TechAccess, the value-added IT distributor in the Middle East, Levant and North Africa regions believes a strong partner program can enhance business relationships. Reseller ME speaks to Ahsan Ali, Senior Vice President (Business Planning, Operations and Marketing), TechAccess to know more and understand the company’s plans to expand.
What has been the company’s focus in the last couple of months?
Currently, our focus is to align our strategy with the IT solution stack in order to place it as our USP in the market. We want to highlight the integrated hardware and software solution stack and storage solutions to our channel. We also plan on extending our channel base and focus on systems integrators to capture Small Medium Enterprise business. Our focus is to achieve success as the best VAD in the region by adding services and solutions to our channel, in order to bring sustainable level of growth, not only to our business but to our vendors and partners as well.
What are your channel expansion plans?
We are working closely with our current channel base and plan to make it stronger by understanding their operational difficulties. And then, align our vendor’s products and solutions to meet their business requirements. We try to understand their focus areas and position them with our solution centre, technical support and services team to help them develop competencies in selling solutions. Another aspect we look at is training and making sure our partners have the right certifications to enable them to sell solutions. In this manner, we aim at strengthening our existing channel but eventually expand it as the challenge that most VADs are facing is of ‘product knowledge’. We train our existing and new partners and enable them before they start selling our vendor products in the market; through enablement we train our partners regarding the details of all the products we sell with our own trainers as well as with the help of our vendors (Oracle, NetApp, Symantec and Hitachi Data Systems). We utilise our state of the art technology centre, which is well equipped with demo units of the vendor products that we represent, so that our resellers can study the product in detail and promote it with confidence in the market.
What is the Partner Loyalty Programme?
The TechAccess Partner Loyalty Program is a step forward in strengthening relationships with our partners and reward them for growing their business with us. It also focuses at generating excitement among new partners to do business with us. This is basically a tool through which TechAccess recognises the value of its partners and appreciate their loyalty.
TechAccess Partner Loyalty Program is a key differentiator in the market. We are the first Value Added IT Distributor to have launched such a premium program. The design of the TechAccess Partner Loyalty Program is unique in the local IT industry in the sense that it offers leisure as well as business rewards to our partners who grow and build business with TechAccess. Usually partner programs only focus on technical certification, whereas the TechAccess Partner Loyalty Program provides its partners with an opportunity to choose how they wish to be rewarded. This is an annual program in which partners will be rewarded on basis of their sales contribution to TechAccess in a fiscal year.
Any trends that you are seeing in this region from last year?
We saw Education, Healthcare and certain new sectors opening up in KSA. And in other markets, the revival of the economy is taking place.
Are you looking at newer regions?
We do good business from Pakistan and Afghanistan. We are looking at the SAGE region, these markets are growing well, i.e Sri Lanka, Bangadesh, Nepal and Bhutan. Our vendors are interested in doing more business there. Currently, we have an office out of Pakistan.
How are you able to complement your clients and partners?
As you are aware that we operate in a B2B environment for which we need to work hand in hand with our vendors and partners. Our vendors expect us to gain market share for their products and solutions and we work with our partners to deliver this to their clients. Keeping this business cycle in mind, we tend to work closely with our partners in order to understand their operational difficulties and then align ourselves to meet their business requirements. We try to understand their focus areas and position them with our solution center, technical support and services team with a view to help them develop competencies in selling solutions. Another aspect we look at is training and making sure our partners have the right certifications to enable them to sell solutions.
How has business been in 2013 as of now?
2013 has been a good year for TechAccess so far; we managed to sail smoothly through the first half but for the remaining year we plan to increase focus on highlighting the upcoming new technologies but also to expand our footprint in the region.
Our key focus is to develop our partners and analyse as to how we can retain margin, add focus into growth markets like KSA, develop our existing installed channel base and increase our product offerings and become the hub of value added services. We plan to push our USP, the integrated hardware and software stack in the market this year along with storage solutions. HDS storage products are gaining rapid momentum in the market, hence we will be highlighting its world class products to our channel base in UAE and establish its market in KSA.
Do you have any plans to expand further?
Tech Access is focusing on expanding its business further in the Middle East by broadening the industry coverage in UAE especially in the education and government sector. We will be enhancing our industry breadth in Qatar and Kuwait with Oil & gas, Telecom and Banking as focal points.
We will be establishing HDS storage and Oracle software market in KSA and cash in growth opportunities rising in the government, education and telecom industries. We are also setting up a state of the art Technology center and training facility in KSA which will further assist in capturing the market share for software and storage solutions.
How do you plan to function ahead?
The industry is currently booming with a number of VADs. The challenge we face is to maintain our position as a key quality service provider and continue to protect our margin. We will only be able to do that if we understand the true meaning of value addition and depict the same to our partners.