Choosing a Software Vendor in the UAE

Choosing a Software Vendor in the UAE

Here in the U.A.E. there are lots of opportunities to choose software vendors from many locations. There are a large number of overseas software vendors with a small local presence. So as a business, how do I make sure that I choose the correct vendor?

• Local Presence. A local presence is definitely a assistance. It is always nice for me to be able to do site visits and make sure that the customer is happy. This builds a better relationship with my customers, and also gives me the opportunity to offer more or different sets. However, a good local presence is only a assistance when the sustain you receive is good.

• sustain. What is the companies sustain like? Make sure that the sustain contract is scrutinized. Will you be receiving free upgrades? Will those upgrades require paid work to implement? Do the sustain hour of operation suit your business requirement? What are the sustain SLA’s, and do they fit into your requirements as a business?

• Hosted sets. If your vendor is offering you hosted sets, such as Software as a Service (SAAS), then you will need to find out about their data centers. Will the software be hosted in a U.A.E. based data center, such as Etisalat, or will it be hosted thousands of miles away. This will have an effect on the speed of the software. How will your data be secured (especially if it is crossing international boundaries)? Software vendors that great number overseas have the additional issue of sustain hours not aligned with the U.A.E. They may claim that they can sustain you during working hours, however will this include local sustain in the country that the data center resides? The vendor may be charged internally for out of hours sustain for this time, and the cost of this will, inevitably, be passed on to you as a customer. However, most importantly, you must find out what the SLA’s are like in the hours of operation of the data center.

• Personnel. When choosing a vendor, it is important that you like the people you will be doing business with. Having a nice relationship with meaningful people will average that you get better service. This could be difficult in such a transient place, however, one way to find out about personnel is to request specialized CV’s. This will ensure that the personnel are skilled, experienced, and fully qualified to unprotected to what you want to. It is also important that the personnel keep up a valid U.A.E. employment visa.

What questions should you ask your vendors, and indeed yourself?

• How long has your business been present in the U.A.E.? By this ensure that you average truly residing in the U.A.E., and not how long the software has had a presence. You can, of course, request to see a copy of the U.A.E. Trade licence.

• What is your current client base? Does this list include companies that you know of? In this community, chances are you may know someone in one of the vendors’ clients by your network, who may be able to provide an impartial reference.

• Is your business a Free Zone company? Are you able to legally trade with the business? If the company is in a different Free Zone what implications are there? Free Zone companies are not supposed to carry out actual work whilst on site outside of the Free Zone. For example, if you trade with a company in Dubai’s Media City Free Zone, a consultant can come and meet with you, but his time should no be charged to you.

• Is the vendor able to provide reference sites? Indeed, can they provide local case studies?

When choosing a vendor, all of the above will assist in ensuring that you can source a specialized vendor, with which you can build a sustainable relationship.

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