Fast-Paced Development Poses Saudi Arabian Human Resources Management Challenge

German IT-Giant Highlights Importance of Cutting-Edge Human Capital Management Solutions, Prepares to Ramp up Operations across the Kingdom

RIYADH, Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaAs the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) continues to pursue its epoch-defining development blueprints, increased pressure is being placed on businesses’ ability to effectively deal with human resources challenges.

But while lightning-paced growth has the potential to stretch traditional processes to breaking point, those willing to embrace technology will be well placed to transform challenge into opportunity, according to SAP, the world’s leading business software company.

Speaking at the 4th Annual Kingdom Human assets Expansion Summit in Riyadh, Sohiyb Sakaj, SAP HCM Business Development Manager for the Middle East and North Africa, hailed KSA’s receptivity to the cutting-edge and, in particular, ICT solutions that have the potential to empower a new generation of tech-savvy workers.

KSA has the largest IT market in the Gulf region – expected to be worth US$4.9bn by 2015 – largely driven by a youthful and growing population.

Mobile penetration exceeds 177%, internet penetration is forecast to rise to 66% by 2015 and there is a growing demand for cutting-edge technology such as tablets, which sold 190,000 units last year.

Last December, a survey conducted at SAP Value Academy sessions in Khobar, Riyadh and Jeddah revealed that a staggering 91% of Saudi business leaders identified technology as critical to their company growth strategy.

Such encouraging trends are proving the driving force behind a dramatic reconfiguration of the human resource management landscape.

The SAP ERP Human Capital Management (SAP ERP HCM) solution is a vivid case in point, providing a comprehensive, integrated and fully localized solution for the Saudi market with unmatched global capability.

Central to its draw is an ability to yield the real-time, multi-platform data needed to assemble, manage and inspire a fit-for-purpose workforce.

“SAP is the one right solution to get you where you need to be,” said Sakaj.

“With one competency catalog leveraged by all talent management processes, you can ensure the right skills are in the right place at the right time. Based on one set of employee master data, you can reduce redundant and data – keeping only the right, relevant information. By using one organizational structure to drive workflow, security, and position management, you can ensure that the right people can seamlessly access the right information.”

“One set of consolidated, cross-enterprise analytics enable you to plan, measure, and align objectives, not just within the HR department, but with the overall business strategy – ensuring the right kind of impact to promote growth. With one technology environment, you can reduce maintenance and upgrade efforts – lowering your overall total cost of ownership, while ensuring a compliant environment to meet your organization’s needs locally and globally right now.”

Sakajs’ comments come at a time of strong growth and ambition for SAP, with a recent study by IDC, the premier global market intelligence and advisory firm for the information technology and telecommunications markets, naming it as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region Enterprise Application Software (EAS) vendor front-runner.

Saudi Arabia was identified as the company’s largest market, with a strong showing in the manufacturing, utilities and oil and gas sectors contributing to a healthy 43.5% of all EAS business in the kingdom.

Recent SAP projects of note in KSA include contracts to improve the operational efficiency of entities like Arabian Amines, alfanar , Saudi Arabian Airlines, Mohamed Yousef Naghi Group, Shaqra University, Tasnee Company, National Petrochemical Industries Co. (NATPET), Almarai Company, Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries & Medical Appliances Corporations (SPIMACO), Consolidated Can Manufacturing Company Ltd, Ismail Ali Abdudawood Trading Company (IATCO), along a range of major oil, gas and chemical companies.

During the past twelve months, SAP has also launched a Center of Excellence for Saudi Arabian chemical companies, while King Saud University, King Abdulaziz University, Jabail Industrial College, Yanbu Industrial College, King Fahd University and Shaqra University have signed up for the knowledge and vocation-inspiring SAP University Alliance Program.

Moving forward, SAP’s position in Saudi Arabia is set to move to another level thanks to the 12 March announcement by SAP AG CFO Dr. Werner Brandt of a four-year plan worth US $450 million to up-skill local talent and drive sustainable innovation and growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The plan includes recruiting more than 500 additional employees, opening several new offices and expanding the company’s partner ecosystem and the SAP University Alliances program. Additionally, significant increases will be made in the availability of comprehensive, innovative and localized service offerings.

SAP MENA will also establish a dedicated “Training and Development Institute” that aims to certify 2,000 new consultants within the next four years. This will triple the company’s existing consulting capabilities in the region and further support the localization of SAP solutions to meet fast-growing regional industry needs.

About SAP
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes andindustries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device- SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 183,000 customers (includes customers from the acquisition of Sybase) to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit

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