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Empa makes move on enterprise channel

Company launches new unit in a bid to move up the distribution ladder

Shahood Khan says Empa is looking to get into more project-based business.
Shahood Khan says Empa is looking to get into more project-based business.

IT distributor Empa has revealed ambitious plans to crack the enterprise space in a move that it admits is bringing about a "cultural change" within its organisation.

Although Empa's heritage lies in components distribution, the company has just formed a dedicated Enterprise Solutions business unit that will largely focus on the SMB market.

So far it has signed partnerships with antivirus software provider ESET, Sweden-based anti-spyware specialist Lavasoft and Citrix-ready web filtering appliance vendor St. Bernard Software.

It will also focus on the systems and storage portfolio of Fujitsu Technology Solutions, which it already has a relationship with.

Empa says the scope of the unit will extend to software, security, storage, systems and networking solutions.

The unit is being led by Sathya Murthy, who previously worked for Tech Data, Novell and more recently Magirus, where he managed the company's VMware business.

Shahood Khan, sales and marketing director at Empa, says the company wants to address growing demand for enterprise-class solutions, while moving up the distribution ladder by showing "value addition" to newer channel prospects.

"One of the primary reasons for forming an enterprise business unit is to be in the projects business as it is generally a high value and high profit business," he said.

"Presently, the unit is in the process of assessing vendors to build a portfolio to be in line with the focus areas. Later, the business unit will have dedicated pre-sales and product management personnel, which will happen towards the fourth quarter. Until then the business unit will be working with the existing sales and marketing workforce."

As a company best known for carrying PC and components products, Khan admits Empa faces some major challenges in building an enterprise unit.

"We do admit to the fact that our existing customer base is mostly resellers and systems builders, however we do have business relationships with solution providers as we have been distributing products such as Intel and Fujitsu servers, Netgear and Tripp Lite," said Khan.

"At the same time, we have been approached by some vendors that currently have a low market share in the Middle East, but are looking for a focused distributor who can deliver the results. We expect the initial few quarters will be challenging, but we do have solid plans to ramp up. The formation of the enterprise unit is a cultural change within our organisation, but the unit has tremendous support from management and colleagues," concluded Khan.