Ashruf Hassaballa, the General Manager of SofTrack, the software division of TechAccess, is a man with a mission. A software mission in particular. He is on a mission to differentiate SofTrack from the crowd on the market. SofTrack’s parent company Techaccess, has been one of the leading distributors on the market for almost two decades.
“We were primarily focused in the infrastructure space. Up until two years ago, there was no focus on being able to distribute software solutions,” explains Hassaballa. “I happened to have a relationship with Techaccess for many years, and I saw there was a real opportunity in the market for them to be able to carry a software portfolio. The reason I was able to find and identify the software treds is because I come from the software industry.”
Hassaballa has been in the software space for over two decades, a decade of which was spent on the management side of things. He says that there was a trend that began to form, when the best-of-breeds on the market started facing typical challenges involved with those operating in the software space. “The smaller partners had challenges in growing with the organizations they were servicing, while the bigger players wanted to only work with bigger companies. And then you had VADs. They were only infrastructure focused. However, in the software world, you need to take a ‘high touch, low volume’ approach,” adds Hassaballa.
And that is when Hassaballa realised there were huge opportunities to tap into, and proposed that Techacess start a dedicated software division. “SofTrack focuses on the best-of-breed companies in the enterprise software space such as Informatica, BMC, UIPath, and so on. We are also speaking to other major players in the data management and business intelligence space. What makes our division different is that we take a tailored and bespoke approach to how these vendors approach the market. We also work with partners on pre-sales, delivery governance, support, and so on,” adds Hassaballa.
SofTrack stays focused on it partners, since they want to continue being a two-tier company. The company currently manages a strategic partner community consisting of around 25 partners across the region. “Each vendor already brings an ecosystem that want to expand. So we work with the vendors and try and fit the channel community in line with their regional strategies,” explains Hassaballa.
Techaccess is already a strong player in the market in terms of reach. The company currently covers around 17 countries and has offices in five locations such as United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan and Algeria. “Reach is very important when you are looking at growing the presence of your vendors. We are currently in the midst of adding the software industry knowledge into Techaccess, so that we are able to speak the same language as our vendor partners,” adds Hassaballa.
Focus on Software Solutions
According to Hassaballa, SofTrack initially started with offering Data Management solutions. The second set of solutions the company added to its portfolio was Digital Enterprise Management solutions, which is where vendors such as BMC come into play. “We continue to build our Infrastructure Software division. So obviously we still have some synergies with our existing partners. However, we want to build it form a software perspective and the next thing we will add to our portfolio is Software Automation solutions,” says Hassaballa.
SofTrack has been allocated with the Authorised Training Partner status for BMC’s solutions and services in the region. The company currently offers courses and certifications for its partners and customers. SofTrack is also in talks with other vendors in the software space to become their ATP in this region.
“Products and solutions from companies such as Informatica, BMC, and so on, are very technical. Hence, we have made investment and commitments into resources and learning. We also now host all the virtual machines in our data center in our Dubai Internet City office. In addition, we have automated our room reservations, so that we can begin offering enablement courses in our locations across the Middle East on a regular basis,” adds Hassaballa.
SofTrack will continue its focus on verticals such as BFSI, telco, retail, and government. While UAE has always been a strong market for SofTrack, other markets it wants to focus on include Egypt and Pakistan. “Saudi is another market which will start picking up in the months to come. We also focus on North Africa, excluding the Sub-Saharan Africa. We have plans to open another office in Morocco very soon,” says Hassaballa.
For the year 2019, Hassaballa has set financial milestones internally, in addition to setting KPI milestones. “We want to match our KPIs to that of our vendors and partners. If we can exceed those KPIs, then we are successful. We have taken the time, focus, and the investment necessary to build out some of those promising brands on the market. So by investing in those resources, we are able to scale those vendors in the market much quicker than a typical VAD would,” concludes Hassaballa.