John Paul Mckerlie, CEO, Iflix

John Paul Mckerlie, CEO for iflix Middle East, sat down with us to talk about the challenges they have faced and initiatives they are using to grow their business in the Middle East

John Paul Mckerlie, CEO for iflix Middle East, sat down with us to talk about the challenges they have faced and initiatives they are using to grow their business in the Middle East.

Iflix offers unlimited access to a crazy huge selection; THOUSANDS of TV shows, movies and more, all waiting for you to hit play. From everyone’s favourite comedies, dramas, K-dramas, Turkish dramas, Bollywood, Nollywood, cartoons, to movies from Hollywood, The UK, Asia, The Middle East and Africa, iflix is at the heart of your entertainment world. Everything at your fingertips to either stream or download. For one low monthly fee, iflix subscribers can watch on their mobile phone, laptop, tablet, and even TV… wherever, whenever.

How was your company’s 2016 performance?

This year was about establishing ourselves, we have built teams across the region, acquired thousands of hours of content, localised our service and technology and launched, and this was just H1. We have seen huge demand for our product and are running to stay ahead of this as we continue to ramp up operations. Ramadan 2016 marked a huge achievement for us when we released our first original content title, and we continue to focus on building more local, original and exclusive content.

We are working closely with Zain in all of its territories to establish best in class delivery capabilities giving customers on the Zain network an unprecedented video streaming experience. There is still lots to do, and our teams are working tirelessly to keep improving, however in review 2016 has been a fantastic and challenging year for iflix Arabia.

What strategic initiatives do you have planned in your business for 2017?

Our business is built around three pillars, content, distribution and marketing. Next year is more of the same and more of all. In 2016, we released our first iflix Arabic Original production as well as acquiring thousands of hours of local and international titles. In 2017, we will dive deeper into all titles and expand on genres that show popularity as well as experiment with new series and movies looking to see if there is untapped demand out there that we can leverage to get ahead.

As an industry, we want to give customers what they want, however we also play a role in discovery and as new titles are released we will test and learn as tastes evolve and trends emerge. We are also revisiting the way we present our product, tracking the way users navigate our menus and how effective we are at surfacing new titles to consumers. Following extensive testing we are making some tweaks that will substantially improve the experience of our viewers. We also plan to bring studios to the forefront and 2017 will be about how we can collaborate better to offer more and develop a stronger business together.

With distribution and marketing, our deep collaboration with Zain gives us enormous potential. We have put plans in motion to find new ways to reach their 55mn customers and capitalise on the insights that they already have. We are investing in more big data initiatives and our ambition is to tie this together with Zain to build better predictive engines, better customer targeting as well as to help define our content acquisition strategies.

What new technologies do you see having the most impact on your sector over the next 3 years?

There are a number of technology trends that will impact our business. At iflix we focus on mobile devices and mobile delivery networks. Emerging markets are consistent in so far as fixed networks are typically absent or have minimal footprint. This means we need to optimise for mobile network delivery. As mobile access technology gets better then so does our customers experience. 5G is now being tested in the region, Zain having recently announcing its trials in Kuwait. While 3 years may be ambitious for 5G, we do see networks improving across the board. With these improvements, we see opportunity; either to compete with traditional media channels or by reaching new pockets of population that were previously unserved.

Another development in the industry is around compression. Delivering higher quality images at lower bandwidth is good for everyone. As the newest compression technology (HEVC) slowly becomes the standard, we will be able to serve amazing quality with much poorer connectivity.

More recently I had a conversation with a company that is using peering technology to reduce the distance that our content needs to travel before it reaches its consumer. Again, this kind of innovation is transformational in the infrastructure that we use to deliver our service, lowering the cost and improving the experience.

What are you companies plans for growth in 2017?

Over the top (OTT) subscription video on demand is a new industry in a high growth phase. We are riding an explosive growth period and the race is to capture the most at this time. The company growth plans are therefore two-fold; the first is to increase subscribers in the markets where we operate and secondly, to increase the number of markets where we have presence. In 2016 we expanded into MENA and Africa, however within each of these there are a number of markets where we are yet to launch.

What do you see to be the most dominant risks in today’s GCC market?

The GCC is already very competitive for the media industry, with a number of major international players stepping in (such as Netflix and Amazon Prime) as well as some large traditional domestic media players (OSN, MBC and BeIN) and OTT players (StarzPlay and icflix) having already established themselves.

While it’s true that the diversity of the region lends itself well to having a number of niche players, at some point there will be a consolidation. The high volume of players may translate into bidding wars on flagship content titles, however the growth in consumer piracy will place even greater pressure on businesses to manage these content costs carefully.

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Haitham Akl, VP HR, Jawwy

Haitham Akl, VP Human Resources of Jawwy sat down with us to talk about what challenges and initiatives they used and how the business is performing today.

Image of Haitham Akl and phone and jawwy

Haitham Akl, VP Human Resources of Jawwy sat down with us to talk about what challenges and initiatives they used and how the business is performing today.

STC, the state owned telecoms company in Saudi Arabia, made a bold and innovative decision in 2015 to begin the process for launching a new digital operation within the Kingdom. With the official launch of Jawwy in 2016, MENA Solutions have been fortunate to work with numerous business leaders through the growth phase of the launch.

How was your company’s 2016 performance?

Jawwy official launch was in august 2016 and it was very successful launch among the Tech savvy customers and the Saudi Social media influencers.

What is your outlook for the economy in the GCC during 2017?

Being highly oil dependent economies, GCC countries have been deeply affected by the recent oil price drop (~60% since 2013), causing macro-economic instability that hinders job creation and slows growth. KSA is financially strong, but over dependent on oil and affected by demographic pressures. It has recently announced an ambitious National Transformation Plan, which aims to introduce structural measures, such as improvements in public sector efficiency, privatization, further subsidy reforms and revenue diversification initiatives.

I believe the Job market for Saudi national will raise the bar for talent development and will be very selective attracting expatriates market with more focus on attracting Bilingual Arab Talents.

What strategic initiatives do you have planned in your business for 2017?

  1. Digitizing Jawwy employees Human Resources experience from attraction & on-boarding till Promotion & Development.
  2. Introduce Long Term Incentives to retain Key Talents.
  3. Increase our Employment Brand by tabbing to Social Media Tools.
  4. Enable Self Service Environment for All Employees to self-administrate their HR transactions.

What do you see to be the most dominant risks in today’s GCC market?

  1. Retaining HiPo Talents.
  2. Find the right balance the organizational Demographics (Ethnicity & Gender Diversity),
  3. Enhance Employee Productivity

What new technologies do you see having the most impact on the telecoms sector over the next 3 years?

5G – The race for 5G is on and will continue apace in 2017, with many Telcos around the world having already developed 5G architecture and initiating their field tests this year, 2017 will potentially see the very first wave of commercial offerings being launched amongst widespread trials of the technology. Across the industry, expect to see 1GB access move to 10GB and 10GB aggregation to 100GB in order to cope with 4G growth and to lay the groundwork for new 5G-bearing core networks.

OTT and value-added services – AIL exclusive, in 2017 is set to be another pivotal year for over-the-top (OTT) service growth, fueled by streaming video and public demand for more non-linear media consumption. However, with any boost in OTT adoption and consumption, further financial and infrastructure pressure will be placed on network operators.

What are you companies plans for growth in 2017?

We are focusing for the Saudi Youth Market, we are aiming to create value proposition to them to control all their bundle creation and real-time consumption Meter.

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Middle East Telecoms – what will 5G bring?

We discuss the great connectivity opportunities in the Middle East.

Image of 5G and digital

Middle East Telecoms – what will 5G bring?

The Middle East Telecoms market has evolved hugely over the past 20 years. With all the six GCC countries moving from a monopoly to a competitive landscape, all of them area seeing an unprecedented desire for speed and connectivity. With growing populations and a thirst for data, the regions appetite for multiple devices and sim cards is unrivalled.

How will the region keep up?

Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of Ericsson Middle East and East Africa, said, “Our latest Mobility Report reflects how digital technology is fast becoming part of everyday’ s life in region Middle East and North East Africa.  It highlights the rapid uptake of LTE deployments across the region, paving the way for 5G where we are expecting 20 million subscriptions by 2022.  Today, we are working together with our partners to pave the way for 5G across the region and we are already seeing a great interest amongst operators launching 5G plug-ins on existing 4G networks.”

We live in an era of constantly expanding connectivity

Business interactions and personal communications occur at lightning speed all over the world thanks in great part to mobile phones and other wireless devices. However with growing possibilities come growing demands. Employers expect consistent and prompt communication. Families share high-definition videos in addition to simple pictures. 4G networks labor in the effort to keep up with the increasing needs of the cutting edge consumer.

Thankfully, the mobile data industry, especially in the Middle East, is working hard to keep up with these needs. Etisalat CEO, Saleh Abdullah Al Abdooli, says they are paving the way for a 3 billion AED investment in 2017 alone into fibre optics and infrastructure.

Nokia, Huawei and Qualcomm want to put the Middle East on a global stage for launch of 5G services, stressing the need for close partnerships across the ecosystem and improved access to spectrum to ensure the region can compete with Asia and US and deploy networks by 2020.

Nokia’s Noel Kirkadly says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. What brought us 2G, 3G and 4G was a collaborative approach across the industry to standardise solutions,” Huawei’s Heng also advised operators to customise their plans for each network launch. “Build a local ecosystem, you need a partner in the Middle East and local region to build the ecosystem, and build the business model – you need to discuss with partners.”

Enter the 5G network

So named because it is the 5th generation of wireless connection technology, 5G promises upgrades over its predecessor by every metric. Some benefits include:

  1. Years of technological advance and the fourth generation’s implementation of the LTE standard.
  2. LTE, or long term evolution, was previously locked in competition with WiMax to become the variant of choice for cellular networks.
  3. With the victory of LTE comes a razor-sharp focus for future progress.
  4. Increased download speed to a factor of ten over 4G.

How will the introduction of 5G represent that progress?

Firstly and primarily through speed. 4G LTE networks are limited to about 1 gigabit of data download per second at best. This rate is adequate for streaming audio and downloading pictures but struggles with high-definition videos and other high intensity tasks.

Secondly, 5G LTE networks will increase download speeds by a factor of ten, making even the most arduous of online pursuits a breeze. There are other benefits such as low latency, supports the IOT and major global carriers and vendors are invested in it.

The new network will also decrease latency, which is the delay before any data transfer begins. In other words, transfers will be exceedingly fast from start to finish.

Major cell providers are already testing 5G in select locations.

This technology is not likely to be commonly available until 2020, but the next generation of connectivity is at our door.

The Middle East as a whole is very lucky in that is does not have years of old legacy systems to upgrade to ensure it keeps pace with the times and the future looks bright for mobile consumers in this region.

What do you think will happen in the next 3 – 5 years?

Follow MENA Solutions on Linked In and Twitter for more insight into the exciting progress being made in the industries we specialise in.

Article written by David Flemming, Director of MENA Solutions.

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Jawwy, an STC Company

MENA Solutions pride themselves on client feedback, here what they have to say.




Jawwy, an STC Company

New telecoms launch requiring multiple hires across sales, marketing, finance, HR and digital.


Jawwy, an STC company is a digital telecoms company launched in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during 2016. Aiming to be the first digital telecoms company in the world the objective was to hire a number of the world’s leading experts within telecoms and digital. With a mandate from the CEO MENA Solutions allocated the recruitment of multiple roles over a defined period to an Account Manager. The requested positions covered Customer Experience, Finance, Marketing, Sales, Technology, Brand and Strategy.

Jawwy Logo

As a project recruitment business, MENA Solutions has the ability to use its industry wide services to match the needs of any client. We were quick to align ourselves to the client’s needs and source profiles with the view to delivering a cost effective solution.

Our Approach

Our challenge was to provide access to both a local and international recruitment service to ensure we delivered the right breadth and depth of candidates for our client. After considerable consultation, we successfully collaborated with the client, with an agreement and firm commitment to provide a time based and cost effective solution.  MENA Solutions allocated a dedicated Account Manager to the project with the use of our central resourcing function. Based on the agreed timeframes, our project was split into three key components, which were search, interview and onboard the selected candidates.

Scope of Work

  • Rolling contract assignment to deliver across the main commercial divisions of Jawwy.
  • To engage the successfully selected candidates to employment contract acceptance level on an ongoing basis.


  • Chief Customer Care Officer
  • Chief Marketing Officer
  • Chief HR Consultant
  • Chief Government relations officer
  • VP Sales Operations
  • VP Accounting
  • VP Social Media
  • UI / UX Developer

Reference from Jawwy – HR Consultant – Haitham Akl

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with MENA Solutions over the past year, during which they have helped me search and recruit very high caliber candidates for senior positions within the GCC market.When we had business together, I found MENA Solutions to be very professional, transparent and well informed in a very supportive way. MENA Solutions is one of the few recruiters I met in the telecommunication field who:

  • Understands the needs and requirements of the client
  • Interviews professionally the potential candidates testing their competencies
  • Helps both companies and candidates meet each other’s expectations

MENA Solutions continues to provide an exceptional service that resulted in the successful hiring of key individuals for my business unit. I would not hesitate to recommend MENA Solutions if you are looking to hire business critical staff.

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Mabs Khan, CSO, Tawasul Telecoms

Mabs Khan, Chief Sales Officer of Tawasul sat down with us to talk about what the challenges they have faced and initiatives they are using to grow their business in the Middle East.

Image of Mabs Khan from Tawasul Telecom in middle east

Mabs Khan, Chief Sales Officer of Tawasul sat down with us to talk about what the challenges they have faced and initiatives they are using to grow their business in the Middle East.

Tawasul Telecom, established in 2015, is a pioneering Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solution provider offering a wide range of solutions and services designed to cater for the growing needs of today’s modern businesses. Tawasul Telecom is the first regional ICT solution provider to offer easy-to-procure, fast pan-GCC connectivity over a single network.

How was your company’s 2016 performance?

Our company’s performance was positive. We managed to renew and grow business with many existing customers as well as build new partner relationships, in particular with Far Eastern operators.

What is your outlook for the economy in the GCC during 2017?

The GCC economy is quite challenging for 2017. Oil prices are still depressed; however, we are positive in terms of our company’s growth prospects for the year.

What strategic initiatives have you planned in your business for 2017?

We have several strategic initiatives for 2017. Tawasul Telecom is planning to launch a number of new services targeting both the Enterprise and the Carrier markets. We believe that these products and services, focusing more on Connectivity, Cloud and Security, both private and public, will surely address the changing requirements of our customers.

What do you see to be the most dominant risks in today’s GCC market?

The major risk that governments and businesses are facing in the region is certainly related to Security challenges, both physical and IT related, and for this reason we have partnered with some of the major players in the IT and Network Security industry to support our customers in mitigating these risks. This builds on our strong brand reputation as a secure network provider to multiple vertical markets.

The market has been subject to economic instability, nevertheless out of this comes opportunity, which a nimble company such as Tawasul Telecom can serve and prosper. We are however very hopeful for an economic upturn.

What new technologies do you see having the most impact on the telecom sector over the next 3 years?

The technologies that have the most impact for Tawasul Telecom are Software Defined Networks. This will have an impact on both the operations, as well as the services that we provide to our customers. There will be a big input in the integration of different technologies that will make networking easier and more cost effective. Security will continue to be a priority focus in any of the offerings that we will take to market.

What are you company’s plans for growth in 2017?

 In 2017, we will continue to grow our customer base for existing and new services. We have an aggressive strategic market plan that we believe is achievable despite all the occurring and forecasted challenges. In addition, we plan to expand to new markets, especially in Africa, where we see significant growth for the future.

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Cyber Security – is the Middle East Safe?

The evolution of multiple technologies is having an impact on all industries and countries.

Image of technology and digital

Cyber Security – is the Middle East Safe?

Marked by cycles of instability followed by sporadic bursts of growth, the Middle East is an interesting case study for discussions on cyber security in the modern era. The Middle East faces unique challenges and the region’s experiences highlight some of what is most perplexing in the realm of cyber security today.

While companies are investing in security technology and protection such as cyber insurance, they are often not supported by the people, processes and governance required to provide real security creating a “false sense of security”, according to Mike Maddison, PwC Middle East partner, cyber services leader and head of risk assurance services.

According to a report by PWC, businesses in the Middle East suffered larger losses than other regions in the world last year due to cyber incidents, with 85% respondents in the region comparing to a global average of 79%. Around 18% of respondents in the region have experienced more than 5,000 attacks, compared to a global average of only 9% ranking the Middle East higher than any other region.

Many organisations in the Middle East approach cyber security solely as a technology problem and that is “simply not enough,” said Wael Fattouh, PwC Middle East Partner, Risk Assurance Services. “Security is an end-to-end issue and ignoring any part of the chain can compromise the effectiveness of the implemented measures,” he explains. “Another common misconception is when organisations think that compliance with security standards is the same thing as being secure, which is not accurate. Compliance helps an organisation implement good practices, but they need to fit into a frame that works for the unique nature of the organisation to be effective at securing it.”

Through increasing digitization, the international community is closer than ever before.

The Internet of Things (IOT) offers more possibilities for cyber criminals to compromise vital systems of information. Without measures in place to protect people’s privacy, cyber security threats can become difficult to manage. Latin America and Asia offer clear examples to the Middle East of the evolution of cyber security threats on the international level.

A window into the global problem and lessons learnt?

Latin America is fighting rising popularity in hacktivism, hacking done in support of political causes like presidential elections. Brazil, which boasts the largest number of Latin American Internet users, suffers from widespread threats due to infectious computer software like malware and ransomware, the latter of which holds a victim’s data hostage in exchange for money.

As places in Asia and elsewhere continue to employ NFC payment solutions, cyber theft, continues to affect more unsuspecting consumers. India, a country with massive populations of Internet citizens, has faced cycles of cyber terrorism and outright cyber warfare in past years. Due to this, cyber-espionage is an increasingly popular method for national governments to gain information about other countries under the banner of protecting their own security.

Cyber security is often a key issue from a business standpoint, as in the Sony hack of 2014, when self-proclaimed “Guardians of Peace” revealed the personal information of the company’s employees.

The Middle East – what is going on?

To make matters more urgent for the Middle East, a recent PwC survey reveals that Middle Eastern businesses are disproportionately more likely to suffer from cyber-attacks than their global counterparts. According to the report, Middle Eastern businesses often rely on quick fixes, rather than consistent cyber security awareness programs. Rather than cyber security management being a top down approach, the onus falls to IT departments to protect the company’s assets, instead of the entire digital community of the firm.

With this reliance on IT, businesses are often blind to the fact that cyber security must be woven into the company’s overall approach to information security. Dr. Walid Tohme, a Vice President and Partner at Strategy & revealed a similar national security climateas they warn that the growing risk of cyber-attacks from the recent trend of digitization must be met with a more holistic and proactive approach to national security.

Through legislature aimed to protect consumers and prosecute cyber criminals, as well as placing power into the hands of existing agencies to address cyber threats, Middle Eastern governments have tried to integrate cyber security into their national agendas. These things, in addition to national incident response protocols and public awareness campaigns, have laid a foundation for cyber security in the Middle East.

What can be done?

For impactful change to occur, Middle Eastern governments must have a process that fully covers the below:

1) Dedicates itself to serving the nation’s cyber security agenda.

2) Identifies strengths and weaknesses in their strategies to achieve secure digitization.

3) Ultimately takes ownership in times of widespread digital crisis.

Current reactive solutions to cyber threats will put the area in constant recovery mode. Information sharing and monitoring are key to reversing this vulnerability and creating a comprehensive strategy that will move the area from a state of mere defense to preventing and fighting back against attacks.

The wider and more far reaching question is one of how this effects all companies, people and everyday life within the region. What are you doing to protect your current business against cybercrime?

Follow MENA Solutions on Linked In and Twitter for more insight into the exciting progress being made in the industries we specialise in.

Article written by David Flemming, Director of MENA Solutions.

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Andrew Grenville, CEO, Orixcom

Andrew Grenville, Chief Executive Officer of Orixcom sat down with us to talk about what challenges and initiatives they are using to grow their business in the Middle East.

Image of Orixcom logo and vault

Andrew Grenville, Chief Executive Officer of Orixcom sat down with us to talk about what challenges and initiatives they are using to grow their business in the Middle East.

Welcome to the next generation of managed IT, cloud and international connectivity services across the Middle East and Africa. Orixcom has a wide range of services for Enterprise and Service Providers delivered in the region – we have developed and built the most advanced and powerful cloud platform located here, we offer a wide range of managed services (such as Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery, monitoring, systems management etc), and our suite of connectivity services means we are strategically positioned to connect customers to where the internet lives and is rapidly growing to transform economies.

Orixcom combines the best of international business practices with unique regional insights to delight our customers and make it easy for them to manage and grow their businesses.

How was your company’s 2016 performance?

We are focused on connectivity, cloud and IT Managed services. In 2016 Orixcom saw very strong growth across all segments, with some particularly encouraging trends in the mid to large Enterprise segment with Managed Services. This was against a backdrop where many companies in the sector saw flat or low growth, as they struggle to adapt to changing market behaviors.

What is your outlook for the economy in the GCC during 2017?

The region is still facing economic challenges, but we are all getting used to the new “normal” of oil prices around $50-60 per barrel, and the impact of less money trickling down the whole supply chain and all other businesses both directly and indirectly.

All sounds fine at an intellectual level, but given we’re heading into the third year of this new reality what’s the impact of this on the ground?

  1. Less money is driving a demand for efficient services – value for money and not just price
  2. Businesses are forced to re-evaluate and question all their established business practices, even their cherished traditions – they simply cannot carry on as before
  3. Business must move outside their comfort zone – perhaps this now means not having racks of servers blinking in the corner of the office, but instead looking to cloud for IT delivery?
  4. Great opportunities for new challengers to spring up and grow fast, moving much more nimbly than the established players

What strategic initiatives do you have planned in your business for 2017 and what are you plans for growth

Simple – Orixcom has to be driven by the market. So what real pain points and problems are customers facing? What’s keeping the CFO, CIO and CSO awake at night? What’s holding back growth in their core businesses? Identify all that and offer tailored and cost effective solutions. Now these may be quite different from customer’s previous practices, so we must work especially hard to show we understand and can minimize the risk, whether it’s real or perceived.

One philosophy at Orixcom is that we like to challenge, and we like to be disruptive. That’s not for the sake of it, but unless you constantly ask questions of yourself and your own offerings and the market needs you can’t grow and develop. We are quite happy to have customers challenge us and make us think hard, usually that results in a far better final solution for all.

In our world of telecoms, IT, cloud, managed services there are some amazing technologies out there – proven in other areas such as US and Europe. However, they can often need adapting to suit the region. So we don’t want to be like the traditional box shifters, simply taking products and services from somewhere else and pushing them out into the market. That approach might work fine for some, but I don’t believe its sustainable long term to build a real value which solves customers’ business issues.

There’s lots of best practice to learn from. I really hope we’re not so arrogant to think we know it all – far from it! Let’s not reinvent the wheel, let’s not try and do it all. Partnership with other companies are critical to our success. Partnerships create a far bigger set of opportunities than we could do on our own. Partnerships inject fresh thinking and good practice. Synergy is an overused word in business, but I believe if we can develop strong and mutually beneficial partnerships with compatible companies, and that’s very important, in the overall value chain, we truly will derive additional benefits – and most importantly so will our customers.

What do you see to be the most dominant risks in today’s GCC market?

Business thinking and practice is difficult to change, that’s not surprising because most people are comfortable with the status quo. Often there is lots of vested interest and job protectionism, or aversion to new things because of perceived risk – this is totally understandable since at the end of the day we’re all humans and our own priorities and self-interest drive a lot of what we do.

This complacency can be fatal, I expect we are going to see some major companies really struggle to adapt and change fast enough.

Another macro risk is the overall level of acceptance in the GCC of entrepreneurial thinking and approach, whether that’s within existing large companies or in new start-ups. As a generalization, it’s simply not encouraged or rewarded, so no surprise that many people keep their heads down and do what they’re told, even if they can see so many ways to improve and contribute. This is in my view a terrible waste of the best resource companies have, which is their own people. There is such knowledge, strength and often good will within companies that is mostly going untapped. On the flip side and to be more positive, those originations which have realized this and actively encourage this type of thinking and practice have a big advantage and will forge ahead.

What new technologies do you see having the most impact on the telecoms sector over the next 3 years?

Let’s look at the big picture in our industry. Don’t try and stand in the way of macro global trends, find way to apply and accelerate those trends and technologies here in region. Cloud adoption is a great example. We were one of the early providers of public cloud in this region a few years ago, in fact probably too early as customers on the whole weren’t ready for it. But now the discussion with Enterprises is no longer “why should I use cloud”, it’s shifted rapidly to “how can I use it”. But hold on, does that mean we should try to compete with global clouds like AWS, Microsoft Azure, 365 and others by offering our own cloud service? Well only if we’re deluded, those trends are unstoppable now and gaining momentum right across the region in a way that would have been unthinkable even 2 years back. So instead of pushing against this, let’s bridge between best practice elsewhere and here in the GCC.

As an example, we now have a suite of smart cloud connectivity services, all fully complaint with the telecoms regulatory rules, that help customers make much more cost effective and technologically efficient use of these clouds. That’s lead Orixcom to a position where Microsoft and AWS are now introducing us to their cloud customers here in the GCC to help them.

Another area of increasing focus for Orixcom is in the data centre space. Compared to a few years ago the region has a number of good data centres coming available. Now whilst we don’t build data centres, running them and offering value added services from them such as connectivity, IT, and clouds is a growth area. Because we understand telecoms as well as IT, we’re in a very strong position to ensure customers can make the best use of these great facilities without getting caught out by expensive connectivity issues, which is still something that affects the whole region. This gives us great opportunities to grow Orixcom in different geographic areas across the GCC and Africa as this market picks up more speed and momentum.

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