Ali Al Mazmi - UAE Federal Electricity and Water Authority

Friday, 13 May 2011 14:31
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Mr Al Mazmi studied at Ajman University followed by diploma in France and some additional studies in Germany. He joined the FEWA (the UAE’s Federal Electricity and Water Authority) in 2005 as an operations engineer then he worked also as a telecommunications engineer and later on he was appointed as the enterprise GIS project manager. Following that he took over as the CIO of FEWA.  Ali is an avid phone card collector; he has a comprehensive collection from more than 120 countries.

FEWA provides water and electricity to much of the UAE. It is involved in power generation, transmission and distribution as well as water purification and distribution.

The Interview

CIO2CIO: As a CIO how do you see the difference between working for a multi industry conglomerate and a pure play single industry company?
Ali: It is easier to work with a pure play single industry company, one needs to understand a single industry and can deploy the best solutions for that industry.

CIO2CIO:  You are a CIO of an important organization; you have been through lots of interesting projects, what is the project that is closest to your heart, the one you are most proud of?
Ali: I can mention the SAP ERP and billing project at FEWA, this was much more than an IT project, it was a total shift in FEWA’s organizational culture. The ERP is already live and the billing will go live after summer. Siemens is in charge of the implementation. We are already live on Finance, Controlling, Material Management and Human Resources. We used this project to streamline our business processes and to drive a cultural shift in the organization.

CIO2CIO: How do you deal with the waves of new technologies that are coming in quick succession? How do you decide which one to adopt and which one to skip?
Ali: I usually think about a few things, what can this new technology do for FEWA? How will it help our business? Does it fit within our overall architecture and technology? And whether it is something we must look at right now or sometime in the future.

CIO2CIO: How do you retain your team in such a competitive environment?
Ali: Obviously people need to have some sort of job security, which helps them feel relaxed and be more productive. We also look for people who tend to stay in one place for longer and won’t move to a new employer for a 5 or 10% higher salary.

CIO2CIO: What are the biggest challenges facing CIOs today?
Ali: It is a triangle: people, budgets and leadership support.

CIO2CIO: What would your advice to young CIOs be?
Ali: It is to choose the right team, to surround yourself with the best people. That would be my one advice.










FEWA IT Profile

Billing: SAP
Database: Oracle
Middleware: SAP Netweaver
Business Intelligence: SAP Business Objects
Servers: HP
Desktops: HP
Networking: Cisco
Telephony: Cisco and Avaya


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