eCompany opens doors
Etisalat’s recently-created e-business division is using Gitex to promote its expanding portfolio of managed services.
eCompany is looking to ramp up the managed service and hosting side of its business at Gitex this year. The provider, formed from the merger of Etisalat’s internet and e-business divisions this summer, is providing visitors with tours to its data centre in Dubai. It is also aiming to expand its managed services arm, which it claims produced 200% growth in the first half of 2004.
“We’re focusing not just on hosting and pure colocation but also on managed services, such as security, applications and databases,” says Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, general manager, eCompany. “We have moved aggressively into that area this year. The market is taking off and awareness of these services is growing,” he adds.
The provider, which currently has two data centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is mulling whether to build a third, predicting that the two facilities will run out of capacity in mid-2005.
“Based on our current forecasts, we see a huge opportunity [in managed services] so we are studying whether to expand our current data centres or to build a new one,” says Julfar. “Next year, we have an aggressive plan to expand our managed service business. Previously, hosting solutions were [mostly] provided from the US and the region didn’t have reliable hosting providers. But now we have proved that we have the technology and expertise. If we continue growing at the same rate, by the middle of next year we will have full capacity,” he adds.
eCompany is also offering an opportunity for visitors to Gitex to have a rare glimpse of its data centre in Dubai. It is running tours to the facility during the course of the show, offering an insight into the technology and tools that underpin its range of services. Those interested can register for the tours at eCompany’s stand or website. Visitors are seldom allowed into either of its two data centres, where access is strictly controlled as part of the provider's security measures.
“Obviously, infrastructure and data security is of the upmost importance so opportunities to view our facilities are extremely rare,” says Julfar. “The eCompany data centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi form the backbone of eCompany's hosting solutions and services. They house mission-critical applications of numerous organisations from both the private and public sectors. These visits will give people an insight into the latest technology powering Middle Eastern e-commerce,” he adds.
Various other solutions from eCompany are also on show at the exhibition as the provider looks to boost its visibility following its formation this summer. After inheriting responsibility for Etisalat’s wireless hotspot offering, the provider is again offering wire-free internet access to Gitex attendees in partnership with the Dubai World Trade Centre.
eCompany has also launched a service at the exhibition which allows customers to stream pre-recorded audio and video content over the internet from their companies’ websites. Compatible with QuickTime, RealMedia and Windows Media, the service also supports additional streaming formats, such as MPEG4 and MP3, which are gaining momentum on the web.