November 30, 2009

Armen Baldryan: ArmTech 3 Provided Really Unique Opportunities

Legendary IT man Craig Barrett coming to Armenia soon

By Gourgen James Khazhakian


As we reported earlier, the third ArmTech Congress, the event ded­icated to the development of Hi­Tech and IT in Armenia, was held on November 5 to 8 in San Jose, California. Among its participants was Armen Baldryan, member of the Information Technology Development Support Council under the RA Prime Minister (ITDSC), also member of the Intel EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) Council, Founding CEO of the Unicomp CJSC.
Mr Baldryan shared his vision of some important details of these events with The Highlights corre­spondent.
"As it was mentioned already, the ArmTech Congress is a good platform to introduce the world achievements of the Armenian ICT/high-tech sector, and why not, also its ambitions which, in my opinion, are fully justified," Armen Baldryan noted.
The first ArmTech was held in San Francisco in 2007, and the sec­ond congress was in Yerevan last year. According to Mr Baldryan, the Silicon Valley proved to be really correct location for holding such congresses. He continued:
"When you organize an event here in Armenia to present our country's high-tech industry in the best possible way to the world, just as it happened in case of the second ArmTech, the industry world leaders have no clear idea about why they should come to a small and distant coun­try. But when you come yourself to, one might say, such a fabulous place as Silicon Valley, thus showing that you value their role and experience, they themselves come to get acquainted with you and, why not, to cooperate and make investments. In this respect, indeed, it was very important that the Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, Minister of Economy Nerses Yeritsyan, and other high-ranking officials par­ticipated in the event.


Vadim Tikhonichev, Craig Barrett, Armen Baldryan, John Davis

Left to right: Vadim Tikhonichev, Craig Barrett, Armen Baldryan, John Davis

I took part in the meetings of the Prime Minister with two of the world's ICT giants: Intel and Cisco (by the way, Unicomp is their long-time, and, we could say even, No.l partner in Armenia-NT) and I should say with satisfaction that it became evident that not only we, but also they are interested in coopera­tion. "
According to Armen Baldryan, evidently Armenia had roused the interest of these firms first, by its unique geographical position - as a bridge between Europe and Asia, and second, due to its intentions and ambitions indeed. He went on: "Vice President of Intel John Davis told Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan they would like to take an active part in the process of reforms in Armenia's educational system, particularly in those aimed at increasing use of PCs and information technologies in secondary schools. At another meeting, with the managers of Cisco company, the issues related to the current large-scale changes in the Armenian ICT sector, namely, IT infrastructure, elec­tronic government and gover­nance, IT education, were dis­cussed." As John Chambers, President of Cisco, a man who, according to Armen Baldryan, managed to turn Cisco from a small company into a global giant over mere a decade, told the RA Prime Minister, they are interested in establishing cooperation with the ICT sector of Armenia.
In the words of Armen Baldryan, it would not be an exag­geration to say that these contacts provide both Armenia and these world-leading companies with a unique opportunity to cooperate on the creation of a peculiar regional model of the electronic society. Some ten years ago an exemplary model of this type was set up in Estonia, and now, Armenia has a chance to create a similar model. "I believe," he went on, "that our model will be more special and advanced one as we will effi­ciently use the latest Western technologies, combining them with the Armenian ICT compa­nies' experience that, I think, is quite considerable."
"As regards the third ArmTech Congress, I should note that it was crucially important that besides us the Armenians, the representatives of foreign companies, including top man­agers of world famous firms attended the presentations and round-table discussions. Among them were Intel Vice President John Davis, and the CIS Regional Director of Hewlett Packard Vadim Tikhonichev who, to note, were impressed very much by what they saw," Armen Baldryan continued. He also said: "I would like to point out the intense and, hopefully, quite efficient contacts with the people of Intel Corporation. Among them were its Vice President John Davis, who was present at most of the events and delivered a speech, and Craig Barrett, the company's former long-time President and CEO. Here I want to say a few words about this, one could say, leg­endary man. While in Silicon Valley, I met heads of various leading companies who proudly mentioned Craig Barrett as their teacher. Perhaps not so many people know that recently Mr Barrett became first ever person rewarded with special award of the Armenian President for his significant contribution to the development of IT industry worldwide. This was announced at the ArmTech Congress. On behalf of the RA Prime Minister a special reception was held in honor of Mr Barrett and his wife Barbara who, notwithstanding her being a venerable lady, is actively training to fly aboard a spaceship as a space tourist.
Craig Barrett will soon come to Armenia where the President Serzh Sargsyan will hand the award to him. During his visit to our country, he is expected to get familiar with the ICT sector, give lectures, and meet with people."

Armen Baldryan also was a member of the Armenian delega­tion accompanying President Serzh Sargsyan in his state visit to Hungary shortly after ArmTech.

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