AMD targets Middle East channel expansion

Gaith Kadir, Middle East and Africa manager at AMD, claims to have seen ‘great momentum’ in terms of the number of channel partners wanting to initiate relationships with the vendor during the last six weeks. The interested parties include at least one Intel authorised distributor in the region according to Kadir.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  June 20, 2006

Gaith Kadir, Middle East and Africa manager at AMD, claims to have seen ‘great momentum’ in terms of the number of channel partners wanting to initiate relationships with the vendor during the last six weeks. The interested parties include at least one Intel authorised distributor in the region according to Kadir. “In terms of the second tier resellers and system builders, we have seen great momentum in the last six to eight weeks,” explained Kadir, speaking late last week. “They are calling AMD and looking to set up meetings. Just four or five days ago I met with one of Intel’s distributors that expressed an interest in doing business with AMD because they can make money with us. They want to do business with AMD because we have a clear technical advantage and we treat our partners with respect.” AMD currently works through a number of master distributors carrying its products in the Middle East including Almasa, Annex (part of the Sahara Group), Avnet and Thacker. Each one of these distributors has its own base of channel partners in place. “Our objective is to help the master distributors achieve sell-out and at the same time we are focusing on our relationship with the second-tier resellers — the tier two level that is close to the end-users,” added Kadir. “We want to be involved with the entire AMD channel ecosystem. The minute that you stop your involvement at a certain point there is a disconnect and this can create problems. If one layer of the channel is unhappy but you are only focusing higher up the chain, you will not understand why.” Given the recent problems regarding Intel’s channel policies in the region, which culminated in a series of financial collapses for three of the vendor’s significant Dubai-based sub-distributors, AMD appears keen to capitalise on any lingering fear, uncertainty or doubt in the market. “We always encourage partners to sell both Intel and AMD,” explained Kadir. “We’re not asking them to drop Intel and only sell AMD — it is extremely important to us that partners offer a choice to the end-user.” “It is a balance to make sure that resellers are in the business of making money, not just moving product,” continued Kadir. “We want to make sure that the channel is making money because if a channel is not profitable it collapses, and that is what we have seen recently.” “It collapsed because the competition started dumping stale products in the market,” Kadir added. “They announced earlier this year that they had US$3.6 billion of inventory that they wanted to reduce and they dumped it in the market, forced people to carry it and stuffed the channel.” AMD has had some notable successes in recent months, including the creation of a relationship with DTK Computer. Kadir claims that customer choice, partner profitability and end-user education remain the top priorities for AMD in the region. “It is confusing for the competitor’s channel,” he continued. “Should they buy today or wait until tomorrow when there will be another price cut? And again the end-user is still very educated because he realises that these prices have been dropping, but in some cases these are old technologies and they are using the Middle East as a dumping ground.” “They are dumping technology because as they said they have US$3.6 billion of inventory that they want to get rid of at any cost — and they are causing pain because customers are not buying the story and it is confusing the whole channel,” continued Kadir. “AMD will keep its focus on customers and on helping to drive the value chain, helping companies grow and maintain leadership in the market. And we will focus on the technology itself, not just the marketing. It comes back to listening to partners, treating them with respect, giving them a choice and giving them the opportunity to run a profitable business,” Kadir concluded.

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