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New 3Com Middle East boss plans partner talks

New Middle East general manager 'not satisfied' with current 3Com channel, plans partner meetings to review channel programme

3Com's new Middle East general manager Mahmoud El-Ali is preparing to hold meetings with channel partners from around the region over the coming weeks as he looks to mould the company into a more attractive force to work with.

El-Ali, who previously worked for CA and IBM in the region, says official talks with partners will begin in the next few days, with authorised distributors and resellers high on his agenda. He intends to discuss the operational issues and challenges they face, as well as providing an update on how the company will provide stronger sales, technical and services support.

However, his main goal will be to assess the steps that need to be taken to ensure stronger engagement between 3Com and its partners. "I am not satisfied with the current channel we have or the way we have implemented our channel programme," he admitted. "I will be working on the way we are selecting partners and the extent to which they are committed to the 3Com business."

El-Ali's arrival - which follows the departure of Hamed Diab - also looks poised to spark a reorganisation of the company's enterprise channel. He plans to explore the possibility of working with just two or three enterprise partners per country in a move designed to drive reseller profitability.

"My plan is to step more into the enterprise business," he explained. "I am not saying that we have to drop any of the SME business, but I want to ensure that 3Com is really competing aggressively in the enterprise market. I will be working at improving the direct touch with our enterprise customers and building solid enterprise channel partners to grow our enterprise business."

El-Ali is the second senior management figure to join 3Com's Middle East operations in recent weeks. Earlier this month the networking vendor also named Yasser Ali as its country manager for Egypt.