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The SMB sector plays an instrumental role in the current UAE economy, accounting for 86 percent of the total private sector workforce and more than 60 percent of the country’s current GDP.

Etisalat serves close to 300,000 SMB customers in the country, working closely with them in their digital transformation journey. The relevance of digital innovation and capabilities have gained significance in today’s unprecedented times.

As businesses navigate the challenges posed by the pandemic, Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President of Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) at Etisalat shares his insights on the unique challenges faced by SMBs in the UAE and what the telco is doing to continuously support them and facilitate business continuity during these unprecedented times.

“Today’s rapidly evolving situation poses unique challenges for everyone, and we understand that businesses are doing everything to ensure the safety of their employees while managing business continuity,” says Esam Mahmoud.

“At Etisalat, it is our constant endeavor to ensure we support our SMB customers with their business needs and make every effort to simplify their lives even during these difficult times.”

These initiatives, he adds, are in line with the UAE’s efforts to ensure public health and safety and are based on SMB requirements for virtual meetings, cloud video surveillance and analytics, data, monthly usage of voice minutes, device purchases, and postpaid plans.

Keeping business establishments safe
“With the gradual opening of businesses, safety measures, thermal scanners and social distancing procedures should be in place,” Esam Mahmoud says. “In line with government regulations, Etisalat launched a temperature screening solution with multiple product types and a wide range of applications that would make temperature measurement and screening effortless during these challenging times.”

The thermal camera solution is designed to detect skin-surface temperatures to achieve rapid and safe preliminary screening in public areas with high efficiency in a multitude of scenarios. Thermal technology has been applied widely in temperature screening scenarios as it offers more flexibility and efficiency in preliminary screening of elevated skin-surface temperatures. AI technology ensures thermographic cameras only detect human skin-surface temperature to reduce false alarms of other heat sources.

Etisalat’s proposition offers five options, four different cameras and installment plans of up to 36 months.

State-of-the-art onsite video surveillance technology 
“Etisalat’s mantra ‘together matters’ reflects our commitment to the country’s SMB sector,” Esam Mahmoud stresses. “Our Video Surveillance as a Service (VSAAS) offers enhanced security and enables them to benefit from the power of video and video analytics.”

Customers can choose from four Etisalat Video Surveillance (VSAAS) packages, and a one-time installation will be waived off. VSAAS, a comprehensive security surveillance service with a business analytics solution, offers customers end-to-end managed services, security surveillance with analytics, business intelligence, upgradeable cloud storage, as well as web and mobile access, on a monthly subscription model.

VSAAS offers heat maps, people-counting, a security system and queue management. It covers all CCTV requirements, ranging from supply to installation, testing, commissioning and maintenance. It provides cameras, network video recorders with local storage, cloud video management with analytics, web access, a mobile app, and basic seven-day cloud backup as default for continuous streaming.

Connectivity is key 
As a provider of vital infrastructure, Etisalat is committed to keeping its valuable customers, employees and society fully connected now more than ever before.

“To support the unprecedented demand for connectivity and help businesses stay connected, we have come up with a wide range of device bundles along with access to Etisalat's unified communication and collaboration platform CloudTalk Meeting,” he says.

Etisalat’s Business First Plus postpaid plan enables business customers to carryforward their unused minutes to the next month and enjoy the unused minutes with three months validity. Plans start from AED110 with carryforward and the Business Xtreme plan with unlimited local calling and double data offer provides 54GB data every month for 12 months starting at only AED 325.

Transforming businesses online
“We have been laser-focused on providing tools and features to support SMBs confronted with a very challenging retail environment where clients tend to restrict their movements and minimize face-to-face interactions,” Esam Mahmoud explains.

Etisalat is providing an E-shop service bundled with a managed web solution for new and existing subscribers to transform businesses online and enable them to engage with their clients via Google My Business and Google Maps listing, website listing, website pages and E-shop starting from AED 160 per month.

Enabling SMBs and their employees to stay connected and productive
With some organizations beginning to reopen and others remaining fully remote, small and medium sized businesses face a unique set of challenges of keeping employees safe, connecting with customers, and moving work forward.

Etisalat provides SMB customers access to a Microsoft 365 Business Basic package, as low as AED 19 a month. The package allows up to 300 users and includes Online Office apps, a 50GB mailbox, a 1TB OneDrive storage, and Microsoft Teams, helps businesses accomplish more and faster with simple file-sharing, real-time co-authoring, and online meetings – all accessible anywhere.

Teams can collaborate in real-time with professional e-mail, persistent chat, online storage and video conferencing tools that are always up to date and keep their data safe. In addition, there will be live support from experts during the contract period.

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