OmniClouds CEO Talks About The Advantages Of ICT For Businesses

OmniClouds has a simple proposition, use the technology; don’t buy it. Instead of investing in ICT, you should be simply using it to grow your business.

OmniClouds has a simple proposition — use the technology; don’t buy it. Instead of investing in information and communications technology (ICT), you should be simply using it to grow your business.

Spread across 23 countries, OmniClouds offers ICT as a service and wants to be your partner in the cloud. Its CEO and board member, Amr Eid, talks about how his organisation can help you in your cloud journeys.

What does OmniClouds offer?
In the old days, the ICT industry was on-premises, where you hosted your own servers and software, took care of your security, and had your own IT people. If you were a big organisation, you ended up with armies of technology people to help you do your business.

Now we have moved to the cloud, which can be leased. All you need to do is pay a few dirhams a month to be able to use these services.

What pain points do OmniClouds address?
The internet is like a car from 1968. We have been maintaining it, patching it, growing it, adding more routers. But the infrastructure in many areas is not adequate. We ended up with many companies and consumers in the Middle East and Africa, who are unable to reach the cloud or catch up with technology.

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OmniClouds addresses this need by offering a highly intelligent Software Defined Network (SDN) that works in collaboration with local operators and all cloud providers, whether consumer or enterprise. Our unique proposition is to empower organisations to reach cloud services — or even their local and international branches — in an economical and reasonable way where they pay as per their usage.

What cost savings can small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) expect from a switch to OmniClouds?
For SMEs, it will be no less than 40-50 per cent in terms of transforming capex required into opex. More importantly, it is the safety of the spend since you have not invested in routers, switches or servers. Tomorrow if your business slows down, for example because of a lockdown, you can reduce your ICT spends accordingly. OmniClouds’ services have also made it possible for everyone — from global contact centres to retail chains — to have their employees working from home.

How do you help SMEs make the switch to the cloud?
With us, it’s not about just going to the cloud or buying a shiny software or service. We have teams and partners who help customers assess their digital needs. Then we recommend to you a cloud provider, or the services that you need. We are vendor-agnostic and work with all the top services. We also offer our own services — OmniBranch to connect your branches together, OmniConnect to link you to the cloud, OmniRemote to enable remote working, and OmniSec to take care of your security needs. This suite of services gives you everything you need to reach your applications, whether on a private cloud or a public cloud. In short, we take care of all your ICT needs.

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What will be the impact of 5G on your business?
It will actually make our business grow multiple folds by decreasing the dependency on land-based cables and connectivity. It means customers will be able to cover the last mile between their homes or their offices and the exchange much faster. 5G will cause an explosion in the use of IoT, and that means more people will be able to automate and control more things.

It is said that the pandemic compressed years’ worth of digital transformation into just a few months. What have you observed?
Some of the SMEs will believe that the pandemic was doom and gloom. But it is absolutely the opposite. This is the age of creativity. If you expect to do the same thing that your father and grandfather used to do, I’m sorry to break the bad news to you, this is the time for a new mindset. So many SMEs managed to adjust to business being done remotely. When you let people work from home, and you give them the right technology to connect with their offices, they work more effectively. In the Middle East, I see so many new ideas mushrooming that depends on home delivery or remote working.

But going remote also means dealing with more security risks. How does OmniClouds address that?
SMEs are vulnerable and cannot always invest in security tools or firewall because these are very expensive. OmniClouds offers security as a service. So today, you can have the best breed of firewalls right at your home or office, for an economical monthly recurring charge.

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Do you see hybrid workplaces as the future of work?
I would call it flexible working. A lot of companies have noticed that there is at least a 20-25 per cent increase in productivity when employees are working from home. They have saved on office spaces and utilities, while at the same time people are closer to their families. So employees are happier while they are working. And they are working more hours now because they have the freedom to work at different times.

Finally, how has 2020 shaped your thinking and influenced your plans for 2021?
The first thing we’ve learnt in 2020 is that we will not go back to what it used to be before the pandemic. Many changes are here to stay. Secondly, we have learnt to take any change on a positive note, because most changes are an opportunity to move to a better place. The last lesson is keep transforming and keep innovating. Similarly, the economy of sharing is here to stay and you will share everything — a ride, a residential place, the workplace, computing resources… Besides, the world has become a place where remote interaction is a must.

For 2021, we are focusing on the three verticals of health, education and banking. We are helping organisations in these areas to transform and economise their business models, to get more efficient.

Originally published at Gulf News

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