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. Mario M. Veljovic, General Manager, VAD Technologies LLC, tells Intelligent Tech Channels how the company is ramping up it channel partners activities to foster growth in the regional channel.
Talk us through the state of the channel market in the Middle East at the moment?
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 disruptions caused by the pandemic. Our focus on disruptive and innovative technologies has turned out to be the right choice.
What has been VAD Technologies’ focus in 2021 and how has the company navigated the COVID-19 pandemic?
We have been working on the “cloudification” of our product and solutions offerings, and the team has done a very good job over the years to understand this market well and establishing ourselves as a pioneer and leader in this space. This “new” got to market has helped us a lot during the pandemic to support our channel partners with easy to deploy solutions that were badly needed during this period of sudden and unexpected disruption. Our channel partners had the ability to gain access to highly discounted or sometimes even completely free solutions to ensure a smooth transition to adapt to 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 a very long time.
What has VAD Technologies been telling its partners to focus on during these challenging times?
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 and innovative technologies in the region. As such, we haven’t gone the easy way to building 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 channel partners to follow the same principles and never lose sight of what might be ahead of us in terms of new trends and technologies.
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?
We are working with a large number channel partners in the region and offering a 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.
Which countries have been a key focus for VAD Technologies in the Middle East region in 2021 and why?
We cover the wider Middle East, including Turkey and Egypt. All of this region is our focus, although not necessarily for all the products and solutions we offer. However, the fastest growing countries for us currently are Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt, and I guess that’s not big a surprise for anyone. However, Qatar has been given special intention, with the blockage removed and a more direct touch has been easier.
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?
Actually, all our products within the portfolio of offerings we provide to the channel support the new hybrid working model, either by powering up their data centres to be able to work faster or just allowing 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.
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?
As I mentioned earlier, the last year produced winners 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.
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?
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 customers’ 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.
What initiatives and channel schemes are in the offing for VAD Technologies post the COVID-19 pandemic?
We have been playing out our financial strength and supporting the channel with extended credit terms, as well as giving them access to solutions in our product portfolio at highly discounted rates or sometime even completely free. Furthermore, we have doubled up on our lead generation activities along with our strategic partners.
What will be your key message to channel partners at GITEX Technology Week 2021?
Nice to meet you! For us, this GITEX, is 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 have been removed or are visiting us from abroad. The fact that EXPO 2020 is finally here, we already see a surge of channel partners coming to visit Dubai, which is promising a busy GITEX this year.
What will you be showcasing at GITEX this year?
We decided to dedicate majority of our stand to have space to safely meet and greet our channel 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.
What channel programmes and initiatives is VAD Technologies planning for its channel partners in MEA in 2021?
With more than 25 vendors in our portfolio we have plenty channel programmes always running and adding value to our partners’ offerings. From a VAD Technologies’ side, however, we are committed to extending the number of strategic partners we are working with in the region and give them access to our lead generation team. Specifically, we are looking at partners that focus on the SMB market and need such support to successfully position, promote and sell new disruptive and innovative technologies to this important market segment.
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?
Beside the two legal entities and offices we already have in the region for quite some time – United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia – we will have two more offices in the Gulf region early next year and potentially even one 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 and innovative technologies, and we hope they will never lose their entrepreneurial spirit.Click below to share this article