JAGGAER/Dubai government drive digital procurement
In a recent announcement made by JAGGAER - one of the world’s largest independent spend management companies - detailed the latest trends in procurement alongside its latest partnership with the Dubai government.
The industry webinar hosted representatives from the Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Economic Development and Dubai Municipality explored the successful optimisation and digitalisation of procurement processes across government entities.
“Ensuring effective and efficient management of strategic sourcing events, supplier registration, and performance through a single, user-friendly centralised repository, has been a game-changer to many government entities and businesses in the Middle East,” commented Hossam Refaat, Managing Director, JAGGAER MEA.
“This will be even more important post-COVID-19 as organisations focus more on digital procurement solutions which offer more agility and speed in their procurement practices which will be key to realising greater success in their recovery.”
During the webinar, JAGGAER identified multiple benefits, trends and best practices relating to the Dubai government’s procurement portal eSupply, which was developed by both Dubai Smart Government and JAGGAER. The portal provides an opportunity for Dubai’s government suppliers to participate in transparent online bidding activities for contracts and tenders.
Prior to harnessing the eSupply platform, the Dubai government faced multiple challenges which included: processes implemented to maximise engagement with suppliers, the successes surrounding the implementation of the platform, and the changes to procurement as a result of COVID-19.
Adopting the platform not only increased the government’s number of supplies but also provided increased ease when it comes to communication. In addition, the environmental benefits were also evident as a result of paperless tendering processes and contracts, as well as security credentials, processing power, connectivity, and time efficiencies within the evaluation process.
Overall the portal provides buys and prospective suppliers with an efficient, effective and transparent way to interact.
Following the webinar, a dedicated Dubai Municipality workshop was held with more than 177 of the government entities, contracts and purchasing personnel receiving certification.
Reflecting on JAGGAER future growth plans in the MEA region, it was revealed by the company that it would be increasing its headcount throughout 2020, addressing the increased demand for recently launched and updated services. To achieve this JAGGAER plans to increase its emphasis on the UAE market and expansion into Saudi Arabia to drive the demand.
“I believe now is the time to look forward with a certain degree of optimism. Industries are opening up, and the wheels of business are beginning to turn again. 2020 has challenged us all. However, we have shown our resilience to overcome adversity in the past. Although the short-term outlook still presents difficulties, we have the technology and know-how to recover and come back stronger. We are here to stay, we are investing, and we are growing,” concluded Refaat.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”