From: Dr, Emad Sarhan. Founder and CEO of DigitalX consulting.
Subject: About Us
It is about 23 years ago when I have started working in selling, managing and implementing software and IT solutions in Arab World. During this long period, it was always a critical moment for me each time my companies sell products to customers. Yes, selling was a difficult moment for me, not a happy one. I always feel like a fish out of water during any sales process.
Do you know why? because I Know these requirements that customer send to us to acquire our solution are not the real needs for them, these are just copied and repeated requirements and everything will change when we go for implementation. Customers start to understand their real needs after finishing the Analysis and Design phase of the project and start asking for changes in the scope.
I had discussed this many times in status or management meetings but I think the issue is bigger than us since there is no clear line between consulting and implementation in IT projects in our region. That is why; Most IT projects goes to scope creep when we start the implementation, which caused many conflicts and issues between service providers and customers.
To success and reach customer satisfaction, I had to do these changes, almost without any additional charge or “I will not get my money”.
I had tried many times to change this. I remember one day, 7 years ago, when I asked one of my customers during pre-sales activates “why do not you divide the project to two projects, one for Analysis and design and other for implementation… to help me maybe find another product that could fit with your real exact need”. He said, “ohh, no need, we know exactly what we need, just work with what we have NOW”
Ah… again, this customer changed most of his requirements during the implementation, which force us to tune our products to fit with them and do many changes.
One year later, I have tried again with another customer, he responded to me “Oh I can not find budget for 2 projects, it should be one project only. Anyway, do not worry, these are our requirements, we know what we are doing”. But same story repeated again. However, since I am good in transferring knowledge to my customers, this customer learned from my team and me and led the changes by his team later.
I do not know if it is good or bad. But this issue had kept repeated again and again. I think everyone in this field face this.
About one year ago when I left my job, I think deeply of what I can do regarding this. Do I need to continue selling and tuning products to customers and face this again? or doing what I think it is the right way?
Yes, I decide to build my consulting firm to do the right way. I know I cannot change the market here!!! It is something bigger than I am, and it is difficult to change the mentality of customers but I have to do something. “It is a difficult road but someone should do it”.
From bottom of my heart, I want to help customers know what they need first before going to select and buy any digital product to implement. To help organizations control their digital transformation projects by themselves. To help vendors to get real and clear requirements from their customers. To stop do any commitment to any specific product or brand and focus only on users’ needs, real needs. My dream is to build a platform for digital consulting that makes all that easy for me and for my customers.
I was Lucky that I have get experience in the different areas of digital transformation; business, communication and education. Digital communication is my passion, I wrote a whole about building successful web sites 5 years ago. Working with Web sites, Social media, content where and still are my love. Digital Business, on the other hand, was my career in the last 16 years. Working with content management, business process management, and business development take huge part of my experience. And for digital learning, it was the core of my Ph.D. thesis 3 years ago.
These experiences help me to see the big picture of the integration between these areas. My Ph.D. thesis got me to draw this picture when I selected the “knowledge management based eLearning” as a main topic. I remember when I did that 3 year ago my friend told me “why you are going to new field” I said “it is not a new field. Learning is the umbrella of Digital transformation. Education, communication and business are aspects of learning at the end”.
My goal now is to build digital consulting platform for Arab world that integrate between digital business, digital communication, and digital education.
That is why; I have founded DigitalX consulting to make this real.
But….the question was still there, how can I start working in this platform?
I was thinking deeply about the road that I should go.
Finally, the true light came to me, I remembered my research in master degree, 15 years ago, when I had found that the best for any successful IT implementation is to do it based on prototype, Real prototype. The prototype, especially for our users here, is the only way to get real requirements from users and to help customers control the implementation later by themselves.
That’s it. This what I have to do, prototyping.
I have found that I need to build consulting services and products using prototyping as the main tool to deliver advising to the customer. Each service or product should has clear bounders, scope and target. I want to give more control to the customer thru DigitalX consulting. We are still in the beginning but we have started.
Not only this….
The valuable content will be the heart of our advising services and products in DigitalX consulting to educate our customer. The customer who knows is better than the customer who does not know.
I have created DigitalX because I love helping people and organizations in their digital transformation journey more than just selling products to them. My vision is to make DigitalX the honest Neutral consulting partner for any one or any organization in Arab world. I did not came to compete with anyone; I came to integrate with everyone.
Please do not wait for us to be a BIG consulting company, start with us now.
Waiting for you
Emad Sarhan, Ph.D, MIS, CIP, PMP.
Founder, CEO, and consulting manager for DigitalX consulting.