21 March 2022; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Following its recent transformation announcement and embracing of a new identity, e& (formerly known as Etisalat Group), today expanded its partnership with Microsoft, entering the next phase of collaboration that will see the two companies accelerate value creation, push the boundaries of innovation, and achieve more for the benefit of their customers.
Under a partnership agreement, the parties will enhance a long-term strategic collaboration, embarking on e&’s journey to go beyond the realms of traditional telecommunications to transform the lives of its customers and advance the digitalisation journey of enterprises.
Senior executives met at the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond to seal the partnership, including Hatem Dowidar, CEO, e&, Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft, Sayed Hashish, General Manager of Microsoft UAE and Masood M Sharif Mahmood, CEO, Etisalat UAE.
“Our partnership with Microsoft is an example of synergy in action,” said Hatem Dowidar, CEO, e&. “e& is combining one of the world’s fastest 5G networks with Microsoft’s cloud, AI, edge and data services, addressing a regional market hungry for digital transformation. We are confident that this collaboration will continue to support the ever-growing demands of this market and our digital journey of transformation and innovation. This also supports our ambition to become a world-class technology provider that supports regional innovators as they disrupt, make a difference and build the future.”
Collaboration structured around impactful pillars
The agreement, which is e&’s first strategic partnership alliance after its repositioning, will focus on e& harnessing the versatility of the Microsoft Cloud and partner ecosystem to create new solutions, accelerate value creation for businesses of all sizes, as well as engage customers and empower e&’s employees. The collaboration between the organisations will be structured around three strategic pillars:
- Focus on business-to-business engagement across large enterprises, governments, small and medium-sized businesses, by helping them in their digital transformation journey.
- Re-invention of the consumer experience, with a focus on empowering consumers, broadening, and enriching the e& services portfolio.
- Setting the foundations to power e&’s transformation journey by modernising networks and platforms, building ecosystems and transforming the e& culture to attract top talent.
“The United Arab Emirates has fully embraced digitisation with an impressive speed and vision,” said Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Microsoft. “Our strategic partnership with e& emphasizes the role that Microsoft’s comprehensive and trusted cloud plays in our customers’ digital transformation, bringing together the unique capability of networks, hyperscale infrastructure and partner solutions to drive economic growth, sustainability, and societal wellbeing. e& has made a commitment to continuously innovate, and we are proud of the role Microsoft is playing as part of this journey.”
Partnership built on strong foundation of joint successes
e& and Microsoft have been strategic partners for many years, playing a key role in the UAE’s transformation into one of the world’s smartest nations.
In 2019, Microsoft launched its much-anticipated UAE data centres in collaboration with e&. At the height of the pandemic in 2020, Etisalat UAE, the telecoms pillar of e& in the UAE collaborated with Microsoft to enable Microsoft Teams availability across the UAE. Soon after, e& launched its first customer service powered by Microsoft Azure, enabling SMBs to grow and scale their operations. Last year, it partnered with Microsoft for 5G and Edge to lay the foundations for next-generation use cases.
In 2021, e& enterprise was named Microsoft Country Partner of the Year for the UAE in recognition for providing outstanding solutions and services to customers in strategic industries such as government, healthcare, and financial services. e& enterprise has also been instrumental in accelerating customer journeys on remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic by offering Teams Direct Routing as a service, to help save costs and enable business continuity for multinationals.