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Cisco builds on property boom with consultancy

Networking giant to enter real estate market

CISCO IS TAKING advantage of Dubai’s booming construction market by offering consultancy services to real estate developer clients in the emirate.

The networking giant has built a real estate vertical, go-tomarket segment in the emirate and has already scored a number of business deals, one of its senior executives told IT Weekly last week.

“People are now realising the value of technology integration within the construction processes and the development processes,” said Cisco vertical segment manager real estate and hospitality Amr Salem, who declined to name any of the firms that Cisco is working with. “What we are talking about here is delivering a new experience for real estate developers’ customers and this is something that is new to the market. That involves lots of companies and lots of technologies and lots of partnerships.

“We are focusing on the opportunity in the gulf, and Dubai specifically. The market here is growing very fast, the opportunities for green skilled development and building is much bigger, the appetite for investment in technology is much better,” Salem said.

Cisco provides a consultancy service to its real estate developer clients. It helps companies to identify the services they want to offer, then to identify the processes needed to implement these services, and then creates a business model suggesting how to do this for its clients. Cisco is also involved in the integration if required.

“We work with the real estate developer to offer a new service in their developments to create new revenue streams,” explained Salem. “For example, if the developer wants to offer wireless high speed internet access in a hotel or shopping mall, [we discuss] how can they offer this service, what kind of infrastructure is required, how can they charge for it…we develop all this knowledge and create this service for them and make it part of their service portfolio to offer to their clients. Then we also as a manufacturer provide them with the necessary equipment to build this service.”

He said that the initiative was also atypical in that it was starting out of the Middle East.

“Usually, all the American IT companies build strategies and new go-to-market models in the US and it starts filtering down from there. This time because of the importance of the market here, because of the growth we are seeing in the real estate, they decided that this is the right market to take the lead.”

The company has two main targets for its new business segment: the community development and the hospitality sector.

“With all the new upcoming hotels in Dubai there is a very big opportunity for us to help hospitality developers to offer new attractive services, technologydriven services on our infrastructure,” Salem commented.

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