Senao plans channel boost

Taiwanese networking vendor Senao plans further Middle East channel expansion through distributors offering the full gamut of volume and value skills.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  June 6, 2004

Taiwanese wireless networking products vendor Senao expects to strengthen its channels-to-market in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar in the coming months. Tessy Mary Skariah, regional sales executive at Senao, explains the game plan: “Senao works closely with select distributors and gives some exclusive rights for specific products in a country or territory. Senao is looking to further develop its channels into Kuwait and Qatar and we are also looking seriously at Lebanon.” Given the breadth of Senao’s product offering — ranging from basic wireless interface PC cards right through to long-range outdoor wireless routers and bridges — the company needs distributors with a broad range of skills and a variety of resell channels in place. As well as volume products going through distribution into the retail and SOHO channels, Senao has also cultivated partnerships with systems integrators and IT services companies capable of high-end wireless deployment projects for corporate customers. “It is important that distributors have strong technical skills and the ability to participate in tenders and projects where resellers need some additional skills brought in,” says Skariah. “We look for partners that can sell the wireless home networking kit through retail channels but also sell the outdoor products at the high-end too.” Finding focused distributors prepared to commit to one vendor in the wireless networking space — especially at the consumer and SOHO level — can prove a challenge. With an increasing number of vendors including names such as 3Com, Belkin, D-Link, Linksys, SMC and Symbol actively targeting the sector, there is not always enough quality channel partners to go around. “It is not always easy to find a distributor with all these skills,” concedes Skariah. “But we can negotiate with them on services and margins, support them with incentives and jointly participate with them at exhibitions.” The sheer number of vendors working in the wireless networking kit space makes channel strength a key differentiator in the market place. “There are many vendors operating in the same space and obviously brand name plays a role,” says Skariah. “Senao has done well in the last two years and competes well on price. We also have features that make a difference such as the strong output power of our wireless products. Some products for wireless home networks in the market do not have the output strength required to penetrate concrete walls.” With so many wireless networking kit vendors keen to flesh out channels-to-market in the Middle East, intense demand for highly developed distributors with the right skill sets shows no signs of waning.

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