eChannel 20 May 2001

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By  Mark Sutton Published  May 20, 2001

Editorial Leader|~||~||~|Dear Colleague,

More Microsoft licensing problems this week, as news of the details of a new agreement that looks likely to hit corporate customers. The new agreements give corporate customers until the start of October to become current with their Microsoft deployments - which means running Windows 2000 and Office XP, or having an agreement to purchase Windows XP as and when it becomes available.

Fail to become current, and corporate customers will have to pay full price next time they update Windows, instead of just an upgrade fee. From then on, an annual fee will be payable, whether you want to upgrade or not.

Analysts say that Microsoft is changing its licensing, because too many customers only take every other upgrade or so, and that Redmond would rather have a steady revenue.

They also suggest that more frequent upgrades will be necessary to enable .NET to really work, and that companies may have been less than interested in upgrading to Office XP.

Whatever the reasoning, the largest Microsoft users could face up to an additional $1.6 million for a four year upgrade cycle, according to Gartner Group, which could represent up to a 107% increase.

As David Coursey, executive editor of ZDNet's AnchorDesk put it: ".NET and other web services are potentially revolutionary and worth the trouble - but forcing people to pay for software they don't want isn't the way to make the revolution happen. Unless, of course you accept that the only real revolutions happen at gunpoint."

I couldn't agree more.

Regards,

Mark Sutton
Editor, Computer Reseller News
Tel: +971 4 282 9996 ext110
Fax: +971 4 282 9599
mark.sutton@itp.net
||**||News|~||~||~|ABS bails out of local market

Enterprise solution provider, Advanced Business Systems (ABS) has ceased its operations, leaving some customers in the UAE and lower Gulf out in the cold.

ABS shut down its operation without informing either its principles, or customers at the tail end of April, after amassing huge debts.

“There was no official communication to the 500 customers we had around the region, and there were no plans to do that,” says an anonymous senior executive with ABS.

“The employees themselves were given just one hour to clean out of the office, before the doors were closed.”

Regional manager of Baan Middle East, Eric Smith, confirmed that it hadn’t received any official communication that ABS had ceased operation. However, Smith did add that any Baan-site in the region that had paid for support would be able to call on either the local office or Baan’s global services organisation.

Other end user companies aren’t so lucky. ABS has a number of customers running its homegrown enterprise payroll systems. These companies will now have to look for alternative products.

Also customers that had invested in the US Sage’s Acuity product — recently renamed Sage Enterprise Suite — are also “without a safety net… They are mostly likely going to have to replace that software,” predicts the ABS executive.

Just how the end came about for ABS remains a mystery. The enterprise solution player became a Baan reseller in 1998 — just before the ERP vendor entered its decline, which later resulted in its acquisition by Invensys last year. Still, ABS managed to win several accounts during 1999.

However, there were extensive periods last year when very little business came into ABS. But the main reason for the company’s decline appears to be, “financial mismanagement,” says the senior executive. “Perhaps we should have seen what was happening with Baan, and focused on other areas of the business.”

“A number of people were approached about becoming possible external investors… but by that time things had gone on to long. When the final possible investor turned down [the management] the doors had to be closed.”

Almasa expands its reach across the region

The traditional role of logistics and inventory handling undertaken by Almasa Distribution is being taken several steps further as it rolls out its plans for expansion across the region.

In its bid to provide value-added offerings, technical support, along with customer and delivery service, Almasa is opening new offices across the region, enabling the company to provide in-country distribution.

“The whole strategy is trying to bring services as close to the customer as possible, by putting in in-country distribution,” says Gerry Samure, managing director, Almasa Distribution.

“It’s a lot of what other distributors have wanted to do,” he added.

Offices in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Lebanon already have staff on the ground and are almost ready for business, says Samure. For now, the offices will be supplied from the main office in Dubai, although it is expected by the end of the year, each office will manage its own inventory.

“As time goes on, the inventory will become local, as we have to go through the development of getting the offices set up, the internal logistics system operating and getting it right,” says Samure.

“Its key for us to get inventory in these countries and we are also looking for resellers in these new areas,” he added.

Bahrain households get ADSL connections

Bahrain's ISP subsidiary, inet, is giving home users the ability to open permanent 385 kbit/s connections to the Internet for only BD 50 per month.

The introduction of the SpeedNet ADSL service to the island means that with a simple modem upgrade, households can enjoy speeds ranging between 256 kbit/s and 384 kbit/s using their existing telephone lines. A 256 kbit/s, inet is charging BD 40 per month. All households upgrading to ADSL will have to pay a one-off installation fee of BD 30

As well as its high speed and always-on connection, ADSL subscribers also benefit from the fact that data and voice calls can be made over the same connection simultaneously. This means telephones will still function over the same line even when a computer is connected to the Internet.

SpeedNet customers will have to be running Windows 98, Millennium or 2000 to use the service. Apple Macintosh users or those running any version of Linux on their home PCs will not be able to connect, according to a statement from Batelco.
Business customers are also being excluded from the SpeedNet offer. Batelco says the service is "available to residential customers only."

The island's business customers will have to stick with multiple ISDN lines to achieve the same speeds as ADSL offers, or pay for leased line connections, which are considerably more expensive than the ADSL offer. A 256 kbit/s leased line for a business customer is priced at BD1400.000 on the inet Web site.

OgerTel signs with Intershop to deliver secure e-commerce platform

Saudi Internet service provider, OgerTel has teamed up with Intershop to offer an e-commerce platform to Saudi ARAMCO’s supplier community.

“In order to build e-commerce solutions that would meet Saudi ARAMCO’s exacting standards, OgerTel needed a technology partner that could provide a secure, reliable and scalable Internet platform,” said Jamal Alameddine, general manager, OgerTel Internet Services.

“Together, OgerTel and Intershop are helping to enable an entirely new and profitable business model for some of the most prominent organisations in the Kingdom,” added Alameddine.

As part of the alliance the ISP will use Intershop’s e-business software to develop business-to-business (B2B) solutions based on technical specifications issued by ARAMCO last year.

The oil & gas heavyweight intends to migrate its 300-company supplier community towards an e-procurement model. Eventually, as many as 2000 suppliers are expected to go online to sell everything from IT kit to office furnishings to ARAMCO.

“OgerTel’s e-commerce initiative is evidence that some of the Kingdom’s most important enterprises are moving online,” noted Basel Tutunji, Intershop’s MENA sales director.

“E-commerce in Saudi is at the critical first stage, it’s vital that companies selling and buying online use a reliable, secure and powerful platform, which Intershop is providing to OgerTel,” added Tutunji.

Intershop’s local partner NewTek will deliver the necessary sales and technical support to the Saudi ISP. OgerTel’s e-business solution will be based on Intershop 4, an e-commerce site hosting product suite for the small-to-medium business segment.

Personnel from OgerTel have already undergone training both in Europe and in the Kingdom to ensure that they have the necessary skills to deliver the Intershop 4-based solutions.

Simple Technology to roll-out channel programmes

A turbulent year for memory manufacturers has prompted Simple Technology to up its service and support for customers in the region, in order to combat the unstable memory market.

According to Nima Firoozbakhsh, regional manager for Simple Technology, around two hundred memory companies closed down this year due to overcapacity in the market.

“The market has been unstable because at the start of the year there are expectations of what the demand will be. Unfortunately the demand was not here and the overcapacity in the market forced many companies to drop their prices and dump the products just to maintain cash flow,” he said.

Through one if its regional distributors, Experts Computer, Simple will be rolling out channel programmes to help resellers with technical training, marketing, advertising, service and support.

“We have schemes for the channel giving them opportunities for selling and being associated with Simple,” said Shailendra Rughwani, managing director, Experts Computer.

Microsoft partners awarded at Fusion 2001

Microsoft GEM has announced this year’s winners of its solution and partner awards. The awards were presented as part of the Fusion partner event, an annual meeting of Microsoft business partners including Microsoft Certified Solution Providers, ISVs, ASPs and resellers. Now in its fourth year, the partner awards are decided by a panel of Microsoft judges, and awarded for excellence and innovation in delivering solutions to customers.

“The expanded focus of the Microsoft Solution and Partner of the Year Awards allows Microsoft to reward excellence in broader and emerging solution categories,” said Bahram Mohazzebi, general manager, Microsoft GEM. “In presenting the Microsoft Partners Awards, Microsoft recognizes the exceptional work by our partners in the Gulf & East Mediterranean region.”

The winners of the 2001 Microsoft Solution Provider of the Year Awards are:
GulfWeb International - Collaborative solution-partner of the Year ‏2001
3B Soft - Packaged Application-Partner of the Year
Eastern Networks - Microsoft Small Business Solution Partner of the Year
Dataflow - Microsoft Mobility Solution Partner of the Year
Computer World WLL - Anti-Piracy Advocate of the Year
New Horizons Computer Learning Centres - Microsoft CTEC Partner of the Year
Interactive Technologies - Microsoft E-Commerce Solution Partner of the Year
Seven Seas Computers - Microsoft Infrastructure Solution Partner of the Year
The Information Centre Company - Support Services Solution of the Year
Itqan Al Bawardi Computers WLL - Excellence in Support Services Sales of the Year
JD Edwards - Best Gitex Partner of the Year
Info Centre - Microsoft CTEC Partner of the Year
Trinec SAL - Application Service Provider of the Year

||**||Dealer Incentives|~||~||~|Special Discounts on Symantec products from Aptec

Special promotions throughout Q2 2001 could earn you $$$ thousands.

Buy any Symantec Licenses from Aptec in Q2 2001 worth $4000, and get an AED 1000 voucher from Plug Ins at the Dubai City Centre

OR

Get an AED 1000 voucher from Aptec Mobiles

OR

Buy any Symantec Licenses from Aptec in Q2 2001 worth $10000, and get an Aptec 1001 Golden Partner Certificate which will entitle you to the AED 1000 voucher from Plug Ins at the Dubai City Centre

PLUS

A 2% rebate on Symantec Licenses Purchases at the end of Q2.

To qualify, please register with Aptec by fax at: +971 4 335 5941 or register online at: href="http://www.apteconline.com">http://www.apteconline.com

Win a car with Aptec DEALS ON WHEELS

For every purchase of US Robotics products from Aptec between April 1, 2001 and June 30, 2001

For the value of $500 you get 1 "Deals on Wheels" raffle draw coupon. There is no limit to the number of coupons you can collect.

The grand prize is a red 2001 model Peugeot 206. Second prize is a 29" flat screen TV, and third prize is a DVD player.

The raffle draw will take place at the end of the promotion and you will all be invited to see for yourselves! (To be advised later).

For More Details of this promotion please contact the Aptec Sales Team at: (T) +971 4 336 6885 or (F) +971 4 335 5941, or by email at: skumar@aptecme.com

US Robotics Promotion with TechData: Win a trip to Thailand plus exciting electronic prizes !!!

The more you buy US Robotics from TechData, the more chances you have to win

Trip to Bangkok: The three top resellers by revenue will have the chance for a trip to Bangkok, capital of Thailand.

Electronic prizes: Ten lucky resellers will have chances to win ten exciting electronic prizes.

All you have to do during the promotion is collect your coupons from TechData.

For each $1000 purchase order your company is entitled to one coupon. The more you collect, the more chances you have to win. At the end of the promotion, a draw will take place, and the winner will be announced.

Please speak to your Account Manager and send your orders now! The promotion is valid from April 1 to June 30.

For further more information on the promotion, email: ashfaqa@techdata.co.ae, or contact the TechData sales desk on: +971 4 334 6952.

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.

Dubai

May 20-24: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
May 28-31:Sun Educational Training Centre. Fundamentals of Solaris training: Join Sun Microsystems for training on Solaris. 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
June 3-7:Sun Educational Training Centre. System Administration I training: Join Sun Microsystems for training on system 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

Egypt

May 22: Cairo: Web Content Distribution Networks roadshow with Cacheflow, Foundry Networks, and EMC.

The three technology partners will together demonstrate how ISPs, ASPs and enterprises can deliver media-rich and bandwidth-hungry content to consumers around the world with high performance, cost-effective content-delivery networks.

For further details, and to register, email: reshma@matrixdubai.com

Kuwait

May 23: Web Content Distribution Networks roadshow with Cacheflow, Foundry Networks, and EMC.

The three technology partners will together demonstrate how ISPs, ASPs and enterprises can deliver media-rich and bandwidth-hungry content to consumers around the world with high performance, cost-effective content-delivery networks.

For further details, and to register, email: reshma@matrixdubai.com

Saudi Arabia

May 21: Riyadh: Web Content Distribution Networks roadshow with Cacheflow, Foundry Networks, and EMC.

The three technology partners will together demonstrate how ISPs, ASPs and enterprises can deliver media-rich and bandwidth-hungry content to consumers around the world with high performance, cost-effective content-delivery networks.

For further details, and to register, email: reshma@matrixdubai.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. And please don't forget to notify us once the vacancy is filled.

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

JUNE 2001 FEATURES

Only expertise
Systems integrators are looking at new models of doing business, that don't involve them handling software or hardware.

Dot-com
Is it worth gearing up to serve the fledgling dot-com market in the Middle East, and how do you go about it?

Consumables
How do you offer added value to something as simple as a printer cartridge?

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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