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GITEX 2013: Channel updates

by Stuart Wilson, Thursday 26 September 2013

It’s that time of year again as the Middle East market gears up for GITEX month. First up is Shopper from 5-12th October, followed by Technology Week running 20-24th October. With Shopper now happening twice a year, this October’s event has lost some of its impact. Holding it on separate dates from the trade show also means less overall buzz during Technology Week. Nevertheless, you can keep checking back here to stay up to speed on any worthwhile channel announcements.

Mitsumi growth

26/9/13 Distributor Mitsumi will highlight its African channel reach at GITEX and the breadth of its portfolio. With its new headquarters in Dubai, Mitsumi claims that it is on course to double its sales in 2013 to hit US$490m.

Mitsumi has 15 warehouses, 9 service centres and serves more than 3,500 resellers across the Middle East and Africa. Mitsumi will use the trade show to encourage resellers to buy genuine products and not to dabble in the grey market. Mitesh Shah (1), managing director at Mitsumi Distribution, said: “Mitsumi has 17 years strong presence in Africa and we aim to replicate this success in the Middle East.”

Expansion drive for SNB

30/9/13 UAE-based VAD SNB IT Distribution is splashing out for a stand at GITEX Technology Week 2013. The VAD outfit specialises in storage and backup, networking, CCTV surveillance and IT security solutions. SNB’s portfolio includes Nexsan (by Imation), Tandberg Data, Infortrend, Enterasys, Proxim Wireless, Allied Telesis, Mobotix, AxxonSoft, Retrospect and Seclore.

"GITEX Technology Week is a crucial platform for IT companies and the local channel to showcase their solutions and services. As a new entrant, our focus is on enhancing our visibility among the channel community and among vendors," reckons Abdul Rauf Chougle (2), group general manager at SNB IT Distribution.

"SNB makes the best and unique technologies accessible to resellers and customers in this region, and we believe our participation will help us reach a wider audience of vendors and resellers from across the world and the region. We have positioned ourselves as a vendor representative company rather than just an IT distributor. Therefore our emphasis will be on adding value to the brands we represent, while enhancing our offerings to our customers," he added.

The company is currently on an expansion drive to extend its networking and security solutions offering, as well as its geographic reach with new operations in Doha and Nairobi. SNB recently signed region-wide partnership agreements with broadband wireless vendor Proxim Wireless, wireless network infrastructure vendor Enterasys, and security software vendor Seclore Technologies.

AOC takes its tablets

3/10/13 Display specialist AOC plans to officially announce the availability of AOC tablets in the Middle East channel during GITEX.

“Our participation at GITEX Technology Week this year will revolve around displaying solutions for every industry and every need,” explained Thomas Schade, VP EMEA at AOC. “AOC’s display solutions offer our customers a unique, modern and dynamic mode of communicating with its audience.”

“At GITEX this year, we will unveil cutting edge products that can be easily integrated across various industries. Our innovative display solutions will enable businesses to introduce the next generation of interactive experience to its customers,” claimed Schade.

Trade-in at Shopper

4/10/13 UAE retailer Jacky’s always makes a major effort at GITEX Shopper, which runs from October 5th to 12th this year. This year Jacky’s is offering visitors the opportunity to trade in old gadgets for new smartphones and tablets. Customers can bring selected models of previously popular smartphones and tablets, which can be recycled as part of the Jacky’s Eco-Exchange scheme during the eight-day exhibition. They will then receive a voucher to buy any product being sold by Jacky’s at the event.

“The lifespan of consumer electronic products such as smartphones have been reduced to six months to a year, which has resulted in people buying new products on a more regular basis,” claimed Ashish Panjabi (3), COO at Jacky’s Electronics. “GITEX Shopper has always been about new product launches with aggressive bundles and this is also the time when show visitors upgrade to new devices.”

Comguard wants more resellers

9/10/13 Dubai-based VAD Comguard, part of the Spectrum Group, hopes to expand its reseller base through its participation at GITEX Technology Week this year. Comguard plans to announce a new loyalty programme for partners to reward them for their continuous support.

Ajay Singh Chauhan, CEO at Comguard, said: “This year we are looking forward to consolidating our existing channel base and acquiring new channel partners from all across the region. We have designed a focused relationship and enablement programme to reinforce this strategy.”

EMT to show new products

11/10/13 It’s going to be VAD central at GITEX this year. EMT Distribution plans to show off some new products from Secunia, 2X, Altaro, and Kaspersky. The company also plans to conduct special event aimed at its channel community along-side GITEX Technology Week 2013.

“If we look at the technology trends across the Middle East and Africa region, we see that IT security and virtualisation solutions are in high demand,” explained Mohammad Mobasseri, CEO at EMT Distribution.

“However, in many countries in the region, due to use of state of the art IT infrastructure, certain areas of security such as encryption, DLP, web and application security, and so on, is also on the rise. The demand from end users is mainly focused towards solutions related to cloud computing and SaaS.”

“SMBs however seem to have gotten more flexible when it comes to solutions such as cloud computing. However, we see more and more SMBs now opting for solutions such as end point security, next generation firewall, and core network security – areas that once used to be restricted to large enterprises,” added Mobasseri.

NComputing shares space with partners

17/10/13 Desktop virtualisation solutions supplier NComputing is grabbing space on stands run by VAR partner Data Care and new regional distributor Solutions Middle East at GITEX.

Maurice Johnson, regional director for NComputing Middle East, said: “The Middle East is a major market for NComputing as we continue to work with our strong network of local partners.”

Both stands will give visitors the chance to experience live demonstrations of NComputing’s solutions.

SAP partners with Innosoft

23/10/13 Software giant SAP announced a partnership with UAE-based Innosoft Solutions. Sherif Hamouda, head of channel and ecosystem at SAP MENA, said: “I am delighted to welcome to Innosoft Solutions to our vibrant and ever-growing ecosystem. This is a company with excellent credentials, and we look forward to a long and fruitful partnership.”

Waseela lands Aruba

23/10/13 Middle East and North Africa system integrator Waseela added Aruba Networks solutions to its portfolio of broadband wireless technologies.

Raed Taha, director of business partnerships at Waseela, said: “The selection of Aruba Networks’ solutions comes as an important addition to the rich portfolio of Waseela’s end-to-end integrated solutions.”

Osama Alhaj-Issa, channel director Middle East and Turkey at Aruba Networks, said: “We are happy to be partnering with such a capable system integrator that demonstrated successful track record and gained credibility in the regional market especially among service providers.”

Aptec announces cloud website

23/10/13 VAD outfit Aptec, part of Ingram Micro, has announced a new cloud vendor portfolio and cloud website. Aptec’s cloud website will operate as an online platform where solution providers and resellers can obtain detailed product information, access marketing and sales collateral and get up to date on the new cloud business reality.

Ali Baghdadi, president at Ingram Micro Middle East, Africa & Turkey region, said: “Ingram Micro stands alone as the IT industry’s leading services aggregator and strives to ensure our channel partners are leading the market and driving positive change for their customers by offering best-in-class technology solutions and cloud services.”

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