Aegis 360, a holistic health and safety digital platform, is a key product in the portfolio of Dubai-based MACS-G Solutions, a digital transformation company. MACS-G is launching its language engine support for Aegis, and to extend the offering to the local market is now supporting the full suite in Arabic
Speaking to Oil Review Middle East at ADIPEC, Gaurav Khupsare, Director at MACS-G commented, “Post Covid, digitalisation has experienced an upswing; everything is technology-driven today. We have been in the market for close to a decade now, and our platforms today are consumed by a large enterprises in the energy sector, especially within the drilling and services sector.
“To add to the regional ethos we already have, being headquartered here in Dubai, we are launching an Arabic version of Aegis, which will essentially allow us to scale further into the SME market. There are a lot of SMEs which have language barriers; we are trying to take those down and make the adoption of technology easier for them.”
“We use translation engines which are very mature today for the core translation, then we synthesise it with local user base that use that our application and understand the nuances of the language. Our customer base is strong over here, so they are helping us fine-tune that language a bit more.”
Khupsare adds that the Arabic version is already being used by some of its customers, but will be officially launched in November with a focused campaign.
There are plans to roll out additional language versions. Currently two languages are supported - Arabic and Hindi, and by the end of next year, the company is looking to increase that number to five, including Mandarin, and European languages such as German.
Further product expansion is planned too. “In the first quarter of 2024, we will also be launching a video analytics solution, detecting behaviour-risk hazards or behaviour based safety, directly from video feeds, while in the second quarter we’ll be launching a location-aware workforce tracking system,” says Khupsare. “These are amongst the new solutions we’ll be bringing to market in the next year or so.”
MACS-G continues to explore global opportunities. “We have presented our predictive analytics technology in London, as we are looking to some machine learning in the future. All these technology enhancements are to ensure we bring the vision of solving real world challenges for our customers into a reality.”
The company is looking to target the African and South American market in the next few years. “We are trying to cater to markets which are untapped,” Khupsare explains.
Turning to the impact of technology on health and safety, Khupsare comments, “Health and safety has always been a focus, but with the use of technology it is becoming more relevant and easier for companies to adopt. Just like any other process, if you don’t have a digital platform to work with, it becomes a bit cumbersome, so there has been an upswing in adoption, especially in new technologies such as video analytics, IOT- based detection etc. I would say we are in the first two years of the next decade of adoption.”
What about cost barriers of investing in health and safety technology? “Costs are still a barrier but I would say they are a reducing barrier. Reputation has become just as important a consideration as dollars. Today the culture is changing. The MENA region is a high growth market, growing at close to 13% CAGR for health and safety and related technologies. It ties in with what the UAE is looking to do in the next decade. The government is pushing companies to adopt new technologies and train the workforce; a new workforce is coming into play that is used to using apps and new technology. They will definitely be more inclined to use the technology in their workplace, compared to a decade ago.”
Commenting on the growth of local technology companies, he says, “Technology has traditionally originated in the west, and adoption rates continue to be higher there. I would say we have been lucky to have started a decade earlier and are now building core tech within the region, as opposed to just reselling products that are built in the west. So there is a change there, but it is very gradual. There is a lot of uptake for B2C technologies; B2B is slower but is a bigger market in terms of revenue and growth. That is also changing, there are players such as us who are building technology within the region. That’s where the Arabic language came in. We are probably the first platform here supporting in-country Arabic language for our customers.”
With all the buzz around AI and digital technologies, how does he see the future? “AI and software go hand in hand, and it very much depends on the quality of the data. Data needs to be structured in a very methodical way for the chance of meaningful insights or predictions. We are still lagging behind in this respect, because infrastructure and processing costs come into it. For the ADNOCs and Chevrons of this world these are manageable, but the larger market does not have the capacity today to adopt those kind of data management costs. In the future as the technology evolves, the costs will nose dive, just as digital platforms have become very available and affordable today.”
For further information about Aegis, see https://www.macs-g.com/aegis