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On the sidelines of LEAP 2023, Telecom Review sat down with Eng. Saad Al-Sadhan, chief business and wholesale officer at Zain KSA, to have a discussion about the local carrier’s participation in the global tech event’s second edition, their cloud portfolio and how they are leveraging 5G network investments for B2B customers.

Can you tell us about Zain KSA’s participation in LEAP 2023?

Our key message in LEAP this year is to merge sustainability and ESG with technology. We are providing our customers with — and representing — the most innovative solutions in the world. We are heavily investing in that, and at the same time, we try to highlight the sustainability part of our products and offerings.

We have a couple of products showcased this year, and most of them are using the Zain Cloud, which is a private cloud in the OpenStack. This means that we can cooperate with lots of international parties in order to keep our customers up-to-date with the most digital products.

We invested a lot in the certification of the Zain Cloud. We got the Class C certification from the National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA), and we recently got the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) authorization as well, which will help us penetrate into the financial sector and serve fintech customers.

We provide a lot of products under the Zain Cloud, and most of those products are enabling customers to either cost-optimize or reach their digital transformation plans. Because one of our main pillars is to contribute to the government’s Vision 2030, we help our customers accelerate and enhance their achievements aligned with the Kingdom’s national vision.

Please elaborate on the Zain Cloud portfolio.

We have in our cloud portfolio more than 25 partners and customers. We are using those partners to help us reach the customers; most of our tailoring and customization comes from our customer demands. We study the customer demands very well, then we go to the market and try to find the best fit for our customers.

Currently, we are involved in different verticals, including smart waste management, which is part of our sustainability efforts. We also do smart hospitality, where we help our customers digitize the process of providing hospitality in hotels.

We also offer ERP-as-a-service and mail-as-a-service to serve our SMEs and SOHO customers, as we are not only targeting large enterprises and governments.

Yet for large enterprises, we are particular in trying to make an easier and more convenient internal culture, especially for employees. We have a product called “smart attendance,” where you can do your attendance without the biometrics. You can do it with facial recognition through your mobile application, wherever you are.

How will Zain KSA utilize 5G for enterprise customers?

We invested a lot in the 5G network to serve our consumers when we launched for the first time in October 2019. After this success, we are now moving from serving our consumers to serving our B2B customers.

We are studying enterprise use cases that leverage the 5G network, and among these are private 5G and edge computing. As a result, we are providing some proof-of-concept (POC), and we are partnering with the big players in the market to deploy private 5G and edge computing.

We are opening the doors for them through Zain’s most innovative solutions and helping them go further and beyond on their digital transformation journey.

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