- Software development, online advertising witnessed strong growth
- Unified communications and Seamless User Experience are key considerations for the future
LINKdotNET today announced that it is entering its second decade of operations in the Gulf in the strongest position since the business was established in Dubai in 1997.
The company has maintained an average annual growth rate for its GCC business of 70% over the past five years, and is celebrating its tenth anniversary in the Gulf at Gitex 2007, a show in which it has participated since its entry to the region. LINKdotNET is a software solution provider and online media house in the Middle East and a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom.
"Our business in the Gulf has enjoyed tremendous growth over the past five years," said Karim Beshara, CEO of LINKdotNET. "The increased level of maturity and understanding of the Internet’s capabilities and value by corporations and governments has spurred this success, and cemented our position as one of the largest Internet solution providers in the Middle East and Africa."
LINKdotNET started its Gulf operations with a small team and quickly expanded its presence to become a prominent software development and online media company in the region. The company’s software development subsidiary - LINK Development – has a service offering today that spans diverse areas like portal & intranet development, e-commerce, Enterprise Integration, CRM and Helpdesk Solutions. It has built a portfolio of award-winning work and a substantial client base across government and enterprise sectors throughout the Gulf region.
Sherif Dahan, GCC Territory Manager at LINKdotNET says, “Our work in software development for the government and private sector has been instrumental in our growth, while our position as a trusted Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in five competency areas has also helped boost our business," she added.
Furthermore, the success of the company’s online media division has added considerable value to the business. Connect Ads was set up in the region in 2000 when the concept of a dedicated online media house was rare. By operating the largest portal network in the region, comprising MSN Arabia, Hotmail & Windows Live Messenger, along with its own range of portals, Dahan says that the company is raising the standard of online advertising in the Gulf through greater options and reach.
The UAE was initially the catalyst for LINKdotNET's business in the Gulf, but today the company's footprint covers all Gulf countries, with solid business across the region and offices in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Looking forward, the company's mid to long-term business focus will be on a number of key areas. “We will continue to focus on the Web 2.0 approach in enterprise portals and intranets, which encourages collaboration and the development of online communities,” says Dahan. “We also see great opportunities in enterprise communication and collaboration, whether internally among virtual teams of employees and partners or externally with customers. We will also focus more on the development of value-added services for the telecom sector, such as messaging and collaboration services, IPTV and digital rights management.”
In the area of e-government, Hanan Abdel Meguid, Chief Solutions Officer says that, in line with the public sector’s gradual shift towards a citizen-centric approach, LINKdotNET will continue to focus on developing solutions that optimize the delivery of government services. She anticipates higher demand for Citizen Relationship Management (CiRM) solutions, performance measurement tools for public services known as Dashboards, and solutions that enable delivery of public services through multiple channels and devices.
Hanan adds, “Governments in the Gulf are keen not to be left behind in the Internet arena and are taking advantage of its offerings in citizen empowerment and high service levels. We see a lot of potential across the gulf markets for our industry and we are confident of continued strong growth for many years to come."
Hanan also highlights unified communications - which integrates the areas of telephony and computing - and the convergence of devices, software and services, as two growing inter-related trends. As a result, users will expect to have the same experience, regardless of whether they are accessing services through their laptops, mobiles or TVs. “Solutions are judged today by how easy, up-to-date and seamless their user experience is. Seamless user experience has become the most important consideration," she says.
"With strong growth opportunities in the areas of community-based portals, online advertising, collaboration of virtual teams, and convergence, we are very bullish about the next decade," says Dahan. “We will focus on enabling unified communications, improving user mobility, interactivity and personalization, and maintaining security across systems, applications and infrastructures,” Dahan concludes.