Our sister publication, Inside_Networks_ME, talks to leading system integrator EMW’s CEO, Serjios El-Hage, amidst their ten years of success in the region.
EMW are a regular winner at the many technology awards function held in the region. Can you provide a brief history of EMW and what has enabled you to achieve such great success?
In 2003, EMW ME commenced operations in the Middle East taking the UAE as its launching pad to execute it’s global expansion plans set forth by management. EMW ME had doubled year-over-year in terms of staff and revenues. We specialise in end-to-end infrastructure and business enablers, which include various vendor specializations and partnerships that are best of breed across the globe.
We pride ourselves in delivering solutions and expertise with 7×24 365 days a year support. EMW has the agility and the ability to build and customize specific requirements that meet and exceed our customers’ expectations in line with industry standards. We are certified and specialized in several industry leaders: AirWatch, Arista Networks, Aruba Networks, Blue Coat, Brocade, Catavolt, Cisco Systems, Cloudpath, Crittercism, Dell, HP, Interactive Intelligence, Juniper Networks, MobileIron, Microsoft, RSA, Tiger TMS, VMware and Zscaler. Our technical staff constitutes 80% of our work force and is dedicated to performing very challenging and complex projects that require various levels of expertise in this multi vendor environment. EMW ME is constantly introducing proof of concept technologies that differentiates the leaders from the followers.
We are a company with local presence but global reach. EMW ME has completed major projects in every major market segment locally, regionally and globally in Hospitality, Media & Communication, Government, Education, Banking and Finance, Multinational Corporations, Retail and Logistics Sectors. EMW always ensure that customer projects give them the business benefit they require. We start the process very early on with full transparency; our Customers First attitude was and remains our priority. EMW strives to make each and every project a success not only technically but also business wise which is a win-win for everyone.
Last month, EMW ME was awarded the 2014 Reseller ME ‘Systems Integrator of the Year’ Award. We are extremely proud to have won Best Systems Integrator at other regional awards functions for the previous seven years too. In addition to our own awards we have seen many of our customers recognized for projects we have delivered. These customers include Jumeirah Group (several awards), Orbit Showtime Network, University of Sharjah, Petrofac … (just to name a few).
EMW ME has always provided its customers with superior support, which translates to: professional services, improved uptime, increased productivity and investment protection. We keep our customers updated on the latest technology trends along with recommendations of their benefits to improve both bottom and top lines. We provide our customers with web access to track and monitor progress of their support calls with collaborative state of the art call center and help desk system 7x24x365 days nonstop. We also provide closed loop customer survey response (CSR) that constantly measures our performance against our customers’ expectations. This system provides the life support to our post sales activities one customer at a time. We thrive on exceptional customer service that is why our customers stay loyal to us.
In conclusion, we are committed to complying with requirements and providing our customers with exceptional service, and to redefining ourselves continually by setting improved standards for our company, our products, our services, and our business practices. Being privately held gives us the speed to make key decisions. Partnering with global players gives us an unbiased advantage to choose what is best for our customers. Our customer-first attitude is what differentiates us from competitors. We strive to maintain high level of customer satisfaction, build customer and vendor relationships, hire and retain high-caliber qualified staff supporting customer needs to ensure continuity of business-to-business and mission-critical communications.
We see from your recent anniversary video that it is now the 10th year anniversary of EMW in the Middle East – what challenges have you faced in this time?
EMW has been able to maintain a steady growth and our success stories continued throughout the year. During the last twelve months EMW has added significant big name customer wins in the region. All our wins comprised of very complex and highly integrated solutions. As a matter of principle, which has not changed since our inception in this region ten years ago, technologies must pass our stringent in house testing before making them available to customers. Our Past performance is a testament to who we are today.
Financial stability is also very important especially with these market conditions, many great SIs fell down the way side, took too many uncalculated risks, stretched too thin thinking they were invincible where in fact they were not. To maintain success in our cut throat business, an SI must have the means and the agility to adapt and align with right customers/partners that see eye to eye. At EMW we did just that, our shift in strategy in 2011 had paid off mainly because of two factors: Stayed focused on value customers and invested heavily in our staff. Results were phenomenal, business from new customers and competitors shot up 50%, with 30% revenue growth versus the year before.
We start the process very early on with full transparency, our Customers First attitude was and remains our priority. Most of our existing and new clients came to us through personal referrals. People buy from people. Therefore a medium such as this Inside_Networks_ME feature definitely brings exposure to EMW as well as our clients.
EMW represents many leading brands across the globe. Which of these are proving to be the most popular in the region currently?
EMW always kept abreast with the latest technologies and solutions. We are certified and specialized in several industry leaders: AirWatch, Arista Networks, Aruba Networks, Blue Coat, Brocade, Cisco Systems, Cloudpath, Interactive Intelligence, Juniper Networks, VMware and Zscaler. Being consistent driving force of deploying new technologies, with “first-to-market” approach and a leading System Integrator of multi-dimensional technologies.
Keeping up with our standards for introducing new technologies in the region, EMW has recently added three new vendors to our portfolio: Crittercism, Catavolt and VMware. Crittercism Monitors, prioritize, troubleshoots and trends mobile app performance; Catavolt being the Enterprise Application Mobility provider, creates secure enterprise apps that integrate with existing systems. VMware is the industry-leading virtualization software company, empowers organisations to innovate and thrive by streamlining IT operations.
We enhanced our partnerships level with various vendors i.e. we have achieved Juniper Networks Networking, Security and Wireless LAN Elite Certification, Juniper Network Operate Specialist, the first in the region to achieve both these certifications. We have also achieved Cisco System Collaboration Specialisation and Routing & Switching Specialisation which enables us to push niche value add proposition to enterprise customers that customer service focused. These new certifications recognize and honor our technical expertise, agility and ability to deliver solutions that meet and exceed our customers’ expectations in terms of performance, reliability and cost of ownership. EMW Today is the leader in the Cloud, Mobility and Data Centers.
We resurrected the legacy systems of the past decade and transformed them into Cloud Ready, Mobile Ready Architecture with bullet proof Data Centers running real time active applications. We are XaaS ready in voice, data, mobile, applications, we have references today. We’ve built a multivendor platform that is reliable, virtualized, mobile, secure, with best of breed technologies.
Where do you see the market heading in the region and how as a company will EMW aim to continue it’s strong growth?
Mobility and Mobile Applications are becoming massive rapidly. The transition from wireless to smart devices has meant that MEAPs and MDMs are now crucial areas. Applications like Dubai Smart Government has given rise to the fact that people can transact everything via their mobile apps. Nowadays all venders offer some form of cloud services, software defined networking will come no matter what, and there is a decreasing reliance on hardware suppliers, with the move to SDN and virtualization. We see a clear roadmap for which verticals will prove to be goldmines both in UAE and the Middle East as a whole. Regionally we see the hospitality vertical being the most profitable in future.
With Expo 2020 coming up, there will be influx of new developers and the number of available properties in Dubai is expected to double. Following that, education will experience growth, with the average student in the Middle East carrying between 2.7-3 mobile devices. Thirdly, I expect retail to grow, brands are coming into the region and with mall expansions this will create demand.
Our main focus remains our Enterprise Customers, we are whenever they want us to be. Having said that, the Cloud ready solutions we offer have no boundaries and should an opportunity presents itself for feet on the street and if we’re not there, we certainly have partners that can deliver. We’ve had this model since our inception in the ME, over ten years, and it works perfectly. Main caveat is for customers to have one Point Of Contact, us, the rest is a matter of process. Area of Responsibility currently covers: UAE, KSA, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Iraq.
We focus on customer requirements rather than verticals. Having been a niche player we pick and choose our verticals based on a set criteria, first of which, is direct customer interaction. If we do not touch the client direct we will walk away. Our customers are Enterprises and any effort we put in must have long term prospects to work as partners rather than fly by resellers. Client referrals are our best tools to win business, it worked for us in the past and still works today.
List of achievements
– Reseller ME – Systems Integrator on the Year in 2014
– Abu Dhabi University – IT Vendor Award 2014
– Reseller ME – Best Project Management of the Year in 2013
– ICT Achievement Awards – Systems Integrator on the Year in 2012
– Network World Middle East Awards – Systems Integrator on the Year in 2011
– EMW ranked among the top 20 System Integrators in the Middle East region with CNME in 2011
– ICT Achievement Awards – Systems Integrator on the Year in 2010
– Arab Technology Awards – Enterprise Systems Integrator of the Year 2009
– Ranked No.1 System Integrator with ACN for the Middle East in 2008
– Network Middle East – Best Networking Integrator in the Middle East 2008
– Top 10 companies to watch with ACN in 2007
– Network Middle East Innovations Award Best System Integrator 2006
– Avaya Partner Of The Year for Converged Solutions
– Avaya Best IP and Mobility Implementation Award
– Foundry Networks Exceptional Contribution Award
– Juniper Best Partner System Engineer MEA Award
– Trapeze Smart Mobile Best Performing Partner – Middle East Region