2020 FierceTelecom Rising Star – Orange's Samir El Rashidy

The FierceTelecom editorial team is proud to announce our second annual Rising Stars series, in which we’re profiling up-and-coming executives in the telecom industry. We’ve selected a slate of executives whom we think are on the rise in 2020. We’ll be doling out the names of our winners, two per day, so that our readers have the time to enjoy reading their profiles. And next week, we’ll post a Rising Stars poll, giving everyone the opportunity to vote for their favorite top executive to watch in the FierceTelecom ecosystem. We hope you enjoy the series!

Samir El Rashidy is not afraid to take his work personally. As senior director of pre-sales for Orange Business Services in North America, he leads a team that helps companies capitalize on technology. He tries to always stay mindful of how that technology will impact end users. 

“At the end of the day I am also an end user,” El Rashidy said. “I think in what we do, empathy is a great asset. … I bring my personal experience into what I do, and that’s what motivates me because at the end of the day, technology is about people. It’s about how we do business together, it’s about how we talk, how we think, it’s about how we share ideas and then how we implement those ideas.”

El Rashidy knows that how people communicate and share ideas differs from one place to another because he has worked in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, South America and now North America. He has learned that great technology isn’t valuable unless people become comfortable with it and adopt it. He said WhatsApp is a good example. “Here, nobody uses WhatsApp, you’re still using text messages,” El Rashidy said. “In Latin America and the Middle East and Africa, that’s how you do business.”

El Rashidy said that even before the global pandemic, he and his team were working to help customers move IT departments out of reactive mode and into a mode of adding value by integrating infrastructure and systems. He said that before COVID-19, many companies thought private cloud was the right approach, but now that’s changing. 

“Now all of a sudden, nobody’s building data centers anymore and everybody’s migrating off the data center,” El Rashidy said. “That is a huge opportunity in my view. The work from home may go back to a certain extent… but I don’t think the infrastructure is going to go back.” El Rashidy expects reliance on public clouds to increase dramatically now that companies see how important it is to have applications available and interoperable from anywhere.

RELATED: Google Cloud chalks up a customer win with France's Orange

El Rashidy’s success at Orange clearly hinges on his long term vision, which informs his work for customers. He said he wants to help companies think holistically about infrastructure by integrating workflows, adding governance, and ultimately by adding intelligence such as analytics and robotic process automation.