x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Injazat to expand product line

The UAE's largest technology outsourcer is expanding its product line to include its new joint-venture partner, HP.

The UAE's largest technology outsourcer is expanding its product line to include the hardware and engineering capabilities of its new joint-venture partner, HP, with major new contracts to be announced within months. Injazat Data Systems was founded in a partnership between Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Development and the US IT services business EDS. The acquisition of EDS by the broader IT group HP means Injazat is now part-owned by the world's largest technology company.

While EDS was a services business specialised in outsourcing IT infrastructure and processes, HP is the world's largest manufacturer of personal computers. It also has strong positions in the markets for servers, printers, imaging systems and networking equipment. "This means a big opportunity for Injazat to grow what we do," said Ibrahim Lari, the company's chief executive. "Having support worldwide from both EDS and HP will strengthen our activities in Abu Dhabi and the region."

Injazat is now integrating HP's hardware products and specialised engineering talent into its service offerings, said George Pawlyszyn, an EDS veteran who is the company's chief operating officer. "Obviously there are huge opportunities for synergies." EDS is now known as "EDS - an HP Company", and is one of the four business groups that sit under the HP umbrella. "This does not mean that the answer to all problems will be 'HP'," Mr Pawlyszyn said. "We recognise the different needs of our clients and the unique capabilities our other partners bring. This will continue - for the benefit of our client - and what benefits our clients will benefit our shareholders"

When the acquisition was finalised in August, onlookers expected a cultural clash. EDS has a reputation for its disciplined, top-down culture - the company once organised a rescue mission for employees held hostage in Iran - while HP was more closely associated with the collaboration and decentralisation of Silicon Valley. "For sure, the cultures are different, the ways of approaching the business are different," said Francesco Serafini, the managing director of HP's technology solutions group for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"But this is the right moment to integrate, when our customers are looking for efficient solutions. It is progressing much faster than we predicted." Injazat works with several state-owned companies and some departments of the Abu Dhabi Government. As a Mubadala-affiliate, it looks to secure contracts with the new companies that Mubadala founds. "Obviously we have a very strong proposition for them," Mr Pawlyszyn said. "But we can't take any of it for granted, which is the way it should be."

The company does not disclose revenue or profit figures, but said that it secured Dh700 million (US$190.5m) worth of contracts in its first year of operations. This included what was at the time the Middle East's largest IT outsourcing deal, a Dh400m agreement with the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority. HP, which owns 40 per cent of Injazat through its EDS unit, reported strong quarterly results this week. Laptop sales were up by 21 per cent, against a wider trend of flat or slowing sales of consumer electronics.

Almost half of the company's profits come from its printer division, which generates a large proportion of its income from the sale of ink. While printer sales were down, sales of supplies, including ink, were up by 9 per cent. This quarter was the first where income from EDS was consolidated into HP's results. The company's revenues rose by 19 per cent and profits by 4 per cent thanks largely to the EDS acquisition and the growth in laptop sales. It projected an 8 per cent rise in full-year profits for next year.

tgara@thenational.a