Business Irish

Sunday 19 November 2017

Software firm signs €500,000 deal with Iraqi mobile giant

You have to be on the ground and build relationships here says Louise O’Sullivan
You have to be on the ground and build relationships here says Louise O’Sullivan
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

An Irish mobile software company has signed a deal worth "over €500,000" with one of Iraq's largest mobile operators. The deal will see Anam Technologies' anti-spam software deployed on a network reaching 10.7 million Iraqi customers.

"It allows them to separate out spam from their subscribers," said Louise O'Sullivan, chief executive of Anam Technologies.

"We're in the slightly uncool space of SMS but it's our specialist subject. While there's been a massive focus on OTT services such as Whatsapp, we've concentrated on SMS and have noticed a shift back to this area for operators because it's a revenue generator."

Under the deal, Anam will use a local company, Iraqcom Technologies, to deliver the software and support to Asiacell. This local connection is important for doing business in Iraq, said Ms O'Sullivan.

"You have to be on the ground and build relationships here," she said. "In the Middle East, that's a particular requirement. On the other hand, we do a fair bit of business in Latin America and it's exactly the same."

Ms O'Sullivan said that doing business as a woman in a Middle Eastern country is challenging but "Iraq is probably more advanced," than some other countries in the region," she said. "Certainly, I have never not been welcomed, or not been included in events. It's possible that local women don't get the same advantages as international women in some situations. But companies like Asiacell are trying to reduce the gender divide."

Ireland's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Niall Holohan, told the Irish Independent that Iraq now represents a significant opportunity for Irish firms. "It's potentially very valuable," said Ambassador Holohan.

"There is real pent-up demand in the Iraqi market. The entire Middle East is vibrant at the moment because of high oil prices."

This is the second deal struck by Ms O'Sullivan's Anam Technologies in recent months. In February, the firm signed a worldwide agreement with Digicel, the mobile phone network provider owned by telecoms magnate Denis O'Brien. That deal, which involved an undisclosed sum, involves the provision of enterprise SMS software across Digicel's 31 networks in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific.

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