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On the Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit agenda was a panel powered by AWS entitled “Cloud Innovation for the MEA Region.”

This panel focused on the following: cloud adoption in the Middle East and Africa; how to seize opportunities and remove barriers; how CSPs use cloud and the cloud ecosystem; the regulatory and economic impact of cloud; and cloud-powered growth and innovation.

The panel’s moderator was Prabashni Naidoo, telco senior manager sales, AWS, with the panelists being Saeed Balhoul, director digital government operation department, TDRA; Bob Titus, CTO, Netcracker; Baha Allawati, vice president enterprise, Omantel; Miguel Angel Villalonga, CEO, ETS, e& enterprise; Karim Kalaawi, chief - cloud services, ZainTech; and Dr. Ayman ElNashar, VP of technology architecture, du.

Belhoul highlighted the excellent infrastructure implemented in the UAE and described the strategy they adopt as a multi-cloud approach.

Titus commented that Netcracker sees the real opportunity to leverage cloud even more as they also need to transform and adopt open systems, and create the right mindset around innovation which will allow organizations to adapt to what comes next.

As for Allawati, unifying the approach across governments is one key enabler. He commented that it is important to have the mechanism to scale up and scale down, and today, cloud has that.

According to Villalonga, every business is becoming a technology business. He added, “In a few years, the elements will come together, and maturity will evolve.” I believe the real trade-off is how each country addresses the concerns around security and sovereignty.

Kalaawi, from his perspective, stated that there is a lot of education that needs to happen on the end-user side.

Lastly, Dr. ElNashar talked about how they are extending the cloud to the edge.

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