Lana Khalaf, Microsoft’s Country Manager for Qatar, outlines the pivotal role of Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure in advancing the country’s digital transformation.
Q1: How is Microsoft collaborating with Qatar, and what is the objective of this partnership?
In alignment with Qatar’s forward-thinking approach and the aspirations outlined in the Qatar National Vision 2030, Microsoft is actively engaged in a strategic collaboration with the State of Qatar. Together, we have introduced Microsoft Cloud to the country, facilitating innovation and expediting digital transformation. This initiative aims to position Qatar as a prominent digital hub on both regional and global fronts.
Q2: Could you delve into the advantages offered by the new Microsoft data center?
The newly established Microsoft cloud region is poised to provide unprecedented opportunities for both public and private enterprises in Qatar. By offering access to cutting-edge cloud services, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things, the data center empowers enterprises across various sectors and sizes to enhance their competitiveness. According to IDC, Microsoft’s cloud investment in Qatar is anticipated to generate a $3.4 billion opportunity over the next five years, fostering the creation of over 24,000 new jobs. Additionally, the sustainability quotient is significant, with Microsoft’s cloud services proving to be up to 93% more energy efficient and up to 98% more carbon efficient compared to traditional enterprise data centers.
Q3: How has Microsoft contributed to Qatar’s digital aspirations in the past?
Microsoft played a crucial role in Qatar’s response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Leveraging Microsoft’s cloud services, Qatar achieved agility, resilience, security, and business continuity. Over 140,000 employees seamlessly transitioned to remote work, and more than 400,000 students and educators utilized Microsoft Teams for online learning. In a matter of days, Microsoft technology enabled remote work for healthcare professionals, emergency responders, and caregivers, underscoring the importance of Qatar’s pre-existing digital transformation efforts.
Q4: What is the significance of the SME ecosystem, and how is Microsoft supporting it?
Recognizing the substantial impact of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on economic growth and employment, Microsoft is dedicated to empowering startups in Qatar. By providing technology and resources for scaling businesses in the cloud, Microsoft collaborates with Qatari entities such as Fintech Hub, QDB, TASMU, Ooredoo, Tawteen, and Nautica 360. This collaboration spans various sectors, including fintech and sports, fostering SME development and contributing to economic priorities.
Q5: How is Microsoft aiding Qatar in preparing the current generation for a digital future?
Microsoft’s overarching mission to empower individuals and organizations worldwide aligns with Qatar’s visionary agenda. Through locally delivered services, Microsoft aims to equip the existing workforce with cloud-related skills. In partnership with the Qatari government, Microsoft is committed to providing core digital skills to over 50,000 individuals by 2025, thus preparing the current generation for the demands of a digital future.