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MEEZA reveals plans for growth at IT Innovation Summit

Managed services provider MEEZA discusses plans for new infrastructure, channel expansion and educational projects at Doha event

MEEZA reveals plans for growth at IT Innovation Summit
James Fanella, acting CEO of MEEZA addresses the IT Matters Innovation Summit in Doha.

Managed IT services and solutions provider MEEZA hosted business and IT decision makers this week in Doha, at its IT Matters: Innovation Summit.

The event was held on the first anniversary of the company, and focused on both the company's achievements and plans for the future, and on customer experience with MEEZA.

Among the new announcements were plans for additional data centres and the development of a high speed network dedicated to the education and scientific community in Qatar.

Speaking at the event, acting CEO of MEEZA James Fanella commented: "It is important that our clients, stakeholders and the broader public have an opportunity to hear, not only about new and emerging IT solutions, but also real business experiences of how these technologies are impacting organizations in Qatar and across the region. This is what IT Matters is all about."

MEEZA's first year of operations has been highly successful, Fanella said, with the company signing contracts worth QR 550m ($151m) over the last 12 months, including an agreement with Vodafone Qatar worth QR125 million ($34m). MEEZA was also the only Middle East organization to make Datamations's list of the top 85 cloud computing vendors.

As a joint venture of the Qatar Foundation, the country's human capital development agency, MEEZA is heavily involved in service provision to Qatar Foundation ventures, but the company has also expanded its customer base, with non-Qatar Foundation clients making up over half of MEEZA's customer base, Fanella explained.

At the end of November, MEEZA announced new software as a service offerings for the GCC, initially focused on hosted Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint services, and the company is now looking for value add reseller partners (VARs) to sell the services across the region.

The company is in the process of building two new Tier 3 data centres in Qatar, including one which will be over seven and half times the size of MEEZA's current data centre. The new data centres are due for completion by 2011.

MEEZA also announced that it is participating with the Qatar Foundation and Cisco on a new high speed network, which will link three sites in Doha to connect the capital's academic and scientific research centres.

The Qatar Foundation Research Education Network (QFREN) is a high speed optical network, which will link the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), Education City, home to six leading universities, and the Qatar Foundation's main office.

The network is intended to handle large volumes of research data and computing processes, to enable collaboration on projects and sharing of resources within the community.

The network has a dual ring dual ring configuration for reliability, with 99.99% reliability, and a current speed of 40 Gbps, scaling to 100 Gbps in future. The core of the network is due to fully operational by January next year, with two more sites, which were not disclosed, connected during 2010.

The Innovation Summit also heard from MEEZA partners and customers, including Vodafone Qatar, the Dohaland real estate development project, Knowledge Ventures, Gulf Bridge International, Silatech, and analyst company Gartner.

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