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Tech plays key role in helping residents during lockdown

rohma@khaleejtimes.com Filed on April 6, 2020

(AFP)

Technology has played a key role in helping residents work from home, with local service providers reporting an increase in software sales that allow residents to remain in touch with their work colleagues, as well as security protocols.

Etisalat reported that its CloudTalk Meeting platform is witnessing a surge in demand among government entities and businesses across the UAE. The platform enables users to streamline their collaboration and communication when conducting virtual meetings from the comfort of their homes. This follows a recent announcement for government departments and businesses to get a three-month free access starting March 9, 2020 to its CloudTalk Meeting platform as a way to maintain business continuity. Participants can use this secure platform from any device, location and network in the UAE.

Due to a high volume of requests and demand for the service, Etisalat expanded the features of CloudTalk Meeting by enabling 50 concurrent participants to join an online meeting and discussion, with an added feature of a moderator to personalise and manage the meetings. Participants can join online meetings and discussions, and communicate using advanced features such as HD quality video and voice conference, instant messaging, group chats, draw schemas, and use the whiteboard.

Free access to Etisalat CloudTalk Meeting is valid until June 10, 2020, and business customers can subscribe to the platform on the Etisalat website.

Similarly, du has announced the availability of new services to provide customers with reliable and unlimited access to everything they require in the world of communication from the comfort of their homes. Du is offering its customers online and digital services that include free delivery to their homes within 24 hours when placing orders through the du App or website. Meanwhile, new and existing home customers will enjoy a free upgrade on Internet speeds of up to 500Mbps, and be able to communicate with their loved ones for free through the internet calling application, Voico UAE.

Fahad Al Hassawi, deputy CEO - Telco Services, EITC, said: "As a leading UAE company, we care about the well-being of our people and communities. This pledge complements du's recently launched initiative to support educational institutions in remote learning and enable business communities to work remotely with enhanced efficiency. At this time, it is important that all residents stay in their homes and abide by the directions and recommendations of the UAE Government to ensure the health and safety of themselves and others."

Lucky La Riccia, head of Digital Services at Ericsson Middle East and Africa, noted that Ericsson is continuously working with local service providers to modernise their network in order to increase the speed and capacity of mobile broadband services for subscribers and enterprises. "Broadband access and mobile broadband is the backbone of modern societies during these challenging times, and providing connectivity for residential, enterprises and other services is one of Ericsson's top priorities."

Fady Younes, Cybersecurity director for the MEA region at Cisco, noted that organisations are depending on collaboration tools to ensure their people remain communicative, efficient, productive, and collaborative. This is a significant step for many businesses as, once used to face-to-face meetings, are now adapting to a "new normal" which naturally raises concerns for businesses around data privacy.

"Cisco's WebEx, which provides the biggest collaboration in the world, is trusted by 95 per cent of the Fortune 500," he said. "Last week, we witnessed almost 240,000 online sign-ups within a 24-hour period. We have also hosted 14 billion meeting minutes in March, more than double in comparison to February. Additionally, Cisco is being approached by businesses on a weekly basis with at least 10 times the numbers of requests compared to the norm, seeking security support to cater to their remote workforces. We added more than nine million security users since the start of the security offerings on March 10, and the numbers continue to increase every day."

- rohma@khaleejtimes.com

author

Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.


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