In 2006, there was a big gap in the Saudi Arabian technology market and no cloud-based IT services. Virtual Vision – also known as V2 – was started to fill that gap. We believed cloud was the way of the future, so we transformed our business to focus entirely on providing migration, implementation, and consultation, all based around the cloud. Now, our primary focus is to move as much of our customers’ infrastructure to the cloud as possible.
Saudi Arabia has been slower to embrace the cloud, so being early to the cloud was a huge advantage for us: we were one of the few companies that truly focused on cloud solutions and had the expertise to implement, consult, and train. We went looking for partners, only to have most doors shut in our faces. Microsoft not only had the best partner network, it was also one of the few companies that was very focused on cloud, and virtually the only big player that was willing to listen to us and ultimately, invite us in. By aligning with Microsoft and making that story our own, we were able to develop relationships, get projects, and really accelerate our business.
V2 understood the importance of cloud early. Hear how the company’s move to the cloud – and their partnership with Microsoft – is not only helping V2 grow, it’s helping Saudi Arabia move forward in a mobile-first, cloud-first world:
When Aramco Ventures went looking for ways to invest in the Saudi marketplace, our cloud expertise – and to no small extent, our partnership with Microsoft – made us a good investment opportunity. Aramco wanted to create high-tech jobs and open doors of opportunity for young people; we wanted help to build the first cloud data center in the Middle East, a critical piece of infrastructure for the area.
What if some Saudi kid is the next inventor of Facebook? We asked them. Here in Saudi Arabia, our high-tech innovators don’t have the resources available in other countries, and unless we build them, we risk getting left behind. Because we had the expertise to move ahead quickly, they agreed to work with us towards achieving our vision.
Our success goes well beyond the growth of our own business. Cloud is the evolution of IT; it opens up doors that didn’t exist before, and when our cloud data center opens in 2016, it will exponentially increase opportunities in Saudi Arabia. Having a local data center allows us to drive tech capabilities, and makes development easier by reducing obstacles. When innovators don’t have to worry about building their own data center, running it, servicing it, and finding bandwidth, they can concentrate on creating the next HoloLens or Facebook.
Even before it opens, the data center is creating opportunities. To get the data center up and running, we’re going to bring in high-level engineers from major companies like Microsoft. They’ll spend three years with us, teaching local techs and students. We’re already in conversations with universities to help us find graduates ready to learn and then lead as Saudi Arabia embraces the cloud. And of course, all the services this influx of new technology requires mean more opportunity for tech partners in the region.
Cloud may have been slow to catch on in this region, but for us, it’s been the platform on which we build all kinds of innovation and anchor our business growth. With our expertise, Saudi Arabia is going to have a cloud datacenter opening next year. We’re not going to have everything ready from day one, but we believe in five years, we should have one of the best products running in the market. And, with our great partnership and support from Microsoft, we are thrilled to be an integral part of building a better future for our region.
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