EG GATE aims to empower Egypt's private sector to drive the country's economic growth. How could it equip Egyptian businesses with the e-commerce capabilities they needed to reach global markets?
EG GATE is using IBM Watson Customer Engagement solutions to create an e-business hub—enabling organizations across Egypt to harness the digital channel to capture opportunities from around the world.
Offersengaging, omni-channel customer experiences, helping businesses reach new markets
Providesbranded e-commerce sites for Egyptian businesses, enabling incremental sales
Deliversenterprise-class marketing capabilities to help establish Egyptian brands
Business challenge story
Building an engine for growth
Egypt’s economy is growing—and the country’s flourishing private sector is a key enabler of this success. To accelerate growth, the Egyptian government has embarked on an ambitious initiative to enable companies of all sizes to reach global markets.
Dr. Menass Ibrahim, CEO of EG GATE, begins: “EG GATE’s vision is to turn Egypt’s private sector into an engine for economic growth. We believe that such a vision will support Egypt in creating non-traditional job opportunities, raising export volumes and boosting key economic sectors such as tourism and e-commerce. To achieve these goals, we knew that it was essential to help businesses across the country capture opportunities in international markets.
“Increasingly, B2B and B2C customers worldwide expect the ability to browse and buy products online, see where their order is at every stage of the fulfillment process, and—crucially—receive their order at the promised time. In addition, regulatory and quality requirements in sectors such as manufacturing are becoming more stringent and complex—and to capture B2B sales, businesses must demonstrate that their processes align with global best practices for their industry.”
EG GATE recognized that many enterprises in Egypt lacked the people, processes and systems required to compete effectively in global markets. To help businesses drive their digital transformation, the company decided to create an e-business hub for the entire nation.
Dr. Ibrahim continues: “Our objective is to create a launchpad for Egypt’s economic growth across a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, IT, fashion, and tourism. We knew that many of the companies we’d be engaging with would need our support with everything from building a brand identity and designing an e-commerce experience to planning production and fulfilling orders. To makes our e-business hub a reality, we looked for a partner that could deliver on all these capabilities.”
Launching an e-business hub
To enable businesses to avoid the onerous capital costs of launching into international markets, EG GATE is working with IBM and IBM Business Partner CEBS Worldwide to build its e-business hub. In addition to delivering the software licenses and implementation services for the project, CEBS Worldwide created a platform for the IBM Watson Customer Engagement solutions that drive the hub.
Dr. Ibrahim explains: “Of all the vendors we considered, we were most impressed with IBM. As well as delivering on the full range of technical capabilities we targeted, the IBM team took a deep interest in the macroeconomic goal of our project—and that attention to detail shone through in the solution they put forward.
“Our collaboration with an enterprise technology leader like IBM is helping to ensure the success of our project. IBM’s innovative solutions are adaptable to EG GATE’s diverse needs, from the tools we need to develop and manage the e-commerce platform, right through to the delivery of high-quality digital experiences via the e-business hub. Most importantly, IBM is a trustworthy service provider that prioritizes the safety, security and privacy of its users. EG GATE’s collaboration with IBM signals its commitment in taking considerable measures to protect every stakeholder interacting on the hub.”
In the future, IBM WebSphere® Commerce will support digital storefronts for businesses across the country. The organization will utilize IBM Digital Experience Manager to design seamless customer journeys on the new sites, ensuring that visitors from around the world can find the products and information they need quickly.
Dr. Ibrahim continues: “Every business is different and we need the flexibility to adapt what we offer accordingly. For example, we anticipate that some companies will need our support with fundamental things like opening a business bank account, while others will benefit more from higher-level guidance around brand identity and digital marketing strategy. When our e-business hub goes live, we will be able to deliver as much or as little assistance as a company requires.”
For a responsive ordering experience, EG GATE will integrate IBM WebSphere Commerce platform with IBM Order Management, enabling omni-channel fulfillment from a company’s factory floor to their customer’s doorstep. To allow brands to reach out to prospective international users, EG GATE has chosen a platform for customer engagement based on IBM Watson Campaign Automation. And using IBM Watson Content Hub, the organization can manage content, apps, and assets across all applications and touchpoints.
Dr. Ibrahim adds: “We are preparing to launch a project with a vast scope, and to ensure that our work is a success we need to find efficiencies in practically everything we do. For that reason, we greatly value the artificial intelligence [AI] capabilities of the IBM offering.
“By harnessing IBM Watson Campaign Automation to accelerate crucial, but time-consuming, processes like audience segmentation, we will be able to help hundreds of brands across the country deliver highly personalized content on the digital channel—without sending our costs skyrocketing. Similarly, IBM Watson Content Hub will save us hours per week by automatically tagging content as soon as we upload it. As well as enabling us to find uploaded content easily, IBM Watson Content Hub will help us use media in a consistent way across all channels, contributing to high-quality customer experiences.”
Ready for the future
Today, EG GATE is working with IBM to build its e-business hub. The organization has begun discussions with domestic and international logistics partners to lay the foundation for a robust, scalable supply chain.
“Our objective is to put all of our resources across Egypt to the best possible use—and we plan to use IBM Order Management to help orchestrate our existing logistics infrastructure more effectively,” explains Dr. Ibrahim. “IBM already has trading-partner relationships with many of the world’s largest logistics providers, which means that it will be straightforward to integrate the EG GATE hub with those networks when the time comes.”
By combining enterprise-class technology with targeted knowledge-transfer, EG GATE aims to help companies adopt global standards and best practices. “We want to build the cross-disciplinary skills and experience that businesses need to drive their success in a global digital marketplace,” says Dr. Ibrahim. “By documenting best practices for processes such as manufacturing, fulfillment and marketing, we will be able to help guarantee the highest standards of quality for the global market and build the prestige of Egyptian brands.”
Alongside the technical development of the platform, EG GATE is planning industry-specific use cases for its national hub. “Egypt has many small manufacturers in traditional industries such as handicrafts—but at the moment, these businesses have no practical way to integrate their products onto a wider market,” says Dr. Menass Ibrahim. “However, by signing up to EG GATE, a small fashion manufacturer would be able to develop their own brand, an enterprise-class e-commerce store and mature digital marketing capabilities, all delivered and managed by EG GATE. By offering customers a rich experience—supported by interactive 360-degree product photos and a fast, convenient checkout journey—we can help these businesses drive revenues and expand their operations.”
Another major focal area for EG GATE is tourism, and the organization is confident that a tourism portal will attract more visitors to Egypt. EG GATE plans to enable visitors to dive into Egypt’s diverse destinations on an interactive map of the country, and immersive technologies like virtual reality will be used to inspire even more people to visit. The end goal is to make the EG GATE hub the national booking engine for hotels, resorts and tours.
Dr. Ibrahim adds: “By analyzing data on customer behavior on our tourism portal, we are confident that we will gain accurate insights into the individual preferences of each visitor. For example, if we see that a visitor is exploring a lot of trips that involve diving, we can tailor the content they see on the site to reflect that interest. And if a visitor abandons a booking before checking out, we can use IBM Watson Campaign Automation to re-target them with a reminder to complete the process.”
Dr. Ibrahim concludes: “Overall, EG GATE is about creating new economic opportunities for businesses and communities in Egypt—and with IBM by our side, that’s exactly what we’re on track to achieve. By continuing our collaboration with IBM, we are in a strong position to support economic growth across the country.”
About EG GATE
Established in 2017 and headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, EG GATE is the country’s first national e-business hub. Aiming to empower Egyptian businesses of all sizes to enter global markets, the organization is harnessing leading-edge technology to deliver enterprise-class e-commerce, logistics and digital marketing capabilities from a central, multi-tenant platform.
Take the next step
To learn more about IBM Watson Commerce solutions, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/watson/commerce
Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, CEBS Worldwide is a leading IT solutions provider. With experience working across a wide range of industries—including retail, manufacturing, telecoms and government—CEBS Worldwide operates in Australia, the UK, UAE, USA, Singapore, South Korea and India. To learn more about products and services from CEBS Worldwide, please visit: cebsworldwide.com