A Meeting of Minds in Dubai

Last week, the tech world descended on Dubai for Gitex 2023, held between 16-20 October. Think of it as a larger MWC, with a diversified palette of technologies, from AI to 5G. The Middle East, Africa, and APAC were well-represented, in addition to Europe and the Americas, making it a truly global event.

The What and Why

Entry tickets range from $100 for expo/keynotes to a steep $1000 or more for the full conference experience. Despite the price, around 180,000 attendees from governments and enterprises as well as consumers industries showed up, making it a truly eclectic mix. Gitex served as a bridge between the East and the West, and offered a backdrop where anything seems possible.

For the CPaaS Acceleration Alliance, Gitex was an essential sandbox. We networked, engaged, and scoped the terrain for a possible booth next year, as CPaaS is growing in importance globally. It also offered a chance to forge new relationships.

Unpacking the Takeaways

  • AI is the Next Normal: Especially in marketing, AI is no longer a ‘nice to have’; it’s a ‘must-have’.
  • The Cloud Conundrum: Not everything is in the cloud yet, but as a flexible and scalable backbone, it’s practically indispensable globally.
  • Telco to TechCo: Companies formerly pigeonholed as telecom businesses are becoming holistic tech companies that include communications and mobile services. A great example of this is e&, the company formerly known as Etisalat.
  • Digital Transformation is Ubiquitous: SMEs are catching up and CX and CPaaS plays a significant role in digital strategies across the board.
  • Ready for Disruption: Industries with complex ecosystems like healthcare and agriculture are ripe for innovation and disruption.

Why Gitex Mattered to Us

Gitex was more than just a tech conference; it was a playground for possibilities. The event provided great networking opportunities and the chance to interact with regional and global partners like Radisys, e&, Comviva, CM.com, bics, Infobip, SpeechLogix and DIPnet – and we also discovered some new companies that weren’t even on our radar!

The New Frontier

Forget the traditional tech strongholds of North America, UK, and Europe. Gitex shows that the MEA and APAC regions are the new frontier in tech innovation. Dubai, with its expat-driven economy and zero-tax incentives, felt like a new-age United States—a land of opportunities.

So, whether you’re a CPaaS stakeholder or someone navigating the tech labyrinth, Gitex was a key outpost to understand the landscape and see the future. And as for the CPaaS Acceleration Alliance, we’re geared up to explore this brave new world further. After all, the journey from a $16 billion industry to a $100 billion-plus behemoth is full of stops like these. Onward!

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Over the past 30 years Rob (co-)founded various tech companies, including one of the leading Dutch hosted voice providers (before hosted voice became the new normal). Today, he works with telcos/CSPs and some of the world’s leading technology providers on innovation and growth, especially in the rapidly changing world of cloud communications and CPaaS. Rob has this crazy belief that the strengths of corporates and innovators should be combined in new ecosystems to create optimal customer experience, new business models and solutions for some of today’s big problems.


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