Forefront Technologies at the forefront of leadership

Channel Post speaks with the Senior Director for Sales & Business Development at Forefront Technologies, Johni R. Jabbor about the past, present and future of the company that has been part of the channel community for over two decades in the region

Johni R. Jabbor, Senior Director – Sales & Business Development at Forefront Technologies

Forefront has been at the forefront of Document management solutions for over past two decades in the region, what makes you such a formidable player in the market?
There are many factors that assisted Forefront Technologies to maintain its leadership position in the document imaging market. Since we started our operations in 1995 from Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai, we have continued to increase our presence across the region by setting up offices at various locations including Riyadh, Jeddah, Doha & Muscat. And today, we stand to be a single-stop source for products and the services in technology segments such as Document Imaging Scanners, Document Capture Solutions, Large Format Scanners, Archival and Back-up Storage Solutions.

We are armed with a highly skilled, experienced and certified team of sales and technical specialists that is determined to succeed. Over the years we have developed a sustainable loyal channel that works exclusively to service the document imaging and storage market.

We have been consistently investing in resources and in past 2 years, we have increased our strength by 25% and warehousing facilities by 33% to serve better the local markets with faster turn-around time. In addition, we have also expanded our product portfolio by introducing value offerings. This has enabled to maintain our leadership position in the market.

What value do you bring on the table for channel partners and vendors respectively?
Forefront is well known by its channel partners with its order fulfilment and after-sales support and recently we have established a new Integration division that is able to perform pre-sales role “on the reseller behalf” to produce proposals incorporating what we carry from within our portfolio.

How big is your active channel base and which all countries are your channel present?
We have a huge channel base with 527 active partners working with us spread across the region. UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq are few of our key markets that have been contributing to your revenue stream.

Are you looking to grow your footprint in the region? What new markets are you keen to penetrate in next one year?
Presence and expansion was always a key point of our agenda and in line with this philosophy earlier this year we expanded our footprint further in the region by opening our new office in Lebanon. We are also planning to enhance our channel presence in Africa and next year we will increase our penetration deeper into African continent.

Do your channel partners require any specific skill sets? If yes, how do you enable your channel partners?
Channel partners do need have a reasonable level of skills, but in case if a partner does not possess the necessary required skills, we support them and plug the gap by extending our sales and pre-sales team to work together closely to present our products and solutions.

Do you expect 2018 to be different and what message would you like to give to the channel?
There is only one constant in business – and that is that things will change and the way we do business will change. All businesses have to be ready for the Digital Transformation and Data Analytics which will play a big role in 2018. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) along with new set of digital technologies are going to have a major impact on business and we expect the importance them will continue to grow in coming years.