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        Business Press Releases      

YEAR 2001 PRESS RELEASES,First On-Line Auction of Japanese Equipment





Sage and Comtrust announce ME’s first live web hosted ERP application

 Al-Zuhair group hosts Sage CS3 on Comtrust’s UAE based infrastructure, uses remotely in Saudi Arabia, via the Internet


 Dubai, UAE, April 2001   

   Sage Enterprise Solutions (SES), a part of the US$ 600 million Sage Group, and Comtrust, Etisalat’s e-commerce infrastructure business unit have created regional history by enabling Saudi Arabia based Al-Zuhair Group, to host their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) on the Internet. The Group has reported significant cost savings during its initial test run period, by using Sage CS/3 ERP remotely via the Internet, for all its business transactions. 

 The Al-Zuhair Group has out-sourced the hosting of their Sage CS/3 to Comtrust and by web-enabling their ERP application, the Group has drastically reduced IT capital expenditure and ongoing operational costs. It has also given them the flexibility to expand their back office systems across multiple geographic locations, rapidly and cost effectively.

 Talal Al Zuhair, a Partner of the Group revealed that the company had cut IT personnel costs by a whopping 50 per cent, and reduced considerable expenditure on IT hardware and software since web hosting their ERP for a trial period, six months ago. “With elaborate plans underway to extend our operations to the UAE, we needed a quick and cost effective route to expand our ERP footprint. Another pressing demand was that of being unable to access operational figures in real time, due to extensive business travel. We have been using Sage CS/3 on the web for all our operational transactions and management reports for six months, and the performance has been commendable,” Zuhair stated. 

 “It is no longer necessary for us to install computer servers at every business location, and all our users can ‘access’ the application by merely logging on to the Internet,” explained Talal. “Running the business has become as simple as plugging a laptop into a telephone socket, going to the Sage CS/3 web site and accessing real time inventory, sales, credit and other key indicators,” he said. (The key indicators include ageing receivables & payables.)

 “Admittedly, it has been very difficult for us to cut across the mindset of the local business that ‘data outside the office premises is data less secure’,” explained Shishir Srivastava, Director of SES Middle East. “We are glad that the Al-Zuhair Group has taken the lead in showing businesses in the Middle East that the Internet can be used to run mission critical applications, and proven conclusively that the cost benefits advertised by software companies and consultants are more than true.”

 The Group, comprising Electronic Equipment Marketing Company (EEMCO), Construction Services (CONSECO) and OMEGA Engineering are able to reboot the system and perform all normal ERP system administrative tasks remotely. “It has been six months since they turned off their in-house systems,” commented Srivastava, and added, “It should only be a matter of time before the rest of the industry follows.”

 “Outsourcing an ERP initiative can save customers a large percentage of the total costs of systems maintenance,” stated Farooq Hasan, Manager, Marketing, Comtrust, while he lauded the Al-Zuhair Group’s foresight and vision in planning this move. For companies that lack the IT infrastructure or data centre knowledge, Comtrust offers powerful hardware, affordable to the customer within restricted budgets.  Explaining Comtrust’s role, Hasan stated, “Our personnel are trained to offer high levels of service that a customer cannot expect from an internal IT resource tasked with a variety of other jobs. Comtrust is backed by world-class customer service, including strong service level agreements and support staff available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year connected to the biggest band width available in the Middle East region.”

  “We offer multiple layers of physical and virtual security including bio-metric scan limiting physical access to the data centre, firewalls and intrusion detection. We also sign a confidentiality agreement with the customer guaranteeing confidentiality of his data,” Hasan stated.

   “Our partners, suppliers & customers have noticed the difference too. We are able to promise delivery dates during our meetings, based on inventory levels and future deliveries,” added Al Zuhair. “With very little preparation, we are able to discuss with them critical issues like sales trends and promotional activities, or, simultaneously, question large outstanding credit,” he explained. 

  Sage’s Srivastava also commented on global industry trends in outsourcing, pointing out that by year-end 2001, more than 10,000 new ERP installations will have gone live in the world, with many of these considering outsourcing of operation, maintenance, upgrades and support. “Everyone will be looking for ways to get the full benefits of their considerable investments, and real life answers to questions about managing and improving their enterprise-wide systems.” 

 “ERP outsourcing is a subject that scores phenomenally high, on issues that managers would like to see addressed and discussed by their peers. We are fortunate to have partnered with Comtrust who was able and willing to immediately action this rapidly emerging trend - the reason behind Al-Zuhair’s decision becoming an overnight reality, and an overnight success,” Srivastava stated. 

 Sage Enterprise Solutions has been spearheading new product development for over 20 years, and is a world leader in developing business software systems. The company has over 7000 customers in 80 countries, and installations ranging from 4 to over 1000 concurrent users. 

   SES Middle East is headquartered in Dubai and represented in the region by Enterprise Partners: MMI Technology Solutions for the UAE, Oman and Kuwait; Algosaibi Information Systems for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar; and Cairo Information Technology and Engineering for Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

  Comtrust, the e-commerce business unit of Etisalat's – Emirates Telecommunications Corp., was launched in January 2000 to fill the gap in the market for a secure e-commerce infrastructure provider. Through a comprehensive line of e-commerce products and services, Comtrust can cater to e-commerce customer needs, offering them a one-stop-shop. Comtrust provides e-commerce infrastructure services and e-commerce applications services both in the areas of Business-to-Business and the Business-to-Consumer e-commerce segments, locally in the UAE and in the Middle East region.

 Comtrust also provides e-commerce professional support services in the areas of systems integration, enterprise PKI implementations and corporate e-commerce strategy consulting. Comtrust addresses the requirements of security for e-commerce transactions and business transactions through a variety of mediums and mechanisms.  These solutions are based on providing the key elements for e-commerce infrastructure, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for security, e-commerce server hosting and payment transactions processing. For further information on Comtrust please visit

 For further information, please contact:

 Iona Stanley, Tel: + 971 50 6954056, email:  or

Darren Menezes, Tel: +971 4 3322334, email:           

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10 April 2001 04:54:50 PM

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