SAS ME seeks to appoint new channel partners

Analytics software vendor to extend channel in the Middle East

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SAS ME seeks to appoint new channel partners SAS is seeking to appoint partners with data management capabilities, says Sohrabi.
By  Manda Banda Published  August 3, 2011

Business analytics vendor SAS Middle East is looking to appoint more channel partners in the Middle East region as part of the company's channel expansion drive to support the growing demand of its analytics solutions in the region. SAS will be focusing its partner enrolment strategy on North Africa, GCC and Levant region.

SAS, which specialises in business analytics software and services for SMEs and enterprise organisations, is seeking to appoint new partners with capabilities of engaging companies (big or small) on the business side rather than IT to drive value.

The move to expand its channel base in the Middle East comes as the vendor has over the last 18 months moved away from its long-established direct business model in favour of an indirect engagement route to market. The company says it has grown its partner base from zero 18 months ago to having 42 partners across the region to date.

Amir Sohrabi, alliances and partner development manager, SAS Middle East, said the company is looking for specific type of partners that will add value by engaging customers on the business side rather than IT. Sohrabi said the company is talking to partners that have data management and business analytics capabilities. "I need to stress and point out that the partner recruitment exercise is about quality and not volumes. As SAS has a high level software and services touch to its business, we don't want to saturate the Middle East market with lots of partners that won't bring value to our solutions. We have through the SAS Channel Partners Programme designed the scheme to protect partner margins," he said.

Sohrabi added that depending on the market size and business generated in a given country, partners will be restricted to anything between two and five per country. He said SAS has put in place rigorous selection criteria to ensure that partners that come on board are able to bring value, have consulting and implementation skills. "Partners are expected to have certain specialisations and strong focus in verticals and certain domain areas. In addition, they will be required to invest in skills training," he said.

In a another development, SAS has formed a strategic partnership with Maven Partners, a Middle East firm specialising in the application of quantitative methods to growth and optimisation issues of enterprises that aims to further penetrate the customer intelligence domain of various industry verticals across the region.

"The partnership between SAS and Maven Partners will give a boost to our Channel Partners Programme, as it primarily focuses on developing a stronger market presence in the customer intelligence domain of various industries across the Middle East," added Sohrabi.

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