MARAFIQ powers up with IBM technology
Posted: 2 September 2003
MARAFIQ, the power and water utility company for Jubail
and Yanbu, has installed a powerful data centre and networking system
based on IBM technology to host new e-business systems
MARAFIQ and Saudi Business Machines (SBM), the general sales and
marketing representative for IBM in Saudi Arabia, announced today
the completion of state-of-the-art IT infrastructure to allow MARAFIQ’s
IT organization to deploy the latest enterprise resource planning
This significant technology success is complemented by a major
outsourcing initiative, providing MARAFIQ with scalable, managed
IT services for new e-business systems.
MARAFIQ is responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance
of the utility systems of Jubail and Yanbu industrial cities. It
has plants for seawater cooling, seawater desalination, potable
and processed water distribution, sanitary and industrial wastewater
treatment, as well as electric power generation, transmission and
The first two phases of this leading IT project started in May
2002, and finished in early 2003. These phases covered the establishment
of new Data and Engineering Centres, and the deployment of a robust
IT management and technical support infrastructure, including a
Help Desk application based on IBM Messaging software, and IBM Tivoli
technology for systems management.
“We needed to find a partner that we could trust to provide
us with not only the best technology solution, but also with the
support and management services to ensure we have complete availability
of the new ERP systems,” said Ahmed al Khars, IT Manager of
MARAFIQ. “SBM provided a competitively priced and comprehensive
solution based on an extensive track record within the Kingdom.
IBM pSeries Unix servers are used to host the core ERP software
from SAP (MySAP.com).
The IBM pSeries servers use IBM’s POWER4 processor technology
to provide some of the industry’s most powerful servers for
The IBM xSeries Intel-based servers are used to host a number of
Microsoft file and print, messaging and web servers. Storage for
the data centre is based on the latest high availability IBM Shark
disk subsystems, and the IBM tape library systems (LTO) for backup.
The solution currently supports 400 users, with a capacity to accommodate
2000 users by the end of 2003.
As a total solution provider, SBM has also been awarded a contract
to provide MARAFIQ with a Billing Printing solution, which includes
IBM printers and Pitney Bowes automatic envelope insertion machines.
Phase 3 of the project, which started in November 2002, involves
the outsourcing of MARAFIQ’s IT operations and management
of its data centre. This four-year contract includes SBM providing
24 engineers, who will be dedicated to providing a 24x7 service
in Jubail and Yanbu industrial cities.
“SBM has worked very hard to deliver a complete solution
to MARAFIQ, providing it with the hardware and software components
that allow it to implement its new e-business systems, but also
integrating them into a robust system that will provide the performance
and reliability that it needs,” commented Ali Dulaim, Khobar
Branch Manager for SBM. “We are also delighted that MARAFIQ
has the faith and confidence in our abilities to entrust us with
ongoing operations and management, taking over the complexities
of technology management, and allowing it to focus on providing
its vital utility services to the industrial cities of Jubail and
Additionally, SBM is working with MARAFIQ to provide a number of
value-added services such as training, security study and disaster
Based in Jeddah, and with branches in Riyadh, Al-Khobar and Jubail,
with over 500 employees and 50 years of experience in the Kingdom,
Saudi Business Machines Limited (SBM) has played a leading role
in the development of information technology in the Kingdom.
SBM continues to power business and government sectors in the Kingdom
with innovative products, integrated services and e-business solutions.
Partnering with the world’s technology leader, IBM, further
extends SBM’s status, positioning it as the most comprehensive
information technology solutions provider in the region.
Posted by Richard Price,
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