As senior Kuwaiti government officials, business leaders and other strategic thinkers were joined by the German ambassador for SAP Discovery Day held in the capital recently, discussions focused on initiatives to develop local technological talent, transform businesses in the cloud, build resilient supply chains, and create sustainable enterprises to support Kuwait’s future digital economy.
Among the many developments highlighted at the event was how SAP and Google Cloud are collaborating, with the support of the Kuwaiti government, to facilitate companies’ digital transformations. With the launch of Google Cloud’s local data center announced this year, Kuwaiti businesses will be able to adopt either of SAP’s acceleration programs – RISE with SAP or GROW with SAP – to facilitate their move to the fast, secure, reliable and clean Google Cloud platform. This approach will enable companies to benefit from the comprehensive range of SAP cloud solutions that include automatically updated programs with embedded emerging technologies such as AI and automation, as well as sustainability metrics and data analytics.
Dr. Khaled Mahdi, Secretary-General of the General-Secretariat of The Supreme Council for Planning and Development, who participated in an emerging technology panel discussion, noted, “Emerging technologies will shape Kuwait’s future planning and development in the context of public policy. We are actively exploring the benefits and challenges of incorporating AI into decision-making processes at Kuwait’s General-Secretariat of The Supreme Council for Planning and Development for the benefit of our citizens.”
Dr. Ammar Alhusaini, Acting Director General of the Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT), also participated in the panel discussion, highlighting how collaboration between the public and private sectors could accelerate the pace of digital transformation in Kuwait.
The Ministry of Electricity and Water and Renewable Energy was also represented on the panel by its Director of IT, Saud Al Ajmi, who shed light on technology’s transformative role in the energy and water sectors, focusing on sustainability and infrastructure security.
Also sharing their insights from an SAP customer perspective on the panel were CEO of Floward, Abdulaziz Al Loughani; CIO of Al-Sayer Group Holding, Dr. Alexious Mulemba; and Magd Donia, General Manager of KASP. SAP was represented by Sundus Bushahri, VP of Business Development and Sales in Kuwait, who highlighted SAP’s commitment to developing career opportunities for technology talents through expanding the SAP ecosystem in Kuwait while also building digital capabilities and training individuals in the specific skills that SAP’s partners and customers require.
After the session, Dr. Al Hussaini commented, “Digital transformation is a fundamental pillar of the New Kuwait Vision 2035, and public-private partnerships and foreign investment are key strategic components of economic diversification. Collaborations with global technology companies such as SAP and Google Cloud, which are focused on facilitating digital transformation and developing Kuwaiti talent, will help to create a digital society to benefit all citizens. International collaboration ensures we are implementing global best practices and that Kuwait remains at the forefront of business and technology developments in the region.”
The hundreds of guests in attendance also heard the opening address delivered by H.E. Hans-Christian von Reibnitz, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Kuwait, in which he emphasized the strong bilateral relations between Kuwait and his country, where SAP has its headquarters.
Ambassador von Reibnitz later commented, “I believe SAP is playing a pivotal role in supporting Kuwait’s impressive digital transformation agenda. Collaboration on innovation and research between our two countries is highly significant and we believe there are further opportunities to explore. Among these, cooperation between German and Kuwaiti businesses, government agencies and institutions could deliver mutually beneficial results in fields such as green technology, AI, Internet of Things and cloud computing. Moreover, SAP is committed to helping create a technically skilled workforce to support Kuwait’s future digital economy by providing specialist training.”
Developing a Digital Workforce
During the Discovery Dual event, SAP highlighted its commitment to developing and upskilling Kuwaiti technology talent through the SAP University Alliances, the SAP Dual Study Program, and the SAP Young Professionals Program.
SAP University Alliances represents an ongoing initiative to empower young people to create a sustainable future by enabling academia to educate the next generation to lead digital transformation, including socially and environmentally responsible business processes. The program builds industry partnerships and contributes towards creating a sustainable digitally focused workforce in the region through education in Intelligent Enterprise and the experience economy. Young people graduate with a competitive edge, thanks to their SAP training and engaging at SAP events.
Similarly, the SAP Dual Study Program is run by the Digital Skills Center of SAP and includes business processes integration and certifications in analytics, implementation processes, and control functions, bridging the gap between university and employment.
The SAP Young Professionals Program, on the other hand, is a comprehensive training initiative designed by SAP to help create a sustainable future workforce and provide a solid foundation of excellence backed by technological certifications to launch university graduates’ careers. Participants graduate from the program as SAP Associate Consultants, enabling immediate employment by SAP customers and partners.
On the sidelines of the event, Badih Hakim, Managing Director, SAP Kuwait, said of these initiatives, “The partnership between SAP and educational institutions under the SAP Dual Study Program, and between local businesses and the SAP Young Professionals Program, demonstrate how private-public collaborations can support measurable skills development. The programs train students for a successful future aligned with Kuwait’s focus on digital transformation. SAP is committed to expanding these programs in partnership with Kuwaiti institutions and enterprises to ensure that the future leaders of tomorrow are equipped with the technological skills they will need.”
In addition to developing Kuwait talent, Hakim said SAP is committed to providing career opportunities to nationals. He adds that over the past year, SAP Kuwait increased the proportion of nationals in its employ to 30%.
“We hope that SAP Discovery Day has demonstrated how Kuwaiti companies can more easily align with the government’s digital transformation agenda, while simultaneously benefiting from new automation and data analytics capabilities supported by new technologies to transform their businesses into intelligent sustainable enterprises,” concluded SAP’s Hakim.