IDC concludes SMB roadshow in Dubai

IDC concluded its inaugural regional SMB tour in Dubai today, the last in a round of six events to help vendors get closer to their customers and channels in the Middle East.

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By  Andy Tillett Published  February 27, 2006

IDC concluded its inaugural regional SMB tour in Dubai today, the last in a round of six events to help vendors get closer to their customers and channels in the Middle East. “The UAE event has been very SMB focused, differing from some of the other events where there has been more of a partner focus. In Jordan for example we met a lot of channel partners, but here it is very much about the end user. This is also probably the largest meeting. From the questions that we have had in the forum and all of the enquiries that we get after the show, it shows we are getting through to people,” said Ghassan Lababidi, marketing manager, Middle East at Trend Micro. Companies from across the Emirates attended the SMB roadshow to learn about how IT can work for them, dealing with vendors and the strategies to take when planning IT spending on a limited budget. “Our travel agency is a government department with 20 to 25 workstations and servers as well as an online portal. I’m not really an IT guy, so today has really helped me understand more about what [IT] we need. Corporate investment is rising and many companies are establishing remote offices with increased links to their larger operations outside. Therefore IT is of increasing criticality,” said Saboor A. Noor, general manager at Ranta, Ras Al Khaimah National Travel Agency. Muzaffar A. Soofi, general manager at regional branch of cosmetics and perfumes distributor Marques De Prestige Universel, agreed. “We are looking for an ERP solution to help streamline our back of house processes. This sort of event has helped to understand out own IT needs better.” Representatives from Trend Micro, Hitachi Data Systems, Acer, Emirates Computers, Nortel Networks, Cisco, Symantec, Epicor Scala and IDC were present at the roadshow, with the majority of these vendors giving presentations. “This is a good event, there’s a good turnout and a lot of information, but a lot of the attendees aren’t quite right for us. There are a lot of very small companies, some people who don’t really have the scale for the portfolio that we are offering,” said John Bentley, sales director for Hitachi Data Systems Middle East. IDC has hailed the roadshow, and particularly its turnout, a success. With more attention on the region from the research house, we may hopefully soon see its information figures for the Middle East become more specific, such as breakdowns country-by-country. This will give a clearer picture of the state of the market. Such moves can only be driven alongside co-operation from companies working in the markets and a push for financial transparency. These are all campaigns supported and pro-actively encouraged by Channel Middle East.

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