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Elite sees systems management boom

Elite Computer Solutions says that the enterprise systems management business is booming as IT becomes more critical to KSA companies' operations.

Enterprise systems management is starting to boom in Saudi Arabia if the experience of Elite Computer Solutionsis anything to go by. The company has seen turnover grow to SR 22 million in 2000 from SR 4.9 million in 1998, its first year of operation. Turnover of SR 45 million is being targeted for 2001.

What Elite provides is software that allows companies to get better control over their IT systems, so that they can reduce system downtime. This is a task that’s becoming all the more difficult as companies grow and IT systems become more complex, according to Musa Eid, Elite’s sales & business development manager.

“As organisations get bigger, the challenge is to maintain a level of service,” says Eid. “People expect a solution to problems in no time.”

The more competitive nature of business and the arrival of the Internet are also changing the rules. A few years back, Eid says, a few hours of IT downtime might have been manageable. Not so now. “A few minutes of downtime means dollars lost,” says Eid.

Elite represents a number of international systems and security management brands, including BMC Software, Internet Security Systems (ISS), Peregrine and Baltimore. Each brand is considered to be ‘best of breed’ in its particular field, such as Peregrine for infrastructure resource management and ISS for security management.

The company’s approach to the market is to hold workshops with customers at which their needs are defined. An appropriate solution can then be put together from the vendors that Elite represents. Eid says that Elite has invested significantly in the skills of its product implementation team and adds that end user training is an integral part of the Elite service.

The company’s latest initiative is the development of a helpdesk service, which will aim to provide clients with instant resolution of common problems. Service level agreements providing minimum guaranteed response times and problem solution times are likely to be part of the offering. An October launch is expected.

Systems management was long considered a luxury by IT departments, which were spending merely to build up infrastructure. Now that many application and platform decisions have been made, companies are looking more and more at how to manage and optimise those systems. This is where Elite comes in.

“Systems management used to be an optional sort of solution,” says Eid. “But now companies are relying on their applications and systems more and more.” A customer list that includes half a dozen major KSA banks, SCECO and Aramco is evidence of that.

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