Astrolabe taps market growth

Astrolabe is reinforcing its position as a regional software development player at today's show. The Lebanese ISV will be showcasing its custom development skills to visitors at the Lebanese pavilion.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  October 17, 2003

Astrolabe is reinforcing its position as a regional software development player at today's show. The Lebanese independent software vendor (ISV) will be showcasing its custom development skills to visitors at the Lebanese pavilion.

"We have been building our custom application development skills by working in the public sector," says Ali Shamseddine, chairman, Astrolabe.

"There is increased awareness of the need to automate business. The public sector has been leading this with the increased focus on e-government. But there is also growing global motivation, such as [World Trade Organisation] which is making automation necessary," he adds.

To take advantage of the growing market, Astrolabe has expanded its operation with office openings in both Dubai and Jordan. The company has also formed several alliances with systems integrators around the region.

"Local businesses always demand local support, making building a regional software house challenging. Although there is a certain amount that you can do with remote support, local businesses want a local presence. We're extending our local presence either directly or in partnership," says Shamseddine.

The growing focus on inter-regional trade throughout the Middle East should aid Astrolabe's efforts to become a regional software player.

Until recently, most companies had been hesitant to employ local software vendors, due largely to their lack of confidence in support models and a 'limited' view of the home market. But increasingly local companies are looking to the regional market to find solution providers.

"Free trade initiatives are opening up the view of local markets," explains Shamseddine. "There has been a long history of protective thinking in terms of the local economies of the region. But this is changing as the local market improves in terms of the quality of services it can offer," he adds.

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