CNS redefines business blueprint

Looking back over the development of systems integrator Computer Network Systems, it's clear that the company has ascended a series of steps, each bringing a new level of sophistication and direction to its operations. Now the company is preparing to climb another rung of the ladder by turning its attention to managed services and outsourcing.

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By  Julian Pletts Published  March 11, 2008

Looking back over the development of systems integrator Computer Network Systems, it's clear that the company has ascended a series of steps, each bringing a new level of sophistication and direction to its operations. Now the company is preparing to climb another rung of the ladder by turning its attention to managed services and outsourcing.

"For the past 20 years we have been evolving with our customers and now we have developed to offer the managed services that we can today," explained Tony Alam, managing director at CNS - a systems integrator that has had a somewhat chameleonic history -about where it is now heading in the UAE IT market.

Over its two decades in business the company has turned its hand to digital minis and digital mainframes, worked single vendor support and distributed computing support and network personal computing.

And now, the firm has finally arrived, with some conviction if Alam is to be believed, at the decision of offering managed services and outsourcing. According to CNS this decision was not taken lightly.

The company cites four distinct IT trends that have precipitated this move, including the growing importance that IT now plays in the infrastructure of most companies' operations.

CNS also points at the greater complexity of technologies, leading to the call for more systems integrators capable of offering clients sophisticated services. And perhaps most controversially, CNS claims that there is a significant lack of reliable integration partners operating in the UAE.

"Our solutions are not based on the products. Our products are based on our customers' IT requirements so in the past when we have presented to a customer we have offered them multiple products," said Alam.

This is how, according to CNS, it managed to grow its sales more than 35% to almost US$70m last year. It is perhaps to complement this success and the corporate image the company is attempting to develop that it is preparing to leave its current office location in the Karama area of Dubai and relocate to the more glamorous Silicon Oasis Park.

"Dubai Silicon Oasis has the corporate image that we are trying to project and it is really the technology area that will pronounce the CNS operation in Dubai," declared Alam.

CNS is also looking to increase its headcount by almost 50 people as part of its push towards managed services.

"We are making a big and important change and development in our company. We are moving from infrastructure software and network and data servers, which is the old CNS," explained Alam.

"Managed services are vital today because companies do not have enough time to implement new systems so they can come to us to use our resources and we are able to provide them with resources on site or remotely."

The company also reveals that an increased focus on services is not the extent of its ambitions, adding that it is looking to acquire a company in Saudi Arabia and make a move into the Middle East's largest market.

There are also faint hints that CNS has designs to take its business to other global markets.

Whether or not such ambitions come to pass, Alam is certain that CNS' approach to systems integration drives its success.

"When it comes to integration there are computer companies that lack certain expertise," said Alam.

"Some you may find are very strong in storage or in software. Customers are really looking for someone who is willing to talk infrastructure and have all the parts glued together strongly to provide the full integrated package."

"Today you will find somebody selling network and ERP but they do not have the infrastructure software and network management expertise. So we are working hard to cover that one."

CNS

Address

Al Khaleej Building, 1st floor, Office 101, PO Box 52137, Dubai, UAE

Contact

Tel (+971) 337 8822

Fax (+971) 337 4753

Headcount

250

Vendor partners

Microsoft, HP, Cisco, Oracle

Market focus

Computer Network System is an established systems integrator that currently harbours plans to shift its focus from applications and professional services to managed services and outsourcing. The company, which also intends to target the Saudi market, counts the UAE government as its largest client.

Website

www.cns-me.com

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