As someone who has been working in the ICT industry for 40 years, Eddie Cunningham, Head of Sales at Injazat Data Systems, has seen it all. He’s seen trends, such as the consumerisation of IT or unified communications, recycle themselves to the point that, these days, he simply views many new ‘paradigms’ as old ideas with new names. But one trend is big news, he reckons, and it’s helping Middle Eastern organisations to reach untold of levels of flexibility.
The trend, of course, is cloud computing. Being leader of the team that finds new-name clients for Injazat, Cunningham has seen first-hand how transformative a well-formed cloud strategy can be, meaning he’s throwing all his considerable weight behind bringing such technologies to market for the benefit of regional businesses.
“As in other walks of life, we are all subject to being driven by the market and product vendors, so it’s hard to be ‘excited’ by a new trend,” he says.
“But technology-wise, I’m keen to see Injazat successfully harnesses cloud to give our clients more flexible platforms for their IT services.”
Eddie first joined Injazat, as one of the founding leadership team in 2004 and grew the business until his return to the UK in 2008. He rejoined the company under its current structure in 2015. In the time between those two periods, Injazat opened up one of the Middle East’s most advanced data centres, and began offering clients cloud computing solutions and managed services – a fact that, today, both excites and challenges Cunningham.
“Each day is different, which is what keeps me energised and interested. It might involve prospect or partner meetings to review progress. I might meet with Alliances, Business Development, Marketing & Communications to review new initiatives or check progress on current ones,” he says.
“I could be producing material for the Injazat Quarterly Board Meeting, negotiating deal pricing with our CFO, or meeting to set bid priorities with Client Care and Pre-Sales. Or considering what new services should be in our portfolio. I’m passionate about doing the right thing, helping clients succeed, and seeing my team being successful.”
While Cunningham certainly finds outlets for those passions at work, his out-of-the-office hobbies take care of his more creative side, which sees him practice the violin and bagpipes (he was brought up in Glasgow, Scotland, and studied computing science at Glasgow University).
Oh, and there is a more adventurous streak to Cunningham, too.
“Personally, I’m passionate about travelling, enjoying time with my family and seeing new places. My colleagues may not know that I am a PADI Dive Master, and I nearly died at 30 metres, diving in Barbados in 2000. Due to faulty hired equipment, I ran out of air at 100 feet and had to spend six hours in the Defence Force’s decompression chamber,” he explains.
Still, that’s behind Cunningham and he is looking squarely at the future, having recently married off his daughter. He hopes that the pair will have a marriage as successful as his own (41 years and counting with wife Sarah). And professionally, Cunningham is looking to create something special out of his time at Injazat.
“I’d like to be able to leave behind a legacy that sees Injazat become the most successful cloud and cyber-security managed services business in the UAE and GCC,” he says.