UK-headquartered technology company, Bexprt, opened its first international subsidiary and regional office in Riyadh one year ago. In doing so, Bexprt took a decisive move into cloud services and AI, and enhanced the local support for its existing telecom and cyber-security clients in the region. With significant investment and dedication, the team has achieved many accolades in the last 12 months, including AWS Reseller in 6 countries for the Commercial and Public Sectors, AWS Advanced Partner Tier Status, Google Cloud Partner and Foundation Partner for the Saudi Arabia Region launch, as well as a UK Government Export Award.
Now, 1 year later, Bexprt CEO and Founder Mo Hamdy reflects on the Riyadh journey, celebrates team successes to date, and shares insights into what comes next.
How it started: why did Bexprt open a new company in Riyadh?
UK technology company, Bexprt, opened its first international subsidiary and regional office in Riyadh one year ago, in December 2022, and established a Bexprt team focused on cloud services and AI technologies. Saudi Arabia is the UK’s largest trading partner in the Gulf Region, and the decision to open the first Bexprt overseas subsidiary there, Bexprt International Company for Information Technology LLC, was both bold and clear. Mo Hamdy, Bexprt CEO and Founder shares more.
Vision 2030 & the opportunity for UK international trade
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to deliver a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation has unlocked significant opportunities for growth and investment. Saudi Arabia is a future-forward economy, and with the whole nation engaged in the national strategy, they are moving very swiftly. This creates considerable untapped potential and unique business opportunities. When assessing where to open our first subsidiary in the MEA region, as I said last year, it just had to be in Saudi.”
“In opening the new business in Riyadh, we confirmed our commitment to existing clients, partners, and staff in the Kingdom and across the region. Saudi is the UK’s largest trading partner in the Middle East, our intention and plan was to rapidly accelerate the number of clients we work with in the region and to deliver innovative, sustainable, and cost-optimized solutions.”
How it’s going: Bexprt’s first year in Saudi Arabia
After opening the office in December 2022, just 6 weeks later, Bexprt achieved AWS Select Tier Service Partner status, becoming the fastest regional partner to achieve this status. This key milestone enabled the local Bexprt team to accelerate AWS cloud projects with clients, and was the fast start the business needed ahead of LEAP in Riyadh, the Davos of the technology world.
Bexprt’s Riyadh & cloud-centric achievements over the last 12 months
Further accolades from both AWS and Google Cloud during the year, in addition to professional certificates for the staff in Riyadh, acknowledged the accelerated business growth and achievements in expertise, experience and professional recognition. In 2023, the first year of activity in Saudi Arabia, the Bexprt team delivered and completed 21 cloud projects in the Kingdom, and more across the Region, with a very significant number of local projects in the pipeline.
Phenomenal speed of digital transformation in Saudi Arabia
“It has been a very exciting year for the Bexprt team in Riyadh, and things have moved at a very fast pace. The market and hyperscalers are moving very fast locally, and the Bexprt team has really stepped up to the challenge. We’ve learned swiftly about the local market and dynamics, and our local staff have really demonstrated their deep understanding of the advanced nature of our clients’ needs. We now have a local team of 13 skilled, qualified and experienced staff. We are continuing to invest in the team, competence development and enhanced capabilities, and more recruitment is underway.”
“Vision 2030 is being applied with a very high priority by everyone we work with in Saudi. The fast pace at which businesses and organization are accelerating their digital transformation and business practices is phenomenal, and the appetite that people have for technological change is quite breathtaking.”
Above, top row: Bexprt offices in Riyadh Park. Bottom row: views across Riyadh city.
Market demand for AI-driven solutions
“Bexprt is focussed on working with hyper scalers AWS and Google Cloud in the market here. The clients we work with are really motivated by moving to the public cloud, and the ability to access and take advantage of not only “typical” cloud use cases, like resilience and disaster recovery for example, but we also have a lot of clients who come to us, motivated to migrate to the public cloud to gain access to the AI and Gen-AI capabilities this enables.”
“We are finding that, whilst some clients come to us wanting us to guide them from step 1 of applying AI, increasingly, our clients have already thought about how they might apply Gen-AI to help their organizations, and they initiate the conversation with us with a list of initial use cases they have identified that they want to address.”
LEAP 2023, clockwise from top left to right: Bexprt and AWS teams celebrate achieving Partner Select status with the UK Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and the Department for Business & Trade Team. Anver Vanker, AWS Manager, Solution Architect, Abdulrahman Alshaker, AWS Territory Manager, Ayman Eltohamy, AWS Head of SMBs MENA & Turkey, Mohammed Laimon, AWS Partner Development Manager KSA, Mohamed Hamdy, Bexprt Founder & CEO, His Excellency UK Ambassador to KSA Neil Crompton, Kabir Rahman, COO & Head of Trade, British Embassy Riyadh, Gwen Edwards, Bexprt CMO.
Bexprt team members Ayman ElBatawy, Ahmad Okasha, Gwen Edwards, Mo Hamdy represent Bexprt on the AWS exhibition stand. Ghaith Hamza gives out Bexprt cookies to mark Bexprt’s 5th birthday on the AWS stand at LEAP.
Local, talented Bexprt team
“In the last year, we’ve recruited and developed a very smart local team in Riyadh, from scratch. This team is very motivated by the projects and technologies they have access to, and have the drive to be a part of delivering Vision 2030 for the Kingdom.”
“Investing time and effort in the team is reciprocal. We all have a lot to learn in this rapidly evolving tech-scape. For those willing to dive in, there are big, exciting projects to become involved with, working with massive brands, and established, highly reputable companies early on in their career. We’re recruiting currently, so if you’re interested in joining the Bexprt team, take a look at the Careers section of the website, and follow Bexprt on LinkedIn for future announcements.”
Showcasing local capabilities and success at the Saudi Cloud Summit
“This energy, passion, technological evolution, and market pace encouraged us to run the Saudi Cloud Summit in October. We felt this was the level of gathering senior Cx-level Executives, from key companies in the region here deserved. The event, run in partnership with AWS, enabled us to provide access to Senior AWS Executives and Global Experts, and to deliver a day of briefings focussed on the latest cloud and AI technologies and how they can be applied locally, and showcase local customers who are already using them.”
New Bexprt AI solutions developed and deployed in Saudi in 2023
“As well as setting up the business in Riyadh, recruiting a strong young local team, achieving business accolades, and successfully deploying projects with major local businesses, we’ve also developed and launched new Bexprt solutions in 2023! We’ve delivered two new AI and automation solutions, developed in-house, addressing market needs in the Gen-AI and resilience space: Bextract™ and Bex-DR™. Both solutions are commercially deployed with Saudi, UK and Ireland clients, and we fully intend to continue the development of more AI-driven solutions like this, to address specific client use cases and market ambitions.”
“We work carefully to understand and fulfill tier 1 customer needs, clients who are not looking for shift and lift type, cut-and-paste solutions, but instead are seeking genuine solutions to address their very specific use cases. AI solutions are key to being able to rapidly develop and deploy tailored capability, and we’re investing significantly in the Bexprt R&D team to make it even stronger and extend its capability.”
Clockwise, left to right: Mo with Adly Amin, Google Cloud Senior Architect. Bexprt team Yousef, Ghaith and Abdulrhman, plus outside the Saraj with Gwen. Gwen, Mo and Ghaith with Bader Almadi, Google Cloud General Manager for Saudi Arabia. Mo with Lionel Touati, Google Cloud Head of Partner Engineering EMEA South. Mo with Mohamed Shaaban Google Cloud Partner Development Manager, and Ghassan Qobrosi, Google Cloud Customer Engineer, and Ghaith. Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud CEO delivered the keynote in person – shown here with all regional partner logos, including Bexprt.
What next? Bexprt goals and ambitions for 2024 in Saudi Arabia
“2023 has been a very successful year for Bexprt. Thank you to all our clients, Partners and the Bexprt Team for the successes we have achieved together – curiosity, expertise and skill will enable us to grow and achieve even more together in 2024.”
“Looking ahead to the next 12 months, we intend to work even more closely with our partners and enable even greater access to advanced capabilities for our clients.”
“We’ll be deploying more and more projects with leverage Gen-AI, and increasing the local team with those specific skills locally, as well as expanding the expertise of the Cloud Team. Our local office in Riyadh is setup to enable significant business growth next year, in both the cloud and telecom teams.”
“Now, we are celebrating our first anniversary of the Riyadh company, and one year in cloud, but we also celebrated our 5th year in business in March 2023. Our earlier business success was driven by our telecom and cyber-security teams. Over the last few months, we have secured significant new telecom contracts in Saudi Arabia, and expanded existing telecom projects, and as a result, we are increasing the investment in our Saudi-based telecom team.”
Above, from left, clockwise: Mo Hamdy, Gwen Edwards, Mahmoud El Zayet outside the UK HQ. Ask Bexprt event, Riyadh June 2023. Gwen participates in a panel discussion at GSMA MWC23 Barcelona with Deloitte, UK Government Department for Business & Trade, and Urban XR. Mo talks with UK Government Minister for Industry and Economic Security, Nusrat Ghani MP, and below with Gwen at the same UK Government Export event at Banqueting House, London. Gwen talks with Bexprt colleagues Mahmoud and Okasha in the UK office. Centre bottom row: part of the Bexprt team celebrates successful client milestones together, left to right, Ahmed Nassar, Waleed Magdy, Mahmoud El Kerdany, Zaky Fetoh, Mo Hamdy, Mohamed El-Kerdany, Nour El-Din Samir.
Commitment, energy, expertise and skill
“In 2024, Bexprt will invest and grow both the cloud and telecom teams in the Kingdom, and this demonstrates our clear commitment to the country, clients, and projects we undertake here. We are delighted that our skilled, expert team has achieved so much success over the last 12 months in Saudi Arabia, working with high energy, and closely with our partners locally to enhance our clients’ capabilities. As a UK-headquartered technology business, the market in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Region is a very exciting, energized place to be working.”
“We’re really excited about what we can achieve, for our cloud and telecom clients in 2024 – which just leaves one key question…..
We’re ready to travel together, how can we help you?”
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