Vendor focus

Gearing towards data storage

Now that the year 2009 is behind, Netgear, a provider of networking solutions for SMBs and SoHo users wants to use 2010 as the year when it shifts focus to concentrate more on data storage and security. The vendor is readying to unveil new NAS technology products, cement its channel partnerships and tap into new markets this year.

 

The vendor states that although last year was a challenging one, it was able to maintain profitability amidst the global economic crisis. For the channel, Netgear in 2009 focused more on not just having new market but more accounts on its existing markets.

 

Ahmad Zeidan, Channel Sales Manager, Netgear Middle East, says as the company is strong and appeals more to SMBs and consumers the company continues to underpin on giving the channel an excellent alternative for the higher priced products with stylish look and performance to end user. In addition, Zeidan says Netgear has grouped its solutions to give channel partners a one stop shop for infrastructure builders like unmanaged and managed switches, storage and data recovery, wireless coverage and security threat aid units.

 

Consequently, says Zeidan, Netgear is looking to expand the brand to new markets in the Middle East region. “More than increasing the volume of our business we will be focusing on establishing a more stable relation in every market we are present in,” he says.

 

He says that because in 2009, Netgear focused more on coverage of data, either on wired or wirelesses through various amounts of switches and wireless access point technologies, this year the company is geared towards data storage and security and will be launching new and aggressive NAS technology with the support of its newly developed Unified Threat Management (UTM) and Security Threat Management (STM) protection.

 

Managed services

 

Zeidan says the Middle East market is still very much hungry for new technology, and this was clearly seen in even at last year’s GITEX where more than six new brands of home wireless were showcased. “Amidst the influx of new products and brands, we strive to differentiate ourselves by offering the most unique and advanced technologies to regional customers,” he says. “We will be addressing the demand for powerful and reliable wireless Internet coverage through our specially designed routers for the SoHos, as well as the growing storage requirements of SMBs.”

 

Zeidan says in addition to addressing the demand for powerful and reliable wireless Internet coverage, the company has launched the ReadyNAS family of unified network storage devices for the SMB market, a product that is compatible with VMware’s ESX 4.0 virtualisation solution. “Our ReadyNAS storage products can be fully integrated with VMware, providing SMBs with the benefits of virtualisation at an affordable price point. Through this, our channel partners can now deliver virtualisation solutions to SMBs for as little as USD 1,000 in a desktop form factor,” he says.

 

He remarks that because Netgear is committed to staying at the edge of feature functionality for SMBs, which prompted the vendor to partner with VMware, it has through its ReadyNAS systems, to offer SMBs to enjoy technology-driven solutions at an affordable cost.

 

Addressing SMBs

As SMBs in the Middle East region are so fragmented, Netgear has realised that this situation is itself a challenge and the vendor through its army of channel partners is developing strategies that best address the SMB segment and all the business challenges they face in the region.

 

Zeidan says the company is looking at providing online training for its new channel partners on all Netgear’s latest technologies and products, which will be one of company’s main activities this year. According to Zeidan, Netgear is also planning on seeding products for testing and demo, which it believes will be another key factor that can build the brand faster.

 

Zeidan says this coupled with one-tier channel programme called Power Shift will help the vendor to extend its footprint and reach in the Middle East market. “We are looking into adding another tier as soon as we have a more stable man power to secure profitability for both tiers,” he says “Of course, we are also considering the implications of the current crisis in our plans.”

 

In addition to the Power Shift programme, Zeidan says Netgear offers two types of certifications – technical and sales – both of which are required among all its channel partners.

However, he says that as a company, Netgearcarries four different segments of products – consumer, switches and wireless, storage, and security – which give channel partners an opportunity to pick and choose the best programme that they would like to join.

 

He points out that whichever programme channel partners wish to join, the company makes sure that they receive expert training that will make them highly adequate in the sales and technical aspect of their chosen segment.

 

Looking ahead, Zeidan says as for product and technologies, Netgear is readying to launch products under the durable storage and secure network categories. “We are working towards further strengthening our partnership with SMB-focused partners and fully addressing their demand for security IP cameras and IP telephony,” he says. “Consequently, we are planning to leverage these partnerships to set-up an office abroad, and depending on the success rate, we are open to the possibility of establishing another four international hubs this year.”

 

 

Having focused more on coverage of data, either on wired or wirelesses, through various amounts of switches and wireless access point technologies, NETGEAR is gearing itself towards data storage and security. The vendor is expected to launch new NAS technology with the support of its newly developed Unified Threat Management (UTM) and Security Threat Management (STM) protection in 2010, writes RWME?s Manda Banda.

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