Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 81 | Page 59


tTalk us through Hayel Saeed Anam ( HSA ) and Company Yemen IT infrastructure and why it was important to partner with technology vendor SAP .

HSA Group was established in Yemen in 1938 and is now one of the largest multinational conglomerates based in the Middle East . With 35,000 employees , HSA operates across more than 40 markets , providing goods and services to communities in the MENA region , Southeast Asia , and Africa .
To succeed as a business of this size , it is important that the management team are enabled to make effective and efficient decisions based on accurate data gathered from across the organisation . For a country like Yemen , where technology infrastructure is compromised to the extent that even supporting stable Internet connectivity is a challenge – this is no mean feat . It was for this reason that in 2015 HSA chose to partner with SAP , the world ’ s largest provider of enterprise application software , to strengthen our existing infrastructure and operations in Yemen and more broadly across the globe .
We decided to partner with SAP because of the vendor ’ s extensive expertise in industrial systems , a key area of HSA ’ s operations . Working together with SAP , we sought to accelerate HSA ’ s growth , overcome operating challenges , and enhance decision-making throughout the business . We were able to build a strong relationship with SAP which has proved essential to our Digital Transformation , ensuring that HSA is well-equipped to support the communities and people we serve in Yemen .
What were the main challenges that HSA Yemen faced prior to the project implementation with SAP Applications ?
The first obstacle that we encountered was the absence of an SAP-certified partner in Yemen . Finding an onthe-ground partner was essential to implementing the new solutions , but there were no suitable organisations in Yemen – where the bulk of the process would take place . Ultimately , we decided to totally transform our digital architecture to enable us to conduct the implementation process remotely via SAP-certified experts in other countries in the region , such as Egypt . In order to reach the implementation stage , we needed to address a number of other challenges first .
For HSA ’ s Internet connections in Yemen , we had initially used an Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line ( ADSL ), however , as traffic increased , the available bandwidth was not sufficient to reliably serve our operations . To address this growing shortfall , in 2019 , HSA secured the first ever leased lines into Yemen which would provide stable Internet connectivity for HSA ’ s businesses across the country .
To ensure that we could take advantage of the leased lines ’ capacity , we also upgraded our physical infrastructure in Yemen . This process involved replacing 40km of copper cables with fibre cables to enable a high-speed connection from telecoms centres . We have now established six leased lines in Yemen , which also provide essential connectivity to Yemeni communities , schools and other establishments , alongside our own businesses .
The leased lines have been instrumental not only to increasing the bandwidth available to HSA but also have greatly increased the resilience of operating companies across the country by providing an alternative source of connectivity when disruption has occurred .
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