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How to maintain business resilience during the pandemic: Orange

We caught up with Sahem Azzam, vice president Middle East & Africa, Orange Business Services on the company’s strategies to support digital transformation in this period of crisis

How to maintain business resilience during the pandemic: Orange

Orange Business Services has operated in the Middle East in various ways for more than 50 years, with a regional HQ in Dubai from where the team has been able to service and support clients across the UAE.

As a network-native digital services company, we focus on network connectivity and digital services to support business transformation with a special emphasis on smart cities and digital economy, one of the distinctive and attractive opportunities in the country. Our aim is to connect, protect and innovate for sustainable business.

Abu Dhabi is at the heart of the Gulf region’s ambitious digital transformation and economic diversification plans, and with a specific target to create a sustainable smart city environment offering high quality experiences for citizens, residents and visitors, and business.

Orange Business Services has a unique capability in the design and operation of complex smart cities services and so there is a close alignment with the strategy of Abu Dhabi. The new company will help enable us to support and respond more efficiently to all our clients in the Emirate, and reflects the increasing strategic importance of Abu Dhabi for our regional business.

Strategies to support digital transformation

Digital transformation has become essential in all sectors. In our core activity of network connectivity and voice, we are able to offer flexible, software-defined solutions transforming the network; and we see really exciting opportunities in rapidly transforming verticals, from retail to healthcare and the smart cities domain – and in government services – where our capacity as a master systems integrator is a strong play.

Partnerships and collaborations are an essential element of our regional strategy; we are not only bringing our global expertise and resources to the region but harnessing and complementing these with a high performing local/regional team that engages and consults with customers, then guides and supports the transformation journey.

Abu Dhabi has a clear vision for economic diversification and the enterprise sector will play a vital and growing role, and we believe we can help and support companies working across all the Emirate’s major sectors, including public sector, government, maritime, telcos and oil & gas.

Impact of the pandemic on digital transformation

From the beginning of the crisis, we have shared our customer’s challenges and problems.

Also, we are committed to supporting Abu Dhabi – and the UAE – in these difficult times and we are confident that the government has acted quickly and decisively to address these global challenges. The private sector has an important role to play in supporting staff, customers and the community, in sustaining business continuity, wherever possible. 

Many industries have been talking about digital disruption and transformation for several years. Now, the Covid-19 pandemic has compelled companies to review existing business strategies and is ‘accelerating the future’, towards what will be the ‘new normal’ that emerges after the pandemic.

IT is now viewed as critical infrastructure and the centerpiece of the business plan.

In response, many organisations have had to upgrade connectivity, and set up new clouds and collaborative solutions from scratch. Some have also adapted platforms and interaction models with customers, while keeping an eye on security as cyberattacks have increased from the start of the crisis.

Most organisations will now be working on their business models and looking at ways to stabilise the situation while building-in future resilience and sustainability. Originally designed as productivity enablers, collaborative tools, hubs and devices will have a positive impact on the efficiency of business processes in the longer term.

Above all, the Covid-19 pandemic and the major disruption it has caused is a shared human crisis and has created a new collaboration landscape and a need to reorganise business processes around people and data.

We believe that through this common experience, our know-how and business intelligence can help to optimise the outcomes of the accelerated digital transformation we are now experiencing. It will definitely lead to even more innovation around our global network and an increased emphasis on co-creation and co-innovation.

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