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GITEX 2008 takes centre stage

by Stuart Wilson, Wednesday 15 October 2008

The Middle East’s annual technology festival, GITEX, kicks off next on October 19th in Dubai. As always, the event promises to attract distributors, resellers and retailers from across the entire region as vendors look to touch base with their partners.

Distributors too will use the event as a platform for meeting their reseller base. If you can’t make it to the Middle East for GITEX, here’s Channel EMEA’s lowdown on what you’re missing.

If you are attending GITEX and have some channel-related news or views (or gossip), you can arrange an interview with Channel EMEA by e-mailing news@channelemea.com

Mindware chases channel breadth

DISTRIBUTOR: Middle East distribution giant Mindware will showcase its wide vendor portfolio on its GITEX stand with a dedicated section set aside for Dell – one of the more recent additions to its portfolio. Mindware hopes that a strong presence at GITEX will help it achieve its 20% growth objective for 2008.

’In our consistent annual participation at GITEX, we have come to recognise its importance in the regional IT market as the definitive event that gathers the movers and shakers of this booming industry,’ said Nada Haddad, marketing manager at Mindware.

”Last year, our presence has helped us promote and increase awareness of our products, solutions and brand among the media and IT communities as well as boost the sales of our various products and solutions. Through our stronger visibility this year, we are aiming to leverage the advantageous business environment to meet potential and existing partners and end-users and build relations by providing their required support,” she added.

Mindware’s GITEX objectives are pretty straightforward: grow the business, boost channel breadth, communicate the company’s value-add skill set and look at potential new products.

Golden Systems plans partner events

DISTRIBUTOR: Middle East distribution outfit Golden Systems is planning its own partner event on the sidelines of GITEX at the Novotel. Golden Systems will demonstrate the latest technology and provide updates and training for channel partners.

Sina Dadras, manager for marketing communications at Golden Systems, said: “This year, we plan to hold technology briefings for our channel partners, meet our vendor partners, and exhibit new products from our partners such as Gigabyte, Kaspersky, Leadtek, and Logitech to name a few.”

Golden Systems will also hold a gala dinner for its channel and vendor partners on 21st October at the Al Murroj Rotana hotel.

StorIT plans power lunch

DISTRIBUTOR: Storage-focused VAD StorIT Distribution will serve up a channel feast alongside vendor partners EMC, Quantum, Qlogic and Finisar at GITEX, hosting a power lunch for resellers and corporate customers.

Faisal Qureshi, marketing manager at StorIT, said: “GITEX is the biggest technology trade show in the region. It is a great platform for corporate people from various verticals in the Middle East to meet and network.”

”The primary objective behind this event to educate corporate customers and channel partners about the latest in information storage management solutions,” Qureshi added. “This is an excellent networking opportunity for corporate users, resellers and vendors - all under one roof. The highlight of the seminar will be the presentations from the leaders in the storage industry - EMC, Quantum, Qlogic and Finisar.”

Fifth Media’s channel push

VENDOR: Wireless computing device manufacturer Fifth Media will head to GITEX hunting for new distributors that can help the company develop channels in the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe.

Fifth Media will use the show to unveil its 7.2Mbps ready HSDPA broadband device that is a small business IP PBX, with SMS server, e-mail server and application server for businesses.

“AXIA SOHO is an award winning product that will bring greater business growth and sustainability to our channel partner businesses,” said Yogi Babria, chief programme officer at Fifth Media.

Acer goes ‘Corporate’ at Emirates Towers

VENDOR: Hardware giant Acer will also be using GITEX week to meet its partners. Acer will have a ‘Corporate Lounge’ at Emirates Towers, giving partners and customers the chance to enjoy some quality face time with top executives from the vendor.

“Acer’s success in the region is a direct result of our channel initiatives,” said Aman Khan, marketing manager at Acer Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

“Our ’Corporate Lounge’ will allow for direct interaction with channel, help us educate them on new Acer technologies, and more importantly address all business-critical concerns,” Khan added.

Lexmark reaches out to partners

VENDOR: Printing powerhouse Lexmark will display its full range of products on the stand of distribution partner Aptec at this year’s GITEX. Francois Feuillet, GM of Lexmark International Middle East, noted: “The annual event is one in a series of regional business-to-business events that we attend to reach regional channel partners as well as renew and establish new contacts.”

“In addition to face-to-face interaction on the exhibition floor, our stand will provide attendees with a contextual opportunity to see and learn about our printers and printing solutions that can most positively impact their business,” Feuillet added.

Al-Futtaim out in force

INTEGRATOR: Middle East systems integrator Al-Futtaim will showcase solutions from Alcatel-Lucent, Panasonic and Microsoft Business Solution on its GULFCOMMS stand at GITEX.

Venkat Raghavan, general manager of Al-Futtaim Technologies, said: “At this year’s GULFCOMMS, we will promote both our system integration capabilities and our IT consulting services. We will demonstrate our unique ability to bring together disparate hardware with a single-minded focus aimed at enhancing our customers’ experiences.”

”GITEX provides us with an excellent platform to showcase our latest products to visitors in addition to offering us with a fantastic brand-building opportunity,” he added.

With the recent acquisition of Dubai-based Futech Software Solutions, Al-Futtaim Technologies has expanded its service offering to include IT consulting which will also make its presence felt at GITEX.

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