CTMEA chats to Brendon Nolan, CEO, at Waterford Technologies, an email and file archiving management solutions on the company’s plans to set-up a channel model in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.
CTMEA: Briefly explain how Waterford is building its channel base in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region?
BN: We are currently in the process of recruiting channel partners in ME region through our distributor LQ Secure. We have three levels of partnership and the partnership level is based on partners’ commitment and the benefits reflect this accordingly. We work very closely with our partners and once we signup partners, we train their sales and technical people to ensure our partners offer pre-sales and post-sales support to their end-user customers.
CTMEA: How many distribution partners does Waterford Technologies have in the MEA region and how have you divided the geographical coverage of the MEA channel?
BN: We currently have one distributor in Middle East region, we will be appointing a distributor in South Africa to cover the African region. We are currently in discussion with distributors in the South African, as our strategy is to not have more than one distributor in a region for now.
CTMEA: What type of distributors (value-add distributors/Volume distributors) are suited for Waterford Technologies’ product offering?
BN: We offer email and file archiving management solutions and these products require expertise on sales technical segments on board. We prefer VADs who can offer the following services to partners and customers through partners that include: pre-sales support, post-sales support, presentations to customers, proof of concept, level one support, lead generation activities, pro-active sales, in-house training, channel recruitment management and enablement.
CTMEA: Which markets in the MEA region are key for your channel growth?
BN: Email and file archiving and management solutions have huge potential in MEA region especially with growing email and file data on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. We will be addressing the whole region however our focus currently is on UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait in the Middle East region.
CTMEA: What product solutions are you pushing through your channel partners in the MEA?
BN: We offer email, file archiving and storage management solutions, we plan to cover both the segments effectively through our channel ecosystem.
CTMEA: Is there a specific product set or technology that you are pushing strongly through the channel as you build and expand your brand in this region?
BN: To start with we are currently focusing on email archiving and storage management solutions and we will be expanding with the focus on file archiving later.
CTMEA: What channel initiatives and training programmes is Waterford Technologies planning on rolling out in the MEA channel in 2011?
BN: Our training calendar for 2011 is quite busy, we will have one-on-one training sessions for partners and customers, classroom training and Web-based training for sales and technical people. We have already started to conduct multiple sales and technical training sessions in the region and we will continue to do this as we value the importance of training channel partners.
CTMEA: Where do you see growth coming from for Waterford Technologies business in the MEA region in the new year?
BN: We expect growth to come from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and the African market.
CTMEA: What do you see as the immediate challenges for Waterford Technologies as it builds its channel, expand operations and grow its brand in MEA region?
BN: Our major challenge now is to create awareness of the company and the product so that people can gain a clear understanding of our technology and create visibility for our solutions and cement our channel standing.
CTMEA: Finally, what would you like to achieve next year as Waterford Technologies with your channel partners in the MEA region?
BN: This year we would like to recruit the correct partners and enable them to position the product and in 2011 we would like to have a few partners in each country who are committed and dedicated to selling our solutions.