Ashruf Hassaballa, the General Manager for SofTrack – TechAccess, speaks to Arabian Reseller about the opportunities coming up in 2019
How was 2018 for the industry and your company?
2018 was the first full year of operation for TA SofTrack, the software division of TechAccess. TA SofTrack focuses on Value Added Distribution for “Best of Breed” enterprise software vendors. TA SofTrack had a strong performance in 2018 from a revenue perspective which has supported substantial investment in 2019. Our portfolio of vendors recognized growth rates from 30% and 60% in 2018.
In general, 2018 was a very strong year for focused software vendors. The IT industry witnessed many disruptions with the introduction of cloud. Organizations particularly focused on solutions rather than products, and on buying what they need rather than large Enterprise License agreements.
What sort of opportunities did 2018 bring along?
Organizations are realizing that data is their most important asset and they are seeking out solutions that allow them to leverage their data at scale, focusing on data management and data monetization. We have also witnessed tremendous growth in the IT Operations Management for data centers, as businesses seek operational excellence in the areas of service desk, security operations and automation.
Did you face any challenges in 2018?
2018 was a year where the digital transformation began for organizations and IT service providers. Since the introduction of many disruptive technologies and consumption models, some organizations faced challenges in defining their technology and investment roadmap. We also saw a shift from IT driven initiatives to business driven initiatives which means organizations serving them needed to start talking more about business outcomes than product discussions. TA SofTrack works with its vendors, partners and clients to face those challenges with confidence.
What were your key achievements in 2018?
The establishment of TA SofTrack is a key achievement, in addition to signing partnership agreements with leading software vendors such as BMC, the leader in digital enterprise management, and Informatica. We were also able to grow the TA SofTrack team across the MENA and Pakistan region to better serve our vendors, partners and customers.
What promises does 2019 bring along?
SofTrack is very excited about 2019 as we are on track to grow our business by over 200 percent. We have a very busy first quarter of 2019 which includes the re-launch of our new Solution Center located in Dubai Internet City. The Center will include a data center, 2 training rooms, executive conference room, and a demo center. We also look forward to signing two new strategic vendor partnerships in the areas of Big Data and Robotic Process Automation. SofTrack will also be forming strategic partnerships in the Master Data Management and Mobile Application space.
Do you see opportunities on the market with Dubai Expo 2020 just around the corner?
TA SofTrack believes there is a tremendous opportunity with the upcoming Expo 2020. It starts with leveraging many smaller and niche organizations seeking to bring their talent to the region and providing them a platform to collaborate and realize opportunities. Secondly, it’s about creating a sustainable ecosystem for those organizations to continue to provide value to the growth and development of the region.
According to you, which technologies will be in demand in 2019?
We believe that Data Management will continue to be a key initiative for organizations. This includes driving insights from a traditional data warehouse or big data environment. Organizations will also look to get a single view of customers, citizens, assets, etc. Another key technology that will be in high demand is Robotic Process Automation. This technology allows the automation of predictive and mundane tasks facing any organization to help them achieve operational excellence. RPA allows organizations to leverage their legacy systems while streamlining lines of business like, finance, Human Resources and Supply Chain.
What will be your key focus areas for 2019?
TA SofTrack’s key focus in 2019 will be to build our comprehensive solution offerings for our partners in the data management, Automation & AI, and Digital Enterprise Management space. We will also continue to grow our team and facilities to better serve our vendors, partners and customers. Our main focus is to build a strong and strategic partner community across the region focusing on expanding our vendor portfolio.
What would you like to do differently in 2019, when compared with 2018?
We focused on building the core business model in 2018. In 2019 we will focus on building awareness for our solutions across the region through training, awareness sessions and events in the markets we serve. We plan to sign new strategic vendor partnerships in the areas of Big Data and Robotic Process Automation, Master Data Management and Mobile Application space. Our new website www.tasoftrack.com will be launched in late January 2019.