Gateway launch imminent as Acer lines up partners
Vendor assembling channel to mount attack on regional enterprise sector
Gateway PCs and storage systems could be available in the Middle East from as early as May if Acer succeeds in concluding discussions with a series of partners it has lined up to market the products, Channel Middle East can reveal.
Acer has re-hired its one-time country sales manager for Saudi Arabia, Sunil Nair, to launch the Gateway business in the MEA region and he is currently in the process of building a channel partner network from scratch.
The vendor is looking at two types of partner to carry the commercial-focused Gateway line-up, which consists of servers, storage systems and PC clients.
"Our primary focus is on what we call enterprise-class partners and these will be large partners who represent our products on a back-to-back basis in large deals and government tenders," explained Nair, whose most recent management role has been with distributor BDL Gulf.
"The second category is country-specific distribution partners, which will have the rights to stock and sell. For the time being we are looking at partners with a lot of experience selling servers and storage," he added.
Discussions with prospective partners are already at their third stage and Nair remains optimistic that the company will be in a position to confirm at least 10 tie-ups within the next few weeks.
"During the initial phase we are looking at countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, and we will appoint partners there immediately," he said. "I am also looking at Egypt and South Africa."
The Middle East roll-out of Gateway, which Acer purchased for US$710m in 2007, follows on from last year's launch in Western Europe, where the product range is largely distributed by Tech Data.
Nair insists partners that embrace the brand will gain access to the latest enterprise technology and attractive margin opportunities.
"The advantage for the channel is that they would be dealing with a company which is very well versed in channel go-to-market strategy and can offer an excellent product profile and product range that was not present earlier," he said.
"One good thing about the Gateway brand is that it is very well perceived as a brand in the minds of people. I was told that about 10 years ago Gateway used to have a substantial market share in enterprise customers in Abu Dhabi and the government sector, so people have a good recollection of that," said Nair.