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Gulf Business Machines (GBM) is implementing the final phases of an e-business solution for Kuwait Middle East Finance and Investment Company (KMEFIC), which will enable it to launch the first national on-line stock brokerage system in Kuwait, and provide a window for its customers to trade securities on North American and Kuwaiti stock markets.

According to Jozef Ondas, General Manager of GBM’s branch in Kuwait, Khorafi Business Machines (KBM), the solution comprises IBM hardware and software and KBM’s ‘one-stop’ consultancy services, which include developing user and technical specifications; mapping business processes, designing, developing, installing and integrating the system. In addition KBM is closely co-operating with partners, Intiqua Systems and EffectInvest Cyprus, who are also delivering their expertise to the solution.

"A number of IBM eServer pSeries machines – formerly known as the IBM RS/6000 - have been installed. An eServer pSeries functions as the application server; a similar machine serves as a testing and backup server, and an eServer is used as a development machine," said Mr Ondas. "This e-business project includes well known IBM software that enables e-business: WebSphere, DB2, Domino Mail Server, Domino Designer and Visual Age for JAVA EE, as well as a supporting security solution."

The IBM WebSphere Internet infrastructure software enables companies, such as KMEFIC, to develop, deploy and integrate next-generation e-business applications, such as those for business-to-business e-commerce, and it supports business applications from simple Web publishing through to enterprise-scale transaction processing.

WebSphere transforms the way businesses manage customer, partner, and employee relationships. For example, it can be used to create a compelling Web experience that improves the quality and quantity of site traffic, extend applications to incorporate mobile devices so the sales force can service clients faster, or build an electronic e-marketplace to lower sourcing costs.

Leveraging corporate information will be achieved through IBM's DB2 database, which delivers the performance, scalability, reliability, and availability needed for the most demanding e-commerce, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Intelligence, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications. DB2 is specifically tailored to e-commerce as the only database that combines the in-memory speed required for Internet searches with complex text matching and with the scalability and availability of a relational database.

"KMEFIC will also use the platform to offer its clients additional value against current trading channels and existing conventional competitors. The easy-to-use web site and satisfactory response times will add to the list of customer benefits, and KBM is proud to be associated with KMEFIC, who through this project will claim another one of many ‘firsts’, namely, being the first entity in Kuwait to offer e-trading on KSE stocks," said Saad Al-Saad, Business Development Manager, Private Sector, KBM.

"Our objective is to use the site to grow our profitability by attracting and retaining as many retail customers as possible and encouraging more consistent trading irrespective of world time zones so customers do not miss any investment opportunities.

"We believe that in offering this service, we will be able to achieve a higher degree of customer satisfaction thereby building customer loyalty, and this undertaking is just one

of a number of new business initiatives KMEFIC has been exploring which will allow us to offer enhanced value added services to our existing and new customers using the expertise of partners such as KBM / GBM," added Hamed Al-Saif, Chairman and General Manager, KMEFIC.