Looking to reach beyond the Gulf region, Ideatolife Inc. wanted to build a new partnership that could capitalize on and strengthen the value it added to customers.
The company became an IBM Next Generation Ecosystem Business Partner, working with IBM to launch two of its major software solutions on IBM Cloud.
10 - 15% faster deploymentwhich translates to more satisfied customers and lower costs
Supports growthinto new regions and markets thanks to the IBM partnership and IBM Cloud
Boosts solution qualitywith faster support responses and access to innovative platforms
Business challenge story
Longing for change
One of the most common indicators of a successful, healthy business is its rate of growth. Companies that are declining in size and revenues are obviously in trouble. And firms that have an anemic or nonexistent growth track often struggle to weather the next major innovation or industry disruption. But businesses that are opening up new sites and offices, launching new products or penetrating new markets — these organizations are typically on track for success.
And much of that success comes from not just having the next killer app or superior service or more aggressive sales staff. It comes from relationships.
“Moving in a fast-paced vertical, you want every single partner to maximize your efficiency, technical know-how and access to markets,” explains Ali Zein, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ideatolife. “That's how you scale. That's how you grow.” And since its founding in 2014, building strong partnerships and capitalizing on the value that these relationships offer have been priorities for Ideatolife.
“When we started the company,” recalls Zein, “we were approached by Microsoft, and we became a partner. And because of that partnership, we began heavily using their architecture — 90 percent of our projects were with Microsoft.” However, while this relationship proved useful in helping Ideatolife expand throughout the Gulf region, the business wanted more from its partners than technical solutions.
“We felt like we never progressed beyond being a potential distributor,” Zein continues. “They never tapped into what our real value-add was — we don't just deliver a certain product. We deliver disruption and innovation to our customers. The products just let us do that.”
With a desire to expand into new geographies in the next few years, Ideatolife began looking for a new partner that could help it develop the relationships, contacts and solutions that could make this dream a reality. Ideally, it would be a partner that didn't mind creating a few disruptions of its own.
One fateful night
Everything changed at an IBM-hosted event in Dubai.
“Earlier this year, we met the IBM Next Gen team, and we learned about the IBM embed strategy,” explains Zein. “We saw a lot of opportunity in that relationship.” The firm quickly became an IBM Next Generation Ecosystem Business Partner and signed a pair of ESAs that covered two of its flagship offerings.
Working with the IBM Next Generation Ecosystem team in Dubai, members of the Ideatolife Design Thinking Conceptualization Lab restructured these two applications, updating them to take advantage of IBM Cloud. The team used a bold, comprehensive approach to innovation and transformation, that included the "Build with IBM" methodology, to help keep its new development focused on customer-centric results.
Trackr is a cloud-based ERP platform that is currently focused on two verticals — elevators and swimming pools. The solution automates maintenance management efforts, while also simplifying associated reporting and analytics processes. And thanks to the ESA, Ideatolife migrated the offering from Microsoft Azure to IBM Cloud.
“Our collaboration with IBM is letting us bring in new technologies like AI and IoT,” adds Zein. “They brought us to the client center in Abu Dhabi last month, where they showed us how we could integrate Watson IoT into the platform. Soon, we’ll not just be automating current processes but using Watson AI to enable predictive maintenance. The ROI for our customers will be immense.”
The other offering currently covered by an ESA, Skrambler, is a student-focused app that helps youth find service discounts, product recommendations and tickets to nearby events. “We shifted that from Microsoft to IBM Cloud as well,” continues Zein. “IBM is letting us take Skrambler to the next level. They are helping us scale our solution and tap into more partnerships, universities and student organizations.”
And to help manage the associated cloud environments for these two offerings, Ideatolife is taking advantage of the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service. Currently, the firm is using the IBM solution to manage virtual servers within the cloud, creating unique production and staging environments.
With these two solutions in place within IBM Cloud, Ideatolife is already considering a third ESA. “It should happen very soon,” adds Zein. “We’re working on building a platform that could manage cashflows from end to end. And that would include IBM Blockchain and smart contracts. We’re just finalizing the designs, now.”
Moving forward together
Now an IBM Business Partner, Ideatolife is pleased with the enhanced capabilities of its two key offerings. And the level of service it can deliver has also been improved. “We’ve only been partners for a very short time,” explains Zein. “But we’ve cut our deployment times on Kubernetes and containers by 10 - 15 percent already. And I’m confident that when we do it next time, that number will only improve. The more we do it, the faster we’ll be.” And these faster deployments will help Ideatolife cut related costs.
Partnering with IBM has also delivered a number of benefits. “We signed the ESAs because we saw the value of the partnership with IBM,” explains Zein. “We saw the hands-on support and consultancy that the IBM team provided. It’s not just that they supported us in designing the best architecture, but they also let us easily scale the solution, which is important for us as a growing business. It’s letting us tap into new customers and new segments that we’ve never been in before.”
Of course, the flexibility of IBM Cloud also helps with this scalability, aligning with the firm’s aggressive growth targets.
Zein continues, adding: “Previously, we always wanted more than the level of support that we got. But from IBM we got what we wanted from day zero. The minute we say something, we get the answer we need. You feel more content and more sure when you have someone you can tap into — especially in tricky areas like AI or blockchain.”
Beyond the advantages of partnering with IBM, Ideatolife is also benefitting from the IBM brand. “Having a name like IBM next to us sends a message,” Zein concludes. “If IBM is trusting us, we’ll get more trust from everyone else. Some of the clients we are tapping into now would have been challenging if we were going alone. But when we bring our value with IBM, it’s easier for us both.”
IBM Business Partner Ideatolife is a technical developer and software solution company headquartered in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. Founded in 2014, the business has expanded throughout the Gulf region, setting up additional offices in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, where its innovation lab is located.
The company’s mission is to connect all people to digital innovation. Offering both high-end technology and human-centric design, Ideatolife seeks to speak the same language as its customers, empathizing with their needs and challenges to bring about the right solutions.
Take the Next Step
To learn more about the IBM solutions featured in this story, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner. Want to experience the “Build with IBM” strategy or explore an Embedded Solutions Agreement for your business? Schedule a no-charge visit with the IBM Next Generation Ecosystem team.
To learn more about its people-centric software solutions and what Ideatolife, Inc. can do for you, please visit: Ideatolife