AMD adds Almasa to boost distribution line-up

Components vendor AMD has confirmed the appointment of Almasa IT Distribution as a master distributor in the Middle East. Under the terms of the deal, Almasa will purchase directly from AMD and will join the vendor’s existing Middle East distribution line-up, which includes Thacker, Sahara and Golden Systems.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  December 12, 2005

Components vendor AMD has confirmed the appointment of Almasa IT Distribution as a master distributor in the Middle East. Under the terms of the deal, Almasa will purchase directly from AMD and will join the vendor’s existing Middle East distribution line-up, which includes Thacker, Sahara and Golden Systems. “Our existing partners are all doing a great job but not necessarily giving us enough access to all the small dealers and players in the market in terms of offering them credit lines, training and marketing assistance,” explained Pierre Brunswick, sales and marketing VP CIS and MEA at AMD. “Almasa matches this segment of the market perfectly and increases our channel bandwidth in the region.” “You can always say that when you add a distributor there is some overlap with existing partners,” he added. “Our role as a vendor is to make sure that the overlap is minimal and the distributors provide the maximum channel bandwidth. If you look at the competency of each of our distributors the overlap is small, and together they are really offering what AMD had previously been lacking in the region.” Golden Systems currently purchases from global AMD master distributor Avnet, while Sahara’s Middle East operation purchases through its South African operation, which also holds master distributor status. Thacker operates as a master distributor in the Middle East supplying a number of customers including assembly operation Sky. “Sahara works hard to push its own PCs and also offers PIBs to customers,” continued Brunswick. “Sky and Thacker play a vital role offering the market pre-designed solutions. In terms of adding value as a partner, Sky is very important because they always have the latest technology available and can supply AMD solutions to other partners in the region.” Brunswick reckons that AMD’s potential for market share growth in the Middle East means that its distributors are able to concentrate on winning new accounts for the vendor as opposed to fighting each other. The vendor is also committed to setting reasonable targets for its regional distribution partners. “If distributors are forced to sell outside the region they have rights for it is mainly the fault of the vendor,” added Brunswick. “If a vendor gives you targets that are too high, you have no other choice than to be creative. We do the opposite. We set the forecasts in close conjunction with the distributor and plan on a country-by-country basis in terms of recruiting resellers, training and education.” AMD is convinced that channel and customer education is the best way to increase its sales in the MEA region, boost its market share and break Intel’s strong grip on the market. “We are doing everything that we can to educate people,” added Brunswick. “How fast people respond is not a factor that I can control. In Russia, we trained and educated people and gave them the freedom of choice. As soon as people understood the technology differences in terms of what they are buying and what they are paying, we started to win accounts.” “In this market the adoption is slower. Is it an education problem? Is it outstanding marketing from the competition? We don’t understand why people are paying more for products that do less and have a higher cost of ownership,” he concluded.

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