Gitex Technology Week: The ‘smart’ place for business
Leading international technology companies have leveraged the 34th edition of GITEX Technology Week – the premier Information and Communication Technology (ICT) event in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) – to secure multi-million dirham deals with a host of regional private and public sector entities.
With more than 100,000 ICT professionals from 150 countries visiting GITEX Technology Week, global brands have used the opportunity to ink deals and strategic agreements with both regional governments and private technology leaders. International technology leaders have also taken advantage of the global gateway GITEX Technology Week offers to highlight cutting-edge products and innovations to drive regional Smart Government and Smart City initiatives. Companies signing major deals at GITEX include Ericsson, Huawei, Cisco, Microsoft, Etisalat and du.
“As the leading ICT event in one of the world’s most lucrative ICT markets, GITEX Technology Week offers a unique platform for local, regional and international entities from across the public and private sector to come together under one roof and strike long-term partnerships that foster innovation, drive revenues and heighten consumer engagement,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the show organiser.
“GITEX has always been synonymous with business, deals and transactions – that reputation has been further enhanced at the sold-out 2014 show and delivered strong, demonstrable ROI for exhibitors.”
“The strategic partnerships and agreements forged this week will drive the development of the ICT industry in this region for years to come and will lead to a wealth of innovation that will transform all our lives,” added LohMirmand.
Technology giant Cisco has signed a raft of deals this week, including a landmark agreement with du to deploy Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure – a global first for a Telecom company. Cisco also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dubai Design District to explore potential opportunities in deploying Smart services and applications, while Dubai’s Department of Economic Development announced the launch of ’24/7′ – an innovative round-the-clock service developed on the Cisco Remote Expert for Government Services (REGS) platform. Cisco also announced that it has joined forces with UAE Ministry of Interiors (MoI) to launch a Cisco Networking Academy programme at the Ministry’s training centre.
Communications specialist Ericsson strengthened its relations with regional Telecom operators at GITEX. Etisalat and Ericsson announced a major agreement to expand Etisalat’s Radio Access Network (RAN) in Dubai and Al Ain, while Ericsson extended its long-standing partnership with Saudi Telecom Company (STC) to transform, expand and upgrade its network in Saudi Arabia, while also strengthening its agreement with Batelco to upgrade its network services.
Chinese Telecoms company Huawei, signed a MoU with Etisalat which will see the two companies deepen their strategic partnership in new areas such as Public Cloud, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV). Huawei also signed a MoU with STC to increase their regional collaboration, including consultancy and solutions to power regional Smart City initiatives.
In another global first for GITEX Technology, Dubai Health Authority announced the UAE is the first country to apply Microsoft motion-sensing technology to healthcare, with a breakthrough solution for physical therapy that allows clinicians to track patients’ movements remotely and offer clinical information. The Personal Therapist project is made possible by the use of Kinect for Windows which allows users to interact naturally with computers by simply gesturing and speaking.
Inter-UAE business has also been strong, with Etisalat signing a MoU with Ajman Free Zone to provide an improved telecom and ICT service experience to customers of Ajman Freezone Authority, and a partnership with Fujairah Free Zone to deliver advanced Telecom and ICT services.
UAE-based Telecom company du signed a MoU with the Higher Committee for Smart Dubai Initiative to be selected as Official WiFi Provider for Dubai’s Smart City, and a second with the Dubai Roads & Transport Authority to provide WiFi services in all Metro stations and trains, as well as the soon-to-be-launched Dubai Tram.
Injazat Data Systems and the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority announced a strategic agreement to adopt an Enterprise Mobility Framework, enabling the Authority to activate and manage mobile devices and applications.
GITEX Technology Week’s strength as a regional showcase has attracted major brands from around the globe and across all sectors. English Premier League giant, Manchester United Football Club, announced the launch of Manchester United Television (MUTV) in Saudi Arabia with local partner STC, while global technology company Avaya announced plans with UAE financial institution Mashreq to transform its customer engagement platform with Avaya SmartConnect solutions and services.
A number of global technology leaders also announced new distribution deals at GITEX Technology Week. Regional VAD Mindware announced a distribution agreement with Riverbed Technology for the Middle East, while Redington Value announced a new partnership with ADEO IT Consulting.
Finally, international manufacturer Prestigio secured a raft of deals at GITEX, including signing with ICON as its official Kuwaiti distributor, Shadow Trading as the official Qatari distributor for Prestigio Accessories, and IBS as the official Egyptian distributor for Prestigio smart phones.