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Sat 18 Oct 2008 04:00 AM

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Technology steps up to the challenge

Venkat Raghavan, general manager of Al-Futtaim Technologies, says providers are meeting the demand for business solutions that improve efficiency and create cost savings for customers.

Venkat Raghavan, general manager of Al-Futtaim Technologies, says providers are meeting the demand for business solutions that improve efficiency and create cost savings for customers.

What does Al-Futtaim Technologies bring to the market place?

Al-Futtaim Technologies (AFT) is one of the leading regional systems integrators and a member of the Al-Futtaim Group. AFT provides complete business solutions including networking solutions, IP telephony, infrastructure, contact centre solutions, business applications, ELV systems, professional audio/visual solutions, and managed services to large, medium and small customers.

It‘s all about empowering the surveyor to get it right in the field.

AFT provides a comprehensive range of solutions by working with best-in-class brands such as Panasonic, Alcatel-Lucent and Microsoft Business Solutions, among others, to deliver the full spectrum of business solutions to customers.

Al-Futtaim Technologies is a leading Microsoft business solutions provider and we provide CRM solutions for different verticals such as finance, real estate and trading and distribution. In 2008 Microsoft recognised our efforts with several awards: Microsoft president's club award, Regional partner of the year for sales and Best implementation partner.

How do you view technologies used in the UAE construction sector?

The construction industry has registered phenomenal growth over the last few years both in terms of projects size and technologies implemented. Most companies in the industry have out-grown their existing systems, or use systems that cannot address current business requirements.

To expand Al-Futtaim Technologies' offering for the construction sector, we have recently partnered with WennSoft - a Microsoft gold certified partner that develops and services business solutions for the heavy construction industry to provide solutions to meet the growing challenges of the industry in the region.

What does WennSoft bring to the table and how does it work?

WennSoft provides innovative business management solutions for public and private sector organisations focused on project management, field service and equipment/fleet management.

Core products for WennSoft include: Job Cost, Project Management Portal, Service Management Series and Equipment Management Series which seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Dynamics GP to deliver a unique solution to each vertical industry served.

WennSoft solutions complement and enhance existing processes and the people who facilitate them - improving efficiency, expediting reporting and creating cost savings for customers.

What is its relevance and how can it benefit the construction sector?

The WennSoft Job Cost module helps to effortlessly track project change orders, sub-contracts, sub-contract documents, forecasts, forecast revisions, committed purchase orders, fixed assets and percentage of complete revenue.

It also allows greater control of project billing through flexible billing rates, overhead allocation, mark-up rules and multiple billing methods and prints detailed job invoices in multiple currencies.

In addition to the above, core products for WennSoft also include equipment management, equipment rental and services management series.

Will technologies such as WennSoft be accepted in the market?

Built on the solid foundation of Microsoft Dynamics GP, WennSoft solutions offer a complete and integrated solution, all based on the Microsoft technology stack.

With an installed base of more than 38,000 customers in the US alone, Microsoft Dynamics GP is one the most successful mid-market financial solutions available.

Because WennSoft solutions work with other Microsoft products, customers will find user interface and features that they already use and are familiar with.

The platform ensures that not only is your investment in a business management solution secure, but the underlying technology is current and can easily work in harmony with systems already in place.

We have received interest from the construction sector in the UAE and are currently in discussions with a few of them.

What are the challenges you face in the Middle East market?

WennSoft is a relatively new market entrant but we believe we have a unique product that matches those already established in this region. We refer of course to Oracle and SAP.

Currently we are enriching a strong local reference list while addressing several issues that include local competition from home grown products. We are positive of our product's strength and marketability will soon succeed in ensuring a strong standing in the Middle East.

How is WennSoft different from other products?

WennSoft is built on top of the Microsoft Dynamics GP application which is among the best selling applications in the market. The solution from WennSoft while being fully equipped to meet the requirements of the market offers lower total cost of ownership and maintenance.

For SMEs its features are far superior to the competition and have a shorter implementation cycle. WennSoft solutions are also able to meet the growing demands of a company as it expands into other construction related activities.

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