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Saudi Arabia 2016 | TELECOMS & IT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Wael Ali AlGhamdi, CEO of MachinesTalk, on connectivity, the Internet of Things, and Vision 2030.

Wael Ali AlGhamdi
BIOGRAPHY
Wael Ali AlGhamdi has a widespread knowledge and influential experience with ICT. As a CEO of MachinesTalk, he is innovating cutting-edge IoT solutions and products that support transportation, government agencies, oil and gas companies, retail, and supply-chain industries in their daily operations. Before MachineTalk, AlGhamdi was a senior executive officer of the Business Unit Strategic Planning and Marketing in Mobily, in which he led the transformation of the company into a key ICT player in the Kingdom. Prior to that, AlGhamdi led the commercial launch of Mobily’s high speed internet and IPTV services for consumers.

What are the reasons behind the establishment of MachinesTalk and what elements make it different from other companies today?

As M2M moves closer to the Internet of Things (IoT), the associated business opportunities, which initially focused on cost and operational performance, have now broadened in scope to encompass five areas: optimizing operational costs, generating new revenue streams, enhancing the customer experience, improving operational performance, and ultimately delivering a differentiated service and competitive advantage for the business. Moreover, what emerges as unique to the IoT as compared to M2M is that IoT applications address both core industry operations and services (vertical) and cross-functional business support objectives (horizontal) in an enterprise. Therefore, we established MachinesTalk in 2015, a Saudi based subsidiary company of NOMD group, to cover this wider concept and scope of IoT, as the first specialized in cutting edge-IoT solutions.

What other types of companies or industries could benefit from this technology?

In the IoT era, there are endless applications to any industries. We can highlight the top five IoT verticals: connected car, connected healthcare, connected industry, connected cities, and connected home. In MachinesTalk, we are more focused on: connected cars, connected industry and connected buildings, part of connected cities, for three reasons: first, from our experience, these three sectors could cover most of the enterprise's IoT needs in our region. Second, according to market analysis, they are the more dominant sectors in term of technology adaptation. Third, according to Saudi Energy Efficiency Program, these sectors represent 90% of energy consumption in the region.

What is your view on the new trend to transform Saudi Arabia into a smart society and how can MachinesTalk contribute?

Saudi Arabia's vision 2030 draws the future of Saudi Arabia in transforming our country to a smart society and leverage new technologies to meet our people's expectation. MachinesTalk participated in the IoTX conference held in Dubai in March, 2016. We gave a presentation about IoT readiness in Saudi Arabia and the way to contribute to our 2030 vision. The heart of the government's transformation program is focused on two things: efficiency in government spending and operations and increasing productivity by adopting new technologies. One of the main pillars of the transformation plan is the private sector, and IT is exactly what the private sector needs to transform in Saudi Arabia to achieve the government's goals of increased efficiency and productivity. MachinesTalk contributes in smart cities though our BuildingsTalk platform. This platform helps landlords to transform their buildings into environmentally friendly places and improve the security and power consumption.

How will the country develop in the medium term?

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, announced recently Saudi Arabia's vision 2030. We, Saudi citizens, believe in this vision and look forward to executing it. However, the 2/4/6 plan to realize Saudi Arabia's full potential by 2030 is not an easy thing to achieve—doubling GDP, investing $4 trillion into the non-oil economy, and finding jobs for six million additional Saudi nationals is not going to be easy. We, in MachinesTalk, believe that IoT technology is one of the best technologies that shall assist our country in executing Vision 2030. Saudi people are good at adapting new technologies, and we enjoy using them.

What specific goals do you have for 2016?

We want to introduce new products to the market that no other company in Saudi Arabia has. In 1Q2016, at the IoTx Conference in Dubai, we officially launched our three platforms, CarsTalk, BuildingsTalk, and IndustriesTalk. We are set to sign with multiple partners interested in our platforms. Together, we want to establish a unified go-to market plan and serve the market. Also, we are working with local collages to sponsor IoT projects as part of our effort to spread the IoT technologies and concept in Saudi Arabia.