The digital transformation of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)’s small- and medium-sized enterprises and Smart Cities is driving regional software spend to top USD 6 billion, industry experts announced today. The MENA region is a fast-growth market for digital transformation, as organizations look to gain greater business agility, better understand customer needs and trends, and scale up on emerging technology innovations. In particular, software spend is the fastest growing technology sector in the MENA region, increasing by 11 percent year-on-year to a record-high of USD 6.2 billion in 2018, according to Gartner.
In anticipation of digital business growth, global technology company SAP, which has 12 MENA offices, is advancing its senior leadership to support digital transformation. SAP provides packaged software solutions for 25 industries and 7 lines of business across on-premise, cloud, and hybrid environments.
With immediate effect, Zakaria Haltout moves from leading the channel partner program as Vice President of Global Channels and General Business, SAP MENA, to Managing Director, SAP UAE. In turn, Julien Bertin moves from Managing Director, SAP UAE and Oman, to Vice President of Channels for Emerging Markets, SAP.
Zakaria Haltout will advance SAP’s 5-year USD 200 million UAE investment plan, onboarding customers to SAP’s local cloud data center, and support Expo 2020 Dubai as a Premier Partner. Julien Bertin will expand and specialize channel partners, which primarily support small- and medium-sized enterprises. SAP is seeing strong interest in digitally transforming financial processes, e-commerce, procurement, and talent.
“Record MENA software spend shows that organizations value real-time operations to drive digital business success, from Smart Cities and mega-events, to digital oilfields and connected malls,” said Gergi Abboud, Senior Vice President and General Manager, SAP Middle East South. “Our regional leadership advancement optimizes our talent to continue to grow our UAE ecosystem and channel business. I am confident that the leadership skills of Zakaria Haltout and Julien Bertin will support our strategy with a customer-first approach.”
Zakaria Haltout and Julien Bertin will continue to be based in Dubai. Both bring strong IT experience, having worked in the IT sector since 2000. Zakaria Haltout joined SAP since 2008, and Julien Bertin joined in 2018.