Finding the best of the best
Hannah Khan, marketing manager, Enterprise Systems, sits down with Alex Pieri from ACN to discuss the Champion of the Year competition and what it means for the IT industry.
ACN: What is the technical competition all about?
Hannah Khan: The competition is called Champion of the Year and essentially aimed at technical engineers. Something like this has never happened in the technology industry before, due to engineers usually being in the shadows. We, at Huawei and Enterprise Systems, together, wanted to create a platform to recognise technical engineers to make sure for once, they are rewarded and at the same time celebrated for their talents. There are some extremely gifted engineers out there. Yes, they are recognised internally within the company and by the partners, but they are not recogniaed regionally or globally. So we wanted to find a certain way of combining some of the top minds and some of the most talented engineers in the UAE. Initially, we want to do it regionally and later on, of course, we are looking to expand this competition, and to see who of them can outshine rest and be rewarded.
ACN: How does the competition work?
HK: So this is the fun part - we based the competition around the theme of warriors and champions. Since Huawei is a Chinese company, we wanted to bring in the Chinese culture of being driven and competing on a competitive platform. Engineers will battle against each other for the prize. The competition will be held in Sofitel, at Jumeirah Beach Hotel on the 6 September. The competition will consist out of 50 engineers. The first session Huawei will provide a written examination and questions; it is highly confidential, and only a handful of people are aware. The questions are challenging and competitive. The second session is two hours long, and that will consist out of an modular type of examination. Personal laptops will be integrated with an ENSP software, allowing Huawei to track all progressions. All competing engineers are at least HCNA certified and above, which is a pre-requisite for this competition. Engineers have to be well-trained to participate in the competition. Hopefully encouraging the rest of the engineers to come out and start practicing for their HCNA certification.
ACN: What is the outcome of the competition? What do the engineers win?
HK: This is the exciting part, and I wish I were participating in this competition. Eight lucky winners will get the opportunity to fly to China for five days on an all-inclusive trip. They will be staying at the heart of Huawei; Shenzhen, China. They will be recognised globally and would get the opportunity to meet the top management from Huawei headquarters. For someone working for Huawei or certified by Huawei, this will be a dream come true. There will be a second session in china, where three out of the eight winners will win a package. The first place would win a Huawei phone & watch; Second place, a Huawei mobile and third place a Huawei watch. The second part of the competition is more or less of the trim, but at the end of the day, they go home with something from Huawei plus the experience. They will also receive trophies and global recognition. There will only be one main winner of course, who will have the opportunity to be claimed globally as "champion of the year".
ACN: How does this competition change the partners' view of Huawei as a Chinese brand?
HK: I believe Huawei has grown exponentially over for the few years. Their image has been elevated to a high point due to being a recognised brand nowadays, and it has become a household name. The fact that Huawei and Enterprise Systems is doing something so unique and different is catered towards the technical teams. I think Huawei's partners automatically start to recognise that Huawei is doing something to promote the technical departments. The technical engineers are now the ones who are receiving the recognition; sales are already well-known and doing extremely well. We decided to reward the technical side since they are the backbone of the company and for working so hard.
ACN: Why is it focused on the technical department and not sales?
HK: There are always incentives and promotions or events happening for sales, but when it comes to technical expertise, there is not much. Therefore the competition is used as an incentive and also as a way for recognition. At the end of the day, Huawei is a telecommunications organisation and technology is the backbone of Huawei, so I think it is extremely crucial for them to be recognised.
ACN: Is there more of this competition to come since it is unique? How do you plan to expand this?
HK: Yes, this is the first ever of its kind competition to be launched in this region. But Huawei did do something similar in China. We will try and make this on a bigger scale but first, we need to make this a successful participation. We will then aim for a regional event that will bring engineers from the whole Middle East together on an annual basis. We are trying to make it bigger as we go along, seeing how successful this one is and how good the response is and hopefully then a regional one, that will bring all technical engineers from the entire the Middle East together, on an annual basis.
ACN: The theme is drawn from a traditional Chinese theme, how did this come about?
HK: Huawei is one of the most competitive companies that I have heard of, and they are extremely competitive in the industry. We wanted to use the same idea of their character and their voice, and that is why the theme is based on warriors. This competition is very innovative and exciting to be a part of.