‘We are broadening our appeal, and still remain firmly committed to our existing clients,’ said regional marketing manager Ellie Warner at the opening of a new $1m solutions centre in Dubai Internet City this week. ‘But we want to also include finance, oil and gas, government and travel and tourism.
‘In this centre we have joined forces with Tech Access to create a base for the creation of sets of pre-defined, pre-integrated solutions utilizing best of breed architectures, targeted at the region’s horizontal and vertical market sector growth.
‘The key to the global success of iForce is the proof of concept, the idea that you can test before you invest,’ she adds. ‘There have been many mistakes with systems and all customers are keen to avoid them’.
In other words, a client in say the retail or banking sector can come into the Tech Access solutions centre in the DIC and fully test an IT solution before they go back and implement it in their own system. Ms Warner expects to be generating $500,000 per quarter in sales from this new facility manned by 12 staff, and impressively kitted out with Sun equipment.
By the end of 2001, Sun’s iForce initiative had generated 4,500 engagements worldwide, and the DIC Tech Access centre is the 43rd iForce Ready Centre. An extensive community of technology specialists will service the customers.
‘We have identified a number of potential value added partnerships,’ says Ms Warner. ‘To date we have secured working relationships with Oracle, BMC Software, Veritas, Legato, SolutionNet, Intershop, Xybase, and Infosys to name a few’.
‘Solution offerings include an Oracle e-business suite, and a CRM program for small and medium sized businesses. The initial target vertical sectors include finance, oil and gas, travel and tourism with various solutions catering to each’.
Formerly Dubai based and now resident in Geneva, Ms Warner travels widely in this region in which Sun Microsystems grew its sales by 20-25% over the past year.
‘We see a lot of potential for further growth,’ she says. ‘But we needed to address the general business community, and this is how we intend to do it, by offering locally pre-tested solutions. We have the advantage here of local support for regional companies and Arabic language capability.
‘Companies get all the advantages of Sun with its open, reliable networking computing that is compatible with any solution. Plus they get the support of Tech Access locally. We think it is a winning combination’.
At a time when the dot.com crash, September 11th and the slump in IT share prices have left some people questioning the need for IT investment, Ms Warner has some salutary words.
‘IT investment can be postponed but it can not be avoided if you want to stay in business.’ That is true, and the iForce initiative is designed to make that process as painless as possible.
Tuesday, July 16- 2002 @ 17:22 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.