Companies to watch

Channel Middle East takes a look at companies that it believes will help keep things alive in the regional channel in 2014.

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Companies to watch
By  Manda Banda Published  January 27, 2014

Channel Middle East takes a look at companies that it believes will help keep things alive in the regional channel in 2014.

Many in the Middle East IT channel community are happy to have closed the door on 2013, a year that was characterised by uncertainty, instability in some countries in the region and tightened IT spending.

Even though 2013 started with industry pundits expressing a lot of confidence about increased IT spending, it’s events that unfolded during the course of the year and were exacerbated by the decline in PC hardware sales in the first three quarters, that dampened the gains that the industry made in 2012.

Stakeholders in the regional channel were upbeat that Microsoft’s Windows 8 would spur a PC hardware refresh cycle especially in the commercial segment as businesses prepare to upgrade from Windows XP, which Microsoft will cease to support after April 2014.

On the contrary, for most of 2013, the narrative of the global PC industry has been on the verge of becoming a bloody horror story. But the bleeding has finally slowed, based on the latest figures from analyst and research firm IDC, which stated that PC shipments in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) declined 16%, reaching 21.4m units in the third quarter of 2013.

Despite the decline in global PC sales, the past year has seen the first signs of a shift to the third platform of computing and with this shift, the emergence of digital economies in the Middle East region. This has compelled some vendors and distributors to undergo big changes.

As regional partners begin 2014, Channel Middle East looks at companies worth watching this year. Some on the list are already poised to provide huge growth and business opportunities for their channel partners across the region. Others are in the spotlight because they have something to prove or challenges to overcome. Either way, these companies are the notables that will help keep things interesting in 2014.

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