Jean Turgeon, VP and Chief Technologist, Software-Defined Architecture, Worldwide Sales, Avaya, stressed how the region’s high ambitions to turn Dubai into a Smart City are becoming a reality. “Our big theme is ‘smart’, which is grabbing a lot of attention,” he said. “I like to link it to the overarching theme of the digital transformation. Customers are looking at the digital enterprise and how to leverage new solutions. We’re keen to emphasise that making workloads and solutions light and easy is key.”
Turgeon said that the ambitions of a Smart City could not be realised with firm IT foundations. “There has to be a major shift in infrastructure,” he said. “If you continue to use legacy architecture and don’t shift to next-generation architecture then it will be very difficult. We’re saying that the first fundamental step is to build architecture that can simplify all of the complexity that we’ve been dealing with for the last 20-25 years; you need to eliminate all the unnecessary protocols. That sets the right foundation for Smart Cities. Once you have right foundation, you have the agility. Things like the IoT become an outcome as opposed to a pain point. Smart healthcare, smart education, smart stadiums all become a reality. With the right foundation and the automation of processes, we can achieve this.”
Avaya is also using GITEX to launch its ACE-Fx certification programme, which allows customers to be certified for skills with a range of other vendor’s products, and continue their development with Avaya.
The company is also driving the concept of software-defined networking. “SDN is clealy a reality,” Turgeon said. “We intrdocued SDN-Fx last year, our fabric-based mesh Ethernet architecture which is optimal for delivering on Smart Cities. We believe we can fulfill the SDN promises; the number of smart solutions we have this year is mind-boggling.”
Turgeon also spoke highly of the Middle East’s technology progress, saying that companies are conscientious of the need for stable yet ambitious technology plans. “You wouldn’t build a fancy bathroom on the third floor of a cracked foundation,” he said. “In the same vein, you can’t build Smart Cities if the foundations are not up to scratch.
“Maybe 10 years ago this region would have followed North America, but not we’re taking the innovation from this region outside.”