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12 December

The Need for a System Integrating Partner (Part 2)

The Need for a System Integrating Partner (Part 2)


The three main factors to take into careful consideration when choosing an effective System Integrator in another continent are the following:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Capability
  • Record

This is not really an exhaustive list of a logical selection procedure, but I will be focusing on the Middle East as a very special culture as compared to Asia and Europe, which are mainly part of what is called EMEA - with Europe as the main focus and the Middle East being the ‘tasty' piece of the cake.


There is nothing better like having confidence in your partner whom you can trust with- and not just inked contracts.

"In the Middle East, TRUST is a currency. We earn it, invest it, spend it and sometimes lose it!"  

Choosing a partner has a lot to do with how much trust he can give you and commit to their word-of-honor as far as meeting deadlines and ensuring successful contracts are concerned. Customers definitely look for these System Integrators who are trustworthy and you should also do the same. This is the only way the missing ring in the chain clicks.

Practicing solid industry values should not only be reflected in speeches and profile documents - but most importantly, it should be engraved in the DNA of the company regardless of the number of years they have spent in the business or how many salaried employees they have. This spirit should be transferred from leaders’ minds and manifested in decisions given to delivery staffs where every customer can directly feel it. Indeed, finding the right System Integrator is important in the world where software selections are still done by the blind tender screening model.


Now, let's take a look at the measurable part.

An effective System Integrator is that which has the ability to understand and deliver not only what customers ‘want’ but most importantly - what customers ‘need.’

The most capable team for delivery will detect all customers' signals, understand their requirements, measure the project risks, and assess the possibility of mitigating these risks and related costs. The risks of delivery in software are tremendous and are interrelated between a sponsor’s expectations and the stakeholder’s interests. Hence, walking away from a risky project is an honest decision that a System Integrator should take to avoid risking an army in a losing battle.

Understanding policies and procedures for change management is a key factor that will tell you whether a System Integrator is able to take the challenge and really deliver under realistic plans or he is only after scoring high sales!

Delivery Record

The record of a System Integrator as a company and as executive individuals is the third factor that will tell you how capable they are at implementation and delivery. In Project Management Professional (PMP) standards, no two projects are the same. If this is a mile true in a construction, then it is a hundred miles true in software delivery.

Expectation, scope, product long term strategy, platform, stakeholders, risks, timing, and resources are all dynamic variables in each project - which makes it even more challenging and yet, the rules are still the same. If they are able to take the journey of implementation to complete a successful record, then they know that it is not easy and they should know how to deal with upcoming unknowns and pile more lessons learned to use in their future ventures.

Other than what was discussed above, I did not talk about contracting details, modes of delivery, integrated SLA and performance measure, dealing with changes in your partner's organisations, and above all, long-term market commitment yet these are all challenges that must be faced by partnerships for long years.

So, who do you sell your currency of trust with? 


Written By:


Eng. Adel Yousef, PMP, MBA

CEO, Superior Business Solutions Middle East - SBSME