Kristina Tantsyura, Chief Operating Officer, and Marco Del Piero Piccozzi, Chief Strategy Officer, National Computer Corporation (NCC) UAE sat down with Reseller ME to discuss how the Russian company is planning to drive innovation for organisations in the Middle East.
Can you give a brief overview of NCC’s operations and offerings?
KT: National Computer Corporation (NCC) is one of the largest group of companies in Russia’s IT industry and has taken the first place in the Russian market in 1990 with respect to digital technologies for the last twelve years. NCC provides a full range of IT services for the Russian government, large firms, semi-government firms and private firms and is the only company in Russia which has its own production line. The company incorporates some sectorial IT market leaders, that enables NCC to launch a unique model based on competency and expertise of the specialists highly skilled in the IT technologies. NCC is also Russia’s largest distributor and we have contracts with over 250 leading IT companies around the world including Microsoft, CISCO, HP, Dell, Huawei and others. Last year, with 30 offices in Russia and 6 abroad, NCC chose to go to the Middle East market because we saw a huge opportunity here in terms of the current situation and digital transformation initiatives.
NCC companies are open to the possibility of cooperation with new business partners. What is your presence like here in the Middle East, and how has business been in the region over the last 12 months?
MDPP: Business in the Middle East was definitely not without challenges, but there were a lot of opportunities as well. NCC comes from a very strong legacy of having implemented advanced projects abroad with 15 years of experience. Our central focus in this region over the past 12 months has been understanding the market and listening to our customers’ needs, specifically our partners. We focus on creating an ecosystem and product line and service offering that is tailored to this market and so far, we have received a very positive response from our partners and customers.
KT: For us, 2019 has been the year of communications, relationships, change, and learning. We put a lot of effort into establishing strategic partnerships and good relationships with key market players in the region. We built a strategic partnership with Dubai Police – we will support the Innovation Center of Dubai Police and the other projects. On the other hand, we’ve also signed an agreement with Evoteq, which is a big step for us to penetrate the market. We are also discussing the partnership with Emaratech and other companies.
When you talk to your partners, what are some of their common challenges and how can they best sell your solutions effectively in the digital era?
MDPP: The challenges partners face in this area are the ones that have been resonating over the past five years. Budgets are shrinking, and customers are very cost-sensitive, but on the other hand, they still want a solution to be delivered to them at the highest standards with the latest technologies. However, partners here, have more or less portrayed the same technology stack to consumers over the past few years. So the competition comes down to cost and price, and perhaps yes, references and some kind of relationship they may have with vendors of technology, and so on. That’s where I believe we were quite instrumental in being able to offer to our partners something they could really differentiate themselves from.
How important is NCC’s role in enabling its partners growth here in the region? What kind of value-add offerings do you have?
MDPP: We bring very innovative technology, ranging from liquid immersed equipment and system equipment to highly specialised algorithms for machine learning qualified for vertical offerings. In addition to modern hardware and software engineering, advanced algorithms and IOT tools. With us, partners have the ability to offer something very unique and different from anyone else. NCC acknowledges, however, that technology has a very short lifespan in terms of the value they can actually demonstrate in a medium to short period of time, and what we’ve adopted is a more agile approach to how we provide such services. We give our partners and customers vertical approaches, which are specialised in addressing specific use cases and relevant to the XaaS model.
What can regional organisations expect from NCC in the coming months?
KT: We’re going to build our partnership with Evoteq, and we’ve already planned the first phase, smart parking in Sharjah, which will start in mid-January. We are also considering the expansion of the production line in the UAE. This is going to be the biggest project for NCC as this project has not only been supported as a business project but also as a national project. In terms of the Russian pavilion, we will also endorse Russian participation in the EXPO. Last but not the least, we will continue our market activity and as NCC has been Russia’s leading company for the past 12 years, we also expect to be the UAE’s leading company.
And finally, do you have a message for your partners for 2020?
MDPP: We look forward to working together to build an ecosystem that is very robust and tailored to local demands and market needs.