View of Data in Real-Time is Changing Business Fundamentals, Say Middle East Company Executives

Business Intelligence Software Growth Accelerated to 13.4 Percent in 2010, According to Gartner

DUBAI, United Arab EmiratesRegional business leaders gathered in Dubai have said that in the moment, real-time data is changing business fundamentals by transforming better , faster operational insight into driven business decisions. Organizations are challenged in connecting their internal and external aggregate of data required to take informed decisions to plan for success.

Both large enterprises and small and medium businesses (SMBs) across the Middle East region are utilizing business analytics technology to solve business challenges, take informed decision by delivering real-time business -critical information to any device by accelerating data access with in-memory computing, instant business analytics in user hands across businesses and social data, creating the agility needed to connect the entire value chain.

“ROI information is now available to management much more quickly and is very accurate and dependable. Sales, stock, and customer KPIs are now available daily, with consolidation at management levels. And this is as early as 7:30 in the morning,” said Shahrukh Dastur, Business Analytics Manager, Majid Al Futtaim Retail LLC.

“In the past, we were compiling our daily information manually, and it would take some three hours, with the SAP BusinessObjects Bi platform, it takes us about 10 to 15 minutes, and it’s completely automated. Distribution of the dashboard is almost instantaneous,” continued Dastur.

Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Retail LLC has succeeded in the retail shopping sector of the Middle East and North Africa to improve on efficiency, the company needed faster and more automated access to analysis of company-wide information. MAF Retail chose the SAP BusinessObjects financial consolidation application and SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence (Bi) solutions to meet its requirements – with the scalability to accommodate further growth, and the latter for their data-handling and analysis functionality.

It used to take EMKE GROUP, whose LuLu brand is one of the largest retail chains in the Gulf region, about 30 minutes to access analytics data. Today, business intelligence is available in a mere 40 milliseconds and is more accurate according to the group.

“A company like EMKE GROUP needs to access all its sales data instantly, to retain a vital edge and enable sustainable growth. This is the solution we need first thing every morning. When we first looked into the SAP applications, we considered the software a luxury. Today, it’s a birthright, there really is no other way for retailers like EMKE GROUP’S lulu to survive without this innovative solution now” said Madhav, CIO, EMKE GROUP.

Madhav says about the foremost benefits the company has realized following the go-live of the SAP software. With up to-the-minute product-specific information delivered in a few clicks, business users once again have a clear perspective of what is going on in the company, obtaining the information they need with speed and accuracy. This includes what products sell well, which store layouts work best, and where and when stock needs to be replenished. With quicker access to information, employees can make critical decisions rapidly and with greater confidence. That all adds up to improving the customer experience, and retaining and increasing market share.

However, the software goes further than just enabling speedier decision making. With a much improved summary of historical data and better quality of search results through greater performance, Emke Group can now build up, drill down, and analyze data properly to help with its strategic planning. In short, the software has become a vital component of both the company’s day-to-day business operations and its business intelligence.

According to a recent Gartner report*: “The global recession that swept the world had a major impact on markets and for a period of time, especially the first half of 2009, paralyzed them. While IT spending overall was negative during that time, the BI market managed to grow 4.2 percent in 2009. In 2010, the global resurgence from stimulus packages, general improvement in the macro-economy and new product releases contributed to a surge in spending. As a result, BI software growth accelerated to 13.4 percent in 2010. As BI spending has far surpassed IT budget growth overall for several years, it is clear that BI continues to be a technology at the center of information-driven initiatives in organizations.”

“When speaking with the region’s leading CIO’s there is energy and enthusiasm for the latest innovative technologies in Business Analytics. Top management and decision makers have changed their strategies by rapidly adopting business analytics to empower them with informed decisions. The SUG-MENA annual conference continues to act as a sounding board for the region’s leading companies to compare and evaluate new technologies and discuss how these can continue to evolve for the benefit of local businesses across a range of vertical sectors,” said Salem Al Angari, President of SUG-MENA.

“We are witnessing a a rapid uptake of companies in the MENA region investing in innovative technologies – in the first quarter of 2011 we saw 44 percent of our revenue derived from business analytics. SAP’s business analytics solutions allow customers to understand the business impact of risks and opportunities, and take coordinated action to events as they’re happening. Our latest innovative Business Analytics solution offerings combined with our global industry leadership expertise enables companies to collaborate and decide better in real time,” said Sam Alkharrat, Managing Director, SAP MENA.

Business Analytics was high on the agenda, alongside mobility and cloud computing, at the three-day SAP User Group Middle East and North Africa (SUG-MENA) conference this week in Dubai which provided a platform for senior IT executives from a wide range of industries to discuss how software solutions can help them proactively adapt to the region’s rapidly evolving economic landscape and support long-term business sustainability. This year SAP also extended an invitation to prospects as well as customers to host a special forum on Business Analytics & Technology to support the increasing regional market interest and demand.

*:April 2011 report issued by Gartner Inc. – “Market Share Analysis: Business Intelligence (BI), Analytics and Performance Management, 2010, Worldwide.”

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