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PUBLICATION LICENSED BY IMPZ

ISSUE 193 // january 2013 WWW.RESELLERME.COM

outlook 2013 Trends and technologies to watch in the year ahead

vendor focus

Reviews

Product

Avayalooks forward to a channel driven 2013 with its select regional partners

Acer Aspire M Touch – The fun of the future

Huawei launches new smartphones

storage market

Ripe for rich pickings


Video conferencing with an added bonus. Simplicity.

Connecting your business with video comes easy with Al Masa and Avaya. Al Masa and Avaya now offer high-performance video conferencing that easily connects across mobile devices, desktops and conference rooms. It’s never been easier to keep your teams connected and your customers happy. To find out how spontaneous video can be, please contact value@almasa.com

Š 2012 Avaya Inc. All rights reserved.


CONTENTS ISSUE 193 // january 2013

Highlights 6

cover feature

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

ANALYSIS 14 A new dawn

December saw HP unveil its biggest storage announcements in over a decade and, along with it, ‘Project Dawn’ – the code name of the ambitious channel strategy HP hopes will win it new business.

Partner watch 18 A different league

Year of change and transformation?

The global technology distribution giant Ingram Micro has taken a significant step forward into the value business with the acquisition of Aptec.

20 Leading the pack

Within first five years of operation, Redington Value has already made its mark in the regional valueadded distribution landscape.

Feature 40 The next frontier

The burgeoning data storage market is opening up long-term revenue opportunities for channel partners. What does it take to succeed in this mature market?

Hot products Vendor Focus 54 The time is now

Avaya’s VP of Emerging Regions, Nidal Abou-Itaif looks forward to a channel driven 2013 and believes it is the perfect time for the company’s 25 carefully selected regional partners to push new technologies.

Linksys rolls out Wi-Fi solutions

New Dell convertible Ultrabook

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Dell recommends Windows® 7 Professional.

With Dell™ mobility solutions, every corner of the world becomes a secure extension of your office. Being on the move doesn’t mean you have to be unproductive. With Dell mobility solutions, featuring a 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor, your team can do business wherever they are, safe in the knowledge that our laptops stay as securely connected outside of the office as they do inside. Solutions include: • The new XPS™ 14 Ultrabook™. Inspired by Intel – designed to bring you an experience that's premium in every way • The Vostro™ 3360 – cost-effective without compromising on high performance • The Latitude™ E6430s – a high-performance business-class 14" notebook weighing just 1.75kg

XPS 14 Ultrabook. Inspired by Intel

Vostro 3360

Latitude E6430s

See how Dell’s mobility solutions can benefit your business at YourDellSolution.com/me/mobility

© 2012 Dell Products. Dell, the logo, XPS, Latitude and Vostro are registered or unregistered trademarks of Dell Inc. in the United States and other countries. Ultrabook, Celeron, Celeron Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks or trade names may be used in this document to refer to third-party products (such as operating systems and software) included with the products offered by Dell and the entities claiming the marks and names of those products. Dell disclaims proprietary interest in the marks and names of others. Dell Corporation Ltd, Dell House, The Boulevard, Cain Road, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 1LF.


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

Editorial

Harbinger of change

Group Editor Jeevan Thankappan jeevan@cpidubai.com +971 4 4409109 Contributing Editors Ben Rossi Joe Lipscombe

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

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 Designer Analou Balbero analou@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9104 Digital www.resellerme.com DIGITAL SERVICES Digital Services Manager Tristan Troy P Maagma Web Developers Erik Briones Jefferson de Joya Photographer and Social Media Co-ordinator Jay Colina online@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9100 Published by

Jeevan Thankappan Group Editor

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

The year gone by was one of change for the regional channel. We witnessed business strategies evolving to keep pace with the changing market realities and technology landscape. The gloomy global economic climate and political unrest in some of the countries in the region had a cascading effect, with the channel struggling to do business on wafer-thin margins. Now the question is what does 2013 hold? We spoke to some of the key industry stakeholders to gauge what trends will drive growth this year. Though the answers vary depending on who you talk to, there are some commonalities. It appears almost certain that the channel will shape up to a year around mobility, BYOD, security and big data. Cloud computing is also top of mind for many organisations. The year ahead looks promising and what is for sure is that we will continue to see a fundamental transformation in the whole channel eco system with some of the new technology trends causing a disruption of sorts in the business model for many. The role of distributors may not change radically, but the way they do business and meet the surging customer demands will definitely evolve. The market research firm IDC predicts distributors will start to add value upstream and downstream and seek to explore alternative streams revenue to credit , logistics and financing. For the reseller community, which actually owns and manages the end-user relationships, the writing on the wall is clear; It’s time to move away from price-oriented, box pushing models to more of a value-added proposition. The margins lie in integrated solutions and services, especially in the untapped SME segment, which accounts for lion’s share of the market in this region. Services have long been the holy grail for the channel partners and those who don’t invest to ramp up their capabilities in this domain run the risk of going out of business this year. And finally, channel enablement is more relevant than ever for vendors. There has never been a more opportune time to re-think their channel strategies and give the partners what they need to transition through this time of painful metamorphosis. Here is wishing you luck.

Registered at IMPZ PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 4 447 2409 Printed by Printwell Printing Press © Copyright 2013 CPI All rights reserved While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.

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highlights News

Computerlinks partners with Sophos

Lee Reynolds, MD, Computerlinks, MEA and APAC

In line with its strategy to add more value back to the channel and tap the SMB market, the regional value-added distributor Computerlinks has signed up Sophos. “We are very strong in the enterprise space and over the last 12 months, we have had a major push into the mid-market, which we will continue to do this year as well. Most of our vendors are asking us to play in this market, which is looking for end-to-end solutions and that’s exactly what Sophos offers,” said Lee Reynolds, MD, Computerlinks, MEA and APAC. He added that in the Middle East, Computerlinks’ focus is on bringing to the market some of the smaller brands which can offer more value to the customers and margins to partners. “It is really important that we offer more than top-tier brands to help small and medium-sized resellers. And we are still very much a VAD, which means we will bring the same levels of technical and commercial resources to the mid-market. We are growing at a rate 25% year-on-year and we have to find a strategy to sustain that growth momentum. It doesn’t mean that we are going to de-focus from the

enterprise market, but drive our growth into the mid- market.” Under the agreement, Computerlinks will distribute the whole Sophops product range in the Middle East. “We are a 100% channel company and Computerlinks will distribute the whole portfolio right from gateway to endpoint protection to mobile device management solutions. There is a huge demand for security solutions in the SMB market and our focus is to make security easy and usable to address 99% of their pain points,” said André Scheffknecht, Vice President NEEMEA, Sophos. Sophos now has two distributors in the region, and Scheffknecht says Computerlinks was chosen for its loyal and pro-active partner base. “The value Computerlinks brings to the table is their pro-active channel and our strategy is to enable our partners to sell, install and maintain our products. We segment our channel partners into two categories- general partners and solution partners, who need twice the number of certification training as there is a direct relationship between the education levels of partners and brand reputations. Computerlinks will play a big role in training and educating our channel.”

Riverbed completes OPNET acquisition Riverbed Technology announced that it has closed its acquisition of OPNET Technologies. The Riverbed Cascade business unit and OPNET will be combined into the new Riverbed Performance Management business unit and will be led by General Manager Paul Brady. The OPNET acquisition builds on Riverbed’s  heritage and experience in delivering solutions that improve the performance of technology

for business. OPNET has built its success on application performance management (APM). By combining APM with leading-edge network performance management (NPM), Riverbed is now able to offer customers performance management solutions that diagnose both application and infrastructure issues. Whether the problem is server, application, or network-based; in a virtual, physical or cloud infrastructure; or, using mobile or fixed

clients, Riverbed performance management solutions will help application and infrastructure teams identify the problem and deliver actionable insight for solving the issue. “Customer satisfaction, employee productivity, business agility, and the bottom line all hinge on business-critical applications working as expected,” said Philippe Elie, Director, Business Operations EMEA at Riverbed. “The application and the underlying

infrastructure on which it runs are tightly coupled, but previously were managed in fragmented technology silos. Through the OPNET acquisition, Riverbed is the only company that provides customers with the solutions needed to manage and optimise all aspects of both application and network performance in a single portfolio of products, ensuring high performance, very fast problem resolution, and an enhanced end-user experience.”

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highlights News

Harman Middle East aims 45% sales jump during DSF Harman Middle East has expressed confidence in achieving a 45 per cent increase in sales during its participation at this year’s edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), the UAE’s largest annual shopping event that will run until February 3, 2013. The forecast is attributed to the increasing demand for consumer electronics across the region in general and the UAE in particular. The retail chain is on track in achieving its target revenue of $ 400 million for the Fiscal Year 2013. Industry analysts have pointed out that one important factor that will help drive retail growth is the pick-up in tourists visiting the UAE— bringing in an increased spending on consumer electronic goods. In addition, product innovation and competitive price cuts have also been identified as key drivers for AV spending. During DSF 2013, customers visiting ‘harman house’ stores will have the opportunity to redeem 10

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to 40 per cent of the purchase value on any AV product in the store while also receive gifts. We are excited about our participation in DSF 2013, which is being positioned as the largest and best yet. Moreover, we are seeing that the buying trend is still on the high and this year we are offering some unbeatable offers on products like flat screens and Smart TVs, home theatre systems, docking stations and headphones,” said Amit Malani, President, Harman Middle East. “We are currently witness to a positive change in the consumer electronics segment and DSF 2013 will surely prove to be rewarding as well—with consumers seeking products that showcase quality products with better connectivity, performance, speed and the convenience to suit their lifestyles. During our participation at DSF we are focusing on giving more value to the customer for each purchase of our bundle offers and promotions.”

Amit Malani, President, Harman Middle East


highlights News

Aptec Ingram Micro, NetApp launch pre-configured platform for SMBs

Govind Haridas, business unit manager, Security & Storage at Aptec Ingram Micro The ICT solutions value-added distributor Aptec, an Ingram Micro company, has launched NetApp’s Expresspod SMB Virtualisation solution in the Middle East. ExpressPod is NetApp and Cisco’s new prepackaged solution, which combines computing, networking, storage, and management products into a solution

architected for streamlined deployment. ExpressPod integrates Cisco UCS C-Series servers, NetApp FAS2220 or FAS2240 storage, and Cisco Nexus 3048 switches with infrastructure management to support an open ecosystem of management and hypervisor solutions. Expresspod is a miniature version of the successful Flexpod model. It is targeted exclusively at mid-sized businesses that are budget-conscious and have limited IT resources. Flexpod celebrated its second anniversary recently and has been adopted by more than 1300 organisations in 35 countries that have accelerated their transition to the cloud using the product. “After having a successful run globally, with Flexpod being adopted by the enterprise and mid-sized enterprise customers, now NetApp and Cisco have launched Expresspod to replicate the same success in the fast growing MSB segment,” said Govind Haridas, business unit manager, Security and Storage at Aptec. ”It is a validated design and a viable alternative for the customers who want

to enjoy enterprise-class performance with limited IT budgets.” Critical to the success of FlexPod and ExpressPod customers are the more than 660 certified FlexPod Partners, including 33 Premium Partners in EMEA and the Americas, who help deploy the infrastructure. In addition to a wide range of sales, and marketing resources designed to help partners grow their businesses and accelerate customer success, Cisco and NetApp offer a Plan, Design and Implement Help Desk that allows partners to collaborate with NetApp and Cisco on solving real-world implementation challenges. Clear deployment guidance and training, coupled with support, marketing, and demand-generation resources from Cisco and NetApp, provide the tools to help partners build and extend infrastructure solution practices to IT departments globally. Aptec is the only VAD in the region that distributes NetApp, Cisco and VMware. The company has launched extensive marketing campaigns to promote Expresspod and is also driving initiatives to enable channel partners to support the various customer engagements, according to Haridas. ExpressPod implementation guides are already available to partners beginning December 2012 through VADs.

Kaspersky Lab launches affiliate programme in the Middle East Kaspersky Lab has partnered with affiliate network, Avangate, to offer the Kaspersky Affiliate Program to partners in the Middle East. Commenting on the launch, Tarek Kuzbari, Managing Director, Kaspersky Lab Middle East and Turkey, said: “We are proud and very excited to announce the launch of a new Affiliate Program. Introduced worldwide, we are now introducing this unique initiative in the region in order to give our many partners in the Middle East an opportunity to boost their business. In addition to the significant commission rates, as

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part of this programme, affiliates will get access to localised links and creative resources to promote the latest products and launches. Through this initiative we hope to generate innovative ways for partners to boost their business while simultaneously contributing to the growth of Kaspersky’s leading edge solutions in the region.” According to the company, commissions are based on three affiliate levels – Standard, Advanced and Premier Affiliates. Partners begin the programme as Standard Affiliates and as they generate a higher value of sales every month, partners

progress to a higher level of affiliation and a higher rate of commission. With the Kaspersky Affiliate Program, partners can successfully increase their own Web traffic, earn regular incentives and bonuses, and enjoy special promotions and discount coupons in addition to gaining access to creative resources completely free of charge The Kaspersky Affiliate Program is aimed at driving traffic to Kaspersky online stores with the Affiliate receiving commissions based on sales results. Kaspersky’s generous commission scheme is designed

Tarek Kuzbari, Managing Director, Kaspersky Lab Middle East and Turkey to reward successful affiliates – by providing higher commission rates for affiliates that make higher sales.


highlights News

Canon hosts partner conference

Building on its “closer to customers” strategy, Canon Middle East has hosted its 2012 Partner Conference in Morocco under the theme: “Build the Future”. The conference, which brought together over 100 partners from 45 countries in the Middle East, North, West and East Africa region aimed to shed light on some of the new Canon innovations which will pave the way for the future of imaging technologies and connectivity. Over the years, Canon has seen its Middle East business catching up rapidly with global trends. While the global cloud computing

market is anticipated to increase to $241 billion by 2020, the Middle East and Africa region is expected to have the highest cloud traffic growth rate – estimated at 79% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR), followed by Latin America (66% CAGR), and Central and Eastern Europe (55% CAGR) – by 2016. Similarly, the number of Web-connected devices is expected to grow more than fourfold by 2020, reaching a watershed of 50 billion devices globally. In light of these industry trends, Canon Middle East and its partners discussed a new phase of continuous innovation within

Avnet collaborates with NVIDIA The solutions distributor Avnet Technology Solutions has joined the NVIDIA Tesla Preferred Partner programme to help highperformance computing (HPC) customers drive business growth in expanding industries, including life sciences, finance, oil and gas and manufacturing. The Tesla Preferred Partner programme is a sales, marketing and business development programme for VARs, OEMs and ODMs that

are driving the growth of the HPC market. As a programme member, Avnet will provide partners and resellers across EMEA with advanced server and workstation platforms with the new NVIDIA Tesla K20 family of GPU accelerators, which are based on the next-generation NVIDIA Kepler GPU computing architecture. Rajesh Suman, Vice President of Computer Components, Avnet Technology Solutions, EMEA, commented, “Joining the NVIDIA partner programme

the imaging industry, which constitutes the company’s vision for the future and the direction in which the industry at large is heading. Anurag Agrawal, Managing Director, Canon Middle East, said: “In an ever changing environment, new technologies are constantly being integrated in everyday life. From input through cameras, to output through printers, Canon’s integrated cross media imaging solutions enable connectivity across different technology components including Canon’s own devices as well as other devices such as smart phones and tablets, Wi-Fi and cloud enabled devices. “From consumers to businesses, we aim to be everyone’s imaging partner. We foresee that the world is moving towards more integration and Canon’s unique strength in this respect lies in the wide range of products and services which provide an end to end solution to consumers and businesses. Catering to integration is thus allowing us to become closer to our customers and making technology more usable, thus enabling everyday life.”

expands our ability to provide resellers and partners with solutions that improve application performance up to several orders of magnitude faster, addressing some of the most challenging computational tasks such as processing financial trades, gridding oil in the sea and evaluating solar systems”. “Our channel partners can also leverage our extensive portfolio of complementary off-the-shelf components, distribution and integration services to improve time to market adding significant value to their business,” Suman added.


highlights News

Server shipments grew in Q3, Gartner says In the third quarter of 2012 worldwide server shipments grew 3.6 % year-on-year, while revenue decreased 2.8 from the third quarter of 2011, according to Gartner. “The third quarter of 2012 again produced shipment growth on a worldwide level, but server revenue was weak due to ongoing economic weakness and market segment differences,” said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner. “Only the North America and Asia/Pacific regions managed any revenue growth, and even those were essentially flat year to year, with North America showing a 1.1 % increase and Asia/Pacific a 0.7 % increase. The picture in terms of shipments was slightly more positive with North America, Latin America and Asia/Pacific all growing, but both EMEA and Japan continue to struggle and

both saw shipments contract, compared to the same period last year.” “x86 server shipments grew 4.3 % in the third quarter of 2012, and revenue increased 4 % from the third quarter of 2011. RISC/ Itanium Unix servers continued to fall globally for the period – a 31.1 % decline in shipments and a decrease of 16.4 % in revenue compared to the same quarter last year. The ‘other’ CPU category, which is primarily mainframes, showed a decline of 17 % in terms of revenue,” Hewitt said. In terms of server form factors, x86 blade servers declined 7.1 % in shipments but increased 2.3 % in revenue for the quarter. The x86 rack-optimized form factor declined 0.2 % in shipments and decreased 0.3 % in revenue for the third quarter of 2012.

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), server shipments totaled almost 590,000 units in the third quarter of 2012, down 2.8 % from the same period of 2011 (see Table 3). Server revenue totaled $3 billion, a decline of 9 % year on year (see Table 4). “Against a backdrop of continued economic and business challenges, EMEA remains the weak spot for global server sales,” said Adrian O’Connell, research director at Gartner. “Each of the three EMEA sub regions saw revenue contract: Western Europe by 7.6 %, Eastern Europe by 11.8 %, and the Middle East and Africa by 14.0 %. We’re not seeing signs of demand weakening significantly, but EMEA continues to present a very challenging environment for server vendors to operate in.”

Meta Byte emphasises on data governance

Salil Dighe, Managing Director at Meta Byte The regional solution provider Meta Byte Technologies has

unveiled its new approach to help enterprises in the region to implement Data Loss Prevention (DLP) projects in a much more meaningful, informed and successful manner. Salil Dighe, Managing Director at Meta Byte Technologies explains, “Meta Byte’s approach is like a first step for enterprises who aspire to have the ultimate data protection. Meta Byte’s approach allows organisations total visibility and control over

their data, ensuring that only the right users have access to the right data at all times. Enterprises that have tried to limit access to only the right people have found that there is a lengthy and manual communications process between IT and data business owners when it comes to answering the question, who should have access to this data? We give enterprises the visibility and the intelligence to eradicate the problem with a

fraction of the resources they devote to it today.” Salil adds, “Our unique approach to protect data revolves around the concept of data governance that defines the framework of people, processes, permissions, privileges or access rights to ensure proper data use. Enterprises in the region need to have a strategy and processes in place to govern appropriate and authorised use of business data, thereby significantly lowering the risk of data misuse.”


highlights News

Blue Coat snaps up Crossbeam

Greg Clark, chief executive officer at Blue Coat

Blue Coat Systems has entered into an agreement to acquire the network security vendor Crossbeam Systems.   By acquiring Crossbeam, Blue Coat says it is laying the foundation for a broader strategy to transform the way businesses secure and optimise their networks. “Our service provider and enterprise customers are excited we are bringing together two complementary technologies,” said Greg Clark, Chief Executive Officer at Blue Coat Systems.  “With Crossbeam, Blue Coat gains a best-in-class support infrastructure and a high performing platform that scales to meet the needs of even the most complex enterprise IT environments.” The Crossbeam X-Series portfolio provides the platform that allows businesses to consolidate their security and networking infrastructures.  Combined with

Blue Coat’s leading Unified Security solution, the X-Series is an ideal control point in the network for managing applications that secure both inbound and outbound traffic from all users in any location. “Blue Coat and Crossbeam are natural partners. The combination of Blue Coat’s Web security solutions and Crossbeam’s scalable X-Series platform is an exciting proposition for us,” said Matthew Gyde, Global General Manager of Security at Dimension Data.  “We’re confident that this union will appeal to our clients that are looking to innovate securely and cost effectively.” Together, Blue Coat and Crossbeam will continue to embrace an open ecosystem and support best-of-breed ISV applications that allow customers to cost effectively deploy the security solutions that best fit their needs.


ANALYSIS HP

A new dawn December saw HP unveil its biggest storage announcements in over a decade and, along with it, ‘Project Dawn’ – the code name of the ambitious channel strategy HP hopes will win it new business.

Meg Whitman, CEO, HP It is no secret that it has been another challenging 12 months for HP, a true veteran of the IT industry. Meg Whitman became the fourth CEO of HP in just seven years when she took on the role in September 2011, and it has been by no means a smooth ride for her as profits have continued to dip. “It has been an incredible year for this company,” Whitman said as she took the stage at the HP Discover conference in Frankfurt. “There have been a lot of challenges but there have also been a lot of victories.” “Despite what you may have heard, innovation is alive and well at HP. Our culture of great engineering and innovation is a tremendous asset and it’s not that we don’t have enough innovation at HP, it’s that we need to work harder on commercialising that innovation and getting those ideas to market faster. That’s one of the things we’re focusing on in the next 12 months.”

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That innovation was evident as HP chose the conference to unveil the most significant updates to its storage portfolio in over 10 years, which it claimed will lead a revolution in data storage. It attributed this revolution to the use of a modern single storage architecture to provide ‘polymorphic simplicity’, which is a new concept that enables a single-system architecture to exist in several forms whilst retaining common data services for block, object and file applications. The first announcement centred on the latest result of HP’s acquisition of 3PAR. The new HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 range was billed as the industry’s only midrange quadcontroller platform offering tier one storage availability and quality-of-service features at an easy entry price point for organisations. The second portfolio expansion to be revealed was HP StoreOnce 2000 and 4000 Backup with support for HP StoreOnce Catalyst software.

These new models provide efficient data movement and high-performance deduplication to reduce data protection costs in remote sites and data centres, and perform backup operations up to three times faster at a 35 percent lower cost than the closest competitive system, HP said. The final product to be unveiled was HP StoreAll Storage, a highly scalable platform for object and file data access, providing a simplified environment for big data retention and cloud storage that reduces the need for additional administrators or hardware. Vital strategy However, it is the channel that HP is relying on as it sends these products to market in the hope of resurging the company to former glories. As a result, HP has spent the last few months investing extensive time on ‘Project Dawn’, the code name for its vital channel strategy. This strategy has involved the rigorous training of HP’s 800 resellers, which make up the biggest channel of any IT vendor in EMEA, to convert them from EVA to 3PAR and the new midrange platforms. “We’ve invested all the time up front in getting them trained, enabled and ready to go, and now we’ll try to get all of those guys selling 3PAR as quickly as possible,” said Chris Johnson, EMEA VP, HP Storage. “The reaction is superb – they’re super excited. This is something that is pretty disruptive for them to sell and get behind. We’re going to be very competitive in the midmarket. We’ve got the opportunity to refresh both our own and our competitors’ base, and win on the new business.” HP also hopes the new range will help it take on the high end market, which is currently dominated by EMC. “If you imagine that data is growing 50 percent per year, for a lot of the customers that have traditionally bought high end storage, it is becoming absolutely paralysingly expensive for them to do that,” Johnson said. “So we see a lot of the big banks, telcos, retailers and manufacturers – all of the high end customers – starting to look at tier II storage and how they can get some of the applications of tier I to manage on tier II. 3PAR is perfect for that environment, so you’ll start to see us positioning midrange storage for the big enterprise customers. This is why we are super excited – it is game changing in the industry.” //


opinion Trend Micro

Forecast for the channel landscape Rich pickings in 2013 for those who prize value over price, predicts Sushma Kajaria, Channel Manager, Trend Micro Well, it’s that time of the year again: time to engage in some amateur crystal ball gazing to pick out the channel trends of the next 12 months. In all honesty, I think 2012 went better than any of us could have hoped, given the continued macroeconomic slump throughout Europe. Considering the less-than-glorious forecast for the coming year many will fear the worst, but there is definitely success to be had as long as channel players don’t get sucked into a price war. According to analyst Canalys, UK distributors grew their business by a negligible amount in 2012, vendors did a bit better, while resellers topped the lot with around 10 percent growth. Vendors could have done better but as competition grew for the best resellers many were caught giving away margins to offer more attractive deals. That kind of short-term strategy is simply not sustainable for any length of time especially if the economy gradually recovers, and could well lead to a few casualties next year. There has definitely been more stability in the reseller world than in vendor sphere or in distributor land, which has helped their success in 2012. When it comes to generating sustainable success going forward however, those that follow the path of value rather than price and look to offer managed service

packages or bundled solutions rather than cheap point offerings will prosper. This has already been happening to an extent in 2012, for example in the sphere of virtualisation security. It’s been one of the key growth areas for Trend Micro while more traditional segments such as AV have barely increased at all. We’ve seen huge increase in project-based virtualisation, and there is optimism that VDI roll-outs, especially among government customers, are going to be in huge demand next year. Virtualisation is one of those areas where resellers can really provide that value-add, that expertise and know-how to offer customers a holistic solution to a business problem. It’s good for them, for the vendors and the channel as a whole if we move towards these kinds of deals and away from the high volume, low value contracts which can only end in a destructive race to the bottom. Another benefit of virtualisation for the channel in this time of economic cut backs is that it perfectly fits the CIO agenda of consolidating and cutting infrastructure costs. Looking ahead, advanced persistent threat technology is another area where resellers and vendors have a great opportunity to work together to respond to huge customer demand for a solution to their security problems. Again, we’ve seen the larger customers, including public sector

“Virtualisation is one of those areas where resellers can really provide that value-add, that expertise and know-how to offer customers a holistic solution to a business problem.” 16

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Sushma Kajaria, Channel Manager, Trend Micro bodies and some big name banks looking at this area in 2012 and we’re likely to see more next year, with the mid-sized market following suit as market awareness grows. Mobile and consumerisation is another area where the channel can tap a growing industry trend to provide solutions to business problems. With BYOD snowballing in 2012 and set to continue next year there’s an opportunity for resellers to use their expertise to knit together different but complementary technologies into effective mobile device management/security solutions. Mobile products from Good Technology and Trend Micro fit together well, for example, but are sometimes thought of as non-complementary – it’s the resellers’ value-add that will bring such offerings together in a compelling solution. This year also saw a fair amount of consolidation in the distributor world, and given these things tend to run in cycles, 2013 could well see more of the same but in the reseller space. SecData has already acquired Quadrant, so expect more deals of this nature. However, if this does set off a domino-like acquisition spree it is likely to lead to a return, in the short term at least, to more low margin deals as the acquiring firms try to generate RoI from their purchases. Let’s hope for the channel’s sake that this doesn’t become the norm again. //


partner watch Aptec-an Ingram Micro Company

Dr Ali Bagdhadi, VP and CEO of Aptec- an Ingram Micro Company

A different league The global technology distribution giant Ingram Micro has taken a significant step forward into the value business with the acquisition of Aptec. The combined company will now benefit from an expanded geographical footprint and customer base. Dr Ali Bagdhadi, VP and CEO of Aptec-an Ingram Micro Company, talks about the plans and strategy to address the rapidly growing market.

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What does this merger really mean to both Ingram and Aptec? Ingram Micro is keen to find new ways to increase the value to shareholders, and enter high growth, high profit areas. They have embarked on two directions in addition to broadline distributions- one is value-added distribution and services and the other one is telecom. So they have acquired Brightpoint to offer device lifecycle and solutions for the mobile industry. Similarly, the Aptec acquisition gives them two things- they get a foot in the VAD business services, both in terms of vendor relations and expertise, which they don’t have in abundance. In addition to that, we also bring to the table a geography they were not present in, and the whole Middle East and


Africa, and Turkey region is one of the fastest growing markets in the world today. Will Ingram bring into this region the same level of infrastructure it has elsewhere? Ingram is very committed to this region and they have already invested significantly in working capital and so forth. We are looking for other things as well such as opening up in new countries, investing in new infrastructure services and offering financial services to our partners. It’s a phased approach and today we are present in 73 countries within this massive region. Because of the Brightpoint acquisition, we will establish Aptec in South Africa in the first quarter and also set up a new office in Kenya to address the east African market. In Turkey, we are moving to larger premises, hiring more resources, and in Egypt we are taking a new office and warehouse. What are the implications of this merger on your partners in terms of credit, choice of suppliers, etc? To start with, no one should see any change in terms of credit, relationships and suppliers. Instead, they will see more offerings from us and we’re expanding training centres, enhancing our logistics services by looking at Ingram’s best practices, and working on a cloud aggregation platform. Ingram has invested in three data centres, and we are offering our infrastructure as a service to partners. We will develop the market for software and infrastructure as a service, and offer business consulting training programmes for our partners to adopt and make money out of this new cloud model. Now, as part of a massive US company, are there many processes that you need to comply with? If you look at Aptec’s history, we’re part of a Nasdaq listed company and we have always been very strict on compliance. All of our vendors are US-based and our company culture doesn’t believe in anything that deviates from compliance. In fact, it was one of the biggest reasons why Ingram felt comfortable in entering

into this merger. There aren’t many other companies in the region that adhere to compliance like us.

I just came back from a board meeting at Ingram’s HQ and they believe in the ideas we have discussed around value and services.

Vendor partner programmes can often get very difficult to navigate and distributors have to take the lead in educating the channel. What are your initiatives to train and certify the partners? When you are a broadline distributor, you are focused on fulfillment. But when you are a VAD the role changes because you have to do the right intelligence gathering, and recruit the right partners and enable them through training and certification. This is why we are expanding our training centres, not just in the UAE, but in Saudi, Oman, Egypt and Pakistan as well. This enablement programme is what

What are the advanced technologies on your radar? Any plans to expand the portfolio? Cloud is going to be really big for us. I don’t think any other distributor globally has invested more than Ingram in cloud. We have five different solutions areas right now, and we are looking to strengthen our offerings in the areas of security, storage, enterprise computing and business intelligence with vendors. In addition, we are looking at two other solutions areas that Ingram has created – one is point of sales and warehouse management systems for retail and the other is the graphic design solutions area. We do have

“Many of the big resellers have already managed cash in on this opportunity and we are enabling and encouraging others, especially the SMB resellers, to tap the services potential.” makes the partner capable of delivering and we will continue to handhold them through our ATS division.

a wish-list of vendors that we want to bring in but we will not incorporate any broadline or consumer types of vendors in our portfolio.

How many of these resellers are looking at the services opportunity? Many of the big resellers have already managed cash in on this opportunity and we are enabling and encouraging others, especially the SMB resellers, to tap the services potential.

What will be the impact of the cloud model on the traditional distribution model? If you look at cloud, public cloud in particular, there are types of offerings – platform-as-a service, infrastructure-as-a-service and software-as-a-service, which accounts for 50% of the market. We are committed to both SaaS and IaaS. But what is it really going to change? Some of the smaller startups and SMBs might opt for an off-premise model. But on the enterprise level, we see a hybrid model emerging and we are providing solutions to enable this model. We are going to be a cloud aggregator and we don’t see any change in our business model. What is going to change is the role of distributors; the industry is moving more towards services and consulting rather than just supplying boxes. //

How does Ingram plan to drive the value business? Would it be a hybrid model to has done with its Azalan division? On the global, there are initiatives within Ingram to drive the value business, which can be done through solutions. We are exploring options to see how best to grow the value business within Ingram and I believe you have to differentiate value from broadline from a branding point of view and the kind of skill sets you need for value business is very different.

january 2013

Reseller Middle East

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partner watch Redington Value

Leading the pack Within first five years of operation, Redington Value has already made its mark in the regional value-added distribution landscape. B Ramkumar, VP of Value Business at Redington Gulf, is now eyeing the top slot with a strategy backed by its geographical footprint and strong network of partners.

B Ramkumar, VP of Value Business at Redington Gulf

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Reseller Middle East

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So how was 2012 for you? We are still in an evolutionary phase where we are acquiring new relationships and what we have been trying to establish since inception has now become very mainstream. From an industry point of view, 2012 may not have been the best year but for us, it was one of the best years because we have achieved more than 80% penetration into the markets where we serve. Also, we are probably the only distributor, which has the best positioning in Saudi and the Englishspeaking Africa. Do you see this increasing trend of broadline disties getting into value business is really working out, given the fact that dynamics are completely different? I think it’s working out beautifully. In the past there were questions about whether a broadline distributor can really be a VAD and how effective it can be. In my experience in building this business, this model can work as long as you manage the business separately. Being a VAD within a broadline distributor is a sweet spot because it gives you access to the best of logistics capabilities and infrastructure in every location. For example, we have 32 people in Saudi alone, spread across three locations and we have a huge presence across the Middle East and Africa. And if I compare myself with a pure-play VAD, there is no way they can deploy this kind of infrastructure and manage the overheads. Except for sharing logistics, warehouses and finances, we are a completely independent entity and we sit in separate offices with dedicated marketing, pre-sales and back-office resources. We have built everything from scratch to emerge as one of the top two VADs in the region, and this has happened only because we operate under the Redington brand. If we started as a stand-alone entity, we wouldn’t have been able to scale and one of the reasons why vendors choose Redington is our reach, diverse channel and the ability to execute their channel programmes in-country.


How do define value-added distribution, as it often means different things to different people? Two to three years back, the basic prequalification that you required in order to become VAD was resources, pre- and postsales capabilities. However, in the current context it means two fundamental things – are we able to build a relevant channel for our vendors? Can we provide an end-to-end portfolio for our channel partners and enable them to win business? To get this right, you have to do a lot of work in the back-end; you have to have highly skilled and certified resources, a robust marketing engine and evangelise technology. To give you an example, in the first 6 months of this fiscal year, we have done around 50 unique events for our vendors. For mainstream vendors such as EMC and Cisco, it’s about their proposition and product bundles. But for lot of other new vendors that we have brought to the market, it’s all about educating the channel about their technologies. Do you have any plans to expand the portfolio? We have five focused business units. One is dedicated to Cisco and EMC, and the other for HP enterprise group. Then we have software and security, convergence and infrastructure, and servers and storage. We have recently signed up five or six new vendors and by the end of this fiscal, it should be around 30 vendors. Are you looking at vendors who can complement your existing portfolio? Largely complementary. However, the beauty of our model is that we can sign up competing vendors as well. For example, we might be working with particular vendor in Saudi and the competitor in Africa. As a VAD, it’s our responsibility to provide a certain amount of choice and options to our partners and it’s highly unlikely that we will have exclusive contracts. We have very mature systems and management practices

in terms of how we handle competing vendors internally to ensure there is no conflict of interest. Within your portfolio, which are the faster growing technologies in terms of demand? I would say storage and security. The recent breaches in Saudi have opened up new opportunities for the security business. If you look at virtualisation and mobility, the hottest technology trends today, people have paid no attention to security in these areas. We expect regional enterprises to make huge investments in security in the coming years to address the threats.

already account for 30-40% of their bottom line but the real value-added reseller channel is missing out on the services opportunity because they are not willing to invest. Do you think the cloud computing paradigm will have an adverse impact on distribution of infrastructure products? I believe cloud is still hyped up and no one is really making money out of it. The real opportunity is in the private cloud. I can’t think of any distributor globally, which has an established go-to-market strategy to address this paradigm or know how to monetise cloud. However, we are exploring

For the large and mid-tier partners, services already account for 30-40% of their bottom line but the real value-added reseller channel is missing out on the services opportunity because they are not willing to invest. Do you up-skill your partners and encourage them to specialise? We do that for a living. A major part of our compensation and rebates with vendors is directly linked to how we are able to skill, certify and bring the channel forward. To sell a product to a non-certified partner is not a viable option, so by default we drive channel enablement through training and certification. Sales enablement is easy but technical enablement is an on-going process. Services offer a hugely untapped opportunity for partners. How do you enable them to transition towards it? To be honest, that’s an area where there is a lot of work needs to be done, as a vast majority of resellers are not able to understand the potential or have limitations in terms of investing in services capabilities. For the large and mid-tier partners, services

opportunities within the infrastructure-as-aservice domain. You have won a number of awards this year including our Reseller Hot 50… We were recognised as the best distributor by four different vendors across the Middle East and Africa. This includes Trend Micro, Dell SonicWall, Red Hat and Avaya. We got the Reseller Hot 50 for best pre-sales and I thought this was a nice recognition as it is an unsung community and no one gives them credit for the value they bring to table. What is really special about these awards is that it’s not about sales figures but about the value we offer by taking these brands into difficult markets and make it work. Our real USP is our proximity to channel and I believe we are breaking away from the pack in the value-added distribution game. //

january 2013

Reseller Middle East

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This communication has been created for you by a company reselling Dell products.

manageability without the complexity.

Presenting the new generation of Dell Latitude™ and OptiPlex™ business-class solutions. Latitude laptops and OptiPlex desktops enable new levels of control and seamless data protection, no matter how big your team becomes. • 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors and efficient manageability with Intel® vPro™ technology • Dell’s unique extensions for remote out-of-band BIOS or battery management • Effective and efficient IT management with Dell KACE™ • Long, stable lifecycles and managed transition periods for effective planning • Safeguard data and mett compliance regulations with Trusted Platform Module (TPM), Dell Data Protection | Encryption and encrypted hard drive options • Space-saving 9010 All-in-One desktop includes integrated power supply, VESA mounting and wireless keyboard/mouse options

Mindware FZ LLC I Tecom – Cayan Business Center I Dubai, UAE P.O. Box: 55609 I T.: 04 450 0600 I E: dell@mindware.ae I W: www.mindware.ae © 2012 Dell Products. Dell, the Dell logo and Latitude are registered or unregistered trade marks of Dell Inc. in the United States and other countries. Intel, the Intel Logo, Intel Inside, Intel Core, and Core Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. Windows and the Windows logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Other trademarks or trade names may be used in this document to refer to third-party products (such as operating systems and software) included with the products offered by Dell and the entities claiming the marks and names of those products. Dell disclaims proprietary interest in the marks and names of others. [Dell Corporation Ltd, Dell House, The Boulevard, Cain Road, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 1LF.


Honouring channel superstars The inaugural Reseller Hot 50 Awards were presented at a glittering ceremony held at the H Hotel in Dubai, which rallied together all the key stakeholders from the channel universe. These companies, including vendors, distributors, SIs, resellers and retailers, have worked effectively to create value for their customers and profit for themselves and their partners. We turned the magnifying glass on these stellar performers from vendor and channel communities and winners were picked by our editorial team.

Brocade - Best Storage Networking Vendor

Imation - Best SMB Product Vendor

january 2013

Reseller Middle East

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Redington Value - Best Presales Support

Jacky’s Electornics - Best Specialist Retailer

Key Information Technology - Best Reseller Performance Initiative

STME - Best Storage Integrator

EMPA - Best After-sales Support

Comguard - Best Software Distributor

Westcon - Best Product Leadership

Trigon - Best Retail Distributor

Mitsumi - Best Emerging Distributor

Unatrac - Best Demand Generation Initiatives

Asbis Middle East - Best Consumer Hardware Distributor

Logicom - Best Convergence Distributor

Optimus - Best Partner Training Initiatives

FVC - Best Enterprise Hardware Distributor

Mindware - Best Strategic Partner Engagements

Aptec - Best Logistic Services

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Reseller Middle East

january 2013


HelpAG - Best Security Solutions Provider

VIP Computers - Best Consumer Electronics Distributor

Almoayyed Computers - Best Infrastructure Services

Golden Systems Middle East - Best Brand Promotion Initiative

Nanjgel Solutions - Best Security Integrator

Emitac Enterprise Solutions - Best Project Management

Prologix - Best Infrastructure Distributor

FDC - Best Channel Management

Emitac Distribution - Best Channel Marketing Initiative

COMPUTERLINKS - Best IT Solutions Distributor

Almasa - Best Channel Enablement

Metra - Best Systems Distributor

BDL - Best Volume Distributor

Promate - Best Lifestyle Technology Vendor

Touchmate- Best Home-grown Brand

HP Networking - Best Partner Education Initiatives


Goodram Middle East - Best Memory Vendor

Kaspersky - Best Internet Security Vendor

Targus - Best Accessories Vendor

Western Digital - Best Consumer Storage Vendor

Bitdefender - Best Mobile Security Vendor

Lexmark - Best Print Services Vendor

D-Link - Best Green Technologies Vendor

ManageEngine - Best Network Management Vendor

ESET - Best Channel Growth Initatives

Fluke Networks - Best Test & Measurement Vendor

Fortinet - Best Enterprise Security Vendor

Cisco / Linksys - Best Wireless Vendor

HP PPSG - Best Product Innovation

Dell - Best Data Centre Solutions Vendor

Avaya - Best UC and Collaboration Vendor

Iomega - Best Network Storage Vendor

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Reseller Middle East

january 2013


Designed for Life: Yours

AUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTORS* Al Shadawi Trading Despec Levant Despec East Africa ITE Distribution Jarir Bookstore

Tel: + 971 43552270 Tel: + 962 65626440 Tel: + 254 204442241 Tel: + 971 048132400 Tel: + 966 920000089

Email: seby_vc@alfalak.com Email: k.ehab@despec.com Email: salesinfo@despec.co.ke Email: itesales@iteme.com Email: jarir@jarirbookstore.com

Lifestyle by Redington National trading house Nordix Egypt Redington Africa

Tel: + 971 43734712 Tel: + 973 17736363 Tel: + 201 001562258 Tel: + 254 738999344

Email: Namita.Gupta@redingtongulf.com Email: nattrad@batelco.com.bh Email: s_elfar@nordixegypt.com Email: info@redington gulf.com

* Please check our website of respective distributors coverage of countries and channels in the region.


Over 3000 businesses in the Middle East trust ManageEngine’s real-time IT Management products.

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january 2013

Reseller Middle East

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Steve Lockie, MD, Westcon ME Group

Riding the BYOD wave Everything around big data and BYOD will be topical and challenging for the regional CIOs. The adoption of smart devices as business tools has also clearly impacted PC sales and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Extending video to the edge will be a key growth market, mobility and BYOD management will also be top of mind and compliance will start to be a greater driver of market growth. We aim to have specific offerings to allow us partners a meaningful dialogue with clients around these key opportunities. Access control and data management issues around BYOD and capturing business advantage from big data will be central to the leaders in this region. Though enterprise IT spending may not gain

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Reseller Middle East

january 2013

much steam in 2013, in addressing the issues of BYOD and big data plus impending compliance reviews we expect a shift in budget from classic infrastructure upgrade to these newer areas. We will also continue to see greater maturity and specialisation in the channel to address the needs of the regions CIOs. Greater partnerships or development in the mobile applications space will definitely yield results. Innovative applications that pull through mobile devices and lucrative services opportunities and look for opportunities to upgrade consumer grade solutions to truly robust and secure mobile applications. Key to profit and growth this year will be to get focus into the commercial sector and specifically the SMB segment and ensure partners are fully equipped to capture this growth.


Meera Kaul, MD, Optimus Technology & Telecommunications

The year of infrastructure 2013 in this region will see a huge impetus on technology infrastructure building. This was planned in 2012 but political and economic delays led to a setback in the number of projects that actually went into execution. The Middle East and Africa is a highly diverse and heterogeneous region. As such, the predictions on top trends for each of the countries of the region will also vary. Whereas there is a lot of sentiment of uncertainty in the economies of some countries across the region, some countries are witnessing a huge inflow of investment from these troubled geographies. The Gulf countries are witnessing a huge real estate revival, which is likely to spur technology infrastructure spending in these select countries. This will mean that there will be a potential spend on IT

Infrastructure projects and projects involving IT applications roll outs. E-Government projects seem to be pivoted to gain momentum as further automation of citizen services and facilities will lead to greater use of data collection, data mining and business intelligence technologies. 2013 will see a spurt in IT spending in banking, manufacturing and industrial ventures as apart from IT infrastructure; the IT security aspects of their technology set ups will need to be upgraded as well. Many small and medium business enterprises will move non-critical applications to public clouds. Government and semi-government enterprises will see an impetus to move their applications to private or hybrid clouds. There will therefore be a huge spend on cloud infrastructure, data centre equipment, backup, disaster recovery, storage and optimisation applications.

january 2013

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Claire Jones, Regional Manager, Cisco UAE

Networks get a facelift Middle East markets are leapfrogging developed economies by embracing new business models and technologies to achieve their social and economic goals. In recent years we have witnessed many governments in the region making significant investments in creating and upgrading their respective national technology infrastructural networks. They have done this by introducing new collaborative technology which will help to drive innovation to make a difference to every citizen’s life. Today, the network is the vital platform for creating intelligent, sustainable solutions for public safety and security, transportation, buildings, utilities, healthcare and education. This network platform will be crucial for driving growth, innovation, efficiency and productivity for the nation and its people.

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Reseller Middle East

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Given the explosive growth of information and the applications to access that information anywhere, anytime, the Middle East is experiencing robust adoption of technologies such as cloud computing, virtualisation, unified communications and internet based voice and video. The challenge that the industry will face by the BYOD trend is introducing and managing a solid security strategy. As more and more employees are using devices for both personal and business activities, the issues with potential loss of confidential company data increases as IT departments are less in control. Companies in 2013 will have to ensure that devices have business application and data isolated and protected s that it is not affected by any malware coming from games, email attachments and unsecure internet connections.


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Go wireless with your laptop/desktop. Or, upgrade to the latest Go wireless with your laptop/desktop. Or, upgrade to the latest network standard to enjoy higher speeds betterto range Go Go wireless wireless with withyour your laptop/desktop. laptop/desktop. Or, and upgrade upgrade the thelatest latest network standard to enjoy higher speeds and bettertorange Easily add wireless technology to your PC network network standard standard to toenjoy enjoy higher higher speeds speeds and better better range range Easily add wireless technology to your PC Easily Easilyadd addwireless wirelesstechnology technology to to your your PC PC connected to Wi-Fi networks • Getting

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*Maximum performance for the Powerline AV Network Adapter is derived from HomePlug Powerline Alliance Homeplug AV specification. Actual performance can vary, including lower powerline network capacity and data throughput rate. Performance depends on many factors, conditions and variables, including volume of network traffic, home wiring construction, operating system used, mix of networking products used, interference from other electrical devices, age of home wiring, wireline range and coverage as determined by wiring route or path between devices and other adverse conditions. Power outlets and electrical wiring must all be part performance of the same electrical system. **The maximum performance wireless is derived from IEEE Standard 802.11 Actual performance performance can can vary, vary, including including lower lower powerline wireless network throughput rate, rate. rangePerformance and coverage. Performance depends many factors, conditions and variables, *Maximum for the Powerline AV Network Adapter is derivedfor from HomePlug Powerline Alliance Homeplug AVspecifi specifications. cation. Actual networkcapacity, capacitydata and data throughput depends on many factors,on conditions and variables, including volume including distance from the access point, volume of network c, electrical building materials and construction, operating used, mix of wireless products and other adverse of network traffic, home wiring construction, operating system used, mix of networking products used, interference fromtraffi other devices, age of home wiring, wirelinesystem range and coverage as determined by used, wiringinterference route or path between devices conditions. and other adverse conditions. Power outlets and electrical wiring must all be part of the same electrical system. **The maximum performance for wireless is derived from IEEE Standard 802.11 specifications. Actual performance can vary, including lower wireless network capacity, data throughput rate, range and coverage. Performance depends on many factors, conditions and variables, © 2012 Cisco. All rights reserved. Cisco, the Cisco logo and Linksys are trademarks registered of Ciscotraffi and/or its affiliates in theand United States andoperating certain other countries. Mac the Mac logo are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc.,conditions. registered in the U.S. and other countries. Windows is a registered including distance from the or access point,trademarks volume of network c, building materials construction, system used, mix ofand wireless products used, interference and other adverse *Maximum *Maximum performance performance for the for Powerline the Powerline AV Network AV Network Adapter is derived is derived from HomePlug Powerline Powerline Alliance Alliance Homeplug Homeplug AV AV specifi specifi cation. cation. Actual Actual performance can can vary, vary,including including lowerpowerline powerline network network capacity capacity and data data throughput throughput rate. rate. Performance Performance depends depends onon many many factors, factors, conditions conditions and variables, variables, including including volume volume trademark of Microsoft Corporation in theAdapter United States andfrom otherHomePlug countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document orperformance website are the property of theirlower respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and anyand other company. of network of network traffic, home traffic,wiring home wiring construction, construction, operating operating system system used,used, mix of mix networking of networking products products used, used, interference interference from from other other electrical electrical devices, devices, age age of of home home wiring, wiring,wireline wirelinerange rangeand andcoverage coverageas as determined determined by wiring wiring route route or or path pathbetween betweendevices devicesand andother other adverse adverse conditions. conditions. Power Power outlets outlets andand electrical electrical wiring wiring must must © 2012 Cisco. All rights reserved. Cisco, the Cisco logo and Linksys are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. Mac and the Mac logo are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Windows is a registered all be part all be of the partsame of theelectrical same electrical system. system. **The **The maximum maximum performance performance for wireless for wireless is derived is derived fromfrom IEEEIEEE Standard Standard 802.11 802.11 specifi specifi cations. cations. Actual Actual performance performance can can vary, vary,including includinglower lowerwireless wirelessnetwork network capacity, capacity, data throughput throughput rate, rate,range rangeand andcoverage. coverage.Performance Performance depends depends onon many many factors, factors, conditions conditions andand variables, variables, trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document or website are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. including including distance distance from from the access the access point, point, volume volume of network of network traffi traffi c, building c, building materials materials and and construction, construction, operating operatingsystem systemused, used,mix mixof ofwireless wireless products products used, interference interferenceand and other otheradverse adverseconditions. conditions.


Cesare Cardone, CEO, GBM

Security on top of mind In 2013 we can expect to see two key growth areas: cloud computing and security. The transition to cloud computing will not happen overnight, but it will definitely become a major reality within three to four years, with particular emphasis on the private cloud. Public cloud adoption will take a bit more time, but a good number of GBM customers will experiment with some form of public cloud computing in the next 18 to 24 months. Security is becoming an important concern for the IT industry, and understandably so. Internet access, BYOD programmes and almost unlimited access granted to all employees on server networks require any company or government entity to set up security requirements in order to operate safely. Each of those requirements is unfortunately susceptible to intrusion.

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Reseller Middle East

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The industry is generating increasingly sophisticated security tools to protect company information. Meanwhile, more and more threats are materialising at every corner. We definitely think that enterprise IT spending will continue to grow in 2013, and in the region we will continue to see a progressive shift of IT investment from CAPEX to OPEX. Businesses are increasingly understanding the importance of investing in IT solutions, and they are realising the positive impact IT has on their operations. Companies are now looking to adopt solutions that will allow them to keep up with today’s fast-paced, competitive and demanding business market. This is why we always work very closely with our customers to evaluate the adaptability and scalability of their IT infrastructure and help prepare them for the changing IT environment.


Ehsan Hashemi, COO, Golden Systems Middle East

Betting on mobility We definitely see the demand for mobility products increasing exponentially in 2013. The hottest growth areas for us in the coming year are tablet PCs and other mobility products. We perceive a definite positive trend in the market with customers inclined towards investments to bring in efficiency within their infrastructure framework. Organisations are additionally focusing on increasing investments in new-age technologies such as cloud computing and virtualisation for reducing capital expenses. The emphasis is on driving greater efficiencies within the organisations indicating an increase in IT spending. Our industry is facing a very unique set of challenges and there is really no way to tell what the future will hold for IT distribution. Nonetheless, the latest trends show an emphasis on VAD and service and we feel that this trend will continue as our markets continue to mature.

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Reseller Middle East

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Ciaran Forde, VP, Enterprise, Middle East & Africa, CommScope

Getting physical “Big data” is at the top of many lists. That should be no surprise, given the massive volumes of information being stored and the promise that Big data holds. The sheer quantity of data being produced by all manner of IP devices is only part of the story. Big data’s real value is in the ability to analyse data quickly, and use it to make much better-informed decisions. The ultimate goal is to make decisions in real-time, when the impact is the biggest. If history tells us anything, is says the new technologies of today often become the normal everyday way of doing things tomorrow. We predict the same will apply to “intelligent infrastructure management systems”. Two or three years ago these were systems associated with the high end or with sophisticated end users. In the Middle East, as an early adopter region, these systems will just be the normal way IT professionals design, deploy and manage the physical layer of IT networks.


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Khwaja Saifuddin, Senior Sales Director, Middle East, Africa & South Asia, WD

Cloud storage on the cards Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets will likely become the device of choice for casual content consumption in the consumer segment of the market. In line with this cloud-based storage will also grow in popularity owing to the limited storage capacity of mobile devices and the demands of users to have access to all of their data. As more and more users adopt cloud storage for their data, security solutions designed to protect user data will be critical as attackers always follow the trail led by users. Channel players should try to position themselves as enablers by being knowledgeable about these trends and by offering the right products for consumers as well as businesses. The consumerisation of IT will also see an increasing number of these consumer-focused mobile devices integrated into business environments. Going hand-in-hand with this, products that offer cloud storage capabilities will also become more popular, as consumers will want access to all of their content when they’re on the go.

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Dan Smith, Head of Integrated Marketing –MEA, Xerox ‘s Developing Markets Operations

Creating new value Customer will wish to add value to their business by the use of strategic IT initiatives. Asking vendors to deliver service led offerings allowing customers to focus on their core business will build. Adding value through consultancy, post-sale excellence and the provision of management data to drive efficiency and excellence will increase. Cloud Computing will grow in the mid space markets as SMBs look to capture opportunities here. BYOD will be a trend that is on an upswing, and clients will have to work with vendors on the challenges this brings in security, application development and mobile working. Xerox has the ability to help clients with these challenges and provide users and IT professionals with the best of both worlds. Partners must work as groups of providers rather than stand-alone resellers. They must train and align resources to new realities and become familiar with the nature of delivering against customer requirements as part of a greater whole.


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Sarwan Singh, Director, Prologix

A cloudy forecast The rise of cloud infrastructure is predicted to the biggest trend for the year 2013. With the intensification of services exceeding future calculations, cloud computing will drift even more into enterprises with hybrid clouds. Interoperability and standards in cloud computing will keep advancing. Businesses will scrutinize the impact of the cloud, its benefits, usage and ROI more than ever before. Are deployments delivering the agility and cost savings predicted? Are users benefitting? How can one measure cloud ROI when, by design, the assets are not owned by the organization? We predict that IT organizations will attempt to take back control of their own assets and budgets and the deployment of private cloud architectures will accelerate in later half of FY13. In the coming year, we expect a sea-change in the evolvement of channel ecosystem. New opportunities are on the rise with many breaking grounds new technologies coming up in 2013. Video conferencing and cloud computing will acquire a major chunk of market share perhaps developing a wider platform for channel partners to participate and grow. The net growth investment ratio might see a spike with many people in UAE and Qatar choosing to make investments in various IT ventures. With lots of infrastructure building up, the ecosystem for the channel is expected to be positive for 2013.

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Ossama Eldeeb, Regional Sales Manager – AMD META

Brave new world I believe 2013 will witness a major shift in the IT market across the Middle East, where only companies who are capable of integrating in the new world of IT will survive. Many companies now are starting to develop their cloud strategy deciding on deploying a private, public or hybrid cloud model. Traditional “box movers” will need to shift more towards being Value Added Distributors and Resellers (VAD and VAR) so they can direct and guide their customers through the cloud evolution. Virtualization of servers, storage and desktops is certainly going to be one of the hottest growth areas in the coming period. The market needs to be ready to embrace big data/ analytics and ‘social business’, which is the integration of social media into the business mix. Consumer devices are increasing in the corporate space. Additionally, I believe non-conventional connected devices and the offering of complete integrated solutions will be a key focus for companies in 2013. IT vendors and channel partners need to be closer now more than ever as this is a transitional phase where each channel partner is defining the role he/she can play in the new world of IT.


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Alexander Zarovsky - International Business Chief, InfoWatch

Getting a grip on data The GCC is witnessing an increasing demand for data leakage prevention solutions and social media monitoring tools. Other trends are the exponential growth of data volumes owned by Gulf-based companies, the increasing diversity of IT infrastructure and corporate staff getting more involved in using various web and mobile services, which is only going to increase going forward. All these factors make corporate information protection a really challenging task. The amount of information owned by companies will continue to grow steadily and it will be extremely difficult to control this huge and unstructured data without the implementation of a specialised data monitoring and control system. Another trend is a telecom revolution where the widespread use of new generation 4G communication standard will inevitably lead to facilitation of e-commerce and also indirectly to more data being stored electronically. Companies will then need to think about data categorisation and protection from unauthorised usage.

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Miguel Braojos, VP of Sales Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa, SafeNet

Changing security perspective Virtualisation will probably be the hottest immediately followed by storage, which is directly related and has already been on a strong growth path for some time. The distribution and reseller security channel has acknowledged and factored in some of the major trends in security consisting of providing more security to secure more data and versatile and complex IT environments. In 2013 the already well-established security specialist distributor and reseller channels should keep growing while in parallel broadline distributors and resellers are expected to accelerate the integration of security components and aspects to their overall portfolio. On top of that the channel is also actively developing its value added services offering and capability overall but also more specifically when it comes to security in order to be able to advise their more and more security savvy customers, integrate security solutions in their environments and support their implementations and evolving needs.


Help AG

Targus In 2013, we see a strong trend of customers looking for more powerful devices which help them stay connected, enhance mobility and entertain. We anticipate growth in lighter and thinner devices which are growing their presence at a rapid pace in the

Market trends within the security sector are driven by end customers business initiatives - by correlating business potential with accumulated security risks. The trends we see are modern malicious malware protection, advanced DDOS prevention Stephan Berner, Managing and mobile device security. Director, help AG Information security strategy plays a key role when considering investments within the right technical security controls. Everybody wants to be mobile, wants to carry private as well as corporate information on the same device without sacrificing user-friendliness. This is a challenge in itself and needs to be mitigated with a clear separation between corporate data and private data. Growth areas will be in areas of technology that increases productivity, reduces complexity and increases information security. If an enterprise organization wants to succeed in their line of business they have to open up to new marketing strategies and use social media.

Middle East. We see the channel becoming more aware of the prominent  role that accessories  play in their product offering and that focus is being given to driving attach, which definitely is a healthier model, enhancing profitability. It is instrumental that vendors share their strategies with partners. Partners are vital to growth and expansion plans for vendors, They are constantly updated with new products launches and given their proximity towards the end user, their feedback on customers trends is crucial for further developing the business, hence a win-win scenario.

GFI Software

Cambium Networks

We will see more investment in SaaS as the region becomes more in tune with the benefits this model has to offer. Also I feel that a mobile device management solution will be on the wishlist of many IT managers in 2013 and you can expect to see more John Spoor, Regional Director investment in big data. –MEA, GFI Software GFI Software has already introduced mobile security technology into our GFI VIPRE suite of solutions, for both business and consumer markets. I expect to see more MSP activity in the channel and more value added services from distribution. At GFI Software we are constantly assessing the landscape and fine-tuning our strategy and partner activities to ensure we maximise the potential of every opportunity.

We at Cambium are seeing several shifts in terms of technology choices. In the operator space we are seeing a shift towards low cost unlicensed equipment and in the Securities market we are seeing a shift to the Graham Owen, Rregional Sales licensed micro wave Director, Cambium Networks equipment. If you consider the amount of mobile data devices now in the market I do believe we will start to see the need for more capacity than ever. Our channel ecosystem has changed year on year and it is amazing to seeing new business developing application driven networks are now really starting to come to the service and work with across the region.

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Riyaz Abdulla, Regional Sales Director, Targus Middle East


storage feature Data storage

The next frontier The burgeoning data storage market is opening up long-term revenue opportunities for channel partners. What does it take to succeed in this mature market? Some interesting figures first. According to IDC, the disk storage capacity shipped by vendors worldwide has surpassed seven exabytes for the first time in the third quarter of 2012. This represents 24.4% year on year growth. The analyst firm says driving the doubledigit growth in storage was demand for multi-protocol storage systems such as fibre channel and Ethernet-based storage as well as a strong demand for upper mid-range and high-end range storage systems. Despite concerns about global and

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regional economies, end users continue to invest in storage infrastructure to deal with the unprecedented explosion in digital data. In the Middle East, storage sales are witnessing a significant upturn fuelled by demand for technologies such as data de-duplication, thin provisioning, solid-state drives and automated tiering. This, in turn, has opened up new opportunities for the channel looking to grow the business and margins. “The data storage boom of the last few years has, unquestionably, given a different meaning to the word storage. It has not

become an essential requirement at all levels, from personal all the way to enterprise. With numerous studies predicting that data needs will grow 50-fold by 2020, this makes storage an impartial constituent of that growth equation. It is a no-brainer that part of this opportunity is there to be seized by the channel,” says Nicholas Agyrides, MD of EMPA. Sid Deshpande, Senior Research Analyst, Gartner, agrees that is a high margin opportunity for the channel. “Buyers prefer to purchase storage and wider integrated


solutions from one vendor or channel partner so that they can make it responsible and accountable for the products and offerings and reduce operational complexity.” He adds that while regulations differ from country to country and do not always mandate that storage hardware vendors should go to market through partners, it is the preferred way of doing business because of cultural reasons and the better effectiveness of the go-to-market strategy. Additionally, the heavy inclination toward the “solutions” approach (as outlined in the above section) means that enterprise organisations are more inclined to deal with a single point of contact for the entire data center project. While this does not preclude storage hardware vendors

“In many niche markets in MEA, it becomes almost imperative to go through a local channel partner, because they have a closer pulse on the local market dynamics and upcoming projects. The strong penetration that local channel players have in the MEA region overall is underscored by announcements of system integrators aligning or partnering with other verticalspecific channel players to either increase their strategic scope of coverage and/or target specific deals,” points out Deshpande. Khwaja Saifuddin, Senior Sales Director, Middle East, Africa & South Asia, WD, says that though storage offers opportunity for high margins, the margins one makes depends on the approach adopted when it comes to selling. “If the approach is just to

“In many niche markets in MEA, it becomes almost imperative to go through a local channel partner, because they have a closer pulse on the local market dynamics and upcoming projects.” from being directly involved in the bid, it is only in the case of some global strategic accounts that Gartner has observed storage vendors having a direct presence. Alternatively, in some cases, government organisations that use public funds may be wary of going through system integrators with a bidding process and may directly approach data center portfolio vendors in a closed RFP approach.  Gartner says regionally and vertically specialised channel players are very important to storage vendors’ go-tomarket strategies, not just for the reasons outlined above, but also because of their ability to identify and secure strategic opportunities in individual countries. In some of the smaller countries of MEA, the larger storage vendor/system integrator remains the technology expert while the specialised local partner is the identifier and facilitator of business opportunities.

Sid Deshpande, Senior Research Analyst, Gartner

move boxes then it is difficult to generate decent margins on storage products. This is why the approach should always be to properly educate sales staff on storage products that are being sold, so that the product or solution can be pushed based on merits such as performance, features, value additions and its ability to satisfy a customer’s needs. If you are able to satisfy a customer’s needs in this way, it’s very likely that you will be able to move the product without needing to offer discounts in order to complete the sale.” Sarwan Singh, Director of Prologix, echoes a similar opinion: “It is irrefutable that organisations, in general, store massive data demanding high data security. Mission critical data might include employee details, inventory, and customer information or achieved files that have to be kept safely to be retrieved easily.  We anticipate moneyspinning opportunities for the channel with

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storage feature Data storage

increased buoyancy in data storage market. The sound management of data is critical for the enterprises, which further opened many new avenues for channel partners.  IT spending in data backup and recovery solutions is escalating due to increased demand for storage capacity powered by new applications including disaster recovery and seamless business continuity. “ Buying trends and patterns Gartner observes that the enterprise segment in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) overall still displays very traditional purchasing behaviors, with storage area network (SAN) demand being driven by database workloads and other structured applications, such as ERP and CRM. The service provider segment in MEA is displaying signs of innovation and adoption of the data center technology stacks, fabric-based computing architectures and storage arrays that are specifically targeted at the service provider cloud environment. “A majority of storage purchases in the Middle East are directly or indirectly driven by government projects or initiatives, across verticals. In the private sector, the storage opportunity is very strong in the banking and telecom verticals. Networkattached storage (NAS) is expected to grow its share from 24% of the storage hardware market in MEA in 2011 to 41% in 2016, indicating a strong opportunity for storage hardware vendors,” says Deshpande. Gartner believes that the storage hardware market is still underpenetrated in the MEA region overall, with many organisations not having the insight or education required to assess the correct storage infrastructure for their

Nicholas Agyrides, MD of EMPA

“Most of the prominent vendors and their distributors are ramping up the support to help their channel partner tap the opportunities in the storage market.” 48

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application and service requirements. In the SMB segment and the lower end of the large-enterprise segment, there is more dependence on the storage vendors or their partners to suggest products and technologies that fit business requirements, rather than IT departments taking the lead and dictating their requirements to vendors and providers. Most of the prominent vendors and their distributors are ramping up the support to help their channel partner tap the opportunities in the storage market. WD, for example, works with all of its partners closely and focus heavily on partner education where it trains partner sales staff across the full spectrum of products. “An educated sales force is one that will be able to close deals quickly, without resorting to discounts in order to tempt the buyer into spending his money. WD’s own sales staff is also on the ground to assist partners whenever the need arises. All of our partners have access to our WD University online product training tool and can also participate in our myWD partner programme. The latter gives partners access to marketing collaterals, demos, future product information and there’s also an incentive system that rewards sales successes,” says Saifuddin. Agyrides from Empa says it provides training to the resellers with the involvement of the vendors. “These include market briefings, technology updates, upcoming product roadmaps, and technical workshops. Certifying our reseller partners on our vendor technologies is another priority as it helps them be more competitive as well as it broadens their view in which key technologies to invest in. Lastly, certification is often correlated to receiving hefty rebates via vendor programmes.” Going by the projected data growth, storage market exhibits strong growth potential and is likely to sustain its doubledigit growth momentum in 2013 as well. Channel partners who can differentiate themselves with specialisation and solutionfocused approach can indeed make hay while the sun shines. //


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vendor focus Riverbed

Programmed for growth Riverbed, which started off with making WAN optimisation gear, is evolving into a performance platform company. Philippe Elie, Director of Business Operations and Nino D’Auria, VP of Channels EMEA, spoke to us about the plans to work more closely with partners to grow the market share. How strategic is this market to your growth plans? Philippe: Riverbed has been active in the Middle East and Africa for four to five years and we’ve managed to have some significant references like Petrofac and Qatargas. We feel that there is still very big potential and we’re going to put more and more focus on the Middle East – not only from a resource perspective, but also the way that we position Riverbed in the market. The latter will be achieved by transitioning from a single family of products to a whole portfolio of products which are aimed at addressing the IT performance issues as a whole. This

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may seem simple, but it has a number of sequences. One is we have to not only deal with networking people within the accounts, but now we’ve got a value proposition that makes a lot of sense for CIOs and CEOs. When we meet CIOs and CEOs we can now discuss more consolidation products, which in the Middle East is a hot topic because everybody wants to consolidate to simplify IT and reduce costs. What is your value-proposition? The value proposition that we bring to customers is evolving. It’s ramping up in terms of potential attraction and relevance for

CIOs and CEOs. This is really why we want to reposition Riverbed as the IT performance company in the Middle East as has been the case in continental Europe. This has a number of implications in terms of how we manage our partners because this is a brand new way to address the market and to drive their skills in different directions. The way we manage our channel will have to adapt as well. What is your partner strategy? Do you consider your channel as an asset? Nino: This company is evolving. From an engineering standpoint we are in great shape. The portfolio is mature but is continuously


vendor focus Riverbed

Philippe Elie, Director of Business Operations, Riverbed

Nino D’Auria, VP of Channels EMEA, Riverbed

adding new features and keeping the focus on performance. The performance is at the centre of what we do every day, but we are changing our typical counterparts within the customer base and we are starting to be more consultative in the way we propose our philosophy. The same concept must be followed for the partner community. Now we are giving to the channel community additional chances. First of all we have to understand and agree who our ideal partner is. Whether they are a system integrator or a solutions provider, they must be able to build, manage services and other activities around our portfolio. We are not in the market to sell professional services, but our engineering portfolio resonates very well with a system integrator or partner to build around the solution. We are moving in this direction. I joined with the task of moving and evolving the EMEA channel to the next level. The corporate Riverbed base in San Francisco is very aware that 80% of the stuff can be done and packaged and manufactured in HQ, but we need to localise for a very simple reason. We are working in 29 different countries with many different languages and cultures so we have to be very focused in following the differences in the different countries. So 80% of the stuff is invented in San Francisco, which then needs to be translated to meet the needs of each market. Also from the channel perspective I think that we in EMEA have been very sophisticated so we are successful with the service providers, and we are growing a community of partners made up of real systems integrators. Our distributor is a value added distributor so fortunately we don’t have to reinvent the wheel – we have a great asset which we can count on. Even in terms of the channel community, we have to be very

“This company is evolving. From an engineering standpoint we are in great shape.” 52

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positive with them in saying it’s a matter of decision because every 40 days we bring to the table an additional part of our technology. We have to make the decision together if it is fitting with their portfolio offering, if they are able to build services and we have to work together to understand what is the feedback from market on the proposition. That is the key to what we are doing. We have a great scale. We have partners in the UK that are just focusing on the security part and we have partners somewhere else that have already built up an entire managed services portfolio that are very sophisticated. So it is definitely also a matter of transferring the right concept to the community. From my standpoint, my job is to give the opportunity to present in a very candid and open way the potential and now is a matter of decision of what to do together. We are visiting many countries and places because I wanted to meet one-to-one the main players in each geography and be clear in relaying our evolution concept that change will be the only constant part of our philosophy. What is your message to the channel community and what is the direction Riverbed is taking? Nino: The big difference between being a vendor and a partner is as a partner all the vendors come to you because the partners are literally bombarded with additional offerings or new vendors that want to sell something – they must be selective. The offer must resonate with what they do. There is no room for improvisation because it takes a lot of time to understand the offering, to certify people, to educate them, and to be credible because it’s all a matter of credibility and reputation in this market. The goal for the company is to get up to $2 billion by 2015. We are such in acceleration mode that I’m trying to keep all of the community together in making sure we are fitting with our partners’ offerings. We also have the goal of being more consistent in investment, we are adding people and we want to be successful in the Middle East. //


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vendor focus Avaya

The time is now Avaya’s VP of Emerging Regions, Nidal Abou-Itaif looks forward to a channel driven 2013 and believes it is the perfect time for the company’s 25 carefully selected regional partners to push new technologies. A few years back Avaya’s channel only accounted for about 60% of its global business. Much of its US sales, as well as some of its Europe sales, were attributed to direct business. However, the managerial decision was made to reduce this direct business and become a channel driven company. These days, the channel contributes more than 80% of Avaya’s sales. After seeing success through this method, Abou-Itaif says 2013 will continue to centre on Avaya being almost 100% channel driven in the MEA region. “We address the market through our channel and have only a few customers

direct,” he says. “The direct accounts, which we have no plans on giving to the channel, are due to a special agreement for them to utilise our technology. We deal with them like a partner, whilst the remainder will continue to be channel driven.” He adds that “the time is now” to put new innovation in the market because end users no want to use IT to build for the future. With this in mind, Avaya wants to reward partners for adapting its technologies and selling them to the market. “We want to reward them with better margins, discounts, selling next to them and also certifying them to do that. I believe that the

partners that adapt to the change will be the partners that will be the focus of our new work and innovation. The majority of the business will come from new innovation that the young generation is demanding and we believe that partners that are willing and brave enough to accept the changes will work with us best.” Avaya takes the approach of signing fewer partners - 25 in the region - than other organisations of its size and believes this allows them to make more margin than with its competition. As further incentive, it now extends what it calls New Product Initiatives (NPIs) to its partners for extra discount. “We also

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vendor focus Avaya

Nidal Abou-Itaif, VP of Emerging Regions, Avaya

incentive tem on rebate and help them with implementation,” Abou-Itaif says. However, the key to mastering the channel is convincing resellers to specialise in your technologies. Abou-Itaif believes this largely comes down to mindset. “If a partner is not able to change there is no way I can train them to change. So it’s the business decision of the partner to say that they are ready to change and want to adapt to the technology. They also need to understand they cannot do it all on their own. “They need to cooperate with other partners to form an ecosystem around us to put the solutions to market. If they are a small player they may need to partner with a big company or if they are a niche player they may need to make themselves available for acquisition. That’s how we will encourage them to change. Over the last three years we’ve made sure that if people don’t change we’ll change them, so today I have people talking about the future now and understanding what the customer wants.” The right understanding Avaya’s partners, Abou-Itaif says, understand the customer more than they understand the technology. “The minute they understand the customer they can bring the technology into it, they can’t do it the other way around. We moved from value selling to solutions and training our partners. Some partners are changing, some are not. I want them all to consolidate, become stronger and acquire companies to complement our solutions,” he says. “It’s a journey but we chose 25 partners for 2013 and we have a business plan together, we evaluate their people together,

Avaya’s partners, Abou-Itaif says, understand the customer more than they understand the technology. 56

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we have a monthly meeting and every five or six partners are sponsored by an executive from EMEA who looks into that transformation with the partner. For those 25 partners it has so far become positive and I hope that continues.” Avaya announced during GITEX Technology Week 2012 in October the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) to open its Middle East, Africa and Turkey training centre in the integrated free zone technology park. The dedicated training centre within Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) will feature Avaya’s latest video and networking products. Partners and enterprises from the Middle East, Africa and Turkey region will be able to use the centrally located facility to increase their knowledge of Avaya video, networking and midmarket technologies, while obtaining industry certifications on new communications solutions. “We already had a certified partner that did training in the region but then we realised it wasn’t fast enough in gearing up to the technology we have,” Abou-Itaif says. “The end user wants to have the training as part of the solution. “We also realised that for people from the Middle East, even though we have a training centre in South Africa, it’s not easy for them to get there. So what I’ve managed to deliver with the approval of my management is to bring a training centre to Dubai Silicon Oasis which is beginning as a video training centre for MEA because video is the new way of communication.” He concludes that the new training centre is proof of Avaya’s commitment and investment in the regional channel. “We’re adding more sales force in the region to help sell the technology and are adding more professional service to help them evolve and make sure they’re not afraid to brake that ‘it’s new’ barrier. As a company we continue to improve our tools and processes to make it easier to do business and adapt to the new world.” //


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review Acer Aspire M Touch with Windows 8

Acer Aspire M Touch – The fun of the future Want to get the most out of Windows 8 whilst still having the complete control of a laptop experience? Well, look no further than the Acer Aspire M Touch. Every now and then a piece of technology comes along that you just can’t put down - this was one of those pieces. With a large, beautiful, slim keyboard supporting a 15.6 inch screen and the solid Windows 7 system available at the touch of a button, the Acer Aspire M Touch is a fantastic package for anyone, business or professional. The outstanding battery life and Nvidia Kepler based graphic card makes it an ideal platform for gamers, whilst sitting at 2cm high and weighing only 2.1kg, complete with a DVD writer and three USB ports, it’s perfect for business. The sleek brushed metal finish (albeit mixed with plastic) makes the Aspire a lovely looking thing, as well as sturdy and solid when in use or in transit. The keyboard is nicely spaced and very user friendly, as is the rather large track pad situated slightly to the left of the machine. The point here is; the M Touch is big without being big. A key thing to note about the Acer is that it’s a consistently cool and quiet performance piece, even when gaming. Add to this a nine second boot up time from shut down and a two second boot up time from sleeping and you’ve got a very complete and solid machine. This can all be

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put down to the impressive third generation dual-core processor Intel Core i5, complete with 6GB of memory and a 120GB SSD. Once you’ve finished doing your homework or destroying enemies on COD, you can start to really enjoy the Acer Aspire. Now running on the Windows 8 operating system, arguably built for the tablet market, the M Touch transforms into a futuristic multi-touch device which feels like something James Bond might be presented with at Q branch. As previously mentioned, it boasts a 15.6 inch screen which makes the Windows 8 tiled homepage look fantastic, and the apps breathtaking. It really is where the fun starts. I spent hours sliding apps around, painting my face and researching worldly destinations via the new Bing app (which is superb). I have used Windows 8 on countless non-touchscreen devices and I’m one of those people who isn’t overly keen on it. I find it a rather difficult tool to manage, not to mention my chosen screen tends to whizz off at any given moment leaving me typing a web address into a Skype conversation. So, back to the point, having all the power of a large, powerful and swift laptop combined with a classy, 15.6 inch touch version of Windows 8 makes this Acer model an absolute winner. I’m still not convinced that the Windows 8 OS is

really very business friendly, however, with the Acer Aspire M Touch you can take full advantage of all the media communications apps such as Skype and Lync, both of which are smart and simple to use. With my work completed, and therefore Windows 7 and the keyboard rendered completely redundant, I sat down and watched all my favourite YouTube clips in stunning HD as well as playing several apps in the background, throw in a couple of Skype conversations to friends across the water and I managed to drain just under eight hours of play time, more than you get from many smartphones. In conclusion – I loved the Acer Aspire M Touch. It’s a brilliantly solid laptop with the feel and look of a high end device which draws the best out of the Windows 8 OS. For all you get, it’s well priced and I would have happily held on to it for a much longer time. //

This review was done by Joe Lipscombe, SubEditor, CPI Technology


Hot products New launches

New Dell convertible Ultrabook The XPS 12 is two devices in one: a fully-featured, full-powered laptop that easily becomes a fully-featured touchpowered tablet. The unique flip hinge touchscreen display is elegant and innovative and easily transitions between laptop and tablet mode with a simple flip. When in tablet mode, the display completely covers the keyboard, protecting it from dirt and spills. The vibrant Full HD display provides 90 percent more pixels than a standard HD display for an exceptionally crisp reading and viewing experience. The XPS 12 works with the new

Windows 8 Pro operating system and features Intel Smart Connect Technology that automatically updates your email, work contacts, social networks, and favourite apps, even when the convertible Ultrabook is in sleep mode.

Acer unveils all-in-one desktop

The new Acer Aspire ZS600 AIO desktop with a 23-inch Full HD 1920 x 1080 LED backlit display and Dolby Home Theater v4.0 audio enhancement, is said to deliver exceptional image quality for cinematic entertainment, graphicsintensive application and games, as

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well as immersive audio. The 10-point multi-touch screen allows multiple user scenarios, while the adjustable tilt ensures more comfortable use. Thanks to the wall-mount kit the AIO with HD experience can be enjoyed on the wall as well. With an optional Blu-ray Disc optical drive , multi-in-one card reader, TV-tuner, and HDMI in and out ports, the Aspire ZS600 is destined to become the hub of the family digital life: from watching movies and TV to playing games or enjoying pictures, all the entertainment is within easy reach. Running on 3rd generation Intel iCore processors combined with advanced graphics solutions, this desktop can handle demanding tasks, enable smoother multitasking and ensure maximized entertainment and productivity.

Lenovo intros ThinkPad Helix The ThinkPad Helix is a premium convertible for business professionals featuring a “rip and flip” design and first functions as a high performance Ultrabook. For added mobility, the 11.6-inch tablet can separate from its base to become the thinnest full-function Intel 3rd generation Core tablet with vPro. Adding to its mobility, the tablet weighs 835 grams, also making it the lightest in its class. Unlike other convertibles, the “rip and flip” screen lets users flip the tablet 180° and snap it back into the base – this mode, called Stand mode, transforms Helix into a mini-movie theatre or business presentation central. From here, users can also fold the screen down to use it as a tablet while keeping the base connected for added ports and connectivity. To connect virtually anywhere, ThinkPad Helix comes with optional LTE high speed wireless and also pioneers the emerging Near Field Communications (NFC) technology that allows devices to share data seamlessly by simply tapping to pair them.


Linksys rolls out Wi-Fi solutions Cisco Linksys has expended its Linksys Smart Wi-Fi portfolio with three new 802.11ac powered Smart Wi-Fi Routers, a new compact 802.11ac USB adapter, new features and new Smart Wi-Fi Apps. Linksys’ latest additions to its Smart Wi-Fi Router portfolio include the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router AC1200, AC1600 and AC1750. All three of the new dual-band Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers are equipped with the latest 802.11ac technology, offering fast wireless speeds—up to three times the speed of

Wireless-N, excellent range and backward compatibility with existing wireless 802.11b/g/n devices. All three of the new Linksys routers are also equipped with Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 ports. The USB ports allow for storage devices such as USB flash drives or hard drives, to be connected to the router. With Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 ports the routers can rapidly transfer files between the connected storage and other devices – ideal for using the router’s

AMD debuts new server chips Nokia Middle East has launched Nokia Lumia 920 and the Nokia Lumia 820, based on Windows Phone 8 in the region. The Nokia Lumia 920 is the flagship Windows Phone 8 smartphone, including Arabic language capabilities and the latest advances in Nokia PureView imaging innovation. Using advanced floating lens technology, the camera in the Nokia Lumia 920 is able to take in five times more light than competing smartphones without using flash, making it possible to capture clear, bright pictures and video indoors and at night.

The Nokia Lumia 920 also comes with Nokia City Lens, the latest addition to the Nokia location suite. By pointing the camera at a city street, City Lens overlays information about restaurants, shops, hotels and more on the surfaces of buildings, for the most intuitive way to explore surroundings. Nokia City Lens is the start of a new augmented reality experience that also enhances Nokia Maps, making it possible to move between maps view and augmented reality view to help people check their direction and surroundings. Along with enhancements to Nokia Drive and Nokia Transport, the Nokia location suite of services represents the most comprehensive, integrated mapping experience of any smartphone. The Nokia Lumia 920 comes in yellow, red, grey, white and black. The Nokia Lumia 820 comes in red, yellow, grey, cyan, purple, white and black.

USB storage capabilities to back up media from consumers’ smartphones, tablets or notebooks. Linksys is also adding beamforming technology to all new 802.11ac routers to deliver better network range and faster WiFi speeds in the home. Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers with beamforming technology are designed to precisely adjust, steer and monitor the direction and shape of the WiFi signals in order to send data back and forth over the optimal path.

NVIDIA debuts Tegra 4 processor

NVIDIA has introduced NVIDIA Tegra 4, which it claims, is the world’s fastest mobile processor. The Tegra 4 is based on ARM’s quadcore Cortex-A15 processor and also packs in 72 graphics processing unit cores – six times the GPU horsepower of Tegra 3. Among the Tegra 4 processor’s breakthroughs is its Computational Photography Architecture, which automatically delivers high dynamic range (HDR) photos and video by fusing together the processing power of the GPU, CPU and the camera’s image-signal processor.

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Hot products New launches

Huawei launches new smartphones

Austin Hughes unveils cabinet controller Austin Hughes has developed a cabinet controller that can be used for either small or large data room installations. InfaSolution X allows cabinet control and monitoring of door handles, switching and monitoring of PDUs, control of cooling fan units, monitoring of temperature and humidity, as well as smoke, shock and water alarms for up to 800 cabinets over a local or wide area network. The web based GUI (Graphic User Interface) management software allows up to eight simultaneous users to access and control different cabinets.  In detail the handles are designed for use with either inductive, mechanical or optical door opening / closing sensors with alternative smart card access that can either be HID,

iClass or MiFARE compatible. They usually include a back-up of up to 1000 mechanical key lock options that if necessary can override the electronic lock to open or close the cabinet door. Also, from a single PDU connection you can cascade up to a further three PDUs per cabinet. The box itself includes two large visual LED temperature monitoring windows. Two other temperature monitors are also available directly from each PDU giving a potential of 10 temperature and humidity sensors per cabinet. The additional temperatures can be viewed either via the software or on the PDU LCD screen itself. The 1U rack mounted unit also has a dual AC / DC input accommodating a power fail feature.  

New ZOTAC ZBOX

ZOTAC International has given a performance boost to its ZBOX with greater graphics processing capabilities using the latest AMD Radeon HD

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7340 graphics processor. “The new ZBOX gives users up to a 10-percent performance boost for even greater system responsiveness and usability in applications and games. A media remote is included with the performanceboosted ZOTAC ZBOX for easy navigation of popular home theater PC applications such as Microsoft Windows Media Center and XBMC. The new performance-boosted ZOTAC ZBOX ships as a barebone (ZBOX AD06) and also available with 2GB of memory and a 320GB hard drive preinstalled (ZBOX AD06 Plus).

Huawei has launched three smartphones— the Huawei Ascend Mate, Huawei Ascend D2, and Huawei Ascend W1—as well as a home device solution dubbed the MediaQ and a full range of LTE mobile & desktop devices. Featuring a 6.1-inch HD IPS+ LCD screen with a resolution of 1280 x 720 and a screen-to-body ratio of 73%, the Huawei Ascend Mate is perfect for both business and entertainment purposes. It includes a 1.5 GHz Hi-Silicon quad-core processor and a whopping 4050 mAh battery. Huawei also unveiled the Huawei Ascend D2 which boasts a 5-inch IPS Super Retina LCD screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, 443 PPI and a 3000 mAh (typical value) battery capacity. The Huawei Ascend D2 features a 13MP BSI auto-focus rear-facing camera with detail capturing technology and an ISO sensitivity level higher than other smartphones in this category. Its first Windows Phone 8 smartphone, the Huawei Ascend W1 offers a smarter alternative with its dual-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU and Adreno 305 GPU, a 4-inch IPS LCD screen, and 1950 mAh battery with the longest standby time in its class.


Breathe easy. Partner with Redington Value. Redington Value is an end-to-end value-added distributor in Middle East and Africa. It assists value-added resellers with most optimal IT solutions across technology domains such as Unified Communications, Virtualization and Cloud Computing, Converged Infrastructure, End-to-end security, Mobility Solutions, Power Solutions, Cabling Solutions, Storage, Back-up and Recovery. They are also supported with in-house pre-sales expertise and regular sales/technical training and programs. For more information, contact sales.value@redingtongulf.com Some recent recognitions:

Avaya

Distributor of the Year 2012

Dell SonicWall

Distributor of the Year 2012

Red Hat

Value Added Distributor of the Year 2012

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

Trend Micro

Distributor of the Year 2012

Reseller Middle East  

In the last few years, the IT channel has seen a gradual but significant shift. From mere product pushing, the market has evolved towards va...

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