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Unlocking new SMB channels in the Middle East

by Stuart Wilson, Tuesday 11 November 2008

Digital Business Channel (DBC) will return to the Middle East in March 2009. The action-packed three-day event, which will have a strong focus on SMB-focused partners, claims to offer IT vendors the chance to turbo charge their Middle East channel development.

DBC 2009 will gather together business-focused resellers, VARs, ISVs, integrators and solution providers from across the Middle East in one place at one time for one defining channel event. Channel partners selling IT solutions to the small and medium business (SMB) market – organisations with up to 500 seats – will be out in force at DBC Middle East 2009.

With SMBs now accounting for a third of total IT spend in the Middle East, vendors are realising more than ever the value of a coherent channel strategy to address the important but hard to reach partner base that serves this market segment.

“DBC 2009 will have a strong focus on the SMB channel opportunity because this is the area many vendors are now turning their attention to in the Middle East,” said Farouk Hemraj, CEO at DISTREE Events, the organisers of DBC Middle East.

“These SMB-focused channel partners are delivering software, hardware and services and their customer base includes sizeable companies with significant IT budgets,” he added.

“Many of these partners want to build stronger relationships with vendors – and they want to meet new vendors that complement their existing portfolio and skill set. They also want to understand the benefits that vendors can offer to them through their channel programmes,” continued Hemraj.

The event format will include numerous one-on-one meeting opportunities between vendors and channel partners. These pre-scheduled appointments are an effective and popular component of DBC. Reflecting the 2009 emphasis on the fast-growing SMB channel in the Middle East, DBC will feature some innovative new features.

The DBC Partner Power Hour will see vendors take to the main event stage to explain the advantages and business benefits that their partner programme offers to resellers. The DBC Channel Academy Masterclass sessions will offer education and insight to resellers and vendors alike.

“Keeping the format fresh and innovative is all part of the DBC experience,” added Hemraj. “This is the 4th annual DBC Middle East and we are constantly listening to the feedback from vendors and resellers participating in the event. The Middle East business channel is evolving fast and we need to keep pace with these changes.”

DBC Middle East is a focused invitation only event that offers numerous business benefits for vendors at every stage of their channel development lifecycle. For vendors that are brand new to the region, DBC is the perfect platform to carry out a channel mapping exercise, make preliminary contact with potential partners and learn more about business practices in the region.

For those vendors looking to build or expand their business-focused channel, DBC Middle East is a compelling event format for reseller recruitment and the promotion of structured partner programmes and associated benefits. Last year’s DBC Middle East attracted more than 100 business partners spanning more than a dozen countries

Vendors with mature channels can also utlilise the tried and tested DBC event format as a cost-effective vehicle for meeting with and updating existing business partners. DBC is also an opportunity to launch new channel initiatives, demonstrate the latest solutions and meet with existing partners face-to-face.

DBC Middle East takes place from 24th to 26th March 2009 at Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujairah, UAE. More than 1,100 pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings took place between vendors and partners at the last DBC Middle East. The total number of registered participants totalled 340.

For more information on DBC Middle East please contact fhemraj@distreevents.com

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