Mustek has increased its investment in its Huawei business unit and is ramping up even more support for business partners.

As South Africa’s biggest and longest-serving Huawei distributor, the company is mindful of the strategic role it plays in the growing Huawei community, says Shannon Smit, National Sales Manager: Huawei Enterprise at Mustek.

The Huawei enterprise team has been spun out as a separate business unit within Mustek, indicative of its status as one of the distributor’s strongest brands.

Indeed, Huawei is in Mustek’s very DNA, Smit adds, referencing the company’s slogan – “When it comes to Huawei it must be Mustek: Connections that matter” – as indicative of the deep symbiosis.

“Our collaboration is embedded in our shared identity and success, allowing Mustek and Huawei to deliver tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of their customers.

“Huawei and Mustek share a joint vision,” Smit adds. “In our dynamic landscape, where innovation is the heartbeat of progress we stand united. With our vision and mission in perfect alignment, we forge a path that fosters not only commercial success, but also empowers the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“Our collaboration runs deep, with our DNA intertwined, we blend expertise, technology, and dedication to expand both breadth and depth in the market. Together, we don’t just deliver products; we cultivate opportunities, fueling growth and prosperity.”

Key to achieving this vision are core values that the two companies share: Integrity, excellence, and customer-centricity.

“With a common dedication to advancing technology and empowering businesses, we collaborate to be resilient and adaptable,” Smit says. “Together, we embrace the challenge of shaping a brighter future where our joint values propel us forward with purpose, ensuring sustainable growth and impactful outcomes for all.”

Smit explains that his team is responsible for taking the entire Huawei Enterprise and Commercial solution stack to market.


Into 2024

As 2024 ramps up, Mustek’s Huawei team is looking to revitalise and re-energise the Commercial business while retaining its lead in the enterprise and government space.

“We have ambitious goals and targets for the Commercial offerings,” Smit says. “We will be working with the vendor to drive incentives and special deals for our partners.

“And we are coming in with solutions at a price point that makes them very compelling compared to competitive offerings.

“Our message to our reseller partners is to talk to us – we will make it worth your time.

“Our key focus in the commercial space is going the extra mile in terms of incentivising, pricing, and helping our partners get focused.”

Partners can look forward to new Huawei product launches in the Commercial space as well as support in terms of marketing, pricing, and pre-sales.


The Mustek value-add

What makes Mustek the distributor of choice when it comes to Huawei solutions?

“We offer a number of key differentiators,” says Smit, highlighting training, financing, the new demo centre, and MSP offerings.

Technology is a big differentiator and Mustek is strengthening the project management capabilities of its partner portal. “This will help customers get their kit and close out their projects quicker than before.

“This is a new module on the system and one we believe will make it easier to do business with Mustek,” he adds. “And we aim to introduce more value-add features in the coming months.”

Breaking into a new market segment isn’t easy for resellers, so Mustek is focusing on its ongoing Commercial training to create awareness among resellers and get them to a comfort level of knowing what the offering is, and what it does.

The distibutor’s in-house training organisation, Mecer Inter-Ed also offers certification training. Partners can also write their exams at Mustek and receive their certification.

“This is a big value-add,” Smit explains. “I believe we are the only distributor that can offer in-house training, examinations and certification – all in one place.”

The distributor also works closely with the vendor and resellers to drive incentives in terms of deal registration; and it can help resellers market to customers that might not be their traditional target market.

Access to financing can be a deal-maker or deal-breaker – and Mustek works with partners to ensure it is a deal-maker.

“With the focus on Commercial and the smaller reseller, we are able to offer flexible financial services,” Smit says. “Our mantra is that no-one is too small to say no to a deal. We go out of our way to help resellers with flexible financing offerings that are effective and beneficial for them.

“I can go as far as to say that ours is the most economical and flexible financing offering in the market today.”

Nothing helps a reseller to close a deal more than the ability to show the customer the technology in action.

Mustek is busy developing and finalising a new, state-of-the-art Huawei demo centre where resellers can bring their customers to experience various solutions in a working lab environment.

“This demo centre is the biggest experience centre in the distribution space,” Smit says.

SME resellers don’t have to invest in their own infrastructure to offer customers a managed service provider (MSP) solution – Mustek has its own MSP platform that reseller can leverage.

The platform is flexible and scalable, and lets resellers offer their customers managed services on a per-device basis.

“We have a full cloud team, so the expertise is all onsite here,” Smit says.


The Huawei solution stack

Mustek’s Huawei Enterprise offerings lead with datacommunications and Internet Protocol (IP) products.

These include on-premise data infrastructure solutions where Mustek assists customers in procuring, setting up, and managing data-related hardware, software, and resources within the organisation’s physical premises.

It also offers cloud-based solutions and services utilising remote servers and services provided by third-party cloud providers. “These solutions offer scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency as organisations pay only for the resources they consume,” Smit says.

Hybrid data infrastructure combines elements of both on-premises and cloud-based solutions. “With a hybrid solution, organisations can keep sensitive or critical data on-premises while leveraging the cloud for additional storage, processing power, or backup capabilities,” Smit explains. “In addition, hybrid cloud helps to streamline monitoring.

Mustek also provides partners with Huawei’s full range of IT solutions including facilities, data centres, servers, networking hardware, desktop PCs, and corporate application software solutions.

With more than 700 key accounts Mustek provides the lion’s share of Huawei solutions in the data communications and enterprise markets, Smit says.

Visual display and videoconferencing solutions are a growing market – and one where Huawei has a strong presence.

Mustek is the premier distribution for Huawei’s Ideahub and videoconferencing solutions working with partners to supply government, the education sector, and the corporate sector via videoconferencing rooms or boardrooms.

The distributor also offers reseller partners access to Huawei’s Commercial line-up.

“The Commercial and SoHo solutions are going to be a big focus for us going forward,” says Smit. “They allow us to offer resellers a full solution stack with great pricing and availability.”

Smit believes Mustek has a big advantage as it focuses on the SME and Commercial solutions as it has an active reseller base of upwards of 7 000 partners, many of them in the SME space and keen to get access to top-drawer solutions like those from Huawei.


Commercial solutions line-up

Solutions in the Commercial portfolio range from devices to intelligent automotive solutions to connectivity to computing to cloud and to digital power, reaching consumers, carriers, and enterprises.

Small and medium customers are the target market for the commercial business sector including organisations in education, retail, manufacturing, mining, and SME finance.

The CloudCampus technology underpins and enables services like wireless, switches, SD-WAN, storage, video surveillance, IdeaHub S2, and digital power products. CloudCampus enables intelligent operations and management (O&M), and cloud management.

Huawei underpins CloudCampus with its market leadership in WiFi 6, optical solutions, switches, routers, and intelligent O&M.

Fully wireless networking is vital, with WiFi 6 continuous networking replacing wired communications and accelerating wireless transformation. Huawei’s WiFi 6 has zero signal blind spot, zero interruption during roaming, no speed reduction for applications, and data backhaul.

Its Dynamic-Zoom smart antennae are an industry first from Huawei which give more coverage, distance, and performance.

Huawei boasts a huge product portfolio when it comes to WiFi, including routers, hybrid cables, switches, and remote units. They include the AirEngine WiFi 6 range of access points (APs), customer premise equipment (CPE), and wireless accessory configurator (WAC) devices; and the Cloud Engine S-Series switch.

Huawei is a leading supplier of SD-WAN, fully connecting multiple branches and centrally managing network services, offering flexible networking, intelligent traffic steering, and intelligent O&M. Offerings include full-featured routing switches, enhanced all-optical switches, the Ideal Core switches, and high-end smart routing switches.

Next-generation firewalls help to protect small office, home office and campus branches, as well as campuses and data centres of all sizes. They include the NetEngine Series backbone router and the CloudEngine Series data centre switch. The iMaster NCE line-up is an autonomous driving networking management and control system for campus, data centre, and backbone networks.

Huawei is also making waves in the storage world offering a diverse range of storage solutions that put it in the Gartner Leaders Quadrant for many of its technologies.

OceanStor Dorado all-flash storage caters to all customers – from entry-level to mid-range and high-end enterprise. Hybrid flash storage is enabled by the OceanStor 2200, the OceanStor 2600, the OceanStor 5310/5510/5610 and OceanStor 6810/18510/18810 solutions.

In addition, the Dorado 2000 is an entry level all flash storage array, filling requirements between 10TB and 50TB – and Mustek can offer great pricing on these solutions.

The DCS brings customers a data centre virtualisation solution (DCS), while the FusionCube line-up offers hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI).

OceanStor data protection is enabled by disaster recovery, backup and archiving solutions, as well as a data protection appliance and OceanProtect backup storage.

Video surveillance is another growing market and Huawei offers the Holowits range of products and solutions for industry digital transformation. This enables intelligent transportation, intelligent grid, intelligent city, intelligent campus, and intelligent retail.

The Huawei IdeaHub S2 for smart offices provides a next-generation hardware platform, HD intelligent conferencing, and boundless collaboration. The IdeaHub Board for education includes ingenious design with easy interaction and various education scenarios.

Power is an ongoing issue in South Africa and Commercial business unit customers will have a number of solutions to help them overcome loadshedding and unplanned outages.

These are led by the new SmartLi UPS2000-H in 6kVA and 10kVA.

The vendor’s Commercial partner ecosystem is based on three key ideas: integration with partners; shared success; and a just, transparent channel.


Meet the Huawei team at Mustek

Over the years, Mustek has built a substantial team of skilled people looking after the Huawei business.

In the Johannesburg head office they have spun out into a separate business unit reporting to Dawid Naude, who takes care of finance and administration functions.

A headcount of 15 skilled people in Johannesburg makes the Huawei business unit the strongest within the Mustek stable. An additional staff member each in KwaZulu-Natal, East London and Port Elizabeth, and two in Cape Town bring the total to an impressive 20 dedicated Huawei personnel.

Mustek’s dedicated government team includes Huawei in its solution offerings, while the channel sales team is a key partner is reaching the Commercial market.

Smit points out that Mustek’s administration, sales, technical, and warehouse teams are all shared resources where needed, while Mustek offices in the SADC (Southern African Development Community) all boast some level of Huawei skills too.

Of course, Huawei has its own offices in most African countries, and Mustek supports the vendor operations from its own regional office, or Johannesburg, where appropriate.

The level of skills and years of experience the team boasts sets it apart. “We’ve all been working with the Huawei solutions for many years, something we believe is a big differentiator,” Smit says.


Dawid Naude, Business Unit Manager: Huawei at Mustek

Describe your role in one sentence: I play a crucial role in driving the success and growth of the Huawei Business Unit, through effective leadership, strategic planning and operational excellence.

In your opinion, what is the top reason for users and partners to choose Huawei? The company’s commitment to innovation and technological excellence, consistently delivering cutting-edge products and solutions that meet the evolving needs of the market.

In your opinion, what is the single biggest Mustek value-add? Mustek embodies a commitment to Service Excellence. Let me elaborate:

  1. Knowledge and Attitude: Mustek takes immense pride in its people, company, products, and services. The company acts professionally at all times, demonstrating a proactive and passionate approach to building its brand. Mustek invests in the development of its staff, ensuring they possess the best technical knowledge to provide top-notch service to customers.
  2. Flexibility: In the ever-changing IT landscape, business flexibility is crucial for success. Mustek’s “can-do” attitude allows it to swiftly adapt to trends and seize opportunities. Whether onboarding new products or adjusting assembly lines, Mustek remains agile to meet customers’ evolving requirements.
  3. Efficiency: Mustek strives for efficiency, achieving more with less. Quick response times, whether in stock turnaround or hardware repair, demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction.
  4. Responsibility and Accountability: Mustek upholds integrity, employment equity, environmental care, and respect for human dignity. The company rewards performance and shares responsibility across all levels. Additionally, Mustek’s strong financial performance, good dividends, and low price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio make it one of the best-value stocks on the JSE. Its commitment to empowerment, transformation, and high-quality future leaders further solidifies its position in the tech sector.

In summary, Mustek’s unwavering dedication to excellence, adaptability, and responsible practices defines its true value.

What is the best part of your job? The opportunity to work at the intersection of technology and business strategy, where I can leverage Huawei’s innovative solutions to drive growth and success for both our clients and our organisation. Additionally, being able to lead and inspire a talented team, collaborate with diverse stakeholders, and contribute to shaping the future of technology in the market are all immensely rewarding aspects of my role.

How do you unwind on the weekend? My weekends are a blend of relaxation and productivity, where I indulge in my hobbies while also taking care of the things that matter to me. Whether it’s chasing that elusive sub-par round on the golf course or preventing my Landy from spilling its oil, each activity brings its own sense of fulfilment and satisfaction.


Shannon ‘ShanTheMan’ Smit, National Sales Manager: Huawei Enterprise

Describe your role in one sentence: Steering a sales team to achieve their KPIs whilst simultaneously embodying KPIs myself – KPIs: Keeping People Interested

In your opinion, what is the top reason for users and partners to choose Huawei? High quality carrier-grade enterprise products at an affordable price – and having the support needed readily available locally with plenty of feet on the ground. Huawei is also the only OEM that can offer an end-to-end solution across multiple stacks in terms of business needs. All the way from interconnectable wearables and commodity items, connectivity from the edge to the core, into your storage environments whether its on-prem, hybrid or even public cloud whilst having open integration and supporting XaaS.

In your opinion, what is the single biggest Mustek value-add? We believe in connections that matter.

What is the best part of your job? The ABC of sales – Always Be Closing. Resulting in visible growth among our team members both personally and professionally.

How do you unwind on the weekend? You guys get to unwind on weekends? Are you even in sales? Haha, I like to spend time with my fiancé and I do enjoy a good round of golf on weekends. My favourite weekend includes the former along with some Formula 1.


Drikus van der Walt, Business Development Manager

Describe your role in one sentence: Promoting and selling the full EBG portfolio and the rest of the Huawei products (excluding consumer) to our reseller base, as well as bringing new resellers on board

In your opinion, what is the top reason for users and partners to choose Huawei? The Huawei enterprise products as well as their SMB range launched recently, are state of the art products and compete at a high level with other major brands in performance as well as pricing.

In your opinion, what is the single biggest Mustek value-add? Mustek is the only distributor that has a full-on training arm in Mecer Inter-ED which can do proper certifications on most major brands Mustek sells.

What is the best part of your job? Meeting new people and getting to know the finer detail around technology, especially Huawei – I am sort of a tech junkie.

How do you unwind on the weekend? Doing DIY projects in and around the house (and everything else my wife wants me to do), and maybe play some online FPS games with a couple of friends to get rid of stress.


Kuveshen Naidoo, Huawei Enterprise Business Development Manager

Describe your role in one sentence: As a Huawei Enterprise business development manager, I strategically identify opportunities, cultivate client relationships and drive revenue growth within Enterprise division within Mustek.

In your opinion, what is the top reason for users and partners to choose Huawei? The top reason in my opinion is that users choose Huawei is often attributed to the company’s reputation for delivering high-quality, innovative products and solutions at competitive prices, coupled with their robust customer support and extensive global presence.

In your opinion, what is the single biggest Mustek value-add? In my opinion, the single biggest value add at Mustek typically lies in their comprehensive range of technology products and services, combined with their commitment to providing personalized solutions, reliable support and fostering long-term partnerships with clients.

What is the best part of your job? The best part of my job is being able to drive growth, forge meaningful relationships and contribute to the success and expansion of the company’s business ecosystem.

How do you unwind on the weekend? On the weekend I usually unwind by spending time outdoors, going fishing and spending time with my son.


Kyle Rosseau, Business Development Manager: Commercial

Describe your role in one sentence: New business development within the Huawei commercial space.

In your opinion, what is the top reason for users and partners to choose Huawei? It offers the best pricing and support.

In your opinion, what is the single biggest Mustek value-add? We are not just a dropbox service, we go the extra mile.

What is the best part of your job? Learning and meeting new people in the industry.

How do you unwind on the weekend? Fishing and spending time in the pool


Yusuf Yasseen, Huawei Business Development, Eastern Cape

Describe your role in one sentence: Identifying and cultivating strategic opportunities, building partnerships, and market expansion initiatives to drive sustainable growth and innovation within the Eastern cape region.

In your opinion, what is the top reason for users and partners to choose Huawei? Huawei’s commitment to technological innovation, robust product offerings which collectively empowers its partners with cutting edge solutions that meet their diverse needs within the African market.

In your opinion, what is the single biggest Mustek value-add? Our relentless dedication to customer satisfaction, through its superior product stack and offerings, our exceptional service and our understanding and meeting the evolving needs within the market and our partners.

What is the best part of your job? Uncovering and offering cutting-edge solutions to client’s problems/pain points.

How do you unwind on the weekend? Time with family, and a good RPG.


Zaheer Yusuf, Huawei Business Development Manager, Western Cape

Describe your role in one sentence: I help companies unlock clients’ digital potential by tailoring and delivering innovative Huawei solutions with Mustek’s support.

In your opinion, what is the top reason for users and partners to choose Huawei? Huawei offers a comprehensive portfolio of reliable, scalable, secure, and future-proof IT solutions at competitive prices. On the other hand, in my opinion, Mustek chose to be a Distributor for Huawei because of their dedication to innovate through a healthy R&D appetite. Huawei’s global reach and local support ensure consistent quality and expertise wherever your business needs it.

In your opinion, what is the single biggest Mustek value-add? We have nationwide presence and warehousing facilities that guarantee fast delivery and readily available stock, minimising downtime; our team of highly skilled and certified engineers provide pre and post-sales support, ensuring successful project implementation; our deep understanding of the local market and strong relationships with customers and partners create a trusted and reliable partnership; and Mustek aligns with its vision of being ‘your trusted ICT partner’ by going beyond products, offering customised solutions and value-added services.

What is the best part of your job? Working with a dynamic and innovative team in a fast-paced industry keeps me constantly learning and challenged. Also, building relationships with customers and partners and seeing their success stories motivates me to do my best.

How do you unwind on the weekend? Since I enjoy spending time outdoors, long-distance jogs or hikes help me clear my head and recharge for the week ahead.


Shane Marks, Huawei Business Development Manager

Describe your role in one sentence: I have a proven track record within the ICT space, and head up the Huawei Enterprise portfolio at Mustek in the Western Region.

In your opinion, what is the top reason for users and partners to choose Huawei? Huawei has been disruptive in the approach to market, displaying customer centricity to achieve its mission for a fully connected, intelligent world.

In your opinion, what is the single biggest Mustek value-add? Our skills and experience within the Huawei Team at Mustek is really the biggest value-add. This has allowed Huawei to break into new territories in terms of both end-users and net new partners.

What is the best part of your job? Winning as a team, knowing that I had a part to play in it.

How do you unwind on the weekend? Family, dogs and church.


Chelendra Shaik, BDM: Huawei Enterprise KZN region

Describe your role in one sentence: To enable invested partners with the skills and knowledge to design, develop and deploy the latest cutting-edge Huawei Enterprise solutions to solve our market’s ever changing business challenges.

In your opinion, what is the top reason for users and partners to choose Huawei? Huawei’s ability to provide cost-effective, technology-leading solutions whilst being flexible to partner with local service providers is unparalleled. This OEM is very customer-centric, placing customer satisfaction above everything else.

In your opinion, what is the single biggest Mustek value-add? “When it comes to Huawei – It must be Mustek” – Mustek has been distributing Huawei solutions since the start of the Enterprise BU entering our market. This experience and wealth of knowledge accumulated over the last 13 years, together with logistics and credit facilities offered by Mustek makes us the most suited distribution partner to deliver Huawei solutions with.

What is the best part of your job? Interacting with people and the feeling of accomplishment when a project is successfully delivered.

How do you unwind on the weekend? Movies, series, fishing and football.


Anthony Cawood, Huawei Business Development Manager

Describe your role in one sentence: Business development managers play a central role in fostering business expansion, with their daily tasks varying. Common duties entail formulating development strategies, projecting sales targets, and recognizing market prospects via meetings, networking, and alternative avenues.

In your opinion, what is the top reason for users and partners to choose Huawei? One of the top reasons users and partners choose Huawei is the company’s reputation for delivering innovative and cutting-edge technology solutions across various sectors, ranging from telecommunications and networking to consumer electronics and beyond. Huawei’s commitment to research and development, coupled with its focus on providing reliable products and services, often attracts users and partners seeking advanced and dependable technology solutions.

In your opinion, what is the single biggest Mustek value-add? Mustek’s most significant value-add is its commitment to providing exceptional customer service and support. By prioritising customer satisfaction and addressing their needs promptly and effectively, Mustek distinguishes itself as a reliable and trusted partner in the technology industry. This dedication to excellent service enhances the overall experience for customers and strengthens long-term relationships, making it a standout aspect of Mustek’s offerings.

What is the best part of your job? As a born salesperson, the thrill of chasing and closing deals, while forming lasting relationships with clients is what gives me the best satisfaction from the work I do.

How do you unwind on the weekend? I enjoy family time, socialising and the odd round of golf.