WHERE THE EXPERTS COLLABORATE
ALSI continuously undertakes value adding activities that include Software Discussion Forums, contributions and lobbying with a number of external stakeholders, participation in committees and delegations and specialized exhibitions.

Software Discussion Forums

SDF I: Launching Of Activities
ALSI organized the first Software Discussion Forum at Gefinor Rotana Hotel in Beirut. For the first time in the history of the software industry in Lebanon, twenty two software firms came together to highlight and discuss the challenges facing their growth and development. The attendees converged on the urgent need for a collaborative effort to improve the competitiveness of the software industry. The forum concluded with a mandate for ALSI to plan and organize a national effort to strategize for and boost the local software industry.

"Model For Growth" A Strategy For The Lebanese Software Industry
Held at the UN premises in Beirut, endorsed by the Ministry of Economy and Trade and in close collaboration with UNDP, ALSI organized "Model for Growth" a strategy formulation workshop aimed at highlight the major challenges/obstacles to growth faced by the Lebanese software industry and plan future strategic direction, to where the industry becomes a competitive player on the regional and international markets as well as a major economic sector in Lebanon. ALSI regrouped the challenges identified during the workshop into nine distinct categories/industry components and complemented the findings with two central activities that form the building blocks of all future action.

SDF II: "Mergers And Acquisition" The event agenda was in line with both the indentified strategic objectives "Community Building" and "Improving the Performance of Companies" and focused on:
- The problem of insularity among Lebanese software companies,
- The creation of an inter-sector platform for networking; one that facilitates the formation of strategic alliances (R&D) cooperation, Joint Ventures, and potential mergers and acquisitions etc).

SDF III: "What Areas Should The Software Industry Focus On "
Hosted at the ELCIM premises, the presentation portrayed the main proposed activities for the ICT sector:
Software Market survey on Business Co-Operation
- Meet with new clients in the EU Market
- Participation in Qualification Need Assessment
- Establish Continuous Training
- Quality Demanded for Competition


SDF IV: "Costing And Pricing"
Hosted at the "Lebanese Order of Engineers", the presentation addressed the financial and technical aspects related to the costing and pricing methods used by software companies in calculating products, services and applications.

SDF V: “Proposed Law For The Regulation Of The IT Profession” ICT and software companies engaged in an open discussion and reviewed the proposed law for the regulation of the IT profession in Lebanon.

SDF VI: "Arbitration Rules At The Lebanese Arbitration Center"
A senior official of the the Lebanese Arbitration Center explained how software companies can use arbitration as a legal base in their contractual engagements. The speaker provided participants with guidelines and addressed a number of important regulatory issues. The seminar was hosted at the premises of the Beirut Chamber of Commerce.

SDF VII: "Capitalizing Software And Creating Business Value "
Held at the Berytech premises, an audit expert presented best practice methods to capitalize software development and products. The presentation addressed the internal processes that should be adopted and the detailed financial implications on balance sheets, income statements and tax reports.

SDF VIII: "Collaboration Framework Among Software Companies"
A brainstorming exercise aimed at identifying ways to increase the number of joint ventures or partnership among Lebanese Software Companies. The exercise further highlighted advantages, opportunities and potential risks of such collaboration initiatives.

SDF IX : "Lets Export"
ALSI, in collaboration with the Euro Lebanese Centre for Industrial Modernization (ELCIM), organized a full day training session on the various methods that could be utilized by software companies to export their products and services. The workshop was conducted by a specialized Irish consultant who further addressed the different methods of business development, the opening of new markets, and offered guidelines to export and strategic partnership creation.

"Quality And Management Standards For The Software Industry"- Workshop
ALSI and the Euro Lebanese Centre for Industrial Modernization (ELCIM) conducted a three-day workshop on “Quality and Management Standards for the Software Industry” at the Industrial Research Institute of the Lebanese University Campus in Hadath. The workshop was designed in response to Lebanese software companies’ repeated requests for training on various international quality standards that would endow the sector with a competitive advantage on both local and international markets.
The workshop focused on:
- Defining quality standards and certification such as the ISO 9000, ISO 17799 and the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)
-- Standards that clients seek, costs of obtaining, implementing and maintaining qaulity certifications.
"Technical Documentation In Software Development" – Workshop
ALSI and the Euro Lebanese Centre for Industrial Modernization (ELCIM) conducted a three-day workshop on “Technical Documentation in Software Development” at the Industrial Research Institute of the Lebanese University Campus in Hadath. The objective of the workshop was to support local software companies to better promote their products and services by upgrading their internal documentation standards. The workshop focused on: Software manuals and Product Descriptions dispatched to clients

"Human Resource Development For Software Companies"- Workshop
ALSI and the Euro Lebanese Centre for Industrial Modernization (ELCIM) held a three-day workshop on “Human Resource Development for Software Companies” at the Industrial Research Institute of the Lebanese University Campus in Hadath. The workshop focused on:
- The role and importance of HRM for small and medium sized companies (SMEs), and the need to provide their administrative staff with a detailed insight on the various HRM functions and,
- The advantage inherent in training, motivating, and improving the skills and competencies of software developers for increasing competitiveness and provision of high quality products.

Contributions

National E-Strategy
The President of ALSI, Mr. Fares Kobeissi, was selected to participate in the closed sessions of the national committee tasked with drafting a national E-Strategy for Lebanon. The strategy was formulated and officially published at a high profile conference in the presence of ministers and deputies. Mr. Kobeissi presented the strategy section related to the ICT private sector in Lebanon.

Lebanon SoftShore Cluster
The Euro-Lebanese Centre for Industrial Modernization (ELCIM) and ALSI identified the need to create a cluster of software companies to help export, mainly to Europe, Lebanese software and outsourcing services. A number of European consultants helped in defining the cluster’s strategic direction and operational framework.

Draft Law - "T Units And Salary Scale For The Public Sector"
The Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform (OMSAR) proposed the drafting of a law addressed at the recruitment process of ICT professionals in Lebanese governmental ministries and agencies. OMSAR invited Mr. Fares Kobeissi, the president of ALSI, to take part in the national committee tasked with drafting the law and defining the full organizational chart and job descriptions of ICT in the Lebanese Government.

ICT Public Procurement Enhancement Committee
Following ALSI’s proposition, The Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform (OMSAR) created a specialized committee to review and recommend suggestions for the improvement procurement process of software and IT in the Lebanese government.

Lebanon ICT positions paper to World Summit on the Information Society- WSIS
ALSI, represented by its president Mr. Fares Kobeissi, took part in the drafting of the Lebanese Position Paper that was presented at the first World Summit for Information Society held in Geneva in 2004.

Public / Private Initiatives

ALSI’s quest to improve the competitiveness of the software industry in Lebanon translates into a number of public and private initiatives with influential stakeholders.

OMSAR (The Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform)
- ALSI has consistently and closely worked with OMSAR on a number of issues especially those related to government ICT procurement - processes starting with the issuance of RFPs (Request for Proposals), to implementation challenges faces by local companies at governmental institutions.
- ALSI has been a major instigator and partner to several projects launched by OMSAR such as the National E-Strategy, Procurement Position Paper, and IT labor law, etc.

Ministry of Economy and Trade (MoET)
ALSI works closely with the Lebanese Ministry of Economy and Trade and takes an active role in the suggestion, revision and promotion of a number of vital projects such as:
- Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) support program.
- The legal implications of the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements on the local software industry,
- Revision and suggestion of laws relating to, IP and patents regulation, electronic signature and e-payment laws, etc.

Ministry of Telecom
ALSI is active in lobbying for broadband and improvement of the telecom infrastructure.

Committees and Delegations

ALSI has participated in many regional and international conferences and delegations as partner/and or speaker.

Malaysian Delegation to Beirut
In 2003, ALSI took on a major role, along with the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL), in preparing the visit of a Malaysian IT delegation consisting of private and governmental institutions. The objective of the visit was for Lebanon to learn from the Malaysian experience in building clusters, improvement of legal and technical telecom infrastructure and to discuss venues of inter-country cooperation in the sector.

Official Delegation to Ireland
In 2004, the president of ALSI, Mr. Fares Kobeissi, was part of the official delegation accompanying the late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s official visit to Ireland. The objective of the three day visit was for Lebanon to learn from the Irish experience of creating a new strategically driven and thriving knowledge based IT economy, and included high profile meetings with Irish ministers, Enterprise Ireland, Irish Development Agency and many others.

World Summit for Information Society (WSIS)- Geneva
In December 2004, ALSI was a major partner in preparing for Lebanon’s presence at the World Summit for Information Society (WSIS). During the summit, the Lebanese Minister of Economy and his Swiss counterpart, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, ALSI and their Swiss counterpart, SIMSA (Swiss Interactive Media and Software Association) signed a software industry collaboration protocol.

TECHLEB- MIT, USA
In 2006, Mr. Fares Kobeissi delivered a speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) during the TECHLEB conference. The speech highlighted the current status of the Lebanese Software Industry, the current and potential prospects, and emphasized the role of the Lebanese expatriate community, especially that residing in the United States, in promoting the growth and development of the Lebanese software industry.

ArabNet 2010
In March 2010, ALSI was a key supporting partner in the ArabNet conference held in Beirut. ArabNet 2010 was the first international conference dedicated at the Arab web industry. The conference brought together influential speakers from Europe, Silicon Valley and the MENA region to discuss innovative trends in internet entrepreneurship and emerging opportunities in the field.