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ISSUE 230 | FEBRUARY 2016 www.resellerme.com

Channel prospects in digital transformation Partners’ role in desktop virtualisation

GATEWAY TO GAINS Mitsumi Distribution on business development and growth strategies

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CONTENTS ISSUE 230 // february 2016

Highlights 6

News

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

opinion 22

Prime prints

Shadi Bakhour from Canon Emirates on how partners can educate customers on digital printing prospects.

25

Betting on education

Arbor Networks’ Richard Brown urges resellers to enhance their skillset to be profitable.

26

Training for change

Tony Bishop from Equinix shares trends impacting the digital economy and how partners can prepare for it.

28

gateway to gains

Mitsumi Distribution on business development and growth strategies.

Feature

Review

32 Enabling digital economy

47

Reseller ME finds out how channel partners can play a vital role in an organisation’s digital transformation.

cover story

My Cloud

49

BlackBerry Priv

38 Consultative approach

Reseller ME investigates the opportunities for partners in the region’s move to desktop virtualisation.

Vendor focus 42 Sphere of trust

Nilesh Patel from Sphere 3D on plans to strengthen presence in the region along with partners.

hot products

50

Synology unveils DiskStation DS41

46 Invest to grow

David McKeough from Digital Guardian on the value proposition for organisations and partners.

51

Dell launches Latitude 12 7000 Series 2-in-1


Editorial founder, CPI MEDIA GROUP Dominic De Sousa (1959-2015) Group CEO

Nadeem Hood Publishing Director Rajashree Rammohan raj.ram@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5685

Survival tips

Editorial Group Editor Jeevan Thankappan jeevan.thankappan@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5678 Deputy Editor Janees Reghelini janees.reghelini@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5681 Contributing Editors James Dartnell Annie Bricker Online Editor Adelle Geronimo Advertising Group Sales Director Kausar Syed kausar.syed@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 1647 Sales Manager Merle Carrasco merle.carrasco@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5676

Jeevan Thankappan Group Editor

Circulation Database and Circulation Manager Rajeesh M rajeesh.nair@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5682

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Production and Design Production Manager James P Tharian james.tharian@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5673 Designers Analou Balbero analou.balbero@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5680 Neha Kalvani neha.kalvani@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 3751644 Digital www.resellerme.com DIGITAL SERVICES Web Developers Jefferson de Joya Abbas Madh Photographers Max Poriechkin Charls Thomas

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We have had a rocky start to 2016, with plummeting oil prices and capital markets in free fall. This has quickly eroded optimism in the market, and consumers and businesses are becoming more conservative when it comes to spending. Though this may not have adversely affected channel businesses yet, it would be prudent to keep a watchful eye and brace themselves for a bumpy ride this year. The best way to survive an economic downturn for channel would be to adopt a cautious approach, and whittle down risks. Though it might be business as usual for many, closely monitoring cash flows and bottom line is going to be crucial when clients start to cut down on spending. Knowing your cost structure can help you cut corners with minimum impact on business or your customers. More importantly, start talking to your customers more often to gauge their changing business needs, and what could you do differently to help them. For example, if you could offer flexible payment solutions or generous return policies to suit your customers’ changing spending habits it will help you not only survive the market turbulence but also thrive. It’s also important to remember that during tough times, trusted relationships are crucial, and any additional value you could offer to your customers will make them stick with you.  As they say, every crisis is an opportunity, and this is a good time to re-evaluate your product portfolio and prune down excessive inventories. Customers tend to look for products and solutions that offer superior price performance, not brand names. So this would be a good time for channel to introduce new products or services that reflect the new market realities and put pressure on competitors.  Finally, the channel has to navigate these uncertain times by investing in their own internal systems and processes to improve customer service and optimise operational efficiencies to give them an edge over others. Let sustainable and incremental growth be your mantra for 2016.

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Registered at IMPZ PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 4 447 2409 Printed by Printwell Printing Press © Copyright 2016 CPI All rights reserved While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.

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Reseller Middle East

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highlights

Middle East and Intel completes acquisition of Altera Africa tablet market business, and we’ll invent new products that make amazing experiences of posts growth the future possible – experiences like

According to IDC’s latest ‘Middle East and Africa Quarterly Tablet Tracker,’ the Middle East and Africa (MEA) tablet market surpassed the global trend in Q3 2015 having posted a year-on-year growth of 3.3 percent. The research’s figures show that the worldwide tablet market suffered a decline of 9.1 percent over the same period, with the steady growth seen in MEA largely driven by the strong performance of detachable devices. While detachable tablets currently account for just a small fraction of total tablet shipments in the MEA region, their share of the market is growing. Detachable shipments grew 167.1 percent year on year in Q3 2015 and IDC expects these devices to make up 10.2 percent of the market by the end of 2019, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 62.5 percent. “Bigger-screen smartphones continue to cannibalise demand for slate tablets,” said Nakul Dogra, Senior Research Analyst, Personal Computing, Systems, and Infrastructure Solutions, IDC. “However, the decline is being offset by the strong performance of detachable tablets, which in turn are cannibalising demand for notebooks.” “Stiff competition in the slate tablets arena has forced several vendors to cut their margins in order to remain competitive, keeping prices very attractive to end-users,” said Fouad Rafiq Charakla, Programme Manager for Personal Computing, Systems, and Infrastructure Solutions, IDC. In terms of vendor rankings, Samsung continued to lead the MEA tablet market in Q3 2015 with 24.0 percent share on the back of year-on-year growth of 3.5 percent. Lenovo placed a distant second with 13.0 percent share and 6.0 percent growth, while Apple retained its third spot with 10.9 percent share despite suffering a year-on-year decline of 18.2 percent. Fourth-placed Huawei posted exceptional growth of 215.2 percent and saw its share of the MEA market increase to 5.9 percent. 6

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Brian Krzanich, Intel

I

ntel Corporation recently announced that it has completed the acquisition of Altera Corporation (Altera), a provider of field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology. The acquisition complements Intel’s product portfolio and enables new classes of products in the high-growth data centre and Internet of Things (IoT) market segments. “Altera is now part of Intel, and together we will make the next generation of semiconductors not only better but able to do more,” said Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel. “We will apply Moore’s Law to grow today’s FPGA

autonomous driving and machine learning.” Altera will operate as a new Intel business unit called the Programmable Solutions Group (PSG), led by former Altera Vice President and General Manager Dan McNamara. Intel is committed to a smooth transition for Altera customers and will continue the support to current and future product development of Altera’s products. In addition to strengthening the existing FPGA business, PSG will work closely with Intel’s Data Centre Group and IoT Group to deliver the next generation of highly customised, integrated products and solutions. “As part of Intel, we will create market-leading programmable logic devices that deliver a wider range of capabilities than customers experience today,” said McNamara, now Corporate VP and GM, Programmable Solutions Group, Intel. “This will enable customers to create the next generation of electronic systems with unmatched performance and power efficiency.”

Exclusive Group expands APAC presence with acquisition deal Exclusive Group has announced the acquisition of Singapore-based cybersecurity and infrastructure VAD, Transition Systems. The acquisition adds a further 18 offices in eight countries including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The move significantly expands the Group’s presence and penetration in the APAC region. The acquisition of Transition Systems brings the total size of the Exclusive Group to over 1,200 employees and EUR 1 billion annual revenues, with 25 percent of which will now come from the APAC operations. Olivier Breittmayer, CEO, Exclusive

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Group, said, “Asia is crucial for the expansion of our global strategy and this acquisition gives us a great platform to grow throughout the region in the coming years. Transition Systems is a large, influential regional player with similar business DNA to our own, as well as having important vendors, technologies and a very strong value-adding culture in common. We have every confidence in the existing management of the business to continue applying its successful formula under its new Exclusive Networks brand in tune with our global VAST (value-added services and technologies) strategy.”


Arbor Networks extends WestconGroup distribution agreement

Jeremy Nichols, Arbor Networks

A

rbor Networks has expanded its distribution agreement with WestconGroup, a global distributor of security, UC, network infrastructure, and data centre solutions. The two companies previously had an agreement to carry Arbor’s DDoS solutions in Latin America and the Middle East. This expansion further extends Arbor’s reach into the European enterprise market. “Our experience working with WestconGroup in other regions has been fantastic. They know the customers,

understand security and value what Arbor can bring to the table in terms of proven, market leading solutions,” said Jeremy Nichols, Global VP of Channel Sales, Arbor Networks. “Arbor has been pervasively deployed in the European service provider market for more than a decade. Expanding our partnership with WestconGroup, and leveraging the incubation programme, will allow us to drive continued growth in the European enterprise security market for network visibility, DDoS protection and advanced threat detection solutions.” Willem JH de Haan, Senior VP Central Region and EMEA Security Solutions Practice, WestconGroup, said, “Arbor is primed to accelerate its growth at a time when solution providers and their customers need the ability to research, detect and mitigate network-based threats on a global scale. With joint investment from both companies, the incubation programme provides them with the infrastructure and the support to make that happen.”

Worldwide PC shipments declined 8.3% in Q4 2015 Worldwide PC shipments totalled 75.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, an 8.3 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2014, according to preliminary results by Gartner. For the year, 2015 PC shipments totalled 288.7 million units, an eight percent decline from 2014. “The fourth quarter of 2015 marked the fifth consecutive quarter of worldwide PC shipment decline,” said Mikako Kitagawa, Principal Analyst, Gartner. “Holiday sales did not boost the overall PC shipments, hinting at changes to consumers’ PC purchase behaviour. On the business side, Windows 10 generally received positive reviews, but as expected, Windows 10 migration was minor in the fourth quarter as many organisations were just starting their testing period.

“All regions registered a decrease in shipments. Currency devaluation issues continued to impact EMEA, Latin America and Japan,” Kitagawa said. “Collectively EMEA, Japan and Latin America saw their markets reduced by nearly 10 percent in 2015.” Gartner’s outlook for PC shipments in 2016 is for a decline of one percent compared with 2015, with the potential for a soft recovery in late 2016. Kitagawa said the PC market is still in the middle of structural change which will reduce the PC installed base in the next few years. In the fourth quarter of 2015, Lenovo registered a worldwide PC shipment decline for the third consecutive quarter. However, Lenovo declined less than the industry average, and it extended its lead in the market.

Ingram Micro announces Cisco Learning Partner status in Gulf

Zornitza S. Hadjitodorova, Ingram Micro Training MEA

Ingram Micro has announced its Authorised Learning Partner status from Cisco across the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Afghanistan and Yemen. “Our global relationship with Cisco is paramount to our success as a Cisco Learning Partner, and adding the Gulf to the training partnership only further underlines the mutual importance of this affiliation,” said Zornitza S. Hadjitodorova, Head of Ingram Micro Training MEA. “Ingram Micro Training in MEA has seen tremendous growth since the official inception of the regional business unit two years ago, and Cisco is an essential vendor to add to our training portfolio. As a distributor of Cisco equipment, we are well-positioned to be a strong training partner as well. We plan to first and foremost support our distribution sales team to further strengthen the channel.” To qualify for the status, Ingram Micro had to meet minimum curriculum, course delivery, lab and staffing requirements, including the use of Certified Cisco Systems Instructors (CCSI). The Cisco Learning Partner programme focuses on core technology training and preparing IT professionals for career certification by delivering Cisco Authorised curriculum.

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highlights

Koenig announces 100% growth in 2015

K

oenig Solutions has revealed that its Middle East operations grew by 100 percent—achieving a gross revenue of around AED 15 million for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. According to the company’s senior executives, Koenig’s Dubai training centre witnessed a 140 percent growth, some of the course offerings that were in demand in the region included EC Council Certified Ethical Hacking, Cisco Security, Microsoft Sharepoint, and Microsoft Dynamics. “There is a huge demand for IT training and skill development in the UAE and in the Middle East region. It is one of the essential ingredients for UAE’s future economic growth as the country transforms into a diversified and internationallycompetitive economy,” said Subodh Chaudhary, GM, Koenig Solutions. “Skill development is going to be the defining element in UAE’s growth story. We remain committed to empowering professionals in upskilling and help

Subodh Chaudhary, Koenig Solutions

companies change the way business is conducted across sectors and deliver greater quality.” The company highlighted that students attending their classes to Koenig will not only be able to improve and further hone their IT skills but will also be given the opportunity to tour one of the most stunning and most modern cities in the world. “Koenig is well-equipped to meet the growing demands for training in the UAE and the rest of the region,” said Chaudhary. “We offer courses and certifications that have been designed for students from various nationalities as our customers come from across

the world – Europe, Australia and Africa – because we provide quality training at good prices. Our trainers are highly experienced, professional and all speak good English. Our state-of-the-art facility in Dubai offers a diverse portfolio of world class IT-based courses and certifications, particularly throwing the spotlight on cybersecurity programmes like CEH, Microsoft Dynamics, SharePoint, Cisco Security, Project Management, Effective Leadership, among others.”

$3.54 Tn forecasted worldwide IT spending in 2016 Source: Gartner

Palo Alto ME releases 2016 cybersecurity trends

Saeed Agha, Palo Alto Networks ME

Saeed Agha, General Manager, Palo Alto Networks Middle East, recently revealed a few cybersecurity trends that the company foresees this year. “It is essential that information security practitioners dealing with management, governance, enablement and execution, move towards a preventioncentric approach to securing their organisations and stay current on trends and malware distribution patterns,” he said.

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According to him, a proactive and preventive approach to security is needed by Middle East businesses. “We are living in the digital age and cybersecurity attacks are growing in both volume and complexity,” said Agha. “Business leaders must recognise the importance of this issue, not only for their organisations, but for the broader interconnected ecosystem and to protect digital lifestyles. We see the blurring lines of work and leisure, penetration of 24/7 connectivity and a younger workforce across region; all these factors demand a better understanding of cybersecurity issues and solutions.” Agha also highlighted that mobile and digital payment mechanisms will attract more cyber-attacks, therefore, we must expect that cybercrime will continue to follow the money. “The Middle East region has

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shown an increasing affinity with mobile shopping, thanks to increasing smartphone and tablet penetration rates, which are among the highest in the world,” he explained. “Electronic payments have also found favour in the UAE through the rapidly growing e-commerce industry, according to industry experts.” Businesses need to be ready to manage the risks associated with Bring Your Own Device trends as the threats to mobile devices continue to increase. To conclude, the regional business leaders will need to shift to a mindset of prevention; invest in a proactive security strategy that is built for tomorrow, today; and be prepared and stop looking for solutions that clean up after the attack, but instead built capabilities to prevent it, making it harder for cyber criminals to work.


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highlights

WD unveils surveillance storage provider programme

W

estern Digital has announced the myWD Certified Surveillance Storage Provider Programme, designed to offer a variety of benefits for the security and surveillance channel network. The myWD Certified Surveillance Storage Provider Programme is a tailor made initiative that aims to offer security and surveillance systems integrators, installers, solutions and service providers’ training, sales support, valueadded benefits and incentives geared to help partners enhance their business opportunities and profitability. “At WD, we consider our partners at all tiers to be equally important for our success to ensure that the installers and systems integrators working on the security and

Khwaja Saifuddin, WD

surveillance segment get trained on the latest technologies, certified and updated. With this in mind, we have launched the myWD Certified Surveillance Storage Provider Programme,” said Khwaja Saifuddin, Senior Sales Director, Middle East, Africa and India, WD. “The myWD Certified Surveillance

Storage Provider Programme is currently being rolled out, in India, to be followed by Middle East, Africa and Turkey next and will offer our partners the opportunity to capitalise on the wide-range of WD Purple surveillance storage solutions engineered for 24/7 always-on, high-definition surveillance systems,” he added. “The programme is designed to extend channel partners the industry relevant education, sales and marketing support to drive their business in these rapidly growing markets.” Eligible partners will be provided in depth product training to receive a WD Certified Surveillance Storage Provider Programme certificate. In addition, partners will have access to sales support through a dedicated WD account manager, exclusive member promotions, regular product updates in addition to in-store POS marketing material.

Seidor, Medica Group partner for SAP Business-One implementation

Ignacio Ruiz de Eguilaz, Seidor

Medica Group has selected Seidor MENA as partner of choice for implementing SAP Business-One on the HANA platform, enterprise resource planning (ERP) application, to help to reach next level in beauty aesthetics supply and distribution industry. With several offices across the world, Medica Group will be implementing SAP Business One

on HANA Platform to optimise operational performance, provide the group with the necessary tools to leverage Big Data in multiple areas and to help the company run smarter, faster, and simpler in order to develop competitive advantage. According to the group, they have previously been using a simple solution for their ERP applications. However, due to fast growth, the company feels impact of Big Data Analytics and its volume increase. Medica Group required a more advanced application to suit its changing needs and stay competitive. Seidor has highlighted that with their fully managed cloud data centre, Medica Group will realise the benefits of the cloud computing and Software-as-a-

Service by lowering their total cost of ownership with easier scalability up and down; Medica IT team can focus more on supporting the business processes rather than the technology platform. “SAP’s solutions wide-reaching expertise will benefit all of Medica Group business units and give the group the ability to grow even further,” said Ignacio Ruiz de Eguilaz, Co-Managing Director, Seidor Middle East and North Africa. “With our in-depth experience working on complex integration projects, Seidor has what it takes to support Medica Group in this important phase of its growth especially with them choosing the cloud deployment model as Seidor is one of the few SAP partners who offers tier one locally hosted cloud data centre.”

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Reseller Middle East

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highlights

Fortinet recognises top 2015 partners and distributors

F

ortinet has announced the winners of this year’s top partner awards. This year’s award ceremony was held at the company’s Global Partner Conference. Fortinet’s Global Partner Conference awards recognises the outstanding achievements drawn from the company’s distributors and resellers around the world. This year’s conference attendance was Fortinet’s largest, encompassing more than 1,200 partners from over 60 countries. This year’s award winners include Dimension Data who received the FortiHero – Global Partner of the Year award; Partner of the Year awards were presented to CDW (US); ACSI Connect (Canada); CIMACOM (LatAm); Capita IT Services – UK (EMEA); Canon System and Support – Japan (APAC). The Top Distributors Partners awards were received by

Fine Tec (US); Tech Data (Canada); Adistec (LATAM); Arrow ECS Spain and Portugal (EMEA); Redington India Limited (APAC). Finally, the Enhanced Technology Partners awards were given to SHI (US); Integra Data (Canada); Grupo Tecnocibernetica (LatAm); Point – Poland (EMEA); Acurus – ANZ (APAC). “I would like to congratulate this year’s winners and personally thank every one of our partners

Fortinet’s growth and success could not have been achieved without the partnership of all of our resellers and distributors working together with us to deliver security without compromise.”

Ken Xie, Fortinet

for their continued dedication and commitment,” said Ken Xie, Co-founder, President and CEO, Fortinet. “Fortinet’s growth and success could not have been achieved without the partnership of all of our resellers and distributors working together with us to deliver security without compromise.”

Interactive Intelligence names QPC as Gold Partner

Shaheen Haque, Interactive Intelligence

Interactive Intelligence, a provider of cloud services for customer engagement, communications and

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collaboration, grants Gold Partner status each year to resellers that meet the vendor’s requisite sales, technical and support certifications. As a Gold Partner, QPC is qualified to provide sales, deployment and support of the complete line of Interactive Intelligence cloud and on-premises solutions for contact centres and enterprises of all sizes. “Our aim is always to find the most professional, knowledgeable, skilled and enthusiastic local partners that have knowledge of serving customers with the target of achieving customer engagement and customer excellence,” said Shaheen Haque, Territory Manager, Interactive Intelligence.

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He added that QPC has the qualities they are looking for in a partner as they are striving for continual improvement in the fast-paced industry and, through teamwork, innovation and integrity, providing clients with outstanding quality, service and value. “The local QPC team comprises of enthusiastic and passionate individuals who strive to excel, providing our comprehensive, robust and efficient software solutions to new customers within the Middle East region,” he said. “I congratulate QPC for attaining the Gold Partner status with Interactive Intelligence and very much look forward to working with them on many engagements going forward.”


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highlights

Global partners with APC by Schneider Electric

G

lobal Solutions Network, the solutions distribution arm of Global Distribution, has signed a distribution agreement with APC by Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation. The new distribution agreement will cover APC by Schneider Electric’s entire Single-Phase Smart UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) product range to be distributed in the entire East Africa region, which comprises of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi. “We are very excited about this new partnership and are confident that with Global as our channel partner, we will continue to bring our products with the latest technologies and product offering, as well as, strengthen APC by Schneider electric relationship with the channel, to meet the growing needs of today’s business environment. Through Global, we would continue our growth and empower the channel

Mario M. Veljovic, Global Distribution

with the adequate tools and training to cover a wider geography across the East African region,” said Rajashri Kumar, MEA Transactional Director, APC by Schneider Electric. Mario M. Veljovic, VP Solutions MEA, Global Solutions Network, said, “Our vision is to enable the reseller community across all continents we operate on to embrace solution selling and we are committed to support our partners with all necessary tools and tailor-made

Our vision is to enable the reseller community across all continents we operate on to embrace solution selling and we are committed to support our partners with all necessary tools and tailor-made solutions for the vertical the partner is focused on.” solutions for the vertical the partner is focused on. Partnering with APC by Schneider Electric, with its world class Single-Phase Smart UPS products, is a great step forward in our mission in East Africa.”

Starlink, Darktrace announce distribution agreement StarLink announced that it has signed a distribution agreement with Darktrace, a company specialising in Enterprise Immune System technology for cybersecurity. In line with the agreement, StarLink will sell, install and support Darktrace products through its extensive network of channel partners to enterprise and government organisations throughout the Middle East and Turkey regions. Avinash Advani, VP Business Strategy, StarLink, said, “Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune System is a unique cyber intelligence platform and

we are excited to take it to our partners and customers across the region. The ability to self-learn the behaviour of every device, user and network to stay ahead of external and insider attacks is truly cutting-edge. We believe that using machine learning for anomaly detection is the future of next-generation threat protection and Darktrace is at the forefront of that revolution.” “The Enterprise Immune System is rapidly gaining traction as the leading solution for proactive cyber-threat detection and networking visibility across the world,” said Nicole Eagan, CEO, Darktrace. “We are delighted

Avinash Advani, StarLink

to be working with StarLink to accelerate adoption of our selflearning technology in the Middle East and Turkey.”

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highlights

InnJoo partners with MediaTek

EMW and Aruba host conference on mobility and security

E

Tim Chen, InnJoo

InnJoo has announced that its recent partnership with MediaTek to develop its next generation of mobility solutions. MediaTek specialises in systems-onchip (SoC) for mobile devices that created the octacore smartphone platform with LTE and its CorePilot technology released the full power of multi-core mobile processors. Tim Chen, Co-founder and CEO, InnJoo, said, “With this partnership in place, both the companies will work closely with each other to create affordable LTE mobile solutions that will help in accelerating 4G LTE accessibility in the region. The tightly-integrated, innovative chip designs from MediaTek will enable InnJoo to reduce the time for new product development as well as extend its competitive edge in crowded markets.” Chen further highlighted that the recent launch of InnJoo Fire 2 and InnJoo 2 at Souq.com was the result of their successful partnership with MediaTek. “We are committed to introduce products powered by the best-of-thebreed technology that enables us to offer world-class smartphone to the consumers in the region,” he said. “Our partnership with MediaTek is a step in the same direction and we are confident that this partnership will elevate our positioning further and also will enhance our market share in the region to the next level.”

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MW, a valued Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company Gold partner, recently organised a conference entitled ‘How Tomorrow Moves’ at the Burj Al Arab last month. The event brought together CIOs, IT heads and high profile delegates from large government and private enterprises. Serjios El-Hage, CEO EMWme and Ammar Enaya, Regional Director, Middle East and Turkey at Aruba welcomed the attendees, it was then followed by sessions on the vendor’s security and mobility portfolio. The presentations at the event highlighted the technological and logistical challenges as well as the benefits of 802.11ac deployment, device and app management and extending mobile services to visitors and customers. At the event, Aruba also demonstrated its flagship 802.11ac Wireless LAN (WLAN) solution which combines gigabit Wi-Fi with device density and application intelligence. “In today’s

increasingly mobile world, the ability to connect whenever and wherever you are is no longer a luxury, but an expectation,” said Serjios El-Hage, CEO, EMWme. “Providing an optimal mobile experience is key to increasing customer experience and satisfaction and pivotal to increasing productivity. To do it, you need a way to move quickly toward a mobile-first, cloudfirst approach.” “It was wonderful to see some of the UAE’s most exciting customers,” said Gamal Emara, Country Manager, UAE, Aruba. “Businesses need no longer be shackled to an outdated networking model defined by client server computing. Using software programmability that extends across the network, you can adapt in real time to the demands of #GenMobile. This new network understands contextual information such as where the user is, what applications they are using and which devices are connecting. It can also assign and enforce policies based on a complete view of the end point (in the case of IoT) or the user.”

Azolt to launch future smart devices for gamers Azolt, a company focusing on catering to online gamers, has announced that it will add more future smart devices to their repertoire of products. According to the company they aim to carve a niche in the online gaming domain by smartly targeting the online gamers through gadgets that are optimised to deliver a wonderful and engaging gaming experience to users. Its products include gReformer, the powerful half mechanical keyboard with LED illumination and gCrusader, the gaming keyboard with macroenabled rotary dial. “We are committed to cater to the special needs of our clients through specially-designed gaming

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products,” said a spokesperson from Azolt. “Our passion for inventing something new drives us to create gaming devices that go much beyond the conventional and the ordinary. We combine the conventional and the creative to develop and deliver products which gamers would love to use for a hugely satisfying and engaging online gaming experience.” Azolt highlighted that they have been researching and devising ways of developing high quality gaming products at affordable prices for their clients. The company is focusing on gaming accessories like specialised gaming keyboard and mouse, the devices that most developers often neglect in their rush to develop smarter gaming tools.


EMC showcases video surveillance solutions at Intersec

E

MC has showcased its edge-to-core video surveillance solutions at Intersec 2016. The region continues to witness an increase in the uptake of HD, megapixel cameras in light of steadily increasing prices, ease of deployment and increasing government regulations mandating the need for retaining data longer. In addition, the region is also seeing significant investments in various smart city and urban planning campaigns that are founded on effective CCTV security and surveillance. EMC highlighted that with the need for 24/7 connectivity, rapid transfer and analysis of steadily increasing volumes of data to achieve significant safety, security and even city planning and development objectives, enterprises are in need of

trusted, scalable enterprise storage solutions. Participating through partners like Axis Communications and Milestone, visitors have had access to in-depth demonstrations of the EMC Video Surveillance Solution that is composed of EMC VNX-VSS100 and EMC Isilon that is designed to meet the needs of targeted highly distributed video surveillance environments.

$62 bn expected value of virtual reality hardware component market by 2025

Source: Piper Jaffray Investment Bank

Agility Grid flaunts CCTV solutions at Intersec Agility Grid demonstrated its 1200 HD cameras streaming to a single storage controller at Intersec tradeshow last month. The company showcased its complete CCTV solutions and highlighted Rasilient products, Agility Grid introduces HD quality CCTV recording and monitoring from over 1200 cameras streaming down to one single Rasilient storage unit, which is highly recommended for Highly Sensitive Environments. This storage GUI showcases the unparalleled read/write in sequentially performance of storage together with its unique, patented monitoring tools that graphically demonstrate NVR server connection, CPU load, cache memory load and queues, recording latency and most importantly, frames lost by the storage in case of overload

(Zero Frames Lost). Rasilient provides purpose-built video surveillance storage with cutting-edge patented technologies. It is the only storage that can show various aspects of its video performance and also prides in being the first storage vendor in the region to test and qualify for Seagate 8 TB SAS drive. Costa Boukouvalas, CEO, AgilityGrid said, “CCTV surveillance is of growing importance across many industry sectors. It is an absolute necessity to support this requirement with fast, reliable and scalable video storage that provides complete visibility for the user. Our solution is truly one-of-kind in the industry and designed to take CCTV storage solutions to the next level. Our focus is always on how we can improve on what we do and deliver the most innovative solutions to our customers.”

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CriticalArc displays SafeZone safety solution CriticalArc participated at Intersec in Dubai where it demonstrated its SafeZone safety solution. SafeZone is a cloud-based emergency response solution and free smartphone app that is available for organisations in the Middle East, Europe, North America and Australia. SafeZone equips security teams to manage safety across a wide range of domains; optimise resource management; improve collaboration and coordination during major incidents; and run everyday security operations more efficiently. Deployed in hours without no need for upfront capital investment, it combines mobile command and control with real-time location intelligence, both in the field and in control room environments. By creating a force multiplier effect, SafeZone dramatically increases the capacity to respond effectively to incidents on any scale, from an individual request for medical assistance to full-scale emergency management in the event of a major critical incident. Darren Chalmers-Stevens, Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), CriticalArc, said, “We are seeing unprecedented demand for the benefits that SafeZone can deliver across the Middle East. Driving significant efficiencies and cost savings, it extends existing security infrastructures by safeguarding personnel beyond physical perimeters while optimising the performance of manned services teams. SafeZone also safeguards corporate reputations, enables preparedness against environmental and physical threats and minimises disruption to routine business activity in the event of an incident.” Reseller Middle East

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highlights

Riverbed completes Ocedo acquisition

R

iverbed Technology has announced the acquisition of Germany-based Ocedo, a provider of softwaredefined networking and SD-WAN (software-defined wide-areanetwork) solutions. According to Riverbed, the acquisition furthers their strategy to deliver nextgeneration, software-defined networking solutions that provide superior application performance and business agility for today’s hybrid enterprises. The acquisition of the privately-held company will expand and accelerate Riverbed’s delivery of SD-WAN solutions to customers, while creating significant new growth opportunities for vendor and its partners. “Ocedo is a compelling and strategic acquisition for Riverbed. Their innovative software-defined networking solutions perfectly complement our

Jerry M. Kennelly, Riverbed Technology

own strategic investments in R&D, expanding our position to aggressively compete in the emerging markets for software-defined networks and SDWAN, bringing disruption to the multibillion dollar branch router market,” said Jerry M. Kennelly, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Riverbed. Riverbed highlights that the acquisition further fuels their Project Tiger initiative, announced in Fall 2015, in which they plan to bring to market a new suite of application-centric SDWAN solutions that will eliminate the

need for traditional branch routers. “The Ocedo acquisition is fantastic news for Riverbed’s ecosystem of technology partners, channel partners, systems integrators and service providers,” said Karl Meulema, Senior Vice President, Global Channels, Riverbed. “With this acquisition and our SD-WAN strategy, the total addressable market grows exponentially for Riverbed and our partners. We are excited to provide partners with a comprehensive SD-WAN offering that leverages innovative technology, reliability, and the strength of the Riverbed brand. With the shift towards software-defined WAN, there’s a great service opportunity for our partners to help guide their customers through that transition. As these products evolve further, building out SD-WAN as a service is just one of the many service examples that we foresee in the very near future.”

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appointments

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

Zebra appoints new VP for Channel Strategy

Exclusive Networks ME announces new management

Zebra Technologies Corporation has appointed Bill Cate as Vice President of its Channel Strategy, Programmes, and Operations. Bill Cate, Zebra Cate will help strengthen Zebra’s indirect channel strategy with a focus on the launch and ongoing management of the new PartnerConnect programme and tools that attract and retain value-added channel partners to represent and sell Zebra products and services around the world. In his new role, Cate will be responsible for managing Zebra’s global channel objectives to achieve further success with Zebra’s partners worldwide, maximising the value of partner relationships throughout the ecosystem. Bill Cate, Vice President, Channel Strategy, Programmes and Marketing, Zebra Technologies, said, “I am honoured to join Zebra Technologies. Zebra is a great company known for its world-class capabilities in working with channel partners and delivering innovative solutions that make enterprises more connected. This role represents an incredible opportunity to continue to enhance and execute a comprehensive channel strategy worldwide using what I have learned and practiced with enterprise technology ecosystems.”

Exclusive Networks Middle East has announced significant changes to its management team with the appointment of Nathan Clements as Managing Director and Frederic Denoyel as Deputy General Manager. Clements has a 20-year experience as an international valueadded distribution with a strong sales track record in cyber-security solutions, was formerly Director of Vendor and Strategic Alliances at Exclusive Group having been the former Sales Director of Exclusive Networks UK, the Groups biggest region. Clements takes over the leadership of the business after its most successful year to date, with record revenues and a growing workforce of over 80 employees throughout the ME region, said the company. “This is a fantastic opportunity to develop an already successful business so that we continue to challenge and redefine the traditional VAD model, using disruptive technologies to capitalise on rapidly changing market conditions and customer demands,” said Clements. “The local ME team are among the finest and most committed professionals in the entire Exclusive

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Reseller Middle East

Nathan Clements, Exclusive Networks Middle East

Group, and consistently return among the highest levels of performance and innovation. It’s my job to harness that strength and, with the support of our strategic vendor and reseller partners, build toward an even brighter future.” Denoyel is promoted to his new position of Deputy General Manager after five years on its senior management team as CFO. According to the distributor, assisting the transition during 2016 are the former principals of the business, Fari Boustanchi and Zafar Shabdiz, both of whom are departing the company. Boustanchi will continue his association with the Exclusive Group on an ongoing basis, fulfilling a consultative ‘ambassadorial’ role based at the Group’s London office, while Shabdiz will oversee the transition locally for the first quarter.

“The local ME team are among the finest and most committed professionals in the entire Exclusive Group, and consistently return among the highest levels of performance and innovation.”

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SAS appoints new GMs in KSA, and Gulf and Emerging Markets

(L-R) Marcel Yammine and Alaa Youssef, SAS

SAS has announced the appointments of Marcel Yammine as the General Manager for Gulf and Emerging Markets, and Alaa Youssef as the General Manager for KSA. As the company’s GM for Gulf and Emerging Market, Yammine will be overseeing the company’s commercial operations in these markets as well as strengthening SAS’ leading position of providing innovative solutions and enhancing organisations’ performance and efficiency. He will also be responsible for growing the company’s market share and potential in the competitive analytics landscape in the countries under his jurisdiction, across the public sector and various

VMware announces new VP of Channel and Alliances in EMEA VMware has announced the appointment of Jean-Phillipe (JP) Barleaza as Vice president, Channel and Alliances and General Business in EMEA. “VMware is a unique organisation within the industry with a world-class partner network,” said JP Barleaza, VP, Channel and Alliances, and General Business, VMware EMEA. “I am looking forward to continuing to collaborate with our partners to help our customers solve IT challenges and drive further success in the mobile-cloud era.” A key member of the EMEA channel

industries such as banking, telecom and commercial. Among the countries that Marcel will manage include the Gulf, Pakistan and Afghanistan; as well as the Levant region and the Arabic speaking nations in North Africa. “The need for business analytics is increasing wherein organisations in the region are looking to adopt cutting-edge analytics solutions that help in managing their businesses in a data driven manner, with an aim to achieve better results and decision making capabilities. One of my key objectives is to bring the company to greater heights in the Gulf and Emerging markets by increasing awareness and adoption of SAS’ innovative solutions in business analytics across industries, by leveraging our experienced and talented workforce along with our ever growing partner network,” said Yammine. Meanwhile, as the GM for KSA, Youssef will responsible for planning and executing SAS’ sales, marketing, services and delivery operations, which is aimed at growing the company’s footprint and reach in KSA.

team since joining VMware in 2007, Barleaza has been acting Vice President in the division JP Barleaza, VMware since October 2015. In this role, he is responsible for defining strategy and managing VMware’s EMEA partner ecosystems, driving the company’s cloud and business mobility solutions to help partners, OEMs, SISOs and solution providers differentiate their businesses and drive profitability. He is currently based in the UK and is reporting to Jean-Pierre Brulard, Senior Vice President and General Manager, VMware EMEA.

Juniper appoints new MEA Partner Sales Director Juniper Networks has recently appointed Claire Jones as its new Partner Sales Director Claire Jones, Juniper Networks for the Middle East and Africa region. In her new role, Jones will be responsible for the MEA region’s channel and strategic alliance partner strategy and execution. This also covers Juniper’s GTM route across its enterprise and SP business. “I am thrilled to be joining Juniper Networks at such a significant time for the networking industry,” said Jones. “During my long-standing career in the Middle East, I have focused on forging strong ties with the local partner and reseller community and I’m committed to establishing further strategic relationships amongst Juniper’s channel network. As the company celebrates 20 years of network innovation in 2016, my goal is to enhance an already comprehensive channel strategy, leveraging my experience working in the region to drive new opportunities and achievements with our partners and customers.” Prior to Juniper Networks, Jones led Cisco Systems’ Commercial and Partner business across Middle East and Turkey. Prior to 10 years at Cisco, she also led 3Com’s Distribution business where her primary focus was to develop a 2Tier channel to support Small and Medium Businesses. Throughout her career, Jones has focused on creating strong business partnerships that deliver profitable growth. Jones’ channel experience spans 20 years across the Middle East and Africa, where she has lived throughout that period.

www.resellerme.com

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OPinion

Canon Emirates

prime prints

Shadi Bakhour, General Manager, Canon Emirates, says the onus lies on channel partners to educate customers on the new trends and the possibilities digital printing technology can offer to businesses.

Digital printing is gaining more prominence over offset printing and an increasing number of organisations in the Middle East are opting for in-house printing. Channel partners need to undertake the role of the trusted advisor to guide customers to understand the advantages of the technology and how it can enhance everyday business. The printing industry in the Middle East is moving away from traditional, offset style of printing and embracing the new digital style more aggressively. Factors such as faster turn-around times, qualitative print runs and more effective control and security of the printing architecture are causing businesses to move to digital. There is higher demand for variable data printing, customisation and personalisation; businesses are experimenting with a

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variety of printing media following customer demands, which is therefore making them to consider digital printing for the various advantages it offers. The cost for digital printing has dropped dramatically. Five years ago, the quality difference was huge between offset and digital, but now this gap has reduced greatly. In terms of print quality, colour management and customisation, digital provides users with HDtype of clean photo prints; it involves shorter print runs and is cost-effective. Another trend that is picking up among organisations using printing technology for their businesses is in-house printing. Having a printing solution in-house (and not depending on a third-party supplier) is being touted as highly rewarding. According to business, they can be assured to have their prints

Reseller Middle East

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turned around quickly, saving on costs and hiring more people to do the tasks. There is an increasing awareness being gained by the customer about what he can do with a printer, but there is still a lot that needs to be learnt and understood. Most consumers know the features of a printer, but they do not understand printing solutions and the various applications it can be used for and it is here that channel partners come into play. Solutions can be inhouse or they can be outsourced but it depends on the requirements of the client and on factors such as turnaround time, sensitivity of the application, security of the place. It is therefore the responsibility of a channel partner to weigh these variables and help the customers decide whether to go in-house or get their printing needs outsourced. The challenge in this market is

that people do not understand printing media. The first question the end-user asks is how much the printing media will cost when ideally he should be asking what is the media he is buying, what are the advantages, will the prints look good on it, what is the drying speed and so on. This approach needs to change and it can be only done through education and awareness. More than simply selling technology and products, companies need to sell the business value this technology brings. Channel partners need to tell customers not that they have the best products but how the best products can bring value to their work – help them reduce costs, improve quality and lean the business process. It is therefore important to target businesses in various verticals not from the vertical point of view but from their business strategy and challenges point of view.


For more information or to place an order on Dell, please write to sales.value@redingtongulf.com


Arbor Networks OPinion

Betting on education Richard Brown, Director EMEA Channels and Alliances, Arbor Networks, urges resellers to enhance their skillset to be the preferred partners to customers.

Today’s storage and virtualisation landscape is very competitive and as a result, when the media reports on a high profile cyber-attack, such as Ashley Madison or Mumsnet, many resellers are quick to jump on the ‘security bandwagon’ to try and offer something different to their customers. However, by adapting their services to capitalise on the headlines, many resellers claim to protect businesses from threats such as DDoS attacks, when in fact they are not trained and do not have the skill sets to provide the right security. Instead, by only selling a firewall or advanced threat protection solution as a bolt-on, many customers think they are benefitting from expert advice when they are in fact still exposed. The truth is that there are very few who can give complete holistic advice to the customer and this is one of reasons we continue to see so many high and damaging profile attacks. A bolt-on may look like it solves the

problem on paper, but in the field it doesn’t come close. Organisations can no longer avoid referring back to the same proof point in quick succession to buy products that are not right for their business. Resellers are not getting the right training they need to sell the correct security protection and need to gain a better understanding of the real threats facing businesses today. To rectify this, resellers need to work with vendors who have experience and expertise so they can understand the types of threats affecting organisations. Resellers also need to make sure that their customers understand that they will be breached and have countermeasures in place to deal with it quickly. Everyone can be a victim – no organisation is invulnerable. Resellers also need to work with vendors who can teach security across many different areas, such as advanced threats and DDoS, rather than provide a technical product pitch that

Better education is vital in today’s channel environment because the threats we are seeing today are more complicated...” they may not understand. Resellers who understand security know that customers can’t just sit a two or three day course and become certified. They need to work with vendors after the training and constantly make sure they keep up-to-date. Better education is vital in today’s channel environment because the threats we are seeing today are more complicated than many people realise. If a reseller misconfigures a storage array or VM device, customers will lose service for a while. But, if resellers get security wrong, endusers can lose a lot more, such as customers of their

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core business, reputation and financial costs. Resellers need experience and the only way to get that is by working closely with security partners who have the time, understanding, experience and appropriate resources to offer. In today’s threat landscape, resellers can no longer afford to be complacent when it comes to security training. By understanding what solutions are required to handle the attacks of today and ensuring that they are working with the right partners, resellers will be able to provide the best possible service to their customers.

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OPinion Equinix

Training for change Tony Bishop, VP Global Enterprise Strategy and Marketing, Equinix, takes us through the trends that are impacting the digital economy in a big way and how businesses and partners can better prepare to face this transformation.

From the Internet of Things to renewable energy principles, we’ll see our digital economy transforming before our eyes in 2016. Here are my predictions. Digital commerce will be transformed. The confluence of new payment platforms, Big Data and technologies such as real-time fraud detection and location-based services is transforming the digital payments industry. Meanwhile, consumer expectations are only rising as digital payment options become more available, banks transition to secure, chip-embedded credit cards and merchants adopt new EMV terminals that make it easier to use those cards. To adapt, 2016 will see the players in the digital payments industry seeking

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fast, continuous availability of colocation services in a scalable, interconnected environment. These environments must supply real-time access to brokers, as well as to digital wallet and market data providers. They must also connect to hundreds of point-of-sale providers, digital commerce sites, financial institutions and mobile networks. We predict that 2016 will also see major digital payment players realise that the true value of the digital transaction is in the customer data it provides, such as on spending habits and shopping locations. They will redesign their networks to better handle and analyse these non-payment data elements, so they can better position themselves for precise customer targeting, such as personalised time and location-based offers mixed with loyalty systems.

Reseller Middle East

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The Internet of Things (IoT) will dramatically impact IT networks. Record-breaking adoption and expansion of IoT devices and sensors will continue to accelerate, resulting in a flood of data that severely strains network capacity and security. We predict that in 2016, enterprises will work to more seamlessly combine networked intelligence with the data being processed by sensors and actuators. This will enable the enterprise to gain more control of its information and enhance its ability to use the IoT to quickly adapt to changing conditions, create new value and drive new growth. Enterprises can improve their agility in rapidly changing IoT environments by deploying infrastructure that enables direct and secure connections between the multiple components that must be

in sync to exploit the realtime insights the IoT offers. That kind of interconnection ensures employees, partners and customers can get the information they need, in the right context, using the devices, channels and services they prefer. Businesses will realise this, meaning robust interconnection will become a more prominent solution in this space in 2016, as an intersection point between IoT, clouds and the enterprise becomes increasingly necessary. Content providers will increasingly bypass the Internet to meet surging demand for capacity. The massive shift toward 3D, Super HD, 4K and Vibhu Kapoor, Director, Channel high dynamic range (HDR) Recruitment and Enablement, streaming technologies will Middle East and India, Infor present huge challenges to networks and digital content providers in 2016. For instance,


the latest digital video report from Sandvine indicates Netflix streams used a whopping 36.5 percent of all downstream traffic to North American broadband households at prime viewing hours. But that kind of capacity demand is set to spike in 2016 as more households embrace new streaming technologies that require up to four times the normal bandwidth. In addition, the Cisco Visual Networking Index points to even more strains on networks and content providers as YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and other video streaming services grow to make up 76 percent of consumer Internet traffic by 2018. To handle these looming capacity demands, in 2016 we’ll see more media companies follow Netflix’s lead by shifting workloads to the cloud and using interconnection to optimise Internet application performance. Netflix has also created internal content delivery networks to circumvent Internet bandwidth limitations and stream even more digital content to customers, effectively and efficiently. The Internet will get greener. The Internet will get greener in 2016, even as the number of global Internet users reaches 50 percent of the world’s population. This continuous expansion of our digital lives requires massive amounts of electricity, particularly for the data centres that serve as catalysts of the digital economy. Data centre operators know that has consequences in a fossil-fuels based economy, with 84 percent of North American operators recently recognising a need to consider renewable energy for meeting future energy demands. In 2016,

we’ll see more enterprises adopt renewable energy principles. Companies that rely on electricity to supply power to critical Internet infrastructure and maintain operational reliability will continue to re-evaluate the energy efficiency of their data centres, adopt proven energysaving techniques and evolve sustainability best practices.

organisations to provision cloud services quickly and provide an improved enduser experience. We believe enterprise adoption of multi-cloud interconnectivity will continue to increase, as organisations realise bypassing the public Internet and directly and securely connecting to cloud providers eases corporate concerns.

That kind of interconnection ensures employees, partners and customers can get the information they need, in the right context, using the devices, channels and services they prefer. Businesses will realise this…” The enterprise will turn to multi-cloud interconnection strategies for cost savings. Multi-cloud strategies will be a huge part of the enterprise push in 2016 toward improving production workloads, achieving business agility, accelerating application performance and controlling costs. According to the recent Forrester study, ‘The Total Economic Impact of Equinix Interconnection Solutions,’ enterprises realised major cost reductions with multi-cloud interconnection strategies that enabled them to deploy and scale applications with lower-cost cloud service providers, compared to running those applications internally. Peering locally with cloud providers through secure, direct interconnections that access and integrate multiple clouds enables

Cyber-security will fuel increased adoption of interconnection. Cyber-security was one of the biggest concerns identified by enterprise IT leaders in the recent Equinix ‘Enterprise of the Future’ report. In fact, 64 percent of global IT business decisionmakers admitted cybersecurity concerns could prompt them to consider re-architecting their IT infrastructure over the next 12 months. In 2016, we’ll see more focus on reducing risks and minimising exposure for corporate networks. Security in the cloud continues to be a growing concern for enterprises, which are realising that their own on-ramps to cloud services, not the cloud providers themselves, are their weakest links. They also know that accessing

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cloud services via the public Internet exacerbates those risks. As enterprises continue to evaluate their IT infrastructure options, direct connection will continue to prove to be a more consistent and secure tool for connecting organisations to each other and to the cloud. Interconnection will remove significant barriers to IT growth. In 2016, the corporate network will be strained by trends such as the global dispersion of workforces (75 percent of enterprise employees reside in locations outside of a company’s headquarters) and the proliferation of multiple users who access the network via multiple devices in multiple locations. Centralised, siloed IT architectures, often trapped in onpremise data centres, can’t scale to get closer to end-users and deliver the high-performance connections users demand. Meanwhile, interconnection via the public Internet will continue to be plagued by questions about reliability and security. For all these reasons, 2016 will be a year that enterprises increasingly design interconnectionoriented infrastructures to enable direct and secure links to cloud and network providers and various other partners. In this interconnected era, companies will increasingly rely on instantaneous interconnection with each other to create value and succeed. They’ll find the benefits of this interconnection are real and quantifiable.

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cover feature

mitsumi distribution

Gateway to gains Jagat Shah, Chairman and CEO, Mitsumi Distribution, outlines the challenges of operating in Africa and explains the key strategies to the company’s success.

The African continent poses an ocean of prospects for channel players looking to build business primarily in the ICT sector. While other parts of the Middle East region have experienced a sluggish growth, the African economies are expected to continue to expand at a moderately rapid pace. As per a recent report by Africa Economic Outlook, the regional GDP growth is projected to be 4.5 percent over the last year and five percent in 2016 after subdued expansion in 2013 (3.5 percent) and 2014 (3.9 percent). The challenge for most established players is being able to sustain the profitability of the business especially during dire market circumstances. Mitsumi Distribution ventured into the continent two decades ago and continues to see it as a land of opportunities. “We see a strong potential for growth in the

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African market. We have grown at the same pace each year, which is around 20 to 30 percent. Having operated in the market for 20 years, we stand at an advantage in terms of expertise and experience in the region,” says Jagat Shah, Chairman and CEO, Mitsumi Distribution. Within the continent, the East African region is witnessing a tremendous growth, largely because it enjoys a more stable political system. Moreover, it has speeded its regional integration and has seen considerable progress in institutional reforms according to reports. Also, the region has been popular for major investments in terms of both national and regional infrastructure. According to Shah, there are also several government initiatives enabling the growth in the region. “Government initiatives in East Africa are fueling the development further,”

Reseller Middle East

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he says, “We have seen the commercial sector expanding rapidly. The entire economy is experiencing a growth of around five to six percent annually. In the coming two to three years, we expect the region to advance tremendously.” Recognising the massive potential that exists in the region, many vendors too are keen on optimising the prospects. The distributor boasts large vendors such as Samsung, Dell, HP, Toshiba and Lenovo to name a few in its portfolio. With the focus mainly on the volume and mobility business, Mitsumi Distribution also has a small percentage of business coming in from its value arm. Shah adds, “If you look at the IT sector, the commercial space is growing strongly, the consumer space is now being taken over by mobile and telecom. Smartphone penetration in Africa is growing at an accelerated

pace. And we see that to continue for a long time to come. Thanks to increasing number of infrastructure projects, our value business is also growing. The market is very far off from being saturated.” The distributor’s business focus for 2016 is to sustain its growth. However, considering the volatility of the market, this is not an easy task to accomplish. “As markets across the globe are seeing a downturn, we are facing challenges from people plunking goods from different parts to our region. We are trying to safeguard that and grow in the business we have been successful today. Continued growth is the main potential we are aiming for.” Although the distributor is not looking to expand into new territories as the market conditions are still unclear at the moment, it is working towards garnering a larger market share within the countries it has a presence in.


Fast facts Company: Mitsumi Distribution Year of start-up: 1996 Chairman and CEO: Jagat Shah Distribution model: Volume and mobility Country of origin: Kenya Top vendors: Samsung, Dell, HP, Toshiba, Lenovo No. of resellers: 2380 Year-on-year growth: 30 percent Key to success: Competent manpower, quick to adopt changes and expansion happens across region, brands and vendors.

www.resellerme.com

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Quality service every time. At Trigon service comes first. We service our partners - dealers, resellers, retailers and corporate clientele spreading across more than 15 countries – the Middle East, Africa and Asia providing them with distribution of world-class IT peripherals and services. At Trigon we continue to innovate in all areas, building on the strength of our people and the quality of our brands. Our warehouse and logistics network, backed by state-of-the-art software, after sales support ensure a seamless distribution process. Trigon is one of the first IT distributor in the UAE Together for a better tomorrow to be awarded the coveted ISO 9001:2008 certification. Dubai: P.O. Box: 32610, Dubai, UAE. Tel: +971 4 3426060, Fax: +971 4 3547779, E-mail: info@trigon-gulf.ae Bahrain: P.O. BOX 75149, Manama, Bahrain Tel: +973 17292904, Fax: +973 1729 5183, Email: trigon@mylightspeedoffice.com KSA: Office 508, Al Rossais Commercial Center, Olaya Street, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Tel: +966 11 460 3114, Fax: +966 11 460 3112

www.trigononline.com


mitsumi distribution

Shah says, “As Middle East markets are experiencing a slowdown, it also had a grave impact in our part of the region. This is mainly because of the proximity of Middle East and Africa regions.” The biggest challenge for the African-based distributor is the issue of grey products coming into the region from the Middle East. “It is a challenge because Middle East being a bigger market, has always enjoyed a professional rate compared to Africa. And when the grey products come in, it really disturbs the channel. That is the biggest problem we face as a distributor. Other challenges include currency fluctuations and shrinking budgets from governments.” But the CEO is positive that the landscape will alter for the better and believes vendors are doing their best to control the issue of grey goods. “Recently, we are seeing some landscape realigning and there is more positivity in the business as well. Most of the distributors’ and channel stocks are now getting absolute and vendor pushing has slightly reduced. Since the pressures have lowered, the excessive inventory, which everyone was holding has also decreased. “As of last month, we have noticed the demand has slightly started to pick up. In fact, so much clean-up has happened in the past year that we now have many genuine players

in the market who refrain from rotating products for the sake of it. We are seeing some positivity definitely.” In most first world countries, it is the vendors’ responsibilities to undertake the business development, marketing and demand generation activities. However in Africa, traditionally, these tasks lie with the distributor. “This way the pressure and responsibilities are much more on African distributors, this is another challenge,” he says. “But

vendors and partners alike. “The experience and expertise of the market that we bring in cannot be matched by any of our competitors,” he adds. He believes the company’s success has a lot to do with its business model. “One of the reasons we are stable and are able to grow despite challenging market circumstances is thanks to our business model. We have always been a micro distribution company and have never

One of the reasons we are stable and are able to grow despite challenging market circumstances is thanks to our business model. We have always been a micro distribution company and have never relied on any sub-distribution model.” that being said, today the structures are changing gradually. Now the distributor has a chance to focus on his core business of distribution, logistics and finance. More distributors are now demanding the vendors take up business development and marketing activities.” Other critical problems in Africa include credit rules and logistics, which is a deterring factor for new entrants. This is where the distributor’s strengths come to play. With 20 years of market knowledge and business knowhow, Mitsumi becomes the preferred choice for

relied on any sub-distribution model. We have in-country stocking and manpower in all the countries we are present in, which helps us to cater to the market more effectively. This has enabled us to have better margins when compared to other distributors. Moreover, we understand consumer demands and credit systems in the market. ” The distributor’s focus in the Middle East has solely been in the UAE for now and it is looking to strengthen that through acquisitions in the future. “Right now, the Middle East market is challenging but going forward as

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inventory levels are reducing, I am seeing some positivity. We are waiting for the market to stabilise before we look into strengthening our presence.” In terms of technologies, Shah says anything to do with mobility and e-commerce have the highest demand in the African market. “It is worth looking into these two aspects. Because of the vast landscape, it is impossible to cover all areas. Therefore online is a preferred option. The African market sees more transactions through mobile payments rather than credit cards. In fact, the mobile payment gateway began from Kenya with M-Pesa, a pioneer of mobile payments globally. The world is accepting this very fast and we see technologies emerging very strongly.” Keeping this in mind, Shah urges partners to transform with the times. “Traditional distribution and retail selling model will eventually be ineffectual. Partners need to work on adding more value to the system and focusing on online opportunities. Transformation is key for success.” Over this year, we will see the distributor adding more vendors to its portfolio and continue looking at maintaining its growth of 20 to 30 percent year-on-year. “We don’t plan to expand in terms of verticals but hope to increase our market share in the areas where we are present,” he adds.

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feature

Digital transformation

Enabling digital economy

Regional organisations are looking to upgrade their infrastructures and processes to the digital era as emerging technologies are increasingly gaining popularity across both large and smaller enterprises. Reseller ME finds out how channel partners can play a vital role in this transformation. The digital transformation of an enterprise is now inevitable. As emerging technologies are gradually taking over most traditionally-led operations, organisations are looking to digitise all

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their processes. In fact according to a recent IDC report, 65 percent of APeJ (Asia Pacific excluding Japan) enterprise strategies will include a significant ‘digital transformation’ component by this year.

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All enterprises across verticals such as banking, education, hospitality, healthcare, governments, manufacturing, oil and gas, sooner rather than later, will reach a point where they are compelled to get on the digitisation

bandwagon. The question is what role can channel partners play and how can they become indispensable for this process? “Digital transformation opens avenues to create strong partner


Digital transformation

ecosystems, which include solution providers, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), technology partners, and consulting firms who can provide solutions that address changing market conditions, enable flexible consumption models and help customers achieve desired business outcomes,” says Frida Kleimert Knibbs, Head of Channels and Commercial UAE, Cisco. To be able to create sound digital transformation solutions in the digital era, a deep understanding of solution spaces and an ability to connect hierarchical systems are necessary. Knibbs says, it requires understanding specific usage models and domain expertise to translate those user models into sensors, actuations, control logic, data aggregation, and local network connectivity and service layers.

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Partners developing applications for a specific line of business or vertical market can win huge because digital transformation/IoE is largely about selling to customers on business outcomes.” Frida Kleimert Knibbs, Head of Channels and Commercial UAE, Cisco

“Partners developing applications for a specific line of business or vertical market can win huge because digital transformation/IoE is largely about selling to customers on business outcomes. Analysts say by the end of the decade, 90 percent of IT spends will be controlled by line-of-business, so the ability to deliver business outcomes becomes really critical.” The ultimate goal for partners is to be the ‘trusted advisor’ that customers are seeking

Channel partners should work with CIOs to explain the risks of not digitising, present the business case to the board, and develop a digitisation roadmap.” Savitha Bhaskar, COO, Condo Protego

out for. While this rings true for most emerging technologies, it is even more important here for partners to be in a position to counsel customers on what they need even before they realise they require it. Bertram MJ Collins, Head of ICT Portfolio, CNS, says, “Channel partners need to reskill the IT, sales and procurement workforce to speak business and industry rather than pure IT. Understanding industry processes is an advantage and might be the only differentiator as certain aspects of IT have become commodities. “The opportunity to think differently and innovatively about how business can benefit from the intended digital transformation is critical. This means the channel partner should no longer look at only reselling IT infrastructure but also evolve to become a digital transformation thought leader.” Shams Hasan,

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Enterprise Product Manager, Dell Middle East, agrees that the proactive approach is the most effective way partners can optimise the opportunities. “An accurate understanding on the market and company conditions is a good starting point. With this information in place, a firm is better positioned to look outwards towards their channel to understand their relative positions as well. When channel partners align expectations and predictions, coordinated actions can be taken together. Communication and accurate market analysis are vital tools to sustain growth together,” he says. Partners need to gear up to face the challenges that come along in this journey. The initial challenge could be around demand generation, however this is easily resolved once the trend picks up within the market.

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Digital transformation

“For partners, sometimes it is challenging to find the right mix of products and solutions to cater to the specific needs of consumers and

The ultimate goal for partners is to be the ‘trusted advisor’ that customers are seeking out for. While this rings true for most emerging technologies, it is even more important here for partners to be in a position to counsel customers on what they need even before they realise they require it.

businesses, both for the more conservative and the rather forwardthinking users or organisations,” explains Sakkeer Hussain, Sales and Marketing Director, D-Link MEA. Another challenge, according to Savitha Bhaskar, COO, Condo Protego, is around the fact that many Middle East organisations may be reluctant to digitise with reduced budgets. “However, channel partners should work with CIOs to explain the risks of not digitising, present the business case to the board, and develop a digitisation roadmap. Partners and customers need to have the right skillsets in place to succeed in digitising.” Another crucial point to keep in mind for partners is that as digitisation becomes more rampant across businesses, customers will look to them to provide connectivity and value-added services for the solutions that are deployed. But more than a challenge, this can be considered as an opportunity. “Partners need to respond quickly to new market trends in order to stay competitive, monetise new services and drive optimisation while continuing to deliver quality services to customers. However,

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Vendors’/ distributors’ role “Most vendors do not only have technical skills at a product level but have industrialised skills where the vendor operates in different industries with specific (best practice) industry solutions. A channel partner should be able to tap into these standard solutions to enhance the customer experience. Without a distinct strategic engagement between the channel partner and the vendor, reselling remains the status quo and never proceeds to a strategic alliance. This support from vendors is pivotal to allow this ecosystem to provide co-created value to all parties.” Bertram MJ Collins, Head of ICT Portfolio, CNS “Vendors have to conduct regular trainings to equip sales and technical staff of their partners with the accurate product and technology information. Distributors should add value by holding trainings, designing solutions and by providing pre-sales and post-sales technical support.” Sakkeer Hussain, Sales and Marketing Director, D-Link MEA “Vendors and distributors can help in a number of ways from up to date marketing activity to show resellers evolving trends, to a solid programme of customer contact and assessment.” Dan Smith, Head of Integrated Marketing, MEA, Xerox’s Developing Markets Operations

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Digital transformation

around the world, and especially across the Middle East, there is a significant shortage of people who are qualified to address these trends and innovations,” says Knibbs. At the end of the day, it all comes down to skillset. Irrespective of which technology it is, channel partners must enhance their abilities to be able to lead business discussions. As per the results of the INSEAD Business School’s Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2014 co-authored by Cisco, the IT skills gap in the UAE is increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 32 percent, which means that by the end of 2015 it will increase to 45 percent, and in Saudi Arabia the IT skills gap will stand at 78 percent. She adds, “Partners can enhance their skill set through channel enablement programmes, which include training, certifications and

Partners need to take on the responsibility of keeping themselves trained up and aware of the latest updates and information on their services and how it meets the needs of their clients. They also need to keep abreast of digital trends and make sure they are up to speed with the latest technology developments in their area.” Therese McQuaid, Marketing Director, Orixcom specialisations, in addition to technical support, productivity tools, online training, marketing resources and sales promotions. “Through Cisco’s latest specialisations, we help partners develop skills critical to business success and help increase their profitable revenue. With our new business outcome trainings, we also help partners to create strategic customer value.”

At the end of the day, it all comes down to skillset. Irrespective of which technology it is, channel partners must enhance their abilities to be able to lead business discussions. 36

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Therese McQuaid, Marketing Director, Orixcom, says, “Partners need to take on the responsibility of keeping themselves trained up and aware of the latest updates and information on their services and how it meets the needs of their clients. They also need to keep abreast of digital trends and make sure they are up to speed with the latest technology developments in their area.” Also Dan Smith, Head of Integrated Marketing, MEA, Xerox’s Developing Markets Operations adds that along with skills, infrastructure is another big challenge. “In terms of infrastructure, a clear understanding of the requirements is needed to deliver against commitments.” For partners to

succeed and sustain their growth in this space it is important that vendors ensure their solutions get more visibility, that they are enabled to deliver business outcomes and have platforms to connect with each other. “Digital transformation provides unprecedented opportunities for partners to derive greater value from networked connections among people, processes, data and things. Partners need to embrace digitisation now and accelerate their ability to thrive in the digital age,” adds Knibbs. Channel partners need to build on their capabilities and work on offering a genuine value-add to customers. In order to capitalise on the opportunities, it is necessary to undertake the role of a ‘trusted advisor’ more seriously.


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Desktop virtualisation

february 2016 Reseller Middle East

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Consultative approach Reseller ME investigates the opportunities for channel partners in the region’s move to desktop virtualisation and how they can aspire to the role of a trusted advisor.

The regional ICT market, fueled by the increasing number of infrastructure projects and fast-tracked by investments in smart technology spending, is set to hit the $20 billion mark by 2020, as per reports by the research firm, IDC. This has further transformed workspaces within businesses to introduce and adopt technologies that enhance employees’ productivity. Desktop virtualisation is one such technology.

Arthur Dell, Director, Technology and Services, Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Citrix, says, “Desktop and application virtualisation can be powerful drivers for business transformation, making it possible to deliver the apps and data people depend on whenever they need them, on whatever device. “In the Middle East, these technologies are permitting businesses to develop a more efficient, productive working environment that not only

offers flexible working for employees, but also enables IT departments to manage IT infrastructure more efficiently and securely.” In such an environment, organisations have to consider a number of key elements to ensure the success of these technologies such as enabling collaboration seamlessly, planning server infrastructure well, understanding the importance of network intelligence and embedding security across technology,

In the Middle East, these technologies are permitting businesses to develop a more efficient, productive working environment that not only offers flexible working for employees, but also enables IT departments to manage IT infrastructure more efficiently and securely.” Arthur Dell, Director, Technology and Services, Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Citrix

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processes and people. Security being an extremely critical element. Implementing a desktop virtualisation solution requires expertise that regional organisations may be deficient in. This is where channel partners play a significant role to enable businesses to optimise the advantages of desktop virtualisation, which includes savings on cost and enhanced security. “Workplace and digital transformation projects are now front of mind for many businesses in the region, as digital technologies are increasingly used to enrich experiences. Previously, IT was primarily focused on improving operational efficiency and managing infrastructure,” says Dell. Today IT is required to align with the demands of an evolving workforce at the same time as helping the business focus on its key services. “Resellers need to appreciate this shift in priorities, and help businesses on their digital transformation journey. Desktop and application virtualisation technologies are often a key component of a broader IT transformation project – for example, knowledge workers now expect to use multiple devices, laptops, smartphones and tablets in the office and on the road. “They expect to be able to access their work data and applications wherever they are required to work. This is vital in the working environment found in the Middle East, with the workforce often travelling and working remotely,” he adds.

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Desktop virtualisation

Organisations are looking for channel partners not only to provide the technology but to put forward skills related to total cost of ownership, return on investment and managing the journey, says Bertram MJ Collins, Head of ICT Portfolio, CNS. “A channel partner and reseller need to understand that when engaging customers, they need to understand that one size will not fit all,” says Collins. “The desktop virtualisation topic will be well researched by the customer and the channel partner will need to demonstrated capability to deliver as well as clear referencibility.” The biggest opportunities in desktop virtualisation for Middle East resellers lie in high-performance flash storage and servers. “Resellers should not think in terms of solely deploying desktop virtualisation, but take a solutions-based approach that guides organisations in the entire infrastructure needed to make organisational-wide desktop virtualisation a success – including software, hardware, and services,” explains Savitha Bhaskar, COO, Condo Protego. Shams Hasan, Enterprise Storage Manager, Dell Middle East, adds, “Resellers who are looking to scale up their operations need to take a serious look into cloud client-computing. There are numerous benefits that firms can leverage into a more profitable, competitive business. Upon implementing a cloud-based

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Resellers who are looking to scale up their operations need to take a serious look into cloud clientcomputing. There are numerous benefits that firms can leverage into a more profitable, competitive business.” Shams Hasan, Enterprise Storage Manager, Dell Middle East

design into a company’s technology infrastructure, management will certainly see better performance across the board and other benefits such as less time wasted, more money saved, order processing simpler, smoother transactions and productivity rise.” Understanding the opportunities present is one thing and ensuring there is skill and talent to deliver is another. While both are important, skill development is one of the most vital aspects. “It is important that partners acquire the technical knowledge and skills to be able to articulate, design, implement and deploy solutions that specifically address a customer’s individual workplace needs – there is no such thing as a ‘one-sizefits-all’ approach,” says Dell. According to Hasan, beyond staying up to date with the knowledge, resellers and systems integrators will benefit from joining forces with vendors who are leaders in desktop virtualisation and those who look for strategic synergies and opportunities

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with their partners. “The right collaboration model for partners should involve a vendor that can provide the flexibility to explore a breadth of solutions and make available resources to enable partners to deepdive and get hands-on with customers,” he adds. The challenges for partners with desktop virtualisation often include the large timelines involved with VDI initiatives, the rapidly evolving developments in VDI solutions, compounded by the diversity of offerings, providing proof-of-concepts at customer sites, and the multiple hierarchies of conversations and engagements that are often involved at the customer. Lack of knowledge on both customers’ and partners’ end is also a challenge, says Mohammad Mobasseri, CEO, emt Distribution. “Another customer pain point is the existing investment. Therefore, a proper evaluation is required to ensure customers have best possible and affordable solutions while also

allowing partners to make enough profits,” he says. Partners need to go that extra mile to be a trusted advisor for customers. This can be done only through in-depth conversations to understand the technology better, attending relevant conferences, reading and constantly updating themselves and by attending vendor or distributor led training workshops. “We encourage resellers to invest time to go through webinars and other handson training that are offered in the region. We expect some of the resellers to build a centre of excellence for our hybrid cloud storage and virtualisation solutions, so they can drive a very positive business impact while addressing their organisation’s critical IT needs,” says Nilesh Patel, Vice President, Marketing, Sphere 3D. Channel partners should take the initiative to create the demand for desktop virtualisation and also ensure they have all the right tools in order to not only deploy it but also play the role of a consultant successfully.


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vendor focus

Sphere 3D

Sphere of trust

Nilesh Patel, Vice President, Marketing, Sphere 3D, elaborates on the company’s plans to strengthen its presence in the region together with its channel partners.

In a softwaredefined IT business environment, organisations need to expedite and virtualise processes to enhance productivity and efficiency. Understanding the market demand and foreseeing the potential in cloud-based technologies, Sphere 3D and Overland Storage joined forces in a merger deal that was completed over a year ago. The merger enabled the company to leverage the in-depth solutions portfolio across its previously acquired brands. Both Tanderberg Data and V3 Systems were acquired by Overland Storage and Sphere 3D respectively in early 2014. Today, Sphere 3D boasts a host of cloud and virtualisation solutions across all four brands. Nilesh Patel, Vice President, Marketing, Sphere 3D, says, “We realised that to be relevant in the next 10 years and beyond, we must have a solution set, which

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is complete and ready for cloud-type of deployments. We wanted to own our destiny to a certain extent by doing this. “We already had a huge success in building partnerdriven and partner-integrated go-to-market strategies. We also had a strong worldwide base in play with our partners’ perspective and support. However, in terms of technology and market, we want to ensure that we are driving to a point where we are able to own our destiny end-to-end.” The first step the company took in this direction was to go on an acquisition and merger strategy to bring together application virtualisation, data management and data retention solutions. “Running the business under the Sphere 3D banner, gives us an opportunity to introduce ourselves as a cloud company that now has comprehensive stack of

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application, virtualisation and data delivery solutions.” Having successfully completed the first phase of mapping out corporate strategy and integrating the businesses, the vendor now aims to strengthen its market push with aggressive sales approaches. Patel says the aim is to rethink the company’s new stack and put it out in the market in a big way and leverage its partners. He adds, “Being a partnercentric company, we rely on our partners who share a common goal of accelerated growth opportunities and those who are committed to the way we do business. We have built up a two-tier model and now aim to leverage that across the globe.” The focus for the company within the region is around two aspects – stay ahead of the curve and remain behind its partners with its product line. “We will make investments around the type of products we deliver to partners along with quality, support infrastructure, education and so on, to ensure they are successful. Just the way partners work towards being customers’ trusted advisors, we want to ensure that they see us as trusted partners for them.” Talent development has been an industry challenge within the region. But according to Patel, more than that, the issue within the channel is around time and investment. Partners interact and deal with customers’ issues on a daily basis and are in a position to understand them better. He says, often partners’ intelligence and awareness are underestimated.

“Vendors and distributors have a huge responsibility in enabling the channel in terms of talent development. As we move into an end-toend ecosystem model, our partnership with distributors such as Global Distribution, plays an important role. Global goes the extra mile in not just financially de-risking the transaction but also to be the trusted advisor and guide to the reseller partners.” Over the next few months, we will see the vendor along with its distributor partner, Global Distribution, carrying out vertical-focused events for both partners and end-users. “We will focus on communicating to our reseller network the fact that Sphere 3D is now a cloudcompany catering to a host of related solutions across verticals such as education, surveillance, data backup and retention. It is no longer just about storage or tape but about managing various containers of data along aspects such as security, control and access,” adds Mario Veljovic, VP Solutions, MEA, Global Distribution. “We are going to build a portfolio, which is guaranteeing the best TCO, reduction and return of investments.” Both the vendor and distributor aim to ensure that its reseller partners not only sell what customers ask for but also go one step ahead to understand why they need those solutions and advice if it is the right choice. “It is important for us to figure out a way to identify core aspects of understanding customer needs and training the resellers to not run after immediate gains. This is important,” adds Patel.


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vendor focus

Digital Guardian

Invest to grow David McKeough, Executive Vice President, Digital Guardian, sat down with Reseller ME to discuss the partnership with valueadded-distributor Credence and the value proposition it offers to regional organisations.

Can you give us a brief background of Digital Guardian? Digital Guardian has been in the market since 2003. We provide advanced data protection solutions for endpoints. While many cyber-security companies focus more on data compliance and mandates, we at Digital Guardian look at data in a different way. A good analogy would be looking at data as the water in a dam. Now, most security solutions today are more focused on plugging the holes in a leaking dam, and they will continue on capping those holes every time they detect a leak. Meanwhile, we concentrate more on the water to ensure that if it does get through the hole, we’d know what went through or if it is indeed at risk of going through the wall, we can block it before anything happens. We have a unique data awareness and transformative endpoint visibility approach, which we combine with behavioural threat detection and response. We can monitor every system, user and data event. In doing so, we can show our

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customers how their data is moving and how the people within the company interacts with it. We can also see the different trends in data usage occurring within the organisation. Our platforms perform across traditional endpoints, mobile devices and cloud applications to make it easier to see and stop all threats to sensitive data. How important is the Middle East market for the company? We entered the Middle East market about three or four years ago. Although there were ample opportunities, we didn’t have many investments in the region at that time. Our strategy is more on looking at opportunities region by region. Now, we are proactively focusing on the Middle East, numerous opportunities are visible for players like Digital Guardian in this region. These opportunities have even been made more evident to us upon working with companies like Credence, especially in catering to verticals such as banking and finance, government, oil and gas, and telecommunications.

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Therefore, we are now investing heavily in training people and acquiring resources in this part of the world. We have a local office for EMEA, which is set up in the UK. We also have a team of security engineers centred on providing their expertise in this region. One of our primary goals is providing support for Credence as they are our feet on the streets in this region. What is your competitive advantage over other players in the cybersecurity space? Our primary focus is on the data, we see everything from system-event, userevent up to the data movement. This allows us to give our customers a good scope of what’s happening on their networks. We have a user baseline for anomaly detection, which means we monitor the people who use the data on a regular basis and how they use it. We are all creatures of habit. Through our platforms, we can find out if there’s a sudden change in the behaviour of the employees. That could mean multiple things – it could mean that an inside

person became malicious; or that the same person is trying to do the right thing but didn’t know that the procedure he’s undertaking is wrong; or an outsider is trying to breach your systems. We can monitor and detect all these aspects and advise organisations to undertake the most ideal solutions to to solve related problems. Can you elaborate on your partnership with Credence? When it comes to partnerships, we look at knowledge and expertise on operating in a particular market. And Credence has a great understanding of the market, we believe that they are the right partner to guide us on how we can invest and grow in this market. They are a strong value-added distributor with the ability to not only support various vendors in the region but also our partners. With regards to the distribution strategy, Credence will first focus on bringing our offerings to the GCC, India, East and South Africa. They have also begun establishing rapports with Digital Guardian resellers in these markets.


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My Cloud

WD’s new My Cloud personal storage device gives its other storage solutions stiff competition. With sync support between Google Drive, Dropbox and other public clouds, having a private, at-home cloud is made simple. Western Digital’s My Cloud is a powerful, yet relatively simple to use device. The Gigabit Ethernet read and write speeds outpace the latest 802.11ac wireless standard, so in order to experience the devices full potential, the user will need a wired connection. As far as functioning as a cloud storage service, the free downloadable app boasts a clear and easy to use interface which makes the My Cloud’s cloud services a worthwhile contender with public counterparts such as Dropbox or Google Drive. The obvious advantage to the popular online services is the lack of subscription fees and the fact that with My Cloud, data can be stored in the cloud without passing through any third-party companies. One drawback of the mobile app is the lack of integrated media player. Users are forced to rely on the media player formats supported by the device they’re using for playback. This can prove a difficulty for iOS users. The My Cloud mobile app support data transfer and syncing content between Google Drive, Dropbox and other cloud storage services, which makes for an ease of integration. While the My Cloud offers the ability to automatically back-up, store, and stream data across all of your computers and devices, it is a single drive device which means it cannot back itself up. This lack of redundancy can be a

turn-off to those with critical data, however My Cloud does offer the ability to automatically back-up to USB or network storage as required through its Safepoints system.

REVIEW

A multi-functional device like this might give way to woes about setup. However, Western Digital made setting up the device virtually fool proof. It’s as simple as plugging it in, connecting to the router and using the easy-to-follow wizard. Even the most novice tech-users will be able to navigate the set up process and create their own cloud storage network. The same easeof-use and intelligence of design can be applied to the browser user interface used to navigate the My Cloud drive. The Dashboard offers an attractive array of information from drive capacity and health to connected devices.

RATING

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REVIEW

Samsung R6 360

RATING

We give our spin on Samsung’s neatlydesigned 360 degree speaker system. Samsung’s R6 sports a unique design, which makes it an attractive buy. It’s bound to split opinion, but has an undeniably modern yet practical feel, coming in either white or black and doubling as a have-a-go home ornament. While it could be easily mistaken for a lamp, Samsung designers have subtly yet delivered a symbolic egg-like appearance. At the base of the R6, there are a range of touch-sensitive controls, including play/ pause, source select, volume down and up and a power button, adding a slick touch. The main attraction of the R6 is undoubtedly the introduction of 360-degree omni-directional sound, powered by its Ring Radiator

technology, omitting sound evenly in all directions. This is achieved through the positioning of a 5-inch driver at the base, and 1-inch tweeter at the top of the device with acoustic lenses distributing sound evenly via the bottom of the R6. A key selling point is the ability to control the speaker with your smart device, and connect it directly to a network via without using a traditional hub. In terms of wireless battery power, the R6 can be charged in just over two hours, and will last between five and six hours depending on music volume. Would-be customers may baulk at a price just under the 2000 AED mark, but should be encouraged by the tidy set of features offered by the R6.

BlackBerry Priv RATING

This Android-powered BlackBerry device is an ideal phone for security-conscious business users, but its price tag could be a dampener.

The Priv is a high-end phone, which features a 5.4-inch OLED touch screen, and is powered by a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor with 3GB of RAM. It includes 32GB of built-in storage The first thing that strikes you and has a MicroSD slot that supports up about Blackberry Priv is its to 2TB of additional memory. Another sleek design and physical highlight is an 18-megapixel rear camera keyboard, which slides out from the bottom of the phone in portrait with optical image stabilisation, and a mode. Though this is the first Blackberry 2-megapixel camera up front. For Android users, who phone powered by Android OS, miss physical keyboards, Priv hardcore Blackberry loyalists will be is an ideal option, and the keys pleased to learn that this unique themselves are touch sensitive and smartphone sports many features that supports customisable shortcuts. are familiar to them, including Hub.

Battery life is also impressive, its 3410mAh battery can last up to 22.5 hours of mixed usage, the company claims. Business users might find BlackBerry Priv’s security features attractive, and it comes with a built-in app dubbed DTEK that grades overall system security of the device. On the downside, the Priv, which retails at AED 2899 costs more than iPhone 6S, lacks a fingerprint sensor, and is a bit flimsy in its construction. Also, the screen tends to bend too easily as it has been so thin to accommodate the keyboard underneath.

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hot products

SanDisk upgrades devices QNAP releases TS-x53A series

QNAP announced the release of the TS-x53A series, the QTS-Linux dual system NAS. Powered by an 14nm Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core 1.6GHz processor with hardware encryption acceleration, and Intel 8th generation HD Graphics, the TS-x53A series provides 4K UHD HDMI output, 4K H.264 video hardware-accelerated transcoding and playback, snapshots for multiple recovery points, integrated virtualisation and container support. The TS-x53A series is available in two, four, six, and eight-bay models and is powered by a new Intel Celeron 1.6GHz processor (burst up to 2.08GHz) with dual-channel 4GB or 8GB DDR3L-1600 RAM configuration (upgradable to 8GB). Coupled with SATA 6Gb/s support and 2/4 Gigabit LAN ports, the series delivers up to 400MB/s throughput performance for business applications and to meet multitasking requirements. It also features AES-NI hardware-accelerated encryption for over 200MB/s AES 256bit encrypted transfer rates for either full NAS volumes or shared folders. The TS-x53A series can also be connected to an HDMI TV or A/V receiver to enjoy up to 4K UHD media playback with up to 7.1 channel HD audio pass-through using Kodi media player. A free remote control is included for greater convenience. Users can run multiple Windows, Linux, UNIX and Android based virtual machines on the NAS with Virtualisation Station.

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Reseller Middle East

SanDisk Corporation has expanded its mobile storage portfolio by upgrading two of its most popular mobile flash drives. The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick is now available in 200GB capacity, while the SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0 is now available in 128GB capacity. According to the company, the devices can bring faster transfer speeds, giving users even more options when it comes to expanding the capabilities of their mobile devices. The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick was recognised by CEA at CES 2016 as an ‘Innovation Honoree’ in the wireless handset accessories category. It also features the SanDisk Connect app, which enables the management of content between devices including iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android devices, Fire tablets, Mac and PCs – offered via password-protected Wi-Fi connectivity.

Meanwhile, with SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0’s 128GB capacity, Android device users can now double the number of photos, songs, videos and other content kept close at hand without concern about filling their smartphone or tablet.

Synology unveils DiskStation DS41 Synology launched DiskStation DS416j, a budget-friendly four-bay NAS server designed to help home and personal users effectively manage data as well as enjoy multimedia on any of their screens. Coming with a dual-core CPU, DS416j delivers performance, exceeding 112 MB/sec reading and 101 MB/sec writing under RAID 5 configuration in a Windows environment — providing users a 37 percent increase in writing speed when compared with its predecessor. According to Synology, the builtin floating-point unit (FPU) further enhances the overall capability of the main CPU and allows for a speedier photo thumbnail generation. Equipped

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with a USB 3.0 port, DS416j can connect to external hard drives and a variety of other devices for high speed transmission of media content or personal files. DS416j is equipped with front LEDs, allowing users to control and schedule the brightness with four levels of intensity. DS416j consumes only 21.6 watts in full operation and as little as 12.75 watts in HDD hibernation. DS416j runs on DiskStation Manager (DSM), the most advanced and intuitive operating system for network-attached storage devices that offers a wide range of applications from backup to multimedia for home and personal uses. Synology has received numerous media accolades, including PC Mag Readers’ Choice for four years in a row.


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LG introduces LG Signature products LG Electronics has introduced the LG Signature range of premium products during InnoFest. The product line-up includes the latest 4K OLED TV, a high tech refrigerator, washing machine and an air purifier is part of the company’s efforts to bring the best technology and best designs together. The LG Signature design concept was to make the product appear more intuitive while maintaining a minimalistic design. The LG Signature OLED TV featured a screen looking like a floating sheet of glass that eliminates everything except the stunning picture quality, the LG Signature refrigerator adds some innovative features that are designed to make the product more intuitive, more efficient and more convenient. The Air Purifier comes with a transparent panel to make the air purification a visual experience

Dell launches Latitude 12 7000 Series 2-in-1 as the Aqua Cyclone feature uses water to filter out chemicals and contaminants to bring the room to comfortable humidity levels. From the Home Appliances category, LG’s front loading washing machine stole the show with its TWIN Wash System as it gives consumers the power to wash two loads of laundry at the same time. Along with a gamut of products from the Home Appliance and the Home Entertainment categories, LG also unveiled a line of mobile communications device which include the latest V10.

Biostar debuts Racing B150GT5 motherboard Biostar introduced its new motherboard from the new Racing family – the B150GT5. The Biostar Racing series of motherboard introduces the Vivid LED DJ feature which, according to the company, allows control over the lighting of the motherboard. The firm highlighted that the B150GT5 motherboard features customisable lighting on its heatsinks and PCB and are fully customisable via the included Vivid LED DJ software, exclusively available for Biostar Racing series motherboards. The Vivid LED DJ software works with both on-board LEDs and external LED strips connected directly on the board via the 5050 LED

feature of the Biostar Racing series. The Biostar Racing B150GT5 supports the latest 6th-Generation Intel Core processors and features the Intel B150 chipset. The board supports up to 4 DDR4-2133 memory modules and dual PCI-E x16 slots for multi-card configurations.

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The Dell Latitude 12 7000 Series 2-in-1 is a 12.5-inch which offers the functionality of both tablet and laptop. According to Dell, the device’s design is free of cumbersome latches, locks or alignment pins, and instead uses magnets; easily transitioning from various use modes for maximum flexibility and productivity. The Latitude 12 includes two keyboard options tailored for the professional’s work style. The company highlighted that the Latitude 12 Slim Keyboard is full-sized, lightweight, well-spaced with backlit chiclet keys for effortless typing, and offers a full range of viewing angles. On the other hand, the Dell Latitude 12 Premium Keyboard single-handedly connects to the tablet, and features backlit keys and mouse cursor control with a high precision, gesture touchpad. The device also sports a slim 8mm screen, hardened Corning Gorilla Glass NBT and magnesium unibody build, with a 4K UltraSharp UHD touch display.

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Samsung flaunts gear vr

Canon unveils imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 Canon Middle East introduces the imagePROGRAF PRO1000, a new professional grade photo printer designed for art schools, graphic artists, designers and professional photographers. The device is equipped with 12-ink pigment based system, as well as a new 1.28-inch print head and processing engine. According to the company, the imagePROGRAF PRO1000 produces outstanding quality prints up to A2 in approximately just six minutes. It also has a new ‘Crystal-fidelity’ feature, which ensures photos taken with Canon EOS cameras can be reproduced with exceptional precision. In addition, it also has wireless and cloud connectivity offering users the freedom to print from a variety of devices and popular apps. At approximately 723 x 433 x 285 mm in size, the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 is compact and occupies less space than traditional large format printers.

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The Samsung Gear VR is a mobile virtual reality device developed in collaboration with Oculus VR. The device is compatible with Samsung Galaxy devices such as Galaxy Note 5 or Galaxy S6/S6 Edge. Sold separately the Gear VR unit contains the high field of view lenses as well as a custom IMU for rotational tracking. It has a toggle that you can use to slide the micro-USB dock to the left or right to accommodate the different sizes. Gear VR’s IMU, according to the company, has lower latency than internal smartphone IMUs. It has a

headset which includes a touchpad and back button on the side, as well as a proximity sensor to detect when the headset is on. The device sports a 96-degree wide field of view on a Super AMOLED display and precise head-tracking.

HP introduces Education Edition devices According to HP, its Education Edition devices are all equipped with Windows 10 and a variety of tools to enhance instruction, engagement and active educational use. The HP ProBook 11 G2 Education Edition notebook is constructed using industrial co-moulded rubber to protect against the rigors of the classroom and has up to 18 hours of battery life. The series also include the HP ProBook 11 EE, which is powered with Intel Core for optimum performance and it also sports an optional touchscreen feature. Another device HP highlighted is the x360 310 G2

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PC Education Edition, which also runs Windows 10 and is built with a rotational hinge allowing for four modes to suit any learning style: stand, tent, notebook and tablet. The device features an Intel Celeron or Pentium processor and solid state storage up to 256 GB.


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NEC launches PX series NEC Display Solutions Europe has expanded its portfolio with the launch of a 75-inch display designed for areas with high levels of ambient light. According to NEC, the X754HB large format display offers a reliable and consistent solution for environments where lighting conditions are changeable. The 75-inch display, the company highlights, can intelligently adapt to its surroundings, using an integrated ambient light sensor.

During the day, the display provides a bright, clear image regardless of the lighting conditions. At night, it dims down to reduce power consumption. It has a display size of more than 190 centimetres and has a direct LED backlight. The device also comes with a builtin OPS (Open Pluggable Specification) option slot which is a fully integrated interface for computing modules running the digital signal contents.

Veeam Availability Suite Version 9 Veeam Availability Suite combines industry-leading backup, restore and replication capabilities of the Veeam Backup and Replication with the monitoring, reporting and capacity planning functionality of Veeam ONE for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V. According to the company, the Availability Suite can provide organisations with five key capabilities that enable the Always-On Business. These capabilities include high-speed recovery with tools like Instant VM Recovery, Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange, Active Directory, SharePoint, and SQL Server, Veeam Explorer for Oracle and more. It also has features for data loss avoidance and low RPOs for disaster

recovery. It can support both backup and replication with a built-in WAN acceleration, backup from storage Snapshots for EMC, HP and NetApp, Veeam Cloud Connect, Scale-out Backup Repository, EMC Data Domain Boost and HP StoreOnce Catalyst integration, native tape support and more. The Veeam Availability Suite v9 is also equipped with the SureBackup and SureReplica for verified recoverability. Organisations can also, according to the company, expect low-risk deployments with features such as the Virtual Lab. Moreover, they can also have complete visibility as the suite provides monitoring and alerting tools letting users discover, and be alerted of, issues in your their environment.

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AMD reveals AMD FirePro S-Series

AMD revealed its hardware virtualised GPU product line, the AMD FirePro S-Series GPUs with Multiuser GPU (MxGPU) technology. According to the company, the hardware-virtualised GPU architecture delivers a solution in response to emerging user experiences such as remote workstation, cloud gaming, cloud computing, and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). The new AMD FirePro S7150 and AMD FirePro S7150 x2 server graphics card, the company highlights, will combine with OEM offerings to create high-performance virtual workstations and address IT needs of simple installation and operation, and critical data security. Typical VDI use cases include Computer-Aided Design (CAD), media and entertainment, and office applications powered by the industry’s first hardware-based virtualised GPU. The AMD FirePro S7150 GPU card which features 8 GB of GDDR5 memory, can support up to 16 simultaneous users. While up to twice as many simultaneous users (32 in total) can be supported by a single AMD FirePro S7150 x2 card which includes a total of 16 GB of GDDR5 memory (8GB per GPU). Both models feature 256-bit memory bandwidth. AMD FirePro S7150 and S7150 x2 server GPUs are expected to be available from server technology providers in the first half of 2016.

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Column

Channel surfing

Reseller Middle East's deputy editor offers her thoughts on the Middle Eastern technology channel.

Janees Reghelini, Deputy Editor, Reseller ME

Security of things Security has to be the invisible thread that binds each aspect of any emerging technology that we use today. Security of Things is still eons away from the ideal secure environment we aspire for. We have read about a number of reports on security breach incidents last year and from the looks of it, it is continuing into 2016. Recently, Shodan, a search engine for IoT, launched a section where users can easily browse through vulnerable webcam feeds. While such reports now fail to surprise us anymore, what is concerning is how casual and nonchalant the end-users seem to be. How much precaution is being taken by organisations today to be completely safeguarded from potential security and cyber-threats? If we really get down to it, we know the answer would be, ‘simply not enough’. Although the awareness levels 54

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have increased over time, the problem still lies in not realising the full extent of the danger in case an organisation’s security is crippled. Channel partners also have a critical role to play here. It’s one thing to sell a security solution like how you would with any other commodity but quite another to take the time and ensure customers understand the consequences of the lack of it. While it is fair to say that most organisations today will have a security solution in one form or another, what is important is to make certain the solutions match the organisation’s business objectives as well as encompasses all the potential breachable areas. An end-user may not be aware of all the potential areas and here is where a security-focused channel partner can bring in the much sought-after value to their customers. But to be able to counsel a customer

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why, where and which solutions he may require, it is vital for partners to be not only knowledgeable but also have the drive to go one step ahead. Customers appreciate it when channel partners treat the organisation’s problems as their own. This appreciation always leads to retaining that business. We always like to deal with specialists, whether it is about one’s health, finances or simply about buying groceries. In the same way, partners need to be specialists and they also need to remember that it will be back to the old adage, ‘survival of the fittest’, once they are on this path. Talking about survival of the fittest, our cover story this month is on the 20-yearold Kenya-based distributor, Mitsumi Distribution, whose CEO Jagat Shah reveals only by transformation and moving with the times, can one be successful. Until next time, that’s all from me!


Gulf Software Distribution, is the region’s smarter choice for reselling IBM’s world-class leading software. We realize that our network of IBM Business Partners is the heart of our mission. Each of our strategies will have positive impact to your business, and your success will be the index of our achievement. Our experience of the market is incomparable and we build on it. We bring into the recipe all the ingredients required to proceed in this market. Our passionate team is ready to support during the full opportunity lifecycle, from building the solution to financing your deal, and much more. Take action now and join our network of success. Dubai Internet City, Building 2, Premises 09 If you wish to become an IBM Software Business Partner, contact us on info@gulfsoftware.com | www.gulfsoftware.com

Reseller Middle East February 2016  
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