Almasa reveals reasons for selling Cognos business

Company opens up on plans after BI software arm is sold to GBM

Tags: Almasa HoldingsCognos LtdGulf Business Machines
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Almasa reveals reasons for selling Cognos business Guy Rickett says the future focus of Almasa Business Solutions will be on software it develops itself, rather than the sale of third-party international software as the case was with Cognos-led Performance Systems. (ITP Images)
By  Andrew Seymour Published  November 28, 2010

IT group Almasa parted with its Cognos consultancy arm Performance Systems because it had become a less significant aspect of its business and the opportunity arose to sell the operation, the company's management has revealed.

Almasa formed Performance Systems more than six years ago, but it was announced last week that the business and all its assets had been taken over by IBM reseller Gulf Business Machines (GBM).

Dubai-based Almasa, which also runs a US$300m a year IT distribution operation, claims the sale of Performance Systems, which employed around seven people, was "opportunistic" and not part of a wider divestment strategy.

"It is just an isolated sale, it is one of those things," Guy Rickett, managing director of Almasa Business Solutions, told Channel Middle East. "It was good timing for GBM, it was good timing for us and it made financial sense to us. It was a good business and we had been successful at it, but it wasn't perhaps a core part of our future as we see it."

Rickett said Performance Systems was a "profitable" business, but declined to reveal how much it had been sold for.

Although Almasa had previously described Performance Systems as a key part of its future, Rickett revealed the business had been superseded by the success of The Hiring Solutions Company, its recruitment software and services arm, in recent years.

The Hiring Solutions Company is another pillar of the Almasa Business Solutions division that Performance Systems had belonged to.

"In the last three years, The Hiring Solutions Company has expanded at an incredible rate and that has really become the main focus of our business," explained Rickett. "With that business we develop, own and control 100% of the technology and we now have solutions implemented in over 40 countries. That is really our focus for the future."

Rickett confirmed Almasa was working on plans to launch another software development business in the UAE, but said details of the venture wouldn't be disclosed until next year.

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