GOIC unveils industrial services portal

The Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) has migrated its masses of data to the web and provided an easy- to-use portal for portal for investors, researchers and industrialists wishing to access its databases.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  August 26, 2004

|~|Fahd-Al-Mulhimgoic.jpg|~|Fahad Abdulla Al-Mulhim, director for the industrial market intelligence, GOIC. |~|The Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) has unveiled an industrial market intelligence (IMI) services portal for investors, researchers and industrialists. Available in both Arabic and English, the site offers data and analytical content, as well as statistics, indicators, reports and customised information services. GOIC hopes the portal will improve co-ordination in industrial development between the six Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) state members — UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait. “We are trying to add value by transforming the data into information and helping decision makers take calculated and informed decisions. For the first time we are trying to provide information, in a region where the lack of it is a problem. [The objective] is to provide a single source of information for business opportunities,” says Fahad Abdulla Al-Mulhim, director for the industrial market intelligence, GOIC. In the last four years, GOIC claims to have received over 10,000 e-mail and telephone enquiries. This growing interest inspired the organisation to embark on its two-year project to centralise its disparate information on the internet. Developed by Gulf Business Machines (GBM), the portal is built on IBM’s Websphere suite of middleware products. Serving as the content management system for the GOIC IMI portal, it helps manage the information, six databases and inquiry services. For instance, the Gulf industrial database provides information on more than 8000 operational and 3000 licensed factories in GCC state members. The foreign trade database contains data on imports, exports and re-exports across nine different sectors for the GCC. Other databases include socio-economic information, investment opportunities in the GCC region and a technology provider database that offers contact details, descriptions and applications of new technologies. The information for all these databases is sourced from government licensing bodies and captured by various GCC government ministries. Other sources include media, surveys, statistics bureaus and archives maintained by GOIC’s research team for the past 26 years. “The IBM technology allows users to access the data they [users] need without tying up GOIC resources in servicing basic inquiries, allowing our staff to focus on adding more intellectual value. The technology allows our customers to access information in a way that’s most convenient to them, over the internet or from their handhelds. It also allows us to add new ways to access our information without having to invest more in core infrastructure,” says GOIC secretary general H.E. Mohamed Ali Al Musallam. “All the databases are now seamlessly interlinked. Users can drill down for more information and even do comparative analysis across any sector between the GCC markets and the rest of the world,” adds Al Mulhim. The Qatar hosted Goic.org.qa portal provides responses to incoming queries based on a flat fee. Once a user selects the required information, they can submit an e-mail inquiry through the GOIC portal and pay via credit card, cheque or transfer. Upon receiving an e-mail confirming that the request has been processed, the user can then download the report in a standard spreadsheet format. Annual subscription for all the six databases is available for up to US$2000. Users can also opt for individual databases for an access fee of US$200 to US$700 per year. “In the long run, any information outside the GCC that will enhance our services and reach will be included. We are also working on four new databases, which will be integrated into our portal by next year,” says Mulhim. ||**||

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