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        Business Press Releases      



MAY 2, 2001


IBM introduces Record-breaking Unix servers into Middle East


Gulf Business Machines (GBM) and IBM have installed a unique IT solution for Emarat, one of the UAE’s leading petroleum-retailing organisations. Emarat has gained a number of competitive advantages following the implementation and integration of IBM hardware and software, including reduced costs and new business delivery channels.  

 From Left to right, Ian Roscow, IBM’s Technology and Offerings Manager for Web Server, Suhail Al Banna, Information Technology Manager at Emarat, Ashok Bola, General Manager of GBM, and  Sudarsan Chakravarthy, IBM pSeries product Manager at GBM.



The announcement came with IBM’s introduction of two powerful mid-range eServer Unix systems into the Middle East - the p620 and p660 - that have smashed e-business performance records. The new servers are part of IBM’s aggressive strategy to lead in the Unix server market, through systems that provide dramatically better performance than competing brands at better prices.


Emarat operates a fleet of modern road tankers that supply the entire UAE with fuel from a number of oil terminals, and according to Rafat Buhaisi, GBM's Product Support Manager, the solution helps to ensure that Emarat's distribution network runs with 99.99 percent uptime.  The solution was put in place by United Computer and Management Consultancy (UCMC), IBM's representative in Dubai.


"Amid stiff competition, UCMC and GBM offered a 'one-stop-shop', and provided all the hardware, software and associated services to ensure a highly available, scaleable and upgradeable solution.  They achieved this without disrupting our existing operations which are critical for the smooth flow of land and air transportation of our product in the UAE," said Suhail Al Banna, IT Manager, Emarat.  "UCMC and GBM demonstrated a thorough understanding of our exacting requirements, and proved that they could deliver a total solution, and offer post-implementation services and 24 x 7 assistance through GBM's Integrated Technology Services (ITS) division."  He continued:  "UCMC and GBM took three months to implement this solution.  With our plans to adopt e-business and ASP capabilities, we now have in place the infrastructure to ensure our IT department becomes a future profit centre.  This type of solution is helping us to achieve renown as the best petroleum corporation in the Gulf region for customer service, employee commitment and return to shareholders, and we fully expect that UCMC and GBM will continue to work in partnership with us to meet this objective." 


Previously Emarat had a number of distributed servers running different applications, which were difficult to manage and which complicated its future growth path.   "Now, all of Emarat's servers share the same storage and backup pool, and integrating its business processes has tightened the level of control by allowing Emarat to easily access and monitor all aspects of its operations almost instantaneously," added Mr Buhaisi.


"We totally re-vamped Emarat's automation processes as part of the project by installing IBM pSeries (previously known as the RS/6000) and Netfinity servers, and by implementing storage consolidation solutions and tape backup systems.  The Netfinity servers run Lotus Notes, Emarat's Convenience Store automation software, and its print and file sharing and Computer Aided Design (CAD) activities.


 The IBM pSeries servers run Emarat's Core Oracle ERP application, which include key processes in Accounts, Inventory Management and Human Resources," said Mr Buhaisi.  Saeed Al Muaili, Marwan Al Ali and Ganesan Krithivasan led the Emarat team that contributed to the success of the project while the UCMC/GBM team was led by General Manager, Ashok Bhola, and included a number of skilled individuals with expertise in IT issues relating to the oil and gas industry.  Emarat expects to gain substantial cost savings through the new system.  By working with a single vendor, Emarat avoided any potential risks typically associated with integrating disparate products.  The solution has also enhanced Emarat's competitive standing by enabling it to set a new standard for delivering even more services to end-users and customers, and by equipping it with adequate 'firepower' for its future growth plans.   Software support - a value-added service - is provided through GBM Support Line, an integral and award-winning component of GBM's ITS division.  The implementation of AIX, HACMP and Tivoli Storage Manager was performed by certified ITS personnel who also offered guidance and made necessary software adjustments so that Emarat enjoyed a fault free installation. The division also provided training for Emarat's IT staff and migration services to the new system.   IBM’s new eServer pSeries  “We are introducing to the Middle East what IBM believes are the most powerful, most cost-effective Unix servers available on the market today,” explained Ian Roscow, Technology and Offerings Manager, IBM Web Server, Europe, Middle East and Africa.  The new pSeries systems (formerly known as the RS/6000, with ‘p’ signifying performance) offer the speed and reliability to run customers’ most important applications, including e-business, supply chain, Customer Relationship Management, and Business intelligence. The p620 and p660 are the industry’s first midrange Unix servers to contain IBM pioneered Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) technology.  Microprocessors built with SOI run up to 35 percent faster and at much cooler temperatures than traditional aluminium chips increasing server performance and up-time. IBM is the only vendor to have already introduced Copper Technology that significantly enhances performance across its Unix server product line.  This announcement underscores IBM’s success in the server market. According to IDC figures released in mid-March, IBM is the number one server vendor worldwide for the year 2000, outselling Sun by a 32% margin.  IBM’s worldwide market share in the Unix hardware space has leapt from 15% to 25% since 1998.  With over a million systems installed worldwide since its introduction as the RS/6000 10 years ago, the IBM pSeries is a major force in the Unix marketplace today. 





 Issued on behalf of Gulf Business Machines by Gulf Hill & Knowlton.  For further information contact Jamil Alsharif on Tel: +973 533532, Fax: +973 533370, or e-mail:

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06 May 2001 04:41:53 PM

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