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CyberPower plots EMEA growth strategy

by Stuart Wilson, Tuesday 16 December 2008

CyberPower Systems reckons it has got what it takes to stand out from the crowd in the UPS market. Founded in 1997, CyberPower designs, manufactures and markets a feature-rich line of UPS systems. Channel EMEA (CE) found out more about CyberPower’s channel ambitions for 2009 and its participation at DISTREE XXL from George Kakayos (GK), CyberPower’s manager for South Europe, Middle East and Africa operations.

CE: What are CyberPower’s main products and solutions and why should distributors consider making them part of their portfolio?

GK: Cyber Power Systems is a leading global equipment manufacturer and solutions provider. Its products and solutions are aimed towards power management systems, covering the entire spectrum of the business. They include power backup [UPS] and protection systems, mobile power units, and relevant accessories. Currently, our business spans across five continents. With two state-of-the-art factories, a dedicated R&D team, and six business hubs across the world, we have a global reach and an uncompromising local touch.

Our ambition to be the best in the business has provided us with an armada of 62 product patents worldwide. For example, we are the only vendor in the world to develop GreenPower UPS systems. They consume 75% less electricity and generate 80% less heat during normal, full power readiness operation. Both factors uplift a certain load from our environment and at the same time financially reward the users. There is no premium to pay for these benefits.

In addition to our technology edge and uncompromising quality, this GreenPower UPS is something that does make the difference, and should attract distributors and integrators relevant to this type of business, to make our products an integral part of their business offerings. We supply the planet’s favorite UPS systems and they should deserve the buyer’s attention.

CE: What are the main reasons for CyberPower attending DISTREE XXL 2009? What do you hope to achieve at the event?

GK: We want to try a more vertical approach compared to traditional exhibitions and we want to measure [the event’s] effectiveness in terms of expanding our EMEA business partnerships into new territories. We also hope to learn first-hand - from key distribution players across EMEA - about their problems, concerns and wishes. These are all benefits we hope to attain from attending DISTREE XXL.

2009 growth potential

CE: Which geographic areas and business areas represent the greatest opportunity for growth for CyberPower in EMEA?

GK: Although CyberPower’s EMEA business activity is rather new, it has managed to raise a few eyebrows. There is certainly room for growth but we are determined to achieve the same kind of market effectiveness that we have achieved in North America and other regions. Still, our biggest growth expectations for 2009 come from UK, France, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Middle East and North Africa. In terms of business profile areas, we are interested in both mass-market retailing business and corporate business.

CE: Why should distributors work with CyberPower? What makes your channel proposition better than competitors in the market?

GK: Well, we do have the resources and technology, but also some unique features, like the GreenPower UPS technology, that are hard to ignore, no matter who the buyer is. In addition we are channel-friendly in terms of management, looking for long-term partners to grow with us, and not to push something into a channel as a result of a spontaneous business opportunity. We do not want necessarily the biggest, but we seek the best fitting partners with a will to learn and to grow. We also offer strong marketing support, financial terms where we can, strong technical support as needed and flexible logistics. Last but not least, we do not believe in saturated sales channels; we appoint one partner within a logical or practical business region that can be a country or a large business district with clear borders.

CE: Do you have a structured channel programme? Do you offer a strong margin proposition to your distribution partners in EMEA?

GK: Our products and technologies aim to differentiate, thus allowing much needed breathing space for potential business partners. They are in charge of their regions and they decide the final business policy within their region. We only suggest, consult, and assist. Our channel structure suggestion includes one master distributor in a region with dealers and VARs plus mass and retail channels around this master distributor. Within this scheme we try to differentiate by addressing different products to different channels. This means we split our products as business-to-business and consumer type, avoiding channel conflicts within the same region. The master distributor is always in charge of the entire channel.

GreenPower patents

CE: What sort of support do you offer distributors in terms of marketing and channel development activities?

GK: We offer on a case-by-case basis strong marketing support that includes: uncompromising product training to our partners and in co-ordination to their partners as needed, funding of key marketing activities based on mutually agreed ventures, press coverage support and a wealth of marketing material.

CE: What have been the major developments for your company in EMEA in the last year? What do you have planned for full year 2009?

GK: 2008 brought many developments within CyberPower Systems, both in terms of business and operations and also in terms of technology breakthroughs. In terms of business and operations our most important ones were the establishment of solid ground operations in Latin and South America, and CIS-Russia.

In terms of technological advancements we did manage to add a few more development patents, with the most notable being the one of the GreenPower UPS technology, - a breakthrough in conventional inverter technology - as well as the introduction of new more exciting products that complement the corporate and retail business sectors. For 2009 we plan to capitalise on the existing policy of product differentiation and gentle channel handling, to introduce new high-technology products that will make the difference once again, and to expand into regions with strong business opportunities for us.

CE: How quickly is your business growing in the EMEA region? What market trends have you identified that are impacting your business segment?

GK: EMEA is a high growth business segment for us, letting us enjoy year after year a comfortable double-digit growth rate. There can be no doubt that the CIS region has been the fastest EMEA-based growth for us during the past few years and we expect the trend to continue. Of course we cannot ignore the lucrative business opportunities on offer in MEA - something we are set to explore and exploit in the coming years. In the more developed markets we witness a sales trend similar to the American model, meaning a good 60% to 70% of the business goes through mass-market retail channels. Of course we adjust quickly to that, having solid experience form the US, and we aim to differentiate within this sector of business as well via the introduction of new technologies and with the use of a more direct marketing approach.

CE: Is your company channel-friendly? How would you describe your overall go-to-market approach in the EMEA market?

GK: We would like to believe we are channel-friendly and we have a record to that effect. As discussed earlier, we are looking for long-term partners to grow with us, meaning we are not necessarily always after the biggest-fish, but rather the best fit with CyberPower and a partner willing to learn and to grow. We are no different from any other vendor in the fact that we seek a stable business-partner platform that is loyal to us, and in return we are loyal to them.

CyberPower at DISTREE XXL

DISTREE XXL creates a new, unrivalled opportunity for channel leaders across EMEA to meet and do business with their existing and prospective vendors. The event takes place in Monaco from February 9th-12th 2009.

DISTREE XXL will assemble leading technology distributors from more than 80 countries with the leading technology vendors of the industry - in the most unique, intimate and stimulating atmosphere imaginable.

Find out more at www.distree.com/xxl

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