RIYADH: Google Cloud has partnered with Saudi Arabian Oil Co. to distribute its cloud services in the Kingdom. The cloud platform will be launching its first data center in the region soon, said a senior company official.
According to Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, managing director of Turkey, Middle East & Africa, Google Cloud, the new cloud solution will allow organizations around the region to grow and scale their offerings while delivering digital products and services faster.
Al Thehaiban further said that the collaboration will expand cloud services demand in the Kingdom, which is forecast to reach a market opportunity of up to $10 billion by 2030, according to a statement issued by Aramco.
“Our objective is to launch a data center in Saudi that’s expected to be announced soon and to have some distribution for Aramco’s recently announced company called Context,” Al Thehaiban told Arab News on the sidelines of the Global AI Summit in Riyadh.
He added that the oil behemoth would be the reseller for Google Cloud solutions in the Kingdom.
The cloud computing platform is currently setting up an office in the Kingdom, where it plans to increase the local content and transfer its know-how.
It has also partnered with the state-run Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority to launch a new initiative called Elevate, which aims to empower women globally to pursue careers in AI and machine learning.
The initiative launched during the Global AI Summit held in Riyadh will train more than 25,000 women over the next five years.
The program offers a four-month curriculum, where participants can access free training sessions designed to train them with the skills and experience needed for roles like cloud architect, data engineer, machine learning engineer or cloud business specialist.
While the global AI industry has grown at a rapid pace, women remain underrepresented. According to a UNESCO study, women represent 12 percent of international AI researchers and 8 percent of professional software developers.
The study also revealed that only one fifth of employees in technical roles in major machine learning companies are women.
“The objective of this is really to train local talents, making sure that we bring them up to the standards of what Google Cloud can provide,” Al Thehaiban said.
Google Cloud has also widened its scope by addressing environmental, water, and agricultural challenges posed by climate change.
It collaborated with SDAIA, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and Climate Engine, to launch the Earth observation and science program.
“Climate change is all about data collection, we keep track of the nitty-gritty details of the climate application and then through certain algorism, we monitor the prediction and how it can be beneficial in issues related to sustainability,” he said.