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Digital business is the future: Microsoft

Filed on April 19, 2019
Digital business is the future: Microsoft
Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice president and president, global sales, marketing and operations, Microsoft.

The UAE is known to bring forth the innovation and development and this has further being affirmed as it signed various agreements with Microsoft recently during the visit of Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice president and president, global sales, marketing and operations, Microsoft.

Courtois, on his high profile event packed visit, said: "Digital organisation or digital business is the way to go. The three big things that will help is, first, pick a really trusted technology partner, cloud and AI partner; two build the skills, which is all about people, the change management, the automation of the mindset of the people and third,  innovate to drive the right business outcome, or the right citizens that come out of your government, so you have to have clarity on where you want to achieve this business strategy or government strategy first as a starting point. And then you need to have the trusted tech partner which has the right capacity and technology, but more importantly you get the right skillsets and change management into your business to get to your destination." 

During his visit Courtois met with number of UAE government officials, startups among others to understand how the global IT player could work along the government's vision empowering citizens, businesses, youth, entrepreneurs and so on.

"We've decided to make UAE one of the regional hubs for Azure data centers which is a pretty big deal for Microsoft. We will be opening data centers both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to enable both and basically not just the enterprise customer, or startups or businesses and governments as well across the region and across the Middle East and Africa to taking advantage of Cloud Computing Technology (CCT) and setting innovation of the cloud. It's an exciting moment for us to engage with many customers which I did across governments and across enterprises, across startups to understand the way we can help them accelerate their move to become digital businesses as we say. That's been really the purpose of all those conversations I'm having with all these teams as well and with the ecosystem surrounding that opportunity," said Courtois.

The Abu Dhabi Smart Solutions and Services Authority (ADSSSA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Microsoft to establish a 'Cloud centre of Excellence' that will aim to build its capacity for the delivery of cloud services and platforms, as well as upskill the emirate's public sector workforce. Further, Smart Dubai inked landmark collaboration with Microsoft in its bid to achieve the goal of making Dubai the happiest city on earth. The move aims to accelerate digital transformation across the emirate and empower government employees to innovate faster.

Omar Sultan Al Olama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence confirmed that the UAE government adopts an integrated and dynamic model for the utilisation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that supports industry growth, development of new sectors as well as strengthening governance and ethics frameworks, ultimately anticipating future challenges and creating a positive change for humanity. Under this agreement, Microsoft will develop its existing AI programs and frameworks to support the UAE's efforts to achieve the United Nations goals of sustainable development. Areas of cooperation include national capacity training in AI programs, certification in software and cloud computing, and the organisation and sponsorship of emerging technology competitions and events for government and private entities.  

"We see some very exciting development happening with cloud and AI in UAE and the region. An IDC study found that in the next 5 years we will see over 500,000 jobs created just because of AI and cloud altogether in the Middle East and Africa. Because of that, we see many industries and sectors of the economy really building capacity to do more. There are some great examples on the work we've done in terms of digital transformation such as the Dubai Electric and Water Authority (DEWA) that is utilizing AI to better automate processes. We have also partnered with Dubai's Area 2071 and the Mubadala Hub71 in Abu Dhabi to incubate startups. And also, the work we're doing with Emaar is an example across retail, construction and malls is very exciting. So, we see a lot of opportunities throughout to innovate here in Dubai, " added Courtois.




Sandhya D'Mello

Journalist. Period. My interests are Economics, Finance and Information Technology. Prior to joining Khaleej Times, I have worked with some leading publications in India, including the Economic Times.

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