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Tue 21 Oct 2008 04:00 AM

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Microsoft targets burgeoning market

The software giant is offering Arabic language support and providing extensive business intelligence and management capabilities in the Middle East.

Microsoft Gulf unveiled its Microsoft Dynamics (a division of Microsoft) AX (Axapta) 2009 yesterday highlighting its key GITEX Technology Week activities.

The Microsoft Day brought together top decision makers, partners and customers to discuss key technology trends and share best practices.

The day included a series of in-depth sessions on topics such as Enterprise Desktop of the future, Unified Communications, Windows, Virtualization, Security and Software plus Services.

Furthering its commitment to developing a feature rich and comprehensive product eco-system under its Business Solutions portfolio, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 is an adaptable business management solution that Microsoft says, offers new capabilities to help organisations streamline processes, reduce operational costs and drive informed decision-making.

With the new offering, Microsoft is set to leverage its expertise in the growing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software market in the Middle East region, which is estimated to reach US$300 million by the end of 2009.

Microsoft Dynamics has invested greatly in the localisation, and the research and development of its AX 2009, with the biggest component being developing its bi-di (bio-directional scripting) technology, which is a key focus for Microsoft in this region.

In Dubai to announce the launch at GITEX, Henk Bruinekreeft, regional drector, Microsoft Business Solutions, Middle East and Africa says Microsoft Dynamics started relatively late in the business solutions sector in the Middle East, but has grown significantly in recent years.

"We have more than doubled our business in the Middle East region in the last three years and the biggest part of the growth we are seeing is coming from the Gulf and Saudi Arabia. In the coming three years we predict that we will more than double again," he claims.

He says the key sectors driving this growth are manufacturing, wholesale distribution, retail, financial services, hospitality and public sectors.

"We have all of our offices in place now and we have tripled our head count in the last two years, at the end of this fiscal year we will have 70 people dedicated to directing the broader MENA region," Bruinekreeft says, Tamer Elhamy, Business Solutions Manager, Microsoft Gulf says, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 is proof that Microsoft is delivering on its commitment to developing next generation business applications.

"We are seeing rapid growth and adoption of our products across multiple verticals in the Middle East as businesses strive to develop efficient practices to expand and build competitive advantages," he says.

"By delivering more flexibility, adaptability and increased productivity, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 is set to transform the way businesses and users work, thereby enabling them to compete in today's broad global marketplace."

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