NEC reviews Middle East channel strategy

Partner mapping exercise aims to identify need for VARs and VADs in the Middle East region

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  November 19, 2008

NEC Computers is taking stock of its channel strategy in the Middle East after giving the sales director of its African operations additional responsibility for the region.

Richard Addey, who has overseen the workstation and storage hardware vendor’s business in Africa for the past two years, will now manage Middle East sales following the retirement of business development director Johan Degroote earlier this year.

The move has also paved the way for a structural change internally, with the Middle East now treated as a separate territory rather than being grouped with Eastern Europe and Turkey.

Addey and his team are currently embarking on a partner mapping exercise designed to strengthen a channel network that he admits lacks coherency.

“We are building something today and recruiting partners, VARs and VADs, so that we have a more coherent channel by making sure that they have the knowledge to be able to support NEC solutions and products,” explained Addey. “We want to ensure that the partners for NEC in this region are companies that have the same strategy as us, and we are going to support them with all our engineers, staff, pre-sales and the rest.”

The lack of local infrastructure and a consistent channel strategy has led to question marks over NEC Computers’ commitment to the region, especially given the regional investments made by competing PC vendors.

But Addey insists that careful partner selection and a sole focus on solutions for the b-to-b sector can compensate for the absence of a more meaningful presence.

“We believe that by partnering with fewer, targeted partners we can ensure that the NEC quality is provided without [an office] being established,” he said. “Being a Japanese company, the strategy won’t be to try and sell to everyone at crazy prices, but to provide added value and tailor-made solutions to our customers. My first task in the Middle East is to build up a unique channel that will be able to provide those solutions to the market.”

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