Security lesson for Cisco resellers

More than 40 Middle East resellers have boosted their knowledge of Cisco's security offering after attending an event to assist them in positioning the networking vendor's security products within different environments.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  June 21, 2007

More than 40 Middle East resellers have boosted their knowledge of Cisco's security offering after attending an event to assist them in positioning the networking vendor's security products within different environments.

Resellers including Emirates Computers and Intertec were among those who turned up to the day-long event in Dubai last week for a crash course on current IT security threats and advice on the way in which certain Cisco security devices should be marketed.

The event, dubbed "Learn to Secure" was hosted by TDME, Cisco's newest Middle East distribution partner following the exit of Tech Data Middle East from the region earlier this year.

Shailendra Sainani, enterprise manager at TDME, said: "We chose to focus on security because we want to win the mindshare and confidence of the resellers by adding value and by proving ourselves different from the other distributors. This was one of the ways to do that because training was given on security-focused products like the 5500 adaptive security appliance series and IT security threats in the market."

TDME has begun an offensive to win loyalty among Cisco resellers in the region and is promising more joint roadshows with Cisco and affiliated training partners in the future. Following the loss of staff - including enterprise chief Ali Fayez - during the transitional period when parts of the former Tech Data Middle East business were transitioned into TDME, the company has been forced to build a new Cisco team from scratch.

However, TDME now boasts a 10-strong dedicated Cisco team structured to match the way Cisco's own internal workforce addresses the Gulf region. "We have hired some good people from Cisco Gold partners who have been recognised for their pre-sales expertise by Cisco themselves," said Sainani. "We have three Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certified people in our team and two people who are Cisco Sales Expert (CSE) certified."

He added: "Our prime focus is high availability of resource, and by that I mean any reseller who wants Cisco products will find us available 24x7 on our phones and e-mails. We will ensure a quick response time - we don't want any enquiry not to be quoted by TDME."

TDME's agreement with Cisco contracts it to cover Afghanistan, Yemen and the Gulf, excluding Saudi Arabia, while its agreement with the only other enterprise vendor to so far issue a contract to the company - database giant Oracle - permits it to sell into the Gulf, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen.

Other vendors from the former Azlan portfolio - including APC, CA and Linksys - have yet to pledge their allegiance to TDME despite it absorbing the Tech Data Middle East business three months ago.

However, Sainani insists business plans have been shared with the trio. "We are at an advanced stage of discussions with all three of them and we expect them to be materialising very soon," he said, adding that at least two of the vendors could be up and running with TDME in time for the next quarter.

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