For Lynchpin Media | IntelligentTechChannels’s Magazine, Mario M. Veljovic, General Manager at VAD Technologies, gracing the Cover of Magazine’s 44th Issue and tells the Editor Manda Banda how the Value-Added Distributor is ramping up its Channel partners activities to foster growth in the MENA Channel.
VAD Technologies is an established IT and technology value-added distributor (VAD), headquartered in Dubai, UAE. Catering to enterprise and SME markets through a strong channel footprint across Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the company delivers world-class technology products and solutions that transform the IT landscape and provide the best Return of Invest (ROI) and lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for its channel partners and end customers. The VAD has continuously been developing its high performance enterprise solutions portfolio with a special focus on hyper-converged infrastructures (HCI), enterprise storage systems, IT infrastructure, physical security and cybersecurity.
Here you can read the full Interview with the Editor:
1. Talk us through the state of the channel market in the Middle East at the moment?
MV: The Channel in the Middle East has once again proven that it’s the Key Cornerstone for any Technologies Company to successfully promote and sell their Products, Solutions and Services in the Region. Though, like in every market disruption it has produced Winners and Losers. For sure those focusing on a Client Centric approach have shown the strongest resilience and in fact grown their Business during these challenging times. VAD Technologies is no exception and has shown strong growth despite the Pandemic. Our focus on Disruptive & Innovative Technologies turned out to be the right choice.
2. What has been VAD Technologies’ focus in 2021 and how has the company navigated the COVID-19 pandemic?
MV: We have been working on the “Cloudification” of our Product & Solutions Offering and the Team has done a very good job over the years to understand this market well and establishing ourselves as Pioneer and Leader in this space. This “New” Got to Market helped us a lot during the Pandemic to support our Partners with easy to deploy Solutions that were badly needed during this sudden and unexpected Disruption. Our Partners had the ability to gain access to Highly Discounted or sometime even completely for Free Solutions to ensure smooth transition to adapt Working from Home Set ups. The same helped them to generate new Revenue streams and accelerate the Digital Transformation ambitions their clients were looking for, for so long.
3. What has VAD Technologies been telling its partners to focus on during these challenging times?
MV: Something Important to mention here is that we have taken a conscious decision to establish VAD Technologies as a Leader in scouting and promoting Disruptive & Innovative Technologies in the Region. As such we haven’t gone the easy way to build this business, but it’s understood that this is an important and strategic Mission that comes with Challenges. That all this Hard Work would have paid off so fast, was even a surprise to us. We are using our very own Success Story and Vision to excite Partners to follow the same principles and never lose sight of what might be ahead of us in terms of New Trends and Technologies.
4. VAD Technologies has been ramping up its channel initiatives around cloud services, cybersecurity and onboarding new vendors. Briefly outline how you are working with your channel partners in MEA?
MV: We are working with a large number Channel Partners in the Region, and we offer a very wide Range of Technologies, covering High Performance Data Centre Equipment, ITSM Technologies, Physical Security Solutions and all this blended with a Cloud and AI touch. But we never forget to maintain a personal touch which each of our Partners. We do not try to promote all to everyone, rather than using our Experience to position new Technologies where it makes sense. The fact that we not just knowing our Partners very well, but even their clients, helps in this detailed Channel Mapping Process and exercise. Our Partners highly value this and know they can trust us that the Solution we offer to them for their Portfolio will deliver the expected results.
5. Which countries have been a key focus for VAD Technologies in the Middle East region in 2021 and why?
MV: We cover the wider Middle East, including Turkey and Egypt. All of it is our Focus, though not necessarily for all the Products and Solutions we offer. However, the fastest growing Countries for us are currently Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt, and I guess that’s not big a surprise for anyone. Qatar however has been given special intention, with the Blockage removed and a more direct touch has been easier.
6. Given that some companies have adopted a hybrid working model, how is VAD Technologies positioning itself to ensure that businesses in the Middle East market continue to utilise solutions within your stable that support remote working?
MV: Actually, all our Portfolio support the “new” hybrid working model, either by powering up their Data Centres to be able to work faster or just allow them to have secure and with no latency remote access. It’s actually business as usual, as this is all we have been promoting for years under the Mission of Digital Transformation.
7. Aside from the COVID-19 pandemic, what would you cite as the most challenging issue that your resellers and solution providers are telling you at the moment?
MV: As I mentioned, the last year produced Winner and Losers alike, but all facing an issue of the right Financial Structure to either withstand the sudden loss of Business or the unexpected boom of new Clients and Transactions.
Hence, it’s always important to not lose time to work on the Business Fundamentals and Basics.
8. Looking ahead, what will be VAD Technologies’ focus in 2021 and beyond, and how are you preparing your channel partners for the initiatives you are lining up?
MV: We are focusing now on bringing AI Based Solutions to the Market that will support Human Efficiency. Key Trends we see here are AI powered Computer Vision and Communication Bots. Furthermore, together with our High-Performance Data Centre Solution Vendors and Channel Partners we are working on bringing the Public Cloud Experience into Enterprise Customer’s On-Premise Data Centres across the Middle East. Vendors have created fantastic Value Propositions to allow Customers gain the agility and financial flexibility their business needs to accelerate their Digital Transformation journey.
9. What initiatives and channel schemes are in the offing for VAD Technologies post the COVID-19 pandemic?
MV: We have been playing out our Financial Strength and support the Channel with extended Credit Terms, as well as gave them access to Solutions in our Product Portfolio at Highly Discounted Rates or sometime even completely for Free. Furthermore, we have doubled up on our Lead Generation Activities along with our Strategic Partners.
10. What will be your key message to channel partners at GITEX Technology Week 2021 if you are exhibiting at the show?
MV: NICE TO MEET YOU! For us, this Gitex, it’s all about embracing our Partners literally. We want to use Gitex to welcome those Partners we haven’t met already, since most of the Covid-19 restrictions are removed or are visiting us from abroad. The fact that it’s finally EXPO 2020, we already see a surge of Partners to come to visit Dubai, which is promising a busy Gitex.
11. What will you be showcasing at GITEX this year?
MV: We decided to dedicated majority of our Stand to have space to safely meet & greet our Partners and Vendors. It will be more of a Big Lounge and Oasis to facilitate Face to Face Meetings in a relaxed atmosphere in the middle of a hectic Gitex. Our Friends and Partners can find us as usual in Hall 3, Stand C1.
12. What channel programmes and initiatives is VAD Technologies planning for it channel partners in MEA in 2021?
MV: With more than 25 Vendors in our Portfolio we have plenty of Channel Programmes always running and adding value to our Partner’s offering. From VAD’s side, however, we are committed to extend the number of Strategic Partners we are working with in the Region and give them access to our Lead Generation Team. Especially, Partners that focus on SMB need such support to successfully position, promote and sell new Disruptive and Innovative Technologies.
13. What does the outlook for VAD Technologies look like in the next 12 to 18 months and where do you want your army of channel partners to be focusing on?
MV: Beside the 2 Legal Entities and Offices we already have in the Region for quite some time - United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia - we will have 2 more Offices in the Gulf Region early next year and potentially even 1 to cover North Africa towards mid of 2022. There are several exciting new Distribution Agreements that will be announced, which will see VAD Technologies further rise in the List of TOP Distributors in the Region. Finally, and most importantly for me and the Team, we will continue to ensure that VAD Technologies is a Key Multiplier for our Vendors and Channel Partners.
For our Channel Partners, we appreciate that they share the same excitement and passion for Disruptive & Innovative Technologies, and we hope they will never lose their entrepreneurial spirit.
The Full Magazine of IntelligentTechChannels can be found online here: http://magazine.intelligenttechchannels.com/intelligent-tech-channels-issue-44/
or just visit: https://www.intelligenttechchannels.com/2021/09/28/vad-technologies-ramps-up-channel-initiatives-to-empower-partners-2/