China's biggest information and communication technology (ICT) firm Huawei and Drake and Scull International, known as DSI, said on Sunday in a joint statement to the Dubai bourse that they agreed on working together on ICT development projects in the MENA region.
Huawei and DSI said the purpose of the deal was to assist organizations across the Middle East and North African (MENA) region in building up data center technology through a new jointly- created turnkey solution.
The new agreement was formalized by Dong Wu, Vice president of Huawei Enterprise Middle East, and Khaldoun Tabari, the CEO of DSI. Dubai-based DSI is one of the biggest providers in MENA in construction, property maintenance and water and power supply.
According to the filing to the Dubai Financial Market, "the alliance will combine Huawei's expertise in enterprise ICT infrastructure with DSI's operational capabilities in data center development," as well as their regional experience as an integrated engineering service provider.
The integration of Huawei and DSI services would also provide companies with a one-stop turnkey solution to develop large scale data centers across all vertical sectors, the filing added.
"We are living in an era of big data with organizations in the region demanding infrastructure and networks that need to be highly secure, scalable and reliable," said Dong. DSI chief executive Tabari said "Creating a robust and scalable data network requires a high level of precision not just in core IT hardware, but also in the design and deployment of that technology within a set project to offer 24-hour operational service."
Earlier in the week, Dong told Xinhua at the MENA's biggest ICT fair GITEX technology week that a major trend in the region was that firms spend less on expanding hardware, "but they aim to use their ICT resources they have and demand more software-driven solutions like cloud computing or virtual data centers. Public and private firms are much more mature and better informed about ICT." Dong's observation fits into what research group Gartner recently estimated, namely that global spending on data centers will hit 143 billion U.S. dollars in 2013 and 149 billion dollars next year, "a steady growth trend albeit slower than earlier forecasts," said the statement.
Huawei Middle East has offices across 10 countries with over 3, 800 employees, according to its website. The Middle East is one of the fastest growing regions for Huawei with revenue from the Middle East in 2012 totaled 2.083 billion dollars, an 18 percent increase over the previous year.
Earlier in the year, DSI said its backlog accumulated to 11.7 billion dirham or 3.19 billion dollars.
DSI operates in projects located in its home market United Arab Emirates , Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, Algeria, India and Thailand. Listed on the Dubai market, DSI shares gained 50.18 percent in the last 12 months, under-performing the market's benchmark index by 27 percent.