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ISSUE 190 // OCTOBER 2012 // WWW.RESELLERME.COM

THE ANNUAL INDUSTRY SURVEY 2012 EVENTS

VENDOR FOCUS

REVIEWS

ResellerME hosts the second edition of its Partner Connect series of events

IBM is on a geoexpansion derive with the channel at the very centre

Samsung, Apple & HTC battle it out

SOLUTION QUESTION

THE KEY TO EFFECTIVE SOLUTION SELLING


CONTENTS ISSUE 190 // OCTOBER 2012

HIGHLIGHTS 6

COVER FEATURE

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

VENDOR FOCUS 32

Vendor value add IBM brings its partners a number of support initiatives to help them play a greater part in the company’s route to expansion through 2015. Mark Hennessy, GM, IBM Global Partners and Midmarket, tells us more while Ilse Cilliers, VP Global Business Partners, MEA gives us the regional take.

PARTNER WATCH 36

Committed for growth The channel lies at the very centre of Tech Access’s strategy for growth. Chris Cornelius, discusses the fruits of successful partnerships and the company’s plans for the future.

EVENTS 39

Web of security The second edition of the ResellerME Partner Connect series of events tackles the subject of ‘networking and app delivery in the new age’

43

FEATURE 74

HOT PRODUCTS 88

Smartphone battles iPhone 5, HTC One X or Samsung Galaxy SIII? We compare the titans of the smartphone world

95

We bring you the Annual Channel Industry Survey 2012

The solution question We speak to industry experts to understand the subject of solutions selling and the evolution of this concept in the Middle East.

Lenovo AIO Lenovo breaks innovation records with its latest machine

CHAMPIONS OF THE TRADE

PEOPLE

97

98

Quality career

The fruit of change

Rola Al- Satari, is the Head of the Accreditation, Quality and Communications unit, Itqan

Bernard Biolchini, GM and VP of Sales, AMD META

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

EDITORIAL

A time to shine

Group Editor Jeevan Thankappan jeevan@cpidubai.com +971 4 4409109 Editor Pallavi Sharma pallavi@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9103

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

Pallavi Sharma Assistant Editor

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 Design Director Ruth Sheehy ruth@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9132 Designer Analou Balbero analou@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9104

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

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

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

For anybody in the regional technology industry, October is perhaps the busiest time of the year with preparations under way for the largest technology exhibition in the consumer and enterprise space. Suddenly it seems that the year has just whizzed past as we find ourselves neck deep in preparation for GITEX. GITEX Shopper opened to massive audiences on 29th September with the largest IT retailers expecting record revenues from the event floor. The show was such a success that the authorities at DWTC have now decided to make this a bi- annual affair with an earlier edition scheduled to be held from the 3rd to the 6th of April, 2013 followed by the much larger, traditional year-end event in October 2013. As the noise surrounding the consumer IT space slowly begins to hush, the enterprise technology channel awaits with bated breath to see the outcome of GITEX Technology Week 2012 that will run from the 14th to the 18th of October 2012. Already, the industry is abuzz with talk of new partnerships, latest product innovations and a host of other news. Vendors and channel partners have spent big bucks in making this GITEX a lavish affair, with bigger stands and even bigger news and the best part is that participation at the event goes beyond the walls of the event floor to encompass other strategic venues around Dubai such as the Fairmont Hotel, Ritz Carlton DIFC and many more. To commemorate this suspicious and all too busy time of the year, the cover story for this issue of the magazine is the second ANNUAL CHANNEL INDUSTRY SURVEY that delves into the roots of the operations of the largest distributors, systems integrators, resellers and retailers in the region who have been ranked as per revenue. What’s interesting to note is that the TOP 20 largely remain the same with more investments in expanding their reach and training their channel partners. These stalwarts of the industry bring their unique flavour and value add to the industry. We hope this gives you an in depth look at the growth and evolution of the channel industry and a greater appreciation for the challenges they overcome to bring enterprises and consumers leading edge solutions from across the globe. It is these organisations that have actively contributed to making the Middle East the IT hub that it is today and they have represent top notch vendors and complement their offerings with unique business strategies to encourage healthy competition within the regional industry. So yes, the rush to October has been a busy one and I see no signs of it slowing down yet with more stories to be discovered on the event floor all through GITEX and we will be there to cover all the latest announcements. We want to hear from you about your participation at GITEX, from what’s new and bold to the efforts that go behind getting your brand out there, so write in to us or better yet just Tweet at us and rest assured we’ll be there. Until next time. Happy selling!

Branch Office PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 4 447 2409 Printed by Printwell 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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HIGHLIGHTS News

Emitac Distribution and HP Middle East host joint reseller meet in Iraq

Regional broadline distributor Emitac Distribution and HP Middle East Enterprise Group recently held their first joint reseller event in Iraq.  Resellers from across Iraq joined the two day event to learn more about the HP Enterprise Group product portfolio and channel programme.

“Iraq is one of HP’s focused and growing countries in the Middle East. We have dedicated resources for Iraq and will be investing more in the future as we continue to see a huge potential in this market.” said Ramesh Budharup, Iraq Distribution Manager, Enterprise Group, HP Middle East. “The joint HP Emitac Distribution event was a tremendous success and has

brought us closer to resellers and partners and we will work towards getting this relationship to new heights.” “There is an abundance of potential in Iraq; the Government is heavily investing in IT Infrastructure. We have been focusing on the Iraqi market for over three years and today, we have developed almost full breadth across the channel in Iraq,” said Abdalla Mustafa, Regional Director, Emitac Distribution. Carlos Tannous, Value Add Business Unit Manager for Emitac Distribution said, “The purpose of the joint event with the HP Enterprise Group was to create an open forum for our customers with HP; to develop partnerships and provide the resellers with important technology updates. It was a great opportunity to meet and network with our resellers in their own country and learn more.” Key members from both Emitac Distribution and HP Enterprise Group gave the resellers an overview and product update on the entire HP Enterprise product portfolio, including the latest developments and offerings.  The event took place on the 4th -5th September 2012 in Erbil, Iraq.

HID Global revamps Identity Assurance Partner Programme in EMEA HID Global, a provider of secure identity solutions, recently announced the revamp of its successful Identity Assurance channel partner programme. The company has announced that it is expanding its previous channel offering to extend the success of the global HID partner programme to the Middle East channel market. The updated channel partner programme, formerly the ActivIdentity Partner Programme, creates unprecedented opportunities for distributors and channel partners of all sizes to further boost their identity assurance product and service offerings, recognise investment in skilled

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sales and technical resources, and generate new revenue streams, it was reported. This increased commitment to the partner programme in the Middle East, with a focus on the financial, enterprise, healthcare and government markets, will help mirror the success of the Identity Assurance Partner Programme in other regions, the company said. The revamped Identity Assurance channel partner programme is simultaneously simplified and expanded. Enhancements to the programme include simplified processes and documents, a revamped and easy-to-use partner portal and channel

enablement tools, it was reported. Additionally, channel partners now have increased access to services offering by the Identity Assurance business, knowledge and expertise ensuring the necessary support to build market presence and create new revenue opportunities. Through the Identity Assurance Channel Partner programme, Middle East – channel partners can offer their customers the combined technological expertise of HID Global and its Identity Assurance solutions, including best-ofbreed security solutions for all access points, physical and logical. IT includes a simplified

programme and a series of important support tools including channel enablement tools and product certifications. Jerome Becquart,VP and GM, Identity Assurance with HID Global, said, “By aligning our Identity Assurance partner programme more closely with the global channel activity of HID, UK channel customers now have a simple set of services to create new revenue opportunities by providing our secure identity solutions and know-how to their customers. This programme furthers our efforts to make it easier for our partners to do business with us and easier for those partners to do business with their customers.”


ResellerME to host Hot50 Awards in December ResellerME and publisher CPI are soon to host the ResellerME Hot50 Awards to commemorate the achievements of the regional channel industry through 2012. “Originally scheduled for the 16th of October, the ResellerME Hot50 Awards will now be held later in the year to ensure maximum participation from organisations spanning the entire region. We understand that GITEX is a busy time the Middle East technology

industry and believe that reshuffling the date to December the 5th, gives organisations the time to create impressive nominations and gives the entire industry a fair chance to participate,” said Richard Judd, MD, Technology, Business and Broadcast divisions at CPI. In keeping with its original theme, the ResellerME Hot50 Awards will go beyond revenue achievements to discover the focused service initiatives of the regional channel. From marketing to logistics, the Hot50 Awards will honour the remarkable achievements of organisations that are actively working towards revitalising the channel’s business models to go beyond trading to offer support and services.

Centrify teams up with Shifra to boost presence in MENA Centrify Corporation, a provider of security and compliance solutions that centrally control, secure and audit access to cross-platform systems, mobile devices and applications, announced that it has signed a distribution contract with Shifra – a value added distributor serving the MENA markets – to promote, sell and service Centrify’s security and compliance solutions. Shifra now offers and supports the entire Centrify Suite 2012 product portfolio for centralising authentication, privilege management and auditing of cross-platform systems within Microsoft Active Directory, the company said. “With increasing awareness for information security and the increase in cyber security attacks in our region, demand for securing customer environments and centrally managing them to give visibility of who did what on the network has become a priority,” said Ahmad Elkhatib, Managing Partner, Shifra. “We are happy to bring Centrify’s world-class technology to our region through our network of specialised channel partners, to best address our customers’ security needs.”

Centrify’s global go-to-market strategy is focused on building an international network of technically enabled partners that can assist mutual customers in addressing both their information security and regulatory compliance requirements in-region, it was reported. “Centrify already supports a number of high-profile customers across the Middle East and North Africa,” said Olly Carter, EMEA Channel Manager, Centrify Corporation. “To further our traction, we are thrilled to now be launching in the region with Shifra. Compliance, security and operational efficiency are driving customer demand for our Unified Access Management portfolio – and as such, Shifra will recruit, manage and develop a network of value-added partners to give us the necessary coverage in all MENA countries. For example, we will host our first partner technical accreditation training course in Dubai later this month, we will attend the GITEX exhibition in October, and we have a number of events and roadshows planned in region. We are delighted to partner with Shifra to facilitate our growth in this valued and very fast-paced market.”

In addition, the Awards will also feature a category dedicated to achievements in the burgeoning consumer technology space, recognising the largest contenders across the smartphone, tablet and gaming segment. This category of the Awards will be open to Online Voting, highlighting the names of the biggest contenders giving the judging panel a clear indication market leading trends and products.

For more information on the ReselleME Hot50 Awards, please visit: http://bit.ly/UuDgme

Cyberoam launches rewards programme for partners in the region Cyberoam, an identity-based Unified Threat Management (UTM) range of solutions from Elitecore Technologies, today announced the launch of an automated rewards programme for its channel partners. The programme will reward registered channel partners for selling Cyberoam solutions via easy-to-claim gift incentives. The points can be cashed in for several exciting gifts and programmes, the company said. The Cyberoam Partner Advantage Programme though currently available in select countries, is in course of being rolled out for partners across the world and is part of an intrinsic Cyberoam strategy to stimulate its channel partners with new and efficient sales tools and incentives for making deeper inroads into the market. Surender Kumar Bishnoi, GM-Middle East, Cyberoam said,  “Cyberoam designs incentive  programmes and streamlines processes as part of its strategy of enabling  partners to  aggressively drive business in the channel, keep motivation levels high and  lower partner’s costs at all possible points in the course of sales and marketing. We look forward to see the impact of the initiative as it translates into value for sales and marketing effort across the channel.”

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HIGHLIGHTS News

Oliver Ebel to lead Lenovo’s MEA business

Oliver Ebel, Executive Director and GM, Lenovo, MEA Lenovo has announced that Oliver Ebel will assume the role of Executive Director and GM for Lenovo in the MEA, moving from his current position as Executive Director and GM for Eastern Europe and Turkey.

Ebel takes the reins from Jack Lee, who will relocate to Hong Kong and assume the role of Corporate VP and GM of Lenovo Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea. In his capacity as the new head Lenovo’s MEA operations, Ebel will continue to pursue strong business growth in the region. He will oversee operations, strategy development, sales, marketing and relationship management with all stakeholders in the PC industry for Lenovo’s commercial and consumer products, as well as services, the company said. Gianfranco Lanci, President EMEA and SVP Lenovo Group stated, “For three years, our global strategy has focused on protecting the areas where we are strong and attacking the places with greatest opportunity. Lenovo has achieved enormous momentum with eleven straight quarters as the fastest growing PC Company, and our rise to the number 2 position in worldwide PC sales is testimony to the leadership we have in place to bring this strategy to fruition. The Middle East and Africa business continues to be of significant importance during this extremely dynamic time in Lenovo’s history

and I believe the managerial moves that we announce today provide the strength of leadership in key markets to take us to number one.” During the past two years Lenovo has seen its Middle East and Africa business go from strength to strength, bolstered by the establishment of a high calibre and talented management team led by Jack Lee. Under his leadership, the business has achieved a number of successes, including a 70% annual uplift in the region’s sales and a move up by two positions to number 4 in the regional PC rankings (according to IDC, Q2 ,published reports) in 2012. Oliver has over 17 years of experience in the IT industry across sales and sales management positions, on the customer side as well as on the business partner side, and at IBM prior to formation of the Lenovo business. In Lenovo he has held various senior positions including; Director Relationship Sales in Germany and Austria, Director Public Sector for Western Europe, GM of Lenovo CEE and most recently Executive Director and GM in Eastern Europe and Turkey.

Comguard partners with BlueCat Networks, hosts roadshows on IPv6 and BYOD Comguard, a Dubai-based value added distributor for IT security products and part of Spectrum group, in association with BlueCat Networks, recently organised roadshows on its new business technology platforms IPv6 and BYOD in Saudi Arabia and UAE. The first roadshow was held in Riyadh on 30th September 2012 at InterContinental Hotel, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, while, the second roadshow will be held

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in Dubai on 3rd October 2012 at Jumeriah Emirates Towers, Dubai, UAE. To further promote IPv6 readiness and the role of IP Address Management in IPv6 planning and implementation, these roadshows intend to educate enterprises on  how they can take practical steps to prepare themselves for IPv6 and how IPAM can help with IPv6 planning, transition and on-going management, as well

as new IP-dependent initiatives like BYOD, representatives said. Brad Micklea,VP of Product Management at BlueCat Networks, said, “By participating in these roadshows with Comguard, we aim to support the successful rollout of IPv6 and BYOD and highlight the importance of DNS, DHCP and IP Address Management in providing a solid foundation for these two strategic initiatives. Without IPAM, organisations will

struggle to assign, track and manage IPv6 addresses and networks. Without IPAM, they will also face the challenge of how to simply and securely register, onboard and track personal devices for BYOD. We will share insights from our customers on how IP Address Management is essential to insulate both end users and administrators from the complexities of managing IPv6 and BYOD.”


HIGHLIGHTS News

Microsoft officially launches the Windows Server 2012, builds on cloud strategy Microsoft officially launched Windows Server 2012 in Dubai, describing it as a cornerstone of the cloud OS that provides customers with a modern platform for the world’s applications. “A great era is coming and it’s the best time for our customers to experience the best cloud platform. With the Windows Server 2012 we have investments in all forms to support network partners such as Cisco and we have investments to support storage vendors such as EMC, so when you think about the data centre, you don’t think about just one company, this is a broader system we are supporting with Windows Server 2012.The opportunity it provides is for us to all work together and bring the best cloud systems, a ready-made solution that is very easy for the customers to adopt,” said Goksel Topbas, Server andTool Business Group Lead, Microsoft Gulf. Samer Abu Ltaif, GM, Microsoft Gulf, presented the keynote which opened the launch, alongside partners HP and Intel, represented by Eyad Shihabi, MD, HP Middle East and Nassir Nauthoa, GM, Gulf Countries at Intel, to a packed out Le Royal Meridien hotel. “Microsoft’s unique legacy in the most widely used operating systems, applications and cloud services positions use to deliver the Cloud OS, based on Windows Server and Windows Azure, helping customers achieve a data centre without boundaries,” said Abu Ltaif. Microsoft claims that Windows Server 2012 expands the definition of server operating systems and adds significant new advancements in virtualisation, storage, networking and automation. Over 300 new features aim to help customers achieve a transformational leap in the speed, scale and power of their data centres and applications.

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Riverbed announces new channel leads for EMEA and Americas organisations. At Riverbed, Riverbed Technology, the D’Auria will further build performance company has relationships and the partner announced the appointment ecosystem in the EMEA region, of Nino D’Auria as VP of representatives said. Channel Sales for Europe, “Riverbed is a known the Middle East, and Africa technology leader in EMEA. (EMEA) and Rob Rosiello as The company’s focus on VP of Channel Sales for the helping IT organisations Americas. rethink their IT infrastructure— As Riverbed continues to focus on performance—is to build and enhance its critical as they venture into partner ecosystem; D’Auria building new architectures that and Rosiello are responsible have inherent performance for building partner success, challenges,” said D’Auria. “I customer satisfaction and ino D’Auria, VP – Channel Sales, EMEA at look forward to helping our Riverbed revenue within Riverbed Technology entire partner ecosystem— their respective regions. value added resellers (VARs), distributors, These new appointments give Riverbed systems integrators, and service providers— enhanced visibility across all partner segments take advantage of the performance solution and ensure the right approach for people, selling opportunities to maximise revenue processes, and programmes to maximise for all parties.” the channel impact within each respective Prior to joining Riverbed, D’Auria was CEO of geographical region, the company said. Lutech S.P.A., an Italian system integrator. Prior to D’Auria will lead the channel initiatives Lutech, he worked at EMC as VP and Regional and focus on accelerating the company’s Country Manager for Italy and was a member of business momentum across its entire portfolio the EMEA management team. D’Auria has also of channel communities in EMEA. worked at Compaq and Digital Equipment in a As a highly respected executive in the variety of roles including Channel Sales Manager Italian ICT community, D’Auria has proven and Global Accounts Manager. his ability to build and lead world-class

Alpha Data attains Gold level Polycom Choice Distinction FVC an authorised Polycom VAD for the MENA region has announced that Alpha Data, its authorised partner in the UAE, has been named Gold Level Polycom Choice Partner. Ziad Sultan, ELV Division Manager at Alpha Data said, “We are privileged to have earned this title. This gives us more respect and reputation in the local Unified Communications (UC) market and we are thankful to Polycom for this.” “We congratulate Alpha Data on receiving this Gold level Polycom choice distinction”,

said Waleed Heloo, GM, FVC for GCC and Pakistan. “FVC has partnered with Alpha Data for more than six years and we hope that we will continue to work together to provide the level of support that today’s enterprises demand from its UC solutions.” Polycom’s Choice Partner Programme is part of the Polycom Partner Network, an extensive ecosystem representing nearly 7,000 channel and alliance partners that embrace and extend Polycom’s open standards-based video collaboration solutions.


HIGHLIGHTS News

Omnix International signs on as Adobe Systems VAR for the Middle East Omnix International, a distributor of digital software imaging solutions in the Middle East, has been named an official value added reseller (VAR) for Adobe Systems. Under the terms of the partnership, Omnix International will be distributing Adobe System’s diverse portfolio of solutions, ensuring its availability across business and consumer segments. The company will also be forming a dedicated sales and technical team that will be composed of highly qualified experts and professionals who can best serve the needs and requirements of Adobe customers. Aside from acting as the official VAR for the Middle East, Omnix International will also develop and implement marketing awareness programmes—hosting and organising major Adobe Connect events, road shows and telemarketing initiatives. According to Omnix International senior officials, the company is not only geared towards reinforcing its focus on the AEC segment but will also concentrate on other key segments like oil and gas, manufacturing, GIS and infrastructure. “We are very excited with this new partnership with Omnix International, a company that not only carries a strong reputation for service, consultation and performance excellence but also has a very strong customer breadth in the Middle East. This partnership will allow us to address the demand for software that can help individuals and organisations create, manage and deliver engaging content and experiences across multiple operating systems, devices and media,” concluded Abdallah Saqqa, GM, Adobe MENA.

Emitac Distribution appoints new Regional Retail Manager

George Mathew, Regional Retail Manager at Emitac Distribution Emitac Distribution, a regional IT distributor has appointed George Mathew as its new Regional Retail Manager.

Mathew joins Emitac Distribution with a wealth of IT experience with roles in channel management within both large scale distribution and vendor organisations. At Emitac Distribution, Mathew will now be responsible for developing and growing the company’s retail business throughout the Middle East. He said, “I am looking forward to meeting and reaching out to all retail partners. It is my plan to drive the retail business by adding value to our customers.  It is my goal to build Emitac Distribution into the ‘Regional Retail Distributor of Choice’”. Vineeth Sebastian, Head of Sales and Marketing at Emitac Distribution said, “We are excited by the appointment of George Mathew as Regional Retail Sales Manager. Retail is a focus area for Emitac Distribution and we expect George to use his expertise to grow and strengthen our retail business in the Middle East”.

Kaspersky Lab launches Technical Support Centres for UAE and KSA Kaspersky Lab has announced the availability of Technical Support Centres rendering support to users of Kaspersky Lab home and small office products for the UAE and KSA. Kaspersky Lab customer support agents stationed at the Support Centres have received full training on the products, and are now ready and available to handle all enquiries in both English and Arabic languages, the company said. Tarek Kuzbari, MD, Kaspersky Lab Middle East and Turkey, said, “Through a toll free number, our UAE and KSA consumer base now has the ability to be in direct contact with trained Kaspersky

Lab technical product support experts. This not only ensures that we are meeting a core priority of keeping our customers safe online, but further demonstrates our commitment to our product users across the globe – as we work hard to offer exceptional products, support and of course service.”

For UAE customers only: 80004445617 Support hours: Saturday through Thursday, 10am-20pm (UTC +4) For KSA customers only: 8008446988 Support hours: Saturday through Thursday, 10am-19pm (UTC +3)


“We thought we’d need Dell’s help, but after the demonstration we saw how simple EqualLogic is to use and we set up our storage environment within days.” Mohamed Raafat Atia Technical Services Manager Digital Solutions Provider

Do more with Dell networking and storage Solutions See how Dell helped Saudi services and consulting company, DSP, build a highly-scalable, reduced server-footprint environment. Enabling support surveillance solutions for three of Saudi Arabia’s largest hotels using Dell PowerEdge servers and EqualLogic storage. Read the full case study at YourDellSolution.com/me/servers

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


HIGHLIGHTS News

Focus Softnet launches toll free number for the UAE Focus Softnet, a software development company announced the launch of their new toll free number – 800 7775 to provide customers in the UAE faster response times and support. The new toll free number will also allow customers to log in their support requests, check the status of their support request and track the implementation stages of their projects, the company said. “Over the last few years, our customer base in the UAE and the Middle East has

been growing. To serve our customers well and speed up response time on their requests is critical for our business. Hence we decided to launch our toll free number 800 7775, where our customers can call in to check the status of their projects or log in their problems for quick support. Focus is committed to offering our customers only the best service and support and this toll free number is our initiative to ensure total customer satisfaction,” said Ali Hyder, CEO of Focus Softnet. The new toll free number – 800 7775 will offer customers easy access to their accounts by logging in with their unique pin numbers, customers can dial in 24/7 and register their support requests or track their orders thus saving time. Focus Softnet will also be able to monitor the requests and call history to serve customer faster through their strong support team, representatives said. The company is poised to introduce toll free numbers in other countries in the Middle East soon.

ESE earns Gold Level Polycom Choice distinction for Saudi Arabia FVC, Polycom’s authorised VAD across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, has announced that Electronic Special Equipment Co. (ESE), its authorised Polycom partner in KSA, has been named Gold Level Polycom Choice Partner. Rami Mamaari, GM of ESE said, “It is a great honour to earn the title of Gold Level Polycom Choice Partner. We are committed to helping our customers who have found that Polycom video conferencing services have helped them achieve their communications goals and, in turn, build our reputation in the UC market in the country.” “We congratulate Electronic Special Equipment on receiving this Gold level Polycom choice distinction”, said Yakob Kafina, FVC’s GM in Saudi Arabia. “FVC’s partnership with ESE thrives on providing the best level of first line support for Polycom solutions in the Kingdom.”

Axiom Telecom to cash in on Samsung Galaxy Note II pre-bookings Axiom Telecom is gearing up to sell the Samsung Galaxy Note II, the latest device from Samsung Electronics across the United Arab Emirates. Axiom Telecom expects to be among the first in the Middle East to sell what is one of 2012’s most anticipated smartphones, with pre-orders now open in-store, via www. axiomtelecom.com and by calling 800 Axiom (29466).

In-store availability will be announced soon via Facebook and Twitter, it was reported. Available in ceramic white and grey-black, the Samsung Galaxy Note II is the ultimate smartphone for on-the-go creativity, enabling users to discover information faster, capture ideas, and express them in a more organised and efficient manner, the company said.

The device incorporates exciting new features such as an expansive 5.5” HD Super AMOLED screen providing a crystal clear viewing experience, Air View, advanced S Pen functionality, an enhanced 3,100mAH battery, and a 1.6GHz quadcore processor. The Samsung Galaxy Note II is powered by Android 4.1, Jelly Bean and comes with an 8 megapixel

rear-facing and a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera. “We are delighted to announce that we will be among the first to bring the Samsung Galaxy Note II to market,” said Faisal Al Bannai, CEO, Axiom Telecom. “This is yet another landmark release in a stunning year for mobile technology, and we will continue to do our utmost to be the destination of choice for both product and value-added service.”

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Red Hat kick off Partner Road Tour

Red Hat, a provider of open source solutions, has begun its seven-city tour of two-day partner conferences, which kicked off on September 17th in Stockholm, Sweden. The agenda for this road tour has been designed specifically for business leaders, sales, pre-sales and business development representatives from Red Hat’s channel ecosystem in EMEA, the company said. This

includes Red Hat business partners, distributors, resellers, solution providers, global system integrators, Independent Software Vendors or organisations that have a vested interest in Red Hat solutions. According to representatives, delegates will hear from Red Hat product experts in multiple breakout sessions and keynotes. Topics cover the entire Red Hat product and service portfolio

including cloud computing, virtualisation, middleware and storage. Attendees also have the chance to meet with event sponsors IBM and Symantec. Following feedback from last year’s EMEA Partner Summit in Dublin, Red Hat is keen to provide a mix of large conferences and smaller regional events to its partner ecosystem. This tour provides a focus for the Red Hat partner community in the run up to the EMEA Partner Summit in September 2013, it was reported. “We recognise the value to our partners of providing content, training and networking opportunities with other Red Hat stakeholders,” said Petra Heinrich, VP, Partners and Alliances, EMEA at Red Hat. “As we develop our business into the burgeoning markets of cloud, virtualisation and storage, it is important that our partners understand the potential in their regions. This road tour is therefore invaluable to our business and that of our partners.” For more information on the specific dates and locations of the Red Hat Partner Tour, please visit http://bit.ly/RrHr3O

Alfalak and Symantec help Saudi businesses understand information, infrastructure protection Alfalak Electronic Equipment and Supplies, a provider of technology-based end-to-end solutions in the Middle East, recently hosted a seminar for an exclusive group of its customers to help them understand and address advanced information and infrastructure protection. At the event Symantec highlighted the growing risks to infrastructure and information and demonstrated solutions to help organisations in Saudi Arabia to address this increasing challenge. Key decision makers and IT experts from Alfalak’s clientele attended the half-day event

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where experts from Symantec highlighted the challenges organisations are facing as a result of an increasingly toxic threat landscape in the region. Symantec highlighted results from its recent Internet Threat Security Report that saw Saudi Arabia ranked number 32 in the world and only second in the Middle East for malicious cyber activity. Symantec also demonstrated ways in which organisations in the Kingdom can secure important corporate information as well as the entities accessing them. “Information has become the lifeblood of modern-day business,

so enterprises invest heavily on its management and security. By adopting Symantec’s proven technologies, organisations are better-prepared to identify and address their information protection challenges. This seminar provided an ideal opportunity for our end users to learn how they can enhance their data security and management strategies using some of the best tools in the market,” said Ahmed Ashadawi, President and CEO, Alfalak Electronic Equipment and Supplies. Samer Sidani, Country Manager of Saudi Arabia, Symantec, added,

“Organisations large and small in Saudi Arabia are faced with a number of IT challenges today, namely the need to store, manage and protect a growing amount of information. Events like these help us better understand our customers’ individual needs so we are better positioned to help them overcome their biggest IT challenges and ensure IT is an enabler of their business. We commend Alfalak for organising this seminar to raise awareness of the issues faced by businesses in Saudi and to bring Symantec solutions closer to the end-user.”


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HIGHLIGHTS News

Computerlinks to launch new partnership with Exinda at GITEX

GBM taps former IBM Director of Sales for GM role in Oman

Computerlinks, a value added distributor for best in breed, international manufacturers in information technology, will introduce its newest vendor partner, Exinda, at Gitex Technology Week 2012. The new distribution agreement covers the Middle East region.  Exinda is a global supplier of WAN Optimisation solutions. Computerlinks will now be able to offer Exinda’s WAN Optimisation solutions to the rest of the Middle East, it was reported. “As a value added distributor, we are continuously expanding our portfolio of solutions to match the needs of the region and bandwidth optimisation is a key requirement for enterprise network managers,” said Lee Reynolds, MD MEA and APAC, Computerlinks. “Exinda has a successful track record and is an invaluable addition. At GITEX, we hope to share the new products and solutions with our partners across the region,” he added. In addition to Exinda, Computerlinks will showcase its complete range of security and networking solutions that have earned the company several awards and recognition not just from the local media but from its vendor partners including RSA, EMC, F5 and Gigamon.

Christopher Lloyd, Country GM, Oman, Gulf Business Machines Gulf Business Machines (GBM) has announced that Christopher Lloyd has joined the organisation as Country GM for the Oman division. The former IBM Director of Sales and Distribution will be responsible for aligning GBM Oman with transformational IT initiatives in the public and private sectors, developing staff and participating in regional strategic initiatives. Lloyd has over 25 years international experience with IBM spanning Australia, Japan, Korea, China, Switzerland and Central and Eastern Europe. During his tenure at

IBM, Lloyd gained extensive cloud and outsourcing experience and was responsible for creating outsourcing solutions of up to $4 billion in value. “Oman is a key market for GBM, and we are confident Lloyd’s vast experience in international management will translate perfectly into the Country General Manager position,” said Cesare Cardone, CEO, Gulf Business Machines. “His fresh approach and key areas of expertise in organisational alignment, sales improvement and unique value propositions will no doubt reinvigorate the business overall,” he added. Lloyd said, “I value GBM’s core commitment to developing innovative solutions to customers, and I am excited to be able to participate in Oman’s remarkable information technology agenda. Developing unique value propositions that both differentiate and align incentives for all participants is something I’m passionate about and look forward to continuing with GBM.” Lloyd earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Sydney and his Master of Business Administration from Macquarie University. He is currently completing another Bachelor’s degree in Law at Macquarie University.

Optimus holds NetIQ channel readiness event in KSA Optimus Technology and Telecommunications has recently held NetIQ Channel Readiness event for partners in Saudi Arabia. Senior representatives from both companies shared an overview of NetIQ’s product portfolio, its partner programmes and presented on latest trends and technologies such as identity and access management,

compliance automation and management, virtual capacity management and consolidation planning, and server disaster recovery to name a few with its resellers at the event held in Riyadh. Speaking about the success of the event, Nehul Goradia, VP – Channel and Alliances at Optimus Technology and Telecom said, “Successful channel partners

must focus on creating great customer experiences. More than ever, there is a greater need to understand, anticipate and meet customers’ needs. “With customer service as the primary focus of any successful business, adding value with field services will grow revenue and increase customer satisfaction, leading to more business. With this

event, Optimus wanted to share information on NetIQ and its business strategies for the region with our channel partners. The programme was a success with our channel partners giving us positive and encouraging feedback on the event. We look forward to organising more such seminars for NetIQ in other countries in the region as well.”

OCTOBER 2012

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HIGHLIGHTS News

Mindware announces distribution deal with Motorola Solutions for MENA Mindware, a distributor of IT products, has announced that it has signed an agreement with Motorola Solutions for the distribution of Motorola Wireless Network solutions in the Middle East and North Africa. The deal will see Mindware apply its market knowledge, professional services and unparalleled support to Motorola Solutions’ wireless network products, applications and services to provide real-time information and transform business operations for SME’s, large enterprise and government in MENA, it was reported. Mario Gay, GM, Mindware said, “This is an important partnership for us and we are delighted to partner with Motorola as this deal opens up more opportunities for

the company to extend its reach in the corporate and reseller market. Motorola Solutions products complement our existing range of solutions.” Tariq Hasan, Regional Sales Manager, WNS, Motorola Solutions MENA added, ” We are delighted to partner with Mindware, to deliver our wireless network solutions product lines to MENA customers. Motorola Solutions chooses partners recognised for their expertise and success in delivering innovative mobile and communications solutions.” Among Motorola Solutions’ portfolio, Mindware will offer Motorola WLAN products and solutions, Total Enterprise Access and Mobility (TEAM), Motorola AirDefense solutions and Mesh, the company said.

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HIGHLIGHTS News

Larry Ellison opens Oracle OpenWorld 2012

Larry Ellison, CEO, Oracle Oracle recently conducted the Oracle OpenWorld Conference 2012 at the Moscone Exhibition Centre, San Francisco. The five day affair began with a keynote from CEO Larry Ellison who began by thanking the company’s 390,000 customers across the globe for their belief in the company’s strategy and roadmap. Ellison then went on to thank sponsoring Platinum partners Fujitsu Limited, a company that shares an intensive relationship with the ICT giant. The highlight of the keynote was the four announcements that Ellison made associated with the company’s cloud strategy and Exadata in-memory database. “Cloud is a new era of utility computing, today ‘As-a-Service’ is the keyword with very organisation looking to leverage the benefits of an environment where the complexity is hidden from the users, where the infrastructure is managed and costs are borne by the service or cloud provider. A great idea, but an old one that was first practiced by the electricity utility providers,” he said.

“Oracle began delivering the Oracle Cloud in 2011 at the platform and application level, but we made the discovery that this was not enough. What customers wanted was a combination of SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. My first announcement is associated with this very fact, Oracle Cloud will now offer infrastructure services and through this announcement we can proudly say we have invested in all three layers of the cloud to give our customers maximum benefit. My second announcement is the Oracle Private Cloud that was born from conversation with the banking industry, which due to regulations was restricted in their ability to leverage cloud services. Oracle will now extend cloud services behind a customer’s own firewall or security environment, so it can be sure its data is safe and within its control. In addition, it can leverage the same cost savings for we will set up, manage and monitor the environment within its own data centre or ours if they so wish. The best part is, this Private Cloud offering is seamlessly connected to the Oracle Cloud and gives customers a sense of

reliability with Platinum support, 15 minutes response time,” Ellison announced. He then introduced the Oracle Database 12 C, a multitenant database where separate memory and processes are allocated to each database. “This idea was originally practiced by the SaaS providers but on the application layer that often caused a number of problems. Our proposition is to use the same idea but on the database level, a new architecture based on container databases that can contain a number of individual, pluggable databases. The database management system is then needed to keep the databases separate and secure, without making any changes to the different applications. As a result of this, enterprises can leverage cost benefits associated with using much less hardware while running five times the number of databases. “Manage many as one’ that’s the idea,” he explained. Finally, Ellison went on to announce the latest version of the Oracle Exadata X 3, with 26 TB DRAM in one rack and 10 times the database compression. “Essentially this means 220TB memory in one rack, more than we’ve ever imagined. Exadata X 3 is priced the same as X 2 but comes with four times the Flash memory. With the Exadata Smart Flash Cache enterprises can leverage 20 times the write performance. Existing customers using the Exadata X 2 or V 2 need only upgrade their Exadata software to avail the write performance,” he said. In true Ellison style, the keynote did not go without the mention of SAP, EMC and IBM. Ellison claimed the company beats SAP HANA on the in memory front in terms of storage capacity while it beats IBM on the cloud front with investments across all three layers and EMC on the Exadata in-memory database in terms of bandwidth provision as well as price. Oracle OpenWorld was held from the 30th of September till the 4th of October at the Moscone Exhibition Centre in San Francisco, USA. Pallavi Sharma, Editor, ResellerME was reporting live from the conference. Read more in the next issue

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HIGHLIGHTS News

Brother launches new ‘Premium Partner Programme’ in UAE Brother International (Gulf) , a global manufacturer of laser printers, inkjet printer, label printers, has announced the UAE launch of the ‘Premium Partner Programme’. The new programme is part of the company’s continuing efforts to give recognition and provide strong support to their partners in the region, the UAE in particular. During the event, Soichi Murakami, the company’s Managing Director, gave a special presentation on the new partner programme and also discussed Brother’s move to consolidate its market presence in the region. According to Brother senior executives, the company’s new ‘Premium Partner Programme’ is guided by a five-point objective, which includes the move to ensure the presence and supply of genuine Brother products; discourage channel partners into patronising counterfeit products and grey market; work

closely with partners to achieve mutually agreed business targets; reward partners with incentives, rebates and marketing support and continue to build premium partnerships in the UAE. Under the terms of the programme, the new initiative officially started on October 1, 2012 and will conclude on March 31, 2013. The company will then conduct a review on partner performances and upgrades. Brother has also revealed that it will be hosting a special awards dinner to recognise partners with excellent performances—revealing tier upgrades to both Gold and Silver partnership status in April 2013. “We are very pleased to announce the start of our new ‘Premium Partner Programme,’ an initiative that not only sets out to encourage our partners to improve on their sales performances but will also help

us in our move to strenghten our ties with them,” said Murakami. “This new programme gives us the opportunity to work closely with premium partners and move towards achieving set targets. At the same time, help them become more aware of the campaign against piracy.” Brother’s Premium Partners in the UAE includes Jumbo Electronics Retail Division (Gold Premium Partner), Sharaf DG (Gold Premium Partner), Jazeerat Al Kanz Trading (Gold Premium Partner), Satrah Computer Trading (Gold Premium Partner), Al Safsaf General Trading (Gold Premium Partner), Yash Electronics Trading (Silver Premium Partner), and Humaid B Computer Trading, Proton Electronics Trading, Hero Computer, Buraida Computers, Grace Computers, Trade Aid Computers, Carapelli Computers and Max Electronics as Blue Premium Partners.

Optimus launches low cost ‘Data Management Solution’ bundles Optimus Technology and Telecommunications, a regional value added distributor of IT and telecommunications products, announced the launch of its low-cost ‘Data Management Solution’ bundles for the SMB and mid-market enterprise segment and distributed IT environments of larger companies and enterprises. Optimus collaborated with its vendor partners, Acer, Netgear, Quest Software and Bitdefender to offer customers a one-of-its kind solution at what it claims to be is the best price in the market. The promotion for the ‘Data Management Solution’

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bundles will run from October 1st, 2012 to December 31st, 2012, it was reported. “We are pleased to partner with some of the best global brands to create a powerful low-cost ‘Data Management solution’ bundle for the SMB segment and larger companies with distributed IT environments. Our new bundled solution is ideal for SMBs at a price they can afford and will help them to manage their businesses more effectively. By working closely with Acer, Netgear, Quest Software and Bitdefender, we are able to offer our customers and resellers an outstanding

package deal, which is a one-of-its kind in this region. Customers implementing this bundle can expect to have no additional investment for the bundle for three years. We are also offering our partners a chance to earn rebates on buying more bundles, either together or at the end of the promotion,” said Meera Kaul, Managing Director, Optimus Technology and Telecommunications. Optimus’ ‘Data Management solution’ comes in two options, one with a Acer Tower Server AT110F2 and the second with a Acer Rack Server AR320F2 with a three year

warranty, and includes Windows 2008 Server R2, Foundation Edition, 64Bit, English-ROK Kit; Quest NetVault Backup Server Starter Edition including three year maintenance and upgrade; Bitdefender Small Business Security Solution with a 3 Year subscription and Netgear ReadyNAS Pro4 4TB Storage Solution with a 5 Year Warranty, representatives said. According to the company, it can also provide customers switches, rack, cabinets, UPS and cabling solutions at competitive rates to complement the bundles and professional services support to implement the solution at attractive pricing.


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HIGHLIGHTS News

CommScope announces new global partner programme CommScope has unveiled the new CommScope PartnerPRO Network to expand support for complex network deployements across the globe. The CommScope PartnerPRO Network is a comprehensive network of certified partners supporting business enterprise, wireline and wireless customers. According to sources, the CommScope PartnerPRO Network consists of consultants, integrators, installers, distributors and alliance partners who are trained and certified by CommScope to deliver the company’s broad range of network solutions. “Through the PartnerPRO Network, CommScope is building an extensive network of skilled professionals focused on solving our customers’ most complex technological problems,” said Stephen Kowal, VP, Global

Partners, CommScope. “CommScope partners are closely aligned with us in selecting, supplying or implementing worldclass communications solutions for cable plants, data centres, wireless systems and other networks.” Representatives said that PartnerPRO links the right people with the right solutions so customers can make the right choices when implementing CommScope solutions. With PartnerPRO, customers can get the answers they need for their most pressing network issues and decisions in addition to providing state of the art technology solutions with clear defined upgrade paths that can decrease capital and operating expenses, warranty protection on CommScope certified solutions, installation

services and access to industry professionals with the expertise in network deployments. CommScope’s PartnerPRO Network also aids partners partners who can leverage training and certification supported by the CommScope Infrastructure Academy, warranty programmes, increased access to CommScope’s global customer base in addition to a host of other benefits. “CommScope has successfully operated a BusinessPartner programme for years, which PartnerPRO expands upon and replaces,” said Kowal. “Partners and customers have consistently verified the benefits of participating in a CommScope partner programme, and we’re confident that this new OneCommScope partner programme raises the bar even further.”

Keynectis opens new office in UAE

To support the region’s strategic growth and meet increasing market demand for digital identity solutions, Keynectis S.A., a French based company focused on IT, has announced the opening of its new office in Dubai, UAE.

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The core business of the company is to develop and implement PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) and digital signature systems together with related software products, solutions and services. By providing trust technologies and services,

Keynectis empowers governments, financial institutions, and businesses to manage digital IDs and make electronic documents and transactions secure, for the benefit of end-users across the globe, representatives stated. The entity, located in the UAE, will be called Keynectis Middle East and settled in the Dubai Internet City. The opening ceremony for the new branch takes place on the first day of GITEX Technology Week, October the 16th the Novotel World Trade Centre in Dubai. “The UAE has become a central location for companies from across the globe and a gateway to the Middle East and Asia-Pacific markets. Dubai and Abu Dhabi, in particular, consistently demonstrate business potential with most international majors setting

up their offices and running business operations to reach out to their target audience” said Pascal Colin, CEO of Keynectis. “With the opening of our new office in Dubai, we will be close to our customers in the region, standing by them to help them be successful in their entire projects” he added. The Dubai office will operate under the directorship of Pierre Servettaz, GM, Keynetics Middle East. “Our goal is to increase security and broaden the range of government services available online to ease the lives of the citizens, while optimizing costs. Keynectis’ expertise in security software has a proven track record in using innovative technology to pioneer e-government and corporate projects. We are delighted to set up operations in UAE” said Servettaz.


B S U


HIGHLIGHTS News

Canyon launches limited edition Chrome range, reveals plans to become fashion brand PC peripherals company, Canyon, is making a dramatic shift into the IT fashion market in an attempt to survive the changing landscape of IT trends, said Geert Van Dijk, VP, Sales and Marketing, Canyon, at the launch of its limited edition product range, Chrome. Speaking at the Canyon Xperience 2012 in Amsterdam, Van Dijk claimed that due to the advent of mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, PC peripherals are losing their demand because they lack the need for accessories. “Peripherals aren’t growing. Desktops are going down, tablets are rising and all of our competitors are struggling to find a way out,” said Van Dijk. “Some of them just lower their prices and hope for the best. However, Canyon’s plan is to devise focus groups and identify where we can be successful. It’s a risk because you may miss some specific target groups but I believe it’s the only way out.” In a presentation delivered on the night by Millstone, Senior Marketing

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Specialist, Ivo Van Houten, it was suggested that low cost tablets will “rule the market by 2016 with a 60% market share,” with 686 million being shipped this year alone. “This is why companies must shift to accessories; headphones, tablet cases, pointers, etc, in order to survive the changing industry,” Van Dijk added. Canyon launched its new limited edition range, Chrome, at the event in Amsterdam on the 29th of September. “The majority of products on the market are all black. Our competitors may have a wall full of different products but they’re not appealing to our market if they’re all the same design, I believe that IT has changed its definition and in terms of fashion it has never been more important to offer a wide range of unique designs,” he said. Canyon focuses on emerging markets, such as Middle East and Africa where it’s new range of designs have been well received. “We are strong in the emerging markets. Our Stripe range, Graffiti range

and Rising Sun range have all done very well in the Middle East. It’s a fast growing market with a huge demand on latest trends and styles,” Van Dijk explained. “All the retailers we work with in the Middle East seem to take on our limited edition ranges. Other markets aren’t so receptive of limited edition ranges but the Middle East always takes to them very quickly, it’s a fantastic market for us,” he adds. Canyon will be bringing its limited edition range, Chrome, as well as others to the World Trade Centre in Dubai later this month for GITEX and Van Dijk hopes to use it as a platform to build upon the success of his company’s new style of products.

Joe Lipscombe, Sub-editor, CPI Technology, was reporting live from the Canyon Xperience, Amsterdam.


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HIGHLIGHTS News

Tech Mahindra forays into the world of mobility products Tech Mahindra Limited has announced the acquisition of 51% stake on a fully diluted basis in Comviva Technologies Limited, a Bharti Group Company, and a provider of mobile value added services (VAS), mobile money and mobile payment solutions. The deal will be subject to regulatory approvals, it was reported. The new brand identity will be Mahindra Comviva, reflecting the combined strength and spirit of both the entities, representatives said. “The world of mobility today encompasses wide range of solutions, where customers be it enterprise or consumers are driving their business and entertainment needs through mobility. This acquisition marks

our strong intent and entry into the world of mobility products. We are adding significant capability in areas such as payments and VAS,” added CP Gurnani, MD, Tech Mahindra. “The combined entity will bring endto-end capabilities of products, system integration and services in the mobile VAS, money and payments space. Our enhanced customer experience management offerings will deliver greater value to all our existing customers globally, and provide opportunities for accelerated growth,” added Manoranjan (Mao) Mohapatra, CEO, Comviva. This acquisition is expected to significantly enhance Tech Mahindra’s capabilities in the mobile VAS domain and will provide access

to a marquee client base, enabling significant cross-selling opportunities.  It dovetails into two of Tech Mahindra’s stated strategies, namely investing in emerging areas such as network, mobility, analytics, cloud and security and further focus on non-linear growth, representatives said. According to the company, Tech Mahindra’s vast geographic reach and access to global telecom players will enable Comviva to take integrated solutions and products to a larger base, in addition that Comviva will further bring its Managed VAS capabilities to the table to further benefit operators’ revenues across VAS services.

EMC offers Velocity Distribution Partners new assembly services capabilities EMC has announced that it is enabling EMC Velocity distributors worldwide with the skills and resources required to assemble multivendor solutions that feature EMC’s unified storage systems and next-generation backup solutions. Distributors worldwide will be provided with the technical training, proven methodologies and the backing of EMC’s Global Services organisation so they may assemble EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure and other solutions for their reseller partners, the company said. By receiving a pre-assembled, proven solution on-site that has been customised to meet the customer’s specific business needs, reseller partners can immediately focus on

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accelerating the installation and implementation so that its customers can realize the benefits of the solution faster. The new assembly capability for distributors builds on EMC’s commitment to provide choice for how partners assemble multi-vendor solutions. It also enables partners to accelerate their profitability by focusing on value-added services to more quickly deploy the solution to meet specific customer needs. The announcement follows a string of other new EMC initiatives developed to help channel partners worldwide accelerate their customers’ journey to the cloud. These include VSPEX Proven Infrastructure, as well as Velocity Cloud Practices––Cloud Builder

and Cloud Provider–– and EMC Cooperative Services, which were announced at the first annual Global Partner Summit held at EMC World in May. As a result of this announcement, the company believes that EMC Velocity distributors that offer assembly services can better support many of their reseller partners by delivering pre-built, multivendor solutions such as VSPEX that include EMC technology. The company will provide distributors with free training and tools that support assembly of solutions built on the EMC VNX family of unified storage solutions, and Data Domain and Avamar backup and recovery solutions in addition to online access to installation guides and tools, the backing of EMC

Customer Support Services, and EMC’s validation of their qualified status, it was reported. “EMC’s new assembly services capability gives our Velocity distribution Partners a new opportunity to support their resellers by delivering solutions that are tailored to specific customer requirements. Today’s announcement reinforces EMC’s commitment to our valued channel Partners worldwide. We will continue to add more programs and capabilities that provide our distributors and resellers with predictable and profitable ways to add value to their customers and help accelerate their IT and business transformations,” said Daniel Coetsier, VP, Global Services, Channel and Partners at EMC Corporation


VENDOR FOCUS IBM

VENDOR VALUE ADD IBM brings its partners a number of support initiatives to help them play a greater part in the company’s route to expansion through 2015. Mark Hennessy, GM, IBM Global Partners and Midmarket, tells us more while Ilse Cilliers, VP Global Business Partners, MEA gives us the regional take. Tell us a little bit about IBM’s focus on partners. MH: The business partner channel is critically important to IBM’s operations. We invest over two billion dollars a year in our business partner programmes, technical support, marketing initiatives and other relevant areas. Approximately half of that investment is focused in our growth markets. We have about 120,000 partners worldwide, about 55,000 of those are here in the growth markets. We continue to invest very heavily in co-marketing with our business partners as we believe that to be very important from a demand generation standpoint, so we have invested about $1.5 million for 3000 partners here in the GMU, making this a significant piece of our investment. Another really important piece of our investment is focused on our innovation centres where our business partners can get access to our R&D and latest technology. We have 40 Innovation Centres in 33 countries around the world, half of them being in the growth markets. So first and foremost, partners continue to be very important to IBM and will only become more important as we look to achieve our 2015 roadmap. We have openly declared that while we continue on our strategy through 2015, our business partners will have a larger share of our business and enjoy a more significant role in the IBM business cycle.

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Reseller Middle East

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What are some of the fundamental changes you see affecting the technology channel across the globe? MH: The changes begin in the marketplace itself, in our end user clients who are less interested in building out their own IT solutions, in buying products and doing self integration. A majority of end users today are looking for a solution that combines hardware, software and services together that are unique to their industry or a particular area of interest such as business analytics or cloud computing. The market is increasingly becoming more ‘solution oriented’. At the same time we are witnessing a whole new set of buyers emerge. So where it has traditionally been CIOs and IT departments taking the frontline to IT purchases, today we are witnessing CFOs, CMOs and the like demanding solutions relevant to their line of business like the dashboard capabilities of analytics or data mining for consumer or purchasing insights, mayors are saying they need help with public safety, water management or even transportation. Finally, we are also seeing organisations changing the way they consume IT. So instead of looking at a traditional model where they built an infrastructure on premise and hired staff; they now see the opportunity to acquire IT-as-a-Service which is essentially a significant benefit to their business. Because these firms today can leverage the capabilities of the cloud, clients can

Mark Hennessy, GM of IBM Global Business Partners and Midmarket acquire what they’re looking for much quicker; have a much better ROI and leverage solutions that more attuned to what they’re looking for. This essentially sets the stage for our partners who are looking to change their approach to move from more of a product distribution value add where they’re focused primarily on their logistics capabilities to higher value spaces where they’re combining hardware, software with their client knowledge to build out a suitable solution. Partners are building out their business, skills and capabilities to bring real value to the new buyers. So what we’re seeing today is that many s firms maybe building out a managed service provider (MSP) business in addition to their systems integration business. These partners maybe providing Infrastructure-as-a-Service or hosting an application in a private environment or helping customers make the transition to a public cloud environment. This is a significant change for many of our partners who need to transform their business models in order to cash in on the evolution of the market. IBM is really excited to be on the forefront of that change and is focused on helping partners realise their aspirations of driving higher value for clients.


VENDOR FOCUS IBM

offerings effectively in the local market and ultimately help partners serve and support customers to retain them. We have a big focus on enablement, skills development and are leveraging our innovation centres around the region to accelerate this process of learning.

Ilse Ciliers, VP Global Business Partners, Middle East and Africa

So how are you helping channel partners with this evolution? MH: We are changing our approach with business partners. So one example is around our offerings, we are looking to provide a much more integrated set of offerings to our business partners. A perfect example is the recent announcement we made around our PureSystems Technology, a new category of pre-configured systems that combines computing hardware, software and some services to provide a higher performance and a more integrated package for our clients. This helps our partners move into a more value space and deliver value quickly. We already have over 200 ISVs certify their solutions on PureSystems Technology, so starting day one our business partners can leverage these offerings to drive higher value for clients. We also actively increasing our comarketing investments to help partners with unique and targeted demand generation activities given the industry or solution area they are focused on. In addition we also have many offerings for partners looking at service provider capabilities as well. IC: For the Middle East and Africa, one of the key focus areas as we expand our business in the region is assist them in develop their skills to help them deliver IBM solutions and

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Reseller Middle East

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What are the elements you take into consideration when signing on new partners? MH: Fundamentally we choose our partners based on the skills, solutions or industry expertise and client insight that they bring to the table. We have a value add model, in other words we don’t have just open distribution. For business partners to represent IBM they have to have the skills and capabilities and the certifications to do that, which we believe is very important. We also study the track record of their relationships and their ability to align themselves with our requirements and strategies. Have you signed on any new partners in the last 12-18 months? IC: Yes, we have an active recruitment focus across Africa over the last 12 months. We do that through enablement sessions, road show activities to endorse the IBM brand for our existing partners and to attract new partners. MH: Another dimension of recruiting here is associated with how partners are moving towards a service delivery model or MSP model, which we believe is accelerating very quickly in this market. We are very focused on enabling that and helping partners develop their business through our offerings, marketing investments to help them build their brand and through demand generation activities. We are also investing in technical support for these firms because it’s a different kind of business for them while also providing them financing. Since the first of the year, 1400 new MSP firms have signed up with IBM globally, it is driving more value for our partners and we are rolling out programmes to help partners make this transition that makes partnering with us all the more attractive to them. How about cloud? How is that faring for IBM’s partners? MH: There are a lot of different ways that

resellers can leverage cloud technology; the most popular approach is to help customers build out their private cloud infrastructure. Resellers can also adopt a model where they can help clients integrate an existing private cloud environment with a public cloud in order to enjoy the benefits of both environments and this is one of the areas where IBM comes second to none in the market. We have bolstered our leadership in this segment of the market through supporting acquisitions like Cast Iron and Guardiam that are specifically designed to help clients accelerate that integration. Another approach that many partners are taking is to leverage the technology themselves to provide services to clients such as is the case with MSPs. So this is a very broad portfolio of offerings that they can add to their kit bag and one of the areas where we think we have an advantage. We now have over 1000 partners working with us jointly on cloud projects for clients around the world. IC: In the MEA, we have a large number of partners who are extremely interested and active in developing their strategy around cloud whether for themselves internally in terms of providing a service or helping customers build a cloud. So we’ve run a number of enablement events and technical workshops around cloud in MEA with huge attendance. In our more established markets around the region we have a large number of partners who have cloud capabilities in their own organisations. So what do you think makes partnering with IBM so different? MH: Technology is moving quickly. So in that regard we are staying very flexible in terms of the offering development, education and technical support to make sure our partners can take advantage of changing tech trends. On the other hand, from a programme standpoint we want to stay consistent, we want to be really predictable to partners so they know the incentives and the requirements for doing business with us, which we believe is very important. We want to be predictable in terms of how they do business with us so they can build their business around our capabilities. //


PARTNER WATCH TechAccess

COMMITTED FOR GROWTH The channel lies at the very centre of TechAccess’s strategy for growth. Chris Cornelius, SVP-Sales and Support at TechAccess, discusses the fruits of successful partnerships and the company’s plans for the future.

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“Value for me is an effort that results in growth. TechAccess provides value to all its partners by delivering products and solutions that build businesses. As a value added IT distributor we aim at sufficing our partners with end to end solutions, specialised services and technical support,” says Chris Cornelius, SVP- Sales and Support, TechAccess. Present in the region for more than 12 years, TechAccess has focused on provisioning the needs of the enterprise segment with end to end solutions that it markets through a steady network of channel partners. “We market IT products and infrastructure solutions from the leading hardware, storage, software and security vendors through our 100 plus channel partners in over 16 countries in MENA, across multiple industry sectors,” he explains. The imperative role of partners in the company’s go-to-market strategy necessitates the need for TechAccess to filter its choice of vendor partners based on their ability to align their strategies to further boost the channel. Cornelius says, “When selecting our vendor partners, we look at the solutions they offer and their alignment with our partner’s requirement as we believe in providing our channel with the best in class products. As far as our channel is concerned our communication with an SI is geared differently than it is to a strategic distribution partner, who we might have to drive (the deal) from start to finish. We don’t just look at specific enterprise or a segment, our dealings with partners really depends on what are they looking for and how we can align to their business requirements.” Believing its commitment to the channel as being a key brand differentiator, Tech Access takes the subject of educating resellers very seriously. “In a heavily competitive market, the key challenge is not to differentiate the new technologies but in fact to “educate resellers continuously” about the newer technologies in the marketplace. This comes as a part and parcel of the value addition that we offer to our partners because an integral part of our sales story is educating the resellers so that they can identify the exact IT requirements of their

We market IT products and infrastructure solutions from the leading hardware, storage, software and security vendors through our 100 plus channel partners in over 16 countries in MENA, across multiple industry sectors diverse portfolio of customers and recommend intelligent solutions to problems,” he says. Cornelius adds, “At TechAccess, we specialise in strategy development, collaborative design and system integration. The Middle East market for IT suppliers is growing fast and companies are keen to invest in technology that keeps pace with their demands and providers who offer them added services. We score over competitors in this regard as we are the extended arm of the vendor in terms of tactical execution of the vendor business strategy. We are completely aligned and equipped with our vendors to touch the right partners operating in the right verticals to provide them with end to end solutions.” Cornelius believes one considerable challenge for the company’s channel partners is the credit availability and TechAccess tries to work with resellers to help them address this concern. “Credit directly impacts the ability of our partners to get new business. Partners with strong financials are able to address more business and grow faster. We try to work together with our partners and provide them with flexible terms so that they are able to ‘win’ business in the market,” he says. “We attempt to work very closely with our partners to understand their operational difficulties and then align ourselves to meet their business requirements. We try to understand exactly what their focus areas are and we position that with our solution centre, technical support and services team with a view to help them develop competencies in selling solutions. Another aspect we look at is training and making sure our partners have the right certifications to enable them to sell solutions,” adds Cornelius. He says that TechAccess will continue to exhibit its dedication to boosting its channel

partners to help bring the greatest solutions to market. “Our focus is to achieve success as the best VAD in the region by adding services and support to our channel, in order to bring sustainable level growth not only to our business but to our vendors and partners as well. Our key focus for the coming year will be on developing our partners, looking at how we can retain margin, add focus into growth markets like KSA, develop our existing installed channel base and increase our product offerings. We need to ensure that we leverage our investments, utilise our resources effectively and maximise the return from the KSA and UAE market,” Cornelius says. With a defined strategy to lead them in the right direction, he believes that the story for TechAccess is set to become all the more exciting. “Companies are investing abundantly in IT to support the growing needs of their customers, enrich and share information at much fast speed while provisioning maximum security. Industries such as government, education and banking which are customer driven are spending intensively as speed and high data storage has become a dire need. TechAccess is proactively building a team to work very closely with channel partners to meet their IT solutions and service requirements.” //

Years of operation: 12+ years No. of employees in total: 80+ Vendor portfolio: Oracle, NetApp, Symantec & HDS Sales offices in: KSA and Egypt No. of channel partners: 100+ Operations in: Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Syria, Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Iraq, Bahrain , Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan

OCTOBER 2012

Reseller Middle East

37


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EVENTS Partner Connect

WEB OF SECURITY The second edition of the ResellerME Partner Connect series of events tackled the subject of ‘networking and app delivery in the new age’

OCTOBER 2012

Reseller Middle East

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EVENTS Partner Connect

Shelly Varghese, Channel Manger- Citrix at Mindware

Werner Heeren, Regional Sales Director, Emerging Markets MEA at Fluke Networks

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Reseller Middle East

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ResellerME recently hosted the second session of its Partner Connect series of events at H Hotel (formerly The Monarch) in Dubai, UAE. Partner Connect is a series of five networking events scheduled to be held across the year that aim to bring members of vendor and partner community together to address the adoption and growth of the latest technology trends in the region. Focused on discovering the evolution of the channel in the area of ‘networking and app delivery in the new age,’ the glamorous networking event played host to 60 select members from the regional channel and vendor community. At the event, the audience leveraged presentations from members of both vendor and distributor community to understand exactly how vendors continue to bring the latest solutions to market through their channel ecosystem, while giving partner organisations a significant competitive advantage through value-added services and support. The first speaker for the evening, Shelly Varghese, Channel Manager- Citrix at Mindware, discussed the subject of enhancing app delivery in an environment where often times bandwidth isn’t enough. “With CIOs under constant pressure to enable always-on connectivity across the entire length and breadth of the enterprise, the ability to ensure seamless delivery of applications high on graphic content is topmost of the minds of most organisations. The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend that most organisations are now adopting is also fuelling the need to manage the explosive increase in network traffic to ensure application availability is unhindered. In such an environment application delivery platforms are the new paradigm,” Varghese said. “At times where both customers and employees demand access to applications at quicker speeds, global application delivery is one of the most important factors in making your apps available to your users,” he added.

Varghese went on to elaborate on Citrix’s offering in this arena that is focused on helping organisations cater to the increasing demands from their network while ensuring the infrastructure remain safe from the increasing risk of web attacks. The second speaker of the evening, Werner Heeren, Regional Sales Director, Emerging Markets MEA at Fluke Networks, highlighted the hidden costs associated with network downtime. “The first thing any CIO mentions when asked about network challenges is the speed. Slow networks are painful. According to research by Ponemon Institute in 2011, the average cost of data centre downtime amounts to approximately $5,600 a minute while the average reported downtime is about 90 minutes. The resulting average reported cost amounts to approximately $505,000 per incident, a considerable cost that would strain budgets even further,” Heeren said. Heeren added while most companies do take the subject of downtime and costs associated with it into consideration they overlook costs associated with elements such as security, compliance and PCI risks, mission critical network availability and loss of network visibility. He cited instances from the telco and healthcare sector to drive home the point. “Most telcos use integrated VoIP troubleshooting tool that is able to call out problems, but unable to point to where they were, resulting in an inability to troubleshoot issues, frustrated management and dissatisfied customers. While in the healthcare industry, the life support networks and systems that require changing channels frequently cause widespread Wi-Fi connectivity issues while trying to access or even update patient data, a time lag that a critical patient cannot afford,” he said. “Network issues are difficult to look into only because the network is no longer static. What’s even more pressurising is that the users don’t care where the problem is, they just need for it to be fixed, when the user is internal, he gets frustrated but when


Kalle Bjorn, Director- Systems Engineering at Fortinet Middle East

he’s a customer, he goes somewhere else,” Heeren explained. Heeren concluded his presentation by detailing the benefits of Fluke Networks visibility and troubleshooting solutions. Kalle Bjorn, Director- Systems Engineering at Fortinet Middle East, took the stage to address the risks to the enterprise networks from a security angle. Titled, ‘The power to say yes to BYOD’, Bjorn’s presentation focused on the proliferation of multiple mobile devices across enterprise environments today. He added that while the APAC seems to be leading the trend for BYOD adoption with 55% of the population considering it their right, the EMEA was close behind with 52% of the population carrying the same expectations. Bjorn also said that both these regions also used their personal devices primarily for work purposes with 56% in the APAC and 42% in the EMEA saying they do so everyday out of sheer convenience and round the clock accessibility. “Like corporate policies, technical solutions are incomplete and have advantages and disadvantages. The difference is that the network is the core element. Fortinet believes that many organisations overlook the criticality of the network in technical solutions. Organisations typically have a range of use cases when dealing with BYOD. Not every organization can provide client software to every device that needs to access

“Network issues are difficult to look into only because the network is no longer static. What’s even more pressurising is that the users don’t care where the problem is, they just need for it to be fixed, when the user is internal, he gets frustrated but when he’s a customer, he goes somewhere else.”

information and most organisations turn to mobile device management (MDM). The truth is MDM is not network security, it does not provide network based firewalling, intrusion prevention, application control or data loss prevention. MDM only solves part of the problem,” Bjorn explained. Bjorn stated that Fortinet’s approach to address the threat associated with BYOD is to ask users three key questions “Who are you? Where on the network do you want to go? And What data do you need? We can then provide solutions across each layer regardless of access points based on the answers to these questions. Fortinet has a wide range of devices in addition to the flagship FortiGate line of devices including management and analytics, wireless access points, virtual machine deployments for cloud deployments and mail, web and database among others delivering complete end-to-end security. The fact remains that Network security technologies allow you the flexibility you need to deploy the mobile technologies you want,” he concluded. While the end user community looks to address the many risks their networks are exposed to in the face of the latest technologies such as cloud and virtualisation in addition to BYOD, vendors are constantly introducing the latest and greatest solutions to ensure enterprises are able to provision maximum connectivity across remote employees and branches at lower costs. With the traditional focus on WAN optimisation and server consolidation, the emergence of high speed LANs is the latest remedy to address these burgeoning challenges. The channel is showing heavy signs of investments in the area of network security, application security and availability through training and certification while partnering with leading vendors across this space. There lies no doubt that as a result of these investments and partnerships; in time IT departments across the region will be ready and willing to engage their employees and customers through constant connectivity and app availability. //

OCTOBER 2012

Reseller Middle East

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COVER FEATURE

THE ANNUAL INDUSTRY SURVEY 2012 CHANNEL INDUSTRY SEGMENTATION Distributors Systems Integrators Others: Value added distributors, retailers, resellers

12% 8%

30 companies

8.3

80% billion

* indicates an estimate figure. Revenue estimates have been calculated based on industry averages around productivity and business model All figures estimates and otherwise have been published with the consent of the respective organisation Industry segmentation has been estimated based on the collective summation of individual company revenues OCTOBER 2012

Reseller Middle East

43


COVER FEATURE Champions of the trade

DISTRIBUTORS

1 Redington Gulf

Revenue

$2.024 billion VENDOR PROFILE: Systems: Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, Lenovo, Samsung, Toshiba, HP Software and Security: Barracuda, Checkpoint, HP, Microsoft, Palo Alto, Red Hat, SonicWall, Symantec, Tipping Point, Trend Micro Printers & peripherals: Acer, Dell, Canon, Epson, Samsung, HP, LG Networking: Avaya, Cisco, HP, LifeSize, Siemens, EMC, Fujitsu, Imation, Ncomputing

Summary: Redington Gulf is the largest distributor in the region with highest top line revenue, largest number of vendor partners as well as resellers in addition to the broadest geographic reach. The company operates in more than 16 countries and offers channel partners a portfolio comprising a combination of leading systems, networking, software and security providers in addition to components, accessories, services and training. Over the last year not only has the company successfully generated larger revenues but has also effectively expanded its reach through channel partners. At the same time the company has signed on a number of prominent vendor partners in a bid to keep their portfolio ever competitive while investing in employees to effectively support the company's growth across the region.

Raj Shankar, Managing Director Year of start up: 1997 Total number of active resellers: 9000 Total number of employees: 1000

CHANNEL FACING EXECUTIVES:

Ramkumar B., Vice President-Value Business

Accessories and consumables: Belkin, HP, Imation, Targus, Xtreme Mac

Location of sales offices: Egypt, Ghana, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, KSA, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, UAE, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda

Services and training: Acer, Cisco,Dell, EMC, Foxconn, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, Proxim, Siemens, Sony, Toshiba, TrippLite, Trend Micro

Support Offices: More than 50 service centres across the Middle East and Africa

Components: Sandisk, Seagate, Western Digital Others: APC, Mobotix, Molex, Tripp-Lite

Top vendors by years of relationship: Acer, Canon, HP, Samsung and Toshiba

Here is a look at the company essentials in 2011: Revenue :

Resellers:

Employees:

$1.65 billion

5,000

850

Ashish Bharti, Senior Vice President-IT Volume ME


DISTRIBUTORS

2

BDL Group

Revenue

$790 million VENDOR PROFILE: Systems: Dell, Lenovo, Asus, MSI, LG and Samsung

EXPORT TO LOCAL SALES RATIO: UAE:

30% Outside of UAE:

Tamer Ismail, CEO Year of start up: 1998 Total number of active resellers: 3000 Total number of employees: 200 Technical staff: 45

Summary: Continuing on from its success last year, BDL Group reports a healthy growth rate of 19% year on year over the last four years and reported revenues exceeding $790 million in 2012. The company’s primary brand portfolio includes Dell, Acer, Samsung, Asus, LG, Lenovo, MSI, Microsoft, IBM, FujitsuSiemens, Lexmark and Mazzori while operations for Dell, Acer and Asus contribute to over 60% of the group’s revenue. BDL also specialises in complete network solutions including design, planning, implementation, management and servicing. The company’s host of certified network engineers and administrators hold certifications from Microsoft MCSE, Microsoft MCP, A+, Network+, Citric, Cisco, Novell, IBM, HP and Compaq among many others. It has eight strategically located warehousing facilities, comprising more than 40,000 sq. ft, in Riyadh, Jeddah, Khobar (Saudi Arabia), Khamis Meshet, Tabouk, Cairo (Egypt) and Jebel Ali, Dubai (UAE). . BDL is an authorised and certified service centre for warranty and out-of-warranty repairs for major computer manufacturers such as Acer, Asus, IBM, Fujitsu Siemens and others and also specialises in repair services for Desktop PCs, Notebooks, servers, printers and monitors. In order to offer its customers maximum support, the company invests in a host of services such as pre-sales support, solution sizing, BoQ, Proof of Concept, training and knowledge transfer in addition to logistics and warehousing support.

70%

Location of sales offices: KSA, Egypt, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman Support Offices: KSA, UAE, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman

Top vendors by revenue contribution: Dell 45% Samsung 18% Lenovo 15% Asus 12% LG 5% MSI 5%

Top vendors by years of relationship: Dell, Asus, LG, MSI, Samsung, Lenovo Here is a look at the company essentials in 2011: Revenue :

Employees:

Technical Staff:

$770 million

262

52 OCTOBER 2012

Reseller Middle East

45


COVER FEATURE Champions of the trade

DISTRIBUTORS

3

Metra Computer Group

Revenue

$702 Million VENDOR PROFILE: Systems: Acer, Dell, Fujitsu- Siemens, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Packard Bell, Samsung, Toshiba Software and Security: AVG, Microsoft, AutoDesk, BitDefender Peripherals and storage: WD, Samsung, BenQ , ViewSonic, IBM, iOmega Networking: Cisco, D-Link, Proxim Wireless, NetGear, Zyxel, Aruba Networks, nComputing Accessories and consumables: Creative Components: Intel, Gigabyte

Tarek Eissa, President Year of start up: 1982 Total number of active resellers: 7500 Total number of employees: 1000

Summary: Metra Computers continues to report an upward trend in business operations across the region. Headquartered in Cairo, Egypt the company boasts impressive operations in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE catering to a well balanced portfolio of SME and large enterprise customers. Metra Computer manages supply through its 20 warehouses spread evenly across the region to maintain a steady flow of products and solutions from the company’s leading portfolio. In the last one year, the distributor has significantly invested in reseller recruitment and has increased its channel partner base by more than a 100%. It offers partners a range of customised support options such as financial support and account management in addition to backing their operations with a strong logistics and after sales support strategy. In the last year, the company has further expanded its vendor portfolio to include leading names such as IBM for servers and storage, Toshiba systems, Google, Aruba Networks, BitDefender and AutoDesk among many others.

Location of sales offices: Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, USA and Singapore

CHANNEL FACING EXECUTIVES:

Mohamed Eissa, COO

Mohamed Amer, Executive Vice President

Support Offices: Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, USA and Singapore

Here is a look at the company essentials in 2011: Revenue :

Resellers:

$740 million

2,500 1000

Employees:

OCTOBER 2012

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COVER FEATURE Champions of the trade

DISTRIBUTORS

4

Logicom Public

Revenue

$640 Million VENDOR PROFILE: Systems: HP, Sony, Asus Software and Security: Watchguard, Symantec, Microsoft Peripherals and storage: WD Networking: Cisco Services and training: APC by Schneider Electric, Cisco Components: Intel, Kingston

Summary: Logicom Public is steadily investing in the region to continue on its journey for growth. Products and solutions from HP, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft and Kingston continue to drive the company’s revenues. Over the last year, Logicom Dubai the local subsidiary has invested in further enhancing Logicom’s relationship with its resellers through Logicom Technology Forums and training sessions. At its local headquarters in Dubai, the company recently launched two demo labs in partnership with vendors Cisco and HP, showcasing the latest products and solutions with in house experts representing both the IT giants so that partners can leverage a first hand experience of the distributors product and solution portfolio. Last year, the company also signed distribution agreements with Watchguard and WD for the region.

Year of start up: 1992 Total number of active resellers: 3035 Total number of employees: 550 Technical staff: 124

REVENUE BREAKUP:

54% Hardware

Others: Microsoft, Symantec, Asus, Philips, Sony

Location of sales offices: Cyprus, Greece, Itlay, Lebanon, Jordan, UAE, Turkey, KSA, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Malta, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar

REVENUE BREAKUP:

Support Offices: Greece, Itlay, Lebanon, Jordan, UAE, Turkey, KSA, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Malta, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar

UAE:

43% Outside of UAE:

57%

Top vendors by years of relationship: Acer, Canon, HP, Samsung and Toshiba Sales offices: UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, KSA

Here is a look at the company essentials in 2011: Revenue :

Varnavas Irinarchos, Managing Director

Resellers:

$607 million 4,550

Employees:

Technical staff::

550

209

11%

Software and Security

2%

Peripherals and Storage

27%

Networking

4% Accessories and consumables

2% Services and training


DISTRIBUTORS

5

Aptec, an Ingram Micro company

Revenue

$431 million VENDOR PROFILE: Systems: APC, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, NetApp, Oracle, Tandberg Data, Wyse Software and Security: CA, IBM ISS, McAfee, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP Business Objects, Symantec, Veeam, VMWare Networking: 3M, Allied Telesis, APC, Avaya, Cisco, DG-Link, D-Link, Linksys, NET, Riverbed Services and training: ATS

TOP VENDORS BY REVENUE CONTRIBUTION:

11%

Dr. Ali Baghdadi, Managing Director Year of start up: 1980 Total number of active resellers: 3800 Total number of employees: 630

Summary: In August of this year, Ingram Micro, one of the largest technology distributors and supply-chain services providers announced the acquisition of certain IT businesses of prominent regional distributor, Aptec Holdings. The agreement is expected to boost Ingram Micro’s reach by leveraging Aptec’s strong presence in the value added distribution space in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. As a result of this recent announcement we expect the company to grow even stronger leveraging the expertise of one of the largest distributors in the world. Now, the company is working towards boosting its well balanced portfolio while continuing its focus on the value based distribution model through its independent managed services arm and logistics support operations. In 2012, the company has also successfully hosted two Aptec Business Forums for channel partners in Kuwait and Qatar in a bid to educate partners and ultimately retain top line customers.

REVENUE BREAKUP:

Hardware - 27% Software and Security 38% Networking - 29% Accessories and consumables - 2%

Microsoft

9% Cisco

Services and training - 4%

Location of sales offices: UAE, KSA, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon

8%

Support Offices: UAE, KSA, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Pakistan

Dell

7% HP

EXPORT TO LOCAL SALES RATIO:

Top vendors by years of relationship: IBM, Fujistu, Microsoft, HP, Symantec, D-Link and APC

6.3%

30% Outside of UAE:

Symantec

70%

Here is a look at the company essentials in 2011: Revenue :

UAE:

Resellers:

Employees:

$395 million 4,550 650 OCTOBER 2012

Reseller Middle East

49


COVER FEATURE Champions of the trade

DISTRIBUTORS

6

FDC International

Revenue

$420 Million VENDOR PROFILE: Systems: Lenovo, Acer, Asus Software and Security: Kaspersky, ESET, Cyberoam Peripherals and storage: Seagate, WD Networking: WD Accessories and consumables: Aviq Components: Intel, Kingston, Apacer, ECS, Asrock, Asus, Liteon, Palit, Plextor, Plextor, Shuttle, GeIL

Summary: FDC International continues to boast its strength in the components distribution space with a leading portfolio of vendors including Asus, Kingston, ECS and Intel among many others. Over the years, the company has built rock solid, trust- based relationships with its many vendor partners as well as resellers focusing on a work ethic based on knowledge sharing and transparent communication. The company offers a range of technical and sales training programmes in addition to incentivising partners for their successes. In 2012, FDC has completed a successful run of training sessions in Algeria, Jordan and Qatar. In addition, FDC also held a three- day channel event in Dubai, UAE that brought together 120 channel partners from across the MENA and CIS region together with 14 prominent vendor partners. The company is now working on venturing into the mobility space with the distribution of tablets and smartphones while maintaining its strong hold in components distribution. Senior executives at the organisation also said that FDC is focused on strengthening its existing relationship with vendors to reach out to other untapped markets.

Name the top five vendors in terms of years of relationship: · Seagate · Apacer, Shuttle, XFX · WD · Asrock · Lenovo, Liteon · Acer, ECS · Kingston, Asus

Location of sales offices: Egypt, KSA, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria, Iraq, Jebel Ali, UAE Support Offices: Egypt, KSA, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, UAE Warehouses in: UAE and KSA

Here is a look at the company essentials in 2011: Revenue :

Employees:

$405 million 220 50

Reseller Middle East

OCTOBER 2012

Marissa Safe, COO and SVP Year of start up: 1989 Total number of active resellers: 600 Total number of employees: 180

CHANNEL FACING EXECUTIVES:

Girish Kewalramani, Deputy Vice President

Alan Pourmirza, Infrastructure Manager


SYSTEMS INTEGRATORS

7

Emitac Enterprise Solutions

Revenue

$340 Million VENDOR CERTIFICATIONS: HP, Microsoft, EMC, Juniper, Symantec, Oracle, Asset, VMware, HP Software, HP Networking, Cisco , ORSYP, Nexthink, Sanovi, HP Services

IMPLEMENTATION BREAKUP LOCAL TO INTERNATIONAL:

Summary: Emitac Enterprise Solutions (EES) is a regional SI with a prominent focuses on the delivery of services. The company focuses on establishing a trust based relationship with customers by acting as an advisory body well versed with industry standards and the business needs from technology. EES provides SI and managed services to enterprise customers covering data center, converged infrastructure or their enterprise, storage, server and networking needs, IT lifecycle management, ITSM and applications integration. The company focuses on telecoms, government, banks, utilities, energy and transportation sectors.

Location of sales offices: UAE and Qatar

UAE: Outside of UAE:

24%

76%

Location of support offices: UAE and Qatar Top vendors by years of relationship: HP, Microsoft, Oracle, Symantec, Juniper Networks

Miguel Angel Villalonga, CEO Year of start up: 1976 Total number of employees: 160 Technical Staff: 85

REVENUE BREAKUP:

30% Systems

23%

Software and Security

20%

Storage

21%

Services and training

Here is a look at the company essentials in 2011: Revenue :

Employees:

Technical staff::

$74 million

160

85 OCTOBER 2012

Reseller Middle East

51


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COVER FEATURE Champions of the trade

RETAILERS

8 Max Electronics Revenue

$330 Million Summary: The prominent IT retailer has effectively grown its IT business in the Middle East by 26.5% and has opened 10 new stores and bringing the total count to 32 retail outlets across the GCC. , Emax reports a 10% drop in netbook sales and supplements this with an increase of 23% in tablet sales across the region. The company has launched unique promotions and initiatives drawing the attention of vast majorities of consumers across the region. Emax has leveraged its association with parent company, The Landmark Group to open Kiosks at various City Max Hotels and CentrePoint stores in order to cash in on the expansive population of tourists in the region. Most recently, the retailer has been recognised as the Authorised Reseller for Apple in the region. To offer a one stop shop for its burgeoning client base, Emax has also recently announced the Electronics Care Unit (ECU) to assist customers with software and hardware upgrades and installations in addition to services like data recovery and trouble shooting.

LOCAL TO INTERNATIONAL SALES RATIO:

Neelesh Bhatnagar, CEO Year of start up: 2005 Total number of employees: 1100

Top five vendors by revenue contribution: Samsung LG Apple Sony BlackBerry HP

Location of sales offices: UAE, KSA, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain

UAE:

50% Outside of UAE:

50%

OCTOBER 2012

Reseller Middle East

53


COVER FEATURE Champions of the trade

DISTRIBUTORS

9

Almasa IT Distribution

Revenue

$318 million VENDOR PROFILE: Software and Security: GateProtect Printers & peripherals: Seagate Networking: Avaya, HP Components: Asus, Intel, Asrock, AMD, LG, Acer, nVidia

TOP VENDORS BY REVENUE CONTRIBUTION (RANKING):

Summary: Almasa IT Distribution is divided into three segmentsAlmasa Volume Distribution, Almasa Value Distribution and the retail distribution segment and the company focuses on each line of business as a separate entity with its own resources and skillsets. In a bid to sustain its leading position across the networking space the company recently announced the appointment of Jeevan Bhingarkar as the Head of Convergence Business at Almasa Value Distribution. In addition, the company has established a strategy that is based on conscious investments in up skilling Almasa’s channel partners and employees to effectively extend the leading vendor portfolio that each line of business supports.

Asus Seagate Intel Avaya HP

Mehdi Amjad, CEO and Chairman Year of start up: 1995 Total number of active resellers: 1000 Total number of employees: 150

CHANNEL FACING EXECUTIVES:

Roger El Tawil, Executive Director, Almasa value Distribution

Location of sales offices: UAE, Kuwait, KSA, Egypt Support Offices: KSa, Kuwait, Iraq Top vendors by revenue years of relationship: Asus, Seagate, Intel, Avaya, HP

Here is a look at the company essentials in 2011: Revenue :

Resellers:

$337 million 1,000 54

Reseller Middle East

OCTOBER 2012

Employees:

170

Parvez Ahmed, Managing Director, Almasa IT Distribution


RETAILERS

10

Jacky’s Group of Companies

Revenue

$300 Million + RME estimate

Summary: A pioneer in IT and electronics retail, Jacky’s Group of companies has established long term fruitful relationships with a host of vendors like Dell, Samsung, Apple and many others. The company has benefited from the boost in tourism and new product innovations over the last

Ashish Panjabi, COO

Year of start up: 1970 Total number of employees: 670

Location of branches: UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda

year within segments like tablets, LED televisions, DSLR cameras, smartphones and ultrabooks. Creative product promotions and exciting launch offers in addition participation at major events like GITEX Shopper has only helped Jacky’s strengthen its foothold in the market.

Top five vendors by revenue contribution: Samsung HP Apple Sony Dell

LOCAL TO INTERNATIONAL SALES RATIO:

UAE: Outside of UAE:

40%

60%

OCTOBER 2012

Reseller Middle East

55


56

Reseller Middle East

OCTOBER 2012


COVER FEATURE Champions of the trade

DISTRIBUTORS

11 Emitac Distribution Revenue

Vendor profile:

$282 Million Revenue REVENUE BREAKUP:

68.5%

Systems: Acer, HP, Samsung Printers & storage: HP, Samsung Networking: HP Accessories and consumables: HP

Year of start up: 1975 Total number of active resellers: 810 Total number of employees: 140 Technical staff: 35

Hardware

Location of sales offices: UAE, Kuwait, KSA and Qatar Support Offices: UAE, Kuwait, KSA and Qatar Top vendors by years of relationship: HP, Acer, Motorola, Samsung, Lenovo

2% Peripherals and Storage

29.5%

Accessories and consumables

Here is a look at the company essentials in 2011: Revenue :

Resellers:

Employees:

$304 million 1000 150

Patrick Mulligan, CEO

Technical staff::

46

DISTRIBUTORS

12 Asbis Middle East Revenue

Vendor profile:

$209 Million REVENUE BREAKUP:

39%

Systems

28% Notebooks 17% 16%

89%

Hesham Tantawi, Vice President Year of start up: 1998 Total number of active resellers: 1000 Total number of employees: 85 Technical staff: 7

Peripherals and Storages Others

EXPORT TO LOCAL SALES RATIO: UAE:

Systems: Intel, Inspur, Toshiba, Acer, Lenovo, Prestigio Software and Security: Symantec, ESET, Netgear, Evault Peripherals and Storage: Netgear, Promise, Seagate,Toshiba, Canyon, Prestigio Networking: Netgear, TP-Link Accessories and consumables: Tripp-Lite Components: Intel, AMD, Patriot, Foxconn, ECS

KSA:

11%

Location of sales offices: UAE, KSA Location of support offices: KSA, UAE, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria. Turkey Top vendors by years of relationship: AMD, Intel, Seagate, Hitachi

Top vendors by revenue contribution: AMD Intel Lenovo Seagate Toshiba

OCTOBER 2012

Reseller Middle East

57


COVER FEATURE Champions of the trade

DISTRIBUTORS

13 Mindware Revenue

Vendor profile:

$203 Million REVENUE BREAKUP:

40% Hardware

30% Software and Security 15% 15%

Systems: Dell Software and Security: Microsoft, Symantec, Citrix Peripherals and Storage: Symantec, Kingston Networking: Juniper Networks, Nexans, Pace Accessories and consumables: Dell, Symantec Components: Intel, Kingston

42%

Year of start up: 1991 Total number of active resellers: 1512 Total number of employees: 133 Technical staff: 11

Peripherals and Storages Networking

Location of sales offices: UAE, Kuwait, KSA, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar Top vendors by years of relationship: Intel, Microsoft, Dell, Symantec, Citrix

EXPORT TO LOCAL SALES RATIO: UAE:

Mario Gay, General Manager

Outside UAE:

58%

Top vendors by revenue contribution: Intel Dell Microsoft Citrix Juniper

DISTRIBUTORS

14 Mitsumi Distribution Revenue

Vendor profile:

$171 Million REVENUE BREAKUP:

73% Hardware

3%

Software and Security

7% 5% 7% 5%

Peripherals and Storages Networking Accessories and consumables Service and training

Systems: Dell, Acer, HP, Toshiba, Lenovo, Samsung Software and Security: Microsoft Peripherals and Storage: WD, Toshiva Networking: Services and training: TrippLite, BenQ Accessories and Consumables: HP, Samsung Telecom: Samsung

Jagat Shah, Chairman and CEO Year of start up: 1996 Total number of active resellers: 2517 Total number of employees: 125 Technical Staff: 15

Location of sales offices: Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, South Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia, Mauritius, Madagascar, UAE Support Offices: Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique, Zambia

OCTOBER 2012

Reseller Middle East

59


COVER FEATURE Champions of the trade

DISTRIBUTORS

15 Seven Seas Computer Revenue

Solution portfolio:

$167 Million 33%

REVENUE BREAKUP:

Software and Security

29%

Systems and Components

7% 15% 14% 2%

Peripherals and Storage Networking Services and Training Accessories and Consumables

Microsoft, Cisco, HP, IBM, Dell, Citrix, Symantec, Avaya, MITEL, Stonesoft, Websense, MessageLabs, Polycom

Nayagam Pillai, CEO Year of start up: 1983 Total number of employees: 430 Technical Staff: 310

Location of sales offices: UAE, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia Location of support offices: UAE and Sri Lanka Top vendors by years of relationship: HP, Microsoft, Cisco, Avaya, IBM Top vendors by revenue contribution: Microsoft 27% HP 19% IBM 16% Cisco 11% Symantec 9%

IMPLEMENTATION BREAKUP LOCAL TO INTERNATIONAL:

UAE:

86% Outside UAE:

14%

DISTRIBUTORS

16 DESPEC Revenue

Vendor profile:

$161 Million REVENUE BREAKUP:

87%

Accessories and consumables

0.5% Software and Security 12.5% Peripherals and Storages EXPORT TO LOCAL SALES RATIO: Outside of UAE:

56%

UAE:

44%

Software and Security: Norton Peripherals and storage: HP, Imation, Verbatim, IBM and Sony Networking: D-Link Accessories and consumables: HP, Lexmark, Samsung, Canon, Printonix, Tally Genicom, Imation, Verbatim, Wacom, Double A, Targus, Xtrememac, ICIDU, Powerocks

Location of sales offices: UAE , KSA , Jordan, Lebanon, Nairobi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Kuwait. Top vendors by years of relationship: XFX, Seagate, WD, ECS and Apacer

Riyaz Jamal, Chairman Year of start up: 1996 Total number of active resellers: 1832 Total number of employees: 95

Top vendors by revenue contribution: HP- 85% Imation- 9% Lexmark-2% Adata-2% Wacom-2%

OCTOBER 2012

Reseller Middle East

61


COVER FEATURE Champions of the trade

DISTRIBUTORS

17 Trigon Revenue

Vendor profile:

$160 Million EXPORT TO LOCAL SALES RATIO:

Outside of UAE:

Systems: Samsung Peripherals and Storage: Transcend, Iomega, 3M, ViewSonic, Acer, BenQ, Optoma, Elo Touch, Mustek, Plustek,, PenPower, Ergotron, Xerox, Elo Touch Networking: D-Link and AVM Accessories and consumables: Creative

Arun Chawla, CEO Year of start up: 1997 Total number of active resellers: 300 Total number of employees: 92 Technical Staff: 10

5%

UAE:

95%

Location of sales offices: UAE and Bahrain Support offices: UAE and Bahrain Top vendors by years of relationship: ViewSonic, Creative, D-Link, Elo Touch, BenQ, Samsung, AVM, PenPower, Mustek, LG

Top vendors by revenue contribution: Samsung30% LG 15% Creative 10% D-Link 10% ViewSonic 7%

DISTRIBUTORS

18 Westcon Group Middle East Total Group Revenue

Vendor profile:

$144 Million REVENUE BREAKUP:

60%

Software and Security: Cisco, Juniper Networks, Dell-SonicWALL, Sipera, Trend Micro, Arbor, Blue Coat Systems Networking: APC, Ascom, Avaya, Avocent, Brandrex, Brocade, Cisco, Ciena, Extreme Networks, Juniper Networks, Motorola, Ortronics, Meru Networks, Proxim Others: Dascom, Datamax- Oneil, Datalogic, RCG, Zebra, LifeSize, NCR, Smart Tech, Pelco

Steve Lockie, Managing Director Year of start up: 1993 Total number of active resellers: 1200 Total number of employees: 122 Technical Staff: 20

Networking

25% Software and Security and 10% Peripherals Storages and 5% Service training

62

Reseller Middle East

OCTOBER 2012

Location of sales offices: UAE, KSA, Oman, Yemen, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq Support offices: UAE and KSA Top vendors by years of relationship: Motorola, Juniper Networks, Cisco, Avaya, Blue Coat Systems


Our standard product line ranges from 12” to 55” and is available in the most popular and proven technologies in today’s markets. And if you have special requirements, our “custom solutions” team is at your command.

Visit us at: Hall #4 | Stand B4-35 Dubai P.O. Box: 32610, Dubai, UAE. Tel: +971 4 3426060 Fax: +971 4 3547779 E-mail: info@trigon-gulf.ae www.trigononline.com

Bahrain: P.O. BOX 75149, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel.+973 17292904 Fax: +973 17295183 Email: trigon@mylightspeedoffice.com www.trigononline.com


COVER FEATURE Champions of the trade

DISTRIBUTORS

19 Golden Systems Middle East Revenue

Vendor profile:

$126 Million REVENUE BREAKUP:

60%

Systems and Components

5%

Software and Security

and 30% Peripherals Storages 5% Networking

EXPORT TO LOCAL SALES RATIO: Outside of UAE:

Systems: Gigabyte, Asus Software and Security: BitDefender, Gdata, Kaspersky Peripherals and Storage: Gigabyte, Logitech, Cooler Master, Kingmax, Epson, Axtrom, Zotac, WD, Kingston Networking: Gigabyte Accessories and consumables: Gigabyte, Logitech, Cooler Master, Axtrom Components: Gigabyte, AMD, nVIDIA, Intel, Cooler Master, Kingmax, Axtrom, Zotac, PNY

Ali Sharifi, CEO Year of start up: 1996 Total number of active resellers: 680 Total number of employees: 120 Technical Staff: 15

Location of sales offices: UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, KSA, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Sudan Top vendors by years of relationship: Gigabyte, Kingmax, Kaspersky, Zotac, Cooler Master

UAE:

70%

30%

DISTRIBUTORS

20 Computerlinks Revenue

Vendor profile:

$100 Million + RME estimate

REVENUE BREAKUP:

40%

Networking

Software and Security: RSA, Q1, McAfee, Symantec Peripherals and Storage: EMC Networking: Juniper Networks, Extreme Networks, Infoblox, Aerohive Services and Training: RSA and Websense

25% Software and Security 25% Hardware 10%

Service and training

EXPORT TO LOCAL SALES RATIO: Outside of UAE:

UAE:

70% 64

Reseller Middle East

30% OCTOBER 2012

Location of sales offices: UAE, Qatar, KSA, Mumbai, India, Singapore, Australia Location of support offices: UAE, India, Singapore, Australia Top vendors by years of relationship: Websense, RSA, Juniper Networks, EMC, F5 Networks

Lee Reynolds, Managing Director Year of start up: 2007 Total number of resellers: 815 Total number of employees: 80 Technical Staff: 20

TOP VENDORS BY REVENUE CONTRIBUTION: EMC Juniper Networks F5 Networks Websense RSA


COVER FEATURE Champions of the trade

RESELLER

21 Maxxcom Group Revenue

Vendor profile:

$50 Million 70%

REVENUE BREAKUP:

6%

Systems and components

Software and Security

and 4% Peripherals Storages and 10% Accessories consumables and 5% Service training

Systems: HP, Dell, Toshiba Software and Security: Microsoft, Symantec Peripherals and Storage: HP, Dell Networking: Cisco, SonicWALL, Netgear Accerssories and Consumables: HP, Samsung, Microsoft, Logitech Services and Training: Cisco, Avaya Components: Intel, Gigabyte

Location of sales offices: UAE and Kenya Location of support offices: UAE Top vendors by years of relationship: Toshiba, HP, Dell, ViewSonic, Lenovo

LOCAL TO INTERNATIONAL SALES RATIO: Outside of UAE:

UAE:

50%

50%

Ramesh Belani, Director Year of start up: 2003 Total number of employees: 60 Vendor Certifications: ViewSonic, HP, Toshiba, Dell

TOP VENDORS BY REVENUE CONTRIBUTION: Toshiba 26% HP 23% Dell 12% ViewSonic 11% Lenovo 10%

DISTIBUTORS

22 Comguard Revenue

Vendor profile:

$31 Million REVENUE BREAKUP:

50% Networking

40%

Software and Security

10%

Services and Training

EXPORT TO LOCAL SALES RATIO: Outside of UAE:

UAE:

70% 66

Reseller Middle East

30% OCTOBER 2012

Software and Security: Accunetix, Cyberoam, EC – Council, GFI Software, Iolo, Infowatch, Kaspersky, Watchguard Networking: Airtight Networks, HP Enterprise Security, Array Networks, Beyond Trust, BlueCat Networks, Damballa, Curion, Meru Networks, SafeNet, Qualys, WinMagic, WildPackets, Airlive, Altai, TP Link, PCTEL, Proxim, RF Elements, EBand Communications, ATMS, MERU Networks, XPLORE, Cambium Networks Components: Beyond Trust, EC Council, Kaspersky, Watchguard

Location of sales offices: UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India Location of support offices: UAE, Egypt, India

Ajay Singh Chauhan, CEO Year of start up: 2004 Total number of active resellers: 370 Total number of employees: 150 Technical Staff: 60

Top vendors by years of relationship: Kaspersky, HP Enterprise Security, SafeNet, Watchguard, Cyberoam


SYSTEMS INTEGRATORS

23Almoayyed Computers Revenue

$29.5 Million IMPLEMENTATION REVENUE BREAKUP:

48%

Systems and Components

7%

Software and Security

8% 15% 17% 5%

Peripherals and Storages Networking Service and training Accessories and Consumables

IMPLEMENTATION BREAKUP LOCAL TO INTERNATIONAL:

S.M Hussaini, General Manager

BAHRAIN

100 %

Year of start up: 1979 Total number of employees: 150 Technical Staff: 75

Location of sales offices: Bahrain Location of support offices: Bahrain Top vendors by years of relationship: Microsoft, Cisco, HP, Oracle, VMware Vendor Portfolio: HP, Oracle, EMC, Citrix, Computer Associates, Microsoft, Avaya, Cisco, Itronix, Add Master, Maximo, VMware, Symantec, Sanako, MRO, Ducont, Asset Tech Group, Business Objects

Top vendors by revenue contribution: Microsoft 32% HP 21% Cisco 15% Oracle 7% VMware 5%

SYSTEMS INTEGRATORS

24 HCL InfoSystems MEA IMPLEMENTATION BREAKUP LOCAL TO INTERNATIONAL:

Total Group Revenue

$25 Million + RME estimate

Outside of UAE:

Shivkumar Gopal, CEO

12%

Year of start up: 2010 Total number of employees: 150 Technical Staff: 70

UAE:

IMPLEMENTATION REVENUE BREAKUP:

86%

35%

Systems and Components

27% Software and Security and 23% Peripherals Storages and 15% Services Training

Location of sales offices: UAE, Qatar, Oman, KSA Location of support offices: UAE, Qatar Top vendors by years of relationship: HP, Acer, Samsung, TMD, Cisco Top vendors by revenue contribution: HP Acer Vanguard Samsung

Vendor Certifications: HP, Microsoft, CA Technologies, Autonomy, SAP, Oracle, TMD, HoneyWELL

OCTOBER 2012

Reseller Middle East

67


COVER FEATURE Champions of the trade

SYSTEMS INTEGRATORS

25 Premier Computer VENDOR PORTFOLIO:

Total Group Revenue

$25.2 Million IMPLEMENTATION REVENUE BREAKUP:

31%

Systems and Components

6%

Software and Security

and 16% Peripherals Storages 13% Networking and 26% Accessories Consumables and 8% Services Training

Sytems: HP, Dell Outside Microsoft, Software and Security: of UAE: Kaspersky, Norton

Prakash Menghani, Managing Director

12%

Peripherals and Storage: Creative, WD, Seagate, Logitech,UAE: Transcend Networking: Linksys, D-Link, Cisco Accessories and Consumables: PC, HP, Canon, Samsung Services and Training: HP Components: Asrock, Intel, Gigabyte

Year of start up: 1997 Total number of employees: 22 Technical Staff: 3

86%

Location of sales offices: UAE Location of support offices: UAE Top vendors by years of relationship: HP, PC, Pcom, Canon, Seagate, Samsung

Top distributors by revenue contribution: HP 28% PC or Pcom 17% Canon 8% Samsung 8% Seagate 6%

SYSTEMS INTEGRATORS

26 STME IMPLEMENTATION REVENUE BREAKUP:

Revenue

$24 Million IMPLEMENTATION BREAKUP LOCAL TO INTERNATIONAL:

67%

Ayman Al Bayaa, CEO

Hardware Services

KSA

25%

45%

Year of start up: 1982 Total number of employees: 96 Technical Staff: 30

Software

30%

21% Gulf 9% 3% Vendor Certifications: Symantec TSPP, NetApp PSC, Hitachi CSP, Quantum ASP, Cisco ATP, Spectra Logic ASP, Spectra Logic TPM

Levant Pakistan

Location of sales offices: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Pakistan Location of support offices: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Pakistan Top vendors by years of relationship: Netapp ,Symantec, HDS, IBM

Top vendors by revenue contribution: Symantec : 30 % HDS : 26 % NetApp : 24 % IBM : 10 % Others : 10 %

OCTOBER 2012

Reseller Middle East

69


COVER FEATURE Champions of the trade

DISTRIBUTORS

27 Optimus Computers Trading Revenue

TOP VENDORS BY REVENUE CONTRIBUTION:

$23 Million REVENUE BREAKUP:

45% 35%

Networking

EXPORT TO LOCAL SALES RATIO:

70%

Meera Kaul, Managing Director Year of start up: 2005 Total number of resellers: 281 Total number of employees: 65 Technical Staff: 30

Services and Training

and 5% Software Security and 10% Accessories Consumables and 5% Peripherals Storage

Outside of UAE:

Avaya 38% Tandberg 25% Molex 18% Netgear 8% Swivel 2%

UAE:

30%

Location of sales offices: UAE, Qatar, KSA, Egypt and Pakistan Location of support offices: UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Pakistan Vendor portfolio: Software and Security- Swivel Peripherals and Storage: Netgear

and Quest Networking: Avaya and Molex Accessories and Consumables-:Jabra, Interquartz and Opti-UPS Services and Training: Optimus Academy Others-: Tandberg

RESELLERS

28 help AG Middle East Revenue

$20 Million IMPLEMENTATION REVENUE BREAKUP:

VENDOR CERTIFICATIONS: F5 Networks Gold Unity Partner, F5 Networks Support Service Partner, Palo Alto Networks Platinum Partner, Palo Alto Networks Authorised Service Centre, Juniper Select Partner, Cisco IronPort Gold Certification

Stephan Berner, Managing Director Year of start up: 2005 Total number of employees: 50 Technical Staff: 35

SOFTWARE AND SECURITY

100 %

EXPORT TO LOCAL SALES RATIO: UAE:

85%

Outside of UAE:

15%

Location of sales offices: UAE and Qatar Location of support offices: UAE Top vendors by years of relationship: Juniper Networks, F5 Networks, Cisco IronPort, Symantec, Palo Alto Networks

Top vendors by revenue contribution: F5 Networks 12% Juniper Networks 12% Symantec 7% Cisco IronPort 7% Palo Alto Networks 6%

OCTOBER 2012

Reseller Middle East

71


COVER FEATURE Champions of the trade DISTRIBUTORS

29 DataCare Revenue

Vendor profile:

$13 Million + RME estimate

Peripherals and Storage: HP Accerssories and Consumables: Epson, Imation, Xerox, HP, Canon

Year of start up: 2003 Total number of employees: 15

REVENUE BREAKUP:

55%

Accessories and Consumables

40%

Peripherals and Storage

5%

Systems and components Location of sales offices: UAE Top vendors by years of relationship: HP,Imation, Lexmark

EXPORT TO LOCAL SALES RATIO: UAE:

Outside of UAE:

70%

Suresh Shetty, Managing Director

30%

TOP VENDORS BY REVENUE CONTRIBUTION: HP 45% IBM 20% Lexmark 15% Printronix 10% Samsung 10%

RESELLERS

30

Open Source Computer Solutions

Revenue

$800,000 50%

REVENUE BREAKUP:

10%

Systems and components

Software and Security

and 10% Peripherals Storage 10% Networking and 5% Accessories Consumables

15%

Services and Training

EXPORT TO LOCAL SALES RATIO: UAE:

Outside of UAE:

85% 72

Reseller Middle East

15% OCTOBER 2012

Summary: Open Source Computer Solutions also known as Oscomp is a young company that provides ICT solutions in the Middle East region. Headquartered in the UAE, with operations set up in 2003, the company maintains its focus on the region’s burgeoning SME segment. Over the last few years, Oscomp has bagged over 500 clients across the region and boasts long term relationships with leading distributors such as Aptec, Redington Gulf and Logicom among others.

Location of sales offices: UAE Location of support offices: UAE Top distributors by years of relationship: Aptec, Seven Seas Computers, Logicom Dubai, Redington Gulf, Quality Computers

Kunal Sajnani, Managing Director Year of start up: 2003 Total number of employees: 13 Technical Staff: 4

Top distributors by revenue contribution: Logicom Dubai Seven Seas Computers Redington Gulf Mindware Aptec


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FEATURE Solution selling

THE SOLUTION QUESTION We speak to industry experts to tackle the subject of solutions selling and the evolution of this concept in the Middle East. The words ‘value add’ seem to taking the Middle East IT channel by storm, beginning with distributors and resellers transitioning away from a mere transaction based model to engaging customers via the provision of logistics support and after sales service such as warranty and customer care. Today we are witnessing another step in this evolution as a huge majority

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of organisations encompassing the regional channel enhance their capabilities to go beyond trading based services to provide support on both the education and implementation front. This practice doesn’t begin at

the contractual stage but begins with the channel player identifying the unique needs of the customer and providing them a ‘custom fit’ solution that combines hardware, software and services in a comprehensive package. So emerged the term ‘solution selling’; an idea initially spearheaded by the systems integrators of the world. “Solution selling is a sales methodology that focuses on analysing


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FEATURE Solution selling

the customer’s pain areas and then pitching an offering (product or service) that is designed to help them solve their challenges. The sale of hardware involves a tangible product where the buyer is aware of his needs. Whereas with solution sales, the seller identifies the needs of the buyer and the buyer acknowledges them,” says Anish Kanaran, Regional Director, Middle East at Epicor Software Corporation. Amir Sohrabi, Regional Director, Alliances and Channels, Middle East, Africa, Turkey, Pakistan at SAS agrees. “Solution Selling’ is a sales methodology. Rather than simply promoting an existing product, the salesperson understands the customer needs and challenges

Anish Kanaran, Regional Director, Middle East at Epicor Software Corporation

Amir Sohrabi, Regional Director, Alliances and Channels, Middle East, Africa, Turkey, Pakistan at SAS

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transactional model. “End to end solutions today are defined as a whole bundle of hardware, software and after sales support. Solution offering requires specialised sales forces that have a technical background; they can analyse the customer need and put together a comprehensive technical and financial proposal. The solutions sale cycle from proposal to deal closing can take a minimum of one month whilst the hardware deals usually close in maximum of 48 hours,” Tannous explains. “Hardware selling typically addresses infrastructure requirements and is decided at IT manager or CIO level. Feedback is mainly from IT operators. Solution selling affects the core of a business and, as such,

End to end solutions today are defined as a whole bundle of hardware, software and after sales support. Solution offering requires specialised sales forces that have a technical background; they can analyse the customer need and put together a comprehensive technical and financial proposal. The solutions sale cycle from proposal to deal closing can take a minimum of one month whilst the hardware deals usually close in maximum of 48 hours” (or ‘pain’). Solution selling addresses these with an offering that includes a combination of product and services. The resolution of this ‘pain’ or business problem is what constitutes a true solution,” he says. Carlos Tannous, Business Unit Manager, Value Added Division at Emitac Distribution adds another significant difference in the solution selling methodology to the traditional

tends to involve the CEO, owners, and other board-level employees. Feedback is mainly from business-users and managers,” adds Mazen Jabri, Head of Ecosystems and Channels at SAP MENA. This naturally means that the role of the distributor or reseller now goes beyond offering a leading portfolio of products to essentially provide round the clock support, transparency and wholesome IT management. However, assuming


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FEATURE Solution selling

THE RIGHT SALESPERSON IS ONE WHO: t 1PTTFTTFTUIFOFDFTTBSZUFDIOJDBM background t *TDBQBCMFPGVOEFSTUBOEJOHUIFCVTJOFTT needs and evaluating the technology available to provision the ‘best fitting’ solution t "UIPSPVHIVOEFSTUBOEJOHPGNBSLFU dynamics and budget demands t (SFBUSFMBUJPOTIJQCVJMEJOHTLJMMT

that just anyone can use the term ‘value add’ or ‘solutions provider’ as marketing jargon to cash in on the demands of the sophisticated end user is a huge mistake. “‘Solution Selling’ is perhaps one of the most overused buzzwords from the last decade. Unfortunately, many companies that are involved in the selling of solutions have failed to see a sustainable economic impact. This is simply because, as most companies will point out, the pain has not been worth the gain. Why, then, do companies embrace the idea of solution selling? Because those who do win enjoy a significant margin, revenue improvements along with other key benefits. However, the first thing to do is to have a keen understanding of how a solution is positioned in terms of two

variables—customisation and integration. This positioning drives the basis of competitive advantage and the ‘paingain’ trade-offs one needs to understand. Solutions selling is not for everyone; but for those who understand and can implement these imperatives, there is tremendous upside,� says Reyadh Ayesh, MD and CEO, Smartworld.

Getting it right Industry experts testify that this transition to adopt a solutions based sales methodology is ridden with its fair share of obstacles beginning with establishing transparent communication lines between the channel and customers based on the delicate translation of business needs into technical language. Smartworld’s Ayesh believes that companies generally enter the solutions provider marketplace for one of two reasons; ambition or anxiety. “Some are drawn by the promise of increased margins, win rates, share of wallet, customer retention and access to new markets – or even by favourable press. Others fear rapidly commoditising core markets, the increasing sophistication and power of buyers, and competitive disintermediation. Many pick the wrong solutions game (or games) to play, whether by targeting the wrong customers or by failing to offer a solution sufficiently more compelling than their customers’ alternatives; others make

Solution Selling’ is perhaps one of the most overused buzzwords from the last decade. Unfortunately, many companies that are involved in the selling of solutions have failed to see a sustainable economic impact. This is simply because, as most companies will point out, the pain has not been worth the gain�

Carlos Tannous, Business Unit Manager, Value Added Division at Emitac Distribution

Mazen Jabri, Head of Ecosystems and Channels at SAP MENA.

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FEATURE Solution selling

uneconomic ‘pain-gain’ trade-offs, either because they don’t understand the true basis for winning at their chosen solutions game, or because they don’t possess the attributes necessary to win; and still some others fail to execute differently from their traditional product centric go-to-market model,” Ayesh says. “The channel today has an understanding of technology. This understanding unfortunately is limited to a ‘features and benefit’ model. Most partners are unable to then translate this knowledge towards a sale as they don’t have the business skills and most customers are unable to translate their business aspirations into technology solutions. They depend on partners to decipher this in a big way. Vendors and distributors have a big role to play in enabling the channel to fill this gap for without it there is frustration both on the partner and the customer side,” says Renton D’Souza, Divisional Director, Comstor. SAP’s Jabri adds, “The customer needs to understand the levels of complexity involved. Solution selling cannot be commoditsed in today’s business environment as every company has its own specific issues to contend with. While best practice developed by

A SUCCESSFUL SOLUTION IS BASED ON THE FOLLOWING ESSENTIALS: t 1SPTQFDUJOH t %JBHOPTJOH customer needs t $SBGUJOHB potential solution t &TUBCMJTIJOH value t #BSHBJOJOH for access to

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decision-makers t 1PTJUJPOJOHQSPPG  ROI and the total solution t /FHPUJBUJOHB win-win solution t 'PMMPXJOHVQUP ensure customer success

OCTOBER 2012

SAP over decades has helped us simplify matters the partner’s ability to add value is always crucial. Setting the right expectation with the customer is key to building a relationship of trust, whereas change management within the customer organisation is critical to getting buy-in from all levels of the business. Without this, solution implementation will fail to generate the desired level of value.” “When selling solutions there is a longer sales cycle, and it takes patience and investment in the pre-sales stage. It takes longer as you are dependent on many factors that can be out of your control. Complex integration in a multi-vendor solution is challenging in terms of finding the right resources to implement and maintain those solutions,” explains Ahmad Elkhatib, Managing Partner at Shifra. Genuine solutions providers also face the consequences of customer apprehension arising from previous negative experiences where vendors or resellers have used the term ‘solution’ to effectively sell a piece of hardware or software that fails to address the customer’s needs according to Salil Dighe, Managing Director at Meta Byte Technologies. ���Most importantly the target and quota systems that vendors, distributors and resellers practice is the blunder gun of this industry. A solution cannot have commodity like target or quota based sales mechanism. There is lot of knowledge sharing and learning that needs to be achieved and it’s always a long sales cycle. That’s why I say Technical guys always become great solutions providers the rest are either on the overdrive of achieving targets under pressure or commission calculators,” adds Dighe. As most industry professionals point out, solutions selling requires more than your average salesperson for it to be successful which poses to be perhaps the most considerable challenge for the industry. With the Middle East channel and

Reyadh Ayesh, MD and CEO, Smartworld

Salil Dighe, Managing Director at Meta Byte Technologies


FEATURE Solution selling

end user segment constantly pointing to the lack of skills availability in the region as a considerable challenge, it comes as no surprise that finding people that can understand the business needs of customers and translate this into effective technical solutions is a tough task.

Making it count Mohammad Mobasseri, SVP at Comguard points to a number of elements that customer consider when making a solution purchase such as the quality or reputation of the reseller or distributor, the experience they have with solutions implementation, their knowledge and skillsets. Emitac’s Tannous adds, “Definitely the total cost of ownership is one of the key elements, at the same time reliability, security and solution management are main factor too. Not to forget the service and after sales support level.” Jabri believes that the decision rests on the value proposition that the distributor or reseller has to offer, the return on investment that the solution brings, the scale of change management that will be required and

Most importantly the target and quota systems that vendors, distributors and resellers practice is the blunder gun of this industry. A solution cannot have commodity like target or quota based sales mechanism. There is lot of knowledge sharing and learning that needs to be achieved and it’s always a long sales cycle” the integration capabilities with existing systems and applications. In order to effectively cash in on the burgeoning demand for comprehensive solutions designed to meet specific business needs, organisations in the region are working with channel partners to educate and equip them with the skills needed to tackle a solutions sell. “In my point of view before selling a solution, partners must conduct proper evaluation of the project and garner a thorough understanding of the objectives behind the purchase. In order to effectively

THE BASIC ELEMENTS TO ADOPT A SOLUTION SELLING APPROACH: t $PSSFDU*EFOUJGJDBUJPOPGUIFCVTJOFTT pain. t 4PMVUJPOTFMMJOHSFRVJSFTIBWJOH adequate knowledge of all perimeter technologies, which affects a solution. t 4PMVUJPOTFMMJOHJTBQBSUPG conceptualised selling, hence requires the ability to visualise the customer need and positioning of the product to derive intended result. t 4PMVUJPOTFMMJOHJTVOJRVFUPFWFSZ business pain; hence the seller is accountable to the resulting solution

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irrespective of the underlying products used. t "MUIPVHIWBSJPVTTPMVUJPOTDBOCF presented to address a particular pain point, in order to have an accepted solution, the economics addressing an acceptable resolution matters. t #SBOEJOHPGBTPMVUJPOJTUIFNPTU difficult aspect and is mostly weaved with the credibility of the organisation presenting it--wherein a used product brand maybe insignificant and resolution and sustainability more important.

help our partners evaluate the scale and costs associated with the project, we at Comguard offer free consultancy service to our partners to do their RFP that helps to have effective solution sales and in turn offer best solutions to the customer. We continuously engage our partners through sales, pre-sales or technical training workshops at regular intervals to update and upgrade their knowledge base as well as their skill sets. Based on our Partner Advantage Programme we appreciate the efforts of our partners and reward them accordingly, giving them an extra incentive to learn and practice these skills successfully,” says Mobasseri. Similarly, Comstor has introduced what it calls the ‘Executive Relevance Selling model’ that equips sales associates with the skills and expertise needed to engage customers in business conversations. The model is designed to help salespeople effectively translate business needs into customised technology solutions that bring together various combinations of hardware, software and services to ensure the customer derives maximum benefit at the price. “At Epicor, we continue to drive our Epicor Partners for Growth Programme. This is a comprehensive sales, marketing and support programme that offers our partners significant opportunities to grow their business through award-winning products, training and support which is


FEATURE Solution selling

Ahmad Elkhatib, Managing Partner at Shifra

Mohammad Mobasseri, SVP at Comguard

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essential in the a highly competitive and dynamic marketplace like the Middle East. Epicor provides the best tools and services to enable our partners to win more business, increase profitability and improve their professional service revenue. Epicor Partners are considered an extension of our organisation; they receive the same training and are treated as if they are direct employees of Epicor,” explains Kanaran. Jabri says, “The solutions space is extensive and SAP provides a matrix of business propositions that span 24 industries and more than 30 solutions. Partner specialisation is critical for delivering value to the customer and ensuring profitability to partners. SAP’s programmes stand out for providing a platform for partner recruitment and enablement, driving demand generation and delivering customer value.” Shifra designs training sessions to help partners understand the various solutions it carries through sales and technical trainings throughout the year. “We also fund marketing events that generate interest and drive demand that is then passed on to our channel and also help the channel with joint visits until they are comfortable enough with our solutions,” says Elkhatib. “At StorIT, we provide our resellers with trainings that will give them the ability to identify a potential customer’s business pain and leverage the solution that could best suit them. Resellers are taught to delegate stages of the selling process between their and our resources to have winning sales. Resellers are also taught to address every customer differently as per their business pain. Resellers are shown that advantages of selling through pain resolution, which wins them customer loyalty, differentiates them from their competitors as no resolution can be the same and customers will adhere to the reseller with the best resolution to the

customer need, thus eliminating an all out price bidding. Resellers also see this as an advantage to upgrade their sales and service delivery models from the conventional box selling returning higher dividends from sales,” says Joseph.

Present and future “The solution sale is now evolving with the advent of many “disruptive” technologies in the fray. Vendors like Cisco are moving towards and overall architectural play model. This involves advising customers how an overall Data Centre solution or a collaboration solution could improve productivity of the company manifold. We have seen a growth of well over 20% in our revenue (as well as deal size increases) when positioning solutions to our customers. This also takes the conversation away from the age old price comparisons as customers see the ROI of the solutions offered and tangible benefit,” says Comstor’s D’souza. Epicor’s Kanaran adds that company specialises in solutions selling delivering key software solutions such as ERP, retail management, SCM and HCM among many others. Through its strategy to train and educate partners while making significant investments in recruiting the right technical resources the company has reported a significant increase in revenue and in FY 12 reported global revenues of $850 million. Shifra’s Elkhatib says, “Packaging complimentary products that form a solution to a problem has become one of the key differentiators to our value added resellers as it stops to be a price competition but rather value and solution based discussion.” “We have been more successful in terms of revenue and competitive difference based on our ability to customise. We attain a distinctive insight of the account, segment, or vertical level into specific business problems that our solutions can solve demonstrably better than the alternatives--


Authorized Value Added Distributor


FEATURE Solution selling

Renton D’Souza, Divisional Director, Comstor

we have identified enough customers to more than offset the incremental cost of customisation through higher revenue gains that can be sustained over a longer period and developed a sales force that has credibility with both technical and businessunit-level decision makers – often two or three levels higher in the customer hierarchy than buyers of traditional standalone products,” says Smartworld’s Ayesh. Industry experts believe that the adoption of cloud technologies will only drive the demand for effective solutions selling in the future. “Cloud amplifies the need for solution selling as it obscures the underlying brand of the hardware, technologies and focuses on customer pains, resolution and delivery in a more economical friendly way. As clouds will exist in various models and applications will exist in various forms, we see business need in all forms of the cloud,” says Joseph. D’souza says that cloud technologies bring a paradigm change in the way solutions are sold to help customers effectively leverage the “pay as you grow”

We have been more successful in terms of revenue and competitive difference based on our ability to customise. We attain a distinctive insight of the account, segment, or vertical level into specific business problems that our solutions can solve demonstrably better than the alternatives-- we have identified enough customers to more than offset the incremental cost of customisation through higher revenue gains that can be sustained over a longer period and developed a sales force that has credibility with both technical and businessunit-level decision makers – often two or three levels higher in the customer hierarchy than buyers of traditional standalone products” 86

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or “pay as you use’ model which is exactly with the cloud offers. Tannous agrees saying that Emitac Distribution is working with its vendor partners such as HP to understand the exact value proposition that this technology brings to industry specific customers in a bid to eliminate the significant confusion and haze surrounding the cloud. This in turn will help the company effectively train partners to extend their portfolio of cloud services to interested customers. SAS’s Sohrabi says that solution selling will remain an important part of the process in resolving business issues. “The cloud is simply another delivery mechanism for technology and may play a significant role in the architecture of a solution, based on the customer requirements,” he adds, Mobasseri concludes the debate saying that while there is a lot of talk around cloud, adoption is still sometime away. “I believe cloud would be more interesting for SMB at this point of time, and the solution selling will be targeted more towards the enterprise and government sector. I believe for next few years cloud will not have much impact on solution selling business,” he says. On the solutions selling front, Mobasseri feels that as the market continues to mature both customers and partners will better understand the elements the need for a solutions based approach. “So far most of the customers are not keen to pay more for the services in tandem with our partners we offer to create a solution for them, but we do hope with the maturity in the marketplace things will change for good. But certainly, this has been a key differentiator for us and as a value added distributor Comguard has been able to help many customers make the right decision via the best solutions. While the revenue from our solutions selling doesn’t yet compete with our distribution business, we believe that a change in this situation isn’t too far,” he says. //


HOT PRODUCTS Review

SMARTPHONE BATTLES With all the noise around the Android and iOS debate picking the right smartphone can be a tad tricky. We bring you a comparison of the latest smartphones in the market. Many of us have heard the endless debate between iPhone and Android fans about which is the ultimate phone, we’ve also heard about the ongoing legal wars between Apple and Samsung over patents and features. All this commotion might make it hard to pick your next device; and that doesn’t only apply to those with less “smarter” phones, but also to those who already have an Android or an iPhone, and want to upgrade to the next generation. In this article, we’re going to look at some of the main features of three of the best selling phones on the market,

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comparing their specifications and performance to help you with your next decision. While such a comparison can take countless pages, we’ll try and be as brief as we possibly can. The OS While Android is – in our opinion – the most powerful and versatile mobile operating system available today, it might not be as easy to use as iOS. That doesn’t however make it difficult to use in any way. Think of it this way, if those operating systems were to run cars, the Android car would be fast, reliable, flexible, with

so many features you might not even use or know existed. While the iOS car would be just as fast and reliable, but with a few buttons on the dashboard that can take you to your home, office, and a few other pre-set places. It might even have a better, cleaner engine, but you won’t be allowed to peek under the hood and even look at it. Samsung Galaxy S III This phone is definitely one of the best sellers today, with record shattering sales since it was released. Samsung has been building quite the reputation for their Galaxy line of products for quite some time


HOT PRODUCTS Review

now, and the S III comes to crown all that success in one long anticipated bundle. In terms of specifications, this phone packs more than any other phone on the market, which was one of the main reasons for its huge success. It even includes some features that are unique to Samsung, in an attempt from them to leave their signature on the mobile phone industry. However, one might argue that it’s not the most beautifully designed device on the market now, and that the materials used in building its shell are nothing but “cheap plastic” according to Apple. Apple iPhone 5 Also one of the most anticipated phones in the market and perhaps the mobile industry history, the iPhone 5 left a bit of a bitter taste even in the mouths of some of the biggest Apple fans. Although the phone packs pretty much everything you might need from a phone, Apple was by far, the last company to launch these features in a “new”

phone. In other words, what might seem like a new feature in the iPhone 5, has been actually running on other phones for a few years in some cases. Like the “allnew” panoramic photo feature, which has been standard on most phones for over half a decade. Although it’s one of the sturdiest, most ergonomically designed phones you can buy, the odd new proportion of the display leaves lots of screen real estate while playing movies, and leaves the phone unable to play HD videos even at 720p. HTC One X Let’s keep in mind here that HTC was one of the first companies to even introduce a smartphone, and they were the ones who made the very first Android powered phone, the G1. All these years of experience gave HTC the ability to develop the best available user experience on an Android based device on the market, making it easy to use while maintaining its power, thanks to the HTC Sense User Interface. This device received lots of criticism for two main reasons. First, it’s inability

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HOT PRODUCTS Review

to accept SD cards to expand the main memory of 32 GB, and second, replacing the standard Android Menu button with the annoying “Recent Apps” button as one of the main keys on the phones. Two problems which HTC was quick to address, first by releasing a system update that allows you to replace the recent apps button with the standard menu button (even though the icon is still the same), and by announcing the successor of this device, the HTC One X+ with the best processor in the market, Android 4.1 (Jellybean) and 64 GB of memory, which will hit the market soon.  This review was done by Fahed Sabbagh – proud geek and passionate blogger. You can catch him wax poetic on all things geeky at www.nerdyface.com.

OS Processor Dimensions

Galaxy S III

iPhone 5

HTC One X

Android ICS

iOS 6

Android ICS

Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A9

Dual-core 1.2 GHz

Quad-core 1.5 GHz

136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

134.4 x 69.9 x 8.9 mm

Weight

133 g

112 g

130 g

Display

720 x 1280 pixels 4.8 inches

640 x 1136 pixels 4.0 inches

720 x 1280 pixels 4.7 inches

Memory

16/32/64 GB storage, SD Card, 1 GB RAM

16/32/64 GB storage, 1 GB RAM

32 GB, 1 GB RAM

Camera

8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels

8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels

8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels Simultaneous HD video and image recording

SD Card NFC 4G LTE Design Features Price Battery Life Camera User Interface

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HOT PRODUCTS Review

LENOVO IDEACENTRE A720 Lenovo once again impresses us with its take on the explosive All-in-One desktop (AIO). Like its many competitors, Lenovo too is working to enhance the desktop user performance. The Lenovo Centre A720 is one sweet machine-neat and powerful. Meet the IdeaCentre A720, Lenovo’s newest family member. The All-in-One desktop PC that packs so many features, we weren’t exactly sure whether to classify it as a home or professional computer. Design and features: This AIO has one of the most functional designs in the market. The 27 inch multitouch frameless display is supported on a handle that connects it to the base and allows for a wide range of viewing angles. This means you can tilt the screen from an upright position to a completely flat state by simply pushing it as you like. However, it won’t let you rotate the screen from side to side, unless you move the base, which also appears to be a difficult task due to the heavy weight of this PC at 11.6 kg. The A720 comes with a variety of options with processing power up to an Intel Core i7 running at 2.3 GHz, that can be boosted to 3.3 GHz using the turbo feature. It’s supported with up to 8 GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, and an Nvidia GeForce GT630 graphics card.

It has two USB ports and two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI in and out allowing you to connect your favourite gaming console or cable TV box, headphone and microphone jacks, and an Ethernet port. It also has a 6 in 1 card reader, a Slot-loading Blu-ray player, and comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse. The sound on this device is above average thanks to the built in integrated speakers in the base and the Dolby Home Theatre 4 technology. However, it doesn’t pack much of a kick when it comes to bass frequencies. Performance and software: The IdeaCentre A720 is one of the fastest yet quietest computers we have tried. We have pushed the performance quite extensively with 3D graphics, design software and some of the latest games without any hiccups from this sturdy monster. The 27 inch screen has 10 touch points, meaning you can actually use all fingers on screen at this same time! While this might seem unnecessary, Lenovo packed the A720 with loads of games and software to prove otherwise. The

full flat position of the screen is a major added bonus in this case as well, where you can find yourself playing air hockey with a friend, or slicing away fruit in Fruit Ninja using all 10 fingers. The screen does however feel a little unresponsive when it comes to using it outside these pre-installed applications. We hoped it would have been a bit more optimised for the browser with scrolling features and touch sensitivity similar to that of a regular smartphone. You might have to “click” a few times around a link to eventually get the exact position right, and scrolling a long web page using your fingers can be a bit of a pain. Nevertheless, the touchscreen features are quite addictive and easy to get used to. We noticed that after a few embarrassments while trying to touch the screens of our own computers after using the A720 for a few days. The 1080 HD video playback was reasonably good on this device, although we did notice some screen noise and graininess when displaying large areas of dark pixels, making the video experience a little less satisfying than what would have been the ultimate floating TV screen on your desktop. The A720 also comes with an optional TV tuner and a remote control unit with windows media centre capabilities, a feature that doesn’t really come in handy in this region.

RATINGS: HARDWARE

8/10

PERFORMANCE

8/10

VALUE FOR MONEY

6/10

The verdict: Packing the IdeaCentre A720 back into its box was one of the toughest things we had to do! While the device didn’t exactly revolutionise the All-in-One industry, it’s definitely one of the best desktop PCs you can buy today, whether you’re a game loving home user, or a performance loving professional.

 This review was done by Fahed Sabbagh – proud geek and passionate blogger. You can catch him wax poetic on all things geeky at www.nerdyface.com.

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PEOPLE Rola Al-Satari

Rola Al- Satari, Head of the Accreditation, Quality and Communications unit, Itqan

Quality career Rola Al- Satari, is the Head of the Accreditation, Quality and Communications unit at Itqan. A certified ITIL Service Manager from Exin and a Bachelors degree in IT and computer Science, Satari joined Itqan in 2005. At Itqan, she is responsible for the implementation of quality standards such as the ISO 9001:2008, ISO 20000 and ISO 27001. Satari ensures the quality control across Itqan and conducts regular internal audits on all operations and projects, in addition to managing the continuous improvement process and organisation excellence activities. As part of her extensive role at Itqan, she also focuses on the development and execution of effective marketing campaigns, PR activities and both internal and external communications at the prominent systems integration firm. In her career at Itqan, she has witnessed the company become a recipient of numerous quality and excellence awards such as The Global Stevie award 2012, Microsoft Server Platform Partner of the year finalist 2012 and 2011 in addition to the Sheikh Khalifa Appreciation certificate, a first for any SI in the region. While she has no doubt contributed to the organisation’s achievement, she most actively played a part in the company implementing and achieving the ITIL and ISO 20000 certificate in 2007.

“I believe that the key to success of an organisation is an efficient quality management system that includes comprehensive processes and procedures to run the organisation. Having a continuous improvement process is very vital these days, especially since we operate in the IT market which is a rapidly evolving industry that lies at the very heart of business and economic development,” she says. Satari volunteers as an assessor for the Dubai Qulaity Award, a role that has resulted from her constant passion for quality and her achievements therein. “It is great to have the opportunity to work with a diversified team where each represents a different organisation and different background, as Dubai Quality Award assessor you have the chance to look at other organisations’ operations which is an extensive learning experience” Satari adds.

Rola believes that everything in life can be achieved when you put the right plan and work hard to achieve it. “I always go above and beyond my stated job description to sustain growth in my career while maintaining the balance between my job and family; I have achieved the ITIL certifications and contributed to the Dubai Quality Award while ensuring I meet my responsibilities towards my job and family. There is no magic wand that achieves your goals, one can only be successful by working hard and working smart, implementing the right plan, everything can be achieved,” she states. Off work, Rola loves playing the piano, enjoys gardening and spending time on the beach with her family. “As the IT field is very demanding, I barely have time during the week, but I ensure I spend quality time with my husband, two kids and family every chance I can get on weekends or otherwise,” Satari concludes. //

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PEOPLE Bernard Boichini

Bernard Biolchini, GM and VP of Sales, AMD META

The fruit of change Bernard Biolchini, believes that working within the folds of the channel industry as GM and VP of Sales at AMD META has not impacted his personality, instead he attributes his success in this industry to his personality. “You need to be quick, carefully manage risk, always understand the diversity of your channel partners and sensibly build a win-win situation. Building a real and strong partnership based on mutual trust and understanding is the most exciting part of dealing with our partners. Being able to share business opportunities with them and encourage them in that specific direction is always rewarding. Channel is often seen as just an execution arm, especially in the volume business. I aspire to involve partners in more business development strategies as well,” he says. Biolchini adds, “I’m a diverse and multicultural person, and that makes me a perfect fit for this part of the world. I carry two nationalities, speak five languages, grew up in different countries and I’ve worked in different industries.” His multicultural upbringing has helped him develop the ability to accept, respect and understand varying points of view which he believes has accelerated his

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Reseller Middle East

OCTOBER 2012

climb in the industry. “I like diversity, and I appreciate having different views of the world, and understanding and accepting different ideas and points of views is crucial to me. I am a listener and always try to understand a situation from different angles, I believe this makes me different from many peers and leaders I have met and has been helped me in to find a better solution to the challenges I have to deal with in my professional life,” he explains. A student of mechanical engineering, Biolchini embraced the business of IT over 22 years ago and says that developing AMD’s business in the region has been a significant achievement in his professional career. “This being said bridging the gap between strategy and execution has been a constant challenge, something I am passionate about and can talk about for hours,” he says. Married with a wife and two young children, he believes that a well-balanced life will make an individual far more productive and efficient at work. “The challenge we have in our organisation is that work-life is different for each member of the team, so you need to understand the needs of each individual. Personally, every time I’m in town I never miss kissing my children good night

before going back to work from my home office. The older I get, the more experience I gain, the less difficult it becomes for me to disconnect from the pressures of life at work. With more experience you can better anticipate difficult situations and better deal with them. I also make a big effort to not mix personal life and business, which helps me maintain a balance between both lives and leave the pressure outside the doors of our home,” Biolchinin explains. An avid sports fan, Biolchini is extremely passionate about golf, practicing the sport atleast once a week which he believes is just not enough to pursue a career in competitive golf. 10 years from now, he believes his diverse nature will see him move on to another industry. “After having spent most of my career in working in MNCs, I see myself working in a smaller organisation, the possibilities are endless. For now my dreams and ambitions are completely focused on AMD where I strive every day to build a strong and sustainable organisation and reinforcing our leading market position in the META region. I will be happy when all our customers in the META region understand the benefits of having a choice when buying a PC,” Biolchini concludes. //


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Reseller Middle East