Cisco to open 'first of its kind' innovation centre in Dubai

Centre will showcase 'what digitisation means' to various sectors, according to David Meads, Cisco vice president, Middle East and Africa
Cisco to open 'first of its kind' innovation centre in Dubai
David Meads, Cisco vice president, Middle East and Africa
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Mon 09 Oct 2017 10:14 AM

American multinational technology conglomerate Cisco Systems will open an “innovation and experience” centre in Dubai, according to David Meads, vice president, Middle East and Africa.

Speaking at GITEX technology week in Dubai, Meads said that although Cisco has established customer experience centres in Europe, the United States and in the Asia-Pacific region, the centre in Dubai “will be the first of its kind worldwide, in that what we’ve done is combine an innovation capability with a customer experience centre.”

“It’s targeted at being able to showcase to our customers and our partners what digitisation means to the public sector, what it might mean in education, healthcare, retail and finance,” he added. “It’s a statement of our intent and how important the region is.”

Although he declined to give more details, Meads said that a formal launch is expected before the end of 2017.

Meads added that the UAE and Saudi Arabia are two of the 16 countries in which Cisco is currently undertaking a “country digital acceleration” (CDA) strategies, in which the company has partnered with national leadership, industry and academia.

“What the strategy involves is that Cisco is investing our dollars, many millions of dollars…where we will work in partnership with the government here in the UAE and use those dollars, together with investment from the country, to co-create solutions around key care-about areas,” he said.

“In many instances (around the globe), they are taking examples around education, healthcare, the smart city, manufacturing, transportation, these sorts of use cases where we will invest together to create those solutions to build proof-of-concept with a view to rolling those out on a large-basis.”

In neighbouring Saudi Arabia, in June 2016 Cisco announced that it as part of its CDA program it would be partnering with Saudi authorities to identify potential opportunities that include developing national IT infrastructure, accelerating business innovation, stimulating start-ups and enhancing the research and education sectors.

Earlier in the year, the company conducted an analysis of the Saudi public and private sector which found a $124.1 billion value opportunity over the next 10 years – representing an additional 0.27 percent GDP growth.

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