Ibrahim Al Jasser
CEO and Co-founder
Thank you for having me; my name is Ibrahim Al Jasser; I am the CEO and Co-founder of eRiyada Systems.
What was the last year like for eRiyada, how did you adapt, and what opportunities have you discovered during these changes?
We found the past few months extremely exciting for eRiyada as a company and a team. We are a software development house with teams structured as an agile business focusing on developing transformational solutions for businesses across the MENA region. Our mission is to empower enterprises for better business continuity, productivity, governance, and sustainability.
In 2020, eRiyada Systems engaged in a transformational program to become an Agile Business across all areas of the company, not just software development. Our customers’ suggestions, wants, and needs are funneled through our scaled agile processes, where they are rapidly integrated into our product roadmap and scheduled for an upcoming product release back to our customers. Business Agility has brought about a working culture whereby all of our teams continuously innovate and develop our products to deliver the most value to our customers at the earliest possible moment. And they measure their performance in doing this, then they fine-tune their processes all the time. Our customers are happier, our employees are more engaged and fulfilled, and we are getting better week after week. eRiyada Systems decided to embrace Business Agile because we knew we needed to be highly responsive to the customer and market demand, which brought our company the best results. Companies spend a lot of time, money, and effort pursuing ideas that, in the end, were not leading them to future success. At the same time, the same companies were too distracted doing the wrong thing, and the competition got it right and reaped the benefits. In our industry, things change quickly all around us. We need to see the opportunities and quickly do the best thing we can do to take advantage of that change or mitigate emerging market threats.
Which of your products is best suited to this moment?
No matter what industry or business you are running, you have to address some core challenges at a certain point in the business life cycle. One of these core challenges is how you can make your business more agile in sustaining market change, whether at a macro or small policy change level. We can comfortably say now that our products and services at eRiyada have the power to transform enterprises from the higher to the lower level of the organization. For example, one of our products, ERIYADA BOARD, is a turnkey solution we provide to many organizations across MENA markets. ERIYADA BOARD serves as a governance and risk platform for boards, committees, and their teams; workgroups. ERIYADA BOARD solution is coupled with enablement programs for the decision-makers and their teams.
By empowering the teams supporting decision-makers with ERIYADA BOARD, our clients started to enjoy focusing on strategic aspects of their role, and the whole organization began to change. As a result, teams started to eliminate waste, improve productivity, and work independently to manage risks and resolve issues. They can now plan meetings, agendas, files, votes, actions, issues, dashboards, and minutes of meetings utilizing our platform ERIYADA BOARD. They are also empowered with a whole set of features like online meetings, electronic minutes, voting results, digital signature, and above all, a state of art tablet and mobile app on iOS and Android. We also provide our clients with different integrations across different tools such as Zoom, WebX, and Microsoft Teams. Currently, we do not even need to convince our clients; the need is already there. The market is continuously increasing for ERIYADA BOARD, and our teams are happy to experience that growing trend.
Have you noticed an increased adoption of your services by public or private sector entities?
More recently, we are experiencing a higher demand for our offering as they fit the market needs “hand in glove.” Nowadays, enterprises are working hard to adapt to a 100% digitalized and remote-working culture. It is exciting for us to see a growing interest in one of our leading platforms, ERIYADA BOARD. The board is a governing body that typically meets at regular intervals to set policies for corporate management and oversight. Few key differences distinguish a public company board from that of a private company; however, generally speaking, any organization must have a board and committees as workgroup structure.
The value of implementing a board management system far exceeds reducing the cost of papers and printing. The system can change the whole organization from top to bottom and solve more significant challenges like:
- Manage relationships and communicate effectively between internal and external stakeholders.
- Establish standards for processes and information across different boards, committees, and teams.
- Improve transparency, collaboration, and decision-making within team members.
- Set the foundation for a system to resolve business continuity, risks, governance, and sustainability issues.
Is ERIYADA BOARD your most popular product at the moment?
ERIYADA BOARD is one of our platforms which is sought after. The Governance, Risk, and Compliance or GRC global market is experiencing a wave of change where the importance of supporting decision-makers and their team with the right set of policies, tools, and members is needed to react effectively. Also, few professional players are competing in this field globally. The know-how we have accumulated in this domain is a core enabler for our current and future competitive products and services. I am proud of the ERIYADA BOARD team; they always impress us with new ideas to give our customers a delightful experience. We are currently expanding ERIYADA products and services across the different market segments in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other countries. We have changed our licensing system to give our current and future clients more features with deployment options. Strategically, we partner with local and international; institutions, centers, boards, and teams to structure and design new products and services to enable further and support our existing and potential customers.
What is the current split in sales, or are they packaged together with an entire offering?
As a customer-centric company, we value all ideas received from our customers; for example, some want a set of new features to enable them to collaborate information, manage risk, and make decisions more effectively and efficiently. Any enterprise can benefit from our products and services by subscribing to one of our plans. First, we like to engage with our clients to understand their needs to provide them with the best-fit plan with practical economics. We also provide them with added values in terms of features and services where they can add as add-ons. Our revenue drivers are diversified between product subscriptions, add-ons, and services. We consider ourselves to be the leading service provider with driven teams from the local market. For example, one organization might require a transformation program supported by a primary sponsor, where others might need a jump-start enabling project. Most of the time, decision-makers and their support teams are left behind, and now many institutions recognize the importance of having a partner like the ERIYADA BOARD team, not just the tool.
Are you dealing with primarily private companies working across their board?
We are continuously innovating to target different market verticals with specific tailored modules and features; we have particular add-on modules to the gov/semi, financial services, healthcare, programs, sport, and non-profit organizations. However, the demand is driven by large and medium organizations as they need to deal with risks at a larger scale. We expect this trend to expand to smaller enterprises with awareness about the importance of supporting decision-makers, especially small businesses that cannot afford to make the wrong decision.
Have you seen any corresponding effect on sales?
We are happy with what we have achieved so far when it comes to our business. We saw double-digit growth in 2020 and expect double digits again in 2021 for revenue and profit. However, our main goal at this stage; is to focus more on our customers, provide them with delightful experiences, and prepare eRiyada to scale and grow bigger. Our product roadmap is quite ambitious, and we are excited to announce our plan for the next growth funding as we welcome new strategic partners in our journey. That is why we are super busy these days! We look forward to generating more value to the market and helping more clients and partners in 2021.
Will this adoption be sustainable in the aftermath of the pandemic?
No one can see into the future, but I think we can see clear signs that what happened is a paradigm shift. We believe the changes that took place will last for years to come; for example, many large and global organizations have shifted their work to a 100% remote and invested huge amounts of energy and money. Logically, they understood the value and challenges they will face for decades to come. Across the GCC, the new generation is adapting to change, following trends, and being technology savvy. I think this change will continue and might accelerate rather than remain at the same pace.
How are you planning to adapt your products in line with this trend, and what new products are on the horizon?
First, I think you have to enable, empower, and trust your team so they can continuously innovate and create new values for your customers. Second, I think you need to design a system where different teams (customer team, dev team, people team, and more) can collaborate to take ownership and create value. Third, I think you need to improve your system and team through iterations continuously. At eRiyada Systems every team member can bring any thought or idea in our weekly retrospective sessions where they focus on improving the product and fine-tune the processes that they execute to deliver those changes. We are proud to be an Agile Business and believe this enables innovation to create disruptive future products. Lastly, linking the supply and demand side is extremely important, and we work to do that by making sure the product owners are linked to our customers to gather feedback and insights.
What are your expectations over the next 12 months?
In the next 12 months, I think it is essential to focus our attention on our top priorities to enable eRiyada with the right teams and systems to provide our customers with delightful experiences. Preparing eRiyada for scalability is an important priority where we made significant progress in that area. We start launching releases ahead of schedule and improve our customer service quality with our existing customers. We also look forward to enabling more partners and engaging with more resellers, penetrating different markets. We have great and innovative ideas in our strategic roadmap, and we are confident it will translate to more value for our current and future customers.
Thank you for your time,