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Egyptian appointments signal Iomega channel push

Addition of distribution duo reflects “concerted effort” to expand regional business

Cizar Abughazaleh insists Iomega is committed to strengthening its consumer and SME channels in the Middle East
Cizar Abughazaleh insists Iomega is committed to strengthening its consumer and SME channels in the Middle East

Storage vendor Iomega has signed two in-country distributors in Egypt as part of plans to round out its coverage of the Middle East region.

The appointment of Delta and VAS comes less than a year after senior executives at the company revealed they were exploring local distribution partnerships in some of the region's larger markets to drive up demand.

"We are focusing on the channel and we want to make sure our partnerships don't just depend on certain volumes and product ranges, but are based on healthy business because we are looking to build long-term relationships," explained Cizar Abughazaleh, regional sales manager for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey at Iomega.

Iomega, which is owned by EMC, currently has four main regional distributors - Empa, ITE and Intuit in the UAE and Al-Jammaz in Saudi Arabia.

Abughazaleh insists the company is in the process of expanding its consumer reach, but also its SMB coverage, where it continues to aggressively push its NAS appliances. It is also looking at ways of strengthening its after-sales service infrastructure in a bid to support this business.

According to the president of EMC's consumer and small business products division, Jonathan Huberman, who spoke to Channel Middle East on a recent visit to the region, Iomega is now the number two or three in the NAS business, compared with the number eight when it was bought by EMC 18 months ago.

"As far as the Middle East goes and where that plays in [our strategy], we are growing very quickly," he said. "Our NAS business, or really our SME channel business, is growing over 50% a year and we expect that to continue for the foreseeable future."

He insists the Middle East now forms a much stronger part of the company's plans than it did before, having previously lacked focus.

"While we have been selling in this region for a number of years now, we really haven't focused on it until the last year. We brought on a new team and we are making a concerted effort to make this a major piece of our business," said Huberman.