Computer News Middle East February 2020

Page 1








Top 10 Strategic Technology

Trends for 2020 People-centric

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Smart spaces



The empowered edge

The distributed cloud

Transparency and traceability

Human augmentation

Autonomous things

Practical blockchain


AI security

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2 – 4 March 2020 | Dubai, UAE



Our events


t’s been an extremely busy start to the year for us at CPI Media Group as we hosted our annual CIO100 Awards at the Diamond Ballroom, Rixos Premium, JBR, Dubai. The event is dedicated to recognising digital leaders

that are driving real change and transformation across the IT industry. The night was a fantastic success and we’d sincerely like to once again congratulate all our winners featured inside

Talk to us: E-mail: mark.forker@

- including HSBC CIO, Ghinwa Baradhi who features in this month’s ‘Women in Tech’ interview. Avaya are continuing to embark upon an ambitious cloud transformation strategy, and in this month’s cover story, Ahmed Helmy, International CTO at the US IT leader outlines


to us how its IX-CC platform is providing customers with multi-experiences and application autonomy. In addition to this, Helmy also highlighted that its nextgeneration Contact as-a-Service (CCaaS) platform will be available in Azure which will be hosted on Microsoft’s data centres in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The service will be introduced initially in the Arab Gulf region with plans to expand the offer to other global regions in the future. CNME also attended IDC Directions 2020 which was held at Dubai’s Atlantis, to find out which major trends and technologies were going to disrupt the IT industry over the next twelve months. We managed to secure an exclusive interview with Jyoti

Our online platforms

Our social media

The event is dedicated to recognising digital leaders that are driving real change and transformation across the IT industry.”

Lalchandhi, Group Vice President and Regional Managing Director at IDC, who disclosed to us which technologies he projects that IT companies will direct their investments towards in 2020. Oracle hosted their second annual Oracle OpenWorld Middle East event which attracted thousands of key industry players over the course of the 2-day conference. Giorgia Guantario was onsite to tell us how Oracle Cloud is fundamentally transforming businesses. GovTech has been a roaring success since its introduction to the magazine last year, and as a result we’ve decided to launch our inaugural GovTech Innovation Awards. The awards aim to showcase how government entities are helping to reshape the IT landscape though innovative

thought-leadership and vision. The awards will take place at LouLou’a Ballroom, Ritz Carlton, JBR, Dubai on March 24th and nominations are now open.

Mark Forker Editor

Every Experience Matters

Why simply satisfy your customers when you can thoroughly impress them? More meaningful relationships and lasting impressions drive experience excellence. Deliver this new standard to your employees and customers—everywhere in your business.

Advanced Computing Partner



Cover feature: Avaya 6




News CNME rounds up the biggest regional and global developments in enterprise technology, including Dubai's crypto ecosystem agenda and Gartner’s global IT spending predictions.

The staples of life CNME attends AVEVA World Conference in Abu Dhabi, where the industrial software company shared customer success stories and enhancements to its portfolio.

24 Smart security




Khwaja Saifuddin, Senior Sales Director, Middle East at Western Digital on how its new suite of security solutions that are infused with AI are making cities smarter.


22 Women in tech: HSBC Middle East’s Ghinwa Baradhi

In this monthly feature, CNME talks to some of the best and brightest women in ICT to find out more about how they’ve reached success in this industry.

26 Bridging the gap

Dr Maryam Al Yammahi, Assistant Professor in Computer science, UAE University gives her take on the digital skills gap and how the university is hoping to solve it.

34 Show me the money

Jyoti Lalchandhi, Group VP and Regional Managing Director at IDC, discusses what industry verticals he believes major ICT players are going to focus their investments on in 2020.

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UAE workers excited to have robot coworkers: study

Global IT spending to reach $3.9 trillion: Gartner Worldwide IT spending is projected to total

digit growth at 10.5 percent. “Almost all of the

$3.9 trillion in 2020, an increase of 3.4

market segments with enterprise software are

percent from 2019, according to the latest

being driven by the adoption of software as a

Contrary to common fears around how

forecast by Gartner, Inc. Global IT spending

service (SaaS),” said Mr Lovelock. “We even

artificial intelligence (AI) will impact

is expected to cross into $4 trillion territory

expect to spend on forms of software that

jobs; employees, managers and HR

next year.

are not cloud to continue to grow, albeit at a

leaders in the UAE are welcoming AI in

“Although political uncertainties pushed

slower rate. SaaS is gaining more of the new

the workplace with love and optimism,

the global economy closer to recession, it

spending, although licensed-based software

according to the second annual AI at

did not occur in 2019 and is still not the

will still be purchased and its use expanded

Work study conducted by Oracle and

most likely scenario for 2020 and beyond,”

through 2023.”

Future Workplace.

said John-David Lovelock, distinguished

Growth in enterprise IT spending

research vice president at Gartner. “With the

for cloud-based offerings will be faster

10 countries found that AI has changed

waning of global uncertainties, businesses

than growth in traditional (noncloud) IT

the relationship between people and

are redoubling investments in IT as they

offerings through 2022. Organisations with

technology at work and is reshaping

anticipate revenue growth, but their

a high percentage of IT spending dedicated

the role HR teams and managers need

spending patterns are continually shifting.”

to cloud adoption is indicative of where

The study of 8,370 individuals across

to play in attracting, retaining and developing talent. In the UAE, 72 percent

Software will be the fastest-growing major market this year, reaching double-

the next-generation, disruptive business models will emerge.

of UAE respondents are either excited or optimistic about having robot coworkers.

Hope Probe to carry UAE Nation Brand to Mars

“As this study shows, the relationship between humans and machines is being redefined at work, and there


is no one-size-fits-all approach to successfully managing this change. Instead, organisations need to partner with their HR organisation to personalise the approach to implementing AI at work in order to meet the changing expectations of their teams around the world,” said Emily He, SVP, Human Capital Management Cloud Business Group, Oracle

The Hope Probe will carry with it the UAE

Nation Brand’s logo and its accompanying


of UAE respondents are either excited or optimistic about having robot co-workers.


colours of the national flag. Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid

slogan, ‘Make it Happen’, when the

Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for

spacecraft built by the Mohammed bin

Higher Education and Advanced Skills and

Rashid Space Centre takes off for Mars

Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, said,

later this year, according to WAM.

“Attaching the UAE Nation Brand to the

The brand’s placement on the probe,

Hope Probe is a celebration of the scientific

called ‘Al-Amal’ in Arabic, symbolises the

milestones that the men and women of

future-forward aspirations that the new

the UAE, from engineers and scientists

brand represents.

to technicians and mathematicians, have

The UAE Nation Brand was designed by

achieved. It is also a clear symbol of our

seven Emirati artists from each emirate

pride in this landmark national project

and represents the map of the UAE

that is considered the greatest Arab project

through the seven lines designed in the

in the field of space exploration.




UAE residents likely to buy selfdriving cars in five years: study

Emaar partners with Xiaomi to deliver smart home technology Emaar Properties PJSC signed a

Emaar as the first developer outside of

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

China to enter into a strategic partnership

with Xiaomi, a global technology leader

with Xiaomi for a smart home experience.

Almost half of UAE residents (49

with the world’s largest Internet of Things

percent) said they are likely to own

(IoT) consumer platform, to launch ‘Emaar

Chairman of Emaar, Mohamed Alabbar

self-driving cars in the next five

Smart Home’ – a new, next-generation

said, “‘Emaar Smart Home’, is a

years, according to a recent survey.

product for customers to experience the

testament to the commitment Emaar and

latest smart home technology powered by

Xiaomi share for creating advanced living

Artificial Intelligence (AI).

experiences. Together, our partnership

The poll, which was conducted by YouGov, also noted that nearly a quarter (23 percent) are unlikely

Emaar’s new product will launch in

Commenting on the product launch,

delivers a novel product never-before-

to do so and an equal proportion

2020 as an exclusive set of digitally-

seen in the region, offering connectivity,

(23 percent) are unsure if they will

enabled residential developments,

comfort and convenience for the

purchase autonomous cars should it

powered by Xiaomi and featuring a one-

customers of tomorrow, today. This is

be available to them.

of-a-kind smart home experience with a

based on our collective understanding

comprehensive set of pre-installed smart

and insight into what customers will

home and IoT products. The MoU positions

demand from us in the future.”

The report also revealed that in comparison men are more inclined to own an autonomous car in the future than women, with 53 percent of the male respondents expressing interest

Microsoft vows to become carbon negative by 2030

compared to 42 percent of female respondents. Among the various age-groups, people in their thirties (52 percent)


are more likely than those under thirty (47 percent) and those aged 40 and above (48 percent) to possess one. Working professionals are also far more likely to own an autonomous car when compared to their non-working counterparts (53 percent vs 36 percent).

Microsoft President Brad Smith, Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood, and Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella

49% of UAE residents said they are likely to own self-driving cars in the next five years.


Microsoft recently announced an ambitious

humanity must remove as much carbon

goal and a new plan to reduce and

as it emits each year. This will take

ultimately remove its carbon footprint.

aggressive approaches, new technology

By 2030, the technology giant will be

that doesn’t exist today, and innovative

carbon negative, and by 2050 the brand

public policy. It is an ambitious – even

plans to remove all the carbon from

audacious – goal, but science tells

the environment, the company has

us that it’s a goal of fundamental

emitted either directly or by electrical

importance to every person alive today

consumption since it was founded in 1975.

and for every generation to follow.

In a post on the Official Microsoft

“While the world will need to reach net

Blog, President Brad Smith wrote, “The

zero, those of us who can afford to move

world’s climate experts agree that the

faster and go further should do so. That’s

world must take urgent action to bring

why today we are announcing an ambitious

down emissions. Ultimately, we must

goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately

reach ‘net zero’ emissions, meaning that

remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint.”

Smart Dubai Government CEO wins coveted CIO100 Award technologies. Smart Dubai been always ahead of the curve and standards setter in the digital transformation initiatives,” said Al Jabi.

World’s largest crypto ecosystem set to launch in Dubai

The SVP at Digital OKTA has said that the

Feras Al Jabi, Senior Vice President at Digital OKTA and H.E. Wesam Lootah, CEO of Smart Dubai Government.

progressive approach to new technologies which

DMCC has announced its strategic

is spearheaded by the UAE leadership has helped

partnership with CV VC and CV Labs

his own company become a leader in the growing

to launch Crypto Valley, the world’s

cloud industry in the Middle East.

largest ecosystem for cryptographic,

“In my role I travel all over the world, but the frameworks that are in place here in the UAE mean

blockchain and distributed ledger technologies in Dubai, UAE.

that Dubai is a hub of innovation and talent. At

According to DMCC, the Crypto

of the Smart Dubai Government Establishment,

Digital OKTA we leverage the best innovations

Valley is designed to foster growth,

has been rewarded for his outstanding digital

in the cloud to help businesses to unlock their

collaboration and integrity across the

leadership and vision at CPI Media Group’s recent

potential and drive efficiency in their business,”

global blockchain economy. It will

CIO100 Awards.

said Al Jabi.

offer a variety of services including

H.E. Wesam Lootah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

The annual awards are designed to celebrate

H.E. Wesam Lootah thanked CPI Media Group

incubation for early-stage startups,

technology thought-leaders that are driving real

for recognising him as a digital leader that is

co-working facilities, innovation

transformational change in the IT ecosystem

helping to transform the digital landscape in the

services for corporate clients,

across the Middle East region.

UAE - and said that the media plays an important

blockchain and entrepreneurship

role in highlighting the technological achievements

training, education, events,

government entities like Smart Dubai are making.

mentoring and funding.

There is no better illustration of that leadership than in the form of H.E. Wesam Lootah, who has played a pivotal role in Smart Dubai delivering on

“I want to firstly thank CPI Media Group for this

Signed on the sidelines of the

the goals and objectives of its ambitious blockchain

award. At Smart Dubai we’re striving to achieve

World Economic Forum in Davos, the


the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid

agreement sees DMCC work alongside

Al-Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister

both CV VC, and its subsidiary CV

OKTA (ITQAN Global for Cloud & Digital

of UAE and Ruler of Dubai which is to make Dubai

Labs, to develop an ecosystem

Computing Systems) a leading cloud service

not only the smartest city in the world, but also the

in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT),

provider that offers enterprises unlimited

happiest,” said Lootah.

DMCC’s business district, where

Feras Al Jabi, Senior Vice President at Digital

opportunities to manage their data and resources was on hand to present H.E. Lootah with his award. Al Jabi praised Smart Dubai for creating

He added, “We’re continuously working to fuse disruptive technologies into our entire ecosystem and humanise it to

over 17,000 companies are currently registered. “DMCC is delighted to sign this

and fostering an environment that is allowing

improve city experiences and touch the lives

agreement with CV VC, and launch

companies to flourish in the IT industry.

of people and we have had some phenomenal

the Crypto Valley in Dubai, at

success. As we start the beginning of a new

the very heart of Dubai’s leading

opportunity to present you with this award. Smart

decade, one which promises even more

business district,” said Ahmed Bin

Dubai has done incredible work and has helped

technological advancement we will continue

Sulayem, executive chairman and

to create an IT ecosystem which has enabled

to be committed to ensuring Dubai remains


companies to seize upon the opportunities that

a digital leader that inspires other cities across the

is being provided by emerging and disruptive

world, “ said Lootah.

“It’s a great pleasure for me to be afforded the

DIFC launches seamless digital onboarding platform Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC),

Vice President of Operations, DIFC Authority,

a leading international financial centre and

said, “Innovation truly defines us at the DIFC.

top international financial hub in the Middle

Our new and improved digital onboarding

East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region,

platform will vastly improve efficiencies for

announced the enhancement of its digital

our clients and the DIFC, making it easier and

onboarding platform.

quicker to establish a business at the Centre

Commenting on the new digital enhancements, Alya Al Zarouni, Executive

through a simple and innovative digital portal that cuts application times in half.”

“DMCC is delighted to sign this agreement with CV VC, and launch the Crypto Valley in Dubai, at the very heart of Dubai’s leading business district.” FEBRUARY 2020





CNME reports back from the second edition of Oracle OpenWorld Middle East, where thousands of delegates and customers highlighted how Oracle Cloud is fundamentally transforming businesses.

10 Dr. Ebrahem Alkhajeh, Human Resources Director, Abu Dhabi Customs (AUH) and Steve Daheb, SVP, Oracle Cloud


housands of IT

Authority (ADDA), thanked

role Oracle Cloud solutions play

stakeholders, delegates

Oracle for their continuous

in building the country’s digital

and customers were

efforts in driving innovation in

capacity through education and

in attendance on Day 1

the Emirates.

advanced technologies.

of the Oracle OpenWorld Middle

Steve Daheb, Senior Vice

East conference which kicked

for being a great opportunity for

President at Oracle Cloud, took

off on January 14 at Dubai World

collaboration and a platform to

the stage to deliver a colourful

Trade Centre.

highlight the key achievements

presentation which illuminated

in digital transformation of Abu

the impact Oracle is having on

Dhabi and the UAE.

the global IT ecosystem.

US technology behemoth Oracle has positioned itself as a leader in cloud technology, and

He said, “[ADDA’s] strategic

“We are coming into this event

it used its Oracle OpenWorld

activities make our partnership

after delivering an incredible

symposium to illustrate this

with Oracle an invaluable and

amount of innovation into the

further by outlining some of the

mission critical one. We have

market, and we’re seeing customer

success its clients have enjoyed

been collaborating with Oracle to

momentum across the entire

since switching to Oracle Cloud.

accelerate the implementation

Oracle Cloud – we have thousands

of digital solutions throughout

of customers today that are

the Emirate.”

making breakthrough and real

Opening the event, H.E. Mohammed Geyath, Executive Director of Cybersecurity Operations at Abu Dhabi Digital


H.E. Geyath praised the event

H.E. Geyath concluded by thanking Oracle and the crucial

changes for both work and life with Oracle technology,” he explained.

During his keynote presentation he articulated how

to implement change. “When we talk about

Oracle is fusing new technologies

transformation, it isn’t just about

to enhance the offering of its

moving to the cloud - it's what

diverse product portfolio.

I do with the data now that I’ve

“Autonomous technologies

moved it. It’s not just the process

are really allowing us to reshape

of lifting and shifting to the

our whole approach to IT.

cloud. It’s critically important

However, it has also become

that you know how to leverage

evident that technologies are

one set of capabilities against the

now shifting from being viewed

other now that you’ve done this

as emerging and are instead

transition,” said Daheb.

now becoming a reality. We’re

Steve Miranda, Executive Vice

integrating these transformative

President, Applications Product

technologies into our overall

Development, at Oracle, also

product offerings,” said Daheb.

took the stage to address some

Daheb also highlighted how it

of the most common questions

Steve Miranda, Executive Vice President, Applications Product Development, Oracle

was an extremely exciting time

related to cloud – why should

to be in the region and said that

an organisation move to Cloud,

releases every two to three years

companies in the Middle East,

why they should choose Oracle

in a very unpredictable fashion,

North Africa and India were

and why move now.

to updates to our software every

leveraging emerging technologies

He began by explaining, “Not

quarter,” said Miranda. Discussing why organisations

to drive growth and change

only [Oracle] can manage your

across their existing operations.

business successfully today, but

should choose Oracle, Miranda

we can help you transform that

explained that he strongly

illustrated how Oracle Cloud was

business into lower cost, higher

believes Oracle delivers the

specifically designed to help any

efficiency and better data that

world’s most innovative cloud

business regardless of its size, to

will actually run your business.”

applications suite.

In addition to this, he

reshape how it offers its services

Miranda highlighted how the

He continued, “We allow you

and products to its customers.

speed of change is increasing

not only to run the entirety of

“Oracle Cloud really is an

exponentially, putting many

your business on the cloud, but

incredible set of solutions that

companies at risk of being

because of the depth and the

help our customers meet

outrun by their competitors. In

breath of the suite, we allow you

their needs. Whether it’s any

this light, the EVP explained that

the flexibility to choose the path

industry, any size company

cloud allows businesses to move

to get there – may this be for a

– what they have in common

forward faster than ever before.

small company, a big company,

is that they’re using Oracle

“The single most important

technology to fundamentally

element that the cloud brings

shift how they do business, how

is speed – we have gone from

or any points in between.” The EVP also highlighted how Oracle is leveraging emerging

they think about customers

technologies, such as AI and

and employee experience, and

IoT, to shape the future of

fundamentally help change

technology and business.

working life,” continued Daheb.

Miranda concluded, “Why

The Oracle SVP stressed

Oracle? [We have] the most

that whilst the Oracle Cloud platform has both the agility and flexibility to enable organisations to reshape their existing business model, it’s vital to understand what businesses need to do with the data they’re now accessing in order to be able

complete suite of software to

We have thousands of customers today that are making breakthrough and real changes for both work and life with Oracle technology”

allow you to run your business globally and locally, and the flexibility on which to move first to the cloud, adding machine learning today, and adding more and more technology that evolves going forward.”







CNME attends AVEVA World Conference in Abu Dhabi, where the industrial software company shared customer success stories and unveiled a new enhancement to their Asset Performance Management portfolio.


undreds of

He continued by highlighting

Mohamad Awad, VP Middle East

the great success the business

industry experts

& Africa at AVEVA, the software

has seen in the past year, as

came together

company’s Chief Executive

AVEVA became the largest

to share their successful

Officer, Craig Hayman delivered

technology company on

application stories and best

a compelling keynote on the

the London Stock Exchange

practices at AVEVA World

importance of using technology

and has doubled its market

Conference in Abu Dhabi.

to enhance human experience.

capitalisation. He believes the

“Technology is intended to

success is due to their focus on

The event, held at Grand Hyatt


After the opening remarks by

customers and

Abu Dhabi Hotel on January 21

enhance the human experience,

and 22, showcased AVEVA’s latest

rather than eclipsing it. At

innovations in industrial software

AVEVA, we focus on the industrial

on our customers and the

and featured a series of customer

sector – this is the sector that

digitalisation of the industrial

speakers, including Abu Dhabi

produces the staples of our lives:

sector are one of the main

National Oil Company (ADNOC)

food, medicine, oil and gas, to

reasons for our success. Our

and Saudi refiner SASREF.

name a few,” Hayman explained.

customers spread across

their customers. Hayman said, “Our focus

enhancement to its Asset Performance Management (APM) portfolio. Asset Performance Management consists in the ability to take all of the operational data of an organisation’s asset, to analyse that data and predict a failure before it happens.

Technology is intended to enhance the human experience, rather than eclipsing it.”

The Chief Executive Officer said, “In the last 12 months we have invested heavily in

what we are witnessing in the

our APM portfolio and we

market. AI has the potential to

have come up with its new

disrupt markets in the Middle

generation. We believe we are

East by creating innovative

number one in the market in

new services and entirely new

this area.”

business models,” commented

The enhancement sees the addition of AVEVA APM Assessment, AVEVA Asset

Mohamad Awad, Regional VP for the Middle East, AVEVA. “We are already witnessing

Strategy Optimisation and

its impact in Europe and

AVEVA Asset Strategy Library.

North America across several

By deploying these AVEVA

industries and market sectors

solutions, organisations can

and we are confident that the

predict asset failure and then

trend will follow in the Middle

prescribe the most economically

East region. With the eruption

advantageous action to take

of AI, some of the market

to remediate potential asset

leaders five to ten years’ time

failures. For company directors,

may be organisations that are

these tools mean doubling

not even key players today.”

production output resulting

Martin Yeomans, EMEA Lead

in a safer, more reliable

at AVEVA, also touched on

environment for the workforce.

AVEVA’s growth in the region

The industrial software

and in the UAE specifically. The

company also revealed global

company has in fact recently

multiple industries, and for the

survey findings which identify

moved into a new and larger

vast majority they are industries

the key investment drivers for

office in Dubai with a workforce

that adopted digital technology

digital transformation across

of about 70 people, with a

at scale later than the rest.

1240 EMEA, North American

further 15 in Abu Dhabi.

“Two years ago, many of our customers were just beginning to understand the concept of

and APAC decision makers

“The UAE is one of the fastest

across nine industry verticals.

growing parts of our business.

According to the survey,

Our customers here are mainly

Industry 4.0, while today they

the Middle East showed less

from the energy sector, but we’re

too have begun their digital

demand for AI, while it favoured

seeing water and wastewater as

transformation efforts by

technologies such as IoT and

key growth areas in the region.

driving more digitalisation into

Edge, 3D visualisation and

The areas we are most excited

their businesses – they are

enterprise mobility.

about is within the future of the

moving very fast and we are moving with them.” At the conference, AVEVA also announced a significant

“New emerging technologies

smart city project, with cities like

like AI are taking time to gain

Dubai and Abu Dhabi taking the

traction in the Middle East so

lead in this aspect,” Yeomans

the research findings mirror








I Peter Grant, Systems Engineering Manager at Nutanix, Middle East

n its twelfth annual

“The CIO 100 Awards is

edition, CNME and

now one of the most highly’s CIO

regarded and respected

100 Awards honoured

awards in the entire IT

C-level IT leaders who have

ecosystem, we were rather

demonstrated great prowess

inevitably inundated with

in delivering innovative IT

nominations. However, our

initiatives that have helped

editorial team carefully

their organisations move

worked our way through all

forward in their digital

the nominations to select

transformation journey.

those that we believed had

Held at the Rixos Premium

outstanding digital

of IT leaders and industry

leadership,” said Pendleton

experts come together

The CNME editorial

to celebrate the best and

team wishes the warmest

brightest in the ICT sector.

congratulations to the

Natasha Pendleton,

displayed and illustrated

JBR, the event saw hundreds

winners, who have proven

Publishing Director at CPI

themselves to be true digital

Media Group explained the

disruptors and constitute

process behind selecting the

some of the brightest minds in

CIO 100 award winners.

the Middle East region.



Abdalla Al Ali Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC)

Abdullah Alshamsi Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP)

Dr Abeer Shakeer The Minister of Communications and Information Technology

Aditya Kaushik Adyard Abudhabi

Ahmed Al Ahmad Nakheel PJSC

Ahmed Saleem Sharjah Islamic Bank

Akshay Lamba Deloitte & Touche (M.E.)

Ali Ahmed Al Naqbi Sharjah Economic Development Department

Ali Al Lawati Ooredoo Oman

Ali Mohamed Al Ali Department of Health Abu Dhabi

Ali Saleh Al Ali Etihad Credit Insurance Company

Aliakbar Patwa NRS Relief

Aliasgar Bohari Zulekha Healthcare Group

Ameena Abdul Raheem Engineering Office

Anindo Banerjee Meraas Holding

Antony Vimal Emirates Specialty Hospital



Anup Das BYRNE Equipment Rental

Arnab Debroy Metito Overseas

Arul Jose Vigin DIFC Courts

Ashith Piriyattiath Regulus Capital

Bilal Hasan DULSCO

Esam Khamees Alfalasi Ministry Of Economy

Faisal Ali Daman Investments

Fatima Ahmed Ali Bin Haider Dubai Public Prosecution

Fayaz Ahmed Badubhai Al Yousuf Group

On behalf of Frank Watts, Al Tayer

Ghinwa Baradhi HSBC Bank Middle East Limited

On behalf of Hamdy Al Sherif Dubai Chamber of Commerce

Hashim Saeed Union Properties

Jaicil Mohammed Portingx Technology

Jassim Haji Artificial Intelligence Society Bahrain

Jayesh Maganlal Majid Al Futtaim Properties





Joseph Aninias Abu Dhabi University

On behalf of Juma Al Ghaith Dubai Customs

Khalfan Matar Al Hassani Monitoring and Control Centre

Khawla Jarrah Ras Al Khaimah American Academy For Girls


Major Khalid A BinMediya Al Falasi GDRFA

On behalf of Mamoun T. Alhomssey Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

Manish Bindra Galadari Brothers Co

Dr Manoj K Menon Spotcheck Wellness Services

Manoj Ramachandran Royal Group

Meshal Abdulla BinHussain Ministry of Finance

Dr Mohamed Jumah Rahmah DP World

Mohammed Mudasar Bluestone Capital Investments

Muhannad Abu Hassan Ministry of Education and

Mubarik Hussain Bloom Holding

Muna Abdullah Al Falasi The Executive Council


Dr Mustafa Hassan Qurban King Fahd Military Medical Complex

Mustansir Aziz, Gulf Diagnostic Center Hospital

Dr N Verma Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital Company, KSA

Najib Dalank ALEC

Nitin Bhargava Mashreq Bank

Partha Banerjee Safeer Group Of Companies

Paul Bogan Serco Ltd

Praveen Sashi DHL EXPRESS

Rami Alhaddad National Aviation Services

Riyad Salah Sharjah Taxi and Rafid Automotive Solution

Saleem Alblooshi Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du)

Shafique Ibrahim Al Fardan Exchange

Shailesh Mani Flemingo International Limited

Sreedhar Reddy ALDAR

Sreedhar Suragouni Oman Insurance Company

Tamer Hamed DUCAB




Umesh Moolchandani Bin Dasmal General Trading Co

H.E Wesam Lootah DSG

Yasser Sharaf Raya Contact Center Egypt

On behalf of Dr Yousef Al-Hammadi Abu Dhabi Special Olympics

CNME would also like to express our warmest congratulations to all the winners who were unfortunately not able to attend the award ceremony: - Abdulla Alowais, Government of Sharjah Directorate of Human Resources - Abdulrahman Al Harbi, Zain Payments Limited - Adel Abo Elnour, Ministry Of Housing - Amr Fathy, Etisalat Egypt - Arun Tewary, Emirates Flights Catering - Brigadier Khaled Alrazouki, Dubai Police - Col. Faisal Al Kaabi, Ministry of Defense - Dr. Ibrahim Humaid Almayahi, Ministry of Interior - Farid Farouq, DWTC - Fuad Al Ansari, ADNOC Refining - Girish S Varote, Abu Dhabi Health Data Services SP LLC - Hessa Obaid Al Suwaidi, Department of Infrastructure Development - Ibrahim AlNajjar, DP World - Jasem Al Ali, Ministry of Justice - Khalid Jalal, Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mill - Mahmoud A. Kamal, Habtoor Hospitality - Mario Foster, Al Naboodah Group Enterprises - Mohamad Al Ameri, Abu Dhabi Executive Council - Mohamed Hamed, Ceramica Platino Group - Mohammed Abu Zaid, Insurance Authority - Mohammed Al Ali, National Qualifications Authority (NQA) - Muhammad Junaid Budhani, United Al Saqer Group - Nadia Obaid Al Qabanji, Zayed University - Prasanna Hulmane .T.V, University Sharjah Hospital - Qasim Nadeem, ABANA Enterprises Gruop - Ronald Dsa, OSN - Sanjeev Mulay, First Abu Dhabi Bank - Sayed Rahman, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority - Sebastian T. Samuel, AW Rostamani Group - Shumon Zaman, Lamprell Energy Ltd - Sultan Al Owais, Prime Minister’s Office - Yuri Misnik, First Abu Dhabi Bank




CPI Media Group would like to sincerely thank all our sponsors for their incredible support that ensured our CIO100 Awards were a resounding success. GOLD PARTNERS












In our latest edition of Women in Tech, CNME spoke to Ghinwa Baradhi, CIO at HSBC Bank Middle East, to find out why promoting diversity needs to be a key priority for the IT industry, and how new technologies like blockchain will reshape the financial services sector in the future.



ver the last two decades, Baradhi has established herself as one of the most

prominent technology thought leaders in the region. During this time the dynamic CIO has experienced firsthand how technologies have fundamentally reshaped the IT ecosystem in the financial sector. We’re now firmly in the midst of a technological revolution which has disrupted every major industry, and the banking and financial services sectors haven’t been immune to these

Ghinwa Baradhi CIO, HSBC Bank Middle East

changes. The other significant change for Baradhi has been the evolution of her role as a CIO, one which she describes as both exciting and challenging. “The role of the CIO has evolved as more and more disruptive technologies continue to penetrate different industries on a global scale. It is a very exciting time to be a CIO, as we’re tasked with the responsibility of devising innovative strategies that shape the way we do business. The


CIO is now a true partner for the

and how it can create smart

business and collaboratively we

contracts and reduce the time of

industry is very important and

define and execute the strategy

transactions”. Having said that,

is a subject that I’m passionate

for growth and success. We

Baradhi also emphasises, “the

about. At HSBC, diversity is

have become a true enabler,”

use of blockchain technology

not only about gender but also

said Baradhi.

will continue to evolve in the

covers multiple facets in terms

coming years and the success

of skill, experience, talent,

technologies impacting major

will depend on striking the right

culture, ethnicities and thought

industries, blockchain has been

balance of the technology, use

leadership. We believe the

tipped to transform the banking

cases and adoption.”

different ideas and perspectives

In relation to the new

“Gender diversity in the IT

and financial services sector.

HSBC is renowned for

Smart Dubai CEO H.E. Wesam

being a pioneer in terms of

our customers and our people,

Lootah said that, blockchain

championing and embracing

helps us innovate, manage

will do for transactions what the

new technologies and

risk and grow the business in

internet did for information.

integrating them into their

a sustainable manner,” said

Baradhi highlighted that

existing operations as part


our diversity brings, benefits

whilst blockchain does possess

of its effort to enhance the

incredible capabilities, using

experience of its customers.

and aspirations in her role as

the right technology effectively

“We’ve been at the forefront

CIO at HSBC for the next 12

for the right purpose to support

of finding innovative solutions

months, Baradhi said, “The IT

commercialised growth for the

for our customers to transform

industry is constantly evolving,

business is crucial.

their banking experience and

so we’ll be looking at how we

have set up the first Innovation

can use new and emerging

proponent and contributor to

Lab in the region to encourage

technologies to enhance the

blockchain technology, leading

these solutions.”

services we provide for our

“HSBC has been a keen

the way in its adoption by the

HSBC’s success over its

When pressed on her goals

customers. Customer-centricity

financial services industry. In

more than 150-year history is

is in our core DNA and is always

the trade finance space, for

in large part due to its culture

the number one priority for

example, we see huge potential

and growth mindset, which has

HSBC and that will continue in

for blockchain - over the

seen it evolve into a diverse and

2020. This desire and aspiration

last two years, we conducted

global organisation. Diversity

to always deliver the best

multiple proof of concepts

and inclusion a subject close to

results and experience for our

in the region and around the

Baradhi’s heart, in an industry

customers, is what I believe

world. In 2019, we became the

which has traditionnaly been

has helped us become such a

first bank in the Middle East to


success over the century.

bring together two blockchain

“In addition to this, I

platforms in a trade finance

believe in this digital age

transaction, which reduced the

it’s critical that we’re able

overall transaction time by 40

to attract the best talent and

percent,” said Ghinwa.

continue to inspire a culture

This resulted in HSBC recently winning the Banking Technology Award for ‘Best Use of Emerging Technology’ and being nominated as a finalist for ‘Financial Innovation Award’. It is also in the running for the ‘2020 FStech Awards’. “We’re all aware of the transparency it will provide,

of high performance within

At HSBC, diversity is not only about gender but also covers multiple facets in terms of skill, experience, talent, culture, ethnicities and thought leadership.”

our employees that can help us extract value from new technologies to stay ahead of the curve, drive business growth, and become more data driven whilst safeguarding HSBC and its customers from potential cyber threats,” said Ghinwa.





SMART SECURITY CNME Editor Mark Forker caught up with Khwaja Saifuddin, Senior Sales Director, Middle East at Western Digital at Intersec 2020, to find out how its new suite of security solutions that are infused with AI are making cities smarter. surveillance technology through the concept of ‘No Blind Spots’. With the rapid advancement of smart security, the company demonstrated its storage solutions that span from the end points such as cameras, to the core data centre. These solutions are designed to handle high resolution and


capacity for enhanced public safety and artificial intelligence (AI) analytics use cases. The WD Purple™ portfolio is an ideal companion to enhance smart video technology. Both the WD Purple microSD™ card and WD Purple Surveillance HDD bring internal and external solutions to the market. The WD Purple microSD card provides long lasting on-camera storage coupled with exceptional

Khwaja Saifuddin, Senior Sales Director, Middle East at Western Digital

performance and reliability. The WD Purple Surveillance HDD features Western Digital’s AllFrame™ technology that


helps create a security system

an you tell me why

tailored to the needs of the

Western Digital


participated at this


Intersec presents a great


opportunity to demonstrate

2020 – and what value the

the advanced capabilities of

event provides for your

our cutting-edge products

business portfolio?

and solutions designed to

At Intersec this year, Western

prepare our customers for

Digital showcased how it is

the zettabyte-scale age of the

pushing the boundaries of


Western Digital announced

argue in favour of more

storage solutions for everything

the introduction of ‘No Blind

expansive, and more intelligent,

from mobile to highly specialised

Spots’ Smart Video Solutions at

public safety. By progressively

performance drives. We are in

INTERSEC, How is this solution

applying new technologies

a unique position where we

is enhancing public safety?

to their approaches, public

innovate across the technology

No Blind Spots includes Western

safety agencies could boost the

stack right from building a

Digital’s thoughtfully calibrated

number of violent and property

flexible foundation to enabling

storage solutions designed for

crimes they prevent each year

access to faster intelligence.

smart video. The company’s

from approximately 2,100

approach encompasses products

today, to 4.2 million in 2025, to

2020 is going to be a historic

that use raw video, AI and

5.6 million in 2035 or possibly

year for the UAE with EXPO

endpoint to cloud technology.

81.7 million by 2040.

2020. What are the major trends

Western Digital delivers product

Education and awareness

that you envisage we’re going to

reliability and longevity that

will be required as a balance

see over the next 12 months?

support multi-streams as well

needs to be struck between data

Digitising initiatives will

as offering scalable and built-in

continue to flourish moving


forward, with IT spending in the

AI, once engrained into public

Middle East and Africa (MEA) set

safety infrastructure, could

to reach $83.7 billion in 2020,

analyse thousands of video

according to IDC. The quest for

feeds generated, transforming

digital transformation will also

cameras from their current form, often providing only the illusion of protection, into a real-time public safety tool for tomorrow’s smart cities and towns.

Western Digital delivers product reliability and longevity that support multi-streams as well as scalable and built-in analytics.”

drive investments in big data and analytics, among others, which is also expected to be a key area of investment in 2020. The future is bright for data-enabled intelligence. In

In terms of video surveillance

2020, we will see a growing

there has been some ethical

number of organisations

concerns regarding the

capitalising on smarter use of the

integration of AI into these

privacy and data responsibility

information we create, capture

security systems. What would

where public input and

and store while also making

you say to those that believe

oversight are necessary to

sense of the massive amounts

biometrics, AI and RFID

ensure that video public safety

of data generated by artificial

impinges on their human rights?

systems are designed to prevent

intelligence and machine

With so much data available

misuse and abuse.

learning workloads.

people are wary of proposals

Western Digital has

strategy if the elements of

that suggest even greater

positioned as a leader in

the right infrastructure,

data collection, knowing the

data infrastructure and has

information architecture, skills

potential exists for misuse of

always displayed tremendous

and processes, and partnerships,

the data and, consequently,

innovation. However, in

are put into place to ensure data

violations of privacy.

your opinion what is that

availability and analysis. This,

differentiates the company

in turn, will open a world of new

of crime prevention, which is

from its rivals?

possibilities with data across

saving lives and property as well

Western Digital’s unmatched

sectors and verticals in the

as positive economic impacts,

portfolio offers a range of

upcoming year.

today, it is understandable

But the tradeoffs in the form

Businesses have a winning






Deputy Editor Giorgia Guantario spoke to Dr Maryam Al Yammahi, Assistant Professor in Computer science, UAE University to discuss the digital skills gap and how the university is hoping to solve it.

Dr Maryam Al Yammahi, Assistant Professor in Computer science, UAE University


across a number of entities –

organisations reskill their

organisations, governments and

workforce, something that will

educational entities are all part

be necessary for 54 percent

of the solution.

of all current employees by

The UAE has been making great strides to solve this issue, with government and

Economic Forum. “Right now we are

universities coming together

concentrating and working

n today’s increasing

to create a talented set of

on preparing students only,

data-driven economy, one

graduates who will be able to

but in the long run, we’d

of the biggest challenges

use their skills to bring growing

like to have the possibility

organisations face is the

value as new employees. The

to help organisations train

growing digital skills gaps. As

UAE University is among those

their employees to make sure

emerging technologies, the

who are driving innovation to

they are up to date with new

like of Artificial Intelligence,

solve this growing challenge,

technologies. As a university,

Internet of Things and robotics

but according to Dr Maryam Al

we hope to share our knowledge

happen in shorter cycles,

Yammahi, Assistant Professor

beyond our institution.

organisations struggle to

in Computer science, the

recruit, onboard and train

real solution is connecting

universities with R&D teams

their employees, which could

organisations to academic

within organisations will also

prove fatal as more and more

institutions to get ready for

prove beneficial to all parties

disruptors enter the market.

Industry 4.0.

involved. The Fourth Industrial


According to the World

“One of the main issues is

“I think connecting

Revolution will affect all

Economic Forum, at least 133

the lack of communication

sectors, but each will need its

million new roles generated

between organisations and

own set of development and use

as a result of the new division

universities. Too often fresh

cases to strive and leverage new

of labour between humans,

graduates haven’t had the

technologies. Universities can

machines and algorithms may

chance to weigh themselves

help take this a little further,”

emerge globally by 2022 – this

against the organisation’s skill

she continued.

situation is only worsened

requirements,” explained Dr

by the advent of the Fourth

Al Yammahi.

Industrial Revolution. The responsibility for bridging this digital gap is spread


2022, according to the World

The Assistant Professor also

The UAE University has been adopting innovative education practices and has been pushing

believes universities could

for more collaboration between

play a big role in helping

industries and students.

Artificial Intelligence has

that students can expect to

from the moment they develop

become one of the main

learn through a hands-on

an idea that could increase

areas the University has been

approach how to improve the

productivity or solve a challenge,

focusing on, as the technology

UAE government agencies and

up to the prototyping stage,

has been at the centre of many

industry performance with

carefully pairing each solution to

governments and private

these technologies.

the right industry application.

sector’s strategies in the past couple of years. Dr Al Yammahi said, “Part

“At UAEU, we also hold

“As I have mentioned

a series of workshops to

before, I strongly believe

have student gain a practical

that the answer to solving

of the UAEU’s initiatives to

understanding of the technology,

the digital gap is developing

prepare skilled employees of

may this be AI or related to

open communication between

the future has been centred

different software. Moreover, we

universities, governments and

around the creation of

strongly support our students’

organisations, and at UAEU

Learning Smart Factory - labs

ideas – we try to connect

we have been doing just that,”

that encourage students to

students with organisations

explained Dr Al Yammahi.

develop AI technology and

2020 will be an exciting year

smart applications technology

for the University, as they will

that can be leveraged in the

be participating to the much-

Fourth Industrial Revolution to

awaited Expo 2020 Dubai through

establish a ‘smart factory’.”

the exhibition ‘The University of

The UAE University, ranked first in the UAE according to the Times Higher Education Rankings 2020, also offers a minor in AI, as well as graduate programs in other emerging technologies such as data and machine learnings. Dr Al Yammahi explained

The answer to solving the digital gap is developing open communication between universities, governments and organisations, and at UAEU we have been doing just that.”

the Future’ and ‘the Pathfinder Program’. Dr Al Yammahi concluded by expressing her excitement for this initiative which will showcase UAEU’s vision to pioneer a new role of education and to transform unemployment challenges into innovative solutions.






CNME Editor Mark Forker spoke to Juan Colina, Regional Director, Corning Optical Communications, Middle East, to find out its aspirations for 2020, the role it is playing in the acceleration of 5G, and how the next five years will be defining for internet performance in the UAE.



orning is a key

completed the first end-to-end

reliability which Corning has the

player in terms

5G SA call in the UAE, becoming

expertise to support on. Corning

of facilitating

the first operator globally to

also has extensive expertise

the demand for

achieve this milestone, which is

in interconnecting huge data

higher data speeds from

a fantastic achievement. IDC also

centre facilities and a set of

telecommunication providers.

recently released a study which

solutions to meet the demands.

Can you give us a brief

showed that UAE has the fastest

overview of Corning, in

download speed in the region. All

cable design with ribbon

relation to both its market

these developments are indicative

sub-units that are easy to

visibility in the region, and its

of the growth we are expecting to

manage, identify, and trace, is

overall growth in 2019?

see in the coming years.

making a significant impact

2019 has been a stepping-

on cable deployments for

stone for Corning globally, and

Microsoft’s new data centres

large-campus DCI (data

for the region. We have done

in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are

centre interconnects). My

some innovative work with our

expected to accelerate the

point is that Corning’s long

partners around data centres

transition of enterprises towards

lasting professionalisation

and internet penetration over

public cloud. What impact is

and innovation allow us to

the last year. We have our gears

this development going to have

offer data centre solutions

ready for 2020, and we believe

in terms of Corning’s existing

providing the four fundamental

the next four to five years are

business portfolio?

benefits a cabling infrastructure

going to be very defining for

The largest hyperscalers and

must address - reliability,

internet performance, with

cloud companies are in the

manageability, scalability and

the roll out of 5G in the region.

process of enhancing their

flexibility while lowering TCO

We have already seen some

capacity and service and

and increasing ROI and in the

breakthrough work over the last

therefore, they have increased

current business environment

few months in the UAE.

need of data centres in the

that makes a difference.

Etisalat recently achieved over


The unique RocketRibbon™

region. Corning, as a leader in

3.1Gbps download throughput

that area, is ready to support

The proliferation of connected

over its 5G Stand Alone, SA,

this growth. This surge comes

devices is growing exponentially.

network. Prior to that, in October

with many requirements around

What trends do you see

2019, Etisalat successfully

data privacy, speed, latency and

developing around this surge in

Juan Colina, Regional Director, Corning Optical Communications, Middle East

the connectivity of devices?

Corning is a real leader in the

a common approach. We have

One of the main trends that we

communications industry.

the benefit of bringing global

are monitoring closely is the

However, what do you think

expertise and adapting this to the

amount of connectivity that

differentiates the company

local needs. Moreover, we’re able

will happen at the edge of the

from its rivals?

to bring these solutions across

network, which is mainly driven

I would say we approach our

the entire optical portfolio, which

by latency and data intensive

work from another perspective.

means we can serve the diverse

applications like IoT and

Our corporate mindset is mostly

needs of our customers.

connectivity in smart cities. The

centred around topics like

surge in connected devices is

innovation, expertise, quality.

What are your main goals and

driving computational power to

We keep track on the bigger

objectives for 2020?

be closer to the end users. This

picture, and we are aiming to

In 2020 and in the next five

means that data centres need to

drive ongoing improvement of

years, we can expect to see a

be closer to the consumer too,

performance. A key differentiator

lot of adoption in the region in

in places it hasn’t been before,

is how we address challenges

terms of data centre build and

thus making them smaller in

with our customers. Each region

5G. Corning, with our global

size with increased density and

has intrinsic challenges specific

expertise and innovations, wants

growth enabled.

to their local environment,

to support our customers in their

which cannot be solved through

growth around these areas.

Moreover, the region, especially the UAE, is really

The region is moving fast

driving 5G adoption. For

towards advanced digital services

instance, the first 5G call which

and next-generation networks.

happened through Etisalat. So

As a leader in the industry, we

we can expect to see a lot of

would naturally like to be at the

firsts from the region when it comes to 5G, and these experiences and learnings will be shared with the rest of the world to take into consideration as they push 5G in their own countries.

One of the main trends that we are monitoring closely is the amount of connectivity that will happen at the edge of the network.�

forefront of the process. Our regional goals align with the overall goals of the company and therefore we are looking for growth and expansion and we are confident in our ability to achieve that.







In this month’s cover story, CNME Editor Mark Forker spoke to Ahmed Helmy, International CTO at Avaya, to find out how the company is continuing to expand its cloud transformation by introducing Avaya IX-CC, the IT company’s next-generation Contact Centre as a Service platform.



elmy has played

to continue differentiating

a key role in

themselves with compelling

curating Avaya’s

experiences for the digital age.

strategic cloud

What businesses need today

transformation which has

is the freedom to build multi-

helped solidify the US-

experiences with ease and

headquartered multinational

speed that capture the hearts

as a market leader in unified

and minds of their customers.

communications and contact

The conversation with vendors

centre services.

like us has shifted from IT to

In our interview, Avaya’s

business transformation.”

International CTO details how

According to Helmy, a

a shift in customer and market

combination of customers

demands ultimately led to the

wanting to evaluate their CX

creation of the Avaya IX-CC

strategy, whilst spending less

platform, which promises to

talking about infrastructure led

markedly change organisations’

to the accelerated development

ability to create multi-

of the IX-CC.

experiences by helping them

“The consensus amongst

adapt their technology to their

everyone in the customer

ever-changing needs.

experience space was to reduce

Indeed, this comes as the

the time we spent talking about

conversation around the

infrastructure, computing and

contact centre space shifts, with

project management. These

businesses looking at customer

topics were consuming 60

experience – across any

percent of the discussion, but

platform - as a key differentiator

there was a growing desire

and business driver.

to focus more on business

“With the largest customer

transformation. Customers

base globally in the contact

want to review their CX strategy

centre, what our customers

over the next 1-5 years, and

tell us reflects the needs of the

while many have an idea of

market. There is a clear shift

what direction they want go,

in what our customers need

other customers don’t. Those customers need to introduce new technologies to see how it’s going to impact their business,” said Helmy. Avaya’s dynamic and

The consensus amongst everyone in the customer experience space was to reduce the time we spent talking about infrastructure, computing and project management.”

innovative CTO said that the company’s approach has transitioned from simply trying to sell a new technology, into building customer journey roadmaps and CX transformation services with their customers. “If you look at the CCaaS vendors today, their focus is on




moving their customers from

the economy of the cloud, the

what our customers really

on-premise to the cloud. For us

flexibility and the minimal

want. The key component of

here at Avaya, with Avaya IX-

upfront investment required

IX-CC is not only the fact that

CC, we’re giving our customers

so they can benefit instantly

it is multi-tenant, scalable and

control over of their business

from the freedom to innovate

cost-effective, but that it’s very,

outcomes with the freedom

and transform. However, at the

very adaptive. What this means

to personalise their customer

same time we’re not holding

is that our customers own the

experiences the way they want,”

them back like some of our

whole platform and have the

said Helmy.

other competitors who force

full flexibility to customise,

businesses to fit into pre-

integrate and personalise -

our conversation is ‘flexibility’,

defined packages and bundles,”

versus the option of having to

and Avaya’s IX-CC platform

said Helmy.

fit their business into a specific

A recurring theme during

certainly ticks that box - the

bundle,” said Helmy.

autonomy provided is what

‘adaptive’ has also struck a chord

is helping this product really

with customers, which Helmy

how many companies were

resonate with customers in the

claims is what they really want.

guilty of rushing their

cloud market. “Our customers like our cloud consumption models,


Avaya’s ability to become more

“We’re becoming

Avaya’s CTO also highlighted

transformation to the cloud

more adaptive, which is

when it was still a trend – and

fundamentally at the core of

in their quickfire approach

Ahmed Helmy International CTO at Avaya


to create a CCaaS platform,

customers. We have recently

had overlooked flexibility,

launched a unique compelling

personalisation and adaptability.

solution for RingCentral. But for

Helmy explains, “One set of CCaaS vendors have created solutions that come with a good level of APIs and interfaces - but are extremely poor in features and are forcing customers to own

We’re launching the IX-CC platform in the MEA region in the first-half of this year and will also launch the service in the US in September.”

our CCaaS solution, we chose to work with Microsoft Azure as it provided a platform with minimal friction and maximum footprint,” said Helmy. Microsoft’s presence globally and the fact that it has already

feature-development themselves. The other set have created CCaaS

positive outcomes to your

formed relationships with

offers that have an acceptable

business,” said Helmy.

enterprise customers through

library of features, but restricted

Helmy also declared that

their Office 365 offering made it

their customers in their ability

another key feature of the IX-CC

a no-brainer for Avaya to enter

to customise, personalise

platform is that it is a pure SaaS

into a collaboration agreement

and integrate their customer

model, that gives customers

with the US IT behemoth.

experience. Avaya IX-CC brings

the option to plug-in to new

the best of the two together.”

capabilities from IX-CC through

Microsoft also simplifies and

“The partnership with

a hybrid model, which means

ensures compliance from the

advantage when it came to

customers don’t have to migrate

get-go. For example, businesses

creation of the IX-CC platform,

fully to the cloud.

who are on Office 365 have done

Helmy said Avaya had an

as they had developed very rich

Avaya have also announced

the security due diligence. For

features over a 20 year-period

that their IX-CC platform will

them, coming onto IX-CC on

that was embedded into their

be available in Azure, which will

Azure is simple and seamless.

contact centre capabilities.

be hosted in Microsoft’s data

This is also means that we can

However, they wanted to create

centres in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

accelerate our go-to-market

a market where customers

The service will be introduced

strategy,” said Helmy.

could come in and use very

initially in the Arab Gulf region

rich API interfaces, but instead

with plans to expand the offer to

our conversation by stressing

of investing significantly in

other global regions in the future.

that the partnership between

DevOps and R&D teams to build

“We’re launching the IX-CC

Avaya’s CTO concluded

Avaya and Microsoft Azure

the basic features, they could

platform in the MEA region in

has resonated with customers

instead build on top of Avaya.

the first-half of this year and

in both the US and the Middle

“With Avaya IX-CC, our

will also launch the service in

East, who are leading in their

customers maintain the rich

the US in September. In 2021,

transformation initiatives and

capabilities, but have the

we will roll-out the IX-CC

see IX-CC platform as the perfect

flexible development interfaces,

platform to the rest of the

fit for their cloud strategy.

customisation and integration,

world,” said Helmy.

“The value of this partnership cannot be understated. With

allowing them to innovate

According to Helmy,

on top of that. You’ll only

the strategic alliance with

IX-CC on Azure, we’re enabling

be able to personalise your

Microsoft Azure was born

customers to take advantage of

customer experience when

out of the company’s desire

a seamless path to enterprise-

you have enough insight into

to choose a platform that

grade cloud – and all of the

data, customer behaviors and

provided minimal friction.

business benefits that come

“Avaya has a number of

with that. This creates an

quickly to adapt to what your

strategic agreements with

incredible opportunity for

customers need – this frees

leading vendors like Google,

everyone in the space to quickly

you from being at the mercy

IBM and others. Each alliance

transform as quickly as the

of packages and bundles, and

and partnership brings an added

market demands, providing

directs your efforts towards

value to our solutions and our

ever-better experiences.”

interactions to be able to change





SHOW ME THE MONEY CNME Editor Mark Forker spoke to Jyoti Lalchandhi, Group Vice President and Regional Managing Director at IDC, to find out what industry verticals he believes major ICT players are going to focus their investments on in 2020.


Jyoti Lalchandhi, Group Vice President and Regional Managing Director at IDC


alchandhi stated

a bid to delve a little deeper into

element and component in

during his detailed

some of the insights he provided

many telecom strategies. If

and forensic keynote

from his presentation.

you examine telco operators

that investments in

today, then you’ll see that most

digital transformation and

how the traditional revenue

of their revenue comes from

innovation would account for

streams of telecommunication

traditional telco services. Those

30 percent of all IT spending

operators have come under

services account for 90 percent

in the Middle East, Turley and

attack from the rise of OTTs.

of their revenue, but as we know

Africa (META) by 2024.

Operators need to establish

that market is flat, stagnant and

new business models.

at risk of becoming obsolete,”

exclusive interview with the

According to Lalchandhi, the

said Lalchandhi.

IDC executive onsite at IDC

monetisation of data will be a

Directions 2020 which was held

key priority for them.

I managed to secure an

at Dubai’s Atlantis, The Palm in


It has been well-documented

“Data monetisation is a key

A prevalent term coined in the ICT industry is that data is the new oil and it is fueling digital

transformation. Operators have

to next-generation networks as

central-government agencies

access to an ocean of data, but

they’re still trying to make a ROI

getting involved in terms of

they need to find a way in which

on their investments in 4G.

regulating and putting together

they can really monetise it.

“5G is obviously very

government policies on data.

important for operators, but

There is a whole discussion going

saying, 'OK we’ve got the

we don’t envisage any dramatic

on currently regarding who

underlying infrastructure

investments in the next-

should regulate data, and how

and the capabilities, but how

generation technology over the

our data should be managed. I

do we diversify our revenue

next six to 12 months, in fact

think on one hand consumers

streams in order to penetrate

most telco operators across

are concerned about giving

ICT services in the IT sector?'

this region are still trying to

away too much information,

As part of their efforts to

monetise the investments they

but I think on the other hand

successfully enter this space

made in 4G. I think a lot of

governments across the region

many operators are creating

operators will take a phased

are saying we need to set-up

separate digital business units,”

approach. They acknowledge it

safeguards, governance and

said Lalchandhi.

is coming, and it is a major part

compliance models so all our

“Telco operators are

The IDC Group VP believes

data is managed, governed and

that if telco operators want

secured,” said Lalchandhi.

to seize the opportunities in

In addition to this, he

the IT services space, there

added that the demand for the

needs to be a cultural change

implementation of disruptive

within the organisation and a different mindset. He said, “Operators are acutely aware of the fact that 90 percent of their business

Operators are acutely aware of the fact that 90 percent of their business is slowing down, or in rapid decline.”

is slowing down, or in rapid

technologies such as AI into public services has also heightened concerns regarding ethics. Lalchandhi said, “I think there is going to be more national data agencies created to see how we can

decline. However, they also

manage all of this information,

know that they’ve got an

of its long-term strategy, but

and we can already see this

incremental growth opportunity

it’s going to happen in phases.

happening in other countries.”

to leverage their existing

We’re going to have community

infrastructure. They need to

5G networks, like the 5G EXPO

this with its ethical AI toolkit

create separate digital business

2020 site. One other huge factor

that comes with guidelines,

units to go after those ICT

in the acceleration of 5G will be

processes and frameworks

services and non-telco services,

the availability of 5G-enabled

around how data is used in the

but it’s a highly competitive

devices and products.”

context of AI.

environment. You’re not going

Other areas IDC believe

Smart Dubai has already done

“AI has predictive capabilities,

to see high levels of margin,

we’ll see an increase in

so banks want to know what

so it requires a completely

investment include smart

you’re going to buy next, and telco

different mindset.”

services, public safety and

operators want to know where

surveillance. However, there

you are going next - so with that

need to recruit the right

has been somewhat of a

comes the question of how much

talent to develop the culture

technology backlash, with

information individuals are really

and processes that are

consumers concerned at how

comfortable in surrendering

fundamentally required to

some companies have misused

and sharing. We need to set up

survive in this space.

and mishandled their personal

safeguards that protect consumers

information. This has led to

personal information and data.

in the ICT ecosystem, but

calls for regulation and reforms

I think we’ll see something very

Lalchandhi believes operators

on the use of data.

similar to that of GDPR across

He also added that operators

5G is obviously a hot topic

are taking a phased approach

“We’re going to see more

the Middle East region.”





Conference & Exhibition Dubai, UAE • 13-15 April 2020 The Global Leader in ICT Education, Certification & Standards

e-CONNECTIONS THAT MATTER! IoT • 5G Networks • PoE Applications and Standards • Data Centres • AV over IP • Wireless Technologies • Artificial Intelligence (AI) • Smart Cities, Buildings and Infrastructure • Single-pair Ethernet • And More


CITIES OF ‫مدن‬ THE FUTURE ‫المستقبل‬






CITIES OF THE FUTURE H.E. Mohamed Al Khadar Al Ahmed, Executive Director of Strategic Affairs, DMT and General Coordinator, the World Urban Forum outlines how technology is facilitating the development of smart, sustainable cities and how the World Urban Forum held in Abu Dhabi will bring together experts to shine a light on what we can expect from cities of the future.


he Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterised by a considerable surge

in new digital technologies and artificial intelligence. This trend has created a significant impact upon urbanisation and has played an essential part in the establishment of Smart Cities. With innovation harnessing enhancements across numerous areas of modern life, it is natural that technological advancements are applied to the places closest to us, in our homes and communities. The tenth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10) will outline the importance of establishing smart sustainable cities. Abu Dhabi is hosting the tenth session of the forum in partnership with UN-Habitat, an event that takes place from the 8th until the 13th February 2020, under the patronage of H.H Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Abu Dhabi will be the focus of attention for those interested in sustainable urban development during WUF10, as the city draws in experts in the smart and sustainable cities industry around the world. After announcing that more than 100 ministers and about 20,000 people from more than 160 countries will be hosted, we




planned a series of discussions solely focused on sustainable smart cities, as a central thread of the forum’s agenda throughout its six days. Sustainable cities of the future can be defined as those that have the latest facilities in technology, buildings, renewable energy generation solutions, and environmental conservation. The sustainability of cities would will contribute towards positive progress of future societies, as they become more developed and civilised on the path to sustainable



H.E Mohamed Al Khadar, Executive Director of Strategic Affairs, DMT and General Coordinator, the World Urban Forum

One of the aspects of urban development accompanying the technical boom is that cities are established in line

Abu Dhabi seeks to achieve in

industry to apply their

with the needs of people,

order to establish its position as

respective expertise in creativity

not the other way around, to

a global centre for sustainable

of design and sustainable

achieve the equation of smart

information infrastructure. Abu

planning. Crucially, the forum

transformation. This way, smart

Dhabi is, at this tenth session

will seek to harness technology

cities become compatible with

of the World Urban Forum,

and smart solutions to enrich

development while maintaining

bringing together specialists

infrastructure interconnection,

their originality and their social,

within the sustainable urban

enhancing its efficiency and

economic and environmental

boosting its effectiveness. The


Emirate will do so in a manner

Smart cities are data-

that supports the elements of

dependent and address


economic or social challenges

The tenth session of the

to achieve sustainable

World Urban Forum represents

development. Such data

a global platform around

underpins sustainable city planning and inspires future foresight and boosts performance levels to achieve ideal societies for the future. The innovation and optimal use of modern technologies and data is the cornerstone of establishing future cities which


Sustainable cities of the future can be defined as those that have the latest facilities in technology, buildings, renewable energy generation solutions, and environmental conservation.�

which major companies and institutions involved with developing advanced infrastructure from all countries of the world, as well as major investors, entrepreneurs, and people of creative ideas, will contribute towards the creation of plans and features for future

cities in terms of technology,

is an Arab city open to the

environment, economic, and

whole world.

other related fields. These

The World Urban Forum

diverse and complementary perspectives and the resulting ideas and cooperation are the true value of the forum and are a reflection of Abu Dhabi’s position as a prominent global destination for innovation, excellence and creativity.

is being held for the first

Keeping pace with urbanisation, technological development, and the creation of smart cities, will enhance the well-being of citizens, residents and visitors.”

Keeping pace with

time in the Middle East in the Arab world and this occurrence in itself is a strong testament to the success of Abu Dhabi’s effective strategy in implementing sustainable urbanisation, characterised by the city’s dramatic shift

urbanisation, technological

towards urbanisation in a

development, and the creation

relatively short period of

of smart cities, will enhance

time. The forum will provide

the well-being of citizens,

of the United Nations for

a detailed study on the effects

residents and visitors. This will

sustainable development.

of modern-day urbanisation

contribute towards an ideal and

The long-term development

on societies, cities, economies,

healthy environment for living

strategy for the Emirate of Abu

and climate change.

and working, in a manner that

Dhabi has a degree of focus

The forum provides an

provides successive generations

upon the renewable energy

important opportunity to

with a healthy, satisfying and

sector, as part of a broader

review the most important

safe life.

diversification of income sources

global and local achievements

and to boost the capital’s gross

in the field of sustainability.

development plans which aim

domestic product. Abu Dhabi

This includes the concept’s

to build sustainable societies

has already made great strides

practical applications in

as a real opportunity to attract

in this area, advancing to the

housing and smart services,

investment and employment

status of regional pioneer in

as well as the latest urban

opportunities, which will

the field of sustainability, as

and architectural designs for

activate the wheel of growth

well as optimising its use of

modern projects that keep pace

and economic prosperity.

clean energy. Such an approach

with the latest developments

resonates with grander

in the field of construction.

Abu Dhabi sees these

Countries must realise that innovation is the primary source

urban planning schemes for

WUF10 also provides

of wealth and development,

cities, which seek to utilise

an opportunity to achieve

bypassing their dependence on

sustainability as a strategic

effective partnerships with

natural resources in order to

aspect of urban development.

institutions supporting

realign their focus upon talent

Abu Dhabi has already

sustainable building

and ideas as the source of

demonstrated its ability to

applications and companies


develop its strategic growth in

developing smart solutions

a sustainable manner and its

in the field of construction

WUF10 is a vital step towards

ambition is strong to cultivate

and services. This will

achieving the capital’s

this still further. The urban

provide cities with a model

strategic vision in the field

environment in the Emirate of

of infrastructure services

of sustainable development,

Abu Dhabi is distinguished by

that complement the future

in order to achieve the goals

its unique urban identity as it

directions of nations.

Abu Dhabi’s hosting of



‫لمحة عن دائرة البلديات والنقل‬

‫مدن‬ ‫المستقبل‬

‫يوضح سعادة محمد الخضر األحمد املدير التنفيذي لقطاع الشؤون‬ ‫االسرتاتيجية يف دائرة البلديات والنقل‪ ،‬واملنسق العام للمنتدى‬ ‫الحضري العاملي‪ ،‬كيف سهلت التكنولوجيا تطوير املدن الذكية‬ ‫واملستدامة‪ ،‬وأن الخرباء سيجتمعون يف املنتدي الحضري العاملي املقام‬ ‫بأبو ظبي‪ ،‬إللقاء الضوء عىل ما يمكن توقعه من مدن املستقبل‪.‬‬


‫سعادة محمد الخضر‬ ‫األحمد املدير التنفيذي‬ ‫لقطاع الشؤون االسرتاتيجية يف‬ ‫دائرة البلديات والنقل واملنسق‬ ‫العام للمنتدى الحضري العاملي‪:‬‬ ‫"تتميز الثورة الصناعية الرابعة‬ ‫بثورة هائلة يف التقنيات الرقمية‬ ‫الجديدة والذكاء االصطناعي‪،‬‬ ‫ومن هنا كان البد للعمران أن‬ ‫يواكب هذه الطفرة‪ ،‬ليصبح‬ ‫إنشاء املدن الذكية متطلباً حضرياً‬ ‫منطقياً‪ ،‬حيث باتت الحياة‬ ‫الحديثة اليوم بحاجة لتطبيق‬ ‫االبتكار يف مختلف التخصصات‪".‬‬

‫" تحت رعاية صاحب السمو الشيخ‬ ‫محمد بن زايد آل نهيان‪ ،‬ويل‬ ‫عهد أبوظبي‪ ،‬نائب القائد األعىل‬ ‫للقوات املسلحة وتناقش الدورة‬ ‫العاشرة من "املنتدى الحضري‬ ‫العاملي" أهمية تأسيس مدن‬ ‫ذكية مستدامة‪ ،‬حيث تستضيف‬ ‫أبوظبي الدورة العاشرة من‬ ‫املنتدى بالشراكة مع "موئل األمم‬ ‫املتحدة"‪ ،‬وهو الحدث الذي يقام‬ ‫يف العاصمة اإلماراتية أبوظبي‬ ‫خالل الفرتة من ‪ 8‬إىل ‪ 13‬فرباير‬ ‫‪".2020‬‬ ‫"وستكون أبوظبي محط أنظار‬ ‫املهتمني بالتنمية الحضرية‬ ‫املستدامة يف الثامن من فرباير‬ ‫املقبل‪ ،‬ومحطـة لخرباء صناعة‬ ‫املدن الذكية واملستدامة حول‬ ‫العالم‪ ،‬بعد أن أعلنا عن استضافة‬ ‫أكرث من ‪ 100‬وزير ونحو ‪ 20‬ألف‬


‫‪FEBRUARY 2020‬‬


‫جوف تك‬



‫حولها كربى الشركات واملؤسسات‬ ‫املعنية بتطوير البنى التحتية‬ ‫املتطورة من كل دول العالم‪ ،‬فضالً‬ ‫عن كبار املستثمرين ورواج األعمال‬ ‫وأصحاب األفكار الخالقة واملبدعة‬ ‫الذين يساهمون يف رسم مالمح‬ ‫تأسيس مدن املستقبل من الناحية‬ ‫التكنولوجية والبيئية واالقتصادية‬ ‫وغريها من املجاالت ذات الشأن‬ ‫وهو ما يربهن عىل أهمية املنتدى‬ ‫الكبرية ويعكس مكانة أبوظبي‬ ‫كوجهة لالبتكار والتميز واإلبداع‪".‬‬ ‫"ومن شأن مواكبة العمران للتطور‬ ‫التقني وإنشاء مدن ذكية أن يعزز‬ ‫من رفاهية املواطنني واملقيمني‬ ‫والزائرين ضمن بيئة مثالية‬ ‫وصحية للعيش والعمل وبما‬ ‫يحفظ لألجيال املتعاقبة حقها يف‬ ‫التمتع بحياة صحية وآمنة‪".‬‬ ‫"وترى أبوظبي يف التطوير والخطط‬ ‫التنموية العمرانية التي تهدف إىل‬ ‫بناء مجتمعات مستدامة فرصة‬ ‫حقيقية لجذب االستثمارات وفرص‬ ‫العمل مما يؤدي إىل تفعيل عجلة‬ ‫النمو والرخاء االقتصادي‪".‬‬ ‫"وعىل الدول أن تدرك أن االبتكار‬ ‫هو املصدر األسايس للرثوة‬ ‫ً‬ ‫متجاوزة اعتمادها عىل‬ ‫والتنمية‪،‬‬ ‫املصادر الطبيعية‪ ،‬بحيث يصبح‬ ‫الرتكيز عىل املواهب وأصحاب‬ ‫العقول‪ ،‬باعتباره مصدر االبتكار‪".‬‬ ‫"ويعترب استضافة أبوظبي للدورة‬ ‫العاشرة من "املنتدى الحضري‬


‫مواكبة التوسع العمراني والتطوير‬ ‫التكنولوجي وإنشاء المدن‬ ‫الذكية‪ ،‬سيعزز رفاهية المواطنين‬ ‫والمقيمين والزوار‬

‫العاملي" خطوة يف سبيل تحقيق‬ ‫رؤية أبوظبي االسرتاتيجية يف مجال‬ ‫التنمية املستدامة‪ ،‬حتى تتمكن‬ ‫من تحقيق مستهدفات "األمم‬ ‫املتحدة" للتنمية املستدامة‪ ،‬وتأيت‬ ‫اسرتاتيجية التنمية طويلة األجل‬ ‫إلمارة أبوظبي لرتتكز عىل قطاع‬ ‫الطاقة املتجددة لتنويع مصادر‬ ‫الدخل العائد يف الناتج املحيل‬ ‫اإلجمايل للعاصمة وقد قطعت‬ ‫ً‬ ‫أبوظبي شوطاً‬ ‫طويال يف هذا املجال‬ ‫جعلها رائدة يف مجال االستدامة‬ ‫واالستخدام األمثل للطاقة النظيفة‬ ‫وهو ما نلقى له صدى واسع يف‬ ‫التخطيط العمراين للمدن ومدى‬ ‫قابليتها لالستدامة يف ظل اعتماد‬ ‫االستدامة كبديل اسرتاتيجي‬ ‫للتنمية العمرانية الحضرية عاملياً‪".‬‬ ‫"وأظهرت أبوظبي قدرتها عىل‬ ‫تطوير نموها االسرتاتيجي بشكل‬ ‫مستدام حيث تتميز البيئة‬ ‫العمرانية يف إمارة أبوظبي بهويتها‬

‫الحضرية الفريدة كونها مدينة‬ ‫عربية منفتحة عىل العالم أجمع‪،‬‬ ‫ويعقد املنتدى الحضري العاملي‬ ‫ألول مرة يف الشرق األوسط‬ ‫والعالم العربي‪ ،‬ما يعد شهادة‬ ‫قوية عىل نجاح اسرتاتيجية أبوظبي‬ ‫يف تنفيذ االستدامة الحضرية‪،‬‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ً‬ ‫هائال‬ ‫تحول‬ ‫حيث شهدت املدينة‬ ‫نحو التحضر يف وقت قصري نسبيًا‪،‬‬ ‫وسيعمل املنتدى عىل توفري دراسة‬ ‫مفصلة حول آثار التحضر يف‬ ‫العصر الحديث عىل املجتمعات‬ ‫واملدن واالقتصادات وتغري املناخ‪".‬‬ ‫"ويوفر املعرض الذي يقام عىل‬ ‫هامش الدورة العاشرة من‬ ‫املنتدى الحضري العاملي فرصة‬ ‫مهمة الستعراض أهم اإلنجازات‬ ‫العاملية واملحلية يف مجال تطبيقات‬ ‫االستدامة يف املساكن والخدمات‬ ‫الذكية وأحدث التصاميم‬ ‫العمرانية واملعمارية التي تواكب‬ ‫أحدث التطورات يف مجال‬ ‫اإلنشاءات واملبان‪".‬‬ ‫"كما يوفر املنتدى فرصة لتحقيق‬ ‫الشراكة الفاعلة مع املؤسسات‬ ‫الداعمة لتطبيقات البناء املستدام‬ ‫والشركات املطورة للحلول الذكية‬ ‫يف مجال البناء والخدمات وتزويد‬ ‫املدن بجميع خدمات البنى التحتية‬ ‫بما يتالءم مع التوجهات املستقبلية‬ ‫للدولة ولإلمارة والسعي إىل‬ ‫تحقيق االبتكار يف إنتاج الطاقة‬ ‫النظيفة والكفاءة يف استهالك‬ ‫الطاقة واملياه‪".‬‬

‫‪FEBRUARY 2020‬‬


‫جوف تك‬

‫شخص من أكرث من ‪ 160‬دولة‪،‬‬ ‫ومن هنا كان لزاماً علينا تضمني‬ ‫نقاشات جدية متخصصة عن‬ ‫املدن الذكية املستدامة ضمن‬ ‫محاور أجندة املنتدى عىل مدار‬ ‫أيام انعقاده الست‪".‬‬


‫"ويمكن تعريف مدن املستقبل‬ ‫املستدامة باملدن التي تتمتع‬ ‫بأحدث تكنولوجيا املرافق واملباين‬ ‫وحلول توليد الطاقة املتجددة‬ ‫واملحافظة عىل البيئة‪ ،‬وتعترب‬ ‫استدامة املدن بمثابة أمر‬ ‫من شأنه أن يجعل مستقبل‬ ‫املجتمعات أكرث تطوراً وتحضراً‬ ‫وتحقيقاً للتنمية املستدامة‪".‬‬

‫سعادة محمد الخضر األحمد المدير التنفيذي‬ ‫لقطاع الشؤون االستراتيجية في دائرة‬ ‫البلديات والنقل والمنسق العام للمنتدى‬ ‫الحضري العالمي‬

‫متطلبات املجتمعات يف املستقبل‪".‬‬

‫"ومن أوجه التطور العمراين‬ ‫املواكب للطفرة التقنية‪ ،‬أن‬ ‫نؤسس مدن تتماىش مع‬ ‫احتياجات البشر وليس العكس‬ ‫لتحقق معادلة التحول الذيك‪،‬‬ ‫بحيث تصبح مدن ذكية تواكب‬ ‫التطور‪ ،‬ويف الوقت ذاته مدن‬ ‫تحافظ عىل أصالتها وخصائصها‬ ‫االجتماعية واالقتصادية‬ ‫والبيئية‪".‬‬ ‫"فاملدن الذكية هي التي تعتمد‬ ‫عىل البيانات للتعامل مع أي‬ ‫نوع من التحديات االقتصادية‬ ‫أو االجتماعية لتحقيق التنمية‬ ‫املستدامة وتتيح البيانات تعزيز‬ ‫التخطيط املستدام للمدن‬ ‫وتحديد الرؤى املستقبلية‬ ‫ومستويات األداء لتحقيق‬

‫‪FEBRUARY 2020‬‬

‫يمكن تعريف مدن المستقبل‬ ‫المستدامة باعتبارها المدن التي‬ ‫لديها أحدث المرافق في التكنولوجيا‬ ‫والمباني وحلول توليد الطاقة‬ ‫المتجددة والحفاظ على البيئة‬

‫"ويعد االبتكار والتوظيف األمثل‬ ‫للتقنيات الحديثة والبيانات حجر‬ ‫الزاوية يف تأسيس مدن املستقبل‬ ‫وهو ما تسعى أبوظبي لتحقيقه‬ ‫لرتسيخ مكانتها كمركز عاملي للبنية‬ ‫املعلوماتية املستدامة وتجمع‬ ‫أبوظبي يف الدورة العاشرة من‬ ‫املنتدى الحضري العاملي املختصني‬ ‫يف مجال التخطيط املستدام ملحاولة‬ ‫تطبيق تجربتها الخاصة املعتمدة‬ ‫عىل اإلبداع يف التصميم والتخطيط‬ ‫املستدام وتسخري التكنولوجيا‬ ‫والحلول الذكية يف تعزيز ترابط‬ ‫البنية التحتية ورفع كفاءتها‬ ‫واالرتقاء بفاعليتها‪ ،‬وبشكل يدعم‬ ‫عناصر االستدامة‪".‬‬ ‫"وتمثل الدورة العاشرة من‬ ‫"املنتدى الحضري العاملي" املنعقدة‬ ‫بأبوظبي خالل الفرتة من ‪ 8‬إىل ‪13‬‬ ‫فرباير ‪ 2020‬منصة عاملية تجتمع‬ ‫‪‬‬




CNME Editor Mark Forker takes a closer look at how the trade war between the US and China is driving Beijing’s quest for technological independence.



hen US

and Huawei and justified it

and his supporters, the

by saying both represented a

Donald Trump

deindustrialisation of many US

severe risk to national security.

was on the

states was a direct result of US

Negotiations between both

campaign trail during the 2016

companies exporting most of

countries was a protracted one,

elections, he vowed to get

its manufacturing operations to

but a satisfactory trade deal

‘tough’ on trade with China.

China. In 2018, Trump told US

for both parties was eventually

Trump, like many of his irate

technology behemoth Apple to

reached in January 2020.

fanbase felt at the time that

move its manufacturing back

the existing trade deal in place

to the United States in a bid to

unlikely to diminish Trump’s

between Washington and

avoid being ‘hurt’ by his tariffs.

desire to implement more

Beijing was not serving the best interests of the American people.


According to Trump


Trump’s administration went after China’s ICT vendors ZTE

However, the trade truce is

control on the export of advanced technologies from

China. In addition to this, the

has led to an entire reevaluation

the company to the brink of

uncertainty, instability and

of China’s dependency on US

collapse. The lesson was: 'If

widespread disruption that

technologies. The biggest chasm

you continue like this, you

has ensued as a result of the

is in hardware, particularly

are controlled by others and

trade war, has rather inevitably

when it comes to the design and

you won’t survive if I cut your

led to Beijing powerbrokers

manufacturing of semiconductors

supply chain',” he said.

accelerating their drive to have

and high-end chips.

technological autonomy.

In addition to this, China also

In its efforts to bridge the gap in terms of semiconductors and

leans heavily on the US in relation

chipsets, China has looked to

recognised that by achieving

to software, which was best

India, according to Bas Fransen,

technological autonomy gives

illustrated by Google’s Android

lead analyst at the consultancy

them greater control over its

ban on Huawei, which prevented

company TenX2.

own supply chain, which is an

the ICT vendor from using

attractive proposition when

Google’s mobile services. That

the world for non-US

you consider that the threat of

decision severely dented Huawei’s

semiconductor technologies

further US sanctions and tariffs

smartphone sales and forced the

to bridge the gap. Particularly

continues to lurk over them.

company to begin developing its

in Bangalore, you come across

own operating system.

many Chinese company reps and

Decisionmakers in China have

In order to achieve its aim

“The Chinese are scouring

In an interview with the

government officials looking for

China has had to adopt a

Financial Times, Yan Ming, a

start-ups to acquire or invest in,

different approach in terms of

director at the China Computer

and to persuade them to move

of technological independence,

its overall strategy. Due to the

to China,” said Fransen.

political structure of the country

The drive for self-sufficiency

it hasn’t always been receptive

and technological independence

to the outside world.

has also boosted smaller private

It has been long accused of intellectual property theft, and Trump’s administration has claimed that Huawei has used its products to steal technology, an allegation which the US has never

Chinese companies. Charles

Developing autonomous and controllable technology is a solution to being controlled by others.”

been able to back with evidence.

Liu, a private equity investor told the Financial Times, “The drive for tech decoupling has increased demand for Chinese start-ups. They used to be thought of as too high-risk and

However, the standoff and

so had no market to sell to;

deterioration in relations

Federation, a research

now they’re developing because

between the US has forced

alliance, stated that China

there’s demand domestically.”

Beijing to embrace international

learnt a harsh lesson during

The trade dispute between

open-source, or free to

the impasse between the US

the two economic heavyweights

use collaborations. It has

Department of Commerce and

is now on hold, with Donald

significantly increased its

telecommunications company

Trump focusing his attentions

investment in countries other

ZTE, which pushed the company

on being re-elected for a second

than the US, and tech experts

to the brink of financial ruin.

term as US president. His tough

believe that this decoupling

“Developing autonomous

stance towards China may have

will not only directly impact US

and controllable technology

won him admirers amongst

companies that rely on Chinese

is a solution to being

his loyal Republican support,

custom - but will also lead

controlled by others. The

but it may well lead to China

to the reconfiguration of the

Trump administration really

displacing the US as the global

world’s tech supply chain.

taught China a lesson when it

leader in technology as Beijing

temporarily imposed sanctions

continues its charge towards

policies being pursued by the

on telecoms equipment

technological autonomy.

US Department of Commerce

maker ZTE in 2018, taking

The draconian measures and





BANKS ON THE BRINK As Visa acquires Fintech company Plaid for $5.3B, Deputy Editor Giorgia Guantario takes a look at the state of Fintech and discusses what threats this poses to traditional financial institutions with Wissam Khoury, Senior Vice-President and General Manager, APAC & MEA at fintech company, Finastra.

countries, constitute 80 percent of the country’s population. UK-based Revolut and Monzo, digital-only banks powered by the previously mentioned Currencycloud, have gained global popularity at an astounding pace, with the first now recording 3.7 million monthly active users and the second signing up over 55 thousand new users every week. While these banks don’t always substitute traditional ones, they are becoming a real threat for incumbents who fail to



meet customers’ demands and he new decade has

convenience is now the most

started with a bang

important aspect.

for Fintech. January has seen Visa making

EY’s ‘Global Fintech Adoption

When I asked Wissam Khoury, Senior Vice-President and

2019’ reveals that 27 percent of

General Manager, APAC & MEA

two major investments in this

adopters claimed the primary

at fintech company Finastra,

sector – first with the staggering

reason for using a fintech

how traditional banks will react

USD $5.3 billion acquisition of

challenger is more attractive

to the rise of challenger digital

Plaid, specialised in developing

rates or fees, followed by easy

banks, he was quick to explain

financial services APIs; more

access and account setup (20%).

that millennials have “little

recently by backing fintech start-

Truth is, the world’s

loyalty” towards traditional

up Currencycloud in a funding

increasingly digital and

banks, and these need to move

round of USD $80 million.

cosmopolitan population has no

quickly if they want to survive.

This deals are is just part of

interest in traditional brick-and-

“Millennials expect the

a recent series of investments

mortar financial institutions,

same digital services from

and acquisitions made by

too often difficult to access and

their banks as they are getting

established incumbents to

charging ‘an arm and leg’ for

in other aspects of their lives.

attempt to keep up in this

international transactions.

The likes of Monzo or Revolut,

new world of payments and

Millennials and expats,

whose business models are built

financial services – a world

often one and the same, have

around the customer, are the

where customer experience and

very different requirements

current accounts of choice for

from their banks than older

this generation.

generations had. EY’s study also

Truth is, the world’s increasingly digital and cosmopolitan population has no interest in traditional brickand-mortar financial institutions.”


are bounded by exorbitant fees.

Legacy banks have faced

shows that money transfer and

a series of wake-up calls;

payments are the most rapidly

Gartner’s continued warning

growing use category, spiking

of 80 precent obsolescence

from 18 percent in 2015 to 75

by 2030 and, more recently,

percent in 2019 – this is more

McKinsey’s banking casualty

real than ever in countries such

forecast of 60 percent.

as the UAE, where expatriates,

“Traditional banks can choose

constantly looking for cheaper

to ignore the competition in

digital solutions to transfer

which case they risk becoming

money from or to their home

irrelevant or they can choose a

fintech tie-up – even if the deal wasn’t to materialise, the idea of these two giants coming together is a thrilling and eye-opening one. According to reports by the Financial Times, Goldman Sachs would provide loans to Amazon Marketplace merchants directly through the online retailer’s platform. This means that while Amazon would be able to increase its merchants’ loan scheme, Goldman Sachs would very easily gain access to a huge number of potential customers – similarly to what happened when they partnered with another tech giant, Apple. Visa and Goldman Sachs clearly show that whether it’s fintech start-ups, or tech giants, traditional financial institutions need to get moving and start a conversation with the same entities that are collaborative model – this move

three years. Partnering with

is wise. Thirty percent of global

fintech organisations will be

Khoury also suggested that

revenues are anticipated to

key to providing customers

financial institutions could try to

stem from ecosystems by 2025

with innovative services

embrace the move themselves,

as the line between technology

going forward. The industry

remerging as technology

and financial services blurs,”

experience and trustworthiness

companies by leveraging their

Khoury explained.

of traditional providers

immense amount of data to stay

combined with the agility and

ahead of the curve.

Indeed, collaboration seems

threating their existence.

to be the only answer, and

innovation of fintech companies

Visa’s Plaid acquisition and

will allow them to create

data intelligence will be critical

Currencycloud investment were

more compelling customer

to gain a competitive edge. The

evidently the smart moves of

experiences and remain relevant

rapid economic digitisation

a dominant player to hedge its

in the coming years.”

provides banks with external

position in today’s financial services industry.

It’s not just about Fintech

“Transforming banking with

sources of data which can be

specifically, though – the World

used to personalise their services,

Retail Report 2019 mentioned by

embedding them deeper into

deal has marked an important

Khoury states that consumers

customers’ lives,” he explained.

chapter for digital challengers.

expect to use “technology giants”

According to the ‘World Retail

for financial services, and recent

do, one thing is clear – those

Report 2019’, 50 percent of

reports seem to prove it right.

who don’t embrace change are

consumers anticipate using

Goldman Sachs has been

bound to fail. Fintech is on the

Khoury continued, “Visa’s

Whatever they choose to

technology giants for financial

rumoured to be in talks with

rise, and it’s not going away any

services within the next

tech behemoth Amazon for a

time soon.





A CROWDED BASKET Jeff Ogden, General Manager – Middle East & India at Mimecast gives his take on the importance of improved cyber resilience as cloud infrastructure becomes more available in the UAE.

Jeff Ogden, General Manager – Middle East & India, Mimecast



impersonation attacks and

data storage and alternative


24,000 dangerous file types.

access routes to key systems

that it has

does occur. The cyber resilience

the first public cloud provider to

as part of its Office 365 services,

strategy should further include

open datac entres in the UAE is

which are designed to protect

a backup and recovery plan.

a cause for celebration among

against data loss caused by its

This was always a priority for

the Middle East’s business

own infrastructure failing. But

organisations when their systems

sector. Greater access to cloud

these services don’t always offer

were on premise. The fact that

infrastructure will be critical to

protection against accidental

data is now in the cloud does not

power artificial intelligence and

deletion, data corruption,

change this.

edge computing innovation.

advanced cyberattacks, or

Recent Osterman Research

malicious users or administrators.

indicates that organisations

tendencies to rely exclusively on

These can often lead to downtime

globally are starting to

single cloud service providers

which can bring business In

supplement the service with third

for day-to-day operations have

Mimecast’s recent State of Email

party products to achieve cyber

exposed them to undue risk.

Security report, 58 percent of

resilience. The study found that

With services such as Office 365,

UAE respondents noted having

nearly one-third of organisations

organisations are not only putting

downtime for two to three days

implementing Office 365 plan to

all their eggs in one basket: they

following a ransomware attack

use third-party solutions that

are putting all their eggs in the

while 29 percent experienced

will provide improved security,

same basket that everyone else is

downtime for four to five days.

archiving or other capabilities.

putting all their eggs. Criminals

It’s not only breaches,

Increased adoption of

know they have only one lock to

human error or technical error

cloud services is a welcome

pick to gain access, so they focus

that can cause downtime for

development in the Middle East

their attention on these cloud

an organisation. Outages pose

business sector and will support

services because of the potentially

serious productivity risks to

organisations as they strive for

large payoff.

users who rely on software-

greater agility and scalability.

as-a-service monocultures

But putting all your eggs in

and data to Office 365, there’s

to support their operations.

one basket – the same basket

an increased need to protect

Important data stored on Office

as everyone else – leaves you

against malicious or accidental

365 can also be lost due to

exposed to a broad range of

loss of data. Mimecast’s latest

accidental or malicious deletion

risks that can have a debilitating

Email Security Risk Assessment

or ransomware.

effect on your operations. Using a

As more businesses move email

(ESRA) report illustrated the


like email, for when the worst

protection-of-data capabilities

become one of

However, organisations’


Microsoft offers certain

To mitigate the risks

third-party provider and having

scope of the problem. Of the

associated with cloud services,

an effective cyber resilience

more than 237 million emails

organisations should look to

strategy provides a safety net and

inspected, organisations’

improve their cyber resilience.

enables organisations to quickly

existing email security systems

An effective cyber resilience

return to standard operations

missed more than 27,000

strategy should include layered

without losing critical data or

malware attachments, 55,000

security protection, independent


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