Seagate makes Mindware move

Seagate has lined up Mindware to join its channel ranks as a regional distributor. The hard drive vendor has also appointed Ziad Abou Rahal as its dedicated channel manager for the Middle East and Africa.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  May 21, 2005

Seagate has lined up Mindware to join its channel ranks as a regional distributor. The hard drive vendor has also appointed Ziad Abou Rahal as its dedicated channel manager for the Middle East and Africa. “Seagate operates a policy of distributor segmentation and we do not give all our products to every distributor we work with,” explained Gulfem Cakmakci, senior channel sales manager for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa at Seagate. “Mindware will start selling the personal and enterprise storage products before they begin stocking the retail-focused products. Logicom was awarded regional rights across the Middle East for retail-focused products last quarter.” The appointment of Rahal and the expansion of Seagate’s distribution network are both designed to increase the vendor’s local presence in key markets across the region. “We have eSys as a distributor and it does a great job but it is regionally focused,” explained Cakmakci. “With the new distributors we are looking to capitalise on local presence in markets where Seagate currently has limited market share such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia.” Rahal continued: “These are two major countries that I will be focusing on. It is a challenge but we can use the presence of the new distributors and their local stocking points and really get out there and meet the channel.” As part of its channel drive, Seagate will also look to increase its interaction with second tier resellers and local PC assemblers. “There are two programmes that we will look to launch in the region,” said Cakmakci. “We have a channel OEM programme but do not have any partners in the Middle East for this yet. It is a good chance to identify them and sign them up.” “The second scheme is the Seagate Resource Partner programme that gives second tier resellers the opportunity to earn rebates direct from Seagate when they buy through distribution. We have not signed resellers up for this yet but one of Ziad’s roles will be to identify the appropriate companies,” she added. Developing the channel-to-market for Seagate’s retail-focused offering including external hard drives is also high on the Middle East and Africa agenda for 2005. “We announced new retail products a couple of quarters ago and they have been selling really well in mature markets such as the UK and Germany. We see an excellent opportunity to sign up more retailers in this region,” said Cakmakci. “The packaging of the retail products is excellent and we feel that branding is as important as the design. In mature markets we have already started working with retailers on in-store displays for Seagate products and this is something that will come to this region eventually as well,” she concluded.

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