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‘We must build an ecosystem’: Abdullah Jarwan on starting the partnership journey

Abdullah Jarwan is CEO of the joint venture CNTXT, which launched this month. Forged out of the partnership between energy major Saudi Aramco and industrial software leader Cognite, CNTXT aims to ignite digitalization across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East. It’s not about having a monopoly, Jarwan said, but about enabling an ecosystem of partners. 

Why are partners so important to CNTXT’s journey?

Abdullah Jarwan: In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we are on a journey to transform by 2030. We call it Vision 2030, and it’s our plan to modernize and be a competitive global player and partner. To do this, we must build an ecosystem. 

CNTXT is part of that ecosystem, and it’s an example of strong partners coming together, each bringing unique expertise to the table—Cognite with its digital transformation capabilities, Saudi Aramco with the industrial knowledge, and Google with its hyperscaling expertise, giving this new company reseller rights to Google Cloud in Saudi Arabia. 

We want to enable other companies to digitalize, and we plan to build a partner ecosystem that sells, implements, and delivers solutions on top of Google Cloud.

What will be one of the most important partnerships to CNTXT’s success and the success of Vision 2030?

AJ: CNTXT will rely on an ecosystem of partners and enablers, working together to help the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia achieve its ambitious vision of a digital future, as outlined in Vision 2030. This is an opportunity to be part of digitally transforming an entire region. CNTXT is now in the process of building a strong local ecosystem of key partners to join us on this journey, and local partners are encouraged to get in touch to explore collaboration opportunities with us. 

In addition, success comes down to the people driving the transformation. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia must focus on the development and competence-building of people to manage the digitalization across sectors and society. This will require education, corporate upskilling, and reskilling, research and development, collaboration with universities, as well as new, national academies to support. We must breed the talent we need to drive the change. 

What does success look like for CNTXT?

AJ: Digital transformation is a journey, not a project. It never stops. So, success will be the many great wins along the way. For the companies that are part of this ecosystem we are building, each will have the chance to continually advance and improve its businesses, as we collaborate and support one another with new technologies and opportunities. 

Partnerships will be essential to this journey and a key way to succeed in this rapidly advancing environment. Further advancing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not something that can be done overnight, and it’s not something that can be done alone. It will take good partners who are committed over time to continue to bring our Vision 2030 to life.