Could you elaborate on Datamount's activities over the past year?
Due to COVID-19 and the fall of oil prices, we were prompted to alter our strategy and approach to the market. We worked on collaborating with national and international companies on providing cloud solutions and related services. In 2020, almost everyone started working or studying remotely, and we partnered with one of biggest video conference companies, Zoom, for the first time in MENA region to introduce its services in Oman with an added value of being hosted locally, which aligns with our vision of providing highly secure services. Furthermore, to equip companies with the one of the best and most secure solutions, we partnered with the Swiss company, Agora, to facilitate a file-sharing system that has access based and customizable features, enhancing the user's experience. In Datamount, we work on finding inclusive solutions for every sector and cater to the needs of every enterprise. We are pleased to say that we have successfully achieved that by introducing OPAL Cloud as a first step. OPAL cloud will serve the oil and gas sector by providing solutions that reduce the total cost of ownership for software, applications, and related services. We also work closely with the military sector and have strong partnerships with the food and beverage sector to provide and manage their services.
What is your opinion of the regulatory changes that can facilitate the growth of the sector?
The launch of the Cloud First Policy initiative by the Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology (MTCIT) in the second quarter of 2021 encourages entities and government companies to divert to cloud solutions. This move will help companies sustain their resources by reducing their CAPEX investments on infrastructure. The shift toward the cloud will enable MTCIT-accredited companies, including Datamount, to leverage data center services in aiding businesses to accelerate by providing efficient and cost-effective services. In terms of regulation and international investors, we, along with other service providers are getting the government's trust by facilitating the investor's requirements for prospect projects in the technology sector in Oman. Finally, to localize the cloud sector and protect personal and related data, we urge the responsible authorities to issue data protection laws.
What changes brought about by the pandemic will be permanent?
We have noticed the shift toward remote working, which introduced the idea of hybrid workspaces, where companies started to integrate agile working. One drawback is that remote workers have higher security threats and are more prone to cyberattacks, when using personal devices that are not compatible with the company's security policy for work related purposes. Therefore, it is important for every organization to have an ideal infrastructure and software solutions to help it become more resilient. In Datamount, we offer software such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) that create the backbone of the establishment.
What are your main growth priorities over the next 12 months?
We work on attracting young talent to train and work in Datamount; thus far, 80% of our employees are youth. It is important for us to have a safe and diverse environment to incubate their energy, drive and guide them. We are expanding in Muscat by building a neutral data center with a capacity of more than 750 racks to keep up with the high demand in the market. We are also scaling up by partnering with multinational companies and growing our product services portfolio to serve the health and fintech sectors.