Partner Watch

Specialised in value

Armed with best of breed technology solutions, value added distributor Spectrami has carved a niche for itself in a very short span of time

Successful trade show participation continues even after the stands are put away and it holds very true in the case of the Dubai-based Spectrami. The VAD which made its Gitex debut this year plans to capitalise on the brand visibility it achieved during the show and put its business on the fast track.

“It couldn’t have been any better for us. We wanted to let people know about our brand and send a message to the partner and user community. It was also an excellent platform for our vendor partners as it gave them a better understanding of the market, which in turn, has resulted in more commitment and resources. The top management from the partners were here and now they are seriously looking at this market and developing product features tailored for the region,” says Anand Choudha, MD of Spectrami.

A cursory glance at Spectrami’s portfolio might make you think some of the names are not too familiar in this part of the word. However, Choudha says all these specialised vendors are globally well known and the technologies they offer are very important to the security landscape. “Security is evolving and you can no longer protect against advanced threats with traditional security tools. That’s why think our portfolio is very relevant to this market,” he says.

As a VAD, Spectrami is focused on two areas- security and storage. “Again, we are not in the traditional storage space but what we offer is what Gartner calls protection and availability storage. What it basically means is copy data management, as multiple copies are being made of production data for backup, DR, anlystics, etc. It is estimated that  15-120 copies are being made for various purposes, which accounts for major chunk of you storage infrastructure. What we are offering is a solution from Actifio that reduces the storage by 90 percent,” says Choudha.

Spectrami’s security line of business also boasts of very specialised vendors in the domain. While Fidelis offers cyber security solutions, Verdasys is a data loss prevention vendor and LogRhythm specialises in SIEM. Others include Tenable for vulnerability management and Titus for data classification solutions.

Choudha  says value means different things to different people and is one of the abused words in the industry today. “It is interesting to see how value is being defined. You have mainline disties who offer value add in the form of logistics and credit facilities. Then you have true VADs who give you technical capabilities and dedicated product management. But, I call myself as a VEM (vendor extention model), which basically means that we behave like a vendor or as an extension of their brand. We interact with customers, develop proof of concept centres and even do marketing for the vendor partners.”

Spectrami is currently looking to expand its partner base but is choosy about it as well. Choudha says the company is looking for specialised partners, who are committed and focused. “Six months back, we are pushing channel partners to looking and now it’s the other way around. We want to be selective and what we have done is segment partners, certify them for a specified technology; we want to make sure that our partners are certified, have the right skills and are ready to invest in growing this business.”

To upskill its partners, Spectrami organises training programmes every month with the help of its vendors, and has invested in a lab that can be remotely accessed by the partners. “Some of these are complex technologies that can’t be mastered in a day and we even go to the extent of providing on-job training to our partners,” says Choudha.

Though 2012 raised serious concerns about the health of the channel industry, Choudha says it has been a different case for Spectrami, as some of the high-profile security breaches in the region have created a huge demand for security. “What happened at Aramco and RasGas has been a blessing in disguise.  In the first half of the year, people were talking about security, without really budgeting for it but this has turned the game around on its head. Now, companies who did not have a security-specific budget are creating one and the mandate today is just do it. 30000 infected PC being replaced at Aramco was not a joke.”

Almost a year and half since starting operations, Spectrami is now gearing up for the next phase of growth by increasing the headcount from 11 to 25 by the end of Q1 next year and new offices in Saudi and Morocco.  “We want to continue to be niche and we don’t want to get into the volume game,” sums up Choudha.

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