eChannel 19 October 2003

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By  Mark Sutton Published  October 18, 2003

editorial|~||~||~|Selling Linux to the channel

Linux has been bubbling under as a technology for a while now, and although it has been a long time coming, it seems that finally open source operating systems may be about to come of age.

Adoption of open source is growing across the region, in governments, in corporations and in the education sector, as more and more users look to gain the benefits of Linux.

For banks, the attraction is in stability and reliability, advanced users in oil & gas are looking for high performance, and for all users, especially those in the more cost-conscious education sector, the low total cost of ownership is proving to be a convincing selling point.

The necessary skills resources to manage and support Linux are also in place, thanks to the efforts of corporations such as IBM to work with universities and colleges, and also thanks to the hard work of various user groups that have spread the word about open source, and driven the Arabisation efforts that make Linux a genuine solution for the Middle East.

With such high level adopters as Aramco, Standard Chartered Bank and the Government of Bahrain, Linux can no longer be passed off as untried or unsupported. The graduates coming out of universities in Jordan, Egypt and other countries in the region are certified and ready to build on Linux. For corporates, open source is looking more and more like a good buy.

But is Linux just an option for corporates, or will it make an impact for SMBs too? The seeds are being sown—eSys is promoting Linux based PCs at a very attractive price point, and is making an effort to educate partners on the benefits of the operating system.

Now HP says it is considering Linux solutions for the Middle East market, not just for larger organisations, but for the SMBs as well. The company already has some Linux solutions for SMBs in Europe, and now it is considering ways to drive Linux to regional SMBs as well. Of course, to do this, HP needs to leverage its main selling route—its channel partners. If the partners can be convinced of the value of Linux, not just in terms of a low TCO for customers, but also in the add-on services sale, then Linux could be a winning sell.

At present, it is only at the stage of initial planning, but if a market leader like HP can decide that it is time to investigate the open source market, then it looks very much like 2004 could be the year for Linux in the Middle East.

||**||news|~||~||~|Veritas launches 1st end-user certification programme

Coinciding with the announcement of its new training facility in the UAE, Veritas is set to launch the company’s first end-user certification programme in the Middle East.

The end-user certification programme is designed to help companies better manage the performance and availability of critical business applications through in-depth training on Veritas storage management software.

Targeted at the growing community of storage architects in the Middle East, certification exams will be offered at more than 60 testing centres in seven countries across the Middle East.

The end-user certification programme introduces professional certification tracks that include rigorous testing for job tasks performed by most system administrators. These job tasks were identified through an extensive analysis conducted in real-world IT environments deploying Veritas storage software. Initial offerings include a data protection track for both Unix and Windows, with a high availability track soon to follow.

“Certification status is becoming an increasingly vital benchmark for both individuals and companies in the region’s storage sector. The willingness to invest time and resources in the necessary training and testing signifies real commitment to enhanced storage skills, and delivers greater security to the end-user community,” said Mike Hynes, regional director, Veritas Middle East.

“The Veritas end-user certification programme is an endorsement of the knowledge and skills an IT administrator must possess in order to successfully manage storage solutions. We’re proud to set the standard of professional performance in the Middle East through the Veritas Certified Professional Programme.”

The Veritas Certified Professional Programme was introduced by the company last year, offering partner certification for data protection and high availability software. The number of certified professionals worldwide is now 1,576 and more than 960 individual partners achieving certification in 29 countries worldwide including Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia.

The end-user certification exams will be available globally beginning May 5. For full information see the company's website.

IBM CIO Forum Kicks Off in Dubai

As a pre Gitex warm up, IBM is hosting over 100 of the leading players in corporate technology deployment in Dubai as part of the CIO forum, held in conjunction with its partners Gulf Business Machines (GBM) and Saudi Business Machines (SBM).

The CIO Forum plays host to chief information officers from some of the Middle East’s leading government and corporate entities converging on Dubai just before the Gitex 2003 exhibition.

“The CIO Forum is a two-day event that aims to share case studies, best practices and visionary technologies with top IBM customers and other top CIOs in the Middle East region. We’ve fielded a really strong team from IBM’s EMEA and worldwide operations so that we are able to share some strong strategic viewpoints and present a truly valid forward path with the Middle East’s leading technology users,” said Samer Shaar, GM of IBM Middle East and North Africa.

Among those addressing the event will be Rob Lamb, IBM director of worldwide sales for Linux, Peter Prestele, IBM VP of Business Integration and Mark Latchford, VP of Lotus EMEA. The CIO Forum will also feature case studies from leading users of advanced technology infrastructure in the Middle East region, including Bahrain’s Central Informatics Organisation, Qatar e-Government, Standard Chartered Bank, Kuwait Oil Company and Riyadh Bank.

“The CIO Forum case studies represent some amazing, pioneering work by some of the region’s leading corporate and government entities. We’re hoping that the mixture of future vision and trailblazing technology deployments will inspire and challenge our audience at the Forum, and drive some strong debate during the panel and Q&A sessions,” said Shaar. “IBM has invested significantly to ensure that the CIO Forum is an event where enterprise technology users can truly find answers to their strategic questions.”

CIOs from across the Middle East will see demonstrations and debate around issues facing today’s technology users in an open systems environment, including sessions on Linux support, security and Arabic, Linux safety and Linux trends and directions, as well as case studies of leading deployments of open standard systems in the Middle East that are driving towards On Demand models.

Intel starts technical training in Turkey

Intel has declared its Technical Solutions Training session for channel partners in Istanbul, Turkey a success. The event was open to channel members who are part of the Intel Premier Provider Programme, and offered hands on training for using Intel’s server, desktop and mobility platforms.

The three-day event brought Intel specialists together to support dealers by providing hands-on training and in-depth technical information. Over 50 Intel Premium Providers from the Middle East and North Africa learnt about Intel’s latest Itanium and Intel Xeon processor-based servers, in addition to the company’s Pentium 4 processor with Hyper-Threading technology and the Intel Centrino mobile technology platform

Intel said the Premier Provider Programme recognises, rewards and grows the company’s best channel integration members, giving them access to its corporate brand assets, as well as its marketing and sales support. Premium providers can also tap into Intel’s expertise with regular training programmes and technical support.

“The technical solutions training is fundamentally designed to help educate members of the Intel Premier Provider programme based in 48 countries throughout EMEA, and it is looked on by the Channel as a significant development opportunity,” said Seyhun Dede, Intel Architecture Specialist Middle East and North Africa.

“At Intel, we are deeply committed to supporting our channel and it is essential that we provide a venue where Premier Providers are able to familiarise and educate themselves on the latest Intel technology before it’s released so that they are able to stay abreast of the market and build the best solutions for their customers,” Dede added.

Intel’s experts design content and exercises developed specifically for engineers and technical staff, giving tips on providing the most effective and inventive solutions to fit customers’ requirements. The training labs are limited to fifteen students to ensure that the learning and development of each individual is maximised and that attendees are able to gain as much from the trainers as possible.

“The Technical Solutions Training is one of the many benefits that are provided to Intel Premium Providers and plays a key role in supporting them develop their business in an increasingly competitive environment. We want to enable our channel in the region to deliver best of class solutions on time” concluded Dede.

Alpha Data pushes best in class

Alpha Data is driving home the importance of best in class solutions at this year’s show. To complement this message, the systems integrator is demonstrating a range of products from its partners, which cover everything from cabling to switching and video networking.

Alpha Data is keen to illustrate how deploying a best in class solution can deliver higher performance, reliability and functionality. Additionally, these solutions can be tailored more specifically to individual users’ requirements whether price or feature related.

Additionally, best of breed solutions are likely to be standards based, which will enable them to interact and interface with many other products and applications, says the systems integrator.
IP will also be a key focus for Alpha Data. With support from its partners, the exhibitor will be demonstrating the benefits of utilising IP to run voice, video, data and wireless solutions and, furthermore, illustrating its capabilities to deliver an end-to-end networking solution.

As such, Gitex visitors will be able to see first hand Extreme Networks’ best in class switches, which can be implemented at the core of a wireless network. High level routing will be addressed through Juniper Networks’ products, while VBrick’s IP video networking devices are another highlight at the stand. Rounding out the partner solutions is Nordx/CDT’s structured cabling range, which includes Category 6 UTP and fibre options.

Alpha Data is also conducting two seminars during the five days of the Gitex exhibtion to provide visitors with greater insight into the VBrick and Juniper Networks offerings.

||**||dealer incentives|~||~||~|Are you offering any special promotions?

Do you have a special promotion that you want to inform the channel about?

We would be happy to include any incentive programmes or special promotions that you are running each week in eCRN.

For more information - please send full details to Dealer Incentives.

Tech Data Promotions

Have you been waiting for Novell NetWare 6.5

The wait is over!!
Create a more secure, protected and manageable infrastructure

Money making opportunity for all resellers...

Upgrade your customers to Novell NetWare 6.5 or recommend Novell NetWare 6.5 to new purchasers of NetWare Novell NetWare 6.5 available now at Tech Data.

Novell NetWare 6.5 is loaded with new and useful features which will add value to those using NetWare curently or all those looking at purchasing a new operating system
Contact TD - your Novell resource, without delay!

Some benefits of Novell Netware 6.5 are:

1 - Safely take advantage of Open Source systems without increasing management costs. 2 - Rapidly deploy secure and reliable Web applications.
3 - Increase employee productivity regardless of location.
4 - Securely extend services to your branch offices and still lower operating expenses.
5 - A cost-effective intelligent consolidation strategy.
6 - Manage mixed environments and solutions, without creating security and administrative headaches.
7 - IT staff can be effective and efficient—regardless of location.
8 - A cost-effective disaster recovery strategy.

For more information call your account manager at Tech Data on +971 4 334 6952. Visit http://www.novell.com/ for more information

GENX GO FOR GOLD

It may be a dry and hot summer, but its soon going to be raining gold!
Introducing the GENX Go for Gold Offer-to all distributors, resellers, retailers-a Golden Opportunity comes your way:
Buy 150 units of GENX USB's in a month and get 5g of 24 carat gold absolutely free.
Buy 250 units of GENX USB's in a month and get 10g of 24 carat gold absolutely free! It's that easy!!
For any queries email sales@onlinegenx.com or call now at +971 4 355 6755, or see www.onlinegenx.com.

Novell gives small businesses networking at the right price - Free

Dear Novell Reseller,

Expand your reach to new customers with Novell's free Small Business Starter Pack

Wouldn't it be great if Customers only need to pay for your services to get a Business Network up and running?

Did you know over a 100 million small businesses and home offices are now eligible for Novell's Small Business Starter Pack for free? Yes what used to cost $1,295 is now free!! This small business offering from Novell will support you in moving many of the millions of peer-to-peer and non-networked businesses into your customer list. Even if you have not traditionally sold Novell products, you can use this excellent offering to establish new customers as well as more revenue for your business.

Small-business customers need a professional network, that's reliable, secure, and expandable. Many of them are still trying to get by with peer-to-peer connections without little protection to their data -if they're networked at all, and their full business potential is not being realized.

Start making new revenues today whilst offering real value to your current and potential customers with a free 5-user version of Novell Small Business Suite 6. Remember customers only need to pay for your services to start seeing the value of a professional networking solution.

Following your installation, companies will soon rely on dependable email, calendaring, scheduling, security, internet access and remote access to their files and business applications. They'll wonder how they ever got along before you arrived.

If you want to take advantage of this offer - get your CNS v6.5 today - it's Fast, Fun, and Free, visit http://www.novell.com/channel/cns

Novell gives small businesses networking at the right price - Free
Expand your reach to new customers with Novell's free Small Business Starter Pack
Wouldn't it be great if customers only need to pay for your services to get a business network up and running?
Did you know over a 100 million small businesses and home offices are now eligible for Novell's Small Business Starter Pack for free? Yes what used to cost $1,295 is now
free! This small business offering from Novell will support you in moving many of the millions of peer-to-peer and non-networked businesses into your customer list.
Even if you have not traditionally sold Novell products, you can use this excellent offering to establish new customers as well as more revenue for your business.
Start making new revenues today while offering real value to your current and potential customers with a free 5-user version of Novell Small Business Suite 6. Remember customers only need to pay for your services to start seeing the value of a professional networking solution.
If you want to take advantage of this offer-get your CNS v6.5 today-it's Fast, Fun, and Free, visit http://www.novell.com/channel/cns

Knowledge is Money in Your Pocket!

Become a Tripp Lite Golden Reseller and get the tools and training you need to become a power protection expert and help grow your business by increasing sales. Register today and receive.
- Free, comprehensive product training for sales staff and clients
- Collateral support in the form of brochures, banners, posters and point-of-purchase display stands
- Increased sales opportunities via leads passed on to you from Tripp Lite
- Access to exclusive promotional programmes
- Substantial discounts on demo units of some of Tripp Lite's most popular products
- Increased margins with lucrative add-on products priced as much as 20% lower than comparable competitive models

PLUS...

By becoming a Tripp Lite Golden Reseller, you'll be part of the most lucrative cash back reseller programme in the industry! Earn points for Tripp Lite products sold between March 1st and August 31st and receive cash bonuses.

100 Points = $100 USD
300 Points = $375 USD
500 Points = $750 USD

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of Tripp Lite Power Protection and how you can become a Golden Reseller, see http://www.tripplite.com/
international/promo/goldenreseller/

||**||events|~||~||~|ARE YOU HOSTING A RESELLER EVENT?
Do you have any events for the industry that you would like to see listed here?

If so please send a message to Events Diary today and we will add the listing in a future edition of eCRN.

Abu Dhabi

December 8: Intel Channel Conference. The ICC is one of Intel’s main focuses, allowing us to ensure that our channel members are up to speed on the latest technologies and ready to deliver state of the art solutions, on time, to their market. ICC is open to all Intel Channel Programme members, and provide essential content for resellers involved in small to medium sized businesses.

Doha

January 14: IT Security Roadshow. Focusing on topical issues within IT security, this event is geared towards providing participants with highly relevant commercial intelligence relating to the Middle East's corporate e-security needs. Sheraton Hotel. For more information contact yehya.mokhlati@itp.com or call +971 4 210 8301 or see www.itp.net/events/

Dubai

December 8-9: Aviation IT Managers Forum. This Forum is geared towards aviation executives of the highest level and is packed with thought provoking presentations, managerial debate, case studies and problem solving solutions. Fairmont Hotel, Dubai, UAE. For more information contact Joanna Savagar on joanna.savagar@itp.com or tel +971 4 2108302 or see www.itp.net/events

December 13-16: Customer Management Forum. This conference has been exclusively designed for executives who want to compete more effectively, reduce their operating costs, improve customer service and better leverage profit from each and every customer relationship. Fairmont Hotel, Dubai, UAE For more information contact Joanna Savagar on joanna.savagar@itp.com or tel +971 4 2108302 or see www.itp.net/events

December 14-17: Data Management Forum. This Forum incorporates the full breadth and impact of professionally and efficiently managing your data by addressing core issues within this highly technical and increasingly critical field, involving both storage and networking technologies. Grand Hyatt Hotel, Dubai, UAE. For more information contact Joanna Savagar on joanna.savagar@itp.com or tel +971 4 2108302 or see www.itp.net/events

January 25-28: Wireless Networking Forum. Wireless technologies are coming of age. With more and more reasons to implement wireless solutions this event is crucial in identifying the opportunities for WLANs and will enable you to sift through the plethora of solutions ensuring you make the right choices for your company. Fairmont Hotel, Dubai, UAE For more information contact Joanna Savagar on joanna.savagar@itp.com or tel +971 4 2108302 or see www.itp.net/events

May 4: Arabian Travel Market IT Forum. Dusit Hotel, Dubai. For more information contact Joanna Savagar on joanna.savagar@itp.com or tel +971 4 2108302 or see www.itp.net/events

May 16-19: Human Resources Forum. The Human Resources Forum will empower you with the tools to maximise the use of these systems, improving your company’s performance, raising your profile within your organisation and cementing your position as an indispensable member of the executive team. Fairmont Hotel. For more information contact Joanna Savagar on joanna.savagar@itp.com or tel +971 4 2108302 or see www.itp.net/events

Kuwait

December 3: Intel Channel Conference. The ICC is one of Intel’s main focuses, allowing us to ensure that our channel members are up to speed on the latest technologies and ready to deliver state of the art solutions, on time, to their market. ICC is open to all Intel Channel Programme members, and provide essential content for resellers involved in small to medium sized businesses.

January 12: The IT Security Roadshow. Focusing on topical issues within IT security, this event is geared towards providing participants with highly relevant commercial intelligence relating to the Middle East's corporate e-security needs. Crowne Plaza Hotel. For more information contact yehya.mokhlati@itp.com or call +971 4 210 8301 or see www.itp.net/events/

Muscat

December 17: Intel Channel Conference. The ICC is one of Intel’s main focuses, allowing us to ensure that our channel members are up to speed on the latest technologies and ready to deliver state of the art solutions, on time, to their market. ICC is open to all Intel Channel Programme members, and provide essential content for resellers involved in small to medium sized businesses.

Riyadh

January 10: The IT Security Roadshow. Focusing on topical issues within IT security, this event is geared towards providing participants with highly relevant commercial intelligence relating to the Middle East's corporate e-security needs. Sheraton Riyadh Hotel. For more information contact yehya.mokhlati@itp.com or call +971 4 210 8301 or see www.itp.net/events/

Sharjah

February 8-10: Middle East Telecommunications Forum. Held alongside the 1st International Gulf Telecommunications and Information Technology Exhibition - Gulf Telecomp Emirates 2004. Sharjah Expo Centre. For more information contact Joanna Savagar on joanna.savagar@itp.com or tel +971 4 2108302 or see www.itp.net/events

||**||recruitment|~||~||~|Are you looking to hire experienced channel people to expand your business? Why not advertise your positions to over 3,000 registered members of the Middle East reseller channel for FREE every week in eCRN?

If so please send a message to Recruitment today and we will add your job listing to the next edition of eCRN. And please don't forget to notify us once the vacancy is filled.

Tech Data

Tech Data Corporation (Nasdaq: TECD), founded in 1974, is a leading global provider of IT products, logistics management and other value-added services.. The company generated sales of $17.2 billion for its most recent fiscal year, which ended January 31, 2002.

Business Support Managers CM 0703
KSA, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait
Based in country, we are looking for exceptional candidates to further our growth in the above locations. The successful applicants will be responsible for developing and building on existing client relationships whilst pro-actively seeking new resellers and new business opportunities. You will work closely with the product marketing and sales account managers, based at our operation in Dubai and to make recommendations for vendor and product introductions, promotions, incentives and training programs to increase our market penetration.

For further details on these positions please visit our web site www.techdata.co.ae
To apply, please email an application in full confidence demonstrating your strengths against these criteria to hr@techdata.co.ae or by fax to the Human Resources Officer on + 971 4 3359524 quoting relevant role title and reference number.

||**||next month|~||~||~|In Next Month's Channel Middle East

November 2003 FEATURES

Office Productivity

Microsoft may lead the productivity market, but Sun Microsystems is looking to offer an alternative

Developing markets - CIS

The newly discovered oil wealth of several CIS countries makes for an attractive prospect for the IT industry

Business insights: financial trends; who is winning and who is losing; company acquisitions, mergers, and sell-offs.

Solution: success stories from the channel.

Logistics: logistics, shelf life, and product cycles and how they affect the channel.

People: skills, recruitment, human resources

Infrastructure: the big-project VARs and what they are working on now.

Dealers Wanted: information on all the new vendors looking for resellers in the Middle East.

If you think you have anything to contribute to one of the above features - we would be very happy to hear from you. Contact Channel editorial at mark.sutton@itp.com||**||

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