel-centric in the region? NAL: Yes, we are. In the SMB business, we are 100-percent channel-centric. In the enterprise business, we only cover around 20 customers direct—large customers or specialty customers if they’ve got something to do with security or something that’s sensitive. Mostly, though, our first preference is channel. In the SMB market, I want to add to what Kevin said. What we’ve done with our channel—existing or new recruits—we facilitate for them to be trained, to get access to the product through distribution, and to train their staff. Parallel to that, our marketing goes and creates demand in the market. We did a roadshow that 1,300 people attended. We are using existing customers as a reference, we have 50 sites for the new product—big sites. This is how we’re going to help our channel to grow their business. We will

continue to generate demand, doing trade shows, road shows and case studies. KK: Nidal’s being somewhat humble. The programme that he put in place we have actually brought back to the US, and we’re using many of the elements across it. Who do you identify as your main competitors in this region, and do they worry you at all? NAL: It’s a bit of Cisco, a little bit of Genesis. We are a very focused company. We eat and breathe everything that you see with video, contact centres and networking. That’s what we do—we don’t try to be everything to everybody. I will not try to say that they don’t worry me—of course they worry me. But it’s trying to stay number-one, the desire to be always winning, the habit of wanting to win, wanting to be number-one. That’s what keeps us up. They worry me but I’m not afraid.

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INTERVIEW

Allied Telesis

Best-kept secret Reseller Middle East catches up with Carlo Wolf, VP of Sales, Allied Telesis who was in Dubai recently and wanted to share insights on how the company plans to grow. Have you announced any new products lately? We have announced a few additions to our switching product line. We have announced Allied Management Framework. All initiatives are targeted to have a more complete portfolio in the enterprise switching segment. We believe we are a valid player in the enterprise market for switching, and everything we do is to complete that portfolio.

What brings you to town? We started the business in the region a few years ago, and EMEA is our fastest growing region. Right now, we are in the phase where we are starting to get substantial business. We get good attention from resellers and partners and I want to support the business. How strategic is this market for Allied Telesis from an EMEA perspective and also from a global perspective? It is still, in relative terms, a smaller region, but for us growth is important, we see in this region more opportunity than we see in some of the mature markets.

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Carlo Wolf, VP of Sales, Allied Telesis

If you look at the enterprise switching market, it is one that is still dominated by Cisco. So what is your current market share and how do you plan to grow that? I think the opportunity for us is that we have a good product portfolio, which the market doesn’t know too much about, which is also a big challenge but an opportunity, nevertheless. I always say that we are the best-kept secret in the networking industry—we have a lot to tell but people don’t know about it. If we overcome that, and get hold of partners and end users and tell them our story, we get a good response. And, yes, Cisco is a dominant player in the market, but every dominant player creates a set of audience who doesn’t want to go with the market leader. For example, Cisco owns about two thirds of the switching market, which means there is one third out there who are not buying from the market leader. And that is our target market because we compete in that space. And it is still big enough. We have a single-digit market share, so every one or two percent we can add means a lot to us.

The second area is that there is an appetite for many customers, who have built an infrastructural system to lower their dependencies on a single vendor. That’s our second market. We have shown with many customers that we can coexist with Cisco quite well. So many customers figured out that if they go single-vendor, they are locked in and don’t get the best prices and other advantages. Is your portfolio complete now? We have a complete portfolio on LAN switching from the low end to the core switch, and we are just adding a complete controller-based wireless solution. From a networking infrastructure perspective, we have everything from the interface card of a PC to the NIC card in the server and everything in between. Are you also looking at the SDN space? Yes, we are looking at the SDN space and our moving to the AMF framework, which we just announced, is our first step towards that. Who are your distributors? Our distributors are Aptec, Anixter and SNB. We follow a completely indirect model. What is your partner programme? Do you have a dedicated channel organisation within Allied Telesis? Channel coverage is done within each region, through dedicated people. We have a certification star programme where partners can register and can certify themselves into different levels depending on qualification and training. Is it a pre-requisite to have certified training to become an Allied Telesis partner? No, it is not. The entry barrier for us is relatively low to become a partner but still we want to ensure that there is a minimum set of training and knowledge about our products. Our three-tier star partner programme is getting mature day by day. //

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Hot products

Review

Synology DiskStation DS1513+ A high-end piece of kit priced for a mid-market audience.

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It isn’t often that a single product can nail two distinctly different categories so well. Yet this is something that the Synology DiskStation DS1513+ has managed to do beautifully. On the one hand, it’s a powerful five-bay NAS that’s ideal for small and medium-sized businesses with serious storage needs. On the other, it’s a well-priced and easy-to-use server, making it a great choice for advanced home users, too.

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This, then, is a device built for both general consumers and small businesses, and it’s a wonder how well it can please both segments. From a business perspective, the cost benefits are easy to see. With a retail price of less than $1,000—no storage included—the server offers space for five hard drives, stellar performance and a ton of useful features and applications. To be fair, these advanced features aren’t particularly user-friendly, but any IT pro will be able to wade through the setting-up phase to configure everything. After that, the DS1513+ runs like a dream. What’s more, aside from the advanced features, this device is incredibly easy to set up—you don’t even need screws. Each drive bay has a mechanism that holds the hard drives in a tray. There’s also a lock on each bay to prevent people from accidentally pulling out the drives. It’s beautifully simple and very clever. Once you’ve got the drives in place, you can open yourself up to a maximum of 20TB of space (given the current generation of hard drives max out at 4TB each). That said, if your business is

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really, really hard up for digital space, it is possible to connect the server with up to two Synology DX510 extension units, each of which can hold up to 20TB themselves. They’re run through two eSATA ports that Synology says are designed to provide the same throughput as you’d get with a drive housed in the server itself. You can also add more hard drives via the server’s two USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 ports on the back. That’s another 24TB at your disposal if you so wish. Potentially, then, this device can serve up to 84TB, which is a monumental amount of space even for a fairly large SMB. And if you don’t need to plug hard drives into the USB ports, they’re very useful in that you can use them to connect printers, Wi-Fi dongles or even TV tuner adaptors. When it comes to running the server, the DS1513+ supports all standard RAID configurations. What’s more impressive, though, is that it supports Synology Hybrid RAID. This allows users to dynamically scale up the device’s storage space without having to rebuild RAID from scratch. It also means you can use hard drives of different

capacities in the same RAID set-up—the technology balances performance, storage space and data protection depending on how many drives you’re using. It’s also mighty quick—Hybrid RAID takes just minutes to rebuild a RAID set-up, as opposed to hours. Speaking of speed, the DS1513+ also comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports. You only need one, but if you have more ports, you get better load balancing and more redundancy. And if you use a support switch, you get seriously fast performance. None of this detracts from the fact that it’s seriously easy to set simple storage up, meaning that it’s also great for home use. Synology has taken a plug-and-play mentality to building the DS1513+, and though you need to know a little bit when it comes to the advanced features, almost anyone could set the server up and start using it. Given how much performance this device offers, it’s difficult to think of another NAS that gives users such value for money. This is a high-end bit of kit, yet it’s priced for a mid-market audience, and that makes it the bargain of the year. //

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Review

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Silent assassin Prestigio may not make as much noise as others in the overflowing smartphone market, but the first handset in its MultiPhone range gets it right where it matters. The smartphone market is like the London underground; a very crowded, and often ruthless, place to be. But if you make the effort to look beyond the big guys taking up all the space and making a lot of noise, there are a few gems to be found. Those big guys are of course the Apples and Samsungs, and even HTCs, Nokias and BlackBerrys of this world. With all the hype and marketing around their devices, it’s easy to forget about alternatives that might provide you with better value. Prestigio’s MultiPhone 5430 could just be the one for you. With this Intel-based smartphone, you get much of what the aforementioned offer, but for an attractive Dh899. Indeed, the phone is aimed at the more cost-conscious buyers out there who also don’t want to lose out on performance. From the front, the phone looks much like the wide-selling Samsung Galaxy devices—a likening which extends with the choice of Android operating system (although it’s Ice Cream Sandwich, not Jelly Bean). The back of the phone is slightly less attractive—quite feeble, even—but peels off nicely for battery and SIM card insertion. The solid design is complimented by a sharp-enough 4.3-inch IPS LCD display with gorilla glass, and whilst the 960 x 540 resolution isn’t fantastic, it’s acceptable for the size and cost of the phone. Further offerings include support for FM radio, HSPA+ modem support with Intel’s XMM 6265 modem, and an expandable memory slot to compensate for the low 1GB of storage.

On the photography side, the phone has an 8-megapixel, rear-facing camera, which Prestigio claims can take eight shots a second, as well as a 0.3-megapixel front-side camera for video calling. But watch out for the rather aggressive camera sound effects. For a low-range phone, Prestigio more than delivers with the 2,000 mAh battery, which exceeds a number of the more expensive options on the market. At moderate usage, the battery easily sees you through to a second day. The most interesting part of the device, however, is the use of the Intel Atom Z2420 processor. As the leading semiconductor manufacturer, many an eyebrow was raised at Intel’s rather lengthy absence from the mobile space, particularly when considering the very clear decline of the PC market. But, as they say, better late than never— and the MultiPhone 5430 happens to be one of the first smartphones sporting the newgeneration Atom processor. The Z2420, which formally launched in July, is a single-core microprocessor built to Intel’s 32-nanometer process, with hyper-threading technology that

contributes to speeds of up to 1.2 GHz. And it allows this MultiPhone to offer relatively fast and responsive Web browsing, apps and multi-tasking. According to Prestigio, the Atom processor brings Intel’s “classic product strengths and impressive performance” to the value segment of the smartphone market. And don’t think Prestigio is particularly small in any way. It’s refreshing to see a company from the Czech Republic make a name for itself in a market notoriously difficult to make a dent in. The vendor, which merged with Canyon Technology Group in 2003, has yet to expand from the EMEA market, but its popularity across Eastern Europe, the Balkans and postSoviet states, as well as the Middle East, is already pushing its revenue to $2 billion. With phones like this, it won’t be long until it enjoys further expansion. And little things like providing a nice case in the box will score it even more points. This company is definitely one to watch. As for the PAP5430 itself, both Prestigio and Intel deliver with a device which more than stands up against the big-name players in the market. //

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New series of monitors from AOC AOC introduced its competitive monitor line, the 70 series, recently. With more than 20 different ultra-slim models available in several sizes, resolutions and equipment variants, the new series offer robust display technologies at reasonable rates. The series includes entry-level monitors for standard applications to advanced professional models with ultra-high resolutions. The 70 series widescreen models offer diagonals from 18.5-inch to 27-inch, and resolutions from 1366 x 768 pixels (WXGA) to 2560 x 1440 pixels (WQHD). The 70 series also has different connectivity options and other extras. Depending on the parituclar model, users can expect a wide range of connectors such as DVI-D, HDMI or DisplayPort. Models equipped with speakers and jacks for external audio set-ups will also be available. Some monitors will also have

an integrated USB hub as well as ergonomic features such as height adjustment, tilt, swivel and pivot (portrait mode) functions. With the i-Menu feature, users can change the monitor settings easily using the mouse. The e-saver and Eco modes help to further decrease the power consumption of these economical TFTs, which fulfill sustainability certificates such as Energy Star 6, TCO 6.0 and EPEAT Silver/ Gold. Designed classically with a texturised back, the 70 series is created keeping the environment and consumers in mind.

WD expands Red line with 2.5-inch SATA hard drive WD recently announced the expansion of its Red line of SATA hard drives specifically designed for home and small-office NAS (network attached storage) systems with one-to-five drive bays. The hard drives are now available in a 2.5-inch form factor offering 1 TB and 750 GB capacities and a new 3.5-inch 4 TB capacity. Powered by NASware 2.0 technology, the drives have been compatibility-tested with top NAS system manufacturers and optimised for performance and reduced power consumption, WD said. “WD defined the NAS drive category by leading the development of hard drives specifically built for small NAS environments,”

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said Matt Rutledge, Vice President of Client Storage, WD. “The WD Red product line serves the unique environment of NAS and meets the growing demand for affordable, reliable, and compatible storage. Through dialogue with our NAS partners and customer advocacy for WD Red, we saw the need for additional capacity in the 3.5-inch form factor and delivered our new 4 TB offering. “We also wanted to deliver a highly reliable and compatible 2.5-inch hard drive built specifically for small NAS. This small form factor enables our customers to use high capacity NAS hard drives with high performance, quiet operation and low power consumption in compact NAS enclosures. We also see an opportunity in smallerfootprint NAS systems, media players and other industrial applications. Our pride in our product and our vision is shared with our

Acer unveils cutting-edge projectors Acer’s new line of seven projectors uses advanced Acer technology including ColorBoost II+, ColorSafe and SpectraBoost enabling customers to enjoy high-quality projection for home theatres and business presenations. The advanced technology provides true colours, the environmentally-friendly EcoProjection solution, DynamicBlack for high contrast ratio and long-lasting LED technology that can boost the life of any illumination source up to 30,000 hours. It also delivers strong brightness, colour consistency and enhanced power saving. The new line comprises various models such as the H7532BD (premium home 3D entertainment), the X1340WH (captivating projection with sharp visuals), the H5370BD (immersive home projection), the K135 LED (small in size, big in performance), the C120 (the perfect notebook companion), the P1163 (essential projector), and the P1500 (Full HD Portable Power). The K135 LED can connect to mobile devices with USB and HDMI ports and has SD memory card reader. The C120 is apt when travelling as it conencts to a notebook with only one USB cable and is compact at 120 x 82 x 25.7 mm. The H7532BD and the H5370BD models support immersive 3D technology, with the ability to convert 2D pictures, games and films to 3D with added depth.

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Sony’s alpha 3000 enables professional quality images

Network scanner from Canon helps create customised apps Canon Middle East launched the imageFORMULA ScanFront 330 recently. After the company’s previous models, imageFORMULA ScanFront 300 and 300P, the ScanFront 330 allows solution providers, IT integrators and developers to create connected ‘capture apps’ because of its web-based software development kit (SDK). In the ‘web application mode’ the scanner directly links to the customer’s server where the customised application developed by a Canon partner defines how the document will be processed further. It also scans up to 60ipm and includes a newly-designed feed roller mechanism, which increases the feeding and separation reliability when scanning batches of mixed documents. In order to ensure that no important documents are missed being captured, it comes with an ultrasonic double-feed detection sensor. The device can also encrypt documents so that users can keep their information safe.

With Sony’s latest launch, the Alpha 3000, everyone can be a professional photographer because it brings together picture quality, manual controls and the creative options of a DSLR into a user-friendly camera with 18 interchangeable lenses. The camera features a clear electronic viewfinder to ensure the shots are well-framed and is comfortable to hold. It supports a large 20.1-megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, which boosts sensitivity and cuts image noise while shooting Full HD videos in either 50i or 25p shooting modes. It is also equipped with choices of E-mount interchangeable lenses. An electronics Tru-Finder with a

100-percent field coverage is instilled within the camera and the viewfinder has a lot of information displayed on it. Users can add accessories via the Multi Interface Shoe to expand shooting options even further. One can also easily create pro-style lighting effects with the powerful new HVL-F43M flash with Sony’s unique Quick Shift Bounce system for no shadows. The ECM-XYST1M Stereo Microphone helps in capturing a clearer dialogue or soundtrack and the batterypowered HVL-LEIR1 Video IR light helps brighten up indoor scenes.

Galaxy’s New Note III and its companion

Samsung recently launched the Galaxy Note III as well as the Galaxy Gear, a companion wearable device. The new Note III sports a 5.7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screen through which it offers a commendable viewing experience. Although based on last year’s model, there are some interesting updates and additions. The S Pen has been redesigned and its features have been updated to include Air Command. Air Command offers features like Action Memo, Scrapbook, Screen Write, S Finder and Pen Window. The experience of browsing the web and watching a YouTube

video simultaneously has been enhanced with features like Drag & Drop and Pen Window, which makes multitasking even easier. With the Note III, Samsung has launched the My Magazine feature, developed through a partnership with Flipboard. The S Note feature has been updated, too, and can sync with Evernote or a Samsung account. The processor is either the 2.3 GHz quad-core or the 1.9 GHz octa-core depending on whether the user goes for the LTE or 3G version. The camera is the same as the one found in the Galaxy S4, thought the picture display has been enhanced. Memory is either 32 or 64 GB with support to MicroSD cards upto 64GB and the RAM is now a beefy 3GB, the highest in any phone yet. The battery has been hiked up to 3,200 mAh and considering that the device weighs just 168g speaks well of Samsung’s efforts to improve the Note III experience.

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Second-quarter results

Reseller Middle East’s online editor offers his thoughts on the Middle Eastern technology channel.

Channel surfing

column

Worth the worry GITEX is just around the corner, and already, at the time of writing more than three weeks before the event, you can feel stress levels among the local technology industry begin to rise. I can’t think of any other time of the year that the local tech scene is so focused. From the beginning of September, pretty much every conversation I’ve had—be it with vendors, partners or end users—has had something to do with the infamous conference. There’s a very good reason why GITEX commands such attention among the local tech scene—it’s a hugely effective platform. Even over the past few years, with business being slow to recover from the 2008 crash, the show has garnered seriously impressive numbers. Back in 2009, GITEX attracted 150,019 visitors, thanks in no small part to Microsoft using the conference as a platform on which to launch Windows 7 in the region. And though visitor numbers haven’t climbed quite as high in more recent years, GITEX 2012 was still said to attract around 139,000 visitors from 144 countries. What’s more, these visitors came ready to invest in new solutions in order to make their businesses better through technology. According to the event organisers, 61 percent of last year’s C-level executives had more than $5 million each to spend, and 18 percent had budgets between $1 million and $5 million. And because the average deal struck at GITEX 2012 has either met or exceeded ROI expectations, these

same C-level execs are coming back this year with even deeper pockets. According to Gartner’s latest forecasts, IT spending in the Middle East will hit $192.9 billion in 2013—a 5.5-percent increase over 2012. And I don’t think it’s gratuitous of me to say that a large chunk of that money will be spent at GITEX 2013, or at least in the weeks following the expo. It’s understandable, then, that the local IT scene likes to take GITEX seriously. Of course, vendors have been preparing their stands for months now, but I believe that the vendor campaign is more to do with brand awareness. The real business is going to be done by partners, as they’re the ones who will be chasing opportunities and talking to customers. Sure, the vendors have got a few product announcements up their sleeves, but who’s going to be implementing this new technology for the customer? Nine times out of 10, it’s going to be partners. In many ways, then, GITEX is even more important for partners than it is for vendors. When else are you going to meet so many customers, hear so many challenges, and be presented with so many opportunities to do business? The reason GITEX causes so much stress among the local IT community is simply because everyone wants to get in there, do it right, and hopefully come away with some new business. Though it’ll be the first time I’m attending as a writer for Reseller ME, this will be my third GITEX in all. I’d be delighted to meet you for a quick chat (if either of us have got time). I’ll be easy to find—just look for the dishevelled mess of a man, darting desperately from hall to hall, trying to meet the next deadline. Sure, I’ll be a little stressed out, but I’m sure it’ll all be worth it.

Tom Paye, Online Editor, CPI Technology

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Reseller Middle East October 2013 Issue