Sys Soft GM to YT: “We are an expanding company and we feel that our continuing growth is a strong evidence of our success.” [Archives:2000/29/Science & Technology]

July 17 2000

It is quite unfair to believe that Yemen is a country with less intelligent people, or less qualified experts of Yemeni nationality. However, an example proving this misconception is contained in one of the fastest growing software developing companies, founded and managed by totally indigenous Yemeni expertise. As a measure to highlight these talents, Yemen Times interviewed Yasser Hassan Al-Aghbari, GM of Sys Soft, one of the most prestigious software developing companies in Yemen. It surely reflects the capacity and potential of Yemeni genius. Below are excerpts from the Interview.

Q: Could you give us a brief idea about your company, Sys Soft?
A: In brief, Sys Soft is a software developing company founded in 1996. Our job is to analyze and study different systems in the financial commercial and industrial fields and other applications in the medical field and insurance companies. It provides solutions for all kinds of environments ranging from ministries to industrial companies. We develop systems that usually would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars starting from $200,000. Identical program packages are usually imported from abroad. We, as Sys Soft, produce high quality products, at low costs compared to the ones bought from abroad, in all fields. I can proudly tell you that our company has provided software much better than some other software brands, for almost 1/10th of the price. Our clients, which we have served so far, are amazed at the quality of our products, and are even more amazed at the competitive prices we offer. They are highly impressed with our products, enabling hem to save a lot of money while getting the desired services on time, and in the best form. No wonder that we have become among the fastest growing software developing companies in Yemen. We know that many companies cannot afford the extremely high prices of foreign products, so we provide the alternative in the most affordable price expected.
Apart from being most economical, having our head office in Sanaa is a further advantage to customers as we are all the time available for after sales maintenance and services. Our team of programmers, specialists and technicians are ready to go for any mission in Yemen, in any city and at any time, as part of our regular service.

Q: Could you specify a few companies you built software systems for, and fields?
A: We have provided digital software systems for many companies including Al-Sharq Group, Fukasa Najlan Co, General Electric, Saba for Insurance, Kabrawi Pump Factory, and many others. We have provided almost complete systems for virtually all functions and services they provide. Through the development of sophisticated and efficient applications for these companies, we have proved to have made a boast in their efficiency, bringing their capacity to its highest level. As regards the specific systems we develop, they are too many to mention here, but here are the most important ones:
– Customer/Client and Employee System
– Financial and Accounting System
– Complete Media and Press System
– Factory Administration System
– Tourist Agencies System
– Medical Clinic and Hospital System
– Bar Code and Magnetic Card System
– Sales and Distribution System
– Others
I would like to point out that we are the only local company developing programs on magnetic cards. This is an extra feature that can be used for the medical sector as patients’ information can be loaded to these cards, which are quite handy and provides easy access to Doctors. The companies who have used our systems are quite satisfied, not only with the quality of our products, but also for the efficient and prompt maintenance services we have. The fields mentioned above are no more than a portion of what we develop. We even develop customer-oriented software that deals with specific fields not used before. We are an expanding company and we feel that our continuing growth is a strong evidence of our success.

Q: With such new technologies, you must be facing problems in the Yemeni market. Could you list them to us?
A: The main problem -or more accurately, the obstacle- we face is in convincing customers about the significance and importance of the software we are developing. Unfortunately, Yemenis are still used to manual and old-fashion methods in doing their work, even in relatively large companies. This is why they sometimes become hesitant of moving on to the digital solutions we provide, and it sometimes generates fear of loss of data, etc. When we tell them that such a product would solve many problems and bring about more efficiency and reliability in their companies, they seem doubtful and fear about the errors that could occur as a result of using our software. After I established my company, I realized that it would not be easy to persuade these companies to revolutionize their systems, but it is better to begin that today before it is too late as the world is advancing so fast. But I am happy that they are now realizing that there is no escape from the digital era we are in, otherwise they would be left behind. There is much potential in this country for the use of advanced and reliable systems with multimedia facilities suitable for the 21st century.

Q: You have mentioned that you worked with the public sector as well as the private sector. How do you evaluate both?
A: Obvious it dealing with the private sector is better, simply because of the less regimented bureaucracy and fewer financial constraints. The main problem we face when building systems for ministries is that they are bound to a certain limited budget and one single financier. In these circumstances, we have to study the feasibility of any project with the ministry, and evaluate the benefits and outcome both, the ministry and we, would get from the project. Interestingly enough, we developed our own software to calculate the risk, profit, time, and other aspects of any future projects. This means that we have used our own software for our company’s own operations as well. We applied this particular program to our project with the Ministry of Agriculture, and realized that our available systems would be ideal for the ministry easily and be flexible for the user as well.

Q: You have gone a long way, but you must be having many ambitions. Could you spell them out?
A: We are currently planning to launch our Banking System for the use of a Yemeni bank in Yemen. This would be a revolutionary step and we will be able to compete regionally and internationally as soon as we succeed in it. Other than that, we will be concentrating on the medical field as well.
Despite the limited use of such technologically advanced systems in Yemen, as a Yemeni, who is proud of his origin, I believe that we need to exploit the potentials in the country. In the near future, we hope to be able to apply our system in all governmental and non-governmental institutions, and perhaps start a stage of adopting e-government solutions. I do want to stress that we are in the year 2000, and need to work hard on catching up with the rest of the changing world around us and not to be left behind.
Technology and computers are advancing rapidly all over the world. Today we are hearing of children using computer in day-to-day life all over the globe. Why should Yemen be left out of the race? Why don’t we work on promoting these concepts in our daily lives, in companies, in ministries, and even in schools? I believe it is time to concentrate on this technology and seek ways to benefit from it in every way we can.