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In an exclusive interview with Telecom Review, Feras Al Shaikh, KSA Region Manager, Red Hat, shared details about the company’s strategies in the Saudi Arabian market, the recent trends and developments within the Kingdom’s telecom sector, the importance of partnerships, and their culture of sustainability.

How does Red Hat differentiate itself in the KSA market, and what strategies does Red Hat employ to ensure sustained growth and success in this region?

The key to our success in the KSA market is our strong commitment to developing products and technologies that advance the open-source community and the digital landscape. One of the many factors that distinguish Red Hat in the KSA market is the open organizational culture that we embrace in the company, which attributes greater significance to innovation, continuous improvement, inclusivity, and diversity. We adopt the same approach while we interact with our customers, which has contributed to providing a positive experience for them.

Delivering exceptional customer experience is crucial to the success of any brand. At Red Hat, developing meaningful connections with our customers is extremely important to us. By thoroughly understanding our customers’ needs, tailoring our solutions to meet their preferences, as well as constantly ensuring that support is provided promptly, we have been able to establish ourselves as a reliable and trusted partner for customers. All of these have further enabled us to deliver exceptional value to them.

At Red Hat, we provide our customers with the appropriate technologies and skillsets to propel them towards success. We collaborate with our partners in the ecosystem to guarantee that their solutions have the appropriate degree of security and agility. Red Hat offers its clients the framework and the methodology necessary to collaborate with an open-source community and break away from vendor lock-in.

We concentrated on the telecom market in 2016, and we kept investing while focusing on other resources.  Furthermore, we collaborated with several parties to construct our ecosystem and begin training others, while focusing heavily on youth and women in IT, particularly in the MENA region. In short, our journey from ten years ago to where we are now has been quite a remarkable one.

Could you discuss any recent trends or developments in the telecommunication landscape within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that you believe will have a significant impact on Red Hat's operations or market strategy?

We keep close tabs on the recent trends and developments within the telecommunications sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as they can have a significant impact on our operations.

The rapid development of 5G networks and the growing integration of artificial intelligence (AI) technology are two noteworthy trends we have observed recently. Both trends have profoundly influenced the operations and market strategy of Red Hat in the region. Vision 2030 and other governmental efforts are driving the rollout of 5G networks throughout Saudi Arabia, which is a significant development in the telecom industry. This development necessitates the demand for strong, adaptable infrastructure solutions to meet the expanding network requirements while also promising greater data rates and reduced latency. Our proficiency with open-source technology places us in a strong position to offer innovative solutions that allows KSA’s telecom operators to maximize their 5G deployments, while maintaining interoperability and scalability.

In order to handle the complexity of evolving networks, Saudi Arabia’s telecom sector is currently embracing AI-driven analytics and automation. Customer experiences, operational efficiency, and network optimization are all being revolutionized by AI-powered solutions at present. At Red Hat, we understand how critical it is to offer open, flexible platforms that help telecom infrastructure to seamlessly integrate AI-driven data. Through robust collaboration, we enable telecom operators to efficiently utilize AI technology for improving consumer engagement, personalizing offerings and network performance.

Red Hat remains dedicated to providing comprehensive solutions that address the convergence of 5G and AI in the telecom industry in response to these advancements. With the help of our open-source platforms, which include TensorFlow, OpenShift, and Kubernetes, telecom operators in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can create and implement cutting-edge AI-powered applications that meet the scalability, security, and interoperability requirements of 5G networks. Red Hat seeks to assist operators in harnessing the full potential of 5G and AI technologies in accelerating digital transformation and providing improved experiences for both customers and companies by aligning our plans with the evolving demands of Saudi Arabia’s telecom sector.

Collaboration and partnerships are often crucial for success in the telecom industry. Can you elaborate on Red Hat's approach to building and nurturing strategic alliances with local organizations and industry players in Saudi Arabia to drive mutual growth and innovation?

Our partners are our top priority, and we work to align our sellers and resources as closely as possible with them. We have prioritized partner-centric business processes because we understand the importance of partnerships in unlocking new growth opportunities. We seek to leverage our strategic partnerships to grow our facilities and offerings, which constitutes a significant component for propelling our company towards greater heights. By leveraging the capabilities of our partners across the region, we will be able to establish a marketplace and spearhead campaigns to advertise our range of products.

To achieve improved outcomes and client success, we seek to significantly improve partner competency and enablement facilities for our partners in the upcoming fiscal year. These areas, together with program reviews, as well as enhancements to internal operations and external market strategies, will facilitate our mutual progress and growth.

Regarding technology, we are collaborating with our partners and customers to offer Red Hat OpenShift—a horizontal platform that serves as the cornerstone of an open, hybrid, cloud approach. Red Hat OpenShift enables our customers to safely and securely onboard their homegrown applications as well as third-party applications in a fast and effective manner.

How does Red Hat approach customer satisfaction and support in the KSA region? Can you share any examples of how the company has effectively addressed customer needs or challenges?

We adopt a holistic strategy when it comes to customer satisfaction and support. This strategy focuses on responsiveness, collaboration, and expertise. Our primary goal is to effectively meet customer needs by surpassing their expectations, offering exceptional assistance, and cultivating enduring connections.

Offering complete support services that are customized to meet the specific needs of clients in the KSA market is one facet of our strategy. This entails timely responses to inquiries, proactive support in troubleshooting problems, and continuous assistance to guarantee the best use of Red Hat products. Our committed support teams are well-equipped to handle client issues in a timely and effective manner, utilizing their in-depth knowledge of local market conditions and extensive technical experience.

Moreover, we place a significant emphasis on cooperation and exchange of knowledge with customers in the Kingdom. As part of this, we constantly strive to engage with organizations through a range of platforms—including training sessions, workshops, and community events—to provide them with requisite knowledge and capabilities to maximize the value of our solutions. By cultivating a collaborative culture, we strengthen our interactions with customers and help them accomplish their goals.

Can you provide insights into Red Hat's approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in the KSA region? Please outline how the company contributes to the local community beyond its business operations.

Our success in the KSA region is not solely defined by our technological advancements but also by our commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Our approach to CSR goes beyond business operations and is deeply rooted in our ethos of open collaboration and community engagement. Through our open culture, ‘Red Hatters’ actively participate in initiatives that benefit both local and global communities.

We believe in the power of collective action to drive positive change. Our innovative strategies aim to integrate business and environmental responsibility, focusing on initiatives that reduce waste, energy consumption, and promote green energy. By fostering a culture of sustainability and associate engagement, we strive to make a meaningful impact on the communities we serve.

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