Cisco appoints General Manager for Oman
Cisco has announced the appointment of Ali Al Lawati as General Manager for Oman, who will work closely with public and private sector organisations to help enable their digital transformation journeys.
Oman’s government departments and businesses are on a drive to evolve the way they serve citizens and customers. The country-specific role amplifies Cisco’s commitment to supporting the development of the Sultanate’s digital ecosystem and technology infrastructure to meet the demands of the digital era. Over the years, Cisco has been collaborating with multiple stakeholders to help boost Oman’s digital transformation and contribute to Oman's Vision 2040 objectives.
“Ali’s appointment reflects our commitment to developing local talent regionally, particularly in leadership roles where qualified professionals are able to bring to bear their experience and acute understanding of market dynamics,” said Shukri Eid, Managing Director, East Region, Cisco Middle East. “The high calibre of Omani human capital available is a testament to the Sultanate’s ability to link the educational system to the growing requirements of a modern labour force.”
As General Manager of Cisco’s Oman operations, Al Lawati will drive Cisco’s support of the Digital Oman Strategy, which aims to advance the development of the ICT industry. Its key pillars are the development of human resources, as well as the national digital infrastructure and governance. In his role, Ali will use the growing Cisco portfolio of solutions to strengthen collaboration with the Omani government and Cisco’s partner network to make sure that Cisco remains the partner of choice for digitisation.
“Oman is currently undergoing a significant transition, with technology playing an increasingly important role as an enabler to the Sultanate’s economic diversification. As a technology leader with a longstanding presence in Oman, Cisco will continue to contribute its digital transformation expertise to support the country’s journey to transform into a sustainable knowledge-based economy and digital society,” added Eid.
Oman’s growing numbers of mobile and fixed internet subscriptions, combined with a young population, offer significant opportunities for the development of a vibrant digital economy. Over the last decade, Oman has made significant advancements in developing its technology infrastructure and capabilities in both the government and private sector.
“Combined with its strategic location on regional and international communication grids and easy access to emerging markets, the Sultanate’s dynamic business community and progressive, business-oriented government make it an ideal market to reap the benefits of digitisation,” said Fady Younes, Deputy Managing Director and Operations Director for the East Region, Cisco Middle East. “Ali’s appointment comes at an exciting time as the Omani government prioritises technology as a key contributor to the Sultanate’s long-term prosperity and a main driver of growth across key sectors.”
The rapid growth of the ICT industry in Oman is creating demand for digital, networking, and cybersecurity skills. Narrowing the IT skills gap is an area where Cisco Networking Academy has been contributing significantly over the years by nurturing and developing talent for the digital era and driving initiatives to attract more young Omani students and graduates to pursue careers in technology. At present there are more than 3000 students enrolled with Cisco Networking Academy in Oman, which has trained more than 15,000 students since its inception. With 71 per cent of the enrolled students being female, to date Oman has the highest female participation rate in Cisco’s global IT skills and career building programme.
"I am excited to join the Cisco team. As a global technology company, Cisco has well-tested practises in enabling digital transformation. As organisations in Oman seek to optimise costs and drive efficiencies, there is immense potential for growth in area such as mobility, security, cloud, big data, and analytics. With our expansive portfolio of smart solutions and outcome-based approach, Cisco is better-placed to support businesses in implementing their digital roadmaps,” said Al Lawati.
He added that Oman is considered a regional leader in the development of e-government and e-services, with a comprehensive programme that aims to simplify government processes, enhance service delivery and accessibility, and bring services closer to citizens. Furthermore, Cisco is committed to supporting Oman’s digitisation agenda in line with the government’s vision of enhancing government services and public sector efficiency toward a smart future.
With more than 20 years of experience in the Omani ICT market, Al Lawati has held various roles within the sector, including CEO and Consultant and Head of Projects, in addition to having served on the Board of Directors for a commercial data centre entity. Prior to joining Cisco, Ali was the CEO of Nasma Telecommunications and the Head of IT and Telecommunications Projects at Petroleum Development Oman. His breadth of knowledge is reflected in his diverse background, which spans across the ecosystem with positions held at multinational vendors, system integrators, and Cisco customers. Ali’s vast experience with service providers and other key market segments will help Cisco customers embrace the most suitable digital technologies enabled by Cisco's global experience.
Al Lawati holds a double master's degree: one for communications systems and signal processing from Bristol University in the UK and the second in business administration (MBA) from Strathclyde University, also in the UK. He earlier received his bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from the Sultan Qaboos University in Oman.