Redington bags Microsoft rights in Saudi Arabia

Redington has been appointed as a fourth Microsoft distributor in Saudi Arabia alongside AIM, Aptec and MSO.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  March 16, 2005

Redington has been appointed as a fourth Microsoft distributor in Saudi Arabia alongside AIM, Aptec and MSO. The latest addition to Microsoft’s distribution ranks plans to target its strong existing network of HP-focused corporate resellers as a route-to-market. Aswani Kumar, business manager at Redington Gulf, explained: “Microsoft wants us to look at new markets that build on what is being covered right now. What we see at the moment is business concentrated on the major cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Khobar. We will look at building sales across all territories in the Kingdom.” Redington holds Microsoft distribution rights in Oman and Yemen and is also the software giant’s top distributor in India. With a significant presence on the ground in Saudi Arabia, a central stocking point and offices in Riyadh, Jeddah and Khobar, Redington believes that securing Microsoft rights has opened up a wealth of opportunities. “Microsoft is another major brand in our portfolio and it will add value to the dealings that partners have with Redington in Saudi Arabia,” continued Kumar. “Microsoft products can be sold straight away through our HP channel. Adding Microsoft will also attract new resellers to work with Redington and we believe that our channel breadth will increase significantly.” While Redington does not distribute components in Saudi Arabia, it already has a customer base of local assemblers purchasing HP peripherals and supplies. These too will be targeted as a potential route-to-market for Microsoft software. With Microsoft carrying out detailed audits of its distributors in the Middle East, the timing of its latest appointment in the Kingdom does raise questions concerning the vendor’s overall distribution strategy in the region. At present, no distributors have been dropped in the region despite Microsoft UK’s claim that UK reseller ITAC had purchased software from a ‘rogue authorised distributor’ based in the Middle East. Legal action is ongoing between the two parties and Microsoft Middle East has so far offered no details on the source of the software or the findings of its distributor audit. Kumar has his own theory on Microsoft’s long-term strategy: “It may be the case that Microsoft is looking at some form of consolidation of its distributors…It is happening across the world in the distribution space. If you look at India there are only two Microsoft distributors now: Redington and Ingram Micro.” Whether or not there will be any more changes in Microsoft’s Middle East distribution landscape remains to be seen.

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