eChannel 24 June 2001

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By  Mark Sutton Published  June 24, 2001

Editorial Leader - Mobile mess|~||~||~|Dear Colleague,

The mobile computing boom has been predicted now for quite some time—everybody is just waiting for the introduction of GPRS and 3G services to allow those always on, location-based services to come flooding into your phone, pocket PC, wristwatch or whatever gadget you choose to connect with.

Maybe some of the pundits have been a little too eager to promote services that aren’t here as of yet, but there are a few developments in the wireless market that are pointing the way to how things might unfold.

The news that the Lebanese government has cancelled contracts with Libancell and Cellis to operate GSM services earlier than expected, much to the displeasure of both.

Whatever the outcome of the dispute, it mirrors trouble in Europe, where governments raffled off GPRS licences at huge premiums. Telcos bled themselves dry to win the licences, now some are struggling to fund their day to day operations, with no return on investment from 3G to shore them up.

The figures from Gartner suggest that businesses are only willing to pay around 10% extra for 3G services on top of their voice phone bill. These problems reflect on the biggest hold-up with the mobile market – the vendors can roll out all the fancy gadgets they like, but without a reliable, affordable network to connect them, PDAs, PIDs, PIMs, WIDS, etc are useless.
||**||News|~||~||~|Handheld market still growing, despite market slump
Despite a 45% drop in this year’s worldwide shipment of handheld devices the market is still strong, according to a report from IDC. The analyst house predicts that shipments will increase to 71 million handhelds by 2005.

Currently, the U.S. market represents the largest opportunity for handheld device vendors, accounting for 49% of worldwide shipments in 2000. However, U.S. shipments will grow slower than the overall market, and by 2005 U.S. share will decline to 38%. Shipments in Asia/Pacific will increase the fastest, earning a 2000-2005 compound annual growth rate of 60%.

"Just six months ago, handheld devices were the bright spot amid dismal expectations for other types of personal technologies such as PCs and mobile handsets. However, handheld devices have proved they are not immune to the economic slowdown," said Kevin Burden, manager of IDC's smart handheld devices research program. "Still, no one is saying the handheld industry is circling the drain. In fact, we are quite optimistic about the future of the market."

In terms of devices, personal companions are the most popular. IDC estimates they will represent 83% of worldwide shipments in 2001. "Increased diversity of personal companion models across price bands and feature sets, new applications, and new uses are creating appeal for these devices in new market segments," said Alex Slawsby, analyst for IDC's smart handheld devices research program.

"The evolution of technology in the entire smart handheld market is beginning to enable devices to bend to the usage, needs, and wishes of their users instead of the traditional paradigm of the user bending to the interface and device requirements, and this is increasing acceptance among users," Slawsby added. Sun signs CNS as authorised reseller

Kuwaiti construction company raided for unlicensed software
The Kuwaiti Ministry of Information has raided a local construction company, uncovering 45 computers all loaded with unlicensed software. More than 250 illegal copies of software were found at the company's premises in the Shuweikh Industrial Area, including software from Symantec, Microsoft and AutoDesk.

The raid is the latest in a long line as Kuwait tries to combat software theft, a crime that cost the country more than $8 million in revenue last year.

Jawad Al Redha, regional director of the BSA, believes that construction companies are particularly prone to software theft because of the costs involved in deploying industry specific applications.

“Because of the larger investments needed to deploy applications used in the construction business, companies have the tendency to postpone or give a blind eye to legalising on software use,” he said.

“What companies do not realise however is that, by using unlicensed copies of software, they are not only violating the law, but also causing themselves losses in productivity that far exceed their investments in legal software copies,” added Al Redha.

Any company planning to take the illegal software route best watch out as Al Redha explained that Kuwait has a clear mandate to stamp out software theft as it aims to create a strong IT industry within the country.

“By enforcing the law and therefore helping to build a strong, viable local technology market, the government is leading the way to the creation of new opportunities, jobs and enterprises in Kuwait,” concluded Al Redha.
Tejari.com expands reach across the region
Tejari.com has marked the occasion of its first anniversary with the unveiling of its regional expansion plans. The B2B portal has formed alliances with the 19 Chambers of Commerce within Saudi Arabia and with Africa Commerce for online trading with enterprises in the African continent.

“Over the last 12 months, Tejari.com has demonstrated that business-to-business e-commerce can be a sustainable and profitable business model for organisations in the Middle East,” said Sultan Bin Sulayem, one of the founder’s of the Dubai-based portal, and its current chairman.

“The rapid adoption of Tejari by both public and private sectors has illustrated that the Middle East is extending its status as a physical trading hub to an online meeting place for buyers and sellers from around the world,” he added.

The partnerships with the Saudi’s 19 Chambers of Commerce is critical as Tejari drives ahead to position itself as the de-facto B2B portal in the region.

Also announced at Tejari’s first birthday party were trading partnerships with organisations from Jordan’s public and private sector.

“The first year of Tejari’s operations focused on developing regional awareness and interest in buying and selling via the Internet,” commented Bin Sulayem.

“Now that Tejari has attracted an active base of suppliers, we will focus on achieving a greater number of transactions, and custom-tailoring new features and services to fit the needs of Tejari’s members,” he added.

Lubna Al Qasimi, managing director for Tejari.com also outlined plans to build the critical mass of the B2B portal over the next 18 months. Al Qasimi pledged to extend the reach of Tejari to new geographical locations, and build the number of companies and products traded through the exchange.

“We’re growing both regionally and internationally to enlarge the market reach of Tejari’s members, and escalating our training efforts to ensure that traders on [the exchange] are maximising their benefits as part of the marketplace. We shall also be launching a ‘new look,’ user-friendly and informative website in both English and Arabic,” she added.

At the birthday bash Tejari also announced its partnership with e-Global, to ease the pain of the cataloguing process. The US-based catalogue management vendor, will make its iPlexus web-based tool available to Tejari suppliers to manage catalogue data, goods and services they sell through the B2B exchange.

Oracle to unveil 9i in Middle East

Oracle will unveil its 9i database and application server to the Middle Eastern market next Monday. Revealed initially in mid-June, and made available for the first time at Oracle Open World in Berlin, the new releases are being touted as the only two software products that companies need to manage all of their information and run all of their applications.

Oracle 9i has already been tested in the Middle East by a number of beta customers, including government and telecoms sectors. According to Ayman Abouseif, marketing director, Oracle, any deal completed within the region from now on will ship with the latest release.

At the Open World event both Larry Ellison, chairman and CEO, Oracle, and Jeremy Burton, senior vice president, product and services marketing, Oracle, were keen to push 9i's real application cluster (RAC) capabilities.

By using real application clusters to run a single database on a group of servers clustered together, Oracle is able to provide greater scalability and reliability than before. Burton explained that RAC had been in development for around ten years and that "its goal is to alter the scale of economies forever."

As Ellison eulogised the capabilities of RAC, he explained that it was Oracle's most significant release since Oracle 7i. "Clustering allows you to reduce costs whilst improving performance," he said.

Until the release of 9i, Oracle had only offered a single computer strategy. The problem with this, according to Ellison, was that 8i just couldn't get any faster.

"Our performance and economy goals were competing in the single computer strategy. [In addition] the single computer strategy meant that you only have one point of failure," he said.

In addition to the RAC functionality, Oracle 9i application server boasts full J2EE support, which, through extended high-speed caching, allows companies to scale with software rather then hardware, therefore saving on infrastructure costs.

"Scale so far has been about buying bigger and bigger chipsets. 9i changes this," said Burton.

There has been a positive response to the launch from several quarters. Wayne Kernochan, managing vice president, at analyst house, the Aberdeen Group, said, "Oracle9i signals the arrival of an exceptionally complete, integrated platform for Internet-based applications."

However, the Meta Group is less enthusiastic, warning that the sixty-day beta testing period has been much too short for a major enterprise wide software release. It recommends that users should not plan to move production databases to 9i for at least six to eight months, giving Oracle a chance to iron out the inevitable wrinkles.

Oracle 9i comes in two editions, standard and enterprise. Pricing is per processor based, with the former coming in at $15,000 per processor and the latter at $40,000.

||**||Dealer Incentives|~||~||~|
Xircom BINGO!

Special rebate offer runs until June 30th

Xircom the worldwide leader in mobile access solution, is happy to introduce
a special Reseller Cash Rebate promotion on all Ethernet and Combo PC Cards.
Thanks to the BINGO! promotion, Resellers can get a Cash Rebate for all
Xircom Ethernet and Combo PC Cards purchased during the month of June 2001.

Promotional Products:

Xircom Production SKU Product Description
Rebate in US $$$

Ethernet PC Cards

R2E-100BTX Real Port2 Ethernet 10/100
12
R2BE-100BTX Real Port2 Cardbus Ethernet 10/100
12
RE-100BTX Real Port Ethernet 10/100
12
CE3-100BTX Credit Card Ethernet Adapter 10/100
12

Combo PC Cards

R2BEM56G-100BTX Real Port2 Card Bus Ethenet 10/100 + 56K
25
REM56G-100BTX Real Port Ethernet 10/100 + 56K Modem
25
RBEM56G-100BTX Real Port Cardbus Ethernet 10/100 + 56K 25
CEm56-100BTX Credit Card Ethernet 10/100 + 56K
25
CBEM56G-100BTX CardBus Ethernet 10/100 + 56 K
25

All Multi Pack of the above products are included in this promotional.

Please Note: A Minimum of 5 Promotional Products need to be purchased during
the month of June to be able to participate in the promotion.

Resellers will order the promotional products from Techdata during the month
of June 2001.
Before the 15th of July 01, send /fax Xircom proof of purchase (Techdata's
Invoices)
Completely filled out claim form, which can be downloaded from
www.xircom.com/bingo.
Proof of purchase and claim from can be sent to
Xircom, an Intel Compnay
BINGO!
Veldkant 31
2550 Kontich
Belgium
Fax: +32(0)3 450 0990
Xicom will issue the cash rebate upon approval.

For further details on full Terms & Conditions log on to
www.xircom.com

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.

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.

Cairo

July 1-3: ISS Real Secure Training, Cairo. For further information contact ISS on +202 760 70 11, or see http://www.iss.net

July 4-5: ISS System Scanner Training, Cairo. For further information contact ISS on +202 760 70 11, or see http://www.iss.net

July 8-9: ISS Internet Scanner/Database Scanner Training, Cairo. For further information contact ISS on +202 760 70 11, or see http://www.iss.net

August 5-7: ISS Real Secure Training, Cairo. For further information contact ISS on +202 760 70 11, or see http://www.iss.net

August 8-9: ISS System Scanner Training, Cairo. For further information contact ISS on +202 760 70 11, or see http://www.iss.net

August 12-13: ISS Internet Scanner/Database Scanner Training, Cairo. For further information contact ISS on +202 760 70 11, or see http://www.iss.net

September 2-4: ISS Real Secure Training, Cairo. For further information contact ISS on +202 760 70 11, or see http://www.iss.net

September 5-6: ISS System Scanner Training, Cairo. For further information contact ISS on +202 760 70 11, or see http://www.iss.net

September 9-10: ISS Internet Scanner/Database Scanner Training, Cairo. For further information contact ISS on +202 760 70 11, or see http://www.iss.net

Dubai

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

AUGUST 2001 FEATURES

Serious Games
The Middle East games market is expanding, but there is a lot more to the segment than you might expect
Selling Linux
Developments in open source are making Linux a real corporate alternative-CRN gives you the lowdown on the penguin.
Grey Marketing
Grey market imports have made a mess of local markets-can grey be controlled?

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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