The enterprise focused unit which was unveiled recently has already signed distribution partnerships with Lavasoft AB, ESET, St. Bernard and NetApp. According to the distributor, these partnerships have been facilitated through its existing Fujitsu relationship where it currently distributes the vendor’s PC range.
The launch of the enterprise solutions unit also paves way for EMPA to recruit partners who will work with the enterprise team, to sell and support its vendor solutions. The distributor is primarily looking for solution providers and VARs who will act as business partners and technical advisors to their end-customers. EMPA states that although these channel partners may have multiple relationships with competing vendors, the company sees opportunities that will open newer doors for channel partners, vendors and itself.
Sathya Murthy, business unit manager: Enterprise Solutions at EMPA Middle East says the move to unveil a dedicated enterprise solutions division fulfils the long term vision that the company has harboured. Murthy explains that as part of a long term strategy to diversify away from components distribution, the new business unit will be focusing on endpoint and perimeter security solutions. “As there are many IT security players in the marketplace, EMPA has identified a couple of vendors that are strong in their solution area,” he says. “We strongly believe there are opportunities and demand for growth, hence securing a respectable market share for us.”
Murthy says from inception 12 years ago, EMPA has been strong in components distribution and three to four years back, the company decided to add retail as its other focus in the Middle East. “We have worked quite well with the power retailers in the Middle East,” he says. “The new enterprise division is part of a broader plan to offer holistic solutions to the Middle East market,” he remarks.
He goes on to explain that the launch of the enterprise business unit complements the company’s existing business and puts EMPA on a path to become a true value add distributor (VAD) that provides its channel partners in the region end-to-end solutions.
Murthy points out that the company has decided to focus on enterprise storage and security (both software and appliances) solutions initially and will later launch software solutions as well.
He adds that the company was also monitoring the virtualisation landscape with a view to signing vendors in this segment in the future.
He says that Lavasoft is a Swedish-base anti-spyware company. Ad-Aware is the vendor’s flagship product and has well over 400 million downloads worldwide since its inception in 1999.
Murthy says the division’s main objective is to expand EMPA’s business in the Middle East and North Africa region, open new channels where the company works closely with solution providers and VARs. He added that by enlarging its channel network to include system builders, power retailers, solution providers and VARs, EMPA was addressing all the different tiers of the channel community in the region. “We want to reach all segments of the channel in the region,” he said. “The vision is to expand the size of the market and business in the enterprise, retail and components space.”
He reiterates that the company is aware that it will not be easy for it to win the hearts of enterprise focused solution providers and VARs. “We will be going flat out with channel road shows to selected markets that include the KSA, UAE and Kuwait detailing the motivation behind our enterprise solutions launch,” he says. “We believe through this approach, we will be able to show our partners the value proposition we have for them."
According to Murthy, Slovakian-based ESET develops software solutions that deliver instant, comprehensive protection against evolving computer security threats. ESET NOD32 antivirus is the vendor’s flagship product.
The San Diego-headquartered St. Bernard iPrism, states the distributor is the only Citrix-ready Web filtering appliance available in the market. Through the vendor’s recent acquisition of Red Condor, a provider of hybrid email security (appliance based and hosted services), St. Bernard is able to provide superior technology, value, simplicity and performance.
NetApp storage systems continue to offer unmatched business agility, superior application uptime, simplicity of management, and breakthrough value for enterprise organisation. NetApp is a storage and data management innovator and has signed a global alliance relationship with Fujitsu.
In a move aimed at diversifying its business focus from primarily components and retail distribution, EMPA Middle East has launched a new business unit that will see the regional distributor bring to market enterprise security and storage solutions.