A solutions approach

Basil Ayass, Marketing Director, Dell Middle East, talks about future prospects and how channel partners can seize the solutions opportunity in the region.

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A solutions approach Ayass says the breadth of Dell’s product portfolio means that the company has relationships with channel partners that cover the complete spectrum.
By  Manda Banda Published  December 10, 2013

Basil Ayass, Marketing Director, Dell Middle East, talks about future prospects and how channel partners can seize the solutions opportunity in the region.

CME: What has been your company’s focus and business strategy for the Middle East channel in 2013?

BA: The breadth of Dell’s product portfolio means that the company has relationships with channel partners that cover the complete spectrum of the end-user market. In the consumer space, Dell is working with all of the region’s leading IT and electronics retailers, while in the commercial segment we have an established network of distributors, resellers and service companies. Dell has made some significant enhancements to its channel development activities in the Middle East during the past 12 months, most notably the launch of the Preferred Partner Program within the structure of the PartnerDirect Program.

CME: How is the company helping its channel partners to take advantage of the improving business climate in the Middle East?

BA: Dell’s PartnerDirect Program is a great way for distributors and resellers to take advantage of the improving business climate in the Middle East as it offers incremental value in terms of sales support, rebates, product training, deal registration, lead generation and quarterly achievement rewards. The programme is made up of three categories (Authorised Distribution, Registered Partner and Preferred Partner) to distinguish the relationship that the partner has with Dell. The key differentiators of our channel programme include dedicated sales and pre-sales support, instructor-led training and aspects such as a ‘smart price list’ with volume discounts and order entry functionality.

CME: What channel initiatives is Dell rolling out in the Middle East?

BA: One of the main channel initiatives has been the enhancement of the partner programme, as additional focus has been placed on creating a structure that is simple, easy to understand and relevant to different types of partners. With Dell’s different focus areas such as PCs, infrastructure design, solutions and services, we strive to make our programme relevant to a broad range of partners in the Middle East. For instance, security is an important focus area for customers and following Dell’s acquisitions of Secure Works and SonicWall we have built on our expertise through our partners that specialise in security.

CME: What is the state of the Middle East IT channel market at present?

BA: The Middle East is still one of the fastest growing markets in the world so we see huge opportunities for all our solutions. Areas such as cloud, data storage and virtualisation are undoubtedly shaping purchasing decisions in the commercial sector, as Middle East organisations look to integrate new solutions into their IT strategy in a cost-effective way. We are finding that customers’ technology priorities can be categorised into four key themes: transform, connect, inform and protect.

CME: What role are your distribution and channel partners expected to play in the region?

BA: The role of our distribution partners is very clear: they are an extended arm for Dell’s presence in the Middle East. They provide value added distribution services for us to reach areas and resellers that we can’t do directly. We take this partnership seriously and extend it beyond the usual stock availability and financial terms flexibility, wherein we work with our distributors to agree on strategy and reach across the region.

CME: What role is expected from your distribution partners given that cloud adoptions are picking up in the region?

BA: Cloud computing has been over-hyped for several years now and we really look to our partners to help us educate the market and spread awareness of the benefits of this solution. As cloud computing matures, resellers in the market would be looking for a one-stop-shop for all their solutions needs. We are looking for distributor to shape up their offerings to complement Dell’s solutions.

CME: What can your channel partners (distributors & resellers) expect from Dell in the next 12 months in the Middle East region?

BA: Dell understands the importance of providing partners with the resources they need to do business, and through our channel programmes we will continue to offer the tools they need. Our efforts on this side of the business will be augmented by the ongoing enhancement of Dell’s product portfolio.

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