Marcopolis presents the Saudi Arabia Report focused on the investments, doing business, economy and other topics featuring interviews with key executives. The sectors under review in this issue are industry, real-estate, ICT, investments, banking sector, telecom sector and many more.
Founded in Saudi Arabia at the dawn of the mass adoption of the Internet in 1998 as a humble corporate ISP NourNet decided early on and in its own words to take, “the road less travelled.” Espousing a simple mission statement, “Empowering enterprises with end-to-end communication services that are world-class and competitive” with a clear-eyed focus to always leverage cutting-edge technologies to offer their customers the latest and best converged network services.
Encompassing networks, application infrastructure, collaboration and security. The bedrock of NourNet’s corporate philosophy is predicated on the several key pillars on which they have built their business: Gaining customer trust, a recognition that corporate connectivity is never just about circuits, but an intimate understanding of how their customers put their networks and infrastructure to use, focusing on how customers conduct their business, and an ability to look at industry peers as partners.
As NourNet’s CEO Amjad Hafez described, “Agility is one of the keys to maintaining a foothold in the sector, I see challenges coming globally, providers are actively working on addressing local market requirements and global companies are expanding into our markets as part of their international plans, so ultimately it’s becoming a global game, for NourNet’s part we are working on things that are localised for this market to fit into global providers’ plans, because we do not want to be in a situation where we are competing against the likes of Google, Microsoft or Oracle.”
Products and Services
NourNet’s offering currently comprises 6 key product & service elements:
A network that connects: Primarily providing an enterprise network that is fast, reliable and secure. Across an aggregated and Kingdom-wide IP network via both an MPlS network platform. Built on the cutting-edge technologies and providing a single platform designed to connect across all enterprise locations within KSA. Secondly via a managed Internet, allowing clients to distribute premium clean-pipe Internet to multiple locations with built in enterprise security and compliance policies integrated into their cloud. The key advantages of NourNet’s network being numerous: 1) Last mile media 2) Carrier diversity 3) A strong footprint with Kingdom-wide availability 4) QoS support with traffic prioritization 5) 24/7 NOC monitoring all clients links around-the-clock with proactive action and alerting 6) Strong service-level agreements tailored to specific client requirements.
Infrastructure for your applications: NourNet offers a resilient and reliable infrastructure from their tier-3 data centers within KSA. That is both scalable to support clients’ growth needs, whilst remaining flexible enough to provide the best price/performance ratio in the Kingdom. Offering both colocation and cloud computing. Served by 4 separate Telco’s, with multi-level network & infrastructure security, optimized power consumption and with 24/7 monitoring. Whilst the advanced architecture cloud configuration offers multiple-hosting options either via secured private cloud in Nournet’s data centres, on-site or even in a hybrid environment.
Managed IT services: Designed to foster efficiency optimized approach by outsourcing operational IT tasks and focusing on strategic IT initiatives. NourNet offer enterprise class resources designed to help businesses manage & monitor their clients’ entire IT infrastructure 24/7. All helping to eliminate or alleviate; daily fire fighting, interoperability issues between multiple suppliers, minimized infrastructure risks, and to remove any unforeseen unpredictability from IT spending.
United collaboration: Given that the manner in which businesses now work, with workflow becoming ever more collaborative and with knowledge workers increasingly embracing a mobile lifestyle, NourNet offer a carefully designed collaboration portfolio. Enabling planned and ad-hoc video & voice communication from any network or Internet connected device, the suite of collaborative services encompassing: e-mail, audio/video conferencing, web conferencing and visual collaboration. All of which are delivered in a one-pack solution including: equipment, collaboration, connectivity and managed services.
Enterprise security: With enterprise workers no longer confined to a physical location, todays’ enterprises operate from wherever their personnel can access cloud-based applications. Thus airports, coffee shops, restaurants and private homes have all become workspaces and given that employees also increasingly access corporate networks using their own devices to access corporate data. These combined factors have made enterprise security extremely challenging. So whilst security appliances protect applications, mobile-use of these applications have become more vulnerable than the applications themselves. Resulting in the need to add an enterprise grade security layer to the Internet its self precisely what NourNet cloud security does.
Turnkey IT projects: With most IT customers suffering from vendor lock-in and resulting in vendors pushing their technologies irrespective as to whether they are fit-for-purpose. NourNet aims to address that mal-practice by leveraging their diverse skill-set ad end-to-end solution approach designing a turnkey IT services portfolio to best-fit client technology and budgetary requirements.
As the Kingdom grows, it’s IT businesses see opportunities to play a role at the vanguard of its expansion, with companies like NourNet hoping to leverage their location to adapt global-services and local expertise to the Arab context. To create an IT hub in Saudi Arabia servicing the 300 million people in the region. “From my view, the technology market is passing through a huge service redefinition exercise, hardware companies are expanding into software industries, software companies are shifting their business model into services, and so everyone is reshaping. The telecoms companies are trying to become ICT players, and the ICT players are trying to become cloud and solution providers. It is a very interesting time before the market, matures and shapes its direction, both locally & globally.” Amjad Hafez told us.
With the latest wave of technological advances, sometimes called the “third-platform” being released at the same time as Saudi Arabia’s government has started investing billions of riyals in expanding & updating the Kingdom’s technological infrastructure. This would suggest that there are multiple opportunities or new solutions, many of them cloud-based, to help ameliorate the countries development. However the countries ICT space is competitive and hotly contested, with companies like NourNet up against large regional players and global technology giants – for now the local sector’s champions like Amjad Hafez the challenge will be to ensure that the company makes the most of the opportunities that ICT offers, as Amjad Hafez stressed, “We are working very hard on localization and are injecting this policy into our companies DNA.”