IBM addresses partners on Lenovo at BPEC

IBM gave Middle East business partners the lowdown on its deal with Lenovo at its third annual BPEC conference yesterday. Key speakers, including Milko Van Duijl, vice president of IBM's Personal Computing Division EMEA, addressed more than 200 partners from across the region.

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By  Andy Tillett Published  April 7, 2005

IBM gave Middle East business partners the lowdown on its deal with Lenovo at its annual Middle East Business Partner Executive Conference (BPEC). IBM was keen to re-assure attendees that the present situation with Lenovo means no change to Middle East policy. The conference took place at the Jumeirah Beach hotel, Dubai, from April 5-6. Over 200 delegates representing IBM partners from across the entire Middle East met for their annual update on IBM’s programmes and activities. Milko Van Duijl, vice president of IBM's Personal Computing Division, Europe Middle East and Africa spoke on the Lenovo deal. “Lenovo are very sensible business people. The majority of the executives are still the IBM executives; Lenovo haven’t just come in and said ‘lets do everything differently.’ They’ve asked ‘what can we do to grow?’ So that’s the kind of climate it is. We’re taking it one step at a time.” The conference also put a strong focus on the IBM PartnerWorld programme, which launched in this region last year and has since seen over 400 businesses sign up. Mourad Zohny, business partner organisation (BPO) manager, IBM Middle East, Egypt and Pakistan, was the local host of the conference. “The feedback from the partners, particularly in our training and services sections, has been very positive. We are in the process of assessing all of the companies and awarding premium business partner levels to a number of our partners in this area who have performed well.” Any company can join with IBM in its PartnerWorld programme. Registry is simple and can be done online. The scheme offers a large database of information and provides tools for education and training that can help partners improve their business and their customer satisfaction. The first day of the conference looked at big blue’s global and Middle East strategy, including programmes aimed at Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and System Integrators (SIs). The second day looked at Lenovo in the morning and split into two different sessions in the afternoon; one looking at hardware, the other software. The networking conference also hosted key speakers such as Simon Porter, vice president, computer services industry, IBM EMEA; Baba Zoumanigui, vice president, data management solutions, IBM EMEA software group and Bashar Kilani, software group manager, IBM Middle East, Egypt and Pakistan.

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