EMC targets tier two

Storage solutions giant EMC plans to ramp up the recruitment of second-tier channel partners in the Middle East during 2005.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  March 15, 2005

Storage solutions giant EMC plans to ramp up the recruitment of second-tier channel partners in the Middle East during 2005. Already holding a strong position in the region’s enterprise storage market, EMC wants to replicate that success in the commercial and SMB customer space. Dejan Popovic, Eastern Europe, Middle East and South Africa channel manager at EMC, explained: “If we look at the market segments we believe that we already have very good coverage of the enterprise market in the Middle East through our existing partners. However, there is a clear need for storage solutions in the commercial and SMB segments and this is where we are engaging with distribution partners StorIT and Magirus to recruit additional resellers to cover this space.” EMC’s current partner landscape in the Middle East includes relationships with global OEM partners such as Dell and Fujitsu Siemens, regional integrators including STME and ITS as well as specialist in-country partners such as Giza Systems in Egypt, Intracom in Jordan, MDS in the UAE and Matco and Ebtikar in Saudi Arabia. EMC currently has approximately 30 second tier partners across the region and expects that number to increase significantly during 2005. “Magirus is now becoming an active distribution partner for EMC in the Middle East,” said Qais Gharaibeh, EMC’s Middle East partner sales manager. “Right now, Magirus is building up its EMC-focused resources and is working on the recruitment of second tier resellers that can represent EMC in the region.” Signing up additional partners is just one part of the overall EMC Middle East channel proposition. Ensuring that these partners are trained, highly skilled and capable of taking EMC solutions to the market in a proactive manner is vitally important. Existing partners recently gathered in Dubai for extensive technical and sales training, which included advice on how to take the information lifecycle management (ILM) concept to market. “When we sign up partners we need to make sure that they are self-sufficient in terms of addressing the majority of the sales cycle without requiring EMC resources at every customer meeting,” continued Gharaibeh. “It is all about the perceived value add that the customer receives,” said Popovic. “We want to make sure that ILM is offered to the customers in the best way possible and that EMC is presented as the total solution provider.” While EMC is keen to increase its channel breadth in the region, it remains committed to partner profitability and ensuring that over-distribution does not occur. However, with investment in storage solutions continuing to gather momentum in the Middle East, clear opportunities exist for resellers looking to diversify their business focus. “There is a great deal of interest from traditional partners in selling servers and storage,” continued Popovic. “Many are starting to view the servers as commodity products as the infrastructure complexity moves into the storage area incorporating technologies such as storage area networks (SAN). This is where ILM concepts can be implemented at not only an infrastructure level but also at the application level.” More than 50 delegates from the regional EMC partner community attended EMC’s latest series of training seminars. With second tier channel recruitment a major focus for 2005 and beyond in the Middle East, this number looks set to rise dramatically.

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