3i Solution in no mood to relax

3i Solution has carved out a reputation as one of the leading infrastructure providers in the Saudi channel, developing an expertise in building, designing and implementing infrastructure solutions for enterprise organisations.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  April 27, 2008

3i Solution has carved out a reputation as one of the leading infrastructure providers in the Saudi channel, developing an expertise in building, designing and implementing infrastructure solutions for enterprise organisations.

Its focus for the rest of the year is very much on stamping its authority on a local market enjoying explosive growth.

3i Solution prides itself on being able to provide the full works when it comes to meeting a customer's infrastructure needs, whether it's implementing more conventional cabling and switching equipment or high-end datacentres and the latest enterprise servers.

With 16 years' experience in the field, the company can certainly claim to know what corporate customers want when it comes to complex IT deployments.

Its work in the healthcare sector - private rather than government - has seen it win projects with a number of clients, including Jeddah National Hospitals, where it delivered a state of the art data centre based on Sun Microsystems servers.

It also operates in the hospitality and oil and gas verticals, while its exploits in the finance sector have resulted in major implementations at the National Commercial Bank and Riyadh Bank among others.

The burgeoning growth of the real estate and construction sector is now encouraging the firm to aggressively focus on this market and initiate talks with international building management systems (BMS) suppliers.

"We find that there is a lack of resources on building management systems, which control all the facilities inside the buildings," explained Naser Kanan, deputy general manager at 3i Solution.

"We are building these on IT so we have to find a BMS that will interface with the IT. There is a real boom happening with real estate and construction in Saudi Arabia. There are a lot of smart buildings being developed and these require the very latest technology, which is why we are engaging with the contractors and looking at what can be deployed."

The pace of transformation in the overall Saudi market is reflected by 3i's recent internal growth.

More than 75 employees now work for the company, and around 30 of those have been brought on board during the past 18 months. With the company heavily involved in many enterprise-level projects, the need for new staff in sales, pre-sales and technical functions is as prominent as ever.

Kanan also calls on vendors to demonstrate their commitment to the Saudi market with concrete actions. "The most important thing is that they have a solid presence, rather than running the business remotely," he declared.

"This market needs somebody here; it cannot be handled by one or two guys. Stocking is also important - do they have the stock in country that will allow us to execute a project in the required timeframe? Sometimes it takes 10 to 12 weeks for stock to be delivered. And if there are customs issues then it can take 14 to 16 weeks. Vendors need to know that if they can't deliver they will lose the opportunity because the market won't wait. Their quotation will be accepted, but they won't make the shortlist. But if they can stock and provide the service we need then they will be my preferred partner."

3i has its headquarters and a branch office in Jeddah, as well as a separate office in Riyadh.

Outside of its homeland, the company also boasts an operation in Dubai. And it is adamant that the UAE is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to its Middle East strategy.

"Part of our vision is that we are going to expand into Jordan and Egypt, as well as Lebanon when the situation has settled down," revealed Kanan.

Even if those plans don't bear fruit in the immediate future, it seems the company has enough on its plate to keep it occupied in Saudi for a long while yet.

3i Solution


PO Box 15600, Jeddah 21454, Saudi Arabia


Tel (+966) 2284 1909

Fax (+966) 2665 5986

Headcount: 75

Vendor partners:

Avaya, Cisco, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Nortel, Oracle, Sun Microsystems

Market focus:

With customers in the banking, healthcare, hospitality, oil and gas, and real estate sectors, 3i boasts strong vertical expertise and proven systems integration skills. Alliances with vendors such as Cisco and HP endorse its offering, and go some way to explaining the fivefold growth it has achieved in recent years.



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