Strategic IT Investments Critical in the “New Reality”, Middle East Executives Told

President of SAP EMEA Speaks to Region’s Business Leaders at SUG-MENA 2009 in Bahrain

Manama, Kingdom of BahrainCompanies in the Middle East are facing a “new reality” as changes in the global economy impact the local business landscape, and strategic IT investments will play an instrumental role in the future success of the region, according to SAP executives.

Speaking at SUG-MENA in Bahrain, José Duarte, President of SAP EMEA, said that the volatility of the global financial markets has led to an unprecedented business reality, including margin and liquidity pressure, intensified competition and fickle credit markets. The question facing Middle East organizations, claims Duarte, is how to identify and capture opportunities to stay ahead and continue to establish the region as a centre for advancement.

“The impressive number of registrations for this year’s SUG-MENA conference illustrates the importance placed on IT as an enabler of both immediate gain and long-term sustainability. The changing role of IT amid the economic downturn has been the hot discussion topic for IT CIOs and executives attending,” states Salem Al Angari, President of SUG-MENA.

As the trusted technology partner in the region, SAP is collaborating closely with its customers to make strategic investments that will not only protect their businesses today, but also position them for future success. This means using SAP’s extensive industry and solutions expertise to help organizations manage cash, drive compliance, run lean operations and retain top talent.

“Every economic downturn provides opportunity, and technology is the prime means of fostering the innovation, efficiency and competitive advantage needed to seize those opportunities. The key is being absolutely clear about the priorities of the business and investing accordingly. These areas should include business intelligence, operational and process excellence and non-disruptive innovation,” said José Duarte, President of SAP EMEA.

The SAP User Group – Middle East & North Africa (SUG-MENA) is holding its annual conference and vendor fair, SUG-MENA 2009, at the Crowne Plaza Convention Center, in Manama, Bahrain. The conference provides a common ground for senior IT executives from across the Middle East to discuss the challenges of managing the changing role of IT and interact with other SAP users.

“MENA continues to be a unique and fascinating region for SAP and SUG-MENA is the ideal platform to interact with customers and listen to their opinions and challenges,” added said José Duarte, during his keynote at SUG-MENA 2009. “I have had many conversations with customers who recognize the need to invest for the future and are looking to SAP to lead the way, in spite or even because of the current economic uncertainty. Once again, businesses in this region are demonstrating their ambition and foresight and are leading by example.”

SUG-MENA conferences strive to provide rich and diverse content, with the aim of capturing the interests of SAP users, and incorporating suggestions and recommendations from attending members. The event provides an unmatched opportunity for SAP customers to attend demos, specific presentations, and interact with SAP experts on a one-to-one basis.

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SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software(*), offering applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. With more than 82,000 customers in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol “SAP.” For more information, visit

(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning and related applications.

SAP User Group-Middle East & North Africa (SUG-MENA) is a non-profit organization in the business of promoting effective use of SAP, while bringing together its various users from the Middle East and North African region, to share experiences and exchange solutions. SUG-MENA’s events and efforts are also aimed at providing a communication medium that allows SAP users within the region to effectively and collectively communicate with SAP. To learn more about SUG-MENA visit

In May 2008, SUGMENA achieved another milestone with an induction into the SAP Users Group Enterprise Network (SUGEN). SUGEN is a global entity representing a number of certified User Groups from across the world, that interact with SAP executives to address issues and requirements at a global level.

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