In a move that amplifies its presence to libraries in the Arab world, Innovative Interfaces has formed an exclusive agreement with Naseej. Formerly known as Arabian Advanced Systems, Naseej ranks as the largest provider of technology products to universities and other cultural institutions in the region.
The company employs more than 300 personnel and maintains offices in Jeddah, Al Khobar, Dubai, Doha, Kuwait, Damascus, Beirut, Cairo, Rabat. Arabian Advanced Systems was formed in 1989 and changed its operating name to Naseej in October 2012. Naseej provides a wide variety of products to its clients, ranging from campus-wide products, such as learning management systems or e-learning platforms, and enterprise portals. In the library domain, it is involved with integrated library systems, RFID products, and content packages. Naseej works with 3M Library Systems for RFID products and with Adlib for archive and museum management systems. It offers a Search and Discovery Portal called AcKnowledge that provides access to a broad range of information resources.
Naseej's partnership with Innovative Interfaces represents an apparent shift in allegiance from SirsiDynix. Arabian Advanced Systems initially formed a distributorship agreement with SirsiDynix in 1991, and since that time has placed Horizon or Symphony in more than 210 of their client libraries. Naseej has developed an Arabic version of Symphony for its clients. These libraries will continue to receive ongoing support for their SirsiDynix products through Naseej. With Naseej now representing Innovative Interfaces, it will be interesting to observe whether these libraries remain with their current systems or migrate to Innovative's Sierra.
The partnership with Naseej also highlights the alternatives available to companies like Innovative as they consider strategies for international regions. Companies may choose to operate their own offices in a country or region to provide marketing, sales, and support to current and potential clients. Alternatively they may elect to work through an established firm to represent their interests. When operating its own office, a company makes an up-front investment in facilities and personnel, but then benefits from all the revenue generated through those efforts. A partnership with a distributor avoids some of the up-front costs, but usually involves sharing a proportion of the revenue. The international companies in the library technology industry make use of both models. Innovative has generally supported its products in international regions through its own offices. Earlier this year Innovative opened a new office in Dublin to the support customers in Europe. More recently the company established a services and development center in India, partnering with a Global- Logic in an arrangement that blends the characteristics of a distributorship and a dedicated office. Working with Naseej as its exclusive distributor, Innovative gets a jump-start in a region of the world with enormous potential.