Guarded optimism at CME conference

The second Channel Middle East Conference held in Dubai recently examined business growth prospects and the need for innovation in the regional channel as the business climate improves.

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Guarded optimism at CME conference
By  Manda Banda , Stephen McBride Published  July 18, 2013

Dong Wu, vice president, ME Enterprise Business Group, Huawei, said channel partners looking at venturing into cloud managed services reselling should first look at what their clients require.  Wu said very often, providing IT services requires a partner to have consultancy skills, being able to manage complex systems integration environments and executing those services at the highest level. “Our own experiences have shown us that service providers are best suited to provide such high level services,” he said.

Yasser Zeineldin, CEO, at managed services provider, eHosting DataFort, said resellers wanting to jump onto the cloud services reselling bandwagon should realise that it’s not easy to become a cloud provider. “Becoming a cloud service provider requires a different mentality and a strong focus on services and not products,” he said.

Zeineldin explained that resellers that are already playing in the services space will find transitioning into the cloud services arena a lot easier than those partners that are product inclined.

He said infrastructure investment remains the key challenge for resellers that would want to place in cloud services. “What we are seeing in the Middle East is that private cloud services are gaining momentum in the Middle East with IaaS, platform as-a-service (Paas) and software as-a-service (SaaS) leading the way.

Credit insurance

Companies in the Middle East are gradually realising the value of credit insurance, but the percentage of trade covered by such insurance is infinitesimally small.

Ali Nemati, general manager, Acer Middle East, said credit, market share, total addressable market and growth work hand-in-hand. Nemati said for any forecast to be considered accurate, all relevant variables must be factored in.

He said because the IT business in primarily a distribution business that relies heavily on credit terms, there was need for the forecasting companies such as IDC and Gartner to start speaking with credit insurers in the region. “This gathering is the first step is getting together all channel players [vendors, distributors, resellers], forecasting firms to start addressing the challenges that credit insurers face, actual market size and the addressable market covered by insurance providers,” he said.

Nemati said in the past, high street dealers especially in Dubai have suffered at the hands of vendors from product stuffing. “It’s easy to blame distributors but when the market knows the total available credit versus the total addressable market, then all stakeholders will be able to come up with mechanisms to tackle these challenges,” he said.

Nemati said it’s crucial for all stakeholders involved in the channel to ensure that growth in the IT sector must be profitable. “We will be opening channels between forecasting companies, vendors and the broader channel community to address the issue of managing a profitable channel,” he said.

Mahan Bolourchi, head, Risk, Information and Claims at credit insurance provider Euler Hermes, said the company’s global exposure in the credit insurance industry globally stands at 770bn euros. “From this we clearly see the appetite that is in the market especially in emerging and news markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East,” he said.

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