Kinda Baydoun, Regional Manager Channel and Alliances, Middle East & CIS, Veeam, talks about the company's participation at GITEX.

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What are you exhibiting at GITEX this year?

First and foremost, just like every year, this marks the 11th year of our presence with our expansive booth at GITEX. What sets this year apart is the noticeable increase in size; we now boast a two-story setup. This expansion serves as a testament to the immense significance of the Middle East Market to us. Our primary objective is to ensure that we are highly visible to all our customers, especially those from diverse regions.

Within our booth, we are proudly showcasing an array of offerings. To begin with, we are honored to have secured strong partnerships with prominent sponsors this year. Among them is Alpha Data, a well-known systems integrator in the UAE. Additionally, we are joined by BPS, a leading aggregator for VMware and Microsoft in the region. Furthermore, we are excited to announce our strategic alliance with Red Hat, cementing our position as one of their key partners.

At the show this year, we are showcasing the Veeam Data Platform, a product launched less than a year ago with its latest iteration, version 12. This innovative platform is designed to demonstrate our commitment to safeguarding our customers’ diverse workloads comprehensively. Whether it’s their physical environments, virtual setups, cloud-based workloads, Kubernetes deployments, or undergoing transformative changes, we’re here to protect it all.

Today, we’re thrilled to introduce Veeam Backup for Office 365 as a service. This offering is a game-changer for our customers, as it allows them to secure their Office 365 environment effortlessly without the burden of managing resources or infrastructure.

Of course, one of our flagship products remains Veeam Backup for Office 365, trusted by more than 15 million users worldwide. It remains one of our top-notch solutions, prominently highlighted during our showcase.

The overarching theme for Veeam today revolves around ransomware resiliency. We are dedicated to ensuring that our customers’ businesses remain resilient and protected against the ever-evolving threat of ransomware, providing them with peace of mind for the continuity of their operations.

Could you tell us about your partner programme?

Indeed, we have established what we call the “Pro Partner Program,” which is a robust and comprehensive initiative. This program encompasses various specialization levels for our valued partners, with rewards and rebates increasing in tandem with their performance and scores. It’s a highly generous program, both in terms of recognition and financial incentives.

Recently, we have introduced enhanced competency programs tailored to cater to our partners’ specific needs and interests. Beyond the foundational certifications like VMCE and VMCA, which certify engineers and architects, our partners can now pursue specialized competencies in areas aligned with their investments and interests. These competencies are akin to badges of expertise, granting them access to a broader customer base and the opportunity to participate in specific Requests for Proposals (RFPs). Additionally, these competencies serve as a valuable branding tool in the market.

In total, there are five specialized competencies available for our partners, in addition to the more generic ones. These include Microsoft Veeam Backup for Office 365, Forecasting, Cloud Backup, and two others. Our unwavering focus on elevating the skills and capabilities of our partners remains a top priority within our Pro Partner Program.

What are some of the challenges facing channel partners today?

There is a  shift in market dynamics. It’s evident that an increasing number of customers are migrating to the cloud. In our region, we are fortunate to witness significant maturity in terms of digital transformation, thanks to visionary leaders like those driving Vision 2030 in Saudi Arabia. Substantial budgets are being allocated to technological advancements, and the presence of major hyper-scale players in our region is noteworthy. The conversations often revolve around topics such as artificial intelligence and data automation, demanding a substantial amount of expertise and specialization.

This landscape necessitates a considerable investment in resources and skill sets to navigate successfully. Customers rely on partners to guide them through this transformative journey. However, I believe there exists a gap in this regard, which is one of the most significant challenges faced by partners today. It is imperative that they address this gap promptly, and there are several avenues to achieve this. Partners can opt to build these skills in-house, hire professionals with the required expertise, or even consider acquisitions of smaller companies focused on these specialties. The urgency to adapt and evolve cannot be overstated, as failure to do so could jeopardize their sustainability in the rapidly evolving market dynamics we are witnessing today.

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