Empowering Industries – a special supplement for the launch of Nebula AI

MUSCAT, October 2021

Muscat, 10th October 2021: Oman Data Park is pleased to announce a special supplement under “Empowering Industries” published by  Times of Oman and Al Shabiba newspapers.  

This special supplement covers the Nebula AI launch event held on the 6th of  October,  as well as industry-related articles and key statistics on the benefits of this new service to all business entities in Oman.  

Read the full publication with Times of Oman 

Read the full publication with Al Shabiba

Digital enablement for a secured tomorrow

MUSCAT, August 2021

Eng. Maqbool Al Wahaibi, Chief Executive Officer, Oman Data Park talks to Oman Economic Review about the advent of professional services for digital enablement, its impact on businesses, economies and individuals; and the need for a dynamic collaborative national strategy

Oman has embarked on its journey for business transformation and technological innovation as part of its commitment to fulfilling Vision 2040. However, while with policy reforms and state-of-the-art infrastructure the country’s output is on a growth path, a unified approach and synergetic strategy is what is required to transform Oman into a skill-driven society. This integrated strategy will catalyse Oman’s quest for joining the fourth industrial revolution and become more relevant in the international marketplace. Staying ahead of the curve by imbibing an innovation culture, building an ecosystem, and developing skillsets at institutional levels will ensure that Oman becomes a vital part of the fourth industrial revolution. Oman needs to take advantage of the opportunities that it will offer, and should be prepared with a responsive strategy that includes public, private, civil and academic sectors in order to stay competitive, innovative and
emerge as a global leader. In order to fulfill the objectives of Vision 2040, Oman needs a constant digital assessment to align digital investments with business objectives and keep pace with the innovation advancements required to stay competitive. As we advance into the post-pandemic environment, nations, specifically Oman, need to build a collaborative strategy that will not just make us more competitive but at the same time prepare for the unforeseen future by harnessing the potential of new technologies. While the main revenue streams have already been identified for the Sultanate that includes fisheries, logistics, tourism, and mining, with the help of the ICT companies and professional services, these streams can be equipped with the right resources using efficient, economical, and sustainable business models.

A collaborative national strategy
Here are the elements of a cooperative approach that will help Oman benefit from the service providers and ICT companies; and enable the digital enablement process across sectors.

Workforce Enablement
Digital trends affect the ways professional services are delivered; and enterprises that deliver such services exist due to the expertise of individuals with specialized skills, knowledge, and domain expertise.
Skills – at large remain the most crucial element for the development of a nation. However, constant upgradation and innovation is threatening and changing the need for specialized skills. New technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence are replacing and automating processes and jobs. Educating the youth and emphasizing on a renewed curriculum that encourages tech learning, innovation at the grass-root levels will help develop a future-ready workforce and enable nations to build resources consisting the right skills. Courses that offer cross-disciplinary degrees must be introduced in institutions to create a pool of talented researchers and innovators. SMEs, private sectors and start-ups must leverage new technologies for skill upgradation and educate employees on futuristic technologies such as machine learning and critical thinking, to name a few.

Business Compatibility
Minimizing administrative and legislative burdens on firms, regularizing and maximizing billable time, determining resources and skill gaps will help to better manage projects and improve profitability. In order for businesses to thrive and mature, an ecosystem of service partners, non-reliability on foreign resources, creating a sturdy infrastructure, enabling and creating glocal opportunity is a mandate. While the professional services industry is changing rapidly, and the current economic environment is accelerating these changes, firms will need to incorporate digital technologies in their strategies, increase digital agility and respond to the changes in customer demands. At Oman Data Park, we are continually working with different sectors such as banking, energy, healthcare and utility to develop and synchronize their digital capabilities. However, these sectors need to gear up and create agile methodologies and renovate their business models. The government needs to implement streamlined measures focus on foreign direct investments by encouraging participation from the public-private partnerships and revise legislation for data hosting services to enable the service providers to offer enhanced services locally. It will also help to
resolve issues such as data security and theft.

Customer Experience
The focus needs to shift from more product-centric to a more service-centric delivery approach. It is important to evaluate how the technology engages customers and external stakeholders and delivers a consistent and engaging customer experience. With changing consumer behavior, it is imperative for professional services firms to adapt to these changes. Simplifying processes with automation, greater transparency, and leveraging the right solution with customer outcomes in mind and complementing machines, and work with new applications will help firms deliver better customer experiences. Similarly, a hybrid work model will help maximize productivity, engagement and collaboration.

Operational Agility
It is time to move away from the waterfall methodology to more relevant IT services delivery model. To meet the global delivery standards and to grow the investor pool, it is essential to look at
the technology infrastructure. A scalable, innovation-led model, persistently reviewing the data security parameters and IT environment will help in business expansion, without increasing the risk of data loss or any threats to strategic operations. Professional services firms need to find better ways to consolidate data sources and identify challenges and opportunities by using real-time key data and analytics for streamlining operations. New research centers and strengthening research groups will foster a culture of innovation
and entrepreneurship across the country, thus offering access to proper technologies and resources, which are the building blocks of the fourth industrial revolution.

Technology Integration
The Fourth Industrial Revolution involves the utilization of new innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, robotics, 3D printing, the Internet of Things, advanced wireless technologies to name a few. These technologies such as artificial intelligence is helping transform businesses and creating disruption. The heath care sector for example, post COVID-19 is at the forefront of leveraging AI for data analysis. Similarly, the 5G spectrum has changed the way businesses operate. Innovation coupled with use of such technologies is revolutionizing the way businesses are operating and creating value for the users, resolving problems, and accelerating the growth of business across sectors. At Oman Data Park, we too have been harnessing these technologies to build our cloud data services to meet data security, data confidentiality and data centralization requirements. We have created our own cloud to preserve valuable client data and have been delivering services of international standards. We are creating an ecosystem with our international partners to localize the cloud component and catalyse the growth and data security for various sectors in Oman. We are also prioritizing our focus on building our artificial intelligence portfolio, thus assembling the three pillars – cloud, cyber security and artificial intelligence to meet the future needs of our customers. For Oman to emerge as a digital economy, the task is to augment its technology and innovation capabilities. This can be achieved by supporting the entrepreneurs and SMEs and encouraging them to strengthen and invest in new technologies, urging the business community to reconsider the traditional business models and by collaborating with the government. The need of the hour is to develop the skillsets and constantly focus on research and innovation

OBG Speaks to Oman Data Park

MUSCAT, August 2021

MAQBOOL AL WAHAIBI: The pandemic has led to an acceleration of the digitalisation plans of governments and businesses across the world, including in Oman. In the push to leverage IT innovation, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model has emerged as the preferred solution of many organisations. Its popularity is to a large extent based on the flexibility it offers by removing the need to commit to large capital investment and maintenance costs, since organisations can access remote IT architecture that is assembled and managed by the cloud solutions provider.

Read the full article 

Oman Data Park wins four awards at COMEX 2021

MUSCAT, June 2021

Maqbool Al-Wahaibi: “Oman Data Park is proud to be honored for our integrated solutions on cloud computing and cybersecurity”

Oman Data Park, the first and leading provider of cloud and managed services in the Sultanate, won four awards within the COMEX Awards for Excellence in Technology for the year 2021, in which many Omani and international companies participated.  The four awards received by Oman Data Park included the Datacenter Award, Cyber Security Award, Comex Star Exhibitor Award, and Best of Best.”

Oman Data Park’s winning of the Datacenter award a testament to it’s commitment to offering the best and the largest choice of data center services in Oman and the company dedicates the award to the 800+ customers who have placed their trust in them. Similarly, the winning of the Cyber Security Award recognizes their efforts in Cyber Security Threat Intelligence, Detection, and Preventive services to keep Oman’s business entities safe from Cyber Criminals to reduce cyberattacks.

In a statement about these recognitions, Engineer Maqbool Al Wahaibi, CEO of Oman Data Park, said: “Winning these awards within the COMEX Technology Excellence Awards 2021 further confirms our role in supporting the digital transformation efforts made by the government and the private sector”

Al-Wahaibi added: “The COMEX star exhibitor award recognizes the efforts made by our Sales & Marketing teams who kept the various visitors of over 1000 visits to our stand engaged with our products and services while the Best of Best award recognizes us as one of the two who won three awards at the virtual ceremony”  

Al Wahaibi pointed out that winning the data center award within the Comex Awards confirms Oman Data Park’s contribution throughout its journey of over nine years in providing integrated solutions under one umbrella in the field of cloud computing services including, Application as a Service (AaaS), Backup as a Service (BaaS), Data Centre as a Service (DCaaS), Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Network as a Service (NaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Professional Services as a Service (PSaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), Virtual datacentre as a Service (VDCaaS) and Workspace as a Service (WaaS).

As new business ecosystems are created, sales and customer services that were traditionally managed are now managed online in a secure manner. This has given rise to new business ecosystems that were not accessible through traditional methods; online shopping and existing chat services on artificial intelligence, are a few of the areas that complement the range of services offered by the company.

The security solutions offered by Oman Data Park have enabled new ways of operation that lead to the convenience of the end customer. Secure digital applications and online payment are some of these areas that are characterized by efficiency and agility for the customers.

Since the establishment of the Cyber Security Center of Oman Data Park in 2012, which was later renamed as Cyber Security Park, the center has remained a pioneer in the cybersecurity service in the Sultanate offering host of advanced security solutions including:Active Directory Audit, Anti-Spam, Cyber Security Drill, DDOS and DNS Testing, Managed Brand Protection Services, Managed DMARC Services, Managed Endpoint Security Services, Managed Network Security Services, and Outreach Services  Managed Security, Social Media Managed Cyber Security Services, Mobile Application Security Assessment Service, Network Attack Prevention Service, Penetration Testing, SIEM, SSL Certificates, Threat Intelligence Services, Vulnerability Management, Web Application Firewall and Web Application Security Evaluation.

Cyber Security Park solutions aim to enable the customer to benefit from the services according to a number of key factors including redefining the digital transformation of companies in today’s world at a time when the cybersecurity arena is filled with known and unknown threats, and accordingly, Oman Data Park takes the lead  in enabling the latest technologies needed to detect cyber threats and prevent its customers from such threats, while the 20 major services currently being offered in the market are a testament to these efforts of the company.

It is worth noting that the selection of the winners was made through a set of neutral, transparent, independent and impartial criteria and procedures followed by the judging panel consisting of technology experts representing government and non-governmental specialized institutions and bodies, and a number of senior technology experts.

ODP launches its new business identity for their cyber security centre

Cyber Security Park launch event photo

MUSCAT, November 2020

Oman Data Park (ODP) launched ‘Cyber Security Park’ ‎as the new business identity of the company’s cybersecurity centre. Through this unique identity and dedicated resources for cybersecurity, ODP embarks on solidifying its status as the leader in cybersecurity services in Oman as they continue to provide pioneering ‎and effective smart security solutions to ‎reduce cyber-attacks. Supported by a choice of Preventive, Detective and Threat intelligent cybersecurity services to shield its customers, Cyber Security Park is equipped and is ‎capable of preventing more than 8000 cyber-attacks faced by various institutions in the ‎Sultanate of Oman on a daily basis.

The launching ceremony was under the patronage of  His Excellency Dr Ali bin Amer bin Ali Al-Shidhani, Undersecretary for Communications and Information Technology, at the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology.

 The new identity of the centre boasts of a shield-shaped logo that embodies the five principles of cybersecurity (Availability, Confidentiality, Integrity, Accountability and Assurance) that the new identity will pursue in all their operations.

Speaking on the occasion, Eng. Maqbool Al-‎Wahaibi, Chief Executive Officer of ODP, said: “The objective behind the new business ‎identity of the cybersecurity centre is to ‎strengthen its role in supporting the efforts ‎of the government and the private sector for ‎digital transformation. The centre will ‎provide leading and effective smart security ‎solutions on which institutions can rely on to ‎reduce cyber-attacks”.‎

“This enhanced focus on a dedicated brand will open ‎employment opportunities for technical support ‎professionals among internationally ‎qualified Omanis with a high level of skills and‎capabilities. It will also lead to ‎more awareness among institutions regarding the ‎importance of data storage within the Sultanate ‎and understand the risks involved in storing them outside the ‎country. This is in addition to the fact that ‎this step would enhance the capabilities of the ‎centre to attract new technologies using ‎artificial intelligence in the area of security ‎solutions”, Al-Wahaibi added. ‎

Maitham Al-Lawati, Vice President – Technology & Operations, said “The change of the business ‎identity to Cyber Security Park ‎is the culmination of success ‎achieved in cybersecurity since its establishment in February ‎‎2012. Our cybersecurity solutions have become the much sought after services to combat cybercrime for leading customer-centric organizations in Oman that seek to protect their own as well as their customer data. Within a very short span of time, our services have grown up to become one ‎of the few specialized cybersecurity centres in the Sultanate that provide services round the clock ‎seven days a week”.‎

“Our cybersecurity services have helped ODP ‎strengthen its position as a pioneer in ‎cloud computing in the Sultanate. We are the only such institution in ‎the country to have obtained PCI DSS ‎certification. We have also received ISO27001: 2013 ‎ISO20000-1 certifications and I am also proud to say that we have been accredited by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology” he said.‎

Al-Lawati further said that “under the umbrella ‎of ODP, the cyber security ‎services journey has been full of achievements and ‎accomplishments. In view of the increasing ‎number of customers seeking the ‎services of the company, it has become inevitable ‎for the company to focus more on cybersecurity to serve ‎its growing number of customers. The new brand identity is to highlight the efforts of the company to harness the full potential ‎of cybersecurity services to reinforce its ‎pioneering position in the Sultanate”.‎

Commenting on the logo of the newly launched entity, Al-Lawati said, “While we stay closely linked to ‎the parent organization ODP in ‎terms of colours, our new identity is distinguished ‎by its own unique character. We want to shield businesses from cybercrime through Preventive services to keep businesses safe from various cyber crimes that are already known; Detective services that probe into various vulnerabilities of the many technologies that are applied at both front-end and back-end of a business infrastructure; and Threat Intelligence services that track various cyber threats across the globe so that we can prevent them from harming our customers. Our unique logo embodies the five principles of ‎cybersecurity where we enable the availability of security services you need while keeping the confidentiality of your data, and preserving the integrity of your business with accountability for every step we take, and the assurance to prepare your business for the future”.

ODP’s cybersecurity services have been ‎operational since 2012. It makes it one of the ‎most experienced cybersecurity teams in the ‎Sultanate of Oman. It has also commissioned a highly ‎qualified and specialized cybersecurity team in ‎‎2019.  Full details of all the managed services offered by Cyber Security Park can be found on their website www.cybersecuritypark.om