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According to Majed Bin Saad Al Arifi, marketing director and spokesperson, Elm, the company has fully embraced an innovation-based vision for building a better future for society via the development of digital services and products; training and advisory services; outsourcing & administrative support solutions and emerging business solutions. He shared that Elm is currently working on more than 100 projects with government entities and large organizations. In addition, the company is marketing over 46 brands across a client base of 40,000. The company strives to constantly cater to the needs of its local and international clients in the public and private sectors.

What is the vision that Elm adopts for its businesses?
Elm is a Saudi company owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the company has been leading by its innovation-based vision to build a better future for society. During this process, Elm has taken consideration of developing digital services and products; training and advisory services; support and assistance solutions and emerging business solutions designed specifically to enhance the progress of work, ensure the completion rate, and sustainability in both government and corporate environments.

The values we follow play a big role in our move to contribute towards building national expertise and internalizing information technology that serves both public and private sectors. In fact, Elm continuously seeks to achieve integration between business, customers and society.

Can we say that Elm is only targeting the public sector?
Definitely not. Elm reaches out to a number of sectors, both in the public and private segments. We have a cumulative experience in provisioning the integrated solutions, whether at the advisory solutions; technical and business solutions; digital products; outsourcing and administrative support; process re-engineering; training solutions; or the emerging business solutions. We have a myriad of products that meet the needs of the private sector, like the services of 'Muqeem,' cloud storage and so many more.

Based on this cumulative experience, has the company ever considered expanding beyond KSA?
As a matter of fact, we've already started to expand beyond KSA. Last year, the company has already begun to provide integrated solutions and digital products to all public and private sectors. These efforts were ultimately culminated in a project that has been recently concluded with the Tunisian Government. There are still a number of similar international projects awaiting in the near future. As a matter of concern, we're keen on transferring knowledge and provide deeply-influential services that would in turn support the governments in implementing their transformation plans and improving the quality of the services provided to their customers. To realize these enshrined objectives, the governments rely heavily on their knowledge base; from the idea phase, its eventual implementation, and down to the constantly optimized operation. In addition, Elm provides consultations and training services targeting the labor market in the GCC markets and Africa.

You talked about the activities of Elm in 'Emerging Businesses.' To what extent are you interested in entrepreneurship in the KSA?
Since it was established, the company has largely invested in the move to promote knowledge. In line with this, Elm introduced the first integrated digital service in the KSA, and it has also successfully contributed to transforming to the electronic government. Believing in the innovative capabilities of our compatriots as the ingredient to success, we are contributing with the venture capital through launching of a program to invest with entrepreneurs, and scale up their innovations via diverse investment programs side by side with the instructions and tools necessary for developing the skills of the entrepreneurs and their startups.

Furthermore, we made it easier for the entrepreneurs who were admitted to work in our company in order to capitalize on the company's facilities as part of the agreed plan, which would help expand the growth of our company. To solidify their foothold, we also supply them with the consultations about business development, technical and marketing aspects, as well as the opportunity to scale up by being associated with the company and the public sector.

You've just mentioned the cumulative experience that Elm has gained. Could you tell us about some of these achievements?
Elm has always been steadfast in its commitment to apply strict quality specifications and special measurements in order to survey the satisfaction of our customers and continuously improve our services accordingly. We believe that the achievement is the only true yardstick of our performance in the market. We may take the 'Ryadah' project as an example, which was launched in conjunction with the Ministry of Interior's General Agency of Regional Affairs. The aim of this project was to enhance the people's welfare and security; develop the region and safeguard the public domains. This project was launched and completed in six months only, while other similar projects in other countries took more than two years to be up and running.

As earlier stated, Elm is currently running around 100 major projects with major government entities and large organizations--marketing also 46 brands across 40,000 clients.

Speaking of your presence at GITEX 2017, why do you always participate and what is the importance of your participation in this annual event?
We are always upbeat about participating at GITEX, which is a world leading platform that provides significant opportunities for strengthening the bridges of communication with the decision makers and technology entrepreneurs; as well as exploring the latest innovations in the information and communication technology. Considering that the event is held in one of the fastest and most important emerging markets in the field of information and communication technology, this event constitutes an ideal platform for showcasing our innovative solutions and bespoke services designed specifically to meet the needs of the public and private sectors, as well as exchanging the knowledge, expertise and best practices with the exhibitors and visitors from all around the world.

What are the services that you will be launching during this year's edition of GITEX?
We are set to launch a number of new services, including 'Ithra'a Platform', 'HIS' health service and 'Salama' service. These new services constitute a valuable addition to the national initiatives aiming to implement the electronic government model and achieve the National Transformation Program 2020. One of our first services, 'Ithra'a' Platform is for managing e-learning and training, which is considered to be an advanced platform with a user-friendly interface provided through Elm's Cloud Environment. The platform is also embedded with several interactive facilities, and supports several languages. It is also responsive to smart devices and compliant with the e-learning criteria. Meanwhile, our second service, 'HIS' health service.

GITEX 2017 will also throw the spotlight on the benefits of our 'Salamah' service, which is considered to be an innovative service designed specifically to empower the private companies, owning valid commercial registrations, to create their respective accounts on the Civil Defense's electronic portal to electronically issue or renew the civil defense licenses without the need to visit the Civil Defense premises.

What is Elm's outlook for the future?
To conclude, I would like to highlight our latest success in achieving solid performance and remarkable results that urge us to further continue our leadership, backed by our key confidence and trust in our human capital and technical capabilities that would enable us to capitalize all the opportunities available. Such successes wouldn't have been possible without the relentless efforts of our staff who did everything they can for the sake of developing products and services to meet the needs of different sectors, including the public sector. Realizing that our employees are the cornerstone of our success, we have made it a priority to develop their skills and competencies to address all the challenges and opportunities that may arise on the road to excellence and success. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude and appreciation in recognition of your constant efforts to highlight the success of Elm and its contributions to society.