NME Awards honour networking elite

The cream of the region’s networking community came together last night for the third annual NME Innovation Awards, which recognised the best network projects across the Middle East. Winners included the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior, Wateen Telecom, Dubai Refreshments and the UAE University’s CIO, Michael Dobe.

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By  Team NME Published  April 3, 2007

The cream of the region’s networking community came together last night for the third annual NME Innovation Awards, which recognised the best network projects across the Middle East. Winners included the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior, Wateen Telecom, Dubai Refreshments and the UAE University’s CIO, Michael Dobe. Seventeen winners in total walked away with trophies at the Awards ceremony, held at Dubai’s luxurious Grosvenor House Hotel on the second day of the neighbouring BICSI conference. “This region has seen phenomenal growth over the last few years, with new mega-projects announced almost daily, and regional enterprises expanding year-on-year. At the same time, the revolution in information technology has hit the networking sector most dramatically – of all the parts of an IT infrastructure, the network now works the hardest,” said Steve Marney, master of ceremonies for the Awards. “The combination of economic growth and technological revolution has resulted in some of the most impressive IT projects anywhere in the world being implemented right here, in the Middle East,” Marney added. The climax of the evening came as Michael Dobe picked up the Networking Professional of the Year award, and Dr Abdulrahman Al-Shenaifi collected the trophy for the Saudi Ministry of Interior. Al-Shenaifi, who cut short an event in Jordan to attend the Awards, made an impassioned speech highlighting the significance of the “human touch” in IT, and the importance of ensuring “we are not just signals in the network”. Other big winners included HP ProCurve, which picked up the Best Networking Vendor Award, and Gulf Business Machines (GBM), which took home the Best Networking Integrator trophy for the third year running – both after very close reader votes on ITP.net. Another repeat winner was the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai, whose IT manager, Frederick Sabty, walked away with the Best Wireless Implementation Award with a decisive win in the online voting. The final reader-voted category – for Most Innovative Use of New Technology – saw the Department of Health and Medical Services (DOHMS), Dubai, take home the trophy for its converged voice and data implementation. On the vendor side, Systimax picked up a hotly-contested Best Cabling Product Range Award, while Etisalat went home with the Best New Technology trophy for its BlackBerry push email launch. The winners in full: Best WAN Product Range Juniper Networks Best Wireless Product Range Trapeze Networks Best Telco/Service Provider offering Motorola Best Fixed Network Product Range Foundry Networks Best New Technology Etisalat for BlackBerry Best Security Product Range McAfee Best Cabling Product Range Systimax Best WAN Implementation Wateen Telecom, Pakistan Best Wireless Implementation Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai Best Fixed Network Implementation Dubai Refreshments Company Most Innovative Use of New Technology Department of Health and Medical Services, Dubai Network Implementation with Best ROI Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa, Dubai Best SMB Networking Vendor US Robotics Best Networking Integrator in the Middle East Gulf Business Machines Best Networking Vendor in the Middle East HP ProCurve Networking Professional of the Year Michael Dobe, UAE University Most Influential End User in Middle East Networking Saudi Arabia Ministry of Interior

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