HARNESSING POTENTIAL

Lebanon 2018 | TELECOMS & IT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Antoine Hraoui, Chairman & CEO of Everteam Global Services, on the company's efforts to strengthen its position in the sector, its key differentiators, and future objectives.

Antoine Hraoui
BIOGRAPHY
Antoine Hraoui started his career in large multinationals in the US and France before co-founding, successfully developing, and selling IT start-ups. He subsequently invested in Everteam, a French IT SME, developing it to one of the leading European IT groups. He holds a master’s degree in computer information systems.

What further ICT infrastructure developments should be made to boost the sector's impact on the economy?

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) produces the e-Government Development Index (EGDI) that measures three primary indicators: digital services offered by governments, the telecommunication infrastructure, and human capital. If these three indicators are considered, the ICT sector can be responsible for the boost in economy. The ICT sector is the largest employer compared to other sectors. We are constantly on the lookout for ICT graduates and need more interest from potential students in the ICT sector. Lebanon also needs better and more affordable digital infrastructure. We also need a national digital transformation strategy aimed at shifting e-government services to the cloud that will enable the emergence of new ICT sectors such as micro services and an apps industry.

Which of the services offered by Everteam in Lebanon are currently most in demand?

Lebanon's positioning in terms of the digital transformation is typically irregular, unstructured, and cautious. Lebanon has in fact still not adopted a clear digital transformation plan. Since the country is still in need of a digital foundation, we have been focusing on the back office automation of e-government over the past years. We have been transforming back office operations through government resource planning initiatives by content-enabling back office business applications such as human resources, payroll, budgeting, stock, inventory, and others, and by digitally transforming internal processes through the automation of various types of requests coming from various sources, in various formats.

How do you see these services evolving in 2018?

As the technological revolution advances, Everteam provides a new micro service architecture that includes a modernized application layer to build content-centric applications. The company is also taking a giant step towards the future by focusing more on business- and citizen-centric solutions. As a matter of fact, we will strengthen our positioning in big data and analytics and focus on integrating this modern technology more with IoT software and services. Our customers will also be able to see more of our AI-backed biometric solutions, which are witnessing rapid transformation through facial recognition, speech to text, and chatbot technologies. We will also leverage the power of deep learning augmenting the abilities of bots. In addition, we plan to port our IoT enabled solutions on top of a robust blockchain platform.

What distinguishes Everteam from its competition when delivering client confidence?

Everteam brings a broad set of platform level capabilities across content and process services coupled with big data, analytics, and the cloud. Over the years, Everteam has sustained a positioning strategy in the industry that incorporates superior service quality, innovative solutions, and proximity. We deliver advanced and high-market platforms and provide our customers with the ability to develop and customize processes that match their goals, through an open architecture. We incorporate our product and technology experts within our team members locally in Lebanon. Our sales, software, product, R&D, and quality assurance engineers are involved in the entire project lifecycle, helping organizations to drive their call for digital transformation.

What are Everteam's main objectives for 2018?

Everteam's plan to sustain in the future is divided into several areas. The first is a technological expansion: we will continue to invest in technology areas, as what is new today can be outdated tomorrow. The second is a geographical and structural expansion. We are in the process of hiring around 100 engineers in Lebanon and are looking at an international expansion to Central Asia and Africa. The company's executive committee has also put in place an aggressive expansion strategy. In the past decade, Everteam has made several acquisitions around the world, allowing the group to expand its operations to the US and Asia; with this, Everteam will be able to enter new markets, mainly the SME market, and propose new solutions. Today the company also looks to acquire businesses in the financial sector. Our mission is to help organizations all over the world reduce costs, minimize risks, and ensure compliance with norms and regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and cybersecurity.