MID EAST ADOPTS CORPORATE CULTUREB2B EXCHANGES VALUABLE ALLIANCE PARTNERS FOR REGIONAL GROUPS, SAYS
Added: (Tue Mar 27 2001)
Pressbox (Press Release) -
MID EAST ADOPTS CORPORATE CULTURE
B2B EXCHANGES VALUABLE ALLIANCE PARTNERS FOR REGIONAL GROUPS, SAYS SAMBA E-COMMERCE CHIEF
As the Middle East market place becomes more sophisticated greater B2B opportunities will emerge in the region. However the learning curve is steep and it could be up to five years before Gulf corporates put in place the required building blocks to seize them, according to Sagheer Mufti, General Manager, Head of Operations/Technology and E-commerce, Saudi American Bank (SAMBA).
"Corporate culture is becoming firmly entrenched in today’s Middle East and a sophisticated market place exists," said Mufti. "B2B exchanges can be valuable alliance partners for these corporates, so we envisage B2B opportunities and growth throughout the region."
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But Mufti points out that a large number of Middle East corporations, especially medium-sized companies and some large corporates, also do not yet have the enterprise resource planner (ERP) platforms needed to realize e-commerce opportunities.
"Large organizations in the Middle East should scale their back-end automation first," he said. "The next step is to invest in the e-procurement infrastructure to enable them to purchase on-line.
"A minimum of five years is needed to achieve this level of maturity in the region. However experience in other parts of the world has shown that if the SME sector realizes the benefits, they will move faster than most forecasts indicate."
Mufti was speaking in advance of ABTEC 2001 - the First Arab E-Banking & E-Security Summit being held at the Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai on April 8 and 9. It is being organized by the Arab Bankers Association (ABA) in partnership with www.sheikhmohammed.co.ae
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Mufti is to join a first-day bankers’ roundtable at the summit, which is aimed at setting regional benchmark standards for security and e-banking. He will deliver a presentation - ‘B2B Exchanges: Hype or Reality’ - aimed at establishing regional e-commerce progress.
The SAMBA E-commerce chief said various factors will impact the success of online exchanges, including liquidity and funding stability.
"To achieve the desired liquidity and transaction volumes, the exchange founders should have real commitment to e-procure and have the power to influence large corporations and government agencies to also e-procure. Funding of operating expenses is also an important factor in exchange stability. The revenue stream model should be able to fund the operations with capital sufficient enough for the first four years," said Mufti.
He added that SAMBA saw three key e-commerce opportunities for regional banks; providing e-payment settlement solutions for e-trading communities; utilizing e-commerce for internal needs and to support client on-line transactions.
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More than 250 Arab, Islamic and international bankers are expected at the summit, which comprises a probing e-banking conference, technology seminars and a 600 square meter exhibition, with a unique Hacker & Virus cave.
"No bank can ignore the onset of e-commerce and ABTEC 2001 will address the regional successes, shortcomings and requirements to adopt the technology while satisfying shareholder and client security requirements," said Douglas Mellor of International Transmedia Limited, which is facilitating ABTEC on the ABA’s behalf.
"ABTEC is unique in as much as it is the first time the banking industry has gathered to establish a regional framework for the advancement of e-security benchmarking. The Middle East is setting an example which could quickly be taken up by other geographic regions."
For further information: Barbara Saunders, MCS – Marketing Communications Services, PO Box 20970, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Tel: + 9714 3452126; fax: + 9714 3460926
Or visit ABTEC 2001 online at: www.abtec-summit.com