Q&A: Andrew Grenville, founder and CEO, Orixcom

19 February 2016 |

Andrew Grenville, founder and CEO of network and cloud platform provider Orixcom, discusses the company's increasing focus on managed services in the Middle East and why he expects the shift to cloud and managed services to gather pace in the region.

Orixcom launched its managed cloud strategy at Capacity Middle last year, aimed at helping customers create, build and operate clouds. What have been your highlights and developments in the area since? 

It has been a fantastic and very busy 12 months – an intense focus on customers, and building our portfolio of managed services to match strong demand in the areas of storage-as-a-service, security solutions, WAN-as-a-Service, network optimisation and acceleration, plus, of course, cloud. We’re delighted to have many large global and regional brands as our customers – their high expectations and demanding requirements keep us on our toes and moving forward. 


We’ve also moved to introduce a range of specific on premise solutions for customers who need to keep their IT infrastructure physically with them, rather than in the cloud or data centre. Looking at the current trends, the impact of falling oil prices across the region has also highlighted the importance of several key benefits Orixcom services bring – a move to opex costs rather than large capex investments, cost-effective services that scale up and down, providing speed, flexibility and budgetary control.

What are your strategic priorities in the Middle East for 2016?

Continue working fast and flexible with customers to help them achieve their objectives and deliver positive business outcomes. We have just hired an excellent new Sales Director for our Managed Services area so building on our growth in this area and delivering great services to more customers is a key priority for us in 2016.

Research firm Gartner predicts that from 2013 to 2017, $3.8 billion will be spent on cloud services in MENA. What does Orixcom plan to do in the coming year to tap into that potential?

The region offers opportunities across all areas of cloud services and flavours - public, private and hybrid. From 2014 to 2019, the Middle East and Africa is expected to have the highest cloud traffic growth rate in the world at 41-percent CAGR (Cisco Global Cloud Index, 2014-2019). This is driven by various reasons – people are recognising the improvement in agility and the opportunities for cost efficiencies and business alignment that cloud services provide. Along with this,  data traffic is exploding as widespread adoption and consumption of digital content and services continues to place the region amongst the top globally.

Public and hybrid cloud services are rapidly gaining momentum and we are playing our part in facilitating that movement – for example we have just announced that along with enjoying Orixcom’s suite of cloud services, our customers can now directly connect to other cloud providers worldwide so they can easily use and manage a range of cloud applications and systems spread around the planet. Having the ability to do all that at the few clicks of a mouse is powerful and presents a very compelling proposition for a lot of enterprises in the MENA region.

How has the performance of your managed services portfolio fared in the last year – in which areas are you seeing increasing demand? What are you planning to strengthen in that portfolio in 2016?

We are seeing increasingly strong demand in terms of our storage-as-a-service (SaaS) and our network optimisation and acceleration products. Customers are attracted to the highly cost efficient, flexible and scalable aspects of these on-demand services, compared with traditional solutions in these areas. This is particularly relevant in the Middle East where prices are historically very high for data services. We are planning to strengthen our portfolio in the business continuity and storage area in the coming months, offering user-friendly and seamless replication and disaster recovery services that deliver additional business value.

What major trends do you see occurring in the Middle Eastern market this year?

In light of declining oil prices and the economic effects of that, I expect the shift to cloud and managed services will gather pace – particularly infrastructure services like VMs and Storage, as companies look for alternative ways to remove large investments in hardware and benefit from more flexible and cost effective ways to consume and leverage technology services to enhance and accelerate their businesses.