eChannel 10 March 2001

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By  Colin Browne Published  March 8, 2001

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

I heard a rumour today which will bear some investigation, but which I thought I would recklessly discuss with those of you in the retail business now. It involved AED25 margins on notebooks, and how dealers are starting to strip the price and the value out of these once-high value items.

Why this is happening, I cannot imagine, but that is what the CRN team will set out to discover this week. The story that I heard runs along the lines of a certain reseller looking to become the number one market player in notebooks by selling them cheap in order to get his volumes up.

I have to question that quest of leadership however if a margin of less than $10 is the price that has to be paid. It is lunacy. Madness. Hire an accountant immediately if you are doing this, and get some decent advice.

I would question margins of ten times that amount on PC notebooks. I would expect significantly more, and by that argument, I would also expect that I could ship far fewer units for a higher profit margin. By building a business on that base, I would expect to grow, profit, and ultimately assume a leadership position in the market that way.

These are basic goods, and selling them is a basic exercise. Revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, and higher volumes are a good thing, but not if you get nothing back from them. If you get your volumes up, you can reduce your costs from your vendor (perhaps), and pass that along to your customer (if you choose to), but it is an afterthought, not a strategy to begin with.

As ever, you can reach me at: colin.browne@itp.net

Regards,

Colin Browne
Editor - Computer Reseller News Middle East
ITP Middle East
PO Box 61480
Dubai JAFZ
UAE
Tel.: 971 4 282 9996
Fax.: 971 4 282 9599
Email: colin.browne@itp.net
||**||News|~||~||~|Saudi developer calls for better Arabic software

Saudi Arabian software developers and an ISP spoke out on the pressing need for more Arabic Web content, and a better class of Arabic applications recently.

In the course of a round of meetings in Riyadh recently, eCRN was told repeatedly that this lack of local language support is slowing the use of IT and the use of the Web among Arabs.

"There is no Arabic software here. In Saudi Arabia there are no good solutions for real problems, and we need them. We need security software. There is a very big gap between the Arabic user and English software, and the software that Microsoft creates is not enough. We need more," Fahad Alghanim, technical manager for SisaSoft told eCRN.

SisaSoft is a developer of Arabic software, including what Alghanim says is the first Arabic security and anti-virus software package. He says that more efforts need to be made by more developers in order to increase the scope of solutions on offer, as opposed to the hundreds of multimedia packages available. "90% of the software here is multimedia stuff. And it is not enough," he told eCRN.

Ayed Hallaf, managing director of Electronic Concepts echoed those sentiments referring to the "big proportion of Saudis who do not speak English."

Those people will fail to be attracted by PCs and the Web until there is more Arabic software and more and better localised content for them, he told eCRN.

ISP Vodatel said that the company that introduce more Arabic content will be a winner.

"The Saudis want more Arabic content. Of the 300,000 subscribers, 50-75% are not Arabic. A big portion of them do not speak English, those who study inside the Kingdom, their English is almost nil," said Ghassan Mounla, deputy general manager, Vodatel.

Gateway moves beyond the box

Gateway says it will move 'Beyond The Box' by widening its product portfolio to include financing, Internet services, a personalized Internet portal, a wider choice of peripherals and software, training and service options.

The new strategy, which focuses on guiding clients to the right options for their needs and demands, was outlined to Middle East resellers the during a recent conference in Cyprus.

"The 'Beyond The Box' move is the next logical step in our drive to create lifelong relationships with clients," said Lenia Iacovides, Director International, Gateway EMEA.

"It includes an on-line training initiative due for imminent launch in the Middle East," Iacovides adds.
Aspects of Gateway's enhanced activities have already been launched in the Middle East, including Learning Library, a CD-ROM based PC training solution.

"People today are embracing a wave of new technology which can do more than ever before. They want to understand how to make the most of devices, such as the Internet for their home and business needs and they want easy actions to the solutions," said Iacovides.

A total of 27 countries were represented at the two-day conference. Delegates from the Middle East included Gateway Business Development Managers Nagy Al Saeed, Egypt, Omar Aljarrah, Saudi Arabia and Tareq Ramahi, UAE.

ARAMEX embraces WAP for easier tracking

Regional transportation specialist, ARAMEX International, has announced the launch of WAP Enabled Services that provide customers with access to information and services through any WAP enabled mobile phone or device.

"We understand the critical importance of time sensitive information in today's fast moving world, and we are committed to the development of our capabilities that ensure information availability on demand, anywhere or anytime," explained Iyad Kamal, ARAMEX's general manager of e-Services. "We have extended our tracking services to serve our 'on the go' customers even when they do not have access to their desktops".

In phase one, WAP users can point their WAP browser to http//: www.aramex.com to track their packages, access service related information and follow news headlines.

In the next phase of ARAMEX WAP Enabled Services, customers will be provided with personalised online facilities such as: service requests, customer care and instant quotations, in addition to the shipment tracking features they already receive. Customers will be able to calculate rates and find transit times.

ARAMEX clients will also be able to ask for notification when shipments are delivered.

"With WAP technology becoming more accessible across the Middle East, we felt that our customers, should have access to their shipment information whenever they require it," concluded Fadi Ghandour, president and CEO of ARAMEX International.

Valuevad gives thumbs up to online tracking

Valuevad has enabled online tracking of stock for its resellers through its Web site at www.valuevad.com.

The online order tracking system is available to Valuevad resellers world wide and can be used to check order status and shipping details. The new system is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with access requiring an individual tracking number which is provided to the reseller on placing an order. Resellers may only view data relevant to their own orders.

Valuevad says it road tested the online order tracking system with resellers before making it generally available.
"We want to make it as straightforward as possible for resellers to choose Valuevad," said Rosana Lomuntad, operations manager, Valuevad. "That includes improving the level of customer service support by making it easier for our resellers to trace and track their orders. This new system makes the Valuevad order tracking process transparent, and we are more accountable to the reseller than ever."

Gulf Stars chief says warranty no guarantee of up-time

Customers need to be clear that without a maintenance contract they have no guarantee against downtime, according to Gulf Stars president Abdulaziz Al Tamami.

In recent years, Gulf Stars has established 18 service centres throughout the Kingdom to service customers such as the Saudi American Bank and Saudi French Bank, with a guaranteed repair time of four hours. That guarantee is seen as a value, and carries a cost he said in a recent meeting with eCRN.

Al Tamami spoke out about customers who want services, but don't want to pay, and issued a warning to resellers that they should make it clear in their customers' minds what the difference is between a warranty and a maintenance agreement.

"Customers do require services, but many are not really willing to pay, or see it as a differentiator. I spoke to one guy and said you need a maintenance contract and he said no, I have a warranty. But that will not give him the protection he needs," Al Tamami said.

"A warranty repair is taking a broken modem to the modem place and making sure that it comes back in a week. But [with a warranty agreement], downtime is not our problem, it is your problem. A maintenance agreement gives the one hour stuff," he said.
||**||Incentives|~||~||~|Cisco Rewards now on for big prizes
Cisco Systems will reward qualifying resellers with new Audi TTs, Breitling watches, stays at the Burj Al Arab, and other spectacular prizes, for their exceptional sales of Cisco equipment.

To qualify for prizes, resellers must register with Cisco by hitting the link below, and then accumulate points towards these stunning prizes.

A full breakdown of points and values, and all you need to start collecting is on the Web site once you hit the link below.

To enrol in Cisco Rewards, you will require a Cisco Connection Online (CCO) User ID and Password. To obtain this, you need first to be registered as a Cisco reseller.

For further details, click on this link: href="http://www.cisco.com/rewards/emea/how.html">http://www.cisco.com/rewards/emea/how.html

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: email:mentor@emirates.net.ae.

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: sales@mindware.co.ae, rabab_hasan@mindware.co.ae, or anuradha_basu@mindware.co.ae

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: Majeds@sa.ibm.com 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
console/Async
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
console/Async

For more information, email: ayten_polad@mindware.co.ae.

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: http://www.novellmoneymaker.com or Tel: 971 4 3346 952

Novell is also offering FREE Small Biz training. For further information, email: info_mideast@novell.com

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: http://program.intel.com/ipi/en/index.htm

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

For more details, visit: http://program.intel.com/ipi/en/index.htm

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.
||**||Training Diary|~||~||~|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.

Bahrain

April 7: Arabian Computer News & Arabian Business.Com Internet Security Road Show. The first Arabian Computer News and Arabian Business.com Roadshow focuses on electronic security.

Join ITP as well as sponsor Al Falak, Arabtrust, Computer Associates, Hewlett Packard, Internet Security Systems and Network Security Assurance Group (NSAG) and Masoud Sorkhou & Partners.

Attendance is free to IT Reseller who register in advance.

To register online please visit http://www.itp.net/events, or email: patrick.latchem@itp.net or Tel: (UAE) 971 4 282 9996 ext 104.

Dubai

March 11-15: Sun Educational Training Centre. TCP/IP Network Administration training: Join Sun Microsystems for training on network administration.

The training course is priced at $2500.

For further information and to register, email: training@dubai.sun.com or Tel: (UAE) 971 4 3366 333, or visit http://www.sun.com/middleeast/education

March 18-22: Sun Educational Training Centre. Solaris System Performance Management training: Join Sun Microsystems for training on network administration.

The training course is priced at $2250.

For further information and to register, email: training@dubai.sun.com or Tel: (UAE) 971 4 3366 333, or visit http://www.sun.com/middleeast/education

Kuwait

April 4: Arabian Computer News & Arabian Business.Com Internet Security Road Show. The first Arabian Computer News and Arabian Business.com Roadshow focuses on electronic security.

Join ITP as well as sponsor Al Falak, Arabtrust, Computer Associates, Hewlett Packard, Internet Security Systems and Network Security Assurance Group (NSAG) and Masoud Sorkhou & Partners.

Attendance is free to IT Reseller who register in advance.

To register online please visit http://www.itp.net/events, or email: patrick.latchem@itp.net or Tel: (UAE) 971 4 282 9996 ext 104.

Oman

March 31: Arabian Computer News & Arabian Business.Com Internet Security Road Show. The first Arabian Computer News and Arabian Business.com Roadshow focuses on electronic security.

Join ITP as well as sponsor Al Falak, Arabtrust, Computer Associates, Hewlett Packard, Internet Security Systems and Network Security Assurance Group (NSAG) and Masoud Sorkhou & Partners.

Attendance is free to IT Reseller who register in advance.

To register online please visit http://www.itp.net/events, or email: patrick.latchem@itp.net or Tel: (UAE) 971 4 282 9996 ext 104.

Qatar

April 2: Arabian Computer News & Arabian Business.Com Internet Security Road Show. The first Arabian Computer News and Arabian Business.com Roadshow focuses on electronic security.

Join ITP as well as sponsor Al Falak, Arabtrust, Computer Associates, Hewlett Packard, Internet Security Systems and Network Security Assurance Group (NSAG) and Masoud Sorkhou & Partners.

Attendance is free to IT Reseller who register in advance.

To register online please visit http://www.itp.net/events, or email: patrick.latchem@itp.net or Tel: (UAE) 971 4 282 9996 ext 104.

For more information on the Middle East's computer industry - why not visit www.ITP.net - the region's leading business and technology web site.
||**||Recruitment|~||~||~|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 graham_porter@hp.com

Tech Data FZ LLC: Sales, Financial, and Marketing positions
Distribution without Limits!! These are wide-ranging roles in an environment that is creative, progressive, challenging and rewarding and the growth plans for the region are phenomenal.

Director of Sales: develop and ensure implementation of sales strategies and concepts in line with the company's strategies. Direct and control sales operations with the team to achieve agreed upon revenue and margin targets of the company within the company's strategy and to contribute to the country's annual operating plan. Ensure superior customer satisfaction.

Finance Director: you will ensure all projects and initiatives contribute to agreed strategic objectives, advise on maximizing collective income where opportunities impact on various divisions. Responsibilities include financial planning and a strong control regime in a multi-site environment and you will be charged with bringing a broad based knowledge of economic, financial and commercial trends and offer detailed leadership in the finance, treasury and accounting functions

Marketing and Communications Manager: develop and ensure implementation of Marketing strategies and concepts in line with the company's strategies. Direct and control the marketing operations and resources to support the Sales, Finance and Operations functions in achieving agreed upon targets within the annual operating plan.

Apply now: contact Zakeera Vidler HR Manager in full confidence on ZakeeraV@techdata.co.ae

||**||Next Month|~||~||~|In Next Month's Computer Reseller News Middle East

APRIL 2001 FEATURES

Skill shortage in the channel
It's discussion time for recruitment, training, and consultancy firms as they and their vendor/reseller customers tell us where the shortages lie, why they exist, and what can be done about it.

Business to Business portals
There is an opportunity brewing on the Web to make yourselves a primary partner for a number of IT-hungry businesses, and to give you the access you may not have been able to achieve before. Why Tejari.com, Ariba, and Commerce One want your business.

Biometrics
No longer simply the stuff of Mission Impossible films, biometric technology is slipping into mainstream devices such as notebooks, keyboards, and scanners. So what is in it for you?

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

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

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

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

Upstarts & Startups: companies bucking the trends and new technologists with no respect for the status quo.

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 CRN editorial at crn.newsdesk@itpmedia.com ||**||

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