Champions elect

If only there was a list containing the top 25 Middle East channel executives that you need to know to help your business develop in the region. Well, now there is! We’ve taken it upon ourselves to compile a comprehensive rundown of the Channel Champions shaping the development of the Middle East IT market and ranked them all in our November issue of Channel Middle East.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  November 1, 2006

If only there was a list containing the top 25 Middle East channel executives that you need to know to help your channel business develop in the region. Well, now there is! We’ve taken it upon ourselves to compile a comprehensive rundown of the Channel Champions shaping the development of the Middle East IT market and ranked them all in our bumper November issue of Channel Middle East.

Personal relationships count for everything in the Middle East channel and that will be demonstrated quite explicitly in less than three weeks time when the doors of the Dubai World Trade Centre are flung open to the technology world. More than 100,000 attendees are poised to descend on Gitex 2006, many of whom will arrive with the same objective: to build the commercial relationships that could potentially serve as their path into the Middle East market or strengthen existing operations they may already have in the region.

In other countries around the world, IT tradeshows have earned a reputation for becoming tired imposters of their former selves in recent years. Many have diminished in value after losing the spirit that once symbolised the very reason for their existence. Major vendor sponsors have walked away, vast amounts of floor space remain unfilled and top company executives no longer regard their attendance a priority.

The good news is that this sorry state of affairs hasn’t spread globally, but remains more symptomatic of saturated markets where cost-conscious companies — under increasing budget pressure — have grown to prefer more focused and intimate events to the razzmatazz of a big show. With another year of strong double-digit regional growth expected in 2007, the situation in the Middle East couldn’t be more different, as testified by the thousands of executives preparing to travel to the UAE later this month.

For companies exploring this region for the first time, Gitex represents the ideal — and possibly only — opportunity to strike up relationships with so many people from across the region in such a short space of time. It is also a perfect vehicle for vendors to open dialogue with channel partners, and resellers to identify the key executives responsible for channel development in the region. With that in mind, Channel Middle East has spent the past few weeks identifying the leading figureheads who are shaping partner strategy in the region; the Middle East Channel Champions that you need to know to help your business develop in the region.

This list, comprising 25 of the most influential Middle East channel executives at vendor or distribution level, is designed to be an essential guide for anybody visiting Gitex in search of the key channel contacts within the region’s IT market. After all, it’s not just relationships that matter, but who they are actually with. Strong relationships remain integral to the success of any IT business in the Middle East and our rundown will serve as a who’s who of the faces that command significant influence over the direction of the regional IT channel. We’re certain the list will stir up plenty of conversation — controversy even — but that was always going to be the case when taking on the task of selecting and ranking the individuals concerned.

Such a list could not be created by analysing financial data or spreadsheets. Instead it is compiled by qualitative research, quick polls and valuable input from many discussions with industry veterans. It takes into account the channel integrity of the companies that the executives work for, their commitment to a partner-based model and the scale of their influence. It also recognises past performance, but at the same time considers the role that these top 25 individuals have to play in developing the future health of the first or second tier channel in the Middle East.

So who exactly are the Middle East Channel Champions that you need to know? Find out in this month’s extra-big hard copy issue of Channel Middle East.

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