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Telecom Review managed to secure an exclusive interview with Mahmoud Al Ghazali, Data Centres Sales Manager, Middle East, Corning Optical Communications at ICT industry event BICSI.

In a compelling interview, the charismatic Al Ghazali highlighted some of the cutting-edge technologies Corning had introduced to the marketplace and outlined in detail how he believed they would help their existing clients enhance their own product portfolios.

In addition, the Corning executive expressed his views on the current challenges facing the cabling industry and discussed the company's primary objectives and goals for the rest of 2018.

How important is an ICT industry event like BICSI for Corning?
BICSI is one of the biggest organizations in the ICT industry. BICSI also helps and supports the standards in the structuring cabling system. It is very important for Corning to participate at BICSI events as it offers us an opportunity to showcase our new products which we have introduced to the market. However, at the same time, it also enables us to meet with our existing customers and show them our latest products in addition to providing us with an opportunity to meet with potential new customers.

Can you highlight some of the key technologies that Corning is showcasing here at BICSI?
This year we're actually presenting a new Corning Ultra-fiber which is an Ultra-low loss & Bend Insensitive fiber. We're also showcasing our new UniCam™ High-Performance Tool Kit 2 which is a product that enables us to quickly terminate connectors on fiber. We're also showcasing our datacenter solution (EDGE8™ and MTP®PRO Solutions) which is a very high density and easy to install solution and finally our new ONE solution, including passive optical LAN and fiber to the edge options.

We firmly believe that all our new solutions will have a positive impact on the market. All of these products were developed for a reason. Normally when we're developing a product, our approach is to sit with our customers and understand their requirements and needs. We call this survey a voice of our customer. We then also meet with technology vendors like Cisco, Juniper and IBM and that's what we call a voice of technology. This enables us to determine where exactly the technology is going and what the challenges that the customers are facing are. We then utilize all of this information that we've generated and develop our solutions.

Can you outline to us what your role entails within the Corning organization?
I've been with Corning for over ten years now and for the past five years my primary responsibility was in sales. However, before joining the sales division I was employed as a technical manager. My job is to basically meet with the customers and establish the problems they're encountering and tell them about the new technologies we're developing. It's my responsibility to find ways and solutions which ultimately improve and enhance their own technologies. In addition, I need to ensure that the technologies are future proof and they can upgrade to any speed or any technology available in the market.

What do you think it is that differentiates Corning from its competitors?
I think being the inventors of the first low-loss fiber and becoming the leaders in this specific market differentiates us from our rivals. Our DNA is in fiber. So we know so much about this particular technology and this industry as a whole. We believe that we can support the customer better than anyone else. We've earned their trust by delivering on our promises and producing solutions that enhance their business. Moreover, I think our manufacturing capacity and our availability adds big value to the customer.

How happy were you with Corning's performance in the Middle East and African markets last year?
We entered the market in the MENA region in 2004 and every year we've enjoyed growth which is absolutely fantastic. We're always going in an upward trajectory and this is something that gives us great satisfaction and obviously is something we want to maintain and continue by developing relationships and partnerships with new customers and vendors.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the cabling industry in the MENA region?
What we've noticed is that a user in five or six years required less bandwidth. However, suddenly we started carrying more and more mobile phones, more iPads and other devices which resulted in the bandwidths of the users increasing exponentially. Now it's our job to make sure the infrastructure which is supporting this speed increase is actually future proof to support all the upcoming speeds. So it's our mission to get the right infrastructure in place to allow customers to expand. It is important for the enablement of 5G networks that you have the right infrastructure in place.

What are your primary objectives and goals for the rest of 2018?
Our main objective is to reach as many customers as possible with new technologies. We want to continue to be a leader for our customers and clients in this space by providing them with cutting-edge technology. We believe that technology is a very important thing and we want to ensure our customers are satisfied with the technology we provide them. We've received tremendous feedback so far from our customers in relation to our new products and solutions and we're confident that we can have another very successful year in 2019.

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