Sophos strikes Al Adeeb deal

Antivirus software vendor Sophos is looking to break into the Middle East market by striking a deal with master distributor Al Adeeb. They are now looking for partnerships with resellers and integrators to push their products to market.

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By  Andy Tillett Published  April 4, 2005

Antivirus software vendor Sophos has launched its products in the Middle East through master distributor Al Adeeb. The move builds on a close working relationship between the vendor and the distributor’s associate company in the UK. Al Adeeb is looking to forge deals with resellers and integrators across the GCC, Iran and Lebanon. Its target customers are businesses which have between 50 and 10,000 employees in both private and government sectors. Sophos see its software as having great potential for resellers. “It’s sold on a renewable licence basis. So it is not software you buy once and use for the next ten years. It has to be updated all the time. That creates tremendous opportunities for the channel in not only getting recurring revenue but also displacing competition.” Says Jan Hruska, CEO of Sophos. Al Adeeb are operating a three tier partnership strategy, comprising of certified partners, partners and resellers. To qualify as a certified partner, resellers must be committed on the technical side of the business and offer both training and first level support. Margins range from 10-25%, but Hruska points out that partners also gain from licence renewals. “The important thing for channel partners who don’t understand the renewal business is the recurring revenue. It takes time to understand, but once they see it they have a smile,” says Huskra. Although new to the Middle East, Sophos has been in operation since 1985, and has a worldwide presence. Hruska cites Sophos’ advantage over its competitors as the fact it only deals with businesses. “Most of the time you don’t notice antivirus technology but when there is a virus outbreak you need an immediate response. If you are servicing home users as well as businesses, you have millions of users who need a fast response. We have tens of thousands of companies, so we can offer a speedier response,” he explains.

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