SMART SOLUTIONS

Abu Dhabi 2019 | TELECOMS & IT | B2B

From blockchain remittance payments to highly advanced waste management services, smart solutions are on the rise across the board with public support and private initiative.

SHAIK HAMDAN
CEO
NEXT IT Systems
RAMI ABU HAYAH
CEO
CATEC

What kind of solutions do you provide?

SHAIK HAMDAN At the moment, we are working on a project with the Department of Economic Development for its asset management system, since the previous one took up a large part of its time. Now, it can track its assets online. We recently completed several projects to remove the paper-based system and conserve all the data that was initially collected. However, our focus is currently on blockchain-based technology with one of the leading blockchain companies. We have done several proof of concepts (POCs) in this market, as our approach is to conduct a POC and then allow it to be realized as a business. In the UAE, we provide blockchain solutions to companies through Qlikchain, our partner with its office in Masdar City. From a blockchain perspective, only recently did the Abu Dhabi Municipality take an actual interest in having a POC for blockchain projects, although we started talking to them a year ago. However, since then there has been a desire to act quickly.

RAMI ABU HAYAH Since day one, we have focused on providing business and IT solutions to the government. In the early 2000s, the government began a series of support programs for technology and was supportive of switching businesses from manual to electric procedures and processes. We also started working on a PPP with the government in the realm of waste management. Moreover, we have been providing IT solutions, manpower, and educational procedures to businesses on how to reduce waste at the source, in addition to building comprehensive databases. This allowed us to spend the past seven years building a solution to capture the necessary information about waste production. Through the internet of things (IoT) and GPS tracking solutions, we thus monitor behavior to enforce charges per amount of waste produced.

How open is the UAE to new solutions?

SH In the UAE, people are allowed to buy and sell cryptocurrency, so there is a huge opportunity in the segment of remittances if you look at the number of migrant workers sending money home. As things stand, banks and a blockchain company specialized in financial services called Ripple are working with us to send money as tokens at a low cost to a small village in India. All the banks in the UAE have done the testing and are looking to implement it. This will put us in competition with money exchange companies that work on thin margins. As for public blockchain, UAE government entities are still unsure about it, as they want to have the data on the premises, which means private blockchain remains the only option for now. Our partner Qlikchain, is in talks with the ADGM on regulations for properly regulated initial coin offerings (ICO), since there have been none thus far coming from this region.

RAH The environment is still in the early stages, and there is a shortage in IT solutions systems and technology that addresses important challenges. This means there is a wide margin for improvement and growth in terms of providing a solution that requires producers to be responsible for their waste production. This is especially true for large companies, where there is a huge gap. There is great potential for an integrated management system that addresses the entire process in a single set of systems. We need solutions that address the entire cycle. Thus far, we have helped the Abu Dhabi government reduce its waste management contract fees by 40%. This is the kind of savings that can be developed through these technologies, and we seek to implement the same practices elsewhere in the GCC. Abu Dhabi is the first and only city engaged in such waste management solutions in the entire region. From a business perspective, we realized that 70% of the waste was coming from the top 2% of the most profitable companies, so we changed our implementation plan and decided to focus on this 2%.