Digital headway in Saudi Arabia

HPE brings new way of IT to help drive digitisation in KSA

Tags: Saudi Arabia
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Digital headway in Saudi Arabia Asfour underscores HPE’s vendor-agnostic approach to delivering services
By  David Ndichu Published  June 9, 2016

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) is on its way to creating its own success story as an independent entity.

HPE was split last year from the larger HP group to focus on enterprise networking, storage and services, leaving HP to handle the PC and printing business.  

In Saudi Arabia, the foundation to that success is being built on delivering software and services, says Jamil Asfour, country manager, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) Saudi Arabia.  As a consulting company in KSA, HPE is focused on outsourcing, advisory services, enabling innovation and consulting, whether that’s within the network or the data centres or in developing applications, says Asfour.

Delivering these services typically begin with a conversation with CxOs on the vision they have for the company, says Asfour. HPE then steps in with its own guidance on how the company can use IT as an enabler to achieve its goals, he adds.

Banks are a good example. These entities are in the financial business and the last thing they want to worry about is operating IT, Asfour observes.  “Such organisations will evaluate the cost of running their IT and may decide to outsource their IT services. At HPE, we will focus on providing SLAs and OLAs to such a client with a competitive pricing in our high availability and high quality environment,” Asfour says.

Rather than simply cutting costs, CFOs are looking at efficiencies of scale and optimisation of existing resources. “We come in and evaluate their processes and provide advice to them at the process level. We introduce to the organisation the new way of IT which may involve consolidating all their products into a single platform,” Asfour says. Increasingly, these decisions revolve around shifting from a CAPEX to OPEX model.

HPE will carry out the consolidation through a products-neutral approach, says Asfour. Despite being a major vendor, HPE consulting business is vendor-agnostic and will bring together solutions from Cisco to Microsoft and UNIX as per customer requirements, Asfour says.

Expertise is another proposition HPE brings to the table, says Asfour. Top-level IT talent is at a premium in the region, and instead of an organisation investing inordinate amounts of money in hiring IT manpower, HPE can deliver the right talent for much less and with higher calibre of people, Asfour says. HPE’s own expertise has been nurtured through working at leading projects all over the world, he adds.  

Managed security is an area of growth for HPE in KSA, notes Asfour. The parent company has in the recent past made major acquisitions of cyber security firms globally turning HPE into a major player in the security sphere. “From operating security operations centres (SOCs), to penetration testing to reviewing codes on websites, we can offer all these services as part of our managed security services offering,” says Asfour. 

Cloud adoption is still sluggish in the region due to concerns over data security and sovereignty.  HPE is helping to create awareness with events such as the Discover Series of global events as well as more focused CIO meets in Saudi Arabia to increase awareness of cloud based applications and how people can use the cloud, says Asfour.

Most of the Middle East is going increasingly digital with building of applications a major investment for companies here. That plays well with HPE’s application development capabilities in helping organisations adapt the infrastructure to deliver applications especially with the growth of IoT, Asfour notes.

Digital transformation is well underway in KSA, notes Asfour. In fact, the country is a leader globally in digital transformation, says Asfour, having the benefit of experience in working in USA and Europe. “Enabling digital transformation is a key area of our operations and we have noted with appreciation how the government and organisations in the Kingdom are aggressive in automating their operations,” he concludes.

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