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SAUDI ARABIA - Telecoms & IT

Essam Alshiha

President & CEO, Saudi Business Machines (SBM)

Bio

Essam AlShiha is the Chief Executive Officer of SBM. Since joining SBM in 2002, he held various positions including Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Sales. A strategic and visionary leader, Essam leads the SBM business and sets the direction in all its activities. He displays exemplary leadership skills and is a well-known personality in the region’s IT and business circles.

"TECHXAGON symbolizes a strategic achievement for SBM, exemplifying our focus on innovation, research, and development."
TBY talks to Essam Alshiha, President & CEO of Saudi Business Machines (SBM), about digital transformation, innovation, and objectives for the coming year.
SBM recently announced the official launch of the Digital Transformation, Research, and Information Technology Development Center, TECHXAGON. Can you elaborate on this milestone?

TECHXAGON symbolizes a strategic achievement for SBM, exemplifying our focus on innovation, research, and development. Our Technology Hub is poised to set a precedent in the Kingdom as a pioneering innovation, research and development center, adhering to national standards while maintaining alignment with global technological trends. The state-of-the-art TECHXAGON facility is situated in SBM’s HQ in Riyadh’s Digital City, built to the highest international standards in information technology. It includes a Cloud Data Center, Cyber Security Operations Center, Network Operations Center, Emerging Technologies Center, Innovation Center, and R&D Center, all featuring a wealth of advanced technical facilities that showcase the latest developments in the field. Furthermore, TECHXAGON empowers local talent, fosters technology localization, and supports the development of world-class Saudi technology solutions, boosting global competitiveness in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. TECHXAGON reflects the digital transformation journey of SBM between the past, present, and future. It’s about delivering a strong message: “SBM is ready for the future.” TECHXAGON symbolizes a strategic achievement for SBM, exemplifying our focus on AI, innovation, research, and development. AI is the name of the game now. Moreover, the main purpose of our innovation and R&D is to leverage AI to create tailored products and solutions that enable our clients to reach new heights. This is the added value of SBM. Our Technology Hub has achieved numerous international and local certifications in data center capability, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and interior design, illustrating SBM’s commitment to global best practices in technology.

In an era of digital transformation, how does SBM leverage emerging technologies to drive innovation and deliver value to its clients?

As a leading player in the Saudi IT market for the past 40+ years and with TECHXAGON, our hub of emerging technology, innovation and R&D, we are perfectly positioned to support and guide our clients in their digital transformation. Furthermore, through our wide partnerships with leading international technology companies, multiple in-house solutions have been developed and more are in the pipeline, adding value to our digital services to meet our clients’ ambitious requirements. Our plan is to grow in this offering.

Your client base includes hundreds of customers from all over the Kingdom from various fields such as oil and gas, finance, banking, petrochemicals, and public entities. What specific segments have been driving the growth of the company over recent years?

As a diversified Systems Integrator, our growth is spread across our customer base. We serve all sectors in the Kingdom and our revenues are linked with overall spending in both the private and the government sectors. We are seeing growth in every sector. However, our strategy is to be selective – only doing business where we can add substantial value for our clients and make a transformative difference.

What are your main objectives for the coming year?

Our everlasting priority is our clients’ success. We are very dynamic and agile by continuously adapting our organizational structure to proactively map and capture the industry trends, positioning ourselves as the leaders in offering the latest innovative technology solutions to our clients. We aim to fulfill our contracts and commitments with the best possible service, always exceeding our clients’ expectations. We also want to make a sustained social impact by empowering local human capital and upskilling them for the future. This is the purpose of SBM Academy. We are actively and continuously upgrading its capabilities to ensure we can meet the demand for high-skilled tech talent.

 

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