Oracle wins Dubai’s critical GRP project

Dubai Government has finally confirmed what the majority of us had suspected for some time — it is to rollout Oracle’s 11i E-Business Suite in a Government Resource Planning (GRP) implementation.

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By  Greg Wilson Published  October 18, 2001

Dubai Government has finally confirmed what the majority of us had suspected for some time — it is to rollout Oracle’s 11i E-Business Suite in a Government Resource Planning (GRP) implementation.

The solution, which will be delivered to 25 government departments over a secure, high bandwidth private network, using an application service provision (ASP) model, forms a key part of Dubai’s e-government drive.

“We have a clear mandate from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and the UAE’s Defence Minister, to establish Dubai Government as a model e-government by not only enabling electronic services to our constituents, but also by automating the internal processes for our employees,” explains Thani Al Zaffin, director of the government information resource planning department, H.H. The Ruler’s Court.

In order to achieve this automation, an implementation team of more than 50 professionals from the information resources department will deploy a number of the 11i modules, including financials, human resources, project planning, payroll, inventory and Internet procurement.

These solutions, it is hoped, will enable more efficient planning and resource management throughout Dubai Government.

“The GRP project will be focusing on efficiency and availability of timely information,” says Al Zaffin.

The decision to employ an ASP delivery model was also rooted in Dubai Government’s desire for increased efficiencies, as it firmly believes that the model will increase the speed of implementation and information availability while lowering the total cost of ownership.

Although all of the Oracle modules will eventually be accessible by each of the 25 departments, Al Zaffin explains that the implementation will be done in a number of smaller phases.

Dubai Civil Aviation (DCA), the Department of Economic Development (DED) and the Department of Finance will undertake the pilot stage of the deployment before the implementation is extended to the Dubai Municipality and Ruler’s Court.

While Oracle’s selection may have been one of the worst kept secrets in Dubai’s IT industry, it was by no means certain, as each and every ERP vendor tried, at some point, to seal the deal.

Al Zaffin explains that the project was eventually awarded to Oracle for a number of reasons. Oracle’s E-Business Suite offered a “combination of a well-integrated GRP, which uses the Internet and a robust Arabised system, [and support from] the strong local presence of Oracle in Dubai,” he says.

Dubai Government has undoubtedly slotted a significant part of the e-government puzzle in to place with the Oracle deal, but Al Zaffin is well aware of the work that lies ahead.

“What we have seen up to now has been the build up, e-government is a race without a finishing line,” he says.
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