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During LEAP 2022, Telecom Review had an exclusive with Saif Mashat, country managing director, VMware where he shared about the company’s strategic presence and solutions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, how technologies improve the quality of life and change the way people work, and his outlook to the country’s biggest tech event debut.

Can you share details of VMware's strategic presence here in KSA?

VMware has started its operations in Saudi Arabia in 2017, and ever since, it has been the country where we are investing the most. Saudi Arabia is a very strategic market for us as we are an essential part of the huge digital transformation we are witnessing in the country. The Kingdom is the backbone of the Middle East, and this is where VMware will continue to partner with the government and invest more to expand our presence in the region.

How do disruptive technologies help in accelerating the next wave of innovation?

A lot of jobs have disappear because of disruptive technologies, but also the quality of life has improved and new jobs have been created. The younger generations who’ve been born with smartphones and tablets in their hands can adopt and adapt to these technologies much quicker than the current generation.

I think these future technologies — AI, VR, IoT, etc. — are going to change and positively impact the way we do our jobs, education, and healthcare among all other sectors. Yet, the biggest challenge is how fast can we adapt to these technologies.

The beauty of VMware technology is that we are the enabler for all of these technologies to actually happen. We create the digital foundation underneath for these technologies to be agile, quick, and have faster time-to-market.

What is the importance of VMware’s participation in LEAP?

LEAP is a big statement for Saudi Arabia. KSA is a big market and economically, a very strong country. The evidence you can see around as the market seems to be very thirsty for such an event. Given the fact that this is the first time it is done, it’s impressive and exceeded our expectations.

I've been meeting with a lot of friends, vendors, and other partners and there have been a lot of discussions but all of us would agree on the success of the event. Moreover, we agree on the quality of the meetings and the audience attending LEAP. Out of this event, a long list of very important action plans from all vendors and partners are going to give a boost to the ICT industry in Saudi Arabia.

LEAP is not only a statement from the Saudi government but for VMware’s Saudi presence as well. We are among the big players and we are a strategic partner in the government. We plan to continue to do so, claiming that this is our first participation and definitely won’t be the last.

What are the key business solutions to be deployed or improved by VMware in 2022?

VMware’s strategy has been very consistent for the last 25 years. We keep on adding on it some elements that improve it even more. The structure of VMware is simply ‘any, any, any’ — any application that runs on any platform and is presented on any edge device (mobile, tablet, or laptop). That has been the case since we started this company. Now, we evolved into a multi-cloud strategy, with the presence of multiple local cloud providers and a lot of hyperscalers in the market. Our strategy resonates with this transition as a multi-cloud strategy serves the market needs of our customers.

The pandemic is accelerating the adoption of digital transformation, dominantly changing the way we work, I don't think that we will go back 100% to working in the office anymore. The hybrid model is going to continue and this puts a big pressure on the IT industry to run a secure and agile digital workspace at home. This is one of the strengths that VMware has, using our mobile device management (MDM) or virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) technologies.

VMware will not only continue to evolve these technologies but also evolve our strategy at the same time.

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