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

Hermes said Euler Hermes remains the largest credit insurance provider in the UAE and KSA. “The biggest challenge that we face in the region is the lack of corporate governance especially in the SMB space, where smaller resellers don’t even have audited books,” he said.

BYOD

The meteoric rise of “bring your own device” (BYOD) IT policies promise many benefits such as greater innovation, better work-life balance and improved productivity, but how does it affect the IT channel industry?

Khalid Wani, sales director – India, Middle East & Africa at Western Digital, said as a lot of technology is moving to the cloud, organisations [big or small] are adopting BYOD because workers are increasingly becoming mobile. Wani said this is welcome news for savvy solution providers as it provides an opportunity for them to provide services and solutions.

Shahood Khan, managing partner, Techmicro, concurred and said BYOD has changed the work culture and how organisations engage with their employees. Khan said devices have become more affordable and feature rich allowing employees to strike a balance between work and personal lifestyles.

Tarek Kuzbari, managing director, Middle East and Turkey at Kaspersky Lab, said although BYOD has gained a lot of momentum over the last 18 months, the concept itself is not new to the IT industry. “We used to have all these terms like bring your own laptop, bring your own phone etc. What has helped the market is giving this trend a name and in doing so, the industry has quickly caught on,” he explained.

Kuzbari said despite the many benefits that BYOD brings to organisations, many in the Middle East are still concerned about security and that is a huge opportunity for channel partners in the region.

Aside from security, Khan said the main verticals leading the BYOD adoption in the region are education and services oriented industries such as insurance, logistics and transportation sectors.

With margins on hardware continuing to decline, experts say the BYOD trend should encourage channel partners to provide solutions in client environments that have embraced this concept.

Khan said although resellers might miss out on the initial hardware sale of the devices, the opportunities to help companies develop comprehensive BYOD strategies and offerings is huge. “There are so many areas in which channel partners can contribute to their own business by jumping onto the services opportunities that emerge,” he said.

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