Systems integrator EMW has won contracts to develop the networking infrastructure and other systems for new Golden Tulip and Rotana hotels in Dubai, along with a number of universities in the UAE.
The firm will provide all the active infrastructure for the Golden Tulip Deira City Centre and the Symphony hotel in Business Bay, which will be operated by Rotana. According to EMW founder Serjios El-Hage, the company is working on the networking, switching, routing, firewalls, telephony and wireless systems for both properties, and hopes to provide the billing systems as well.
“We’re looking at both the hardware, and the software – the hospitality management system. We like complex, integrated solutions, where customers are at ease and don’t have multiple suppliers or vendors,” El-Hage told Eliot Beer at GITEX Technology Week.
Along with EMW’s existing hospitality clients, which include Jumeirah Group, Radisson and Rixos hotels, it is aiming to get involved in new projects prompted by Dubai Expo, according to El-Hage: “With 2020 coming, there are a lot of other hotels coming online – we’re currently working with two or three developers on new projects.”
The firm has also been busy in the education sector this year, and is currently working on networking infrastructure, wireless and telephony for new campuses from Dubai University and Abu Dhabi University. According to El-Hage, education has been the stand-out sector for EMW.
“For UAE University we’ve done a lot of business with them this year, for infrastructure and wireless. These guys are also expanding – same as University of Sharjah, Zayed University. Last year we did NYU’s new campus in Abu Dhabi, which opened in February this year,” he said.
“We have dedicated sales and projects teams for universities, and for big campuses such as UAE University, we have an asset that sits there, to make sure that if any issues arise they have someone to contact. This is a permanent asset – depending on the size of the campus, we elect to provide somebody who stays in the vicinity, free of charge,” El-Hage added.
He said the integrator is keeping a close eye on some of the trendier topics in the industry, but has yet to see live applications for many of these: “Software as a service, cloud, SDN – we see them in a test phase right now, we haven’t seen a full deployment of these. In a sense, where information is sitting on a datacentre, either one you own on premise or that’s being hosted with a service provider, or whether it’s hybrid – we’ll engage with the customer on the best solution that fits their business.
Despite a note of scepticism, El-Hage said it’s becoming clear the future of networking lies more in virtualised services: “The evolution is going that way, even on the network side of things – we’re hearing about SDN more and more. We’re looking into these in terms of value for the customer.
“We’ve seen a great shift from traditional system integrators who are mostly still integrated in these big boxes. We’re looking at the business applications, rather than the infrastructure itself – whether we’ve done the infrastructure or someone else, we’re beyond that now. We’re looking at user devices, mobility, how applications are performing,” he added.