Sara Group picks SAP ERP solution

Sara Group — the company which runs Paris Gallery in Saudi Arabia — is to replace the JD Edwards enterprise resource planning (ERP) system it has used for five years with a solution from rival firm SAP, citing concerns over Oracle’s take- over of JD Edwards as a factor in its decision.

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By  Diana Milne Published  April 23, 2006

Sara Group — the company which runs Paris Gallery in Saudi Arabia — is to replace the JD Edwards enterprise resource planning (ERP) system it has used for five years with a solution from rival firm SAP, citing concerns over Oracle’s take- over of JD Edwards as a factor in its decision. The group, which is owned jointly by two UAE families that also own Al Fahim Enterprises Group, plans to implement the mySAP and SAP Retail solutions across its operations in a multi-million dollar two-year project. Sara Group is replacing JD Edwards so that the two groups can deploy a unified solution across their enterprises — 25 Paris Gallery stores in the UAE, four in Saudi Arabia and two in Qatar as well as two distribution businesses and additional retail franchises. However, the IT manager for Sara Group said uncertainty over the long-term future of the JD Edwards solution had also affected its decision. “The relationship between Oracle and existing JD Edwards business partners, and the frequent mergers of PeopleSoft with JD Edwards and then Oracle/JD Edwards in relatively short periods were not really good indicators to me as a customer, but were more like red alarms that internal issues within the merging companies will affect the level of customer service and technology development within the newly created body at least for some time,” Sherif Sadek, IT manager for the Sara Group told IT Weekly. Oracle said this concern was unfounded. “Oracle would like to reiterate the commitment made to existing JD Edwards customers and it continues to protect and increase the value of Oracle JD Edwards customer investments who are amongst the most satisfied customers in this region, like the Al Tayer Group, Majid Al Futtaim, Arenco, Dulsco and Milco,” said Dana Murugan, senior marketing director at Oracle Middle East & Africa, in a statement. “Oracle also recently announ ced a major release of Oracle JD Edwards World Suite in 2007 and has promised the same levels of support until 2013, and ongoing quality services and consultation to existing Oracle JD Edwards customers,” the statement went on to say. Abdullah Thabit, manageme nt information systems (MIS) manager at Al Fahim Enterprises Group said another reason behind the decision to replace the JD Edwards solution was because the company did not feel it was tailored sufficiently for the retail industry. “It was strong enough but since we are going to have a unified solution we felt that SAP was a better option,” he said. Al Fahim Enterprises Group and the Sara Group are implementing the mySAP ERP, supply chain management, business intelligence, enterprise portal, CRM project management and system management modules in three phases. The first phase will be the implementation of MySAP ERP, supply chain management, with forecasting and replenishment engine plus business intelligence and the enterprise portal. In the second phase the project system and marketing, analytics and Master Data elements of the CRM module will be implemented. The final phase will involve the implementation of the warehouse management units as well as the sales element of the CRM module. Oracle said last week it has not been formally informed of any change to the JD Edwards solution, which is currently running in the Sara Group. “Oracle continues to lead the enterprise software market in the region, compared to minimal market share of other players,” Muragan said. “Oracle has had 200 enterprise customer wins in this fiscal year alone, whereas our largest competitor has very few customers in the region and has been hyping these in order to remind the market of their weak presence in the Middle East.”

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