Cisco’s initiatives align with the Saudi Arabia vision

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Salman Faqeeh



SAUDI GAZETTE

JEDDAH —
Country Digitization Acceleration Program, smart city initiatives, and innovative virtual education solution to remote areas in different provinces in collaboration with the Ministry of Education are some of Cisco’s projects in the Kingdom.

The company also has signed several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with different governmental sectors, including, the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Investment.

The MoU with the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Investment that sets a roadmap for an accelerated paces of digital transformation in the Kingdom.

Managing Director of Cisco Saudi Arabia Salman Faqeeh told Saudi Gazette that this recent MoU serves as a partnership framework and underlines Cisco’s strategic commitment in support of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to drive digital transformation at a country-wide level.

He said “digitization will play an important role as the Kingdom focuses on diversifying its economy and achieving its ambitious «Vision 2030» agenda, launched last April. The memorandum outlines a multipronged approach through which Cisco will help accelerate Saudi Arabia’s digital agenda and position the country for long-term prosperity in the digital age.”

During the interview, Faqeeh said that Cisco’s Country Digitization Acceleration Program (CDA) is directly aligned with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and National Transformation Program. He stressed that the four priority areas remain healthcare, education, smart cities and cyber security.

Faqeeh further said the purpose of Cisco’s initiatives and projects will be focused on driving the GDP growth and fostering innovation, while creating new employment, social and entrepreneurial opportunities for the Kingdom’s growing youth.

He said “as part of the CDA commitment, Cisco will continue to share its expertise with Saudi Electricity Company on smart grid, smart metering solutions. Cisco is also working closely with the Ministry of Economic Planning and the National Digitization Unit to ensure these initiatives achieve their purpose. As part of its partnership with the Saudi government to accelerate the digitization of the country, Cisco Saudi Arabia is powering a Ministry of Education project to connect teachers and students virtually to improve educational methods and classroom experiences. Cisco and Saudi Telecom Company (STC) recently signed a MoU to work closely with STC on its architectural transformation to help unlock the commercial potential of 5G mobile networks.”

Moreover, he said the joint effort aims to facilitate STC’s transformation into a digital service provider and supports the pivotal role it plays in enabling Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision and National Transformation Plan. Cisco is also working to foster an innovation, talent and entrepreneurship ecosystem that will shift the economy towards greater private sector participation and a more market-based approach.

After the inauguration of smart city initiative in Riyadh, the company is working on other project in different cities around the Kingdom such as Jeddah.

“Cisco has introduced an innovative virtual education solution to remote areas in different provinces in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. Since the beginning of the current academic year, some fourteen virtual classrooms have been set up in seven cities around the Kingdom. This includes one broadcasting center in Jeddah,” he said.

Faqeeh explained that smart cities in the Kingdom will have a transformative effect on every aspect of daily lives, such as better healthcare, improved lifestyle and the effective provision of public services.

He said “businesses too will benefit in numerous ways, seeing greater efficiency in their operations, protection of investments and better service to customers. The expected impact will also extend in providing smart services to citizens by digitizing the municipality assets and increasing the revenue through smart solution.”

He added that part of other predictable outcomes, we can expect to save electricity by 60 percent and reduce operational cost of waste collection by 30 percent.

“We can also expect to see a considerable improvement in the incident management with the efficiency of response time increasing by 200 percent. The smart solutions will also lead to better road safety and traffic discipline while serving as an opportunity to generate revenue through parking spaces and traffic violations. The citizens of the country can look forward to improved safety and security, thanks to the smart solutions across all spheres of life. Among various other benefits and advantages include the relief in traffic condition, where be traffic congestion and parking problems will be reduced by 30 percent,” he noted.


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