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Alpha Data ready to change business model again

Rise of cloud computing is putting traditional reseller role under threat

Alpha Data ready to change business model again
Fayez Ibbini says Alpha Data is preparing to change its business model in anticipation of customers embracing cloud services.

UAE corporate reseller Alpha Data has overhauled its service centre facilities in a move that is intended to form the basis of a much stronger push into the cloud computing environment over the next couple of years.

The 700-strong outfit today revealed it has established a cloud professional services practice by expanding its service centre facilities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, from where it will provide hosted services to customers.

With research suggesting the cloud computing industry could be worth almost US$150 billion within the next four years, Alpha Data claims the systems integration channel needs to "radically rethink" its current business model.

Restructuring the business to account for a shift in the way customers purchase technology is not something that is new to Alpha Data, according to its founder and managing director, Fayez Ibbini.

Back in the early 1980s, when computer usage was constrained by size and cost, Alpha Data's core business was as a data bureau providing outsourced computer services, but the introduction of desktop PCs necessitated a change in its approach, which led to it becoming one of the first IT resellers in the UAE.

Later it became a solution provider, while more recently it shifted tack to anticipate regional demand for systems integration services. 

"We are finding ourselves in a familiar situation once again with cloud computing today," said Ibbini. "Over the next two years, Alpha Data sees a major shift over to the cloud model and we are taking all necessary steps to be ready to serve our clients in these areas. As more and more companies start to appreciate the versatile and scalable nature of the cloud, it will become an integral part of a company's IT strategy, and therefore a key budget and investment area."

Alpha Data has already made some headway in the cloud computing market by striking relationships with companies offering or facilitating cloud services, including Google, Microsoft and VMWare.

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