Emaar calls time on Sahm venture

Emaar has pulled the plug on Sahm Technologies, its troubled IT arm. The venture has now been re-branded as Emaar IT, with staff inside saying the company is looking to scale back its operations.

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By  Peter Branton Published  August 28, 2005

Emaar has pulled the plug on Sahm Technologies, its troubled IT arm. The venture has now been re-branded as Emaar IT, with staff inside saying the company is looking to scale back its operations. Uncertainty has surrounded Sahm Technologies since it lost its telecom business to DIC earlier this year, following claims that it had been providing an unauthorised service (see IT Weekly 4- 10 June 2005). While repeated attempts to contact representatives of Sahm and Emaar were unsuccessful last week, a receptionist at the company said it was now called Emaar IT. This was confirmed by staff that IT Weekly spoke to, who said the switch, which is yet to be announced, happened earlier this month. “The scope has changed, we’re looking at a new regime, new functions, but nobody is sure what is happening yet,” one member of staff told IT Weekly. Although rumors about Sahm’s future have been circulating since the company lost its telecomms arm, neither Sahm or Emaar has officially commented on its future. In a statement issued on June 22, the company said “Sahm as a company continues to operate as a 100% owned subsidiary of Emaar Group and is engaged in providing corporate IT services. Sahm has an experienced and dedicated team of employees and the company is fully committed to their growth within the organisation.” While Emaar IT will continue Sahm’s old role of providing IT services to companies in the Emaar Group, it is less certain if it will provide IT services to external clients. In January of this year, Sahm launched its Corporate IT Services division, which offered a range of services, including an Oracle-based e-sustenance centre. “Right now they’re just focusing on the in-house operations and once they’ve got everything settled, I think they’ll look again at all that,” the member of staff said. The home automation and IT services for Emaar properties are understood to be continuing as before and have been unaffected by the transition from Sahm Technologies to Emaar IT. In an interview with IT Weekly earlier this year, Arvind Bhatnagar, the CEO of Sahm Technologies, said the company was very ambitious to develop its status in the services market. “We want to be the first IT company in the region to be a leading IT services provider,” he said at the time (see IT Weekly, 2- 8 April, 2005). At that time Sahm employed around 160 people. A number of staff were transferred over to DIC Telecom when Sahm’s telecoms business was moved to it. This officially happened at the beginning of June this year, although DIC is believed to have actually taken control in April. DIC took over Sahm’s existing premises, and kept the same contact details as before. Sahm had previously been providing tenants within Emaar’s residential developments, such as The Greens and Dubai Marina, with telephony and internet packages. Bhatnagar is understood to be continuing as the CEO of Emaar IT, although he was unavailable last week, being on holiday. The good news for former Sahm staff is that there don’t appear to have been any redundancies as yet. Those remaining Sahm staff that had not been transferred over to DIC are being employed at Emaar IT, or have been found other jobs within the Emaar group, one of them told IT Weekly. “Everybody has helped out,” he said.

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