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APC powers up MEA expansion plans

APC has revamped its regional set-up as part of a series of actions designed to improve its support infrastructure in the Middle East. The overhaul is set to provide the foundation for the company’s expansion in the region, with Dubai poised to become a focus of major investments by APC in the coming months.

APC has revamped its regional set-up as part of a series of actions designed to improve its support infrastructure in the Middle East. The overhaul is set to provide the foundation for the company’s expansion in the region, with Dubai poised to become a focus of major investments by APC in the coming months.

As well as plans to scale up its local engineering resources, the firm is preparing to expand its warehousing capabilities, and introduce a regional technical support and telesales operation.

In its most dramatic move yet, APC recently merged its Middle East and African sales teams so that they can function as a single entity. Philip Hughes, regional manager MEA at APC, explained: “Regionalisation is a major step allowing us to have a much larger critical mass within APC's EMEA Operations. Within the two teams we had a number of supremely talented members who now have the ability to use that talent in a much larger business value. In addition, re-distributing our sales team resources allows us to better match the needs of our customers.”

The first phase of the regionalisation kicked into place at the beginning of October with the promotion of Anna Podgornaya to MEA regional channel manager. She boasts eight years of experience with the vendor’s Middle East Direct Partner accounts and has constructed a team focused on channel management programmes and initiatives to drive growth among distribution partners.

Podgornaya commented: “Most of us in the IT channel understand that supply chain, credit lines, margins and grey marketing are key issues for our partners. My team’s focus is not only on improving these key aspects for our channel, but also introducing education programmes and business development opportunities.”

She added: “Local knowledge and programmes are important and we need to be able to work with our European team-mates to localise EMEA-wide programmes and processes. Channel management is so much more than just running volume rebate incentive programmes. Our programmes are based on education first and foremost. We invest our channel funds into development of our partners. By this I don’t just mean filling them with product knowledge, but [making investments] in areas such as business and management skills development.”

APC’s channel sales reorganisation is also being matched by changes to its field sales operations, according to Hughes. He said: “APC made the positive decision to re-focus on our channel activities to allow us to work with partners on major projects. Simultaneously, many other changes are in process. Some of those improvements have given us major issues as we design new programmes to improve the technical and sales excellence of our in-country partners. The work involved during this time has had some knock-on effects during the year. We have worked to improve our supply chain and logistics providers world wide which has been an issue here in MEA, but it should be back up to where we want it to be during November,” he concluded.

On a regional basis, APC has already re-allocated some field sales roles into engineering support to facilitate the design of datacentre solutions among customers, but it claims further investments to its Dubai office will be revealed during Gitex.

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