Channel enablement

Cerebra Middle East FZCO, a specialist distributor focusing on data centre solutions is looking to empower its channel partners across the region. Asit Ahuja, director & CEO, Cerebra Middle East FZCO explains

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Channel enablement
By  Manda Banda Published  November 22, 2012

Cerebra Middle East FZCO, a specialist distributor focusing on data centre solutions is looking to empower its channel partners across the region. Asit Ahuja, director & CEO, Cerebra Middle East FZCO explains.

Channel: How has business been for Cerebra Middle East this year?

ASIT AHUJA: Our business model focuses on value-added distribution of data centre products. For Cerebra, 2012 has been a year for gaining a foothold in the regional markets and we have been extremely successful in getting into just the right partnerships both with vendors as well as the channel. This year has not only seen us establish ourselves as a key player in the data centre space, but we have also gained a substantially large customer base in the region.

Channel: What is your company’s main business focus area for the rest of the year and 2013?

AA: The key focus is on channel growth and enablement. Cerebra is working very closely with channel partners to bring to them best-in-class data centre solutions. We are in the process of rolling out an exciting partner programme and will add further value to the channel by providing vertical specific solutions.

Channel: How many business units does your company have at the moment?

AA: At present Cerebra is a VAD for Cannon Technologies, Fujitsu, FalconStor, Fibrenetix, Milestone and GData. We are structured in such a way that there is a separate business unit for each vendor. We are not vertical or solutions specific at present. However, as we expand our vendor portfolio we plan to onboard resources with domain expertise across various verticals and solutions.

Channel: The last two years have been challenging for most regional distributors. What strategies did your company implement to help it weather the storm?

AA: We stepped into the Middle East at a time when the storm was at its peak and we saw this as an opportunity rather than a challenge. While the markets were in recession the channel needed extended support which they were struggling to find. Cerebra’s understanding of the need of the hour, and our sheer flexibility of operation, ensured a smooth business flow for many channel partners. Being part of an establishment that has a 25-year track record in India, we have weathered many a storm, and our strategy is to continue supporting the regional channel.

Channel: Are they any vendor technologies or brands that you are considering to bring onboard?

AA: It is our endeavor to enhance our solutions portfolio in accordance with the requirements of our valued channel partners, and we are already in discussions with some vendors to incorporate some complementing technologies in our solutions mix. Even with our existing vendors and their OEM alliances, we still need to add certain technologies in the backup & archive application, virtualisation, data loss prevention and information security space.

Channel: What channel programmes is your company rolling out in the area of value-added distribution?

AA: At Cerebra we already run a lot of channel initiatives along with our vendors and we are in the process of formalising vendor specific partner programmes. Cerebra adds value to the following areas: pre-sales assistance, proof of concepts, technical support, post-sales support, training & channel enablement, incentives, lead generation, joint marketing and credit support. The soon to launch Cerebra partner programme will incentivise partners with rebates, certification and awards.

Channel: What would you say will be your major highlight at GITEX?

AA: GITEX Technology Week is going to be a busy time for us. We will be showcasing our product portfolio by way of a multi vendor event on data centre optimisation. It has been our endeavour to bring to partners, the best-in-class technologies.

Channel: What is the importance of participating in a technology fair such as GITEX Technology Week?

GITEX is the Gulf region’s largest and most specialised ICT platform. It brings together IT professionals not only from the Middle East, but from all parts of the world. It is an excellent opportunity for distributors like us, to not only showcase our portfolio, but to also further consolidate and enhance our channel relationships.

Channel: Where do you see majority of your growth coming from in the Middle East in 2012?

AA: The market conditions at present suggest that the mid market is a potential growth area in the region. Cerebra along with all its vendors, is focusing on highly affordable mid market products which will also be extremely attractive for the enterprise segment which may have downsized their IT spending.

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