eChannel 13 January 2001

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By  Mat Beard Published  January 16, 2001

Editorial Leader|~||~||~|Dear colleague,

It is amazing how prone we still all are to generalisation and exaggeration on the first whiff of a significant piece of news. If something goes wrong, we are tempted to predict the end of the world; if it goes right, it is the next big thing, which will trample everything in its path.

The market was very much the next big thing at the beginning of 2000, yet today, 12 months later, everyone is declaring it dead.

It isn't. It wasn't as big as it was claimed to be in the first instance either. In fact, we have really only just begun.

We live in interesting times. I struggle to think of another instance where a market has grown so quickly, achieved such momentum, and yet crashed and burned so totally, and in such a short space of time. The South Sea Bubble perhaps, another runaway market which wiped out investors, banks, and everyone else anywhere near it, 200 years ago.

What is most astonishing about it all is the way everyone bought into the hype. The truth is that the Internet as a business medium is going to continue to grow, to have an impact on our daily lives, and to deliver better and better services. That concept was never wrong. What was wrong was the idea that this 'evolution' was going to be a 'revolution,' and that it would happen overnight.

The point is though, that just as it was foolish from both an investor and a business point of view to get so carried away by the craze, it is equally foolish to turn your backs on it now.

What looks like a deflated market and a sudden drought of opportunities is, I believe, simply an illusion created by the fact that it looked so vast and so full of promise before.

The truth is that we may simply be looking at a far more realistic viewpoint of a very new market.

There seems little doubt that digital businesses will be built and that money will be made in this space as it is in any of the other integration, infrastructure, and consulting spaces. And the market will be all the more healthy for being driven by the survivors-those companies that kept their heads up and out of the hype the first time, and are able to continue to do so through the negativity to come.

As ever, you can reach me at:


Colin Browne
Editor - Computer Reseller News Middle East
ITP Middle East
PO Box 61480
Dubai JAFZ
Tel.: 971 4 282 9996
Fax.: 971 4 282 9599
||**||News|~||~||~|VIA offers Cyrix III to white-box builders
White-box resellers can now build low-cost PCs utilising the power of the latest Cyrix III processors, using a new VIA retail box set.
The box set features a choice of VIA Cyrix III processors starting at speeds of 600MHz, including a ball-bearing fan and heat sink, and a three-year limited warranty.

"We are delighted to be launching the VIA Cyrix III processor retail box set," said Richard Brown, director of marketing for VIA Technologies.

"It provides distributors, resellers, and system integrators with an attractive and convenient all-in-one solution for building competitively priced value PC systems," he added.

The VIA Cyrix III is socket 370 compatible processor with a small die size of 75mm2, ensuring exceptionally low power consumption and heat dissipation. Additional features include a 128KB Level 1 cache, 100/133MHz Front Side Bus support, MMX and 3DNow!

Intel moves into consumer electronics?
The pulling power of Intel Corporation's brand name is about to be put to the test in the hyper-competitive world of consumer electronics. Craig Barrett, Intel's chief executive, used a keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, to unveil Intel's newest consumer offering, a portable device for digital music.

The device is supposed to offer twice the memory of current models and support other formats in addition to MP3 recordings, the most popular digital-music technique.

Barrett also showcased two products expected from Intel later in 2001: an instant-messaging and e-mail device called the ChatPad and a WebTablet that lets users surf the Internet from the couch or kitchen using a wireless screen the size of a hardcover book.

The digital-audio player, which will retail for about US$299, has about twice the amount of flash memory as other such devices. It includes a programmable chip so that users can update its music formats if successors to MP3 and Microsoft Windows Media become popular.

The WebTablet and ChatPad both use StrongARM processors and have flash memory as well. Each requires a PC at different times; the WebTablet, for example, communicates without wires to a home computer and relies on the PC's Internet connection.

Apple brings PowerMacs up to spec
Apple boss Steve Jobs seemed to douse all the fires that started at the company last quarter with a spread of product fixes and updates at Macworld Expo in San Francisco this week.

Apple, which had been flying high until recently, suffered a sales shortfall because of the uncompetitive specifications of some of its top machines, Jobs said in December. Jobs referred to a "megahertz gap" which PowerMacs faced with their competitors, and said that the company planned to respond by introducing models with faster processors.

Jobs was also frank about Apple's misreading of customer demand for writable CD-ROM drives as standard equipment on new Macintosh systems. Those drives are popular with users who like to create their own CDs of music downloaded from the Web. "We completely missed the boat on CD-read/write drives," Jobs said. "We completely blew this one."

But things look well on Planet Apple today following the launch of faster Power Mac models, which include writable CD drives.

The new Power Mac G4 line includes machines with processor clock speeds of 466, 533, 667 and 733 MHz. The 466 and 533 models are available immediately, while the other two will be available in February, Apple said.

Writable CD drives will be complemented by Apple's new iTunes software, to let users burn their own standard audio CDs.

In addition, Apple unveiled a new "SuperDrive" that can record both audio and video streams. The SuperDrive, which comes as standard equipment on the new top Power Mac G4 model, can be used to create DVDs that can be played in standard DVD players.

Separately, Apple said its long-awaited OS X operating system will ship on March 24, with a price tag of US$129. Apple says it has shipped more than 100,000 copies of the public test version of OS X since its release in September.

Apple will begin bundling OSX with new Macs in July, Jobs said.

"We think we've got something really, really good here," said Jobs, saying that 350 software developers have pledged to work with Apple to develop applications tailored to OS X.

Jobs said that "hundreds" of those applications would be released this spring, but said "the avalanche [of releases] is going to be this summer," just as Apple begins to bundle the new operating system as its default standard.

Palm: the future lies beyond the PC
In the face of keynote speeches from Microsoft and Intel, which sought to reaffirm the status of the PC, Palm's CEO Carl Yankowski stepped up at CES 2001 and urged the world to look beyond a PC-centric vision.

The future, at least according to Palm, is not about monster machines and power PCs. It's about invisible, intuitive technology; simple to use and easy to carry.

"Unlike PCs, handhelds are wearable. We carry them like we wear a piece of clothing," said Yankowski. "Their overall design makes them utterly simple to use, regardless of where you are. They can make your day and change your life."

The argument ran that the simplicity of the Palm device, and the handheld generally, will appeal to the public where ungainly technology cannot.

"If we are to target the consumer experience, which is where the real battle for dollars will be waged, then we have to measure the success of our products not in terms of technology, but in terms of human value," said Yankowski.

To back up his vision, Yankowski made a world-first eWallet purchase live on stage, buying an atomic watch, cell phone and robotic dog via an embedded Visa card in his Palm. The moment was not wasted on Palm's CEO, announcing: "The world's first eWallet transaction took just 30 seconds."

Several film clips, demonstrating the importance of simplicity and elegance in design, echoed the speech. Palm also announced a partnership with Sprint PCS to deliver CDMA-based wireless solutions for Palm OS handhelds in the US.

The goal now is to market the Palm not just as a handheld but as a true wallet, with 'point-and-pay' capabilities.

Language barriers come down with WebSphere
IBM has launched new WebSphere software that will enable instantaneous translation of Web pages, email and online chat. The WebSphere Translation Server uses advanced machine translation technology to provide real time two-way translation for multiple languages.

The software will be available from March, and will be capable of translating up to 500 words per second, between English and French, German, Spanish, and Italian, and from English to Chinese, Japanese and Korean. WebSphere is compatible with NT, AIX, and Solaris.

By deployment of the WebSphere Translation Server, businesses will be able to distribute web content to a global audience without having to provide multi-language web infrastructure. Web communities will also be able to use multi-lingual web chat for internal and external communication.

"The ability of our customers to offer quick, convenient, multi-lingual translation makes their Web content available to a much wider audience, who speak many languages," said Ozzie Osborne, general manager of IBM Voice Systems.

"In addition, as an integrated component of both the Lotus family and of IBM WebSphere's proven architecture, based on open standards, the IBM WebSphere Translation Server can help businesses of any size dramatically increase their global reach with a limited investment."

The machine translation market is expected to boom in the next few years. IDC predicts the market, which is currently composed of a few small players, will be worth $378 million by 2003.
||**||Incentives|~||~||~|Mindware & Microsoft - FREE MOBILE PHONES - LAST WEEK
Sell Windows Millennium Edition and collect your free Alcatel, Ericsson, and Nokia phones from Microsoft.

Buy 25 units from Mindware and you get an Alcatel Club DB, 50 units, and you can take home an Ericsson T-10, 100 units will see you talking into your new Nokia 3310, 150 units makes you the owner of a Nokia 7710, and buy 200+ units and grab the sensational Nokia 8210.

Make sure you get the distributor's invoice, fill out the claim form before the offer closes and collect your free products from the OEM Department at Microsoft in Dubai.

Offer ends January 15, 2001.

For further details, please contact Basma Allouh on (UAE) 971 4 397 3888 x9276.

Tech Data and Oracle — Points Make Prizes Offer - LAST WEEK
Join Tech Data and Oracle for Points Make Prizes to claim prizes.

For every US$1000 worth of Oracle products or support you purchase from Tech Data you gain 1 point.

Offer ends January 15, 2001.

For further details, please contact Ewa Jop on (UAE) 971 4 302 6738

3Com Focus Cash Mania
3Com launches its new promotion giving you the opportunity to start the new year with $$$ of cash!

Every month, based on the highest % of overachievement on monthly targets, eight winning companies will be announced!

At the end of the quarter, based on highest % of overachievement on quarterly targets, 15 winning companies will be awarded with cash!
Quarterly winners will be announced in the first week of March and will be awarded up to $5,000 for a Gold Partner, $3,000 for a Silver Partner, and $1,500 for a Bronze Partner.

Valid for Focus partners only on invoiced purchases from authorized distributors from 4 Dec 2000 to 4 March 2001.

For further details, please contact Focal Point on (UAE) 971 4 331 9533.

Special Discounts from Mentor Systems
Mentor Systems (L.L.C) offers special discounts for Dealers on Financial Accounting Solutions.

Sell the TOTAL Accounting System to your clients, based on 4GL, Delphi and MS-SQL. Completely Internet ready. Fully suited to the UAE market's requirements, and covering the following modules: Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Inventory (Multi-Location), General Ledger (Multi-currency), Post-dated Cheques Module, Landed Cost calculation.

Make up-to 30% margins for selling the above solutions.

For further details, please contact:

Join Mindware with Microsoft and Xerox for this special promotion
Buy Microsoft Office std. at the current market price of US$410, Mindware will give you a Xerox C8 Inkjet printer at no extra cost. There is a minimum order of 5 units.

Offer is valid while stocks last.

For more information, please contact Rabab Hasan or Anuradha Basu at Mindware Dubai. Tel: (UAE) 971 4 221 9789/224 6240, or email:,, or

Join Saudi Business Machines for huge savings with IBM
SBM are offering a massive 50% discount on IBM RS/6000 servers: Top-rated Web server, High Density Packaging of Internet and Internet Applications, 64-bit performance and availability to handle your most demanding e-business, ERP, business intelligence and database applications.

For further information, email: or Tel: (KSA) 966 2 660 007

Mindware and Intel Express Router Promotion
Join Mindware and Intel for excellent pricing on Express 8000 & 9500 routers.

Intel Express 8000 series routers:
Part numbers:
ER8100ST: 1 x 10/100 LAN, 1 x ISDN BRI
ER8100FR: 1 x 10/100 LAN, 1 x WAN serial port
ER8210EU: 1 x 10/100 LAN, 1 x WAN serial port, 1x console port

Intel Express 9500 series routers:
Part numbers:
ER9510ST: 1 x 10/100 LAN, 1 x ISDN BRI, 1 x Serial WAN, 1 x
ER9515ST: 1 x 10/100 LAN, 1 x 10 Mbps LAN, 1 x ISDN BRI, 1 x
serial WAN, 1 x console/Async
ER9530EU: 1 x 10/100 LAN, 2 x Serial WAN , 1 x console port/Async
ER9535EU: 1 x 10/100 LAN, 1 x 10 Mbps LAN, 2 x serial WAN, 1 x

For more information, email:

Tech Data & Novell: Small Business Suite 5 Offer
Tech Data and Novell are offering a special pricing on Small Business Suite 5. Small Business Suite 5 - unique market pricing is still available

Server + 5 user ONLY $372 (00662644339047)
Server + 10 user ONLY $533 (00662644339054)
Server + 25 user ONLY $904 (00662644339061)

For further details, visit: or Tel: 971 4 3346 952

Novell is also offering FREE Small Biz training. For further information, email:

Intel Network Interface Adapters pricing deal
Intel is offering IPIs a special pricing deal on Network Interface Adapters. This preferential pricing allows IPIs to buy a 20-pack at the same card unit cost as an 80-pack.

For more details, visit:

Intel Server rebate offer
Increase your margins on Intel server products with extra rebates on the PRO/100+ Server adapter.

For more details, visit:

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.

For more information on the Middle East IT Reseller Channel - visit Computer Reseller News Online TODAY.
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.

January 28: Hewlett-Packard E-Services seminars.
For further information and to register, email:

January 29: Hewlett-Packard E-Services seminar. For further information and to register, email:

January 30: Hewlett-Packard E-Services seminar. For further information and to register, email:

January 14-18: Sun Educational Training Centre. System Administration II training: Join Sun Microsystems for training on system administration.

The training course is priced at $2250.

For further information and to register, email: or Tel: (UAE) 971 4 3366 333, or visit

January 21-25: Sun Educational Training Centre. TCP/IP Network Administration training: Join Sun Microsystems for training on TCP/IP network administration.

The training course is priced at $2500.

For further information and to register, email: or Tel: (UAE) 971 4 3366 333, or visit

February 18-19: Oracle Sales Champion Training: a 2 day, 'fast track' sales training for sales managers and representatives of Oracle partners.

Oracle Sales Champion training will focus on the sales positioning, pricing and licensing of the Oracle product, as well as business practices.

An annual roadshow for both new and existing Oracle partners, Oracle Sales Champion training will show partners how to match the customer's e-business needs with the correct Oracle solution.

The course is essential for partners wishing to become an Oracle Certified Solution Partner, and is available by invitation only.

For further information, or to register, contact: or

January 31: Hewlett-Packard E-Services seminar.
For further information and to register, email:

February 4-5: Oracle Sales Champion Training: a 2 day, 'fast track' sales training for sales managers and representatives of Oracle partners.

Oracle Sales Champion training will focus on the sales positioning, pricing and licensing of the Oracle product, as well as business practices.

An annual roadshow for both new and existing Oracle partners, Oracle Sales Champion training will show partners how to match the customer's e-business needs with the correct Oracle solution.

The course is essential for partners wishing to become an Oracle Certified Solution Partner, and is available by invitation only.

For further information, or to register, contact: or

For more information on the Middle East's computer industry - why not visit - the region's leading business and technology web site.
||**||Recruitment - NEW|~||~||~|SEARCHING FOR CHANNEL PERSONNEL?
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.

Hewlett-Packard: Corporate Channel Managers
Hewlett-Packard is looking for three people (1 in each of Dubai, Cairo & Riyadh) to manage HP's Corporate Channel.

The managers would work with large PC dealers in territories spread across 11 countries who have direct contracts with HP as well as manage the HP VAR Channel which sells high-end solutions.

Required experience: reseller channel knowledge in the region plus solutions sales experience. The ability to work at all levels in a reseller organisation and an understanding of channel issues. The right individuals are likely to be working today for either another IT vendor, a distributor, a software house or a reseller.

APPLY NOW: Please send an email attaching a CV to
||**||Next Month|~||~||~|In Next Month's Computer Reseller News Middle East


The 'new' IT distributors?
Delivery of any goods to a customer relies on the safety and care of the package, but mostly, the speed of which it can be delivered. IT distributors may have this down pat, but more generic logistics companies are encroaching on that territory.

State of Online Sales in the Middle East
Despite the fantastic figures cited by analysts about US sales online, the Middle East is behind, and by a long way. There are so few successful online B2C sites in the region, and those that could be termed ‘a success’ are struggling to command any siginificant sales. Is it still too soon for businesses to rely on people shopping online?

SMB Networking
Pointing out the business benefits of networking to small businesses and getting them to understand what it is that they can do and can have, is the key to success for the SMB reseller in this vast market.

The Channel in Partnership
What would happen if you were awarded a contract, worth a couple of hundred thousand dollars in profit, but your expertise is stretched to the limit and beyond in actually fulfilling the deal. Would you enlist the help of another VAR that does have the expertise you are lacking? Where does this happen in the Middle East today?

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

Sourcing: finding new solution add-ons to increase your overall margins.

E-Business: technologies and trends in this emerging channel opportunity.

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

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 CRN editorial at ||**||

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