2010 Overview and an Outlook in to 2011 by Taha Khalifa Intel Egypt Country Manager

Published December 27th, 2010 - 04:37 GMT

Egypt embodies opportunity for the IT market with an ideal location, proximity to Asia, Europe and North America, attractive governmental incentives and a well-trained and educated workforce. Egypt's resilience to the downturn has demonstrated a shift in the economic power structure and stands to cement the country's position on the ICT map. The MCIT had orchestrated huge reform and change in the industry in under five years with developments like Smart Village, an IT hub for Egyptian and multi-national companies alike. Broadband enablement initiatives on the part of MCIT had revolutionized the IT infrastructure, acting as a foundation for the expanding IT sector.

BMI forecasts Egyptian IT market growth will remain below pre-economic crisis levels in 2010. Growth is expected to bounce back in FY2010/11 as the external and public sectors lift the Egyptian economy, but unemployment and the threat of inflation could inhibit spending. Over BMI's five-year forecast period, Egypt will also benefit from youthful demographics and improving information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, despite several constraints and a suboptimal distribution network outside Cairo. The Egyptian market is one of the most resilient in the region, but a steep fall in imports in 2009 provided a warning that the impact of the global slowdown on consumption may not have played out yet.

While Gartner's report Monday doesn't show massive growth, things are looking much better than last year. One year ago, Gartner called 2009 the "worst year ever" for IT spending, after a decline of 5.2%.

Innovation plays a crucial role in propelling ICT development to the next level; it is a key agenda item for Intel and the IT industry in Egypt this year. At Intel, we aim to create amazing leaps in technology every day and are dedicated to staying at the forefront of technological innovation.

Intel Corporation continued its commitment to leadership and innovation in 2010 by demonstrating how personal computing has expanded beyond the PC to nearly every kind of electronic device, transforming Intel and the industry in the process. Intel is extending Moore's Law with further advancements in 32 nanometer (nm) processors through the launch of the Intel® Core™ family of processors, and made significant inroads in such growth businesses as netbooks, smart TVs, in-vehicle infotainment, and a variety of additional consumer electronic devices and connected embedded machines. Intel also has made a number of strategic acquisitions, and has continued to achieve numerous R&D, environmental and corporate awards and milestones.

Locally, at Intel Egypt, we have started to make great strides in innovation.This year in collaboration with Egypt's Ministry of Education and the Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF) and Bibliotheca Alexandrina, we launched the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) nationwide in Egypt in preparation for ISEF 2010, San Jose- California. Ten local fairs, organized by ASTF, took place in different governorates as well as 1 big local fair in Alexandria, organized by Bibliotheca Alexandrina to maximize reach and avail a fair chance for all students nationwide. Overall, 240 students from 22 governorates participated in ISEF Egypt and 6 projects were nominated to travel to the US to compete in ISEF worldwide.

We have also seen earlier this month 102 young scientists presenting 68 projects from 10 Arab countries that were selected to compete in the first Intel Science Competition - Arab World held at Bibliotheca Alexandrina, with students competing from 10 Arab countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia und the United Arab Emirates.

We have established affiliations with some key universities in Egypt on focused research topics, including: Alexandria University – Nano-applications and Nile university – Low-power circuit and system design. On the software side, we are also collaborating with ITIDA on a software partner programs to equip our local software developers with the latest and best Intel technology to lead the way in software development and innovation.

Through the collaboration with CARE and TILO, a humanitarian organization that fights global poverty by empowering women and girls, Intel distributed Intel-powered Classmate PCs to 69 schools across Egypt in various governorates of Egypt, namely: Alexandria, Cairo, Giza, Helwan, October 6, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Qena, Aswan, and Assiut.

Some of our other main highlights for 2010 have included:

McAfee – Intel announced its plans to acquire security vendor McAfee in August, with the deal valued at approximately US$7.68 billion. McAfee will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary reporting to Intel's Software and Services Group. The acquisition reflects Intel's commitment to security and will ultimately better protect consumers, corporations and governments as billions of devices – and the server and cloud networks that manage them – are connected.

Infineon – Intel announced its plans to acquire Infineon's Wireless Solutions (WLS) in August, valued at approximately US$1.4 billion. WLS will operate as Intel Mobile Communications, a standalone business division, and will expand Intel's current WiFi and 4G WiMAX offerings. The acquired technology will be used in Intel Core processor-based laptops and Intel® Atom™ processor-based devices, including smart phones, netbooks, tablets and embedded computers.

Intel® Core™ Processor Family – Intel introduced its new 2010 Intel Core processor family in January, delivering unprecedented integration and smart performance, including Intel® Turbo Boost Technology for laptops, desktops and embedded devices. This new processor family is based on Intel's groundbreaking, new 32nm manufacturing process.

2nd Generation Intel Core processor family coming in 2011 – In September, Intel disclosed details of its 2nd Generation Intel Core processor family (codenamed "Sandy Bridge") that will power the latest desktop computers, laptops and servers. Sandy Bridge, which will launch in early 2011, will deliver enhanced visual features including high-definition video, stereoscopic 3-D, mainstream gaming, multi-tasking, online socializing and multimedia.

Intel Expanded 2010 Intel Core Processor Family to Ultra-Thin Laptops – Intel extended the availability of its award-winning Intel Core processor family to more stylish, ultra-thin laptops. These ultraportable laptops are less than an inch thick and weigh between 2-5 pounds. The laptops offer the performance, battery life and connectivity consumers need in a light-weight portable laptop for on-the-go use.

Strong Business Momentum – Intel reported three consecutive record quarters for 2010, with revenue for the third-quarter exceeding $11 billion for the first time, up 18 percent year-over-year to $11.1 billion. The company reported record operating income of $4.1 billion, net income of $3.0 billion and EPS of 52 cents.

MeeGo – Intel and Nokia* announced MeeGo, a Linux-based software platform that will support multiple hardware architectures across the broadest range of device segments, including pocketable mobile computers, netbooks, tablets, media phones, connected TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems.

Jump on with Xeon – Intel launched the Intel® Xeon® 7500 processor series, which represents the largest performance leap in Intel Xeon processor history, providing an average performance three times of Intel's existing Xeon 7400 series. The processors have more than 20 new reliability features and eight-core, 16-threaded performance.

Innovations in Server Processors – Intel announced the Xeon 5600 processor series, the first 32nm technology-based enterprise-class processors. The new processors delivered two new security features, providing data centers with a stronger foundation for cloud security and server virtualization. With 60 percent greater performance[1]i than the previous-generation processor, data centers can replace 15 single-core servers with one server and achieve a return on their investment in as little as five months.

Itanium Launch – Intel introduced the Itanium® processor 9300 series, previously codenamed "Tukwila," which delivers more than double the performance of its predecessor[2] i, boosts scalability and adds reliability features to the Itanium platform that is already running mission-critical applications for 80 percent of the Global 100 corporations.

Intel Learn program – In 2010, Intel Learn program reached 35,000 students on in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, the National Council of Youth as well as many NGOs.

Our goal and vision for 2011 is to be a critical part of Egypt's technology landscape by establishing an innovative culture and a pipeline of candidates starting from pre-college all the way to post-doc research focusing on relevant technology areas. This will enable us to be on the leading edge of IP generation and technology breakthrough delivery. Technologies we foresee in 2011 will be smarter, more powerful and more useful.

Below are a few of Intel's predictions for some technology trends expected in 2011 in Egypt and wordlwide:

Mobility on the rise – We will continue to see higher growth in notebook sales than Desktop sales. Notebooks are getting more performance per watt giving users higher battery life while adding more features.

Penetration into Adjacent Markets: The second half of 2011 will see new and exciting products in the adjacent markets business including tablets, Consumer Electronics, and embedded. Intel's innovation in the adjacent market space is a critical part of the personal computing continuum vision

More focus from Intel Egypt on Innovation and Entrepreneurship: We are proud to be contributing to this vision of moving up the IT supply chain and establish Egypt on the world map for innovation and IP generation. In 2011,we will focus our programs on growing the innovation and Entrepreneurship culture in the Egyptian market

Cloud Computing: Intel's Cloud Builder program and Open Data Center Alliance initiatives are the corner stones of Intel's Cloud Computing strategy. We plan to bring these initiatives to Egypt and work with the ecosystem to enable and scale these two initiatives in Egypt. The Cloud Computing era will change the landscape of IT as we know it and we should be prepared to take advantage of the technology and address its challengesGreen ICT and Power efficiency: The focus on power efficient products and renewable sources of energy will continue in 2011 and will be driven by the need to identify environment-friendly energy sources and power-efficient products. Intel's is one of the largest world-wide corporate purchasers of renewable energy sources and energy-efficient products are at the corner stone of its product planning strategy.

Even Stronger Laptop Sales

Laptops sales will continue with strong growth thanks to Intel's upcoming 2011 Intel® Core™ processors that add a multitude of new HD and graphics-related features for consumers including wireless display to beam content to TVs. With improved business-class capabilities like Intel Anti-Theft Technology, IT spending on server, PC and laptop upgrades should also increase.

Moore's Law Thrives

New innovations and manufacturing techniques will continue to defy the skeptics who claim Moore's Law is dead. This means that in the coming years, as billions of new devices acquire computing capability and Internet connectivity, they will be substantially higher performing with more features embedded in silicon, while also dramatically cutting power consumption and extending battery life.

Securer Security

As IT requirements change rapidly due to an increasingly complex threat landscape and new usage models, including clouds and numerous CE devices connecting to the Internet, security will remain one of the highest priorities for the IT industry. Over the next year, the industry will focus on foundational capabilities for infrastructure protection and maintaining both personal and business secrets. The Intel® Core™ vPro™ processors, Intel's McAfee acquisition and numerous projects inside and around Intel silicon chips will play roles here.

PCs, Smart Devices Gain Senses: Context Aware, Perceptual Computing

Consumers are bound to fall in love with the first wave of context aware or perceptual computers that leverage hard and soft sensor technologies. For example, a mobile device called the Personal Vacation Assistant uses context-aware computing technologies to help get the most out of the travel experience. The portable device uses "hard sensors" (cameras that recognize objects and GPS-based information) and "soft sensors" (information that travelers input into the device such as calendar and cuisine preferences) to make on-the-spot recommendations for sights to see, places to eat and more.

Consumers Buying Trusted Brands in Uncertain Economy

Economic uncertainty will continue to be the driving force for a more considered form of consumer consumption and decision-making. The majority of consumers will think twice about what they buy. In spite of this continued state of uncertainty, consumers will likely return to familiar brands because they embody a trusted investment and demonstrate tested quality.

The "Consumerization" of IT

2011 will mark the point where we see a blurring of consumer devices and enterprise devices. We saw it in 2010 with iPhones* and Droid* phones brought inside the corporate firewall. Employees will want to use their personal solutions for work productivity and employers will want to augment the corporate environment with the devices to drive productivity. Virtualization, anti-theft technology, remote management and security will contribute here.

Smart Signage

Interactive, "Minority Report" movie-like digital signs will become widely accepted, featuring new modes of interaction, including face and gesture recognition.

Consumer Revolution On Energy, Environment

Consumers will go from talking about managing their energy consumption to actually doing it with a variety of home energy management devices and services becoming available.

Auto Tech

With sophisticated technologies acting as central nervous systems in today's cars, new in-vehicle technologies are attracting tremendous interest whether it's new entertainment features, hands-free voice control of smart phones, other safety technologies or driver functions performed automatically by the vehicle.

Sunny Forecast For Cloud, Virtualized Computing

The enterprise cloud will take off as more cloud-based services are recast for business use, including social networking. With most large corporations plowing through the virtualization of their respective environment in 2010, next year will also see build-out of internal cloud solutions. In addition, cloud-based rendering will be done in the cloud and streamed over broadband networks to devices with modest graphics horsepower.

IT and what it offers have become indispensable everywhere for consumers and enterprise alike and Egypt is fast developing a productive and efficient IT sector that will serve Egyptians and the international community at large. 2011 promises to afford Egypt's IT sector unprecedented growth and unequaled opportunity. 

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