Kuwait – MENA Herald: Microsoft today called for businesses in Kuwait to use cloud services to innovate and compete in the Gulf nation’s still-growing economy, as the company awards Kuwaiti based INC Technologies with Gold competency in Microsoft Dynamics and Cloud Productivity.

“While it is certainly true that the oil crisis cannot be ignored, strong SME sectors across the GCC have a huge role to play in growing non-oil GDP,” said Charles Nahas, General Manager, Microsoft Kuwait. “A National Bank of Kuwait report from last year predicts non-oil GDP growth will reach 4% to 5% in 2016 and 2017, so the time has never been better for Kuwaiti start-ups to get creative. This starts with technology, with the cloud at its centre. Cloud services can allow small businesses to operate at scale, behaving like large-scale enterprises and pulling the economy forward.”

Nahas believes the Kuwaiti cloud services market is growing progressively stronger and moving closer to maturity, as national cloud providers adopt international best practice standards. Earlier this year, Microsoft certified Kuwait-based INC Technologies, with Gold competency in Microsoft Dynamics and Cloud Productivity. As a Microsoft Dynamics and Cloud Solution Provider, INC Technologies stands as an example of global best practice among Kuwaiti cloud services companies. The firm has built its success on offering solutions that allow national organisations to redesign their business processes more quickly, leading to strong growth spurred by enhanced workforce productivity.

“The Microsoft certification is an important milestone for us, but not the end of the journey,” said Mohammed Zaim, Deputy Chairman & CEO, INC Technologies. “We will keep moving forward, building creative solutions for our customers, so they, in turn, can bring value to their customers. Our rich experience in Microsoft Dynamics implementations allows us to play a pivotal role in shaping the competitiveness of Kuwaiti businesses across all sectors, and sustain the country’s success story. And, to achieve all of that, cloud is key.”

“INC Technologies stands as perfect evidence that Kuwaiti companies do not have to wait until next year or the year after that – they can innovate right now, today, using the power and flexibility of the cloud,” said Nahas.

Investment in cloud computing has been proceeding at a blistering pace across the Gulf region. Kuwait, according to BMI, will see compound annual growth of 1.4% to reach a total national outlay of US$ 1.11 billion by 2020 and US$ 407 million of this will be sales from the service segment. IT spend has seen a sharp decline in Kuwait since 2013, but software and services are now expected to see modest growth, suggesting a move to cloud. Additionally In 2013 IT service sales grew by 4.3% to reach KD88m ($309.42m), according to market researcher Business Monitor International. Cloud computing, e-government and machine-to-machine services are expected to be key growth areas for the sector through 2017, with new infrastructure investments creating a wide variety of opportunities for cloud service providers. Gartner is forecasting cloud services industry in MENA to grow by 105% and reach $1.1bn in annual spending by 2017, from $534m in 2013.

“At Microsoft, we define success through our partners. We succeed together. We are partner-centric, partner-led and pro-partner at our very foundation. INC Technologies is a great example who have proven themselves capable of building value-added solutions for our mutual customers.” Added Nahas “In Kuwait, we see a vast opportunity for partners that are investing in the cloud and we are constantly innovating to enable them to acquire new customers and achieve more”