eChannel 27 May 2001

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By  Mark Sutton Published  May 29, 2001

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

Earlier in the month anti-piracy raids across the region netted the usual haul of counterfeit CDs and unlicensed applications. Among the targets were a number of businesses that were relying on unlicensed software for core applications and resellers in Jordan and the UAE.

With many countries seeking assistance from vendors to drive e-economies, there is ever more pressure for the authorities to come down hard on piracy. Counterfeiting software is illegal, but for businesses, perhaps the line is a little more blurred. Time and again companies are caught relying on unlicensed software for essential business functions. The BSA continues to offer assistance to companies to make sure they have properly licensed software, but for many in this region, where the culture of pirating has been the norm for so long, why spend money to go legitimate, when you know full well that your competitors will continue with cheap copies? Who is going to know if one or two PCs in an office are running duplicated software? Can the authorities really keep up operations to root out the odd unlicensed application or OS; and will the software industry continue to fund policing of customers?

Microsoft’s latest anti-piracy scheme is about just that – keeping tabs on customers. The scheme, according to, actually rewards assemblers and systems integrators for tipping off Microsoft to potential breaches of licensing. The idea is that every time a system is sold without an operating system, the seller informs Microsoft. If it turns out that the system did in fact end up with an unlicensed version of Windows, the vendors earns reward points, that can be traded for prizes including Microsoft games software and fashion watches.

The scheme was not too well received when it launched on the West Coast of the US. While Microsoft say that many companies mistakenly believe that new PCs are covered by existing volume-license agreements (they are not) many systems integrators objected to 1) being asked to inform on their customers, and 2) providing Microsoft with the names and addresses of customers that chose not to use Windows in the first place, and went for something like Linux, where they didn’t have to be concerned about things like licence fees or Microsoft audits…

In all seriousness, the long-term situation needs to be addressed. The BSA has invested an enormous amount of time and effort in combating software piracy, with striking results in many countries, but efforts to educate only seem to go so far in combating the problem. Do we really want to work in a market where police raids on customers are an everyday occurrence? The channel must add value to software sales - before all of our customers end up in jail.

Kind regards,

Mark Sutton
Editor – Computer Reseller News

Tel: +971 4 282 9996 ext 110
Fax: +971 4 282 9599

||**||News|~||~||~|Middle East is winning the war on Piracy

The BSA today released its latest global figures for software piracy, indicating an overall decline in Middle East software theft. Despite a slight increase in the worldwide figures, losses to the software industry caused by pirated software slipped from $240 million in 2000, from $284 in the previous year, or a 6% decline in piracy rates to 57%.

Oman showed the greatest progress against piracy, with rates down to 78%, from 88% last year, with the UAE recording the lowest level of piracy at 44%. Egypt and Saudi Arabia also reported low rates at 56% and 59% respectively, but Kuwait, Qatar and Lebanon all ranked within the ten worst countries in the world, with rates of over 80%.

Overall, the Middle East was ranked as the third worst territory in the world for software piracy as surveyed by International Planning Research Corporation (IPR).

“This overall improvement is a big motivation for us,” said Jawad Al-Redha, regional director of the BSA. “The UAE is still the leading county in the region, thanks to the UAE government’s consistence in fighting software piracy. The benefits of this policy are showing year by year, and we are convinced that copyright protection has played a major role in establishing the UAE as the IT hub of the Middle East.”

Al-Redha said that concerns remain over the state of the markets in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Lebanon, where more work is needed to control software piracy. Al-Redha pointed out the damage done to local software developers, who were also targeted by pirates, which was causing many of them to give up development.

He also said that while moves to control piracy in some countries were proving successful, the problem posed by software pirates selling over the Internet was getting worse.

“Today there are over two million sites selling illegal software, it is a new trend and a new challenge for government,” he said. “They are unregulated, under legislated and difficult to police, but the value of illegal software distributed over Internet sites is huge.

“We closed some sites and warned some more one year ago, when there were about 840,000, but they are increasing in number,” Al-Redha commented. “Laws need to be amended to cover this issue in future, we need to co-operate globally on how to work against it.”
Acer plans new services attack

Acer is planning a major services offensive in the third quarter of this year, underpinned by a desire to provide total solutions to the market. With details still unfortunately under wraps, it seems clear that the company intends to go all out for the education and small to medium (SMB) segment.

“We're moving forward in the market in terms of our services business in the region,” said Eric Tien, managing director, Acer EMEA. “We’ve had good growth in our services region and we’re looking to capitalise on that momentum. We are going to be ready to deliver enhanced services by the third quarter.”

According to Tien, with the margins falling out of simple hardware sales, it is important that Acer adds value- through services- to its core business. With the Middle East service business growing, the vendor is searching out niche spaces that match Acer’s capabilities.
“There is a conscious move at the global level to deliver greater services and add value,” explains Tien. “Our main focus is still in education and the SMB segment.”

In conjunction with its forthcoming services push, the vendor is also planning to add further functionality to its Acer Care Web site. Currently, the Web site supports Acer’s local partners, providing ‘A to Z’ details on the inventory, availability and performance of the vendor's hardware.

Microsoft giveaway

Microsoft has announced details of a competition to win a GM car, as part of the promotion to launch Office XP at the end of the month. The prize draw will be open to anyone who purchases Office XP in the UAE from May 31st. Also up for grabs are two Compaq Armada laptops, five Compaq iPaqs and five Siemens mobile phones.

“We’re pleased to partner with GM, Compaq and Siemens Mobile Phones to offer an executive promotional package to Office XP customers,” said Mazen Shehadeh, product marketing manager at Microsoft GEM. “The improvements made in the latest and best version of Office ever will empower customers to move beyond disconnected applications, services and devices to complete, connected computing experiences that redefine the relationship between people, software and the Internet, which is a step towards Microsoft’s vision of the .Net strategy.”

The promotional offer will be running from 31st of May through to the 31st of July 2001 at the following resellers; Advanced Business Computer, Alpha Data, Blue Bell, CompuMe, Computronic, Carrefour, Jumbo, PC Centre, Plug Inns and Succo.

DIC targets Middle East-wide hosted service market

Dubai Internet City today outlined plans to install a second data centre within the complex.

The data centre, which will be installed and managed by IBM, will offer businesses throughout the region with managed services such as Web site hosting, application hosting, storage hosting and security service provision. Phase one of the data centre project will be completed by the end of the year and an additional data centre is planned within the agreement between DIC and IBM.

"Our aim is simple: to offer the best possible e-business facilities to all organisations, both public and private sector, operating in this region," said Mohammed Al Gergawi, director general of Dubai Technology, Electronic Commerce and Media Free Zone Authority. Our partnership with IBM is designed to deliver just that, namely a secure, reliable and scalable hosing facility that is world class," he added.

Exact details of the financial arrangement between DIC and IBM were not disclosed at the press conference held in Dubai. However, a source close to the project said it was modeled on similar deal signed in 2000 between IBM and KPNQuest, one of the largest ISPs in Europe.

In the KPNQuest deal, IBM and KPNQuest agreed to a 50/50 revenue share from a network of "Cybercenters" built across Europe. Both IBM and KPNQuest sell the services of these Cybercenters. IBM customers, in particular, are encouraged to migrate their systems to the network of data centres. For this reason, IBM committed to leasing 25% of the capacity of these data centres.

DIC's deal looks almost identical, although on a smaller scale. Technical, sales and marketing teams will be jointly established by DIC and IBM to sell the services of the new data centre. IBM customers in the region are expected to be a prime target to give the centre momentum and mass in its startup phase.

Tenants within Dubai Internet City, which currently access a Sun Microsystems-based data centre for their ISP services, will be encouraged to migrate to the new infrastructure, according to Ahmed Binbayat, CEO for DIC. Sun, however, said that it had heard of no plans that would cut short their contract to manage Internet access for the City.

Elite sees systems management booms

Enterprise systems management is starting to boom in Saudi Arabia if the experience of Elite Computer Solutions is anything to go by. The company has seen turnover grow to SR 22 million in 2000 from SR 4.9 million in 1998, its first year of operation. Turnover of SR 45 million is being targeted for 2001.

What Elite provides is software that allows companies to get better control over their IT systems, so that they can reduce system downtime. This is a task that’s becoming all the more difficult as companies grow and IT systems become more complex, according to Musa Eid, Elite’s sales & business development manager.

“As organisations get bigger, the challenge is to maintain a level of service,” says Eid. “People expect a solution to problems in no time.”

The more competitive nature of business and the arrival of the Internet are also changing the rules. A few years back, Eid says, a few hours of IT downtime might have been manageable. Not so now. “A few minutes of downtime means dollars lost,” says Eid.

Elite represents a number of international systems and security management brands, including BMC Software, Internet Security Systems (ISS), Peregrine and Baltimore. Each brand is considered to be ‘best of breed’ in its particular field, such as Peregrine for infrastructure resource management and ISS for security management.

The company’s approach to the market is to hold workshops with customers at which their needs are defined. An appropriate solution can then be put together from the vendors that Elite represents. Eid says that Elite has invested significantly in the skills of its product implementation team and adds that end user training is an integral part of the Elite service.

The company’s latest initiative is the development of a helpdesk service, which will aim to provide clients with instant resolution of common problems. Service level agreements providing minimum guaranteed response times and problem solution times are likely to be part of the offering. An October launch is expected.

Systems management was long considered a luxury by IT departments, which were spending merely to build up infrastructure. Now that many application and platform decisions have been made, companies are looking more and more at how to manage and optimise those systems. This is where Elite comes in.

“Systems management used to be an optional sort of solution,” says Eid. “But now companies are relying on their applications and systems more and more.” A customer list that includes half a dozen major KSA banks, SCECO and Aramco is evidence of that.

Aptec partners get inside track on Office XP

Resellers got an early opportunity to quiz Microsoft about its new productivity suite at the Aptec University earlier this week. Partners were curious to learn more about Office XP, the latest version of Office, and some of its features.

The new offering is being heavily promoted around the region, with expenditure doubled from the promotional budget for Windows 2000, according to Mazen Shehada, product marketing manager for Office XP. In the UAE Microsoft is advertising Office XP on billboards, and is running a competition with partners.

“We are going to give away a GM car, under the ‘Use Office and drive into a new eXPerience’ banner, and we will also have some giveaways from Siemens and from Compaq,” said Shehada.

Among the features of the new suite is a Product Activation Wizard, to prevent copying. With the full packaged product available for retail, customers will have to enter the usual encryption key, and then will only be able to launch Office applications fifty times before they have to activate the product. Activation can be done using the Internet, or by toll-free phone number. A database will track encryption keys and locations and will alert the company to suspicious amount of activations.

“It is not silver bullet technology,” Shehada explained. “It is meant to target casual copying, somebody who buys one CD for his company and then installs it on each standalone PC in his office – it makes it difficult to do this.”

The Aptec University was held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Dubai, and offered Aptec’s partners and customers the chance to discuss and learn about number of subjects in the field of mobility and security. Over 200 partners attended the event, with speakers present from Aptec partners including Compaq, 3Com, US Robotics, D-Link, Lotus, IBM, and Microsoft.

||**||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


Get an AED 1000 voucher from Aptec Mobiles


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


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:

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:

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:, 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:

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:

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

Offer is valid while stocks last.

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, email:

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

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

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

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

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

For more details, visit:

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

For more details, visit:

Are you offering any special promotions?
Do you have a special promotion that you want to inform the channel about?

We would be happy to include any incentive programmes or special promotions that you are running each week in eCRN.

For more information - please send full details to Dealer Incentives.

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


May 30: The Storage Roadshow with Arabian Computer News and Network Middle East. Join ITP and the region’s leading storage vendors for information and seminars on the latest storage issues.
For further information, visit:


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: or Tel: (UAE) 971 4 3366 333, or visit
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: or Tel: (UAE) 971 4 3366 333, or visit
June 10-14: Sun Educational Training Centre. System Administration II training: Join Sun Microsystems for training on system administration. The training course is priced at $2250.
For further information and to register, email: or Tel: (UAE) 971 4 3366 333, or visit
June 27: The Banking & Finance Technology Roadshow with Arabian Computer News. Join ITP for the latest debates and developments in financial sector IT.
For further information, visit:


June 30: The Banking & Finance Technology Roadshow with Arabian Computer News. Join ITP for the latest debates and developments in financial sector IT.
For further information, visit:


July 2: The Banking & Finance Technology Roadshow with Arabian Computer News. Join ITP for the latest debates and developments in financial sector IT.
For further information, visit:

||**||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

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


Behind the BSA's piracy figures
The continuing fight against software piracy
Local assemblers
How is the local PC assembler market faring?
What WID?
The hype on wireless is making it hard to spot the opportunities in the handheld market.

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 ||**||

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