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Oracle reaffirms its commitment to MEA at Connection Point

Husam Dajani, VP and MD of Oracle MEA, has vouched for the software giant’s commitment to the region

The Connection Point conference, a gathering of Oracle end-users from the Middle East and Africa, has kicked off in Dubai. The event is the first of its kind and serves as the Oracle User Application Group’s (OAUG) first foray into the region.

Delivering the keynote address, Husam Dajani, vice president and MD of Oracle MEA used the opportunity to pledge the company’s continued commitment to the Middle East and Africa.

“What I can tell you is, considering what is happening with the economy, we are continuing to invest in this part of the world. We are not bringing down our level of investment or anything, we believe in this market and we believe that this market is continuing to grow regardless of what happens with the economy,” said Dajani in his address.

Dajani went on to point out that Oracle feels there is a lot that can be done with IT and the biggest factor that stops people from growing is the availability of people and resources.

“When the market was booming, one of the things that we suffered here was that it was very difficult to get people to come and immigrate to this part of the world because the costs were extremely high elsewhere. If you consider that India is only a couple of hour’s flight from here, it was actually quite difficult even to get resources from the closet supplier, which is India,” he added.

Dajani also claimed that the one thing which can be taken positively from the state of the economy is that there are now resources and good people available.

The OAUG get-together comes a few weeks after long-time rival SAP held its own user group gathering, SUG-MENA in Bahrain, which was the largest event the German-based company has held in the region.

Mohammed Thameem Rizvon, group IT manager of Kamal Osman Jamjoom, spearheaded the local OAUG organisation and believes Connection Point is very different to SAP’s event.

“SUG-MENA is an initiative where SAP gets involved directly – though I am not very clued up on it – from my understanding SAP runs it,” said Rizvon in an interview before the event.

Rizvon believes that Oracle’s user group is at a very strong advantage because it remains independent: “we define our own agenda and of course Oracle is part of the initiative and they support it, but our objective is to always remain independent,” he said.

The international arm of OAUG is hoping to build up the MEA chapter and hold regular events like Connection Point.

“We have put a lot of different people together to make sure this is happening – this is not a one off event, this is the start of something serious in this region, we would like this to be an annual event,” said Jan Wagner, board member of OAUG in his opening introduction.