Middle East customers are investing heavily in digital technologies, and with the advent of hyperscalers in the region, serverless technologies and containerisation are on the rise. Today, customers expect a lot from business in terms of their digital journey. Enterprise IT World MEA spoke to Uday Shankar Kizhepat, Vice President and General Manager- Middle East and Africa Region, WSO2. Excerpt:
Briefly tell us about the WSO2, its genesis and growth and presence in this region?
WSO2 was founded as an open-source middleware provider in 2005 by Dr.Sanjiva Weerawarana and Paul Fremantle. Currently backed by Goldman Sachs, Info Edge, Cisco, and Toba Capital and headquartered in Santa Clara, California, WSO2 has established business operations in nine countries around the globe.
Our company is an open-source and SaaS technology partner for organizations that are looking to build best-in-class digital experiences for their customers, employees, and partners. Our portfolio of integration, API management, and customer identity and access management (CIAM) solutions provide organizations with the foundation required to build agile, secure and scalable digital applications and services.
Today, thousands of the world’s largest corporations, leading universities, and government institutions rely on our open-source, cloud native, and uniquely extensible products and industry solutions. Together, we execute in excess of 60 trillion transactions and 1 billion identities per year.
The Middle East and Africa (MEA) is one of the fastest growing areas for WSO2, and we service our regional customers out of our Dubai office.
What is the market trend – especially in digital journey, serverless and container technologies that WSO2 sees in this region?
Middle East customers are investing heavily in digital technologies, and with the advent of hyperscalers in the region, serverless technologies and containerisation are on the rise. Today, customers expect a lot from business in terms of their digital journey, and at WSO2, we are committed to ensuring they get what they need.
At WSO2, we offer the flexibility to use our products in the public cloud, private cloud, hybrid and on-premises models. Our products are designed and built for the cloud by focusing on cloud native features, such as serveless and container technologies.
What is the market challenge or CXO challenges in their journey?
Business models in the region are changing at a rapid pace. The pandemic forced organizations to use remote working tools and other collaboration platforms to provide business continuity. Meanwhile, the growth of e-commerce and other online channels has led organizations to look for new technologies that provide rich digital experiences to customers, consumers and partners.
Every company has become a software company building products. Creating unique digital experiences has become the only way to create differentiation, and every CXO has started facing this challenge.
Development teams have had less and less time to spend on building digital experiences. This has led to a major question for CXOs: Do you build or buy your platform?
How WSO2 is supporting the CXOs and mitigating their challenges?
WSO2 provides a complete digital platform with our SaaS solutions, which directly address the issues CxOs are facing in their digital journey.
We want to give organizations more than just our industry-leading products in the areas of integration, API management and CIAM. Customers choose us for our deep domain expertise, our ability to understand their business’ pain points, and our innovative solutions and best-in-class support. WSO2 increases developer productivity with low-code, artificial intelligence (AI) assisted development, and a pipeline-tuned environment.
We have also developed a framework for addressing the people, processes and technology that need to be aligned for digital transformation, which has added significant value to our customers’ business.
What are the solutions and products you are offering to the CXOs?
Our SaaS offerings include Asgardeo, an identity as a service (IDaaS) offering, and Choreo, our digital platform as a service. These solutions empower our customers to deliver new digital experiences faster by eliminating the complexity of cloud native infrastructure, so IT teams can focus on faster innovation.
Our key software offerings are WSO2 API Manager, our complete platform for building and integrating your business capabilities as managed APIs, and WSO2 Identity Server for customer identity and access management (CIAM). Together, they form what we call the “digital core.” Both offerings can run on-premises, in the cloud, or in hybrid architectures.
How big is the API market in the region and what is your view on inadequate skill sets?
The Middle East and Africa has carved a niche for itself as it has reached the top of many global lists and indexes. The region shines bright in the technology industry with its readiness to adopt and implement digital transformation. The leaders in the region are aware that APIs bring in new revenue streams along with profitability and agility. APIs are a great way to make business functionality available to a wide range of organizations, unlock value in digital assets, and develop business agility.
The inadequacy in skill sets can be overcome with digital platforms like that offered by WSO2, which brings in low-code capabilities that reduce the dependency on skilled developers.
What is the competitive advantage of WSO2?
There are many ways to distinguish WSO2 from our competitors, but I will highlight the two key differentiators. First, WSO2 is the only technology company that provides a comprehensive platform solution offering API management, integration, and identity and access management. These three functional areas provide the foundation—what we call the digital core—of any digital transformation or digital experience creation.
The second differentiator is at the heart of what WSO2 is all about: open source. In many instances a SaaS solution does not fit the requirements of a particular organization. For a variety of reasons, from system dependencies to regulatory requirements, organizations may choose to build and maintain their own digital platform. WSO2’s open-source portfolio offers the solution to these requirements, giving information technology teams the ability to utilize our open-source products and deploy them on-premises, in a public cloud, in a private cloud, or in a hybrid setup. The flexibility that our open-source and SaaS solutions offer organizations is a clear differentiator that sets WSO2 apart from our competition.
What is your growth target for this year?
The MEA region is on an ambitious growth plan and looking at a 70% year-on-year increase. The investments in digital technologies happening across the region are backing this growth. Notably, government organizations across the region are leading this digital transformation drive from the front.