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Cisco sees opportunity for greater innovation in region

Technology major opens its 11th global innovation centre in Dubai with an investment exceeding $10m

Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News
Shaikh Ahmad and Chuck Robbins, CEO Cisco, listen to a presentation during the official inauguration of the Cisco Innovation and Experience Centre in Knowledge Village, Dubai on Tuesday.
Gulf News

Dubai: Artificial Intelligence (AI) will make it easier to bring in more security and efficiency to the global business environment, Cisco’s chief executive officer told Gulf News.

“We have new set of services that aims to predict potential troubles in a company’s IT department, mitigate risks, reduce maintenance costs and assist organisations in keeping necessary skills to keep digital transformation running,” Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco, said after the company opened its first innovation centre in the region with an investment of more than $10 million (Dh36.73 million). The centre is its eleventh globally.

The 9,000 square foot centre was inaugurated by Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, and chief executive officer and chairman of Emirates airline and Group.

“We are keen on cultivating a culture of excellence, innovation, and creativity in our bid to firmly establish Dubai among the most innovative cities in the world,” said Shaikh Ahmad.

The innovation centre is a first of its kind worldwide as it combines innovation capability with a customer experience showcase to bring digitisation to life for Cisco’s customers and partners.

Today’s world is moving faster than ever, and to be successful, businesses must have the right blend of IT talent and services, he said.

“The networks are learning AI and we are building AI into our networks to detect threats. Our technology brings all the information together to bring capability. We see 20 billion threats every day. By leveraging AI and machine learning to address critical IT issues, we truly help our customers free up time to focus on the growing IT talent gap and remain competitive into the future,” he said.

He added that the UAE and the region believe in technology to be a part of everything they do.

“We see opportunity in this region for greater innovation than in other parts of the world. The focus on delivering digital services to its citizens is happening at a level where we cannot see in other parts of the world,” he said.

Cisco’s Innovation Centres serve as hubs for open innovation, bringing together communities of customers, partners, start-ups, accelerators, governments, universities and research communities to foster the exploration and development of new technologies.

“In today’s highly dynamic, fast-moving world, we must accelerate our pace of innovation like never before. We work with industries, academia and governments. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are part of country digital acceleration [CDA] strategies,” he said.

David Meads, vice-president for Middle East and Africa, said that innovation and the transition to digital are high priorities for governments across the region.

He said the centre will be opened to start-ups and SMEs in the next 12-18 months.

“The other centres around the world are based on themes such as manufacturing or transportation but the Dubai one is quite different as it serves 24 verticals,” he said.