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Vendors flock to Aptec

Staff at distributor Aptec Gulf LLC claim to be run off their feet this week thanks to the interest being shown by vendors who are hunting out distribution deals.

Staff at distributor Aptec Gulf LLC claim to be run off their feet this week thanks to the interest being shown by vendors who are hunting out distribution deals.

"We've had so many coming in and requesting we distribute their products," says Prajit Arakkal, Symantec business group manager, "but we need to be really careful, because it's not about just being a distributor for that product, it's about doing justice to it. From that perspective we're very choosy."

Aptec received a further boost mid-way through this year’s Gitex event when HP awarded the firm its HP PNB (Procurve Network Business) award as part of its Partner Awards on Monday night. Arakkal claims the company is attempting to differentiate itself from its competitors in the region by adding more and more value to its offer. "Gitex isn't just about signing new agreements,” he says, “it's about broadening our perspective to our partners. We need to be creative in order to get our customers to trust and depend more on us."

This involves the firm expanding its technical and pre-sales support. Arakkal says it's a case of helping resellers get to the stage where they can sustain themselves. "It's like a hand-holding exercise, specifically with security products like Symantec's software,” he explains. “These products aren't easy to install and configure. They need expertise, which means we must put more emphasis on training and that's what we're doing. The resellers take our help in order to get this training at a discounted price and in the meantime if they've got installations, we have technical people who can go along with them, or be their representatives.”

Aptec offers resellers a huge range of products, from networking hardware and components, to security and office software titles. As Arakkal explains it, Aptec is aiming to be an effective single product source for resellers. "If we take SMBs, home users, and enterprise markets, the SMB sector is currently the most happening market," he claims. "If you look at the average size of companies in the region, they’re about 100 people strong. When a reseller comes to us it makes sense for them to actually buy everything from one single source."

The firm's business may be largely based in the enterprise sector at present, but Aptec is keen to change this. "The focus hasn't been so much on this happening SMB market," explains Arakkal. "It's this we're trying to do something about, so we'll be focusing on the SMB segment for the next month or two."

Arakkal claims to have iden-tified a couple of markets in the region where he reckons business is truly booming, such as Kuwait. "People are investing more and more in these markets," he says. "As a group we're trying to put more focus on Kuwait. That's probably the number one growth market as far as we're concerned. Jordan is next and Saudi Arabia has always been up there. “We're trying to put more emphasis on the infrastructure within our Saudi offices in order to grow the business, which you'll see in the next couple of quarters." Aptec currently has two offices in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, with further single offices in Turkey and Lebanon.

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