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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

 
 

The success of Kharafi National’s operations depends greatly on advanced communication and data processing technologies and its Information Technology Department is vital to the smooth running of the company.

The IT Department was established to implement, monitor and maintain KN’s data network, computer systems, servers, and business applications. As the company has expanded and prospered, the use of IT has evolved significantly and the department now offers services and support in the field of information technology to all other departments and to KN’s numerous projects.

The IT Department’s primary responsibilities are to provide high quality information technology solutions, develop and implement recommended standards for information technology, develop and maintain security policies and systems, and to implement international ERP business solutions.

Its vision is that it will provide the best data processing services possible through the effective utilization of both existing and new information technologies.

To achieve these goals the IT Department ensures that its company-wide IT initiatives are directly aligned to the overall mission, strategies and operational needs of Kharafi National.

The department maintains, develops and supports KN’s information technology infrastructure, including networks and internet connections, site and branch office connectivity, workgroup and central host servers, corporate databases, corporate business applications, and intelligent powerful reporting tools, as well as helpdesk and information services in Kuwait, the UAE, Egypt and Lebanon, and at site offices throughout the Middle East.
 

 IT Department Units

 

In order to provide the best possible services and optimum support, the IT Department is divided into two units:

 

Management Information System Unit
Technical Support Unit
   
 Management Information System Unit
 

The Management Information System (MIS) Unit is located centrally in Kuwait. Its main task is to implement, develop and support the KN ERP business application.

In order to accommodate its continuous growth, maximize the efficiency of its functional departments, reduce data processing costs, enhance staff productivity, and apply international best practices, KN decided to invest in the latest software technology some years ago. To achieve these goals, the MIS Unit is implementing Oracle’s E-business Suite – Enterprise Resource Planning suite of applications, which integrates all functions across the company into a single computer system serving the needs of all operating units. 

The implementation is a vast undertaking and covers all KN geographical areas. It has already been successfully completed for Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar and Ethiopia, and more than 20 companies are running online with all required modules. Implementation is currently ongoing in Egypt and Lebanon.

The ERP suite covers the following business areas: projects and cost control, financial, supply chain, order management, HRMS, payroll, manufacturing, quality controls and assurance, assets maintenance and accommodation. ERP is equipped with powerful reporting and intelligence tools to manage complex reports and provide management with the data required for decision making.
 

The duties of the MIS Unit are to:

Study KN group business requirements and propose optimum solutions

Design, develop, implement standard applications and provide necessary support

Retrieve and format information as reports at an appropriate level of detail for all ERP modules

Ensure all necessary upgrades are installed and ERP is running with latest apps versions

Ensure system integration and data consistency across different modules and areas

Develop and maintain the ERP backup strategy

Trouble-shoot user requirements and provide support

Train ERP key users and provide technical support for the development of discoverer reports

Follow up with Oracle concerning ERP bugs and enhancement requests.

 
 Technical Support Unit 
 

The activities of the Technical Support (TS) Unit are mainly concentrated on maintaining the entire computer network setup throughout Kharafi National.

To achieve the most efficient use of the company’s IT assets, TS operates a centralized control and rental system for computer hardware, software and related peripherals. The unit’s services also include:

 

Internet – ensuring that the Internet Infrastructure is capable of being upgraded from its existing bandwidth of 10 Mbps to 100Mbps or more on fibre.

Email – ensuring accessibility from around the globe with 24/7 availability guaranteed by the use of clustered exchange enterprise servers and storage. 

FTP service – ensuring that FTP servers can hand the uploading and downloading of extremely large files and that this service is available upon request. 

File NET – ensuring that document and image management services are available and that, after indexing, scanned or saved documents can be easily retrieved and managed.

Security and virus prevention – ensuring that Cisco Firewall and Fortigate secure the corporate network from outside threats. For high availability and load balancing the firewall has a ‘fail over’ license. All servers and client stations are installed with the latest antivirus software and antivirus updates are distributed automatically by centralized servers to all clients.

Ensuring that VoIP and an integrated services facility are available in the head office and at branch offices and sites.

Maintaining the video-conference facility.

Ensuring that all branch offices in the UAE, Egypt and Lebanon are connected to the corporate head-office in Kuwait for email, VoIP, ERP, server administration, file sharing, etc

Maintaining connectivity – Frame Relay, Wireless, MPLS, and DSL– ensuring that all remote project sites are connected to the corporate office for email, Internet, ERP, Intranet, etc.

Network Infrastructure – ensuring that all the 1,500 odd network points in the corporate offices are capable of accepting a data speed of 100Mbps, with fibre backbone and core switching.
Storage and backup solutions – ensuring that the HP EVA 4400 series and MSA 1000 Storage Area Network (SAN) caters to KN’s ever-growing needs for storage space and can grow to terabytes of data. The tape loaders with multi-drives backup all data thus ensuring no data is lost.

Maintaining Blackberry services that allow key people to be connected to the corporate email systems from any location on the globe.

Ensuring that collaboration software, such as SharePoint, allows users to share files from any location on the corporate network.
Ensuring that VPN connectivity allows key users to be connected to the corporate network.
 
 
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