Get to Know: Abdulmajeed Alobailan, country manager KSA, A10 Networks
Alobailan: I don’t believe in mistakes. I prefer to see what other people term mistakes as ‘opportunities’ to grow, learn and advance oneself
What’s your career history to date? How did you end up working in Saudi Arabia?
I have a Master’s Degree in Systems Engineering from Loyola Marymount University – Los Angeles, USA. However, I am originally from Saudi Arabia. I started my career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Saudi Arabia, managing the IT infrastructure across branches and embassies around the world. I later moved to General Authority of Civil Aviation, where I leveraged the cloud infrastructure across all Saudi Airports, which ultimately led me to be one of the co-founders of Saudi Aviation Information Technology (SAVIT).
Being with A10 Networks and leading the Saudi Arabia market is a fascinating journey to help strategic customers across the Kingdom in achieving their IT strategy.
If you could improve one thing about the channel business what would it be?
Communication is key. It is very crucial to build strong relationships at every level with resellers. When it comes to onboarding new resellers, it is not just the buy-in of top management that is required. You also need to work closely with sales and pre-sales engineers. They are the ones who tend to own the relationship with customers.
What product or technology should the channel watch out for this year?
The channel should build capabilities in technologies like AI and machine learning, cloud solutions and automated threat intelligence.
What is your proudest career achievement to date?
Closing many strategic sales deals across many ministries and enterprise accounts with A10 Networks. I do not originally come from a sales background, so it was a real sense of achievement to build such a strategic relationship with the customer, understand their business challenges/needs and find a suitable solution to help protect their IT infrastructure.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Don’t wait until tomorrow, to achieve what can be done today.
2017, the year Alobailan co-founded Saudi Aviation Information Technology (SAVIT)
What is the biggest mistake you have ever made since working in the IT market?
I don’t believe in mistakes. I prefer to see what other people term mistakes as ‘opportunities’ to grow, learn and advance oneself.
Which IT company, other than your own, do you most admire and why?
I would prefer to focus on technologies rather than companies since the logo does not matter these days as long as you solve your customer challenges. I admire the latest and greatest security technologies that thwart today’s sophisticated cyber attacks that can cripple the economy of a country.
What is the biggest challenge facing the Middle East IT channel?
I believe the channel still has a long way to go before its mindset changes from product to solution selling. I believe the channel needs to add consulting services to their list of capabilities since this is what the requirement of today’s market is.
What’s your favourite thing about the company you work for?
The A10 Networks team feels more like a family than a corporation. We are all tightly knit and work together to achieve the same goal to grow the Middle East region.
What sort of interests do you have outside of work?
I am an adventurous person who loves to embark on new journeys. I am always excited and eager to try new challenges, even ones that might be a bit dangerous! One of my dreams is to be one of the people who climb to the summit of Mount Everest!