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Concept and content by Akshay Bhatnagar A. Harikumar Susmita De Ghalib Abdullah Mohammed Fahmi Rajab Product Manager Shivkumar Art Directors Sandesh S. Rangnekar Minaal G. Pednekar Design M. Balagopalan Khoula Rashid Al Wahaibi Production Manager Govindraj Ramesh Photography Rajesh Burman Sathyadas C. Narayanan CORPORATE Chief Executive Sandeep Sehgal Executive Vice President Alpana Roy Vice President Ravi Raman Senior Business Support Executive Radha Kumar Translator Mustafa Kamal

Published by United Press & Publishing LLC PO Box 3305, Ruwi, Postal Code - 112 Muscat, Sultanate of Oman Tel (968) 24700896 Fax (968) 24707939 Email: akshay@umsoman.com All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The publisher does not accept responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person or organisation acting or refraining as a result of material in this publication. OER accepts no responsibility for all advertising contents.

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Time for optimism Industries across the globe have buckled under the pressure of recession or economic slowdown. GCC is no exception. But the story of ICT sector in Oman is different as it remained much less affected by such impact. All IT projects planned in Oman’s annual budgets from 2005 to 2010, have progressed on schedule and the sector is doing well. A quick glance at the ICT sector will reveal that the telecom landscape has undergone a paradigm shift. From a monopolist market, Oman’s telecom market currently enjoys multiple players in different segments and consumers are not complaining as prices are plummeting in a competitive environment. Innovation is the watchword for both Nawras and Omantel. Nawras is now working on building a ‘next generation network’ based on 4G technology over existing radio networks, providing fixed broadband access to customers. It is building the new generation fibre optic backbone and WiMAX wireless access networks across the Sultanate. The company is expected to give further fillip to the rapid growth of broadband Internet in Oman with the launch of its fixed line services. Omantel has recently introduced Fibre to the Home (FTTH) technology in Oman to provide the fastest and most comprehensive range of Internet applications. For the first time, the advanced Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology, which is required for installing FTTH, is introduced to the Omani market. In early 2009, Oman Mobile launched 3.5G to offer wireless broadband services to corporate subscribers and individuals at homes or on the go. According to World Economic Forum’s Annual Global IT report 2009-10, Oman was ranked 50th out of 133 countries on ‘Networked Readiness Index’. Development of IT sector lies at the core of the Sultanate’s economic diversification plan and Oman has shown good progress in the sector. Information Technology Authority's (ITA) role is undeniable in this regard. Within a very short span of time, ITA has facilitated a number of important initiatives such as e-payment gateway, e-purse and e-transactions, etc which are bringing new approaches to the way business is conducted today. E-learning is contributing to the cause of Omanisation in a significant way. Comex 2010, one of the largest IT, telecom and consumer electronics events in the region, could not have happened at a more opportune moment. Celebrating its 20th successive year, Comex is here to provide new business opportunities to the ICT industry in the B2B and B2C segments and build up a digital Oman by encouraging innovation, creating synergy and driving development through collaboration and application. This issue of Comex Special OER Dossier highlights major developments in the ICT sector, analyses current trends, new technologies and showcases the views of the industry experts.

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OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special 1

CONTE NTS

4

An act of empowerment An overview of the growing IT sector of Oman

OPINIONS

10 Exponential curve The changing telecom landscape 22 VOIP telephony Its future in Oman 28 Comex 2010 Emerging opportunities

14 Innovative solutions Ahmad El Dandachi, Country manager, Microsoft

26 Safety first Suhail Farooqui, CEO, Al Alawi & Co,

30 Hot Gadgets

SPONSORED FEATURES

34 Microsoft Oman 36 New Horizons Computer Learning center 36 Kalsoft LLC 37 Exceed IT Services 37 IITC 2 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

38 40 41 42 43 44

Link Development Faraas Trading Gulf Cybertech Gulf IT Hi Tech LLC Majees Technical Services LLC

45 OCS Infotech 46 Omaniya E-Commerce 47 Majees Technical Services Fire fighting Division 48 Tawoos Power & Telecom

IT OV E RV IE W

An act of empowerment The performance of the government of Oman in the IT space is admirable, especially in the spheres of education and business

Location Courtesy: Nawras

D

evelopment of IT sector lies at the core of the Sultanate’s economic diversification plan. Both the government and the private sector were involved in the process to elevate the technology industry throughout the region over the past decade.

A slice of history The IT industry in Oman took off in mid 80’s when Microsoft and IBM brought in personal computers to the Sultanate. Prior to that, in the late 70’s and early 80’s, the progress 4 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

was somewhat sluggish. The Government of Oman took a very serious note of the role of IT in its overall development and has carved out a plan, in keeping with the broad objectives of Vision 2020 – the government’s 25-year programme launched in 1995. This was geared towards developing the country’s human capital and expanding the information and technology sector, upgrading national infrastructure, resulting in a diversified economy with a vibrant private sector leading to a sound economic development.

It was in 1997 that the state telecommunications company began offering internet connections to consumers in Oman, though take-up was rather slow. In 2006, the government established a new industry regulator, the Information Technology Authority (ITA). For empowering people within the digital society, the broad spectrum of the organization's responsibilities included infrastructure upgrades, increasing internet penetration, encouraging ICT business innovation and eventually installing PCs in homes and schools.

IT OV E RV IE W

IT spending The total IT spending in Oman in 2009 was $309 million, according to estimates by market experts, half of which was spent on hardware. With a growing economy and crude oil prices stabilising at around $70-80 per barrel, the future of IT looks bright in the coming years. “It is expected that the IT market is going to witness a YoY compounded growth of 5% till 2014,” said the head of one of the largest IT companies in Oman. Apart from ongoing demand in oil and gas sector, verticals like telecoms, financial services and aviation are likely to generate good amount of IT spending. The focus areas for IT investment in the oil and gas are likely to be manufacturing execution systems, ERP financials, ERP human capital management and supply chain analytics. Financial services in general and banking in particular are the next major thrust areas in IT investment. Construction is another industry for the growth of IT where technology is a crucial factor in the sustainable development of buildings, infrastructure and transportation facilities. Real estate is another sector where Omani 6 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

developers and sales organizations look to capture customer data.

Vertical mobility According to World Economic Forum’s Annual Global IT report 2009-10, Oman was ranked 50th out of 133 countries on ‘Networked Readiness Index’. The report notes that the Sultanate has established a secure infrastructure and national IT training and capacity building base, and specifically mentions the launch of the official eGovernment Services Portal. A spokesperson for the Information Technology Authority (ITA) said, “Oman has vastly improved its overall Government Readiness Index to the 19th rank, up by 20 points from last year. This is due to the Omani government’s prioritisation of ICT, in addition to its efforts in procuring advanced technology products for its IT systems.” Oman has also shown good progress on areas like intellectual property protection, mobile penetration, etc. This was made possible as result of the

effective implementation of the ‘National Strategy for Digital Oman & e-Government’ that was unveiled in 2002 to lay the foundation for a Knowledge Society in Oman. More job avenues are created for Omani youth through eOman. The Information Technology Authority (ITA) is providing eGovernment services to individuals and businesses in Oman by establishing knowledge-based industries. Within a very short span of time, ITA has facilitated a number of important initiatives such as e-payment gateway, e-purse and e-transactions etc which are bringing new approaches to the way business is conducted today. Apart from these, ITA is working on a number of key programmes simultaneously. The National PC Initiative targeted at college and university students is one of the priority areas for ITA. The programme will contribute to the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) sector enhancement. The focus will be to strengthen the abilities of the students to own a computer and to facilitate

IT OV E RV IE W

their use of the supporting programmes of the educational process. The initiative will be directed in the first stage towards strengthening the capacity of teachers in public and private schools who have graduation certificates from the training project for civil servants. In addition to working with the concerned authorities to make the Internet easily available in university, ITA will support students with tools and software to help in their learning.

Online business picking up The e-commerce revolution in Oman is making an upward move steadily over the past couple of years. Businesses are operating online and customers have started trusting the cyber world.

via their National ID and/or Residents Cards in a safe and secure manner. Security issues aside, the retailing component of e commerce in Oman is certainly seeing a new growth phase. Online retailing has its own set of advantages – time saving and economical being the key words. Sites like Omanbay have slowly been springing up wherein people auction/sell wares via a secure e-platform quite a deal, considering the hassle involved in running around in stores and standing in never-ending checkout queues. Consumers, domestic and international, have started recognizing the convenience of shopping online.

B2B and B2C

Banking, retailing, trading stocks - even something as commonplace as booking movie tickets falls under this category. A few years back, e-commerce in Oman was limited to online banking and bill payments. Today however, the cyber infrastructure of Oman is improving and the mindset towards the technology, particularly among laymen, is changing. Fears of security breaches and financial scams no longer hinder the cyber world movement.

marketing have

Day to day services are being carried out online via secure systems and people are beginning to enjoy the effortlessness of it all. The most successful have been the banks in using the Internet portal to connect with and provide a plethora of services for their customers.

recognize them

Electronic banking has now become the popular choice of customers. Not only individuals, but businesses have been reaping benefits of electronic banking. And ever since the launch of the e-Payment Gateway by ITA, there have been a rapid adoption of e-services by businesses and individuals alike. A breakthrough in terms of online transactions has been the development of the e purse. Residents of Oman can now pay for Government-related transactions 8 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

also started making waves online. E-marketing has its own strategic advantages and companies

websites and view properties available online. Major real estate firms across the Sultanate have opened up their websites with detailed listings of available options. Movie goers can now book tickets with just a click of the mouse, and even decide which seat they would prefer. Thus it goes to show that the e-commerce arena in Oman has not only targeted businessmen but also the youth. Business to business transactions too, have fared well by shifting some of their operations online have resulted in greater ROIs. Today tenders are submitted online (e-tenders), procurement is done online and even e-registrations are the order of the day. Online operations not only streamlines but also economises business process and reduces margins for errors. eSourcing has been gaining popularity among key businesses in the country and many specialized solution providers have sprung up giving a positive impetus to e-commerce in Oman. B2B and B2C marketing have also started making waves online. E-marketing has its own strategic advantages and companies recognize them. However, e-marketing is still at a rather nascent stage and it is yet to have a positive impact on businesses, since conventional marketing and advertising still remains the preferred choice.

Leading mobile service providers have been providing basic services, like e-recharge for a while now. This has now shifted to paying bills online and purchasing/downloading software from their websites.

Security issues are very vital for potential e-commerce initiatives. However, with positive measures being taken by regulating authorities, business owners as well as customers can be assured that taking businesses online is the way of the future and can be done in a safe, secure and profitable manner.

However, although many businesses are now offering online services, the response to online retailing has been rather lukewarm.

Thus the prevailing future trend of eCommerce will be the growth of Internet sales, both here in Oman and worldwide.

Perhaps socio-economic factors play a significant role in the retail trends of any country. Experts, nonetheless are positive and predict tremendous growth in e-retailing. Real estate brokerage has also gone digital. Potential buyers and renters can now visit

Oman’s IT sector has not been directly affected by the economic downturn. Based on Oman’s annual budgets during 20052010, all of the IT projects planned for have proceeded on schedule.

TE L E COM OVERVI E W

Exponential curve Oman’s telecom landscape has undergone a change for the better with a thriving telecommunications market, driven by mobile services and fixed line and Internet services

O

man’s telecommunications market has remained considerably dynamic over the past one decade and has evolved significantly. In 1980, with the establishment of General Telecommunications Organization, now known as Oman Telecommunications SAOG (Omantel), the Sultanate took a major stride towards the formation of a well-developed telecommunications market. In 2002, the Telecom Regulatory Authority, was introduced in Oman as a logical first step in the process of economic diversification that most Gulf nations have undertaken in recent years. With its introduction, Oman became one of the first countries in the region to create an independent organization to look over the telecoms sector. Considering the constraints of a complex topography and population spread out in numerous clusters in the interiors of Sultanate, Oman’s TRA has achieved a great deal within a short span of time. Today Oman has a thriving telecommunications market, driven by mobile services and fixed line and Internet services, and is on the verge of an exponential growth. Omantel enjoyed monopoly over the entire telecom sector in Oman until 2005 when TRA awarded a second mobile licence to Nawras. At this juncture, Omantel was converted into a listed company. 2005 was a turning point for telecom sector in the Sultanate. In 2009, Oman became the first market in the GCC region to introduce mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) popularly known as mobile service resellers. Currently, the market is served by overall five telecom 10 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

service providers including three mobile service resellers. The fixed line and Internet penetrations, pegged at 9.4% and 2.6%, (2009, TRA) are expected to go up rapidly with the imminent launch of services in 2010 by Nawras as the second fixed line operator.

Mobile Services Since the entry of Nawras, the telecom market has experienced fast growth.

Currently, Omantel (Oman Mobile) and Nawras are the two authorized Class I license holders for the installation, operation, maintenance and exploitation of a ‘Basic Public Mobile Telecommunications System’. Overall, Oman Mobile with 47.1% share led the market, closely followed by Nawras with 46.9% share, according to TRA as on Dec 2009. Rest of the 5.9% market share was

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TE L E COM OVERVI E W

Huawei, delivers at a first stage Ultra broadband with speeds of 80 MB/s and will support such as high definition video, video on demand, e-education etc. Installing FTTH requires the use of advanced Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology which has been introduced to the Omani market for the first time and allows the introduction of Triple Play Services. It is ideally suited for usage in new real estate projects with the technology becoming part of the infrastructure network as the Muscat Hills and The Wave Muscat residential projects developed.

held by Renna, Friendi and Mazoon Mobile, the first three mobile service resellers. These resellers have been granted Class II licenses for providing ‘public telecommunications services’ by using the infrastructure of Class I license holders. On the revenue front, it was not an easy year for the market players, though the market for mobile services is set to become more competitive with the entry of more resellers in 2010. Samatel is expected to launch its services soon as the fourth reseller. With prices dipping to lower levels at frequent intervals, consumers are not complaining. The major private sector player is Nawras, which won the second mobile licence in 2004, and the second fixed licence in 2008. Since entering the mobile market, Nawras has been increasingly innovative across the board, offering EDGE and then 3G technology in addition to various other services. Nawras is now working on building a ‘next generation network’ based on 4G technology over existing radio networks, providing fixed broadband access to customers. “The plan is to cover most of the built up areas of Oman this year and next year. That will be another exciting opportunity,” says Ross Cormack, CEO, Nawras. 12 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

Fixed line: Steady growth Over the last few years, the fixed line segment has remained stagnant in terms of growth in subscriber numbers and revenues. Omantel has been trying to boost the fixed line business with aggressive promotions. The company officially launched its new enhanced brand and a new tagline ‘Together’ this year. In order to realize the full potential of the fixed line segment and provide more options to the subscribers, Nawras was awarded the second fixed line license in late 2008. The company is currently working on setting-up the infrastructure to roll out its services towards the middle of this year. It is building the new generation fibre optic backbone and WiMAX wireless access networks across the Sultanate.

Internet Connectivity The Internet is a very promising in the telecom sector. Omantel, provider of fixed line Internet registered a good growth in revenues (2009: 27.7 million rials).

segment the only services, Internet

Omantel has recently introduced Fibre to the Home (FTTH) technology in Oman to provide the fastest and most comprehensive range of Internet applications. The FTTH technology, supplied by Omantel’s technology partner

Omantel already has the fibre infrastructure in place that is connecting different parts of the country through four main local fibreoptic rings and with the rest of the world through several submarine fibre optic cables. Mobile broadband is leading to the rapid rise in the Internet usage in the Sultanate. In March 2009, Oman Mobile launched 3.5G to offer wireless broadband services to corporate subscribers and individuals at homes or on the go. Nawras, on the other hand, offers broadband Internet using the 3G+ network. Its ‘Business Broadband Share’ enables multiple users to make use of a predefined pool of data volume. The company is expected to give further fillip to the rapid growth of broadband Internet in Oman with the launch of its fixed line services.

TRA – Big Strides The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has done a commendable job by expanding the market with its growth oriented liberalization policy. From a monopolist market, Oman’s telecom market currently has multiple players in different segments. TRA has taken a number of path breaking steps in the past and is planning to issue a Class II license for establishing and operating an Internet Exchange (IX) that will enable Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to link to the global Internet backbone. A plan to develop a comprehensive national broadband strategy for Oman is also on the anvil.

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S PE CIA L F EAT URE

Innovative solutions The world is moving towards a new generation of computing which holds enormous potential to stimulate economic opportunities. Ahmad El Dandachi, Countryy Manager, Microsoft Oman speaks on the issue

A new era in computing: “Client plus Cloud” We are on the verge of a new era in computing, in which innovative software applications on intelligent devices (“clients”), complemented by Internet-based data storage and services (the “cloud”), will offer individuals increased control over their information while enabling seamless experiences across multiple devices. 14 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

This next generation of computing holds enormous potential to stimulate economic opportunities. This article summarizes the technological developments driving the next-generation of computing.

Innovations driving next generation of computing This is not the first time computing has undergone a transformational change. In

its first era, from the 1950s into the 1970s, computing was the exclusive privilege of large organizations and was limited primarily to IT specialists. The next era, from the 1980s into the 1990s, saw the democratization of computing with personal computers (PCs), innovations in software that made PCs easy to use and the launch of the world-wide web.

The dawn of the 21st century saw the roll out of high-speed Internet networks, expansion of wireless communications and the introduction of low-cost server computers. These transformations drove the next era of computing, making it affordable for even small organizations to own and run their own datacenters, while the growth of the web brought unprecedented opportunities for communication, and collaboration to users across the world. Today, we are moving towards a new generation in computing - one that is being driven by several distinct yet simultaneous technology developments. The benefits of these technologies will extend broadly across society. They will drive productivity, collaboration and new forms of valuecreation, helping stimulate the next generation of long-term economic growth by enabling businesses to become more agile and competitive. Three technology developments are driving next-generation computing:

Powerful, interconnected devices The first driving force behind nextgeneration computing is the rapid growth in the variety and power of Internet-connected computing devices. Today, many people— particularly in developed markets—have a computer at work, another at home and one or more computing devices that they carry around with them. Meanwhile, advances in microprocessor, storage, communications and display technologies are enabling an explosion of diversity in computing devices. Semiconductor manufacturers are continuing to increase computing power with a new generation of multi-core processors, which stimulates the development of intelligent devices that run innovative software. We already see this trend today with mobile phones featuring capabilities that nearly match those of the PC; TVs with Internet connectivity and rich user interfaces; GPS and media units in cars that respond to voice commands and more. And, this is just the beginning. In the years ahead, we will see intelligence and connectivity woven

Ahmad El Dandachi Country Manager, Microsoft Oman into nearly everything in our lives, from wall-sized screens and tabletop touchscreen computers to networked sensors throughout the home.

Smarter, easier-to-use software Significant and exciting advances in operating systems and software applications that power and connect all of these devices represent a second driving force behind next-generation computing. They will also spur the development of innovative new products and services by other companies, ones that will make the way people interact with computing devices more engaging.

This infusion of intelligence and connectivity into a wide range of devices complements the growth of Internet-scale services to create a new paradigm for computing based on the concept of “client plus cloud”. For customers, this means rich, seamless experiences that offer the information, entertainment and connectivity they need—at any time and on any device. Rich client software is what enables the cloud’s full potential to be realized. It will enhance the cloud experience by fostering a wider array of cloud-based services and solutions and by empowering customers to select the combination of client plus cloud that best meets their needs.

The Cloud: Complementing and enhancing rich client computing The third driving force behind the next generation of computing is the maturing of the Internet as a gateway for Internet-based services, in which remote datacenters host data and serve applications to users’ devices and to IT systems. In simple terms, the cloud will enhance client computing experiences by enabling users to access software applications and data over the Internet. When software and data are delivered as an online service, the installation, maintenance and support functions are centralized and streamlined, leading to greater economic efficiency.

Location Courtesy: BankMuscat OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special 15

S PE CIA L F EAT URE

The cloud also enables organizations to access software applications and computer capacity on a pay-as-you-go basis, paying only for the services they use. So, on a practical level, cloud computing gives organizations more choices. They can decide either to provide computing power to their employees through servers owned by them and located on their own premises, or they can obtain computing power as a service over the Internet from a cloud computing provider. Microsoft’s Softwareplus-Services vision focuses on empowering customers and offering them unprecedented flexibility in choosing client plus cloud combinations—of innovative software, intelligent and interconnected devices and cloud-based services—that best meet their needs. By complementing traditional on-premises and device-based software with Internet-based storage and services, the cloud offers many benefits, including: Cost savings and efficiencies Choice and flexibility Access to greater computing power and the latest software Early access to new technologies

• • • •

The cloud is the collection of devices (servers, PCs, mobile devices) using the network to pool resources and work together. You typically see this in large datacenters today; where servers seamlessly work together

16 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

Summing Up The cloud and cloud-based services for businesses and organizations are relatively new and it remains to be seen how rapidly they will be adopted and how they will evolve. What appears certain, however, is that most users will opt to use a combination of client plus cloud. Today, software-plus-services gives businesses more control and flexibility over the technology they deploy and the way they deploy it. It helps companies reduce costs and focus resources on gaining strategic advantage. Increasingly, it is enabling companies to unleash their potential for innovation through greater intelligence, creativity, flexibility, and efficiency—all for less cost. We believe this is the right balance for business success in any economy.

Excerpts from the Interview: Why is cloud computing gaining ground? Is there a paradigm shift in the concept? Many people have differing definitions of “the cloud”. Technical bodies have an accepted definition that is two pages in length. Still others tend to view the cloud as only hosted-software you connect to via the web. Though “the cloud” is sometimes viewed as just being synonymous with Internet, we tend to think of it as something

more, it’s the collection of devices (servers, PCs, mobile devices) using the network to pool resources and work together. You typically see this in large datacenters today; where servers seamlessly work together to easily absorb more traffic and to react when something breaks without people having to intervene. The sum ends up being greater than the parts. So in effect cloud computing is about sharing and playing well with others. Instead of focusing too much on definitions we would encourage looking at five dimensions of what the cloud should enable and the opportunities that come from this. These 5 dimensions that we use to take a broader view not only on what the cloud “is” but what it should enable now and in the future. The cloud should: Create opportunities and responsibilities Learn and help you learn, decide and take action Enhance your social and professional interactions Demand smarter devices Drive server advances that in turn drive the cloud

• • • • •

Do companies in Oman have cloud computing infrastructure? If yes, what is the status? Is it in anyway enabling companies to survive the economic downturn? Yes - we at Microsoft see strong potential

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S PE CIA L F EAT URE

completely committed to landing the cloud in Gulf, making the most of our widely-used products available in the cloud today. It is also true though that the current economic slowdown has helped bring cloud computing to the forefront of many IT and business executives’ thinking as a possible way to improve efficiencies and productivity in certain scenarios. What is the significance of Microsoft’s participation in Comex? Comex is an important opportunity to connect with organizations in the region, and one of the main shows where you can share your business solutions with different stakeholders. The event is seeing major participation and interest from non-IT sectors such as government and education, which are increasingly looking to technology to drive growth and are making significant investments in ICT. How will new technologies or technological innovations help drive the growth of Oman’s industrial sector/economy in the coming years? Organizations big and small are looking for opportunities to cut costs, while driving revenue and seizing new opportunities as much as possible. While the first instinct may be to slash IT budgets to shore up profits, there is tremendous opportunity to leverage existing IT resources as well as invest in new technology trends that save money and drive value.

for cloud computing in the region and we’re committed to bringing this technology to our local customers (governments, companies of all sizes and individuals) leveraging our strong local presence and our extensive network of partners. In terms of size, some analysts predict that by 2014 an average of 40% of companies’ IT spend on new systems will be directed towards cloud computing. While there might be a slight time lag compared to other regions, Gulf companies 18 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

are moving in a direction that is very similar to companies elsewhere. Like every technology, cloud computing has to undergo a process of evolution. Eventually though, and in order to fully adopt it, businesses and individuals should expect the power of the cloud without compromising the privacy, security or control they have come to expect from the software they already use. Microsoft, bringing over 20 years experience with business software and almost 15 years experience with cloud computing, is

A new generation of technology innovations is enabling forward-looking businesses to build information systems that are more flexible, more cost effective, and that enable people to understand and respond to changing business conditions with greater insight and speed than ever before. At Microsoft, we are committed to the Gulf region and its continual development as a competitive and dynamic place to do business. We support this vision by developing leadingedge technology, increasing opportunities for skills development and partnering with businesses and governments to spread the value of information and communications technology.

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E -L E AR NING

Measures of progress This innovative e-learning system has created a new learning experience for students — one that is both interesting and educational

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elegates from Oman’s Ministry of Education, along with Knowledge Horizon Training Centre, attended Online Educa Berlin 2009, the world’s largest International eLearning Conference. It was a formidable event with over 2,000 delegates from 92 countries and more than 400 speakers from 38 nations sharing their knowledge and experience. It was a wonderful opportunity for Omani youths to share eLearning experience with the international community. Aimed at the corporate, education and public sectors, the content was highly relevant to what’s going on in eLearning in Oman. It is gratifying to see that Oman is very much in line with the international community 20 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

The new e-learning initiative has provided a centralised learning platform facilitating information sharing & dissemination

in terms of eLearning; a nation with 60 per cent of youth has a lot to offer in terms of technology. Many parts of the world choose e-learning for tomorrow’s essential skills and use the internet to supplement eLearning. Back in Oman, the Sultanate is promoting a strategic plan for the advancement of e-learning in the Colleges of Applied Sciences. One of the interesting components of the plan is a proposal for an e-Learning Centre to be located in the new Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) Professional Development Centre, scheduled to be constructed soon. The e-Learning Centre will benefit all professionals in the Colleges of Applied

Sciences as well as in Oman’s private universities and colleges. To advance e-learning in line with the government’s imperative to accelerate the use of e-methodologies in all relevant aspects of government, the MoHE had recently formed the post of Programme Director for e-learning in the Colleges of Applied Sciences. In consultation with the MoHE, e-Learning Steering Committee, the e-learning Programme Director has developed a strategic plan for the advancement of e-learning. The government has made great progress in terms of e-governance and services to the public — most notably the electronic admissions system which includes registration by SMS text message and has even won an international award.

Blackboard Learning System A comprehensive database system for higher education has been completed and will further

the progress of the ministry to state-of-the-art information management systems of value, not only to the MoHE, but also to all stakeholders in Higher Education, including the general public. The MoHE is committed to enhancing student learning through new technologies, and in this regard installation of the ‘Blackboard’ Learning System in the six Colleges of Applied Sciences (CAS) is a milestone. This new e-learning initiative has provided a centralised learning platform facilitating information sharing and dissemination among some 8,000 students at the CAS in the Sultanate. The Blackboard Learning System enables the CAS to post their courses online and provide information to students about various courses and programmes offered across the CAS system, while the ‘Blackboard Community System’ allows administrators to build vibrant online communities and improve the flow of information to let students connect and learn outside the classroom.

MoHE’s role This innovative e-learning system has created a new learning experience for students — one that is both interesting and educational. The MoHE plays a role in the promotion of research throughout the country. Research is a priority in all private universities in Oman. The Strategic Plan for the Colleges of Applied Sciences includes an emphasis on applied research. The plan also includes implementing research skills across the curriculum of the CAS. Sultan Qaboos University in particular has made great strides in capacity building and expansion of research. E-learning is helping to nurture a skilled and knowledgeable young generation in Oman, thereby enabling them to become more active and productive members of the community. It is also helping to develop an awareness of leadership potential among them and is contributing significantly to the cause of Omanisation.

TE CH NOLO GY

VoIP telephony: Futurescope In Oman, VOIP is much-waited–for and telecom companies in Oman are trying to find ways to offer customer convenience, writes Visvas Paul D Karra

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OIP has brought major changes in the global telecom market due to its cost-effectiveness and quality to end-users. In Oman, this service is much-waited-for and telecom companies in Oman have to find ways to offer customer convenience. VOIP is a general term for a group of transmission technologies for delivery of voice communications over IP networks such as the Internet or other packet–switched network. When VoIP service was introduced over broadband, Internet users were able to make and receive calls as they would over a normal telephone (PSTN). VOIP has revolutionised the way that residential and business communications are delivered. VoIP gained popularity because it made international calls more affordable and PSTN users switched to VoIP in increasing numbers. Subsequently, authorities in countries started imposing restrictions on the use of VoIP as telecommunication companies that enjoyed state monopoly, experienced reduced traffic. The very term VoIP became illegal, though there are more to the use of VoIP than just being an illegal international phone service being provided by unauthorised cyber cafes. In Oman, the state-owned Oman Telecommunications (Omantel) Company which till date has the only international gateway discovered that the international traffic was plummeting even though the size of the population remained the same, 22 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

chiefly the Indian sub-continent expatriates, who make the bulk of international calls. The main cause was that 80 per cent of international telephone calls were going through VoIP, which in Oman’s case, was offered by cyber cafes who were not licensed to provide international telephone services. In November last year,the authorities promptly clamped down on them with the help of Royal Oman Police (ROP). Oman is only following

what many other countries are already doing to protect the telecom monopoly.

Low-cost option The reasons for the burgeoning illegal VoIP service providers are obvious. Customers who want to make international calls always look for cheap alternatives. The illegal VoIP calls to India, for example, used to range between 25bz to 50bz per minute any time

TE CH NOLO GY

bring down the call rates. It will be a win-win situation for all stake holders. Customers will have the most cost efficient way of doing it. The companies will benefit because the consumers will use the regular telecom services doing away with the necessity of VoIP services altogether. The regulator will also be happy as it will not have security issues, which is otherwise a pressing issue since VoIP calls went through internet data lines and could not be supervised. “We have tied up with IDEA mobile company in Kerala in India and Dialog Telekom in Sri Lanka to provide more benefits to our subscribers. This way, FRiENDi Mobile has been able to take away many customers from the illegal internet traffic to legal traffic,” Antti Arponen, CEO, FRiENDi Mobile points out.

Future is VoIP of the day in comparison to the regular and legal calls which ranged anything from 75-99bz (off peak) to 175-200bz (peak). With such a huge price cut, people were willing to compromise on the voice quality. From telecom operator’s perspective, blocking VoIP services comes as a natural outcome. When a major share of any country’s telecom revenues flows from calls made to international destinations and there is a monopoly, that status quo is desired to be be maintained for as long as possible and it is often good for that country. That can only be done by blocking VoIP services. But the popular demand has led telephone operators to come up with alternatives. FRiENDi Mobile, which is a Class II licence operator having a tie-up with Omantel’s subsidiary Oman Mobile, has a number of products in its repertoire that caters exclusively to the Indian expatriates. With an average of 75bz per minute to India during offpeak hours, FRiENDi Mobile is the closest to match the VoIP calls.

Rethinking on strategies Telecom companies are being forced to do a rethink on their strategies. Omantel plans to introduce full-fledged VoIP services, 24 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

which can be used with the regular mobile handsets. “Reasonable quality of voice, reasonable price and reasonable convenience will be the three pillars of this VoIP service. But it will not be like our premium service and it may be limited to certain international destinations. Our aim is to win back our customers who were using the illegal VoIP services and that is why we will be launching it on the mobile handsets to provide convenience to them,” says Rao K Chagarlamudi, VP Consumer Business Unit, Omantel. Talking about the pricing factor, Rao says that it will not be exactly as cheap as 25bz per minute because as an incumbent telecom operator, they have to pay charges to operators where the calls are ending unlike the cyber cafes, which had no such responsibility.

Different viewpoints Market experts, however, feel that blocking of VoIP services provided by cyber cafes and trying to win back customers is a wrong way of trying to sort out the problem. One better way of doing it is to open up the competition and allow all the existing telecom companies to negotiate their own international agreements, which would

However, technology has advanced to such an extent that VoIP is no longer just an illegal call-making facility but it is a technology that directs a voice call through a PC to the end user. With internet speeds becoming faster, transferring an international call via VoIP is usually cost effective than old school telephony. But the technology is not foolproof. It is said, but not proven, that many a regular legal calls from a mobile handset could in all probability be routed through an internet data cable to UK or the US and a consumer may not be able to notice it. The voice quality will be dependent upon the telecom operator’s pricing strategies and the infrastructure and they could use VoIP and pocket the revenue margins. Nawras, the second Class I mobile operator in the country, wants to ensure complete transparency with the issue of VoIP when it launches its fixed line services. Giving details of this, Tore Solberg, chief commercial officer, Nawras says that the way they are building their fixed network, its fixed line national services will be running on VoIP technology with the help of Wimax. Subscribers of Nawras fixed line network will, basically, be using the VoIP technology to make calls.

G U E S T COLUMN

Safety first Implementing judiciously the rule of law into cyberspace is critical to create a trustworthy and healthy environment, says Suhail Farooqui, CEO, Al Alawi & Co, Advocates and Legal Consultants

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he new technological developments have made the transition from paper to paperless transactions possible. Each day we are creating new standards of speed, efficiency, and accuracy in communication, which has become key tools for boosting innovations, creativity and increasing overall productivity. Computers are extensively used to store confidential data of political, social, economic or personal, bringing immense benefit to the society. The rapid development of information technology presents challenges which are not confined to any single traditional legal categories but which arise in, for example, criminal, intellectual property, privacy, contract and even tort. More recently, with the accelerating growth of the internet and the world wide web, some of these problems, such as ‘privacy’ have been exacerbated, and others, including the regulation of offensive material, have come to the force. These crimes have virtually no boundaries and may affect any nation across the globe.

Electronic commerce Electronic commerce has also led to procedural legal problems, for example with regard to evidence, liability, consumer protection and/or payment. Globally, Internet and e-commerce have cut across territorial boundaries and created a new realm of human activity thereby undermining the legitimacy and applicability of laws based on geographic boundaries. This new boundary, which is made up of ‘passwords’ 26 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

and essentially separates’ the internet world from the nuclear world. Law-making and law-enforcing authorities find this new environment deeply threatening.

Cyber Crimes Cyber crimes may be broadly classified in three categories (i) against individual (ii) against organization and (iii) against society at large. One of the greatest concerns of the field of Cyber Laws has been the absence of a well-defined and comprehensive legal framework across the globe. As a matter of fact, the question posed to the law enforcement agencies by the advance technology are many and various. In order to meet the challenges, posed by the new and ingenious methods of cyber crime, made possible by computer technology including telecommunication, many countries have revamped their criminal laws. Some of the major types of offences against which many countries across the globe have enacted various legislations are: Unlawful access to data in computers, possession of device to obtain unauthorized telephone facilities, unauthorized access to computer, damaging data in computer, committing mischief with data, data spying, forgery of prohibitive data, alteration of data, false entry in an authentic deed, computer sabotage, false entry in permit license, generating false electronic record, interferences with business by destruction or damage of computer, destruction of public and private document, unauthorized use and interception of computer services, etc.

Do we need Cyber Laws? Every country in the world has issued various legislation and developed cyber crime patrol to bring safe cyber heavens/ offenders to the justice. In the absence of any suitable legal framework, it may be rather difficult to have a check on frauds, vandalism or abuses. This matter is of serious concerns, as any element of distrust for Internet may lead to people believe and avoid execution of transactions online. This may hamper e-Commerce growth.

How effective is Cyber Laws? Most of the existing laws globally are unenforceable in nature. Lack of legal protection would mean that corporate and non-corporate entities would only rely on technical measures to protect themselves from those who would steal, deny access to and/or destroy valuable information. Countries where legal protections are inadequate may become increasingly less able to compete in the new economic era. As

There is a need to draft ‘global law’ by well crafted ‘internation committee’ to develop a unique model for eradicating malicious computerrelated crime cyber crime increasingly breaches national borders, nations perceived as havens run the risk of having their electronic messages blocked by the network.

Creating an effective ‘Cyber Law’ Cyberspace handles unimaginable traffic

volumes every second. Cyberspace is an intangible dimension that is impossible to govern and regulate using conventional law. It goes beyond borders and is not visible. Implementing judiciously the rule of law into cyberspace is critical to create a trustworthy and healthy environment. Moreover, the law has to be simple, clear and fair. Failing which, the law may be misused to harass individuals resulting in its defiance. The implementing agency will then be compelled to take corrective actions to ensure implementation, which may defeat the purposes and only delay the proceedings. There is a need to draft ‘global law’ by well crafted ‘inter-nation committee’ to develop a unique model for eradicating malicious computer-related crime in a timely manner to promote and create a secure environment for e-commerce. The computer-related crime is real and threatening. Cyber crime may cost over USD 50 billion per year and an increase in number of such crimes is expected.

EVENT

Emerging opportunities @ COMEX 2010 The COMEX conference and CIO forum are aimed at bringing together corporate and government CIO, CTOs, IT managers, IT professionals and other stakeholders in the ICT sector on a common platform

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he Sultanate’s prioritisation of ICT, in addition to efforts in producing advanced technology products for its IT systems has vastly improved the country’s overall Government Readiness Index to the 19th rank, up by 20 points from last year. In the Global IT Report 2009-2010 released in March by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Oman has taken the 50th position among 133 countries. It is attributed to the country’s secure infrastructure, national IT training and capacity building as well as the Sultanate’s eGovernment Services Portal. In line with the Government’s efforts to boost the ICT industry, the Sultanate will hold the largest ICT event – COMEX 2010, on April 26th to 30th, highlighting various opportunities in the field of ICT. In its 20th year, COMEX 2010 will hold a conference, CIO forum and series of seminars alongside the expo. The COMEX conference and CIO forum are aimed to gather both corporate and government CIO, CTOs, IT managers, IT professionals and other stakeholders in the ICT sector to discuss different perspectives and to gain understanding on real-world ICT issues, challenges and emerging opportunities. Organised under the theme “Creating Synergy and Driving Development through Collaboration and Application”, 28 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

the COMEX Conference and CIO Forum will bring in top level speakers from the region and beyond, who will make comprehensive presentations that will shed light on the digital transformation of the Sultanate and its road map for achieving eService excellence by 2010 and beyond. It will likewise provide the overview on the Sultanate’s Telecom Sector: Challenges and Opportunities, New Technologies: What and How This Will Impact and Drive the Oman’s Business Sector in the Coming Years. The conference will also touch base on the importance of Green IT in today’s converged networks and how the new

generation of network equipment continue to be more reliable than previous generations and will also discuss the paradigm shifts caused by cloud computing and Microsoft’s latest innovations. Furthermore, the COMEX CIO forum is also set to spotlight top ICT challenges, providing the best networking opportunity amongst industry players to share expertise and knowledge on the current issues, right strategies, tools and solutions to improve organisation’s performance and create significant value. For the first time at the

COMEX expo, businesses will have the chance to connect directly with suppliers of the latest technology solutions and will have the best opportunity to discover how organisations can boost productivity and profitability with inspirational hardware and software solutions. Alongside the expo, visitors will also be provided with excellent opportunity to see new technology releases and the most anticipated gadgets in

action. COMEX 2010 is organised by OITE, the Sultanate’s leading events company, under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Information Technology Authority (ITA) and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).

27 to 28 to be held at the Golden Tulip Hotel Muscat. COMEX is a special platform, set to boost the country’s ICT industry.

COMEX expo will be held at the Oman International Exhibition Centre, while the Conference and CIO forum will be held on April

Dossier is the official B2B publication of the Comex event

For more updates on COMEX, log on to. www.comexoman.com

G ADG E TS

Hot gadgets Apple launches iPad Apple® has introduced iPad, a revolutionary device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books and much more. Its responsive high-resolution Multi-Touch™ display lets users physically interact with applications and content. iPad is just 0.5 inches thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds. It includes 12 new

innovative applications designed especially for the iPad, and will run almost the entire 140,000 applications in the App Store. The iTunes® Store of Apple gives you access to the most popular online music, TV and movie stores. Apple has announced the new iBooks applications for iPad, which includes Apple’s new iBookstore. Apple also introduced a new version of iWork® for iPad, the first desktop-class productivity suite designed specifically for MultiTouch. The three applications will be available separately through the App Store for $9.99 each. iPad’s brilliant 9.7-inch, LED-backlit display features IPS technology to deliver crisp, clear images and consistent colour with an ultrawide 178 degree viewing angle. iPad is powered by A4, Apple’s next-generation system-on-a-chip. It comes in two versions—one with Wi-Fi and the other with both Wi-Fi and 3G. iPad includes the latest 802.11n Wi-Fi, and the 3G versions support speeds up to 7.2 Mbps on HSDPA networks. Apple has also released a new Software Development Kit (SDK) for iPad.

Lightweight projector LG Electronics announces the launch of its stylish and lightweight HS200 LED projector. The HS200 is ideal for any kind of presentation, guaranteeing the ultimate in picture quality with digital light processing technology and the unmatched brightness of 200 ANSI lumens. It delivers the very best images thanks to the high contrast ratio of 2,000:1. With the digital light processing chip, the HS200 is capable of delivering

30 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

exceptional picture quality and vivid colors. The Twin XD engine offers superb color correction so that images are displayed

naturally. Furthermore, the internal Advanced colour engine enhances colours brilliantly.

A smart phone named Desire HTC Corporation, a global designer of smart phones and Telstra, an Australian telecommunications major have unveiled the Android-powered HTC Desire smart phone, which is available on Telstra’s Next G™ network. The HTC Desire takes Android 2.1 smart phone to the next level with the latest HTC Sense user experience. It also utilises a fast 1 GHz Snapdragon processor and an advanced 3.7 inch, WVGA AMOLED display to deliver the performance and visual experience needed for the best smart phone experience possible. The Android-powered HTC Desire handset will give users the best of Google’s web services like Gmail, Google calendar and applications like Mobile FOXTEL. HTC Desire owners will also have access to thousands of applications. The new HTC Sense has a new HTC application and widget called HTC Friend Stream that seamlessly aggregates all of your social communication including Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr into one organised stream of updates. The new HTC Sense also introduces broad improvements to applications including the web browser, email client, a new newsreader application and widget, as well as a new seven-screen ‘Leap’ thumbnail view for quick and easy access to specific screens.

Operates

P.O. Box 267, P.C: 115, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, Sultanate of Oman Tel: 24486600 • Fax: 24480007 • Email: info@ntioman.com

www.ntioman.com

G ADG E TS

The X Factor

Ferrari Power

In the true spirit of the Ferrari racing team, the Ferrari One notebook combines performance and extreme portability. Fueled by VISION technology from AMD, the notebook delivers highly responsive, balanced multitasking performance via the AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processor with low-power CPU designed for long-lasting battery power. ATI Radeon HD 3200 Graphics provides high-definition visual quality coupled with up to 4GB of DDR2 667MHz system memory to drive digital and multimedia features and other demanding applications with ease. It also comes equipped with Windows 7 Home Premium and 250GB hard drive.

Sony's new Cyber-shot™

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 introduces an open and integrated world of social media, communication and entertainment. It is the flagship phone in a family of phones coming to market during the first half of 2010 and will be available in Q1 2010. Its New UX platform builds on top of the Open OS and creates a unique Sony Ericsson user experience by combining best-in-class entertainment features with signature applications, unrivalled integration of social media services and a rich graphical user interface. The XPERIA™ X10 is the first mobile phone to humanise the way people interact with their phones. 32 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

Sony Gulf, the regional arm of consumer electronics giant Sony, has unveiled a new range of Cyber-shot™ cameras – T-series, W-series and S-series. The ultra compact and stylish cameras feature intuitive imaging and advanced video recording, while delivering effortless photo capture and beautiful images for any user. Well-known for its slim and chic design, the T-series Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 is available in dark blue, red and silver colours.DSC-TX7, the world's slimmest camera with Full HD (1920 x 1080, 50i) AVCHD video recording, comes with a 10.2 megapixel resolution and is the first T-series product to be equipped with a 25mm wide-angle lens enabling users to shoot dynamic, high quality full HD videos with smooth subject movement.

Raising the bar Yamaha has introduced its innovative YHT-S400 twopiece home theatre audio package. The system, which consists of an ultra-slim "sound bar" front speaker and a first-of-its-kind subwoofer-integrated receiver, provides HD Audio compatibility, three 1080p-compatible HDMI inputs (and one output), the company's exclusive AIR SURROUND XTREME, UniVolume and Extended Stereo technologies for immersive audio for movies, sports and music experiences.

Toughbook in Oman

Oman Marketing & Services Company's Panasonic System Solutions Division has launched the latest range mobile laptops called as Toughbook in Oman. A brand new Toughbook Business Mobile model, the CF-F8 has been developed based on user feedback and demand for a lightweight, durable and high performance notebook. Weighing 1,660g, the Toughbook CF-F8 is the world's lightest notebook with a 14.1 inch display and integrated optical drive.

OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special 33

INTE RV IE W

Power of partnership Ahmad El Dandachi – Country manager, Microsoft Oman speaks on his company’s commitment to provide innovative technology products and services to Oman’s fast growing ICT market

Tell us about your product portfolio. Has there been a recent launch of a package that can be highlighted? Microsoft platforms, products and services empower millions of people and businesses around the world. Some of the company’s most recognised brands include: Microsoft Windows: Over the past two decades, Microsoft Windows products have evolved from a single, one-size-fits-all desktop operating system into a diverse family of operating systems and mobile technologies. Windows software includes 34 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

Microsoft Office has

Windows 7, Windows Server System, Windows Vista and Windows XP which powers a wide array of digital devices.

evolved from a suite of personal productivity products to a more comprehensive and integrated system.

Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office has evolved from a suite of personal productivity products to a more comprehensive and integrated system. Building on the familiar tools that many people already know, such as Microsoft Word, Outlook®, Excel® and PowerPoint®, Microsoft Office includes programs, servers, services and solutions designed to work together to help address a broad array of business problems.

Microsoft Dynamics: Microsoft Dynamics offers integrated, adaptable business applications for small and medium-sized organisations and divisions of large enterprises. These integrated solutions delivered through a worldwide network of experienced Microsoft Certified Partners — work like and with familiar Microsoft software, and help automate and improve financial, customer relationship, and supply chain management. MSN and Windows Live: MSN is the world’s most popular internet destination, comprising world-class services such as MSN Hotmail®, Windows Live Messenger, MSN Search, Communities, Chat, Shopping and Personal Finance.

What are the challenges that you face in terms of fighting piracy, cheap substitutes available in terms of suppliers from Far East, recruitment of work force and in the overall business atmosphere? Software piracy is a serious and extremely damaging global problem that affects the software industry, global and local economies, and users of software. Software counterfeiting costs thousands of jobs around the world, results in countless hours of lost productivity, and can cost organizations using counterfeit software dearly. The trade in counterfeit software hurts our honest channel partners who are just trying to earn a living.

We have been Xbox 360: It is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering great games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming network, and unique digital entertainment experiences for gamers.

engaged in a test purchase programme since 1997, and we also have tools built into

Furthermore, wherever Microsoft does business, the economic and social benefits of its partner-driven business model are felt. Microsoft creates business opportunities for local technology companies and works with governments to support economic growth and spread the use of ICT in support of education, jobs and competitiveness in the global marketplace. Tell us more about the mode of operation of your business here. Is it only through authorized distributors or MS as a principal is also involved in institutional sales or project sales? Microsoft operates on a business model through a strong network of Partners. We are looking to expand our business by partnering with local and regional Internet Service Providers that can implement our various products. One of Microsoft’s success factors in Oman is that we have a strong connection with partners. Our partners contribute to our success as they are able to carry our services and products to a wide range of customers.

our software – such as Windows Genuine Advantage and Office

We have a number of methods that we employ to identify when dishonest partners or manufacturers are selling our software. We use an intelligent search tool to trawl the Internet 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for information that is publicly available on the internet, such as sites offering pirated Microsoft content. We participate in notice and takedown programs with other members of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Entertainment Software Alliance (ESA). We have been engaged in a test purchase program since 1997, and we also have tools built into our software – such as Windows Genuine Advantage and Office Genuine Advantage – that enable customers to identify when their software is not genuine and report it to us. Finally, we also have a dedicated hotline and email address for customers to let us know when they have been victims of software piracy.

Genuine Advantage – that enable customers to identify when their software is not genuine and report it to us. Partners who must compete with pirates lose more than software revenue. They lose system sales and the opportunity to service those customers over the years. Microsoft will continue to work with government bodies and law enforcement agencies in order to protect its partners, resellers, and customers from criminals who persist in counterfeiting Microsoft software.

Our customers and software resellers play a major role in helping Microsoft identify and build cases against software pirates. Evidence they submit through a number of sources, including our piracy hotline and through Microsoft’s Windows Genuine Advantage technology, helps us build strong cases that put a stop to those counterfeiting our software. In fact, since the inception of the WGA validation tool, there have been more than 100,000 counterfeit reports submitted through WGA by those that feel they were victims of counterfeit. What product / package or system will be on priority for promotion at COMEX Event so that we can also talk about it more prominently? We have the launch of Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010, and Project 2010 at COMEX. OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special 35

S PONS OR ED FEAT URE

NEW HORIZONS COMPUTER LEARNING CENTER

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he IT division of NTI, New Horizons Computer Learning Center (NHCLC) is an international franchise with 300 centers worldwide. The quality of facilities, instructors and courseware is benchmarked and monitored internationally. As a Gold Certified partner for Microsoft and Oracle, NHCLC, Oman is among the elite of Microsoft and Oracle business partners earning its highest endorsement. It is also an authorized training partner with CompTIA, EC-council, ICDL, IC3 and MOS certifications. The center is well equipped to provide online testing facilities through IT industry bodies such as Thomson Prometric and Pearson VUE. Encompassing state-of-the-art computer labs and classrooms that provide the very latest technology – worldwide communication, multimedia training systems and a wide range of operating systems to choose

technologies. All these training are offered as public programs and as customized solutions according to client’s specific learning environment and business needs. NHCLC offers a state-of-the-art technology - Mentored Learning, as a revolutionary training alternative. Through Mentored Learning, NHCLC provides targeted, time-bound solutions to the consumer segment and maximum training ROI to the corporate. from, NHCLC offers the tools of modern learning for high end technical and application courses. The Instructors at NHCLC are certified and experienced professionals providing training not only on basic application and desktop productivity tools i.e. Project, Excel, PowerPoint etc but also on complex and integrated business systems i.e. Information security, ITIL, Oracle, Cisco and Microsoft

NHCLC wins business by bringing value, quality and capability to the customer. It’s association with global vendors, holistic approach to quality training, customer responsiveness, unmatched training infrastructure and system design expertise, makes it the leading training consultant.

Contact: Tel: 24486600 Website: www.ntioman.com

KalSoft LLC

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alSoft is a well-known name in the IT Industry that has been synonymous with excellence and agility. Established in 1999 it has evolved within a short span of time to bring dramatic change in the market arena through its specialized range of products and services. As a Premier Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, KalSoft is committed to deliver the state-of-the-art solutions based on Microsoft technologies. The Microsoft competencies highlight KalSoft resonant and diverse skill set with reference to the Microsoft platform and framework, back to back successful completion of projects and an ever growing increasing pool of Microsoft certified professional and experts at the top of their profession. KalSoft along with its strategic partners provides an incomparable degree of domain expertise with a results-oriented attitude. It 36 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

KalSoft, under its umbrella, provides a diverse range of products and solutions. Its forefront products, based on accentuating businesses and its workings to a better automated workflow system, include DeXpert (an entire Business Process Management solution), Vortex (A Banking Solution), Exchange Plus (A solution for exchange companies) and Panacea (a Health Care Management system).

Akhter Zaib, Country Manager, KalSoft LLC presents business value with the use of IT and continuous Research and Development to attain an organization’s trust and reliability with innovative and dynamic products and solutions to support them in the increase of their competitive advantage and return on investment.

KalSoft believes in providing deliberate and dynamic technology solutions that attain real business results for businesses in diverse industries, to name a few; Government, Financial Sectors, Energy, Oil and Gas, Textile, Telecommunication, Pharmaceuticals, Media, Medical and many more.

Contact: + 968 24694672 E-mail: kalsoftoman@ekalsoft.com Website: www.ekalsoft.com

EXCEED IT SERVICES

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XCEED IT Services is a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner and a Microsoft Authorized Direct Large Account Reseller (DLAR) that was established in 2001. EXCEED Headquarters are based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. In addition, EXCEED has branches in Dubai, Muscat and Manama. EXCEED’s Continuous growth stems from strategic clarity, effective leadership, staff competency and customer focus. Our organizational structure has also contributed to our growth through supporting innovation, learning and teamwork. EXCEED has grown from a single department that provides training to a multidepartment company specialized in providing enterprise organizations with a complete IT lifecycle in Microsoft infrastructure solutions. In February 2006, Microsoft held a summit

EXCEED’s Continuous growth stems from strategic clarity, effective leadership, staff competency and customer focus under the Slogan of “Together We Build Success,” where EXCEED was demonstrated to Microsoft Gulf partners as a case study and a model of success. EXCEED was announced as the fastest growing IT Company in the GCC. Mohammad Sweidan, Business Development Manager

Contact: +968-24-604-222 Website: www.exceedgulf.com

INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CO. LLC

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tions, IITC works with IBM ISS, IBM FileNet for content management and with CISCO for converged network solutions.

he success factor for IITC is their positive outlook towards customer handling. Established under the auspices of OHI Group more than two decades ago, International Information Technology Co.LLC (IITC), is a leading technology solution provider in the Sultanate of Oman.

Enjoying its position in the IT infrastructure space, IITC has been providing the Sultanate of Oman with leading edge technology solutions over the last two decades. IITC’s activities include infrastructure solutions (servers, storage, cabling, and networking) to business solutions (ERP, HRMS, CRM, portals, content management, business intelligence, and bespoke applications), IT Services (on-site support, facilities management, people outsourcing, and consultancy) and technical training. The company enjoys representation of industry leaders like Microsoft, Cisco System, HP, Oracle, Systemax, Hubbell, Wipro, and others in the Sultanate. Customers are benefitted by IITC’s professional expertise, a high level of consultancy services in col-

The company today has an impressive group of satisfied clients across the Sultanate such as Omantel, Ministry Of Civil Services, Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, MOD, Muscat Municipality, PDO, Oman Gas Company, Ministry of Education, Royal Court Affairs and many more.

S.Jayakumar, General Manager, International Information Technology Co. LLC. & OHI Telecommunications Co. LLC. laboration with its partners, comprehensive technical training, after-sales support and most importantly, competitive pricing. Some of the key partners for IITC are systems integrators like Wipro and Mahindra Satyam. The company also has specific niche segment solutions, like for security solu-

IITC with proven expertise in deployment and support of comprehensive Microsoft technologies and being oldest Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, is participating along with Microsoft in this year’s Comex. Having highly skilled workforce and impressive list of implementations on Microsoft technologies, IITC will further showcase solutions and capabilities on latest Microsoft technologies with which customers can enhance their infrastructure and utilize it optimally.

Contact : 24609400/24609493 Website: www.iitcoman.com OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special 37

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LINK DEVELOPMENT

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LINK Development is a leading software development powerhouse in the Middle East and subsidiary of LINKdotNET, an Orascom Telecom Holding Company. It combines the latest in software development with creative design skills to provide a range of solutions and services such as portals & intranets, e-commerce, enterprise integration, Microsoft Dynamics CRM & GP, Helpdesk solutions, infrastructure solutions such as unified communications, virtualization and IPTV, serving governments, multinationals and local companies in Europe, Middle East, Africa & North America. Building on the experience of Link Development's professional team and as part of its commitment to innovation, the company has launched various products, such as Tempo, its business-ready intranet, as well as bSolutions, a prime destination for cloud services in the Middle East and Africa. Its clients include

38 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

Hanan Abdel Meguid, CEO, LINK Development Fortune 500 companies in the region such as Microsoft, Intel and Pfizer in addition to having successfully implemented cutting-edge solutions for leading regional and multinational businesses and governments such as

the Egyptian e-Government, Saudi Post, Dubai Bank, WIND Italy, EGYPTAIR, PEPSICO, Dubai Land Department and many more. With 400+ young employees strong, Link Development is one of the largest development houses in the region. Being a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in six competency areas, the highest level of partner certification from Microsoft, it has best of breed team of .NET developers, designers, architects, project managers and quality engineers. With the long experience, young and agile Microsoft certified professionals, Link's software development process has matured over the years, and is continually improving to reflect the company’s experience and maturity and continue to attain higher customer satisfaction levels. LINK Development is currently both, ISO 9001:2000 certified and CMMI level 3 accredited.

For more info visit: www. linkdev.com Or contact us via info@ linkdev.com

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FARAAS TRADING COMPANY

ENSURING TOTAL SECURITY Faraas trading company offers the latest technology security and monitoring and communication systems and has customized solutions to meet the security needs of customers, says manager of the company Velayudhan Parayil. Could you give a brief profile of your company and what are the main products and services you provide? We are the electronics division of Faraas Trading Company founded in 1985 by Abdul Rahman Siddique. We are presently one of the main providers of security and communications systems in the Sultanate.We sell state-of-the-art monitoring and security systems including internet connected closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) and card readers, communication systems and public address systems which use the latest technology. We have products of all leading companies in the world. We have special skills in the installation and maintenance of security and monitoring systems. What are your strengths and advantages vis-Ă -vis your competitors? Our strengths lie in two areas mainly. We sell systems which use the latest technology and we can also individually design security and monitoring systems to cater to the needs of our clients. We give equal importance to after sales service also. Our technicians who are trained in the latest technology deliver prompt service all over Oman. The customer is always welcome to our office for their all needs. Could you please tell about the latest security gadgets available with you? One of the latest technology driven products available with us is the TeleEye CCTV with remote monitoring feature. It can be connected to the internet through ADSL which will enable users to view happenings in remote places. The digital video recorder 40 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

Abdul Rahman Siddiq Al Saigh Managing Director Faraas Trading Company

Velayudhan Parayil, Manager Faraas Trading Company

available with us uses Smac-M, a special proprietary technology which helps to transmit video signals at a very high speed. While the other technologies require very high bandwidth to transmit, Smac-M needs only very low bandwidth and so speed is high. We have also intelligent security systems that are fully software controlled.

Oman has a good market in security systems and our clients include big corporate, small companies and individuals. Our corporate clients include Al Fair, Sur International Hotels, Holiday Inn hotel group and Intercontinental Hotels. Many individuals also seek our service for their home security needs.

The DISPPA professional address system which can be connected to six different sources and can provide up to six channels is another exclusive item which we market. DSPPA is one of the leading manufactures of professional public address equipment.

What was the impact of recession on your business? Recession did not have any impact on our business and in fact we did very good business in 2009. People cannot compromise on security even in times of recession.

How is the market for security systems in Oman and who are your main clients?

GSM:99351731, Fax:24831756 Website: www.faraas.net

GULF CYBERTECH E-SOLUTIONS

E-SOLUTIONS OF GLOBAL STANDARDS GULFCYBERTECH is focused on providing e-solutions of international standards to customers

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he GULFCYBERTECH founded in 2003 is one of the most competent and experienced companies in Oman in web designing and web based solutions. It takes pride in being recognized as the ‘Best Web Designing Company” at the Oman Web Awards for 2009 held under the auspices of Information Technology Authority to recognize excellence in web designing and development. What are the services offered by GULFCYBERTECH? We create result-oriented top notch websites and e-business solutions of global standards using latest cutting edge technologies. Whether you need a simple information website or a sophisticated web based application or web integration, our expertise ensures timely design and absolute professionalism at competitive rates. More specifically our services include website and portal developments, web hosting, online payment solutions, shopping cart solutions, database driven solutions, SEO and many other web related services. What do you consider as your strengths compared to competitors? Our strategic thinking, professionalism and diversity of our team, personal attention, competitive prices, real world results and customer focused approach differentiate us from our competitors. Our great strength lies in vast experience and extensive expertise in designing, developing and internet marketing for customers in diverse sectors. We combine knowledge, experience and talent to produce cutting edge world class e-solutions.

Mohammed A. Malik Al Qadri, Chief Executive, GULFCYBERTECH The Best Web Design Company Award for 2009 at Oman Web Awards is a testimony of the creativity of our designs, quality of our services and the professionalism of our team. We have a solid portfolio of projects which we have undertaken over the past few years for various large and small organization in various sectors hence have vast experience in design and development of web solutions. What are your future plans aimed at the next phase of growth? Individuals and organizations grow with knowledge and experience. Likewise any progressive organizations we do have growth plans and strategies to implement those plans. We do have plans to play a bigger role in the web solutions sector and be recognized as the partner of first choice for entities and organizations who are wishing to have a professional web solution

provider as part of their e-strategies. We are also seeking to widen the scope of our services and also the size of our team. There is also a plan to launch a few portals to serve various service sectors and the community at large as the number of online users increase and as the government’s aggressive e-strategy moves to next phases.These portals are planned to be launched in 2010. In providing professional and high quality web solutions, we believe we are also playing our role in a small way in supporting the government’s e-strategy of transforming Oman into a sustainable knowledge-based society. Our mission is to transform our client’s business aspiration into a successful online reality.

Contact: 24792921 Website:www.gulfcybertech.com OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special 41

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GULF IT

FOCUSED ON SOLUTIONS Gulf IT, a focused cloud solution provider is expecting major growth as more companies opt for cloud computing Give a brief description on your company and what are the services and business solutions you provide? Gulf IT is a focused solution provider in Oman and GCC. We provide out of the box Cloud Based Applications like Google Apps, Box. net, Zoho CRM etc in software as a service (SaaS ) delivery model. Gulf IT is also into ‘custom web based application developments’ and integration with mobile technologies like Blackberry and iPhone and provides Microsoft Sharepoint Services and portal services addressing e-Government solutions. E-Government services are one of our key focus this year and we are aligning our partnerships, products and services accordingly. What are your strengths compared to your competitors? We are a focused solution provider in business applications, cloud computing and specialized software solutions. This is our strength. Our key strategy is to have a strong development and support centre in India with quality professionals.

We are definitely planning expansion and shall increase our operation size

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Nasr Al Mawali, General Manager, Gulf IT How much importance do you give on service and what are the services provided by you? Fifty per cent of our revenue is from services and not from sales of products, so we clearly know the importance of services in our business. Presently we provide implementation services, support services and development services. We will add more towards the end of FY 2010 which include IT consultancy services. What are the important projects undertaken by you and give some good references of clients that are being serviced by the company ? We contribute to the vision of Oman to provide the best education system to the students. We have successfully done a project for getting the most reliable and free education system from Google for Majan College, Scientific College of Design and Caledonian College of Engineering etc. We have also good projects with top business houses of Oman like Muscat Pharmacy, Oman Oil Company E & P, Oman Cables etc.

What are your growth plans for the future? We are definitely planning expansion and shall increase our operation size. We have already clients in Kuwait and Bahrain and we will soon get into Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE. To boost the growth, we have alreay appointed a highly experienced business head who will be on the Board shortly. What are the highlights of your performance last year and on the first part of current year and what was the impact of global recession on your activity? We are very much satisfied with our growth. We have been growing 25% quarter over quarter in last year and expect to maintain that growth this year. Recession did not impact us. During recession all companies were looking for cutting cost and Cloud Computing really helped them save lot of money both in CapEX and OpEX.

Contact: Tel: 24614566 Website: www.gulfinfotech.com

HITEC CENTER LLC

ULTIMATE HITEC SOLUTIONS HiTec Center provides the latest technological solutions that suit every individual and organisation, thereby providing them greater convenience, seamless enjoyment and improved productivity What are the services and products offered by HiTec? HiTec provides all audio visual solutions. The products range from home theaters, multi-zone audio systems, public address, projectors to display systems. HiTec Center provides products like simultaneous translation systems, projectors, sound and lighting on rental basis to the educational institutions, medical centres, corporate houses and places of worship. We provide proven and stable solutions to improve and increase productivity. The partners of HiTec are AMX, Barco, Sennheiser, Peavey, Denon, Marantz, Boston Acoustics, Martin Logan, Polk Audio, Beyerdynamic, Brahler, Sennheiser, Soniflex, IC- Audio, Genelec, Projection Design, Draper, NAD, PSB to name a few. What are the strengths of HiTec? HiTec plays an active role, not just in the installation of a product, but also in supporting our customers. Our service engineers are always at hand to make personal visits and provide solutions when a problem arises. HiTec understands that every individual is different and so are their needs. Customising and integrating products to suit their needs is a matter of pride for our company. Entire systems can be customised to suit the environment and the budget of our customer. Our goal is to offer a higher level of personalisation and our motto is “Empowering You With Technology”

Oman Police, Royal Court Affairs, The Royal Guard of Oman, Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex and Sultan Qaboos University. Our clients also include banks, oil field companies, colleges and universities. We are also active in creating audio video solutions for Places of Worship and have undertaken large installations within Oman, other GCC states and in Africa.

Mohammed Kharusi, CEO, HiTec Center

Our goal is to offer a higher level of personalisation and our motto is “Empowering You With Technology”

What are the key projects executed by HiTec? HiTec has executed projects for most of the Ministries, Defense establishments, Royal

What was the effect of economic recession on your operations? HiTec is lean and nimble and through innovation and diversification within its field has actually managed to increase the turnover and profitability. Customer satisfaction, our installation quality and after sales support have played a major role in increasing business through referrals from satisfied clients. What are your future business plans? Our focus is on improving our internal organisation to become more responsive to the client’s needs. We have embarked on a recruitment drive to hire high caliber personnel, mostly graduates in Electronics and IT fields.We are beefing up our service and support centre by recruiting more engineers and equipping them with the latest state of the art diagnostics and repair tools so that we can provide better after sales support to our clients. We plan to create more awareness among the customers by conducting road shows, seminars and exhibitions.

Contact: Tel: 24497384, 24497369 Website: www.hitecoman.com OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special 43

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MAJEES TECHNICAL SERVICES LLC

PIONEERING ACT m-Trak 275, which will be showcased in Comex exhibition, is an advanced version of the popular m-Trak 75 Vehicle Tracking Device and comes with a lot of additional features. Murli Pillai, GM, Business Development, Majees Technical Services, tells us more Can you elaborate on the activities of Majees Vehicle Tracking Division? Majees is a pioneer in providing Vehicle Tracking Systems, also known as IVMS or In Vehicle Monitoring System. We provide the device which is installed in a vehicle along with relevant accessories and also the web-based system for organizations to monitor their fleets and vehicles on a realtime online basis. Majees provides extensive customer training and operational support for organizations to derive maximum benefit from using Vehicle Tracking System. Due to our presence in the market for last four years, Majees occupies a pre-eminent position in this business with clients in the Oil & Gas, Logistics and Corporate segments. Murli Pillai, GM, Business Development, Majees Technical Services How has the concept of Vehicle Tracking caught on in Oman? Vehicle Tracking is used by organizations to get timely information about where their vehicles are at any point of time and how these vehicles are being used and operated. This ensures effective utilization of vehicles from a safety perspective and management control. The Oil & Gas companies were the first to embrace this technique and now more and more organizations like PDO are making it mandatory for themselves and their contractor vehicles to be filled with these kinds of devices. We feel that the market is growing as even Telecom and FMCG organizations have also understood the benefits of this kind of technology. At Majees, we feel that we have contributed to this by way of creating awareness,participating 44 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

Majees is a pioneer in providing VTS, also known as IVMS or In Vehicle Monitoring System in trade shows and also providing free live trials at customer locations. Who is your technology partner in the VTS/ IVMS domain? Our technology partner in this business is Mobiapps from Singapore. Of late, they have

been acquired by Digi International USA, a leader in wireless M2M technology. After the advent of Digi, we are now launching the m-Trak 275, an advanced version of the proven and tested m-Trak 75. Can you tell us more about the m-Trak 275. The m-Trak 275 is an advanced version of the m-Trak 75 and comes with a lot of additional features in the areas of accessories and wider functionality at the back-end. It is a sleek looking device and has improved power management features too.We are showcasing the m-Trak 275 at Comex this year.

Contact : +968 24597226/7/8 e-mail: murli@majeestech.com website:www.majeestech.com

OCS INFOTECH

SUSTAINED GROWTH Apart from being an integral part of Zubair Corporation, enjoying partnerships with international reputable IT companies, OCS’ strength lies in its human capital

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pioneer of information technology in the Sultanate, Oman Computer Services (OCS) was established in 1981. It started as an IT trading company and evolved into a leading end to end information technology and telecommunication (ITC) Solution Provider. A subsidiary and part of the ICT division of Zubair Corporation, OCS , maintains a strong and flexible synergy, thereby fostering a track of sustained growth to assist in achieving business growth for clients and accelerate Oman’s realization of His Majesty’s vision to augment public sector eServices.

Services Portfolio OCS Infotech integrates innovative technology by focusing on delivering a wide range of IT Infrastructure and SW Solutions in association with global players such as SUN, Dell, Cisco, NetApp, Oracle, Microsoft, Capgemini and others. The company provides to medium and enterprise clients, proven and highly reliable solutions in the area of Server Consolidation, Storage Management, High Availability, Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity, Networking, Security, Professional Services, Outsourcing and deliver standard solutions in Enterprise Resource Planning - ERP, Customer Relationship Management- CRM, Content and Document Management Systems. A focused team, offers solutions for Customer Care and Billing ( BSS ) , Operation Support Systems ( OSS ), allowing service providers and operators to realize value by deploying flexible, scalable and robust endto-end applications.

Daniel Romaidis, General Manager, OCS Infotech, ICT division Zubair Corporation

Human capital An integral part of Zubair Corporation and aligning to his Chairman's vision, HE Mohammad Al Zubair, to continue to play an important role in the economic, social and cultural development of Oman into the future, the company’s strength lies in its human capital. A team of professionals with international qualifications and industry exposure, bring in extensive knowledge and latest technical knowhow. Committed to the country’s Omanisation initiatives and leadership development, OCS puts the promising local talent into the front-end and through a corporate Gold Program, that aims to develop the next generation of the Omani Leaders . The challenge, lies in the adoption and deployment of a technology that is per-

petually evolving. The key for success is to continuously innovate. “Unless we do that, we will not survive in our business. In this competitive world, we need to adapt and change, expand, enable business to work smarter but ultimately we need to create value for all our stakeholders ,Clients, Shareholders and Employees ” says Daniel Romaidis, general manager, OCS Infotech. At present OCS is expanding its portfolio of professional and technology services and focuses on business applications and large system integration opportunities. OCS’ client reference is rich with organizations from Government and Public, Oil and Gas , Hospitality, Telecommunications, Retail and Manufacturing sectors.

Contact: 2447 1300 , info@ocsinfotech.com Website: www.ocsinfotech.com OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special 45

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OMANIA E-COMMERCE LLC

EXCLUSIVE ICT SOLUTIONS Omania E-Commerce offers turnkey ICT solutions and is the exclusive provider of Tejari B2B online procurement service

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mania E-Commerce, (OEC), is one of most competent companies in Oman offering turnkey information communications technology (ICT) solutions. It also offers exclusively Tejari products and services in Oman. Tejari is a leading business to business (B2B) online procurement service provider. It also manages the revamped portal of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) which sports a new look and has several new features.

The vision of OEC established in 2005 is to become the leading e-solutions provider in Oman and a major contributor to Oman’s drive towards a digital society. Its mission is to provide clients with innovative value-added solutions that maximise the client’s efficiencies, benefits and competitive edge. OEC has strategic partnerships with various leading regional and international e-solution providers. The Tejari e-procurement platform provided by OEC is being used by a number of prestigious buyers. They conduct their tenders and procurement online and have realised enhanced procurement efficiencies, better cost savings, more process transparency and better market reach.

frequency identification (RFID) applications, e-learning solutions, security consultancy services, document management system and system integration services. As part of integrated portal solution,OEC offers clients with customised portal application based on .NET platform / Java, depending on the client’s needs. OEC also offers customers

OEC offers clients with customised portal application based on .NET platform / Java, depending on the client’s needs

Suppliers registered on Tejari can benefit from the online showrooms, where they can list their products and services, create sell leads and share their latest news among different online communities. Tejari can also increase their business opportunities by enabling them to access and respond to thousands of tenders, auctions and RFQs from large international buyers by providing their quotations and proposals. OEC also provides services such as integrated portal development, radio 46 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

with Sharepoint portal solutions. The RFID solutions include implementation of RFID based asset management and library management systems and other automatable related solutions. E-learning solutions imply that by leveraging the power of interactive technologies, organisations can enhance the collaboration

and information sharing among employees. Some of OEC’s e-learning services include: Learning management systems,Development of course structure, Development of multimedia content and Preparation of interactive organization content In the area of e-security consultancy and solutions, OEC offers a range of solutions and services to assist organisations in protecting their IT infrastructure which include: Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing ISO 27001 Consultancy, IT Policy Review and Assessment and IT Security training. OEC has solutions for all the growing needs of organisations related to software and infrastructure security. OEC has partnership with world class document management systems, which offer a flexible and robust solution to customers. These document management systems can suit the needs of the local business and government organisations. On system integration, OEC along with its partners offer integration services to serve large scale and mission critical projects.

Contact: 24571999 E-mail: info@oec.com.om Website: www.oec.com.om

MAJEES TECHNICAL SERVICES LLC

SEAMLESS SECURITY & SAFETY MEASURES The Fire & Security division of Majees is strategically enhancing its focus towards the residential security and automation as part of its diversification plan. S. Sekhar, General Manager of the division highlights its activities Can you elaborate on the activities of Majees Fire & Security division? Majees is a leader in the area of providing turnkey Fire & Security solutions to diverse industry segments – Oil & Gas, Manufacturing, Government, Corporate, Commercial and Residential. Majees’ forte is to provide a comprehensive solution right from design and engineering to installation, commissioning and customer training. Our strength is in being able to provide solutions, encompassing the entire gamut of Fire and Security systems inclusive of Video Surveillance (CCTV), Access Control Systems, Integrated Building Management Systems, Security and Communication systems, PAVA systems, Fire Detection & Alarm Systems, Security Management Systems etc. Our uniqueness is based on the fact that we can integrate products from multiple vendors to provide seamlessly integrated security management systems. How has the Security market grown in Oman and what role do you play there? The Omani economy is very healthy, considering the number of new projects currently being executed and on the anvil in the areas like Infrastructure, Tourism and Health. All these projects require security and communication systems for various levels of security. Our experience and expertise in executing large EPC security projects

changing needs of the market. For this purpose, we have exclusive partnerships with leading global manufacturers like Tyco Fire & Security, Merlaud Communications, Secutron (Fire Detection Systems ), Delta Controls (BMS ), and SEA (Gate Automation Systems ). Furthermore, we have authorized suppliers for various ELV Systems from across the globe. What are your new initiatives in the Fire & Security domain? We are strategically enhancing our focus towards the residential security and automation as part of our diversification plan. We are show casing some of our residential products at the Comex Exhibition. S.Sekhar, General Manager (Fire & Security Division)

like Oman LNG, Sohar Aluminum Smelter, Royal Garage, Oman Botanical Gardens, Salalah Tourist Complex, Saud Bahwan Palm Gardens, RGO Technical College etc has helped us to be considered as preferred solution providers to these new upcoming projects in Oman. It is a matter of pride for us to contribute to the growth of the Omani economy. Who are your technology partners? Majees’ belief is to have long-term partnerships with leading edge technology suppliers in order to meet the ever-

In addition, we are building on our established expertise on industrial security systems by widening our portfolio to include high-end surveillance with Integrated High Speed Positioning cameras, Hybrid Intelligent Security solutions, Security Management Systems, Motion Detection and Tracking system with Video Analytics, Thermal and Radar systems and the state-ofthe-art control centers. On the whole, our focus is to become a more complete Fire & Security solution provider.

Contact:24597226/7/8 e-mail: sekhar@majeestech.com www.majeestech.com OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special 47

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TAWOOS POWER & TELECOMMUNICATIONS LLC

QUALITY SERVICE TPT’s sustained growth is a reflection of the Sultanate’s massive strides in telecommunications, intertwined with its quality of deliverables, professionalism, innovative solutions, and its QoS

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he success story of Tawoos Power & Telecommunications’ (TPT) is closely in sync with that of Oman’s development to 100% inclusive growth. TPT as a local contractor for telecom infrastructure projects in the Sultanate, has brought Oman closer in its relentless expansion of its divergent telecom network and offering a range of services on par with the best in the world.

Services Portfolio TPT,a subsidiary of the prestigiousTawoos Group of Oman was established in 1989, representing niche products in the telecommunications industry in Oman.Specialising in state-of-the-art solutions, the product portfolio covers telecom infrastructure components such as towers, shelters, digital microwave communications, satellite ground communications and many more. In addition to providing equipment and turnkey systems integration, TPT takes pride in offering a range of consultancy services backed by its principals across the globe. Green solutions, and camouflaged solutions are the forte of TPT.TPT’s prestigious clientele includes Omantel, Oman Mobile, Motorola, Nokia Siemens, Huawei, Ericsson. Recently TPT has carried out upgradation to Omantel’s 3.5G network working along side Huawei. To provide value-added and customised services, TPT has developed systems in close co-operation with its principals. TPT’s burgeoning infrastructure works resulted in the setting up of over 600 telecommunication towers of different sizes and types. In addition, TPT has implemented several hundred rooftop solutions in every nook and corner of the Sultanate. TPT’s dominant position in the telecom space is a result of differentiating 48 OER Dossier COMEX 2010 Special

Imtiaz Ahmed Baqui, General Manager, TPT factors such as a thorough knowledge of the Sultanate’s terrain, trained personnel in different disciplines, faster deployment, quality of installations, ability to work on multiple sites simultaneously and manage large-scale projects. HSE is a key component in all TPT’s activities. It is worth mentioning that TPT strives to use as much local content as possible -roof top structures, fencing, cable ladders.

program will last for about 9 months and will involve such courses as safety at work, working at heights, and tower erection methodology to be provided by TPT’s tower specialists. Once the venture is successful, TPT wants to train more people every year. “TPT’s core strength lies in its professionalism, quality of deliverables, fast pace of installation and going beyond the call of duty, which is its hall mark,” says Imtiaz Ahmed Baqui, General Manager.

Excellent Teamwork Notwithstanding the challenges of working in a competitive environment where other contractors are setting up shop in Oman, TPT has created a name for itself. With a technical infrastructure in place, it has a pool of human resources that consists of highly trained specialists in different disciplines with rich professional experience, assisted by a team of dedicated back-end support staff. Working with the Ministry of Manpower, TPT is pioneering an Omanisation effort now. It is for the first time in the Sultanate that young Omanis are being recruited and trained as tower erectors and riggers. The training

With an ability to manage large-scale projects, TPT’srapiddeploymentoftelecommunications projects such as GSM services in various regions for Oman Mobile is commendable, particularly in challenging terrain and harsh climatic conditions. The telecom scenario in the Sultanate, and indeed the region, is getting more vibrant; building on its success in Oman, Tawoos Power & Telecommunications will continue its pioneering role and aim for an expansion of its footprint in the region.

Contact: 24814030 Website: www.tawoos.com


Dossier - English - April 2010