Technology – Daily News Egypt https://dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:08:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Infinix tops sales of smartphone market in H1 2017 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/19/infinix-tops-sales-smartphone-market-h1-2017/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/19/infinix-tops-sales-smartphone-market-h1-2017/#respond Wed, 19 Jul 2017 07:30:23 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=631848 The company accounts for 15% of the mobile market, according to GFK

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Infinix, a premium smartphone brand from Transsion Holdings, managed to hold the first place in terms of sales of smartphones over the Internet. Infinix managed to do so through the promotion of its products across the various electronic trading platforms.

In addition to that, the company ranked third in terms of market share in sales of smartphones, where the share of sales in the first half (H1) of 2017 reached 15%, according to the latest statistics and studies on the Egyptian market that were conducted by GfK research and marketing. The research also included a list of the most important brands (Xiaomi, Huawei, Oppo, Lenovo, and Samsung).

In line with its strategy, Infinix aims to double the volume of investments in Africa focusing more on research and investments. Infinix invests 3-5% of its global research and development budget, especially with regards to customer needs and requirements to develop products that suits their purchasing preferences.

Meanwhile, the strong presence of Infinix in African and Middle Eastern markets has played a strong role in establishing its brand globally. Infinix will soon enter the Indian market through its strategic marketing and advanced studies of customer needs.

Nevertheless, an official at the company said in a special statement to Daily News Egypt that Infinix increased the number of customer service centres—which the company aims to 10 by the end of 2017—to cover all parts of the republic and to reach all its customers across all governorates.

The prevalence of Infinix products is found in various governorates with different percentages. For instance, 50% are in Cairo and its suburbs, 25% are in Delta governorates, 15% are in Alexandria, and 10% are in Upper Egypt, according to the company’s official.

He also added that the company is keen to invest in human resources, stating that the human factor is the secret of the success and growth of Infinix in various markets. The investment in developing the skills of the company’s employees has a strong influence on the company instead of relying on foreign experts.

Founded in 2013 as a subsidiary of China’s Transsion Holdings, Infinix aims to provide smartphones for all user segments. Infinix is a strong brand in Morocco, Nigeria, Kenya, Indonesia, and the Philippines. In addition, it is planning to launch its business in India by offering its latest products.

The company recently launched its smart phone Infinix S2, the first phone with dual front cameras with resolutions of 8 and 13 megapixels. The Egyptian market will soon witness the strong launch of Note 4 and Note 4 Pro.

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Arpu Plus to provide 3 banks, private universities with mobile messaging services https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/19/arpu-plus-provide-3-banks-private-universities-mobile-messaging-services/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/19/arpu-plus-provide-3-banks-private-universities-mobile-messaging-services/#respond Wed, 19 Jul 2017 07:00:33 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=631838 We expect 10% compound growth over the coming 3 years, says Nessim

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Arpu Plus is negotiating with three banks to provide them with mobile messaging services. The company is also in talks with a number of private universities to offer its services. In an interview with Daily News Egypt, Sherif Nessim, the messaging director of the company, said that the company expects a growth in text services by 10% per year over the coming three years.

Nessim noted that some reports expect the size of the A2P activity to reach $50bn by 2020.

 

What are A2P services?

A2P means Application to Person. The messages sent from mobile phones are two kinds: the P2P and A2P. The second one is sent from apps to a person or a group of people as a feedback after using services. The examples of this include the texts received by clients after using the services of banks, or the messages received by clients from Facebook and other social media platforms.

Our services in this area are distinguished by our ability to serve across the Middle East. This helps our corporate clients, as instead of contracting with a different provider in each country, we operate across these countries.

A2P services are two parts: feedback after conducting a transaction, and advertisement.

According to some specialised reports, text messaging is the fastest way to reach the client where the client opens the message during a period of between 45 and 90 seconds, unlike emails—which clients could even ignore. Moreover, if the text comes from a known brand, the client then feels the attention of that brand.

Also, customers only open 14% of the emails they receive, unlike texts, where customers open up to 95% of.

The database is the capital of your work. How do you obtain it?

Databases have laws that regulate them, especially if they are for advertising purposes. Advertising messages can only be sent to the customer of the same companies. Some mobile operators allow their customers access to these services without giving us the database. For example, they agree with a company to send advertisement messages to a number of people limited to a category group, such as location, age, gender, or value of bills. Both parties also agree on a specific number of messages for a cost. The operator then sends the messages itself, without giving other companies the database.

What are your competitive advantages?

We have the ability to provide services in any country in the Middle East as a result of strong relationships and previous experience with the majority of mobile service providers in the region. Therefore, we have the ability to contract with companies that provide services at the regional level.

We also have a previous experience in this field. We have been offering our services since 2003. We have market power and technology. Our messages reach clients in a maximum of 10 seconds.

 

In how many countries do you currently offer your services?

We currently offer our services in 20 countries in the Middle East, in cooperation with over 40 mobile service providers, including Telecel, Omantel, Viva, Asiacell, STC, MTN, Etisalat, Mobily, Zain, Orange, Vodafone, Wind, Du, and Djezzy in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Sudan, Algeria, Morocco, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Jordan, Tunisia, Italy, and Zimbabwe.

 

What growth opportunities do you see in the Arab region in A2P services?

In the Arab region, there is considerable growth in the A2P part related to transactions, due to the non-proliferation of technology and the presence of a large number of entities and institutions. Besides, banks in the Arab region are still not very reliant on technology, which allows the spread of text messaging services, unlike Europe, for example, where all banks are working with technology.

 

The expected growth in the Arab region is higher, thanks to the great growth of social networking applications in the Arab region, which use these services to verify the user’s identity. In addition, there is a growth in the use of Internet and smartphones.

 

We expect the market to show compound growth during the coming period by 10%. Some reports even expect the size of the activity of A2P worldwide to $50bn by 2020, in which, the Arab region will account for a share between 8 and 9%.

 

What is the largest market in the region in the A2P services?

 

Egypt is a large market in the Middle East region due to the presence of approximately 100 million clients. Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Morocco, too, are prosperous markets. These countries are currently experiencing rapid growth, but Saudi Arabia is the most likely market for growth in the coming period.

 

Which is the most prominent sector that sees opportunities for growth in A2P services?

The financial sector—especially banks—believe that they have great opportunities to rely on the services of A2P services, along with insurance, financial transactions, and stock exchange companies. We are negotiating with three banks, including a major one. There are other sectors, including marketing and education. This is the reason why we are now in talks with several private universities.

 

In the section of advertising messages, many users complain about receiving ads without their consent. What should they do in this case?

 

In this case, the customer must organise this with the service provider. The market in the Arab region is generally unorganised in this part, unlike in Europe. For example, there is a clause in the contract that provides the customer’s consent to receive advertisements. Therefore, the market in the region still needs more regulation.

 

The country is going through the recent period of difficult economic conditions, which caused the reduction of advertising spending. Does this affect you?

 

Ad spending has already declined over the past period due to the pressure of economic conditions, but advertising spending has decreased for traditional means such as television ads, newspapers, and other traditional means, while a large part of their advertising budget was directed to digital means, such as the A2P, considering their effectiveness. Through this service, the brand can specify who receives the ad, their age, and their location, making it easier to target specific users at a cheaper rate.

The SMS advertising services saw an annual increase in traffic by 40%. After companies used to dedicate 10% only, this figure is now 50%.

 

What are the most prominent growth opportunities you see in the market during the coming period?

For A2P services, we provide integrated services. We have good experience in this sector, and, therefore, we believe this sector is a good candidate for growth. We expect that this will have a reflection on us and our services. In addition, the spread of the Internet and mobile phones will contribute greatly in the growth of such services.

 

What are the most prominent features of your plans during the coming period?

We are putting communication solution services on top of our priorities in the coming period, such as A2P, IVR, and SMS. Other important services are P2P services. These services are provided directly by us to clients, instead of relying on mobile operators, such as Shofha service, which enable clients to watch summaries of series for a fee.

Also we have the Muzic Up, which enables users to upload their musical clips then make them available for the company’s clients to use them as a call tone. We will also focus on another product called Connekio, which is a premium connectivity gateway in the MENA region. It is one of the very few aggregators that provides Bulk A2P messaging as well as other 2 way short codes connectivity, filtering, and fraud management systems.

What markets do you intend to expand?

We aim to expand the African market significantly, especially as it is a promising with a geat opportunity for growth, because it is still early in the information technology sector. We are currently working in Zimbabwe over the past three years, but we hope to boaster expansion there in the countries of Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Nigeria. We plan to expand in developing countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka.

 

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Ineffective cybersecurity costs industrial firms $497,000 annually  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/12/ineffective-cybersecurity-costs-industrial-firms-497000-annually/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/12/ineffective-cybersecurity-costs-industrial-firms-497000-annually/#respond Wed, 12 Jul 2017 08:30:18 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=631149 Although the majority of industrial organisations believe they are well-prepared for cybersecurity incidents, this confidence may be not well-founded. Every second, ICS companies experienced between one and five incidents last year, according to a survey conducted by Kaspersky Lab. On average, ineffective cybersecurity costs industrial organisations up to $497,000 per year. The emerging industry 4.0 …

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Although the majority of industrial organisations believe they are well-prepared for cybersecurity incidents, this confidence may be not well-founded. Every second, ICS companies experienced between one and five incidents last year, according to a survey conducted by Kaspersky Lab. On average, ineffective cybersecurity costs industrial organisations up to $497,000 per year.

The emerging industry 4.0 trend is making cybersecurity a top priority for industrial organizations globally, adding new challenges to dealing with ICS. Challenges include the convergence of IT and operational technology (OT), and the availability of industrial control networks to external providers. To get more insight into the problems and opportunities faced by ICS organisations today, Kaspersky Lab and Business Advantage have conducted a global survey of 359 industrial cybersecurity practitioners from February–April 2017. One of the survey’s main findings is a gap between the reality and perception of ICS incidents. For example, despite 83% of respondents believing they are well-prepared to face an OT/ICS cybersecurity incident, half of companies surveyed experienced between one and five IT security incidents in the past 12 months, and 4% experienced more than six. This raises an important question—what should be changed in these organisations’ IT security strategies and protection means, so that they can protect their critical business data and technology processes more efficiently?

ICS companies are well aware of the risks they’re facing. 74% of respondents believe there may be a cybersecurity attack on their infrastructure. Despite high awareness about new threats such as targeted attacks and ransomware, the biggest pain point for the majority of ICS organisations is still conventional malware, which tops the list of incident experience concerns, with 56% of respondents considering it to be the most concerning vector. In this case, perception meets reality; every second respondent had to mitigate the consequences of conventional malware last year.

But there is also a mismatch surrounding employee errors and unintentional actions, which are far more threatening to ICS organisations than actors from the supply chain and partners, as well as sabotage and physical damage by external actors. Meanwhile, the top three incident experience consequences include damage to the product and service quality, loss of proprietary or confidential information, and reduction or loss of production at one site.

86% of organisations surveyed have got an approved and documented ICS cybersecurity policy aimed to safeguard them from potential incidents. However, incident experience proves that a cybersecurity policy alone is not enough.

Struggling with a lack of both internal and external IT security expertise, industrial organizations admit that a lack of skills is the utmost concern when it comes to ICS security. This is extremely worrisome, as it indicates that industrial organizations are not always ready to fight attacks, while they are constantly at the edge of being compromised—sometimes by their own employees.

On the positive side, the security strategies adopted by ICS practitioners look quite solid. The majority of companies have already given up on using air gap as a security measure, and instead are adopting comprehensive cybersecurity solutions.

“They [companies] need a solid understanding of the threat landscape, well-considered protection means, and they need to ensure employee awareness,” said Andrey Suvorov, head of Critical Infrastructure Protection at Kaspersky Lab. “With cyber threats on the ICS shop floor, it is better to be prepared. Security incident mitigation will be much easier for those who have leveraged the benefits of a tailored security solution built with ICS needs in mind.”

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Samsung manufactures its most recent QLED TV in Beni Suef https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/12/samsung-manufactures-recent-qled-tv-beni-suef/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/12/samsung-manufactures-recent-qled-tv-beni-suef/#comments Wed, 12 Jul 2017 08:00:15 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=631144 The company plans to manufacture another household gadget over upcoming months

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Samsung Electronics Egypt has started to manufacture its most recent TV, QLED, locally in its factory in Beni Suef until the size of 75 inches. According to Sherif Barakat, the vice chairperson of the company, the mother company sees the reforms currently implemented by the state as positive and paving the way for an economic recovery.

Samsung plans to manufacture one of its household gadgets locally in cooperation with an Egyptian partner. Barakat added that the company’s factory in Beni Suef exports its products—nearly 2.8 million devices—to more than 36 countries in the MENA region.

What are the most prominent developments of Samsung?

The factory is taking steady steps and is one of the most prominent five factories of Samsung’s across the world out of a total of 14 television factories affiliated to Samsung. Recently, we were able to manufacture and launch screens of the size of 75 inches with the most developed technology of QLED in Samsung’s factory in Beni Suef. The QLED screens are the evolution of the LED technology.

Currently, we are expanding our manufacturing of screens, to the extent that several contracts were signed with other companies in order to supply them with these modern technology screens.

What are the results of the factory’s exports so far?

The factory exports its products to more than 36 countries in the MENA region, and our factory in Beni Suef is considered one of the most important five factories owned by the mother company across the world thanks to the modern technology used in it.

We export 80-85% of the Beni Suef factory’s production of screens, nearing 2.8 million. The factory’s production capacity is 6 million devices annually, subject to doubling. The value of Samsung’s factory’s exports in 2015 reached $790m. We are one of the largest exporters of electronic devices in Egypt. The factory’s investments are worth $270m so far.

What is so distinct about your new TV with the QLED technology?

Samsung’s 2017 QLED TVs represent yet another leap forward. The new lineup offers dramatically improved colour performance, displaying DCI-P3 colour space accurately, and in another world first for Samsung, QLED TVs are capable of reproducing 100% colour volume. This means they can express all colours at any level of brightness, with even the subtlest differentiable at the QLED’s peak luminance of 1,500 nits. Colour volume presents colour that can be expressed at different levels of brightness. For example, a leaf can be perceived as different colours, from yellowish green to turquoise, depending on brightness of the light. The Samsung QLED TV display can capture even subtle differences in colour pertaining to brightness. This kind of colour detail cannot be easily depicted in the traditional 2D colour space models. This breakthrough is a result of Samsung’s adoption of a new metal Quantum Dot material, making it possible for the TV to express a significantly improved range of color with much greater detail compared to conventional TVs.

The new Quantum Dots allow Samsung QLED TV to express deep blacks and rich detail regardless of how light or dark the scene is, or whether the content is being played in a brightly lit or darkened room. With its metal alloy Quantum Dot technology, brightness no longer has to be compromised to boost color performance, which is also maintained, regardless of how wide the viewing angle may be.

In addition, we have unified remotes that allow you to use the same remote you use for the TV for the rest of the electronic devices at home. The TV is also supported with an internal receiver. The company has also shorted all cables and electrical connections and turned them into one fiber cable from the screen connected to a small device that can be placed anywhere at home. This device then distributes the data it receives from the screen.

Will the idea of an internal receiver be mainstreamed?

The new production of screens will be supported by these receivers starting at the screen size of 32 inches.

What about your general sales of TVs?

Over the upcoming months, we will be paying special attention to our new products, such as the QLED, in addition to a product like the curve screen TV. We will also continue to expand our smart TV industry.

What is the market share of your company in the field of TVs currently?

Currently, we are leading the local market of TV screens with a 35% market share, according to the most recent report by GFK. The competitor that comes near us is still behind us by 10%. As for the 55-inch screens and the larger sizes, Samsung’s share is more than 60% in that market.

In terms of the mobile sector, we acquired 42% of the mobile market during the first half of this year, which makes us the first company locally in the mobile market, with 5% growth during the second quarter of this year compared to the first quarter of the same year.

How do you view the current market generally?

After the flotation, there has been a marked downturn in sales of the Samsung TVs. Some competitors increased their prices. The market sales of screens fell by 25% since the beginning of 2017 until June compared to the first half of 2016.

As for the mobile phone sector, sales also declined by 25% in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. Sales of the mobile phone market this year reached about $1.2bn, while the market for televisions and household appliances also reached $1.2bn.

We have plans during the upcoming period for the expansion of manufacturing. And soon we will announce new details for the manufacture of a household appliance in partnership with an Egyptian company.

How does the main company see the Egyptian market under the current economic conditions?

South Korea previously experienced conditions similar to Egypt’s now, before it became a major industrial base. Therefore, the main company believes that Egypt’s economic reforms are currently positive steps and moving towards an economic recovery in Egypt. The Egyptian market is also very large and important, and we hope to boost our expansions during the upcoming period.

The dollar price against the pound has fallen slightly over the past few days. Will you change prices?

Of course, any change in the exchange rate of the dollar will be offset by a change in the pricing of our products, especially if this change continues for several days.

The value-added tax (VAT) raised the prices of the devices. How did you deal with that?

This year there was a 1% increase in the VAT. We didn’t charge the customers when it came to TV; however, we did on mobile phones.

How do you view the investment atmosphere now? 

The investment atmosphere has improved significantly, but it needs to be accelerated after the procedures. The bylaws of the investment law should be set so that companies can take into account when it comes to setting their development plans.

What are your current expansion plans? 

We’re currently working on the expansion of our stores as they have reached 50 so far among the republic through the agents, in addition to various expansions in Upper Egypt in an attempt to spread technology among all governorates. Also, we established the largest mobile spare parts warehouse with enough stock for six months to avoid delays in maintenance.

We are also expanding the “VIP” service, which we offer on certain types of devices and through which the device can be repaired for the customer by paying a small fee, even if it is the result of defective use, in addition to expanding the provision of mobile maintenance vehicles for mobile phones.

What about the company’s financial results?
This year things are going well. The company has made historic profits of $8.8bn in the first quarter of 2017 and $45m for sales, up from 2016.

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CIT focuses on innovation in its future strategy https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/21/cit-focuses-innovation-future-strategy/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/21/cit-focuses-innovation-future-strategy/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 07:30:03 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629772 The chamber allocated 10% of its budget to working groups

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The Chamber of Information Technology and Communication (CIT) is adopting a number of key axes in its future strategy, mainly encouraging creativity and innovation among all companies, said Walid Gad, chairperson of the CIT.

He added that the chamber will focus on maximising the financial capabilities of member companies, cooperating with various civil society organisations working in the local market, and supporting the executive body of the chamber. In addition, the chamber will allocate up to 10% of its budget to working groups, provide detailed studies of the target markets, and support the increase of various financial resources.

There are eight main items in the CIT strategy, including developing corporate, local, and external business; building on innovation and creativity; communicating with relevant stakeholders; localising technology; developing and financing the chamber by forming a committee to provide financial resources; and communicating with financing institutions to implement projects for the benefit of the sector’s companies.

The CIT also aims at organising commercial visits to foreign markets within the “Bridges” programme, as well as receiving similar visits from foreign companies.

The chamber also seeks to study targeted markets for expansion and implement an electronic portal to promote the services and products of the member companies.

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3mamin app seeks to attract EGP 1.2m in 2018  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/21/3mamin-app-seeks-attract-egp-1-2m-2018/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/21/3mamin-app-seeks-attract-egp-1-2m-2018/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 07:00:20 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629770 The application has 24,000 users and targets 40,000 by the end of the year: Sawaf 

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3mamin application plans to have 40,000 customers by the end of this year and attract investments worth EGP 1.2m by next year. The application plans to participate in book fairs in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) within the next few months.

Mohamed Al Sawaf, CEO of the e-book directory 3mamin, said they recently added a book delivery service to customers, in cooperation with Aramex.

He added that the shipping prices reach around EGP 22.5 inside Cairo and Giza, while prices reach EGP 28 in Alexandria, as prices vary according to each province.

Sawaf pointed out that he is focusing on increasing the number of books in the application in the coming period—amounting to about 240,000 books—aiming to double the number by the end of this year

Sawaf seeks to attract investments worth EGP 1.2m in the coming period to expand the application’s work. It also aims to participate in Arab book fairs, such as in Saudi Arabia and the UAE in 2017.

He pointed out that 3mamin achieved about 55,000 downloads through smartphones.

Sawaf revealed that about EGP 290,000 of investments have been injected in the application since its establishment. The investments included financial support from the presidency and rewards from book fairs. The Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre (TIEC) also presented legal and financial consultations worth EGP 120,000. TIEC also provided a place for work, alongside internet services, training, and other services.

Sawaf said that the application makes profits through two methods, the first is advertising, and the second is receiving 30% or 40% of the price of each book sold through the application from the publishing house.

He pointed out that 3mamin cooperates with 300,000 publishing houses and includes 24,000 customers so far, although they are aiming to reach 40,000 customers by the end of this year

Sawaf said that they face many challenges, mainly difficulties in attracting funding, noting that he is looking forward to offer e-books within two years according to the application’s strategic plan.

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elmenus plans to expand in Africa, Middle East in 2018 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/21/elmenus-plans-expand-africa-middle-east-2018/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/21/elmenus-plans-expand-africa-middle-east-2018/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:30:54 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629767 A threefold increase in the number of visitors during Ramadan

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The site elmenus seeks to expand in Africa and the Middle East in the next year, after attracting $1.5m in investments from Algebra Ventures, Egypt’s largest venture capital fund. Amer Allam, CEO of elmenus, said that the website currently receives about 1 million visitors per month.

Allam, CEO of elmenus, added that Algebra Ventures still has the governing stake in the website.

elmenus—an online platform that provides restaurants’ price lists—is considered an intermediary between customers and restaurants, Allam said, noting that the website has about 5,000 different restaurants. The elmenus team is not interested in increasing the number of restaurants as much as providing new services, he said.

He explained that the website aims to provide new services that facilitate ordering food in cooperation with restaurants.

He pointed out that elmenus witnessed a threefold increase in the number of visitors during the holy month of Ramadan compared to the normal days.

Allam said that elmenus makes its profits from restaurants’ advertisement on the platform.

He noted that the company is focused on covering the local market during the current year, and it will then expand in other markets that have growth opportunities. Allam pointed out that the website faces a challenge in recruiting specialised workers, where it takes a long time. He concluded that elmenus injected investments of $50,000, in addition to the Algebra Ventures’ investment.

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Herzone for e-commerce aims to enter Saudi Arabia next year https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/21/herzone-e-commerce-aims-enter-saudi-arabia-next-year/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/21/herzone-e-commerce-aims-enter-saudi-arabia-next-year/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:00:46 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629765 We plan to deploy our services in the Middle East, North Africa, and the United States, says Hassan

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Herzone, a website specialised in e-commerce for women’s products, plans to expand its operations by entering the Saudi market next year. The company also plans to expand its operations by launching in Middle Eastern and North African markets, as well as that of the United States of America.

Diaa Hassan, chairperson of the company’s board of directors, said during an interview with Daily News Egypt that the company also aims to increase the number of exhibitors and shops to 200. Hassan pointed out that the company is also working to negotiate with a venture capital fund to obtain an investment in order to finance the company’s expansion.

Your site is primarily geared to women. Why is that?

Our website is primarily geared to providing women’s needs through the internet, but there are some products for men.

Statistics show that in Cairo alone, 5.8 million women use the internet and social network platforms. This indicates a strong presence of women on the internet, and this creates an investment opportunity in the market.

What are the main challenges facing you in Egypt?

The weakness of internet speeds in some areas makes the online shopping experience difficult for many customers, which is a major challenge in the growth of the electronic commerce industry. In addition, there is a proliferation of the parallel market for electronic commerce through Facebook pages or unsafe electronic commerce sites, which causes clients to have bad experiences that make them reluctant to use e-commerce again.

How can a consumer differentiate a safe website from one that isn’t?

This is easily seen through the URL. A safe site will have a URL starting with HTTPS, which indicates that the website is safe to visit. This is present in many e-commerce websites in Egypt.

What are the most prominent products offered through your site?

We have many products, such as electrical appliances, clothing, bags, shoes, and healthcare products for women, accessories, and mobile phones. We have 50 exhibitors on the Herzone platform now, and we plan to increase the number to 200 by the end of the year.

What is the basis on which products are selected?

We have two types of products, one of which belongs to well-known brands, while the second type includes those of small enterprises and workshops. The first type is supported by the company’s guarantee and trademarks. The other type, we test and make sure the exhibitor owns a commercial record and a tax card for the product.

In addition, the purchase process is made online, but the payment process is made after the receipt of the product (cash on delivery). This enables clients to check the product when it arrives before paying for it. We ensure all legal rights to our clients, and they can return or replace the products within 14 days of purchase.

How many visits does your website get now?

The website is quite young, yet we have been seeing 120,000 visits per month. Purchases made reached 3,000 transactions in March during Mother’s Day. Average monthly purchases range around 1,000 transactions. We aim to boost the purchases to 3,000 per month by the end of the year. It’s worth noting that, based on our indicators, about 27% of visitors who used the website have used it again.

How many logistics centres do you have?

Currently, we have two centres, one in 6th of October City and the other in Moqattam. Through the centres, the products are divided and packaged according to the destination to be delivered.

What is the geographical distribution of your customers?

At the beginning of our work, we expected to have the bulk of our users located in high-end areas where women use Facebook and the internet intensely. But, after a few months in, we found out that the opposite is true, where most of our clients are located in low-class areas.

Cairo has the largest share of our sales, but we sell very well in Alexandria, Suez, the Nile Delta, and Upper Egypt.

Currently, we deliver the products by ourselves through our fleet, as well as two contracted shipping companies. The shipping time does not exceed 72 hours now, but we aim to bring it down to 48 hours at most.

Do you have plans to launch an application for the site?

The application for the site has already been created and is expected to be launched over the next few days with huge discounts to encourage customers to use the application. It will be available on devices operating iOS and Android.

For the electronic commerce system, what is missing?

The system needs to be further regulated. It is necessary to eliminate the parallel market for electronic commerce, as it damages the market and gives customers a bad experience.

Moreover, there are not enough financiers to fund existing projects. For example, banks do not finance such projects, which is a major obstacle. Existing business incubators are also suitable for the conversion of ideas into projects. Financial institutions that help existing enterprises to grow more efficiently are very few.

How do we overcome this problem?

The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology needs to establish a financing body for investment and financing projects for the sector.

Are there negotiations to receive investments from investment funds?

We are already in preliminary negotiations with one of the venture capital funds in the United States. There were simple talks about the website’s specific details.

Are there negative effects of the decline in purchasing power of the Egyptian consumer?

Indeed, the past period witnessed a decline in the purchasing power of many Egyptian consumers. However, the measures that have been taken will help improve the situation in the coming period. The Egyptian market has more than 90 million consumers, of which 50% use smartphones. The market can absorb many players in the e-commerce market because it is a virgin market.

Egypt’s e-commerce market is also a good growth opportunity when compared to other markets. For example, in England the number of online buyers is three times larger than the number of traditional shoppers. In the United States last year, during Black Friday, there were 10 million online purchases—more than were done in shops.

What are your plans for expansion during the coming period?

We plan to expand into the Saudi market in 2018 and head to the US market in the coming period. We also plan to operate in North Africa and the Arab world.

What distinguishes you from your competitors?

We are distinguished by providing sophisticated customer service throughout the day, and we have more than 500 exclusive products. This happened even though we just launched six months ago.

What are your plans for the Egyptian market?

We aim to denominate a large market share before the end of the year, but we find it difficult to announce that share now. We also plan to reach 100 sales per day by the end of the year and 1,000 sales per day by the end of the coming year.

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1 million users joined the mobile services market in March https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/19/1-million-users-joined-mobile-services-market-march/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/19/1-million-users-joined-mobile-services-market-march/#respond Mon, 19 Jun 2017 14:04:04 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629686 Subscribers increase to 100 million, Vodafone accounts for 70% of new clients

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The local telecommunications market added about 1 million new mobile phone users during the month of March, bringing the number of mobile subscribers from 98.8 million in February 2017 up to 100 million in March, an increase of 1.1%.

According to a report by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Vodafone has been able to attract nearly 70% of the new clients in March, where the company increased its capital base from 41.1 million in February to 41.8 million in March, adding 697,700 clients alone.

Etisalat has also been able to capitalize on the strong growth in mobile subscribers, adding 200,000 new users. This boosts the company’s clients base from 23.9 million to 24.1 million in March. Orange came third with 145,100 new clients in March, increasing the total number of users from 33.8 million in February to 33.0 million in March.

Meanwhile, the report indicated a drop in the number of landline users in March, where the number of clients dropped by 6% in March, falling from 66.1 million in February to 62.1 million—a decrease of 4 million clients.

The report also showed that the number of ADSL subscribers increased by 2.5% in March compared to February, where about 1 million users joined the service in March, increasing from 4.4 million in February to 5.4 million users in March.

Vodafone grabbed the largest share of new customers in January, adding more than 356,800 clients that month, boosting its client base from 40.2 million in December 2016 to 40.6 million in January, according to data from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.

On the other hand, the number of subscribers of Orange dropped from 33.8 million in December to 33.7 million in January, losing some 89,400 clients in one month. Etisalat obtained more clients, rising from 23.6 million clients in December to 23.8 million by the end of January 2017, with 175,000 new subscribers.

According to the indicators, the sheer number of mobile service subscribers increased by 442,500 clients in January.

The total number of mobile services reached 98.2 million in January, up from 97.7 million in December 2016.

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2.6 billion people to be connected to the internet over next 6 years https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/14/2-6-billion-people-connected-internet-next-6-years/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/14/2-6-billion-people-connected-internet-next-6-years/#respond Wed, 14 Jun 2017 15:12:44 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629171 70% increase in mobile data over telecom networks: Ericsson

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Ericsson expects the rapid growth in the field of mobile communications to continue, with expectations of eight times the mobile data movement by 2022.

A report issued by Ericsson on mobile data expected an addition of about 2.6 billion new subscribers to mobile data, with the rate of one new person each day over the next six years.

The report showed that mobile data has witnessed noticeable annual growth since 2013 as a result of the major growth witnessed by India and the growing need for mobile data on a global level.

The increase in the number of smart phone users and easy access to the internet is one of the main reasons behind the increase.

By 2022, mobile data movement is expected to increase by nine times the current rate, to reach 66 exabytes per month.

The report explained that there is an increase in the movement of mobile data in mobile networks by 70% during the period extending from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017.

According to the report, the 4G LTE technology will be the most spread in terms of access rates on the internet amongst users, where, thanks to this technology, the speed of connections will be unprecedented. LTE needed five years to cover the needs of 2.5 billion persons, compared to eight years needed by the WCDMA/HSPA technology, or the third generation. The first quarter of this year witnessed the addition of 250 million subscribers to the LTE network.

Subscribers of the 5th generation network are expected to reach 500 million in 2022, excluding the devices of the Internet of Things. The 5th generation technology is expected to cover the needs of nearly 15% of the world population.

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Egypt is the largest Arab country using Facebook with 17 million users  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/14/egypt-largest-arab-country-using-facebook-17-million-users/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/14/egypt-largest-arab-country-using-facebook-17-million-users/#respond Wed, 14 Jun 2017 12:03:16 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629083 Lowest in context of population at 30%

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Social media has changed the way we use the internet in an unexpected way. Current internet use has changed compared to the beginning of the century.  The simple and attractive nature of social media has led to a huge increase in the number of internet users, as well as the launch of dozens of different social network platforms.

People in the Middle East and North Africa have interacted with social media in a way that has radically changed the region. Millions of users spending hours on the internet have transformed social media sites into the largest platform for promoting commercial brands and companies in the region.

According to Beaufort Analysis and Crowd Analyzer, Egypt is the country with the highest amount of Facebook users in the region, with 17 million users. 92 percent of Egyptian Facebook users have smartphones, and expatriates using Facebook only represent about 4 percent of total Egyptian users.

Egypt has the largest number of social media users in the region, but has the lowest percentage of users in the context of population, with only 30 percent. The number of internet users in Egypt has reached 31 million users, while Saudi Arabia has 21 million users and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has 8.5 million users.

The percentage of social media users in terms of population in Saudi Arabia has reached 35%, and 65% in the UAE.

Egypt has 11 million male Facebook users and 6.2 million female users, while the number of people who access Facebook via smartphones has reached 16 million people, with 10 million males and 6 million females. The number of Egyptian expatriates using Facebook via smartphones was a recorded 720,000 people.

Twitter is less popular in Egypt, where the number of active users amounts to only 2 million people. About 418,000 people use Twitter via computers, 446,000 users via devices with iOS, and 1 million users via Android devices.

Similar to Twitter, Instagram is not very popular in Egypt. Only 2.8 million Egyptians use the photo sharing application—1.3 million are males and 1.2 million females. The number of Instagram users who access the app via smartphones are 2.3 million, with 140,000 of these users being expatriates.

The highest trending topics in 2016 on Facebook were the US election, followed by the Brazilian political news, and then Pokemon Go. On Twitter, Rio 2016 trended highest, followed by EURO 2016, and then the American elections.

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£533m revenues of Vodafone Egypt in H2 of FY 2016/2017 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/14/533m-revenues-vodafone-egypt-h2-fy-20162017/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/14/533m-revenues-vodafone-egypt-h2-fy-20162017/#respond Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:00:12 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=628990 The company's revenues declined in H2 by £263m compared to H1 of the same year

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Vodafone Egypt achieved revenues of £533m in the second half (H2) of the fiscal year (FY) 2016/2017, compared to £796m in H1, a decline of £263m, according to the business results of the company.

The company’s profits before deducting taxes in H2 of the previous fiscal year reached £234m compared to £356m in H1 of the same fiscal year. The total revenues of Vodafone Group amounted to about £23.5bn in H2 of 2016/2017 compared to £24.1bn in H1 of the same year.

Vodafone Egypt ranked the third among markets of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific (AMAP) in terms of using mobile internet in the fourth quarter (Q4) of FY 2016/2017.

According to Vodafone’s business results, the average internet usage of the company’s customers in Egypt was about 42,300 terabytes in Q4 of FY 2016/2017, which ended in March.

The first two places in terms of mobile internet went for the Turkish market, up to 122,500 terabytes, followed by Vodacom in South Africa, by 56,200 terabytes, while the total consumption of the parent company’s customers recorded about 647.5m terabytes.

Vodafone Egypt’s customers exchanged 788m SMS and MMS messages in Q4 of FY 2016/2017. Vodafone Turkey’s customers exchanged about 15.9bn messages, and the company’s customers in South Africa exchanged 11bn messages. Vodafone Group’s customers exchanged a total of 46.2bn messages.

Vodafone Egypt was ranked second in terms of voice services among AMAP markets by about 30.5m minutes in Q4 of 2016/2017, following Turkey, which made 30.7m minutes, and finally the company’s branch in South Africa was third with about 24.1m minutes. Vodafone Group’s total customers consumed about 170.9m minutes in Q4 of the previous fiscal year.

Vodafone Egypt provided broadband internet service for 301,000 subscribers by the end of March, an increase of 34,000 since December 2016, while Vodafone Group provided broadband internet service to 14.7m subscribers worldwide.

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Market is in need of good security solutions: sales and customer support director at Trend Micro https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/14/market-need-good-security-solutions-sales-customer-support-director-trend-micro/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/14/market-need-good-security-solutions-sales-customer-support-director-trend-micro/#respond Wed, 14 Jun 2017 08:30:46 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=628988 Company blocks more than 73,000 malicious URLs, 334,000 spam mails, 59,000 malware per month

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With challenges comes creativity. Amid the world’s increasing security threats, more companies emerge to offer tools to block these threats. One of these companies is Trend Micro Saw. Its sales and customer support director, Leonardo Bonomi, said that the market is in dire need of good security solutions, noting that many of the world’s governments have shortages in security tools.

Bonomi pointed out that his company alone blocks over 73,000 malicious URLs, 334,000 mails, and 59,000 malware threats on monthly basis.

He added that the company’s Egypt’s office is considered the biggest cybersecurity office in the market, and he highlighted that education, government, manufacturing, real estate, and technology are the top five most affected sectors.

How do you see the current local market and the opportunities for investing in the data security sector?

The market is in a real need of good security solutions, as many governmental sectors have shortages in security tools and infrastructure as well.

These shortages open up many opportunities for investing in the security sector and for raising cybersecurity talents to fulfill the market’s needs, whether for Trend Micro or many other companies in the sector.

What are the most prominent investment opportunities in the data security sector?

Investing in developing anti-malware and ransomware protections, as well as advanced threat protection solutions against targeted attacks.

What are your latest data security solutions?

Trend Micro has multiple solutions that cover different protection layers. Trend Micro has released the new “Xgen platform”, which integrates the traditional anti-malware solutions with the latest innovative protection layer, such as machine learning and behavior analysis, that’s integrated with the elite advanced threat protection solutions from Trend Micro. For data centre and cloud security, Trend Micro just released the new innovative version of “Deep Security 10” that covers all the needs of the hybercloud industry.

Why did data security solutions become necessary?

Usually in Egypt, customers or enterprises pay much attention on securing their servers and hardware environment while giving less attention to data, which is the most valuable and important thing to secure.

The data from Trend Micro Smart Protection Network verifies this fact that data security has become necessary, as we were able to block more than 1.4 million threats (malicious URLs, spam, malware) in Egypt for Q1 2017.

On average, we were able to block more than 73,000 malicious URLs, more than 334,000 spam mails, and more than 59,000 malwares per month.

What are the current challenges for the data security market in Egypt?

Lack of skilled calibers and a limited budget when it comes to information infrastructure and technologies. The unparalleled growth in investments compared to the acceleration of malware families in Egypt, such as SALITY, VIRUX, and DUNIHI, which can infect files, as well as spread through network shares and removable drives (e.g., USB sticks).

On the other hand, the budget for investments in information security still is not big enough to meet the high risk blinded threat generation. So users and organizations need to plan ahead to patch their systems regularly and set proper protocols and policies in place with regard to restrictions in shared folders and device management.

Which sectors have seen a demand for data security in Egypt?

The top five most affected sectors are education, government, manufacturing, real estate, and technology.

It should be noted that education, government, and manufacturing were also among the top five sectors in 2016. It is possible that these sectors are most affected because of the nature of their networks, which may open them to vulnerabilities like legacy systems, low restrictions, and in-house programmes that may use outdated applications/APIs.

What is your plan for the Egyptian market in the coming period?

Trend Micro is adapting a new role model scenario to help the Egyptian market to recover as we launch an elite community office for Trend Micro based in Tahrir Square.

Moving towards our vision to make the world safe for exchanging digital information, we incorporate Egypt to lead cybersecurity innovation among the region in the Middle East and Africa.

Our Egypt office is now considered the biggest cybersecurity office in the market, with our engineers that have direct contact with presales, sales, technical support centre, and threat research labs to help our customers and enterprises in Egypt to establish a solid and sustainable base of security.

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WUZZUF launches its Internships programme for Summer 2017 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/07/wuzzuf-launches-internships-programme-summer-2017/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/07/wuzzuf-launches-internships-programme-summer-2017/#respond Wed, 07 Jun 2017 07:30:25 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=628162 WUZZUF, the recruitment website in Egypt, has announced the launch of their internship programme for Summer 2017. This is the second year in a row the site has offered opportunities at1,000 companies all over Egypt. WUZZUF internship programme aims to empower students and fresh graduates through an introduction to the market. Participants get the chance …

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WUZZUF, the recruitment website in Egypt, has announced the launch of their internship programme for Summer 2017. This is the second year in a row the site has offered opportunities at1,000 companies all over Egypt.

WUZZUF internship programme aims to empower students and fresh graduates through an introduction to the market. Participants get the chance to receive hands-on experience, bring innovative ideas, and gain new perspectives in the workplace.

Dina Khedr, WUZZUF marketing programmes manager, said that in 2016 WUZZUF was able to get more than 700 companies to offer more than 2,500 internship opportunities, which attracted over 65,000 applicants.

Khedr explained the process is free for both applicants and participants. There is no charge for companies to post their internships on WUZZUF.

This year, more than 3,500 internship opportunities will be hosted on the site. Over 1,000 companies will participate that include opportunities in engineering, IT, software, marketing, PR, and more.

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37% of shoppers use smartphone apps to buy goods during Ramadan  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/07/37-shoppers-use-smartphone-apps-buy-goods-ramadan/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/07/37-shoppers-use-smartphone-apps-buy-goods-ramadan/#respond Wed, 07 Jun 2017 07:00:26 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=628164 A report issued by Payfort expected that Egyptians will spend over 50% of their financial income on services and household goods during Ramadan. According to the report, during the month of Ramadan sales via the internet increase, before they decline during the Eid al-Fitr period. According to the indicators of the report, the percentage of …

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A report issued by Payfort expected that Egyptians will spend over 50% of their financial income on services and household goods during Ramadan.

According to the report, during the month of Ramadan sales via the internet increase, before they decline during the Eid al-Fitr period. According to the indicators of the report, the percentage of e-shopping increases by 110% before Ramadan, with 37% of shoppers preferring to use smartphone apps for purchases.

The most prominent offers sought by consumers during the month of Ramadan include “buy one, get one free” deals, where 50% of shoppers seek that deal—and another 50% look for discounts. About 36% of shoppers prefer “money back” offers.

According to the report, 80% of shoppers prefer home iftar, 7% have iftar at relatives’ homes, and 13% go out for restaurants or buy takeaway food.

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Wasla plans opening branch in Assiut with capacity of 400 seats next year https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/07/wasla-plans-opening-branch-assiut-capacity-400-seats-next-year/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/07/wasla-plans-opening-branch-assiut-capacity-400-seats-next-year/#respond Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:30:45 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=628158 Company contracted with 90% of charities, allocated 200 seats to receive donations during Ramadan, says Riyad

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Wasla for Outsourcing Services plans to open a new branch in Assiut with a capacity of 400 seats early next year, as part of its plan to expand in Upper Egypt.

Saied Riyad, commercial director of Wasla, said that the new headquarters will be close to the University of Assiut so as to rely on young graduates and directly employ them at the centre, noting that the youth in Upper Egypt are characterised by good work in the field of outsourcing.

He pointed out that his company has contracted with 90% of charities, adding that 200 seats from all its seats across Cairo are allocated to receive donations.

Moreover, Riyad said that the company also plans to inagurate its branch in Alexandria after Eid Al Fitr. Wasla now has five branches in Maadi, Abbasiya, Heliopolis, Mohandessin, and a special needs branch in Nasr City, in which 25 visually challenged employees are working.

The company offers a special application for employees, allowing them to respond to calls, deal with them, and answer clients.

Wasla is one of the companies that have opened a call centre branch dedicated to employing people with visual disabilities.

Riyad said that the infrastructure of the outsourcing industry in Egypt is very strong, compared to many developing countries, such as India, in terms of technology and human resources working in this industry.

He pointed out that the company is seeking to operate the Dubai Sales Branch in the next few months in order to attract more customers from the Gulf market, where it will make up to 10% of the total revenues in dollars.

The company increased the number of seats to 650 in the first four months of 2017, boosting the sheer number of seats to 2,400, up from 1,750 at the end of last year.

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Samsung agrees with Raya, B.Tech, Mobile Shop to have its phones paid in installments without interest or down payment https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/07/samsung-agrees-raya-b-tech-mobile-shop-phones-paid-installments-without-interest-payment/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/07/samsung-agrees-raya-b-tech-mobile-shop-phones-paid-installments-without-interest-payment/#respond Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:00:17 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=628152 The Egyptian market is promising despite economic shocks: Abo Zeina

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Samsung Electronics agreed with Raya, B.Tech, and Mobile Shop to offer installments without down payments or interest. Installments will span over a period of 24 months on its mobile phones, according to the head of the company’s mobile devices sector, Hisham Abo Zeina.

He said the Egyptian market has promise despite its economic shocks, thanks to the purchasing power of nearly 90 million consumers, the majority being young people.

The mobile market has witnessed a decline in sales since the pound flotation, but indicators say that it will regain growth. How do you see the market this year?

We believe that the current circumstances are investment opportunities. We work to benefit from them to increase our investments and enlarge out market share. We are a large company and we rely on innovation. During the first five months of this year we launched several new devices from the A, A5, and A7 family, then we launched S8 and S8 Plus, so we have the ability to lead the growth of the smartphone market in Egypt, as our technological and marketing strength enable us to do so. For instance, we injected investments of more than EGP 3.5m into launching the two A phones early this year.

According to your indicators, what are your expectations for your sales this year?

We are currently moving steadily towards achieving a growth in sales compared to the same period last year, depending on innovation and the development of technology used by the company; however, I cannot mention figures currently. We expected the second quarter to witness growth compared to the same period last year.

What are your competitive advantages?

Having competitors is healthy for the market and consumers, but we mainly rely on providing high-technology phones in comparison to our competitors. We also provide products that are suitable for all price segments of local consumers, as well as accessories for sold devices so consumers feel like they get products worth the value they paid for.

We depend on the value-added services to support our sales in the market, where some major chains have agreed to offer installments on our products over 24 months without interest or a down payment. They include Raya, B.Tech and Mobile Shop.

We also entered into an agreement with Vodafone, Orange, and Etisalat to offer installments with a package to provide a data bundle on every Samsung phone.

We improved our post sales services, especially maintenance, because the current economic circumstances made more customers resort to maintaining their phones and prolonging the lives of their phones.

Currently, we are working to increase post-sale service centres across the country. We also provided the VIP service in maintenance. It allows consumers to replace their phones if any problem occurs, even if it’s a fault in the phone’s usage.

Are their plans to launch new products with medium prices?

At the end of 2016, after the flotation, we launched two new products, which are considered the cheapest with the 4G technology. Our products are characterized by diversity in terms of technology and price. We have products whose prices start at EGP 1,000, reaching EGP 16,000.

What makes the Egyptian market promising?

The population makes it promising, especially that the majority of the 90 million people are young people with more inclination to use technology. This makes the Egyptian market distinct in terms of the purchasing power.

Moreover, Egyptians are familiar with modern technology and love to own it, which also makes the market promising.

Are there agreements with mobile operators to support your smartphones with 4G?

Yes, cheap phones will be able to provide 4G. We started activating this agreement with Vodafone for the J1A and J1 mini devices. The same happened with Orange, and soon we will announce a meeting with Etisalat Misr. As for Telecom Egypt (TE), there is a technical aspect being considered with Samsung’s mother company in Korea, where there is a technical problem with TE’s networks.

What is your current market share?

It is 41.5% out of the sales of mobiles in the Egyptian market. Despite the decline in the market share, we are still number one, according to GFK indicators. The competitors with the numbers that are the nearest to us had declining growth rates over the past three months, so the gap between us is enlarging.

How do you see the usage trends of Egyptian consumers?

Egyptian consumers are distributed throughout several segments. One segment really cares about modern technology. It is the segment we target through our S8 phone, which represents a technological leap through the modern applications and solutions provided by the device.

What are the company’s target growth rates this year?

I will not be able to mention specific figures or percentages, but I will give you an example of our growth over the past period. Earlier this year, we launched two phones from the A family, and their sales achieved growth of more than 270% compared to the same A family products launched in 2016.

How do you learn about the interests of Egyptian consumers?

We carry out research in the market on a regular basis.

Some competitors choose certain features about the phone to be distinct for. Why do you not do the same?

We offer products that meet the needs of Egyptian consumers, whether in terms of technology or the features of the phone. I cannot say I am launching the phone with the best camera or such, in order to be honest with our customers.

How much money does the company spend annually on research and development?

The company has invested nearly $14.6bn in 2013 on research and development. That was the most recent figure announced by the company.

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Smartphone acquisition accounts for 50-60% of the market’s sales https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/05/smartphone-acquisition-accounts-for-50-60-of-the-markets-sales/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/05/smartphone-acquisition-accounts-for-50-60-of-the-markets-sales/#respond Mon, 05 Jun 2017 08:00:23 +0000 http://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=627838 80-85% of our products support 4G services

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The Egyptian market is one of the most important markets in the Middle East for the Lenovo company, where growth opportunities are rapid, especially that there are more than 90 million subscribers to mobile services in the country, and smartphone acquisition accounts for 50-60% of the market’s sales, which indicates an opportunity for growth, according to Sharif Salem, director of smartphone sales at Lenovo Egypt.

According to one of the specialised research institutions. The company occupied the third position in terms of sales and the second position in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) market with a market share representing 22.4%. In the Brazilian market, the company also occupied the second position with a market share of 21.8%. The company is also considered one of the five largest companies selling mobile phones in India with a market share of 9.9%.

Despite the decline in market sales during the first months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, the Egyptian market is still retaining growth opportunities, and the market is also expected to grow by the end of this year, Salem added.

“We are one of the companies that have a very good layout in the models we offer. Our mobile phones are mostly equipped with 4G services. About 80-85% of our products support 4G services, and we are working on the launch of 4G devices that support 4G services with good quality and competitive prices, all of which do not exceed EGP 1,500.”

Salem added that “the company exists in 160 countries and employs 55,000 employees. Our sales are worth $45bn. We sell about 80 million devices annually. We occupied the first position in terms of computer sales for the third year in a row.”

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Samsung will increase its market share to 50% by the end of June https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/05/samsung-will-increase-market-share-50-end-june/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/05/samsung-will-increase-market-share-50-end-june/#respond Mon, 05 Jun 2017 07:30:02 +0000 http://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=627841 Sherif Barakat, the executive vice president of Samsung Electronics Egypt, revealed that the company is seeking to increase its share of mobile phone sales in Egypt to reach 50% by the end of June. He pointed out that the company accounted for 43% of the handsets market at the end of March. It increased its …

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Sherif Barakat, the executive vice president of Samsung Electronics Egypt, revealed that the company is seeking to increase its share of mobile phone sales in Egypt to reach 50% by the end of June. He pointed out that the company accounted for 43% of the handsets market at the end of March.

It increased its share during the first quarter of 2017 supported by sales of J and A phones, as the company’s share represented 40% at the end of 2016.

Barakat is betting on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus phones to increase the company’s share to 50% in the second quarter of 2017.

He added that Samsung Egypt already accounts for 60% of the smartphone sales in the highest price category of phones worth more than $500.

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Local mobile sales drop 50% after flotation https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/05/local-mobile-sales-drop-50-flotation/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/05/local-mobile-sales-drop-50-flotation/#respond Mon, 05 Jun 2017 07:00:40 +0000 http://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=627291 Slight growth brings the decline up to 30% in the second half of 2017, says Wagih

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Ahmed Wagih, business development manager at Infinix Corporation, said that the devaluation of the Egyptian pound after the flotation ​at the end of last year changed the Egyptian mobile market. He explained that the prices of devices doubled, creating a gap between the old and new prices, which slowed the purchasing power and brought the sales down in the last quarter of 2016.

He told Daily News Egypt that the recent economic measures had a great impact on the market, where sales dropped by 50% in the first four months of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016.

Wagih noted that the market has started to recover, expecting the value of the pound to appreciate by the end of the year, which will have a positive impact on the growth of the market. He pointed out that expectations point to growth in sales in the second half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. Yet, despite the growth, sales will remain lower than 2016, he said.

He expected the market sales to be 30% less than the same period in 2016, which is considered an implicit growth compared to the first half of this year.

He added that Infinix is working to compete through prices, where it offers a range of prices that fit all segments of society. He noted that the difference between each of the phones is less than EGP 1,000.

Infinix is ranked third in the local mobile market but hopes to advance to the first ranking in the coming few years, Wagih pointed out.

The company is currently carrying out negotiations with Telecom Egypt (TE) in order to provide the latter with 4G smart phones. Wagih added in a statement to Daily News Egypt that the company has an agreement with Orange Egypt to sell its smartphones to the customers of Orange.

The company is currently negotiating with TE to launch smart phones that come with bundle offers, as TE began to offer 4G services. Wagih said that the company is also negotiating with the rest of the operators of mobile services.

Infinix plans to sell about 1.3 million devices in 2017 and increase its share in the Egyptian market.

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Global mobile sales grow 9% in Q1 2017 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/05/global-mobile-sales-grow-9-q1-2017-2/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/05/global-mobile-sales-grow-9-q1-2017-2/#respond Mon, 05 Jun 2017 06:30:10 +0000 http://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=627831 Chinese companies increase market shares and press Samsung and Apple

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Gartner, a market research initiation, stated in a recent report that the biggest winner of the increase in the global mobile market was neither Apple nor Samsung, but rather three Chinese smartphone makers, especially as Apple’s sales stabilised in the first quarter.

Apple’s steady sales are well-adjusted after sales of the company fell sharply in 2016. On the other hand, its main competition, Samsung, saw a significant decline in sales on the global level.

According to the report, consumers worldwide bought 380 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2017, up by 9.1% from the same period last year, which shows that worldwide consumers are ready to spend more than before, which also indicates that prices will go up in the coming period.

Chinese companies are the main beneficiaries of the growth of the smartphone market globally, including Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo. Garnet noted that these companies accounted for a collective market share of 24% of all sales in the first quarter of 2017, which is up by 7% compared to the same period in 2016.

Samsung sold fewer phones in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period a year ago. Its sales reached 78.6 million devices in the first quarter this year, compared to 81.2 million for the same period last year.

Samsung’s sales slump impacted its market share, where it dropped to 20.7% from 23.3%. Its competition, Apple, sold 51.99 million mobile devices, up from 50.8 million devices. Yet, its market share also declined to 13.7% from 14.8% in the same period last year.

Huawei ranked third in terms of market share in the global mobile market by taking a market share of 9%, increasing from 8.3% in the first quarter of 2016. In fourth place came Oppo with a market share of 8.1% during the first quarter of the current year, up from 4.6% in the same period last year. Vivo came in fifth, with a market share of 6.8%, boosting its previous record of 4% in the first quarter last year.

The growth of Chinese handset sales and Samsung’s dominance of a large share of global mobile market sales reflects the increasing market share of Google Android’s mobile operating system. The gap between Android and iOS continued to grow apart, where the former accounted for a market share of 86.1% up from 84.1%.

 

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Despite falling sales, Egyptian mobile market still has potential to grow https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/05/despite-falling-sales-egyptian-mobile-market-still-potential-grow/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/05/despite-falling-sales-egyptian-mobile-market-still-potential-grow/#respond Mon, 05 Jun 2017 06:00:26 +0000 http://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=627830 The Egyptian mobile market is suffering from the effects of the flotation of the Egyptian pound and the devaluation of the national currency against the US dollar, which hiked the prices of mobile phones. Prior to the flotation, the most expensive phone in Egypt sold at EGP 6,000; after the flotation, that jumped to EGP …

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The Egyptian mobile market is suffering from the effects of the flotation of the Egyptian pound and the devaluation of the national currency against the US dollar, which hiked the prices of mobile phones. Prior to the flotation, the most expensive phone in Egypt sold at EGP 6,000; after the flotation, that jumped to EGP 14,000.

Although the market suffers from economic conditions and high rates of inflation, mobile manufacturers still see promising opportunities for growth in the Egyptian market. Companies believe that the introduction of the 4G service is considered an investment opportunity, next to the lack of spread of smartphones among all segments of society.

This is in addition to the efforts many companies do to catch up with the initiative launched by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi two years ago for electronic manufacturing. Many companies rushed to conclude contracts with Silicon Waha Company to reserve a place in the new technological parks.

This comes along the trend of many Chinese companies to expand in the Egyptian market. The latest of these companies is Xiaomi, which entered the Egyptian market this year. A recent report by GFK stated that sales in the Egyptian mobile market are expected to drop to 10 million devices this year, down from 12 million in 2016. Yet, the report expects the market to catch pace again in the beginning of 2018.

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Global mobile sales grow 9% in Q1 2017 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/05/31/global-mobile-sales-grow-9-q1-2017/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/05/31/global-mobile-sales-grow-9-q1-2017/#respond Wed, 31 May 2017 11:42:46 +0000 http://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=627462 Chinese companies increase market shares and press Samsung and Apple

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Gartner, a market research initiation, stated in a recent report that the biggest winner of the increase in the global mobile market was neither Apple nor Samsung, but rather three Chinese smartphone makers, especially as Apple’s sales stabilised in the first quarter.

Apple’s steady sales are well-adjusted after sales of the company fell sharply in 2016. On the other hand, its main competition, Samsung, saw a significant decline in sales on the global level.

According to the report, consumers worldwide bought 380 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2017, up by 9.1% from the same period last year, which shows that worldwide consumers are ready to spend more than before, which also indicates that prices will go up in the coming period.

Chinese companies are the main beneficiaries of the growth of the smartphone market globally, including Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo. Garnet noted that these companies accounted for a collective market share of 24% of all sales in the first quarter of 2017, which is up by 7% compared to the same period in 2016.

Samsung sold fewer phones in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period a year ago. Its sales reached 78.6 million devices in the first quarter this year, compared to 81.2 million for the same period last year.

Samsung’s sales slump impacted its market share, where it dropped to 20.7% from 23.3%. Its competition, Apple, sold 51.99 million mobile devices, up from 50.8 million devices. Yet, its market share also declined to 13.7% from 14.8% in the same period last year.

Huawei ranked third in terms of market share in the global mobile market by taking a market share of 9%, increasing from 8.3% in the first quarter of 2016. In fourth place came Oppo with a market share of 8.1% during the first quarter of the current year, up from 4.6% in the same period last year. Vivo came in fifth, with a market share of 6.8%, boosting its previous record of 4% in the first quarter last year.

The growth of Chinese handset sales and Samsung’s dominance of a large share of global mobile market sales reflects the increasing market share of Google Android’s mobile operating system. The gap between Android and iOS continued to grow apart, where the former accounted for a market share of 86.1% up from 84.1%.

 

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Mobile ransomware more than tripled in Q1 2017 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/05/31/mobile-ransomware-tripled-q1-2017/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/05/31/mobile-ransomware-tripled-q1-2017/#respond Wed, 31 May 2017 08:00:20 +0000 http://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=627414 US is most affected

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The global nightmare of ransomware shows no sign of slowing down, with the volume of mobile ransomware rising more than three-fold (3.5 times) during the first few months of the year, according to Kaspersky Lab’s Malware Report for the first quarter (Q1) of 2017. The number of mobile ransomware files detected reached 218,625 during the quarter, compared to 61,832 in the previous quarter, with the Congur family accounting for more than 86%.  Ransomware targeting all devices, systems, and networks also continued to grow, with 11 new cryptor families and 55,679 new modifications making their appearance in Q1.

Congur ransomware is primarily a blocker, setting or resetting the device’s PIN (passcode) so that the attackers have administrator rights on the device.

The USA became the country hardest hit by mobile ransomware in Q1, with Svpeng ransomware the most widespread threat.

In all, 55,679 new Windows ransomware modifications were detected during the quarter, representing a near two-fold increase from Q4 2016 (29,450). Most of these new modifications belonged to the Cerber family.

Kaspersky Lab solutions detected and repelled 479,528,279 malicious attacks from online resources located in 190 countries all over the world. Exactly 79,209,775 unique URLs were recognised as malicious by web antivirus components. Attempted infections by malware that aims to steal money via online access to bank accounts were registered on 288,000 user computers.

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Egypt’s mobile users increase by 4.5% in February https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/05/31/egypts-mobile-users-increase-4-5-february/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/05/31/egypts-mobile-users-increase-4-5-february/#respond Wed, 31 May 2017 07:30:44 +0000 http://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=627411 The internet market loses 840,000 customers

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The number of mobile service subscriptions increased by 4.5%, from 94.6 million in February 2016 to 98.8 million in February 2017, according to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.

The ministry said in a statement that the number of mobile service subscriptions increased by 0.65%, from 98.2 million in January 2017 to 98.8 million in February.

On the other hand, the number of internet subscribers fell from 33.8 million in February 2016 to 32.9 million in February 2017, according to the statement.

The number of mobile internet users in February 2017 reached 25.3 million subscribers, down from 25.7 million in February, a decline of 1.5%.

The statement also pointed out that the number of internet users via USB modem declined from 3.6 million subscribers in February 2016 to 3.3 million subscribers in February 2017, a decline of 8.4%. The number of users of fixed internet ADSL services increased by 11.36%, from 3.9 million in February 2016 to 4.3 million in February 2017.

Vodafone accounted for the largest share of new customers in January, adding more than 356,800 clients that month, boosting its client base from 40.2 million in December 2016 to 40.6 million in January, according to data from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.

On the other hand, the number of subscribers of Orange dropped from 33.8 million in December to 33.7 million in January, losing some 89,400 clients in one month. Etisalat obtained more clients, rising from 23.6 million clients in December to 23.8 million by the end of January 2017, with 175,000 new subscribers.

According to the indicators, the sheer number of mobile service subscribers increased by 442,500 clients in January.

The total number of mobile services reached 98.2 million in January, up from 97.7 million in December 2016.

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Cloud Predictions 2017 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/05/24/cloud-predictions-2017/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/05/24/cloud-predictions-2017/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 07:00:13 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=626604 Cloud computing is moving at a dizzying pace. With cloud technologies evolving at such an irrepressible rate, it’s difficult to keep track of where it’s all headed. How will your relationship with the cloud change over the course of the coming year? A modern cloud must support and energise the cloud journey from any starting …

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Cloud computing is moving at a dizzying pace. With cloud technologies evolving at such an irrepressible rate, it’s difficult to keep track of where it’s all headed. How will your relationship with the cloud change over the course of the coming year?

A modern cloud must support and energise the cloud journey from any starting point, adapt fluidly to changing needs, and ultimately realise the potential of genuine business transformation.

Here are our predictions for how the cloud will impact your business processes in 2017 and beyond.

  1. Cloud-based mission-critical workloads will take off

Cloud has long promised the migration of all enterprise production workloads. But that migration has yet to happen.

The chief barrier to cloud migration remains a lack of commitment and recourse to support production service-level agreements. On one hand, cloud providers are limiting their accountability as they lack the talent to support custom portfolios. On the other, they’re failing to provide sufficient control into the public data centre to self-manage service-level agreements.

The Infrastructure as a Service (laaS) provider best equipped to take more responsibility and deliver the control tenants’ demand will be the one to drive cloud migration in 2017.

  1. Corporate-owned data centre numbers will plummet

Just a few years ago, this statement would have seemed outrageous. But now, it seems all but inevitable.

As organisations focus their IT spending on cloud computing, they’ll begin to migrate their workloads from corporate-owned data centres to purpose-built facilities, managed and run by enterprise cloud providers. Mark Hurd predicts that we’ll see corporate-owned data centre numbers fall 80 percent by 2025, and that the same percentage of IT spending will be devoted to cloud services.

While corporate data centre numbers may not fall straight away, we do expect an immediate reduction in direct investment for computer capacity, storage, and networking services.

  1. Enterprise cloud becomes the most secure place for IT processing

This year’s threat landscape will be highly changeable. External threats—coupled with the need for better governance and privacy mandates—will make security a key priority for all lines of business.

In years past, security was a major barrier to cloud investment. Data sovereignty, data privacy, and control issues deterred many organisations from pursuing cloud adoption. But in the future, those very same concerns will be the things that draw new organisations to the cloud.

Established cloud vendors with solid security track records have the expertise and resources to deploy layers of defence that many companies simply cannot duplicate in-house.

  1. Digital transformation becomes the norm

Our world is becoming increasingly digitally connected, and it’s transforming the way we live, work, and play.

These same technological advancements provide unprecedented opportunities for businesses to expand, innovate, and create new value. Sectors including healthcare, manufacturing, and even urban planning have been reimagined and redefined by the cloud.

To realise these opportunities, today’s enterprises must not only develop new cloud-ready tools, but also put digital at the centre of their businesses. Hidden within today’s digital connections are the solutions to our most urgent business challenges.

This year, we’ll see more companies successfully embrace new integrated cloud technologies.

  1. The rise of intelligent applications

Artificial Intelligence (Al) might sound like science fiction, but many of us use it every day. The software behind many online shopping sites and on-demand music services, for example, is a highly successful and highly pervasive form of Al.

These systems depend on technology infrastructure capable of importing, analysing, and interpreting huge volumes of data before acting on it—all without human intervention. And the next step for such technologies? To become an established part of customer service and other business operations.

Soon, we’ll see intelligent applications capable of automatically recommending individualised actions and streamlining business tasks.

  1. Nothing artificial about it: Al gets real

Al and robotics have carved out a niche in the manufacturing sector, and now these technologies are poised to bring their exciting benefits to a host of new industries.

The Al space is white-hot, and it’s being fueled by the data explosion. Machine learning algorithms find patterns in enormous volumes of digital information and use that data to train, learn, and become even smarter.

ClOs ignore the Al wave at their peril. According to Toby Redshaw, consultant and former American Express CIO, the company that ignores Al-powered technology will be “the guy at the gunfight with a knife.”

  1. Developers do more with less coding

This year, a new tool looks set to join cloud app developers’ toolkits. “Visual” or “low” coding will be everywhere in 2017.

For many organizations, the real-time enterprise has meant a rethinking of application development. IT teams are often stuck with a backlog of work, preventing them from delivering applications quickly enough to capitalise on new opportunities. Visual coding enables quick, straightforward development and extension of enterprise applications.

“More than ever before, application development and delivery professionals must obsess over their UI designs,” say Forrester analysts John Rymer and Clay Richardson. Low-code vendors employ familiar drag-and-drop, WYSIWYG techniques to speed user interface creation!

  1. The cloud empowers small business innovation

Cloud has become a catalyst for small business growth, allowing them to innovate freely, carve out new markets, and disrupt the status quo.

The digital economy demands that companies of all sizes compete based on technology-enabled value. While some seek to evolve existing business practices, others are striving to launch new services that exploit extensive, low-cost computational power. Traditionally, access to such high-performance resources has been too expensive for smaller businesses. But what once cost $100 million up front is now available for $10 per hour.

The cloud is allowing small businesses to innovate, experiment, and sustain ongoing profitability.

  1. 60% of IT organizations move systems management to the cloud 

More than 90% of companies have multiple systems management tools, but just 6% trust their incomplete data. Consequently, IT operations professionals struggle to create effective management approaches.

The pace of business is increasing. As more organizations adopt DevOps practices and focus on digital experience, they’ll need to eliminate management data silos and embrace machine learning just to keep up.

Some have already embraced systems management in the cloud, unifying management data across multiple clouds and on premises. Others are benefiting from data science applied to the operational management problem. Only Oracle Management Cloud provides an intelligent, unified, cloud-based approach that applies machine learning to the complete operational data set. And while many cloud tools are built exclusively for cloud systems, ours does both.

We expect that by 2020, 60% will have moved their most critical systems management use cases to the cloud.

  1. 50% of DevTest will move to the cloud

Last year, we predicted that DevTest workloads would have all but completely migrated to the public cloud by 2025.

At Oracle OpenWorld 2016, Mark Hurd revealed that “we are nearly halfway there” already.

With on-premise hardware and software, IT teams have to buy, license, and configure everything to create development environments that hopefully match production environments. Hurd estimates that the industry could save $150 billion by migrating DevTest to the cloud.

This year, we expect widespread adoption of cloud DevTest. We’ll see new application development capabilities, including low-code approaches, tools for microservices, and support for all platforms and languages.

 

Ahmed Adly, ECEMEA Enterprise Cloud Computing Leader and Senior Director, Oracle

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Egyptian FlyEx.aero aims at expanding in the Gulf and US https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/05/24/egyptian-flyex-aero-aims-expanding-gulf-us/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/05/24/egyptian-flyex-aero-aims-expanding-gulf-us/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 06:30:55 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=626527 We are negotiating with a number of investors to get seed investment, says El-Masry

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The founders of the FlyEx.aero application plan to attract investments of $200,000 in a first phase to cover the costs of their initial expansion plan.

Founder & CEO Osama El-Masry and Tamer Tayseer, co-founder & digital marketing director, said that the application aims to create a competitive atmosphere between airlines according to the quality of service offered to passengers and based on travelers’ feedback and ratings.

They noted that they plan to increase the number of users to 0.5 million by the end of the year, with a focus on expanding into the Gulf countries and the United States.

What is the nature of the services provided by the application?

The application that we launched provides flight booking services at the cheapest prices, through searching and comparing the prices of hundreds of airlines and websites—like most competitors. Yet what is unique is that we associate airline rankings along with prices to users which enables them not only to choose their flights based on the cheapest prices, but also considering the quality of service offered by each airline. Such a concept has been available for hotels for decades, but not for airlines so far, and this is exactly what we are trying to achieve through the FlyEx.aero app, aiming to change the flight booking industry for good. We have started working on and developing the application over the past two years to make it easy to use and meanwhile providing the best user experience.

It is well known that most airlines compete to provide the best level of service for their First and Business classes, where most of their revenue comes from, although they only account for 10% of total flight seats. Meanwhile, the rest of classes and especially the Economy class is always determined by the price, therefore a focus on comfort and quality of service are almost non-existent and are very similar across most of the airlines. Hence, we aim to change this by creating a competitive environment between airline companies across all classes through giving power to passengers to voice their opinion on the provided services and consequently considering quality as well as price in their booking decision process.

The application allows passengers to express their views in a quick and easy way towards the provided services by the airlines during their flights and their overall flight experience, which directly and immediately affect the ranking order of the airlines in our system index. This is then made available to all users during their search and booking process, which enables them to choose the best airlines to fly with in terms of both service and price.

How did you get the idea for the app?

Initially, I was working on a technological system for traffic management. I traveled to China in an attempt to implement the system there, but the experience was not successful due to the bankruptcy of the manufacturer. This forced me to begin working on a new system related to the problem of high baggage loss rates for travelers, especially during transfers; however, I faced many problems related to aviation authorities’ approvals and corresponding bureaucracy, which was difficult to overcome for a startup company.

While attending an international aviation event attended by major airlines’ executives, where I was discussing the baggage loss prevention system, the idea of generating new revenue streams for airlines through selling ancillary services and their reliance on digital solutions was heavily discussed. This helped form the idea in my head by the end of 2013, until finally the first version was released in September 2016.

What distinguishes your application from other competitors?

The service we provide is not only flight booking and ratings, but we also offer a number of other features and services, such as a flight organiser, flight status tracker, and even setting an automated assuring message to beloved family and friends once the flight departs/lands, while users focus on travel logistics.

Additionally, the application allows tracking flights so users can keep a close eye on flights of their relatives or friends. It also enables users to learn about the time difference, exchange rate, and weather conditions at their intended destination.

Founder & CEO Osama El-Masry

The application also provides information on the flights themselves, including the type of plane and the services provided on board, such as internet and USB ports. This information varies from flight to flight and travelers cannot find them usually, except after some time searching the internet across different websites. Instead, FlyEx.aero app provides them with all this information and more in one app, and even before making their final booking decision.

Furthermore, we also equipped the app with a language assistance service that includes the most important travel statements in 10 different languages to facilitate communicating with local residents, especially in non-English speaking countries, e.g. China, Hungary, Bulgaria, Japan, and Turkey, etc..

In addition to all these features, we are launching a totally new feature, which is airports’ maps for major airports in order to show users how to get around in the airports in terms of gates, lounges, restrooms, and other airport service areas. We are also working on adding mobile services offered by some airlines, such as issuing mobile check-in (mobile boarding pass), modification and cancellation of bookings, and frequent flyer programme access. This is all done from the app itself, which means that users can dispense of other apps on their mobile devices for the various airlines they travel with and rely instead on FlyEx.aero app.

What other features do you plan to add?

In the near future, we plan to add hotel booking services and other essential travel services through the application. Our main driver is to provide the largest number of travel services in one application and hence relieve the burden from the user to refer to multiple other apps/resources to get his travel tasks done.

How many airlines are currently in use?

The application has all the airlines in the world, but the ranking service is only available for 100 airlines so far.

How many downloads has the application seen until now? And what is your target?

There are now more than 5,000 downloads, but we aim to reach 0.5 million downloads by the end of 2017. This relies on our marketing plans and completing an agreement to obtain seed funding from one of the funding platforms.

What is the percentage of Egyptian customers out of the sheer number of users?

Egypt is currently ranked fourth among the number of users of the application, while India ranked first, followed by Pakistan, and then the US in third. We aim to focus on the Gulf and the US in the coming period.

What basis is used for rating airlines?

We have key sections through which the customer rates their flight experience with the airline, such as the flow of the flight, based on the smoothness of the takeoff, landing, and air turbulence management, in addition to hospitality and courtesy of the cabin crew, and of course the quality of meals and beverages offered during the flight, all the way through to the details of the plane itself, in terms of comfort, entertainment system, A/C, etc..

Where do you stand in terms of investments?

We currently communicate with a number of specialised investment funds and we reached advanced stages with one of them. Additionally, we are negotiating with a travel agency company to partner with to cooperate in the field of hotel bookings and holiday package reservations through our application.

What is your mechanism for making profits through the application?

In the first stage, we will get a small margin from the booking transactions, and then in the future, there will be a new mechanism to maximise revenues through offering business solutions to airlines and airports, but this will highly depend on the number of active users then.

What is your target size of investments?

Usually, the seed funding phase aims for $200,000, which is enough for our first phase, allowing us to reach our target of a base of 0.5 million users.

What are your target markets for expansion in the future?

We aim to expand in Europe and the United States, especially as US users are amongst the most frequent users, with a 65% retention rate, knowing that the industrial standard ranges between a 30% and 40% retention rate, which is a pretty good indicator that we are on the right track and targeting the right user profile.

Are there any current negotiations with Airline Companies?

We actually started establishing contacts with one of the Gulf airlines and are working on more approaches with number of airlines in the Middle East region. Yet, since we are an Egyptian startup, we hoped to have our first cooperation with EgyptAir or Cairo Airport Company for mutual benefit and boosting the Egyptian travel industry in such a challenging economy, but as you know, bureaucracy is our greatest enemy.

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NTRA launches campaign on mobile markets this weekend https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/05/24/ntra-launches-campaign-mobile-markets-weekend/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/05/24/ntra-launches-campaign-mobile-markets-weekend/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 06:00:42 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=626565 Campaign aims to confiscate unauthorised mobile devices and illegal mobile lines

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The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) is set to begin a new campaign on mobile markets in Greater Cairo and a number of governorates this weekend before the month of Ramadan to confiscate smuggled phones and lines that are sold through unlicensed shops, according to an official at the authority.

In cooperation with the police telecommunications department, the NTRA has organised 25 judicial seizure campaigns last year at a number of mobile phone stores selling mobile lines and unauthorised devices from unknown sources illegally.

The inspection campaigns included several areas, such as Assiut, Luxor, Aswan, El Zaytoun, downtown Cairo, Qena, Safaga, Hurghada, Mansoura, Gesr El Suez, Shebin El Koum, Tanta, Alexandria, Downtown Alexandria, and Beheira.

In April, the NTRA conducted several campaigns on the mobile markets in several areas of Cairo, Daqahleya, Port Said, and Ismailia governorates to control smuggled phones and prohibited devices, such as jamming devices.

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World Telecommunication and Information Society Day https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/05/17/world-telecommunication-information-society-day/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/05/17/world-telecommunication-information-society-day/#respond Wed, 17 May 2017 16:12:38 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=625846 15.95% increase in the number of households that have a computer in 2016

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In celebration of the World Information Society Day, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) issued a statement regarding the current local status of communication technology.

The press release aimed at focusing on the importance of information and communication technologies (ICT); meanwhile, it also monitored the evident increase in general awareness regarding the benefits of ICT.

The World Information Society Day is celebrated on 17 May of each year on the occasion of the establishment the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The global day was adopted by the UN General Assembly in March 2006.

Through this annual day, the ITU identifies big data and the conversion of this data efficiently in order to contribute to development. This year, the celebration is held under the main theme of “big data to make a big impact.”

Furthermore, the statement elaborated on a few significant figures, including the remarkable increase in terms of the number of households with computers. According to the report, the number has increased from 9.72 million in 2015 to 11.27 million in 2016.

On the other hand, the number of  households with a mobile increased from 19.73 million in 2015 to 21.57 in 2016—an increase of 9.32%. The number of family members of internet users at home reached 27.06 million people in 2016, compared to 23.04 million people in 2015—an increase of 17.45%.

Furthermore, many other rates and numbers show increases. The number of internet users that depend on e-mail on a regular basis reached 22.14 million people in 2016, compared to 18.79 million people in 2015—an increase of 17.83%.

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The web can help Egyptian SMEs grow and reach more customers: Google MENA managing director https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/05/17/web-can-help-egyptian-smes-grow-reach-customers-google-mena-managing-director/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/05/17/web-can-help-egyptian-smes-grow-reach-customers-google-mena-managing-director/#respond Wed, 17 May 2017 06:00:24 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=625682 Lino Cattaruzzi is confident in the growth opportunities provided by digital infrastructure

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The web provides a big opportunity for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt to export their services and products, according to Google’s managing director for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Lino Cattaruzzi, in an interview with the Daily News Egypt.

Can you tell us about your partnership with the Ministry of Communications?

We’re in constant communication with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to discuss future plans and programmes. We recently celebrated the last graduation ceremony of the two-year Mobile Application Launchpad (MAL) programme, which was set up by Google in partnership with Udacity and the Egyptian Ministry of Information Technology to groom successful mobile app developers in Egypt through training, certification, and career guidance/job placements in the ICT field.

We are very proud of the success of this programme, and the numbers speak for themselves—more than 1,600 enrolled students and more than 1,200 successful graduates.

What led to the high success and graduation rate of the Mobile App Launchpad Program in Egypt?

Firstly, I think that the programme was very well designed. We looked at the local needs in Egypt and partnered with Udacity to offer one-on-one coaching and made sure that it is very inclusive and allowed for everyone to join. More than 65% of the students were from outside of Cairo. Secondly, the students have a high starting base with strong background. For instance, one of the students majored in Physics. Egypt has what it takes in terms of human capital for people to succeed in STEM sciences.

But this not particular to Egypt, this eagerness exists everywhere. The percentage was a little higher in Egypt, but what is striking is that the students are very ambitious and forward looking. For example, the students did not just stop at certification but they were planning what they can do with that certification.

What are your future plans to support entrepreneurs in Egypt?

At Google, we always look to nurture the entrepreneurial talent in Egypt and the MENA region. MAL was tailored specifically for Egyptian developers, and we worked with our partners to determine the best format that would deliver the strongest impact. That being said, we are always looking for new plans and programmes that support developers in Egypt, because inevitably this would lead to a stronger ecosystem. We are currently exploring what the next best steps are, but first we need to make sure we reflect and analyse what we did right and what could be done better.

We have clear areas of exploration, in particular we are focused on digital skills, but the key question here is not just about what we are going to do tomorrow, but more about how we can support this new digital economy to work well for all the SMEs in Egypt and how we can make sure that we maximise the impact of new technology on the life of the average Egyptian citizen.

What are the opportunities that you see in Egypt?

We see a lot of opportunities, considering the size, talent, and potential for development in Egypt. One is in talent specifically; we see an opportunity in building on the talent of the already well-trained population to have a higher impact using technology. The second, is how Egypt can have a higher footprint in the region, the Arab world, Africa, and even globally.

The last one is how you can start your own business or enable SMEs to export and small companies to grow faster.

Egypt and the web are better together. For us, the internet is extremely important; there is a global change in the business, and Egyptians are well equipped to capture this evolution. This is what we are doing by engaging with different players here in Egypt, like the government and associations, to capture this opportunity in order to help businesses grow faster.

For instance, Egypt is filled with incredible artisans producing amazing things, and they should be able to sell them outside of Egypt, and for other people to be aware and for them to capture the value. This is not to sell them to a large company that will take most of the economic wealth, but to enable them to directly communicate with the outside world, to have an easier way of shipping goods and collecting the money directly from the service, and to make them grow their business.

They need to be known and they need to have easy ways to sell what they produce.

What does it take to become the next Google?

I think the first thing to take into consideration is innovation and creativity—creating something new and unique that adds value. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a company; it could be a network of companies or even just an idea that creates value. You need to think big, not small: at Google we call it “10x thinking”. Second, one needs to have the skills to be in the digital world; and third, there needs to be the right environment that can allow individuals and companies to be successful.

There are a number of aspects that will make a simple idea the next big thing and yet it is not just the idea; the key is turning the idea into reality.

Do you think start-ups in Egypt are getting the right funding and support?

There is an abundance of financing for start-ups on a global level; how you articulate them and make them available in Egypt is secondary. If you have the right platform, the challenge is not in the funding but how you scale success and grow it to be regional or global. One of the challenges we have is a lot of talent think that it is easier and simpler to do things in their own country and that reaching other markets means they need to relocate. There are some countries that look to attract these talents and scaling them in order to turn them into big players. Almost every single country is facing that challenge. My recommendation here is make sure that you look at people as part of an ecosystem, and not just as individuals. It’s more about thinking of them as an ecosystem—a number of people that are creating value spills over to create more value for more people. Even if some of them decide to relocate and go to other countries, you still have the ecosystem working smoothly and generating more.

When you think about Google, you need to think about Silicon Valley—there are a number of companies that make it what it is. Think of the ecosystem that provides funding, access to good connectivity and training, exposure internationally, and access to international commerce—all these things that help one grow.

Do you have any plans to invest in local start-ups?

We mainly do this in the US, where we try to acquire some technologies related to what we need as a company, but in the region we believe that it is much more impactful and powerful to invest in developing the ecosystem, because this is where we can positively impact hundreds of thousands of companies.

Google partnered with the Ministry of Tourism back in 2014. Do you have other plans to support tourism in Egypt?

We generally work with different boards of tourism around the world that ask for our support, because we believe that giving users the access and chance to discover different places around the world has amazing value.

Egypt is an icon—a place that I have long dreamt of as a child—so I am happy that our Street View feature has offered people from around the world the chance to get a glimpse of its top landmarks and heritage.

That being said, we recently haven’t been in talks with the government for anything in particular, but we are always very eager to continue this kind of work to make culture and heritage even more accessible to everybody.

Where does Egypt rank in terms of growth for Google in the region?

We generally look at the upcoming growth in terms of people going online, so Egypt ranks very high in that regard. We also focus a lot on KSA [Kingdom of Saudi Arabia] and the UAE [United Arab Emirates].

Do you have any plans for supporting Education? 

I think the big question is what is the future of education and how can you match what the labour market needs with what students are trained in. Even if we make a very good definition of how that looks today, I can guarantee that in 10 years it will be completely different.

It is not about taking a snapshot and making the decision; it is about how much you can cope with this degree of change. Today education is almost everywhere, you go to YouTube and see all those videos that users create on their own about how to do something—whether that was fixing a faucet or learning mathematics. Education is being democratised with people using platforms to create content and educate others, as well as making this universally accessible to consumers. Then there are all these institutions that we partner with, such as Udacity, who we have partnered with here.

What does success look like for Google in Egypt?

We look at success in Egypt in three ways: one is enhancing the experience of internet users on the web and helping them find what they are looking for in whatever form they want, whether on Search or on YouTube.

The second thing is we want to help and equip all these people to export their businesses around the world. The quality of some things that are produced here in Egypt should be exported almost everywhere in the world.

The third is about individuals; we want to make sure that we are ahead of the curve, because things are changing rapidly and we want to help simplify the adoption of new technologies and the transformation of companies.

What is Google doing to support Arabic content on the web?

Arabic content is for a region, not just for a country. There are a number of initiatives that we are leading.

The YouTube space that we set up in Dubai will cater to the region as a whole and will focus on the creation of Arabic content through online videos.

I am learning Arabic and I can tell you it is a complex language. But it is a rich language, especially with all its dialects. With advancing technology and machine learning, the web will better understand what users around the world are searching for, including Arabic.

Another way we support Arabic content is by helping the network of publishers get funded through ads so they can keep creating more content. Around the world, we have distributed tens of millions of dollars to publishers.

How do you see the growth of digital advertising in Egypt?

I think it is a reflection of how people spend their time. We see more people moving and spending more time on their devices, particularly mobile phones. So when you see the consequence of that, just look at yourself and look at how much time you are spending on your phone, computer, or tablet; so this brings about two things.

One is that the way that content is consumed is different as opposed to the past. People are selecting where to go and what to see, and this creates a movement of revenues to the online world for publishers, platforms, creators, etc… and the Arab world is embracing this big time and it is growing very rapidly.

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