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ISSUE 182 // FEBRUARY 2012 // WWW.RESELLERME.COM

!"#$%&'( )*&++(,! KHALID MUASHER, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, BITDEFENDER MAZEN JABRI, HEAD OF ECOSYSTEM AND CHANNELS, SAP

NOMAN QADIR, REGIONAL MANAGER CHANNELS, CITRIX AJI JOSEPH, GENERAL MANAGER, ESET

ANISH KANARAN, REGIONAL DIRECTOR, EPICOR ALI HYDER, CEO, FOCUS SOFTNET

EMBARGO COUNTRIES

INTERVIEW

With increasing pressure on compliance of IT goods to not reach into embargo countries we look at how channel partners are tightening up P25

“I do not believe a regional broad line distributor can become a true VAD” Dr Ali Baghdadi, CEO and President of Aptec Group P40

FEATURE

W H AT M A K E S A N I D E A L VA D

AMER ATTAR, SENIOR DIRECTOR PARTNER SALES, MISYS

MULTIPLE BUYERS, MULTIPLE MESSAGES Why a role-based sales approach is required for complex IT sales, Neil McMurchy, Research Vice President, Gartner P49


DON’T FALL VICTIM

TO FAKES

ORIGINAL HP SUPPLIES. THEY PAY YOU BACK Keep an eye out for counterfeit print cartridges and help to keep your printers safe. UÊ …iVŽÊ̅iʅœœ}À>«…ˆVÊÃiVÕÀˆÌÞʏ>LiÊ­œ˜ÊÃiiVÌi`ÊÃÕ««ˆiî° UÊ œœŽÊvœÀÊ>˜ÞÊÌ>“«iÀˆ˜}ÊqÊ̅iÀiÊŜՏ`ÊLiʘœ˜it UÊ Ê1ÃiÊ*Ê/œ˜iÀÊ >ÀÌÀˆ`}iÊ>Õ̅i˜ÌˆV>̈œ˜ÊÜvÌÜ>Ài°Ê/œÊ`œÜ˜œ>`Ê authentication software, visit www.hp.com/go/tonercheck vÊޜÕÊÃÕëiVÌÊޜսÛiÊLii˜Ê܏`Ê>ÊVœÕ˜ÌiÀviˆÌ]ʈ˜vœÀ“Ê*Ê>˜`Ê we will take the appropriate action.

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www.hp.com/go/anticounterfeit

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CONTENTS ISSUE 182 // FEBRUARY 2012

COVER FEATURE 32

New entrant Bitdefender has chosen to enter the region through the consumer segment and is expected to move further into the business space Khalid Muasher, Business Development Manager Middle East, Bitdefender

33

Software channels 31

Desktop is king Now the preferred vendor for desktop virtualisation projects, Citrix’s challenge is to secure as much business through local partners Noman Qadir, Regional Manager Channels MENA and Turkey, Citrix

34

Next Gen ERP Epicor’s version 9 is an ERP reseller’s wish list come true. The snappy ramp up of partners reflects the bullish sentiment Anish Kanaran, Regional Director, Epicor

35

A look at various channel partner strategies adopted by ERP, banking, security, enterprise application vendors in the region

Hybrid distribution With 30% of revenue from retail, ESET is looking at both broadliners and VADs to boost sales Aji Joseph, General Manager, ESET

36

SMEs and ERP Repeat business from its SME customer base and demand for ERP are primary drivers for Focus Softnet Ali Hyder, CEO Focus Softnet

37

38

Partner’s bank

FEATURE

The Middle East and Africa has the highest contribution of partner deals for Misys’ products Amer Attar, Partner Sales, Senior Director MEA, Global Partners Group, Misys

40

“I do not believe a regional broad line distributor can become a true VAD”

43

A look at Wafa, Optimus’ innovative partner loyalty programme

Leaders and CIOs Channel partners are used to being part of formal vendor programmes. But CIOs today also face informal career and skill qualification hurdles as they wrestle with challenges faced by their business. Gartner’s Mark McDonald explains the mindset of today’s CIO and a forum helping peer to peer networking.

Rewarding a VAD

No entry With the increasing pressure on compliance of IT goods to not reach into embargo countries we look at how channel partners are tightening up

Ideal VAD What are the factors that make VADs indispensable for vendors and what do VADs need to do to reach such heights

47

SPEAK OUT

25

Dr Ali Baghdadi, CEO and President of Aptec Group

Partner Edge 2.0 SAP uses an innovative document framework to govern and manage its partner relationships Mazen Jabri, Head of Ecosystem and Channels, SAP Middle East and North Africa

07

IN FOCUS

05

Editorial

09

Announcements

19

Awards

48

FAQ: deal and value based engagements

50

People

49

Multiple buyers, multiple messages

53

Movements

54

Profile

Why a role-based sales approach is required for complex IT sales

FEBRUARY 2012

Reseller Middle East

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EDITORIAL Publisher Dominic De Sousa Group COO Nadeem Hood Managing Director Richard Judd richard@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9126

Transforming partners The first month of 2012 is over and all appears quite on the technology front. Or is it? A slow and steady transformation appears to be underway in the business of technology reselling.

EDITORIAL Senior Editor Arun Shankar arun@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9142 ADVERTISING Commercial Director Rajashree R Kumar raj@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9131 Advertising Executive Merle Carrasco merle@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9134 CIRCULATION Database and Circulation Manager Rajeesh M rajeesh@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9147 PRODUCTION AND DESIGN Production Manager James P Tharian james@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9146 Art Director Kamil Roxas kamil@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9112 Designer Analou Balbero analou@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9104 Photographer Cris Mejorada cris@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9108 DIGITAL www.rwme.net

Arun Shankar Senior Editor arun@cpidubai.com

The software channel story and our focus on what makes an ideal value added distributor were supposed to be independent stories in this issue. However once we concluded both the stories, there are compelling interconnects of one with other. In the software channel story, Citrix’s Noman Qadir tells us about his satisfaction of working with Mindware as a value added distributor. And in the ideal VAD story, EMC’s Havier Haddad explains the close engagement with value added distributor Computerlinks. Across the same story, Westcon’s Steve Lockie throws clarity on why certain distribution models become an imperative at certain times of the product life cycle. And why it is not a question of following the herd but rather on following the requirements of the end user and the product life cycle. This issue of Reseller therefore almost runs like a continuous special on the value added distribution model. Close to twenty pages of the most relevant information available in the market on the subject, and we hope immensely useful for the respected reader. Turn to page 31 for software vendor snapshots and to page 40 to enter the realm of value added distribution. Moving on, we approach the subject of spurious technology trade into embargo countries. We review the various preventive approaches being incorporated at distribution companies. More about this on page 25.

DIGITAL SERVICES Digital Services Manager Tristan Troy P Maagma Web Developers Jerus King Bation Erik Briones Jefferson de Joya Louie Alma online@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9100 Published by

In the January issue of this year we presented some powerful forward looking statements from Gartner. Around the subject of Cloud they stated the following: By 2016, more than 50% of Global 1000 companies will have stored data in the public Cloud; by 2016, 40% of enterprises will make proof of security testing precondition for using Cloud services; by 2015, low-cost Cloud services will cannibalise 15% of outsourcing revenue; and by 2015, the prices for 80% of Cloud services will include an energy surcharge. Our March issue addresses the subject of sales and delivery of Cloud services in the region. We also open up our partner parley evenings on the same subject in the month of March.

1013 Centre Road, New Castle County, Wilmington, Delaware, USA

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Branch Office PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 4 447 2409 Printed by United Printing Press © Copyright 2012 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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SPEAKOUT Mark McDonald

Leaders and CIOs Channel partners are used to being part of formal vendor programmes. But CIOs today also face informal career and skill qualification hurdles as they wrestle with challenges faced by their business. Gartner’s Mark McDonald explains the mindset of today’s CIO and a forum helping peer to peer networking. A CIO is a leader when they are able to not only deliver current results, with today’s resources and priorities, but also make decisions that keep existing options open and create new opportunities for their enterprise. This requires a CIO leader to understand both technology, but more importantly the application of technology to people, the way they work, the company’s culture and its capabilities.  A leader finds ways to make the organisation better by removing issues today and amplifying the organisation’s strengths and ambitions. Today CIOs face challenges across three fronts: organisational, technology and business.   Organisationally, CIOs face a major skills challenge.  Getting the right people with the right skills into IT is a persistent issue for CIOs.  Traditionally this has been thought of as a sourcing issue — in other words I can buy the skills I need either by hiring people away from other companies or hiring an IT outsourcing firm. That approach was sufficient in an environment of relatively stable skills and workforce requirements.  Unfortunately new technologies are raising demand for new skills that simply do not exist in the market.

Organisationally, CIOs face a major skills challenge. Getting the right people with the right skills into IT is a persistent issue for CIOs

The pace of technological change has always been rapid, but it is getting even faster as the number of people inventing new applications and technologies has exploded CIOs need to face this challenge by leading their organisation in developing those critical skills in house, rather than waiting for a market to emerge.   Technology and the pace of technological change is another challenge. The pace of technological change has always been rapid, but it is getting even faster as the number of people inventing new applications and technologies has exploded.  Social media, mobile applications, analytics and the internet have dramatically accelerated the pace of technology innovation.  Cloud services have reduced the barriers to bringing these services to a global market creating new sources of competition for CIOs and IT. CIOs need to understand both the nature and source of new technologies and technical innovations to provide the leadership and guide the organisation to apply the solutions that make the most sense today and in the future.   Business challenges set the context for the CIO as they reflect the resources, priorities and requirements for agility.  Clearly business challenges both economically, geo-politically and industry wise require CIOs

to have a degree of certainty in executing current plans but ever increasing levels of flexibility to response to changes in business. Many of these changes can be positive, for example growth, an acquisition opportunity, new products or services.  Here CIOs cannot say, wait until I finish this and then we can take advantage of those business changes.  Rather they need to flow their priorities, their people and their attention to finish what is needed and fulfil the promise associated with change.   The CIO Leadership forum is unique in the sense that it enables CIOs to address the challenges mentioned above in their unique but interrelated ways.  First, the leadership forum gives CIOs and IT leaders the ability to hear from Gartner analysts on the business and technology issues shaping the future.  Gartner speaks from a global perspective to bring the technology insights to CIOs.  Second, the CIO Leadership forum recognises the importance of peer-to-peer interaction as it contains interactive sessions around issues that matter to IT today and the business in the future.  Finally, the opportunity to work one-on-one with a Gartner analyst on your specific issues in your context provides valuable insight and acceleration to your ideas and plans.

Mark McDonald, PhD is Group Vice President, Head of Research for Gartner Executive Programmes and a Gartner Fellow.

FEBRUARY 2012

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Technology is short term, but partnership is long term

Global sourcing - local support In a world of technologies, focusing on the ones that deliver benefit is good for your business. That’s why FVC partners with global IT leaders to bring the most effective, most transformative products and technologies to you, our channel. From telepresence to network traffic management, security to WAN optimisation, we are the leading VAD in MENA, supporting products with logistics, implementation and training. Let us be your partner of choice for tomorrow.


IN THE BEGINNING Announcements

HP revamps networking channel programme HP announced changes to its Partnerone and Expertone programs that enable networking channel partners to increase market competitiveness Ayman Dwidar Enterprise and revenue Storage, Servers and Networking opportunities. HP Channel Manager, HP Middle East. has streamlined specialisations of its former Preferred Partner networking channel programme in Europe, Middle East and Africa region. All channel partners are now in the Partnerone programme. The Partnerone programme enables networking partners to substantially increase margin potential through programme discounts, growth accelerators and rebates. “HP offers a range of opportunities for its partners, across the entire IT converged infrastructure portfolio. Access to HP education and training programmes, the network design centre, and many other partner incentives, makes doing business with HP partners easier and more profitable,� said Ayman Dwidar Enterprise Storage, Servers and Networking Channel Manager, HP Middle East.

HP meets the needs of partners of all sizes through three new certifications for networking: t3FHJTUFSFEOFUXPSLJOHTQFDJBMJTBUJPO Partners focus primarily on selling solutions to the SMB market and offer customers a choice of secure, affordable and scalable network solutions. t1SPGFTTJPOBMOFUXPSLJOHTQFDJBMJTBUJPO Partners sell, deliver, manage and support secure, wired and wireless networking infrastructure solutions. t"EWBODFEOFUXPSLJOHTQFDJBMJTBUJPO Partners sell, deliver, manage and support complex, end-to-end secure networking and data centre solutions and have the expertise and skills in designing, deploying solutions and services spanning the networking lifecycle. They typically have deep knowledge of corporate networks and requirements. HP Partnerone and HP Expertone programmes enable channel partners to use the HP FlexNetwork architecture to strengthen consultative, long-term customer relationships and create new revenue opportunities. By offering open and scalable networking solutions, partners can address customer requirements without locking them in to vendors and technology. The HP Expertone programme offers partners the training and education needed

HP first to enable thin clients with Microsoft device manager HP announced it is the first company to enable customers to unify device management across their businesses by offering select thin clients with preinstalled Microsoft Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011. HP is helping enterprises extend Microsoft System Centre Configuration Manager 2007 from PCs and servers to the Windows Embedded Standard-based HP t5740e and t5570e thin clients through a single management console. “HP thin clients built on the Windows

Embedded platforms are ideal for IT management and growing in popularity,� said Kobi Elbaz, Director, Client Solutions, HP Personal Systems Group EMEA. “Our thin clients will enable customers to broaden the reach of their existing investments in Microsoft System Centre Configuration Manager 2007 to encompass PCs, servers and thin clients.� HP thin clients running Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 offer enhanced inventory management and deeper visibility of the components on each

to transform their customers’ proprietary environments into open, agile networks based on an HP Converged Infrastructure. Professionals gain skills needed to architect, implement and manage technology across the enterprise. The HP Expertone Fast Track programme accounts for existing certifications – even those gained through a competitor – to speed the HP networking certification process. HP Expertone programme provides partners with: Hands on technical and certification training delivered through newly announced HP Expertone Learning Solution Partners. Offerings include customised courses, access to remote labs and web-based learning applications, with initial courses focusing on HP Networking. Access to easy-reference training materials and study guides through HP Press, in the form of traditional books, e-books and mobile applications. The first five technical certification exam study guides focus on networking certifications. Certifications through HP Institute, a global academic programme to be available in several thousand institutions by 2014. Students can earn architect-level HP certifications through integrated hands-on experience with remote labs in a classroom environment.

thin client. The preinstalled agent also facilitates easier software upgrades and provides full life cycle management. In addition, Kobi Elbaz, Director, Client Windows Solutions, HP Personal Systems Embedded Group EMEA Device Manager 2011 enables updates to be sent to a thin client via a management tool to automatically adjust the state of the write filter, allowing easy and successful updates.

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IN THE BEGINNING Announcements

Huawei leads as global contributor to LTE standards Huawei, a global networking and communication solutions provider, has become the world’s largest contributor to LTE standards and patents in the telecommunications industry. Huawei’s dedication to sharing its technological and intellectual property has benefitted a diversity of partners in the LTE value chain as the company continues to play a fundamental role in the development of the global market. As of October 2011, Huawei also submitted more than 7,900 LTE, EPC contributions to the 3G Partnership Project —- a global mobile broadband standards initiative, including more than 230 approved contributions of LTE Core Specifications. Huawei’s contribution to LTE standards and patents has been pivotal in the

company gaining the lead in global LTE commercialisation as the top ranked brand worldwide with more than 50% market share. According to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association report, Evolution to LTE, released in October 2011, out of the 35 commercial LTE networks launched globally to date, 18 of them use Huawei’s end-to-end SingleRAN LTE solution. “Based on customer centric innovation, sharing intellectual property rights with the industry and complying with international IPR rules, Huawei has become a leading LTE industry player and contributor to LTE standards and patents,” noted Leo Xu, President of Solutions and Marketing, Middle East, Huawei. “We have established more than 20 joint innovation centres with global

operators and now lead the strong development of the LTE industry.” As a pioneer in the field of mobile broadband and LTE technologies in particular, Huawei Leo Xu, President of Solutions and has been involved Marketing Middle East, Huawei in a number of landmark projects in the region during 2011, including the deployment of the region’s widest LTE network in the UAE as well as the recent launch of LTE TDD services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Earlier this month, Huawei also successfully deployed and verified the capabilities of its new E-Band microwave equipment during a comprehensive LTE test network, marking a crucial step in helping global operators accommodate large-bandwidth LTE services.

Smart grids key to urban sustainability, says SAP With cities emitting close projects up and running and to 80% of all global carbon investment totalling $6.7 billion to dioxide emissions, the way date. According to a study by Pike people plan, build and interact Research, worldwide investments with the urban environment is in smart grid infrastructure irrevocably trending towards could amount to around $200 sustainable solutions. “ICT billion between 2008 and 2015. holds the key to reaping Digital and eminently adaptable, the benefits of a connected smart grids are bidirectional and world of cities and a socially capable of meeting growing user Dr Maher Chebbo, VP EMEA, Utilities demand to become proactive empowered population,” and Services Industries, SAP said Dr Maher Chebbo, VP consumers that manage and EMEA, Utilities and Services produce energy more efficiently, Industries, SAP, speaking at the Eye on as well as reduce CO2 emissions. They also Earth Summit in Abu Dhabi. obviate the need for electricity to flow from “Smart grids will take us to a place large central plants by integrating scattered where utilities, service providers, devices renewable energy production to the grid. and consumers are connected in an “At SAP, we are deeply committed to e-marketplace – a place where powerful a leadership role in the development and data analysis can lower ecological application of ICT tools and technologies footprints, reduce increased energy able to turn the smart grid vision into reality, demand and help manage resources in building on our long-standing partnership closed loop systems.” with SAP energy actors on both the supply Smart grids are already proving and demand sides of energy markets,” increasingly influential in Europe, with 211 explained Chebbo.

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Reseller Middle East

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SAP’s progressive stance on such technologies recently yielded SAP Smart Meter Analytics, which leverages SAP’s in-memory computing to take the mass of data hailing from meters, supervisory control and data acquisition and other sources and process it in real time. Regarded as a vital cog in the smart grid arena, SAP’s revolutionary In-Memory computing technology, better known as HANA, has the astonishing potential to report 3,600x faster than existing systems and analyse 460 billion data records in less than a second. “Through ICT and smart grid innovation we will ensure that energy is no longer a commodity once it becomes optimised” Chebbo concluded. More than 2,000 utilities in 70 countries around the globe use SAP for Utilities solutions, representing a 65% market share. Recently, SAP was named the 2010 Smart Grid Integrator of the Year by the readers of the New Economy, World News Media.


IN THE BEGINNING Announcements

Interactive Intelligence releases CIC ver 4.0 in ME The next major version of Interactive Intelligence’s IP communications software suite, Customer Interaction Centre is now available in the Middle East. “The latest version of CIC gives contact centres and enterprises significantly increased scalability and reliability, an enhanced user experience and improved management insight. Version 4.0 gives customers an easier to deploy and more cost effective alternative to what is currently on the market,” says Shaheen Haque, Territory Manager, Middle East and Turkey at Interactive Intelligence. CIC 4.0’s new real-time speech analytics application, Interaction Analyzer, provides real time keyword and phrase spotting on either the customer side or agent side or both sides of a voice conversation. This real time capability enables contact centre managers to be alerted to problem interactions, monitor, coach, or intervene to better satisfy customers and improve agent performance.

Architectural improvements in CIC 4.0 provide significant scalability increases. Metrics associated with these improvements include a more than double increase in the number of automatic call distribution, a fivetime increase in the number of simultaneous interactive voice response sessions supported, and a seven-time increase in the number of calls that can be recorded per hour. The company’s increase in product scalability is part of its continued move upmarket to make CIC a competitive offering for the largest global contact centres. Another architectural improvement is the elimination of third party call processing software and moving all media processing to the company’s Interaction Media Server. With these enhancements, CIC 4.0 becomes a pure application server that can be located at a central data centre with media servers at branch offices, thus creating a private Cloud deployment model. CIC 4.0 continues the focus of providing

Trend Micro leads in global end point security market Trend Micro, a global Cloud security solutions vendor, maintained its lead in the corporate endpoint server security market with Eva Chen, CEO, Trend Micro an estimated 23.7% market share, according to IDC’s “Worldwide Endpoint Security 2011-2015 Forecast and 2010 Vendor Shares” report. IDC’s overall estimate for the server security market size is $439.2 million, with a growth rate of 6.1% and expected to reach $694.4 million by 2015. IDC noted in the report that the growth of mobile

devices within the workplace and the intersection of mobile and virtualisation helped fuel the need in server security. Cloud adoption is also driving the upward trajectory of the server security market as enterprises seek to secure their Cloud environments. “Server security is an important market, distinct from the endpoint and network security markets and one that continues to grow alongside Cloud computing. With more companies moving toward data centre consolidation, virtualisation and Cloud applications, a data-centric focus is essential. Server security needs to increase -- this is where security needs to be, and this is where Trend Micro stands out,” added Charles Kolodgy, Research Vice President, Secure Products, IDC.

a better customer service experience by providing improved tools and features. This includes the addition of Interaction Web Portal, a Shaheen Haque, Territory new application Manager, Middle East and Turkey, that monitors, Interactive Intelligence records, reports and tracks agent and queue activity in a single web portal environment for executives as well as supervisors. Further enhancements in CIC 4.0 include a new Web client for agent and business users, upgraded threaded email queuing and handling, more efficient queries of call, email, web chat, fax recordings, and expanded and improved reporting along with Interaction Reporter.

“This is further validation that worldwide, enterprises are looking to Trend Micro for their server security needs,” said Eva Chen, CEO. For comprehensive server protection, Trend Micro offers Deep Security, which is designed to provide system and application security across physical, virtual and Cloud environments. Deep Security meets the challenging operational security and compliance needs of today’s dynamic data centre. It combines intrusion detection and prevention, web application protection, firewall, integrity monitoring, log inspection and anti-malware capabilities in a single, centrally managed enterprise software solution. Deep Security also provides the industry’s first and only agent less security suite for VMware environments, enabling enterprises to attain even higher consolidation rates, faster performance, better manageability and stronger security.

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IN THE BEGINNING Tie ups

HP to converge X86 and HPUX mission critical platforms HP announced Odyssey, a project to redefine the future of mission-critical computing with a development roadmap that will unify Unix and x86 server Alaa Al Shimy, Enterprise Storage, architectures to Servers and Networking Director, bring industry HP Middle East grade availability, increased performance and client choice to a single platform. Using advanced technology across a common modular HP Bladesystem architecture, HP is developing platforms to enable clients to choose the best environment aligned to their organisations’ needs without compromise, helping ensure investment protection for the long term. HP’s new development roadmap includes ongoing innovations to HP Integrity servers, HP Nonstop solutions and the HP-UX and OpenVMS operating systems. The roadmap also includes delivering blades with Intel Xeon processors for the HP Superdome 2 enclosure and the scalable c-Class blade enclosures, while fortifying Windows, Linux, HP-UX environments with

innovations within the next two years. “Clients have been asking us to expand the mission-critical experience that is delivered with HP-UX on Integrity to an x86-based infrastructure,� said Alaa Al Shimy, Enterprise Storage, Servers and Networking Director, HP Middle East. “HP plans to transform the server landscape for mission-critical computing by using the flexibility of HP BladeSystem and bringing key HP technology innovations from Integrity and HP-UX to the x86 ecosystem. Unlike the competition, HP offers an open, integrated, single platform approach.� By expanding mission-critical HP Converged Infrastructure and bringing select proven innovations to x86 systems, HP will enable clients running Linux, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or Windows to: t*ODSFBTFTDBMBCJMJUZXJUITPDLFU DragonHawk symmetrical multiprocessing x86 systems that will scale to hundreds of cores and support large, complex workloads. t*ODSFBTFSFMJBCJMJUZBOEnFYJCJMJUZXJUIUXP  four and eight socket HydraLynx scalable x86 server blades with mission-critical virtualisation and availability, all packaged in the robust C-Class enclosures of HP BladeSystem. t*ODSFBTFBWBJMBCJMJUZPGDSJUJDBM-JOVY applications with the HP Serviceguard solution, which automatically moves application

workloads between servers in the event of a failure or on-demand request. t#PPTUnFYJCJMJUZBOEBWBJMBCJMJUZPGY systems with HP nPartitions technology, which provides precise partitioning of system resources across multiple or variable workloads. t&OIBODFCVTJOFTTDPOUJOVJUZXJUI)1 Analysis Engine for x86 embedded into the system firmware. t#PPTUSFMJBCJMJUZBOESFTJMJFODZPGY systems with fault-tolerant HP Crossbar Fabric that intelligently routes data within the system for redundancy and high availability. t"DIJFWFIJHIFSMFWFMTPGBWBJMBCJMJUZXJUI HP Mission Critical Services, which identify and resolve possible sources of downtime. “By continuing to extend the missioncritical capabilities of the Itanium environment while fortifying the mission-critical ecosystem for x86, HP and Intel are providing greater flexibility and choice – putting the customer back in the driver’s seat for their future mission-critical needs,� said Kirk Skaugen, General Manager, Data Centre Group, Intel. “Customers trust Microsoft and HP with their enterprise computing needs,� said Eduardo Rosini, Corporate Vice President, SQL Server Marketing, Microsoft. “By furthering our partnership, Microsoft and HP will bring together the world’s leading server and software solutions to let customers harness the flexibility and scalability of Microsoft Windows Server and SQL Server on HP Converged Infrastructure for their broad mission-critical computing needs of tomorrow.�

Varonis Systems ties up with regional VAD Spectrami

Anand Choudha, Managing Director, Spectrami

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Reseller Middle East

Spectrami announced it has signed a distribution agreement with Varonis Systems, a global vendor for unstructured data governance solutions for the Middle East

FEBRUARY 2012

region. Spectrami will play a fundamental role in its go to market strategy for the Middle East region. Varonis delivers its solutions exclusively through channel partners and treats them as an extension of its sales team. “We are glad to partner with Varonis and bring unique unstructured data governance solutions to the region,� said Anand Choudha, Managing Director, Spectrami. “Spectrami will offer Varonis solutions, training, marketing and sales tools to its channel partners in order to

accelerate growth in this fast growing data governance market segment in our region.� Spectrami is authorised to distribute data governance solutions from Varonis across the Middle East region including Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman among others. “Varonis is very pleased to have Spectrami as a distributor in the Middle East,� said Jim O’Boyle, Senior Vice President of Sales at Varonis. “The Spectrami and Varonis Continue on page 154 partnership will


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IN THE BEGINNING Tie ups

Qtel Group collaborates with GSMA on mHealth services

Diabetics in Kuwait, Iraq and Palestine can now use their mobile phones to receive personalised alerts and information on exercise and diet, thanks to a new mHealth service being offered by Qtel Group companies. Representatives from the Qtel Group and from some of the world’s most innovative companies recently met in Qatar to discuss such innovations to mobile healthcare as well as how mobile phone technology can be used to support key healthcare goals across the region. Global studies have shown that involving mobile devices in the practice of healthcare can have an immediate and significant impact. In remote locations and for rural communities, it can provide a vital link to

physicians and healthcare advisors. In major cities, it can deliver incredible savings. US operator Verizon estimates, according to reports, that mobile broadband can improve health care productivity in the US to the tune of US$6.9 billion, which could increase nearly eight-fold by 2016. Representatives from Qtel’s Group of companies gathered together to gain a greater understanding on the dynamics of the health industry and how operators can make a difference to both patients and societies worldwide. The workshop also explored how specific OpCos in the Qtel Group could take advantage of key opportunities in this sector within their own markets and help to build sustainable mHealth eco-systems.

Representatives at the event included delegates from Qtel Qatar, Indosat, Wataniya Kuwait, Nawras, Asiacell, Nedjma, Tunisiana, Bravo, Wataniya Maldives, Wataniya Palestine, which between them cover mobile markets across the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. “We are really pleased to be working with the Qtel Group to bring this workshop series here to Doha. Mobile is increasingly playing a significant role within healthcare and is supporting healthcare services across the globe,” said Dr Craig Fridericks, Director of Health, GSMA. We are working with mobile network operators worldwide to highlight how they can implement mHealth initiatives into the market that will offer significant health and lifestyle benefits to end users.”

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Varonis Systems ties up with regional VAD Spectrami give Middle East customers access to advanced data governance automation and metadata framework technology, enabling organisations to easily identify excessive permissions and abnormal access activity on their file systems, NAS devices, SharePoint sites and Exchange by showing who has access to data, who is using their access, who shouldn’t have access, who owns the data, and what data is sensitive.” Varonis Systems provide solutions that manage and protect unstructured

data that is exploding and out of control within every organisation. The number of documents, spreadsheets, presentations, media files and other business data sitting on file servers, NAS devices and semistructured repositories like SharePoint and Exchange is massive and growing fast. Data protection is necessary to safeguard an organisation’s customers, employees, business partners, and investors. It is fundamental in securing an organisation’s intellectual property and

competitive edge, and for maintaining the organisational trust required for it to properly function. According to IDC, 80% of organisational data is unstructured and will grow by 650% in the next five years. The Varonis Metadata Framework is designed to handle ever increasing volume and complexity for ongoing, scalable data protection and management and enables secure, digital collaboration.

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IN THE BEGINNING Announcements

ACT secures off-site disaster recovery With HP converged infrastructure HP announced that Aqaba Container Terminal, part of APM Terminals’ global terminal network, has virtualised its main data centre with HP Converged Infrastructure to guard against loss of critical data and keep services available. The highly available new IT environment with off-site disaster recovery has quadrupled Aqaba’s system performance while reducing costs, and is considered the ideal model for virtualisation. “Aqaba Container Terminal is always looking to update its secure, reliable IT environment to ensure the highest levels of service,” says Munther Dweik, IT Manager. “The new HP infrastructure automates previously manual tasks and simplifies management, which means we spend less time on maintenance.” Aqaba Container Terminal IT team replaced 42 outdated rack-mounted servers running communications and applications for terminal operations with just one HP ProLiant BladeSystem c7000 enclosure containing 10 HP ProLiant BL465c G5 and G6 server blades running VMware. Customerdefined factory configuration and onsite installation by HP Factory Express ensured that the new HP servers were deployed in minutes, speeding time to value and freeing IT staff for more valuable tasks. Aqaba Container Terminal is a joint venture between Aqaba Development Corporation which is the Jordanian Government’s central development vehicle for the Aqaba Special Economic Zone and APM Terminals, a leading container terminal operator.

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Software AG integrates Terracotta technology in five months Software AG announced successful integration of Terracotta technology into its product stack in only five months. The integrated technology offers customers a new clustering solution – Terracotta Server Array – which enables webMethods to take full advantage of Cloudbased deployment environments. In addition, Terracotta’s Ehcache caching technology dramatically improves product performance for CentraSite by up to 50%. This release is the first step in ensuring that customers can fully benefit from the convergence of Cloud computing. “We worked quickly to incorporate Terracotta’s technology into our product suite so that our customers could take full advantage of cost savings and performance improvements from Cloud and in-memory based solutions,”

said Dr Wolfram Jost, Chief Technology Officer and member of the Executive Board, Software AG. “We want to deliver the tools that will help enterprises gain greater control over their business processes in the most scalable manner possible.” Software AG acquired Terracotta for its in-memory technology. Terracotta’s in-memory processing will provide the foundation for Software AG’s Cloud offerings. With in-memory data access up to 1,000 times faster than database access, Software AG can support existing and new customers with significantly larger business process excellence projects. As Software AG looks to the future, Terracotta will deliver the in-memory data management layer that powers the enterprise Cloud.

Empower launches world-class call centre for 16,000 customers

Emirates Central Cooling Corporation launched a world-class call centre at its headquarters in Dubai Healthcare City to enhance ways to interact with customers. Ahmed Bin Shafar, CEO, Empower, expressed his satisfaction over the newly launched centre that is equipped with advanced communications solutions. The centre forms part of the company’s strategy to move its customers to digital channels and thus save their time and effort when dealing with Empower. Empower’s 16,000-strong customer base includes individual customers as well as large businesses, including projects in Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Healthcare City, Jumeirah Beach Residence

and Business Bay. The new call centre reflects the core values of Empower and reinforces its position on the global front as an organisation that delivers efficient service. The system is designed to manage customers’ queries through increased efficiency and productivity. The centre is designed to receive multi queries at the same time, with a capacity of 1,000 calls per day to enhance customer satisfaction as well as employee productivity. The Dubai based company believes that district cooling technology achieves optimal results not only to customers but also to the society at a socio-economic level by reducing the electricity and water consumption, thus conserving the environmental resources in the UAE.


IN THE BEGINNING Awards

Microsoft’s Redha recognised by Tatweej for IPR efforts

Jawad Al Redha, Microsoft Gulf’s Head of Government Interface for Intellectual Property Rights was awarded a Gold Medal of Merit for outstanding accomplishments by Tatweej Academy In the presence of HH Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and others, Jawad Al Redha, Microsoft Gulf’s Head of Government Interface for Intellectual Property

Rights was awarded a Gold Medal of Merit in outstanding accomplishments by Tatweej Academy in recognition of his efforts towards IPR protection.

Cisco awarded best partner by Dubai Women’s College

Cisco announced it is has been awarded Best CSR Partner at Dubai Women’s College awards ceremony. The annual ceremony, held under the patronage of HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE

Minister for Higher Education and Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology, took place at Dubai Women’s College. Omar Shaban, Director, Global Operations, Cisco, commented: “We are

Al Redha has been an integral part of Microsoft Gulf’s region-wide efforts to protecting intellectual property rights. He has over 12 years of extensive experience in promoting IPR and working in close coordination with various Arab governments in the region. In recent months Al Redha has been involved in a series of IPR protection related initiatives, including joint efforts with the UAE Ministry of Justice, UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Emirates IPR Association. He has also been working closely with the Government of Sharjah to promote IPR protection among the emirate’s business sector. Commenting on the award, Jawad Al Redha said, “I am honoured by this recognition from Tatweej. This award inspires me to strive even harder to tackle software piracy and violation of intellectual property rights. Our commitment within Microsoft remains strong and we are dedicated to working with government officials to support the use of original content.”

delighted to receive the Best CSR Partner award from Dubai Women’s College. Through the Cisco Networking Academy Programme, we aim to develop the right technical expertise, particularly a highly skilled workforce that support the demands of the ICT industry and serve as a catalyst for socio-economic development in the region.” Cisco’s award was in recognition of its long-term partnership with Higher Colleges of Technology and the launch of Cisco Networking Academy courses throughout campuses of Higher Colleges of Technology including Dubai Women’s College. The courses include Cisco-ITE, Cisco Certified Network Associate and Cisco Certified Network Professional as well as seminars conducted by Cisco specialists and field visits. Cisco Networking Academy is a global education programme that teaches students how to design, build, troubleshoot and secure computer networks for increased access to career and economic opportunities in communities around the world.

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IN THE BEGINNING Awards

Top partners recognised at Canon 2011 awards Canon Middle East, honoured performing partners during the 2011 Awards, at the recently concluded Canon Partners Conference in Istanbul, Turkey. Organised under the power of partnership theme, the awards recognised the contributions of Middle East partners in Canon’s growth performance in the region. Over 100 partners from 45 countries in the Middle East, North and East Africa attended the partner conference, which was organised in line with Canon Middle East’s 10th anniversary celebrations. The company presented its business strategies and objectives for 2012 during the event and conducted discussions about the important role of its partners in achieving its mission to be closer to its customers. Canon also discussed various product segments and outlined its strategy of breaking down the market further into segments, which will enable its partners to deliver to the right product segments. Anurag Agrawal, Managing Director, Canon Middle East, said: “Canon’s ability to maintain a healthy, constructive and dynamic relationship with its partners serves as the strong foundation that allows us to maintain our market stronghold in the region.” The winners of the B2B Awards were Diffazur Sarl, Morocco in the corporate office black and white category; El Ajou Group Trading Company, Saudi Arabia in the corporate office colour category; Al Badri Information Technology, Iraq in the digital image management system category; Neolt Graf, Morocco in the large format printers category;

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and Salam Technical Services, Qatar in the professional print category. Diffazur Sarl, El Ajou Group Trading Company, Al Badri Information Technology and Neolt Graf were recognised for their excellent performance in increasing market share in their respective product categories through market coverage. Salam Technical Services received the award in recognition of its outstanding sales achievement and performance in professional print. In the B2C Awards, Salam Studio and Stores topped the digital SLR category for its performance in increasing market share for DSLR; Ali Zaid Al Quraishi and Bros won the DSC and Selphy category in recognition of both unit and revenue growth in DSC; Advanced Digital Imaging Sal won in the HD video category in recognition of its focus on promoting the video category; General Electric and Trading was winner in the inkjet products category in recognition of its performance in increasing market share for inkjets;

and Sabi Systems won the award in the laser products category in recognition of its performance in laser through the successful launch of Sabi System Canon Club. Canon Middle East gave away a special 10th anniversary recognition award to National Store, the flagship company of JK Sons Group in recognition of its long-standing Canon partnership and for achieving yearon-year sales and market share growth in the photo-video category. The President Award winner went to Ali Zaid Al Quraishi and Bros, which was recognised for its all-round performance for sales and market share gain in the photo video product category. Canon Middle East is a subsidiary of Canon Europe. In 1998, Canon set up a representative office in Dubai to help partners deliver with additional support. By 2001, Canon had transformed into a full subsidiary with logistics facilities, and in 2002 moved into its Dubai Internet City office. In 2005, Canon North Africa based in Paris became a 100% subsidiary of Canon Middle East. Canon Middle East further expanded its area of responsibility to include East African markets in June 2011. Today this Canon office manages sales, marketing and technical support activities across 45 countries in the Middle East as well as East African and French-speaking African countries.


Brother awarded for International Computer Driving License camp Brother Gulf, a vendor for home computer skills that drive them to and business IT peripherals, was achieve academic excellence and presented with the Corporate integrate in today’s digital society. Social Responsibility Award “It is an honor to receive by ICDL GCC Foundation, this distinction from the ICDL, the governing body and the which stands as a testament certification authority of the to our dedication towards the International Computer Driving development of computer skills for License programme in the Gulf today’s generation,� said Ranjit S States and Iraq. Gurkar, General Manager, Printing The award was given for Ranjit S Gurkar, General Manager, and Solutions Division MENA Printing and Solutions Division Brother’s support for the recent Brother International. MENA Brother International ICDL Computer Summer Camp Brother International Gulf is a 2011 and also in recognition of the subsidiary of Brother Group, Japan, company’s continuing initiatives towards the and maintains headquarters for the Middle improvement and development of computer East, Africa and Turkey, at the Jebel Ali Free skills of students coming from across the Zone in Dubai. ICDL is an integrated digital Middle East. literacy programme recognised worldwide. Thousands of students from around the The programme empowers individuals with the Arabian Gulf region have benefited from the essential skills and knowledge of computer and annual ICDL Computer Summer Camp, gaining practical use of common desktop applications.

RIM recognises best Blackberry EMEA application developers Research In Motion announced winners of the BlackBerry EMEA Innovation Awards 2011. Now in their fourth year, the awards are the highlight of the annual BlackBerry EMEA Alliance Summit, recognising and rewarding organisations from within BlackBerry Alliance Programme in Europe, Middle East and Africa that have delivered value-added applications and services to customers using the BlackBerry platform. Each of the seven category winners has demonstrated excellence by creating innovative applications that provide tangible benefits to public or private sector organisations, SMEs or consumers. This year saw introduction of a new category specifically to recognise solutions for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, as well as a People’s Choice award. Voted for by fans and followers via the BlackBerry Facebook and Twitter channels across Europe, Middle East and Africa, the People’s Choice award recognises the most popular free application available on BlackBerry App World.

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Software AG wins European business award for growth strategy Software AG, a global vendor of business process excellence solutions, was confirmed as winner of the HSBC International Growth Strategy of the Year at the European Business Awards 2011 in Barcelona. The accolade reflected Software AG’s growth over the past 18 months following the launch of its product portfolio. The award recognised the company’s shift in focus from product to process had led to significant growth. For Phil Forrest, chairman of judges, “Software AG’s 40 years of innovation in offering customers a portfolio of end to end business process management solutions is proof that in the highly competitive world of software supply, specialisation and focus on a key performance improvement can deliver effective growth.� Karl-Heinz Streibich, CEO, Software AG said: “This prestigious award is proof that focus combined with agility creates competitiveness. We are a European software company competing in a world of IT giants and it is testament to our people to have been acknowledged in this way.� “Business process excellence allows companies to continuously monitor, manage and optimise their business processes in order to increase productivity and competitive advantage while simultaneously reducing costs,� added Darren Roos, COO EMEA and member of the Group Executive Board of Software AG. Since 2007, the European Business Awards have recognised excellence, innovation and best practice in all disciplines of business.

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IN THE BEGINNING Awards

Avaya gets product innovation award from Frost & Sullivan Avaya, a vendor of business communications and collaboration systems and services, announced it has received the 2011 New Product Innovation Award for Global Desktop Videoconferencing Endpoints from Frost & Sullivan for the Avaya Desktop Video Device. In determining the award, Frost & Sullivan benchmarked the device in five categories: product innovation, use of leading-edge technologies, value-added features and benefits, customer ROI and customer penetration potential. In particular, Frost & Sullivan noted: “A key aspect of the Avaya Desktop Video Device and the Avaya Flare Experience is that it provides unified, people-centric view for relevant communications in an easy to use and intuitive way. As a result, placing a video call is as easy as making a phone call.” “Based on Frost & Sullivan’s independent analysis of the Global Videoconferencing Endpoints market, Avaya is being recognised with the 2011 New Product Innovation Award,” said Roopam Jain, Industry Director, UC and Collaboration, Frost & Sullivan The Avaya Desktop Video Device is a wireless enabled desktop video device that has an 11.6 inch multi touch screen with an integrated high definition video camera. The multi modal device supports the Avaya Flare Experience and is an integrated solution that brings together multiple interactions into a single communications interface. Avaya’s Desktop Video Device supports the entire Avaya Aura applications portfolio and enables a user to consolidate tools such as a desk phone, speakerphone and video endpoint in a single easy to use device.

Schneider recognised for Smart World, Al Ain university implementation Schneider Electric, a specialist in energy management, received two distinctions at the recently held Data Centre Middle East Awards. Schneider Electric was named Best Data Centre Middle East for the facility installed for Smartworld, an airport systems integration and aviation infrastructure services provider. The implementation comprised two Tier 3 data centres at Dubai World Central, an urban aviation community located around Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai, UAE. The in-row cooling architecture reduced energy costs by 30% while the installation offered support to critical applications and the IT infrastructure for clients of Smartworld. Commenting on the award, Mustafa Kaddoura, CEO of Smartworld, said: “We have been associated with Schneider Electric for four years, and the facility installed at Dubai World Central is awardwinning.” The Green Award for Sustainability was associated for the UAE University Data Centre project at Al Ain. Visionanire, a solutions and services provider in the intelligent building management domain, designed and built the data centre that has Schneider Electric’s APC Infrastruxure line of products.

Mustafa Kaddoura, CEO of Smartworld

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Olivier Delepine, Vice President, UAE and Gulf countries, Schneider Electric, received the award The new data centre was built in response to the university’s increased requirement for a student-base of more than 12,000 enrolments at the new campus. The new UAE University campus houses one of the largest academic networks in the region with more than 350 wiring closets connected to over 25,000 IP ports that offer a link to the UAEU Data Centre via redundant fibre. At the commencement of the project, the University had established a green ICT mandate to follow the environmental sustainable philosophy of 3R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. Paul-Francois Cattier, Global VicePresident Data Centre, Schneider Electric, said: “It is always good to be recognised for the successful implementation of solutions. Even more encouraging is the categories in which we have been awarded, reflecting our commitment towards sustainable development while providing technologies that meet individual client needs.”


Winners of Canon’s Power Image photo contest First prize winner, Lobna Tarek of Al Shorouk newspaper, Egypt with her entry “beyond the divide”

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Second prize winner, Emad Alaa Aldin of Al Bayan newspaper, UAE with his entry “intimacy”

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Third prize winner, Tania Rudenskykh of Kul Al’Usra magazine with her entry “bridging generations”

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ESET secures fourth consecutive Advanced+ Award in performance test from AV-Comparatives ESET announced its fourth Advanced+ award in performance testing from AVComparatives, an independent research organisation. The latest test measured the impact on system performance of 20 antivirus products. In addition to receiving the highest possible number of Advanced+ awards in performance testing, ESET has received more Advanced+ awards in retrospective tests than any other vendor, given to products that have excellent heuristic detection rates and low false positives.

AV-Comparatives provide a three-level ranking system of standard, advanced and advanced+ awards. To receive an Advanced+ award, products in this particular test were compared based on how much impact the product has on a system. ESET tops the list as the product with the least amount of system impact. “Over the years and throughout different tests, we have seen that ESET develops highperforming security solutions that have a small impact on system performance. Receiving

once again the Advanced+ award in our most recent performance test is further validation,” said Andreas Clementi, founder and chairman for AV-Comparatives. “Additionally, ESET has always understood the importance of strong heuristics in fighting malware and continues to be the vendor with the highest number of Advanced+ awards in AV-Comparatives heuristic detection tests.” Speaking on the occasion, Aji Joseph, General Manager, ESET Middle East said: “For a long time now, ESET has been developing and delivering security solutions that keep us ahead in the game and will continue to do so in the future too.”

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IN FOCUS Embargo countries

No entry With increasing pressure on compliance of IT goods to not reach into embargo countries we look at how channel partners are tightening up In the month of December 2011, the controversial site Wikileaks posted documents indicating a group of 150 plus IT companies were globally marketing and selling surveillance and IP monitoring equipment. Included in those names were AlcatelLucent, Northrop Grumman, Siemens, VASTech, Trovicor and Sophos to name a few. The post immediately triggered a wave of debate on whether IT companies and the western governments were doing enough to prevent export of this equipment into the hands of repressive regimes across the world. In the same post, a number of IT companies were named whose equipment had been used in select Middle Eastern countries to control and suppress dissent in those countries. These facts have led to a new wave of diligence in export compliance procedures across the regional channel players. “Dubai is traders central”, says Steve Lockie, Group Managing Director MENA, Westcon, indicating there are very few

We have a record of the location and contact of every single end user where the appliance sits and we know who the reseller and distributor was

shipments that take place across the region that either do not originate from Dubai as re-exports or that do not pass through Dubai in a more indirect fashion. While the relevance of Dubai as a regional re-export hub has reduced over the last four years, the shipping and procurements hubs of all major IT vendors continue to reside in Dubai, making it necessary to implement any due diligence process at this central location. Shipments to US or European embargoed countries are not allowed in any distributor contracts across the region. While embargoed countries are categorically blacklisted, shipments to countries outside a distributors channel influence are also not allowed, thereby making the accountability of goods being repackaged for onward shipments equally prohibitive. “Every partner that we have has an assigned territory by their contract. They are not allowed to sell out of their territory into another distributor’s territory. When we sign a contract with our distributor we list the countries in which they are authorised to operate and we have the right to audit our partners and our distributors,” explains Anthony Perridge, Channel Director EMEA, Sourcefire, an open source vendor supplying cyber security solutions to global top 2000 companies. While vendor and distributor partner contracts may exclude embargoed countries, since there is chain of partners involved in the product and solution sell through process it becomes imperative to

Right to audit partners and distributors, Anthony Perridge, Channel Director EMEA, Sourcefire unambiguously verify the final destination of the shipment. “Whenever Sourcefire takes an order from a distributor we ask for end user details. We have a record of the location and contact of every single end user where the appliance sits and we know who the reseller and distributor was. The location is important for us,” continues Perridge. Adds Meera Kaul, Managing Director, Optimus Technology and Telecom, a key distributor for Avaya unified communication solutions and end point products: “We do not give a quotation unless the partner tells us who the end customer is. A project for us is identified by both the partner and the end customer.” After delivery of the product or the solution at the final destination, the activation process is equally stringent. “The software licenses do not get activated till the project is completed and the partner ask for activation. The licenses

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IN FOCUS Embargo countries

get activated with an ID that you can trace to the end customer. That is how legal business is done,” continues Kaul. If the country of activation for a product is part of the embargoed list of countries, the vendor can deactivate online support and upgrade services for the end user. Not getting access to the latest support renders the product vulnerable and therefore of limited capability for the end user operating from an embargoed country. “Our product is a live product and we need to upgrade and update the product continuously with the latest version

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We do not want any run rate business we are not aware off and detection signatures. If you are not upgrading and updating all the time you are losing your protection. The day it goes out of date it starts to lose value,” explains Perridge. Hence when the product is activated and registered with a vendor, the country

of activation and the country registered through the channel partner can be compared and verified. But industry sources point out, loop holes arise where parts of a large project are diverted enroute from the declared country of final destination and find their way to un-declared and often embargoed countries as the final destination. This is more feasible in project type orders with a large bill of quantities. Diversion of stocks is also especially feasible where resellers have chosen to keep inventory at their side of the sell through process. Resellers usually keep


run rate and fast moving items within their inventory to ensure they capture deals at any particular time, especially those that require immediate availability of product. It is these stocks that often get sold off without the final destination of shipment and the end customer getting properly verified. “Partners at times are stocking themselves. We want closer visibility into where the stock is going,� says KS Parag, Managing Director, FVC, a value added distributor for Polycom, Riverbed and Citrix. “Some of our solutions are run rate and some are projects. Where stock is being sold for a particular customer it is very clear and it is much more foolproof when you are looking at projects. But we do not want any run rate business we are not aware off,� he continues. A strong influence that can make channel partners go astray and look into neighbouring territories is the carrot

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As a practice we will not do any business without the end customer being completely recognised and confirmed by the channel partner in writing that always dangles in their direction. For the low end of the channel supply chain, smaller resellers can get easily influenced by the strong demand for IT goods into these embargoed countries. For such channel players, “the demand of these markets quite surpasses the risks associated,� says Kaul. But the size of the carrot has to be viewed on a relative scale. For resellers with a top line figure of a few million dollars, the benefits of doing a few deals into the embargoed countries may be significant. But as you ascend the supply chain and with increasing revenue turnover, the benefits become less and less significant for channel partners operating with a wider span of operations. “As a corporate it is a fraction of our business globally. Why on earth would you want to put all that at risk for one deal? It is a matter of the relative size of the carrot,� explains Lockie. Another reason that drives diversion of shipments to embargoed territories in the Middle East can be the lack of adherence to established processes by regional and local offices of vendors. Often sales quotas for channel partners are unrealistic and are based on possible opportunity deals arising from embargoed territories. Under pressure from their principals, channel partners accept these unrealistic targets and start to go astray. “If you have set unrealistic quotas that lead channel partners to do a little bit of this and a little bit of that, you have broken

Closer monitoring of reseller stocks, KS Parag, Managing Director, FVC

multiple laws. Give people reasonable quotas in the first place,� says Westcon’s Lockie, a value added distributor for Juniper Networks and Avaya. His advice to channel partners: “You have to be strong enough to say No!� to such practices. An important step in this process is to disregard any possible opportunity deals arising out of embargoed countries right from the onset. Incremental business that stems out of embargoed countries needs to be discounted in every possible market sizing and growth estimate right from the regional vendor’s office downwards to distributors and finally to reseller partners. “We do not want to recognise any revenue coming from these countries within ourselves as a team. Second we do not want to recognise any business coming from channels. Channels will adhere to and not do any business into these embargo countries. We will not recognise the sale and cancel the order and opportunity,�

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IN FOCUS Embargo countries

explains FVC’s Parag. “As a practice we will not do any business without the end customer being completely recognised and confirmed by the channel partner in writing. These challenges came into question when the end user was never known or had never been discussed by the channel partner. But now without the end user name we will not do any business or recognise any business.” One of the strictest such compliance measures is practised by value added distributor Westcon across the region and according to Lockie, it all boils down to, “What are the ethics and values of the organisation you are working for.” In 1993 when Westcon first set up shop in the region it chose to concentrate on a very small part of the market opportunity, where it could say with as much confidence as possible that the goods were staying within

This is all about business ethics. Every single business owner is responsible for adhering to these agreements. But can you enforce 100% legislation either in business or private life? the country, that they were not moving to other countries as part of the grey market, and were not being re-exported to end users in embargoed countries. “That is a very conscious decision,” points out Lockie. Westcon along with its vendor partners follow a due diligence process called “2 removed.” Internally it raises questions such as how well do you know the reseller partner bringing business to the table? Does Westcon know its directors, are any of them on a denied party list; and in which country is the head office of the reseller. Moving to the next removed

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Compliance is a matter of business ethics, Stephan Berner, Managing Director, help AG Middle East level – are there any red flags in dealing with this reseller such as emphasis on cash payments, incomplete end user documentation and purchase orders and so on. And the next removed level of due diligence, which may include has the reseller personally given undertakings that it is following export compliance controls; that it is screening and monitoring denied party lists and so on. Westcon has also put in place a decision making tree to be followed by its sales team and reseller partners for export compliance procedures. The decision making tree raises a number of red flags every day and each one of them has to be investigated whether it is a false positive or true positive. If it is a true positive and an embargoed country has been named, the request for quotation is immediately denied. On the other hand if it is a false positive and the deal can go through along with an export license to countries such as Pakistan for example, after the antecedents of the

end user are immaculately verified, then procedures for application of the export license need to be initiated at the earliest and in parallel with end user discussions. Westcon places a huge amount of importance on internal acceptance and incorporation of this process. The export compliance decision making tree is part of the sales and reseller partner induction process at the local level and is repeated every quarter. “If this is not done, you do not have effective control.” There is also the danger of creating an excess paper trail as a cover for bypassing such export compliance systems. “When authorities investigate such cases more than anything else, you need to show what your intent was. Unless you can show you have denied supply to companies in the last month for example, you are not really living the system and the intent is to get around the process. That to me is what an effective export compliance programme looks like, where the intent is to make sure you have every possible step in place for export compliance,” says Lockie. “This is all about business ethics. Every single business owner is responsible for adhering to these agreements. But can you enforce 100% legislation either in business or private life? There will always be cases where organisations or individuals are breaching these kinds of contracts for the sake of extra money and not caring about the system,” says Stephan Berner, Managing Director, help AG Middle East. Finally in the event, if there is a breach into an embargoed country, the complete supply chain is collectively responsible. “But ultimately the person with the most visibility is the reseller, to know where it is going,” says Lockie. In summary, for any regional channel partner, if it can evidence it has effective controls in place such as a “2 removed strategy”, which are a part of its day to day business operations, and the breach has happened through no fault of its own, it is unlikely to face legal action. //


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COVER FEATURE Software

!"#$%&'( )*&++(,! Just five years ago, the software channel would have been cluttered with resellers whose only objective was to sell licenses and boxed software. Even for enterprise grade sales, resellers would be responsible for selling the licenses and would muster up some level of implementation skills. Today that landscape has changed completely. Almost all vendors have adopted or adapted value added distribution with enablement and skills development of partners regarded as a critical success factor. For desktop virtualisation vendor Citrix, scaling up its resources at incountry locations along with its distributor partners is its key requirement. For ERP vendor Epicor, leveraging on its resellers industry specific skills and their ability to leverage on its next generation technology platform is a key requirement. For ESET, end point security solutions vendor, it has chosen to work with broadline distributors across its consumer products portfolio. And help them grow their value added business to support its penetration into the enterprise segment. For banking vendor Mysis, its partner advisory group is a key component of its regional penetration strategy. For SME ERP vendor Focus Softnet, it is aggressively setting up fully enabled regional partners. And finally for ERP major SAP, its all encompassing Partner Edge 2.0 business plan, formally maps out the road map for partner progress and delivery. Read on for a compelling snapshot on the transformation underway in this technology sector. FEBRUARY 2012

Reseller Middle East

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COVER FEATURE Software

New entrant Bitdefender’s portfolio for the Middle East consists of consumer, mobile and business products. However consumer products are in higher demand because of the current focus on brand awareness in the region. The consumer products portfolio includes Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, Internet Security and Total Security. Bitdefender Mobile Security provides smart antivirus and web security for devices running Android. In the last two years the vendor has made major resource investments in developing and consolidating its presence in the Middle East. In the retail sector across 2011, it claims to have overtaken its direct competitors. In the business sector, it has introduced Bitdefender Security for Virtualised Environments and Bitdefender Cloud Security. These products cover new client segments, which are shifting from on-premise business solutions to virtualisation and Cloud Security and can address demand from SMB’s to very large enterprises. The business solutions portfolio allows companies to implement a unified management platform for remote installation, configuration and reporting of all Bitdefender clients, server and gateway products deployed throughout the network. They proactively audit hardware and software assets within the network, remotely configure and manage client and server system settings and report on malware-related incidents to identify infection rates and trends. In 2012, Bitdefender will focus on consolidating partnerships in the Middle East. Its Dubai office will cover the Middle East and North African region. The opening of the office in the Middle East will bring channel partners a variety of new business programmes designed and adapted especially for Middle East and North Africa. Bitdefender’s partner portal serves as a central navigation point for access to tools and resources including detailed partner programme information, marketing materials, technical support, product information and online sales and technical training. Bitdefender’s resellers maintain direct relationship with end customers, while the vendor maintains relationships with distributors and value added resellers. With Bitdefender`s partner programme, each partner benefits from the relationship. We mould the benefits and requirements of the partner programme to suit the company’s size, skill set and business goals. Some of the benefits of being a member are: access to marketing, visibility to customers and other partners, security solutions to increase profitability, sales and technical tools that allow partners to approach prospective customers.

Khalid Muasher, Business Development Manager Middle East, Bitdefender 32

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Desktop is king From an end user perspective the technology landscape where Citrix is present has transformed dramatically in the last three to four years. In the field of Cloud computing and desktop virtualisation, global vendors who were once cautious of aligning with Citrix have started to migrate to its side. The other significant change is the large end user activity around desktop virtualisation driven by system integrator type of projects. “End users are asking for system integrators to come and take ownership,” points out Qadir. “Globally our system integration business has grown phenomenally in the last one to two years. We are seeing top line business of our very large projects going to system integrators.” However across the region, the demand for Citrix products is still commoditised and it may still be early in the game. However the pipeline of projects that is likely to go live in 2012 around desktop virtualisation driven by local system integrators and resellers is significant. Citrix route to market has always been through value added distributors and the model was brought in seven to eight years ago. By bringing in this model at an early stage, Citrix has been able to weather the economic upheavals across the regional markets. “The beauty of this model is if a distributor can provide value, most of the vendors have a safeguard where they do not have to make sporadic changes to their headcount or business model. Somehow the value added distributor creates a buffer while taking a significant financial risk on behalf of the vendor,” says Qadir. In comparison to other vendors Citrix has been hiring resources, has not had an issue on bad debts and collections and has not been impacted by tier one partners dropping out of the market in the last one to two years. Across the region, Citrix works closely with value added distributors Mindware and FVC. “We have a dedicated team sitting in the Mindware offices in UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Any new headcounts for Citrix will now be in outpost countries including Qatar and Egypt.” For a value added distributor the most critical success factor is investment in technical resources and this has not been an issue with Mindware. Qadir rates the competency of the Citrix Mindware team to be at par with Citrix in house engineers. Another reason for consistent revenue growth of partners is the presence of a “strong Citrix believer within the partner.” “If we look at the partners who bring in most of the money, 80% of the revenue usually comes in from partners where a guy really believes in Citrix technology,” says Qadir. Overall Citrix channel strategy is to grow its global system integration business and secure its regional business through local value added resellers. It has over 50 reseller partners across the region. While the performance of value added resellers may be in sync with the demand requirements of the end customer, Qadir has concerns about the slower movement across enterprise resellers.

Noman Qadir, Regional Manager Channels MENA and Turkey, Citrix FEBRUARY 2012

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COVER FEATURE Software

Next Gen ERP Epicor calls its ERP solution as the next generation ERP, future proofed for its customers for the next 10-15 years. “One of the differentiating factors is that traditional ERP vendors have never rewritten their product,” says Kanaran. In the case of Epicor 9, Kanaran claims that the product has been rewritten with a true service oriented architecture using embedded business process management and incorporates Web 2.0 bringing in social media look and feel. “With this architecture, as an organisation you have the agility and flexibility to change.” Epicor has converged different modules into a single ERP core as well brought in industry solutions and best practices. Currently it has enrolled 20 value added reseller partners across the Middle East and Africa and is looking at tripling the number in the next three years. Amongst them Jumbo Enterprise, the enterprise solutions division of consumer electronics distributor Jumbo Electronics was appointed as a reseller in middle of 2011. Epicor is looking at value added resellers who can work across the full span of services ranging from presales with domain knowledge, implementation with country specific functionalities and post sales support. “We are looking at value added resellers who can build their business around Epicor. Sometimes they take our product and build a specific functionality over the product. They might look at microverticalisation. When a customer looks at our product, they should be able to see their business in it.” But this depends a lot on the reseller’s ability to take the product to the customer. Resellers who have already been selling ERP solutions, may recognise the inside-out technology restructuring that has taken place and may see it as a business opportunity to work with Epicor. Value added resellers earn 30% to 40% of the license selling price as their profit margin. With Epicor’s flexible architecture, implementation times are shorter than traditional ERPs and lead to lower TCO costs, one of the factors demanded by end users today. With these plus factors, value added resellers can also earn from implementation and other post implementation support services. End users can also evaluate Epicor’s ERP across the following five parameters: (i) Is the product ready for the Cloud: whether the product is run on-premises or remotely there is no difference in the source code (ii) Can the customer see their business in the product: with best practices embedded in the product, customisation requirements and implementation time is reduced (iii) Is there embedded business intelligence: unstructured data can be managed by the ERP and does not require a third party add on module (iv) Is there integration with social media: Web 2.0 is integrated in the ERP (v) Is it built for mobility: unlike some of the other ERP products, Epicor 9 can run on any smart mobile device. Today competition in increasing for Epicor as SAP and Oracle begin to move away from large enterprises into the medium segment.

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Anish Kanaran, Regional Director, Epicor


Hybrid distribution When ESET entered the UAE market six years ago, it chose to build its reseller partners directly. The concept of value added distributor was still new and the end point security solution vendor could not find a good fit with any of the existing distributors. “Distributors were reluctant to push the product because of lack of brand awareness and they were looking at sheer numbers,” recollects Joseph. Today, ESET has segmented its products into three separate categories: consumer, SMB and enterprise. In terms of revenue, 30% comes from the consumer segment and the balance from business products. For the consumer segment, ESET is looking at distributors who are strong in the retail segment and has recently appointed FDC to manage this segment. For the SMB and enterprise segments, ESET is looking at working closely with value added distributors. However in some countries distributors are playing both the roles. For ESET every product-customer engagement involves three aspects: sales, installation and support. For the consumer segment and small office, the support is provided by ESET. But for the business segment with larger number of users, both installation and support are important. It is for this reason that ESET has created a partner structure that needs to be driven by value added distributors. The three types of ESET reseller partners are premier, preferred and normal. Premier partners work closely with ESET, are supported by lead generation and have access to the maximum discount structure. However, most partners fall into the preferred partner category, which also have access to lead generation but a lower discount structure than premier partners. Both premier and preferred partners are required to have trained engineers on board for installation and a dedicated sales team to promote the product. Any other resellers who sign up to promote ESET products fall into the normal partner category. “What matters the most is the effort partners put in and less the volumes they generate. We look at two factors: how good is the partner in promoting the product as well as supporting the product,” explains Joseph. The role of the value added distributor is to make sure that both sales and technical staff employed by partners are provided adequate training. While ESET maintains it own support teams for customers, distributors and partners, the value added distributors team is the second tier of support, thereby adding additional breadth to training and support resources. Other than software licenses, ESET also extends its revenue sharing arrangement to service delivery. Since only value added distributors maintain technical resources, for SMB and the enterprise market segments, only value added distributors can provide suitable installation and support services.

Aji Joseph, General Manager, ESET FEBRUARY 2012

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COVER FEATURE Software

SMEs and ERP Today, the primary application suite for Focus Softnet is its ERP offering followed by academic records management and its inventory management solution. Initially started as an accounting management solutions vendor, it quickly progressed towards offering ERP, CRM, warehousing for logistics suppliers and academic records management for universities and schools. Its base in the UAE alone is close to 4,000 customers and it has 20,000 customers across the GCC. The main driver for its business in the past and the present is its installed SME customer base. Many of its products today were started as projects based on specific customer requirements. Since the projects have now been converted into products, the customer is assured of continuous support and upgrade. Close to 60% of its revenue is from its installed base and includes maintenance services, upgrades and expansion of licenses, amongst others. Focus Softnet has set up regional partnerships in selected countries including Egypt, Libya, Syria, Lebanon and India. The regional partners are meant to be fully self sufficient in terms of presales, installation and after sales support. Only for external module development and customisation of the application does Focus Softnet provide its own resources and support for the regional partners. Software licenses are perpetual licenses and are shared at 60:40 ratios between the regional partners and Focus Softnet. Other services revenue including installation, maintenance and after sales support are retained by the regional partner. At these locations, “We are not doing anything directly with the customer,” says Hyder. However, Focus Softnet is available to assist in closing deals. “The majority of product sales are around the ERP product. It is a push product and sells everywhere.” For any upgrades to the existing customer base it qualifies as a fresh sale and comes again with a perpetual license. The regional partners also work as exclusive regional value added distributors. If there are any leads in the region they are passed onto the regional partners to develop. And if there are any resellers the partners are expected to support them as well. In India, Focus Softnet has set up five offices and is working through Franchise India to set up additional partner offices around the country. The primary requirement is to set up offices in class B and C, smaller cities towns around the country, which are less accessible from the five primary offices. Franchise India is helping them set up both regional distributor partners and unit partners.

Ali Hyder, CEO Focus Softnet 36

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Partner’s bank Seven years ago, global banking vendor Misys made a strategic decision to bring in a partner led culture across the software organisation. Two years after this decision, the partner organisation was created. Today Misys recognises three types of partners: sales partners, who are involved across the complete sales cycles, influence the decision and connect to the right people in an account; delivery partners who assist in implementation, consultancy, subject matter experts and technical resources; and strategic partners who work on a global delivery scale. Across the region Misys uses partners as eyes and ears in the market. “Globally, the highest participation of partners in deals is from Middle East and Africa,” says Attar. And that change has happened over the last four years, according to him. The membership of the regional partner advisory council has reached 35 from the initial number of 12 three years ago. And between Africa and Middle East, Misys relies on partners the most from Africa. This is not surprising considering the slow entry and exit procedures of business professionals across most of the African countries. It is for this reason that Misys relies heavily on a procedure of technical enablement with its African partners. “Most of our presales work is done by Misys itself, but we do transfer knowledge to our partners in order to quantify the opportunity and have the basic knowledge of the solutions” says Attar. Misys solution consultants run training classes for free for the partners or at a nominal cost depending on the complexity of the courses. These are run throughout the year at Dubai and include value added sales road maps, higher level of technical information, how to position the product, how to identify opportunities and others. When Misys directly receives a request for proposal it makes considerable effort to qualify its response and calls it a deal structure, The first step is to identify the partner who should be involved in the deal and this is based on the where is the bank located, response required in the proposal, local resources required on site and overall resources required for the project. A deal structure is designed that goes through multiple departments within Misys and finally requires a group decision on how to structure the deal and how to respond in the proposal. If the request for proposal is generated by a sales partner an opportunity is registered and a deal structure is again generated. However there are a number of additional inclusions, which cover role and responsibility of the sales partner during this period, the governance and review procedure, the agreed commission for the partner and assistance that Misys will provide during this period. If the partner is also a service partner in addition to being a sales partner, the deal structure is accordingly modified. An important consideration is the visibility factor of Misys.

Amer Attar, Partner Sales, Senior Director MEA, Global Partners Group, Misys FEBRUARY 2012

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COVER FEATURE Software

Partner Edge 2.0 For SAP, which operates across the largest government and public sector enterprise organisations in the region, partner selection is of critical importance. “With the complexity of signing contracts and agreements with the government, you need different types of partners,” explains Jabri. For him, the year 2011 was the year of SAP’s channel. SAP put into place a comprehensive partner recruitment, enablement and activation programme, which uses a business plan format as its basic core template. SAP has segregated the market in multiple ways allowing these variables to be tracked in the partner business plan and inside SAP’s ecosystem. The first segmentation is of customer accounts segregated into named accounts, where SAP directly manages the relationship and the rest of market which it calls the volume accounts. The market is also segmented by geography, by industry and by business applications. A partner business plan clearly specifies all these four variables. Also listed is the revenue expectation, the technical manpower and consulting resources, credit lines, legal support and finally the extent of investment required to make this happen. When SAP first activated its regional partner eco system, it inherited some partners by way of its acquisition of Sybase and Business Objects. It also leveraged on its global relationships across system integrators, ISVs and consulting companies. The net result is its opening base of partners into 2012. “We are taking all of the above and moulding it into a new channel strategy,” he explains. Moreover SAP has created a single document contract called Partner Edge 2.0 that governs all relationships with all partners. On a regional level such as MENA, all partner relationships are managed by the Head of Eco Systems and Channels. And for the rest of SAP, all its internal resources are unified into one theme reporting directly to the CEO. Once the business plan is signed off by both SAP and the partner, a calendar of enablement is drawn up and initiated with delay. “We help them and guide them and they go through a six month, one year or two year programme to reach the level of the business plan they have committed to.” SAP recruits partners in such a way that they complement each other rather than compete with each other. SAP also ensures there are sufficient partners for customers to choose from and avoid the possibility of a cartel formation. While SAP has drawn up its partner contracts, Jabri points out the intents are not to restrict the channel but to keep it open and allow cross over if required. A smaller VAR may find the opportunity to enter a named account through a special relationship or political alignment. Under these circumstances SAP encourages them to form a consortium with a larger system integrator partner or it lends the smaller partner its resources. Whichever the final approach, the idea is that partners should thrive in terms of their capability and relationships.

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Mazen Jabri, Head of Ecosystem and Channels, SAP Middle East and North Africa


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FEATURE VAD

“I do not believe a regional broad line distributor can become a true VAD”

Dr Ali Baghdadi, CEO and President of Aptec Group

In 1980, Baghdadi formed Aptec Distribution to bring appropriate technologies to the region and made it reason for the name of his company. Now thirty years later, after having adopted the value added model of distribution, Baghdadi is faced with the challenge of consolidating Aptec’s position as the leading value added distributor in the region. With an MSc and PhD in computer sciences from London, Baghdadi is no stranger to the mix of technology and business dynamics in the region. A fact recognised by Microsoft when it invited Baghdadi to its recent partner Advisory Council in November 2011. He shares his opinions on what lies ahead as Aptec progresses down the value added route. 40

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solution and get its staff skilled up. This is neither a retail business nor the business of selling printers and laptops. At Aptec we have invested in skilling up consultants and opening training centres to help new entrants and channel partners who do not wish to fully invest in such resources.

Now that much of the IT industry and the channel partners have got used to the idea of the VAD business model being the mainstay of 2012 and the years ahead, what are the next steps that need to be addressed by both vendors and the channel industry in 2012 to complete the transformation? #BHIEBEJA vendor has to realise that delivering solutions through a VAD requires investment and preparation by both VAD and vendor. Therefore, a vendor trying to introduce a product to the market using the same channel strategies used for broad line distribution will ultimately fail in getting its rightful market share. I do not believe that a broad line distributor can successfully combine traditional distribution business with value added distribution. A channel reseller must decide on its areas of speciality, must select the menu of products for its

How do you see the adoption of the VAD business model in the short term under the complex and multiple influences of new technologies like mobile and remote computing, uphill movement of transaction resellers towards becoming value added resellers, budget limitations at the end user and increasing shake out across the regional channels? #BHIEBEJVADs sell solutions to VARs. VARs have to invest in building knowhow and in selecting their niche areas. New technologies or new devices may or may not play a part in the solution, be it a security system, a virtualised data centre, an in-house cloud system or other integrated solutions. The right device and technology will fit in and would make the solution more efficient or attractive. However, every solution has a core infrastructure or engine, usually driven by a software system that needs to be understood and mastered by the VAR and of course the VAD. End user budgets should not be a limitation if we know how to show the end user the economies and cost savings generated from the given solution. We found that SMBs in particular form the largest segment purchasing solutions for the improvement of efficiency and protection.

For distributors, VAD 3.0 and for resellers VAR 3.0 in my opinion will evolve with the development and increase of services as a major contributor to the income stream

This year we plan to expand our solutions to cover enterprise solutions for SMBs in cooperation with SAP, Microsoft and Oracle From another point of view, does the VAD business model provide a future for those regional channel players used to high top line revenue figures and how would they manage the short term impact of moving towards a VAD type channel engagement, while facing reduced demand from their traditional transaction resellers? #BHIEBEJI do not believe a regional broad line distributor can become a true VAD. The culture, knowledge, cost models are very different. If we look at global players you will find that global VADs are different from the global broad liners like Ingram Micro. Techdata for example set up its VAD business in Azlan and this is a hybrid model that may work to a certain extent. Are there any additional technology segments that you feel can be brought into Aptec’s portfolio and leveraged through the VAD model? #BHIEBEJ As I said, we first look at the solutions, then look for the best technologies that may fit. Today we offer a multitude of solutions with components supplied by more than 30 of the world’s leading IT vendors. Such solutions may be security, data centre, storage, virtualisation, private and public clouds, networking and others. Or they may be application solutions, such as database engines, telepresence, data analytics, CRM, smart dashboards and unified communications. This year we plan to expand our solutions to cover enterprise solutions for SMBs in cooperation with SAP, Microsoft and Oracle. We are also investing in training centres that will contribute to the skilling up and training on technical competencies. I also believe that people skill development is an

FEBRUARY 2012

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FEATURE VAD

essential aspect that cannot be ignored by a VAR for his own teams or his SMB customers, therefore we have just signed up as an authorised training partner for the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute across the region.

Are you satisfied with Aptec’s current leverage in the area of specialised security and storage solutions? #BHIEBEJ Storage solution is one of the fastest growth areas in the IT industry. Combining storage with data security creates a multitude of opportunities and potential innovations. We are developing some unique solutions jointly with our key vendors, which we hope to roll-out during 2012. How significant is the impact of the Cloud delivery model on the VAD model of channel engagement? #BHIEBEJCloud delivery is a SAAS or IAAS model that presents an alternative to normal software licenses or in house infrastructures. We are offering public Cloud solutions including Microsoft Office 365 and other CRM and sales tracking tools developed by ISVs. I expect that SMBs will opt for some Cloud solutions and eventually graduate to private Clouds or solutions based on their own data centres. VARs will have to identify and offer complementary Cloud solutions to those built in house. The challenge and opportunity will be in developing services around Cloud applications. VARs have been used to traditional delivery of on premise system integration and system deployment or maintenance as a main service. New services for the Cloud will need to be adopted and the entire service model and revenue stream will change. Does Cloud sales, pricing and delivery model fit in well with the VAD business model or will there need to be significant changes leading us to a form of VAD 3.0? #BHIEBEJAll vendors offering Cloud based solutions are learning or experimenting on how to present the best pricing models. They have adopted different methods, but I am sure a winning model will emerge in the next year or two. I expect Cloud revenues to be in the range of 20% to 30% of a VAR’s revenue in mature markets. In the Middle East region, I see

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this being around 10% of revenues in the near to medium term. As I said, Cloud offerings will complement enterprise and in house systems. For distributors, VAD 3.0 and for resellers, VAR 3.0 in my opinion will evolve with the development and increase of services as a major contributor to the income stream. I believe we shall see new tools developed to assist in such services including advanced remote monitoring, remote deployment, remote training and remote maintenance. Imagine the idea of a call centre or a BPO associated with the cloud offerings.

Services, services, services are a key to survival ! Distribution is here to stay and to grow. Innovate, adapt, build your skills or die! With multiple early adopter vendors pushing Cloud delivery services into the regional channel, what will be the impact on the VAD business model? #BHIEBEJThis will be complementary to a high extent. However, some vendors are offering relatively low margins on a finder’s fee basis and some distributors may find that the costs to cover such an operation exceed the income. I believe different models will emerge and this will depend on the type and complexity of the Cloud solution. ISPs and GSM operators will enter the game as they own large communities of end users. A cloud specialist may have to become the service provider for such entities. Solutions offered through such large operators will tend be consumer oriented and similar to Apple’s iCloud or email and communications related offerings. What is the significance of your attending and being invited to attend the recent Microsoft Partner Advisory Council? #BHIEBEJIt is great to participate in forming ideas on how Cloud solutions can be channelled in the future and to influence the thinking of some of the world’s leading

innovators on how their products can reach the end user. The Council have some of the most experienced minds in the world of distribution and some of their or our ideas will be adopted in Microsoft’s future strategies.

What are the learning points that you came away with at the end of the partner engagements at this forum? #BHIEBEJ Services, services, services are a key to survival! Distribution is here to stay and to grow. Innovate, adapt, build your skills or die! What were the points you communicated from Aptec’s point of view and from a regional perspective at this forum? #BHIEBEJWe covered many issues ranging from Cloud channel strategy, piracy, the future of OEM software and online tools used by distributors. At the top management level, how do you feel about this vast array of changes that are taking place both in the vendor technology delivery area and in the channel partner transformation area? #BHIEBEJ Most exciting! It is a great honour to be part of the changes happening in our region. Having studied computer technology for years and having studied business and practiced it for more than 30 years, I enjoy and feel privileged when I can make a small contribution to the advancement of IT in this region. What are the best real world experiences that you are learning from and using internally to plan ahead? #BHIEBEJ People are the greatest asset and a great source of knowledge, so I learn to listen and put my trust in people and their skills. I learnt to make calculated risks without which you cannot succeed. One can never stop learning, so I never stop studying. I also learnt that if you do not like what you do, then change and sometimes you have to follow your heart. How do you visualise Aptec’s business two to three years from now? #BHIEBEJA great company with great people contributing to a real change and to the advancement of one of the most aspiring and exciting regions in the world. //


What makes an ideal VAD The value added distribution model is in vogue today. Some of the players are new, some are hybrid and some are established. A look at the current dynamics of this space! In today’s channel market there is high pulse of new technologies moving into the mainstream of value business. From an eagles perspective these include Cloud, storage, data management, mobility, security, unified computing, virtualisation to name a few of the prominent ones. There is also the high pulse of existing distributors rearranging their divisions to take advantage of new opportunities and scaling down legacies of the past. One of the recent appearances is the spin-off of value divisions from mainstream broadline distribution operations and raises the questions of suitability. Global value added distributor Westcon, manages a five pronged product portfolio to assess the suitability and acceptance of new vendors into its stable of value based services. If the vendor is not a good fit into its information convergence technology umbrella and further into its security, convergence, mobility portfolio, the distributor does not pursue further engagement. “For any green field technology you have the opportunity to add value over a period of time before everybody starts developing their skill sets around it. Then it goes off and you need to move onto something else. Our objective is to find the right mix of products and play in each of the segments where we can add value,” says Venu Menon, Sales and Marketing Director, Westcon Middle East. Hence the starting point for any vendor relationship is to find the right technology vendor profile and the right stage of the product life cycle, where a value added distribution model works as a win-win for all sides. Another reason why the profile of value added distribution business has gone up many notches in the last few quarter, is the increased responsibility and business

Five pillars to evaluate market opportunities, Steve Lockie, Group Managing Director MENA, Westcon development investment being funnelled into the budgets of distributor partners. “With vendor resources getting scarce, they are depending more and more on value added distributors to do lot of front line work on their behalf in the commercial and general business, from A to Z,” explains Menon. A typical market span of a tier-one vendor crosses service providers, enterprise space and the small and medium market segment. With contraction and longer lead times in the first two segments, the vendor driven, distributor total accessible market has been growing consistently. “The SMB

business is substantial, more controlled, more measurable and is being left to value added distributors. That is why there is a lot of interest from broadline guys to get into these spaces.” Also with extended periods of payments from the government and public sector end user organisations, the stability of some of the tier-one partners has been affected. Since business with tier one partners has become risky from a credit point of view, vendors want to put as much of the risk into value added distributors who understand the local terrain much better. While the opportunity for value added

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distributors may be growing with the increase in distributors total accessible market share, there is a flip side to the Westcon approach of addressing the market with five pillars and only five pillars. “If we were end to end we would be a broadline distributor. So it is a very conscious decision that we want to keep this value distribution space and keep speaking the language of the reseller. The unfortunate side effect is we will lose business opportunities,” explains Steve Lockie, Group Managing Director MENA, Westcon. Hence the strength of a value added distribution model is its closeness and relationship with the reseller community; however because of the inherent nature of specialisation it does mean that it cannot address all possible opportunities in the market. Notwithstanding this shortfall, the value added distribution business model has some other very important riders built into its success. Other than assessment of vendor suitability and corresponding value support

by the distributor, the next most fundamental aspect is assessment of the product life cycle stage. When a technology product is in a nascent stage, the skills knowhow rests only with the vendor and as such it has minimum reach into the market and minimum sales volume. As the requirement of disseminating skills knowhow into the market increases, the appropriate distribution model also changes. It moves from a direct engagement model to tier-one, value added and finally into broadline. Hence selection of the most appropriate distribution business model depends largely on the product life cycle stage and the current and projected sales volume. On the flip side, the knee jerk reaction of distributors spinning off value divisions does not imply their basic business model is flawed or obsolete. “Broadline is a very viable business and it is an essential part of the supply chain. You should not be embarrassed about being a broadline distributor, instead celebrate it. You need to be focussed on what

Focus on quality of talent in sales, Venu Menon, Sales and Marketing Director, Westcon Middle East

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The weakest link is usually always the partner relationship and requires a high level of continuous quality engagement from the value added distributor’s sales team you are good at. The challenge is doing the job that needs to be done for the margin that is available,” remarks Lockie. The other critical success factors for running a successful value added distribution business are the right set of skilled manpower and resources and close relationships with the partner community. While quality of people are important everywhere, it is immensely more important in the value added business than in the broadline business. “Ultimately people do business with people and that only happens over a period of time. The quality of people you use to engage with the partner ecosystem can make or break you,” says Menon. For every business opportunity raised by a partner into a value added business, the qualitative aspect of the engagement is the one the partner carries forward into the relationship. This can include joint presales meetings, time spent over the proposal and BOQ, credit lines, proof of concept, project management, technology skills training and adherence to commitments, amongst others. The weakest link is usually always the partner relationship and requires a high level of continuous quality engagement from the value added distributor’s sales team. A show case example of the close engagement between a vendor and its value added distributors is EMC’s relationship with its regional distributor partners. EMC uses nine value added distributors across the region and works very closely them. The level, depth and intensity of the engagements it has with its distributor partners are as if the teams are from within EMC itself. “We treat them as one family. We listen to


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When a technology product or solution is nascent, the skills knowhow of how to deploy the product is virtually non-existent in the market. Only the vendor approaches the market through direct end user engagement. Progressively the vendor engages with tier-one partners and system integrators, the availability of skills in the market begins to increase and sales volumes start rising. During this progression, tier one partner and system integrators begin to appoint sales partners to help resell the product and are referred to as distregtors. The next stage is to develop technical skills amongst partners on a wider regional scale. This skills enablement is managed by a value added distributor. As partners and end users get conversant with the technology behind a product it gets commoditised and competition amongst partners becomes fierce with minimal margins. Volume is the name of the game and this is best managed by a volume or broadline distributor.

them, tell them our strategy and we set the expectations on day one,” says Havier Haddad, Channel and Alliances Manager, TEAM Region, EMC. Meetings are held on regular basis, with reviews of the previous period and considerable planning and details into the upcoming period. Both sides come up with their targets but the final target is put down together. “We plan together; we set the expectations and then come up with a joint target. We will go into details about who will do what. Once we have done the joint

planning, the name of the game becomes execution,” continuous Haddad. EMC therefore maintains a high degree of transparency between itself and its partners. By spending time and effort in details, both sides can focus more clearly on the results and lack of results without operational conflict. “For us we have no choice, it is the only way to scale, we cannot do it without our distributors.” Since both sides also put down their expectations at an early stage, the extent of synergy can be gauged upfront and

costly turnarounds avoided. “If we do not feel the synergy we do not sign. This is why I take time in the preparatory phase, if they do not have the mindset it automatically does not work,” says Haddad. Amongst its distributor partners it appears to have the best synergy with Computerlinks that operates across the region excluding Saudi Arabia and Egypt. “Computerlinks is a blueprint of a value added distribution model,” concedes Hadad. Amongst the impressive traits the

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distributor has demonstrated with its vendor partner is its flexibility to EMC’s tactical changes as well as its readiness to enter jointly into any operational investment. “They are flexible to change whenever we need any change and we do not feel the resistance. Whenever we are investing they are investing together, without waiting for any returns,” he says. From a Computerlink’s perspective, it puts down its success to an indepth understanding of what EMC requires. There is considerable transparency at the management level and the high quality of sales and technical talent at Computerlinks has helped to strengthen the relationship. “We are seen as an extension of EMC’s sales force, so that partners use our resources in the market for the whole sales cycle. At the end of the day we are one team and we are flexible in our approach,” says Kieran Hernon, Sales Manager, Computerlinks. His biggest challenge is to find good sales, business development and presales talent in the storage arena. Another example of the importance of partner skill levels is from Sourcefire that provides cyber security solutions for the global top 2000 organisations. “The Sourcefire product is an extremely sophisticated product. If you do not implement it correctly it is not going to work and the customer will not be happy. We would not sign up a transactional partner for this; that would be a disaster. They would not know what to do with it, how to install it and not be able to integrate it. Sourcefire business is all about quality, not quantity, says Anthony Perridge, Channel Director EMEA, Sourcefire. Across the region Sourcefire uses FVC and Secureway Networks as its distributors and has four reseller partners. From Westcon’s point of view, the services its partners rate of highest value is the assurance of being offered the most appropriate solution that meets their end user requirement. “While buying the right solution the risk is sanitised by Westcon,” says Menon. Another fundamental difference between the two types of business models is the profit margin structure. A broadline distributor usually operates at margins from 1% to 4%

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Complete transparency with EMC, Kieran Hernon, Sales Manager, Computerlinks

model

Computerlinks is a blueprint of a value added distribution

and works on volume turnover rather than margin gains. The motto is always pile them high, move them out fast and it tends to be a fulfilment business. “For a value added business, if you are doing business at 4% margin you will not make it,” says Menon. The recurring cost base of value added business is much higher than a broadline business and includes a team of skilled technical resources, investment into proof of concept centres, investment into continuous product and technology training and longer lead time for orders. Going into the market and selecting a piece of technology overnight does not complete the transition into a value

added distribution model. “If you have a great piece of technology and put it in a catalogue and send it out to 3,000 resellers, it is not going to sell itself. You need to educate the market and you need to train and support the resellers,” explains Lockie. The two business models are so fundamentally different that most players in the field reject the possibility of a broadline distributor migrating to a value added distribution model. Some of the measures being taken in the field today are half way, down the road initiatives, to access products that are in between a value added model and a broadline model. “You can dress yourself up to be a bit more value added than the guy down the road. You can pick up products pre-commodity, give them special treatment and over time take them through mid value distribution,” explains Lockie about some of the initiatives in the market today. “But it is a long and arduous process to make the transition,” concludes Menon. //


Rewarding a VAD A look at Optimus’ innovative partner loyalty programme Loyalty programmes are meant to reward a partner for maintaining positive relationships with their distributor. In the case of Wafa programme from Optimus, not only is the partner assessed in terms of business volume concluded, but Optimus also measures the ratio of business it lost through the partner for some reason or the other. The business model of a value added distributor rests on a continuous and sustained relationship with a value

WAFA LOYALTY PROGRAM Wafa is Optimus’ tiered loyalty programme, that enables partners to earn loyalty points for their continuous and consistent business with Optimus. Introduced in the last quarter of 2011, the loyalty programme is categorised into loyalty levels of Blatin, Dahab and Fida. New partners enter the Wafa programme at the Fida Level and, through continuous business, graduates to Dahab and Blatin depending on their sales volumes with Optimus in the year. Channel partners can redeem their Wafa points against options such as vendor led paid training programmes, air travel ticket to attend Optimus training programmes, purchasing Optimus professional services, payment for next sales transaction, credit notes to be used against accounts payable and participation in various Optimusapproved marketing activities.

added reseller or reseller. The distributor invests the time of its pre sales consulting team or other technical resources to help the reseller penetrate an end user account. The progress is much slower than a transactional engagement but if invested correctly the time and effort of the technical teams can give longer term and higher percentage of returns. From this point of view, if Optimus finds that the engagement with a particular reseller has been significant both in terms of time and resources, but the financial returns have been weak, the correct approach would be to seek feedback for the low returns. “If the quality of the relationship is affected and we cannot manage it, we might as well be a trader. If we start measuring our value, it is a two way process. It cannot be a one way process where we keep pushing resources to do a certain service and not get any return on employing those resources. We need longetivity and stability in the account,” explains Meera Kaul, Managing Director, Optimus Technology and Telecom. The Wafa loyalty programme is therefore a two way process, where a reseller’s commitment towards value added services from Optimus is measured. And on reciprocal basis the partner is asked to give feedback on the quality of the engagement with Optimus. “Instead of just going the number game we have made it more qualitative,” explains Kaul. The value added model of channel partner engagement therefore has a loop hole in it: What is the assurance that quality engagement with a reseller will necessarily convert into a favourable and conclusive deal transaction with the same distributor? The most singular aspect of the value added model is therefore, how much of the work done with a reseller translates into actual orders or business or how engaged is the reseller with the distributors account management team.

Using Wafa to get feedback from reseller partners, Meera Kaul, Managing Director, Optimus Technology and Telecom “We saw that as a gap in our model. Now with the loyalty programme we are not only measuring the partner’s performance with us but our performance with the partner. We base a lot of our efforts on design and technicalities and these technical resources are extremely expensive. If we were only concentrated on trading all these things do not matter. But since we are investing in it, we need to measure the percentage of business lost, in order to measure the return on our investment. That is why the introduction of a loyalty programme was very important towards the end of last year.” The Wafa programme gives points to the reseller based on value of sales, consistency of business and how much business did Optimus lose because of its internal issues. Optimus has started looking at the micro details of each engagement such as inflexibility in insurance, terms and conditions, design, pricing and others. “What we have realised over the last four years, ultimately these are the small things that affect the quality of the relationship and repeat business.”

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FAQ: deal, value based engagements What is the difference between a deal or transaction based engagement versus a solution or value based engagement with a customer? A deal based engagement focuses on immediate gains from that particular deal. Both parties try to maximise their returns in the short term and no effort is spent on developing the relationship for long term mutual benefits. It has characteristics of a commodity sale with low margin and high volume. Compared to this, a value-based engagement depends more on long term gains. Organisations would typically let go off immediate returns to build trust and get repeat business. The idea here is to work as a consultant to customers and design solutions as per their needs. Value based sale has the potential to impact areas beyond the scope and time of the engagement. Some of it can be quantified and some of it can only be anticipated. There is a high degree of trust that needs to be built in accomplishing such a sale.   If there is a difference in the type of engagement, how is it linked to the associated mark-ups that a supplier may include in either of the transactions?

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A deal-based commodity sale would be more price, discount and availability based. The products have low entry and exit barriers and hence are more competitive. You give a discount and push your product against competition. You largely sell on price, customer friendly terms and availability. Whereas in a solution based engagement you try to create value for the customer. You might be designing a product or service and

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hence can charge a premium. It is a longer term sale that requires upfront investment of time and resources on both the customer side as well as the solution provider side. Research says customers are ready to pay upto 25% more for a better service. From an end-customer point of view, what are the possible variances in satisfaction levels of deal based engagement and value based engagement? Variance can be high in both the cases as satisfaction depends on so many things. In a deal-based scenario if the product is robust, pricing is competitive and after-sales service is good, satisfaction would be very high. On the other hand, if both product and service quality is poor, satisfaction levels would be low irrespective of the price paid. Similarly, for a solution-based engagement, satisfaction is a result of experiences at all touch points with the organisation. An organisation can go completely wrong in understanding a customer’s needs and in designing a solution for the end customer. So satisfaction is a factor of how organisations perform at each touch-point in relation to the expectation of the customer. Arti Gupta is Managing Partner of Lead On Consultants. They enable organisations to deliver exceptional customer experience. 


Multiple buyers, multiple messages Why a role-based sales approach is required for complex IT sales The message coming from technology buyers is clear — they want more from sales engagements than a product discussion. There has been a shift in the way vendors must sell in complex sales environments – it is no longer purely a technical sell to a technical audience, but increasingly involves business and functional executives. Where multiple decision makers and influencers are involved, marketing and sales content often does not resonate. Marketing messaging typically lack sufficient granularity to be useful to sales, leaving salespeople to create their own versions with potential disconnects and inconsistencies with corporate messaging. Buyers are telling Gartner that they are having difficulty understanding the relevance of a solution or its impact and value. Value, relevance and impact depend largely on how they are measured and what the buyer is responsible for — in other words, the buyer’s role is a key issue. Role-based messaging helps address this problem and can be an effective first step toward building a strong sales enablement function. It considers the buyer’s organisational role -- job title, description, responsibilities, authority, and crafts a story specifically for them. This improves relevance by connecting the offering to issues specific to each role. It is not separate from corporate positioning, messaging or value propositions, but takes these factors and adapts them for

Buyers are telling Gartner they are having difficulty understanding the relevance of a solution or its impact and value

use with individual decision makers during a sales interaction. Role-based messaging provides a means of significantly improving sales performance. Two consistent themes characterise buyers’ basis of vendor differentiation in increasingly undifferentiated product markets: “The winning provider understands my issues and challenges, and translates its offering in terms relevant to me and shows the value in my terms.”

The winning provider understands my issues and challenges, and translates its offering in terms relevant to me and shows the value in my terms When sales people cannot articulate tangible business value or lead a business conversation, buyers tune out. When salespeople cannot move past these hurdles, sales cycles become longer and conversion rates fall. Your brand suffers from a lack of credibility on the part of sales representatives; selling expenses increase and you are left with frustrated salespeople. Role-based messaging and positioning does not replace existing investments in strategic or solution-selling frameworks or other investments in sales training. It actually supports these as it provides company specific information and enables sales reps to spend less time tracking down information and more time selling. Role-based messaging is a very effective first or early sales enablement initiative that can drive significant and fast impact across the sales organisation, enabling them to better differentiate your

Neil McMurchy, Research Vice President, Gartner

solution, close more business faster and build credibility and rapport with customers. Vendors that are considering developing and deploying this approach need to understand and address the factors and issues before proceeding to commit further resources. The benefits of role-based messaging in improving sales effectiveness can be significant, but providers should not underestimate the resources required or the behavioural changes needed to achieve those benefits.

Neil McMurchy is a Research Vice President with Gartner in the IT marketing and channel strategies group. He is based in Sydney.

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PEOPLE Jacob Lebo

Valuing sales staff Branded as ready to jump the ship, there is more to managing the sales team than just meeting business targets All recruiters and employers face common problems, yet here in the Middle East and particularly in IT these problems are noticeably amplified. Overall the perception is there are not enough qualified candidates â&#x20AC;&#x201C; however other common problems such as under prepared, under educated or already gainfully employed are consistently mentioned. As a result many hours and much hard work go into the recruitment of staff. Despite the hypercompetitive marketplace rife with problems and sincere efforts to attract top talent, recruitment, development and retention for position of sales is often overlooked. Addressing the larger prevailing attitude throughout the region that the sales profession is viewed more of a steppingstone to a better position does help to understand the problem of attracting and developing top IT sales talent. While both job seekers and employers foster this misperception it causes pain on both sides of the equation. As a virtue of being treated as second class employees, sales professionals are always on the hunt for their next higher paying job, ready to jump ship with a marginal salary increase and at a momentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s notice. Employers are aware of this and treat sales people as a flight risk, under compensating; micromanaging and fostering the atmosphere of not being indispensable. This results in a vicious cycle of disloyalty where sales professionals hop from company to company acting as hired guns for the next highest bidder. Since retention of top sales talent starts with recruitment, how do you attract the top talent? This is simply put â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by treating your employees well. A more complicated answer

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would be a larger organisational change, fostering an environment where it is viewed upon as a great place to work. Since we as humans spend better part of our days and particularly our lives at work we look for great and fun places to work. But what makes a place great to work in and how do we attract great people to work here? When advertising and recruiting for a position it is okay to use unique incentive structures to attract top talent, and just like offering value added services, this will distinguish your business in the market place. Besides straight monetary compensation here are some other incentive ideas to attract top talent, particularly sales talent. t "nFYJCMFXPSLFOWJSPONFOUOffering the ability to work one day at home a week.

set, top talent needs to be driven to excellence. Mastery of concepts and technical aspects will contribute to employeesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; personal and professional growth as well as creating more knowledgeable employees for your business. t -BZJOHPVUBDMFBSDBSFFSQBUI Business is not expected to grow without a clear business plan, so why should your employees be any different? Laying out clear career paths assist in showing employees how they must perform to get to where they want to be. Unfortunately workers can become comfortable at their jobs figuring out how to do the least amount of work and still impress their bosses. This is why unique and goal driven compensation can enable employees to perform not only for the business but also for themselves. There are many challenges in the sales profession in the MENA region. Only when perceptions change and a few forward thinking companies start to change the environment will the market change and sales professionals will soon follow.

As a virtue of being treated as second class employees, sales professionals are always on the hunt for their next higher paying job, ready to jump ship with a marginal salary increase and at a momentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s notice However to keep employees productive on these days clear and measurable benefits and goals must be set. t &NQIBTJTPOBEJWFSTFTLJMMTFUTalented people appreciate the opportunity to perform a wide array of tasks and responsibilities. Proclaiming this to be the case when recruiting and hiring will drive you top talent. t Offering training and continuing FEVDBUJPOAlong with a diverse skill

A thought leader in human and business development, Jacob Lebo develops software sales channels in the US and UAE for early stage companies. He is the lead market developer for Laimoon.com a disruptive online recruitment website.


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PEOPLE Movements

Manojeet Chowdhury has joined Defiance Technologies as Senior Vice President. Prior to this Chowdhury was the Vice President and Head of Mahindra Satyam Middle East and Africa. Defiance Technologies is part of Hindujas Group, one of the largest multibillion Dollar groups from India and focuses on IT services. With its regional hub based out of Dubai its offerings include product engineering services, enterprise business solutions and emerging technology solutions. The Dubai hub will also manage North Africa, Central Asia and Turkey. Canon Middle East announced the appointment of Shadi Bakhour as the new General Manager of Canon Emirates. Bakhour is expected to provide leadership stability and bring fresh business insights, driving Canon Emirates’ growth plans for 2012 and beyond and supporting the company’s future business direction as it moves towards becoming a solutions and services-oriented organization. Bakhour, who previously served as Director of Sales and Marketing Operations at Xerox Saudi Arabia, has an Executive Masters degree in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon and is a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt holder. SAP MENA has appointed Ghassan Abu Asba as Country Sales Manager for Kuwait. Reporting to Gergi Abboud, Country Manager for SAP Kuwait and Qatar, Abu Asba will be responsible for driving the country’s field sales operations and ensuring momentum across all verticals. He has more than 20 years of Middle East IT industry experience, including stints as

Enterprise System Manager at Kuwait Computer Company and Kuwait Country Manager at HP. Some of his key accounts included Wataniya, Equate, Kuwait Stock Exchange, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance. Previous to this he worked as Channel Manager at Cisco and Regional Channel and Commercial Manager for Juniper Networks in the North Gulf and Levant region. HP Middle East announced Ayman Dwidar as the new Middle East Enterprise Storage, Servers and Networking Channel Manager. Dwidar comes to the role from within HP, where he moves from Business Manager for BladeSystem in the Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa region to take on the responsibility of overseeing and managing HP Middle East’s relationships with its channel partners. He will prioritise reaching out to new partners across the region, developing HP’s business and will drive specialisation in the channel to sell the complete ESSN portfolio. Dwidar also leads the Cloud team for HP, driving the growth of Cloud opportunity in the MEMA region. Prior to HP he worked at Dell Middle East. Gulf Business Machines has appointed Miguel El Khoury as Country General Manager for GBM Abu Dhabi. In this role, El Khoury will be responsible for the relationship with GBM customers in the Emirate, the growth of business and the development of skill levels of the GBM employees in Abu Dhabi. El Khoury, has 15 years of regional experience and joined GBM in 2005 as Networking and Services Manager. In 2009, he was promoted to Director of Integrated Networking and Site Services where he was responsible for running the company’s networking business

across most of the adjacent regions. Prior to joining GBM, El Khoury worked for Saudi Business Machines for almost nine years. Tech Mahindra has appointed Girish Bhat as the new Vice President of Sales and Operations for the Middle East and African region. He has more than 22 years of industry experience across diverse geographies. Prior to his new position, he served as Head of Africa region at Tech Mahindra. Tech Mahindra is planning entry into markets like UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia for applications outsourcing, system integration, managed services, business process outsourcing and security solutions. It will be rolling out a new portfolio of services for the region’s telco providers including value added services, e-security, infrastructure management and network services. Ciena Corporation announced appointment of Saad Khan as Regional Managing Director in the Middle East. Based out of the company’s Abu Dhabi office, Khan is responsible for overall management and growth of Ciena’s business in the region. He has more than 15 years experience in the telecom industry and was previously Vice President of Services group, Alcatel Lucent Middle East and Africa. Prior to Alcatel-Lucent, Khan served several years in Ericsson’s managed services and hosting practice, based out of the Middle East and North America. He has also worked in the services and support areas of several US telecommunications service providers. Khan holds an MBA degree from University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Northeastern University, Chicago.

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PEOPLE Ali Mohd Alamadi

help AG’s passionate writer

Region’s best Alamadi’s ambition is to become a leading professional in the field of information security in the region. Joining aeCERT’s emergency response team at UAE’s telecommunication regulatory authority in 2007, he recollects the four year stint to have been the richest in his professional career. Now working as principal consultant at help AG since mid 2011, Alamadi admits moving to the private sector was not without its share of question marks. “Everybody was telling me joining the private sector may not be the right thing to do. But I felt it would put me in a unique position professionally, eventually making me competitive in the local job market.” Alamadi anticipated it would be culturally challenging to fit into help AG’s work environment, but now well into the job Ali has no regrets. “It turned out to be exactly the opposite and I find myself fitting well into help AG’s multicultural environment.” Ali has a Master’s of Science in Information Technology with specialisation in Cyber Crime as well as QualysGuard specialist certification and enjoys his current job role of conducting security risk assessments for diverse

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Reseller Middle East

FEBRUARY 2012

environments. Since each company’s security environment is very different and unique, the job role is never boring and on the contrary becomes very interesting. On the other hand educating customers on the benefits and importance of establishing international and local security standards can sometimes become the most challenging part of the job role. During his stint at aeCERT, Ali found developing awareness campaigns in different languages for different audiences as well as presenting it in different emirates in the UAE to be the most challenging. Ali looks at each day as a new lesson in both his personal and professional life. He loves languages and speaks Italian, Farsi and Urdu fluently amongst others and is learning German. He describes himself as eager to meet new people, open minded and cosmopolitan, social, welltravelled and easy to get along with. Quality leisure time is spent with family, friends and sports. “I cannot imagine a day without exercising.” Ali has another passion. “I love writing and it gives me great joy.” So far he has written seven titles, published one and is writing his eight. His favourite daydreams: to become a professional writer and enjoy the simple things in life. //


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Reseller Middle East