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Contents ISSUE 238 | NOVEMBER 2011

ANALYSIS 6 SAS launches D1

SAS ME,  the  regional  arm  of  the  global  leaders  in  business  analytics,   picked  CNME’s  CIO  Council  roundtable  to  launch  their  latest  solution   for  SMEs  -­‐  the  D1  appliance.


Clearing the clouds Misperceptions of  the   cloud  and  an  unclear   understanding  of  what  it  can   do  are  the  biggest  challenges   holding  back  adoption,   according  to  Citrix




At the  recent,  GITEX  Technology  Week,  Pallavi  Sharma  caught  up  with   the  president  of  ITWorx  to  discuss  the  company’s  outlook  on  current   technologies  and  it’s  stand  on  the  future.

Planning for 2012

Game on


A continuing story

Business continuity  (BC)  is  not  yet  fully  understood  by  most  large   Middle  East  enterprises,  and  is  often  confused  with  its  cousin  disaster   recovery  (DR).  With  the  current  state  of  affairs  the  region  might  have   to  wait  for  a  couple  of  years  for  large  scale  adoption  of  BC  processes.

Growth scope


Architecting growth

At Agilent  Technologies’  recently  held  global  event  in  Prague,  senior   executives  discussed  the  company’s  growth  so  far  and  its  future   ambitions.  Mike  Byrne  writes.


Not known  for  making  bold  investments  in  ICT,  the  construction   sector  is  showing  signs  of  rapid  change.  Pallavi  Sharma  speaks  to   ’”‘ˆ‡••‹‘ƒŽ•‹–Š‡‹†—•–”›–‘ϐ‹†‘—–™Šƒ–†‡ϐ‹‡•–Š‡‹”‹˜‡•–‡–• and  how  they’re  likely  to  change.

Round up

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CNME’s ICT  Achievement  Awards  2011  honoured  the   best  in  IT  projects,  end-­‐user  and  vendors  from  the   region  in  21  categories.  We  bring  you  the  winners.

The Information  Technology  Industry  Development  Agency  (ITIDA)  of   Egypt  was  in  Dubai  for  GITEX  Technology  Week  2011  and  took  the  time   to  discuss  its  role  in  the  development  of  the  nation’s  ICT  industry  with  a   particular  focus  on  BPO.  Pallavi  Sharma  reports.

At the  MENA  leg  of  the  SAP  World  Tour  2011,  the  German  IT  giant   introduced  co-­‐CEO  Bill  McDermott  to  its  customers  and  channel   partners  in  the  region.  


The Achievers

Egypt on

At the  second  annual  Infrastructure  Strategies  2011  event,  vendors   and  end-­‐users  spoke  about  the  tough  economic  conditions  that  are   likely  next  year,  and  discussed  the  best  ways  to  achieve  ROI  on  every   infrastructure  investment.



Changing integration

Changing the game Users say  true  collaboration  encompasses  technology,  people  and   processes.  Pallavi  Sharma  speaks  to  professionals  from  the  region’s   —‹ϐ‹‡†…‘—‹…ƒ–‹‘••’ƒ…‡–‘†‹•…‘˜‡”‹ˆ–Š‹•Š‘Ž†•–”—‡ˆ‘” Middle  East  enterprises.

LAST WORD 62 A look  at  what  major  events  await  you,  what  we’re  reading,  and  a

sneak peek  at  the  contents  of  the  next  issue  of  CNME.


Computer News  Middle  East



Weather’s a-changing

Sathya Mithra Ashok Senior Editor Talk to us: E-mail: Twitter: @computernewsme Facebook: computernewsme

Publisher Dominic De Sousa

I have  always  enjoyed  the  last  few  months  of  the  year.  And  this  year,  the  good   times  started  rather  early  in  October. CNME  conducted  the  annual  ICT  Achievement  Awards  on  the  9th  of  the  month,   in  a  gala  evening  in  Dubai.  The  Awards,  which  received  a  total  of  352  nominations   (the  highest  number  of  nominations  ever  received  for  a  technology  awards  function   in  the  region),  honoured  the  best  projects,  people  and  products  from  across  the   region  in  21  categories.   The  ceremony  played  host  to  a  400-­‐strong  audience,  comprising  the  who’s-­‐who   of  the  ICT  industry  in  the  region.  Winners  included  organisations  from  the  UAE,   Saudi  Arabia  and  Qatar,  along  with  a  few  surprises  from  Bahrain  (For  the  full  list  of   winners  and  to  understand  how  they  beat  the  others  to  win  the  trophy,  please  read   the  Awards  story  starting  on  page  25). Post  GITEX  is  usually  a  quiet  time  for  the  industry.  But  not  for  CNME.   Right  after  the  mega-­‐event,  we  brought  together  key  stakeholders  to  discuss   data  management  and  analytics  with  SAS.  The  global  business  analytics  leader   picked  the  CIO  Council  roundtable  to  launch  the  D1  appliance  –  a  device  meant  for   SMEs  in  the  Middle  East.   ‡ƒŽ•‘…‘†—…–‡†ƒ”‡–ƒ‹ŽǦ•’‡…‹ϐ‹…‡˜‡–ǡƒ‰ƒ‹™‹–ŠŽƒ•–‘–ŠǤ‘”‡ƒ†ƒ brief  on  both  events  and  the  discussion  topics  during  the  same,  please  refer  to  the   story  starting  page  6. Then,  to  wrap  up  the  month,  there  was  Infrastructure  Strategies  2011.  More   than  60  end-­‐users  got  together  with  key  vendors  to  discuss  the  state  of  infrastructure   investments  in  the  region  and  to  put  their  heads  together  to  come  up  with  ideas  for   tackling  the  tough  year  that  lies  ahead.  (To  read  that  story,  go  to  page  12).   Yes  –  we  have  packed  CNME  this  time.  However,  I  would  like  to  point  out  that  the   magazine  is  no  longer  the  single  biggest  source  of  the  information  we  can  bring  you.   Our  website  holds  a  lot  more  interviews  and  analysis  articles  that  we  could  not   ϐ‹–‹–‘‘—”’ƒ‰‡•Ǥ –ƒ‡‰”‡ƒ–’”‹†‡‹†‹”‡…–‹‰›‘—–‘,  where   you  will  get  a  lot  more  articles  and  more  indepth  information  on  trends  we  are   seeing  and  events  we  are  working  on  till  the  end  of  the  year.   You  will  also  get  a  chance  to  see  the  events  take  shape  in  our  photo  gallery  and   also  get  to  catch  the  CNME  team  in  action.   Our  social  media  presence  has  also  grown  in  the  last  few  months.  For  live   updates  on  every  event  that  we  conduct  or  participate  in,  follow  us  on  and  if  you  like  reading  our  magazine  or  our   website,  do  leave  your  ‘like’  mark  on  our  Facebook  page  – computernewsme. The  end  of  the  year  is  always  fun  –  and  we  have  some  dramatic  changes  for  you   very  soon.  But  that  is  fodder  for  another  editorial.   Till  December  then.

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ANALYSIS month in view

SAS addresses SME data needs with D1 appliance SAS ME, the regional arm of the global leader in business analytics, picked CNME’s CIO Council roundtable to launch their latest solution for SMEs – the D1 appliance.


t a  crowded  CIO  Council   roundtable  earlier  this  month,   the  Middle  East  arm  of  SAS,   an  international  leader  in  business   ƒƒŽ›–‹…•ǡƒ‘—…‡†–Š‡‘ˆϐ‹…‹ƒŽŽƒ—…Š of  the  D1  appliance  –  an  all-­‐in-­‐one  data   warehousing  and  data  analytics  solution   that  is  set  to  change  the  way  SMEs  in  the   region  use  and  interact  with  their  data. The  CIO  Council  roundtable  brought   together  more  than  50  senior  decision   makers  from  the  UAE  to  discuss  the  changing   nature  of  data  analytics  and  the  best  ways  of   deriving  intelligence  from  steadily  increasing   amounts  of  date  exploding. At  the  CIO  Council  roundtable,   conducted  by  CNME,  SAS,  the  company’s  data   warehousing  partners  Greenplum  and  local   integration  partner  Altis,  presented  on  the   „‡‡ϐ‹–•‘ˆ–Š‡•‘Ž—–‹‘ˆ‘”•Ǥ “SMEs  and  the  problems  that  they  need   to  solve  are  as  complex  as  that  of  any  major   enterprise  anywhere.  This  complexity  is   not  related  to  size,  but  is  a  product  of  the   world  that  we  all  operate  in.  The  amount  of   data  that  these  companies  have  to  deal  with   increase  every  day,  and  there  is  the  element   of  unstructured  data  as  well  (which  includes   social  media  and  blogs)  which  are  key  to   understanding  the  sentiments  and  thoughts   of  a  company  among  its  existing  and   potential  client  base,”  said  Carel  Badenhorst,   head  of  the  technology  practice  at  SAS  MEA. “Data  capture  alone  cannot  help   companies  make  sense  of  the  world;  it  is   about  understanding  the  data,  and  this  can   be  done  only  with  analytics.  Analytics  is  the   only  capability  that  provides  companies   with  a  beautiful  view  of  data  and  allows  


Computer News  Middle  East


More than 50 senior decision makers came together at CNME’s CIO Council roundtable

SMEs and the problems that they need to solve are as complex as that of any major enterprise anywhere. This complexity is not related to size, but is a product of the world that we all operate in. The amount of data that these companies have to deal with increase every day, and there is the element of unstructured data as well (which includes social media and blogs) which are becoming key to understanding sentiments and thoughts of a company among its existing and potential client base.” them to  do  something  about  it.  The  cost  and   complexity  of  analytics  solutions  have  put  off   SMEs  from  investing  in  them  in  the  past.  The   SAS  D1  appliance  addresses  all  these  issues   and  helps  these  companies  get  more  from   their  data,”  added  Badenhorst. SAS’s  D1  appliance  brings  together   capabilities  of  Greenplum,  the  data   warehouse  pioneer  and  Dell,  along  with  SAS’s   capabilities  to  form  a  complete  solution  that   possesses  the  latest  technologies  for  data

warehousing, data  integration,  data  mining   and  forecasting,  in  addition  to  acquiring   business  intelligence. Speaking  at  the  CIO  Council  roundtable,   Phillip  Roy,  director  of  Greenplum  in  the  ME   elaborated  on  the  merits  of  the  partnership,   and  the  new  capabilities  that  the  D1   appliance  would  provide  SMEs  in  the  UAE   and  the  larger  region. “With  D1,  the  region  suddenly  has   the  opportunity  to  leapfrog  over  more  

developed countries.  This  is  our  initiative,   our  partnership,  that  is  applicable  only   in  the  region  right  now.  The  appliance   has  been  launched  only  for  the  region,  for   regional  SMEs  and  cannot  yet  be  accessed   in  the  US  or  the  UK.  This  gives  SMEs  here  a   real  opportunity  to  take  and  use  the  latest,   „—†Ž‡†•‘Ž—–‹‘ˆ‘”–Š‡‹”Žƒ”‰‡”„‡‡ϐ‹–ǡdz stated  Roy. Roy  also  spoke  at  length  about   Greenplum’s  integration  in  the  D1  appliance   and  how  organisations  can  use  the  same  for   accessing  and  understanding  big  data,  and   ƒ‡•‡•‡‘ˆ‹–ˆ‘”Žƒ”‰‡”„—•‹‡••„‡‡ϐ‹–•Ǥ More  than  50  senior  IT  decision  makers   gathered  at  the  CIO  Council  roundtable  today He  was  followed  by  Ali  Gooyabadi,  chief   •–”ƒ–‡‰›‘ˆϐ‹…‡”ƒ–Ž–‹•‹•–”‹„—–‹‘ǡ™Š‘ explained  how  SMEs  can  achieve  return  on   investment  (ROI)  with  the  D1  appliance,   or  even  a  larger  data  analytics  solution.   He  pointed  out  that  when  done  the  right  

Carel Badenhorst, head of the technology practice at SAS MEA

Phillip Roy, director of Greenplum in the ME

™ƒ›ǡ™‹–Š•—ˆϐ‹…‹‡–†ƒ–ƒƒ†•—’’‘”–‹‰ processes, these  organisations  can  hope  to   retrieve  the  value  of  their  investment  within   a  few  months. Questions  at  the  CIO  Council  roundtable   centred  around  the  competitive  landscape   for  data  analysis  in  the  region,  along  with  the   language  and  integration  capabilities  of  the   SAS  D1  appliance  itself.    

Ali Gooyabadi, chief strategy officer at Altis Distribution

Retail firms discuss data analytics SAS, a  leader  in  business  analytics,   and  Satvik,  a  consulting  and  analytics   solutions  provider  got  together  to  give   retail  end-­‐users  an  idea  of  what  analytics   can  do  for  them  and  how  they  can  use  it   ˆ‘”„—•‹‡••„‡‡ϐ‹–ƒ–ǯ• ‘—…‹Ž roundtable  conducted  today. “Retail  businesses  in  the  UAE  most  often   have  a  lot  of  data  and  information,  but  are   they  using  it  intelligently  to  make  business   †‡…‹•‹‘•ǫƒŽ›–‹…•ǡ™Š‡—•‡†‡ˆϐ‹…‹‡–Ž›ǡ can  make  the  decision-­‐making  process  a   ‘”‡”ƒ–‹‘ƒŽǡƒ†•…‹‡–‹ϐ‹…ƒŽŽ›Ǧ•—’’‘”–‡† initiative,”  said  Raj  MK,  CEO  of  Satvik  at  the   retail  roundtable. He  also  explained,  with  global  case   studies,  the  different  functions  that  analytics   can  help  simplify  for  retail  organisations.   These  range  from  planning  campaigns,  to   understanding  campaign  ROI  and  identifying   areas  of  improvement  across  products  and   retail  branches,”  he  said. The  event,  which  brought  together  more   than  25  senior  IT  decision  makers  from  the   retail  sector  in  the  UAE,  saw  them  participate  

in a  discussion  regarding  the  challenges   involved  in  understanding  customers  in   the  country,  and  the  areas  that  require  data   collection  and  cleansing. “Data  collection  and  cleansing  is  an   integral  element  of  the  process  and  needs  to   be  done  prior  to  implementing  any  analytics   solution.  We  can  help  customers  understand   and  bring  together  different  data  elements   residing  within  their  organisation,  and  help   them  to  structure  the  same,  while  deploying

the analytics  elements,”  said  Shameem   Backer,  channel  partner  account  manager  at   SAS  ME. “Our  scope  of  work  includes  data   cleansing,  and  there  are  modules  that   allow  us  to  help  you  identify  and  work   with  customers  using  structured  as  well  as   unstructured  data.  When  you  start  with  data,   it  can  seem  like  an  uncontrollable  whole.   However,  we  start  with  chunks  –  either  in   your  static  or  your  transactional  information   –  and  this  helps  us  build  up  to  the  whole  in  a   progressive  manner,”  said  Raj. The  companies  said  that,  if  an   organisation  has  its  customer  data  cleaned   and  ready,  implementation  of  analytics   can  take  as  little  as  three  weeks  time,  and   organisations  can  start  applying  statistical   models  to  gain  more  from  their  information. The  organisations  stated  that  pricing   of  the  solution  include  a  base  SAS  solution   along  with  other  module-­‐oriented  elements,   and  has  to  be  structured  on  a  case-­‐by-­‐case   basis  considering  the  requirements  of  the   organisation  and  the  state  of  its  data  usage.  


Computer News  Middle  East


ANALYSIS month in view

Peder Ulander, VP of product marketing, cloud platforms group at Citrix

Clearing the T clouds Misperceptions of the cloud and an unclear understanding of what it can do are the biggest challenges holding back adoption, according to Citrix.


Computer News  Middle  East


he classic  uncertainty  and   doubt  that  surrounds  the  entire   idea  of  cloud  computing  and   technologies  is  the  biggest  challenge   facing  it.  This  according  to  Peder   Ulander,  VP  of  product  marketing,  cloud   platforms  group  at  Citrix.   “We   a ctually   d id   a   s urvey   where   we   researched   5 00   p eople   i n   b usiness   positions   what   t heir   i ssue   was   m oving   to   the   c loud.   T he   n umber   o ne   t hing   a head   o f   everything   e lse   was   l ack   o f   u nderstanding   and   t raining.   A nd   i n   fact   a nalysts   today   will   even   tell   you   t hat   m ost   c ompanies   will   t ry   a nd   b uild   a   p rivate   c loud   today   and   m ost   c ompanies   w ill   fail.   T hat   i s   because   t here   i s   n ot   e nough   i nformation   about   h ow   to   d o   i t.   U ncertainty   m akes  

things h ard,   c hange   m akes   t hings   h ard;   so   u ntil   we   c an   b uild   s ome   s olid   c ase   references,   c ompanies   h ave   to   h elp   people   b ecome   s uccessful   w ith   t he   cloud   a nd   a ctually   t reat   i t   m ore   a s   a n   academic   exercise   versus   j ust   a   m oney   making   exercise   –   t hat   i s   g oing   to   d rive   u s   forward,”   s aid   U lander. The  former  CMO  of,  Ulander,   who  was  in  Dubai  for  GITEX  Technology   Week  2011,  spoke  at  length  about   how  Citrix  was  using  its  portfolio  and   experience  to  empower  users,  while  still   enabling  businesses  to  conform  to  policies   and  security  concerns.   “Cloud  computing  is  about  changing  the   fundamental  IT  services  model  to  create   more  empowerment  of  users  to  enable   them  to  do  their  work  better,  while  making   sure  that  controls  and  policies  are  set  in   place  so  that  businesses  can  leverage  this   new  technology.  It  is  not  just  a  capex  versus   opex  discussion.  It  is  an  enabler,  a  strategic   weapon  that  helps  you  really  kind  of  drive   your  business  better,”  he  said.   Speaking  about  cloud  in  the  Middle   East,  Ulander  said,  “Enterprises  should   use  IT  as  a  strategic  weapon  to  empower   users  to  become  more  creative,  agile  and   focused.  Cloud  computing  has  also  enabled   a  truly  distributed  business  model  that   enables  you  to  have  business  continuity  in   times  of  extreme  complexity,  volatility  and   ambiguity.  I  know  that  connectivity  is  an   issue  in  the  region.  But  when  you  lose  the   cloud  you  can  actually  have  a  distributed   computing  model,  with  failover  sites  and  all   those  other  factors  that  actually  give  you  a   better  presence  online  so  that  while  your   headquarters  might  not  be  attached  to  the   cloud  your  entire  customer  base  probably   still  can  use  it.” Talking  about  the  common   misperceptions  that  surround  the  cloud,   Ulander  stated  that  the  biggest  one  is  the   assumption  that  the  cloud  is  a  single  entity.

We are transitioning into a world where stablility is not the norm. 2012 is another year where all things are going to happen.” “The cloud  represents  three  different   layers  of  technology.  There  is  cloud   infra  which  are  tools  and  components   •’‡…‹ϐ‹…ƒŽŽ›†‡•‹‰‡†ˆ‘” ƒƒ‰‡”•–”›‹‰ to  better  operate  their  data  centre.  Better   ‡ˆϐ‹…‹‡…‹‡•ǡ•ƒ”–‡”˜‹”–—ƒŽ‹•ƒ–‹‘ǡŽ‡•• administrative  resources  etc.,  The  next   layer  is  PaaS  –  that  is  the  whole  platform   environment.  That  is  still  fairly  new.   The  last  one  which  is  actually  the  most   mature  of  all  of  these  pieces  is  SaaS.  That   is  the  consumerised  element.  When  I  look   through  that  stack  and  say  where  the  region   is  with  regards  to  adoption,  they  have  done   a  pretty  good  job  adopting  SaaS  layer  for   things  that  are  important  to  consumers  and   to  some  businesses.  And  as  you  start  going   down  that  stack  it  becomes  more  and  more   kind  of  limited,”  said  Ulander. However,  “the  same  model  exists   around  the  globe,”  he  said.  Consumerised   user  platforms  tend  to  be  the  first  to  be   adopted,  followed  by  the  other  layers  that   make  up  the  cloud.  Even  when  it  comes  to   service  providers,  the  ones  in  the  Middle   East  are  almost  always  at  the  same  level  as   their  peers  in  Asia  or  the  UA,  according  to   Ulander.   “The  only  difference  might  be  how   public  they  are  with  it.  There  is  maybe   not  much  for  them  to  go  public  with  that   type  of  detail,  whereas  people  in  the  US   start  talking  about  cloud  strategies  17  or   18  months  before  they  launch  it.  I  tend  to   disagree  by  saying  that  the  maturity  has   not  necessarily  been  here.  The  interest  is   †‡ϐ‹‹–‡Ž›Š‹‰Šǡƒ†™Š‹Ž‡–Š‡”‡‹‰Š–‘– have  been  as  much  pomp  and  circumstance   I  actually  do  think  in  the  mindset  of  many

they already  recognise  what  they  are  using   –  the  Middle  East  might  be  slightly  behind   with  regards  to  where  IaaS  is  but  I  came   from  a  show  in  New  York  where  we  are  still   –”›‹‰–‘†‡ϐ‹‡™Šƒ– ƒƒ‡ƒ•ǡdzŠ‡•ƒ‹†Ǥ Touching  upon  the  Cisco  partnership,   Ulander  pointed  out  that  the  biggest  risk   and  opportunity  in  the  cloud  lies  with   networking  providers  and  appreciated   the  fact  that  as  a  company  Cisco  remains   willing  to  work  with  various  providers  in   the  market.   “From  a  cloud  perspective  –  this  is   more  about  cooperation  than  competition.   Especially  in  the  brand  new  market  because   we  are  going  to  be  growing,  understanding   and  nurturing  markets  with  the  new   technologies.  Ultimately  we  are  all  working   together  under  the  same  roof.  We  are   all  trying  to  do  the  same  thing  and  the   more  time  we  spend  bickering  about  my   hypervisor  is  better  than  yours,  the  only   person  who  loses  is  the  customer,”  opined   Ulander. According  to  him,  as  markets  move   from  unstability  to  unstability,  initiatives   like  cloud  computing  can  give  large   enterprises  more  of  an  ability  to  control   their  data  and  destiny. “We  are  transitioning  into  a  world   where  stablility  is  not  the  norm.  2012  is   another  year  where  all  things  are  going   to  happen.  The  more  you  abstract  the   physical  to  the  virtual  and  focus  on  the   delivery  of  services  and  apps  to  your  users   –  be  they  local,  remote  or  in  a  situation   where  they  have  to  move  from  local  to   remote  –  that  is  what  you  want  to  focus   on,”  he  concluded.  


Computer News  Middle  East


ANALYSIS month in view

Changing integration At the recent GITEX Technology Week 2011, Pallavi Sharma caught up with the president of ITWorx to discuss the company’s outlook on current technologies, and the firm’s stand for the future.


TWorx, a  developer  of  software   solutions  and  products  for   governmental  institutions,   public  service  organisations  and   telecommunications  operators   throughout  Europe,  Middle  East  and   Africa  was  at  GITEX  Technology  Week   2011  to  announce  the  launch  of  a  free   social  mobile  app  for  Windows  Phone  7. According  to  representatives  of  the   company,  CityScout  combines  the  power   of  crowd-­‐sourcing,  social  media,  Bing   interactive  maps  and  Global  Positioning   System  (GPS)  technologies,  to  allow  citizens   –‘˜‹‡™Ž‹˜‡ˆ‡‡†•‘–”ƒˆϐ‹…—’†ƒ–‡•ƒ†–‘ report  incidents,  via  Facebook,  directly  from   their  mobile  phone. Ahmed  Badr,  vice-­‐president,  professional   services  at  ITWorx  said,  “CityScout  is   central  to  ITWorx  social  collaboration  and   mobility  in  government  theme  at  GITEX   2011.  The  new  app  is  part  of  ITWorx   Citizen1st  portfolio  of  pioneering  and   ready-­‐made  public-­‐sector  software  solutions,   which  enable  governments  and  other   organisations  to  deliver  next-­‐generation   citizen  engagement  and  Gov  2.0  processes,   whilst  using  crowd-­‐sourcing  to  keep  their   citizens  on  the  move.  For  telecommunication   operators,  CityScout  is  a  powerful  new   addition  to  their  value-­‐added  portfolio  of   must-­‐have  apps.” Headquartered  in  Egypt,  ITWorx  helps   government  agencies  address  the  need   to  help  them  adopt  smart  government   initiatives  and  articulate  strategies  to   provision  effective  government  performance   management.  The  company  also  works  with   different  stakeholders  across  educational   institutions  to  help  them  embrace  the  culture   of  e-­‐learning.   Wael  Amin,  president  at  ITWorx  believes   that  technology  trends  like  cloud  computing  


Computer News  Middle  East


Wael Amin, president, ITWorx

and the  increasing  use  of  independent   mobile  devices  across  both  the  public  and   private  sector  are  changing  the  way  the   world  interacts  and  does  business,  but   they  are  also  adding  complexity  to  the  IT   management  front. Amin  pointed  out  that  the  adoption  of   Web  2.0  tools  and  cloud  computing  varies   largely  between  governments  and  other   private  sectors  because  of  the  nature  of  the   information  they  deal  with  and  the  sheer  size   of  these  organisations.   “Governments  deal  with  a  much   wider  audience.  E-­‐services  must  also  be   provisioned  to  enhance  interaction  with  the   citizens  of  a  nation  who  may  reside  within   its  boundaries  or  abroad.  Add  to  this,  the   fact  that  governments  deal  with  particularly   •‡•‹–‹˜‡‹ˆ‘”ƒ–‹‘ƒ”…Š‹˜‡•ƒ†™‡ϐ‹† ourselves  dealing  with  an  organisation

that needs  to  establish  an  infrastructure   that  offers  maximum  security  with  ready   availability,”  he  explained. Amin  said  that  the  adoption  of  cloud   computing,  particularly  the  public  cloud   infrastructure  is  steadily  maturing  in  the   Middle  East.   “Regional  governments  are  not  far   behind  developed  economies  like  those   of  Europe  or  America  in  their  technology   adoption.  We  are  helping  local  governments   deploy  both  private  and  public  cloud  service   models  depending  on  their  requirements  and   infrastructure  readiness.  These  investments   are  associated  with  the  need  for  scalable   infrastructure  services  to  reduce  costs   associated  with  IT  management  and  energy   consumption,”  he  added. Amin  predicts  that  the  Middle  East  is   yet  to  witness  an  accelerated  growth  in   ICT  spending  and  investments.    “Radical   changes  in  the  external  environment  will   drive  the  need  for  organisations  to  adopt   next  generation  intelligence  software   and  solutions.  As  information  continues   to  accelerate  and  we  find  ourselves   dealing  with  both  unstructured  as  well   as  structured  sources  of  information,  the   need  to  invest  in  business  intelligence  and   analytics  solutions  that  extract  relevant   data  from  these  disparate  sources  of   information  will  prove  most  important,”   he  said. “The  need  to  invest  in  advanced   technologies  to  beat  the  competition  at   engaging  the  customer  in  turn  will  strain  the   need  to  work  with  partners  who  are  capable   of  understanding  the  organisation’s  culture   and  unique  business  needs.  Eventually,   these  partners  will  ensure  that  technology   investments  simplify  business  processes  and   enhance  existing  architecture.    That  is  exactly   what  ITWorx  does,”  Amin  concluded.    

Egypt On The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) of Egypt was in Dubai for GITEX Technology Week 2011 and took the time to discuss its role in the development of the nation’s ICT industry with a particular focus on BPO. Pallavi Sharma reports.


t GITEX  Technology  Week   2011,  ITIDA  or  the  Information   Technology  Industry  Development   Agency  announced  the  launch  of  the   e-­‐Signature  competence  centre  to  simplify   processes  surrounding  the  adoption   ‘ˆ‹‰‹–ƒŽ †‡–‹ϐ‹…ƒ–‹‘•‡”˜‹…‡•ƒ† e-­‐citizen  services. In  recent  years,  Egypt  has  made   commendable  efforts  in  developing  an   SMB-­‐comprised  local  ICT  industry,  and   ITIDA  has  played  no  small  part  in  the   mushrooming  growth  of  this  remarkable   business  sector.   Eng.  Yasser  ElKady,  CEO,  ITIDA  said,   “The  new  centre  is  a  milestone  for  Egypt  as   it  represents  the  knowledge  we  are  keen  to   share  with  our  partners  in  the  Gulf  region.   Š‡ϐ‹”•–‘ˆ‹–•‹†ƒ…”‘••–Š‡‹††Ž‡ƒ•– and  North  Africa  region,  the  centre  aims  to   ’”‘˜‹†‡•‹‰‹ϐ‹…ƒ–•—’’‘”–ƒ†•‡”˜‹…‡•–‘ public  sector  enterprises  across  the  region.     The  centre  will  focus  on  the  implementation   of  e-­‐government  initiatives  and  digital   identity  projects  in  a  secure  and  safe   way.  ITIDA  will  work  towards  generating   awareness  about  public  key  infrastructure   (PKI)  for  the  robust  functioning  of   e-­‐government  services.  IT  will  do  so  through   tailored  programs  in  English  and  Arabic  to   enable  knowledge  transfer  and  training  as  a   means  of  empowering  prospect  clients  in  the   public  or  the  private  sectors.” ITIDA  is  the  executive  IT  arm  of  the   Ministry  of  Communications  and  Information   Technology,  Egypt.  Led  by  Eng.  Elkady,  ITIDA   extends  a  helping  hand  to  businesses  and   provides  the  Egyptian  IT  industry  with  the   right  tools  to  increase  exports  in  the  IT  and   ITES  sectors.

Eng. Yasser ElKady, CEO, ITIDA

that include  automated  software  development   companies,  mobile  application  development   businesses,  data  warehousing  providers   among  many  others  to  showcase  their   products  and  services  at  GITEX  2011,”  he  said. In  addition  to  this,  the  agency  works   towards  encouraging  foreign  direct   investment  in  the  Egyptian  ICT  market  and   aids  in  the  development  of  local  ICT  talent   pool  in  the  country. When  asked  about  how  ITIDA  contributes   to  the  growth  of  the  local  ICT  talent  pool,   Reda  said,  “We  have  a  global  programme   called  Edu  Egypt  that  allows  us  to  go  into   schools  and  universities,  and  initiate  an  active   study  of  IT  as  part  of  the  annual  curriculum  to   ensure  that  students  have  the  key  skills  they   need  when  they  graduate.” Reda  added  that  Edu  Egypt  is  running   in  its  third  year  and  has  already  generated   13000  graduates  as  part  of  this  programme.  

We have a global programme called Edu Egypt, which allows us to go into schools and universities, and encourage the active study of IT as part of the annual curriculum to ensure that students have the key communication skills they need when they graduate.” Initially launched  by  the  Egyptain   government  in  2004,  ITIDA  was  to  solely   focus  on  the  standardisation  of  processes   surrounding  the  development  and  adoption   of  e-­‐signature  technology,   Today,  ITIDA  is  also  responsible  for  the   development  of  the  local  ICT  industry  in   Egypt,  by  incubating  and  setting  up  small   and  medium  sized  local  IT  companies  that   provide  a  range  of  services  from  automated   software  to  outsource  providers.   According  to  Ahmed  Reda,  media  and   international  relations  manager  at  ITIDA,  the   agency’s  primary  role  is  in  helping  local  IT   companies  showcase  their  applications  and   services  in  the  larger  international  market.     “We  have  subsidised  about  85%  of  the   costs  to  for  over  70  Egyptian  IT  organisations

ITIDA is  now  looking  to  focus  on  the  local   development  of  ICT  in  the  larger  African   and  Middle  East  region.  The  agency  recently   announced  that  it  would  train  3000  citizens   of  Uganda  in  the  concept  of  outsourcing  to   kick  start  the  industry  in  the  country. ITIDA  also  contributes  to  the  growth   of  Egypt’s  position  as  a  leading  business   process  outsourcing  (BPO)  destination.   “Egypt  currently  ranks  fourth  in  the  global   BPO  industry,  earning  annual  revenues  of   $1.1  billion.  ITIDA  is  backed  by  the  Egyptian   government  in  their  efforts  to  build  an   infrastructure  friendly  to  outsourcing  and   equip  local  companies  to  meet  international   standards.  We  expect  that  this  combined  effort   will  help  the  local  BPO  industry  revenue  reach   the  $10  billion  mark  by  2010,”  he  concluded.    


Computer News  Middle  East


ANALYSIS Infrastructure Strategies 2011

PHOTO (clockwise from top left): More than 65 end-user decision makers gathered at Infrastructure Strategies 2011; David Augustine, VP and global delivery head of infrastructure management services at Mahindra Satyam; Ossama El Samadani, director of storage services for Dell MEA; Bassam Al Masri, senior systems engineer at Citrix MEA; Alistair Mashford, head of sales and business development at BT MENA

Planning for 2012 T At the second annual Infrastructure Strategies 2011 event, vendors and endusers spoke about the tough economic conditions that await us next year, and discussed the best ways to achieve ROI on every infrastructure investment.


Computer News  Middle  East


urning investments  from  capex   to  opex,  and  the  challenges  of   implementing  a  chargeback  model   were  the  key  points  discussed  among   end-­‐users  and  vendors  gathered  together   today  at  the  second  annual  Infrastructure   Strategies.   The  CNME-­‐CPI  initiative  brought   together  IT  managers,  infrastructure   managers,  CIOs  and  other  senior  decision   makers  for  the  second  year  in  a  row  to   discuss  the  latest  in  technologies  and  trends   related  to  enterprise  infrastructure  and  link   it  to  the  ongoing  struggle  to  ensure  business   „‡‡ϐ‹–‘—–‘ˆ‡˜‡”› •’‡†Ǥ  “IT  is  increasingly  becoming  important   for  enterprises  to  turn  capex  into  opex.  Every   investment  –  infrastructure  or  otherwise  –  has   to  be  connected  to  an  over-­‐arching  business   plan.  I  also  believe  that  more  IT  organisations  

The panel discussion expands on what the next year holds in store for Middle East enterprises.

Sameh Amin, technical account manager at Enterasys Networks

within enterprises  have  to  turn  themselves   into  service  providers,  ensure  a  service   catalogue  and  start  charging  the  business   units  for  utisiling  IT  services,”  said  Ossama  El   Samadani,  director  of  storage  services  for  Dell   MEA  during  the  panel  discussion. He  also  spoke  about  CIOs  for  particular   organisations  in  the  region  who  manage  to   work  on  a  zero  budget,  due  to  the  successful   nature  of  a  chargeback  model,  where  they   are  paid  by  the  business  units  based  on  the   ‡ˆϐ‹…ƒ…›‘ˆƒ’’†‡Ž‹˜‡”›Ǥ In  answer,  some  of  the  IT  managers   who  had  implemented  chargeback  models   in  their  organisation  spoke  at  length  about   the  challenges  associated  with  getting  such  a   ‘†‡Ž‹’Žƒ…‡ƒ†ƒ…Š‹‡˜‹‰„‡‡ϐ‹–‘—–‘ˆ‹–Ǥ Dz –™ƒ•†‹ˆϐ‹…—Ž–ǤŠ‡”‡™‡”‡…Šƒ‰‡ management  elements  that  needed  to  be   ensured,  and  all  the  people  who  would   be  using  the  new  model  of  delivery  and   payment  had  to  be  trained  and  made   comfortable  with  the  shift.  We  did  the  move   ‹‘”†‡”–‘‹’”‘˜‡‘—”‘™‡ˆϐ‹…‹‡…› and  when  you  become  a  service  provider   to  your  own  business  there  are  multiple   ‘–Š‡”„‡‡ϐ‹–•ƒ••‘…‹ƒ–‡†™‹–Š‹–Ǥ—–‹–‹• ƒ†‹ˆϐ‹…—Ž–‘˜‡‘‡–Š‡Ž‡••ǡdz•ƒ‹†ƒŽ‹†

Walid Elsahar, ICT infrastructure manager at Transguard Group

Elsahar, ICT  infrastructure  manager  at   Transguard  Group.   All  the  speakers  reiterated  that  2012   would  probably  be  a  more  challenging  year   as  economies  shrink  around  the  world  and   …‘’ƒ‹‡••–”—‰‰Ž‡–‘ϐ‹†„—†‰‡–•ˆ‘” mega  projects.   “In  many  ways  2012  is  going  to  be  a   continuation  of  what  we  have  been  seeing   in  the  past  few  years.  We  have  gone  through   a  recession  already,  and  the  next  year  is   going  to  see  a  cinching  of  budgets  again.  This   is  why  it  is  critical  to  consider  IT  service   provision  critically  and  consider  how  it  can   add  to  the  bottomline  of  businesses,  without   adding  to  its  costs.  As  they  attempt  to  turn   capex  into  opex,  more  organisations  should   …‘•‹†‡”–Š‡„‡‡ϐ‹–•–Šƒ–•‡”˜‹…‡’”‘˜‹†‡”• can  offer  them,”  said  David  Augustine,  VP   and  global  delivery  head  of  infrastructure   management  services  at  Mahindra  Satyam.   Alistair  Mashford,  head  of  sales   and  business  development  at  BT  MENA   emphasised  that  even  as  enterprises  looked   to  service  providers  they  needed  to  ensure   that  they  were  the  right  ones  for  them  by   checking  on  past  references  and  public   acknowledgements  of  service  provision.

IT is increasingly becoming important for enterprises to turn capex into opex. Every investment – infrastructure or otherwise – has to be connected to an over-arching business plan. I also believe that more IT organisations within enterprises have to turn themselves into service providers, ensure a service catalogue and start charging the business units for utisiling IT services.” “Customers must  stay  on  the  latest   platforms  and  enabled  the  best  in  technology   in  order  to  keep  their  customers  happy  and   to  avoid  losing  business  among  increasing   competition.  Security  and  availability  are   key  to  ensuring  a  stable,  global  network.   And  customers  can  rely  on  companies  like   BT  to  ensure  that  they  get  the  best  service   provision  backed  by  reliable,  standards-­‐ oriented  contracts,”  said  Mashford.   “Organisations  should  consider  splitting   mega-­‐projects  into  smaller  chunks,  and   focusing  on  gaining  ROI  out  of  each  of  these   smaller  investments.  When  they  do  this,  they   can  strengthen  their  strategy  with  smaller   investments,  and  ensuring  that  they  each   project’s  return  for  the  next  project  and  so   on,  until  they  achieve  the  goals  of  the  mega-­‐ project  –  probably  within  the  same  time   frame,  but  with  much  less  spend  involved  in   it,”  said  El  Samadoni.   Other  speakers  at  the  conference,  Bassam   Al  Masri,  senior  systems  engineer  at  Citrix   •’‘‡ƒ„‘—––Š‡˜ƒŽ—‡•ƒ†„‡‡ϐ‹–• of  desktop  virtualisation  and  how  it  can  be   applied  across  vertical  sectors,  while  Sameh   Amin,  technical  account  manager  at  Enterasys   Networks  explained  the  workings  of  security   within  a  network  (especially  a  virtualised   ‘‡Ȍˆ‘”‰ƒ‹‹‰„‡‡ϐ‹–‘—–‘ˆ‹–Ǥ   Presentations  from  Infrastructure  Strategies   2011  are  available  for  download  from


Computer News  Middle  East


ANALYSIS month in view

Game on At the MENA leg of SAP’s World Tour 2011, the German IT giant introduced co-CEO Bill McDermott to its customers and channel partners in the region.

Having seen  the  immense  optimism   surrounding  IT  deployments  in   the  region,  I  can  truly  say  that  the   demand  for  IT  outstrips  the  capacity  for   us  to  deliver  and  therefore  I  am  convinced   now  more  than  ever  that  SAP  needs  to   double  its  resources  in  the  region  to  cater   –‘–Š‹•ϐŽ‘—”‹•Š‹‰†‡ƒ†ˆ‘”„‡•–‘ˆ breed  software  and  solutions  to  enhance   „—•‹‡••’”‘…‡••‡•ƒ†‡ˆϐ‹…‹‡…›ǡdz said  Bill  McDermott,  Co-­‐CEO,  SAP  as  he   delivered  the  executive  keynote  at  the   MENA  leg  of  the  SAP  World  Tour  2011. McDermott  pointed  out  that  one   of  the  key  elements  in  expanding  its   resources  in  the  region  is  the  expansion   of  the  SAP  University  Alliance  Programme   to  encompass  22  regional  universities.   “Through  this  alliance,  SAP  is  working   towards  harnessing  local  ICT  talent  pools.   We  are  looking  at  grabbing  fresh  IT  skill  right   out  of  universities  and  enrol  these  students   at  training  camps  to  equip  them  with  the   expertise  and  knowledge  they  require  to   succeed  as  competent  IT  consultants  and   engineers,”  he  explained. Most  importantly,  McDermott  said,  “To   level  out  this  gap  between  the  demand  for   IT  and  the  ability  to  support  and  service   that  demand,  SAP  will  create  hundreds  if  not   thousands  of  jobs  in  the  near  future.” Sam  Alkharrat,  MD,  SAP  MENA  pointed   out  that  over  the  last  12  months  SAP  has   already  hired  100  new  employees  since   August  2010  bringing  their  total  to  a  300   strong,  in  addition  to  which,  the  company  has   ‘’‡‡†ˆ‘—”‡™„”ƒ…Š‘ˆϐ‹…‡•‹„—Šƒ„‹ǡ Qatar,  Egypt  and  KSA.  The  company  also   recently  announced  the  appointment  of  Qais   Gharaibeh  as  country  manager  for  the  UAE. ‘ϐ‹†‡–‘ˆ–Š‡‹”˜ƒŽ—‡’”‘’‘•‹–‹‘–‘ customers  in  the  region,  Alkharrat  added,   “We  have  at  least  two  to  three  new  customers   a  week  in  addition  to  which  I  personally  


Computer News  Middle  East


of new  developments  and  revolutionary  IT   strategies  it  is  absolutely  essential  that  decision   makers  understand  that  IT  is  no  longer  just  the   business  enabler,  IT  is  the  business.” To  cope  with  this  change,  McDermott   recommended  that  decision  makers  begin   working  out  a  mobile  business  strategy   then  go  on  to  rethink  IT  operations,  shift   IT  investments  to  change  the  game-­‐  reduce   …‘•–•ǡ‹…”‡ƒ•‡”‡˜‡—‡ƒ†ϐ‹ƒŽŽ›‡ƒ•—”‡ the  results  of  IT  initiatives.  “Just  on  budget   ƒ†‘–‹‡™‹ŽŽ‘–•—ˆϐ‹…‡ǡ‘Ǧ˜ƒŽ—‡‹• essential.  An  IT  project  should  be  able  to   deliver  a  unique  value  add  to  what  you   already  have  to  offer,”  he  explained. McDermott  explained  that  although  big   data,  mobility  and  the  cloud  are  the  three  mega   trends  of  the  moment,  the  increasing  volumes   of  data  is  what  will  trigger  more  changes  and   the  creation  of  new  software  and  solutions  to  

Just on budget and on time will not suffice, on-value is essential. An IT project should be able to deliver a unique value add to what you already have to offer.” sign off  and  approve  at  least  one  technology   go-­‐live  every  week.  Clearly,  our  ability  to   execute  our  strategies  with  a  vision  for  our   customer’s  and  our  own  growth  is  working   as  it  should.” According  to  McDermott,  SAP’s  ability  to   focus  on  the  customer’s  unique  requirements   –‘…”‡ƒ–‡‡ˆϐ‹…‹‡–Ž›†‹‰‹–‹•‡–Š‡‹”„—•‹‡••‡• while  ensuring  that  these  investments  can   sustain  growth  is  their  core  strength.  “Where   SAP  focuses  on  innovation,  our  competitors   focus  on  consolidating  the  past.  That  is  what   makes  us  different,”  he  added. McDermott  encouraged  businesses   to  work  towards  understanding  their   customer’s  requirements  and  investing  in   technology  that  enables  them  to  anticipate   their  concerns  and  be  ready  to  answer   their  every  query  to  create  “dynamite”  user   experience  like  Apple  did. He  said,  “The  entire  IT  industry  is  going   through  a  structural  change  and  in  the  face

analyse and  generate  business  relevant  reports   from  mountains  of  information.   “The  commodity-­‐like  use  of  the  Internet   combined  with  the  popular  use  of  social   networks  is  introducing  organisations  to  new   sources  of  both  structured  and  unstructured   data.  Today,  we  deal  with  volumes  of  data   that  were  beyond  imagination  in  the  past.     So  we  need  to  create  systems  that  have  the   capability  to  analyse  different  sources  of  data   quickly  and  in  real  time,”  he  said.   McDermott  announced  bigger  plans  for   SAP,  “We  want  to  improve  everybody’s  life   and  we’re  focused  on  having  1  billion  users   run  our  software  everyday  and  we’re  not   very  far  away  from  that  goal,”  he  said.     Over  the  past  month,  McDermott  has   visited  Saudi  Arabia,  Egypt,  Qatar  and  the   UAE  as  part  of  the  SAP  World  Tour  2011  to   meet  regional  customers  and  honour  EMEA   wide  software  implementations.    

ANALYSIS month in view

Growth scope At Agilent Technologies’ recently held global event in Prague, senior executives discussed the company’s growth so far and its future ambitions. Mike Byrne writes.


s conference  agendas  go,  this  was   impressive.  Agilent  gathered  33   members  of  the  press  from  15   different  countries  to  inform  and  discuss   issues  ranging  from  next  generation   wireless  technologies,  to  powerful   modular  and  application  product   offerings. Key  employees  and  high  level   management  from  across  Agilent’s  portfolio   offered  presentations  and  discussions  within   the  areas  of  microwave  applications  and  how   to  address  EMC  solutions  and  test  challenges   never  before  possible,  using  a  new  range  of   Agilent  SMUs. Announcements  of  new  products  from   Agilent  included  the  2.4GHz  Dual  Core  PXIe   embedded  controller  for  functional  test   systems  as  well  as  the  introduction  of  the   industry’s  highest-­‐bandwidth  PXI  data-­‐ streaming  packages.  In  addition,  there  are  a   number  of  products  scheduled  for  release  in   early  2012  which  promise  faster  and  more   compact  scalable  transmitters  and  digitisers. As  it  stands,  Agilent  Technologies  enjoys   quite  a  balanced  revenue  stream  with  regard   to  regional  input:  North  America  represents   up  to  45%  of  the  revenue  stream,  with  Asia   contributing  30%  and  EMEA  accounting  for   the  remaining  25%. When  asked  about  emerging  markets   and  particular  Agilent’s  market  strategy   for  the  Middle  East,  Benoit  Neel,  Field   Operations  for  the  Agilent  EMEA,  said  that   the  region  offered  great  opportunities  for   growth.  “In  particular,  we  have  witnessed   huge  investment  is  wireless,  broadband   infrastructure  and  installation,  and  radar   defence  technology  by  certain  countries  in   the  region.  Amidst  this,  demand  is  dictated   by  the  need  for  quality,  easily  accessible  and   well  priced  products.”  he  said. To  provide  affordable  wireless  mobility   with  good  bandwidth  is  a  problem  many   …‘’ƒ‹‡•‹–Š‡”‡‰‹‘‘ˆ–‡ϐ‹††‹ˆϐ‹…—Ž– to  deliver.  “Agilent’s  electronic  measurement   division  is  heavily  invested  with  upgrading  


Computer News  Middle  East


Benoit Neel, Field Operations for the Agilent EMEA

technology for  higher  bandwidth  satellites   so  we  work  with  local  partners  in  the  Middle   East  to  ensure  that  products  and  services  are   constantly  being  improved,”  said  Neel. So  how  exactly  is  Agilent  gearing   towards  increasing  its  market  share  in  the   Middle  East?   Frank  Berthaux,  RFuW  Market   segment  manager,  Agilent  Technologies,   …‘ϐ‹”‡†–Šƒ–ƒ•™‡ŽŽƒ•™‘”‹‰™‹–ŠŽ‘…ƒŽ private  companies  in  the  region,  Agilent’s   strategy  extended  to  working  closely  with   governmental  groups  and  their  entities.   “We  have  just  recently  signed  a   Memorandum  of  Understanding  with  a   number  of  universities  in  KSA.  Through   investigation,  we  have  determined  that   research  is  being  led  by  public  educational   institutions  and  so  we  feel  Agilent  can  best   serve  the  market  by  sharing  our  technology   and  research  with  these  institutions  and   with  ongoing  student  exchange  programmes   and  knowledge  sharing  platforms,”  he  said.   Agilent’s  global  trend  of  obtaining   very  localised  partners  in  each  region  has   indeed  continued  when  one  looks  at  their   strategy  in  the  Middle  East.  “Working

with educational  institutions  and  local   private  companies  and  with  training  them   to  operate  within  our  guidelines,  helps  us   greatly  in  that  customers  there  can  calibrate,   repair  and  upgrade  all  our  test  equipment   without  the  need  to  send  it  back  out  of  the   region,”  said  Berthaux.   So  how  does  Agilent  make  sure  that   the  products  they  are  offering  are  cutting   -­‐edge  and  how  to  identify  the  need  for   technologies  that  don’t  yet  exist?   Agilent  Research  Laboratories,  a  side   arm  of  Agilent  Technologies,  regularly   conducts  research  to  anticipate  customer   needs  and  develop  solutions  that  power   growth.  “We  schedule  constant  sit  downs   with  clients  and  customers  for  feedback.   These  companies  have  road  maps  for  future   development  and  with  this  we  align  and   synchronise  our  route  forward  with  theirs.   We  carefully  indentify  areas  where  there  is   no  need  for  the  technology,  but  depending   on  the  region  and  the  market,  there  will  be  a   request  in  the  near  future”  said  Neel. Berthaux  conceded  that  the  lifecycle  of  any   product  is  gradually  lessening  with  time.  “A   product  that  may  have  had  a  guaranteed  shelf   life  of  20  years  might  only  be  able  to  guarantee   10  years  now.  The  key  to  countering  this  trend   ‹•–‘„‡–Š‡ϐ‹”•––‘”‡Ž‡ƒ•‡‹–•”‡’Žƒ…‡‡–Ǥ‘ in  a  sense  it  is  recognising  future  trends  and   demands,”  he  said. “For  Agilent  smart  energies  is  an  area   where  there  is  huge  growth  potential.  Future   projects  regarding  wind,  solar,  hydroelectric   and  so  on  are  fast  becoming  big  talking   points.  Each  of  these  areas  requires  constant   measurement  and  testing  and  we  are   working  in  these  areas  in  anticipation  of   demand,”  said  Neel. After  two  days  of  presentations  and   interviews  with  senior  management,  it   became  evident  that  what  drives  Agilent   Technologies  and  sets  it  apart  from  its   competitors  is  its  ability  to  function  and   innovate  across  so  many  measurement   platforms.    

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ROUND-UP month in view

ADAC selects Juniper for aggressive expansion Abu Dhabi  Airports  Company  (ADAC),   ‘™‡”ƒ†‘’‡”ƒ–‘”‘ˆϐ‹˜‡ƒ‹”’‘”–•‹ Abu  Dhabi  with  subsidiaries  supplying   ground  handling,  duty  free,  cargo,   catering  and  aviation  training  services,   has  awarded  Juniper  Networks  with  a   10-­‐year  infrastructure  frame  contract  to   support  an  aggressive  expansion  program   designed  to  transform  Abu  Dhabi  Airports   into  world-­‐class  facilities. In  support  of  its  expansion  plans,   ADAC,  wholly  owned  by  the  Abu  Dhabi   Government,  has  embarked  on  a  large-­‐scale   transformation  program,  including  upgrading   its  existing  network  infrastructure  to  build   an  MPLS  network  and  “cloud-­‐ready”  data   centres,  while  lowering  capital  and  operating   expenditure,  the  company  said. After  a  two  year  evaluation  process,   ADAC  selected  Juniper  Networks  EX   Series  Ethernet  Switches  and  MX  Series   3D  Universal  Edge  Routers  from  Juniper   Networks’  Universal  Edge  portfolio,  creating   the  infrastructure  to  underpin  its  innovative   new  services  and  facilities. “Our  overall  goal  was  to  enable  the   provisioning  of  world-­‐class  facilities  by  

implementing a  service  provider-­‐grade   network  while  reducing  cost  of  ownership   and  capital  and  operational  expenditure,”   said  Michael  Ibbitson,  VP,  information  &   communications  systems,  Abu  Dhabi  Airports   Company.  “Juniper  Networks  won  the  10-­‐ year  contract  after  successfully  showing   •‹‰‹ϐ‹…ƒ–•ƒ˜‹‰•‹ƒ…“—‹”‹‰ƒ†‘’‡”ƒ–‹‰ the  Juniper  Networks  infrastructure  and  due   to  its  availability,  scalability,  resilience  and   services-­‐rich  technical  capabilities.” The  Juniper  Networks  wired   infrastructure  will  provide  a  number  of   services  to  ADAC’s  multitenant  environment.   ‹”‡Ž‡••‡–™‘”•ǡ—‹ϐ‹‡†…‘—‹…ƒ–‹‘•ǡ multicast  video  streams  and  virtual  private  

data will  be  converged  on  the  Juniper   Networks  MLPS  infrastructure,  delivering   Layer  2  and  Layer  3  services  to  meet  the  need   of  any  application  running  within  the  airport,   representatives  said. “ADAC’s  demanding  multitenant   ‡˜‹”‘‡–”‡“—‹”‡•—ƒ–…Š‡†ϐŽ‡š‹„‹Ž‹–› and  reliability  to  support  advanced  services   and  applications,”  said  Mike  Marcellin,  VP,   product  marketing  and  business  strategy,   Platform  Systems  Division,  Juniper  Networks.   “By  choosing  Juniper  Networks,  ADAC  can   deploy  a  carrier-­‐class  network  with  the   optimum  combination  of  performance  and   low-­‐footprint,  low  power-­‐consumption  and   low  heat-­‐dissipation.”

Web sales to grow exponentially: Gartner By 2015,  companies  will  generate  50%   of  Web  sales  via  their  social  presence   and  mobile  applications,  according  to   Gartner. Vendors  in  the  e-­‐commerce  market  will   begin  to  offer  new  context-­‐aware,  mobile-­‐ based  application  capabilities  that  can  be   accessed  via  a  browser  or  installed  as  an   application  on  a  phone,  Gartner  analysts   said. Gartner  analysts  discussed  the  future   of  e-­‐commerce  at  Gartner  IT  Symposium,   saying  that  as  the  number  of  mobile  phones   overtakes  PCs,  customers  will  use  mobile   browsers  and  applications  as  the  main   points  of  interaction. “E-­‐commerce  organisations  will  need   to  scale  up  their  operations  to  handle  the   increased  visitation  loads  resulting  from   customers  not  having  to  wait  until  they  


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are in  front  of  a  PC  to  obtain  answers   to  questions  or  place  orders,”  said  Gene   Alvarez,  research  VP  at  Gartner.  “In  time,   e-­‐commerce  vendors  will  begin  to  offer   context-­‐aware  mobile-­‐shopping  solutions   as  part  of  their  overall  Web  sales  offerings.” “Customers  are  clamoring  for  new   and  easy  ways  to  interact  with  the   organisations  they  deal  with,  and  no   company  should  think  itself  immune  to   this  new  business  dynamic,”  Alvarez  said.   “As  more  people  use  smartphones,  they   will  expect  an  extension  of  their  customer   experience  to  be  supported  by  this  kind   of  device  while  demanding  that  social   aspects  of  the  Web  be  intertwined  with  this   experience.  At  the  same  time,  organisations   are  looking  toward  new  countries  and   regions  for  growth.  As  a  result,  it  is  time   to  take  a  fresh  look  at  your  organisation’s

Web sales  capabilities  to  ensure  that   social  software,  mobile  technology  and   globalisation  are  part  of  your  organisation’s   online  future.” Industries  such  as  entertainment,   software  development,  publishing  and   media  are  being  driven  by  fast-­‐moving   changes  in  their  businesses,  such  as   mobility,  and  the  increasing  number   of  mobile  devices  available  to  their   buyers,  analysts  pointed  out.  Others  are   ϐ‹†‹‰–Šƒ–•ƒŽ‡•‘ˆƒ††‹–‹‘ƒŽ•‡”˜‹…‡• and  products  can  be  added  to  their   customer-­‐service-­‐focused  websites.  Due  to   consumerisation,  sites  in  all  industries  are   being  impacted  by  customer  experience   delivered  in  the  retail  space,  as  customers   continue  to  use  their  online  experiences   as  the  benchmark  by  which  to  evaluate  all   others,  they  added.

ANALYTICS Find the delicate balance.

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ROUND-UP month in view

Healthcare ICT task force launched in Jordan His Majesty  King  Abdullah  II  of  Hashemite   Kingdom  of  Jordan  and  John  Chambers,   ‹•…‘ǯ•Šƒ‹”ƒƒ†ǡˆ‘”ƒŽŽ› ‹ƒ—‰—”ƒ–‡† ‘”†ƒǯ•ϐ‹”•– ‡ƒŽ–Š…ƒ”‡  Task  Force,    at  a  session,  held  alongside   the  World  Economic  Forum  2011  at  the   Dead  Sea,  Jordan. A  joint  effort  by  Cisco,  King  Abdullah  II   Fund  for  Development  (KAFD),  and  Jordan’s   Information  and  Communications  Technology   Association  (int@j),  the  Jordan  Healthcare   ICT  Task  Force  is  an  open  forum  of  Jordanian   Health  Information  Communications   Technology  (ICT)  companies  under  the   umbrella  of  int@j.  The  Task  Force’s  main   objective  is  to  advance  Jordan’s  healthcare   ICT  cluster  capacity  and  promote  Jordanian   healthcare  ICT  technologies  and  companies   on  a  local,  regional,  and  international  level.     Cisco’s  role  will  be  to  help  in  provisioning   guidance,  mentorship,  and  support  to  the   Task  Force’s  programs. “As  a  worldwide  leader  in  networking,   Cisco  is  well  positioned  to  improve  the   future  of  healthcare  through  networked   technologies  that  transform  how  people   connect,  access  information,  and  collaborate.    

We strongly  believe  that  through  our   collaboration  with  int@j  the  Jordan   Healthcare  ICT  Task  Force  will  enable   accelerated  growth  of  healthcare  technology   ϐ‹”•‹ ‘”†ƒǡdz•ƒ‹† ‘ŠŠƒ„‡”•ǡ chairman  and  CEO  of  Cisco  Systems. The  Task  Force  was  launched  at  a  special   roundtable  session  on  the  sidelines  of  the  World   Economic  Forum  Jordan  2011  at  the  Dead   Sea,  with  the  participation  of  Cisco  healthcare   solution  executives  and  Jordanian  healthcare   ICT  technology  companies  executives.   “The  taskforce  will  be  focused  on   achieving  multiple  objectives,  including   rapidly  replicating  the  Hakeem  programme  

nationwide and  positioning  Jordan  as   a  regional  hub  for  ICT  solutions  in  the   healthcare  sector.  The  Task  Force’s  main   objective  is  to  advance  Jordan’s  healthcare   ICT  cluster  capacity  and  promote  Jordanian   healthcare  ICT  technologies  and  companies   on  a  local,  regional,  and  international  level,”   said  Mohammad  Tahboub,  chairman  of  the  IT   Association  of  Jordan,  Inj@j The  Task  Force  aims  to  to  promote   knowledge-­‐sharing  and  marketing  for   companies  under  the  umbrella  of  the  Jordan   Healthcare  ICT  Task  Force  Cluster,    as  well   as  help  to  accelerate  the  growth  of  Jordan’s   healthcare  ICT  companies  by  providing  a   forum  for  joint  collaboration  and  cooperation.   It  also  aims  to  create  a  point  of  reference  for   global  and  regional  leaders  wishing  to  partner   with  Jordan’s  Healthcare  ICT  cluster. The  inauguration  roundtable  session  also   witnessed  the  presentation  of  “Al  Hussein   Decoration  for  Distinguished  Contribution   of  the  First  Degree”  to  Cisco’s  Chairman  and   CEO,  John  Chambers  by  His  Majesty  King   Abdullah  II,  in  recognition  of  his  continuous   efforts  and  commitment  to  strengthen   Jordan’s  education  and  ICT  sectors.

Management software to reach $37b revenue: Ovum The global  information  management   software  market  will  reach  revenues   of  $37.4  billion  in  2015,  a  compound   annual  growth  rate  (CAGR)  of  10%  from   the  $25.5  billion  it  will  reach  at  the  end   of  2011,  predicted  Ovum. In  a  new  forecast,  the  independent   technology  analyst  found  that  the  strong   growth  will  be  driven  by  enterprises  realising   information  management  software’s  vital   role  in  their  corporate  performance. Ovum  lead  analyst  Nishant  Singh  said,   “The  information  management  market  has   „‡‡‰”‘™‹‰•–‡ƒ†‹Ž›‘˜‡”–Š‡’ƒ•–ϐ‹˜‡ years,  with  enterprises  continuing  to  make   investments  despite  the  global  recession.   ‘™‡˜‡”ǡ–Š‡‡š–ϐ‹˜‡™‹ŽŽ•‡‡–Š‡ƒ”‡– really  starting  to  take  off,  with  strong   growth  across  the  globe.”


Computer News  Middle  East


“There are  several  reasons  why   information  management  has  become   increasingly  important  to  enterprises.  Chief   among  them  are  shrinking  business  cycles,   increasing  process  and  quality  control   issues  brought  about  by  globalisation,  and   the  fact  that  most  organisations  have  by   ‘™‡š–”ƒ…–‡†–Š‡„‡‡ϐ‹–•‘ˆ–Š‡‹” implementations,”  he  said. Singh  continued,  “Most  of  the  data   generated  by  IT  investments  has  now   overgrown  the  existing  systems  that  were   supposed  to  capture  and  accurately  portray   it,  driving  a  strong  need  for  information   management  tools  such  as  content   management  and  business  intelligence   systems.  These  systems  enable  enterprises   to  extract  content  and  information  hidden   in  their  diverse  data  sources,  manage  that

data effectively,  and  apply  sophisticated   predictive  analytics  to  improve  their   processes  and  decision-­‐making.” According  to  Ovum,  the  top  three   global  information  management  vendors   by  market  share  are  EMC,  SAS  and  IBM.   Singh  said,  “While  SAS’  revenues  are  driven   to  a  large  extent  by  its  premium  pricing,   EMC  and  IBM  have  drawn  on  their  market   presence  in  storage  and  infrastructure   software  to  cross-­‐sell  their  offerings. “The  common  trend  among  all  these   market  leaders,  however,  is  that  they  have   a  strong  reputation  in  the  market,  and  are   continuously  working  on  enhancing  that   reputation  –  either  through  a  very  strong   research  and  development  programme,   or  through  aggressive  acquisitions,”  he   concluded.

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My brush with technology Mike Byrne, Assistant Editor, SME Advisor ME

Socialising for intelligence

Reviews: HP Envy 110MFP If a good-looking product is paramount to you, then the elegant Envy 110 MFP may be just what you seek–but this model is expensive.

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Menya Zavoot GITEX Sathya Mithra Ashok, Senior Editor, CNME

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Pictures from CNME’s events of October. For more visit

GITEX Technology Week – does the show remain relevant to the regional ICT industry?


Yes, definitely


Yes – but it could do with some modifications to make it more relevant


No – the show has definitely lost its flavour


Not sure


Computer News  Middle  East


Strategic ICT Partner

GREEN CHAMPION AWARDS AWARDS CATEGORIES Vendor awards Green Champion – E-waste handling Green Champion – Hardware Green Champion – Management software Green Champion – Product innovation Green Champion – Market education End-user awards Green Champion – Data Centre Green Champion – E-waste Green Champion – Desktop / printing Green Champion – Operational Green Champion – Innovation

Green principles in IT is not just about technology, it is about an organisational mindset. With Sustainable ICT 2011, CNME – the region's premier technology magazine – and CPI, one of the leading publishing houses of the Middle East is bringing together producers and consumers of green technology solutions to discuss and debate the relevance of these solutions to the region, and ways in which adoption can be increased across enterprises in every corner of the Middle East. Sustainable ICT 2011 will play host to more than 100 stakeholders from the ICT industry as they voice concerns and learn from each other on adding value to the bottomline, while being ecologically relevant, with green IT and technology.

To register, visit

Contacts: Sathya Mithra Ashok Senior Editor, CNME +971 4 440 9111

Strategic ICT Partner

Organised by

Winners of CNME’s ICT Achievement Awards 2011.

The Achievers CNME’s ICT Achievement Awards 2011, the region’s premier Awards event that honours the best in people, projects and products from the Middle East, took place on the 9th of October at a gala evening’s function. The evening, which brought together more than 400 delegates forming the who’s-who of the ICT sector in the region, took place at The Monarch Hotel in Dubai. The ICT Achievement Awards, brought to you by Computer News ME (CNME), the premier ‘technology in business’ magazine of the Middle East, recognised the achievers and trend-setters of the IT industry in the region, spanning both users

and providers who have made good on every enterprise investment. These accomplishments covered everything from projects focused on speed to market, maintenance backlog challenges faced and overcome, businessfacing prioritisation of increased budgets, smart analysis of new technological opportunities, adoption of global best practices and standards, investment in skills and end-user support, as well as other intelligent use of resources by end-users, as well as solution and service providers in the changing financial landscape of the last 12 months. The Awards were presented across 21 categories and here are the grand winners.


Computer News  Middle  East


CIO of the year Abdulla Al Bastaki, RTA

Abdulla Al Bastaki, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai receives his award from Abdulla Al Ahmed, Senior VP of Business at Etisalat.

Shortlisted candidates: r(IB[J/BCFFI2BSPVU Al Hilal Bank r"INBE"M.VMMB Dubal r*NBE5BIB Belhasa International Group r4SFFEIBS,3FEEZ Sorouh Real Estate r"CEVMTBMBN#BTUBLJ Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority r&TBN)BEJ Aluminium Bahrain r"CEVMMB"M#BTUBLJ Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) r"NBM"M,VXBSJ Supreme Education Council, Qatar r%BWJE)PSUPO Mashreq Bank r4BKJ0PNNFO Al Batha Group r"MJ4BKXBOJ Emirates NBD r.FEIBU"NFS Mobily


Computer News  Middle  East


The winner of this Award is a man that his team refers to as a leader, motivator and innovator. The key to a winning department, apart from people skills, is the “will to win.” The “will to win” comes from high motivation and a strong bond between team members. This particular CIO has been able to demonstrate and impart such characteristics within the various teams in his department. Al Bastaki has implemented various strategies and visionary projects, built unique IT governance models, implemented industry standard frameworks, several cost saving initiatives and various societal contributions. Not only has he led his team to glory after glory, winning awards and accolades over the last few years, but he has also worked to involve them in community initiatives where they are giving back to the society that they all work within.

Future CIO of the year Khalid AbdulRahman Al Awadhi, head of the infrastructure section within IT at Dubai Municipality

Khalid AbdulRahman Al Awadhi, head of the infrastructure section within IT at Dubai Municipality receives his trophy from Abdullah Hashim, senior VP of information and communications technology at Etisalat.

Shortlisted candidates: r,IBMJE"CEVM3BINBO"M"XBEIJ head of the infrastructure section within IT at Dubai Municipality r"MPL4SJWBTUBW acting head of ICT and manager of IT applications at Masdar

In the current economic climate with limited budgets and very limited resources, maintaining a highly motivated team and helping them to deliver as per expectation is a challenging task. The winner proved his mettle by using very efficient management, interpersonal skills and far sighted vision to achieve the creation of an environment where each individual is self-motivated and strives to exceed expectation. Al Awadhi also managed to create a culture where each team or unit is expected to implement new processes and technologies to increase customer satisfaction and reduce cost after detail technical and commercial evaluation. And his strategy has worked for his organisation, where over the past 18 months the IT team has managed to reduce operational budget by 28% and achieved an availability KPI of 99.9% till July 2011.


Computer News  Middle  East


IT team of the year American Express Middle East, Bahrain

Can one team’s effort with projects be really compared to another in an unbiased fashion? And if so, would it be possible to rate one co-ordinated effort above another? These were some of the questions that the judges struggled with and tried to answer as they went through the nominations. The final winner of this prestigious category was chosen not only because they demonstrated team effort and the spirit of working together, but they did so in a crisis demanding extraordinary measures. This particular situation tested the capabilities of the network and resources of the organisation across its multiple offices, within the company and outside. In a time of political duress, when even vendors fled the country leaving a huge service lack,

the combined strength, commitment, teamwork and technical skills of the IT team came to the fore. While always operating under the company policy that prioritises the personal safety of staff and families, the team was able to maintain critical systems and availability of all call centre activities, while keeping the firm’s disaster recovery site on hot standby. Besides all of the above, they have also completed the largest ever technology-based project for their organisation, by replacing the core management system with another single platform option.

PHOTO: Henry George, CIO of American Express ME receives his trophy from Abdullah Hashim, senior VP of information and communications technology at Etisalat.

Shortlisted candidates: rAl Batha Group rDubal rEconomic Zones World rGeneral Organisation for Youth and Sports, Bahrain rAmerican Express Middle East, Bahrain

rDHL Express rOrbit Satellite Network rAluminium Bahrain rMobily rSupreme Education Council, Qatar

Editor's choice of the year Mobily Mobily has been working on a major infrastructure project that has resulted in superior delivery of services, while also providing for outstanding company growth of more than 40% over the last few years. As part of this project, the organisation has worked to upgrade its infrastructure, invest in new solutions, and mobilise its IT team constantly to achieve higher goals over the last couple of years. It has also expanded on its service line for its customer base, and has used IT consistently to help establish itself as a number one player in its country.

Shortlisted candidates: rRoads and Transport Authority (RTA), UAE rMobily rMasdar rKuwait Oil Company rSaudi Ministry of Labour reHDF

The team from Mobily receives the Editor’s Choice Award.


Computer News  Middle  East


Industry achievement VAD of the Year – FVC

Richard Judd, MD of Technology and Business publications at CPI hands the trophy to the FVC team. From left to right, the FVC team includes K S Parag, MD; Yakob Kafina, GM for KSA; Dharmendra Parmar, GM Marketing; Ahmed Youssef, GM for Egypt; Ronald Hajj, GM for Levant and Bruce Withington, Executive Director.

At the beginning of this Awards effort, the editors of CPI’s Technology publications got together to create a special Industry Achievement category, which would give them the opportunity to honour the outstanding achievement of a vendor or a partner in the Middle East ICT industry. For this year’s Industry Achievement award the editors came together to pick one company that had stood out among the rest in terms of customer partnerships, channel engagement, technology expertise and investments in the region. Their final choice was a firm that had shown consistent growth across the Middle East, without hampering the quality of its service, or its initiative to continue to be a single point of contact for its customers and channel partners - FVC. FVC has also worked to improve awareness of technologies like unified communications and video conferencing, and continues to highlight the benefits that enterprises can derive from these technologies when they are used in the right way.


Computer News  Middle  East




Paramount Computer Systems FZ LLC


BFSI deployment of the year Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB)

Though there were a few close contenders for this trophy, the judges felt that the Award could be given only to the bank that had taken a major risk in embracing cloud technologies, not just for email but also ERP and other core banking applications. It has also been actively pursuing certifications in COBIT, ITIL, ISO etc, and it is very clear that in this bank, IT has been leading transformation within the business. QFIB took home the trophy for their groundbreaking private cloud deployment.

Shortlisted candidates: rAbu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) rAbu Dhabi Finance rAbu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) rDubai Bank rQatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) rNational Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) rKuwait Finance House

(LtoR) Mahmood Shaker, CIO of QFIB and Slim Bouker, COO of QFIB receive the Award from Masahiko Murata, Deputy GM, Kyocera ME

rArab National Bank (ANB), KSA rMedmark rJRG rRiyadh Bank rSociete Generale rKPMG

Telecommunications deployment of the year Saudi Telecom Company (STC) STC is already a force in its country. It has recently implemented cloud technologies to improve customer service and responsiveness. It has achieved several advantages by way of this implementation including lower costs, higher flexibility, and quicker time to market for new products and services. The judges felt that this has to be especially encouraged and appreciated, since as a telecom provider, all companies should embrace the cloud in order to provide better service to their customers.

Shortlisted candidates: (RtoL) Masahiko Murata, Deputy GM from Kyocera presents the trophy to Nawaf Al Shemmari, ICT Director – Enterprise Business Unit Marketing at STC and Suhail Hassanain, Account Manager at Cisco.


Computer News  Middle  East


rTRA, UAE rDu rSaudi Telecom Company (STC) rMobily rLebanon Online

rCommunications and Information Technology Commission, KSA rEtisalat Misr

Government deployment of the year General Organisation for Youth and Sports, Bahrain This was not an easy choice for the judges. The Dubai Courts, had implemented numerous e-portals to facilitate and simplify the process of law, and the Abu Dhabi Ports Company, had embraced green IT to drive down cost and decided to go 100% virtua. Both projects caught the judges attention and deserve a special mention. The winner, GOYS, beat the other contenders by displaying exemplary work

and insight in working on a collaboration project that involved multiple parties, and providing e-services to a wide section of the public and businesses. The judges were especially impressed by the detail that the organisation invested in the planning phase, using elements like mind mapping, along with standardised best practices, to achieve their objectives and to get the most from their e-services implementation.




PHOTO: Abdulredha Abbas Almosawi, director of planning and sport media at General Organisation for Youth and Sports (Bahrain) receives the Award from Asli Aktas, Regional Director for ME at Enterasys.

Healthcare deployment of the year King Fahd Military Medical Complex (KFMMC) Out of the finalists, three particular deployments caught the interest of the judges. There was the high-tech video conferencing system implemented by the Jordan Health Initiative, which allows doctors and nurses from all over the country to be in contact with one another, and allows remote diagnosis of patients. There was also the fully integrated asset and resource management system deployed by Al Mashfa Hospital in Jeddah, with active and passive RFID, CCTV, wireless locking and touch-screen technologies. But the winner was set apart by the revolutionary nature of the change it brought about for the organisation by way of its deployment. By implementing organisation wide Picture Archives and

Communications Sytems (PACS), that touched not only one hospital but multiple healthcare institutions within its fold, this particular organisation has enabled faster and more efficient diagnosis. By enabling better and timely delivery of information to doctors, it has improved quality of the treatment given to patients. Apart from this major deployment, the organisation continues to use IT to improve other aspects of healthcare provision while driving cost down continuously. PHOTO: Dr Mustafa H Qurban, ICT Director and consultant for Eastern Region at King Fahd Military Medical Complex (KFMMC) receives the trophy from Asli Aktas, Regional Director for ME at Enterasys.

Shortlisted candidates: rAbu Dhabi Health Services rHospital of Bahrain rAl Mashfa Hospital, Jeddah rSheikh Khalifa Medical City rKing Fahd Military Medical Complex rHealth Authority, Abu Dhabi rJordan Health Initiative, Jordanian government


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Energy deployment of the year Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company)

Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) came to the fore of the judging process having put in place numerous projects over the last year to move towards greener technology investments, while also generally improving other elements of IT in the organisation. All of this has been achieved without any remarkable capital investment as well.

Shortlisted candidates:

(LtoR) Madhu Pejeer, service management head and Alok Srivastava, acting head of Masdar ICT receive the trophy from Mohammed Areff, MD for Gulf & Pakistan at Avaya. The other team members include Samer Tahhan, EDMS team lead and Rahman Baki, network and data centre lead at Masdar.

rADNOC rAl Maha Petroleum rGulf Drilling International rMasdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) rKuwait Oil Company rNational Trigeneration CHP Company, KSA

Education deployment of the year Supreme Education Council, Qatar Abu Dhabi Education Council had two projects of note – a logistics one and the other of having a unified network. The groundbreaking network project is an ambitious attempt to connect all the schools together and manage them in a more centralised fashion. By doing this ADEC will help the UAE's goal to be a research led economy and improve the education level of students. They were beaten to the trophy though by Supreme Education Council in Qatar that is transforming the nature of the education system in its country. It has been involved in major projects to improve the quality and ease of access to educational resources to all in its country. It has implemented cloud technologies and embraced mobile computing to transform education for an entire country, using technology at the core to gain goals that are difficult to achieve. (LtoR) Amal Al Kuwari, SEC IT director, Wadih Deaibes, SEC IT advisor, Othman Al Qudah, IT operations section manager and Nar Ahmed, IT applications section manager at SEC receive the trophy from Mohammed Areff, MD for Gulf & Pakistan at Avaya (centre).


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Shortlisted candidates: rAbu Dhabi Education Council

rSultan Qaboos University

rKuwait Ministry of Education rMinistry of Higher Education, Egypt rSupreme Education Council, Qatar rKing Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

rAmerican University of Sharjah rUAE University rUniversity of Sharjah rUAE University in Al Ain

(October 2011  -­  November  2011)

*Terms & Conditons apply.

Construction and Real Estate deployment of the year Sorouh Real Estate Sorouh Real Estate had implemented a new portal for the company, choosing an open source and .Net architecture. The main advantage of this was that the cost of implementation was dramatically lowered, when compared to the proprietary solution from a major vendor that the company was considering initially. It also completed the entire implementation in record time.

Shortlisted candidates:

Dayan Hemanth De Alwis, business analyst IT solutions, Sreedhar Reddy, IT director and Mohamad Maaz Khan, manager, IT business solutions at Sorouh Real Estate receive the Award from Amir Sohrabi, Regional Alliance Manager at SAS MEA.

rDubai Cables rDubai Silicon Oasis Authority rTamdeen rSorouh Real Estate rDepa rConsolidated Contractors Group

Retail deployment of the year DHL Express UAE The Landmark Group became a prominent contestant by way of having implemented numerous IT projects in the last year or so to improve efficiency of back office tasks. It has also opened a new data centre and connected remote offices on its network. But by way of implementing a virtualisation project that improved its operations exponentially, getting an ISO certification and saving costs, all in one go, the deserving winner of this trophy was....DHL Express UAE.

Shortlisted candidates: The DHL Express / UAE Team including Frank Ungerer, CEO, and Praveen Sashi, head of IT, collects the Award from Amir Sohrabi, Regional Alliance Manager at SAS MEA.

rAl Batha Group rLandmark Group rMalia Group rOasis Investment Company rDHL Express, UAE rThe One r Tamdeen Shopping Centres rBahman Enterprises Group


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Hospitality and Tourism deployment of the year Jumeirah Group There were several projects that caught the interest of the judges, key among them being a couple by the Emirates Group, especially ones linked to providing and maintaining service levels for customers. However, the Jumeirah Group staked its claim by having embraced private cloud technologies to deliver services to internal and external customers. By doing this it has become one of the leading hospitality groups to take on this technology, and use it in a skilled manner for its benefit, thereby proving itself a pioneer and leader in its field.

Shortlisted candidates: rWestin rEmirates Group rEmirates Flight Catering rMeydan rJumeirah Group

rQatar Navigation rInterContinental Hotels Group rNational Corporation for Tourism and Hotels rGulf Air, Bahrain

David Teklit, VP of IT, infrastructure and operations at Jumeirah Group receives the trophy from Sathya Mithra Ashok, senior editor of CNME.

Consultancy of the year Deloitte Consulting

The winner in this category was chosen for their focus on ICT consulting within enterprises. While other companies might have divisions related to ICT, this particular one has developed this division to make a name for itself. This firm has also helped its customers transform enterprise customers' ICT functioning across departments, ensuring best practices are implemented and maintained.

Shortlisted candidates: rPA Consultancy rErnst and Young rBooz and Co. rDeloitte Consulting rHelpAG

Santino Saguto, partner for the TMT service line at Deloitte and Touche receives the Award from Pallavi Sharma, subeditor of CNME.


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Security solutions provider of the year Blue Coat Systems The judges noted that among these contenders McAfee remains one of the more impressive ones, as a leading global security provider that is constantly improving its services and offerings for the region as anywhere else. However, the winner in this category, Blue Coat Systems, won its accolade by aggressively surpassing its competitors in consistently offering great security solutions for businesses, including having security hosted in the cloud, thereby helping customers bring down costs while protecting their data.

Shortlisted candidates: Firas Ghanem, MD, carrier division for ME, EE and Africa at Blue Coat Systems receives the Award from Pallavi Sharma, sub-editor of CNME.

rSonicWall rJuniper rSymantec rKaspersky

rBlue Coat Systems rFortinet rMcAfee rRSA

Storage solutions provider of the year Dell This proved to be a tough choice for the judges. The final decision came down to two players. EMC, an international player with well-established Middle East roots, with storage offerings covering every need from the entry level to high end, and increasing focus on cloud and virtualisation technologies, gained a lot of points. However, they were beaten to the trophy by a vendor that impressed the judges with their increased support for storage hardware and other infrastructure by creating centres in the UAE and other countries. They have also designed storage for cloud and virtualisation out of the box, which are simple to configure and administer on a day-to-day basis.

Shortlisted candidates: Ahmed Rizk, business development manager, Dell storage solutions is presented the trophy by K S Parag, MD of FVC.


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rDell rHP rEMC

rOracle rISIT

Managed services provider of the year Injazat Data Systems One of the strongly contested categories among the vendor awards, the choice again came down to two very strong contenders. eHDF had displayed great technical know-how and had invested consistently to improve the offerings that they have. They also play host to a lot of major companies that have chosen them as their provider. Injazat Data Systems though, beat eHDF to the trophy by the implementation of a data centre that helps them provide not only great services, but serves as an example to imitate for service providers and enterprises across the region. The vendor has also expanded on its line of services to its customers and provides services to a large number of business and government entities.

Ali Al Neaimi, client care director at Injazat Data Systems accepts the Award from K S Parag, MD of FVC.

Shortlisted candidates: reHDF rBT

rInjazat rISIT

Systems integrator of the year Mahindra Satyam The judges would like to offer a special mention to HelpAG, who have worked on numerous projects over the last year striving not only to get new customers but to keep old ones happy. The company that took the trophy home, Mahindra Satyam, though remained the dominant one among its competition by demonstrating that they can support customers expectations consistently, while growing as a company in the region. By working steadily they have won some remarkable contracts over the last year, and continue to meet customer expectations more often than not.

Shortlisted candidates: Bobby Gupta,VP and head of MENA and Turkey at Mahindra Satyam receives the trophy from Nadeem Hood, COO of CPI.


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rEMW rHelpAG rITQAN rMahindra Satyam

rInfor rTelematics rIntertec Systems

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Vendor of the year - Hardware Cisco Systems

Hani Nofal, regional manager at Cisco UAE accepts the Award from Nadeem Hood, COO at CPI.

Shortlisted candidates: rOracle rDell rHP rBrocade rToshiba rCisco Systems rAvaya rAlcatel-Lucent Enterprise rEMC rKyocera MITA Middle East


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The judges leaned toward this vendor because of the sheer breadth of its achievements in the recent past - the significant growth in its operations in the region, the introduction of several new products all the way from enterprise to the consumer level, and the service of existing customers. Cisco System has also actively embraced the trend of virtualisation and cloud technologies in designing and the running of hardware they have on offer. Along with displaying a defined growth strategy, this vendor has also been actively involved in helping customers achieve more from their investments, and in some cases even helping them turn capex into opex with hardware investments.

Vendor of the year - Software VMWare

Fadi Helou, senior partner business manager at VMWare in the region receives the trophy from Richard Judd, MD of Technology and Business publications at CPI.

The winner of this category, VMWare, remains the undisputed market leader in the area of software solutions for the virtualisation arena. It has been the leading, revolutionary light in virtualisation and cloud computing, and continues to be the global leader of choice for server virtualisation. It is indisputably the pioneer in its field and continues to be the unquestioned leader in the region. Beating multiple contestants to become the deserving leader, the judges were left with no doubt that this Award could only belong to global heavy-weight VMWare.

Shortlisted candidates: rCommvault rHP rSonicWall rVMWare rOracle rSAP rAlcatel Lucent Enterprise (Genesys) rEMC


Computer News  Middle  East


Judges CNME’s ICT Achievement Awards 2011 was judged by a panel comprising industry experts and enterprise enduser from across the region. This year’s judges included:

Trevor Moore IT director, Abu Dhabi University

Trevor Moore is the IT director for Abu Dhabi University. He is responsible for delivering IT end to end at Abu Dhabi University's two campuses, supporting over 4500 students and 400 staff and faculty. Moore is a member of the CIO forum for education in the UAE. Since graduating in material science, Moore has held 18 years of progressively responsible positions in business and technology management in numerous industries from military, banking, telecom, and education to running his own IT consultancy company. He is currently working on his dissertation for MSc in IT management from Liverpool University.

44 Computer News  Middle  East


Dr Aisha Butti Bin Bishr Assistant Undersecretary of Institutional Services and Support Sector Ministry of Labour, UAE

Sa’di Awienat Director, IT, Qatar Foundation

Dr Aisha Butti Bin Bishr is known to be a highly versatile and dynamic professional with over 16 years of experience in ICT development in both public and government sectors. She has demonstrated skills and strengths that include strong analytical, coordination, communication and advocacy skills especially relating to ICT, public reform trends and strategies, and the ability to manage people and to deliver on projects.

As the IT Director, Sa’di Awienat is responsible for developing and managing short-term and long-term IT plans in support of QF’s mission and core objectives, overseeing activities of the IT Directorate, and maintaining relationship with customers and partners. Through leadership, strategic planning and team motivation, he has lead Qatar Foundation's IT Directorate from one success to another and effectively implemented a rich portfolio of business applications aligned with QF's vision for now and the future.


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13% of information workers currently use smartphones for work at least weekly, that number is expected to reach 34% by 2012


Smartphones didn’t gain traction in the enterprise space until employees bought them to work. Today, the use of independent devices at work is fuelling the next wave in IT adoption and management across organisations.

The North American market for mobile office applications is expected to surge to $6.85 billion in 2015, up from $1.76 billion in 2010.

Total number of tablets shipped worldwide in Q2 2011, almost five times the amount of units sold in the same quarter last year.

million units


60% of mobile employees in the U.S said data services are more important than voice plans when deploying mobile phones for business use.

A ZenDesk survey revealed that one in every five phones sold is a smartphone. Both employees and customers are using them and businesses are tapping into devices to connect with them.

iPhone is being deployed or tested by 80% of Fortune500 companies; iPad is being deployed or used at 65%of Fortune500 companies

Intel survey revealed 60% of respondents use a smartphone at work and 31% would like to use their smartphones


Sales of Web app enabled mobile devices have surpassed sales of web enabled laptops, notebooks and desktop computers

According to Litmus, a company that tracks and test email campaigns the use of mobile devices to read email is cutting into Webmail severely. The use of mobile devices to check email has jumped from 7% to 15% from July 2010 to July, 2011.

Taking notes

Creating content

Tracking to-do lists

Giving presentations

62% Time saving 50% Increased productivity 48% Cost saving

72% of small businesses use mobile apps in their operations for:

62% concerned about potential network security breaches 50% loss of customer enterprise data 48% potential theft of intellectual property 43% difficulty in meeting compliance requirements

According to Dell KACE and Dimensional Research, 82% of 750 respondents reported they are concerned about the use of personal devices for work purposes.


Surfing the web

Checking email

Primary business use for tablets:

increased revenue


reduced paperwork


increased productivity


Three metrics to determine if mobile apps are successful in the workplace


cumulative app downloads will reach 44 billion



According to Unisys, 61% of Gen Y and 50% of 30+ aged workers feel that the technology tools they use in their personal life are more efficient and productive than those used at work

Mobile workers get more work done. Mobile business computers continue to incorporate more and more consumer based features while adding 51 minutes back to a mobile worker’s day, according to Forrester Research.

Many mobile workers will work after hours and across locations if employers offer flexible work options

Knowledge Workers use their smartphones and social networks to build relationships with clients and partners.


Yearly sales of tablet devices is expected to hit 82.1 million by 2015

The worldwide online app market is expected to grow from $6.8 billion in 2010 to $25 billion in 2015

Morgan Stanley predicts global smartphone shipments will exceed personal computer shipments by 2012

Half of the devices on corporate networks will be mobile devices by 2015



Changing the game Users say true collaboration encompasses technology, people and process, Pallavi Sharma speaks to professionals in the regional unified collaboration systems space to discover if this holds true for Middle East enterprises.


ncreasingly more  orgnaisations  are   choosing  to  work  in  a  fragmented   manner,  with  smaller  and  more   ϐŽ‡š‹„Ž‡„—•‹‡••†‡’ƒ”–‡–•ǡ™‹–Šƒ workforce  that  is  primarily  mobile  to   reduce  time  to  market,  and  enhance   decision  making  processes.    It  is  no   wonder  then  that  the  topic  foremost  on   the  mind  of  senior  executives  today  is   collaboration  and  the  ability  to  integrate   disparate  business  functions,  and  enable   –Š‡‘”‰ƒ‹•ƒ–‹‘ǯ•‡–‹”‡™‘”ˆ‘”…‡ to  coordinate  their  efforts,  regardless   of  location  to  increase  collective   ’”‘†—…–‹˜‹–›ƒ†‡ˆϐ‹…‹‡…›Ǥ Frits  Neyndorff,  MD,  NEC  Middle   East  and  Africa  says,  “True  collaboration   across  a  distributed  enterprise  enables   geographically  dispersed  teams  to   ‡ˆϐ‹…‹‡–Ž›™‘”–‘‰‡–Š‡”ƒ•‹ˆ–Š‡›™‡”‡ all  at  the  same  location.  In  the  competitive   times,  collaboration  tools  offer  an  effective   means  to  organisations  to  address   business  challenges,  like  reducing  the   costs  associated  with  travel,  adopting  agile   decision  making,  as  well  as  staying  green   and  sustainable.” “Businesses  today  need  to  adopt  the   idea  of  the  social  enterprise  driven  by   the  mass  use  of  the  internet  and  social   networking  tools  for  business.  The   integration  of  social  networking  and   computing  into  the  enterprise  design   represents  another  enormous  shift  in   landscape,  and  only  organisations  that   embrace  collaboration  tools  to  deepen  


Computer News  Middle  East


Bashar Kilani, territory manager, Gulf Countries and Levant at IBM.

with employees  working  from  myriad   locations  and  across  geographies,  it’s  now   harder  to  schedule  face-­‐to-­‐face  meetings,   and  it’s  impossible  to  rely  on  appropriate   interactions  to  get  things  done.” According  to  him,  technology  must   –Š‡”‡ˆ‘”‡”‡’Ž‹…ƒ–‡–Š‡‘ˆϐ‹…‡Ǧ„ƒ•‡† experience  of  sharing  information  and   expertise  —  but  in  a  world  without   boundaries.  Smart  companies  are   embracing  this  shift  by  giving  their   employees  access  to  tools  that  support  and   encourage  not  just  communication,  but  true   collaboration,  and  thereby  provide  them  a   clear  competitive  advantage. Know-­‐how ……‘”†‹‰–‘‘•–‡š’‡”–•‹–Š‡ϐ‹‡Ž†ǡ–Š‡ kind  of  tools  that  are  used  for  collaboration,   and  the  extent  to  which  they  are  used  in  any   organisation,  can  be  directly  linked  to  the  

Collaboration in the Middle East has so far been dictated by more personal meetings and communications. The advent of the internet, social networking tools and now unified communication platforms challenges this regional paradigm.” customer relationships,  drive  operational   ‡ˆϐ‹…‹‡…‹‡•ƒ†‘’–‹‹•‡–Š‡™‘”ˆ‘”…‡™‹ŽŽ ”‡ƒ’„‡‡ϐ‹–•‹–Š‡Ž‘‰”—ǡdz•ƒ›•ƒ•Šƒ” Kilani,  territory  manager,  Gulf  Countries   and  Levant  at  IBM. Youb  Salim,  sales  director  for  video   application,  Middle  East  and  Maghreb  at   Alcatel-­‐Lucent  explains,  “A  few  years  ago,   it  was  relatively  easy  for  employees  to   collaborate  —  they  could  simply  walk  down   the  hall  or  across  the  corporate  campus   to  work  with  a  colleague,  or  schedule  a   team  meeting  in  a  conference  room.  But

internal culture  of  the  company.  In  other   words,  the  more  open  the  culture,  the  more   technology  tools  for  collaboration  will  be   welcomed  and  deployed.   A  culture  of  customer  dedication,   quality  and  business  excellence  drives   the  need  and  adoption  of  collaborative   working,  says  Neyndorff.  “Communication   across  hierarchy  and  divisions  can  be   …—Ž–—”ƒŽŽ›†‡ϐ‹‡†Ǥ‘‡‘”‰ƒ‹•ƒ–‹‘• more  than  others  are  used  to  and  accept   the  practice  of  communications  between   staff  spanning  several  or  all  management  

levels, and  with  the  notion  that  interaction   nowadays  can,  or  more  often,  needs  to  take   place  unscheduled,  whereas  previously   interaction  was  more  announced  and   formally  organised.” Rudolf  Sarah,  regional  cloud  director,   MEA,  Orange  Business  Services  agrees,   “Management  can  at  times  be  afraid  of   collaboration  as  a  time  wasting  tool  and   thus  limit  or  control  its  availability.  This   proves  more  than  often  counterproductive   as  the  value  of  a  collaboration  tool  to  a   company  and  its  productive  impact  grows   exponentially  with  the  number  of  users.   Imagine  being  a  user  of  an  instant  message   system  but  only  20%  of  your  colleagues   have  access  to  it.  Would  that  be  a  tool  you   would  use  daily?  Probably  not.” Neyndorff  points  out  that  the  most   important  elements  for  the  successful   inclusion  of  collaboration  into  an   organisation’s  design  include  investing  in  a   reliable  network  infrastructure  with  stable   broadband  connectivity  (wired  or  wireless),   and  servers  driving  the  applications  that   deliver  the  required  functionality  across   the  organisation.  “Finally,  organisations   also  need  endpoint  clients  that  present  the   functions  to  users  in  an  ergonomic,  inviting   way,  and  on  the  device  of  the  user’s  choice,   whether  this  is  a  PC,  smartphone,  or  a   tablet,”  he  says. Professionals  agree  that  other  than   the  infrastructure  elements,  a  robust  and   ‡ˆϐ‹…‹‡–…‘ŽŽƒ„‘”ƒ–‹‘•‘Ž—–‹‘—•–„‡ broadly  accessible  across  every  worker,  

“Businesses should  consider   communications-­‐based  process  automation   (CBPA)  that  acts  like  an  umbrella  over   all  the  related  collaboration  and  works   within  a  given  process,  directing  work  to   the  best  place  to  ensure  the  entire  process   ‹•…‘’Ž‡–‡†‡ˆϐ‹…‹‡–Ž›ǡƒ†‹‹–‹ƒ–‹‰‘” responding  to  communications  as  needed   or  desired,”  advices  Shaheen  Haque,   territory  manager,  Middle  East  and  Turkey   at  Interactive  Intelligence.

Frits Neyndorff, MD, NEC Middle East and Africa

across the  meeting  rooms,  across  every   operations  desk.   ƒ”ƒŠ”‡…‘‡†•–Šƒ–ƒ‡ˆϐ‹…‹‡– —‹ϐ‹‡†…‘—‹…ƒ–‹‘•ȋȌ•‘Ž—–‹‘ should  offer  four  basic  feature.  “A  single   interface  that  provides  access  to  all   ‡••ƒ‰‡•ǡ‘ˆˆ‡”•ƒ—‹ϐ‹…ƒ–‹‘‘ˆ–‡š–ǡ speech,  images  and  video,  offers  IT  and   telephone  convergence.  This  means  the   solution  should  offer  rich  telephony   ˆ‡ƒ–—”‡•…‘„‹‡†™‹–Š‘ˆϐ‹…‡•‘ˆ–™ƒ”‡ǡ advanced  telephony  features  through  the   single  interface,  sorting  of  voice  mails,   concentration  of  all  kind  of  messages,  and   integration  in  ERP  and  CRM  among  other   systems.  Most  importantly,  the  interface   must  be  mounted  on  a  UC  architecture   built  on  components  or  bricks  that  can   be  assembled  and  combined  based  on  the   •’‡…‹ϐ‹…‡‡†•‘ˆƒ…—•–‘‡”Ǥdz

Playing it  smart Neyndorff  points  out,  “Every  department,   business  unit,  or  workgroup  has  different   ways  of  collaborating.  For  example,  some   groups  value  face-­‐to-­‐face  meetings,  while   others  depend  on  public  IM.  Additionally,   some  groups  work  mostly  internally;  others   engage  mostly  with  people  outside  the   organisation,  such  as  partners,  suppliers,  or   …—•–‘‡”•ǤŠ—•ǡ†‡’Ž‘›‹‰ƒ‘‡Ǧ•‹œ‡Ǧϐ‹–•Ǧ all  UC  solution  poses  a  risk  of  not  meeting   the  needs  of  any  department.” Both  users  and  developers  of   collaboration  technology  recommend  a  few   keys  steps  that  can  be  taken  to  cultivate  and   enhance  a  culture  of  collaboration  across   the  whole  enterprise. Haque  says,  “Based  on  CBPA,  an   organisation  must  first  and  foremost   decide  on  the  information  it  wants  to   track,  process  and  collaborate  with.   Based  on  this  decision,  it  must  then   design  a  user  collaborative  interface  that   is  accessible  by  all  participants.  Senior  

Source: Orange CIO Survey 2011 Decision makers at 600 multinationals across 12 European countries surveyed





of respondents said that they manage UC internally

said they intend to continue to keep the operations in-house

respondents said that they use a private cloud environment to manage UC



said they are considering sourcing a public cloud provider for their UC infrastructure

Computer News  Middle  East



executives must  then  decide  and  lay  out   the  collaboration  flow.  During  this  phase,   they  must  pay  careful  attention  to  the   different  states  through  which  work  flows   during  the  process  and  what  actions  are  to   be  performed  along  the  way.  Once  this  is   done,  the  organisation  can  go  right  ahead   and  deploy.” He  recommends  investing  in  interaction   process  automation  to  help  enterprises   automate  a  wide  range  of  internal  and   external  processes,  including  –  applications,   lead  management,  order  management,   approvals,  time-­‐off  requests,  performance   reviews,  new  employee  on-­‐boarding,  etc.   “Processes  can  be  represented  by  easily   ‘†‹ϐ‹‡†‰”ƒ’Š‹…ƒŽϐŽ‘™•‹•–‡ƒ†‘ˆ„‡‹‰ locked  into  static  documents  or  CRM  systems.   As  business  conditions  change,  processes  can   „‡‘†‹ϐ‹‡†ƒ•™‡ŽŽǡdzƒ††• ƒ“—‡Ǥ Neyndorff  says  that  in  order  to  avoid   adding  just  another  communication  silo  in   –Š‡‘”‰ƒ‹•ƒ–‹‘ǡ†‡…‹•‹‘ƒ‡”•—•–ϐ‹”•– understand  the  unique  collaboration  needs   of  each  business  unit  or  department.  They   must  then  work  out  a  roadmap  to  meet   these  requirements  and  make  investments   in  platforms  that  service  each  of  these   needs,  delivering  the  ability  to  modify   the  provisions  while  adding  value  to  the   existing  set  up.

Rudolf Sarah, regional cloud director in MEA, Orange Business Services


Computer News  Middle  East


Youb Salim, sales director for video application, Middle East and Maghreb at Alcatel-Lucent

Middle East.  It  is  still  early  days  but  the   interest  we  are  seeing  from  healthcare,   government  and  telecommunications   ‹•’‹”‡•—•™‹–Š…‘ϐ‹†‡…‡ǡdz•ƒ›• ƒ“—‡Ǥ “Firms  like  Majid  Al  Futtaim  and  their   hypermarket  chains  like  Carrefour  are   investing  in  top-­‐of-­‐the-­‐line  UC  tools  for   ‘”‡‡ˆϐ‹…‹‡–‘’‡”ƒ–‹‘•ǤŠ‡•‡–‘‘Ž• ƒ”‡—•‡†”‹‰Š–ˆ”‘–Š‡•Š‘’ϐŽ‘‘”ǡƒŽŽ–Š‡ way  up  to  the  senior  management  level,   to  drive  procedures  and  decision  making   capabilities,”  says  K.S  Parag,  MD  at  FVC. “The  Middle  East  has  so  far  been   dictated  by  more  personal  meetings  and   communications,  and  the  advent  of  the   internet,  social  networking  tools  and   ‘™—‹ϐ‹‡†…‘—‹…ƒ–‹‘’Žƒ–ˆ‘”•

Management can at times be afraid of collaboration as a time wasting tool, and thus limit or control its availability. This proves, more than often, counterproductive as the value of a collaboration tool to a company and its productive impact grows exponentially with the number of users.”

Most importantly,  both  users  and   developers  recommend  that  organisations   develop  an  aggressive  user  adoption  plan   to  drive  the  move  towards  a  more  open   and  unscheduled  style  of  communication.   This  can  be  done  through  regular  training   sessions  and  helping  business  users   understand  how  they  stand  to  personally   „‡‡ϐ‹–ˆ”‘–Š‡ƒ†‘’–‹‘‘ˆ…‘ŽŽƒ„‘”ƒ–‹‘ systems  internally. Adoption  and  adaption   Experts  believe  that  regional  enterprises   understand  the  necessity  for  collaboration   and  are  making  the  necessary  investments   to  develop  and  enhance  the  existing   communications  architecture  to  provision   for  real  time,  instant  and  affordable   communication. “I  think  we  are  on  the  verge  of  seeing   a  major  uptake  of  such  solutions  in  the

challenges this  paradigm.  So  change  is   happening  but  it  is  happening  gradually  as   enterprises  realise  that  these  technologies   don’t  take  away  the  personalised  element   rather  they  add  the  time  management   factor,”  he  explains. Experts   b elieve   t hat   w ith   t he   popular   u se   o f   t ablets   a nd   o ther   m obile   devices,   t he   expectations   o f   t he   m obile   workforce   a re   b ound   to   i ncrease   a nd   the   d rive   towards   U C   a nd   c ollaboration   functionality   a cross   a n   o rganisation  w ill   put   f urther   p ressure   o n   m anagement  to   include   t hese   capabilities. Customer  centricity  and  beating   the  competition  are  on  the  top  of  the   agenda  for  every  business  entity  and  in   an  environment  that  changes  in  the  blink   of  an  eye,  where  budgets  are  the  centre  of   successful  operations,  collaboration  tools   ƒ”‡†‡ϐ‹‹–‡Ž›–Š‡‰ƒ‡…Šƒ‰‡”•Ǥ

TECHNOLOGY FOCUS Business continuity

A continuing T story Business continuity (BC) is not yet fully understood by most large Middle East enterprises, and is often confused with its cousin disaster recovery (DR). With the current state of affairs, the region might have to wait for a couple of years for large-scale adoption of BC processes.


Computer News  Middle  East


he achievement  of  perfect  business   continuity  (or  something  as  close   to  it)  remains  one  of  the  elusive   elements  that  most  large  enterprises  look   for.  In  an  effort  to  ensure  that  the  business   continues  –  regardless  of  any  natural  or   man-­‐made  disaster  –  most  organisations   in  developed  markets  have  constantly   invested  in  technologies  and  redundant   centres,  along  with  processes,  for  some   time  now.   In  the  Middle  East  (qualify  as  it  does   as  an  emerging  region)  the  concept  is  well   understood,  but  adoption  levels  remain  low.   “It  is  the  amount  of  dollars  you  are   prepared  to  spend  in  the  event  that  your   business  is  put  at  risk  due  to,  for  example,   a  disaster  or  an  interruption  in  service.   However,  do  many  Middle  East  enterprises   understand  and  implement  BC  as  much   as  they  should?  The  answer  is  no.  BC  as  a   “business  continuity  strategy”,  not  as  an  “IT   continuity  strategy”.  This  is  where  many   organisations  fail  when  implementing  BC  

strategies. they  tend  to  focus  on  the  latter   and  often  fail  to  consider  the  complete   business  impact  of  a  disaster  or  outage,”  says   Steve  Bailey,  regional  operations  director  at   Commvault. “In  terms  of  understanding  BC,  there  is   a  basic  to  medium  level  of  awareness  in  this   region,  and  when  it  comes  to  implementing   BC,  almost  all  enterprises  are  faced  with  the   challenges  that  I  have  mentioned  earlier   and  eventually  some  of  them  end  up  using   traditional  or  manual  methods  for  BC  that   usually  expose  them  to  higher  risks,”  adds   Hussein  Mognieh,  CA  Technologies  channel   manager  in  the  region. Little  understood  as  it  might  be  in  the   region,  the  concept  of  BC  comes  with  its  own   set  of  challenges  and  some  of  these  can  be   peculiar  to  the  Middle  East.   “Businesses  and  organisations  that   are  implementing  key  business  continuity   solutions  are  faced  with  both  external  and   internal  challenges.  These  external  factors   ‹…Ž—†‡–Š‡•‘ƒ”‹‰–‡’‡”ƒ–—”‡•ǡϐ‹”‡™ƒŽŽ breaches  and  virus  attacks  along  with  natural   disasters  like  earthquakes.  Meanwhile,   internal  challenges  include  machines  or   ‡“—‹’‡–ˆƒ‹Ž—”‡ǡϐ‹”‡ƒ†ƒ’‘™‡” availability  or  the  lack  of  it.  These  challenges   are  the  ones  that  are  most  likely  to  happen,   resulting  in  small  but  frequent  downtime  if   not  attended  to  properly,”  says  Vipin  Sharma,   VP  at  MEACIS  sales  at  TrippLite. He  continues,  “The  main  challenge   though,  is  to  identify  all  possible  threats,   regardless  of  size,  as  they  may  cause  major   repercussions  in  operations.  Power  is  one   factor  wherein  the  need  to  be  constantly   monitored  is  essential.  The  quality  of  power  

Feras Al Jabi, GM at ITQAN

Hussein Mognieh, CA Technologies channel manager in the region

should be  monitored  constantly,  which   means  if  the  power  is  not  good  then  it  might   cause  the  breakdown  of  key  equipment  and   drive  in  unwanted  downtime  costs.” Feras  Al  Jabi,  GM  at  ITQAN  says,  “I  believe   the  main  challenge  is  to  be  able  to  allocate   the  budget  to  invest  in  implementing  BC   plans,  especially  with  the  current  economic   climate.  Organisations  are  investing  in  core   business  related  requirements,  rather  than   investing  in  BC  and  preventive  actions.  In   certain  organisations,  the  internal  capacity   and  resources,  data  connectivity  speed  /   bandwidth  is  another  challenge.  And  the   maturity  of  the  data  centre  concept  in  certain   countries  in  not  at  the  same  level  we  have  in   the  UAE.” “A  key  challenge  that  the  region  faces  is   its  size.  IT  DR  sites  are  usually  recommended   in  a  separate  seismic  zone  far  from  the   primary  site,  but  in  the  Middle  East,  with   many  smaller  independent  territories,   identifying  a  suitable  DR  site  is  a  key  issue   that  enterprises  have  to  address,”  adds  Girish   Dani,  business  head  for  security  services  at   Tech  Mahindra. “Through  our  experience  in  establishing   business  continuity  management  systems   for  enterprises  in  the  UAE,  we  have  noticed   different  common  challenges  as  follows   obtaining  management  buy-­‐in  and  approval   for  business  continuity  arrangements,   assigning  roles  and  responsibilities  to   suitable  employees,  maintaining  the   business  continuity  management  system,   documenting  and  executing  the  management   system  processes  and  enforcing  policies  and

integrating business  continuity  with  other   existing  management  systems,”  says  Ali   Alamadi,  principal  consultant  at  helpAG. “The  biggest  challenges  for  an   organisation  during  BC  implementation   is  stakeholder  commitment,  agreeing  on   strategies  and  coordinating  with  different   teams.  These  issues  are  typically  seen   because  the  responsibility  towards  BC   initiatives  is  a  part-­‐time  activity  as  compared   to  primary  responsibilities.  So  top  priority   may  not  be  proportionately  assigned  to   the  BC  initiatives  though  it  is  critical  to  an   organisation.  One  way  to  combat  such  issues   is  to  include  these  responsibilities  as  part   of  the  performance  appraisal  system  as  an   individual’s  goals.  Another  way  is  for  it  to  be   managed  well  by  the  BCM  head  by  providing   tools,  templates,  relationship  and  knowledge   to  users.  Regular  meetings  between  top   management  and  department  heads  on  BC   initiative  also  help  in  the  progress  on  the   journey.  These  are  some  of  the  challenges   faced  by  the  BCM  head  on  an  organisational   level,”  says  Mohamed  Rizvi,  manager  of   information  security  and  advisory  services  at   eHDF  (eHosting  DataFort). Commvault’s  Bailey  states,  “The  typical   challenges  when  addressing  the  question   of  BC  would  be  a  lack  of  resources  and   †‹ˆϐ‹…—Ž–‹‡•‹‘„–ƒ‹‹‰•‡‹‘”ƒƒ‰‡‡– support  and  input.  However,  in  the  majority   of  the  organisations  which  have  developed   business  continuity  plans  (BCP),  it  is  typically   an  activity  led  by  the  IT  department,  with   the  result  that  the  business  continuity  plan  is   mainly  seen  as  an  IT  activity.” He  continues,  “many  process  owners  fail   to  realise  the  fact  that  not  all  processes  are   mission  critical  or  critical  for  an  organisation   to  survive  and  it  is  often  a  daunting  challenge   for  CIOs  and  IT  heads,  who  have  been  forced   to  don  the  mantle  of  BCP  leader,  to  assure   the  business  and  process  owners  that   prioritising  of  processes  does  not  make  those   with  longer  recovery  time  objectives  (RTO)   redundant  or  of  less  importance  than  those   with  quicker  RTOs.”   “Another  problem  that  I  perceive  is  that   when  IT  people  don  the  business  continuity   hat,  the  program  tends  to  go  off  on  a  tangent   towards  being  ‘information  continuity.  There  


Computer News  Middle  East


TECHNOLOGY FOCUS Business continuity

is no  doubt  that  information  in  today’s  age   is  a  key  to  success,  however  information   availability  alone  is  of  little  help  if  people  are   not  available  to  access  and  use  it  during  an   incident  or  crisis,”  Bailey  adds.   Along  with  other  experts  he  agrees  that   the  nature  of  the  workforce  in  the  region   can  create  its  own  set  of  issues  related   to  pure  human  factors  and  restricted   communication. Steve Bailey, regional operations director at Commvault

A step  at  a  time Challenges  there  might  be,  and  the  Middle   East  as  a  whole  might  still  be  a  newbie  to  the   area  of  BC,  but  experts  also  point  out  that  the   •‹–—ƒ–‹‘‹•—…Š„‡––‡”–Šƒ‹–™ƒ•‡˜‡ϐ‹˜‡ years  back.   Dz‡ǯŽŽ‡ƒ•‹Ž›ϐ‹†ƒ˜ƒ•–†‹ˆˆ‡”‡…‡™Š‡ we  try  to  compare  the  current  situation   –‘™Šƒ–‹–™ƒ•ϐ‹˜‡›‡ƒ”•„ƒ…Ǥ–‡”’”‹•‡• nowadays  generally  understand  the  risks  of   not  having  a  proper  BC  solution  in  place  and   hence  they  have  invested  more  in  providing   their  technical  teams  with  as  much  resources   as  possible  to  have  the  proper  exposure   –‘•‘Ž—–‹‘•ƒ†ƒ•—ˆϐ‹…‹‡––‡…Š‘Ž‘‰› awareness  to  keep  up  with  the  daily   challenges,”  says  Moghnieh.   DzŠ‡”‡Šƒ•†‡ϐ‹‹–‡Ž›„‡‡ƒ‹…”‡ƒ•‡ in  the  overall  awareness  for  the  need   for  business  continuity  and  IT  disaster   recovery.  Some  of  the  recent  events  such  as   the  political  unrests  and  adverse  weather   incidents  including  the  cyclone  in  Oman  have   accentuated  the  need  for  enterprises  to  have   …Ž‡ƒ”Ž›†‡ϐ‹‡†ƒ†‹’Ž‡‡–‡†•–”ƒ–‡‰›ˆ‘” BC,”  says  Dani.   However,  enterprises  that  are  investing   in  BC  should  make  efforts  to  follow   international  best  practices  and  processes  in   ‘”†‡”–‘‰ƒ‹‡ˆϐ‹…‹‡…‹‡•‘—–‘ˆ‹–Ǥ

“Before implementing  a  BC  solution,   an  organisation  needs  to  plan  for  one.  At   the  most  basic  level,  Business  Continuity   Žƒ‹‰ȋȌ…ƒ„‡†‡ϐ‹‡†ƒ•ƒ‹–‡”ƒ–‹˜‡ process  that  is  designed  to  identify  mission   critical  business  functions  and  enact  policies,   processes,  plans  and  procedures  to  ensure  the   continuation  of  these  functions  in  the  event  of   an  unforeseen  event.  All  activity  surrounding   the  creation,  testing,  deployment,  and   maintenance  of  a  BCP  can  be  viewed  in  terms   ‘ˆ–Š‹•†‡ϐ‹‹–‹‘ǡdz•ƒ›•ƒ‹Ž‡›Ǥ CA’s  Moghnieh  states,  “Every   organisation  uses  a  different  topology  and   structure  in  their  IT  environment,  but  the   ƒ‹’”‘…‡••‹•ƒ•ˆ‘ŽŽ‘™•ǣϐ‹”•–ǡ—†‡”•–ƒ† an  organisation’s  pain  points  and  the   organisation’s  expectations  regarding  ROI,   RPOs  and  RTOs.    Secondly,  allocate  the   budget  to  be  invested  in  the  project.    After   that  comes  the  stage  of  involving  the  vendors   with  proven  success  stories  that  are  similar   to  their  requirements  to  conduct  Demos  and/ or  POCs  to  prove  that  their  solutions  do  what   they  say  on  the  box.  After  that  it  becomes   clear  to  the  organisation  which  vendors  to   select  and  how  to  move  forward.” “The  British  Standards  Institution  (BSI)   has  released  a  new  independent  standard  

for business  continuity  processes.  The  BS   25999-­‐1  extends  to  organisations  of  all   types,  sizes  and  missions,  whether  they  are   ‰‘˜‡”‡–‘”‘Ǧ‰‘˜‡”‡–ǡ’”‘ϐ‹–‘” ‘Ǧ’”‘ϐ‹–ǡŽƒ”‰‡‘”•ƒŽŽ‘”…‘‹‰ˆ”‘ƒ› industry  segment.  Based  on  these  standards,   business  continuity  should  start  with   analysis,  followed  by  solution  design  and   then  the  implementation  of  the  solutions.   The  implementation  phase  will  also  cover  the   running  of  tests  to  make  sure  that  the  desired   outcome  is  achieved,  which  is  followed  by  the   acceptance  of  the  organisation,”  says  Sharma. He  adds,  “After  all  these  initial  stages   are  followed,  the  most  important  part  is   next,  which  is  maintenance.  Maintenance   of  a  business  continuity  manual  is  broken   down  into  three  periodic  activities.   Š‡ϐ‹”•–ƒ…–‹˜‹–›‹•–Š‡…‘ϐ‹”ƒ–‹‘‘ˆ information  in  the  manual,  roll  out  to  all   •–ƒˆˆˆ‘”ƒ™ƒ”‡‡••ƒ†•’‡…‹ϐ‹…–”ƒ‹‹‰ˆ‘” ‹†‹˜‹†—ƒŽ•™Š‘•‡”‘Ž‡•ƒ”‡‹†‡–‹ϐ‹‡†ƒ• critical  in  response  and  recovery.  The  second   ƒ…–‹˜‹–›‹•–Š‡–‡•–‹‰ƒ†˜‡”‹ϐ‹…ƒ–‹‘‘ˆ technical  solutions  established  for  recovery   operations.  The  third  activity  is  the  testing   ƒ†˜‡”‹ϐ‹…ƒ–‹‘‘ˆ†‘…—‡–‡†‘”‰ƒ‹•ƒ–‹‘ recovery  procedures.  A  biannual  or  annual   maintenance  cycle  is  typical.” Knowing  the  processes  is  very  different   from  implementing  them  and  getting  them   to  work  for  you  within  your  organisation.   Awareness  campaigns  around  the  Middle   East  will  help  enterprises  understand  and   implement  BC  in  a  more  effective  manner.   However,  with  the  pangs  of  the  recession  still   being  felt,  vendors  are  not  rushing  to  create   awareness  campaigns,  and  the  entire  concept   of  BC  in  its  full  awareness  and  understanding   might  have  to  wait  to  be  adopted  on  a  larger   scale  in  the  region.  

Source: The 2011 AT&T Business Continuity Study



of executives indicated that their companies will be investing in new technologies in 2011, up from 72% in 2010.


Computer News  Middle  East


of organisations currently use or are considering using cloud services to augment their business continuity and disaster recovery strategies.



of BC plans include a role for the use of mobile devices


have systems in place that enable employees to work from home or remote locations, representing an increase of 14% points in the past four years


Architecting growth Not known for making bold investments in ICT, the construction sector is showing signs of rapid change. Pallavi Sharma discovers what defines the industry’s investments and how they’re likely to change.


n recent  years,  the  construction   sector  has  battled  a  whole  host   of  challenges  that  have  not  only   constrained  their  investments  and   ability  to  execute  on  aggressive  growth   strategies,  but  have  even  threatened   their  very  ability  to  survive. According  to  a  report  published   in  May  2011  by  accountancy  firm   Wilkins  Kennedy,  the  insolvencies  in  the   construction  sector  globally  increased  19%   in  the  first  quarter  of  this  year.  With  the   simultaneous  cuts  in  government  spending   on  infrastructure  to  plug  the  deficit  caused   by  years  of  drawn  out  recession,  the  sector   found  itself  in  deep  water. “The  construction  sector,  on  one   hand,  lies  at  the  very  heart  of  the   urbanisation  trend  and,  on  the  other   hand,  has  to  deal  with  significant  budget   cuts  and  tighter  margins  to  combat   drawn  out  economic  turmoil.  According   to  McKinsey  and  company,  in  the  year   2030,  five  billion  people  will  live  in  urban   areas  and  therefore  the  pressure  on  this   sector  to  create  properties  to  meet  the   heavy  demand  for  accommodation  is   unbelievable.    On  the  other  hand,  the  sector   has  to  deal  with  budget  cuts,  to  survive   amidst  economic  turmoil,”  says  Manish   Bhardwaj,  marketing  manager,  Autodesk   Middle  East  and  Africa.   “The  sector  is  also  hugely  challenged   by  rapidly  depleting  cheap  natural  


Computer News  Middle  East


Deepak Mehta, GM, Omnix International

resources; energy,  water,  materials,  and   land  –  are  diminishing.  This  is  where   sustainability  and  economics  intersect  and   are  driving  transformation  in  our  industry.   The  increasing  costs  associated  with  the   acquisition  of  these  resources  not  only  adds   to  the  cost  of  operations  but  is  also  driving   –Š‡‡‡†–‘‹˜‡•–‹‘”‡‡ˆϐ‹…‹‡–™ƒ›•‘ˆ constructing  and  managing  buildings  and   infrastructure,”  Bhardwaj  adds. He  adds,  “Both  global  recession  and  the   need  to  make  investments  in  sustainable   operations  have  in  turn  affected  the   level  of  new  construction  and  changed   expectations  for  the  bottom  line.  Today,   this  sector  needs  to  achieve  more  with   less,  deliver  projects  faster  and  with   less  environmental  impact  in  order  to

compete and  win.  While  the  number  of   requirements  from  clients  is  growing,   there  are  increasingly  more  stakeholders   involved  in  business  operations,  which   now  include  governments  and  various   compliance  and  regulatory  bodies.  Poor   performance  is  now  on  the  list  of  potential   liability  risks  associated  with  a  project.” According  to  him,  this  sequence  of   events  is  made  even  more  lethal  with   the  addition  of  increasing  competition   as  a  result  of  the  consumerisation  of  the   internet  and  the  resulting  creation  of   borderless  organisations.   “The  construction  sector  is  fast   realising  the  benefits  of  investing  in   technology  to  track  and  control  inventory   and  costs,  integrate  different  business   functions  and  enhance  operational   efficiency.    Today,  decision  makers  can   implement  proactive  intelligent  strategies   based  on  real  time  predictive  analysis   provisioned  by  capabilities,”  says  Deepak   Mehta,  GM,  Omnix  International. According  to  experts,  the  recent  spur   in  IT  investments  across  the  globe  is  also   warranted  by  the  unique  needs  of  this   sector  to  bring  together  disparate  projects   and  business  functions.   “This  sector  requires  solutions  that   bring  together  the  different  sub  contracted   projects  such  as  architecture  and  design,   electrical,  fire-­‐fighting,  construction,   finance,  among  others.  Construction   firms  require  solutions  that  enable  the   visualisation  of  different  projects  and  helps   enhance  co-­‐ordination  between  different   contractors  and  their  independent  areas   of  responsibility.  This  significantly  reduces   complexity  in  managing  the  progress  of   a  project  through  proactive  planning  and   scheduling,”  adds  Mehta.  

Success stories The  secret  to  a  successful  and  smooth   technology  deployment,  according  to   experts,  is  the  sincere  commitment  of   the  organisation’s  senior  executives  to   the  project.  “IT  budgets  and  projects   are  reviewed  by  the  senior  executives   of  the  organisation  and  without  their   keen  understanding  for  the  need  of  that   technology  and  their  commitment  to   aggressive  implementation,  the  projects   will  most  definitely  fail,”  explains  Paul   Madeira,  COO,  Causeway. Sreedhar  K  Reddy,  IT  director,  Sorouh   Real  Estate  gives  testimony  to  this  fact,   “Our  IT  budgets  and  projects  are  regularly   reviewed  by  the  IT  steering  committee   which  includes  representatives  from   all  business  units.  Although,  IT  budgets   are  more  critically  reviewed  because   management  wants  to  ensure  that  the   money  is  spent  wisely  towards  operational   efficiencies  and  differentiation,  Sorouh’s   management  has  always  supported  and   actively  encouraged  deserving  technology   projects  and  innovations  as  a  result  of   which  we  have  won  a  number  of  awards   for  our  technology  deployments  such  as   CNME’s  ICT  Achievement  Award  2011  for   best  IT  implementation  in  the  construction   vertical.” What  this  vertical  has  in  common   with  any  other  is  its  criteria  for  vendor   selection,  says  Reddy,  “Like  any  other   industry,  decision  makers  in  the   construction  sector  look  for  vendors  who   have  a  credible  and  known  local  presence   and  can  support  technology  deployments   in  the  long  run.  We  want  to  work  with   vendors  who  have  previous  experience   with  industry  focused  implementations   as  this  assures  us  of  their  ability  to   understand  the  challenges  our  industry   faces  and  the  underlying  need  for  the   implementation.” Professionals  also  say  that  like   any  other  technology  deployment,  the   construction  sector  also  faces  its  fair  share   of  obstacles  when  implementing  an  IT  

(Extreme right) Sreedhar K Reddy, IT director, Sorouh Real Estate

Traditionally companies would invest in application software to support operations such as commercial and finance functions. Today these companies are investing in technology and software that allows for information sharing and decision making on-the-go” project and  this  normally  come  in  the  form   of  resistance  to  change  from  the  business   users.   Mehta  says,  “Resistance  to  change   is  nothing  but  a  result  of  the  inability  of   business  users  to  understand  the  need  to   spend  hours  engaged  in  changing  their   operating  style.  This  is  because  users   are  averse  to  the  steep  learning  curve   associated  with  complex  new  technology   platforms.  Either  that  or  they  are  just  used   to  doing  things  the  way  they  have  been   done  all  along  and  don’t  see  the  larger   business  benefits  of  investing  in  the  latest   technology.” Experts  add  that  the  easiest  way

to address  this  challenge  is  to  align   IT  strategies  with  larger  business   strategies  and  have  the  need  for  these   technologies  communicated  by  business   users  instead  of  the  IT  departments.   “Users  are  bound  to  show  more  interest   in  using  a  new  platform  when  they   believe  that  the  solution  will  not  only   make  their  jobs  easier  but  will  also   enhance  revenues  and  save  them  time   and  money.  Communication  can  then  be   supplanted  by  regular  training  sessions   and  implementing  the  platform  in   simultaneous  phases  to  make  users  feel   more  involved  instead  of  alienated  by   change,”  says  Madeira.


Computer News  Middle  East



Evolving investments As  technology  has  evolved,  so  has  the   construction  sector.  Decision  makers  say   that  the  kind  of  investments  that  are  being   made  today  reflect  a  thought  revolution  in   the  minds  of  decision  makers  across  the   construction  industry. “Traditionally  companies  would   invest  in  application  software  to  support   operations  such  as  estimating,  commercial   and  finance.  Today,  these  companies  are   investing  in  technology  and  software  that   allow  for  information  sharing  and  decision   making  on-­‐the-­‐go,”  says  Madeira. “In  today’s  building  environment,  IT   needs  to  become  involved  right  from  the   beginning  of  the  building  process.  Design   technology,  for  example,  has  a  key  role  to   play  from  the  outset.  As  the  cornerstone  of   a  building  information  modelling  approach,   technologies  focused  on  providing  design   and  architectural  capabilities  allow   designers  to  capture  their  first  concepts   and  ideas  about  a  new  building  design,  and   then  develop  and  maintain  their  vision   through  documentation  as  the  project   progresses,”  adds  Bhardwaj. At  Sorouh  Real  Estate,  Reddy  and   his  team  have  invested  in  a  cloud-­‐based   Web  project  collaboration  system  to  for   document  management.  “This  system   provides  a  common  platform  to  submit,   manage,  and  archive  all  project  documents   by  contractor,  consultant,  PMC  and  the   Client,”  he  says. He  and  his  team  have  also  been   responsible  for  putting  in  place  a  number   of  different  Web  portals,  such  as  a   customer  portal  and  a  property  portal,  

The coming together of government, regulatory bodies and vendors will create an ecosystem friendly to technology deployment across the construction sector. This will help them sustain growth in a recovering economy, and once again become the centre of booming markets across the globe.” to provision  information  sharing  across   multiple  stakeholders.   Decision  makers  add  that  the  sector   is  also  heavily  investing  in  ERP  and  other   business  applications  for  operational  areas   in  a  construction  business  covering  design,   estimation,  commercial  management,   procurement  and  finance.  These  platforms   enable  the  automation  of  business   operations  to  save  time  and  reduce  room   for  human  errors. Experts  also  highlight  the  distinct   interest  this  sector  is  showing  in  mobile   technologies  and  applications.   “Today  we  have  applications  like   AutoCAD  available  on  a  number  of  mobile   platforms  such  as  smart  phones  and   tablets.  Once  ISPs  begin  providing  reliable   high  bandwidth  connectivity  at  reasonable   costs  across  construction  locations  we  will   no  doubt  see  significant  investment  in  this   arena,”  says  Mehta. Reddy  says,  “In  the  medium  term,   government  regulations  and  advancements   in  the  areas  of  sustainability,  new   building  codes,  green  buildings,  and   smart  communities  are  likely  to  drive  new   technology  investments.”

Mehta agrees  that  ultimately  it  will  be   governments  and  compliance  requirements   that  will  drive  IT  investments  in  the   construction  sector.   “Both  regional  and  international   government  bodies  are  driving  the  need   to  invest  in  platforms  that  are  focused   on  the  delivery  and  maintenance  of  the   properties  or  what  we  call  facilities   management.  This  will  only  encourage   more  vendors  to  venture  into  the  market,   increasing  competition  which  will  drive   vendors  to  provide  more  comprehensive   and  competent  services  to  this  sector.  The   coming  together  of  government,  regulatory   bodies  and  vendors  will  create  an  ecosystem   friendly  to  technology  deployment  across   the  construction  sector  to  help  them  sustain   growth  in  a  recovering  economy  and   once  again  become  the  centre  of  booming   markets  across  the  globe,”  he  says. The  construction  sector  is  clearly   making  remarkable  strides  in  its  IT   deployments  and  with  technology  rapidly   advancing;  there  is  no  doubt  that  the   future  will  witness  many  more  interesting   investments  and  usage  from  the  vertical,   especially  in  the  Middle  East.  

Source: buildingSMART ME Percentage of industry using BIM, 2011








GCC and Jordan

West Europe

North America

of BIM users are institute trained

of BIM users in the region are self trained

Computer News  Middle  East


Keynote speaker: General (Retired) Michael Hayden, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Deputy Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) presents “cyber security and cyber threats in a changing world”.


[training, 12 – 13 Dec]

[briefings, 14 – 15 dec]

ŠTEHTRI-Security: Advanced PHP Hacking

Š iSnoop: How to Steal Secrets from Touch Screen Devices by Federico Maggi

ŠCyber Network Defense Bootcamp ŠSensePost: Hacking by Numbers: Unplugged Edition ŠInfrastructure Attacktecs & Defentecs: Hacking Cisco Networks ŠHotWAN: Mobile Hacking

Š Software Security Goes Mobile by Russell Spitler Š Taming Worms, RATs, Dragons and More! By Christiaan Beek Š Financial Armageddon? Inside the Zeus and SpyEye Wave by Ken Baylor

Š Android : from Reversing to De-compilation by Anthony Desnos

ŠAssessing and Exploiting Web Applications with Samurai-WTF ŠThe Exploit Laboratory ŠIncident Response: Black Hat Edition by MANDIANT ŠFoundstone: Malware Forensics & Incident Response ŠTaoSecurity: TCP/IP Weapons School 3.0

[dates] TRAINING: DECEMBER 12 – 13

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HOW TO Calibration

Calibrate your monitor Get your monitor to display colours accurately and improve the look of photos, videos, and games. We give you the tips


ˆ›‘—ǯ”‡ƒÂ?ƒ˜‹†Â’ÂŠÂ‘Â–Â‘Â‰Â”ÂƒÂ’ÂŠÂ‡Â”ÇĄ Â›Â‘Â—ÇŻÂ˜Â‡’”‘„ƒ„Ž›•Š‘––‘Â?•‘ˆ photos,  investing  a  large  chunk  of   your  time  and  disposable  income  in  a   †‹‰‹–ƒŽ…ƒÂ?‡”ƒǤÂ?†Â›Â‘Â—ÇŻÂ˜Â‡•’‡Â?– even  more  time  learning  the  ins  and   outs  of  photography,  including  lighting,   composition,  and  image  editing.  So  why   †‘Â?ǯ–›‘—”’Š‘–‘•Ž‘‘Â?„‡––‡”–ŠƒÂ?–Š‡› do?   Maybe  it’s  your  monitor. Why  should  you  calibrate? Calibrating   your   P C   d isplay   i s   a n   important   s tep,   for   o ne   s imple   reason:   You   want   t he   c olours   a nd   b lack   levels   to   l ook   a s   a ccurate   a s   p ossible.   The   m ost   o bvious   b enefit   o f   p roper   calibration   i s   t hat   i t   e nsures   t he   b est   results   when   you’re   e diting   o r   v iewing   photographs.   B ut   a ccurate   c olours   a nd   black   l evels   a lso   m ake   v ideos   a nd   games   look   b etter   o n   your   m onitor-­â€?-­â€?you’ll   b e   viewing   c ontent   i n   t he   way   t he   c ontent’s   creators   i ntended. In  this  article,  I’ll  talk  about  how   you  can  use  Windows  7’s  built-­â€?in  tools   to  perform  a  quick  calibration.  Then  I’ll   mention  a  website  or  two  that  can  aid  in   calibrating  your  display.  Finally  I’ll  discuss   a  low-­â€?cost  hardware  tool,  to  give  you  a  feel   for  how  you  might  use  something  similar  to   calibrate  your  monitor. ‘Â?•‹†‡”–Š‡Â?‘Â?‹–‘”ǯ• capabilities Before  diving  into  the  minutiae   of  monitor  calibration,  I’ll  talk  a  bit  about   displays  themselves.  At  first  blush,  it’s   a  great  time  to  be  a  computer  user:  Big,  


Computer  News  Middle  East


colour  resolution  of  8  bits  per  pixel,  since   such  a  display  is  capable  of  showing  over   16  million  simultaneous  colours.  A  few   monitors  capable  of  10  bits  per  pixel  are   shipping  now,  too. Most  of  the  higher-­�end  displays  that   support  8  bits  per  pixel  use  either  a  version   of  IPS  (in-­�plane  switching)  or  some  flavour   of  PVA  (patterned  vertical  alignment).   Both  technologies  are  more  costly  to   manufacture,  but  you  can  find  relatively   good,  24-­�inch  IPS-­�based  displays  for   around  $400.  The  point  isn’t  to  focus  on  the   LCD  tech  as  much  as  it  is  to  pay  attention  to   better  colour  depth.  

bright  displays  with  very  fast  response   times  cost  a  couple  hundred  dollars.  What’s   not  to  like? Well,  they  may  not  be  very  good.  Most   low-­�cost  LCD  screens  use  TN  (twisted   nematic)  technology.  The  response  time   of  TN  displays  can  be  fast,  but  most  of   these  monitors  are  limited  to  a  colour   depth  of  6  bits  per  pixel.  With  three  pixels   representing  the  red,  green,  and  blue   primary  colours,  this  means  the  number  of   simultaneous  colours  on  screen  is  limited   to  262,144.  Such  displays  simulate  higher   colour  depths  via  dithering-­�-­�a  process  that   digitally  simulates  greater  colour  depths   than  are  really  available.  That’s  why,  if   you’re  looking  at  an  image  with  finely   shaded  colour  gradations,  you  may  see   colour  banding. You  really  want  a  monitor  with  a

Set  the  colour  gamut You  often  see  higher-­�end   monitors  touted  as  having  wide   colour  gamuts.  Although  many   models  let  you  set  your  colour  gamut  of   choice  in  their  on-­�screen  menus  (aka  on-­� screen  displays),  some  high-­�end  30-­�inch   monitors  have  no  built-­�in  video-­�processing   chip.  If  that’s  the  case  with  your  monitor,   you  need  to  use  Windows’  display  controls   to  adjust  the  colour  gamut.  I’ll  give  you   a  closer  look  at  the  advanced  Windows   display  control  panels  shortly. A  good  rule  of  thumb  is  to  set  your   monitor’s  colour  gamut  to  match  your   target  output  device.  If  you’re  mostly   editing  photos  that  go  up  on  websites,   good  old  sRGB  works  just  fine,  even  though   it’s  “only�  78%  of  the  NTSC  colour  gamut.   If  your  printer  is  the  target  device,  you   may  want  to  set  a  higher  colour  gamut,   depending  on  the  printer  model.  But  then   you  have  to  worry  about  the  colour  settings   on  the  printer.  

Understand the  monitor   settings Before  diving  into  the  act  of   calibration,  it’s  worth  discussing  monitor   settings.  The  display  I’ll  be  using  as  an   example  is  the  HP  ZR30w.  This  monitor   lacks  a  built-­‐in  video  processor,  so  the  only   physical  adjustment  you  can  make  on  such   a  model  is  the  brightness  of  the  backlight.   You  handle  any  other  adjustment  through   the  graphics  card’s  software  controls.  AMD,   Nvidia,  and  Intel  all  offer  software  controls   to  tweak  colour  balance,  contrast,  and  so  on.   Most  monitors  do  have  built-­‐in  video   processors,  and  give  you  a  host  of  physical   controls  for  the  display.  This  can  lead  to   adjustment  confusion:  Do  you  use  the   monitor  controls  for  brightness,  contrast,   gamma,  colour,  and  so  on?  Or  do  you  use   the  graphics  card  control  panel? My  personal  preference  is  to  avoid   relying  on  the  monitor  controls.  I  prefer  to   put  the  monitor  at  some  standard  setting;   if,  for  instance,  it  has  a  default  setting  for   D6500  (which  means  a  colour  temperature   of  6500  kelvins),  I  use  that.  I  turn  the   brightness  and  contrast  down  fairly  low,   as  well;  if  I  have  the  option,  I’ll  set  the   brightness  level  to  roughly  200  cd/m2  ( you   may  see  this  setting  reported  on  some  sites   as  200  nits,  though  the  units  aren’t  exactly   the  same). If  you’re  working  with  an  automated   calibration  tool,  such  as  the  Spyder  3   Express  I’ll  use  as  an  example  later,   typically  it  will  load  all  the  calibration   data  into  the  graphics  card  instead  of  the   monitor.  Some  professional  calibration   tools  coupled  with  certain  professional-­‐ grade  displays  can  actually  adjust  the  LCD   panel  itself,  but  those  combinations  are   often  very  pricey-­‐-­‐though  they  do  ensure   very  accurate  calibration. If  a  monitor  doesn’t  offer  a  specific   colour  temperature  number,  I  usually  use   the  ‘warm’  setting.  I  also  alter  the  preset  to   something  like  ‘photographs’  or  ‘video’  if   those  presets  exist.  Beyond  that,  I  rely  on  

the graphics  card  control  panel. The  calibration  process  adjusts   your  monitor  to  settings  that  the  tool   determines  are  accurate.  This  basic  tool   doesn’t  allow  any  manual  tweaks,  so  you’ll   need  to  choose  a  more  expensive  model  if   you  want  to  be  more  involved. Web  tools  to  try Web-­‐based  calibration  tools   are  also  available,  though   most  of  them  require  even  more  manual   adjustment  than  the  Windows  method   does.  Websites  such  as  Display  Calibration   let  you  work  with  test  patterns  and   examples  of  what  a  correct  image  should   look  like;  to  calibrate  from  them,  however,   you’ll  need  to  become  intimately  familiar   with  either  your  monitor  controls  or  your   graphics  card  control  panel. Whether  you  use  the  Windows  method   or  Web-­‐based  tools,  the  process  is  manual   and  requires  heavy  use  of  your  own  eyes.   Of  course,  the  problem  with  eyes  is  that   they  vary  in  capability-­‐-­‐and  if  you’re  even   slightly  colour  blind,  visually  calibrating   your  display  becomes  difficult. Thankfully  a  host  of  automated   calibration  tools  exist,  ranging  in  cost  from   $80  to  thousands  of  dollars.  Certainly,  if   you’re  a  professional  photographer  or   videographer,  you’ll  spend  what  you  need   to  get  the  tools  necessary  for  precise   calibration.  Most  people,  though,  can   get  by  with  less  expensive  tools  such  as   Datacolour’s  Spyder  3  Express. Buy  an  automated  tool  for   simple  calibration The  Spyder  3  Express  costs  from   $80  to  $100,  and  fully  automates   the  calibration  task.  It’s  just  one  example  of   a  simpler  tool;  if  you  want  more  precision   and  a  higher  level  of  control,  you  need  to   invest  more  money. For  now,  ensure  that  your  monitor  is   warmed  up  (leave  it  running  for  at  least  30   minutes)  and  that  you  have  installed  the   latest  drivers  for  your  graphics  card.

 Using  the  Spyder  3  is  quite  easy.  First,   install  the  calibration  software.  Launch   the  software,  and  let  it  walk  you  through   setup  and  calibration.  Connect  the  puck  to   a  USB  port,  and  hang  the  puck  from  the  top   of  your  display,  aligning  the  puck  with  the   outline  that  the  SpyderExpress  calibration   software  displays.  The  puck  has  a  suction   cup  for  attaching  to  the  surface  of  your   monitor;  you  should  occasionally  tap  it  to   maintain  the  suction. After  you  click  the  Next  button,  just  sit   back  and  let  the  calibration  run. Once  installed  with  the  puck  in   place,  the  calibration  software  measures   the  output  from  the  display,  and  sets  it   accordingly. The  calibration  process  adjusts   your  monitor  to  settings  that  the  tool   determines  are  accurate.  This  basic  tool   doesn’t  allow  any  manual  tweaks,  so  you’ll   need  to  choose  a  more  expensive  model  if   you  want  to  be  more  involved. In  my  experience,  the  photographs  I’m   editing  these  days  look  correct,  now  that   I’ve  done  a  proper  monitor  calibration.   Having  a  correctly  calibrated  monitor   helped  me  discover  that  Photoshop’s   Camera  Raw  application  often  blows  out   the  highlights  of  my  photographs  by  setting   the  brightness  too  high.  Now  I  can  see  how   garish  the  changes  are,  and  dial  them  back   accordingly. In  my  experience,  the  photographs  I’m   editing  these  days  look  correct,  now  that   I’ve  done  a  proper  monitor  calibration.   Having  a  correctly  calibrated  monitor   helped  me  discover  that  Photoshop’s   Camera  Raw  application  often  blows  out   the  highlights  of  my  photographs  by  setting   the  brightness  too  high.  Now  I  can  see  how   garish  the  changes  are,  and  dial  them  back   accordingly. The  bottom  line:  If  you’re  interested   in  photography  or  video,  calibrate  your   display.  Even  if  all  you  do  is  the  basic   Windows  calibration,  it’s  still  better  than   simply  staring  at  weird-­‐looking  images  and   wondering  what’s  wrong.    


Computer News  Middle  East


Last word

Next issue


Planning for 2012

Redefine data management and analytics

December 2011

It is  the  end  of  the  year.  And  the  next  one   promises,  to  be  much  tougher,  than  the  one   past.  So  what  are  CIOs  and  IT  managers   planning  on?  What  investments  do  they   consider  key  across  verticals,  and  how  are   they  planning  on  making  good  their  spend   on  the  latest  in  solutions?  CNME  gets  some   answers.

Systems integrators Much of  the  success  of  any  project   depends  to  a  large  extent  on  the  skill  and   experience  of  the  systems  integrators  who   put  it  together  at  an  enterprise  end.  CNME   explores  how  Middle  East  organisations   choose  their  SI  partners,  and  what  they   would  like  to  see  from  them  in  terms  of   improvement  in  the  next  year.

14 November  2011 Beach  Rotana  Hotel,  Abu  Dhabi registration-­‐abudhabi.php

Logistics and transportation Remote data  collection  and  information   transit  gains  new  importance  in  this   industry.  Logistics  and  transportation,  a   vertical  of  key  importance  in  the  trade-­‐ hub  countries  of  the  Middle  East,  might   maintain  a  skeletal  IT  infrastructure   and    a  lean  headquarters  set  up,  but   their  requirements  from  technology  are   ‘Ž‡••ϐ‹‡”–Šƒƒ›‘–Š‡”‹†—•–”›ǯ•Ǥ CNME  researches  their  requirements   and  peculiarities  in  IT  usage.

Bust the myth – unified communications revealed 16 November  2011 Emirates  Palace,  Abu  Dhabi fvc/161111/registration.php

Sustainable ICT 2011 21st November  2011   Jumeirah  Beach  Hotel,  Dubai  

What we’re reading The Anywhere Leader


Best Practices Are Stupid

By Mike Thompson

By Stephen M. Shapiro

Book The economic crisis and its far-reaching side effects have put business leaders to the test. Author Mike Thompson, CEO of organizational development company SVI, says anyone in business should be able to rise above uncertainty and disruption. Thompson delves into a number of case studies, including Toms shoes and Johnson aanndd Johnson, that demonstrate qualities that “anywhere” leaders possess—qualities such as uniting employees using enlightening initiatives and culture. The Anywhere Leader: How to Lead and Succeed in Any Business Environment (Wiley)

Book This unconventional guide provides strategies for fostering innovation. Shapiro, formerly of Accenture, says most leaders inadvertently suffocate creativity by following tired formulas. His suggestions? Hiring people you don’t like, not asking for ideas, and going above and beyond thinking outside the box. Doing the unexpected is the key to bright ideas, he says. Each chapter concludes with statements like, “When the pace of change outside your organization is greater than the pace of change within, you will be eaten.” Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to OutInnovate the Competition (Portfolio Penguin)

Computer News  Middle  East



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