eChannel 17 June 2001

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By  Mark Sutton Published  June 17, 2001

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

More bad news from the US as poor results have led to more job losses in companies including 3Com, Nortel, Avaya, Lotus and a host of others.

While the cuts in some companies have been dramatic – Nortel is shedding 30,000 – they were not entirely unexpected, and represented a lot of restructuring and rationalisation of processes. In the current economic climate in the US, cost cutting measures are seem as necessary, and indeed probably are, now that the industry isn’t bloated on dot-com capital.

The worrying aspect about the latest lay-offs, however, is that they have spread out of North America/ Western Europe, and have hit the Middle East. There has been previously been a feeling that the region was somehow not beholden to the whims of the US economy – the Middle East is still to a greater extent governed by oil prices, and with prices as high as they are at present, there shouldn’t seem to be any need to follow the US.

But this is not the case.

Both 3Com and Nortel are losing people in the region. The impact on support, and in turn the development of a more mature technology market seems threatened. The layoffs in the two companies mentioned may reflect more deep-rooted problems with the individual companies, but they are not alone. So why is the Middle East suffering if there is no recession here?

Maybe lay-offs are a reflection of a truly global business. But making people redundant in a growing region because an existing market has stalled is hardly ‘thinking globally, acting locally.’

Perhaps the dot-com implosion has provided companies with an opportunity to reassess their structure and to streamline processes – but in a region that is still growing, why cut back, why not maximise potential? It seems that the US has panicked, and so the rest of us have to go with them…

Kind regards,

Mark Sutton
Editor – Computer Reseller News
||**||News|~||~||~|Intershop and HP team up to drive e-business in the region

Several months after signing a global partnership agreement, HP and Intershop have extended their strategic alliance to the Middle East. The alliance calls for the co-marketing and promotion of e-commerce solutions that combine HP’s hardware and services capabilities with Intershop’s e-business software portfolio.

“Working with HP in the Middle East will enable Intershop to deliver e-commerce solutions more quickly to this market,” said Basel Tutunji, Intershop’s MENA sales director.

The initial step in the regional partnership has been a hands-on training session hosted by Intershop for HP’s local personnel. As part of the training both vendors explored joint selling opportunities in the region.

HP’s partners from the UAE, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar also attended the training session.

“Training between the two organisations is the first phase in delivering Intershop’s e-commerce offerings running on HP's line of highly scalable, reliable platforms to enterprise customers around the region,” added Tutunji.

Under the terms of the alliance both vendors will chase market opportunities in a series of vertical segments. HP also is deploying Intershop Enfinity for its own B2B e-commerce initiatives.

"Flexibility, reliability and scalability are the key considerations of any e-commerce venture in the Middle East, and these attributes are shared by both Intershop’s software and hp’s hardware solutions," commented Graham Porter, marketing manager for HP Middle East.

"Whether Middle East organisations undertake B2B or B2C e-commerce endeavours, HP and Intershop are together providing them with the necessary tools to make new online business initiatives a success," he added.

Worldwide PC growth slowing down

The International Data Corporation (IDC) has revised its predicted figures for worldwide PC sales growth for the year 2000 to 2001, dropping it from 10.3% to only 5.8%. The performance was strongly affected by a weaker U.S. market, which saw a 6.3% decline during the same period.

According to the report, factors contributing to slower growth outside the United States include falling consumer spending in Western Europe and declining growth in Asian markets following two years of extremely high growth. The report also stated that "markets in Canada and Latin America will slow somewhat in the wake of a weaker U.S. economy, and poor conditions in Turkey continue to pull down growth in the Middle East."

"With the United States clearly in the tank right now, the question is to what extent Europe and Asia will follow," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.
"The commercial segment in Western Europe is showing some promise, but the consumer segment looks more shaky. The heavily export-dependent countries in Asia could also be vulnerable to the U.S. slowdown, although low penetration rates in many countries leaves room for double-digit growth for the foreseeable future."

Throughout the first quarter, commercial shipments in the United States held up reasonably well, achieving mid-single-digit growth rates. However, IDC went on to say taht it believes commercial spending will be reduced more dramatically during the rest of the year, as declines in consumer spending spill over into the commercial segment.

Arabia.com bags $20 million of investment

Arabia.com confirmed today that it has recently closed a $20 million round of funding. The broad list of investors includes Intel Capital, Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal and OM Juffali, although the company did not give details on how much each individual investor had contributed nor how much of Arabia they now own.

Ramzi Zeine, Arabia.com’s CEO, said the announcement showed that Arabia’s investors believe wholeheartedly in the company in spite of its recent layoffs and at a time of huge scepticism towards dot-coms. “Our shareholders are in for the long haul and believe in the management and the business model,” said Zeine.

One thing that remains clear after today’s announcement is that Arabia will continue to rely on advertising as its main source of revenue. That comes in spite of the global slowdown in online advertising and predictions that it will remain relatively small in the region for the foreseeable future. For example, Ajeeb Research Unit predicts that the value of online advertising in the Middle East will reach only $5 million this year.

“We’ve already seen a large increase in the number of advertisers this year,” argued Zeine. He added that Arabia.com’s sales team has recently accelerated its efforts to educate the region’s marketing community and convince it that online is a valid marketing medium.

Intel Capital is believed to be putting the largest amount of money into Arabia.com. However, the company, represented today by Intel's regional manager Gilbert Lacroix, admitted that its investment in Arabia is not motivated by a desire to profit from equity.

“It’s not really about making money, the objective for Intel is to encourage Internet usage,” said Lacroix. “The ROI for Intel is in the development of the Internet [in the region.]”

In terms of profitability, Zeine said that he is now looking at becoming profitable in two to three years time. This recent round of funding will help to increase Arabia’s depth of content and will be used to finance regional roadshows, aimed at building awareness of the Internet and Arabia.com. “We hope our users will be the first beneficiaries from this,” said Zeine.
UAE e-commerce secured by ISG and MDS
Internet Solution Group has partnered with Mideast Data Systems to provide Baltimore Technologies’ range of e-commerce security solutions in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. ISG, Baltimore’s exclusive distributor in the Middle East has appointed MDS as a partner for the full portfolio of Baltimore solutions including PKI systems, authorisation management products and content security solutions.

“ISG is expanding the Internet security market, and exploring business opportunities to enable secure e-commerce and e-business as well as to ensure a high level of commitment to our valuable customers anywhere” said George Khouri, managing director of ISG.

“Our main target is to achieve high availability everywhere to help our customers anywhere by delivering reliable, scalable, manageable products and solutions tailored to serve their need in a professional way. Forming alliance and partnership with MDS-Dubai is part of our integrated plan to ensure continuous business development and customer satisfaction.” said John Gebrayel, business development manager at ISG.

Genius moves into the Egyptian market

KYE, Taiwanese manufacturer of the Genius brand, has not renewed the contract with its original distributor in Egypt, and has instead awarded the contract to Genius distribution, based in Dubai.

“KYE had an exclusive distribution agreement in Egypt which lasted eight years, so no one else could enter and do business there,” Alex Lee, VP, OBM Business Unit, KYE told itp.net.

Genius will take over the Egyptian market, and is determined not to make the same mistakes as its predecessor.

“One distributor cannot handle the whole of Egypt, so we are looking to bring the right partners in to the market to deal with our products,” says Milad Jabbour, managing director, Genius.

The full range of products will be available in the Egyptian market, and Genius is looking for two to three channels for the different product segments—barebone, input devices, networking and multimedia—covering different territories in the country.

“We are organising the market again by rebuilding the channel and making customers aware of the Genius brand across all segments of the Egyptian market,” says Jabbour.

Foundry Networks appoints new resellers
Foundry Networks has appointed GAM Communications, CompuNet and Emirates Technology Company (EMITAC) to be resellers of Foundry equipment, as it rolls out its aggressive expansion plan across the region. GAM Communication Services will cover the Egyptian market, CompuNet for Jordan and Emitac for the UAE.

“These new appointments symbolise our determination to build up a strong partner network across the region that will help us successfully achieve our mission and goals,” said Farook Majeed, regional director, Foundry Networks Middle East.

“These partnerships will result in business growth and increased revenues for both all parties. Coupled with our own expansion into this region, including the opening of a new Saudi office in the near future, we are confident that Foundry's strong leadership in high-speed data networking, including Layer 2/3 switching, Layer 4 - 7 Web switching and Internet routing, will position Foundry as the vendor of choice now and in the future," he added.

||**||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

June 18-20: Sun Educational Training Centre. Storage Management with Disksuite training: Join Sun Microsystems for training on storage management. 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 25-28: Sun Educational Training Centre. Volume Manager Sun StorEdge training: Join Sun Microsystems for training on Sun StorEdge. The training course is priced at $2610.
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 27: The Banking & Finance Technology Roadshow with Arabian Computer News. Join ITP for the latest debates and developments in the financial IT sector. For further information, visit: http://www.itp.net/events/index

Kuwait

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

Riyadh

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

||**||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

JULY 2001 FEATURES

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 mark.sutton@itpmedia.com ||**||

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