Middle East Telecoms and Application Providers to Drive Economic Transformation

Telcos Must Create a Culture of Innovation to Succeed in Today’s Rapidly Changing Markets

DOHA, QatarMiddle East telecom operators must create internal cultures of innovation in order to take advantage of new technologies that will allow them to new and emerging business opportunities in coming years, global business software giant SAP announced at ITU Telecom World today.

SAP predicts there will be 50 billion connected things by 2020, when organizations, suppliers, objects, and customers will be more interconnected that ever before, leading to the networked economy.

GCC countries are global connectivity leaders, with Qatar leading the Arab World and No. 23 out of 148 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Networked Readiness Index 2014. The UAE (No. 24), Bahrain (No. 29), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (No. 32), and Oman (No. 40) also posted strongly.

“To drive the networked economy, Middle East telecom operators need to take advantage of new technologies that will help them improve operational systems and create new revenue streams, which can only be accomplished by partnering with government agencies, and local application experts and developers,” said Lise Tcheng, Vice-President and Global Head of Telecom Services, SAP.

“By developing programs to encourage innovation and change, even large companies can become more agile, and ready to adopt new systems and new business models that can create new sources of revenue,” added Lise Tcheng.

For example, telecom operators can leverage their own Big Data assets to deliver new insights into business practices for their enterprise customers – such as tracing shipments in the supply chain, customer shopping preferences, and location-based marketing initiatives. Information such as patient records, textbooks, and receipts must be hosted securely on mobile devices.

“ITU Telecom World shows the importance of a culture of startup support, and e-commerce and data protections laws that enable the healthcare, education, finances, and transport sectors to unlock new mobile opportunities in the networked economy” said Lise Tcheng.

Qatar’s technological growth is guided by several long-term plans, including Qatar’s National ICT Plan 2015. From 2010-2015, it calls for nationwide broadband to increase from 66 percent to 95 percent, doubling the ICT workforce to 40,000, and doubling the ICT GDP contribution to USD 3 billion.

Across the GCC, the industry-themed Smart Cities in Qatar, the UAE, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia all have broadband networks at their core to support public and private sector innovation.

Telecommunications is one of the digital economy’s four most strategic industries, according to SAP, whose customers include major telecom operators, broadcast companies, and satellite operators.

SAP solutions in the telecommunications industry include Business Suite on HANA for real-time business apps, SAP Customer Engagement solutions for visibility into customer interactions, and Billing and Revenue Innovation Management.

About SAP
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 258,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com

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Media contacts
Husain Al Tamimi, SAP +971 56 6811641, husain.tamimi@sap.com
Claire McPeak, SAP, +971 4 330 1777, c.mcpeak@sap.com
Steve Baron, Wallis Marketing Consultants, +971 4 390 1950, sap@wallis-mc.com