Get To Know: Salim Ziade

Salim Ziade replaced Hazem Bazan as HP’s solutions provider organisation (SPO) manager for the Middle East this summer. In his channel-facing role, Ziade becomes the main man for HP’s partner engagement model in the Middle East.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  October 2, 2006

|~|Sziade200.jpg|~|Salim Ziade, HP Middle East SPO manager|~|Salim Ziade replaced Hazem Bazan as HP’s solutions provider organisation (SPO) manager for the Middle East this summer. In his channel-facing role, Ziade becomes the main man for HP’s partner engagement model in the Middle East. As he settles into his new role as regional channel boss, what better time for Channel Middle East to ‘Get To Know’ HP’s Salim Ziade…

CME: What is your career history to date? How did you end up working in Dubai?

SALIM ZIADE: I have now been with HP for over ten years, of which eight years were spent in Europe, originally based in France. I was mainly working on the supply chain side and decided I wanted to move to a more business-orientated position, hence my move to Dubai in 2005 as category manager and now I have moved to the solutions partner organisation position.

CME: What do you enjoy most about working in the Middle East IT market?

SZ: What I really enjoy is just how dynamic the Middle East market actually is. Every day I wake up knowing that it will bring new and exciting challenges. You know you can never get bored of the market in the Middle East or the creativity and energy that is part of it. These are probably the things that I find most refreshing about working in the Middle East.

CME: What do you dislike most about working in the Middle East IT market?

SZ: Rating it more as a challenge rather than a dislike are the myriad cultures and voices that need to be understood as well as varying standards of business. I’m still learning how to interpret emotions here in the Middle East and also their impact on business decisions — that is still very much an ongoing learning experience.

CME: What’s the most valuable business lesson you’ve learnt?

SZ: The most valuable business lesson that I have ever learnt is probably all about character. What I have learnt is the importance of being a reliable and trustworthy professional in the eyes of everyone that I deal with. I have also learnt the value of being totally open and fully transparent in terms of one’s communication with others.

CME: What is the proudest moment of your career to date?

SZ: The proudest moment of my career to date relates to HP’s assembly facility in Saudi Arabia. Producing the first unit from this assembly plant in 2003 was a proud moment. We built the plant in record time — just six weeks. I was the project manager for the construction and was hugely impressed by the team’s work to hit the deadline.

CME: How do you like to relax outside of the work environment?

SZ: I enjoy playing tennis in the open air and also enjoy the adrenalin rush that you get from desert driving when the weather is cooler. I am also a film fanatic and must go to the cinema between three and four times per week. I also have a DVD collection that the vast majority of video stores would be jealous of.

CME: What are your top channel tips for the next 12 months?

SZ: I truly believe that companies should focus on developing their core business, as opposed to simply going after the tactical opportunities that tend to arise. The important thing for companies to do in order to succeed is to really focus their activities, grow their business and ensure that expansion is strategic.

CME: Which IT industry figure do you most admire and why?

SZ: Without a doubt it would have to be Lou Gerstner, former CEO at IBM and the author of ‘Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?’ In his role at IBM, Gerstner engineered one of the most significant corporate turnarounds of recent times and the tale of his personal leadership qualities and development is one that I truly admire.||**||

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