Ask a tech industry watcher what distinguishes LEAP from myriad other events, and she’ll answer: It’s just better.
Sure, she may point to a few particular features, like how the event is a gathering of futurists, pioneers, investors, business leaders, policymakers, and tech enthusiasts from a wide range of fields who discuss the breakthrough work and the biggest socio-cultural challenges of the world, or how it’s becoming a springboard to developing entrepreneurial talent, which is the fastest-growing ecosystem in the region. But the larger point is that at LEAP, one can discover what is next for technology.
While organizations are fast-tracking multi-year technology roadmaps for major investments like artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and cloud and arriving at their desired futures ahead of schedule, the future is still coming.
With the theme Into New Worlds, LEAP 2023, co-organized by Informa Tech, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and the Saudi Federation For Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP), is backed by a dozen of regional and global tech companies that are committed to transforming industries or creating new ones, including world-leading cognitive technology enterprise TONOMUS, Ericsson, Huawei, Saudi Aramco and Neoleap, among many others.
“The theme coincides with massive changes happening on all fronts in Saudi Arabia, the region, and the world,” said Abdullah AlDayel, founder & CEO of Qoyod, a cloud accounting software platform and a silver partner of LEAP. “It represents new opportunities, challenges, and hope.”
“We are excited for the metaverse experience, which is one of the main highlights of this year’s edition,” he added.
Many technologies are already moving out of the R&D departments into everyday life. As communication networks, sensors, robotics, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain, and AI are all exponentially improving, Saudi Arabia plans to invest more than $6.4 billion in future technologies.
TONOMUS said LEAP’s Into New Worlds theme resonates with its efforts as it takes a “monumental leap forward by creating life-changing cognitive products and solutions.”
DISCOVER NEW WORLDS
Today the kingdom’s technology market is worth more than $40 billion, and LEAP provides a platform for tech companies to capitalize on this next level by bringing together technology providers with end users, and startups with investors.
At the inaugural edition of LEAP, TONOMUS launched the world’s first cognitive metaverse and a personal data management platform as part of its $1 billion commitment to investing in future technology projects.
“This year, TONOMUS will further shed light on the innovative technologies and solutions that we had announced during LEAP 2022, namely NEOM’s Metaverse, the first-of-a-kind, cognitive, digital twin platform that seamlessly merges digital and physical (NEOM) architectures with hyper-connected technologies and AI features,” the company said.
“Updates will also be provided on ZeroPoint DC, the region’s first next-generation hyperscale data center, which will be instrumental in powering the ecosystem of cognitive, human-centric technologies in development by TONOMUS.”
TONOMUS’ $200 million joint venture with OneWeb, its data consent management platform, a key feature of its cognitive portfolio, and its natural language processing platform that comprehends the Arabic language will be the other highlights at LEAP 2023.
With the Middle East region becoming a hub for technological outreach, many tech giants have invested heavily in the region’s railways, ports, and energy sector over the years.
Ericsson has been working with governments and telecom companies in the region to trial, develop, and roll out 5G. Similarly, Huawei has focused on the potential 5G technology for the wider region. And LEAP is a platform for them to delve into some of the most transformational and innovative 5G use cases of the digital age, including digital twins and holographic communications.
“For the second edition of LEAP, we will showcase how 5G unlocks the future of communications, gaming, and industries. Ericsson will explore holographic communication and enablement of digital twins in the Industry 4.0 revolution,” says Håkan Cervell, Vice President and Head of Customer Unit stc, Saudi Arabia and Egypt at Ericsson Middle East & Africa.
Qoyod will showcase its accounting solutions built to simplify transactions and allow business growth. “Key highlights include activating the e-invoice system in less than a minute,” adds AlDayel.
As the digital transformation partner for LEAP, Devoteam will present new ideas and share its expertise with organizations to increase efficiency and productivity, lower operational costs, and improve customers’ experience.
“We are introducing a new approach towards engaging with our clients through building digital transformation studios with business consultants, transformation and change management specialists, and technology experts to deliver an impactful value to our clients in a one-stop shop concept,” said Devoteam. It added that it would highlight the impact of metaverse, blockchain, and AI on organizational efficiency and customer experience at LEAP.
DRIVING DIGITAL AGENDA
In recent years, Saudi Arabia has taken an aggressive approach to diversify its economy. Efforts to attract investments in high-growth sectors such as technology have yielded billions of dollars of venture capital. And the tech companies backing LEAP aim to keep that innovation and economic momentum.
“We strongly support MCIT’s innovative endeavors in digital transformation and technological advancement in the kingdom in alignment with Saudi Vision 2030,” says AlDayel.
Undoubtedly, Saudi Arabia has made huge strides in development following a series of significant reforms in the past several years.
Setting the digital agenda for the kingdom and positioning it as a tech hub is primarily driven by emerging technologies that include AI and machine learning, IoT, cloud, and predictive analytics.
“Collectively, these have an immense impact on driving efficiencies across the business, government, and society -– from digitizing government operations to building giga-projects such as NEOM -– effectively catalyzing the overall digital transformation and capabilities across the kingdom,” said TONOMUS.
Digital transformation in the kingdom, najm, platinum sponsor of LEAP, said, is dramatically reducing operational delays, increasing efficiency and transparency, and, most importantly, reshaping the capabilities of companies in the digital economy to improve their competitive advantages.
Devoteam says data, open API, and cloud-based technologies are aiding the kingdom to become “an AI and data-driven economy,” adding that the open API is set to revolutionize digital entrepreneurship and result in higher business innovation.”
COLLABORATING WITH LEAP
All agree that collaboration with LEAP significantly impacts companies that focus on driving the digital agenda.
“As a flourishing, innovative, and forward-looking enterprise, LEAP is the ideal forum to showcase TONOMUS’ groundbreaking cognitive solutions and all the exciting initiatives we are launching to enhance people’s lives and redefine the human experience with transformative technologies,” said TONOMUS.
Similarly, Devoteam said LEAP is the main contributor to the “enablement of digital transformation in the kingdom through its role that is focused on bringing the greatest minds, technologies, and experiences from around the world to share and explore.”
A sustainable business requires a focused lens on market trends and the future of technologies, and participation in LEAP means “boosting our company by opening new doors with potential customers, engaging with society, and market trends and building strategic collaboration and partnerships,” said najm.
As the second edition of the tech event will explore and experiment with a decentralized, sustainable global digital economy, for Emaar, silver sponsor of LEAP is a platform “to interact and discuss some of the emerging tech, such as AI.”
“We are excited to participate in LEAP 2023 as a silver sponsor to showcase our integrated solutions — data centers, structured cabling, IT network infrastructure solutions, and smart destinations, which play an important role in facilitating new technology and digital experiences,” added Emaar.
Meanwhile, with the kingdom stepping up its digital goals, Cervell says Ericsson has concentrated significant efforts on improving Industry 4.0 technologies through 5G. “Today, LEAP offers the right platform to nurture partnerships and ecosystems, which are crucial to accelerating the kingdom’s vision. Furthermore, LEAP enables Ericsson to spotlight the immense effort being poured hand-in-hand with CSPs to allow them to become the nation’s backbone. We remain ever more determined to offer our latest 5G innovations and global expertise to support Saudi Arabia in bringing national agendas to fruition.”
By backing LEAP, tech companies can attract credibility and goodwill and increase profits in the long run. They can also attract new business partnerships and, in some cases, potential development.
As new technologies and tools are emerging to assist businesses in growing in the region, LEAP is the major tech event that provides companies an opportunity to discover new worlds and showcase success stories.
LEAP empowers companies to collaborate in their business for a better, safer future and make Saudi Arabia one of the best places to live in,” said Najm.