ISSUE 206 // february 2014 WWW.RESELLERME.COM
BEHIND THE SCENES a sneak peek into logicomâ€™s Business plans under its new GM
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Twice the VM density. Half the virtualization licenses.* Eliminate bottlenecks to virtualization. Plus, futureproof your data center with the flash-advantaged architecture of HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage. Legacy storage performance limits VM density. With hardware-enabled performance acceleration, HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage is the gold standard for Tier 1 storage in virtual and cloud data centers, spanning from the midrange to the largest hosting providers. Supporting both block and le access, it delivers up to 2.4X the performance* of similarly categorized systems. In addition, you get the added cost savings benefit of reduced virtualization license requirements. All of which helps deliver ROI to the power of three—giving you a greater return on information, infrastructure, and individuals.
The power of HP Converged Infrastructure is here. For more information, contact Intertec Systems LLC Phone: +971 4 4479444 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.intertecsys.com Intertec Systems LLC • Established since 1991 • 1000+ customers from Banking, Government and Corporate sectors • 20+ alliances with highest partner accreditations • Presence across GCC & Indian subcontinent • ISO 9001:2008 certified
HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage, powered by Intel® Xeon® processors *For details on claim substantiations, visit hp.com/go/storage/3PAR ©Copyright 2013 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein. Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.
ISSUE 206 // february 2014
cover feature Highlights 6
News We help you catch up on all the major news and announcements in the regional channel community.
Opinion 22 Analysing smart city tech
Condo Protegoâ€™s Andrew Calthorpe says long-lasting IT plans are needed.
Feature 30 Mobile computing comes of age
How to best leverage opportunities present in mobile computing.
36 In the right direction
How the channel goes about implementing partner training programme.
Interview 42 Revolutionising networks
Reseller ME speaks to Sajith Raj, GM, Logicom Distribution, to get a better insight into the man who has been with the company for the last 15 years and to understand what motivates him to keep going forward.
Mark Floyd from Cyan discusses how strategic the Middle East market is.
44 Enabling with technology
Behind the Scenes
Hicham Abdessamad from HDS on the companyâ€™s global strategy.
Hot products Sony Xperia C
Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook
Rauf Chougle, Group GM, SNB Middle East, discussess the opportunties in the surveillance security market.
Vendor Focus 48 Region stakeout
Hidenori Taguchi from Sony Professional shares insights into the security camera business.
50 Surging ahead
Ayman Aly, Marketing Manager, Canon, on prospects in the largeformat printing space in the region.
Canon mobileready MFPs
Seagate Back-up Plus Fast
57 february 2014
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The research and advisory firm Gartner says technology and sourcing relationship will change over the next two to three years. In fact, the latest study from Gartner says 70 percent of CIOs plan to change their relationships and many are looking to partner with small companies and start-ups. What does this mean for the channel? Historically, the channel has been inclined to align with bigger brands while in reality it’s the smaller vendors who contribute to their bottom lines. If the latest trends in enterprise IT are anything to go by, the share of big box vendors is shrinking and at the same time, there are many innovative, smaller vendors emerging on the horizon. Despite all the rosy predictions, IT budgets are likely to remain flat this year. Having said that, many companies are starting to renovate their core infrastructures to meet the need for speed. We are going to see significant investments in data centres, networking, collaboration suites, advanced analytics, and hybrid clouds. For CIOs, the challenge is to exploit the new technology options within the budget constraints and, naturally, they are going to re-evaluate their existing relationships based on better pricing, service quality, etc. This is indeed a golden opportunity for channel players to rethink their alliances and portfolio. The benefits of forging relationships with emerging vendors are manifold. First, most of these vendors, by the virtue of being new, are looking for channel alliances. They may not have fancy channel programmes like many of the big boys do, but they do offer profitable and sustainable relationships. Another one is the minimised channel conflict. In most of the markets, topline vendors have multiple partners vying for the same pie, with an adverse impact on their profit margins. In the March issue of Reseller Middle East, we are going to feature some of the new vendors who are looking to build business relationships in the Middle East. So please do keep an eye out. Now, the most important question is whether we will see a big shift in the strategic direction of the channel in the region. With the advent of cloud services, we think there will be a tectonic shift in the channel landscape. Until now, partners relied on one-time sales with very negligible revenues from support and services. That business model is slowly shifting to a recurring revenue model, built around cloud services. Globally, this trend has already started to manifest itself, as most of the top channel partners have hedged their bets between one-time and recurring revenue sales. The Middle East wouldn’t be far behind.
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Hitachi and SAP expand global alliance
Aaron White, General Manager Middle East and Turkey, HDS
Hitachi Data Systems Corporation (HDS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, and SAP have announced an expansion of their worldwide alliance by signing a global original equipment manufacturer (global OEM) agreement that introduces plans to include SAP HANA delivered by HDS. The collaboration focuses on providing future technology innovation and combined sales and marketing activities to customers worldwide, according to the statement released. With this agreement, the companies will extend further integration in areas such as cloud computing, the SAP Real-Time Data Platform and high-performance enterprise computing. According to the company, it plans to build on its vision for social innovation, industries, and big data expertise with SAP HANA. This global OEM agreement enables HDS to bundle a more complete Enterprise Data Centre solution for SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse on SAP HANA, and is the first OEM agreement for SAP NetWeaver on SAP HANA. The
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tighter integration will allow customers to make purchases that consist of a unified computing platform, software and managed services from HDS. It is envisioned that customers can benefit from a platform that scales without affecting performance or adding needless complexity, according to the statement made by the company. The global collaboration is designed to bring customers from SAP, Hitachi and HDS a more cohesive solution with a focus on SAP HANA, storage virtualisation, cloud computing, enterprise resource planning and information life-cycle management solutions. The parties expect that customers will be able to achieve maximum value from SAP and Hitachi solutions, including lower implementation and operational costs, higher availability and increased enterprise-class disaster tolerance. This is very valuable to the Middle Eastern market, says HDS General Manager Middle East and Turkey, Aaron White, where growth for both companies is strong region-wide. “In this market, Hitachi Data Systems’ customers need to see a real return on the data they collect and store. Speed, scalability, and access to business information are their primary concerns, and each are boosted by the disruptive technology in SAP HANA. Our partnership with SAP will help both companies mutually benefit from recent growth and success in the region, and will help our customers use new technology to innovate with information,” he says. Steve Lucas, President, SAP Platform Solutions said, “This announcement represents a new level of collaboration with Hitachi and HDS, underscoring our commitment to ongoing innovation with our partners for the benefit of our customers. Through our expanded collaboration, customers will more easily be able to gain significant advantage with SAP HANA, which will provide them tightly integrated, innovative solutions and reduced time to market, while minimising migration costs.”
Logicom joins GTDC Logicom, a regional distributor of IT and communications equipment and technology solutions and services, has recently announced its association with the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC). The GTDC is an industry consortium representing the world’s leading technology distributors. Its members drive more than $130 billion in annual worldwide sales of technology products, services and solutions through a range of dynamic business channels. According to the company, it was selected as one of the leading and fastestgrowing distributors in the world, and aims to add to the strength of the GTDC, helping the organisation communicate the value of distribution to both the vendor and investor communities. The distributor believes its presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Gulf, the Middle East and North Africa will help to communicate the GTDC’s message to new vendors in the region and provide more visibility for the regional channel. “Logicom is a leading distributor in our region and always aspires to adopt the best global practices and deliver excellence in technology distribution. This association provides the platform for the transfer of best practices and therefore we are most excited to be part of the GTDC,” said Varnavas Irinarchos, Managing Director, Logicom. “Technology distributors continue to strengthen and grow their role at the centre of the global products and services supply chain,” said Tim Curran, CEO, GTDC. “The addition of Logicom as a GTDC member further expands our presence in yet another strategic market. We look forward to their unique insights and contributions to the overall industry’s success.”
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Riverbed releases Granite 2.6 Riverbed Technology has announced the availability of Riverbed Granite 2.6, which has been enhanced with new features that support more branches, bigger data sets, and additional enterpriseclass storage solutions, including IBM Storwize V7000. Riverbed Granite is a branch converged infrastructure solution, which centralises branch data in the data centre while delivering local performance to branch users. The company says, with Granite, businesses can restore operations in a matter of minutes instead of days, centrally protect and secure data, and significantly lower the TCO of branch and remote offices. “Organisations have an average of 55 branches for every data centre and therefore managing business data across the globe is next to impossible. Organisations need better ways to protect data in remote places, faster ways to recover branches after disasters, and lower-cost ways to manage these critical
John Martin, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Storage Delivery, Riverbed
operations,” said John Martin, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Storage Delivery, Riverbed. “Granite is a unique and powerful solution to this universal problem, centralising data for higher security, instant disaster recovery, and dramatically lower TCO. With our new Granite 2.6 release, we now support more branches with double the capacity and bigger data sets, resulting in even lower costs and higher security.” “We have Riverbed Granite in all of our remote locations,” said Jerry Vigil, Director IT operations, Bill Barrett Corporation. “Our users get great local performance and my IT staff is able to manage data centrally with the added plus of having a solid, faster disaster recovery capability. I’m already a happy user. The fact that Granite 2.6 delivers even more ways to simplify management and protect data affirms that we made the right choice for our branch infrastructure.”
Capgemini and VMware expand partnership Capgemini, a global provider of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, and VMware, have expanded their strategic partnership to jointly develop new solutions. The move will extend Capgemini’s service integration, aggregation and orchestration platform by leveraging VMware’s industry leading cloud management offerings. This expanded partnership reflects both players’ vision of how IT organisations are evolving in the cloud era, according to the statement released. The new solutions will help customers more easily achieve IT-as-a-service by improving the way they manage cloud consumption across multiple providers and
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operators with policy-based service provisioning, data sovereignty protection and improved time to value for cloud adoption. These new solutions, which are a key component of Capgemini’s Orchestration Platform, will combine the company’s marketleading service integration solution, as well as its service aggregation and orchestration solutions, with VMware vCloud Automation Center, vCenter Operations Management Suite and VMware IT Business Management Suite. Enterprises will then be able to create and deliver new business services while transforming their IT infrastructure and
modernising their existing applications. The joint solutions are also designed to improve financial and service level management of cloud services and providers via a real-time dashboard that can provide CFOs with visibility into LOB usage and IT spend. Similarly, CIOs will gain transparency into overall application usage, allowing for greater control over the support of business processes and enabling true collaboration across the enterprise ecosystem. The platform will also allow businesses to consume services in a rapid and efficient manner. “In order to support a globally connected workforce, cloud solutions
that are efficient, effective and bring real-time business insights are essential,” said Raf Howery, Senior Vice President and Head of Infra Strategy and Ecosystem, Capgemini. “Expanding our VMware partnership with the introduction of our new business cloud solution is a key part of our cloud orchestration strategy, allowing enterprises to better manage the complexity of their IT transformation journey. It will enable them to transition to cloud with greater flexibility and simplicity and to obtain resources across legacy, public, private or hybrid environments. They will see an immediate business impact.”
Sony Mobile signs up Jumbo for micro distribution
Ruediger Odenbach, Vice President, Sony Mobile Communications Middle East and Africa Sony Mobile Communications has partnered with Jumbo Electronics to handle micro distribution in the UAE, starting from February 2014. Jumbo will cover the independent retail channel in the country for Sony Mobile. This will include the vast network of small to midsize shops across the country. Ruediger Odenbach, Vice President, Sony Mobile Communications Middle East and Africa says, “The UAE is an extremely important market for us, and in Jumbo we have an ideal partner. We are looking forward to ensuring our loyal and constantly growing customer base has easy access to the best of Sony in smartphones.” “Jumbo has a long standing association with Sony as the exclusive distributor for Sony consumer products for 40 years in the UAE and Oman,” said Vishesh L Bhatia, CEO, Jumbo Group. “We are delighted to expand our partnership and are honoured to be chosen for Sony Mobile’s micro distribution in the UAE. We are confident that our award-winning distribution network will do justice to Sony Mobile’s industry-leading products.”
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FDC partners with Ricoh FDC International, the value-added distributor based in Dubai, signed up with Ricoh, a printing and imaging solutions provider, as its IT distributor recently. As per the partnership, the company will provide a profitable and personalised business model for the successful launch of Ricoh’s IT products in the Middle East region. The partnership will cater to multiple areas such as Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Kuwait, Yemen, Jordan and Lebanon, to expand the vendor’s channel network Ricoh brings its credentials, desire and commitment to succeed along with its evolving product line-up, which includes Geljet technology to the partnership. Alan Poumirza, Marketing Manager, FDC International says, “Ricoh’s long standing experience in the print market is second to none. Ricoh is one of the top global imaging and printing vendors.We are committed to expanding and broadening this offering and helping companies improve communications. The partnership also broadens FDC’s portfolio and brings us increased visibility and access to the broadest range of business opportunities.” “We see great opportunities for this partnership with FDC to cover IT distribution in Iraq, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon because they have a strong channel network in these
Alan Poumirza, Marketing Manager, FDC countries that we can leverage to bring on board new resellers and raise our brand visibility. We believe our alliance with FDC will deliver incremental business and great results for both Ricoh and them,” said Ahmed Kamal, Regional Sales Head, Middle East & Africa, IT Distribution Channel, Ricoh International.
IBM to grow global cloud footprint IBM has announced plans to invest more than $1.2 billion to grow its global cloud footprint significantly and has additional centres planned for the Middle East region by next year. Recent reports indicate that the global cloud market is set to grow to $200 billion by 2020. “IBM is continuing to invest in high growth areas,” said Erich Clementi, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Technology Services. “Last year, IBM made a big investment adding the $2 billion acquisition of SoftLayer to its existing high value cloud portfolio. This announcement is another major step in driving a global expansion of IBM’s cloud footprint and helping clients drive transformation.” The company’s latest investment includes a network of cloud centres designed to bring organisations greater flexibility, transparency and control over how they manage their data, run their business and deploy their IT operations. The company further says that this year, it plans to deliver cloud services from 40 data centres worldwide in 15 countries and five continents globally. It also plans to open 15 new centres worldwide adding to the existing global footprint of 13 global data centres from SoftLayer and 12 from IBM. Some of the new data centres will launch in China, Washington D.C., Hong Kong, London, and India. The company plans to have data centres in all major geographies and financial centers with plans to expand in the Middle East and Africa in 2015.
Redefining office office IT. IT. PowerEdge PowerEdge VRTX. VRTX. Redefining office office IT. IT. PowerEdge PowerEdge VRTX. VRTX.
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Dell DellPowerEdge PowerEdgeVRTX VRTXisisaatrademark trademarkofofDell DellInc. Inc.Intel, Intel,the theIntel Intellogo, logo,Xeon, Xeon,and andXeon XeonInside Inside are are trademarks trademarks oror registered registered trademarks trademarks of ofIntel IntelCorporation Corporationininthe theU.S. U.S.and/or and/orother othercountries. countries.©2013 ©2013Dell DellInc. Inc.AllAllrights rightsreserved. reserved.
Dell DellPowerEdge PowerEdgeVRTX VRTXisisaatrademark trademarkofofDell DellInc. Inc.Intel, Intel,the theIntel Intellogo, logo,Xeon, Xeon,and andXeon XeonInside Inside are are trademarks trademarks oror registered registered trademarks trademarks of ofIntel IntelCorporation Corporationininthe theU.S. U.S.and/or and/orother othercountries. countries.©2013 ©2013Dell DellInc. Inc.AllAllrights rightsreserved. reserved.
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09/09/2013 09/09/201316:29 16:29
Huawei appoints new VP for Huawei Devices group Huawei has announced plans to enhance its regional presence in the consumer electronics market through the appointment of Sandeep Saihgal as Vice President – Middle East of Huawei’s consumer business group, Huawei Device. In his new role, Saihgal is responsible for driving Huawei’s go-to market strategy across the Middle East while expanding the brand’s footprint into emerging markets. Working closely with Huawei’s existing management team, Saihgal also has to promote regional alliances with key retail and distribution channel partners, as well as overall product marketing aimed at driving brand recognition for Huawei across all channels in the region. “The consumer electronics market in the Middle East has seen robust growth over the past year with leading global vendors introducing more competitive products across different market segments, welcoming in a new era of possibilities within the communication landscape,” said Saihgal. “Huawei’s
focus on customer-centric innovation has already seen the brand evolve rapidly over the past three years. Moving ahead, it will be a pleasure to work with a growing regional team to offer more and more consumers the opportunity experience Huawei devices for themselves.” Saihgal brings nearly 20 years of hands-on experience to Huawei primarily in the consumer electronics and ICT domain. Before joining Huawei, Saihgal served as the VP and Managing Director Middle East for Research in Motion (Blackberry) where he was responsible for launching Blackberry services across the region while managing all carrier relationships between RIM and distributors in the Middle East. Jiao Jian, President of Huawei Device Middle East said,“Sandeep’s extensive experience in the region and across the industry at large, as well as his insight into the local consumer mindset, will add enormous strategic value to our local expansion plans.”
Sandeep Saihgal - VP Huawei Device ME
Mindware wins Juniper accolade
Mario Gay, General Manager, Mindware Juniper Networks honoured Mindware as the Distributor of the Year 2013 at its recently held Middle East & Africa
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regional partner summit in Dubai, U.A.E. The annual awards recognise partners who have made the most notable contribution to their customers and therefore grown their business value with Juniper throughout 2013. “According to few independent market analysis, the MEA region is expected to have one of the fastestgrowing Internet penetration rates globally, so effective, secure highperformance networking is a key business driver for service providers and enterprises in MEA,” said Mario Georgiou, Area Partner Director, Juniper Networks, Middle East & Africa. “Because we operate an indirect goto-market model, Juniper’s channel partners are fundamentally important to our customers’ experience and Juniper’s
success. Mindware was a great example of an effective partnership to build the best networks for our shared customers during 2013. ” “This award is a testament to our expertise and widespread partner network, which has made us a valuable partner for Juniper– Mindware is extremely honoured to receive this award from Juniper. In 2013 many of our customers focused on creating a holistic, effective security stance across their network from data center to mobile user to protect mission-critical applications. Combining Mindware’s local experience with Juniper’s innovative portfolio, we have been able to deliver highly-effective solutions to meet business needs,” said Mario Gay, General Manager, Mindware.
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ESET unveils middle east channel partner programme
Pradeesh VS, General Manager, ESET Middle East ESET has introduced its new partner programme for the Middle East, in order to offer more support and recognition to its growing regional channel base, says the company. It will be available to partners in the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar,
Yemen, Libya, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, KSA and Egypt. The new programme has been customised for the region and is an extension of the company’s global partner programme. It aims to empower the company’s reseller and systems integrator partners to help them secure greater market shares in both, the business and home user segments. “The relationships with our Middle East partners and considerations for the local market were key factors when formulating this programme. Our business is 100 percent partner driven so the channel is absolutely vital to our success,” said Pradeesh VS, General Manager, ESET Middle East. “The new programme rewards our partners with attractive discounts, rebates and marketing support, while ensuring that they have access to the best possible technical and sales tools and support. Our objective is to have a network of highly skilled and motivated partners with deep expertise in our products. Their commitment to ESET will ensure that our customers have reliable access to the best possible security solutions.” Based on certain criteria such as revenues, commitment to the company and ability to provide dedicated end-
user support, the new programme classifies partners as Gold, Silver or Bronze. The company will extend benefits that include free sales and technical trainings, discounts, demo license keys as well as pre-sales and post-sales support to all partners registered in the programme. The company further says, higher partner levels will be offered rebate programmes, dedicated managers from ESET, access to sales leads and funding for marketing activities. In order to better serve the needs of its valued clients, it will also offer pre-sales consultancy, POCs and post-sales support to its Gold partners. “At ESET, our question to partners has not been ‘what can you do for us?’ but rather ‘what can we do together?’. This is why we have specifically designed the program to make ourselves easily accessible to our regional partners which is something that larger vendors often fail to accomplish. The clearly defined structure will encourage partners to aspire for greater success with us, which will ultimately help us and our valued customers,” said Elham Alizadeh, Channel Marketing Manager, ESET Middle East.
Gartner: 20% of enterprise BYOD programmes to fail by 2016 Gartner has predicted in its latest report that by 2016, 20 percent of enterprise bring your own device (BYOD) programmes will fail due to enterprise deployment of mobile device management (MDM) measures that are too restrictive. “Whether via formal BYOD programmes, or just via devices coming in the back door and being
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configured to access corporate systems, the use of consumer technologies in the work environment presents a threat to IT control of endpoint computing resources,” said Ken Dulaney, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst, Gartner. “Given the control that IT has exercised over personal computers by developing and deploying
images to company-managed PCs, many IT organisations will implement strong controls for mobile devices.” Many IT organisations are already rushing to deploy MDM solutions to address BYOD because of the rapid increase in the use of personal computing devices in the workplace. However, as BYOD programmes proliferate, employees are becoming
increasingly aware of the ability for IT organisations to access their personal information. As a result, employees are becoming sensitive to giving IT organisations access to personal devices, so they are demanding solutions that isolate personal content from business content and restrict the ability of the IT organisation to access or change personal content and applications.
Westcon signs distribution partnership with ForeScout
Steve Lockie, Managing Director, Westcon Middle East Westcon Group has entered into a distribution partnership agreement with ForeScout, a provider of real-time network security solutions. According to
the agreement, Westcon can enhance its web security portfolio through ForeScout’s Network Access Control (NAC) security solutions and distribute these across the UAE, KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. Westcon will distribute the entire suite of ForeScout solutions, including the ForeScout CounterACT platform – along with extended integration modules for SIEM, MDM, vulnerability assessment, advanced threat detection and mobile security, which is in line with the market demand, especially with growth drives in this space, such as BYOD and security automation, on the rise, according to the company. Steve Lockie, Managing Director, Westcon Middle East said, “We believe in the benefits of best-of-breed solutions, and ForeScout is the leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Network Access Control. We are further strengthening our endpoint security portfolio by partnering with this industry leader and will leverage our extensive regional expertise to gain
a significant share of this growing market segment.” According to Westcon, while continuing to leverage its wide network of existing partners, it will place greater emphasis on promoting ForeScout business through its newly built Emerging Technologies (Incubator Unit), a Westcon Security initiative to enhance partner skills and evangelise partners on technical aspects through POC Lead Approach. Quarterly technical programmes are being held for strategic channel partners who have NAC experience and are committed to the growth of ForeScout, says the company. “We are excited to welcome Westcon to the ForeScout family as an authorised Value Added Distributor (VAD). With its established reputation and proven expertise in emerging technologies, along with well-founded service offerings, the partnership with Westcon is sure to be highly successful and valued by our mutual partners and customers,” said John Hagerty, EMEA Director for Channels and Strategic Alliances, ForeScout.
MTC, Multimedya to deliver Toshiba in Middle East Aiming to fortify its reach in the storage segment, Toshiba Gulf has partnered with Memory Technology Corporation (MTC) and Multimedya International for officially distributing its digital media solutions. MTC will deliver a majority of the company’s memory products across the UAE, KSA, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. “Both MTC and Multimedya’s in-depth market intelligence,
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presence in key markets and strong distribution strategy are integral for Toshiba to increase its market share and reinforce its position as a leading storage solutions vendor,” said Santosh Varghese, General Manager, Digital Products and Services, Toshiba Gulf. MTC will be working closely with the reseller channel network to distribute Toshiba Flash and SD products. “In coordination with Toshiba,
we are devising a two-tier channel partner programme to reach all potential sectors of the market; holding sufficient inventory in all our locations for the whole range of products and providing financial support to deserving partners and logistics services to boost up the business,” said Shabu Sultan, General Manager, MTC. Multimedya will focus on retail and channel partners, targeting sales towards customers across
the Middle East region. “We aim to reach a market share of 30 percent for Toshiba,” said Mehmet Yurdakul, Retail Business Manager, Multimedya International. With 15 years distribution experience in the region, Multimedya focuses on both retail and channel coverage. “Multimedya is proud to be an official distributor for Toshiba – a trusted brand with its products having the lowest or almost zero failure rate,” Yurdakul added.
FVC presents Cyan SDN and packet-optical solutions FVC, the value-added distributor (VAD) in MENA and authorised distributor for Cyan has announced the launch of Cyan software-defined networking (SDN) and packet-optical solutions for enterprise networks in the Middle East. According to FVC’s MD K. S. Parag, the solution is especially useful for large networks like university campuses, e-government services, airports, as well as oil and gas networks. “This technology is also an enabler for smart cities and will help governments in the region provide a more diverse set of e-government services to its citizens,” he added. To support the growing demand for SDN solutions in the region, Cyan has announced that it will be opening its Middle East presence with a regional office in Dubai. According to the company, as
part of its ongoing commitment to FVC, the new office will provide support to FVC’s sales, pre-sales and post-sales team, to enable them to provide localised support and services to its partners from its regional offices. “Bandwidth demands, cloud computing, mobility and other demands are forcing a new era in network transformation,” said Mark Floyd, Chairman and CEO of Cyan. “With the increasingly distributed nature of enterprise infrastructures, new, flexible, and elastic SDN and packet optical services provide an important new means to monetize network investments and give end-users the ability to control their own services. Cyan is proud to expand its presence in the region and play an integral role in FVC’s offerings to the Middle East market.”
K.S. Parag, Managing Director, FVC
VMware to acquire AirWatch According to the agreement signed by both parties, VMware will acquire AirWatch, the enterprise mobile management and security solutions provider. The deal has been made for approximately $1.175B in cash and approximately $365M of installment payments and assumed unvested equity. The AirWatch team will continue to report to Founder and CEO John Marshall as part of VMware’s End-User Computing group, led by Sanjay Poonen, EVP and GM. Alan Dabbiere, AirWatch’s Co-Founder and Chairman, will oversee a new AirWatch operating board, which will report to Pat Gelsinger, VMware CEO.
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“AirWatch provides bestin-class, secure, enterprisemobile management to thousands of businesses around the world,” said Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMware. “With this acquisition VMware will add a foundational element to our end-user computing portfolio that will enable our customers to turbo-charge their mobile workforce without compromising security.” “When we started AirWatch, we set out to help businesses succeed in the mobile explosion that was set to come. Now there are more than 2 billion smart phones and tablets in the world and more than half of those devices touch an enterprise,” said Alan Dabbiere, Co-Founder and
Chairman, AirWatch. “By joining a proven innovator like VMware, we now have an opportunity to bring our leading-edge solutions to an even broader set of customers and partners to help them optimise for the mobile-cloud world.” According to Sanjay Poonen, EVP and GM of VMware’s End-User Computing group the company’s vision is to provide a secure virtual workspace that allows end users to work at the speed of life. He added, “The combination of AirWatch and VMware will enable us to deliver unprecedented value to our customers and partners across their desktop and mobile environments.”
This acquisition will expand VMware’s EndUser Computing group; AirWatch’s offerings will form an expanded portfolio of mobile solutions that are complementary to VMware’s portfolio. The acquisition has been approved by the boards of directors of both VMware and AirWatch and the acquisition is expected to close during late Q1 2014 subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. The acquisition will be funded through a combination of balance sheet cash and proceeds from approximately $1B of additional debt to be provided by EMC. VMware will also continue with its ongoing share buyback programme.
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Avnet to distribute SanDisk globally
Henri Richard, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales and Support, SanDisk SanDisk has partnered with Avnet for its global distribution of flash-based hardware and software solutions.
According to the agreement, the distributor will deliver to SanDisk’s enterprise and industrial customers in North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America through its Avnet Electronics Marketing and Avnet Technology Solutions operating groups. Henri Richard, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales and Support, SanDisk said, “Avnet’s deep understanding of storage and customercentric approach makes them a logical distribution partner for SanDisk’s flashbased commercial products and enables us to further expand our leadership in this growing market.” According to the distributor, to create complete business solutions for end customers, it will offer complementary products that can be combined with SanDisk products purchased through
them. It will also provide its partners with a wide range of education, resources, services and tools designed to help accelerate the profitable growth of their storage businesses, according to the statement from the company. “The addition of SanDisk further enhances our global technology portfolio with products from one of the most recognised and trusted brands in flash storage,” said Phil Gallagher, Global President, Avnet Technology Solutions. “The combination of Avnet’s technical expertise and sophisticated integration capabilities, with SanDisk’s proven flash products, enables our channel partners to not only address the growing demand for flash-based storage solutions in the commercial market, but also create complete solutions that provide a competitive edge in the markets they serve around the globe.”
Analysing smart city technology Smart City technology is set to grow to $20.2 billion by 2020, but organisations need long-lasting IT plans in the next six months, says Condo Protego CEO Andrew Calthorpe
Standing in line for a coffee, I’m eager to order as my car is double-parked on Dubai’s JBR Walk. I frantically check the maps app on my smartphone to find the fastest route to work to avoid being late. My coffee comes—and the name is ‘Andru’. Not a great start to the day. But what if this situation never happened again? Imagine your car ordering your coffee with your name spelled right, self-driving to the coffee shop, then arriving at work on time and parking itself.
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This could be a vision of our near future, thanks to the rise of Smart Cities across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), led by the Dubai Smart City initiative. In Smart Cities, millions of sensors connect virtually everything to citywide Wi-Fi networks. These connections will drive innovations like smart parking, smart refrigerators that order groceries and smart utilities that monitor energy usage. Navigant Research forecasts that the global smart city technology
Andrew Calthorpe, CEO, Condo Protego
market will grow from $6.1 billion in annual revenue in 2012 to $20.2 billion by 2020. Driving smart city network connections are data centres, sifting through zettabytes of Big Data using the power of cloud computing. Big Data technology and services are slated to grow at 27 percent CAGR to $32.4 billion through 2017, according to IDC. Companies of all sizes, from large enterprises down to small homes and offices, need around-the-clock access to their data, with enterprise storage solutions enabling them to shift their IT infrastructure largely to the cloud. Cloud services are booming worldwide, with research firm Deloitte predicting the global cloud market to grow from $41 billion in 2011 to $241 billion by 2020. As more organisations shift data to the cloud, the MENA cloud market is particularly robust, with Gartner predicting that it will total $4 billion from 2013-2017, with $1.1 billion on public cloud services by 2017. But storm clouds are brewing in cloud computing. Recently hackers used smart refrigerators to send spam e-mail. If something as harmless as a refrigerator could expose data, then what about shopping websites, banks, hospitals, public sector bodies and government agencies? All of these institutions need the most advanced data protection, with solutions that are future-proof and meet flexible budgets. A freelancer’s home business needs as strict data protection as that of a multinational company. In a world where data needs to be accessed around-the-clock, companies and governments also need to prepare disaster recovery solutions. While most technology incidents are human error, MENA cities face triple the number of natural disasters since the 1980s, according to the World Bank. In order to build the foundations of the region’s emerging Smart Cities, companies and governments need to develop long-lasting IT plans within the next six months. //
Control over cyber-threats Anthony Perridge, EMEA Channel Director at Sourcefire, now a part of Cisco, explains how control of online security outbreaks is no longer a concept of the future.
Anthony Perridge, EMEA Channel Director, Sourcefire
The concept ofcontrol has long been a cornerstone for virtually every cyber security team’s approach to dealing with threats. But with cyber security professionals finding themselves at an increasing disadvantage when defending their IT environments, is it realistic to expect you can gain control over threats and outbreaks? Attackers are singularly focused on penetrating your network to accomplish their missions. Yet the job of the defender has never been more challenging. As our networks extend beyond the traditional perimeter to include endpoints, mobile devices, virtual desktops and data centers and the cloud, new attack vectors emerge. Compounding the challenge, most security teams don›t have the
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luxury of spending 100 percent of their time focused on security. They are understaffed and bogged down by manual processes, disconnected security tools, compliance and regulatory issues and other business imperatives. For many organisations the solution is to throw more and more people at the problem. In fact, new research from IDC Government Insights finds that overall IT security spending by the U.S. Federal Government will rise from $5.9 billion in 2012 to over $7.3 billion in 2017. Of that, in most years, staff salaries account for a surprising 85 percent – 91 percent of total spending. And it is probably safe to expect a similar breakdown for commercial enterprises. With the number of attacks on the rise, it’s clear that assigning more human resources isn’t a sustainable way to address the problem. Nor is it easy to find skilled cyber security workers. It is widely estimated that in the near future job openings for skilled cyber security workers will top 50,000 between the public and private sector. ‘Control’ can and should remain at the forefront of any security strategy. But how to achieve that control requires a fresh approach that incorporates automation, integration and education. Automation.Relying on manual processes to defend against modern and relentless attacks is inadequate. Attackers are taking advantage of automation and you need to as well to reduce labor intensive tasks and streamline processes. Tools that can intelligently identify and automatically alert only on relevant security events can save security teams hours investigating events that aren’t real threats and prioritise those that are the most relevant. In addition, being able to automatically provision, tune
and enforce security policies and rules across control points without manual intervention efficiently minimises risk of exposure to the latest threats and vulnerabilities despite dynamically changing environments. Integration.Most security teams use a set of disparate technologies that can’t and don’t work together to try to defend their environments. Any integration between these tools is typically one way – the visibility and analysis isn’t automatically correlated and translated into action to contain and stop damage and prevent future attacks. And the data gathered is usually a snapshot in time, not continuously updated to monitor activity as it unfolds. What’s needed is a tightly integrated enterprise security architecture that complements integrated visibility and analysis with integrated and automated controls enabled with central policy management, monitoring and distributed policy enforcement. Open APIs extend control capabilities to include existing and evolving security infrastructure. Education.With automation and integration in place, highly skilled security staff can now turn more of their attention to keeping up with the latest threats and techniques attackers use to disguise attacks, exfiltrate data and establish beachheads for future attacks.Ongoing professional development to remain current on security best practices as well as how to optimise security technologies for maximum security effectiveness ensure organisations are getting the most from their IT security investments. With a security approach that incorporates automation, integration and education, control isn’t a pipedream but a reality that is achievable and necessary to detect, understand and stop threats. //
Behind the scenes Reseller ME meets up with Sajith Raj, GM, Logicom Distribution, to get a better insight into the man who has been with the company for the last 15 years and what lies ahead of him.
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Logicom’s recently appointed General Manager—Sajith Raj— is every bit of the position he holds and more. Having climbed the ladder within the company over the last 15 years to reach where he is today, Raj is a great example of sincerity, passion and drive. And perhaps, even an inspiration to others. Organised to a tee and committed, each time he felt the need to move on, the company presented him with opportunities that was more challenging than the last. And with about two decades of experience in hand, that too in varied roles in different departments, Raj certainly seems to be the man for the job. He understands deeply what is expected from each department of the company and what the resellers too anticipate in terms of business. Knowing that the heart of each business are the people, Raj takes pride in having been able to establish a good team. And also considers managing and mentoring employees as a learning experience. He further shares that being transparent with people and listening to them are two factors that have helped shape his career. He says, “You could have the best of brands but if you don’t choose the right people to manage that brand or product then you could fail at the end of the day. Talent is the most important factor in a distribution business.” And also, the most challenging one too. Finding talent and retaining
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them is a key issue today, for most players in the channel. And as many have moved away from this market, the remaining talent has become even more demanding. “This might be because the country itself is undergoing changes. Your expenses are really high. It’s always a difficult situation to balance both, your cost of operations and bringing in the right talent,” he explains. If people are the heart of a distributing business, then the soul would be ensuring the right vendors are on board. Signing up a key vendor such as HP, is one of his greatest achievements, Raj says. He goes on to add that as a company they have always believed in tapping into all the opportunities present in one brand. “There is a huge scope within brands itself. This works well because once you understand to work with the vendor, even if it was on different product lines, the overall strategy to manage remains the same. It becomes easier. We then become a distributor across their products,” he adds. And the recent award from HP only goes to prove further Logicom’s success with the brand. Raj’s key responsibility in the new role is to grow the business in the Gulf region. Being the first ones to have direct presence in each country with small sales offices, he says one of his priorities is to start direct offices in Logicom subsidiaries in those countries. “We have begun with Oman in 2012 and now we will be starting with Kuwait and Qatar. This is because local distribution is what is going to grow in the next few years. And UAE is getting saturated in terms of opportunities or it is getting very crowded with competition. All the brands want somebody who can do the in-country job. That will be one of the key priorities for me.”
“There is a huge scope within brands. Once you understand to work with the vendor, even if it was on different product lines, the overall strategy to manage remains the same. We then become a distributor across their products.” Added to this, he is also responsible for enhancing the company’s product portfolio, in terms of getting the complementary products. “Earlier, everyone use to have components or finished products but now we need to look at value and more solution-oriented products. It is not only the trend but perhaps a necessity today. If you look at a partner whom you want to work with, they usually want to offer a solution to the end user, they want to have the right products. And it is always preferred to have these products from a single source,” he explains further. For example, Logicom sells PCs, servers and networking products. So in order to complement with the existing portfolio, a right product need to be chosen. A security product might be ideal, as the company already has some products in the security level but not a complete portfolio, or any other software, which enhances the value of the hardware. Adding on, he says, “We are expanding our product portfolio not by just adding another brand but adding the right product mix within the portfolio. We are enhancing services as a focus product too.” To remain on the top, Raj says, one needs to constantly improve, no matter how large the company is. “Because you can never be perfect. The moment you feel you are perfect, then you are limiting your growth. As
a company, we are constantly looking at the gaps and trying to address them. For example, a year ago, we found our existing warehouse to be too small and eventually moved into a new facility,’ he says. “We were using several third party logistics earlier and now we moved it to in-house operations, which sits under one umbrella in the new facility. Initially, we had some glitches because it’s a huge operation. One of the first things we did was to fix the time delays we had to get to the market. Now we can proudly say that we give 24 hours delivery.” Under his regime, Raj wants to focus more on solution-based distribution, which is the next step of value add, he says. “What makes a difference to value is when you get into services and have both pre-sales and post sales. And after staging of the product is done, it is then taken to the reseller. Also as a next level, we would love to get into hosting services so that a reseller, who wants to offer some products and services or software as a service, can host it with us and typical services can be offered as a product to the customer.” Although, this could be more applicable in mature markets and Raj admits it’s a challenge here to introduce something new but it’s one that “we are ready to take and we are trying to get there,” he concludes positively. //
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mobile computing comes of age With the explosion of mobile devices, computing on-the-go has now become the norm. Reseller ME finds out what this spells out for the channel and the way ahead. 30
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A lot has been said and discussed about mobile computing. It has swept this generation of businesses in the most unexpected way possible. And the most interesting aspect is how quickly this transformation has happened â€“ just within the last decade or less. While the advantages of these smart devices are pretty clear to most organisations, what could be an issue is coming to terms with the trends that emerge around it, namely BYOD, mobile cloud, Big Data and security. Opportunities Today, employees prefer using their personal devices for their office work, this could be because of various reasons such as comfort, convenience and speed. Experts say it is not something organisations can fight but accept it by learning to manage it. According to Nicolai Solling, Director of Technology Services, Help AG many organisations are still in the process of large scale BYOD rollouts. â€œSo in 2014, while we are sure to see many more organisations get on board, the general themes of security, MDM and enterprise mobile apps will remain the focal areas.â€? Security is definitely one of the major concerns for organisations, how do businesses demarcate a clear line between work and personal affairs, when a single device is being used for both? And with computing-on-the-go becoming the norm, it also means a large amount of data is created. How can this be managed or regulated? Mobile cloud is an attractive solution but it too is in its early stages. Employers are expected to provide its workforce mobile technology that can perform without glitches, while on the go. But what do these factors mean for the channel? To put it in a nutshell, Mahmoud Samy, Area Head, Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan at Arbor
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Networks says, “Products that address network visibility, threat mitigation and application security for mobile operators are likely to be in high demand for the channel.” Also, this requires the channel stakeholders to come together to devise solutions that might have to be customised, taking into account different market verticals. “The channel also plays an important role in packaging mobility solutions that are tailored to organisations of different sizes. A large enterprise will most likely require a different mobility platform compared to a SME that has a strength of 20 employees, and the truth is that there are great options for all of these customers,” points out Asfar Zaidi, Principal Consultant, Huawei Enterprise Middle East. Fundamentally, what the channel should remember is to offer technology and services that will simplify everyday activities for the enterprise, and for consumers to be able to roam on different networks. Nader Baghdadi, Middle East and North Africa Regional Director, Ruckus Wireless explains that the company is able to provide solutions that are easy for IT administrators to configure, deploy, and maintain. “And we also offer solutions that allow end users to do things like self-register their own devices on the network. These are the type of services and solutions that bring considerable opportunities to the channel,” he adds.
Mobile Device Management Mobile Device Management (MDM) can be looked at as the umbrella that houses most solutions for managing mobile computing. According to the research firm, Gartner, it includes software that provides functions such as software distribution, policy management, inventory management, security management and service management for smartphones and media tablets. And the research firm has projected it to be $1.6-billion market
“In 2014, while we are sure to see many more organisations get on board on BYOD, the general themes of security, MDM and enterprise mobile apps will remain the focal areas.” Nicolai Solling, Director of Technical Services, help AG Middle East
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by this year. However, the channel should try to provide an end-to-end solution for this space and not limit itself to just a few areas. “No one-size-fits-all solution exists for mobile device management; channel should choose a vendor who provides good security features, better supports and covers most of the devices and operating systems. The channel can offer services and bundle solution over mobile device management,” says Christopher Green, Divisional Manager, Westcon Security. According to Adam Nash, EMEA Channel Manager – Southern Europe, Middle East & Africa, Webroot, this gives the channel partners the scope to accommodate both choose your own device (CYOD) and BYOD and also how security, application and data management are handled on devices connecting to corporate resources. “This is a valuable service that can be provided to a business where this kind of expertise is not available in-house,” explains Nash.
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There are definite profits to be made in this area according to industry experts. And Gartner further cements the fact in its report where it expects, 65 percent of enterprises to adopt a mobile device management (MDM) solution for their corporate liable users by 2017. Network traffic and corporate data—what was once the primary domain of enterprise PCs is now being shifted to mobile devices. “Profit margins will be higher depending on the quality of service offered. However, the biggest drawback will be the technical expertise of the channel in supporting this new trend of mobile device management,” says Santosh Varghese, General Manager, Digital Products and Services, Toshiba Gulf. But according to Sami from Arbor Networks it is difficult to comment on margins as mobile network security is a relatively new area of spending. “However, the need for improved visibility and security is enormous, and mobile network spending in recent years has predominantly focused on network capacity, not security, so we may see a real growth opportunity to provide these new capabilities,” he adds. Adding that one other potential drawback could be that MDM vendors have to continually update their products with new mobile operating system releases, Green from Westcon Security points out, “MDM cannot always prevent data leakage, which is one of the main concerns for companies.”
“No one-size-fits-all solution exists for MDM; channel should choose a vendor which provides good security features, supports and covers most of the devices and operating systems.” Christopher Green, Divisional Manager, Westcon Security
The road ahead The future of mobile computing could mean even more of a device explosion than what exists today - smaller, smarter and wearable devices that can perform as well as a PC. This means the channel enterprise needs to be vigilant and be in line with what is expected out of them. To provide comprehensive solutions, the end user’s challenges must be understood thoroughly. And to be a step ahead, the problems should be even anticipated in order to create suitable solutions. Zaidi from Huawei Enterprise explains that while the wider movement towards BYOD policies and greater workplace mobility present clear benefits to the business world, it is also important to realise the new challenges present in terms of service provisioning, security and ongoing management of devices. “Enterprises are finding themselves
“Profit margins will be higher depending on the quality of service offered. The biggest drawback will be the technical expertise of the channel in supporting this new trend of MDM.” Santosh Varghese, General Manager, Digital Products and Services, Toshiba Gulf
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at the cross-roads of merging business and technology needs while bringing network security, efficiency and a great user-experience to mobile computing.” He also urges the channel to recognise future BYOD policies for the enterprise and embrace the innovations taking place in the consumer device space. These advancements, he says, both on the hardware and software front, are empowering users with a host of fresh applications and communication services. “Future mobile computing solutions will thus need to be transparent, flexible, and able to be quickly implemented so that they can meet the evolving demands of organisations across these platforms and devices.” Agreeing with Zaidi, Green adds, “Mobile device access will continue to allow vendors to develop technology providing anytime, anywhere access with security. We believe we will see more adoption of cloud MDM solutions compared to on premise solutions. There will also be the integration of cloud with enterprise for access control and continuous monitoring.” While Samy believes if a major mobile network suffers significant DDoS or any other type of attack in this year, “that may just be the event that spurs the sector to finally address the weaknesses around mobile network visibility and security.” //
In the right direction Training partners is imperative for a successful channel business. Reseller ME investigates how the channel goes about implementing these programmes and the roadblocks.
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Training partners is a critical factor in the channel business. In order to scale and ensure that partners are delivering solutions, services and support, as per the brand promise, it is a necessary investment. Often, however, a customer may not find the same level of enthusiasm from a partner when compared to the vendor. This is largely because of lack of initiatives from the vendor’s side and lack of commitment from the partners’ end. Agreeing, Glen Ogden, Regional Sales Director Middle East, A10 Networks says, “If vendors are to scale their business, it means they must rely on partners to take customer meetings without being present.” This also means that customers should not feel that the brand and the partner, who they are dealing with, are two different entities. Partners represent the brand and for the customers, that should be a seamless
experience. To achieve this, partner training programmes are vital. Osama AlHaj-Eisa, Channel Director, Middle East & Turkey, Aruba Networks adds, “Without training programmes, the partner would not be capable of implementing the solution to the best of its potential. Also, insufficient knowledge may lead to a sub-standard implementation that will ultimately affect not just the partner but also the vendor’s reputation.” Manju Mathew, Marketing Manager, StorIT Distribution is of the opinion that without formal training, “the partners will lack the skill set and motivation to sell and implement solutions and services and will also struggle to cover a larger customer base.” Another reason why partner training is critical in the region, AlHajEisa says, is because most vendors and distributors follow the channel driven business model, which means they depend on partners in order to drive sales, provide services, carry out
solution implementations and even provide after-sales support. “If we didn’t have a partner training programme in place, we would risk having someone else define the future of our industry,” says Fadi Moubarak, Channel & Mid-Market Director MEA, India & Turkey, Avaya. The fact that the channel cannot do without partner training programmes is apparent. But, even with this knowledge, training partners to the required level is still an issue in the industry. What might help here is educating partners on the significance of these programmes. For example, Moubarak says the training programmes that Avaya does wouldn’t have been successful, had their partners not found it useful and valuable. It should benefit both parties involved, like a symbiotic relationship. What’s more is that training programmes help build the credibility of the channel. According to
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Marcus Jewell, VP EMEA, Brocade Communications, certified channel partners instils confidence among the end-users. He explains, “A study conducted by Amazon Consulting recently, indicates that over 80 percent of end-users place more trust in the partner’s advice when working with a solution provider that holds IT certifications and close to 80 percent are more likely to leverage the partner on other engagements.” And Jewell further says that the partners too feel motivated and builds a sense of loyalty, when they know that the vendor values the partnership enough to invest and conduct training sessions. Some vendors treat these training programmes as seriously as educational degrees, a case in point would be Cisco. Meghan McCarthy, Regional Sales Manager, Partner Organisation and Commercial Segment, Cisco UAE says, “Our partners are receptive to being trained and educated through our channel partner programme, which offers certifications that are similar to academic degrees. These specialisations include prerequisites for becoming certified and knowledge of certain technologies.” The higher the level of certification, the more credentials and resources Cisco’s partners need to meet the requirements, McCarthy adds. If the programmes are designed in an innovative and relevant manner,
Roadblocks to a successful training programme In order to implement a successful training programme, vendors might also face certain challenges, which could be ironed out if dealt with in the initial stages itself. One of the first things to keep in mind is that a training programme would need a good training facility and effective trainers. Apart from this, Nandini Sapru, Director Sales at EMT Distribution says, “Good marketing skills and engaging course programme is also required.” Another roadblock that vendors need to be aware of is to ensure that the programme is adapted regionally, if it is a standard one used globally. “It is important to fit in with the local market needs and maturity,” cautions Isadora Gaggioli, International Channel Operations Manager, Fortinet. Location is another point to consider. For Khalid Abu Baker, Managing Director, Kaspersky Lab Middle East, it was a challenge to get partners to fly to their training centre in Dubai. “However, since two years, we have been going to each country to conduct training in our partners’ premises, and introduce the new partner status of Authorised Training Centres, where our partners and customers are trained by certified training specialists from the company,” he adds. Similarly, it is important to plan the programme and schedule it without affecting everyday business. ManageEngine’s Regional Director, Sales, Middle East, Nirmal Kumar Manoharan says to train partners on the company’s extensive range of products takes a minimum of a week. “This creates a backlog for partners as their bandwidth is reduced when some of their team members attend our training programme,” he shares. Updating the programme on a regular basis to include new technology and products is also essential. Sometimes, vendors find it difficult to cover all markets when implementing the training. In such cases, it might be a good idea to partner with third party companies, provided resources and budgets allow it. Sreedhar Sreekumar, Regional Sales Manager, Mediterranean, Middle East & Africa, SanDisk explains, “Aside from cultural and language challenges, there are technical, logistical and scheduling issues. We now work closely with local companies such as Gadgets, that conduct training, whether in the field or in class.”
“Our partners are receptive to being trained and educated through our channel partner programme, which offers certifications that are similar to academic degrees.” Meghan McCarthy, Regional Sales Manager, Partner Organisation and Commercial Segment, Cisco UAE
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partners are willing to participate, industry experts say, as they are keen to learn new technology and to keep themselves updated. Jai Shankar, Senior Marketing Manager, Brother International couldn’t agree more, “They are eager to undergo training because they know the positive impact it has on end users and their overall business. This is why we have faced no resistance in deploying training programmes.”
However, Daniel Schmierer, ASVP, Middle East, Polycom says there could be certain instances of resistance. “If a partner is opportunistic and is approaching us with a short-term objective of responding to a specific RFP, then they are likely to resist training. Therefore, our strategy is very clear – we only sell through certified resellers. This means that they will have to invest in our training programme to become a Polycom certified partner,” he explains. Relevance is another key point to keep in mind when designing training programmes. Where are your partners located? Who are their target audience? What training can help them achieve their business objective in their area of specialisation, profitably? Husam Abdul Hamid, Manager Channel Sales, North Africa & Pakistan, NetApp Gulf explains that the company tailors training programmes for its tier-one partners. He also adds, “We provide not only instructor-led trainings, but also hundreds of web training offers via our training portal. We also invite our partners to our annual technical conference, NetApp Insight, which takes place in a different European city every year.” Hamid further adds that NetApp provides training in four areas – sales, pre-sales, post-sales and support –
“We have been going to each country to conduct training in our partners’ premises and introduce the new partner status of Authorised Training Centres.” Khalid Abu Baker, Managing Director, Kaspersky Lab Middle East
that encompass the entire life cycle of its business. “It is very important that the content of any training initiative be relevant to all attendees but also specific enough that it highlights the key features of how the technology will impact their business and that of the end user,” points out Christian Assaf, Senior Sales Manager, Seagate. Understanding how central training programmes are to the channel business, companies have also now increased their budgets considerably over the last few years. Although, how the budget is allocated might differ from company to company. Yassine Zaied, EVP Sales Nexthink Middle East explains that their partner marketing budget is not exclusively dedicated to training, but also
“If a partner is opportunistic and is approaching us with a short-term objective of responding to a specific RFP, then they are likely to resist training. So, we only sell through certified resellers.” Daniel Schmierer, Area Sales Vice President, Polycom
Reseller Middle East
includes the infrastructure, to better support partners. “We have been very successful with our partners, but we can generate even more business together very quickly by enabling our partners through additional resources and joint business development.” For Khwaja Saifuddin, Senior Sales Director India, Middle East, Africa and Turkey, WD, the company’s training sessions are planned only once all the regional stakeholders have aligned and have identified initial opportunities to run training sessions. “This happens at the start of the quarter and if there is a need for further training outside of the originally planned activities, it is undertaken. We don’t just allocate a fixed amount every quarter,” he says. Each company should define its training goals and devise a programme that not only enables its partners but also creates the zeal for them to participate. At the end of the day, it shouldn’t be something the partners feel compelled to attend instead they should want to participate. After all, as Taj El Khayat, General Manager, MENA, Riverbed Technology puts it, “Ultimately, the success of training programmes is realised only when our channel partners understand the positioning of our solutions in exactly the way we see it.” //
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Mark Floyd, Chairman and CEO, Cyan
Revolutionising networks Software-defined network (SDN) and packet-optical solutions provider Cyan recently brought its Chairman and CEO, Mark Floyd, to Dubai, where he looked into setting up a new regional office. The company forayed into this market by signing a partnership agreement with the Dubai-based valueadded distributor FVC last year, though it is eyeing expansion. Reseller ME catches up with Floyd to understand what this market means for Cyan.
Reseller Middle East
Could you give us an overview about Cyan? Founded in 2006, Cyan essentially enables network transformation. Our open platforms provide multi-vendor control and visibility to network operators, making service delivery more efficient and profitable. Our Blue Planet SDN Platform and innovative Z-Series packet-optical hardware have in excess of 150 customers across North America, Europe, South America, Asia and now in the Middle East as well. How well has the region adopted to SDN solutions? What is interesting is that historically when a new technology emerges, it usually gets deployed across markets at different time periods but with SDN, it is happening across the globe simultaneously. It is a unique phenomenon. Middle East and Africa is a very large market for us. For every new technology, there is a period of education first. Then it takes about a year for the business to roll out. We have met many customers who are deeply involved in testing this technology. This market is keen on seeing new technologies that can drastically transform their businesses and we are now present here to offer that. In the Middle East, we are building up a strategy to target the large campus networks, which are run by service providers and build our technology for them. This technology is uniquely positioned to add value to projects such as smart cities. This is because you innovate and create a solution, which is software-based that allows end users to buy services automatically. That is what we deliver to most of the smart cities. This is something unique we will be doing in the Middle East. Talking about uniqueness, can you tell me what is unique to this market
or region when compared to other emerging markets? Let me talk about similarities first. The similarities are that network operators and some of the large enterprises have realised that they can’t continue to build their networks like the way they used to for the last 20 years. Because the capacity of networks and services are growing at a significant rate but the revenue is not growing as fast as per the requirements. You have to change with the times and that is key. In most markets, people have to figure out how to make things work in the existing networks. But this region is like a clean slate because the growth is so huge and there is great opportunity. Probably no other part of the world looks like this.
Could you discuss your strategy for the channel? We are building the channel. We have signed FVC as our premiere partner. And they have experience in bringing new, niche technologies in the region. We have gained from that experience. The second fact is that they have offices in most of the Middle East and North Africa region, giving us the scale fairly quickly. The idea here is to go deeper with the channel rather than have more channel. As this is a niche technology, it is not easy to learn about it quickly and deploy it. What do you consider as the biggest challenge in this region? Our channel partners in the region tend to be stronger than in the other
“The Middle East is a strategic market as it has a lot of capital. There are many under-deployed networks here, which means there is great opportunity to build on top of it. We see this as extremely strategic to our company’s success.” What are your plans for the region? It is a strategic market as they have a lot of capital. There are many under deployed networks here, which means there is great opportunity to build on top of it. We see this extremely strategic to our company’s success. Also, there are many campuses built in the region 10 or 15 years ago, which have run out of their fibre bandwidth, which means they can’t add more capacity. We not only provide SDN solutions but also offer packetoptical solutions, which is hardware. When we combine these two, we have an absolute unique solution.
regions. This could be because they probably don’t have corporate support as much as Europe and Asia does from American companies. Therefore, our channel partners understand the technology and pick it up really quickly and are pretty aggressive. The biggest challenge is that this is a phenomena that is happening all across the world, so from a corporate view point, I have to ensure that I put all the resources in all these different markets at the same time. Although a challenge, it’s a positive one. Another challenge is to be able to operate in the whole region within the resources barriers that the companies have here. //
Reseller Middle East
Enabling with technology Hicham Abdessamad, Executive Vice President, Global Services, Hitachi Data Systems, speaks to Reseller ME on the company’s global strategy and shares market insights. This region is strategic for us largely because of the growth that we are seeing here. And this is not just in Dubai but also other markets such as KSA, Qatar and Kuwait. What is unique about this market is that it has the opportunity, thanks to other mature markets, to leapfrog faster to be at the bleeding edge of the industry. Customers here might be slow adapters to a particular technology, but once they do, they embrace it and this drives growth. What are you market differentiators? We are a technology engineering company and have got several business verticals globally. We bring immense expertise to the market in terms of knowledge. We have got enterprise customers in different verticals. Our solutions are differentiated, we are known for high quality, and our technology is innovative. We also provide best value for money. From a TCO/ROI perspective, if you buy a Hitachi product, it not only delivers but also provides the best value for your investment.
Hicham Abdessamad, Executive Vice President, Global Services, Hitachi Data Systems
Could you talk a bit about HDS’ global strategy? And how important is the region to you? Being an information company, we develop technologies that allow
Reseller Middle East
customers to manage, access and gain insight from all their data. Our strategy is to be the world’s leader in information and information management services and to provide customers with data storage and content solutions.
What do you see as growth drivers here? We focus on verticals such as financial services, telcos, oil and gas, transportation and healthcare. There are two areas where we are seeing growth taking place— one is consumers of enterprise storages as data is growing in this region and the other area is around the third platform such as mobility and cloud. People are still trying to sort out what cloud is and how it fits in and so forth. I think we can lend our experience there, which is gained from the other regions we
have been working with. But we see that third platform is something that’s really going to take off—mobility, cloud, Big Data—these are the big growth engines supported by massive growth of data and this also leads to massive growth in infrastructure. How do you see trends such as storage, cloud and Big Data affecting the channel? There is a disruption in the marketplace and we are starting to see that. Typically, channel partners have different technologies, they build solutions and they own customer relationships and adds value beyond that. Customers are starting to look for more than just buying solutions, they want options such as consumption models, private cloud and they are looking for strategic partners. They are looking for those, who will take the risk with them and really go to market together. The channel is going to define and redefine itself further and it will evolve more. If you are a channel partner, who sells in the SMB space and 50 percent of your revenues come from this particular market and many of those workloads are moving to cloud and service provider, you need to see how you will survive. And part of it is understanding what you want to be, do you become a service provider? Do you become a service broker? Do you become a cloud broker? Most channel partners don’t have the capital capacity to become a cloud provider because there is huge capital outlay and they have to build infrastructure but they love to be a broker of cloud providers. How is innovation a huge part of your business plans? Could you elaborate on Global Office of Technology and Planning? Innovation is in our DNA, as we are a pure engineering company at heart.
We created a business unit called Social Innovation Business that we track and it brings together all our businesses. It is about creating an environment, which can be a leverage in IT and innovation to create a better world for people. We want to play more of a social role in leveraging our technology to improve people’s lives, whether it is enhancing healthcare or providing better security for people. That is our big vision. What can we do for a hospital? We started to think more in terms of solutions and vertical solutions. For example, a hospital doesn’t care about buying storage, they are concerned more about providing a better quality care. Therefore, one
providers are going to be key, so even Indian companies such as Tata and Infosys are going to have a lot of leverage because customers are going to want to buy solutions. These solutions are very complex. And customers want it to be simple. There creates an opportunity for SIs. Our strategy is that we need to enable these SIs and be a part of their ecosystems because they are going to be leading the discussions. And if we don’t, then we won’t be in the discussion to begin with. It is becoming more of a consultative-led, SIs-led world, so that’s one of our strategies. The second one is around service providers. We believe that in the next five years they will be the biggest
“Technology becomes a key enabler not a lead-in. Earlier, you would lead with technology but now the people who are going to win in this market are those who come up with true solutions.” starts developing solutions with that perspective in mind. Technology becomes a key enabler but it is not a lead-in. Years ago, you would lead with technology but now the people who are going to win in this market are those who come up with true solutions. We have businesses in most areas so we can speak to a transportation company in a language that they would understand. Through Global Office of Technology and Planning, we are trying to bring together all these businesses that we are doing and try for a market– in approach. What is your channel expansion strategy? The channel is big for us. The systems integrator (SIs) and the service
consumers of technology, even more than customers, because they are going to be providing cloud services to everybody else. And also because the service provider market place in general is growing. We are working to see how we can enable service providers and go-to-market with them in a big way. How do you become a part of the ecosystem that they are developing? This is important. We rely on our resellers a great deal in the channel, especially in this region, because they own relationships. Some of them bring uniqueness to the table such as great relationships, good service capabilities, better value on the technology—those are the ones we want. //
Reseller Middle East
Close-up Rauf Chougle, Group General Manager, SNB Middle East, discusses the opportunities and trends present in the surveillance security market in the region. The three-year-old company, a relatively new entrant in the space has captured a huge chunk of the market in a very short time — in UAE alone, it has gained around 40 to 50 percent in storage solutions, which is an important component in surveillance projects, in the hospitality sector. And is now looking at expanding consistently, aiming to go beyond the current countries that they cater to, which includes Qatar, UAE, KSA, India and East Africa. With this game plan in mind, the company debuted at Gitex last year and also made its first appearance at the recently concluded Intersec last month. Rauf Chougle, Group General Manager, SNB Middle East says the company intends to have a strong presence in the CCTV surveillance segment. “When you look at the market you will notice that the laws are changing in the CCTV surveillance segment. This segment will see many enhancements and will be a lucrative market for us. We
aim at providing our customers and partners complete solutions, such as cameras, video managing software, storage and connectivity.” Although a Dubai-headquartered company, it gets phenomenal business from Abu Dhabi and Qatar, largely due to the compliance regulations in these countries, says Chougle. Unlike other countries in the region, Abu Dhabi government has made it mandatory for the resolution of security cameras to be higher. Similarly, the ministry of Qatar has also passed laws on what the specifications of CCTV surveillance cameras should be in various industries such as hospitality, banking, healthcare and entertainment centres. Chougle points out, “The difference, compared to other markets, is that the surveillance requirements in most of the territories is driven by the end customer. But in Abu Dhabi and Qatar, it is driven by the ministry.” Starting out as a distributing company solely into data storage solutions in 2010, it decided to cater to other segments, considering the
Rauf Chougle, Group General Manager, SNB Middle East.
“The difference, compared to other markets, is that the surveillance requirements in most of the territories is driven by the end customer. But in Abu Dhabi and Qatar, it is driven by the ministry.” 46
Reseller Middle East
overwhelming demand from resellers and the way the market was going, says Chougle. Security surveillance was one of the first segments it got into and today, it provides end-to-end security solutions. “Security has evolved over the years. It is dynamic when you see places such as Abu Dhabi and Qatar, where the end customers don’t have an option but to go with the ministry’s compliance rules. Other regions, which don’t have compliance rules, are open and realistic in terms of their requirements. It is definitely a growing market. We have been successfully growing more than 100 percent for the past two years,” he says. Last year the value-added distributor also ventured into IT security and plans to focus on all its technologies—data storage, IT security, networking and security surveillance—in this year. “But within the company we are calling it the ‘consolidating year’. Apart from concentrating on these four technologies, we want to bring newer and stronger brands into the existence portfolio and reach out more,” Rauf explains. //
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Region stakeout Reseller ME caught up with Hidenori Taguchi, Head of Marketing, B2B Products and Solutions, Sony Professional Solutions MEA, at Intersec recently, to gain insight into the security camera business. How has the technology evolved in security cameras? Are customers willing to move to the new IP platform? Traditionally, analog-based cameras were used as mainstream. Over the past five years, there has been a shift in the technology of security cameras. Today, we see that IP-based cameras are rapidly taking over. There are various reasons behind this, apart from it being affordable and easy-to-install, IP-based ones also give the benefit of higher resolution. Analog cameras were based on the old TV standards and therefore we couldnâ€™t go beyond a particular resolution. But by shifting to IP technology, there isnâ€™t a limit for resolution. And currently most popular IP cameras are based on HD resolution, which is the same as a regular TV set. This resolution has improved like four times over analog solutions. So there is a large segment of customers who are interested in shifting to the new IP cameras.
What is the objective of participating at Intersec? Intersec is the biggest security event in this region. And we have a lot of customers visiting from different continents. It is a good opportunity for us to meet up with potential customers and our important partners.
Reseller Middle East
Hidenori Taguchi, Head of Marketing, B2B Products and Solutions, Sony Professional Solutions MEA
Is there anything unique that you are noticing with the Middle East region? How important is it in your business scheme? The Middle East region is one of the emerging markets in the world. Our headquarters in Japan is interested in growing business and investing resources here. It is an important market for us. The uniqueness in this market is that security solutions are relatively newer to this region. They donâ€™t have many analog-based systems installed. Therefore, most
of our business is coming from completely new installations. Many new buildings are coming up here and there is a special focus on infrastructure in the country. This means the potential for our business is immense. Also, it is easier for the customer to accept the new technology here as compared to customers in Europe or US, where they have an existing analog system in place. As they are accustomed and is quite content with the current system, they are unwilling to change over. What is your business focus for 2014? Throughout last year, till now, we were concentrating on introducing our Generation 6 IP security cameras. We have almost 20 different models. Our focus is to expand in our business with new models this year. Can you discuss your channel expansion strategies? Last year, we started introducing distribution schemes in the UAE and Saudi Arabia in order to increase our partners of systems integrators. This will be an on-going activity for us. Do you have a parting message for the channel? Sony as a manufacturer has a big advantage with our in-house sensor technology. We are proud that our products have the best performance among cameras in the region. We really like to work with different partners and customers to introduce our solutions. //
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Surging ahead Canon’s Marketing Manager, Ayman Aly, discusses opportunities in the large-format printing space and explains the firm’s channel strategy in the region.
Ayman Aly, Marketing Manager, Canon
With Middle East IT spending expected to exceed $32 billion this year, the region is an important one for many players. Eager to be a part of this growth story, companies such as Canon have identified potential areas
Reseller Middle East
such as large format printing where business can be further enhanced. And seeing that 20 percent growth of its business has come from multifunction printers in the region, the company is positive of the business environment. Participating at the three-day exhibition, Sign & Graphics Imaging Show, which concluded recently, Canon showcased an extensive portfolio of products and solutions using wide format technologies and aims at consolidating its presence in this segment of the print industry. Looking to reinforce its market share, particularly in the MENA region, the company had opened its first business solutions showroom more than a year ago in the country. It has recently completed the full integration with Oce, a leader in digital document management and printing equipment, which it acquired about two years ago. Ayman Aly, Marketing Manager, Canon believes wide format printing, being an emerging technology, has great opportunities in the Middle East market. “This is because it is a growing market and most of the marketing that is done for the festivals and promotions held in the region is done through wide-format printing, whether it is billboards, outdoors or indoors. And OCE is a market leader in wide format printing, helping us enhance our business further,” he explains. For the company, large format business is handled through its
resellers, making them an important focus area. “We have a good experience handling resellers, either from a retail point of view or business-to-business perspective. We have also recently launched our partner programme.” The programme is designed to improve the company’s channel network so that it can offer better benefits and enjoy a more developed system. “This also helps to educate the market better and offer our products in the right way to the market,” adds Aly. Through its tier one partners, Canon assists its resellers to have a strong marketing strategy and helps them financially for marketing campaigns as well as implementing them. Aly further says, “Apart from this, we have training programmes for their staff to be able to improve the business. Our staff in the region follows up with them on how to enhance and grow the business.” “Our approach to the channel is to help them improve their profitability and to differentiate themselves. Also, help them to propose Canon products in the best way possible in order to increase their business and market share and be more competitive from price, technology and product offering point of view. This is one of the most critical issues for the channel at this point. And this is one of the areas we are trying to develop in order to help resellers and channels to succeed,” concludes Aly. //
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Sony Xperia C With a sturdy body and delicate design, the dual-SIM smartphone meets most requirements of an average smartphone user. The Xperia C is Sony’s latest entrant into the dual-SIM market and as far as initial impressions go, it is a well-built device at a reasonable price. Sony’s products have had a distinct design language in the last couple of years and the Xperia C builds further on this. The phone feels sturdy to hold and the external buttons are quite tactile. On the whole, it’s an affordable device with the price ranging from AED 899 to AED 1038 at various retail outlets and online stores. Sporting a Quad Core A7 chip, the 1.2Ghz processor is well equipped to satisfy the needs of an average user. While the phone is competitively priced and designed skilfully, it does disappoint in few areas. At 5-inch, the screen size is just right for the anticipations of a smartphone user; however the video playback on YouTube or any other similar app is not up to par. While the lower screen resolution of 540x960 pixels, does mean better battery life, Sony could have done
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better here by opting for an LCD panel than a TFT. The device also sports the latest ‘Stamina Mode’, which almost triples battery standby time. The disadvantage however, is that it cuts off GPRS, GPS & WIFI while the display is off, which means the user will not receive any web-based notifications. However, a smart feature built into the Stamina Mode allows the user to choose certain apps that can access GPRS or WIFI, which means you are not totally disconnected from rest of the world. The 8MP Exmor R shooter on the Xperia C performs decently in daylight, while colour reproduction under flash looks over done. That being said, the best feature about the device is its battery life. If you use social media apps such as whatsapp, email, maps and the camera scarcely, it will give you more than a day of usage easily. Even with continuous web-browsing or YouTube surfing,
it will still leave you with enough battery life till you make it home. Apart from these main features, it has the standard ones such as a 4GB built in capacity, which is expandable up to 32 GB and 1GB RAM. Equipped with Power VR SGX544 graphics, it can get through most games including asphalt 7 with decent performance. Sony has developed a number of dualSIM phones in the past and the Xperia C takes the experience to a whole new level. The 5’’ screen does give the user additional screen real estate, and considering the price and target audience; it is a decent device. Though better screen sensitivity would have enhanced its buying appeal. All in all, the Xperia C is a dependable sturdy device that will meet the requirements of most average smartphone users at an affordable price. //
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A10 Networks unveils Thunder TPS
Canon presents ‘S’ series IP security cameras Canon Middle East has further consolidated its security camera business in the region with the launch of its ‘S’ series IP security cameras. The ‘S’ series has been designed for indoor environments which require sensitive monitoring of specific areas or items, such as the retail, education, commercial and hospitality sectors. It was showcased at the recently concluded Intersec 2014, a security solutions exhibition in the Middle East. The company said that it offers the same comprehensive set of inbuilt analytics on the new compact series as already available on its high end security cameras. The full HD IP cameras features True Wide Angle coverage, which minimises cameras’ quantity requirements and has low light capability, which enhances video quality in difficult lighting conditions. The Smart Shade Control feature makes the video footage more effective when excessive light falls from behind the object.
Reseller Middle East
A10 Networks has launched Thunder TPS Series, which is designed to provide highperformance, network-wide protection against a variety of sophisticated Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and improve service availability for critical Internet infrastructures and public-facing websites. The Thunder TPS product line is built upon the company’s Advanced Core Operating System (ACOS) platform, which delivers up to 155Gbps of throughput, thereby helps to address the increasing scale of DDoS attacks, according to the company. Broad multi-vector attack detection capabilities are designed to secure customers’ networks against a variety of attack types, while support for multiple deployment modes provides the flexibility needed to integrate with various customer network designs. The new launch is designed to provide
protection against large attacks with DDoS mitigation capacity ranging from 38 Gbps to 155 Gbps (and up to 1.2 Tbps in a cluster) throughput, Thunder TPS. Each model is equipped with high-performance FPGA-based Flexible Traffic Acceleration (FTA) technology to detect and mitigate over 30 common attack vectors rapidly in hardware, without degrading the performance of the core system general purpose CPUs. More complex application layer attacks are processed and detected by the latest Intel Xeon CPUs, so performance scaling is maintained by distributing multivector detection and mitigation functions across optimal system resources. The new range also supports flexible deployment models for in- and out-of-band operations, and routed or transparent operation modes. In addition, aXAPI, an open RESTful API, enables integration to custom or third-party detection solutions, allowing the Thunder TPS to take advantage of the growing ecosystem of multi-level threat protections solutions, the company said.
Motorola introduces Moto G Motorola Solutions has introduced its latest offering in smartphones—Moto G. The company is marketing it as an affordable, nocompromise smartphone. Priced at Dhs899, Moto G offers a standard smartphone experience for a third of the price of current high-end phones. It comes with 4.5-inch HD display and is equipped with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor featuring a quadcore CPU for seamless multitasking. It runs on Android 4.3 Jellybean and is expected to upgrade to 4.4 KitKat. The smartphone supports dual-sim and offers features of both Motorola and Google. It also comes
with 50GB free storage on Google drive for two years. Consumers also have the option to customise the device by changing the backcover. Termed as Motorola Shells, the covers are available in a wide variety of colours and styles. In addition, the phone is equipped with Grip Shells to give Moto G added protection all around the edges and the front of the display. Plus, Flip Shells on the Moto G can both protect the display and automatically turn it on when you open the cover and off when you close it.
Recognising the Middle Eastâ€™s Networking Champions
24th March 2014
Godolphin Ballroom, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai For nominations, visit
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Seagate releases new products at CES At Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014 recently, Seagate Technology has unveiled the world’s first portable 4TB storage device—the Backup Plus Fast, which provides twice the capacity and speed of existing external portable drives. Featuring a USB 3.0 interface and delivering transfer speeds up to 220MB per second, it is the perfect companion for a creative developer, photographer or movie junkies looking to quickly move large files, said the company. It has also launched Backup Plus Slim and is marketing the product as the world’s thinnest 2TB portable storage device for consumers on the go. With a compact design and USB 3.0 interface, the Backup Plus Slim drive is the ideal storage solution to aggregate and back up valued photos, videos and other files despite being spread across numerous devices and social networks. According to the company, both products include the same easy-to-use backup software that has made the Seagate Backup Plus lineup so popular. The Seagate Dashboard software provides a one-click backup solution, but can also be set as a scheduled backup up as needed. Additionally, the Dashboard software will back up Facebook and Flickr albums to ensure that even video and photos shared through these networks are saved and easy to find.
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Sony introduces Xperia T2 Ultra Sony Mobile has introduced Xperia T2 Ultra, which comes in a large-screen smartphone design and is positioned at mid-range price point. Xperia T2 Ultra’s 6-inch HD Triluminos display extends to within 2.5 mm of the phone’s edges. This means that it has a screen to phone size ratio of 73.6 percent, making more space available and ensuring that the phone is no wider than a standard credit card. It is also slim and light. It is incorporated with a battery-efficient processor and 3000 mAh battery, along with the company’s Battery STAMINA Mode that automatically turns off functions to save power when you don’t need them and restarts them when you do. It sports a 13 megapixel camera allowing users to capture good qualtiy images. With one-touch functions users can
instantly and easily share music, photos and videos and movies from the device with a wide range of NFC-enabled Sony devices. According to the company, SBH52 is a dynamic Smart Bluetooth Handset that provides easy hands-free call handling with a single press. The OLED display allows the user to browse call log and view text messages. The smart flip case, SCR14 protects screen from scratching and also serves as a holding stand.
Toshiba presents Encore WT8 Tablet Toshiba Gulf has launched the Toshiba Encore WT8, the company’s first tablet to run on Windows 8.1. Designed for students, on-the-go gamers and multimedia enthusiasts, the eightinch tablet is powered by Intel Atom processor with 2GB of RAM. Through its eight-inch HFFS high brightness display, the tablet is an ideal device to enjoy movies while on the move as the high-quality screen offers a wide-viewing angle, visuals remain vivid under different lighting conditions, according to the company. And hrough the Xbox SmartGlass feature, users may choose to transform the tablet screen into a second screen for the Xbox 360 or the Xbox One. It is equipped with storage of up to 64GB. The company further said, its ergonomic design and positioning of its speakers, microphones and cameras enables comfortable one-hand use during voice and video calls, without affecting clarity and performance. It features dual microphones
with beam forming technology, and dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi with MIMO technology. It comes preinstalled with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 program. The Toshiba-developed app, TruCapture, easily copies whiteboard content and paper documents via the tablet’s built-in camera and it automatically removes borders from photos, straightens distortion, reduces glare and brightens contrast. Apart from being thin and light, the tablet is equipped with InstantGo technology that empowers it to go live from standby mode in merely 0.3 seconds. Along with comprehensive connectivity options that include micro-USB and microHDMI ports as well as 2.0MP front and 8.0MP rear cameras, the Toshiba Encore WT8 is also equipped with GPS for navigation.
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ZOTAC offers ZBOX ID68 and ID69 series mini-PCs
Canon launches mobile-ready MFPs Canon Middle East has introduced two mobile-ready i-SENSYS black-and-white multifunction printers—the MF6140dn and MF6180dw. It is aimed at small businesses and workgroups to enable mobile working. The new devices support a range of mobile printing and scanning solutions, including the new Canon Mobile Scanning for Business app and the updated Canon Mobile Printing app. Replacing the i-SENSYS MF5900 series, the new i-SENSYS MF6140dn and MF6180dw represent the company’s strength in black-and-white i-SENSYS MFPs. The new devices also support Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. In addition, i-SENSYS MF6180dw comes with Wi-Fi functionality as standard. It is also compatible with PostScript printing environments, which allows organisations to print graphics and texts that closely match the quality of the original document. Both i-SENSYS MF6140dn and MF6180dw, offer fast print speeds of up to 33ppm, while automatic doublesided printing and a low TEC3 rating helps offices with high print volumes to save resources.
ZOTAC International has launched the new ZBOX ID68 and ID69 series mini-PCs, to strengthen its 4th Generation Intel Core ZBOX nano series. The new ZBOX nano duo integrate Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors with Intel Turbo Boost technology. According to the company, users that want a taste of Intel Turbo Boost technology can opt for the ZBOX nano ID68 series with a high-performance Intel Core i5 4200U that can turbo boost up to 2.6 GHz. Demanding users that require the best performance available from the compact form factor can step up to the ZBOX nano ID69 series with an Intel Core i7 4500U processor that turbo boosts up to 3.0 GHz. There’s plenty of connectivity on the
new series with many USB 3.0 ports, eSATA for fast storage expansion, DisplayPort and HDMI outputs and high-amperage charging front USB 2.0 ports. High-speed 802.11ac wireless networking and lightning-fast Gigabit Ethernet enables the new series to maximise networking performance via wired or wireless home networks.
Motorola solutions unveils TC55 Motorola Solutions’ latest product offering in mobile computers, TC55 is a pocket-sized all touch computer that combines smartphone ergonomics and practical business durability. According to the company, enterpriseclass comprehensive data capabilities help automate and reduce cycle times so that workers can capture virtually any type of data at the press of a button: 1D/2D bar codes in any condition, documents, photos, signatures, videos and NFC-based information. The audio support with two frontfacing speakers, two microphones, and noise canceling technology ensure clear audio on
both ends of a call. The TC55 is built for the enterprise, said the company. The TC55 offers the security and manageability that the IT department requires, combined with durability to last for years. Resulting in powerful portability and satisfied customers, said the company. According to the company, with Extensions by Motorola Solutions, the TC55 transforms Android from a consumer operating system (OS) to a true enterprise-class OS. It combines the best features of enterprise task capabilities with consumer smartphone ergonomics and form factor. The new product features 1D bar code scanner, optional 1D/2D ring-style Bluetooth scanner, 8 MP camera and Near Field Communications (NFC), which allows workers to capture any data. All TC55 accessories are designed with the business user in mind. A boot increases durability, and all charging solutions work with and without the boot. Rugged charging cable provides high impact charging contacts for superior durability over typical micro USB connectors.
Reseller Middle East
Reseller Middle East’s assistant editor offers her thoughts on the Middle Eastern technology channel.
Talking Shop Looking to upgrade my personal laptop, I popped into a fairly well-known retail store recently. On entering, I could only see smartphones. Upon enquiry, I was directed to the next floor by a salesperson, who didn’t really look at me when talking. This could be because I wasn’t a potential customer for him, since he handled the smartphone section. But on the laptop floor, I was shocked to find that there wasn’t a single salesperson present there. I waited and actually had to go back down to call someone, leaving me frustrated and fuming. Eventually, I didn’t make the purchase. Customer-facing positions in retail stores are the most critical aspect of a business. This is not new knowledge. I have had the worst experiences with sales staff in many retail stores in India, and I’m talking about global brands. I fail to understand how most fail on this fundamental point. I’m not going to say that the customer is always right, or that the customer is the king, but there is a way all staff in a retail store should interact with them, irrespective of the situation. What happens with many retailers is that they have their own employees and then they have a few from the brands that they house. Janees Reghelini, Assistant Editor, Reseller ME
Reseller Middle East
So whose responsibility is it, really, to invest in this kind of training? The answer is obvious enough—both! But this has always been an apple of discord between retailers and vendors. I don’t want to stress about how the training should be conducted; I’m just going to take some time to vent on the various things that irk me as a customer when I’m in a retail store. These could be small things that no-one really talks about but, believe me, it plays a significant role in the customer’s purchasing decision. The staff represents the store, he literally personifie the brand or the retailer. So imagine how annoying it can be, when you as a customer, are waiting on a salesperson to complete his personal call before he attends to you. Yes, this has actually happened here. To me, this is one of the most unprofessional acts a salesperson can make. What’s more, you lose the customer then and there. Another infuriating scenario is when you have employees talking among themselves in jest, even using abusive language, all right in front of the customer. If you are supposed to be brand ambassadors, the impression you give out is that you are not taking your customer seriously enough. It’s important to train staff on etiquette, on how they need to behave with each other, because, after all, for the customer, they are the brand or the retailer. A lack of product knowledge is another vexing situation for the customer. We could take a few pointers from brands such as Apple, which invests heavily into customer relationship management. The book, The Apple Experience: Secrets to Building Insanely Great Customer Loyalty, could be an eye-opener here.
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