Inside Information: Neo Neophytou

Adaox is introducing services to allow vendors to outsource their channel development in the region. Neo Neophytou, founder of Adaox explains why and how

  • E-Mail
By  Mark Sutton Published  March 30, 2003

Third party channel development|~||~||~|CME: How did the idea for a third party channel development company come about?

Neo Neophytou: The idea was started one and a half years ago. We had vendors interested in the Middle East, or who had mis-handled their entry to the Middle East, and we were approached by several in my previous capacity [channel development for Gateway], so we formed Adaox.

The aim is to consult for ICT vendors that would like to enter the areas we know very well, which is the Balkans, Middle East and North Africa. We are two consultants today, with backgrounds in the channel in the Middle East.

The concept is that we go into the market, and we qualify and recruit partners. The most important thing to us is that we don’t deliver back to our clients just a series of agreements, we start pushing the channel, we start working with the channel and the vendor in order to mature their relationship, in order to reach a point where we have a productive channel.

CME: And then you hand over the channel to the vendor?

Neo Neophytou: There is a point, usually two years after we start, where the vendor is going to decide to put its own resources in, in order to take over the productive channel. So for us, every assignment has an end—we offer those services and we estimate a date and time when it is going to be over.

CME: Are there enough companies interested to keep you in business?

Neo Neophytou: I believe there are more than enough companies that are interested, but for our side, we don’t go with all companies. We have to make sure that there is a market for them, in order to complete a successful project. We are not going for companies that we believe will not have demand in the immediate future.

In addition to that, there are companies that have the technology, but do not have the readiness to support the product in the market.

CME: So how would a typical project work?

Neo Neophytou: It is basically four phases. The first is evaluation, we provide the client feedback as to whether it is the right time. We are continuously in the market for our existing clients, so in our discussion with existing partners, we also have in mind our potential clients, so we evaluate the opportunities.

As soon as we have concluded that, then we go to an assessment of the channel, to take into account the profile of the requested partner and to match that with what is available in the market.

Third is impact analysis—not all vendors are ready to support the Middle East market, there is a difference in culture, so it is there we give advice to the vendor, what kind of changes internally they have to make in order to support this market. We share our experience in order to make them more ready to support this market, and then, the final part we recruit and start managing the relationship.

CME: Why do companies want to outsource channel development?

Neo Neophytou: For economic reasons—we can do it faster. For example we have one client, they started operating in the area, but they have burned their fingers and it took them a couple of years to get out of an agreement. Because we have also burned our fingers, working in the multinationals, we know what to avoid and what to offer to our clients as a low risk operation. A combination of speed and more chances of a successful channel is the cost effectiveness we offer to our clients.

For operational reasons, we recruit and manage until the dollars start coming in, offering our client a fixed fee, they know exactly what they are going to pay, without any unexpected expense.

CME: Do you always return the channel to the vendor, or can you manage it indefinitely?

Neo Neophytou: We do that, acting as a regional business development unit, in order to handle the continuous channel development and channel management. We have been offered this and in a couple of places we have accepted.

CME: Do you find companies are put off the Middle East market by the political situation at present?

Neo Neophytou: People started thinking about delaying things in the area from September-October, but now we see that we have clients, that we thought would set up channels themselves, and now because of the situation, because they think it is dangerous to travel in the area, they are thinking of outsourcing, so it works in the opposite way.||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code