Emirate projects get CRM rollout

Dubai Holding, the umbrella company for some of the emirate’s largest ventures, is rolling out a massive customer relationship management (CRM) system across all of its operations, its senior IT boss revealed to IT Weekly.

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By  Peter Branton Published  September 3, 2005

Dubai Holding, the umbrella company for some of the emirate’s largest ventures, is rolling out a massive customer relationship management (CRM) system across all of its operations, its senior IT boss revealed to IT Weekly. According to Sabri Al-Azazi, chief information officer (CIO) for Dubai Holding, the implementation has already begun and will cover all of Dubai Holding’s businesses by the end of this year. Dubai Holding was formed in October last year to run some of the mega projects that have been created in the emirate over the past five years. These include Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Healthcare City and the Jum-eirah Beach Residence. “This [project] is for CRM across all of Dubai Holiding, you have entities that are dealing with real estate, you have entities that are dealing with services and products, each entity has its own sales people, marketing teams, call centres and so on,” Al-Azazi said. “We are trying to integrate all of that into one system, it is going to be huge system,” he claimed. While the project’s scale is likely to be very large, Dubai Holding’s umbrella approach to IT helps the company make substantial savings on its IT costs, according to Al-Azazi. “You cannot deny that it will reduce expenditure, instead of having multiple systems, you will have one single system. Having a single view of the customer helps the organisation,” he said. “Instead of having resources supporting the same system in different verticals, you have shared resources supporting the same system for all entities.” Al-Azazi declined to say on the record which company Dubai Holding is working with to implement the CRM system, but confirmed that it is one of the leading players in the region, a company that Dubai Holding is already engaged with on enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations. “CRM is a very challenging project, it involves a lot of business processes, mapping and modeling to do,” Al-Azazi said. “Also, it involves a deeper understanding of the customer lifecycle for each business we have: the customer lifecycle of real estate is very different from the customer lifecycle of a service like e-government,” he pointed out. “We’ve already started the implementation and it is going to be completed by the end of the year,” he stated. “We’ve started taking the separate entities and putting in systems and defining processes for each,” he added. Each time the implementation is completed at one entity, that is used as an example for other ventures, which are shown how the system is working, he said. “Each time we deliver a new system, the first project is always the toughest,” Al-Azazi noted. While cost savings are an important part of his role as CIO, Al-Azazi is keen not to stress this too much. “Cost savings is one term that CFOs (chief financial officers) love to hear but at the other end is generating more revenue and helping the company to generate more revenue or at least revenue streams,” he stated.

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