SAP snatches Saudi deal from 3i Infotech

One of the leading food importers in Saudi Arabia is ditching an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system supplied by 3i Infotech, and replacing it with a system from SAP.

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By  Diana Milne Published  November 27, 2005

One of the leading food importers in Saudi Arabia is ditching an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system supplied by 3i Infotech, and replacing it with a system from SAP. Abbar & Zainy Cold Stores has purchased the mySAP Enterprise Resource Planning solution from SAP, which will be implemented at the firm’s six branches in Saudi Arabia by Sa-tyam Computer Services, in a deal worth more than U$S1 million. The system will replace its existing Orion ERP system, which is 3i Infotech’s flagship business solution. Assad Khalid, finance manager and project manager at Abbar & Zainy, told IT Weekly that the Orion solution no longer met the company’s growing data requirements. “There was a real time lag between getting information from the old system and making decisions,” Khalid said. “Orion served a purpose – it got the employees orientated and well informed. But it did not meet all our requirements,” he added. Kalpesh Desai, chief operating officer of 3i Infotech, EMEA, said the firm was “saddened” by Abbar & Zainy’s decision, but that Abbar & Zainy had been using an outdated version of Orion and did not have a service support contract on it. For Satyam the project is a major win — particularly as the company plans to open an office in Saudi Arabia. Ajith Menon, Satyam’s Middle East director said: “This is an extremely good and very important project for us as it is a full life-cycle implementation.” “We will be 100% responsible for the implementation of mySAP and we will be involved at all stages. We will stay on board right the way through the implementation pr-ocess,” he added. “Saudi Arabia is a very strategic and important market for us — as big as the rest of the Middle East put together,” he said. Abbar & Zainy has three divisions; fruit, frozen food and dairy products, and distributes goods to 8000 customers across Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain. The mySAP system will be implemented at the firm’s branches in Riyadh, Dammam, Khamis, Mashet, Buredah, Makkah and Al-Hassa. It will include sales and distribution, finance and human resources (HR) modules. In the first phase, which will start in January and will last six months, the company’s data will be loaded onto the database. Phase two will start a year later when the system has been streamlined and will see the addition of CRM and business intelligence modules. Khalid said the mySAP system will change the way that the company operates. “We were using an Orion ERP solution and running sales data on SQL-based software which was developed in-house. This meant that we did not have one pool of database but small pools of different databases where information was sometimes duplicated and there was a time lag when getting information,” he added. “We wanted to put all our data online in one database so that we could address these issues and make informed decisions more quickly. mySAP will allow us to access information much more quickly online from one database,” Khalid revealed. “Also it will give us better control over our organisation and we will be able to more easily view and monitor performance,” he went on to say. Desai attributed Abbar & Zainy’s decision to its usage of “an outdated version of an enterprise solution and an incorrect module” being used “combined with the absence of a service support contract.” “In this case, Abbar & Zainy were using an older version of Orion, Orion 7.4, which should they have had an annual maintenance contract with us, would have been upgraded to Orion 10, the latest version of our leading enterprise business solution,” he said.

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