The leadership of the UAE has defined a vision of transforming the nation into a digitally empowered, smart economy and has laid out a clear roadmap for the nation to move forward in this direction.
Government entities in the UAE are assigned the task of ensuring this vision is delivered in a timely and effective manner and are working on transforming public sector operations to align with smart governance initiatives.
In a world of ever-increasing digital demands and shrinking budgets, government CIOs are under immense pressure to plan a framework that enables them to roll-out large-scale IT projects that are on time, within budget and deliver ambitious expectations. It has become imperative for government CIOs to give greater focus to the faster, more agile digital aspects of IT, including cloud, mobility, increased information sharing and new service delivery models that maintain the high level of security required for government operations.
With this in mind, Etisalat organised a half-day workshop targeted at government IT decision makers, showcasing the service provider’s secure ICT and digital solutions to empower the nation.
“In the government’s smart transformation journey, nothing is more inspiring than the UAE leadership’s vision, which has raised the bar for all of us to become competitive on a global scale,” said Basim Darwish, Director, Abu Dhabi Government Sales, Etisalat, who got the ball rolling.
It is a vision we need to work hard to realise, and ICT services play a key role in the transformation to become a more smart and agile government, he added.
The keynote address was delivered by Abdulla Ebrahim Al Ahmed, Senior Vice President, Government Sales, Etisalat, who stressed the importance of innovation to sustain future growth.
This was followed by a presentation on Etisalat’s new service model by the company’s Senior Director of Customer Support and Service Delivery, AbuBaker Mohamed Al Marzooqi. “We have a completely new value proposition to address the needs of our government and enterprise customers,” he said. “Our aim is to become the trusted adviser and preferred supplier for government entities as well as private companies, providing all ICT services from the cloud.”
Etisalat, as part of its new customer engagement plan, has implemented a consistent end-to-end customer care model, which includes personalised services, consistent customer services and clearly-defined service level objectives. The service provider’s new customer service centre is now the single point of contact for customers to lodge and follow up on complaints.
Mohannad Hijazi, Director, Business Marketing, Managed Services, Etisalat, took to the stage next to speak about how managed services can enable agile government. “We need to keep pace with what is happening outside and also market dynamics,” he said. “Customer satisfaction, whether external or internal, is important, as well as the collaboration between public and private sectors.”
The event also featured a case study presentation from one of Etisalat’s key customers in the government sector. Khaled Al Ameri, Senior Analyst, Infrastructure Design, ADSIC, praised the role of Etisalat in establishing a government-wide network – ADNET – that provides highly secure and reliable connections between all of Abu Dhabi’s government entities.
With an increasing number of breaches targeted at government entities, the importance of securing government services was highlighted by Kamran Ahsan, Senior Director, Security Services, Etisalat. “Delivering security services in a rightful manner is a huge responsibility,” he said. “The UAE has seen a 400 percent increase in targeted attacks, and government is a prime target; around 27 percent of attacks in 2014 were targeted at governments.”
Etisalat currently manages 58 government entities from a DDoS perspective, and runs an SOC that offers unrivalled access to threat intelligence for its customers.
Etisalat’s offerings in the cloud space were explained by Omran Mansour, Senior Manager, Product Management, Data Centre & Cloud Service.
“Digital is reshaping all industries, and the digital space is changing the physical world of business,” he said. “Whether you are government, retail or enterprise, for your organisation to be competitive you have to utilise the digital space.”
The event was wrapped up by a panel discussion on key digital services for government transformation, featuring Etisalat executives Murat Ethem Eldem, Senior Director, M2M Services; Amol Natu, Director, Product Management Digital Commerce Services and Francisco Hernansanz Ruiz, Senior Manager, Technical Architecture, Data Centre & Cloud Services.