Comstor gets into its stride with programme launches

Networking distributor Comstor has formally announced the launch of its reseller channel programmes in the Middle East following its recent arrival in the region. The company has spent the past two months setting up operations in Dubai after answering Cisco’s call to boost its distribution coverage in the Gulf.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  January 31, 2007

Networking distributor Comstor has formally announced the launch of its reseller channel programmes in the Middle East following its recent arrival in the region. The company has spent the past two months setting up operations in Dubai after answering Cisco’s call to boost its distribution coverage in the Gulf. Resellers in the Middle East will now be able to access Comstor’s solutions-driven OneVoice and OneDefense programmes, which have proved highly successful in the European market. The Cisco-centric programmes are designed to empower resellers in the convergence and security fields by giving them access to a range of sales, marketing and technical tools. Both initiatives feature a dedicated portal containing selling guides, product information and positioning tools, as well as information relating to the convergence and security sectors. The schemes depend heavily on the relationships that the distributor enjoys with vendors which fit into an overall Cisco solution. It is not yet clear which manufacturers it is authorised to work with in the Middle East, but in Europe it relies on vendors such as Aladdin, APC, Netasq and SafeBoot in terms of security and Citrix, PowerDsine and Plantronics on the convergence side. “The value we offer as a distributor is expressed through our OneVoice and One Defense programmmes, which are in high-demand internationally,” claimed Willem de Haan, VP business development at Comstor parent Westcon Group. “These programmes provide resellers with a single access point for training, sales tools, product support, and other important aspects to help them achieve success. We believe that Middle Eastern resellers stand to benefit a great deal from these programmes and we look forward to building many mutually profitable relationships,” he added. De Haan has been overseeing Comstor’s new regional set-up and will continue to serve as the company’s frontman in the Middle East until ex-Tech Data Middle East chief Steve Lockie takes over on May 1st. The prospect of introducing the OneDefense and OneVoice programmes to Middle East resellers appears to have been a major factor in Cisco’s decision to award Comstor Gulf distribution rights. The schemes will strengthen the networking vendor’s push into the advanced technologies space, which Channel Middle East understands now accounts for between 30% and 35% of its regional sales. “Comstor has a number of programmes that are geared towards advanced technologies so you can expect a drive into that area,” confirmed Dorian Breakspear-Coyle, regional distribution manager for Cisco MEA. “It is not traditionally an area for our distributors, although a number of distributors have been specialising in voice and security. We are keen to use these types of programmes because they perfectly mirror the programmes in existence already.” The arrival of Comstor has added an extra dimension to the Cisco Middle East distribution market, which until now has been carved up by Logicom and Azlan — the enterprise arm of Tech Data. Breakspear-Coyle insists there is plenty of room for all three to operate, however. “Comstor is a specialised distributor and it respects that,” he said. “It carries Cisco as its main vendor and other vendors in its portfolio are complementary to Cisco. Clearly that’s going to give it a focus. It’s not going to bite into the other vendor business of the distributors that could be considered broadline. For example, it is not selling laptops or components, so I think it will actually complement the landscape rather than have any adverse effects,” he concluded. Bringing Comstor on board caps a hectic period for Cisco’s regional channel team, which has been working hard to develop its distribution network. In the last six months it has also appointed Redington to serve the Nigerian market and named TD, Afimex and Coast Data as new distributors in various territories of emerging Africa.

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