A promising year

The third Channel Middle East conference held at the Oberoi Centre in Dubai’s Business Bay examined how to ignite growth in the Middle East IT industry as regional channel players look to 2014 as the year that will see business improve drastically.

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A promising year More than 100 channel executives from the UAE attended the third Channel Middle East conference.
By  Manda Banda Published  January 27, 2014

The third Channel Middle East conference held at the Oberoi Centre in Dubai’s Business Bay examined how to ignite growth in the Middle East IT industry as regional channel players look to 2014 as the year that will see business improve drastically.

The third Channel Middle East (CME) Channel Conference was held at the Oberoi Centre Business Bay (Burj Khalifa area) in November 2013, with business leader in the Dubai channel attending in numbers.

The conference, which was held under the theme: ‘Igniting the Engines of Growth - Top 10 Factors for Growth in the Channel’, saw Adriana Rangel, research director, Systems and Infrastructure Solutions, IDC, deliver the keynote address.

Talks and panel discussions covered a range of topics including tips on how to survive in a declining PC market; strategies on adapting to the mobility surge; 2014 business outlook; the future of broadline distribution; industry trends and technological advances and how to adapt to them; and a range of industry case studies.

In addition, this high-level channel event aimed at helping channel partners to further their competitive edge and discuss how they can differentiate themselves in a market where product margins have continued to be squeezed.

The half day event also focused on tackling some of the most pressing channel challenges and informed all parts of the Dubai channel and at regional level, on key opportunities and strategies for delivering improved business in 2014.

Anam Hilal, conference producer, ITP Publishing Group, said the conference provided Dubai-based channel partners with the opportunity to hear from thought leaders on the opportunities that lie ahead as demand for commercial desktops is showing signs of improvement in the Middle East region.

Third platform

In her keynote address, IDC’s Rangel covered a range of issues that the regional channel faced in 2013 and also introduced projected challenges for the New Year.

Both Rangel and Asem Galal, managing partner, Galal & Karawi Consulting in his 2014 Business Outlook presentation, noted that while social media was behind the potency of the Arab Spring, the Spring itself catapulted social to hitherto unknown levels, as account holders on social networks surged across the region following the leadership transitions.

This created an accompanying surge in demand for consumer electronics. But at the same time businesses are remodelling their internal infrastructures as they see the benefits of outsourcing infrastructure to cloud managed services companies.

When addressing retail challenges, Galal mentioned that most customers do not complain in-store, but complain to friends and family, and much of that discussion takes place through social media. This will lead to a thirst for analytics so that companies can understand their customers better.

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