Channel pioneers

Channel Middle East honours accomplishments that women executives have made and continue to make in the region’s IT channel

Tags: Enterasys Networks ( Systems Middle EastOptimus Technology and TelecomSTMETrend Micro Incorporated
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Channel pioneers Chantelle Tavid
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By  Manda Banda Published  February 19, 2012

Asli Aktas
Regional Director Middle East
Enterasys Networks (A division of Siemens Enterprise Communications)
Years in the current position: 2
Years in the channel: 9

Highlights: Ever since Enterasys opened its doors to the Middle East channel, Aktas has been instrumental in ensuring that the company makes substantial project wins including new customers and competitive wins. She has continued to lead the vendor on the growth path as it makes extensive investments in the region including the establishment of the first Enterasys office in the Middle East at DIFC and a local parts warehouse. Under Aktas’ watch, the Enterasys team has focused on growing wireless networking solutions sales in the channel.

Goals: Aktas aims to increase the market awareness of Enterasys’ solutions, as well as grow the company’s market share in wired and wireless networking in the Middle East region. The goal is to raise the Enterasys brand in the partner ecosystem in the Middle East.

Advice to young women: To be confident and trust that they too can make a difference. Act honestly and with integrity, take responsibility and deliver on your promises.

Pressing channel issue: It has to be sales margins. There is quite some dissatisfaction in the partner community at the moment because of margin pressure. It is interesting to note that only a few companies are ready to adapt to market changes and diversify.

Jocelyn Al Adwani
Deputy CEO, Director Business Development & Marketing
Years in the current position: 3
Years in the channel: 23

Highlights: Coming from an engineering background has helped Al Adwani to pursue a career in the technology sector. She started as a trainee at STME and grew within the organisation, developing the system integration company in the process. Al Adwani has played a crucial role in ensuring that STME supports multi-level clients in different organisations and countries, which has given the company the solid regional experience it needs.

Goals: Al Adwani intends to help STME to continue to deliver innovative solutions, increase collaboration and teamwork across departments and organisations. She is particularly passionate about STME delivering advancements in the region that contribute to the development and education of the community.

Advice to young women: Focus, focus and more focus. Be passionate in the area you are working in, knowledgeable in the business, trust your colleagues and work as a team to reach your goals and vision.

Pressing channel issue: Differentiation of companies and their capabilities is becoming harder as there are more and more partners signed up to IT vendors and distributors. The vendors regularly change their partner programmes requiring further specialisation and training this is hard.

Chantelle Tavid
Regional Director of the Avardz Program & Marketing Manager
Golden Systems Middle East
Years in the current position: 2
Years in the channel: 2

Highlights: Tavid is looking to grow Golden Systems’ Avardz Programme, a loyalty initiative the distributor launched in 2010, which was designed exclusively for qualified individuals from the IT retail industry. Tavid’s mission is to continue evolving and incorporating additional value-added benefits and features to the Avardz programme to ensure the highest level of member satisfaction in the region.

Goals: My career aspiration is to be constantly on the lookout for new ways to advance my knowledge and expertise through strong commitment, determination and perseverance. In terms of my work, Avardz is continuously changing according to member performance and demands and it is my duty to ensure that the programme continues to gain wide acceptable in the region.

Advice to young women: Have faith in yourself and your abilities and stand up for what you believe in. You may discover that what sets you apart may be the very thing that will allow you to rise above.

Pressing channel issue: From my perspective, the most pressing channel issue in the Middle East IT market is knowledge and skills shortages which can be addressed through regular channel training programmes available from vendors and distributors.

Meera Kaul
Managing Director
Optimus Technology & Telecommunications
Years in the current position: 4
Years in the channel: 10

Highlights: Kaul says she would like to see Optimus Technology lead in supplying the latest technological advancements and innovation into countries that lag behind in using technology to better productivity in the Middle East region. She believes that because technology is the foundation of every other industry today, it is imperative that people embrace it in every facet of their lives.

Goals: As technology continues to be a fabric of everyday life, Kaul wants Optimus to lead the way in bringing the latest technological advancements and innovation into countries that lag behind in this area.

Advice to young women: I am a strong believer in the fact that the same rules of success should apply for men as they do for women. If anyone wants to be respected in their workplace, they will be able to demand it if they are professional and focused on achieving results, irrespective of whether they are a man or woman. I do not believe that different rules for workplace success exist for men or women.

Pressing channel issue: The most pressing channel issue in the Middle East region at the moment is to ensure a healthy channel with capabilities to invest in product, training and skill updates and services offerings.

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