ESAG rolls out SAP ERP across group

UAE business house the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group (ESAG) is rolling out an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system from SAP across most of the companies in the group to help strengthen their links.

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By  Dylan Bowman Published  June 25, 2006

UAE business house the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group (ESAG) is rolling out an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system from SAP across most of the companies in the group to help strengthen their links. The manufacturing and retail group, with the help of implementation partner Caritor, is installing the finance, sales and distribution, project systems, customer service, human resources and payroll modules of the mySAP ERP system in 18 of its 22 companies. Executives at ESAG said the rollout, which is expected to take 18 months, would consolidate and upgrade its IT services, unify business practices across the group, strengthen internal controls and give managers much quicker access to information. “The implementation gives us a fantastic opportunity to improve our way of working and the other thing is it forces systems into the organisation that may have been different in different companies but now will be running parallel across the whole organisation and that was something that was missing,” said Samrat Bakht Jeyaseelan, general manager, ESAG group. “There were so many different companies and each had its own operations and own way of working and its own systems. Now, more or less, there will be a uniformity and this will help to bring all the information together in the same way,” he added. To run the new ERP system, the group has also installed IBM B-Series servers and a Tivoli storage solution with a DB2 database on an Advanced Interactive Executive (AIX) platform, supported by Cisco Systems active components and security firewall. The new infrastructure replaces legacy Sun and Oracle systems. So far six companies have gone live with the system and a further six will be up and running on the software by August. Jeyaseelan declined to disclose the total cost of the project, but said it would be in the range of “several millions of dollars”. The project was launched last August and this February of this year a pilot implementation of mySAP was carried out at Scientechnic, one of the largest companies within the group. Subsequent implementations were then carried out at Al Gurg Building Services, Gulf Engineering Industry, Better Life, OFIS and Interiors. In total 31 people, 20 from ESAG and 11 from Caritor are working on the implementation. “For the first implementation we chose just one of our companies. We decided first we should test it and if the implementation went well then we will roll it over to the other companies. The first trial run started in February and it went very well. It was a great achievement,” Jeyaseelan claimed. Caritor Middle East business development vice president Ravi Mahalingam said in a statement: “We are glad that we are able to help in the transition of ESAG’s IT application infrastr- ucture seamlessly from their legacy systems to SAP across multiple companies in a phased manner.” The customer win comes at a good time for SAP’s Middle East operation following criticism from SAP’s global CEO Henning Kagermann at the company’s annual Sapphire user event last month (see IT Weekly 17 – 23 June 2006). Kagermann said then that business in the area was “not perfect”. In response to that criticism, SAP Arabia — SAP’s regional business partner — told IT Weekly that it was looking to increase resources and strengthen its organisation here. SAP has won a number of customers in the region in the past year or so, including Sara Group — the company which runs Paris Gallery in Saudi Arabia — Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and Co-op Islami.

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