Mobility key for Gulf SMBs says Etisalat

Mobility and communications solutions can help SMBs overcome challenges of operating in the Gulf says Etisalat VP

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By  Mark Sutton Published  April 30, 2008

Etisalat says that mobility and communications can help small and medium businesses to overcome the increasing challenges of doing business in the Gulf.

Speaking at a conference in Dubai yesterday, Khalifa Al Shamsi, Vice President of Marketing for SMB for Etisalat said that the growing costs, particularly of office space, could be overcome with mobility solutions.

"Small and medium businesses are facing a major challenge - how to grow to continue to meet the industry demand, whilst protecting themselves from over exposure to debt and inflationary costs. Mobility solutions, such as mobile email, managed services and mobile payments are perfect options for companies looking to expand their customer base for the foreseeable future," Al Shamsi said.

In his keynote address, Al Shamsi pointed the role of mobile email solutions, such as BlackBerry, in helping businesses to stay and in touch, and also the greater degree of flexibility that this created in the workspace, for executives on the move. He also stressed on the emerging importance of mobile commerce and payments as a new route to market.

"M-Payment solutions are the latest method for SMBs to reach a global audience. Around the world, consumers are becoming increasingly accustomed to using electronic channels for their purchases, and mobile will become an increasingly important medium due to the proliferation of phones, PDAs and other access technologies," he said.

"We have seen reports that since the beginning of 2007 and in less than a year, more than 500,000 domain addresses with the new ‘.mobi' extension have been sold - this shows that companies are confident about mobile commerce and are developing their strategies with a mobile element. The technology for secure transactions via mobile is here, and the services are now beginning to be introduced to the market," added Al Shamsi.

Al Shamsi also highlighted the role that outsourcing can play in cutting costs for companies, both in terms of IT infrastructure and in qualified personnel.

"Outsourcing is one of the most essential decisions for an SMB to take. The IT department is an expensive drain on resources, and does not necessarily assure of the maximum levels of security. Outsourcing hosting of servers and the negotiation of a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with a qualified service provider can significantly increase the company's productivity and reduce down time."

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