Smaller IT Firms Also Seizing Opportunities

BMI has a bullish outlook for the Middle East's IT market, particularly among GCC states where strong economic growth has created high investor confidence and supported a growing small and medium sized enterprise sector. Our positive view for the region's IT markets is also based on relatively low penetration of IT services among enterprises and the proliferation of fibre optic networks throughout 2012 and 2013, providing the necessary infrastructure to handle data-intensive services such as cloud computing.

In July 2014 Epicor secured a contract with the UAE-based distributor of industrial equipment Alkhalij Enterprises. While the success of leading global IT firms such as SAP, IBM, Cisco Systems and the region's telecoms operators is well-documented on BMI's online platform (See 'Cloud Computing Gains Traction', May 30), Epicor has been awarded at least 10 contracts in the region since the beginning of 2013, indicating that opportunities abound for smaller IT firms and their local partners.

Epicor specialises in enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, which it delivers to customers across a wide range of industries. Epicor's other solutions include customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise performance management and financial management. Globally, the California-based company caters to a very wide range of industries, such as aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, energy, food and drink and pharmaceutical sectors. In the Middle East it has secured ERP contracts with several companies in the automotive spare parts, food distribution, retail and oil and gas sectors.

BMI has a bullish outlook for the Middle East's IT market, particularly among GCC states where strong economic growth has created high investor confidence and supported a growing small and medium sized enterprise sector. Our positive view for the region's IT markets is also based on relatively low penetration of IT services among enterprises and the proliferation of fibre optic networks throughout 2012 and 2013, providing the necessary infrastructure to handle data-intensive services such as cloud computing.

In July 2014 Epicor secured a contract with the UAE-based distributor of industrial equipment Alkhalij Enterprises. While the success of leading global IT firms such as SAP, IBM, Cisco Systems and the region's telecoms operators is well-documented on BMI's online platform (See 'Cloud Computing Gains Traction', May 30), Epicor has been awarded at least 10 contracts in the region since the beginning of 2013, indicating that opportunities abound for smaller IT firms and their local partners.

Epicor specialises in enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, which it delivers to customers across a wide range of industries. Epicor's other solutions include customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise performance management and financial management. Globally, the California-based company caters to a very wide range of industries, such as aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, energy, food and drink and pharmaceutical sectors. In the Middle East it has secured ERP contracts with several companies in the automotive spare parts, food distribution, retail and oil and gas sectors.

BMI has on several occasions highlighted the growing opportunities for IT firms in the public sector, financial sector and in other major industries such as telecoms and oil and gas. However, the Middle East and the UAE in particular is an increasingly important hub linking Asia, Europe and Africa, and we therefore also expect rising opportunities in areas relating to distribution of goods and services, as demonstrated by Epicor's range of contracts in the region.

BMI forecasts the value of the UAE's IT market to grow at around 8.6% a year between 2014 and 2018, Saudi Arabia's to grow at around 4.2% a year and Qatar's at 12.4% a year over the same timeframe.

Epicor Selected Middle East Contracts, 2013-2014
Date Details
Jul-14 UAE-based Alkhalij Enterprises will implement Epicor's ERP software across all its offices in the UAE, Oman, Qatar and Azerbaijan. Alkhalij Enterprises specialises in the distribution of industrial spares and equipment.
May-14 US-based auto parts distributor OWS Auto Parts rolled out Epicor ERP and Precise Point of Sale solutions across its operations in the UAE and Qatar. The software will enable OWS to integrate its electronic catalogue, local suppliers' data and POS into one system.
Feb-14 Abud Dhabi and Al Ain-based auto deal Omeir Bin Youssef & Sons upgraded its ten-year old Epicor ERP to the latest version. Epicor's local partner Index Infotech will implement the Epicor solutions.
Jan-14 Thomsum Group of Companies, based in the UAE, selected Epicor ERP for all of its businesses, which cover the electornics, electromechanical, music instrument, education, food processing and supplies, and logistics, among others. The solution will initially be implemented in food processing business East Fish Company, before being expanded to other business verticals.
Dec-13 UAE-based oil and gas company EMDAD selected Epicor ERP for its project, supply chain, human capital and customer relationship management.
Nov-13 Zaker Trading, which supplies accessories for welding, lifting, safety and other engineering related areas, selected Epicor ERP for its operations in the UAE and Qatar.
Sep-13 Qatari sports retailer Sports Corner Co selected Epicor ERP, which will integrate supply chain management and financial management with its existing point of sale software. The deal was completed in collaboration with Epicor's local partner ICTUS Projects.
Jul-13 Bakarat International selected Epicor ERP to manage its food distribution business in the UAE and across the GCC.
May-13 Epicor signed two contracts for its ERP solutions in the UAE with fruit and vegetable importer Kibsons Internation and diesel engine and tractor parts supplier Hana International. Epicor local partner Knowledge Web Consultancy implemented both projects.
Feb-13 Dubai-based automotive spare parts distributor A-MAP selected Epicor's ERP solutions to manage its operations, which extend to Asia, Africa and North America.
Source: BMI

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