Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
15 June 2014
ICT Minister Witnesses ITIDA, IBM Initiative Launching

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Atef Helmy witnessed today the launching of the first phase of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and the IBM initiative through which the latter provides its expertise to a number of 100 Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) in cloud computing.

IBM offers a bundle of training programs and special applications in this area. The initiative is in line with ITIDA strategy which seeks to support ISVs, thus increasing its competitiveness and accessing new markets, thereby strongly contribute to the growth of the Egyptian’s economy. Helmy has said that it is a strong message that IBM selects Egypt to activate a first of its kind initiative.

Global companies will be therefore keen to increase investments in the Egyptian market, reflecting a spirit of cooperation and coordination amongst all parties whether on the State’s level (the Ministry) or global companies (IBM) or the business community represented by Egyptian programming SMEs. Helmy called for the inclusion of companies nationwide in this initiative, not to be limited to Cairo and Alexandria, in order to spread benefits among all companies in this key sector in Egypt.

"The IBM initiative is an important step towards stimulating the growth of cloud computing applications, expertise, knowhow, promoting the culture, and use of Applications as a Service (AAS) in the market, particularly in the Middle East and Africa,” said Hussein El Geretly, CEO of ITIDA. “This project is part of our ongoing commitment to the local market.

It will enable these companies to grow without large capital costs. This is a real bonus for Egypt’s fast-growing entrepreneurial clusters, which often lack funding or physical IT infrastructure,” said Amr Talaat, Country General Manager, IBM Egypt.

The first 20 companies to benefit from this collaboration through this 3- month program will develop their information technology solutions by enabling the creation and testing of cloud solutions in a faster and more cost-effective way. The ISVs will provide their solutions on the cloud, reaching a wider audience of clients and users with minimal capital expenditure.

This initiative comes in line with the Memorandum of Understanding signed between ITIDA and IBM during the PM visit to Smart Village in March. IBM is to provide cloud computing expertise to one hundred Egyptian ISVs to help drive innovation and new cloud development skills. Companies are divided to 5 groups each including 20 companies.

As part of the agreement, IBM will also educate and train the participating software developers on how to develop and port their solutions to different IBM cloud computing platforms such as Softlayer infrastructure and Bluemix. IBM will help deepen the technical and business expertise of the software companies through a series of workshops and mentoring.

Bluemix is IBM unique development environment built on SoftLayer to help developers quickly integrate applications and speed deployment of new cloud services, learn new development skills, and access IBM's developer ecosystem to drive cloud innovation. Using an open cloud environment. BlueMix helps both born-on-the-web and enterprise developers build applications with their choice of tools.

With the ability to easily combine a variety of services and APIs from across the industry to compose, test and scale custom applications, developers will be able to cut deployment time from months to minutes.

The new applications and cloud services, developed by local software companies on Bluemix application, allow the opportunity for Egypt’s software companies to spread and expand businesses on the regional level through providing their innovation in IBM Cloud Marketplace. The programs are models for a bundle of investment offered by IBM to support and develop ICT skills in Africa.

Earlier this year, IBM has announced a number of initiatives to empower current and future work force and develop necessary skills in many fields such as data analysis and cloud computing to achieve economic advancement in Africa. IBM has also announced an investment of $ 100 million to provide Watson system and other knowledge systems into Africa, thereby, developing the continent with a 10-year project.

In 2013, IBM has inaugurated the first African research laboratory that uses massive data to find effective solution for pressing challenges in Africa, like energy, water, transport, agriculture and health care.
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