SAP seals Saudi Electricity deal

Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is implementing a massive IT project to overhaul its systems after signing a multi- million dollar deal with software giant SAP.

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By  Diana Milne Published  October 30, 2005

Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is implementing a massive IT project to overhaul its systems after signing a multi- million dollar deal with software giant SAP. The three-year project will see SAP solutions deployed acr- oss SEC, including customer relationship management (CRM) systems, financial packages, logistics and human resources (HR) modules. The deal was announced by SAP as one of a number of big projects it has won in the region, including ETA-Ascon, Gulf News, EMKE Group, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group and Al Futtaim Dubai Festival City. For SAP and its business partner, SAP Arabia, the SEC deal is the jewel in the crown however. An SAP executive described it as the result of over two years hard work to finally land the contract, which has been a protracted process. The first phase, which is expected to be completed next year, includes financials and HR modules. The second phase, which should be delivered in 2007, will include logistics; with the third phase due in 2008, which will cover customer services and distribution. Overall the deal will be expected to produce greater efficiency of internal systems, improved customer service and better control over assets at SEC, SAP Arabia execu- tives said. SEC was not available for comment on the project as IT Weekly went to press last week. The energy giant, which provides electricity for the entire Kingdom, was formed in 2000 after the merger of 18 regional electricity organisations. Saudi Arabia has one of the largest per capita electricity consumption rates in the world and it is hoped that the partnership of SEC with SAP will help to support the Kingdom’s ambitious industrialisation plans and the country’s growing population. For SAP, the SEC deal adds another prestigious client to its roster, which already includes Aramco, one of the largest single-instance enterprise resou-rce planning (ERP) implementations in the world. In the region it now has 70-plus customers, including more than 30 in Saudi. Other customers in the Kingdom include SABIC, Almarai and Al Faisaliah Group. “Our regional growth reflects our strong delivery, our unwavering customer focus and passion to make SAP stand out in the industry,” said Essam Enany, president of SAP Arabia, in a statement announcing the SEC win. “Our advantage is that we provide customers with fully integrated suites of solutions that link front-office and collaborative applications with key bu-siness processes, costing users less in the long run,” he added. The deal can also be seen as a blow for SAP’s main competitor in the region, Oracle, which also sees Saudi as a key market. Oracle has signed deals with the country’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation, the Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Corporation and the Riyadh based Al Khorayef Group. Ayman Abouseif, managing director for Oracle’s GCC operations, said that while some of the regional organisations that have been merged to form SEC were using Oracle applications, the company has not seen any of its software removed as a result of the SEC deal. “Yes, this is a big win for SAP, but I would point out that Oracle has 750 customers in the region, SAP is talking about 70,” he said. “They do have some big accounts but they are very limited in their reach here, both in terms of geography and industry sector,” he stated. One of the other regional wins highlighted by SAP was its sele- ction by the ETA-Ascon and ETA Star group conglomerate for its technology platform.

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