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Building Blocks This is the first edition of Integrator East Africa for 2014. We therefore take this opportunity to peer into the digital crystal ball and see what the year holds for the region. The Integrator East Africa Awards returns after a tremendous debut last year. And this year we let the industry take charge-from Editor’s Choice last year to Channel’s Choice, allowing the industry itself pick the best of the best. As far as the industry is concerned, the introductionof VAT last year on ICT equipment in Kenya continues to negatively impact the sale of IT equipment in 2014. Although the initial shock of the rapid announcement and enactment of the VAT law may have passed and perhaps the market stabilized. Still it’s perhaps prudent for governments in the region to view ICT as an enabler of other sectors of the economy and perhaps work harder to promote rather than impede the development of the sector. It’s no secret that the IT industry has been one of the main engines for economic growth in East Africa for the last few years. Eats Africa continues to be the focus of some positive focus from the global ICT industry. The continued expansion of major brands and distributors through opening of physical locations in the region attest to this. This year will also see DistreeEvents hold its first ever event in Africa, in Nairobi this June. Distree is the organizer of some of the biggest industry in the world, with expos all over the world. All in all, we expect the region’s IT industry pick up from where it left off in 2013-i.e. with a sense of great optimist and enthusiasm for the future of the industry in the region.
David Ndichu Editor Publisher: Vivek Sharma Managing Editor: R. Narayan Editor: David Ndichu Art Director: Faiz Ahmed Sales Director: Alishan Zaidi Sr. Sales Manager: R. Subramanyan Business Development Manager: Mallika Rego Sales Coordinator: Smitha Jithesh
Despec banks on region's positive vibes - 9 XTOUCH-A touch of brilliance - 10 Interview - 12
Kaspersky fighting the good fight Distriview - 16
SNB’s ambitions unbound TechKnow
SanDisk, Mitsumi partners in progress - 18 Cursor’s course of action - 20 Insight - 22
Malware’s peculiar traits Review - 24
XTOUCH X1 Mini Regulars
News EyeTech Stats and Trends
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March 2014 | The Integrator East Africa
IBM commits billions to Kenya’s future IBM will inject a total of KSh8.6 billion into its research lab in Kenya over the next ten years, to help the country solve some of its problems. Nik Nesbitt, IBM country general manager, said the project was to be carried out in partnership with the Kenyan government and dedicated to fields such as education, health, agriculture and security.
Huawei Kenya appoints new CEO Huawei has appointed Dean Yu as the new CEO for Huawei Kenya to help accelerate the Chinese giant market push in the East African country. Huawei Kenya said that Dean will now be responsible for day-to-day business operations and help create greater opportunities to share the latest technology Huawei has to offer for the local market. "Part of the new CEO's mandate will be to ensure that Huawei delivers ICT products and solutions to telecommunication operators, enterprises and end-users in Kenya," the firm said. The appointment comes at a time when the East African nation is investing heavily in ICT to help spur the country’sVision 2030."Kenya's ICT industry is set to experience exponential growth. It's therefore an exciting time for me to spearhead our business efforts here for greater value," Dean said. In Kenya, Huawei provides connectivity and broadband to carrier networks, with the country’s mobile phone firms, Safaricom and Telkom as clients.
Earlier in the year, IBM had announced that it is bringing its Watson cognitive computing platform to the continent,whose ability to learn from emerging patterns and discover new correlations will help the region in correlating data to help in economic growth.
Microsoft partners to launch the 4Afrika Youth Device Program
Through the project the researchers will monitor every aspect of the targeted sectors so as to understand the usage and acquire data for future preparations, Nesbitt added.
The Initiative sets to create a bundle offering providing affordable devices, educational applications, online services, affordable data plans and smart financing to Kenyan learning institutions. This forms part of the Microsoft 4Afrika Youth Initiative, which was unveiled last year to provide scholarships, fellowships and internship opportunities to thousands of African youth.
Microsoft has joined Intel and the Kenya Private Schools Association to launch the 4Afrika Youth Device Pilot Program in Kenya.
The 4Afrika Youth Device Program will be providing a range of affordable devices to learning institutions. These devices include smartphones, tablets, laptops, PCs and the Intel Classmate. The devices all come with Intel Education Software, a suite of eLearning tools including the newly launched Intel Explore and Learn, designed to promote deeper engagement with content, plus apps that enable science exploration, data analysis and promote creativity, Intel said. Each device in this Program will come pre-loaded with the latest versions of Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1 and the cloud-based Office 365 suite, which includes Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. In addition to this, each device will have a range of educational applications, games and digital books installed. 4
The Integrator East Africa | March 2014
SEACOM upgrades Cloud Services in Kenya, SA SEACOM has announced major investments in developing cloud infrastructures in Kenya and South Africa, with the aim of encouragingSMEs in East and Southern Africa to move to the cloud. Through its cloud service – Pamoja – SEACOM investment in improving its cloud facilities is to make cloud computing more accessible, but also to address the security and privacy issues relating to the storage of sensitive data in Africa. Claire Kaguara, regional channel manager at Pamoja Cloud Services was quoted as saying that the Pamoja offering is unique due to the services being specifically targeted at meeting the unique needs of SMEs. The company said it is so far encouraged by the uptake of Pamoja Cloud services in East Africa since the launch of the product in April 2013, primarily driven by solution integrators and internet service providers (ISPs).Pamoja leverages on SEACOM’s existing network, ensuring that the SME market in Africa is served with cost effective cloud services that eliminate CAPEX costs, Kaguara added. SEACOM will use its Kenyan base to roll out services to East Africa, while South Africa will serve as a regional base to provide services across Southern Africa.
The Integrator East Africa | March 2014
AccessKenya installs monitoring system on fibre network Corporate internet and IT solutions provider AccessKenya Group has installed a fibre monitoring system for its 450 kilometre carrier ethernet fibre-optic network. Managing DirectorJonathan Somen said the system has enabled AccessKenya to proactively detect unanticipated faults, one of the biggest hazards for terrestrial fibre cable operators. “With this system in place we can now coordinate network faults and better map distances to resolve such interruptions much faster, even as we expand our metropolitan coverage”, Somen was quoted as saying. According to the company, they spend about KSh200,000 in repair costs for every fibre cut, which take place on average three to four times per week, with Nairobi being the most affected.90% of these cuts infrastructure are caused by contractors and cases of vandalism. To cope, AccessKenya has deployed redundant rings throughout the network to guarantee no downtime for clients especially when such disruptions occur. AccessKenya has over 595 buildings connected to fibre in Nairobi and Mombasa and plans to connect 15 new counties to its networks over the course of 2014.
ZTE Kenya to focus on Cloud, LTE in 2014 Chinese telecommunications and network solutions provider ZTE has announced that cloud computing and LTE adoption will be the company’s focus in Kenya for 2014. In a recent media briefing in Nairobi, ZTE Kenya CEO Liu Sen said the company aims to strengthen its partnerships with mobile network operators by helping them improve their overall network quality. ZTE is also looking at LTE and Cloud Computing and how these services can be utilised by government for better public service delivery. Sun added that these objectives would require the deployment of the company’s latest solutions, working with authorities to help speed up overall IT penetration and technical skills transfer. ZTE’s partnership with governments is a key part in its strategy, with the intention to supply solutions to improve public service delivery in health, transportation and energy. In August 2013 ZTE signed an $800 million mobile network deal with Ethio Telecom in the rollout of 4G and 3G connectivity services in Ethiopia.
Tanzanian students to create software for Microsoft Students at Tanzania’s University of Dodoma are set to start creating software for Microsoft platforms such as Windows and Nokia mobile phones. This follows a special agreement between the university and Microsoft enabling Tanzania students to create software for a number of the tech giants’ desktop and mobile gadgets. The Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH)has also signed an agreement with IBM that will see the students make use of the various patents filed by the company for the creation of software. The move follows Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete’s recent visit to the United States where he toured the IBM facilities after which IBM agreed to lay open its patents for the local student community to try and make own technological inventories based on those patents.
Pamoja, Symantec in new African partnership Pamoja Africa, the Cloud services business unit of Pan-African ICT enabler SEACOM, has entered into a partnership to distribute Symantec’s suite of Cloud services in sub-Sahara Africa. The partnership is aimed at meeting growing security and compliance needs in the continent. Pamoja is focused on the fast-growing Small-to-medium Enterprise (SME) segment in East Africa and beyond, and leverages off SEACOM’s infrastructure, exposure to partnerships and Africa’s growing mobile and Internet market to entrench its services model. Albie Bester, General Manager at Pamoja, describes the alliance as a win-win for the two partners in the deal. Through a new data peering arrangement between SEACOM and Symantec these services are delivered via the shortest and fastest route to the Pamoja cloud datacentres in South Africa and Kenya. Mark Smissen, Cloud Services Manager at Symantec, says the partnership provides Symantec a new route to market for its Cloud services.
ICT Banking Summit 2014 to be held in Kampala The annual East Africa Banking and ICT Summit by Cyber Security Africa will be held in Uganda this year, seeking to provide delegates with technical and practical sessions and showcase banking and ICT innovations. The event – taking place on April 25 in Kampala – will be held in Uganda, Zambia and Ethiopia on a rotational basis, and is now in its third year. According to the organizers, the summits are designed to highlight the latest Innovations, fast changing payments market, the new challenges in fraud prevention, the importance of a multi-channel strategy and creating customercentric payment methods. Additionally, the event will discuss the future of payments as the financial industry continues to be on the cutting edge of innovations in the payments sector, providing take-home insights from key industry figures alongside strategic debates, Cyber Security Africa said.
The Integrator East Africa | March 2014
Discuss Despec’s East Africa’s outlook for 2014 We believe the East African market still offers great opportunity for growth in 2014. With the market stabilizing after a difficult 2013 in Kenya, we are very optimistic that 2014 will be the perfect spring board the years ahead. Having moved in to our Regional Warehouse in Dar-es-Salaam, and migrated to a new ERP in late 2013, we believe we have the right foundations for future growth. Our priority will be to ensure that we have more ‘feet on the street’ across the region with Burundi, DRC and Mozambique being on our radar. In addition we are investing heavily in appropriate employee training that will give our staff the skills and the knowledge to support our customers. Discuss any additions to Despec’s portfolio in 2013 and any new brands/ solutions you hope to bring in 2014 2013 was a great year for our Product Portfolio development, with new distribution agreements in place for East Africa with Acer, SanDisk, Pantum, Trust and Targus on board. This enhances our current assortment and gives us an entry point into the PC channel which we did not have the assortment in the past. We hope this ensure that for all our customers we remain the ‘one stop shop.’ Looking forward to 2014, we are really looking at adding brands in both the mobility and value spaces. Given the strength of our network, we believe that we can add a lot of benefits for brands in these categories and we are looking forward to announcing a few partnerships in the coming months. Discuss your Africa’s expansion strategy for 2014 and beyond Our priority for now is to consolidate the business in Eastern Africa. With our new regional hub in place, we are focusing on ensuring that all countries
Established as one of East Africa’s top distributors, Despec’s COO Faisal Jamal discusses how the company looks to build on the success of the region’s burgeoningICT industry in 2014to spur its own vision
Positive Vibe neighboring Tanzania are covered efficiently.Furthermore in countries where we are already established such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda our focus will be to continue to develop the channel and in particular the consumer retail space where we see much opportunity.Beyond Eastern Africa, there are plans in place to start exploring opportunities in Western Africa in 2015. What are some of the trends affecting the distribution model in East Africa Currently? On the positive side the economic opportunities across EA are changing the landscape. With huge amounts of natural resources across the region, it is driving all sectors to improve at a faster pace to support
the development of these industries. What is important is that the ultimate customers in the mining or oil and gas industries are expecting the same quality of service as they would in other developed countries. This provides a huge opportunity for companies to come into the market and match these expectations.At the same time though, the changing legal structure and the limited quality of skilled labor make it difficult to support all these opportunities. What is also interesting to see is the increasing number of distribution companies looking to explore East Africa for both Middle East and South Africa. The increasing competition will ensure that the channel receives the best in class in customer service. March 2014 | The Integrator East Africa
Bruce Chen General Manager, Middle East & Africa, XTOUCH
XTOUCH, an emerging and ambitious mobility brand has sights set on East Africa with a plan that could see it become one of the top names in the region’s mobile landscape. Discussing this vision is XTOUCH’s Middle East and Africa GM, Bruce Chen
Touch of Brilliance Discuss your African strategy as you begin your African journey For the past two years, we’d had our base in the Middle East and most of our products are already available in the GCC countries and as well as North Africa. In North Africa we are doing very well in Libya and we are waiting on the situation to improve in Egypt after which we will make our entrance into that market. East Africa is a different market from North Africa. We are looking to establish some market presence in Kenya which acts as an Eastern African hub and then from Nairobi,we will be able to cover Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan. What is your product focus for Africa? We are now most mostly focused on smartphones. Our strategy is to launch lower-priced models in Q2 and Q3 of this year. The starting points for these models will be in the range of 100 dollars and lower.In addition,we hope to expand our portfolio to include 3G-capable tablets and later 4G enabled tablets and smartphones. We are also 10
The Integrator East Africa | March 2014
looking to launch smart watches in Africa. The Middle East market is just now warming up to smart watches so we expect that after one or two quarters, the African market will itself be ready for smart watches as well. When this happens, we will have the devices ready for those markets. Discuss any projected investments in the East African region in terms of personnel and infrastructure We are looking for a long-term presence and growth in Africa. In South Africa, we already have a branch and personnel in the country. In East Africa, we will consider to see if the market is big and growing very fast enough and then we’ll be able to set up an office in Kenya as well as Nigeria depending on how big the XTOUCH brand develops in those markets. Discuss your current channel partnerships and how you hope to extend this model in Africa In the GCC, we have already signed partnership with top regional distributors MES and Trigon. MES
also distributesin Iraq and Syria, two markets that continue to develop very strongly. We also have a distributorship partnership in Saudi Arabia, the most important ICT market in the GCC and our best market in the region as well. We provide various type of market support to our partners. With Trigon, we have given them exclusive rights to the power retailers and then sell them our products on a distributor price. We also provide our distributors exclusive rights to certain markets in addition to generous rebates upon reaching agreedupon targets. What qualities do you feel sets XTOUCH apart in a very crowded Android smartphone space? We expect to go toe-to-toe with the tier-one brands in terms of quality but at only half the price.On the other hand, we are offering far better quality than other lower-priced models for the same price. Our products also feature innovative design and coupled with our extensive marketing activities, we are able to set ourselves apart. Our service and warranties are also key differentiators. What are some of the marketing activities that you look to engage in in East Africa? In Dubai we have invested in outdoor advertising and online marketing and on print. We are looking to replicate this type of marketing activities in East Africa but again, all this is dependent on the state of the market there. Discuss your future plans for 2014 and beyond In the near future, we are hoping to bring in even more models. Our sales strategy will remain offering our customerssmartphones that combineeconomical prices with top notch technology. For the smart watch range, we are looking to come up with other novel designs and possibly different OS. Right now we are very focused on the phonetabmodel which we see becoming very popular. But ultimately, we will follow the markets and trends and provide to customers exactly the devices they want and need.
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Briefly give us a general threat outlook for the East African region in 2014 With the growth of broadband and increased bandwidth in the region, the major challenges are in the areas of mobility as most of the users in the region access internet via smartphones and tablets. This poses a security challenge in being able to cover this data-on-move and people being able to access certain data outside the corporate environment. At Kaspersky we have sought to cover these areas through the 2013 versions of our products that are able to cover multiple consumer devices. With a single multidevice license, users can cover their Android devices as well as their laptops and desktops. On the corporate side, the Kaspersky Endpoint Suite for Business covers all areas including data encryption, mobile device management as well as basic
Bethwel Opil Channel Sales Manager, EA, Kaspersky Lab
Malware has the whole world on edge. We sought to find out from Bethwel Opil, Channel Sales Manager for East Africa for Kaspersky Lab how the company is helping the East African region handle this malevolent threat landscape.
The Integrator East Africa | March 2014
their online financial transactions. In early 2013, much of the demand was on the basic anti-virus, but now with our new products, Internet Security is now starting to grow more popular. Mobile is the default device for internet access in East Africa. Are mobile users aware of security threats in mobile devices and are they installing security software? There has not been a major attack on mobile devices in the region, so the immediacy of the problems is not apparent. The public has tended to respond to real threats as we saw in Kenya around 2001 and 2002 during those year’s general elections. The emergence of malware associated with politics raised people’s awareness of security threats significantly. This inspired sales of anti-virus software across the board. However, there has been a rise of
The Good Fight anti-virus. So Kaspersky has looked at the whole gamutof security issues facing users and tried to solve solving all these challenges through the new product range. The most critical aspect in the region though is to educate the public on these threats because we feel that most of the security issues we’ve faced this year are because of a lack of knowledge on the part of the public on these threats. How is the uptake of Kaspersky’s 2014 security products vis-à-vis 2013? We had projected a 50% increase in 2014 over last year but the uptake has been better than we had imagined. We’ve had to subsequently upwardly alter our forecast for this year. Our 2014 products have received good uptake mainly because of the multidevice protection application as well as the enhanced Safe Money feature which protects the user when they carry out
attacks on data privacy through social media. This has led to people looking for other methods of protecting their information. And this is how we have been able to reach the public through the media. Are online sales of Kaspersky solutions growing in the region or is it still the more traditional “box” sales with a lot of the customers In the region, online sales are minimal. The public in the region still prefer a physical product in their hands. People also feel it’s easier to just buy and run the install the software through the CD rather than onlinedownload. Since last year though, people have started buying the box version through online sales after we appointed an online reseller. We have been pushing online sales through advertising on the web and on online stores. On the corporate side, you have the
security solutions base being managed by skilled systems administrators. What these require from us is a download of the software and they are able to go to the console and implement. We have done a number of training with our resellers on how to support our B2B solutions. As East African regional economies grow rapidly, is it translating into increased threats in the region? 2013 experienced a lot of growth in the region in terms of broadband, internet penetration and growth of fibre optic cables being laid. Now whenever such growth occurs, the increase of internet users will tend to attract the cyber-criminal crowd. And with many new users to the internet, threats abound as they may not have not have a comprehensive understanding how to protect their businesses and they are thus more vulnerable to cyber criminals. You also tend to see increased growth in online banking, online shopping and this tends to be very lucrative for cyber criminals to try to get access to that data and gain financially from it. That threat is set to increase towards 2014. The director of public prosecutions in Kenya has recognized as much that cyber-crime is now a national security threat with key ICT infrastructure at the risk of attack and increased intrusion into peoples’ privacy. In social media in Kenya, a typical, and common, scam has criminals hacking into other people’s Facebook accounts and then look up people that the victim frequently interacts with. Then they will send them a message indicating that they are in trouble and they need them to be sent some cash through mobile money. The criminal then disappears with the money. There were also a lot of reported cases of fraud last year after ATM card pin numbers were stolen and thieves were able to access and steal money from people’s accounts and steal money. So we expect these kinds of fraud to be a threat this year. Financial institutions, who have become majorvictims, tend
to downplay the extent of hacking and the amount of cash involved. So if these institutions do not open up and work with security agencies and security software companies, this trend will continue. How are your channel partners in East Africa empowered to handle the new global threat landscape To be able to support our partners, we are engaging in many PR activities with major media firms within the region to try and educate the public on these threats. We are also holding major training workshops with our partners to be able to educate them on the current threat trends and to be able to build their product knowledge to be able to cover these threats that customers are facing. We are looking at this from two dimensions: raising awareness among the public and educating our partners on these threats. Discuss the ratio of consumer vs B2B sales of Kaspersky products and which segment is showing greater growth Consumer business is still dominant in the region but we are seeing a very strong uptake of our corporate products. The region still does not have big enterprises with most businesses being SMEs and SMBs. But we are seeing strong growth especially with the introduction of Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business last year. All in all Kaspersky runs the biggest accounts in East Africa with major clients such as Safaricom, KCB, University of Nairobi, the National University of Rwanda and many others. In East Africa, Kaspersky is leading in terms of having the biggest coverage in the region. What are Kaspersky’s plans for the East African region in 2014 and beyond? In 2014 we expect the corporate sector growth between 15-20%. On the consumer side we are looking towards 20-25% growth across our product lines.
Financial data still No. 1 target for spammers, Kaspersky says The proportion of spam in email traffic continues to fall – in the last three years the share of unsolicited messages has fallen by 10.7 percentage points. It appears that advertisers increasingly prefer the various types of legitimate online advertising that are now available and which generate higher response rates at lower costs than spam can offer. In some spam categories commercial advertising is being gradually displaced by criminal mailings such as spam messages advertising illegal goods or pornography. A typical example is the Travel and Tourism category that used to account for 5-10% of all spam traffic. It is common for IT security experts to recommend that users regularly update their antivirus solutions, and that is something that cybercriminals tried to take advantage of in 2013. In emails that appear to be sent by well-known antivirus vendors, they urged users to update their systems immediately using an attached file. The attachment turned out to contain a Trojan that is designed to steal sensitive user data, particularly financial info. Asia accounted for 55.5% of the world’s spam in 2013 (an increase of 5.3 percentage points compared to 2012), followed by North America with 19% (+ 3.2 points). Eastern Europe’s share almost doubled compared to the previous year, placing the region in third with 13.3%. Western Europe remains in fourth place despite a decrease of 2.4 percentage points, while the share of Latin America in fifth place amounted to a threefold drop compared to 2012.
March 2014 | The Integrator East Africa
Rohit Pitre - Sales Director, East & Africa, SNB
In its fourth year of operations, SNB Middle East is now picking up further pace in terms of its expansions which include operations in Doha and Nairobi as well as additions to the range of solutions it offers.
Ambition unbound SNB Distribution is one of the fastest growing value-distribution companies in the industry based out of Dubai and over the last year has started focusing on the African market as well. The company is now in its fourth year of operations and has made impressive strides in growing its channel Business by broadening the suite of products and solutions it offers to partners. In East Africa, it is focusing on markets including Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. The value-added IT distributor specializes in storage and backup, networking, CCTV surveillance and IT security solutions and currently
The Integrator East Africa | March 2014
partners with several leading brands and is looking to add more to the portfolio it offers. Some of the Brands it partners with in the Middle East include Nexsan (by Imation), Tandberg Data, Infortrend, Enterasys, Proxim Wireless, Allied Telesis, Mobotix, AxxonSoft, Retrospect and Seclore. Rohit Pitre, Regional Sales Director, East Africa for SNB says, “We focus on niche business areas in IT like Data storage & backup, CCTV Surveillance, Networking & IT Security with value added and price competitive services & solutions. We provide value addition in terms of pre and post-sales support, partner enablement, regional marketing support and end-to- end solutions on
all four technology segments.” The latest count of its partner network in East Africa includes over 20 that focus on surveillance and around 10 specialized partners for enterprise storage solutions. The company intends to be positioned as the one-stop-shop for CCTV security and surveillance solutions for organizations across the region. Rohit adds, “Our strategy is to offer a complete suite of lifecycle solutions for the surveillance market in terms of VMS, cameras, storage to make it an intelligent surveillance solution. For enterprise storage we are pushing ahead with innovative solutions from Nexsan
and EVault to offer innovative solutions tailored to the east Africa market.”
“We have had tremendous response in our events and training workshops. Over one year we have trained 13 channel system integrators. We are seeing a good response from all verticals in Kenya.”
Nexsan, an Imation company offers a product portfolio that includes solidstate optimized unified hybrid storage systems, secure automated archive solutions and high-density enterprise storage array. Its products are purpose built for enterprise-class applications, purpose-built with the needs of the mid-sized customer in mind. EVault, a Seagate company offers a full-service backup and recovery delivered by a network of experts, leveraging the very best cloud-connected technology and infrastructure. The distributor is seeing a rising demand in surveillance solutions and has recruited several partners who also see a definite value in working with the distributor because of the end to end portfolio it offers in that segment. “There is a growing demand from ICT resellers for including security surveillance products as part of their portfolio because of the growing demand for such solutions. We are witnessing this growth especially in different markets and we are able to offer different benefits to our partners including complementing products for turnkey solutions along with pricing benefits and good technical support,” says Rohit. The VAD is scouting to build new vendor associations and looking to sign
up for products that will make it a more comprehensive end to end VAD. The VAD concedes there are some areas and will looking to add new products. Rohit says, “At the end of the day, we are looking to provide an end to end portfolio for our partners so that it reduces their hassle. Providing reliable after sales support is of paramount support for us.” Being a security surveillance focused distributor, the company keeps enough stocks to support reseller requirements in quick time. Technical support is a key criterion as well in this line of Business. SNB’s Africa operations are supported by the operations in Dubai airport free zone which includes two offices including a specialized technical support services team. The company also has two warehouses to help manage requirements of partners in all markets including East Africa. Rohit says, “We have local resources and extensive partner enablement in all the regions we represent. Dubai offers the best logistics base and we would continue to use it. Since our products are specialized solutions we don't feel the need to have a warehouse in East Africa.” While it is never too easy to make your mark as a new company, especially in the very competitive distribution space, SNB has proved it is indeed making
inroads. The company claims to have registered strong growth in its Business year on year and looks optimistic to go from strength to strength. One of the implements it will look to use in future for strengthening its Business is a loyalty program for its partners across territories. According to the distributor, its road shows and seminars in different markets including Nairobi have been well attended which reveals a strong rapport with the channel which has made the case of the loyalty program stronger. The company is focusing on training its partners with specialized skills so that they are better placed to meet requirements from customers across verticals. Rohit says, “We have had tremendous response in our events and training workshops. Over one year we have trained 13 channel system integrators. We are seeing a good response from all verticals in Kenya.” The company also conducted a roadshow with over 100 people attendance in July followed up by a week’s training and certification schedule in September. The company claims to have grown over 100 % growth year on year since its start and has found great support from its partners. SNB hopes to maintain the pace of growth and will look to make further inroads the East Africa markets to help achieve the growth.
March 2014 | The Integrator East Africa
Last year SanDisk signed a partnership with Mitsumi to distribute SanDisk products in Africa. Discuss how you plan to leverage thispartnership for long-term growth? Africa is an aspiring continent with a lot of historical and cultural links with the Middle East. The two regions are always used in the same context dueto these connections and proximity and this relationship can only grow. I believe Africa has a lot of room to grow still even though many of these countries are growing at an impressive 5-7 percent every year. herefore, SanDisk is in Africa to invest and not to merely trade. Trading is what has been going on in the continent from bases in Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai. If you invest resources and build however, you will reap the rewards and this then this becomes a win-win partnership. Africa is a real consumer market and not a trader market with a genuine need for these products. We started with two countries and now have spread to other countries and we may have to triple the business this year as demand grows.
Parag Mendiratta, Power Quality Sales, East Africa, EATON
What makes Mitsumi a preferred partner as far as SanDisk is concerned? Mitsumi is a unique distributor in the African continent in that they who built a multi-million dollar business from scratch in a span of less than 20 years. It’s a distributor with feet on the ground and a model that is tried, tested and proven for success. This is why we chose Mitsumi to distribute our products. We are very excited about working with the company having seen business in Africa rise significantly since we signed them on. Business in Africa is currently booming and with Mitsumi covering 27 countries in the continent, we’re guaranteed to reach the reseller and retail channels in a very big way. Mitsumi’s backbone of success comes from having stock points locally. So even though the headquarters have recently moved to Dubai, the stock points are in-country with warehouses in such countries such as Kenya,
The Integrator East Africa | March 2014
Tareq Husseini - Sales Director, Middle East & Africa
With an eye on a fast-expanding African market, SanDisk last year signed a partnership with top distributor Mitsumi. Tareq Husseini, Sales Director Middle East and Africa discusses theprospects of this partnership.
Partners in Progress Nigeria, North Africa countries and more. This is a key differentiator for Mitsumi from other distributors who only do trading. They are there in the market, can supply the channel and offer a competitive price. Discuss your value proposition to the African market that your partners cannot find with any other vendor?
We are bringing reliable technology at competitive pricing plus all the support we can offer the market whether it’s in returns, education and training as one package for our partners in Africa. We have SanDisk offices in Nairobi with our own people and we are soon expanding into North Africa and South Africa with the requisite ground support for our distributors. It’s our
2013 was a busy year for SanDisk. Discuss some key product and technology breakthroughs for the year Last year we launched one of the fastest USB drives on the USB3.0 platform with speeds of up to 190MB/s. At SanDisk, we follow the” Good, Better, Best” strategy. On the “Good” range we have USB 3.0 drives running at 88MBps, one of the fastest in the class in addition to the Extreme range at 190MBps. On the MicroSD side, we launched the Extreme Pro, a professional Micro SD card. This will put us in good stead as technology progresses to the Full Definition video platformas well as the emerging 4K video and 4G internet platforms. This new fast-speed landscapewill be fully supportedby these products including the 80MBps and 96GB Micro SD cards. How then is SanDisk helping the market navigate to this dynamic future? Our mission at SanDisk has always been to enrich peoples’ lives through digital technology. This was the visionof the founders from the early days when SanDisk pioneered Flash and in so doing changed the way people use digital memory. It changed the way people take pictures, the way we use photography, progressing to the mobile phoneage and today where video and images have become as important as phone calls. In the future, we will be continuously working on new materials that will make memory even bigger, much faster and strive to continue our leadership role.
In Good Stead By bringing in storage vendor SanDisk as partner, Mitsumi is hoping to build on SanDisk’s legacy of providing innovative storage solutions the world over, as Chairman and CEO, Jagat Shah explains.
Jagat Shah - Chairman & CEO, Mitsumi
belief here at SanDisk that the African market offers a potential market of over 100 million products and we are keen to tap into this undeniable opportunity.
Mitsumi last year extended its portfolio by bringing in Flash storage giant SanDisk on board. The timing would not have been more perfect as Africa enjoys its own economic and ICT renaissance with demand for all things IT soaring.
Not every vendor is willing to engage with the continent and be ready to take on all the challenges. And we have witnessed this with SanDisk over the last one year asthey are deeply invested in Africa where we are also growing significantly,” Jagat added.
SanDisk makes an ideal partner for Mitsumi, according to Jagat Shah, Mitsumi Chairman and CEO. For one, SanDisk is a brand with experience in emerging markets, including handling challenges that come from operating in frontier markets. “Their market presence in other regions means SanDisk is able to apply the same know-how in the African market,” Jagat said.
With a large portfolio of products, Mitsumi has the opportunity to offer customers a comprehensive solution. “We do a lot of mix and match because SanDisk products go hand in hand with a lot of other products that we offer. As a distributor, we add a lot of value because we have a reach not only in the IT sector markets, but also in areas such as mobile products. In all these areas, flash storage is needed.” Mitsumi can thus be able to bundle some of these solutions by selling a phone with a SanDisk micro SD for instance. “We can do wonders with this product in Africa,” Jagat added.
One of these challenges is the issue of counterfeits. Mitsumi is working with SanDisk inregular partner interventions and meetings. This involves educating the partners on identifyingactualcounterfeit products, what areindeed channel products and the advantages in buying a genuine product, Jagat said. SanDisk, Jagat says, is a unique vendor that provides both bottom-line as well as top-line support, both very crucial components for business growth. “We were looking for a vendor who is very focused on Africa because we know Africa is a challenging market.
SanDisk has been very proactive in marketing in East Africa with extensive media advertising and campaigns. For Mitsumi, the path to market becomes that much easier. “SanDisk are a focused vendor and with these kinds of initiativesthe vendor is taking, it becomes easier for us as all we need is just to take the product and take them to market,” said Jagat.
March 2014 | The Integrator East Africa
2013 was important for Cursor’s African strategy with your products now available all throughout East Africa. Discuss the success so far We’ve appointed distributors in Africa and we are pursuing our presence in retail and B2B in those markets through them. Very important for the continent are logistics to make sure that our distributors have stock available at all times. The popularity of our brand is such that we’ve been able to create demand in many African countries. Your push into Africa is based on your new range of tablets launched last year. Discuss some of the key specs and features in these devices. We have started with two models, the 3G and the Pro series, both running on the latest Android Jelly Bean 4.2 software. The Pro Series is for business people who require high quality tablets to carry out their business with apps to match. These tablets havetop-notch touch capabilities and all the qualities of the leading brands. We are already
there. That is our main selling point. We do not go for common models but only unique models that no one else has in the GCC. Our Bluetooth speakers also include USB port and card readers as well. We already have two models out of the total 10 models we hope to have eventually. Next month, we are also planning to bring new UPS models in the market while we hope to add surveillance cameras in our portfolio in the near future. Discuss some of your partner enablement programmes to help your distributors expand into new horizons We assist our partners through marketing materials as well as marketing funds.Then it’s up to them to decide what type of marketing activities they want to do whether it is road shows or public brand launches depending on their own marketing plans.
Murali G. - MD, Cursor
What are the criteria for selecting
Course of Action Having signed a distributorship with top Kenyan-based African distributor Niti last year, mobility and accessories brand Cursor is looking to take its African vision to the next level in 2014 as Murali G, Cursor MD explains. seeing and filling orders coming in from our target group-the business community. Based on market feedback, customers’ first impressionsare of a solid-built product wrapped in an attractive design. The 3G modelson the other hand are the result of rising demand for 3G mobile devices. This tablet can also act as a phone compatible with WorldSIM. This model has shown significant interest especially in Africa. Also new for Cursor are Bluetooth speakers. Discuss some strong qualities for these as well Our new range of speakers, like our other products, is unique and not competing with other products out
The Integrator East Africa | March 2014
your distribution partners? We are very selective on giving distribution rights of our products and we won’t go with just anyone. We use the one country-one person model. This will help the distributor grow more because they do not have competition in their own domains with similar brands. The ideal distributor should have a distribution network in terms of adequate infrastructure. They also need to operate a network of service centres that can carry out service directly because they are in charge of R&M within our recommended turnaround time of one week. Discuss some key factors behind the continued success of the Cursor brand
despite its relatively short period of existence Our strategy is based on having a brand focus and service. Customers cannot get this from the no-brand models in the market. A decade ago competition was low and margins were high. Now it’s the reverse. That is why we are trying to emphasise on service as our main strategy in addition to our distribution model. The plan for 2014 is to sustain those gains we have made and then move to streamline business operations in those markets. The aim is to increase market share in those countries. We will also try to add more countries as well.
Malware seems to be everywhere and it’s incredibly challenging to combat. It can take many forms and is increasingly resistant to traditional approaches to detect and stop. Instead of relying on a single attack vector, malware will use whatever unprotected path exists to reach its target and accomplish its mission. Mosquitoes are quite similar. There are thousands of species and numerous ways to try to protect against them but each method has its limitations. You can’t walk around completely covered, sound waves and fans have mixed results and, increasingly, mosquitoes are developing resistance to many pesticides. Mosquitoes only need a very small gap in coverage to attack. Depending on the species, a bite can have serious health implications unless quickly diagnosed and treated. Malware is affecting more and
threats that combine several methods –for example, phishing, malware and hacking– are being used to introduce malware, embed the malware in networks, remain undetected for long periodsof time and steal data or disruptcritical systems. The evolving trends of mobility, cloud computing and collaborationare paving the way for new malware attacks we couldn’t have anticipated just a few years ago and that require new techniques to defend against. A growing attack vector, smartphones, tablets and other mobile deviceshave become essential business productivity tools. As their performance and roles in the workplace approach that of traditional desktop and laptop computers, it becomes even easier to design malwarefor them, and more fruitful.Theincreased use of mobile apps also creates opportunities for attackers.
Anthony Perridge - Channel Director, Sourcefire, EMEA
What do Malware and Mosquitoes Have in Common? More than You Might Think. By Anthony Perridge, EMEA Channel Director at Sourcefire, now a part of Cisco more organizations every day. According to the 2013 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, of the top 20 types of threat actions last year, malware is the most common methodused– at 10 – followed by hacking and social engineering. Increasingly, blended 22
The Integrator East Africa | March 2014
When users download mobile apps, they’reessentially putting a lightweight client on the endpoint and downloading code. Many users download mobile apps regularly without any thought to security, exposing the organization to greater risk.
Extending networks to include business partners and an increasing reliance onInternet service providers and hosting companies are prompting cybercriminals to harness the power of the Internet’s infrastructure, not just individual computers, to launch attacks.
"To address mounting complexity while detecting and stopping modern threats, you need an integrated system of agile and open platforms that cover the network, devices and the cloud and enable centralized monitoring and management."
Websites hosted on compromised servers are now acting as both a redirector (the intermediary inthe infection chain) and a malware repository.
adapt to meet the growing needs of your extended network, which now goes beyond the traditional perimeter to include endpoints, Examples include: email and web gateways, mobile • ‘Watering hole’ attacks targeting devices, virtual, data centres and specific industry-related the cloud. When evaluating websites to deliver malware your approach to security in • Malware delivered to users light of pervasive malware, seek legitimately browsing out solutions that addressthese mainstream websites daunting challenges: • Spam emails that appear to be sent by well-knowncompanies A greater attack surface but contain links to malicious sites To deal with ever-expanding • Third-party mobile applications attack vectors, you need visibility lacedwith malware and across the extended network with downloaded from popular contextual awareness. The more online marketplaces you can see, the more you can correlate seemingly benign events Traditional defences are no longer and apply intelligence to identify effective in helping organizations and stop threats, for example deal with today’s cybersecurity detectingzero-day‘unknown’ challenges including a greater malware that might enter through attack surface, the growing email or the web and taking action. proliferation and sophistication of attack models and increasing Growing proliferation and complexity with networks. sophistication of attack Technologies to protect against models threats must continue to evolve Policies and controls are important and become as pervasive as the to reduce the surface area of attacks they are combatting. It’s attack but threats still get through. more imperative than ever to find A laser-focus on detecting and the right threat-centric security understanding threats after they solutions that can work in your have moved into the network or current environment and can easily between endpoints is critical to
stopping them and minimizing damage. With advanced malware and zero-day attacks this is an ongoing process that requires continuous analysis and real-time global threat intelligence that is shared across all products for improved efficacy.
Increasing complexity of the network
Networks aren’t going to get any simpler and neither will attacks. You can’t keep adding technologies without shared visibility or controls.To address mounting complexity while detecting and stopping modern threats, you need an integrated system of agile and open platforms that cover the network, devices and the cloud and enable centralized monitoring and management. Like mosquitoes, malware is everywhere and is a formidable adversary. I don’t have great insights into what’s happening on the mosquito-fighting front. But I can say that the best minds in the cyber security industry are focused on the malware problem. Next week’s RSA Conference USA 2014 will be a great opportunity to start to assess the state of the industry and its progress in helping you deal with pervasive malware. March 2014 | The Integrator East Africa
XTOUCH X1 MiniSmartphone
I reviewed theXTOUCH F72 7 inch Tablet a few months ago and was impressed with the ambitions of this emerging brand. The latest gadget from the company to come through my desk, the X1 Mini, simply reinforces that first impression. The X1 Mini is an entry-level Android phone capitalizing on the market for small-sized value smartphones as these gadgets become larger and more complicated. The X1 Mini’s motto is “for the colourful life” and it’s easy to see why. The handset I gotis in brilliant green with other colour options being bright yellows, reds, blues and glossy black and white. The phone is light and thin, partly due to the In-Cell touch display technologyXTOUCHuses in the manufacturing process. In-Cell involves reducing the number of layers in the display which ultimately leads to
The Integrator East Africa | March 2014
a reduction in the size and thickness of the device.The screen also does great in bright daylight with visibility little affected even in the sunny weather of the Middle East. There are only two openings on the exterior-the charging and headphone jack. Sim card and microSD slots are buried inside the back cover. Only the power and volume buttons on the right break the smooth façade. There are also no physical or capacitive control buttons with all navigation on the screen. You can ditch the second handset with the Mini as the phone has dual-sim capabilities for GSM and WCDMA mobile networks. The X1 Mini comes with a removable battery, a rarity these days of in-built batteries, but with the advantage of replacing the battery if that’s all you need to swap.
The Mini is powered by ARMs
1.2GHz dual-core Cortex processor and Android’s JellyBean 4.2. The screen was responsive and preinstalled games loaded fast and played at optimal mode. The battery, at 1800mAH, is at the low-end of the power scale for smartphones, but the phone is small so a full 24hrs between recharges was not an issue with medium to high usage. The 5.0MP camera will take some good high resolution images and videos which you can store in the 4GB in-built memory. Again, 4GB is not a lot of storage these days but luckily you can upgrade this via a microSD card. The microSD slot is accessed by opening the back panel, a positioning that seems rather odd.
If competition is brutal on the highend of the smartphone market, it’s vicious at the entry-level. XTOUCH is making a serious effort to prove that there’s room for well-built smartphones for a relatively modest price. The AED439price tag gets you a colourful feature-rich smartphone from a company on the ascendancy. Removable battery and dual sim add extra attributes to the phone.
Lenovo ThinkPad 8 The ThinkPad 8 from Lenovo is a professional-ready premium 8-inch tablet constructed of machine-cut aluminium. The compact ThinkPad 8 caters to those who want a more portable device without sacrificing the ability to connect to a keyboard and display for a full PC experience. Customers can use it in Tablet Mode on the go. Connect it to the optional keyboard base, dock or monitor for Desktop Mode or flip its optional Quickshot Cover over the tablet to convert into Tent Mode. Key Features: • Bright 8.3-inch 1920x1200 display and transfer them wirelessly using • Miracast technology for wireless transfer • Micro HDMI port • Intel Bay Trail Quad Core processor • Up to 128GB of storage • Full Windows8 Pro experience for professional applications
Linksys Wireless-N600 Dual Band Access Point with PoE (LAPN600) Linksys has announced the expansion of its business networking line-up with the first of its business grade wireless access points including the Wireless-N600 Dual Band Access Point with PoE (LAPN600). The new access points are ideal for businesses to deploy a fast, highly secure and reliable wireless network or to upgrade an existing wireless infrastructure. The new access points can be deployed as an access point, or range extender. The Linksys Wireless-N Access Points can be deployed as a Wi-Fi access point or range extender to connect notebooks, smartphones, tablets, and other Wi-Fi devices to the network and the Internet.
Key Features: • For desktop use or mounted to a wall or ceiling. • Dual Band (2.4Ghz + 5Ghz) with speeds up to 300Mbps + 300Mbps • Band Steering support for optimal performance • Supports Access Point, and Range Extender mode • Advanced Security: • Gigabit Ethernet port • IPv6 support
TP-LINK 24-Port Gigabit Smart PoE Switch The TL-SG2424P provides 24 10/100/1000Mbps ports that supports 802.3at/af-compliant PoE, with a total PoE power supply up to 180W, powerful and flexible enough for users to deploy wireless access points or IP-based network surveillance cameras. The switch also comes equipped with 4 combo SFP slots, expanding your network flexibly. In addition, it provides high performance, enterprise-level QoS, useful security strategies and rich layer 2 management features. With all these advanced features, the Gigabit Smart PoE Switch is an ideal choice for small and medium business networking.
Key Features: • IEEE 802.3at/af-compliant Power over Ethernet • Integrated security strategy • Optimized voice and video applications • Abundant in-built management features
March 2014 | The Integrator East Africa
Stats & trends
East Africa PC market rallies as Kenya's new VAT begins to bite PC shipments to East Africa increased 3.0% year on year in the final quarter of 2013 to total 140,251 units, according to the latest insights from global market research and advisory firm International Data Corporation (IDC). Strong gains in the markets of Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia helped offset the poor performance seen in Kenya, where the introduction of new VAT legislation resulted in a significant downturn in PC shipments. Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda all performed much more strongly, recording impressive year-on-year PC shipment growth of 31.7%, 18.7%, and 20.1%, respectively, thanks to an improved and continually expanding business environment and increased consumer spending. Shipments of desktop PCs to East Africa declined to 48,652 units, down 3.3% year on year, which is on par with the worldwide trend of consumers shifting to portable PCs due to their inherent mobility benefits. However, IDC expects the share of so-called 'all-in-one' (AIO) desktop PCs in the region's overall market to improve tremendously during 2014 as more vendors begin to compete in
this category, thereby driving prices down to more affordable levels for the consumer segment. According to IDC, portable PC shipments to the region were up 6.8% year on year in Q4 2013 to 91,599 units. However, this rate of growth was slower than expected as Samsung opted to reduce its shipments into East Africa amid a change in business model that will see the vendor increase its focus on high-margin PC products, smartphones, and tablets. This new approach has been heavily influenced by the cutthroat competition that exists in the consumer portable PC segment, where margins are very low and consumers are increasingly shifting to tablets. Looking forward, IDC expects government sector spending on IT in Kenya to be hit hard in 2014 following a recent Treasury directive to all government departments to freeze all purchases of computer equipment, among other things, in an attempt to cut costs. However, this will not affect donor-funded government ICT initiatives or the laptop project for Class One pupils.
UC, Collaboration Solutions set for expansion in Kenya, IDC says More than 40% of businesses in Kenya are planning to deploy unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solutions over the next three years, according to the latest insights from global IT market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC). Referencing its 'Unified Communications Trends, Priorities and Insights in Kenya 2013 Survey Results' report, IDC said it expected the adoption of unified communications technologies to increase over the coming years as enterprises transform their businessto-business (B2B) and business-toconsumer (B2C) models in order to exploit the opportunities offered by these solutions. Despite the positive outlook, the uptake of UCC has yet to fully mature as a key communications tool for many Kenyan businesses. As such, IDC believes IT vendors and solutions providers should not only push increased efficiency and improved productivity as the main value propositions of UCC, but also engage in more challenging tasks â€“ such as clearly quantifying the net ROI for organizations that adopt their UCC solutions. IDC identified Cisco and Microsoft as the leading vendors for UCC in Kenya, while Kore expects other players such as Avaya to make a big push for more market share in the UCC space in 2014, particularly through their next-generation contact centres and other business collaboration solutions.
The Integrator East Africa | March 2014
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