Online gains ground in Middle East with investment in Saudi channel

Networking distributor intent on building stronger reseller relationships in the Saudi market following launch of local subsidiary office and logistics alliance with Aramex

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By  Administrator Published  February 1, 2007

Online Distribution has strengthened its presence in the Middle East by opening a new office in Saudi Arabia. The company claims the move has added a "new layer" of partner services for resellers by providing them with a direct link to a team of specialist sales and product experts.

Online - the Middle East distribution arm of South African networking group Datatec - claims it has taken time to understand the Saudi market and the values of prospective partners in the Kingdom.

"Saudi Arabia has a number of leading manufacturing and utility companies who are early adopters of new technology and use information technology to fuel their diversification and economic growth into new sectors," said Venu Menon, director at Online. "Saudi Arabian organisations, while being focused on reducing costs, are more interested in increasing their agility and extending resources needed to meet customer demands. The Kingdom is a focus market for us this year and this will allow us to introduce an extensive range of products and solutions to our partner base," he added.

In addition to the office, Online has recruited the services of transportation firm Aramex to provide third party logistics support for partners in Saudi Arabia.

"Key to the success of this operation is being able to offer delivery in real time. We will back up our product offering with good logistics support," said Menon. Online also has a depot in Bahrain which works to support the partners in Saudi Arabia and stocks products from a host of vendors including Symbol, 3Com, Juniper, Extreme, APC and Corning.

The expansion in Saudi follows the completion of a recent datacentre roadshow that took in several markets across the Middle East. The event attracted nearly 100 attendees in Riyadh and more than 40 in Dammam, according to Menon.

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