du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), in collaboration with Cisco, today unveiled a white paper outlining its transformational journey towards becoming an ‘ICT service provider’ by 2021. Titled‘EITC Infrastructure Outlook 2021’,the white paper sets the framework for the company’s digital transformation in terms of technology adoption, transition to digital services, as well as customer centricity and uniformity of experience. It describes how adopting a software-defined approach will help du deliver innovative services, ensuring its longer-term success, in line with supporting the UAE Vision 2021 strategy.
“As du drives its transformation agenda to spur expansion into new growth areas, we have been working diligently towards bringing next generation technologies such as 5G, IoT, AI, and blockchain into our network,” said Saleem AlBlooshi, Chief Infrastructure Officer, EITC. “We are collaborating with Cisco to map out how we will power a new breed of solutions and services for our customers over the coming five years, and are excited about the opportunities this will bring to the UAE’s ICT ecosystem.”
du’s key strategic pillars in driving change include a seamless customer experience across channels, innovative services and solutions, and agility in operations, with an underlining element of continuous innovation behind each pillar. As a leading technology provider, Cisco provides the foundation for digital transformation through its comprehensive product and services portfolio and digital solutions that bring together connectivity, security, automation, and analytics.
“The ongoing transformation of our industry merges with the pace of technology innovation to create a data-driven economy and an environment where business models thrive in collaborative ecosystems. This makes it imperative for us to transform not only our technology infrastructure, but also the way we operate so as to embrace the agility required by the new economic order. We are excited about our transformational journey as outlined through our new whitepaper,” AlBlooshi added.
"Continuously evolving digital technologies and digital user experiences are raising the bar for telecom service providers like du to transform themselves into ICT services providers,” said Ali Amer, Managing Director, Global Service Provider Sales, Cisco Middle East and Africa. “Service providers around the world are witnessing immense changes that are forcing them to adapt accordingly. As a technology leader, Cisco is collaborating with du to evolve their offerings beyond traditional connectivity services to incorporate a wider gamut of digital lifestyle and enterprise offerings."
The Internet of Things (IoT) is shifting connectivity from end-user devices to machine-to-machine (M2M) connections. Cisco estimates that M2M modules will account for 51 percent of all networked devices in 2021, while 43 percent of all networked devices will be mobile-connected, of which smartphones will account for half.
"Global service providers are now redesigning for efficiency and making rapid adaptation to market shifts by leveraging technologies such as virtualization and software-defined everything. The landscape is no more about ‘big eat small,’ it has changed to ‘fast eat slow,’" added Ali Amer.
Today, consumers expect great service experience and continuity in interaction across channels and platforms and a high degree of interactivity and personalisation. Customer expectations are evolving at Internet speeds with continuous introductions of newer digital experiences and services from global OTT players. Always connected, and everywhere, digital consumption is expanding faster in newer dimensions of ‘augmented’ and ‘virtual reality’.
According to Cisco’s survey of Middle East and Africa enterprise customers in 2017, five times as many visitors as the resident population visit Dubai during the six months of tourism season. This creates a need for flexibility in usage of resources to serve the seasonality. Seventy two percent of customers express interest in Virtual Managed Services (VMS), where all or some of the capabilities delivered by customer premises equipment (CPE) are delivered either fully or through hybrid cloud solutions. Eighty eight percent of enterprise customers surveyed want a bundled security service with network service.
In its journey since it was established, du has strived to delight customers with simplicity and natural experiences across its three major customer categories: individual customers, business and government.Leveraging its fibre optic network infrastructure and high-speed wireless internet, du has launched a country-wide initiative called WiFi UAE to provide WiFi access to the public, in line with UAE Vision 2021, and is a strategic partner for Dubai government’s Smart Dubai initiative to integrate technologies like ICT and IoT into its infrastructure.