eChannel 22 April 2001

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By  Colin Browne Published  April 19, 2001

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

In a meeting today with IBM, Louis Guelette, the EMEA distribution czar and Farid Metwaly, the man in charge of the company's business in the region, the men detailed a plan for building complex solutions which could work quite well.

The plan is what the pair referred to as the 'IBM ecosystem' -- a name which I deeply dislike incidentally -- and it involved a neat little plan for getting partners to work together and pool their expertise.

The way it works is this: a group of, say seven partners, work together en masse, as an 'ecosystem,' and by so doing, create a situation where there is scarcely a solution design which they cannot build.

In effect, what happens is that wherever customers contact IBM partners with requests for consultation or services, they end up inadvertently contacting some point of one of these ecosystems, and therefore are met with a vast array of resources.

Need a spohisticated CRM solution? No problem. In theory, though the partner a customer contacts may not have the necessary skills, the ecosystem of which he is a part, does. One of the five, or seven, or however many partners within that ecosystem has them, and by definition, therefore, any one of the partners within that ecosystem can guarantee to provide the solution.

The idea is a good one, and IBM is serious about it. There are 75 CEOs of top IBM partners from around the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, and thereabouts, in town as we speak, discussing how the concept will roll out.

It will take time, of course, but if it all comes together the way IBM envisages it, it makes for a pretty tough bunch of competitors to go up against.

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|~||~||~|Cisco champions e-fficiency

Cisco Systems Middle East unveiled its 'Internet Roadmap to E-fficiency,' recently; a programme which the company says can "contribute significantly to the bottom lines of small and medium businesses (SMB) in the Middle East."

Cisco says it will show how the Internet can make this happen easily and quickly, if necessary with the help of qualified network integrators.

"The Cisco Internet Roadmap to Business E-fficiency lays out very clear steps for an organisation to go from simple Internet connectivity all the way to forming global ecosystems," says Roger Levenhagen, channel manager at Cisco Systems Middle East.

"The first hurdle facing small and medium businesses here is that they are told that they need access to the Internet, but they are not told exactly what it will do for them, or how to go about doing it. E-fficiency does just this, through education, and through directly engaging our Premier Certified Partners to work with the keen small and medium business," he added.

The Internet Roadmap, Cisco says, consists of five stages: e-mail; Web site; e-commerce; e-business; and the Internet ecosystem.

Onwers of businesses can contact a call centre (+971 4 883 4845) to receive an information booklet.

Tech Access and Argus boost Solaris

Tech Access, Sun Microsystems' Data Centre Enterprise Country Reseller for the Middle East, and Argus Systems Group, a maker of security software have described their recent partnership as "a match made in heaven."

The security solutions that Argus will bring to the Tech Access solutions machine will enable the pair to create enhancements to the Solaris operating system, which will create what the companies described as "an operating system on steroids."

According to Omar Qawas, sales manager for the UK and MEA at Argus, the activities in which Tech Access is involved in the e-commerce and e-business space, make the partnership between the companies ideal.

"Our technology in a nutshell, is designed to secure those infrastructures, by providing a secure foundation. What we coin as open security, that is the ability to prevent intrusion into systems before they actually happen, using trusted operating system technology," said Qawas.

The Argus enhancements can be extended to non-Unix operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows 2000, but Qawas says that is currently not part of the plan.

Tech Access will look for resellers across the region to promote its muscle-bound Solaris version, according to Tim Carlson, chief technical officer for the firm.

"It makes sense that these resellers are geared up to be Sun resellers-basic hardware and software-[but] indirectly, our resellers will be Argus resellers. It will add to our portfolio and our wealth of offerings to give to these people," he said.

MenaNet enhances Web content

Egyptian ISP, MenaNet Communications, has become an Akamai Accelerated Network to provide enhanced reliability and performance of popular Web content for its end users. The new relationship with Akamai falls in line with MenaNet's focus on high quality delivery of interactive content and applications.

"We're excited to be able to provide higher quality multimedia content to our subscribers by aligning with Akamai," said Gamal Marwan, founder and CEO, MenaNet Communications.

"By installing Akamai's servers on the edge of the MenaNet network, our subscribers will receive faster downloads of content served via Akamai's global platform," he added.

By deploying Akamai edge servers inside its network, MenaNet can increase the performance of Web sites using Akamai's Internet content delivery services. As an Akamai Accelerated Network, MenaNet can also reduce the amount of transit bandwidth needed to deliver requested Web pages.

"Working with MenaNet presents an opportunity for Akamai to further extend our network presence in Egypt while delivering measurably greater Web performance to the users of MenaNet's Internet service," said Jonathan Stefansky, vice president of network infrastructure, Akamai.

"We look forward to growing the relationship and delivering the benefits of exceptional Web performance overseas," he added.

MenaNet is expanding its network to cover 27 exchanges and 12 cities before the end of June 2001.

Gitex Cairo extends its lead

Organisers of the third annual Gitex Cairo event, held last month, say that more than 10,000 trade visitors and professionals visited the exhibition, with another 40,000 visiting the consumer component, Gitex Cairo Computer Shopper.

According to the Dubai World Trade Centre, which organises the event, Computer Shopper witnessed direct sales worth US$1.8 million.

"Gitex Cairo 2001 was a major success, and already 60% of participating exhibitors have confirmed they'll participate in the 2002 edition which will be held from April 3-6 at the Cairo International Conference Centre," said Ibrahim Al Hashmi, the Dubai World Trade Centre's corporate manager of exhibitions.

As usual, there was a wide range of announcements throughout the exhibition, where vendors and Egyptian partners strengthened their business partnerships.

The Egyptian company Information Technology & Services (ITS) reported it signed a contract with Egypt's national postal authority to provide it with the latest electronic document imaging (EDI) system, for example.

"We will begin implementing a new infrastructure at the central post office, which will, in time, enable all the other branches in Egypt to benefit from a new system which provides faster and more efficient document and data transfers.

The new system will be particularly beneficial to international organisations that have an office in Egypt and communicate frequently across borders," said Ashraf Fawzi, general manager of ITS.

Digiba opens in DIC

Canada-based Internet services company Digiba is making a push into Dubai with the official opening of office at Dubai Internet City.

The company, which has offices in Vancouver, Seattle and now Dubai, offers a range of online services including Internet telephony and CRM.

"We've been watching the market in Dubai for years," said Amir Shahbazian, president and CEO of the local operation. "It's still very immature, but there will be a lot of growth."

The advance force numbers only three staff; most development and integration work will be done by the company's 45-strong team in Canada, but Shahbazian plans to grow that quickly as the company signs up clients.

Having done work for the Canadian government and high-profile business clients, Digiba prides itself on the stability and security of its services, he says, indicating service provides such as Etisalat and local government as ideal early targets.

To fuel growth locally, the company is becoming involved in the formation of local user groups, starting with Cold Fusion and Java groups (with the blessing of Sun Microsystems).

Shahbazian says Digiba is platform-agnostic, offering services on a variety of platforms and database back-ends, as well as readily extending its core products with modules tailored to customer's precise requirements.

Cisco issues third quarter warning

Cisco is warning analysts that it's third quarter results will be worse than Wall Street forecasts. The networking giant predicted that its revenues would be 30% below second quarter sales coming in at $4.7 billion - $200 million less than sales for the same quarter last year.

The results are the first year-on-year drop in revenues in the vendor's 11 years as a publicly traded entity.

Cisco also detailed restructuring plans that included layoffs and consolidation of its global facilities, which would cost around $1 billion. Cisco's business "has never been more challenging," said Cisco CEO John Chambers in a post announcement conference call.

"In fact, this may be the fastest any industry our size has ever decelerated, which has required us to make difficult business decisions at an unprecedented speed," he added.

Cisco has largely attributed its current situation to the downturn in corporate spending on telecommunications kit. Cisco's 50% per year revenue growth demonstrated between 1995 and 2000 is expected to flatten out in the coming years, but Chambers is confident the vendor will still be able to grow at 30-to-50% per year.

"This is the same commentary we gave in the first fiscal quarter, and it is the same commentary we have given for the last seven years," said Chambers. "We have had a great decade in business growth, and we will have an equally strong next decade," he added.
||**||Dealer Incentives|~||~||~|Special Discounts from Mentor Systems

Mentor Systems offers 'AUDIT-IT' The Complete Accounting System with SOURCE CODE for Dh. 7,000/- only

Specially Designed for Computer Resellers only, based on the Windows environment.

Modules covered are: Accounts Receivable; Accounts Payable; General Ledger; Inventory Control; Sales Invoicing

For further details, please contact: email:mentor@emirates.net.ae.

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

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 24: Le Royal Meridien Hotel: 14:00 to 17:30: 3Com Partners 3 Reseller Training.

For further details, and to register, email: jane_bray@3com.com

Dubai

April 22-26: Sun Educational Training Centre.

System Administration I training: Join Sun Microsystems for training on systems 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.

April 26: Veritas VPLUS partner SALES training.

Session will cover "How to Sell VERITAS products" and take partners through new strategies, price list navigation, sample scenarios etc.

For further details, and to register for this event, please contact: david.beck@veritas.com

April 29 April-3 May: Sun Educational Training Centre.

System Administration II training: Join Sun Microsystems for training on systems 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.

April 30: Emirates Towers Hotel: 14:00 to 17:30: 3Com Partners 3 Reseller Training

For further details, and to register, email: jane_bray@3com.com

Jordan

May 8: Grand Hyatt Hotel: 14:00 to 17:30: 3Com Partners 3 Reseller Training

For further details, and to register, email: jane_bray@3com.com

Kuwait

May 13: Le Meridien Hotel: 14:00 to 17:30: 3Com Partners 3 Reseller Training

For further details, and to register, email: jane_bray@3com.com

Lebanon

May 3: Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel: 14:00 to 17:30: 3Com Partners 3 Reseller Training

For further details, and to register, email: jane_bray@3com.com

Oman

April 28: Grand Hyatt Hotel: 14:00 to 17:30: 3Com Partners 3 Reseller Training

For further details, and to register, email: jane_bray@3com.com

Qatar

May 6: InterContinental Hotel: 14:00 to 17:30: 3Com Partners 3 Reseller Training

For further details, and to register, email: jane_bray@3com.com
||**||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.

EMPA Middle East FZCO: Regional distributor of Intel and Quantum

Wanted: Sales Engineers with channel experience & knowledge of the North Africa and/or Middle East region.

Must be able to travel frequently.

APPLY NOW: Please send an email attaching a CV to recruit@empa-me.com

Aptec Saudi Arabia

Wanted: Young, educated people willing to work in a fast moving company.

The following positions are open to appropriate candidates:

Retail Sales Specialist
A sound knowledge of the retail business would be appreciated.

The candidate should have very good communication skills and a good command of English.

His job is to create his own channel while passing up leads, giving time and support to his customers through daily visits or/and daily telephone contacts.

The position is based in Saudi Arabia.

The company will provide training on products.

Retail Business Developer
The position needs a previous experience in the retail market, ideally in IT, distribution or both.

The candidate should be holding a degree in Commerce or IT from a valuable university.

The candidate should have a very good command of English and should position himself as the Retail Office of the company.

Daily contacts with both customers and vendors, accuracy in reporting and development of marketing activities around his brands are required.

The Retail Business Developer will have to break into the market with major brands and to manage his Sales Specialist and his channel.

The position is based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with regular visits paid to customers/users Kingdom wide.

Networking Sales Specialist
A sound experience in selling networking products is needed here.

Understanding the end-user market is a must as it drives the sales to our second tier partners.

The candidate should have very good communication skills and a good command of English.

His job is to create his own channel while passing up leads, giving time and support to his customers through daily visits or/and daily telephone contacts.

The position is based in Saudi Arabia.

The company will provide training on products.

Telesales (two to three positions available)
We would like to invite here all people interested in the IT business.

People with experience in sales, in IT, or juniors are welcome.

Candidates have to speak English.

Dedication to customers is the rule. Your daily contacts, permanent follow-up on quotations and 100% availability will make the difference, willingness and happiness will do the rest.

Positions based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Oracle Product Manager
The candidate must hold a degree in Commerce from a valuable University.

A sound understanding of the IT world, its moves its requirements and future trends would help the ideal candidate to step quickly in the driver seat.

Daily contacts with both customers and vendors, accuracy in reporting and development of marketing activities around his brands are required.

A good command of English is a must.

The position is based in Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) with regular visits paid to customers/users Kingdom wide.

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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