Making strides to diversify and enrich the region’s cloud services market
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Making strides to diversify and enrich the region’s cloud services market

Making strides to diversify and enrich the region’s cloud services market

Events of the last year have focused the spotlight on the benefits of cloud-based solutions

Investments in the region’s digital economy are already starting to rebound in the first half of 2021 as many countries in the Middle East recover from the challenges of the last year.

Analysts expect spending on IT to rise across the board year-on-year, with investment in both public and private cloud services anticipated to grow in the double digits. The events of the last year have focused an even brighter spotlight on the incredible benefits of cloud-based solutions to spur employee productivity, business continuity, and new value creation.

It has been a particularly exciting year for Huawei in the Middle East. We are now at an inflection point in our cloud business, and are doubling down on our efforts in the region to support organisations in their digital transformation journeys.

This all stems from an accumulation of ICT expertise over more than 30 years. That breadth of experience is now directed at bringing digital to every person, home, and organisation for a fully connected, intelligent world. As part of that mission, we believe that it is critical to provide the ultimate computing power to deliver ubiquitous cloud and intelligence to the world.

To that end, one of the changes that our customers and partners will have seen is how Huawei is positioned in the cloud market. Over the last year in particular, we have evolved our cloud offering within a dedicated business group within Huawei—the Cloud and AI Business Group. This group still brings to market the same innovative cloud solutions that organisations have always expected from Huawei, but does so through a more focused approach and service offering. This is often represented through the Huawei Cloud brand, which originally debuted in 2017 as the umbrella for many of Huawei’s cloud services.

In 2020, Huawei Cloud joined the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Huawei Cloud services were provided in various regions across Asia, Europe, and Latin America, allowing us to work with partners and research institutes to weather these challenging times together.

Today, a key element of our work is in diversifying the cloud services ecosystem within the Middle East. This enables the delivery of a rich catalog of industry-specific software as a service (SaaS) solutions that can accelerate the digital transformation of enterprises across the region. Through the Huawei Cloud brand, we have already implemented the ecosystem strategy of ‘co-creation, sharing, and win-win’, using Huawei Cloud as the foundation to build a ‘black soil’ for cloud ecosystem development.

We are enhancing synergy between cloud, AI, and connectivity to provide public cloud services and hybrid cloud solutions that deliver several layers of added value, especially in terms of stability, reliability, security, trustworthiness, and sustainability.

Huawei Cloud has launched more than 220 cloud services and 210 solutions, and earned over 80 industry recognised security certifications. Huawei Cloud works with more than 19,000 partners, including more than 13,000 consulting and over 6,000 technology partners, and has brought together 1.6 million developers. To date, over 4,000 applications have been launched on the Huawei Cloud Marketplace.

In the Middle East specifically, over the last year and a half alone, we now have 66 SaaS partners working with us in the cloud realm, focusing on seven general enterprise solutions ranging from OA collaboration to customer service and call centre, traditional enterprise applications, security, AI applications, audio and video, and professional services. To date, we have also worked on industry-specific scenarios in finance, education, healthcare, and various other fields. We continue to diversify this ecosystem and welcome more partners to join hands.

This expansion of the ecosystem is being met by an expansion of our own availability zones (AZs) within the Middle East. This will enable us to offer customers more choice in the market, and address their data locality requirements working with a single end-to-end partner. We have done this rapidly and successfully in geographies such as Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Africa. This is an ongoing effort, and today we are only scratching the surface of the potential we see in the Middle East.

That is, in short, where we see the Middle East’s cloud services market at halfway point in 2021. This is a region full of potential, with a deep-seated desire from governments and enterprises alike, to leverage cloud services in realising their ambitions. By applying a laser-like focus to diversifying and enriching the region’s cloud service market, there is no ceiling to what can be accomplished.

Cloud is another area where we’re pushing technology to its limits to bring the benefits of innovation to everyone. We want Huawei Cloud to serve as fertile ground for the intelligent world to flourish. To make this happen, we provide stable, reliable, secure, trustworthy, and sustainable cloud services that enable our customers to develop applications more easily and do more with their data.

Omar Akar is VP and managing director – Cloud and AI Business Group at Huawei Middle East

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