IT Weekly Middle East Newsletter 28th August 2005

Who doesn’t like lists? From the pop charts to our favourite books and films to the rich and famous, lists are everywhere. Well, almost everywhere.

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By  Peter Branton Published  August 28, 2005

The IT Weekly Top 100 Technology Companies|~|Getty-scaredy-billbody.jpg|~|Microsoft is just one of the firms hoping to make it on IT Weekly's list of the Top 100 Technology Companies.|~|Who doesn’t like lists? From the pop charts to our favourite books and films to the rich and famous, lists are everywhere. Well, almost everywhere. One thing we at IT Weekly have found is that there is often a shortage of reliable information about IT companies in the Middle East. Since we want to provide a good service to our readers, then we have decided to rectify that. So, look out for the IT Weekly Top 100 Technology Companies list, the first of what we intend to be an annual tradition. And one we want your help for. The IT Weekly Top 100 Technology Companies list really will do what it says on the tin, as the saying goes. We are going to give you, our readers, an authoritative guide to the leading technology companies in the Middle East. This is not going to be an easy task of course. While global rankings of companies, technology or otherwise, can rely on large levels of market data to help the decision-making process that is not the case in the Middle East. International firms operating here rarely break sales figures down past EMEA level, making it hard to determine what business they are doing in the region. Often, companies are reluctant to even give headcount figures for regional staff. Many local firms are also generally much more coy about their business than is usual in Europe or the US, with firms often reluctant to give out financial information of any kind. When you factor in that many large customers don’t like to be talked about and are reluctant to allow their name to be used as a reference site in the same way that their counterparts overseas might do, and the problem seems even larger. Therefore, IT Weekly is using a variety of methods to calculate the Top 100 Technology Companies for the Middle East. Where figures are available, we will analyse the data. For those companies that we do not have complete figures for, we will attempt to judge their value by comparing them to similar sized organisations. We will also take into account what else is known publicly about companies: how many customers they have, how big these customers are, what major projects they are working on and so on. We will use data compiled from itp.net and from other ITP publications to assist in this. We are also speaking to outside bodies and industry figures about who they think are the key players in the region’s IT industry. By canvassing a wider section of the IT community, we will look to get as many different views as possible. While we are keen to make the list the IT Weekly Middle East Top 100 Technology Companies list, we are not going to ignore a company’s international importance. Some of the big international vendors will shape the IT industry in the region, more or less regardless of how many people they have based here and what their local sales are. Balanced with that, we will look at those companies who have, in our opinion, done the most to promote the development of IT in the region: which companies invest in research and development here, which companies do more for local recruitment, development in Arabic and so on. The selection process for the IT Weekly Top 100 list has already begun, but we are also inviting comment from you, our readers, as to who you think are the key technology companies in the Middle East. Email your comments to itweekly@itp.com and let us know your thoughts. ||**||

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