Alma Rakamy hold a press interview with
Wael Abdoush General Manager, IBM Egypt about IBM strategy in Egypt market
1. What are the most important solutions provided by IBM to drive the process of digital transformation in the market?
Egypt is currently embarking into a comprehensive digital transformation strategy to improve the economy and public services for citizens. The government’s vision is all based on digital transformation and subsequently all resources are being applied to execute and implement its agenda.
At IBM, we are very excited to be leveraging our innovative technology, industry expertise, services and skills to support the government’s vision. IBM is focused on its open hybrid cloud platform and AI solutions, underpinning its growth strategy and ability to drive digital transformations for clients.
Client buying needs for application and infrastructure services are diverging, while adoption of hybrid cloud platform is accelerating. Accordingly, IBM recently announced that our managed infrastructure services business will become a new independent company, NewCo, which is expected to be launched sometime towards the end of 2021. Through this spin-off, IBM will sharpen its focus on its open hybrid cloud platform and AI capabilities, while NewCo will focus on delivering managed infrastructure services.
2. What are the solutions that IBM is providing in Hybrid Cloud and AI across the different industry sectors?
IBM has made big investments to capitalize on the massive opportunity that hybrid cloud represents—$1.2 trillion according to financial analysts (IDC). To seize this opportunity, we significantly bolstered IBM’s hybrid cloud capabilities. This includes the launch of IBM Cloud Paks, the Cloud Migration factory, Cloud Application Innovation, IBM Garages, the IBM Cloud Integration Platform, etc.
The IBM public cloud has been rebuilt on a foundation of open-source software, security leadership, and enterprise-grade infrastructure.
IBM has also recently announced partnerships with different industry partners
to build IBM Cloud for Telecommunications, IBM Cloud for Financial Industry and a partnership with Schlumberger to serve the Oil & Gas industry.
All these investments reinforce our position as a leading cloud company.
3. Who are the key partners in that effort?
We are building a large ecosystem of partners to accelerate adoption of our hybrid cloud platform. We have gone to great lengths to forge a global coalition of the best breed ISVs, such as Adobe, Salesforce, SAP, Box and Slack, all of which are using our hybrid cloud platform to help clients modernize mission-critical workloads.
We have done the same with major systems integrators such as Ernst & Young, Infosys, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, Tech Mahindra, Persistent Systems, all are examples that are helping expand the reach of IBM’s hybrid cloud platform.
We’re also supporting our partners to help them meet the demand of clients, accelerating their go-to-market strategies for hybrid cloud solutions by providing a greater scale of resources and capabilities.
4. Training human cadres on the latest technologies is a necessary requirement for digital transformation, so how do you ensure it?
I believe re-skilling the existing workforce and aligning with current trends to remain relevant is the main challenge that organizations need to address in today’s dynamic environment.
Organizations will have to change the culture, processes, systems and applications, design different business models, reskill the workforce to align with the trends and stay in the game.
One of IBM’s top priorities in Egypt is empowering youth with the necessary new skills and prepare them for the way those technologies will shape the jobs and the nature of work. We have made key investments specifically in Egypt to achieve this through:
• Partnering with the Ministry of Education in Egypt to launch the first P-TECH school in 2019, an educational combineshigh school and college coursework with internships and mentoring to provide job-ready skills, work experience and a no-cost degree to prepare pupils for successful careers in the 21st century workplace.
• Launching Digital-Nation Africa, the cloud-based online self-paced learning and innovation platform that is designed to equip youth with the technology and innovation skills in AI, Cloud, Cybersecurity and much more.
• Leveraging The IBM Skills Academy, part of the IBM’s university program, an example of collaboration with Egypt’s universities to focus on skills and careers that are in high demand in today’s market.
• Collaborating with the Information Technology Industry Development agency (ITIDA) to leverage D-NA and Skills Academy and offer thousands of students both an instructor-led as well as digital platform where they can develop their digital skills.
5. In light of the CCOVID-19 pandemic, what is your vision to take advantage of the concept of "remote work" and also to provide your services to clients?
COVID-19 proved to be a turning point for many companiesas the disruption caused by the crisis accelerated the digital transformation plans that for many was already underway.
Seemingly overnight, almost every organization around the world had to shift to remote work to keep their business. I believe that the pandemic emphasized the critical importance of technology solutions that enable organizations to change the way they work.
IBM’s most important prioritiesare to protect our employees, clients and business partners; maintain our supply chain and respond quickly, securely and effectively to help our clients with a broad array of services. Our goal is to help our clients address the “new normal “and accelerate their recovery by leveraging technology and expertise.
Let me give you an example, we recently announced our collaboration with Etisalat Misr, one of the leading telecom companies in Egypt to introduce Etisalat’s first IBM AI virtual assistant to transform its customers’ experience. The new virtual agent is powered by IBM Watson Assistant, IBM’s conversation AI platform delivered on IBM public cloud, and will help Etisalat meet the evolving expectations.
6. What is your interest in providing new generation solutions for startups?
IBM Egypt is constantly reinstating its commitment to the development and promotion of local software innovation in Egypt through multiple initiatives targeting entrepreneurs and developers including hackathons, meet ups and workshops, in partnership with local incubators, universities and partners, providing access to IBM’s Cloud and AI platforms to the Egyptian youth.
Our commitment to startups, developers and entrepreneurs is to help them solve Egypt’s most challenging problems – smarter, faster, together; through many of our programs and collaborations with key incubators in Egypt.
We have a specialized team -The Developer Experience team -(DevEX), a team of IBMers created solely to enhance developers’ experiences everywhere by forging partnerships with incubators and supporting startups with new technologies through meetups, informatic presentations and hands-on workshops.
We also launched IBM Call for Code, a worldwide developer competition that seeks technology solutions for natural disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.