Going places

Mohamed Hamedi, CEO and Founder of Sphere NetworksJoining forces with Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), Intel recently announced its investment in Sphere Networks, an emerging national software development firm specialised in enterprise management. The investment will allow Sphere Networks to increase its regional presence and to extend its product offering. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

The investment, announced by Christian Morales, Intel VP Sales & Marketing and General Manager, Europe Middle East and Africa, is part of Intel’s drive to expand its economic, educational and technology-related support across the UAE. Under this program, Intel continues to increase its investment in four key areas: local entrepreneurship, education, digital accessibility and specialised technical competencies, to help promote technology skills, knowledge transfer and jobs creation in the UAE. Commenting on the announcement, Morales underlined the importance of fostering innovative, home-grown ideas and noted that today’s news illustrates Intel’s ongoing commitment to collaborate with local players that share the vision of taking entrepreneurial projects to the next level of global competitiveness.

At a press gathering, Feroz Sanaulla, Intel Capital Director, Middle East, Turkey and Africa added:

“Sphere’s strong involvement with the local channel and their focus on developing UAE designed technology is in line with our long-term drive to endorse local ideas and innovation to advance computing and communications platforms in the UAE.”

Commenting on the occasion, Mohamed Hamedi, CEO and Founder of Sphere Networks said, “At Sphere Networks, we constantly look at new ways to provide synergistic tools that allow our customers to manage their networks easily, securely and cost-effectively. The investment by Intel and Dubai Silicon Oasis will help us provide the necessary tools to make our customers' networks some of the best-run networks in use today.”

Hamedi spoke of how Sphere Networks started from scratch and is, today, the first company in the region that Intel has invested in. “We hope to encourage other entrepreneurs to stay the course. It shows it can happen and there are MNCs that support good ideas,” he said.

Intel’s Sanaulla revealed what prompted them to back Sphere Networks: “What I liked was Mohamed’s tenacity. And management is key; people are really important for a business.” He complimented Hamedi’s approach, which provides much flexibility and freedom to his employees. Present at the event was Salwa Alzhmi, Software Engineer at Sphere. She is a talented local woman, who hails from a traditional family, and commutes once a week to the office from Al-Ain. However Hamedi was all praise for her skills and explained how she handles high-end technology that only a handful of people specialise in.

Sanaulla also explained how enterprise clients don’t open up to smaller companies that easily. “Our backing allows Sphere to tap into a larger marketplace. I believe he [Hamedi] has the potential to be a global player. Our job is to expand his scope.”

Also at the press gathering was Dr Juma Al Matrooshi, Senior Chief Corporate Services Officer at Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), who said, “We believe that today’s announcement underlines Dubai Silicon Oasis’ position as one of the premier technology, research and development hubs in the region”

“Technology transfer and collaborations are the order of the day and close collaborations bring people and societies together. We believe this move will reinforce our ongoing commitment to contribute to the country’s overall economic development and the creation of a knowledge – based economy.” Dr. Juma Added.

Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), a 100% owned entity by the Government of Dubai is a free zone on the Emirates road. DSOA’s urban master-planned community spans 7.2 square kilometres of office towers, R&D and industrial zones, educational institutions, luxury apartments, villas, hotels, healthcare and a range of lifestyle facilities. Businesses can avail of incentives including 100% ownership, and high-end IT infrastructure that allows companies to begin operating immediately.

Dr Juma commended Intel’s move at a time when many businesses are reluctant to invest in such endeavours. “When the markets go down, people go up,” he said.

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