ARAMEX launches global Intranet Based on Microsoft platform, intranet forms part of ARAMEX world-wide advanced technology strategy: forms basis for new customer service roll out Amman, Jordan, Monday, October 4, 1999; ARAMEX International Limited, (Nasdaq NM Symbol: ARMX), the international express and freight forwarding company specializing in the Middle East and Indian Sub-Continent regions announced it has launched its globally available intranet based on advanced technologies from world leading software company Microsoft Corporation. The global communications system will, in the future, form the basis of the company's extranet, a service that will give ARAMEX customers and suppliers access to the company's globally held information resources.
"A range of information will be provided, including ARAMEX's logistics and warehousing management capabilities, customs procedures and requirements, online electronic billing, shipment tracking and immediate costing. Furthermore, the extranet will act as the platform for ARAMEX's E-Commerce initiative," said ARAMEX chief information officer, Basem Malhas. "Although we now offer shipment tracking to customers using the World Wide Web, the extranet will bring a new level of service to bear on their needs."
The new intranet system will operate as the single communications medium that gives ARAMEX staff all over the world immediate access on all of the company's operational, administrative, and customer related information. It also provides information about the industries and markets that the company services. The development comes about as a
ARAMEX launches Intranet / page 2 direct result of the company's decision to standardise its operations on the TCP/IP Internet protocol, and also to standardise all operations on the Microsoft platform. "From the outset, ARAMEX understood the value of PC technologies. We built local area networks in all our offices based on Netware technologies, linked to our partner company in Seattle via SNA Gateways," said Malhas. "It was that understanding that saw us standardising on Microsoft BackOffice, Exchange and SQL 7.0"
Now serving over 1,000 staff across most of ARAMEX's world-wide offices, the intranet forms part of an information technology framework which links some 20 Microsoft Exchange servers around the world, and which also uses Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 databases to store the company's information. Using Microsoft's Internet Information Server 4.0 as a webserver and SQL Server 7.0 as the back end data store has allowed the company to roll out a totally integrated solution.
"ARAMEX has deployed a highly robust, highly adaptable solution using Microsoft server and applications platforms, and is now building on that stable infrastructure to roll out new levels of customer services," said Business Development Manager for Lebanon and Jordan at Microsoft GEM (Gulf and Eastern Mediterranean), Charbel Fakhoury. "With some 500 Windows NT-based Office users on the network, the company has been able to improve the interface between ARAMEX, its suppliers and its customers, by giving everyone access to information on a standardised platform."
The company's development of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on the Microsoft server platform has meant that a highly secure, managed network was available as a virtually 'out of the box' solution. That network is now supporting intranet services for staff and electronic data interchange (EDI) services for larger customers. In the future, it will
ARAMEX launches intranet / page 3
support a 'total access' capability for company, suppliers and customers alike. "Our aim with our investment in these technologies has always been to bring better customer service and totally reliable service at that," said Malhas. "With the intranet, we are able to share information globally, act locally and run our business to optimum efficiency."
ARAMEX is a leading provider of express package delivery, freight forwarding and other transportation and logistics services primarily to, from and within the Middle East and the Indian Sub-Continent.
Certain of the statements contained in this press release may be deemed forward looking statements. Such statements, and other matters addressed in this press release, involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Among the factors that could cause actual plans to differ materially from these statements and other matters are the risks and other factors detailed, from time to time, in the Company’s reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, the Company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 1997.
Contact: Fadi Ghandour, 962-6-5538761-2, or fax, 962-6-5537451; or William Kingson, 212-752-5660, or fax, 212-308-3938, both of ARAMEX International Limited.