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PUBLICATION LICENSED BY IMPZ

ISSUE 183 // MARCH 2012 // WWW.RESELLERME.COM

STEP UP A look at how partners can profit from the technology future

IN FOCUS

SPEAKOUT

TEST BENCH

Aptec Holding leverages its regional experience to launch a third party logistics company. P41

Open standards across operating systems and applications are being extended to cloud architectures. P43

PC Tools version 2.0 P49

ANALYSIS

THE TRUTH ABOUT HP


CONTENTS ISSUE 183 // MARCH 2012 ANALYSIS 7

The truth about HP At the Global Partner Conference, HP spoke about how it would help its partners and together they could regain the status of industry leader in the global IT landscape.

COVER FEATURE

Step up 31

IN THE BEGINNING 11

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

IN FOCUS 41

Supply chain value add Aptec Holding has leveraged its regional experience to launch a third party logistics company.

SPEAKOUT 43

Open standards in cloud Open standards across operating systems and applications are being extended to cloud architectures.

45

Bundle offerings Starting from the customer view point is make or break for any technology bundle offer.

46

Channel partners across the region can use the interest around cloud solutions to sell more and to add to their revenue base. However, some active interest and investment is necessary in order to bring to fruition that goal.

54

57

Enter the campus network Social media applications, mobility and cloud are bringing the role of campus networks back into focus. Can channel partners exploit this opportunity?

TEST BENCH 49

As good as new PC Tools version 2.0 has powerful features to manage Windows boot up time, privacy of documents, permanent removal of deleted files and health-check of the all important registry sector.

Aman Sangar

PEOPLE 54

Aman Sangar, Interactive Entertainment business category lead, retail sales and Marketing, Microsoft MEA

57

Nicholas Argyrides, MD of EMPA

58

Soichi Murakami, MD of ME, Turkey and Africa at Brother

Nicholas Argyrides

58

Soichi Murakami

MARCH 2012

Reseller Middle East

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DON’T FALL VICTIM

TO FAKES

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

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www.hp.com/go/anticounterfeit

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

The cloud story It is the technology of our times. And the regional channel partner ignores its expansion at his own peril.

EDITORIAL Senior Editor Sathya Mithra Ashok sathya@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9111

There can be no dispute that cloud computing has come to dominate ICT discussions among enterprise end-users, and vendors alike for the last couple of years. This heated discussion has often been under the auspices of constant confusion on what the cloud actually means, how it can be implemented or delivered to the corporate user, and the benefits that such an investment can bring in the long term.

ADVERTISING Commercial Director Rajashree R Kumar raj@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9131 Advertising Executive Merle Carrasco merle@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9134 CIRCULATION Database and Circulation Manager Rajeesh M rajeesh@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9147 PRODUCTION AND DESIGN Production Manager James P Tharian james@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9146

Sathya Mithra Ashok Senior Editor

Art Director Kamil Roxas kamil@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9112

Talk to us:

Designer Analou Balbero analou@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9104 Photographer Cris Mejorada cris@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9108 DIGITAL www.rwme.net DIGITAL SERVICES Digital Services Manager Tristan Troy P Maagma Web Developers Jerus King Bation Erik Briones Jefferson de Joya Louie Alma online@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9100 Published by

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The typical channel partner sees in the cloud the potential for new business – a new way to sell an old technology perhaps, or a new way to tap into ICT budgets among enterprises. Done the right way, sales and delivery of cloud services can bring the channel partner not only top-up revenue, but also the ability to add consistently to his bottomline of profits through add-on services. Vendors from the region are offering various cloud solutions and services, and some of them are made for the partner to deliver and service. By working with the right global vendors, partners can ensure that they get a chance to play in this growing market to their own benefit. However, long-term profitability in this market requires the partner to invest in his own stead, to improve his skills and to provide the customer lot more than just vanilla services – he needs to become the trusted voice in a cloudy environment. (Turn to our cover story, starting page 30, to understand some of the cloud training initiatives that vendors have launched in the region, and how partners can take advantage of these.) The region itself reflects the growing call from global enterprises and vendors for more well-trained, cloud-aware partners. At the recently held HP Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas, USA, the global IT giant stated that it would work to enable more of its partners globally to cross-sell solutions across its infrastructure and software ranges. It also emphasised that it fully intended to set up more cloud competence centres, in partner premises, in order to provide partners and end-users a ready, standing facility to see the different HP cloud solutions working together, and understand better the eventual benefits of investing in them. (You can read more about our analysis of what HP had to say at the conference starting page 7). It definitely looks like a cloudy future for the region, and here’s hoping that all partners can work towards benefitting further and profiting higher from the promise of the clouds.

Printed by United Printing Press © Copyright 2012 CPI All rights reserved While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.

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Brocade. Rethink your campus LAN.

Š 2012 Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


ANALYSIS HP

The truth about HP HP is trying to shed the bad news of the last few months, and work towards a future where it is back in the forefront of the industry. But the haul is likely to be long, difficult and as fragmented as the company seems to be. Late February, HP announced its results for the quarter. Revenues from the company’s massive PSG (personal systems group) declined 15% from last year to $8.9 billion. Sales to consumers dropped by a quarter from last year, while sales of business PCs slid 15%. HP’s Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) also fared poorly. Revenue was down 7% to $6.3 billion, HP said, with sales to consumers hit hardest. Total revenue for the quarter, ended Jan. 31, was $30 billion, down 7% from last year, HP said. Net profit was $1.5 billion, down 44%. Everybody knows HP has been having a tough year. If the economic climate was not enough, it was the company’s vacillation between whether it was keeping or letting go of the troubled PSG division. A week before announcing the results, the IT major held its first Global Partner Conference, where it brought more than 3000 people from every corner of the world to lay out its roadmap for the next year. At the three-day conference, the company laid out plans for both its enterprise and its PSG partners. Most of the plans revolved around moving existing partners constantly up the ladder in solution and service provision. The company, whose revenue base is largely comprised of its hardware systems, is working on growing its base from software and services. With this aim, HP announced incentives through 2012 to encourage hardware partners to take up more software or push leads to software partners. “HP is putting in $5 million to accelerate growth with converged infrastructure partners

Meg Whitman, president and CEO, HP over the next six months. Partnerships will get a 5% rebate on the licence sale of any net new software lead that closes. HP Software will also set aside an additional 5% in an investment fund for converged infrastructure partners to invest in HP software,” said Hayley Tabor, VP for worldwide partnerships and field excellence. According to her, these incentives are meant to help partners work together more often, and realise the benefits of a software sale, which leads to a higher revenue base from the delivery of related services. “The market opportunity is huge across servers ($50 billion), storage ($35 billion) and networking ($30 billion), combined with HP software. Partners can also choose their practices across application development, operations, storage or security. Working together, partners have the ability to tap into higher revenues and larger profit margins,” Bill Veghte, executive VP for software and services at HP said. The company also launched HP Interchange, a group on LinkedIn that is

meant to bring together HP Converged Infrastructure partners and HP Software partners to share information, leads and even sell and implement on projects together. The firm expanded its PartnerConnect programme and its partnership for the cloud, with options between cloud builders, cloud resellers and cloud service providers. HP also promised that more Cloud Centers of Excellence will be opened in partner premises throughout the world in 2012. The call from the IPG front sounded very similar. According to Vyomesh Joshi, executive VP of the IPG group within HP, there is a $200 billion addressable market for printing that partners can target, and benefit from in the next couple of years. Joshi broke down the estimate of the overall market into printing, services and solutions around content digitisation. According to him, printing makes up the lion’s sum of the market at an estimated $118 billion market by 2013, with services and content digitisation assessed to be $48 billion market by 2013. He split solutions around content digitisation itself across office (at an estimated $28 billion market), marketing ($10 billion market) and production tasks ($10 billion). “In the office, the main concern is to eliminate document management inefficiencies. Many vendors have attempted to do this in the past 10 years, and most of them have failed. This is because the only way to do this is to cover the entire spectrum from capturing, archiving and security, down to the output,” said Joshi. HP will cover this spectrum effectively through the Smart Doc SMB solution, which will be launched in the later quarters of 2012, according to Joshi. “With this solution, partners can go to customers, offer to digitise all of their paperbased documents, have it stored, secured and managed in the HP cloud, till they need to draw from it and create active print-outs. It is a complete solution,” said Joshi. For the marketing market, HP will launch a Smart Marketing Suite in 2013, and address the production segment with the Smart Production Suite, which is set for launch around September 2012. According to Joshi, these solutions are

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ANALYSIS HP

meant to empower partners help customers achieve higher efficiencies and capitalise on the content that they are producing with better printing solutions and services. The company used the global partner conference to launch both its Gen8 server and its Z1 Workstation as well. Going on stage as the last keynote of the conference, the few-months old President and CEO of HP, Meg Whitman emphasised that the company aims to return to the standing of industry leader by focusing on certain areas, and by encouraging innovation. She also stated that PSG is here to stay, and even as efforts continue to increase revenue from the software side of the business, HP has no intentions of moving away from its infrastructure roots and turning into a software company. “I am a strong believer in focus. I believe that we would be better off focusing on a small area, and doing really, really well in that area. And that is what you will see in the next few years. We are in the software business to solve tough customer problems, we are not in it to transform HP into a software company,” said Whitman. She emphasised that the focus areas for HP would include converged infrastructure, information optimisation, cloud and services. She added that the company would be investing a lot more in R&D across all its divisions to encourage organic innovation. Acknowledging the time from August last year, when HP announced that it would look to sell out its PSG division, has been a challenging time, Whitman stated that the

Vyomesh Joshi, executive VP of the IPG group within HP

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team has been working to reduce the noise of the confusion, and to emphasise on the strengths that have held HP in good stead over the years. “In 2013, HP will be 70 years old. I want to set up the company for the next 70 years. I want to focus on the long term and work with partners in order to ensure that we reach our goals,” said Whitman. Whitman continued to try and uphold her stance following the announcement of the quarterly results. Speaking to analysts and investors after HP released its financial results, Whitman offered a frank assessment of HP’s challenges at the end of her first full quarter on the job. “The fact is that, for all that’s right with PSG, we underinvested in innovation in the last several years and we’ve been late to market too often,” Whitman said. She blamed last quarter’s performance on the economy and on an industry wide shortage of disk drives. But she also admitted there are deeper problems at HP that need to be fixed. “For years, we’ve been basically running our business in silos. Under that model, we’ve built some of the biggest franchises in technology, but it’s also made us too complex and too slow,” Whitman said. HP has lost share in some of its most important markets, she admitted, including PCs and even in its valuable printer business. Whitman’s comments might be seen as a critique of former HP CEO Mark Hurd, now a president at Oracle, though Whitman didn’t mention him by name. Hurd was praised by some for growing HP’s revenue and more than doubling its stock price, but others said he achieved that by cutting costs too deeply and failing to invest for the future. Whitman implied she’s in the latter camp. “We didn’t make the investments we should have in the last few years to stay ahead of customer expectations and market trends. As a result, we see eroding revenue and profits today,” she said on the conference call. HP’s recovery plan fits in three “buckets,” she said. The first is fixing its execution, she said. That includes making its supply chain more efficient and cutting unnecessary models,

Bill Veghte, executive VP for software and services at HP or “SKUs,” that make developing, selling and supporting products unnecessarily complex. Next, HP must address the “ongoing problems” with each business unit, she said. That includes investing in technology for the future and streamlining processes and support services. The last part is to capitalise on what Whitman sees as dramatic shifts in technology, especially around cloud computing, information management and security, she said. It’s a big challenge, not least because HP must find the money to reinvest in its businesses while continuing to deliver a profit to shareholders. “We have to save so that we can invest,” Whitman said, meaning HP has to cut costs and become more efficient to get the money it needs to rebuild. “We know what we have to do, we have a plan to fix it, but it will take time,” Whitman said. “This is a multiyear effort.” There is no doubt that the company has had a difficult year, and the quarter numbers are just one indication of it. HP is trying to correct the imbalances of the past year by investing in innovation and re-energising its partner community. However, the real problem for the company might be its internal fragmentation and the obvious disconnect between some of its divisions, which were evident even during the partner conference. Unless the firm works to address this, and present a unified picture to partner and customer alike, it is likely to see more difficult times than better ones. //


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IN THE BEGINNING Tie ups

Matco launches second Velocity Solution Centre in KSA

Maham Al-Khaleej Trading Company also known as Matco announced the opening of its second EMC Velocity Signature Solution Centre in the Kingdom. The centre, located in Riyadh, is designed to demonstrate exactly how the technology works in a live environment, providing a total experience of the solution and the benefits without risk for the customer. Based on the immense success of EMC’s own Global Solution Centres, Matco’s new Solution Centre in the Kingdom replicates a framework of technology that demonstrates EMC Proven solutions in approved environments. “We are giving our customers real choice and the best of both worlds – a chance to

experience exactly how the proven solution would work for them based on EMC technology without any capital outlay. Our main objective at Matco is to provide our customers with the best service levels and ensure they are getting the value of the solutions we offer them,” said Toni Prince, GM, Matco IT. The centre will provide comprehensive solutions development, live and remote demonstrations, and improvement of nearcustomer environments via EMC’s Customer Integration Lab. The solutions demonstrated are based on the strategic collaboration that combines best-of-breed information infrastructure technologies from EMC,

virtualisation from VMware, and networking and compute solutions from Cisco and will focus on helping customers in their IT transformation towards the Private Cloud. The first setup phase of Matco’s Solution Centre in Riyadh will showcase the main features of unified management of EMC Unified Storage showing its ease of use and efficiency to organisations. The second phase will cover replication between unified storage platforms and backup and recovery solutions. Havier Haddad, channel manager, for EMC Turkey, Emerging Africa and Middle East, said: “The ability to support Velocity Signature Solution Centre is at the core of our channel partner enablement programme. This Centre provides the tools for Matco to work more efficiently with its customers, ultimately driving increased value through doing business with EMC.” “EMC customers in the Kingdom will now have the ability to experience their planned solution and identify the ROI before making financial commitments. Matco is dedicated to its customers’ transformation to the private cloud which will enable them to meet their business objectives through greater efficiency in virtualised storage, reduced deployment times, increased scalability and agility to deliver mission critical service levels,” said Mohamed Talaat, country manager for Saudi at EMC. Matco customers can also benefit from 24x7 on-site customer support service.

PC Dealnet incountry distributor for Iomega Iomega, a global vendor in “With our focus on the SMB digital storage and content channel, this comes as part of a management solutions, wider plan in Iomega’s investment in announced signing PC the Middle East region, to be on the Dealnet as an in-country ground to support the SMB market distributor in Qatar and as well as the SMB business-toJordan. Iomega, which is a business distribution structure. With subsidiary of storage vendor PC Dealnet, we are fulfilling another EMC, has strengthened part of our B2B formula. PC Dealnet its SMB presence in the has been chosen because of its Cizar Abu Ghazaleh, regional director for Middle East, Africa UAE, Oman and Bahrain strength to reach different channel and Turkey at Iomega. distribution network by segments, whether it is system striking a deal with PC integrators, resellers or corporate Dealnet. Iomega believes that this channel resellers. We are confident PC Dealnet will move will ensure its products and solutions be an important addition to our existing are readily available to system integrators, distribution partners in the region, where SMB resellers and VARs in Qatar and Jordan. there is room for all to grow,” explained Cizar

Abu Ghazaleh, regional director for Middle East, Africa and Turkey at Iomega. Bassam Obeid, president, ITG Distribution Holding, said that PC Dealnet works towards being a strong broad based distributor and its drive to grow its value business in GCC markets, has been instrumental in this distribution tie-up with Iomega. “We are confident that together with Iomega we will make this relationship fruitful for both companies. This association will assist us in providing world class network storage products through our strong and loyal partner base in Qatar and Jordan.” PC DealNet Jordan is part of ITG Distribution Holding and provides solutions from Cisco, Leviton, HP and EMC.

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IN THE BEGINNING Tie ups

Interactive Intelligence acquires contact centre business of reseller ATIO Interactive Intelligence Group, a global provider of unified IP business communications solutions, has signed an agreement to purchase select contact centre Interactive Intelligence founder and CEO, Don Brown assets of its South Africa based reseller, ATIO Corp. Under the terms of the agreement, effective from 1st January 2012, these assets are now owned by Interactive Intelligence Group. The new company will operate as Interactive Intelligence South Africa Pty Ltd. As part of the all-cash transaction, Interactive Intelligence South Africa will employ approximately 40 ATIO team members and will begin direct support of nearly 40 joint ATIO and Interactive Intelligence customers

located throughout South Africa and subSaharan Africa. “ATIO has ranked among our top revenue generating resellers of all partners throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa each year since it first began offering our solutions,” said Interactive Intelligence founder and CEO, Don Brown. “This successful track record, combined with a talented support and services team, mature infrastructure and expertise in key industries such as financial services, telecommunications and government, makes ATIO’s Interactive Intelligence business an ideal acquisition choice. This acquisition marks our continued strategy to more effectively grow our existing operations in key international geographies, which began early last year with reseller acquisitions in Germany and Australia.” “Africa is increasingly popular as a preferred destination of contact centres,” said Frost & Sullivan’s business unit leader, ICT Africa, Birgitta Cederstrom. “South Africa specifically has been a natural choice for

contact centers due to its large and articulate English-speaking population and serviceoriented business culture. Another strength is its expanding broadband connectivity, thus ensuring that the latest unified communications and collaboration tools will run efficiently.” As part of the transaction, Interactive Intelligence South Africa will occupy one of ATIO’s buildings in Johannesburg, which will now function as its regional headquarters serving all of Africa. The new company will continue offering the complete Interactive Intelligence all-in-one IP communications software suite, which includes applications for contact center automation, unified communications, and business process automation. Interactive Intelligence South Africa Pty Ltd. will sell its solutions both directly and through authorised channel partners. ATIO was founded in 1986 and is a privately held provider of information and communications technology services. It had been an Interactive Intelligence reseller since 2002.

Emircom, Vision Valley recognised as Cisco TelePresence Video Master partners in Gulf Emircom announced it has achieved TelePresence Video Master authorised technology provider status from Cisco. This designation recognises Emircom as having fulfilled the training requirements and programme prerequisites to sell, deploy and support Cisco TelePresence Video products and solutions at the master level. According to Mohamad Abou-Zaki, COO at Emircom LLC, “It is one of the series of investments that have been allocated to align the company with selective focused technology verticals that covers data centres, video, security and services.” “The Cisco TelePresence Video Master ATP programme is designed to

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enable partners to take advantage of the tremendous market opportunities ahead not only in the telepresence space but also in the overall collaboration market,” said Richard McLeod, senior director of Collaboration for worldwide channels at Cisco. Vision Valley also announced it has achieved TelePresence Video Master Authorised Technology Provider status from Cisco. “Vision Valley is committed to provide state of the art technology solutions to address and solve our clients’ productivity, mobility and IT concerns raised from their daily operations in today’s dynamic markets. We consult and advice our clients in the region with cutting edge technologies to enhance

their day to day operation, and to have a healthier ROI,” says Mohammed Swidan, regional sales manager at Vision Valley. “The Cisco TelePresence Video Master ATP Programme is designed to enable partners to take advantage of the tremendous market opportunities ahead—not only in the telepresence space but also in the overall collaboration market,” said Allan Bjørnstad, Director of Collaboration Partners for Emerging at Cisco. Emircom is a partner for Cisco and operates in UAE and Saudi Arabia. Vision Valley is a solution provider the Middle East and North Africa markets for telecommunications, networking and information technology industries.


VAS player Qanawat opens office in KSA Qanawat, a mobile value added service provider, has strengthened its regional presence by opening its first office in Saudi Arabia. The new Riyadh base joins existing offices in Dubai and Cairo and will further improve customer relations in Saudi Arabia, helping to acquire localised content and broaden Qanawat’s service portfolio through providing dedicated local resources. Saudi Arabia is a priority market for Qanawat due to its large population and high average revenue per user performance. The company plans to open additional offices in Jordan, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia next year. Adnan Omar Al Obthani, CEO at Qanawat, said: “As the mobile VAS services space matures, I see Qanawat playing a more significant role in harnessing the attractive opportunities available across emerging markets in the MENA and Asian region.” A pioneer of the mobile VAS concept in the region, Qanawat now provides services to 40 mobile operators in 21 countries across MENA and Asia. Qanawat’s service portfolio today includes not just mobile content and VAS services but also mobile advertising, smartphone applications and mobile portals. The Middle East is a key region contributing to the growth in the global mobile value added service market, which is estimated to expand from revenues of $200 billion in 2009 to $340 billion in revenues by 2014, according to Informa Telecoms and Media. Qanawat’s top-selling content catalogue now accounts for up 70% the GCC market in Arabic and Islamic digital content sales.

Hamad Medical Corporation and Cerner automate public health in Qatar

Hanan al Kuwari PhD, Managing Director of Hamad Medical Corporation and Greg White, Vice President and Managing Director of Cerner Middle East and Africa along with officials at the signing of the agreement Hamad Medical Corporation and Cerner have signed an agreement to digitise the entire Qatar's public health system, including all HMC hospitals and primary health care centres. Acting as a prime contractor and CIS integrator, Cerner will deliver health IT solutions from Cerner and third party suppliers that will bring HMC’s hospital information management into the 21st century. This is Cerner’s first project in the region to digitise an entire country’s public health system on a single computing platform. Using the Cerner Millennium architecture, a unified health IT computing platform, will enable Qatari health professionals to elevate safety, quality and efficiency. The system will provide evidence based best practices and improve the clinical care processes. In addition, Cerner will provide the foundation for medical research initiatives related to population health management, including non-communicable diseases and other chronic health conditions. Cerner will also work with HMC to lay the foundation for a national health framework which will allow for a personal health record for every citizen in Qatar. Using Cerner solutions, HMC will help individuals better connect with their care team and engage in their health. Individuals will be able to schedule appointments, send messages to their doctor and create a personal health record to better manage their health. Moreover, HMC will have the ability to capture and research health data across medical encounters and medical facilities providing vast repositories for ongoing research and disease management for the Supreme Council of Health.

“Access to the latest evidence based clinical information will ensure best clinical guidelines and healthcare practices and hence best care for patients. With the Clinical Information System to be implemented soon, this technology will be at the clinician’s fingertips for health staff within Hamad Medical Corporation hospitals and primary healthcare centres, allowing them to make informed decisions about their patients,” said Dr Abdulwahab Al Musleh, deputy chief of medical, academic and research affairs for Clinical Information Systems at HMC. Abdulla Al Emadi, HMC Executive director of Health Information Systems, added: “The creation of this partnership with Cerner is a key stepping stone in our efforts to achieve excellence through the implementation of technology.” “Strong regional partnerships and supporting government initiatives to develop the health care industry are key pillars of Cerner’s growth strategies in the region.” said Greg White, VP and MD, Cerner Middle East and Africa. Cerner’s electronic health record will be the foundation of the health technology implementation. Over a period of five years, HMC Hospitals and primary health care centres will integrate approximately 100 Cerner solutions and 11 third party solutions, encompassing clinical, technical, operations and administrative areas, to support HMC in achieving clinical and service excellence. Cerner solutions are licensed by approximately 9,000 facilities around the world.

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IN THE BEGINNING Tie ups

ComGuard trains partners in UAE, Oman, offers exclusive promotion Comguard recently held a special training programme in UAE and Oman for its channel partners on GFI Software products. ComGuard conducted these training programmes in association with GFI Software designed specifically to help channel partners capitalise on the fastgrowing email archiving and web monitor market in the region. Experts from both ComGuard and GFI Software provided an overview and technical training on GFI Software solutions. Brian Azzopardi, product manager of GFI Software who conducts training workshops and programmes for GFI across the globe presided over the training programmes and provided in-depth knowledge about WebMonitor and GFI MailArchiver. He also highlighted a key new feature called MailInsights, a business intelligence (BI) functionality embedded in MailArchiver, which extracts intelligent information from the emails to enhance the productivity. With the overwhelming response received from its channel partners

John Spoor, channel Manager for Middle East and Africa, GFI Software

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ComGuard plans to conduct similar training programmes for its channel partners in Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon in the Middle East region. John Spoor, channel manager for Middle East and Africa, GFI Software, said, “The purpose of such training workshops is to update the skills sets of channel partners and provide them with necessary knowledge that equips them to maximise the potential of GFI software solutions in the growing marketplace”. At the end of the training programmes, ComGuard offered its successful channel partners free of cost training certification from GFI Software. Mohammad Mobasseri, senior VP, ComGuard, said, “We believe information is key to success, hence we decided to roll out this unique programme to train and educate our partners on GFI WebMonitor and GFI MailArchiver.” ComGuard has also launched an exclusive promotional offer by bundling key security products from Kaspersky and Safenet for corporate users. It is the only distributor in the region to offer an exclusive bundle deal on Kaspersky and SafeNet together. Any reseller buying 300 licenses of Kaspersky Open Space Security suite will get five SafeNet eToken Pass along with SafeNet Safe Word 2008 Migration Pack for free. Channel partner will also get 80% discount on SafeNet package of eToken and Safe Word 2008, if they purchase less than 300 licenses of Kaspersky Open Space Security suite. ComGuard also offers benefit of 80% discount on SafeNet package of eToken and Safe Word 2008 to its channel partners who have already brought licenses of Kaspersky Open Space Security suite in past 6 months. The bundle offer from ComGuard is valid till 31st March 2012 and channel partners from Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon can benefit from this offer. Kaspersky Open Space Security suite provides security to corporate

Mohammad Mobasseri, senior VP, ComGuard infrastructure with anti-malware protection. It secures the complete IT network including workstation, laptop, file server, mail server, Internet gateway or smartphone. eToken Pass is a compact and portable one time password authentication device that allows organisations to conveniently and effectively establish OTP based secure access to network resources, SaaS cloud applications and online services. SafeWord 2008 is an out of the box, one time password, two factor authentication solution that enables secure remote access to sensitive and confidential resources. Mobasseri said, “We have created unique bundle to offer total security solution for all the corporate in the region by combining Kaspersky and SafeNet together. We are sure that this offer will excite our channel partners and open new avenues for them to target corporate customers.” Comguard is a value added distributor in the IT security space and has a reach across the Middle East and North Africa region. The company was established in 2002.


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IN THE BEGINNING Tie ups

Pan Emirates partners with Barloworld for supply chain management

Pan Emirates, a retail brand has partnered with Barloworld Logistics to offer greater value to its customers across the GCC through the optimisation of their inbound and outbound distribution. Abdul Rehman Al Shamsi, chairman of Pan Emirates and Steve Ford, Group CEO of Barloworld Logistics, signed and exchanged agreements to this effect.

Mohammed Katawala, group finance director of Pan Emirates said, “We are in the process of an aggressive growth strategy in the GCC and recognised the need to align our supply chain strategy to our business strategy. Supply chain costs form a big part of the final product cost, and if not managed properly, could prevent us from achieving our goals and ultimately put the business at

Kaspersky Lab joins Samsung Enterprise Alliance programme Kaspersky Lab, announced it has become a Golden Member of the Samsung Enterprise Alliance Programme. The new global partnership Garry Kondakov, chief sales and is ushering in marketing officer of Kaspersky Lab much closer cooperation between the companies and inclusion of Kaspersky Lab’s products on a wide range of Samsung devices. Commenting on the new partnership, Garry Kondakov, chief sales and marketing officer of Kaspersky Lab, said,

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“We are very glad to begin the new global partnership with Samsung Electronics and to take our cooperation to a whole new level. Our membership in the Samsung Enterprise Alliance Programme will help us further develop our mobile solutions based on Samsung’s vast experience, and also expand the distribution of our solutions through Samsung Electronics’ global network, improving our market positions on a global scale.” The Samsung Enterprise Alliance Programme is a comprehensive partner programme designed to provide differentiated benefits for sales, marketing and solutions’ development to enable leading domestic and global independent software vendor and systems integrator

risk. We wanted to have an expert look at our supply chain holistically to optimise it and align it to our business needs”. Frank Courtney, CEO of Barloworld Logistics’ Middle East and Asia said, “Longterm partnerships with blue chip clients not only highlight our capabilities but also our commitment to delivering smart supply chain solutions that work well into the future. The first six months of our engagement with Pan Emirates will be used to map, design and implement the solution; the second six months will be for the deployment and entrenchment of best practices in the business.” Over 70% of potential savings and service enhancements in a supply chain come from the re-engineering and integration of logistics processes. Only small savings can be extracted by pushing suppliers harder. Barloworld Logistics is based in South Africa’s and creates strategic advantage for their clients by optimising and integrating client’s logistics processes and information flows.

partners to create new profit models through Samsung Electronics’ mobile solution business. As part of the Golden Partnership package Kaspersky Lab is to supply Kaspersky Mobile Security and Kaspersky Tablet Security to Samsung to protect both private and corporate Android-based Samsung mobile devices. These solutions ensure the highest class of security based on advanced protection against privacy violation, device loss or theft, annoying calls and messages, as well as malicious software. Under another part of the programme, Kaspersky Lab is to provide consumer security software to protect Samsung PCs, notebooks and netbooks running on Windows OS. For corporate products Kaspersky Lab is to supply Kaspersky Endpoint Security, different business models, and a flexible approach to achieve the best security for each corporate customer.


IN THE BEGINNING Tie ups

Spectrami to distribute security solutions from Microdasys, Tenable Network Security, Fastpasscorp

Anand Choudha, managing director, Spectrami Spectrami announced it has signed a distribution agreement with Microdasys to distribute a wide range of enterprise security solutions in the Middle East region. As prganisations continue to worry about new and unknown threats the adoption of Web 2.0 makes it even more complicated to manage security posture with the traditional security tool sets. In the face of new threats, new technologies are needed to manage attacks from unknown and Microdasys completes the picture in terms of protection from the new trend of attacks. “We are extremely delighted to bring Microdasys’ portfolio to Middle East and are confident that the pioneers in SSL and XML protection worldwide would be able to protect the local infrastructure here.” said, Anand Choudha, MD, Spectrami. The ongoing adoption of cloud computing and Web 2.0 technologies in enterprises and government agencies is adding to the security challenges that security administrators are facing. SSL encryption, XML, SOAP, RSS feeds and Web Services will continue to grow exponentially while traditional content scanners and firewalls are incapable of inspecting these protocols and applications. Microdasys products enable the adoption and safe use of SSL

encryption and XML/SOAP applications in the enterprise network. “We are very excited to add Spectrami to our family of partners,” said Oliver Ott, GM of Microdays EMEA. “As the pioneers of SSL content scanning we enjoy continued high demand for our SCIP SSL content proxy and with the recent release of our XSG XML Security Gateway we needed a highly qualified distribution partner to assist and support our channel partners and end users in the Middle East. Spectrami has a proven track record of successfully bringing new technologies to these regions, and we’re looking forward to a very successful partnership for the benefit of our customers.” Spectrami is authorised to distribute secure content inspection solutions from Microdays across the Middle East region including Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman among others. Spectrami has signed up with Tenable Network Security for the Middle East region to provide enterprise grade security solutions. Tenable’s technology helps continuously safeguard enterprises from targeted attacks, internal misuse and compliance violations. The company’s Unified Security Monitoring platform is the only solution that can provide continuous assessment and monitoring of vulnerability, patch configuration, log, event, network and threat intelligence across virtual, cloud and mobile assets. Choudha said, “With the number of threats and risks growing at a great pace in the Middle East region, we believe that the award-winning solutions from Tenable will offer a high level of protection by reporting real-time vulnerabilities to enterprises.” Spectrami will represent a range of Tenable Network Security’s products including SecurityCentre, the heart of its Unified Security Monitoring platform, making it faster and easier for enterprises to visualise, understand and communicate

the security and compliance status of their networks. Wayne Hollinshead, international channel manager, Tenable Network Security said, “We are happy to partner with Spectrami, with its focused approach and wide channel network. We are confident that Spectrami will provide us an excellent opportunity to expand our reach in the Middle East region.” Tenable provides enterprise grade agentless solutions for the continuous monitoring of vulnerabilities, configuration weaknesses, data leakage, log management and compromise detection to help ensure FDCC, FISMA, SANS CAG and PCI compliance. Spectrami has also been appointed as value added distributor for selfservice password management solutions provider Fastpasscorp, to distribute its products across the Middle East region. Fastpass provides enterprise password management for small to large enterprises as well as for managed service providers and has the ability to securely manage passwords and resolve account lockout incidents in a self-service fashion without involvement of helpdesk personnel. It also helps in meeting requirements for regulatory compliance and address identity management challenges. Choudha said, “We are excited to partner with Fastpass to offer a cost effective and easy to deploy solution that will not just help meet the security and compliance requirements of the companies but also streamline administrative tasks of service desk, thereby reducing IT costs and helping them to meet their business objectives”. With hacking and cyber crimes gaining in the real world, Fastpass enterprise password management provides a solution for companies in the region to safeguard their organisation’s and secure their information without any human interference.

MARCH 2012

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IN THE BEGINNING Tie ups

Scope Middle East to provide support for A10 Networks A10 Networks, an application networking vendor, has named Scope Middle East as its authorised support provider for the region. This development further strengthens the Mark Edge, sales director EMEA, A10 Networks relationship between the two companies who had signed a distributor agreement in September 2011. As per this arrangement, Scope ME will provide support contracts and professional services to A10 Networks customer base in the Middle East. These

support contracts can be customised to suit the requirements of each individual customer. Mark Edge, sales director, EMEA, A10 Networks indicated the importance of the agreement and its strategic implications in consolidating the company’s position in the application delivery controller market in the Middle East valued at over $20 million annually. “We entered the region with the intention of rapid market capitalisation. Signing Scope Middle East on as a distributer in 2011 was the first step towards this goal. Differentiating ourselves by providing superior and dedicated customer support was the next logical phase.” Scope Middle East already handles hundreds of support contracts with customers

Avnet sets up Oracle Exadata and Exalogic concept centres Avnet Technology Solutions, a global IT distribution player, has entered into a strategic alliance with Oracle to offer a proof of concept demonstration facility in Dubai, Hani Barakat, senior director Oracle business MENA, Avnet for Oracle’s Technology Solutions engineered systems including the Exadata Database Machine and Exalogic Elastic Cloud. The facility will help Avnet’s business partners in the Middle East and North Africa region address the business challenges of their end-user customers. The demonstration centre is the first of its kind in the MENA region. The facility works as a point of reference for companies that would like to understand the potential of Oracle Exadata and Exalogic technology.

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It will enable companies to experience the use of Oracle technologies by creating proof of concept designs and performance benchmarks based on the Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud virtual private cloud solution to transform business requirements into a proven IT solution within an optimised and risk-mitigated environment. Hani Barakat, senior director Oracle business MENA, Avnet Technology Solutions, said, “Avnet is dedicated to accelerating the success of our business partners and suppliers by investing in long-term, profitable and shared growth opportunities. This new facility demonstrates our commitment to providing Oracle business partners with the tools and resources they need to increase sales opportunities and provide additional value to their end customers. It also reflects the strength of our relationship and the confidence Oracle has in Avnet to drive

in the region from various segments of industry such as telecom, government, education, internet service providers and others. The certified engineers, who have extensive networking and security experience, are capable of providing 24/7 support via telephone, web and email in multiple languages including English, Arabic, Hindi and Urdu. In addition, customers can opt for a dedicated support engineer. “We are extremely excited to build upon what has already proved to be a mutually beneficial relationship. Our contact centre engineers have been trained and certified by A10 Networks and we are all geared up to provide world-class support,” said Fadi AbuEkab, CEO of Scope Middle East. Scope Middle East is a regional specialty distributor of advanced information technology solutions in the Middle East and North Africa. It has particular expertise in advanced network technology and security solutions.

market expansion for Exadata and Exalogic platforms in the MENA region.” Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, VP, Oracle Middle East and Africa, commented, “We have chosen Avnet as a strategic partner for our engineered systems Exadata and Exalogic, due to their excellent capabilities, execution and expertise.” The technology and demonstration centre is fully equipped with a team that has the skills, experience and expertise to service the requirements of partners and end-users on Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud platforms. Oracle Exadata Database Machine is a complete solution including server, storage, networking and software that is scalable, secure and redundant. Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud is an integrated hardware and software system which has been designed, tested and optimised by Oracle in order to run Java and non-Java applications. The machine offers a complete cloud application infrastructure, consolidating the broadest possible range of application types and Java and non-Java workloads.


IN THE BEGINNING Tie ups

ESET signs distributor agreement with Bulwark ESET Middle East announced it has teamed up with Bulwark Technologies, a value added distributor of IT security solutions in the Middle East in a move to meet the growing demand Aji Joseph, GM, ESET Middle East for its security solution by small and medium businesses and corporate. Under the terms of the agreement, Bulwark will market, sell and support ESET’s award-winning and technologically advanced anti-virus software ESET NOD32 Antivirus and ESET Smart Security solutions through its

reseller network across the countries of UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Yemen. ESET NOD32 Antivirus 5 utilises multiple layers of detection and cloud technology to block all potential threats. It has a small footprint needing minimal resource utilisation, taking up limited space on the user’s computer and allowing for faster performance. It is user-friendly and also manages upgrades on its own. Aji Joseph, GM, ESET Middle East commented “We are excited about this partnership with Bulwark for it allows us to penetrate further into markets in the region and reach out to a new breadth of customers. We chose Bulwark as it is well-positioned to serve the needs of end-users through its extensive reseller network and decade long expertise as value added distributor of IT

security products”. “It is essential for Government entities and enterprises to have the most optimal anti-virus solution to protect their networks without any compromise to data security. By signing up with ESET, we are happy that we can provide the end-users with access to comprehensive and state of the art security solution to counter potential virus threats” said Thomas. “We look forward to a fruitful relationship with ESET, bringing the best of benefits to our reseller community and the clients”. Bulwark commenced its operation in United Arab Emirates in the year 1999. Bulwark works through channel partners in the Middle East region with special focus on the GCC countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE.

SAS, Expedia partnership drives customer satisfaction in tourism industry SAS Middle East revealed its strategic global partnership with Expedia, an online travel agency, has helped drive new ways to increase customer satisfaction and reinforce customer loyalty across the globe including the Middle East regions thriving travel and tourism market. With the use of SAS Analytics, Expedia was able to transform huge volumes of data into useful insights for decision making, thereby effectively optimising online customer experiences and increasing customer lifetime value to fuel the company’s growth. Over the last year, the partnership has given Expedia the advantage of utilising SAS Analytics as a strategic tool to relate key processes that range from customer lifeline value to acquisition cost decisions. The SAS Analytics team used a special clustering technique to help learn more about customer behaviour and preferences. Based on their findings, the analytics team was able to build predictive models that revealed the factors that most influence

transactions. Customer lifetime value insights help Expedia determine what offers and promotions encourage repeat business. “In the direct response business, we track and measure everything so we need powerful analytical products that can handle big data,” said Joe Megibow, VP and GM, Expedia US. “We use SAS for our analytical heavy lifting. With nearly 200 terabytes of customer and clickstream data in our data warehouse, we count on SAS predictive analytics and data mining to analyse extremely large data volumes. Analytical insights about customer needs and preferences help us deliver the value and convenience that earns their loyalty.” To establish its culture of analytics, Expedia hires creative thinkers who not only understand data and analytics, but also its business and customer needs. The depth and breadth of SAS Analytics inspires innovative problem solving. “Expedia has capitalised on SAS experience solving different problems in multiple industries.

The domain expertise of SAS is an incredible asset that helps us creatively apply technologies to seize opportunities and solve Tapan Patel, global product problems,” said marketing manager, SAS Megibow. “With SAS predictive analytics, Expedia discovers important new ways to increase customer satisfaction. Expedia clearly understands how each marketing channel influences conversions on the site, allowing it to optimise marketing investments by channel. The value of analytics became crystal clear as annual gross bookings and revenue increased,” concludes Tapan Patel, global product marketing manager, SAS.

MARCH 2012

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IN THE BEGINNING Tie ups

Seagate appoints new distributors in EMEA Seagate Technology, a global hard disk drive and storage vendor, has appointed four new authorised distributors for its range of products in EMEA. These include Gandalf Data AB in Sweden; MCR Info Electronic, SL in Spain; ECS Distribution in Egypt and Germany; and the panEuropean distributor Siewert and Kau Computertechnik Gmbh. All four have been distributors for the hard disk drive business of Samsung Electronics, which was acquired by Seagate last year. The four new distributors will distribute Seagate’s internal hard drives as well as the company’s external solutions for the retail market on a non exclusive basis in the EMEA region. In the retail market, Seagate’s offering includes the GoFlex and Expansion external hard drives and the company’s BlackArmor network attached storage solutions for SMEs. Seagate’s portfolio of internal hard drives includes the Barracuda family of desktop drives, the Momentus family for notebook applications and, for enterprise, Cheetah, Constellation, Savvio and solid state Pulsar drives. “These new partnerships will broaden the availability of Seagate’s products in key EMEA markets and will enable customers in these markets to have convenient access to our industry-leading storage solutions,” said Mark Whitby, Seagate’s VP for EMEA Sales and Marketing. “This is an exciting time in the storage industry with rapidly evolving opportunities in many markets including mobile computing, cloud computing and solid state storage. With their understanding of local market characteristics and requirements, these four new distributors are well placed to take advantage of these opportunities to grow their business and Seagate’s business in the region.”

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Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University visits Jordan to initiate interaction and collaboration

In an initiative to promote e-learning in the Middle East, a delegation from Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University visited the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to discuss ways of jointly cultivating collaboration among major educational institutions. Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, chancellor of HBMeU, led the delegation that included Professor Nabil Baydoun, Learners and Enterprise Development, assistant chancellor Dr Raed Awdeh, Knowledge and Technology Development, director, and Nadia Amanallah Kamali, marketing and communication director. The delegation visited the University of Jordan, one of the most prestigious and oldest universities in Jordan that was founded 50 years ago, and met Dr Adel Tweisi the president of the university. They shared the history and achievements of the university over the past half century, particularly in the development of research, scientific and cultural projects. They also discussed the efforts of Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University in organising conferences, and hosting experts in the field of scientific research in the Middle East and across the world to spread knowledge, share innovations, scientific researches and new ideas. The delegation also visited the Hashemite University and met Dr Abdul-Karim Bani Hani, acting university president. The delegation visited the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and met with HE Dr Mustafa Al Adwan, secretary general of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Jordan. The delegation

also met Dr Mashoor Al-Rifai, VP for Academic Affairs at Princess Sumaya University for Technology, which is one of the most prominent universities in Jordan that is committed to develop information and communication technology, electronics, and business in a scientific and practical way. The meeting highlighted the UAE’s achievements in the field of technology and HBMeU’s role in the spread of the e-learning culture in the region. Dr Al Awar highlighted the strategic importance of the visit as a unique and important step for the UAE, in particular for HBMeU, to spread the culture of e-learning and make a difference in the Arab world. He said, “This visit marks the beginning of effective partnerships and constructive cooperation with the most prestigious educational institutions in Jordan.” The delegation concluded its visit to Jordan by signing an MoU with the Jordanian Canadian College. The agreement was signed in the presence of Mohammed Al-Hadid, director general of Jordanian Canadian College and a number of officials and academicians, in a bid to strengthen cooperation in the field of academic education and the dissemination of e-culture. HBMeU is the first virtual university in the Arab World that was established with the vision to develop a new learning process through the implementation of teaching practices characterised by flexibility, quality and diversity to strengthen self-leadership among students and prepare them socially and academically for a career through integration into the requirements of the job market.


IN THE BEGINNING Tie ups

IQ partners with MicroWorld, Dubai Technology, Saudia Hyper, Al Anees Group for Huawei

Informatica Qatar has added Family Food Centre’s MicroWorld store and Dubai Technology to its growing list of local retailers of Huawei mobile devices. Qatar based MicroWorld store deals with all kinds of telecom and IT products including accessories and software. MicroWorld has three outlets in Doha. Dubai Technology, is a well known mobile retail shop that conducts its business through several outlets in Qatar. Under the terms of their partnership with Informatica Qatar, both establishments will distribute mobile phones manufactured by Huawei. “MicroWorld and Dubai Technology are important to bringing Huawei’s world-class

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products to Qatar’s mass market. So far we have been building up a distinguished network of local partners who have the capability, reputation and market reach to distribute Huawei products, and these two establishments reflect the success of our efforts so far. We are eyeing more strategic alliances to capitalise on Qatar’s thriving mobile market and position Huawei as one of its most trusted brands,” said Wisam Costandi, GM, Informatica Qatar. Informatica Qatar has also signed agreements with Saudia Hyper and the Al Anees Group, to distribute devices for Huawei. Saudia Hyper is a hypermarket

subsidiary of NKM Group, the operator of Qatar’s chain of hypermarkets, Qatar shopping complex Markiya and Qatar Big Mart Muaither. Al Anees is a leading wholesaler and retailer of mobile phones and accessories. Their combined 13 outlets in New Rayyan, Al Markhiya, Muaither, Souq Najada, Musherib, Mansora, Najma and Industrial Area will significantly broaden the market for Huawei products in Doha. “Our agreement with Saudia Hyper and Al Anees will enable us to reach more key areas in the vicinity of Doha while associating our offerings with some of Qatar’s respected names in wholesale and retail,” said Ramy Numair, commercial director, Informatica Qatar. The company had initially signed up Safari Group and Sky Net Group. Huawei recently chose Informatica Qatar to distribute and provide after-sales service for the Huawei IDEOS, IDEOS X5 and its future Qatari launches. The Android OS 2.2 powered IDEOS is ideal for heavy users of multimedia, social networking sites, instant messaging and email, while the higher-end Huawei X5 runs on Android OS 2.2 with 3D user interface capability and is intended for professionals and tech enthusiasts. Informatica Qatar is am end to end ICT, extra low voltage and telecom solutions provider.


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IN THE BEGINNING Tie ups

Acer launches Allegro Windows smartphone

Acer has released its Windows smartphone called Allegro. With its user interface powered by Windows Phone, complete with Live Tiles! the Allegro puts people up front, making it easier to connect and share with friends, family and colleagues. With the most recent version of Windows Phone, codenamed Mango. Acer says, Live Tiles are more interactive, enabling users to get real-time information without having to open them, by pinning them to the start screen. The Acer Allegro is now available in the UAE at select Sharaf DG Stores. The Allegro comes in Midnight Blue and Pearl White. “The Acer Allegro, which runs on Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 OS is a unique proposition for on-thego and connected customer. The easy to use Windows interface gives the user a mobile device that facilitates instant connectivity and navigation on the web,” commented Gustavo Fuchs, director, Mobility, Middle East and Africa, Microsoft. “The Windows based Allegro smartphone is loaded with features that are designed to empower the end users,” said Sanjay Kachroo business head, Smart Hand Held Business Group, Acer Computer.

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Mantech to deliver Thinspace cloud solutions in GCC

Thinspace and Mantech Computers announced an exclusive partnership to accelerate deployment of cloud computing technology to enterprise customers in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The partnership also targets the whole of the GCC region. Founded in 1979, Mantech Computers is the longest established computing company in Bahrain, and provides hardware, software and security solutions. Hassan Bader Kaiksow, MD of Mantech said, “We have been dedicated to providing our customers with IT services and solutions since 1979. The partnership with Thinspace enables us to further embrace the next generation computing model, and assist in taking Bahrain’s cloud computing to the next level.”

Thinspace will leverage Mantech’s leadership position in Bahrain to target industries and large enterprise customers, including financial, healthcare, education and government sectors. Lisa Layzell, CEO of Thinspace said, “Mantech has a long standing reputation and the right infrastructure to effectively deliver the unique benefits of our cloud client solutions to all major industry sectors in Bahrain, as well as a wide range of partners in the GCC region.” This strategic partnership was brought together by consultancy firm Curved Theory, with high level support from the Bahrain Economic Development Board and the Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus. The initial relationship was developed during a UK roadshow led by the EDB in October 2011, which focused on direct outreach activities across a number of key sectors including IT and technology. Paul Abley, MD of Curved Theory commented, “ManTech are ideally placed to maximise the benefits that the Thinspace product suite offers and will be able to represent Thinspace in a new and exciting market.” Thinspace is a specialist provider of cloud client technology and its customers include Prudential Property, 20:20 Mobile amongst others.

FVC hosts Alcatel Lucent Enterprise partner event in KSA FVC, a recently appointed authorised distributor for Alcatel-Lucent Enterprises in Saudi Arabia, hosted its first partner meeting to introduce the complete range of Alcatel Lucent solutions to its network of system integrators in the Kingdom. The event was attended by around 50 partners. The partner meeting covered market trends, solutions portfolio, selling techniques and data for SMEs. The session also demonstrated, VoIP and latest applications, MY IC Mobile 1.0 for iPhone and iPad. The launch event concluded

with a sales test that contributed to the partner’s accreditation level. Alcatel Lucent issued certificates of attendance to the participants. The extended distribution agreement between Alcatel Lucent and FVC provides increased levels of service to Alcatel Lucent customers through FVC’s wide network of partners in the country. The launch seminar provided information on products and solutions, technical resources and access to first level of technical support through a dedicated Alcatel Lucent team at FVC.


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IN THE BEGINNING Tie ups

Westcon extends agreement with Arbor Networks Westcon, announced the company has signed a value added distribution agreement with Arbor Networks, a vendor of security and network management Steve Lockie, MD of Westcon. solutions for next-generation data centres and carrier networks. In November 2011, the companies announced Westcon would distribute Arbor’s Pravail Availability Protection System for enterprise data centre availability and the Peakflow SP

platform for service provider networks in Latin America. “Arbor Networks is a leader for DDoS attack identification and mitigation solutions worldwide. By adding their enterprise data centre and service provider solutions to our portfolio in the Middle East, Westcon is now able to offer our value added resellers and partners proven solutions that address an acute problem for network operators on the ever changing threats to the availability of networks and services,” said Steve Lockie, MD of Westcon. “Westcon has been a tremendous partner for Arbor Networks and we are looking forward to extending and strengthening that relationship. Arbor has a full suite of solutions for data centre operators and network service providers.

Westcon has the reach and relationships we need to make sure that decision makers across the Middle East understand the DDoS problem and how to defend against it with Arbor solutions,” said Jeremy Nicholls, Arbor Networks channel director for EMEA. Pravail APS is an on-premise device that protects the enterprise data centre edge from threats to availability — specifically, application-layer distributed denial of service attacks. Pravail APS delivers carrier-class DDoS attack identification and mitigation capabilities that can be rapidly deployed with little configuration, even during an attack. The vast majority of service providers rely on Arbor’s Peakflow SP platform to proactively fend off malicious threats such as botnets and volumetric and applicationlayer DDoS attacks, while strengthening the availability and quality of their services. The Arbor Peakflow SP platform includes two main components, Peakflow SP and the Threat Management System.

Sonicwall includes Kaspersky in firewall client

Sonicwall, a global vendor of intelligent network security and data protection solutions, announced it has expanded its suite of firewall security services with the addition of Kaspersky Anti-Virus to its Enforced Client Anti-Virus and AntiSpyware solution. Sonicwall firewalls ensure easy deployment, provisioning and enforcement of the client on endpoint devices through a policy-driven engine.

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Sonicwall integrated Kaspersky technology into its enforced client solution which resides on endpoint computers, delivering critical protection against viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms, rootkits and more. “Deploying, maintaining and enforcing the right security software on endpoint devices within a network can be difficult,” said Swarup Selvaraman, product line manager at Sonicwall. Sonicwall Next-Generation and Unified Threat Management firewalls provide gateway anti-virus through Sonicwall’s proprietary reassembly free deep packet inspection (DPI) anti malware solution, protecting the perimeter, wireless and VPNs. But viruses can still enter the network through other entry points, including laptops, thumb drives or other unprotected systems. While protection at multiple layers is the best defence against modern threats, deploying, maintaining

and enforcing the security software on endpoint devices can strain IT resources and budgets. Sonicwall firewalls provide a multilayered anti-malware strategy consisting of its anti-malware solution at the gateway and enforced anti-virus solution at the endpoints. When a non-compliant end-point within the network tries to connect to the Internet, the firewall will redirect the user to a web page to install the latest Sonicwall Enforced Client AntiVirus and Anti-Spyware software. The firewall further ensures that all the endpoint clients are automatically updated with the latest anti-virus and antispyware signatures without end-user intervention. The updated clients can remediate infections by cleansing the endpoint systems and thus preventing further propagation of the threat throughout the network.


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Dafnia Electronics LLC Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 3352995 Fax: +971 4 3349951 Email: marketing@dafnia.ae

Dafnia COM-TEC, FZCO JAFZA Tel: +971 4 8831401 Fax: +971 4 8831402 Email: dafcom@eim.ae

Dafnia Middle East FZ LLC Tecom (DIC) Dubai, UAE Email: dafnia@eim.ae

Dafnia Technologies LLC Abu Dhabi Tel: +971 2 6322437 Fax: +971 2 6322437 Email: marketing@dafnia.ae

SKT LLC Ruwi, Sultanate of Oman Tel: +968 24 750205 Fax: +968 24 789375 Email: main@sktllc.net


IN THE BEGINNING Tie ups

Cyber Gear partners with VoiceMpower for telephony solutions across MENA Cyber Gear is an Internet solution provider in the UAE since 1996, developing Web solutions for government, educational and multinational organisations in the region. Sharad Agarwal, CEO of VoiceMpower Cyber Gear specialises in providing end to end computer telephony and CRM solutions with various options of on-premise or on-cloud and Saas based business models. According to Sharad Agarwal, CEO of Cyber Gear, “The strategic partnership with VoiceMpower offers a range of complementary solutions in the fields of computer telephony, CRM and contact centre solutions, to enhance the company’s propositions in the MENA region.” Sastry Oleti, business development director, VoiceMpower said, “We propose to leverage our computer telephony and CRM solutions to Cyber Gear’s clients portfolio in the government and private sector.” Other than the above VoiceMpower’s services include Dialogic, Sangoma voice and fax boards; IVR, speech solutions and various dialler solutions; fax server and unified communications; call recording, call billing and voicemail solutions; and SMS solutions and digital dictation solutions. Some of the Cyber Gear is prominent clients include Grand Hyatt, GEMS, Dubai Bank, Abu Dhabi National Hotels, Burger King, Burjeel Hospital, Mubadala Healthcare, Mega Mall, Farnek Avireal.

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Exinda in exclusive distribution agreement with Computerlinks for ME Exinda, a global vendor of next generation WAN optimisation solutions, announced it has strengthened its presence in the Middle East by appointing Computerlinks as its exclusive distribution partner across the region. The deal enables Exinda to satisfy growing market demand for its technology and reinforces its commitment to the region as a growth market. Computerlinks will help Exinda increase its channel footprint and add momentum to Exinda’s sales, service and support capabilities. “As a business Exinda continues to grow ahead of the market and that particularly applies to the Middle East where we are seeing pent up demand for our solution and a significant growth opportunity”, explained Adam Davison, VP sales EMEA at Exinda. “We needed a strategic partner to help us capitalise on this opportunity, a distributor with a proven track record in taking innovative and disruptive technologies to market,

building channel momentum and providing value added services.” Commenting on the agreement Lee Reynolds, MD, Computerlinks, Middle East and Asia said, “It is increasingly Lee Reynolds, MD, Computerlinks, rare these Middle East and Asia days to find a technology that lives up to its next generation billing and truly disrupts the market. Exinda’s integrated approach encompassing visibility, QoS and acceleration within a single platform sets it apart from the legacy WAN optimisation providers and represents a great opportunity for our channel partners to be able to differentiate themselves in the market.”

Bulwark organises Qatar partner meet with Cyberoam, ESET Bulwark, recently organised a partner meet in Qatar, along with leading IT security vendors Cyberoam and ESET. The event attended by Bulwark’s reseller partners in Qatar provided them with a platform to interact with Cyberoam and ESET to discuss the roadmap and strategies for the future. Senior executives of Cyberoam and ESET delivered presentations to provide insight into the portfolio of solutions they offer to address the security market in the region. Speaking on the occasion, Surender Kumar Bishnoi, GM, Cyberoam Middle East, commented, “The channel meet is a great

opportunity for us to know more about the reseller community and to directly address their concerns. Qatar is a significant market for Cyberoam in the Middle East and we look forward to engage ourselves with more of these initiatives in future to build stronger bonding with the channel”. Jose Thomas, MD of Bulwark said “Our partners are our biggest asset and this interaction enables us to more effectively communicate our commitment to them and to thank them for their continuous support to our growth. The event highlights the efforts we are making to achieve a stronger reseller network in Qatar.”


COVER FEATURE Cloud

Step up The latest technology taking the region by storm, cloud computing has the potential to add to the revenues and bottomline of partners. However, to achieve its potential partners would have to build their expertise around the base solution that is provided by vendors.

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COVER FEATURE Cloud

Cloud computing – it is everywhere. You cannot ignore it, especially if you are a partner in the region of any major IT company. The whole story is complicated by the fact that there is no single version of the cloud to adhere to – every vendor has its own way of defining the cloud and offering solutions for it. And the partner is often left at the receiving end of understanding each one and translating its benefits to the customer. Different companies have different models to offer cloud services in the region. But almost all of them work with partners to offer cloud services to the market. A case in point in the storage vendor NetApp. “NetApp is one of the leading infrastrucure providers for all types of cloud-enabled services and cloud-based application workloads. Virtualised storage and data management functionalities are the strong foundation that provisioning models such as plattform, infrastructure or software as-a-service are built on. While we do not offer cloud services ourselves, we work closely with regional and pan-European service providers that cater to a wide range of audiences and customers all over the Middle East region,” says Konstantin Ebert, director channels and alliances EMEA emerging markets, NetApp.

EMC, on its part, works together with sister companies VMware and VCE offer cloud solutions under the Iaas and PaaS models. “From IaaS perspective, a key building block of such a cloud infrastructure is the pre-built and ready for deployment VCE Vblock Infrastructure Platforms, which are optimised for a wide range of virtualised solution deployments. Vblock infrastructure platforms integrate best of breed technology from industry leaders Cisco, EMC, and VMware in a

The market segments choose the right cloud based on their data protection requirements and on the capital available. Some sectors deal with highly sensitive data such as financial or medical institutions and will be unwilling to move data out of the company, save to a service provider harbouring data in another country. Smaller companies on the other hand will gladly accept cloud-based offerings that do not require them to build their own infrastructure.” 32

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modular design that is highly scalable to meet growth needs, provide investment protection, and lower TCO,” says Zaher Haydar, regional pre-sales manager, Turkey, Emerging Africa and Middle East at EMC. He continues, “From PaaS perspective, for organisations who need a new approach to application development and deployment to accommodate modern application characteristics, a new model conceived and designed with the cloud in mind. The VMware vFabric Cloud Application Platform is engineered to enable IT to efficiently build, run and scale modern, data-intensive applications and deploy them in private, public or enterprise hybrid clouds. The vFabric platform improves application delivery by intelligently leveraging underlying infrastructure for the highest application performance, quality of service and resource utilisation.” These are just some of the services and solutions available for enterprises. And then there is the whole range of ones that are made for service providers specifically.


“Many communication service providers have recognised this market opportunity and are investing heavily in cloud offerings. The Alcatel-Lucent CloudBand portfolio enables service providers to quickly create end-toend cloud services with all necessary data centre and network resources, and quickly launch new services and applications. Alcatel-Lucent are also partnering with leading companies such as HP to combine the strengths of both IT and service provider portfolios. By bringing the network to the cloud, service providers can rapidly enter the market and create that better class of cloud— the Carrier Cloud. With the CloudBand portfolio, service providers can abstract and virtualize their networks to match virtualisation in the data centre and support complex network topologies and bandwidth and latency guarantees, as well as encrypted storage options,” says Andreas C Lemke, senior manager, cloud solutions marketing at Alcatel-Lucent. There are other specific function based ones – like security. “mailFence, spamFence, backupFence and dnsFence are the most important ones among the solution portfolio offered by Comendo, relevant to the Middle East market. They are all under SAAS. spamFence and mailFence works to combat spam and viruses and to provide total protection before reaching customers’ networks. backupFence, is a hosted managed backup and archiving solution. Apart from global vendors that offer regional solutions, there are ones that offer solutions from public clouds that are universal, and apply to the region as much as it does to the rest of the world. “Google Enterprise products help businesses become more productive by combining the innovation and ease of use of Google’s consumer products with

Andreas C Lemke, senior manager, cloud solutions marketing at Alcatel-Lucent

applications on the same systems that power Google applications. App Engine offers fast development and deployment; simple administration, with no need to worry about hardware, patches or backups; and effortless scalability,” says Abdul Wahed, head of enterprise at Google. Another similar service is HP’s ePrint, a free service from HP that enables printing from any mobile or connected device such as a phone, laptop, netbook, PC, etc to any HP ePrint web connected device. Your HP printer can connect to the web and enable you to print to it wherever you are. You can have documents printed to another location for business colleagues. You can print them and pick them up immediately or have them waiting for you when you arrive at your printer. You can print your documents from email clients and have the convenience of printing them right from a mobile device.

Our partner ecosystem offers great opportunities because partners can rely on us not building our own cloud services. We support the customer but follow-through and service delivery is handled by our trusted partners and their best-inclass solutions built on NetApp technology. the features, security and support that is essential for business. Google Apps for Business is a suite of online communication and collaboration applications with the features, security and support that businesses require. Google Earth Builder is a revolutionary geospatial solution that lets businesses publish their mapping data on our secure, cloud-based mapping platform and share it quickly and easily through Google Earth, Google Maps and Android Phones. Google App Engine enables businesses to build and host web

Popular or not While there are a range of solutions and services on offer in the region, some remain more popular than others. “The market segments choose the right cloud based on their data protection requirements and on the capital available. Some sectors deal with highly sensitive data such as financial or medical institutions and will be unwilling to move data out of the company, save to a service provider harbouring data in another country. Smaller companies on the

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COVER FEATURE Cloud

other hand will gladly accept cloud-based offerings that do not require them to build their own infrastructure. The pay-as-yougo model for those market segments is highly attractive. In short: The cloud caters to each and every demand, depending for example on data protection requirements and money,” says Ebert. “In the leading markets, cloud adoption rates are robust across a wide range of industries from technology to financial services and healthcare with government applications following closely. With the help of the Alcatel-Lucent CloudBand portfolio, communication service providers can target these industries and their mission critical applications with end-to-end carrier-grade cloud services that are not available from

Right from the beginning of our partner program, we knew that we didn’t want to replicate traditional channel models and wanted to create a cloud-based partnering program for a cloud-based service. We thus have always been very careful in listening to our partners requests and concerns and intended to show a continued evolution, growth, and investment in our global partner program.” 34

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public cloud providers,” states Lemke. Delivery mechanisms vary from vendor to vendor as well, and global firms can often trump local providers in terms of delivery and service provision. “The deployment of our products is very quick. Small businesses can sign up for products directly online and use our products almost instantly. Bigger companies usually work with a partner for the deployment and change management because each company has its proper challenges and needs a specific support.

Depending on the IT system they used formally, the deployment can take from one day to a few weeks,” says Wahed. Opportunities While there is yet confusion in the market, it is true that most enterprises are looking seriously into cloud solutions, and these are likely to consume IT budgets from the region in the coming year. This is the reason that vendors believe that a lot of opportunities exist for partners in taking on and delivering cloud services and solutions.


“Our partner ecosystem offers great opportunities because partners can rely on us not building our own cloud services. We support the customer but follow-through and service delivery is handled by our trusted partners and their best-in-class solutions built on NetApp technology. One example is SAPs HANA analytical appliance. One of the first SAP HANA solutions to market was Fujitsu’s reference design based on NetApp FAS3240 with our unified storage as key enabler of highly scalable analytical infrastructures. One other factor is often overlooked, which is customer care. There are still some reservations towards cloud infrastructures. So partners need to address customer worries and consult on topics such as secure multi-tenancy and data protection. Another issue is legal know-how around data retention: Service providers and their partners may find additional opportunities when they can guaratee where data is retained,” says Ebert. He continues, “We are one hundred percent indirect which translates to one hundred partner opportunity. With our global alliance partners like Cisco, Fujitsu, Microsoft, Citrix and others we enable all branches of our ecosystem to build the right offerings – whether it’s resellers, system integrators, or service providers. If we take FlexPod as an example, it is very easy to communicate and sell on the solution benefits: a validated design such as the NetApp and Cisco joint solutions with its 13 specifications for communications, collaboration, virtualisation, or ERP allows a safe and fast migration path to virtualisation and the cloud. This is what 99% of the customers are looking for.” “Our cloud solutions are a great way for the resellers to easily gain extra revenues, as we offer an innovative, but highly useful, layer of security, which their

Abdul Wahed, head of enterprise at Google

clients can leverage to build a robust infrastructure,” saysHouda Naji, MD, Comendo. Google’s Wahed states, “Channel partners are an extremely important element in the development of cloud services in the region. Most of our partners have built a comprehensive suite of professional services such as deployment, migration, change management, training and other support services. They are enjoying not just the rewards that come from annual renewals but ongoing support revenue plus one-off project services revenue.” He continues, “Some of the more advanced partners are also creating their own cloud assets and sell them on Google’s Apps Marketplace for our tens of millions of Apps end users to download. Just like downloading an App on your smartphone, many partners are

creating similar valuable add-on services (like project management, customer relationship management (CRM) tools etc. ) – that can be used seamlessly and securely with Google Apps.” Keeping the multiple opportunities in mind, many vendors are also investing in training programmes to enable their partners to provide and profit more from the cloud. “Alcatel-Lucent is currently setting up a training program covering all regions of the world. Alcatel-Lucent will work with our CSP customers to accelerate the adoption of cloud based solutions in the Middle East region. Channel partners have an important role in carrying the new wave of carrier cloud services into the market. The carrier cloud enables businesses and governments in the region to optimise their IT infrastructure and become much more flexible in responding to shifts in

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COVER FEATURE Cloud

demand and the need for new services and functions,” says Lemke. Ebert adds, “We offer several paths of education to facilitate business for our partners in this fast building market. We support them with our knowledge and solutions as a global technology provider, but allow them to build their individual services. We also have specific solutions such as the FlexPod cloud reference architecture designed in cooperation with Cisco. This is a pre-tested and prevalidated design that offers network, storage, and compute in one preconfigured stack, thus greatly facilitating the move to the cloud. We help to obtain the necessary skills and certifications, as selling the FlexPod solution requires understanding of the full stack plus dedicated application know-how.” Wahed says, “We have a partner program that we have continued to expand and improve since it was launched. Our partners have access to more advanced sales and deployment training as well as packaged marketing campaigns to help them drum up new business. We are also continually enriching the reseller tools to give them even more power in managing their customer accounts. In Google’s partner model, partners own the billing relationship with their customers - so giving them more granular and flexible tools means they can add more value and retain more control.” He adds, “We recently created the Premier Reseller designation in order to enable customers to more easily assess a reseller’s expertise advising on and deploying Google products. FVC in Dubai has moved from an authorised to a premier reseller based on their expertise and success in helping customers deploy and use Google Apps.” “Alcatel-Lucent is currently setting up a training program covering all regions of the world. Alcatel-Lucent will work with our

CSP customers to accelerate the adoption of cloud based solutions in the Middle East region,” says Lemke. Partners who have taken up cloud solutions and services also work to add to their knowledge base in an active manner and tap into the stretching market. “We have added the cloud services portfolio more than five years back. Few of the key offerings within are hosted email, Network Operations, DR Hosting and cloud based AV /AS mails. Besides, as a system integrator, we do assist several clients in helping them create their private

Alcatel-Lucent is currently setting up a training program covering all regions of the world. Alcatel-Lucent will work with our CSP customers to accelerate the adoption of cloud based solutions in the Middle East region,” says Lemke. Partners who have taken up cloud solutions and services also work to add to their knowledge base in an active manner and tap into the stretching market. clouds. The vendor services engaged are from IBM, HP, Microsoft, Cisco, MessageLabs, CITRIX, CA and MindTree (India),” says Narendra Talreja, director of IT and managed services at SevenSeas.

Houda Naji, managing director, Comendo

He continues, “Seven Seas have formal partnership with the above mentioned vendors to provide cloud based services. The resource enablement across sales, presales and post sales is the imperative part of these partnerships. We have conducted product launches; CIO invites and also end-user events to promote the services. Besides, we have reflected the same on our websites and also published it via few of the regional IT magazines.” “Internally at Seven Seas, we position the cloud services as enabling technologies. The vendors and service providers have moved their focus on enabling technologies vide virtualisation, consolidation, private and public cloud, mobility solutions, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, managed services, etc,” Talreja says. Challenges and the future Despite the various opportunities and the promise of the cloud, partners have a lot of challenges and doubts about the delivery and provision of these solutions and services to enterprise customers in the region. “The cloud has only begun to change the way people live and do business.

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COVER FEATURE Cloud

To better understand regional market opportunities for cloud services, AlcatelLucent undertook an in-depth market study of perceptions and attitudes towards the cloud among 3,886 IT decision makers in seven countries between June and September 2011: U.S., U.K., France, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. According to this study, India and the US are the leading countries who will make extensive use of cloud solutions while cloud adoption in other countries was significantly lower. Key concerns of the decision makers about cloud services were performance (29%), security (21%), and ease of use (17%),” says Lemke. He adds, “As mentioned above in the Alcatel-Lucent study with IT decision makers, cloud customers wish to achieve the same or an even higher level of performance, security, and ease of use as with classical IT deployment models. Channel partners are looking for tools, proofpoints, and support to demonstrate that with an innovative cloud portfolio, as offered by Alcatel-Lucent, these challenges can be addressed and the benefits of the cloud can be realised.” “Right from the beginning of our partner program, we knew that we didn’t want to replicate traditional channel models and wanted to create a cloudbased partnering program for a cloudbased service. We thus have always been very careful in listening to our partners requests and concerns and intended to show a continued evolution, growth, and investment in our global partner program,” says Wahed. He adds, “Last year the Google Apps Reseller program saw the announcement of our Premier program and the launch of the Google Apps certification program. Very recently we launched Google Partner Connect, an exclusive portal for our partners around the world to access the latest information about our Enterprise

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business and products, and our sales certification program for resellers along with eLearning modules to help individuals prepare.” NetApp’s Ebert says, “Some concerns are very specific: Channel partners are worried that big vendors start building their own data centres and offer cloud services directly. But our channel strategy

in the Middle East is one hundred percent indirect and we will continue to enable our partners to offer cloud services based on their own infrastructure. We support them with profound knowledge in building the right infrastructure as well as aligning with the right alliance partners to complement their portfolio. Then there are the general cloud issues at the customer side. Security


As mentioned above in the AlcatelLucent study with IT decision makers, cloud customers wish to achieve the same or an even higher level of performance, security, and ease of use as with classical IT deployment models. Channel partners are looking for tools, proofpoints, and support to demonstrate that with an innovative cloud portfolio, as offered by AlcatelLucent, these challenges can be addressed and the benefits of the cloud can be realised.”

still is a major concern, as well as questions concerning data retention and issues of governance and regulation – or lack thereof. Customers also ask the channel partners about resilience and local connectivity as cloud structures are first and foremost business-to-business driven. Looking forward, there are also unresolved issues regarding standardisation and

transparency. Seamless migration between clouds is still in the future. These are the next issues to be tackled as broader cloud service offerings are pushed into the market.” Naji from Comendo says, “Our channel partners had earlier security concerns about mail going out of the country, as we didn’t have a data centre in the region. Now we have addressed this issue by setting up a data centre in UAE which ensures that mails are being filtered in Dubai.” The concerns raised by vendors regarding the sale and delivery of cloud services can sound a little different from the ones expressed by the vendors above. “I personally feel there are a few deterrents to the sale and delivery of

cloud services. This includes service availability like pricing, contractual fulfilment and compliance. Given the investment and costing, the acceptance of cloud services functionality against the performance will remain a big ask until bandwidth is available and cheap. Given the concern on localisation of the data and services as the biggest need, the partner, SI or the provider will need to demonstrate ROI and TCO benefits to their own business owners. The services should comfort the customer with limited or no tools and resource on governance, framework certifications and absolute measurement of need versus cost versus performance. Lastly, the customer in the region would still able to afford the onpremise IT deployment given the size of the service. Despite the above deterrents would be embraced in the IT fraternity, one deterrent would still be a distant future to overcome and accepted which is the socio-political situation and regional and linguistic barriers,” points out Talreja. Channel partners are an extremely important element in the development of cloud services in the region. To truly tap into the potential channel partners should built a comprehensive suite of professional services such as deployment, migration, change management, training and other support services. That way partners can enjoy not only the rewards that come from annual renewals but also ongoing support revenues plus one-off project services revenue. There are a whole lot of challenges facing the partner of today as they move to sell and deliver on cloud solutions. However, there remains no doubt in everyone’s mind that this is the future – that cloud services are inevitable and that regional partners have to up their ante to capitalise on the business that the cloud can bring them now and in the years to come. //

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Entangled in a maze of tools to manage your

IT infrastructure?


IN FOCUS Advanced Logistics Services

Supply chain value add Aptec Holding has leveraged its regional experience to launch a third party logistics company Aptec Holdings has been in the regional distribution business for the last three decades. As part of its migration from broad line distribution to value added distribution, it has also added services layers around its core competency in supply chain management. And this has led to a stage where this competency is now embedded in an independent legal entity called Advanced Logistics Services. ALS is now licensed by Dubai’s Department of Economic Development and Jebel Ali Free Zone to stock and handle commercial goods on behalf of other businesses. “This is a very lengthy process,” says Mario Veljovic, operations director, Aptec Holdings, and differentiates ALS from other distributor companies which are licensed as trading companies and not third party logistics companies. While large scale global logistics companies exist in the regional market, there is also a need for specialised niche players. ALS services are specialised around ICT products. “The processes we have developed over the last few years are tailor made for the ICT business. You need to know the procedures in order to get these goods into the country. You need to know the people whom to approach to make sure you are not losing out,” he says. As an example, import of media or software need to be approved by Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development, and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority controls shipment of networking equipment into the country. The close association of Aptec Distribution and third party logistics company ALS within the same holding company is unique in the region. But Veljovic stresses on the need to be neutral in the market. “We have the resources and

know how to help vendors improve their local footprint in the region.” ALS is therefore targeting mid size vendors whose supply chain business is not of sufficient scale to approach large logistics suppliers such DHL, Aramex, UPS and others. Most such vendors are looking at setting up their regional hubs but the scale of their business is insufficient to move towards leading distributors and logistics management companies. “We can actually help them with local inventories, services and reverse logistics management, and this allows more vendors to set up shop in the region, improves sell through volumes in the channel and drives sales for resellers,” says Veljovic. Supplies distributor Despec is a customer of ALS and 80% of ALS warehouse resources in Saudi Arabia are built up around the requirements of Despec. For the reseller community, ALS offers to consolidate and hold shipments for them based on a specific order or project build up. ALS can consolidate specific items and quantities from vendors or distributors within free zones and hold them pending further consolidation, re-export or final delivery. For vendors, distributors and resellers, signing on as customers, ALS also provides fourth party support in a neutral fashion. It can hire additional warehouse space and delivery services in case there is additional demand from the customer and there are internal capacity constraints. “We are independent of any resource supply and can pick and choose what is best for the customer to get their supply chain managed.” Another challenge that is often overlooked in the supply chain business is the correct billing model. ALS customers pay an annual management fee as well as charges based on specific services requested such as warehousing, packaging, consolidation, forwarding

Adding on supply chain management services, Mario Veljovic, Operations Director, Aptec Holdings

and others. Since the requirements keep changing and are dynamic it is often difficult to keep track of the exact support services extended. “How do you make sure the customer is really paying as they use the warehouse”, questions Veljovic. “Can you demonstrate this to the customer?” ALS has implemented Exactus warehouse management system from regional partner BSG to meet this requirement. The landed cost factor becomes important when profit margins are slim and the landed cost needs to be carefully managed and monitored. “If you do not manage and master it, an initial profitable deal can turn out to be a loss maker.” ALS typically specifies to its customers from which products or ordering pattern do the higher overheads emerge from, thus helping customers to focus on business development rather than supply chain management issues. //

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50% discount for 1st 5 clients


SPEAKOUT George DeBono

Open standards in cloud Open standards across operating systems and applications are being extended to cloud architectures Openness in software and architectures is a big win for users. This truth is so widely recognised that a lot of vendors seem to favour using open as a sort of mantra. An open cloud allows customers to manage diverse infrastructures by bringing them together under the same cloud architecture. Instead of creating a new cloud silo or forcing them to impractically start their IT over from scratch, an open cloud extends its benefits to the entire IT infrastructure, delivering greater efficiency and agility and putting them in control of their technology roadmap and, ultimately, the future of their IT. But what does open mean in the context of cloud? It certainly does not begin and end with the submission of some format to a standards body or with an announcement of partners endorsing some specific technology platform. An open cloud has the following characteristics: t0QFOTPVSDFThis allows adopters to control their particular implementation and does not restrict them to the technology and business roadmap of a specific vendor. It lets them build and manage clouds that put them in control of their own destiny and provides them with visibility into the technology on which they have based their business. It provides them with the flexibility to run the workloads of their choice, including proprietary ones, in their cloud. t*OEFQFOEFOUDPNNVOJUZ Open source is not just about the code, its license, and how it can be used and extended. At least as important is the community associated with the code and how it is governed. Realising the collaborative potential of open source

and the innovation it can deliver to everyone means having the structures and organisation in place to tap it fully. t*OEFQFOEFOUWFOEPSQMBUGPSN Standardisation in the sense of official cloud standards blessed by standards bodies is still in early days. That said, approaches to interoperability that are not under the control of individual vendors and that are not tied to specific platforms offer important flexibility. This allows API specification to evolve beyond implementation constraints and creates the opportunity for communities and organisations to develop variants that meet their individual technical and commercial requirements. t*OUFMMFDUVBMQSPQFSUZSJHIUTHistory has shown there are few guarantees that intellectual property assets will remain accessible from one day to the next. To have confidence you will continue to enjoy access to IP assets permission needs to be given in ways that make technology open and accessible to the user. So-called de facto standards, which are often standards only insofar as they are promoted by a large vendor, often fail this test. t$IPJDFPGJOGSBTUSVDUVSFHybrid cloud management should provide an additional layer of abstraction above virtualisation, physical servers, storage, networking, and public cloud providers. This implies, or indeed requires, that cloud management be independent of virtualisation and other foundational technologies. This is a fundamental reason that cloud is different from virtualisation management and a fundamental enabler of hybrid clouds that span physical servers, multiple virtualisation platforms and a wide range of public cloud providers. t0QFO"1* This lets users add features, providers and technologies from

a variety of vendors or other sources. Critically, the API itself cannot be under the control of a specific vendor or tied to a specific implementation but must be under the auspices of a third-party organisation that allows for contributions and extensions in an open and transparent manner. t*OUFSDMPVEQPSUBCJMJUZ Implicit in a cloud approach that provides support for heterogeneous infrastructure is that investments made in developing for an open cloud must be portable to other such clouds. Portability takes a variety of forms including programming languages and frameworks, data, and the applications themselves. If you develop an application for one cloud, you should not need to rewrite it in a different language or use different APIs to move it somewhere else. An open cloud requires a range of attributes to push the needle from wholly closed to truly open. Having a few of these

George DeBono is GM, Middle East and Africa, Red Hat.

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SPEAKOUT Michele Caminos

Bundle offerings Starting from the customer view point is make or break for any technology bundle offer Technology providers spend extraordinary amounts of time and resources in search of the perfect solution, researching markets, industries and customer buying trends to find the right fit. Equally, buyers often spend inordinate amounts of time force-fitting commercial solutions to internal business processes — one size rarely fits all. Built correctly, bundled solutions give buyers and sellers a configurable option they need for addressing respective goals. But bundles are hardly a panacea. Challenges remain in getting them right. Many providers fail to ensure the organisation is prepared and equipped to create bundled offerings. The challenge in engineering bundled solutions lies in understanding the entire solution - from the customer’s perspective and desired experience. Most providers approach bundles from the perspective of what they need to sell to be successful — versus what the customer needs to buy. Though subtle, this can mean the difference between winning and losing the deal. Marketers should become the customer, to understand what bundles should look like and push internally to ensure that

Built correctly, bundled solutions give buyers and sellers a configurable option they need for addressing respective goals. But bundles are hardly a panacea.

Most providers approach bundles from the perspective of what they need to sell to be successful — versus what the customer needs to buy. This can mean the difference between winning and losing the deal. integration, delivery and support match up to the promise that marketing made. The following steps will help ensure you have the best chance of being successful with building and introducing bundles to the market: t*OUFSOBMQSPDFTTFT Creating bundles is not as simple as putting desired products and services together and bringing the combination to market. If back end functions are not in place, you will end up with dissatisfied customers and channel partners — a situation that could do more damage to your bottom line than if you did nothing at all. Before jumping into bundling, first ensure that your organisation’s internal structure and culture support it. t.BSLFUPQQPSUVOJUJFT Do not create bundles unless you fully understand the market segment you are developing for, what its business challenges are, what set of products and services customers tend to purchase together, and most importantly, what customers really want from the product and buying experience. t#VOEMFTDFOBSJPT It is helpful to have some theoretical examples in mind to help

you think about each step. Use your existing portfolio and strengths of major partners to come up with two to three possible bundles at a very high level. You will use these rough drafts as a way to assess the broader impact of bundling. t*OUFSOBMPQFSBUJPOT Consider the finer details of creating, selling and servicing a bundled solution to head off potential obstacles that may arise during development, such as delivery, warranty periods, commission models and support. t3PVUFTUPNBSLFU Several possible routes to market are available to sell bundled solutions, but the adequacy for your particular solution is completely dependent on customer preferences. Explore possible routes to market for your bundled solution and determine which ones will work best. t1SPEVDUCVOEMJOH is a popular initiative with providers because it has the potential to deliver strong mutual benefits for both buyer and seller. Before jumping into what should be included in the bundles, make a highlevel business case to reveal how bundling will deliver financial and non-financial benefits to both buyer and seller. Conduct a thorough investigation of the market, internal operations and routes to market. //

Michelle Caminos is research vice president in Gartner’s data centre transformation group. Based in Auckland, her research covers vendor strategies, goto-market strategies and user demands.

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SPEAKOUT Peter Schaudeck

Enter the campus network Social media applications, mobility and cloud are bringing the role of campus networks back into focus. Can channel partners exploit this opportunity? It has always struck me as ironic that in a world as fast moving and transformational as technology, many of the problems our customers face do not ever seem to change. As does, how to spend the smallest amount possible to bring performance up to the level needed, without having to spend more next year and the year after. The focus in 2012 is going to be driven not by the CIO or data centre or IT manager. This year is going to be the year of the most challenging DMJFOUPGBMMUIFFOEVTFS2VBMJUZPG experience is beginning to have a bigger impact on the IT landscape. We have all heard it said that IT is no longer in the hands of the IT department. Increased use of mobile platforms, cloud services outside the corporate firewall, and demand for new applications at speeds the IT department cannot deliver, are driving a cultural change that has significant implications for the network. Users are increasingly empowered by technology to determine how, when and what IT services and solutions they use, with or without the IT departments consent or knowledge. VARs and systems integrators are increasingly being asked to help customer IT and network teams to respond. For the past few years the focus has been on making the data centre more flexible. Ensuring IT staff can deploy business driven changes across the network quickly and simply, while guaranteeing uptime and access is key. And this trend will continue. The problem is that much of the new technology in vogue – such as cloud, unified communication, collaboration tools, video conferencing, mobile platforms and

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The focus in 2012 is going to be driven not by the CIO or data centre or IT manager. This year is going to be the year of the most challenging client of all: the end user. so on – are all about user experience. And the user rarely sits in the data centre. So if the data centre network is top notch, but the campus network is not, the user is likely to find the kind of problems the IT department has spent time and money on fixing, still prevalent. Loss of connection, inability to connect, poor quality of audio or visual media, lost data, updates not updated – all those things are guaranteed to send users straight to the IT helpdesk. Years of adding layers of complexity with every new feature has damaged the financial and technical performance of the network and created more problems than solutions or improvements. For executive management there is increased frustration of investing in new, business critical applications only to find it does not work. For IT, the frustration is that it does work, but the network outside the data centre cannot cope and does not have the same built-in intelligence. This issue will reach crunch point in 2012. The campus network has long been the poor relation with the data centre, where major innovation and investment has taken place. But changes in how users connect and the kind of data they are driving back and forth over the network

mean the campus has become more critical. Demanding the kind of intelligence already found in data centre networks, customers will be looking for solutions and will be turning to the channel to make this a reality. The channel is the point of integration, bringing the right solutions together for customers needs and providing insight into how they can continue to balance cost and performance. It is time to redefine the economics of the campus network and recognise the growing opportunity for significant new and incremental sales that they provide. Customers will be looking for VARs and system integrators who can help them make wise investments for now and for the future. //

Peter Schaudeck is channel sales manager for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa at Brocade Communications.


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TEST BENCH PC Tools Performance Toolkit

As good as new Version 2.0 has powerful features to manage Windows boot up time, privacy of documents, permanent removal of deleted files and health-check of the all important Registry sector. We always have a wishful memory of the day we got a new PC. The start-up time was lighting fast, the hard disk had vast storage space and navigation across web sites happened with the click of a button. PC Tools Performance Toolkit is meant to make your day to day operations feel like a new PC operation. While Windows 7 has improved considerably in managing its signature start-up file from previous versions, frequent installation and removal of applications will require the start-up file to be managed closely. Multiple license versions of Windows

applications and upgrades, also require the registry file to be maintained through regular scans and through more sophisticated techniques, than inbuilt within Windows. PC Tools Diagnostic Toolkit also includes the Registry mechanic utility to perform this function. Some of the key features in this version of Toolkit include intuitive dashboard, single click optimisation of system performance, reducing the boot-up and shut-down times, custom selection of applications in start up menu, removal of history trail, erasing deleted files and directory structure, locating deleted and duplicate files.

PC Tools Performance Toolkit, Version 2.0, OS Compatibility: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

BENEFITS OF REBUILDING THE REGISTRY Windows is forced to unload DLLs from NFNPSZ Windows Explorer caches DynamicLink Libraries in memory for a period of time after the application using them has been closed. This can be an inefficient use of memory on low memory systems, and may cause problems or delays for programmers developing with Windows DLL files. 4MPXEJTQMBZPGNFOVT By default, Windows subtly delays the display of menus. For everyday Windows users however, this delay can become annoying. When this tweak is applied, the delay period is reduced. Faster shut down times: When Windows is shut down, this tweak forces the Windows operating system to end all

tasks immediately without attempting to safely close those that have hung. This can improve the speed at which Windows shuts down. #PPUmMFPQUJNJTBUJPO The Windows boot file is defragmented, improving the speed at which Windows starts. Optimisation of the Start Menu items MJTUThe Windows Start menu items list is rebuilt, sorted and refreshed, improving the efficiency with which programmes start during Windows start-up. 3FBMXPSME3FHJTUSZmMFT Users with over 5% errors in their Registry files, scattered across the Registry structure are referred to as bloated Registry files. The amount of benefit

provided by Toolkit is linked to the degree of real world Registry bloatedness. This increases with the number of applications loaded on, partial uninstalls, nature of usage, example light versus heavy versus power users, to name a few. The Registry sector needs to be cleaned, repaired and compacted before any appreciable system performance is noted. The compact Registry option is similar to defragmenting the hard disk. It removes the slack space and old deleted Registry information and then rebuilds the Registry in a linear fashion. This rebuilding process can repair a host of issues, such as bad security descriptors and corrupt branches.

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TEST BENCH PC Tools Performance Toolkit

This version of Performance Toolkit features a new dashboard that allows the user to see at a single glance the overall level of system optimisation and performance. The current and new startup times for the operation system are specified; the number of history files indexed in the system; and the choice to repair the registry, clear document history and permanently clean up the hard disk drive directory; are also available.

Most users can select the single click optimisation, which completes major system maintenance tasks as a routine. These include resetting the registry block, deleting records of recent documents across all Windows and third party applications, optimising Windows startup time and performance and defragmenting the hard disk. The slider indicates the percentage of tasks completed and this can be used in conjunction with the scheduler to complete these maintenance tasks as a regular routine.

For users looking at applying some diligence in the maintenance of their PCs, they can customise their performance enhancement operations. In the case of performance, PC Tools offers Windows Registry cleanup and compacting; Windows overall optimisation and fast boot up time as its features.

Windows device start-up times are strongly influenced by the nature of files loaded at the time of start-up. This Toolkit feature allows you to modify the files loaded at the time of start-up and shows the incremental increase or decrease in start-up times as you select or deselect the application files to be loaded into system memory.

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This option allows the user to select the best overall system performance compromising on the appearance of screens and other menu interfaces. Active and inactive files based on this selection are displayed and this allows the user to decide whether this system performance selection meets their requirement or not.

The privacy menu offers users the option of removing their history of recently opened documents in Windows applications, browsers and third party applications. This is one of the most important features in this Toolkit. Often recently opened documents can contain sensitive information that must not show up during public presentations or walk through and can get overlooked till the last moment. Running this feature will ensure that history of recently opened documents is erased from Windows applications. Un-checking the check option allows the user to deselect applications where the history trail is required

This option allows the user to select the best overall display performance compromising on system performance to allow enhanced displays and menus, usually suitable for gaming and media entertainment. Active and inactive files based on this selection are displayed and this allows the user to decide whether this system performance selection meets their requirement or not. A compromise balanced selection where both performance and display needs are met can also be selected and the slider allows the user to easily switch between settings most suitable for them.

In addition to erasing the history of recently opened documents in Windows applications, the Toolkit also erases history of recent documents across third party applications and plugins. Un-checking the check option allows the user to deselect applications where the history trail is required to be maintained.

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TEST BENCH PC Tools Performance Toolkit

Files deleted from the hard disk and recovery bin can be retrieved with specialised utilities and tend to reduce the availability of hard disk space. PC Tools Bleach feature ensures the hard disk is purged of directory and file information thereby ensuring that all records of private and sensitive information cannot be recovered by any other system utility. This is reset after a system restart.

Similar to the Bleach feature, the Shred feature permanently deletes the selected files and ensures they cannot be recovered by any systems utility. This can also be used in conjunction with the file recovery option.

In order to ensure that complete privacy of data has been obtained and no history of previously deleted files or directory exists on the system, this feature of checking for recoverable deleted files can be used. Files that have been shred and directories that have been Bleached can be verified with this feature. On the other hand, users can recover older files that have not been shred and are required after a period of time for some reason or the other.

Due to the My user feature under Windows operating system, document and media files may get saved in multiple directories and may be overlooked by the user. This is especially important for image and media files, where the files sizes are significant. This feature scans the system for files with the same names and history but saved in more than one location. Scans can be quick or deep or across the physical media. The file recovery selection criteria can be controlled by the user.

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PEOPLE Aman Sangar

Microsoft’s gaming champion

Consumer delight As part of Microsoft’s gaming business, Sangar feels privileged to deliver joy to families. Sangar is the category lead for the Interactive Entertainment Business within Microsoft’s Retail sales and marketing division and joined Microsoft in 2007. As part of the retail end of the consumer electronics segment, Sangar gauges the success of his efforts by monitoring weekly sales. “This can be both incredibly satisfying when all goes well and also painfully frustrating when it does not.” Since people plan, deliver and consume, understanding and influencing people is the most enriching and challenging aspect of his job role. The changing consumer electronics environment is an area of continuous learning. Equally important is the need to evolve your

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interpersonal working style to match team members and partners. For Sangar, “situational leadership is a key as long as one remains true to one’s core ethos.” He believes in turning challenges into fun and works hard and plays hard. Along with his partners, Sangar likes to keep people happy, since happy people make for happy business. As an authority on consumer electronic trends and changing technology needs facing these sectors, Aman has leveraged this forte and experience to develop relationships with partners, retailers and government organisations. His favourite device remains the Xbox 360 and his favourite day dream playing video games for a living. He relaxes off work by spending time with his wife and son and also prays and exercises.


6th June 2012

Stay tuned for more details

www.resellerme.com


PEOPLE Nicholas Argyrides

Managing Director

EMPA Middle East Nicholas Argyrides has been appointed as managing director of EMPA Middle East. Argyrides brings a decade of significant experience and achievements within the field of IT distribution in the Middle East. Under his new role, he will be directing EMPA’s business strategy as well as spearheading the firm’s overall operations across the region. “Any professional would be delighted to take up such an exciting role with such a respected organisation as EMPA Middle East. Our multilateral market strategy is based on selective geographical expansion, a diverse product portfolio and sustained operational excellence. Adding value to the channel is crucial. I would like to thank

the Board of Directors for entrusting me the responsibility of driving the company. I am definitely looking forward to an exciting journey ahead,” said Argyrides. Argyrides obtained his BScBA degree from the University of Arizona upon completing his double-major studies in Marketing & Entrepreneurship. He also holds an MBA degree from London Business School. After briefly working for a bio-tech corporation in Arizona, USA he moved to Cyprus in 2002 and, shortly after, launched his career with IT distributor Logicom Public Limited in a number of positions and geographies – the last one being the general manager of Logicom Dubai.

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PEOPLE Soichi Murakami

MD – Middle East, Turkey, Africa

Brother In line with the move to mark a stronger market presence across the region, Brother has announced the appointment of Soichi Murakami as the new MD for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (which includes South Africa and excludes French speaking African countries). “These are truly exciting times for the region’s printing industry, where growth has managed to continue in an upward streak,” said Soichi Murakami. “The predicted growth comes as a welcome challenge for me to drive in efforts of achieving 15% YoY growth in key areas like the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. Despite being new to the region, I am confident that the presence of a highly skilled and qualified Brother team will not only help in reaching our targets and goals but also consolidate our market presence across the region.” Murakami, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Business

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Administration from Kwansei Gakuin University, brings to the region over 28 years of experience and loyalty with Brother. Joining the company immediately after college in 1984, he has since then held key posts for Brother, widely being credited for his excellent leadership and business skills. In 1992, he was named as a core committee member for the company’s Olympic Project. Seven years later, Murakami was then appointed as chief executive for Brother’s Labeling machines division and in 1999 he was promoted to being product manager for the European operations of Brother for the UK region. Six years later, he was appointed as general manager for Printing and Solutions products for Asia Pacific in Japan. Prior to being appointed to his present position, Murakami also served as Brother’s GM for Product Planning, handling new category products like electronics stationary related lines in Japan.


To  partner,  please  call:  048839888,  Email:  marketing@westconme.com


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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