Year 2022 has been a year of opening up from the grips of pandemic and slowdown. But for many companies including WSO2 it was a year of new opportunity and growth. Uday Shankar Kizhepat, Vice President and General Manager- Middle East and Africa Region, explains why.
How have you performed in 2022 in the MEA Customer Industry?
We have seen 2022 as a year of transition as COVID becomes more endemic. It has also been a great year for WSO2. Businesses have come to realize that they must find new ways to stay ahead of the competition in the so-called “new normal,” and as a result, we have seen rapid adoption of digital technologies across a wide range of industries in the MEA region. Because our services are unique and cover critical enterprise needs like integration, API management, and customer identity and access management (CIAM) across both cloud and datacenter infrastructures, we have been able to take advantage of many new opportunities.
We have seen consistent growth in our market presence in recent years, especially in 2022, which has set the stage for further growth in 2023.
What are the major technologies opportunities you have participated in while coming to solving challenges in the user market?
Our products have been addressing a wide range of technological challenges, such as national authentication platforms, open banking compliance, and streamlining integration for easy scalability.
Our product stack, which consists of enterprise integration, API management, and customer identity access management, covers a wide range of industries and addresses the “digital core” of any digital transformation journey.
When an organization embarks on a digital transformation journey, an integration layer is usually required to interact with many different systems. This means they’ll have to deal with issues like message transformation, calling multiple systems, protocol bridging, and so on. Furthermore, the demand for companies to expose their digital business services to customers, partners, and the community has increased the creation of APIs, making API management increasingly important. Also, the need for authenticating and federating users across multiple digital channels seamlessly creates the need for a customer identity and access management solution.
Consumers today also expect to be able to deploy their applications in any environment. WSO2’s product stack gives you the flexibility you need by supporting on-premises, cloud, and hybrid deployment models.
Meanwhile, enterprise customers want the ability to provide new digital experiences and accelerate innovation. We’ve created two software as a service (SaaS) products to help with this: Asgardeo, an identity as a service (iDaaS), and Choreo, a digital platform as a service. Both of these products abstract the complexities of cloud native infrastructure, allowing IT departments to concentrate on faster innovation.
In short, businesses can use WSO2 products to adopt more agile technology infrastructure strategies and create awesome digital experiences for their end users, partners, and employees.
Which industries have adopted your technologies the most?
API management, enterprise integration, and identity and access management are at the heart of any digital transformation, and they can be used across many different industries. The MEA region has carved out a niche for itself, rising to the top of numerous global lists and indexes. The region shines brightly in the technology industry with its readiness to adopt and implement digital transformation. Notably, government and public-sector organizations across the region are leading this digital transformation drive from the front.
Banking and healthcare are two other industries that need a lot of digitization now that touchless cards and virtual consultations for patients are becoming more common. These segments are also early adopters of exposing APIs through open standards in banking and healthcare, where WSO2 Open Banking and Open Healthcare tools help speed up the time to market.
The retail industry, with its rising e-commerce needs, and education are the other two industries where we have seen great adoption in the region.
How many net new customers have you added this year? Who are the major names?
This year has been very good for our company in terms of adding new logos, and we have expanded into three new markets as well so far.
In terms of new customers, Saudi Arabia has shown the most growth, with big names like the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (MIMR), the Tourism Development Fund (TDF), and the Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU), and the next financial year looks even better.
Africa as a region has also contributed to new customer growth with many new additions in the BFSI sector, such as Equity Bank Kenya and PSG South Africa.
What is your revenue growth expectation for this FY?
This year has also been great in terms of business expansion from existing customers.
WSO2 has a lot of big names in the government and public sector in the MEA region. These organizations have been at the forefront of the digital transformation wave, which has led to a huge increase in their business needs. The scalable products from WSO2 have made it easy for our customers to move into high gear, which has doubled the growth of their businesses through expansion. We are looking to end the year with around 45% YOY growth for the MEA region.
What are other milestones you have achieved last year?
This year, we were able to introduce some new logos and significantly expand our presence in Central Africa. In addition, we have a strong presence in Saudi Arabia. We were a Platinum partner at the EMEA Gartner Symposium, where the MEA region was well represented, and we also had a much larger presence at Gitex. Well-known analyst firms, such as Gartner, Forrester, and KuppingerCole have all recognized the strength of our products. We also obtained ISO certification. Our digital experience SaaS platforms, Choreo and Asgardeo, are now available for all of our customers. We also passed the 700-customer mark, which is a significant achievement, and surpassed 1,000 employees, who are by far our most valuable resource.
What is your road map for 2023?
Following a full recovery from the pandemic, business in the region started to pick up again. With the rise of e-commerce and other online channels, businesses are looking for new technologies that can give customers, consumers, and partners rich digital experiences.
In 2023, we want to keep growing our business with the customers we already have as well as adding new enterprises. We will concentrate on establishing a presence in the Middle East, in South and Central Africa, and expanding our presence in North Africa. An emphasis will also be placed on expanding and strengthening our partner ecosystem.