All for one and E4ALL

Paul Gamboa, is the consumer sales manager for Fujitsu-Seimens Gulf Region. He talks about the e4all project and his expectations for the projects second phase.

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By  Paul Barthram Published  August 24, 2003

|~||~||~|Paul Gamboa, is the consumer sales manager for Fujitsu-Seimens Gulf Region. He talks about the e4all project and his expectations for the projects second phase.

CME: The e4all project seemed like it was in the planning stages for a long time, why was that?

Paul Gamboa: This has been quite a long time. We had been in talks with Intel for sometime looking at joint projects to work on, when the e4all initiative cropped up. From then on it was Dubai E-government, Intel and ourselves. Once together we were able to gather lots of other partners to join us, like New Horizons, Microsoft, ITP and the National Bank of Dubai. Some other potential partners that we thought would add up to the value of the programme, didn’t join in the end however. They had their own reasons why they didn’t go into the initial phase, but it did set us back in terms of schedule.

CME:What type of problems have you encountered on route you weren’t expecting?

Gamboa: I think you can appreciate there were a lot of partners involved and each party had their own concerns, and their own issues. There were some problems with price points, regarding what to include in the bundle, how do you implement these things etc. And of course the initial plan was to launch in April, but it was postponed, and postponed, and all because of the decision process.

CME: Has the scheme matched up to your expectations?

Gamboa: In terms of what it set out to achieve? On the drive to have the Dubai E-government services known to people, I think we’ve achieved quite an acceptable level. I guess on the sell-through point we’ve been affected by the summer. Even though I think its been ok, we’re hoping that as of now, people are starting to come back into Dubai, we’ll be able to ride in on the ‘back to school’ thing, anyway this phase is running until October.

CME: Was the first phase expected to go on this amount of time?

Gamboa: No not really. Basically the initial plan was to have it until the end of August or mid-September so at least we’d get the back to school crowd. And then eventually we’d evaluate it so that we could launch the second phase, hopefully on time with Gitex.

CME: Have you given yourselves much time to breathe there do you think?

Gamboa: Clearly we’ve tried to have as much time as we can. I guess it really depends on the partners on how quickly we can get it all around. My personal feelings is we’re not going to do this immediately after Gitex or after October, because all the partners are very busy now with Gitex. So I don’t think we would have any meaningful commitment during this time. I expect it personally in January.

CME: Have you been happy with the performance of the channel partners for the scheme?

Gamboa: Currently we have two channels, Jumbo showrooms, and Carrefour, and our focus has been on Dubai. But it was a self-imposed limitation from us the consortium on deciding ‘ok, it’s only going to be available from these outlets,’ for easy control, easy management, etc. But I’m sure this issue will be looked at. We’ll have to have a lot more channels, so that exposure is more, because that’s one of the main problems now.

CME: Has there been much uptake of the training offers that come with the PCs?

Gamboa: I have received some calls from the training centre telling me people are coming in, but not everybody has taken advantage of this part of the scheme yet. And sometimes people are saying I don’t want introductory courses, so please give me another one. Our training partners are quite flexible and are saying ok, but that’s the exception rather than the rule. Probably that’s one of the changes that we’ll be doing next time. So it’s a learning period for us as well.

CME: How do you think the scheme could be improved upon in the second phase?

Gamboa: We need to have a lot more exposure, to explain to people what the whole concept of e4all is. The second thing is a much more effective way of telling people how to appreciate the training package, and the support package. Also the financial scheme could be improved. Finally I’d like to see us focus on the high end machines, and if it were possible perhaps we could also put in a free Internet connection that would improve the overall package.

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