eChannel 18 March 2001

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By  Colin Browne Published  March 18, 2001

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

In the April edition of CRN, you will be able to read the results of a round table discussion on the skill shortage within the Middle East IT channel. There are a number of interesting elements in the struggle to find good people, but the most interesting one of all, perhaps, is the age-old topic of vendors poaching staff from their own channel partners.

This topic is particularly interesting to me at the moment because I think I fundamentally misunderstood the issue in the first place - and so, apparently did our representative vendor at the round table, Microsoft.

Microsoft has acted as all vendors have at some point in that it has sourced personnel from its channel partners - in this case, Seven Seas Computers. There is nothing new in this, and Microsoft is certainly not the most significant of offenders.

What is new, and certainly significant, is the scope of the problem that channel partners such as Seven Seas face, when they are victims to such activity. No vendor thinks they are being particularly out of line when they approach staff from their channel partners to help them in their own activities. One or two people over the course of a three year time frame doesn't appear to be a huge drain on the resources of a company the size of Seven Seas.

The problem is that Seven Seas has a dozen other partners, all with the same attitude. And the result is that it has seen one or two people go to each of these vendors over the same time period - 17 people in total!

Listen vendors, this is surely fatal, and don't tell me you can't see that. If you stopped and considered that every time you take someone from a channel partner, eleven other vendors may be doing the same, perhaps you will begin to get a clearer picture of why it is that channel partners don't have the skills that you long for them to have.

Far from giving the channel a chance to grow, you are ultimately killing it.

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|~||~||~|IT majors say there's no tech slowdown here

The slump in IT spending by US companies doesn't appear to have spread to the Middle East yet. Sun and Compaq, two companies that would feel the effects of any drop in IT spending here, told ITP.net this week that business is as healthy as ever.

"The conditions of the market in the US are not always directly reproduced here," said Philippe Roy, Gulf general manager, Sun Microsystems Middle East Africa. "Although US companies have slowed in technology purchase, infrastructure spending is still growing in the Middle East. Banks, utilities and telcos for example are still upgrading their infrastructure to support new services and to increase the quality of existing services."

Compaq also believes that the region is not feeling a ripple effect from what's happening in the US market. "The Middle East market is in a different cycle, in the growth phase and has not reached maturity as yet," says Joseph Hanania, managing director for Compaq Middle East. "According to IDC, the ME market is anticipated to grow by 21% in 2001 and the UAE market is expected to grow by 23%."

Compaq says it's seen no evidence yet of a cut in Middle East IT budgets. "We've not seen or experienced any change from businesses in the region as they continue to invest in IT according to their plans," Hanania continues. "Startup companies are becoming more cautious, which is normal, but the market is still growing and developing."

Acer unveils new customer-friendly logo

Acer Middle East hosted a gala dinner in Dubai last night to unveil a new corporate image and logo.

The re-branding is part of a long-term business plan to reposition Acer and achieve sustainable business growth for its customers and the company, explained Eric Tien, managing director for Acer IMEA. "We are repositioning Acer as a softer, customer-focused company. We are driven by the customer, rather than by technology," he added.

"Customer and innovation - these are the two driving forces that will enable Acer to respond to the market challenges and deliver strong business results for our customers, partners, shareholders and employees," Stan Shih, chairman and CEO of the Acer Group, told the audience in Dubai via a video link. "With the recent restructuring that included the separation of our OEM and branded business, the company is now better able to streamline end-to-end implementation, target key customer segments and focus on innovating around the customer," he added.

Referring specifically to Acer's new logo, Tien explained that the new identity sports a vivid green, representing life, growth, prosperity and resiliency; and reflecting Acer's goal to deliver fresh technology to everyone, everywhere. The uniquely styled letter "e" and closely set italic type infer connectivity and accentuate Acer's focus on providing innovative e-solutions to its customers. The distinctive lower case and rounded font represents Acer's friendly accessibility and gives the impression of being in action.

Sultan Bin Sulayam, chairman of Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, used the dinner to praise Acer's commitment to the Middle East and to reiterate the Authority's policy of only admitting the cream of businesses into the zone. Already there are almost 3000 companies in Jebel Ali, but this number would be much higher if the Authority stopped turning away companies that did not match the high standards that companies like Acer display, he explained.

SGI predicts 35% growth in Middle East market

SGI is predicting healthy growth of 35% in the Middle East and North African (MENA) market for its Intel processor-based workstations and servers over the next 12 months.

The company expects to consolidate its market share in the Unix environment, which has seen growth of 30-35% over the last four years, and is expecting to see huge growth following its move into Intel-based platforms.

"In the Middle East we have seen growth of 30-35% in our Unix market, and we are expecting that our Unix and NT products will be able to double its growth every quarter," said Jean-Philippe DeGrendele, SGI's general manager, MENA.

"We are anticipating the greatest growth for 2001 in the telecoms, oil and gas, government and education sectors, with a slightly stronger demand for dedicated SGI Internet servers over workstations," explained Irving.

The worldwide market is proving flatter with overall growth hitting the 15-20% level, added Jim Irving, SGI's channel director, Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA).

SGI has linked up with 12 new channel partners as it moves to Intel platforms. SGI's presence in the Middle East market is 100% reliant on channel partners. "We have been looking for different channel partners for different products, and we are actively recruiting for Intel specialists and partners both in the region and on a worldwide scale," said Irving.

SGI also unveiled the SGI 1100 Internet server for e-commerce and the SGI 230 workstation aimed at users of digital content creation in the design, medical, scientific and government fields.

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."

Trend Micro expands across the region

Trend Micro is stepping up its efforts in the region-in a bid to take prime position in the security market-by bringing resellers into the fold and rolling out a new distribution strategy.

According to the company, it is in the process of expanding its territory and embracing the channel, to ready itself for the uptake of security solutions in the region.

"I think security during next year and 2002 will the biggest issues in the Middle East," Justin Doo, sales and marketing manager for Trend Micro Benelux, Middle East and Africa told CRN.

To this end, Trend Micro has had to change its distribution strategy, and has made Paramount Computer Systems its master distributor for the region-to avoid cross-terrority selling-and in charge of dealing with new countries and finding speicalised resellers and systems integrators around the region.

"What we are doing now is looking for speciaised partners. Those that are dealing with, or have contacts in the government, telco, and education sectors, for example," said Harish Kunnath, managing director of Paramount.

Compaq and Oracle open solution centres

Compaq and Oracle have joined forces to establish three solutions centres in the region, based in Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Cairo.

The solution centres will allow businesses and resellers in the region to experience, adapt and implement e-business solutions from the two vendors.

"Our customers and partners in the region can easily test our joint solutions locally and we welcome them to visit the centres to see first hand how our Internet-centric solutions can help their organisations to lower costs, ensure full security and fulfill their existing and future needs," said Samer Karawi, alliance and global services marketing manager, Compaq MEMA.

As well as allowing businesses to see their solutions in practice, the centres also provide training and support to clients, project management, professional services and platform sizing and performance characteristics.

"Customers in this region want to see before they buy; these centres allow us to deliver more than just product demonstrations, they enable our customers to size their platform, and to even start customising the applications before the actual delivery and installation takes place," said Ayman Abouseif, marketing manager, technology Solutions, Oracle ME.

STME increases enterprise storage portfolio with Emulex

Enterprise storage VAR, STME has increased its portfolio to include Fibre Channel host bus adapters and hubs from Emulex. The recently signed deal gives STME the ability to provide storage solutions with full connectivity using Emulex's adapters.

"We are experiencing unprecedented demand for high speed, reliable storage solutions, and our agreement with Emulex complements STME's range of best-of-breed technologies for the Middle East," commented Trevor Hutson, general manager of STME.

"Emulex offers the necessary products and resources that allow STME's customers to deploy both enterprise and small-and-medium business-level storage area network solutions," added Hutson.

According to Emulex, STME's partnership with other vendors such as EMC and Veritas will allow the company to gain a head start in developing regional awareness about it technology's benefits.

"Working with STME is an important element in our strategy for addressing the Middle East enterprise storage market," stated Alan Wallman, vice president of EMEA Operations at Emulex.

"STME has the experience, market share, trained staff, and enterprise customer base that will enable rampant deployment of Fibre Channel storage networking solutions throughout the Middle East," he added.
||**||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: Gulf Hotel, 08:30 to 17:00: ACN & Arabian Business.Com Electronic Security in the e-Age Road Show.

Join the editors of the market-leading IT and business publications from ITP, Arabian Computer News and Arabian Business.Com for the first ITP road show.

Under the patronage of HE Sheikh Mohammed Bin Ateyatulla Al Khalifa, President, CSO and together with sponsors Internet Security Systems, HP, Network Security Assurance Group, Computer Associates, Arabtrust and Al Falak the day long event will have the latest information about security needs and illustrate how to acquire the skills to construct effective defence systems

Attendance is FREE to resellers who register in advance.

The Electronic Security Road Show was designed with the ‘Reseller’ in mind and we have built into it special sessions to ensure your knowledge is up-dated on the latest technology thus optimising opportunities to increase your business.

Learn what customers in this niche market are crying out for and discover the issues on how to close such deals.

During the networking breaks take this opportunity to mix with your existing and indeed potential clients.

It’s FREE to you as a reseller but, you must register at www.itp.net/events/esecurity.htm.

Please see www.itp.net/events for a full list of Ministerial/Government/Industry Speakers & Sponsors.

Dubai

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

March 25-29: Sun Educational Training Centre. Shell Programming training: Join Sun Microsystems for training on network administration.

The training course is priced at $1875.

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: Sheraton Hotel, Kuwait, 08:30 to 17:00: ACN & Arabian Business.Com Electronic Security in the e-Age Road Show.

Join the editors of the market-leading IT and business publications from ITP, Arabian Computer News and Arabian Business.Com for the first ITP road show.

Under the patronage of the government of Kuwait and together with sponsors Internet Security Systems, HP, Network Security Assurance Group, Computer Associates, Arabtrust and Al Falak the day long event will have the latest information about security needs and illustrate how to acquire the skills to construct effective defence systems

Attendance is FREE to resellers who register in advance.

The Electronic Security Road Show was designed with the ‘Reseller’ in mind and we have built into it special sessions to ensure your knowledge is up-dated on the latest technology thus optimising opportunities to increase your business.

Learn what customers in this niche market are crying out for and discover the issues on how to close such deals.

During the networking breaks take this opportunity to mix with your existing and indeed potential clients.

It’s FREE to you as a reseller but, you must register at www.itp.net/events/esecurity.htm.

Please see www.itp.net/events for a full list of Ministerial/Government/Industry Speakers & Sponsors.

Oman

March 31: Interncontinental Hotel, 08:30 to 17:00: ACN & Arabian Business.Com Electronic Security in the e-Age Road Show.

Join the editors of the market-leading IT and business publications from ITP, Arabian Computer News and Arabian Business.Com for the first ITP road show.

Under the patronage of HE Sheikh Saud Bin Suliaman Al Nabhani, Undersecretary, Ministry of Communications and together with sponsors Internet Security Systems, HP, Network Security Assurance Group, Computer Associates, Arabtrust and Al Falak the day long event will have the latest information about security needs and illustrate how to acquire the skills to construct effective defence systems

Attendance is FREE to resellers who register in advance.

The Electronic Security Road Show was designed with the ‘Reseller’ in mind and we have built into it special sessions to ensure your knowledge is up-dated on the latest technology thus optimising opportunities to increase your business.

Learn what customers in this niche market are crying out for and discover the issues on how to close such deals.

During the networking breaks take this opportunity to mix with your existing and indeed potential clients.

It’s FREE to you as a reseller but, you must register at www.itp.net/events/esecurity.htm.

Please see www.itp.net/events for a full list of Ministerial/Government/Industry Speakers & Sponsors.

Qatar

April 2: Sheraton Hotel, Doha, 08:30 to 17:00: ACN & Arabian Business.Com Electronic Security in the e-Age Road Show.

Join the editors of the market-leading IT and business publications from ITP, Arabian Computer News and Arabian Business.Com for the first ITP road show.

Under the patronage of Hamad Bin Abdulla Al-Atteya, CEO of Q-Tel and together with sponsors Internet Security Systems, HP, Network Security Assurance Group, Computer Associates, Arabtrust and Al Falak the day long event will have the latest information about security needs and illustrate how to acquire the skills to construct effective defence systems.

Attendance is FREE to resellers who register in advance.

The Electronic Security Road Show was designed with the ‘Reseller’ in mind and we have built into it special sessions to ensure your knowledge is up-dated on the latest technology thus optimising opportunities to increase your business.

Learn what customers in this niche market are crying out for and discover the issues on how to close such deals.

During the networking breaks take this opportunity to mix with your existing and indeed potential clients.

It’s FREE to you as a reseller but, you must register at www.itp.net/events/esecurity.htm.

Please see www.itp.net/events for a full list of Ministerial/Government/Industry Speakers & Sponsors.

Riyadh

March 20: Hotel Al Khozama, 9:30 to 13:30: Citrix Launch of MetaFrame XP in conjunction with Mindware. Find out what this updated product offers and what the benefits are for your customers. Representatives from Citrix and Mindware will be on hand to asnwer all your questions.

Attendance is FREE – however places are limited.

For further information and to register, visit http://www.itp.net/events/citrix and complete the online registration form.

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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