HP, Cisco and Motorola reinforce Egyptian outsourcing
Egypt continues to prove its appeal as a leading outsourcing destination, with substantial commitments from multinationals pledging continued support as the country moves forward.
Hewlett-Packard (HP), the world's largest technology company, and Egypt's Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide world-class training to Egyptian hardware companies and increase their competitive advantages.
The MoU aims to assist Egyptian companies in training to help grow their businesses, import key skills to employees and increase their footprint in local and regional markets.
"This MoU is a clear testament to our commitment to support all segments of the IT industry in Egypt,” Yasser Elkady, ITIDA CEO, said “While our endeavors in positioning Egypt as one of the key outsourcing destinations have yielded significant results, we are keen on extending all the necessary support to the Egyptian hardware companies and we are positive that this training, along with other initiatives will have considerable impact."
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The MoU signed between ITIDA and HP was accompanied by news of a major new investment from Cisco. Cisco has announced that it will invest $10 million to seed a sustainable model of job creation and economic development in Egypt. The venture capital investment targets high-potential small businesses that provide innovative products and services.
"We believe there is tremendous growth potential in Egypt's ICT sector and are committed to supporting Egypt's - as well as MENA's - long-term goals,” John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco, said. “It is therefore appropriate for Cisco to make this investment into the Egyptian economy and its people."
A further development was the announcement by Motorola Solutions Inc. to open a key office for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in Cairo, Egypt. Strategic expansion in Egypt will help Motorola deliver its leading mission-critical communication products and services directly to Egyptian customers but also to many other customers outside of the country as the Cairo base of operations becomes established as the newest Regional Engineering Centre.
Overall, Egypt remains a major IT destination, with many multinationals including Google, IBM and Valeo having established a significant presence in Egypt over the last year.
Edited by Kevin Scarpati
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.