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Smart SMB Summit & Awards Oman concludes on a high


Oman became the third country in the region after the UAE and Bahrain to host Smart SMB Summit & Awards. The flagship platform targeting mid-market decision makers that held it first Oman edition on 20th March at the Sundus Rotana in Muscat, saw an impressive attendance right through the day.

Oman attendees

The successful show indeed underlined yet again the utility of ‘Smart SMB Summit’ as an ideal platform for the mid-market Businesses across countries by helping bring to the fore discussion on subjects of great relevance such as digital and business transformation.

The Summit lined up an impressive cast of speakers with strong industry expertise for the keynote addresses as well as panel discussions.

R. Narayan, Editor in Chief and Publisher of Smart SMB in his brief opening address highlighted the continued commitment of the organizers, Business Media International, to expand the platform across the region. 

Samer Semaan, Regional Channel Manager, Gulf, Dell Technologies presented the first keynote of the day and he spoke on ‘Realizing your Digital Future’ which brought to light the important pivots that need to be addressed in going down the road of digital transformation. Following him, Mansoor Sarwar, Director Technical Services & Pre-Sales, Sage Middle East presented his keynote on ‘Impact of Digital Transformation on ERP’ and highlighted severals facets including 

Ankit Shukla, MD of Business Media International, said, “We are quite pleased to see that the Summit has been received so well here in Bahrain. We are hopeful that the platform will continue to play a key role in driving awareness of technologies that enhance competencies of businesses to compete better.” 

Shino Thomas, Head of Digital Transformation Projects, National Bank of Oman,  Kashif Adeel, Kashif Adeel, Senior Delivery Manager, Technology Projects, Bank Dhofar and Georges El-Khoury, Senior Channel Sales Manager at Dell EMC were the participants of the first of the three panel discussions of the day. The discussion highlighted ‘digital transformation’ as an opportunity for the smaller  and medium size Businesses in Oman to expand their horizons in terms of new capabilities, new markets to address etc by leveraging new technologies. 

Mohammad Ather Ansari, Senior Expert at Omantel gave an incisive presentation on ‘The transformational impact of IoT and edge computing’, helping enhance the understanding of the attendees on the subject.

Following him, Duha Awayes, Director Protiviti Oman, presented an engaging address on ‘Leadership in Digital & Business transformation’. She highlighted why the ‘Super Chicken model’ does not work in the digital age and why it is about the value each team member brings to the table and the diversity that will be among the defining ingredients of success.

This was followed by a panel discussion on “enabling the digital workplace’ and the participants included Mansoor Sarwar, Technical Director Sage Middle East, Les Johnson, Director of Digital Technology, British School Muscat, HARISH DANANI, Senior Consultant ICT, Infocomm Group and Sabahat Nasim, Channel Sales Manager, HPE Aruba, Gulf. The session brought out insights including the challenges faced within some workplaces as to the lack of basic enablement of digital technologies to the significant momentum organizations attain with relevant deployments of technologies in their respective verticals.

This was followed by a panel discussion that focused on ‘Women leaders in IT transformation’ that saw Samer Semaan, Regional Channel Manager, Gulf, Dell Technologies as the moderator and a group of women executives from corporate and Ministry departments. The participants included Dr. Fatma Mohammed Abdullah Al-Balushi, Director of Human Resources Management Systems Department Ministry of Civil Service, Raya Aziz Al-Oufi, Director IT, Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs,  Duha Awayes, Director Protiviti Oman and Laila Al Barwany, Technology Manager, InterContinental Muscat. The participants shared many interesting insights on how women leaders effectively balance their work lives with family time and leave a strong imprint in the growth of their organizations.women panel

The final keynote of the day focused on Cybersecurity in the age of digital transformation and was delivered by Nayaz Mohamed , Partner - Africa, India and Middle East (AIM) at EY Oman who emphasized that cybersecurity should not be an after thought as the attacks are becoming mores sophisticated all the time with the rising number of IP devices attached to typical networks.

Ankit Shukla, MD of Business Media International said,” Smart SMB Summit & Awards continues to grow from strength to strength. This edition proves further how effective the platform is becoming in getting the mid-market leaders to get together and listen in to some important talks and discussions around digital transformation while at the same time also get to do purposeful Business networking on the sidelines.”

Saumyadeep Halder, CEO of Business Media International said, “We are quite happy with the massive response that the Smart SMB Summit has seen in Oman. We look forward to bringing more such initiatives to the country soon.”

The sponsors for the event included Platinum sponsors- Dell Technologies and Arrow, and Gold partner Sage. The Silver sponsors included Microsoft, Redington and Epicor.

The Exhibition partners of the event were Infocomm, Aruba, Gemalto and Exclusive Networks. Protiviti was the Knowledge partner

The Smart SMB Awards for digital transformation were presented following the Summit. Recognition for organizations across verticals was based on their digital transformation initiatives and enablement over the past year. 

  • Best Digital Transformation in Education - British School Muscat
  • Best Digital Transformation in Hospitality - Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel
  • Best Digital Transformation in Manufacturing - Sohar Steel
  • Best Digital Transformation in Banking - Bank Dhofar
  • Best Digital Transformation in Financial Services - Modern Exchange
  • Best Digital Transformation in Insurance - Al Ahlia Insurance
  • Best Digital Transformation in Telecom - Omantel
  • Best Digital Transformation in Trading - Genetco
  • Best Digital Transformation in Retail - Khimji Ramdas
  • Best Digital Transformation in Travel - Mezoon Travel
  • Best Digital Transformation Vendor - Dell Technologies
  • Best ERP Vendor - Sage Software
  • Best Digital Workplace Vendor - Aruba
  • Best Digital Transformation VAD - Arrow ECS
  • Best Digital Transformation Retail Distributor - Redington Gulf
  • Best Mid-Market Distributor- Exclusive Networks
  • Best Digital Transformation System Integrator- Infocomm
  • CEO of the Year- Ammar Aissou
  • CIO of the Year- Shino Thomas
  • CISO of the Year-  Zainab Hassan Hussain Al.Shuhaimi

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