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INSIDE Top industry vendors and top executives

PA G E S 8 8 VOLUME O9  |  ISSUE 01 OCTOBER 2021 W W W. E C - M E A . C O M

GITEX 2021

BRIDGING VENDORS AND CHANNEL PARTNERS

How this VAD will be engaging with channel partner visitors at Gitex 2021. PHILIPPE JARRE CEO Mindware

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MANAGING DIRECTOR TUSHAR SAHOO TUSHAR@GECMEDIAGROUP.COM EDITOR ARUN SHANKAR ARUN@GECMEDIAGROUP.COM

The digital epoch has just begun

CEO RONAK SAMANTARAY RONAK@GECMEDIAGROUP.COM GLOBAL HEAD, CONTENT AND STRATEGIC ALLIANCES ANUSHREE DIXIT ANUSHREE@GECMEDIAGROUP.COM

ARUN SHANKAR, EDITOR A R U N @ G E C M E D I A G R O U P. C O M

In the nineties, three vendors were instrumental in creating the PC epoch. Those were IBM, Microsoft and Intel. All the three exist today, but they are not all equally building what is clearly today and tomorrow’s digital epoch. The nineties were focused on building PC and server boxes of all types and combinations. Today, as we look at the lineup of the industry’s top players, in this edition of EC, coinciding with Gitex 2021, one is reminded of the same type of hustle and bustle of the nineties, but this time around it is for building digital properties of all types. A closer look at the activity levels and it is not difficult to surmise that the digital epoch has really just begun. A key objective of Dell Technologies today is to provide enterprises with a secure path to adopt hybrid cloud. The vendor’s solutions provide an operating model across private clouds, public clouds, edge locations, while reducing complexity of multiple clouds. It is similar work in progress for Amazon Web Services as it builds availability zone around the world to allow businesses to migrate to its hosted platforms. AWS has announced it will launch platforms in UAE, to be available in the first half of 2022. Equinix is trying to interconnect global service providers of all sorts in the most neutral and effective manner. The Equinix ecosystem includes thousands of businesses and network, cloud, and SaaS service providers, interconnected by Equinix Fabric private network. Red Hat is building open systems that allow applications to run from any environment using container like shells. The ability to run applications without having to rebuild, or retrain, is the outcome of implementing an open hybrid cloud strategy. Living inside this digital bubble we are enamoured by the innovation and activities taking place, but in reality, these are the very early beginnings of a long and drawn-out digital epoch morphing into a highly connected, highly efficient and highly accountable digital society. As part of the upcoming Gitex 2021 opportunity, tier one channel partners are also morphing their sell out community to embrace the fundamentals of digital computing and digital platforms. Says Mindware’s Philippe Jarr, our aim at Gitex is to act as the bridge between our vendors and partners. Mindware’s theme at Gitex 2021 is business continuity, and how Mindware can help thrive and emerge out of Covid-19 era. It will showcase numerous new-technology messages to support the next generation of business resilience. Gitex 2021 and Dubai Expo2020 are really the first large scale in-person events inside UAE to move business communities into alignment, after close to 18+ months of dislocated virtual workings. With this the immediate future could not look brighter. Wishing our audience, a smooth path to recovery. See you all at GEC Awards and Gitex 2021. ë

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CONTENTS OCTOBER 2021

VOLUME 09

ISSUE 01

31-61

INDUSTRY SPECIAL

Top Industry Players and Executives ALCATEL LUCENT ENTERPRISE Communication, collaboration, connectivity, cloud

26-29 \ COVER STORY

OUR AIM AT GITEX IS TO ACT AS THE BRIDGE BETWEEN OUR VENDORS AND PARTNERS 03

EDITOR’S PAGE

22-24

CHANNEL

AWS UAE to be second Middle East region after Bahrain DELL TECHNOLOGIES Providing enterprises a secure path to adopt hybrid cloud EQUINIX Interconnecting digital businesses, services, solutions HPE Powering ahead with GreenLake edge to cloud platform

76-77

ANALYSTS CORNER

63-67 13-16

PRODUCTS

GITEX 2021

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EVENTS

REAL LIFE

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80-85

GUEST COLUMN 86

PEOPLE

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INFOR Cloud based ERP for process and distribution industries NETAPP Storage for private clouds and public cloud file storage ORACLE Oracle racing ahead in IaaS and most complete SaaS PURE STORAGE Flexible storage consumption across on-premises and cloud REDHAT Flexibility to run apps across any computing environment RIVERBED Modernising networks with software-defined architecture SALESFORCE Cloud Digital HQ to connect employees, customers, partners

07 VIEWPOINT Remote workers follow risky security behavior

09 VIEWPOINT Democratising transformation by bridging the IT divide

11 VIEWPOINT Running an IT help desk in a hybrid world

SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC Driving digital transformation of energy management SERVICENOW Unified foundation for enterprise digital workflows SOFTWARE AG Focusing on transformation, integration, API management

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VIEWPOINT

REMOTE WORKERS FOLLOW RISKY SECURITY BEHAVIOR Remote workers are following risky behavior at home and coupled with increased phishing threats, continuous awareness programs are essential.

G

lobal and regional threat actors continue to exploit human engineering in order to penetrate an organisation’s cyber defense. Real life impersonation through frequent emails, HTML emailers, embedded links, can trick users into believing that the communication is real and authentic. Well written messages leverage spontaneous human actions getting users into clicking through calls for action. The tendency of users to follow through calls for action, even if they are on bordering on the edge of plausibility, have got further accentuated in these post pandemic months. Work at home has isolated remote working teams, with insufficient peers around to seek advice. With teams fragmented, threat actors have further chosen to attack individual workers, through impersonation and other click baits, allowing threat actors to penetrate enterprise defenses. With increasing vaccination rates, organisations are keen to bring back remote workers and integrate them as hybrid workers or regular office workers. But there are concerns on both sides, that is from security administrators and returning employees. Recent research by security vendor Tessian indicates that security heads are aware of challenges related to the impact on business once employees come back to the office. 56% of IT leadership believe employees have adopted incorrect cybersecurity behavior while working from home. 54% are worried remote workers will bring infected devices and malware into the office. 1 in 3 employees think they can get away with riskier security behavior when working remotely and 40% employees plan to bring their personal device into the office. While the device issue is easy to fix, changing remote employee behavior from risky to less risky, requires continuous education and awareness campaigns. When we use the term insider threat, the usual connotation is a malicious employee working against the organisation. But lack of security awareness coupled with accidental errors by employees on a day-to-day basis, are a much higher occurrence, adding to inside threats. According to research by Egress, 84% of breaches were caused by human error and 74% were caused by employees breaking security protocols. Email remains the most concerning conduit for 64% of IT leaders. Nearly one-third of IT leaders cite lack of security awareness training as the likely cause of a data breach. Having employees receive continuous

RANJITH KAIPPADA,

Managing Director at Cloud Box Technologies.

54%

are worried remote workers will bring infected devices and malware into the office

updates on the latest phishing scams, social engineering tactics, helps to keep them in a state of vigilance that protects the organisation from email-based threats. Research from Trend Micro and Osterman Research indicate where organisations are strongest and weakest at stopping phishing attacks resulting in ransomware. One part of the problem is how well organisations can stop attacks that leverage employee communications. Amongst the most effective ways for organisations to protect against phishing threats is training end users on detecting and addressing phishing and social engineering. Research has shown that at any point of time, approximately 38% of employees within an organisation, will generally fail a phishing test and, therefore, the real thing. Some organisations approach security and phishing awareness training as a routine once a month or once a quarter. ë

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VIEWPOINT

DEMOCRATISING TRANSFORMATION BY BRIDGING THE IT DIVIDE Overworked IT departments who have so far driven digital advancement could now prove to be the bottleneck in innovation roadmaps.

RAHUL BHAGEERADHAN,

A

ccelerated digital transformation has rightly elevated the role of the CIO, and outside the boardroom as well, IT decision makers and teams now play a direct and impactful part in driving business and revenues. Indeed, to a large extent, the onus of digital transformation remains entrusted to the IT department. After all, who better to know which technologies to invest in than professionals who have their finger on the pulse of the rapidly advancing IT space. But we are fast approaching an inflection point. Overworked IT departments who have so far driven digital advancement could now prove to be the bottleneck in innovation roadmaps. Add to this the 50 billion digital skills gaps that the UAE is expected to experience by 2030 and a strong case can be made for the innovation to be opened up to stakeholders who reside outside of the realm of traditional IT. A major challenge for IT is to constantly meet the changing needs of the business. The inherently dynamic nature of processes demands continuous optimisation and turns out to be a bottleneck for business, especially if IT can’t deliver applications on time. Low-code platforms are emerging as the answer to this challenge, providing multiple environments for business and DevOps teams to test, build, deploy and modify applications collaboratively. A comprehensive Low-code platform offers the means of both visual programming and coding capability. For usability reasons, these tools are clearly separated and presented to the development team in a way that allows citizen developers, and business users - who are most commonly the domain experts, to use the visual components and developers to work on adding custom code to extend the capabilities of the application. While it remains true that a complex app still requires the expertise of an experienced professional developer, Low-code platforms allow setting the tone for an app, or building, modifying its basic functionalities to be carried out by business users and citizen developers. IT teams are now positioned to enable their organisations to achieve greater productivity and profitability. By setting out a self-serve model using a Low-code platform, they can enable citizen developers to build custom apps, employees to use portals at their convenience, and IT to create dashboards for visibility across the organisation. For IT leaders, Low-code platforms provide an opportunity to empower

Global Director, Digital Architecture, Kissflow.

They provide environments for business and DevOps teams to test, build, deploy and modify applications collaboratively

non-technical staff with strategic insights and recommend solutions that best suit business goals, mitigating risks and offering budgeting strategies, rather than just being a facilitator of technology. And while IT will always remain instrumental to digital transformation and the smooth running of underlying technology environments, innovation now needs to be democratised. Low-code platforms pave the way for citizen developers. By empowering all stakeholders to contribute to the digital journey, businesses can set themselves on the fastest and most costeffective path to digital transformation. ë

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VIEWPOINT

RUNNING AN IT HELP DESK IN A HYBRID WORLD Infrastructure and operations leaders must adapt how they provide IT support to enable both business and IT to work outside of the office.

H

ere are some ways that you can ensure vital IT support channels remain open, and the service desk evolves to meet the changing needs of your enterprise, both during the pandemic and after the eventual return to normal. During periods of lockdown, IT support staff cannot be physically onsite, which means IT service desks need to be staffed differently. Make it your goal to re-create a remote version of the IT service desk analyst’s workstation to limit any disruption of service. Most service-level agreements SLAs that cover IT support are inflexible — they usually outline target response and resolve times of one, four and eight hours for high, medium and standard priority requests, respectively. Business consumers who use remote services and home-based equipment require more support, even though the supply is limited. The increase in demand, potential unavailability of staff and the need to support unfamiliar applications and devices means that SLA targets are often not met. Rather than focusing on target resolution times, offer a new, temporary SLA describing how the I&O support organisation will respond at this time. Take the opportunity to identify or reconfirm which business functions are critical, which IT services they use and which business consumers will be using them. Make sure that the IT service desk staff working from home or office understands this information and is ready to use it to correctly prioritise incidents and requests. As a result of the introduction of new services and technology, many I&O leaders are seeing a spike in demand for support. While this demand peaked at the onset of the pandemic, it’s expected to remain generally elevated, especially as some workers return to offices. You can quickly reduce demand on Level 1 phone-based contact channels by providing asynchronous Level 1 contact methods, such as live chat or email for low-priority issues. These are easier than contact center telephone queues to access remotely and can keep phone lines clear for urgent issues. This can also reduce phone costs for remote employees when VoIP is not available. Relieve further pressure on the IT service desk by starting or accelerating Level 0 contact channel programs, such as peer support and selfservice. One of the benefits of peer support via collaborative platforms is that everyone in the organisation can see the question, responses and, ultimately, the answer.

CHRIS MATCHETT,

Senior Director Analyst, Gartner.

Most service-level agreements that cover IT support are inflexible

This effectively turns the collaborative platform into a crowdsourced knowledge base written in business language. This can help deflect similar questions from Level 1 support, easing demand on IT support teams and bringing the solution closer to the business consumer for faster resolution. It’s imperative you anticipate the long-term changes brought about by the pandemic. Eventually, IT service desks will be dealing with the backlog of lower-priority incidents, requests and problems, putting longer-term pressure on their capacity to address the constant intake of issues. Bring your own device BYOD will also be prevalent, and more business consumers will work remotely full or part-time even after their offices reopen. This presents an opportunity for you, presuming you are prepared to manage out of the turns. Business consumers will come to rely on alternative support channels after employees return to the office. They may also learn to be more self-sufficient in resolving their IT issues when working from home and/or waiting longer for IT support. This opens the door to getting buy-in and engagement on peer support initiatives. ë

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EVENTS

Gitex 2021 the run up to the

event picks up pace AVEVA

Together with its strategic partner, Schneider Electric, AVEVA will demonstrate its AVEVA Unified Operations Centre for Smart Cities, which seamlessly integrates systems, sites, people, and assets for cities of the future, at the Middle East’s largest technology exhibition. AVEVA’s Unified Operations Centre for Smart Cities and Schneider Electric’s IoT-enabled sustainability platform, EcoStruxure Resource Advisor offer smart city operators a powerful solution. The EcoStruxure Resource Advisor is a best-in-class, AI-assisted, cloudbased solution for managing cross-enterprise energy and sustainability data, which shows how operators can track data across more than 400 categories to have near real-time access to their resource performance.

NETSCOUT

NETSCOUT is a market leader in cybersecurity, service assurance, and business analytics, and as well as presenting its Omnis Cybersecurity platform, NETSCOUT will focus on the ways in which the pandemic has changed corporate digital infrastructures, and the new normal means businesses must bring cybersecurity in line with this expanded threat surface. Omnis Cybersecurity delivers advanced threat detection and response through comprehensive network visibility, highly contextual investiga-

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tion, and automated mitigation at the network edge. NETSCOUT will provide information at the show as to how this supports the ongoing digital transformation for its customers, helping them to avoid the serious consequences of a future cyberattack.

Commvault

Participating in the technology event for the 5th year running, Commvault is placing a keen focus on showcasing its Metallic Cloud Storage Service at this year’s edition of Gitex. Following robust demand for intelligent data management systems from local organisations, Commvault will be displaying Metallic, its pioneering backup-as-a-solution offering, at Gitex. The solution is a fully integrated cloud storage target for Commvault Backup and Recovery software and HyperScale X appliance, with a single pane of glass management through the Commvault Command Centre. Reiterating its commitment to the region, Commvault has appointed Fady Richmany as Regional Vice President of South-Eastern Europe, Middle East, Turkey, and Africa. Taking responsibility for multiple high growth national markets ranging from South-Eastern Europe all the way to South Africa, Fady brings over 30 years of experience in the IT sector, including critical industry insight, long-established relationships within the tech ecosystem, and vast experience from numerous senior general manager leadership roles with global technology organisations.


EVENTS

Cloud Box Technologies

For the first time this year, the company will be participating at Gitex Technology Week 2021. As a Platinum Partner of Dell, they will be focusing on Dell EMC PowerStore Storage as well as the advanced Dell EMC VxRail Hyperconverged Infrastructure solution at the event. Partnering with best of breed vendors has enabled Cloud Box Technologies to be a trusted Systems Integrator to a diverse set of customers across different industries, including, healthcare, banking and finance, retail, manufacturing, etc. Additionally, the company has been recognised for its strong capabilities and experienced team that have been able to work with customers to provide tailor-made solutions to meet their business objectives.

Pure Storage

Pure Storage announced Pure Fusion, an industry-first self-service, an autonomous storage platform that marries the best of enterprise storage with the agility and scalability of the cloud. Pure Fusion delivers a SaaS management plane that pools storage arrays into availability zones and automates previously complex tasks such as workload placement, workload mobility, and fleet rebalancing. It also includes a new API framework that enables both storage teams and end-users to operate in an on-demand, storage-as-code model that integrates with the developer tools they use today. Pure Fusion delivers a new infinite scale-out storage model that unifies arrays and optimises storage pools on the fly, bringing the simplicity of the cloud operating model anywhere with on-demand consumption and back-end provisioning. End-users will be able to rapidly consume volumes, file systems, and advanced data services like replication without waiting for back-end manual work, making hardware truly invisible.

ManageEngine

The company will use Gitex 2021 as a platform to launch its new endpoint data leak prevention tool under its unified endpoint security offerings, along with new intelligent ransomware prevention capabilities as an add-on to ManageEngine’s flagship endpoint management solution, Desktop Central. At the event, ManageEngine will also focus on its best-in-class IT management solutions and its wide range of IT security solutions that can help organisations enhance their operational efficiency and strengthen their security infrastructure, respectively.

AHAD

The company will provide its customers with actionable threat intelligence to help them make informed decisions against threat actors to keep their organisation secure. The brand will also deliver insights on the hardest-to-reach corners of the threat landscape through its threat intelligence services that include surface web, deepweb, and darkweb solutions. Equipped with unique, contextualised intelligence, organisations can secure themselves at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. Through the launch of its Digital Brand Protection Services at Gitex, AHAD aims to address this precise need-gap by making robust

security solutions more accessible, affordable, and available to businesses. This latest range of services will save businesses from financial losses, brand damage, and online abuse and aggressively track and take down Phishing sites, Malware sites, fake domain, impersonating social media Profiles and fake Mobile Apps.

Huawei

Huawei’s presence this year reflects how industrial digital transformation is becoming more sophisticated as it reaches an advanced stage characterised by the digitalisation of both support and core production systems. The company’s agenda will include a showcase of end-toend industry digital transformation solutions as well as future-oriented ICT infrastructure. This includes the Huawei Cloud capabilities, and how organisations can use the cloud to support technology grounding in various application scenarios. The company will also examine the visionary investments by Middle East organisations in 5G infrastructure, and how leading telecom operators are improving connectivity-based experiences for individuals, families, and enterprises.

Redington Value

Through Redington Value’s cloud services portfolio, regional customers can leverage industry best practices and global standards of consulting, professional and managed services on cloud technologies. The CloudQuarks track features the distributor’s Intelligent Cloud Management Platform TrackMyCloud. TrackMyCloud by Redington simplifies monitoring and optimisation of spending, done on managing the cloud infrastructure. The vendoragnostic and user-friendly platform allows partners to build their cloud capabilities and expand their value-added services for customers. Channel partners are equipped with end-to-end resources to help customers modernise their IT environments with Redington’s cloud services. TrackMyCloud operates across three primary focus areas, Cloud Management Platform, Professional Services and Managed Services. Regional customers can take advantage of Redington consultants’ deep know-how on cloud computing, data analytics, information and cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to derive maximum value across all aspects of their cloud investments.

Focus Softnet

Focus Softnet, announced the global launch of its next-generation ERP solution- Focus X at Gitex Technology Week 2021. Featuring in-memory computing, industry-ready templates, available on the mobile and thin client, Focus X empowers organisations with artificially intelligent and futuristic applications, artificial intelligence and machine-learning driven statistics, predictive analysis, and forecasting. Focus X also includes an advanced artificial intelligence engine that sets it apart from conventional ERP, as it allows users to communicate with ERP and ask it to perform tasks such as fetching data, documents, reports etc. The artificial intelligence-based predictive analysis would help many vertical industries in forecasting sales, manufacturing, and stock requirements with over 101 algorithms to suit even the most unique business requirements.

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EVENTS

Gitex 2020: How i

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EVENTS

it was in pictures

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EVENTS

GCF, Atos, Nvidia host summit on high performance computing Global CIO Forum in association with Atos and Nvidia organised a virtual summit on Transforming Artificial Intelligence and HighPerformance Computing landscape on 16th September 2021. The event was focused on how high-performance computing is now a part of weather forecasting, energy exploration, fluid dynamics, life sciences, amongst others. Simulations are fusing artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, big data analytics, edge-computing to solve tomorrows problems of science and the world. The event was streamed live from the Global CIO Forum virtual arena. The virtual event on Transforming Artificial Intelligence and HPC landscape was moderated by Arun Shankar, Editor, GEC Media Group with speakers Dr Cedric Bourrasset, High Performance Computing and Artificial Intelligence Global Business Development, Mehdi Kasmi, Global Head of Sales and Vertical Offers, Edges and Artificial Intelligence, Atos and Timothy Lanfear, Director, Solution Architecture and Engineering EMEA, Nvidia. Here are some highlights of the speakers at Transforming Artificial Intelligence and High-performance computing landscape virtual event.

Advancements in HPC

Dr Cedric Bourrasset, High Performance Computing and Artificial

Intelligence Global Business Development talked about advancements in high performance computing and highlighted design and assemble customised solutions to match real world expectations in his presentation.

Future of Artificial Intelligence and Edge Computing

Mehdi Kasmi, Global Head of Sales and Vertical Offers, Edges and Artificial Intelligence, Atos discussed the full range of edge computing servers from edge data center or cloud to far edge and present computer vision offering well recognised on the market. He also talked about how edge computing plays a vital role in artificial intelligence.

Unique demands of Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning Solutions

Timothy Lanfear, Director, Solution Architecture and Engineering EMEA, Nvidia highlighted 25 years of computing acceleration and new computing and said that the world of high-performance computing is very different today and networking is a key aspect of any computing design these days. The event was concluded with an interactive question and answer session and closing note by the speakers.

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EVENTS

Channel Partners Conclave and Awards opens nominations for in-person event on 9 Dec Channel Partners Conclave and Awards officially announced the opening of award nominations for the region’s top channel awards 2021 in association with Zarks Media and GEC Media Group and brought to you by Brand Voize. CPCA roadshow will be held in-person at Rixos Premium Dubai JBR and streamed live from the Global CIO Forum virtual arena on 9th December. The Channel Partners Conclave and Awards have six different awards categories including top MENA distributor award, top MENA System integrator award, top MENA resellers and var award, top MENA training institutes awards, most innovative vendor partner programme, and most innovative system integrator project. The hybrid event and region’s biggest channel awards are likely to witness 5,000+ attendees for CPCA 2021 MENA. CPCA event will be focusing on bringing channel partners up to steam in multiple areas including the latest digital technologies, regional economic trends, tools for channel partners to build their solutions stacks, value additions, cross-sells and loyalty and many more.

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The attendees of CPCA event will be distributors, system integrators, resellers, partners, MSSPs, Cloud service providers, Consultants and specialists, service providers and many more. The event will also organise live sessions with top keynote speakers on global and regional dynamics and trends across the IT channel, setting the standard in channel excellence for business models and services, what the regional channel industry needs to know about trade and exports, latest changes in certifications, levels, benefits, offered in select vendor partner programmes and latest technologies and products for channel solution stack and value adds in the cloud, infrastructure, storage, security, big data and analytics. The event will be organised with all the safety guidelines announced by the Emirates of Dubai. Brand Voize is a creative and marketing agency offering a unique approach aided by advance marketing technologies that help brands cut out the clutter of noise with a clear, distinct tone to effectively differentiate the voice of your brand enabling it to stand apart from the competition.


EVENTS

Venue Partner

PARTICIPANTS

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GEC

CORPORATE CHAMPIONSHIP

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ESM is official venue partner for GEC Tech+ Championship GEC Media Group announced ESM as the official venue partner for the much-anticipated Tech+ Championship 2021 to be held in Dubai. GEC Tech+ Championship will raise the curtain in October and will be held at GEMS Modern Academy, Nad Al Sheba. This event is the information technology industry’s first corporate multi sports challenge. It will challenge participating corporates to excel as a team and rise above their competition with skill, collaboration, professionalism, and sportsmanship. ESM is the largest sports facility management group in the United Arab Emirates and is responsible for regulating a variety of professional sports and enrichment programmes for every age group and delivers full event management services in a safe environment. Their main objective is to ensure all sports content and activities is delivered at the highest level and to enjoyed by all users. Speaking on the new collaboration, Ronak Samantaray, CEO, GEC Media Group said, “We are pleased to announce this partnership with key players in the sports facility management space, namely ESM. GEC Media Group has adopted a corporate wellness and fitness approach in the last 24 months, well before the onset of the pandemic. For business executives taking time out to meet the rest of the industry in a spirit of competitive fair play sports, is part of the de-stress approach that is being increasingly advocated and adopted by key human resource and wellness leaders. GEC Media Group will continue to play a key role in this area through Tech Plus Championship, Reboot, and other upcoming fair play, competitive sports initiatives.” James Bowring, Commercial Director, ESM commented, “We really

believe in this initiative as it is great move forward for the tech industry to provide a high-quality sporting stage for the many individuals who work in this sector. The teams will have a vast range of sports to choose from and we are proud to host many of the events in our venue as the ‘Official Venue Partner’. Our business is underpinned by integrated online systems, developed by our in-house team and they cannot wait to compete in the competition with like-minded individuals”. GEC Tech+ Championship supports businesses and employees to achieve a better work life balance, boost productivity and company performance, foster health, fitness, and happiness in the workplace, reduce health care and insurance premiums, increase brand engagement and loyalty, raise company morale through team building, promote brands, and network with like-minded professionals. GEC Tech+ Championship 2021 earlier also announced Dubai Eye and CITY 101.6 as the official Radio Partner, Toshiba and Kioxia as title sponsors, Al Ain Farms as official refreshment partner and Prime Healthcare as healthcare partner. The championship will host over 13 different sports and activities plus loads of food and beverages and entertainment avenues for everyone to have a great time out. The one-month long action-packed sports and networking event will witness over 3,000 participants, 13 sports activities, federation accredited officials, live updates of matches and scoring, world class venues, healthy food and beverages, joy village for family and kids, awards and team recognitions, and CSR activities. The face-to-face event to be organised with all the safety guidelines announced by the Emirates of Dubai.

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EVENTS

GCF, Microland, Securonix hold virtual meet on evolving ransomware On 15th September, Global CIO Forum in association with Microland and Securonix organised a virtual summit on Beyond Ransomware - Best Practices for Smart Security Operations and to build Cyber Resilient Future. In a ransomware attack, cyber extortionists deploy malicious software to infiltrate computer systems and encrypt data, holding it hostage until the victim pays a ransom. Ransomware can have an even bigger impact on an organisation than a data breach, but Gartner research estimates that more than 90% of ransomware attacks are preventable. The Beyond Ransomware event was moderated by Arun Shankar, Editor, GEC Media Group with speakers Ravi Saxena, Head Customer Success – Middle East in Microland, Vasudev Surabhi, Director Cybersecurity in Microland, Bala Ramanan B AVP, Risk and Compliance in Microland and Augusto Barros, Vice-President Solutions Marketing in Securonix. Here are the highlights of Beyond Ransomware event:

Ravi Saxena, Head Customer Success – Middle East at Microland

Ravi Saxena, Head Customer Success – Middle East, Microland started the session with a quick briefing of their global presence and focus on transformation led operations.

Vasudev Surabhi, Director Cybersecurity at Microland

Vasudev Surabhi, Director Cybersecurity at Microland explained the latest insights on the evolving nature of ransomware and challenges faced by CISOs by zero-day attacks.

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Bala Ramanan B, AVP, Risk and Compliance at Microland

Bala Ramanan B, AVP, Risk and Compliance at Microland emphasised cyberattacks and their impact on every organisation and shared some ideas of how to deal with them.

Augusto Barros, Vice-President Solutions Marketing at Securonix Augusto Barros, Vice-President Solutions Marketing at Securonix talked about how high-profile attacks targeting critical national and government establishments are increased in the last few months and how to get rid of them. Many organisations end up paying a major amount of money to their attackers, often through cyber-insurance protection, but the long-term effect is likely to be a greater number of ransomware attacks. Instead of building ransomware payments into the budget, organisations should focus on preparation and early mitigation. CISOs and security leaders can focus on ransomware response actions. Beyond Ransomware virtual event was concluded with an interactive question and answer session.


EVENTS

GCF partners with AWS, Zero&One to hold CIO meet on cloud migration On 14th September, Global CIO Forum in association with AWS and Zero&One organised an in-person roundtable event on Cloud- Elevate to Innovate at Dubai’s premier golfing arena at The Top Golf. The event was focused on how to overcome the challenges of cloud migration and benefits of moving to the AWS platform. Presently, the hybrid cloud ecosystem is evolving to a point where private cloud, public cloud co-exists with on-premises IT infrastructure. As well as the benefits of adopting the AWS cloud platform and leveraging the services of a certified cloud partner. Cloud- Elevate to Innovate event was moderated by Arun Shankar, Editor, GEC Media Group, and keynote speakers were Harish Dunakhe, Director, Research – Software Programme, IDC, Rached Dabboussi, Head of Sales, Middle East, and North Africa at AWS, Ashwani Kumar, Business Development, AWS Migration Acceleration Programme, EMEA and Ali El Kontar, Founder and CEO, Zero&One. The face-to-face event was started with lunch and networking at The Top Golf and attended by the 20 CIOs. Here are the highlights of the speakers at Cloud- Elevate to Innovate event.

Hybrid Cloud: The Platform for Innovation in the Next Normal

Speaking at the event, Harish Dunakhe, Director, Research – Software Programme, IDC highlighted the trends of cloud adoption and provide the audience with practical insights that can be applied in your IT environment. Harish also spoke about benefits of cloud adoption, a few challenges such as lack of talent availability and inability of organisations

to create a cloud adoption road map are also seen to be emerging.

Reinvent your business with AWS

Rached Dabboussi, Head of Sales, Middle East and North Africa at AWS discussed how moving applications, data, and workloads to the cloud provides the flexibility you need to reinvent your business.

How to accelerate your cloud migration and modernisation journey with an outcome-driven methodology

While addressing the session, Ashwani Kumar, Business Development, AWS Migration Acceleration Programme, EMEA provided insights into Migration Acceleration Programme’s value proposition including the tools that reduce costs and automate and accelerate execution, tailored training approaches, a global partner ecosystem, and AWS investment.

Case Study: Customer Journey to the Cloud

Ali El Kontar, Founder and CEO, Zero&One shared the after math of an all-in migration for one of their Enterprise customers as well as how Zero&One helped to accelerate the journey. The Cloud- Elevate to Innovate event concluded with an interactive question and answer session, participants also received special giveaways at the end of the session. The face-to-face event was organised with all the safety guidelines announced by the Emirates of Dubai.

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CHANNEL

AVEVA’s Operations Control available through AVEVA Flex as single subscription AVEVA, a global industrial software, driving digital transformation and sustainability, has announced that it will be making its Operations Control solutions available as a single subscription for the first time. This redefines the industrial software experience, going beyond Human Machine Interface, HMI, and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, SCADA, enabling industrial organisations of all sizes to develop collaborative workforces, scale effectively, and optimise operations for agility and efficiency. From Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT, architectures and cloud-driven remote edge management to multi-site supervisory control, AVEVA Operations Control software will be available via a flexible user-centric model, through the AVEVA Flex subscription programme in three core packages: Edge, Supervisory and Enterprise. These core solutions provide all the necessary tools for plant, field, control room, and enterprise teams to drive actionable information, collaborate effectively, and accelerate operational excellence. The programme also offers access to add-on functionality with AVEVA Manufacturing Execution, and AVEVA Insight for advanced

KERRY GRIMES, Head of Global Partners, AVEVA.

Artificial Intelligence, AI, and workflow management. AVEVA’s new Operations Control software subscriptions now allow end customers to use all of its products, the way they want to use them. AVEVA Operations Control offers an infinite range of possibilities for companies to connect operations and workers via the cloud, web and mobile to drive efficiency through collaboration and standardisation. It delivers supervisory, visualisation, collaboration, and analytics software in a single combined subscription providing unlimited access to actionable information. Every team, whether

on the plant floor, in the control room, or operating across the enterprise, is empowered to do more, in collaborative alignment. Customers can build a reliable foundation towards operational excellence with AVEVA Operations Control. AVEVA offers the first single subscription programme on that market that spans edge-to-cloud solutions for plant operations. The AVEVA Flex subscription programme is designed to provide access to the entire AVEVA portfolio, enabling customers to flexibly drive sustainable growth. It allows companies to achieve a faster return-on-investment, removing traditional barriers to software adoption and revolutionising the purchase and consumption of industrial software. The subscription model enables simplicity in license purchasing, usage and management, aiding organisational digital transformation. In the FY21 fiscal year, AVEVA recorded strong subscriptions growth as businesses sought access to transformational technology on a flexible, agile basis. According to ARC Advisory Group, subscription-based models are predicted to grow at a pace nearly four times that of traditional software over the next five years in the industrial automation markets.

du announces two new data centers at Kizad, Abu Dhabi and Dubai Silicon Oasis and accelerate deployment providing agile, burdens for those the telco supports and FAHAD AL HASSAWI, CEO at EITC.

du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, announced official opening of two new data centers that will equip enterprises across the UAE with next-generation digital infrastructure. Kizad Abu Dhabi and DSO Dubai will support clients’ digital transformation aspirations

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resilient, secure, and scalable solutions. The introduction of these facilities forms part of du’s commitment to expand its nationwide data center footprint and provide local businesses with the infrastructure their workloads require in the evolving digital landscape. Backed by proven infrastructure that is trusted by cloud service providers, government and financial services, du’s data centers eliminate digital transformation risks from any equation. The state-ofthe-art facilities ensure enterprises benefit from a growing ecosystem of world-class infrastructure delivered with local knowledge and expertise, providing peace of mind that their data is stored locally at a lower cost and managed according to the highest required standards. This approach also reduces management

facilitates the availability of resources for clients to focus on their respective transformation agendas and develop new customer experiences. du’s state-of-the-art purpose-built data centers, are carrier-neutral and both Kizad Abu Dhabi and DSO Dubai have been designed to with the latest power and cooling management technologies enabling best in class efficiencies and resilience. Both incorporate mission-critical, high kilowatt fault-tolerant power delivery and cooling, eliminating supply interruptions. At the same time, they have been built from the ground up with security serving as the foundation to ensure the highest levels of logical and physical security are provided and maintained in line with the most rigorous industry-recognised accreditations.


CHANNEL

Bespin Global is now authorised public sector solution provider for AWS in GCC

MOUTEIH CHAGHLIL, CEO of Middle East and Africa, Bespin Global.

Bespin Global, a cloud consultancy and management company, announced that it has been recognised as Amazon Web Services, Public Sector Authorised Solution Provider in the GCC countries. This new partner status means that Bespin Global is officially authorised to both sell and manage AWS services to public sector customers as part of its differentiated solutions. The unique authorisation from AWS enables Bespin Global to manage, service, and support a range of growing public sector customers in the GCC from government, education, healthcare to non-profit with their cloud and digital transformation ambitions in line with UAE Vision 2021 and Saudi Vision 2030. As industries across the region race towards digital transformation, Bespin has reaffirmed its commitment to the Middle East with the establishment of its HQ in Abu Dhabi along-

side the deployment of two innovation centres focused on supporting public and private sector enterprises across the GCC with optimal digital transformation solutions comprising of cloud security, big data, blockchain, backup, disaster recovery and machine learning. In 2022, a new AWS Middle East region will launch in the UAE, which will consist of three Availability Zones and become AWS’s second region in the Middle East. The AWS Middle East region in the UAE builds on cloud adoption in the Middle East by enabling customers to run applications and store data locally. This will give the private sector in the Middle East access to advanced cloud services and technologies to drive innovation including computing, storage, networking, database, analytics, machine learning, Internet of Things, mobile services, and more all in compliance with local regulations.

Huawei Cloud service provider to invest $15M in Middle East Oasis Programme Huawei, a global provider of information and communications technology infrastructure and smart devices, plans to invest $15 million over the next three years in a newly unveiled Huawei Cloud Oasis Programme aimed at accelerating the development of technology enterprises and ecosystems in the Middle East. The Huawei Cloud Oasis Programme was launched during the second edition of the Huawei Cloud Summit held virtually this year on September 15, 2021. The annual event connects business leaders, industry visionaries, and Huawei partners to build a more dynamic ecosystem for collaboration and shared success. Countries across the region have witnessed an acceleration in cloud adoption and investment in recent years. Leveraging Huawei’s 30-plus years of expertise in ICT solutions, Huawei Cloud is now a leading cloud service provider globally that provides reliable, secure, and cost-effective services to empower organisations of all sizes to grow in an increasingly digital world. The Huawei Cloud Oasis Programme has set a target to assist 3,000 experts in the region, support over 1,500 consulting and techni-

cal partners, and empower more than 100 SMEs to develop their cloud capabilities. The programme will also support more than 100 marketing events during this period to help cultivate a thriving cloud ecosystem within the business community. The latest investment includes $7.5 million being allocated for partner development, over $2.5 million to be put behind credits and other cloud resources, and more than $4.5 million in marketing support for programme projects. Programme to assist 3,000 experts, support over 1,500 consulting and technical partners, and empower more than 100 SMEs to develop their cloud capabilities Within the programme, the Huawei Cloud Partner Network HCPN has designed three different programs for consulting partners, technology partners, and talent. Participants benefit from various incentives and privileges to maximise their cloud projects, while also being provided with marketing, sales, and branding support to enhance business development. Technology partners are offered training, marketing, technical, and business support so that they can focus on technology innovations

ERIC WAN, VP of Cloud Marketing, Ecosystem and Partner Development at Huawei Middle East.

within their field. As part of its talent development goals, Huawei Cloud will host various tech summits and introduce cloud training to more than 1,000 students, provide more than 130 courses for prospective learners, and host skill contests accessible to more than 400 students and ten universities in the region.

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CHANNEL

200,000+ counterfeit items in Dubai and Ajman removed by HP, UAE authorities Emirati officials with, the help of HP partners, successfully dismantled multiple major counterfeiting schemes designed to assemble and distribute illegal HP printer cartridges in the UAE market. Between December 2020 and April 2021, local Emirati authorities conducted three major raids on several large-scale counterfeiting storage facilities in the Emirates of Dubai and Ajman. The resulting seizures saw local officials confiscate over 207,000 illicit items from various storage sites, preventing their unlawful sale within the UAE. Counterfeiting is a crime. For users, illegal cartridge imitations can cause a multitude of problems that can lead to performance and reliability issues. Should your printer break because of using counterfeit printer ink or toner, the manufacturer’s warranty may become invalid. In contrast, original HP products are designed to meet HP’s strict quality and

VISHNU TAIMNI, Vice-President and Managing Director of Middle East, Turkey and East Africa at HP.

reliability standards, based on a long history of research, development and testing. Original HP LaserJet and HP Inkjet cartridges, unlike counterfeits, benefit from superior perfor-

GoDaddy announces launch of bilingual website design service GoDaddy announced launch of its new Website Design Service. With the launch of WDS, GoDaddy expands its product offerings to provide digital services for UAE small businesses tailored to suit their budget and expertise level, with an expert team to build their websites. Tailored to the unique requirements of each business, GoDaddy Website Design Service delivers a modern, professionally designed WordPress website for small business owners, in just a few weeks. GoDaddy’s team of highly skilled and talented web designers will ensure entrepreneurs have professional-looking, SEO-enabled, and mobile optimised website customised to their business’ individual needs. Through compelling content, complete with vivid visual design and layouts, businesses can have a premium look for their website. GoDaddy WDS gives entrepreneurs the perfect website design best suited to their industry and their business, that can ultimately help their brands stand out from the online crowd and help to drive traffic to their websites. The GoDaddy web design team can create fully bilingual websites in both English and Arabic languages to ensure small business owners and entrepreneurs can cater to all of their audiences within the UAE, across the region and beyond. With GoDaddy Website Design Services small businesses can benefit from a unique, professional website custom built by a GoDaddy expert

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SELINA BIEBER, General Manager, Middle East and Africa at GoDaddy.

mance and consistent results. Through its Planet Partners programme, HP also provides a closed loop recycling service to ensure cartridges are kept out of landfill. Across Europe, the Middle East and Africa over the last five years, approximately 12 million counterfeits and components have been seized by local authorities, supported by HP. HP has conducted over 4,500 audits and inspections CPPAs and CDIs of partners’ stocks or suspicious deliveries for customers. Through HP’s Anti-Counterfeit and Fraud ACF programme, the company actively educates its customers and partners to be vigilant against fake printing supplies. It also cooperates closely with local and global law enforcement authorities to detect and dismantle illegal operations that produce counterfeit HP printing components. Local law officials, with the assistance of HP, halted the illegal assembly and sale of HP printer supplies within various UAE regions


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COVER STORY

“OUR AIM AT GITEX IS TO ACT AS THE BRIDGE BETWEEN OUR VENDORS AND PARTNERS” Enterprise Channels MEA met up with Philippe Jarre before Gitex to discuss how this VAD will be engaging with channel partner visitors at Gitex 2021. [EC] KINDLY DESCRIBE THE SOLUTION STACKS USED BY MINDWARE AND ON DISPLAY DURING GITEX 2021?

[Philippe Jarre] During Gitex 2021, our visitors will have the opportunity to see numerous Mindware solutions: we are exhibiting a full stack solution covering infrastructure servers, network, virtualisation, storage, cyber security, and cloud. A good example is our VDI stack solution, including Dell Technologies along with Citrix VDI and RSA two-factor authentication integrations. A seamless integration of virtualisation + infrastruc-

ture + security, this stack delivers hypervisor solutions with the ability to protect user access to these resources. At Mindware, from our portfolio of around fifty vendors supported by our engineer architects, we continually generate pre-packaged solutions for our channel partners. Essentially, we prepare 80% of the solution for the final client, and our partner can complement the balance 20%, which is, typically, client specific. Such practices dramatically enhance the capability of our partners to deliver effective, solid solutions to their end users, always in a timely manner.

Great examples are distribution contracts of Oracle and IBM, both of which were activated this year

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COVER STORY

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COVER STORY

[EC] ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC SOLUTIONS AND USE CASES ON DISPLAY DURING GITEX 2021?

[Philippe Jarre] Most of our vendor associates provide virtual labs which shall be displayed during Gitex 2021 to cover and showcase use-cases to prospects. As we do every year, our product experts will be available at the Mindware Gitex stand to assist. This will cover the value chain of digital transformation the market is currently experiencing, as we phase out of Covid-19, from design, to implementation, to managed solutions delivered as a service. [EC] HOW WILL MINDWARE ENGAGE WITH CHANNEL PARTNERS DURING GITEX 2021?

[Philippe Jarre] Our executive team and product and solutions experts will be there. The aim at Gitex is to act as the bridge between our vendors and partners. This Gitex is, indeed, a significant one as we are gradually

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moving back to the post-Covid 19 normal. Everybody is hungry to have face-to-face meetings again, interact in real life, touch, see, feel! In fact, our Gitex week schedule is, not surprisingly, already packed. By observing these initial signs, it appears that this year’s Gitex is going to be a great success for all, exhibitors, and visitors. [EC] HOW HAS MINDWARE TRANSFORMED ITSELF AND ITS PARTNER PROGRAMME IN THE LAST 18-24 MONTHS, TO MEET EXPECTATIONS OF REGIONAL CHANNEL PARTNERS?

[Philippe Jarre] At Mindware, we have thoroughly embraced the workfrom-home practice across all our locations, we have migrated almost all channel activities online including marketing, workshops, virtual get together, and are recurrently launching numerous financial tools to help finance our partners. As we typically do, we maintain and ensure we enrich our portfolio


COVER STORY

THE GITEX 2021 PLAN Mindware will showcase solutions around business continuity and resilience.

• Exhibiting full-stack solutions covering infrastructure servers, network, virtualisation, storage, cyber security, cloud. • Generate pre-packaged solutions for our channel partners from portfolio of around 50 vendors. • Product experts will be available to assist on design, implementation, managed solutions delivered as a service. • Executive team and product and solutions experts will be present. • Leverage the unique architecture of the Mindware stand. • Grant access to multiple channel partner visitors in the most flexible manner possible. • Educate channel partner visitors on year-long trainings and workshops, as part of partner enablement practice. • Mindware’s theme at Gitex is business continuity, and how Mindware can help thrive and emerge out of Covid-19 era. • Numerous new-technology messages to support next with top-class vendors who need an established distribution partner in the region. Great examples are the distribution contracts of Oracle and IBM, both of which were activated this year. Lastly, in 2021, we have consolidated all Midis Group African distribution businesses under the Mindware Group umbrella. With this strategic move, we are now able to streamline the relationship with our vendors and to leverage our solutions expertise and financial capability that we can now offer to our partners based in these fruitful, yet complex markets. [EC] ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC TRAINING PROGRAMS OR BRIEFING SESSIONS

generation of business resilience.

PLANNED BY MINDWARE AND ITS VENDOR PARTNERS FOR CHANNEL PARTNERS DURING GITEX 2021?

[Philippe Jarre] This year, our aim is to leverage the unique architecture of our stand and grant access to multiple visitors in the most flexible manner possible. This will enable us to educate our visitors as to what we can do for them in terms of trainings and workshops, during the year as part of our usual partner enablement practice.

[EC] WHAT ARE THE TOP ANNOUNCEMENTS EXPECTED FROM MINDWARE AND ITS VENDOR PARTNERS DURING GITEX 2021?

[Philippe Jarre] Our theme this year is Business Continuity, in other words, how Mindware can help our partners thrive and emerge out of the Covid-19 era. Surely, we have lined up multiple announcements around this theme, with numerous new-technology messages to support the next generation of business resilience. ë

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AUTHORIZED VALUE ADDED DISTRIBUTOR FOR

StorIT Distribution fzco P.O.Box 17417, Clover Bay Tower, Business Bay & Jafza 15, Jebel Ali Freezone, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971.4.8819690 | Fax: +971.4.887.1637 | Email: info@storit.ae | www.storit.ae


INDUSTRY SPECIAL

SANDRINE MOUSTAFA EL KHODRY,

AMEL GARDNER,

MENA MIGALLY,

VINOD KRISHNAN,

FADI KANAFANI, NetApp

THIERRY NICAULT,

Amazon Web Services

VANGELIS LAGOUSAKOS,

RAHUL MISRA,

ZIAD YOUSSEF,

KAMEL AL-TAWIL,

JAMES PETTER,

MARK ACKERMAN,

AHMAD ALKHALLAFI,

PHILIP ANDREWS,

RAMI KICHLI,

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise.

Dell Technologies

Equinix

HPE

Infor

Oracle

Pure Storage

Red Hat

Riverbed

Salesforce

Schneider Electric

ServiceNow

Software AG

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INDUSTRY SPECIAL

ALCATEL-LUCENT ENTERPRISE

COMMUNICATION, COLLABORATION, CONNECTIVITY, CLOUD In order to make digital transformation possible, communication and collaboration, connectivity and secure cloud solutions are the main pillars.

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lcatel-Lucent Enterprise provides communication and network solutions to businesses of all sizes, from small to large enterprises. Its solutions help connect people and allow them to communicate and collaborate in a secure and reliable way. The IT solution it offers is end-to-end secure and geared towards digital transformation. In order to make this transformation possible, communication and collaboration, connectivity and secure cloud solutions are the main pillars. ALE provides two major benefits through its cloud platform. The first is a Unified Communication as a Service UCaaS platform which goes head-to-head other popular services on the market. Our customers enjoy full ownership and secure access to their data while on our platform. The second key benefit is our Communication Platform as a Service CPaaS. As part of the same Rainbow platform, we also provide customers with a flexible infrastructure to integrate any application and process they wish into the platform’s communications capabilities. This communica-

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tion platform as a service significantly improves user experience and adoption. The Combination of UCaaS and CPaaS platforms offers customers the flexibility of a hybrid deployment. Because of this, ALE features both a public cloud and a private cloud, making it a leader in the market. All this is accomplished with one platform and the same user experience. With 100 years of innovation, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise has established itself as one of the world’s leading innovators in technology. In the Gartner UCaaS Magic Quadrant, we are the only European product, which means we are not subject to the Patriot Act or the Cloud Act. In Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, we have a focus on five main sectors, and we have designed end-to-end solutions for each of these sectors. Our end-to-end solutions use artificial intelligence to meet the specific needs of these industries - healthcare, government, education, transportation and hospitality. The reasons why we stand out are innovation, flexibility, adaptability and expertise. ë


INDUSTRY SPECIAL

TOP EXECUTIVE Sandrine, French and native Egyptian, joined Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise three years ago as VP of direct-touch sales across Europe and the South. In January 2020, Sandrine was appointed as VP for the MEA region. Sandrine has a Master’s degree in enterprise strategy from FEDE Federation Européenne des Ecoles in Geneva, Switzerland, and is preparing a business PhD at Geneva Business School, Switzerland.

SANDRINE MOUSTAFA EL KHODRY,

Vice President Middle East and Africa, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise.

LOCATION UAE

GOALS AND STRENGTHS Leadership skills, track record in business growth achievement, high-level networking, extensive experience in senior positions, clear understanding of MEA culture and needs, multilingual.

OFFLINE Sandrine loves traveling as it gives her a break from daily life and rejuvenates. It inspires her to see, taste, and try new things. While traveling, one can learn new things, get chances to meet and engage with different people. Friends and loved ones can share meaningful experiences with each other.

With extensive 27-year experience in the technology and telecom industries, Sandrine has held several senior executive roles including General Manager Vertical in British Telecom EMEA and APAC and as Regional Head, South Europe, Switzerland, and France in Eunetworks. In the IT and telecom industries, which are known to be men’s domains, climbing the stairs in the hierarchy has always been challenging and hard, and for a woman, it is 10 times more difficult. So, you can imagine the amount of effort that is put forth in order to gain recognition and the respect of the people and the market to be appointed in such a high position. She loves reading success stories and biographies. It gives insight into how successful people handled their crises and solved problems. Everyone can gain so much from reading other people’s stories and experiences and how to overcome difficult situations. They open our eyes to the world and help us make better decisions.

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INDUSTRY SPECIAL

AMAZON WEB SERVICES

UAE TO BE SECOND MIDDLE EAST REGION AFTER BAHRAIN

Addition of the AWS Middle East UAE Region will enable local customers with data residency requirements to store data in UAE while providing lower latency.

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WS announced that it will launch datacentres in the UAE, to be available in the first half of 2022. The new AWS Middle East UAE Region will consist of three Availability Zones and become AWS’s second region in the Middle East with the existing AWS Region in Bahrain, giving customers more choice and flexibility to leverage advanced technologies from the world’s leading cloud. Globally, AWS has 81 Availability Zones across 25 geographic regions. The addition of the AWS Middle East UAE Region will enable local customers with data residency requirements to store their data in the UAE while also providing even lower latency across the country. Organisations using this region will also be able to access advanced technologies from the broadest and deepest suite of cloud services to drive innovation including compute, storage, networking, database, analytics, machine learning, Internet of Things IoT, mobile services and more. Cloud is the new normal. Every organisation in the world must keep transforming their business and the end user experience to remain competitive. There are many benefits for using cloud computing for organisations. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre MBRSC, which launched the Hope Probe, leverages AWS to power the data journey of the mission, enabling data to be processed and analysed from the probe’s instruments

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and accessed by the global scientific community in less than 20 minutes. Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University HBMSU successfully completed the full migration of its systems and applications from its on-premises datacentres to AWS. The move provides immediate benefits to HBMSU such as cost savings, flexibility, and security, and opens new horizons for innovation, research, and global expansion. AWS has a vibrant and growing partner network in the Middle East and Africa, offering customers cloud expertise, and business and technical support. The AWS Partner Network APN includes tens of thousands of Independent Software Vendors and Systems Integrators around the world. Examples of AWS Middle East Partners include Accenture, Deloitte, Bespin Global MEA, Citrus Consulting, Cloud4C, Crayon, Du, Etisalat, F5, Integra Technologies, Keplerworx, Palo Alto Networks, Rackspace, Redington, SAP, Splunk, TCS, Trend Micro, VMWare, Wipro, and Zero and One. AWS also launched the AWS Marketplace and AWS Data Exchange in Bahrain, UAE, and Qatar. Independent Software Vendors, data providers, and consulting partners based in Bahrain, UAE, and Qatar can now transact in AWS Marketplace and AWS Data Exchange, empowering them to access and market to AWS’s millions of customers around the world. ë


INDUSTRY SPECIAL

TOP EXECUTIVE

VINOD KRISHNAN,

Head of Middle East and North Africa, Amazon Web Services

LOCATION UAE

GOALS AND STRENGTHS Building new teams in diverse markets across Asia Pacific and the Middle East to drive business expansion is a challenging but rewarding experience that requires deep appreciation of local cultures and a strong need to be inclusive and adaptive to local needs . OFFLINE Outside of work, I spend time with my two boys coaching them on investment strategies and doing research with them on our shared passion for a variety of topics - from cosmic energy to foreign exchange arbitration to gene therapy. I also try to find time for sports including tennis, cycling, yoga and long distance running.

Vinod Krishnan leads a team of cloud specialists helping organisations of all sizes, including start-ups, small and medium businesses, and large enterprises, use AWS services to innovate and transform. His team supports a variety of Middle East customers who are innovating rapidly on AWS as they evolve their information technology by leveraging the agility, elasticity, and innovation capabilities of the AWS Cloud. Vinod has been leading the Middle East and North Africa commercial sector business since its launch in 2017. Prior to this role, he was heading Business Development for AWS across South India and Sri Lanka where he set up multiple regional offices. Before joining Amazon in 2013, he was responsible for sales and business development at VMware and worked with customers across India to help them consolidate and optimise their internal IT infrastructure. Being customer-focused and having a builder mentality. At AWS, we are relentlessly customer focused. 90% of what we build is driven by what customers tell us. We also hire builders who are always looking at how they can help customers to innovate and reinvent.

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INDUSTRY SPECIAL

DELL TECHNOLOGIES

PROVIDING ENTERPRISES A SECURE PATH TO ADOPT HYBRID CLOUD

The solutions provide an operating model across private clouds, public clouds, edge locations, while reducing complexity of multiple clouds.

D

ell Technologies is a leader in digital transformation, providing digital technology solutions, products, and services to drive business success. Some of the key technology sub-segments that Dell caters to include and are not limited to, Data Protection, Data Storage, Servers and Networking, Hyperconverged Infrastructure, Laptops, PCs, Monitors and more. In the region, customers look to Dell Technologies for its market leading Cloud, Edge, Infrastructure, Security and Workforce Solutions. Dell Technologies provides a platform with comprehensive hardware and software solutions, including platforms that are ready for the Internet of Things IoT, artificial intelligence AI and machine learning ML. Organisations can capture value at the edge with IoT using gateways, embedded PCs, specialised servers, and other solutions to securely process and act on data when and where it matters. The smart applications have evolved from single-purpose, single-OS and single-application to agile development, cloud-to-edge reach, elastic scalability, AI, ML enabled, highly available and software-defined everything. Dell Technologies cloud expertise provides a simple and secure path for enterprises to adopt hybrid cloud infrastructure. The solutions pro-

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vide a consistent operating model and simplified management across private clouds, public clouds, and edge locations, reducing the cloud and complexity of multiple clouds and allowing application and business requirements to determine which cloud resources and cloud computing services are ideal for each workload. Dell EMC ranks first in traditional, on-premises IT and in Private Cloud. Dell also provides infrastructure to nearly 80% of the largest CSPs in the world. Dell has been listening to partners and incorporating their feedback into every decision. In a time of continued uncertainty, our program structure and engagement with partners remains consistent. This year, we focused on three key areas based on partner feedback: increased opportunity for new customer and line of business acquisition, accelerated growth and profit potential with access to our holistic portfolio, including VMware, and lastly a more streamlined end-to-end experience. As part of the efforts to strengthen the channel network, channel partners are encouraged to review the appropriate Partner Program Guide based on their business needs and capabilities. These include solution provider, cloud service provider, and OEM partner. ë


INDUSTRY SPECIAL

TOP EXECUTIVE

VANGELIS LAGOUSAKOS,

General Manager, Channel Sales, Middle East, Russia, Africa and Turkey, Dell Technologies.

LOCATION UAE

GOALS AND STRENGTHS His strengths include laser focus on teamwork and collaboration to drive business results, while implementing best practices that drive operational excellence. His varied sales and industry knowledge also help in connecting technology shifts with new business opportunities that the channel can capitalise on.

OFFLINE He values spending time with family and makes sure to put in the quality time with his wife, son, and daughter. He also enjoys being with friends, having good and food and listening to music. Traveling to new countries and cities is a great interest of his as he enjoys experiencing and learning different cultures, as is being on the racetrack from time to time.

In his current role, Vangelis is responsible for developing and enabling a robust partner community across Dell Technologies lines of business in MERAT. Along with his team, they continue to build on the successes of the Dell Technologies partner program by providing partners and distributors with a clear roadmap and investing in skills enablement and training that help them compete and grow in an evolving, digital marketplace. Vangelis reports to Anwar Dahab, Senior Vice President Channel, EMEA. He joined Dell EMC in 2002 as Sales Director for Large Corporate Accounts in Greece and continued to grow within the company, where he held various senior leadership roles spanning different countries in EMEA. In his current role as the General Manager for Channel Sales in MERAT, Vangelis continues to develop a cohesive ecosystem for the channel partners where they can take advantage of Dell Technologies’ end-to-end technology leadership. Vangelis is a veteran in the technology industry with over 30 years of experience. His track record of success from his leadership roles at Dell, combined with starting his career in a local IT business, helps drive his vision to provide channel partners with bestin-class strategy and enablement tools. Having held multiple roles in his career, has meant that he has had to always step out of his comfort zone and relearn new lines of business, products etc. He views this as both an opportunity and a challenge as change can be daunting and rewarding at the same time.

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EQUINIX

INTERCONNECTING DIGITAL BUSINESSES, SERVICES, SOLUTIONS

The Equinix ecosystem includes thousands of businesses and network, cloud, and SaaS service providers, interconnected by Equinix Fabric private network.

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s enterprise demands for ecosystem access, infrastructure performance and network agility increase, customers are choosing Equinix Fabric as their de facto interconnection standard for connecting their digital infrastructure globally on Platform Equinix. No longer just for cloud connectivity, Equinix Fabric establishes a globally connected footprint of services that enables digital leaders to transform their businesses as they connect to everything and everyone that matters to their business. With Equinix Fabric integration built into both Network Edge and Equinix Metal over the trusted Equinix platform, digital leaders can bring together all the right places, partners, and possibilities to create the foundational infrastructure needed to succeed. The Equinix ecosystem includes thousands of businesses and network, cloud, and SaaS service providers, all interconnected by the reliable, highspeed, low-latency Equinix Fabric private network. There is no one-cloud-fits-all strategy. Organisations thus need to be more flexible and adapt expeditiously to the new cloud age. This can only be achieved by having a multi-cloud and hybrid cloud strategy that will allow the delivery of flexibility, scalability, and security. At Equinix, the role is to enable cloud service providers and cloud leaders to expand their platforms regionally and globally. Equinix Fabric allows companies to interconnect between various cloud providers so

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they can build a cloud strategy around hybrid cloud and multi-cloud access. According to IDC, Equinix’s strength is the company’s comprehensive global footprint that has seen its brand become synonymous with neutral colocation data centres. Platform Equinix provides customers value that is extremely difficult and expensive for its rivals to emulate. The IDC MarketScape report says companies should consider Equinix when they are a global enterprise or service provider that needs to remove the distance between users, cloud services, ecosystem partners and customers across their edge to meet the high-performance and low latency demands of digital. As companies transform their architecture to become digital ready, the IDC MarketScape report recommends Equinix for companies looking to optimise their network, scale across strategic locations, simplify hybrid multicloud access, distribute security controls to manage risk, or distribute data and analytics to optimise edge computing needs. Equinix works with partners to align on solving business and technical challenges for end user customers. The benefits of the partner program help address real issues that advance the success of the end user customer. The combination of Equinix assets and partner competencies help deliver end to end solutions for customers including, value added services on networking, security, hybrid multicloud enablement, application performance, industry use case support and compliance challenges. ë


INDUSTRY SPECIAL

TOP EXECUTIVE Kamel has 25 years’ experience in the IT industry in the Middle East region having worked with major corporations like NCR, EMC, and Oracle, where he served in multiple senior leadership positions—most recently as Vice President of Business Applications.

KAMEL AL-TAWIL,

Managing Director, Middle East, and North Africa, Equinix.

LOCATION UAE

GOALS AND STRENGTHS As Managing Director, Kamel oversees and will continue to grow Equinix’s business portfolio in the region, defining the evolving strategy for the local markets. He will continue engaging and collaborating with the world’s leading clouds, networks, and service providers, supporting companies across the digital economy

TIME OFF It is important to have hobbies and interest as it is beneficial for one’s mental health and wellbeing. Kamel enjoys walking with his family and his dog – as much as the Dubai weather pertain it, as well as kickboxing and martial art activities.

Kamel has led large-scale projects across business functions and companies, leveraging leading business and technology practices to deliver effective and efficient ways of working, whilst driving ongoing scale and growth. As the Middle East and North Africa region continue to pivot towards digital transformation in its next phase of growth, Kamel aims to pursue the development of the business in-region with his strategic insights, continue building strong partnership with current and future customers, as well as support organisations with their digital transformation strategies and delivering real value to customers, staff, partners, shareholders, and other stakeholders. Executive leaders should adopt a growing mindset to quickly navigate the storm and bring in the ship to haven.

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INDUSTRY SPECIAL

HPE

POWERING AHEAD WITH GREENLAKE EDGE TO CLOUD PLATFORM HPE is delivering on its promise to provide its entire portfolio as a service by 2022 – transforming and unifying the experience across HPE.

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PE in the UAE is the global edge-to-cloud company and delivers unique, open, and intelligent technology solutions delivered as a service – spanning Compute, Storage, Software, Intelligent Edge, High Performance Computing and Mission Critical Solutions – with a consistent experience across all clouds and edges, designed to help customers develop new business models, engage in new ways, and increase operational performance. For example, offerings available in the region include HPE GreenLake, HPE’s portfolio of cloud services, converged, hyperconverged, and composable infrastructure solutions such as HPE Synergy and HPE SimpliVity, intelligent storage solutions such as HPE Alletra, HPE Nimble Storage, HPE Primera and compute power through HPE ProLiant DL380 Gen10 and HPE Edgeline IoT systems. HPE was the first to market four years ago in delivering a cloud experience on-premises and at the edge with the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform. HPE is delivering on its promise to provide its entire portfolio as a service by 2022 – transforming and unifying the experience across

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HPE. The HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform provides customers with a powerful foundation to drive digital transformation. The HPE GreenLake platform can run on-premises, at the edge, or in a colocation facility, and combines the simplicity and agility of the cloud with the governance, compliance, and visibility that comes with hybrid IT. HPE GreenLake offers a range of cloud services that accelerate innovation, including cloud services for analytics, bare metal, compute, container management, core payment systems, data protection, electronic medical records, 5G, HCI, high performance compute, machine learning operations, networking, risk management, SAP HANA, storage, VDI, and VMs. HPE continues to focus on its HPE GreenLake consumption-based, as a service model while it drives the evolution of the IT infrastructure market with edge-to-cloud solutions. HPE offers a diverse portfolio of products and services, and a healthy channel for global customers to small and midsize businesses. ë


INDUSTRY SPECIAL

TOP EXECUTIVE

AHMAD ALKHALLAFI,

Managing Director UAE at HPE.

LOCATION UAE

GOALS AND STRENGTHS With expertise in enterprise government sales and extensive knowledge in private cloud computing, he places a special emphasis on helping HPE’s customers and partners across government bodies and private sector organisations to accelerate their digital transformation and implement tech innovations to achieve great success.

TIME OFF Outside of work, I often go out for fishing in summer, and engage in falconry during the winters. Falconry is deeply rooted in our culture as this sport teaches patience, strength and how to overcome opponents through intelligence.

Alkhallafi is spearheading digital transformation in the UAE, supporting the country’s economic and technological development. He further focuses on strengthening HPE’s work helping the UAE achieve its Emiratisation goals to develop world-leading skills and capabilities in the country’s tech sector. In addition to this, he works closely with UAE government bodies to help the country realise its goals set out in the National Advanced Sciences Agenda 2031. He reports to Marc Waters, Managing Director for UK, Ireland, Middle East, and Africa at HPE. An accomplished senior leader, Alkhallafi brings to HPE over 15 years of experience working in the UAE’s technology sector. He joined Emirates Post Group, where he served as a board member in Electronic Document Centre while leading its large enterprise and nationwide government sales strategy and spearheading a major transformation initiative. Prior to this he helped launch the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, where he led Enterprise Government sales and oversaw the design of new products, services, and solutions for private cloud computing. Alkhallafi has a track record of successful digital transformations, account development, and executive-level experience from some of the UAE’s largest organisations such as Emirates Post Group and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company. Strongly believes that everything we do within or outside our work-life is a building block towards success. He aims to positively contribute to career, achieve small goals, and streamline efforts to navigate through challenges daily that contribute towards a bigger vision.

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INDUSTRY SPECIAL

INFOR

CLOUD BASED ERP FOR PROCESS AND DISTRIBUTION INDUSTRIES

Infor’s cloud strategy is based around its multi-tenant industry CloudSuites which utilise Infor OS, Infor’s cloud operating platform, and runs on AWS.

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nfor M3 is a manufacturing and distribution ERP system for process and distribution industries that leverages the latest technologies to provide an exceptional user experience and powerful analytics in a multi-company, multi-country, and multisite platform. Infor’s solutions are built for the cloud. They offer complete industry suites in the cloud and efficiently deploy enterprise software that helps customers automate and simplify complex systems, scale-up rapidly, put the user experience first, and leverage data science - all with technology that integrates easily into existing systems. Industry Analytics are present in Infor’s solutions as a layer positioned across the top of other solutions. Infor Birst, which is powered by AI, provides a robust tool for analysing key performance indicators and business insights. Infor’s cloud strategy is based around its multi-tenant industry CloudSuites which utilise Infor OS, Infor’s cloud operating platform, and they all run on AWS, giving scalability and reliability. Infor OS seamlessly connects services to provide a robust technology framework that serves as the foundation of innovation for the entire business ecosystem. Infor OS provides horizontal technology services across all of Infor’s industry CloudSuites and extends into third-party solutions as well. The services range from essential, business-critical functionality to more advanced high-tech services, capable of providing competitive advantages

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to the enterprise. Discrete manufacturers in the Middle East use Infor LN to gain the visibility they need to quickly respond to customer, supplier, and regulatory needs. Infor EAM digitises maintenance with built-in industry-specific capabilities for manufacturing, transportation, public sector, healthcare, and more. All products are available in the multi-tenant cloud on AWS. In August 2021, Infor’s ERP solutions were recognised by Gartner, which has positioned Infor as a Leader in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud ERP for Product-Centric Enterprises. Infor’s channel programme is called Infor Partner Network IPN, and is a global ecosystem of people, services, and systems designed to provide partners with world-class solutions to sell, and the highest quality of training, support, and enablement in the industry. Channel partners play a key role in strengthening Infor’s ability to reach customers and execute digital transformation projects across the region. Many of these partners have a long-standing relationship with Infor, along with a deep understanding of their geographical market, and expertise in planning and executing transformative projects in specific verticals such as industrial manufacturing, supply chain management, and healthcare. Infor has numerous customers across the region, including Zahid Tractor, Supertech Group, Al-Jazira Equipment, AutoWorld, and Asry Shipyard, amongst others. ë


INDUSTRY SPECIAL

TOP EXECUTIVE Amel Gardner leads Infor’s MEA operation, establishing clear goals, and building and motivating her team to execute the plan successfully. Gardner is committed to driving Infor’s business growth and strategy in the region and to ensure agile project deliveries and customer success. In this position, Amel Gardner reports to Joerg Jung, Executive Vice President EMEA, Infor.

AMEL GARDNER,

VP and GM, Infor Middle East, and Africa

LOCATION UAE

GOALS AND STRENGTHS Gardner understands how to empower customers to digitally transform and modernise their business. She has a proven track record developing and executing business strategies while building a culture of enthusiasm, passion, and integrity to yield profitable growth across emerging and mature markets. Gardner is an effective change agent leading business transformation with an open and flexible approach.

OFFLINE Amel is very keen on sport. When she is not at the gym doing her CrossFit classes to keep mind and body sharp, she loves football; either watching her daughter scoring some wonder goals or catching up on the performances of her favourite football club – Real Madrid.

Gardner is an accomplished executive with broad IT skills and 20 years of experience spanning end-to-end enterprise solutions that empower customers to digitally transform and modernise their businesses. Prior to joining Infor, Gardner was Regional Vice President for the Middle East, Africa, and India at Epicor Software. Gardner also held various executive roles at Lenovo and Dell. Amel Gardner started out as a civil engineer but entered the technology sector when she became a senior sales engineer for the fibre optics company, Corning, in the United States. Learning about fibre optics from scratch and growing the business in South America, Europe, and Asia, was a steep learning curve, but made Gardner realise that it is possible to learn anything, and people should not be intimidated from taking on new challenges just because they fear the unknown.

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INDUSTRY SPECIAL

NETAPP

STORAGE FOR PRIVATE CLOUDS AND PUBLIC CLOUD FILE STORAGE NetApp promotes sale of traditional storage for deployment in on-premises private clouds and facilitates adoption of public cloud file storage resources.

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etApp is a global cloud-led, data-centric software company that empowers organisations to lead with data in the age of accelerated digital transformation. The company provides systems, software and cloud services that enable them to run their applications optimally from datacentre to cloud, whether they are developing in the cloud, moving to the cloud, or creating their own cloudlike experiences on premises. NetApp offers products in four major areas to enable customers build their data fabric and support their digital transformation journey ONTAP, hybrid and all-flash infrastructure, applications and technology, application-driven infrastructure NetApp’s cloud strategy is focused on allowing customers to procure public cloud resources transparently and move workloads across clouds either public or private seamlessly. NetApp promotes the sale of traditional storage to IT organisations for deployment in on-premises private clouds but increasingly facilitates adoption of public cloud file storage resources via its Cloud Volumes portfolio. With that in mind NetApp transformed to become a cloud led, data-

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centric software company that supports enterprises with their digital transformation. At the centre of an organisations’ digital transformation process is the adoption of cloud to be able to maintain businesses continuity. With data fabric, NetApp has an offering in the market with consistent data services integrated across their choice of on-premises, hybrid, and public cloud. NetApp has a unique position in the market with partnerships and relationships with cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. NetApp has been recognised as 2021 Microsoft Customer Experience Partner of the Year. The NetApp Unified Partner Program was restructured in FY2022, to clearly differentiate its partners in ways that are relevant to customer priorities and recognises how partners contribute to the business, regardless of their sales motion. It is a flexible Partner Program that encompasses all partner types, roles, selling motions and regional differences to develop an ecosystem of partners differentiated based on skills and rewarded based on contributions. ë


INDUSTRY SPECIAL

TOP EXECUTIVE Fadi Kanafani leads the regional transformation to drive growth He is responsible for the development and execution of sales strategies, by partnering with a superior channel ecosystem and expanding the NetApp customer base. Fadi drive’s NetApp’s corporate vision with clear metrics to promote NetApp’s presence, brand and capture incremental market share.

FADI KANAFANI,

Managing Director, Middle East, NetApp.

LOCATION UAE

GOALS AND STRENGTHS Growth and success were never taken for granted, it was always necessary to listen to others around and continue to be inquisitive and keep the learning and personal development as a goal to stay relevant and deliver value.

OFFLINE Offline>> His hobbies outside work involves gardening which he finds a great mental detox from all the pressures work or otherwise. He enjoys reading, travelling, and exploring new places and tasting their local foods. When summer temperatures ease off, you may find him cycling in and around the community. Besides, he is a pet lover and connects with parrots, cats, and dogs.

Fadi has over 25 years of experience in the IT industry at some of the world’s most influential technology companies. Prior to joining NetApp, he worked for Cisco and was responsible for business development in transformational and strategic accounts across the emerging markets. He has transformed the Middle East organisation into its current form, offering customers a consistent positive experience while consuming NetApp’s technology. Fadi lives up to NetApp’s strong culture, supports diversity, giving back to the community and doing business with integrity.

With data fabric, NetApp has an offering with consistent data services integrated across on-premises, hybrid, and public cloud

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ORACLE

ORACLE RACING AHEAD IN IAAS AND MOST COMPLETE SAAS Oracle earned best customer satisfaction score amongst all major IaaS providers in the annual 2020 Industry CloudPath survey conducted by IDC.

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racle offers suites of integrated applications plus secure, autonomous infrastructure in the Oracle Cloud. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure has made tremendous progress. Big customer wins from companies including 8x8, Naveego, Phenix and Zoom show that Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is providing services that businesses trust to better serve their own customers. These advances are getting noticed. For example, Oracle earned the best customer satisfaction score among all the major IaaS providers in an annual survey conducted by a leading analyst firm. In the 2020 Industry CloudPath survey that IDC recently released where it surveyed 935 IaaS customers on their satisfaction with top IaaS vendors including Oracle, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM, Google Cloud, Oracle IaaS received the highest satisfaction score and the biggest year-over-year score increase of all IaaS vendors. In addition, 86% of those surveyed said they expect their spend on Oracle IaaS OCI to increase in the future. Other recent research also shows Oracle Cloud Infrastructure has the highest percentage of year-

86

%

of those surveyed said they expect their spend on Oracle IaaS OCI to increase in the future

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over-year improvement compared to other cloud competitors. Oracle Cloud is the first public cloud built from the ground up to be a better cloud for every application. By rethinking core engineering and systems design for cloud computing, we created innovations that accelerate migrations, deliver better reliability and performance for all applications, and offer the complete services customers need to build innovative cloud applications. Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications is the world’s most complete, connected SaaS suite. By delivering a modern user experience and continuous innovation, we are committed to your success with quarterly updates across your entire business: finance, human resources, supply chain, manufacturing, advertising, sales, customer service, and marketing. Oracle database products offer customers cost-optimised and highperformance versions of Oracle Database, the world’s leading converged, multi-model database management system, as well as in-memory, NoSQL, and MySQL databases. Oracle Autonomous Database, available on premises via Oracle Cloud@Customer or in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, enables customers to simplify relational database environments and reduce management workloads. Modern Oracle PartnerNetwork is designed to accelerate value realisation for customers. Oracle Partners leverage the powerful partnership to deliver successful outcomes for our customers in their digital transformation journey. Customer success is a core tenet of Oracle. As trusted advisors, our Partners are excellent at collaborating with Oracle and integrating their unique skills with Oracle technology to deliver successful outcomes for our customers. Our collective objective is help reduce risk, reduce cost, and ensure the delivered solution achieves the intended and desired business outcome that meets our customer’s satisfaction. Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Development Fund is deploying Oracle to better enable the Kingdom’s tourism industry. The implementation, which spans Oracle Software as a Service SaaS, Platform as a Service PaaS, and Infrastructure as a Service IaaS cloud solutions, is designed to drive automation and integration of TDF’s core functions including core banking, finance, human resources, and procurement. ë


INDUSTRY SPECIAL

TOP EXECUTIVE RAHUL MISRA,

Vice President Business Applications, Lower Gulf, Oracle.

LOCATION UAE

GOALS AND STRENGTHS Growing through the ranks, Rahul has brought credibility, passion, vision, and camaraderie across his team. His leadership by example and customer focus can be testified every day, as he walks the walk.

OFFLINE Walking, Reading, Squash Swimming, his family and, also work. Work is a passion, a paid passion, yet still a passion. When you do something you love, you never work any day of your life.

In this role, Rahul is responsible for supporting the digital transformation initiatives of Oracle’s cloud applications customers in the UAE and Oman, besides also accelerating the adoption of Oracle Cloud Applications in the region. He reports to the Senior Vice President, Business Applications, ECEMEA region. Rahul joined Oracle in 2006 as the Territory Sales Manager for the UAE. Over the past decade, Rahul has held key leadership roles including Senior Director, Business Applications for Gulf countries prior to being promoted to the role of Vice President, Business Applications.

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INDUSTRY SPECIAL

PURE STORAGE

FLEXIBLE STORAGE CONSUMPTION ACROSS ON-PREMISES AND CLOUD By combining the simplicity of the cloud operating model with on-demand consumption and back-end provisioning, hardware will become invisible.

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ure as-a-Service is a flexible consumption model for hybridcloud, on-premises, and co-location, which delivers a true subscription service across block, file, and object storage without vendor lock-in or up-front capital investment. The cloud is not a destination; it is a fundamentally different way of working, and customers want the cloud experience from their on-prem infrastructure. Companies are overwhelmingly turning to hybrid cloud approaches that combine the ease and simplicity of the public cloud with the performance and control of the private cloud and this is what Pure enables. By combining the simplicity of the cloud operating model with ondemand consumption and back-end provisioning, hardware will become truly invisible — as it is in the cloud. Pure Storage FlashArray X is the world’s first 100% all-flash end-toend NVMe and NVMe-oF array, optimised for corporate and enterprise environments. It provides high performance, reliability, and availability for mission-critical operations, both block and file.

Companies are overwhelmingly turning to hybrid cloud that combines the ease of public cloud with the control of the private cloud

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Pure Storage FlashArray C, the first all-QLC flash array, provides a 100% NVMe all-flash foundation for capacity-oriented applications, test and development workloads, multisite disaster recovery, and data protection. FlashBladeR is the industry’s most advanced all-flash storage solution for consolidating fast file and object data. Pure FlashBlade is the industry’s leading Unified Fast File and Object storage platform that consolidates unstructured data and accelerates organisations’ progress to insight, innovation, and time to market. Developed jointly with Cisco, FlashStackR combines compute, network, and storage to provide a modern infrastructure platform for business-critical applications, DevOps, and analytics. Pure Fusion is a self-service, autonomous storage-as-code platform built for limitless scale, letting customers bring the cloud operating model anywhere and run, operate, and consume traditional storage like a cloud service. Portworx by Pure Storage provides a fully integrated solution for persistent storage, data protection, disaster recovery, data security, cross-cloud and data migrations, and automated capacity management for applications running on Kubernetes. Pure’s founding and enduring vision has been to bring simplicity and reliability to enterprise storage. Evergreen, Pure’s subscription service which eliminates refresh cycles and forklift upgrades: no competitor has been able to replicate it. A comprehensive container strategy following Pure’s integration of Portworx to enable modern cloud-native applications. The entire portfolio can be delivered as-a-Service with no lock-in, complete flexibility and comprehensive Service Level Agreements. The Pure Partner Program is designed to empower channel partners with everything they need, from sales resources and technical training to marketing support and incentives and rewards that drive the right behaviors, to accelerate their business and drive customer impact with Pure. By listening to partner feedback on what they need most, Pure delivers continuous program advancements to help partners thrive and move their business forward. ë


INDUSTRY SPECIAL

TOP EXECUTIVE JAMES PETTER, VP International, Pure Storage.

LOCATION UK

GOALS AND STRENGTHS Growing through the ranks, Rahul has brought credibility, passion, vision, and camaraderie across his team. His leadership by example and customer focus can be testified every day, as he walks the walk.

OFFLINE Walking, Reading, Squash Swimming, his family and, also work. Work is a passion, a paid passion, yet still a passion. When you do something you love, you never work any day of your life.

James Petter is responsible for the go-to-market strategy and ultimately revenue growth across LATAM, EMEA and APAC regions. He works closely with the team who are based worldwide and reports to Chief Revenue Officer, Dominic Delfino. After eight years in the British Army, he moved into the private sector. Following stints with a couple of well-established technology providers, he decided to join Pure Storage in 2015. At the time there was a lack of recognition of the skills and knowledge the forces provide. I had job applications rejected which was a challenge. It is important to ensure you have mentors to help you through.

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RED HAT

FLEXIBILITY TO RUN APPS ACROSS ANY COMPUTING ENVIRONMENT Ability to run applications without having to rebuild, retrain, or maintain environments is the outcome of implementing an open hybrid cloud strategy.

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ed Hat is the largest open-source company in the world, using an open development model followed by engineering and support services to create more stable, secure, and innovative technologies for use in Enterprise IT. It contributes to many open-source projects that support the move towards hybrid cloud IT infrastructures, combining the best on premise and cloud-based capabilities. Red Hatters contribute to problem solving, no matter their role or experience level. This ensures that the best ideas—the ones that creatively address customers’ challenges—are heard and implemented and openly shared, leading to better decisions for our business and customers. Open hybrid cloud is Red Hat’s recommended strategy for architecting, developing, and operating a hybrid mix of applications, delivering a truly flexible cloud experience with the speed, stability, and scale required for digital business or government transformation. The flexibility to run applications across environments—from bare metal to virtual machines VMs, edge computing, private cloud, and any certified public cloud—without having to rebuild applications, retrain people, or maintain disparate environments is the outcome of imple-

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menting an open hybrid cloud strategy. The ability to develop, integrate and deliver new digital services at the speed of change is essential to thrive today. Red Hat delivers supported Enterprise Class software products used to build a business ready digital architecture - Linux, JBoss middleware, messaging and integration platforms, Red Hat storage. Also Red Hat OpenShift Cloud ready container platform. Red Hat is extensively used for powering digital business in high performance, high reliability digital enterprises, in major e-government and industry organisations. Red Hat offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services to support our customers on the journey. Red Hat creates software using the open-source way, a set of principles built upon an open forum for ideas where communities can form around solving a problem or developing a new technology and engineers for Enterprise use. The Red Hat partner ecosystem is an integral part of how Red Hat develops and delivers business and technical value to customers. It provides a community to solve customer challenges, build integrated solutions, and establish and grow deep relationships. ë


INDUSTRY SPECIAL

TOP EXECUTIVE PHILIP ANDREWS,

Vice President and General Manager, CEMEA, Red Hat

LOCATION UAE

GOALS AND STRENGTHS Phil is a thought leader on digital transformation, open innovation, vertical stories and overall Red Hat’s one hybrid cloud story. He also has a strong understanding of Red Hat’s business, its ecosystem landscape, regional presence and its synergy with IBM and the needs of customers’ businesses.

OFFLINE Phil is kept fully occupied with his family with his wife and extremely lively 6-year-old twins. A keen golfer and musician when he gets the chance and is extremely lucky to have so many courses available nearby in Dubai.

Philip Andrews has been with Red Hat for over twelve years and is responsible for leading the Red Hat business in Central Europe, Russia, Middle East, and Africa. Red Hat is the global leader in open-source software and is an IBM company. Before moving to the CEMEA region, for five years prior Phil led the Enterprise and Vertical Sales organisation in Red Hat Asia Pacific, with responsibility for all major enterprise customers, and development of vertical teams. A constant challenge but also a huge opportunity is being ahead of the wave of continual evolution of the technology industry and the customer benefit.

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RIVERBED

MODERNISING NETWORKS WITH SOFTWARE-DEFINED ARCHITECTURE Riverbed is a leader in WAN optimisation, enabling customers to increase network efficiency and performance while reducing bandwidth utilisation.

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ith Riverbed application acceleration, businesses can ensure the fastest, most reliable delivery of SaaS, cloud, and on-premises apps to users, regardless of location or network type. The company’s unified Network Performance Management portfolio provides end-to-end visibility which delivers the ability to ensure service quality, network security, and fully optimise hybrid IT resources. Riverbed SD-WAN enables organisations to modernise their networks with a software-defined architecture that delivers cloud-ready agility and cost savings. At the same time, Riverbed remains a leader in WAN optimisation, enabling its customers to increase network efficiency and performance while reducing bandwidth utilisation across hybrid and software-defined networks. Riverbed’s application acceleration and WAN optimisation solutions use patented and scalable data streamlining, application streamlining, transport streamlining, video stream-splitting and payload optimisation technologies and techniques. Riverbed SD-WAN integrates Versa Network’s software-based virtualisation techniques with Riverbed’s WAN

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optimisation and application acceleration technologies. Riverbed is a fundamental enabler of successful cloud strategies as its Visibility, Performance and SD-WAN solutions enable organisations to instantly scale their networks and follow the pace of cloud growth without security or performance compromises. An especially relevant solution in the company’s cloud-enablement portfolio is its SaaS Accelerator, a cloud-based solution that eliminates network impediments. Riverbed’s partners are part of the Riverbed Performance Partner Network a diverse ecosystem of more than 1,000 active partners worldwide. Riverbed works closely with these industry-leading technology resellers, distributors, service providers and integrators to deliver innovative solutions that solve complex business problems, open new markets, and create new revenue opportunities. Riverbed has built a dynamic partner and alliance ecosystem and throughout 2021, the company has continued to focus on Service Providers, System Integrators and Alliances in EMEA, particularly strengthening its long-term strategic partnership with Microsoft. Customers include Abu Dhabi Digital Authority and Turkey based Halkbank. ë


INDUSTRY SPECIAL

TOP EXECUTIVE As the head of Riverbed’s operations in the META region, Mena Migally leads the sales, technical, and channel teams to further strengthen Riverbed’s position delivering full end-to-end visibility, and networking and acceleration solutions.

MENA MIGALLY,

Regional Vice President, META, Riverbed.

LOCATION UAE

GOALS AND STRENGTHS Mena is a passionate leader who empowers his team, enabling them to maximise outcomes for Riverbed customers while rapidly advancing their careers. His clear vision, and ability to adapt the strategy to align with the evolving market dynamics ensures Riverbed’s value proposition is fully realised by customers and the wider partner ecosystem.

OFFLINE Mena is an avid collector of classic cars, primarily BMWs, and is currently in the process of restoring several of them. He is also passionate about music and plays both the bass and rhythm guitar. When he is not spending time with his family, leading Riverbed’s META business, or indulging his hobbies, Mena enjoys socialising and spending quality time with friends and colleagues.

These are critical as organisations shift to hybrid and work-from-anywhere environments, and need to accelerate digital, cloud and SaaS strategies. He reports directly to Elie Dib, SVP EMEA at Riverbed. Migally has over 17 years of experience in the IT industry and has been a part of Riverbed’s regional team since 2014, serving in key sales and leadership positions. Having held responsibility for driving growth across the entire solution portfolio offered by the company, he has played a lead role in helping regional businesses modernise their hybrid networks to enhance performance, agility, and flexibility. Finding the right alignment of values, personal, moral, and professional, is always the biggest challenge. But once this is achieved, the benefits are multi-fold. He has always aimed to work at companies where the corporate values, and the ethics of individuals within his team are in alignment with his own. This is the synergy he found at Riverbed and now actively fosters it as the company’s regional leader.

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INDUSTRY SPECIAL

SALESFORCE

CLOUD DIGITAL HQ TO CONNECT EMPLOYEES, CUSTOMERS, PARTNERS Organisations that build their Digital HQs on Salesforce and Slack can work better and grow faster, driving success from anywhere.

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alesforce enables companies of every size and industry to take advantage of powerful technologies, cloud, mobile, social, internet of things, artificial intelligence, voice and blockchain, to create a 360-degree view of their customers. Salesforce has announced new capabilities that integrate Slack across Salesforce’s products and industry solutions, plus new Slack innovations that improve collaboration across organisational boundaries and empower teams to embrace asynchronous working. Using Einstein AI, organisations can deliver faster, more personalised customer service, such as smart bots that can answer common customer questions so agents can address more complex cases. AI can help agents take on tough cases with recommendations, replies, and knowledge. As the Middle East begins to emerge from the pandemic, the cloud is vital for meeting customers’ changing expectations, enabling digital transformation, and driving business competitiveness. Every company needs a cloud-based Digital HQ to connect its employees, customers, and partners, and to thrive in a work-from-anywhere world. Organisations that build their Digital HQs on Salesforce and Slack can work better and grow faster, driving success from anywhere. Salesforce was among the first companies to deploy cloud-based soft-

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ware in a Software-as-a-Service SaaS model, so customers’ IT departments can focus on business-critical items. Salesforce has been recognised by Gartner as a Leader in the Sales Force Automation Magic Quadrant for the 15th consecutive year. Salesforce Recognised as a Leader in 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Engagement Centre. Salesforce’s channel partner program helps to build and support the development of a Salesforce consulting practice, with a strong team of certified resources who deliver our best-in-class solutions for customers in the region. In MENA, Salesforce supports more than 70 active channel partners, covering implementation, consulting, and independent software vendors. Salesforce constantly works with each of its partners to help develop Salesforce credentials. On the Salesforce Trailblazer online community, from FY2019 to FY2021, the number of UAE users has roughly doubled, and the number of their badges collected for demonstrating knowledge on topics has grown by about 6-fold. Customers include AlMalki Group, Aramex, Property Finder, Umrahme, amongst others. ë


INDUSTRY SPECIAL

TOP EXECUTIVE

THIERRY NICAULT,

Area Vice President, Middle East and North Africa, Salesforce.

LOCATION FRANCE

GOALS AND STRENGTHS The most difficult piece of work is to be consistent in performance over time. The ability to monitor progress, identify difficulties or challenges from the data directly in a user-friendly application in your daily sales operation is a key success factor. Business predictability and forecasting is also a very sensitive exercise so, real time assessment of your business is amazingly helpful.

OFFLINE First, my family and my close circle of friends who always know they can reach out for help, support, advice, or just to listen are the most valuable assets for me in these troubled times. Sport, to keep a good form at any point of the year to overcome the peaks of activity. I used to play a lot of basketball, then skiing, running, golfing and now, more limited to the gym. I also keep an interest in many sports to watch like football PSG and the French national team, rugby Racing 92, and the French national team, and tennis.

Thierry Nicault is responsible for driving new business, customer digital transformation and innovation, and the expansion of the channel partner program. Thierry reports to Robbie Kearns, Senior Regional Vice President, Salesforce. Since 2013, Thierry has been managing international business, including the development of subsidiaries and international sales teams in emerging markets. Thierry is an experienced EMEA, Emerging Market Sales Director with over 20 years in the IT industry, having joined Salesforce in 2012 and previously with SAP. Thierry has held positions of increasing responsibility with resellers, manufacturers, and software editors. He also brings a vast experience dealing with complex sales cycles and contexts, understanding of specific French and international business practices, and management of high-performing sales teams Traveling and discovering new parts of the world either for business or leisure purposes has always been a large part of my life, including international family with my in-laws based in the United States, and my wife who lived many years in Africa, are probably influencing me a lot.

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INDUSTRY SPECIAL

SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC

DRIVING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION OF ENERGY MANAGEMENT The new electric world is dependent on datacentres due to the explosion in IoT connected devices and the resulting large amounts of data being generated.

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chneider Electric is leading the Digital Transformation of Energy Management and Automation in Homes, Buildings, Datacentres, Infrastructure, and Industries. With global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is a leader in Power Management – Medium Voltage, Low Voltage and Secure Power, and in Automation Systems. Schneider Electric provides integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation, and software. In the global ecosystem, they collaborate with the largest Partner, Integrator and Developer Community on the Open Platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency. Schneider believes that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that their commitment to Innovation, Diversity and Sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment. Secure Power division is a major contributor in Schneider Electric’s

Secure Power division is a major contributor in Schneider Electric’s efforts to make the world more sustainable

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efforts to leverage digital to make the world more sustainable. The new electric world is heavily dependent on datacentres due to the explosion in IoT connected devices and the resulting large amounts of data being generated by business and consumer applications. Secure Power’s mission continues to be to make datacentres as efficient as possible while ensuring always on availability, without compromising the future of the planet. Key to this is EcoStruxure: IoT-enabled, plugand-play, open, interoperable architecture, and platform, that includes Connected Products, Edge Control, and Apps, Analytics and Services. The world has gone remote. Pandemic-driven lockdowns have forced industrial organisations across the globe to quickly adjust to highly unusual working conditions. Some have been more successful at transiting to the new normal than others. Success organisations share something in common - technology. Schneider Electric provides the software, services, digital power, and process physical infrastructure solutions that ease the transition to the world of remotely controlled operations and connected workers. Schneider Electric has been recognised by Gartner, as a leader in the Magic Quadrant for Datacentre Infrastructure Management tools. DCIM software is used to monitor, measure, and manage datacentres, covering both IT equipment and supporting infrastructure such as power and cooling systems. It is intended to help managers achieve maximum energy efficiency and to help prevent equipment problems that lead to downtime. Nextgeneration phase DCIM solutions take advantage of cloud technology and provide a significant step forward in DCIM capability. The APC global partner network includes more than 150,000 IT Solution Providers. To ensure partners’ growth, the company continuously builds and improves its partner programs and educational opportunities to offer best-in-class support. This includes best-in-class training, financial resources, and marketing assistance. The company’s Channel Partner Program drives simplicity and ease of doing business. They also prioritise investments in partner profitability and business models, and the program demonstrates a commitment to maintaining or growing the share of revenue generated through partners. ë


INDUSTRY SPECIAL

TOP EXECUTIVE

ZIAD YOUSSEF,

VP Secure Power, Middle East and Africa, Schneider Electric.

LOCATION UAE

GOALS AND STRENGTHS He is passionate about technology, innovation, and digital transformation. And he believes these concepts can create a better, more sustainable world for future generations. Having worked for a systems integrator, distributor, and vendor, he has a unique view of the channel and customers that helps me make the best decisions on their behalf.

OFFLINE For Ziad, work balance is a must. He is huge sports fan basketball and football and has organised a basketball team in the company, which plays three times a week. He also enjoys reading and exploring new material on the evolution of technology and sustainability topics as their impact is huge in shaping the future of the local community.

Ziad Youssef oversees business operations across eighty countries in the Middle East and Africa, working with channel partners and customers to deliver the most efficient and effective datacentre designs and Edge Computing strategies for their operations. Ziad reports to Natalya Makarochkina, SVP Secure Power International Region. Ziad has been with Schneider Electric for a decade, first overseeing the Gulf and now MEA. He has worked with system integrators, as well as on the distribution side with Mindware. In total, he has two decades worth of experience, on the front lines of the technology landscape. Ziad summarises challenges in three key areas to ensure we provide the right development opportunities for people. Communication with employee is important on short and long-term goals and career development paths to achieve the desired growth ambitions. Coaching and mentoring, this approach in the past was not as structured as it is today in organisations. This is a clear enabler to ensure a good jump start in next new role, challenge. Motivation, providing the employee the right motivation and working conditions is key for career progression.

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INDUSTRY SPECIAL

SERVICENOW

UNIFIED FOUNDATION FOR ENTERPRISE DIGITAL WORKFLOWS With digital workflows that automate service requests, delivery teams can increase service speed, and drive transformation with employees and customers.

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y leveraging one platform as a single source of truth, organisations can combine multiple sources of data and information to provide their workforce with more visibility and greater efficiency. This sets us up to fit neatly into existing IT, employee, customer, and creator workflows. Behind every great employee and customer experience is a great workflow — when work flows naturally, great experiences follow. The Now Platform is a single, unified foundation for all enterprise digital workflows. With out-of-the-box digital workflows that automate everyday service requests, delivery teams can increase service delivery speed, drive transformation with connected IT, employee, customer, and creator workflows and free up teams for higher value work that drives enterprisewide innovation. And with native development and integration tools, organisations can easily extend ServiceNow’s digital workflows or create new digital workflows on the same platform. This flexibility lets the organisation create the right experiences needed for a better way to work, or in disruptive situations, like COVID, a better way to respond. The Now Platform is born in the cloud and built from the ground up with a single data model and a single, scalable architecture — that’s our

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secret sauce. We play nice with other solutions and provide organisations with choice and flexibility to leverage the technologies they prefer as they embark on their digital transformation journeys. The Now Platform is the platform of platforms for the workflow revolution. While there are vendors on the market that offer solutions for specific systems — ITSM or HR service delivery, for example — we are the only vendor on the market that offer a single, unified foundation for all enterprise digital workflows, allowing customers to maximise value of existing technology investments and connect siloed systems, department, and processes. Since that the Now Platform is built in the cloud, customers that choose to implement ServiceNow can be up and running in a matter of weeks rather than months or years that it would take with competitors. ServiceNow’s Partner Programs are designed to help organisations revolutionise the way people work. These programs are multi-segmented and provide access to demo instances, marketing tools, customer referrals and much more. ServiceNow has already helped several regional government entities and enterprises, particularly in the BFSI, energy and utilities, healthcare, and telecoms sectors, make good on their digital transformation goals. ë


INDUSTRY SPECIAL

TOP EXECUTIVE

MARK ACKERMAN,

Area Vice President, Middle East and Africa, ServiceNow

LOCATION UAE

GOALS AND STRENGTHS Seeing a solution to every problem would be the strongest trait I bring to the role. With the experience of working in technical and sales roles, with both vendors and SIs, and across mature and emerging markets, I have the experience and the confidence that there is no problem or challenge that can’t be overcome.

OFFLINE Motocross and desert Baja racing is the most stress relieving activity as it allows me to clear my mind and focus 100% on what I am doing, lest I crash and burn! My competitive nature means I still participate in all the local championships and the odd International Rally or Baja when the opportunity presents itself.

Mark Ackerman is responsible for managing all aspects of strategy, sales, and operations in the MEA Emerging Markets. This includes driving both direct sales and channel sales, go-to-market strategy in the region and continuing the incredible growth of ServiceNow. He reports to VP of South Major Area, Cathy Mauzaize. Mark started out in the Call Centre and Business Continuity world at the young age of 23. Progressing through his career, he always kept one foot in sales and one foot in technical leadership roles living in 4 countries over 15 years. Most recently, he spent six years with a leading systems integrator, as the CTO, before making the move to ServiceNow in early 2015. The toughest time I had was working in West Africa with a challenging customer that required me to relocate my family and adapt significantly to the culture. Balancing all the professional responsibilities of the job with the commitments to a young family, all while being thousands of miles from home, was a steep learning curve both professionally and personally.

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INDUSTRY SPECIAL

SOFTWARE AG

FOCUSING ON TRANSFORMATION, INTEGRATION, API MANAGEMENT Connected enterprises are made possible by APIs, integration, microservices, while WebMethods unlocks innovation by delivering new business models.

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oftware AG’s suite of solutions include Business Transformation, Integration and API management and IoT and Analytics. To ensure enterprises stay agile and in control, Software AG offers ARIS and Alfabet. These tools can enable companies to understand their current IT ecosystem, map their business processes, and optimize their future digital business. Connected enterprises are made possible by APIs, integration and microservices. WebMethods from Software AG unlocks innovation by delivering new business models made possible by a connected digital ecosystem using this integration solution. IoT insights have a significant business impact. From connected product manufacturers to machine operators and plant managers, by connecting devices and sensors, data can be analysed utilising Cumulocity IoT from Software AG. Software AG Cloud is the company’s open and independent cloud platform one-stop shop for all cloud products on a secure and reliable PaaS portal. The cloud capabilities are integrated and enable customers to connect, scale and grow digital business at their pace. Software AG’s Alfabet solution is the only leader in the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Architecture Tools. Gartner has positioned Software AG’s products as a leader in every Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Archi-

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tecture Tools since 2005. Software AG has the highest score for current offering and strategy in the Forrester Wave for Hybrid Integration for Enterprises. Software AG is positioned as a Leader in the Forrester Waves for Enterprise Architecture Management Suites, Full life Cycle API Management, Industrial IoT Software Platforms and Strategic Portfolio Management for Agile Organisations. Software AG invests significantly in growing through and along with their partners. Software AG’s global PartnerConnect program represents 400+ businesses and technology partnerships. The program includes an updated portal, trainings, and incentives to help ensure partners meet evolving needs, increase profit, and experience a strong ROI. Software AG partnerships in collaboration with its channel partners aims to deliver a complete cycle of transformation for any given customer implementation, from opportunity sourcing to delivering the business need through the transformation journey, in addition to the post-delivery support. Customers include Dubai Digital Authority, Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, Abu Dhabi Customs, amongst others. ë


INDUSTRY SPECIAL

TOP EXECUTIVE

RAMI KICHLI,

VP, Gulf and Levant, Software AG.

LOCATION UAE

GOALS AND STRENGTHS A sense of belief with a vision when things are difficult. Perseverance is key to success. Building the right team- hiring the right people and most importantly getting out their way, giving them autonomy to do their best. Selecting and designing the right areas of investment that for optimum returns.

OFFLINE Rami can be seen indulging in sporting activities such as cycling and running. He is also an avid football fan especially Messi and his quiet moments are filled by reading non-fiction books, particularly around the topics of business and history.

Rami Kichli is the Business Head for Gulf and Levant, reporting to the President of EMEA at Software AG. Straight out of college, graduating as a Computer and Communications Engineer, Rami moved to the Gulf in Kuwait and worked in IT. A significant experience that shaped his career was his entrepreneurial stint of setting up his company in 1999 with Kuwaiti partners and eventually selling it to investors after six years. This led to the onset of his multinational career with Exact Software, where he was responsible for the region. This was followed by CISCO and SAP and finally Software AG in 2014 where he was hand-picked to manage and grow the region for the company. The other side of the coin in everyone’s career are challenges and obstacles that arise from market conditions, internal factors, economic instability, and most recently by pandemic led business problems. Every challenge is an opportunity to shape oneself. Being an entrepreneur by attitude, gave Rami the insights of finding solutions to overcome challenges arising from different factors in pursuit of organisational and individual growth. Software AG boasts of double-digit growth in the region for the last 5 years in a row with Rami at the helm.

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PRODUCTS

Western Digital releases Red SN700 NVMe SSD for high-capacity NAS environment Leveraging its strength and leadership in flash, Western Digital announced the new WD Red SN700 NVMe SSD, a high-endurance, fast-caching solution that accelerates NAS performance for SMB customers. This powerful new drive is engineered to support 24x7 NAS environments and always-on applications with the ultimate in reliability and endurance. Its fast system responsiveness and I-O performance are perfect for multi-user, multi-application environments, letting SMBs

tame their toughest projects from virtualisation to collaborative editing to intensive database storage. Its slim gum stick design slips right into the NVMe-ready M.2 slot that is available in many of today’s leading NAS enclosures. According to an IDC 2021 FutureScape, by 2021, at least 70% of digitally-enabled small- and medium-sized businesses SMBs will operate under a hybrid model of working, with remote work emerging as a norm. This can put

pressure on business owners as they, their staff or IT consultants support advanced use cases like virtualisation, collaborative editing and intensive database workloads in order to manage the seamless flow of data. For SMBs, NAS — or network attached storage — is one of the most widely used methods for accessing, sharing and protecting data alongside the cloud. NAS solutions help SMBs solve for latency and remote shared access to data or applications across the network. Key features of the WD Red SN700 NVMe SSD drive include: l High Performance - Delivers up to 3,430 MBs performance 500GB and 1TB models – more than 5 times the sequential read capability of SATA drives l High Reliability and Endurance – Optimised for 24/7 NAS workload environments offering high reliability and endurance of up to 5,100 TBW 4TB model to handle the constant caching of read and rewrite cycles l High Capacity - Offered in capacities from 250GB* to 4TB* to help cover present and future caching needs The new WD Red NVMe SSDs join Western Digital’s WD Red portfolio of storage solutions that include WD Red HDDs and WD Red SATA SSDs – all purpose-built for NAS. The WD Red SN700 NVMe SSD family is now available from the Western Digital store and through select distribution channel partners. It has a 5-year limited warranty.

First complete single pair Ethernet system launched by R&M in Middle East R&M, launched the industry’s first complete Single Pair Ethernet system in the Middle East. Comprised of connectors and connection modules, installation cables and patch cords, this new system provides an effective way to link digital terminal devices and sensors to data networks, paving the way for comprehensive building automation. R&M sees the possibility for the solution’s application in key facilities in the region including hospitals, hotels, malls, industrial parks, and office centers. R&M’s Single Pair Ethernet solution extends the concept of local data networks LAN and structured cabling systems while offering cables that are thinner and connectors that are smaller. This allows a large number of devices and sensors – such as smart LED lights, remote-controlled monitors and scoreboards,

temperature, light and climate sensors, controllers for heating and ventilation, electronic cash registers and self-service terminals – to be connected without traditional constraints. In addition to data and signals, SPE cabling can also transport electricity and thus supply terminal equipment with power. In many cases, this eliminates the need for separate wiring for the power supply. Smart buildings are foundation of the smart city visions of future-focused countries in the Middle East. The infusion of technology into the built environment helps enhance operating efficiencies, achieve Net-Zero agendas and most importantly, create better working and living ecosystem for building occupants. R&M is one of the driving forces behind the standardisation and broad market launch

of Single Pair Ethernet SPE. In 2020, R&M founded the Single Pair Ethernet System Alliance together with more than 20 international technology companies. It aims to promote the use of SPE in a wide range of applications and areas of operation.

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PRODUCTS

Oracle announced next-generation Exadata X9M supporting Oracle’s Autonomous Database Oracle announced the availability of Oracle Exadata X9M platforms, the latest version of the industry’s fastest and most affordable systems for running Oracle Database. The new Exadata X9M offerings include Oracle Exadata Database Machine X9M, and Exadata Cloud@Customer X9M—the only platform that runs Oracle Autonomous Database in customer data centers. Today, 87% of the Global Fortune 100 and thousands of smaller enterprises rely on Oracle Exadata to run their business-critical workloads. Next-generation Exadata X9M platforms accelerate online transaction processing with more than 70% higher IOPs rates and IO latencies of under 19 microseconds. They also deliver up to an 87% increase in analytic SQL throughput and machine learning workloads. By delivering higher performance at the same price as the previous generation, Exadata X9M enables customers to reduce the costs of running transactional workloads by up to 42%, and analytics workloads by up to 47%. Oracle Autonomous Database, the industry’s only self-driving database, is now available on Exadata Cloud@Customer X9M. A key new enhancement is support for small databases running with fractional CPUs to enable agile, low-cost, consolidation, application development, and testing. Integration with Oracle’s Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance improves protection against data loss and ransomware cyber-attacks. In addition, customers can benefit from advanced security features such as customer-managed encryption keys, and database-level Access Control Lists. Business-critical applications can now leverage simplified disaster recovery provisioning using cross-region Oracle Autonomous Data Guard, as well as Oracle GoldenGate for heterogeneous data replication and streaming data processing for real-time analytics.

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The core Exadata X9M platform is built using a unique scale-out architecture that combines the latest Intel CPUs, Intel Optan persistent memory PMem, and RDMA over Converged Ethernet RoCE to deliver up to 27.6M IOPS and sub 19 microsecond latency for OLTP. To accelerate analytics applications, each Exadata X9M rack delivers over 1 TB/sec of analytical scan throughput and provides up to 576 CPUs in intelligent storage servers to process low-level SQL queries, analytics, and machine learning algorithms. To simplify IT operations, Exadata X9M allows any combination of OLTP, analytics, machine learning, in-memory and mixed workloads to complete faster and consume fewer resources. With 33% more database server CPUs and memory, as well as 28% more storage than previous generations, Exadata X9M customers can consolidate even more Oracle Databases on a single Exadata system, reducing cost and complexity. Oracle also announced availability of Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance X9M. The Recovery Appliance is purpose-built to protect Oracle Databases, featuring unique capabilities to recover databases with no data loss and automatically validate backups for assured database recoverability. Oracle is also introducing new Cyber Vault capabilities for reliably recovering from malware and ransomware attacks. The new Recovery Appliance version increases storage capacity by 30% and lowers entry-level pricing by 50%. New features include synchronisation between multiple Recovery Appliances to enable backup and recovery continuity during unplanned and planned outages. In addition, support for long-term backup retention options include onpremises Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage.


Protecting Your Information

OUR SOLUTIONS Email Security, Archiving, Business Continuity

Digital Risk Protection / Brand Protection

Encrypted USB Drives / Cloud Storage

Data Classification & DLP

SIEM / Threat Intelligence Feed

DNS Security / Network Access Control

Managed Secure File Transfer (SFTP)

Privileged Access Management (PIM/PAM)

Network Monitoring & Configuration Management

Hardware Security Module (HSM) / Encryption

PKI for IoT & OT / MFA / IAM

Insider Threat Monitoring / Prevention

Endpoint Security / EDR / Ransomware Protection

Robotic Process Automation / Workload Automation

Zero Trust / Deception Technology

SSL Certificates / Digital Signatures

Cybersecurity Training and Simulation Platform

DDoS Protection / WAF

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM/ MDM)

Web Application Vulnerability Scanner

Meet The Team


Faster, Denser, and More Scalable Than Ever Help your customers discover a better way to scale their enterprises and safeguard critical data with Seagate Systems—now available at an exceptional price. Our innovative and easily integrated platforms create a seamless enterprise storage experience. With maximum capacity and unparalleled performance, this is data done right.

Why Choose Seagate Systems? margins high, we’re offering 30% off the manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing (MSRP) for all our value-added resellers (VAR). Between competitive pricing, high-capacity drives, and end-to-end system integration, Seagate Systems offer best-in-class value for you and your customers.

3005 Controller — Entry

5005 Controller — High

100K IOPS

600K IOPS 1ms latency

3.5GB/s sequential read throughput

7GB/s sequential read throughput

3.5GB/s sequential write throughput

5.5GB/s sequential write throughput

16GB cache per system

32GB cache per system

4 ports per system: iSCI (1Gb/10Gb), Fibre Channel

8 ports per system: SAS, iSCI (1Gb/10Gb), Fiber Channel

HDDs

HDDs and SSDs

Questions? Reach out to your account team.

Bibin George Sales Representative MENA (Enterprise and Systems), Seagate Technology bibin.jacob@seagate.com +971-50-6818529

Arnab Majumder Product Line Sales Manager, – Enterprise Storage, ASBIS Middle East FZE arnab.majumder@asbisme.ae +971-58-5611076


PRODUCTS

IBM announces new family of IBM Power servers for secure, scalable hybrid cloud IBM announced the new IBM Power E1080 server, the first in a new family of servers based on the new IBM Power10 processor, designed specifically for hybrid cloud environments. The IBM Power10-equipped E1080 server is engineered to be one of the most secured server platforms and is designed to help clients operate a secured, frictionless hybrid cloud experience across their entire IT infrastructure. The IBM Power E1080 server is launching at a critical time for IT. As organisations around the world continue to adapt to unpredictable changes in consumer behaviors and needs, they need a platform that can deliver their applications and insights securely where and when they need them. The IBM Institute of Business Value’s 2021 CEO Study found that, of the 3,000 CEOs surveyed, 56% emphasised the need to enhance operational agility and flexibility when asked what they’ll most aggressively pursue over the next two to three years. Many see the answer to this need in a hybrid

IDRISS JANATI, Director, Servers and Storage Solutions at IBM Middle East and Africa.

cloud computing model, which combines on-premises resources with cloud-based infrastructure and can offer up to 2.5x greater value than a public cloud-only approach.

However not all hybrid cloud models are designed equally. New IBM Power E1080 server offers 2.5x greater per core performance vs x86-based servers and sets a new world record SAP benchmark for 8-socket systems The IBM Institute of Business Value’s 2021 CEO Study found that, of the 3,000 CEOs surveyed, 56% emphasised the need to enhance operational agility and flexibility The new IBM E1080 was designed to introduce several key features including: l Enhancements for hybrid cloud like planned industry-first, by the minute metering of Red Hat software including Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, 4.1x greater OpenShift containerised throughput per core vs x86-based servers, and architectural consistency and cloud-like flexibility across the entire hybrid cloud environment to drive agility and improve costs without application refactoring.

ServiceNow improves Employee Center that integrates with Microsoft Teams and improves employee experience ServiceNow announced an expanded strategic partnership with Microsoft to empower employees as they continue to navigate new ways of working. As part of ServiceNow’s Now Platform Rome release, the company is introducing a new collaborative app for its Employee Center that integrates with Microsoft Teams and offers streamlined employee experiences in the hybrid work environment. The companies also announced expanded investments in co-innovation and go-tomarket efforts across ServiceNow workflows and Teams. ServiceNow’s new Employee Center will be available as a collaborative app that can be embedded directly into Teams. Collaborative apps are a new class of Teams apps that surface in rich ways across chat, channels, and meetings. Employee Center provides employees with a single, unified portal to find information, get help across departments – including IT, HR, facilities, procurement and legal – and request the services they need. Through the

Teams app, employees can access the portal directly in the flow of their work. ServiceNow announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft in July 2019. Since then, customers such as NTT Data, a global digital business and IT services leader, have implemented ServiceNow within Microsoft Teams. To further accelerate this momentum, ServiceNow and Microsoft are deepening their investments and collaboration in product innovation, driving joint customer success and go-to-market across all ServiceNow workflows and Teams. ServiceNow and Microsoft have partnered closely for more than a decade, working together to create exceptional work experiences and unlock productivity with more than 30 native integrations across both companies’ full suites of products. As part of this expanded partnership, ServiceNow has adopted Microsoft Teams for chat, meetings, and collaboration with full deployment across its 15,000 global employees targeted for the end

BLAKE MCCONNELL, Senior Vice President of Employee Workflow Products at ServiceNow.

of September 2021. Microsoft is already using ServiceNow IT Service Management and ServiceNow Virtual Agent integrated with Teams, to streamline workflows across its enterprise, resolve IT incidents as well as employees’ IT issues and questions faster.

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17-21 OCT 2021

17-20 OCT 2021 D U B A I

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REAL LIFE

Schneider implements EcoStruxure Building Operation 3.0 BMS at Hyatt Centric Jumeirah Schneider Electric has been chosen to implement a full building management system at Hyatt Centric Jumeirah Dubai. The solution, EcoStruxure Building Operation 3.0, will provide the hotel with a combined building management system and guest room manage-

ment system that will control and monitor critical building sub-systems. The solution will help reduce the building’s total energy consumption, lower the hotel’s carbon emissions, and will also cut operational maintenance costs. The solution focuses on

delivering exceptional guest comfort and satisfaction by performing HVAC control with occupancy management and integration with hotel reservation system. EcoStruxure Building Operation facilitates the secure exchange of data from both Schneider Electric and third-party energy, lighting, HVAC, fire safety, security, and workplace management systems while leveraging digitisation and big data. Schneider Electric’s IP-enabled software and hardware address the entire building ecosystem with easy integration of devices, other building systems, and cloud services, delivering the performance and data-throughput needed for small buildings to large, complex multi-site enterprises. Located in Jumeirah 1 District, La Mer Waterfront Beach area, the five-star hotel will consist of 7 floors above ground and 2 basement floors encompassing 173 guestrooms within a gross floor area of 22,176 m². The hotel is managed by Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Technology will help save energy, reduce carbon emissions, lower maintenance costs, and ensure comfort and safety for hotel guests In addition to the EcoStruxure Building Operation 3.0 software, each room will be fitted with RP-C controller, valve actuators and a TC907 thermostat. This hardware will be connected to the EcoStruxure Building Operation 3.0, to give a complete view of each room’s electrical setup and energy usage.

Jordan Kuwait Bank’s Mastercard World Elite customers will use Thales biometric card

NASSIR GHROUS, Senior Vice President, Banking and Payment Services for Southern Europe, Eurasia, Middle-East and Africa region at Thales.

Thales is supplying Jordan Kuwait Bank with contactless biometric EMV bank cards to allow the bank’s customers to authorise transactions using a built-in fingerprint scanner. In partnership with TESCO, Thales’ biometric cards are the first commercialised cards in the region and will provide ground-breaking EMV payment solutions across existing contactless and Chip and PIN terminals or online. The biometric cards will be distributed to JKB’s Mastercard World Elite customers who will enroll their fingerprints on the biometric card without the need of visiting a branch. The contactless payment experience is enhanced and totally secured without the usual payment limits. The fingerprint is instantly compared with the cardholder’s biometric data, which are safely stored in the card. Thales’ secure technology ensures the biometric data is safely stored on the card and cannot be accessed or used by other parties. As well as enhancing contactless functionality, the fully integrated card can be used at ATMs and for online shopping. The battery-less card is powered through the card terminal and when a customer presents the card, a green light on the card indicates that the fingerprint has been matched successfully. With fingerprint recognition, cardholders are automatically authenticated, without the need of entering the PIN code at the point-of-sale terminal to validate a transaction.

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REAL LIFE

Egypt’s Abou Ghaly Motors upgrades CRM to SAP Hybris, backend to SAP HANA Abou Ghaly Motors, one of Egypt’s leading providers of integrated mobility solutions, is driving innovation in the Middle East and North Africa’s $12 billion automotive market, supported by global technology partners like SAP for empowering its digital transformation journey. Egypt is the fastest-growing car market in the Middle East and North Africa, with the region posting USD 12 billion in annual car sales, according to the Feedback Middle East market research firm. Egypt has about 7.2 million cars, or about one-quarter of the 26 million vehicles in the Arab World. Abou Ghaly Motors is representing some of the world most iconic car brands, being the official authorised dealer for Mercedes Benz, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Subaru and Geely in Egypt, along with KTM motorcycles for sales, services and spare parts. As well as being the franchisee of Germany’s Sixt rent a car business and owner and operator of the London Cab Application and Mobility Services. In addition, Abou Ghaly Motors provides after-sales services for international oil companies such as Malaysia’s Petronas, and IT and application services. Supporting customer service innovation, Abou Ghaly Motors is now running on SAP’s cloudbased Customer Experience solutions, which can scale up as the company evolves. In its digital transformation journey, Abou Ghaly Motors upgraded the customer relationship management systems to SAP Hybris, and customised features to drive better lead generation mechanisms. At the same time, Abou Ghaly Motors is transitioning its back-end operations of SAP’s Enterprise Resource Planning ERP solution to the SAP HANA in-memory platform. Abou Ghaly Motors is completing these projects powered by its in-house technology experts.

ENG MOHAMED ABOU GHALY, CEO of Abou Ghaly Group.

(Right to left) Nasir Al Nabhani, CEO, MDC Business Management Services and Renaud Capris, CEO, Enova at the signing ceremony.

Mubadala’s MDC Business Management partners with Enova for 3-tier facilities management MDC Business Management Services, a Mubadala Group company, and Enova today announced a partnership to drive new levels of innovative facilities management solutions in Abu Dhabi. MDC BMS is a multifunctional shared services company supporting key business management operations for clients within the UAE. Enova, the market leader in Middle East energy and facilities management, will deliver a three-tiered approach of technical know-how, value creation, and sustainability.

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This partnership will enable the roll-out of efficient and optimised facility management operations and services to BMS’s portfolio of clients. These technically-sound, replicable solutions and processes are designed to generate value that ultimately fosters economic growth and improves the energy efficiency of client premises and operations. An important aspect of the partnership is the commitment of both organisations to the UAE’s carbon emission and energy efficiency targets.


REAL LIFE

Hayel Saeed Anam will implement SAP Direct Store Delivery for data on customers, orders, delivery Hayel Saeed Anam and Company Yemen, one of the Middle East’s largest family-owned conglomerates, is pleased to announce its partnership with global technology leader SAP. In its first major project in Yemen since the outbreak of the conflict, SAP will enable HSA to harness the power of data flows to ensure insight-driven decision-making across its operating companies. Throughout the ongoing humanitarian crisis, however, Hayel Saeed Anam and Company’s leadership has remained committed to investing in the company’s resilience in order to overcome these operational challenges and continue providing for the millions of Yemenis who rely on the business for essential goods including food and medicines. To enhance its resilience, Hayel Saeed Anam and Company has developed a digital transformation roadmap to improve efficiencies and risk preparedness across the organisation. The long-term strategic partnership with SAP aims to accelerate growth across its 50+ operating companies in the FMCG, industrial, trading and services sectors.

The implementation of SAP business platforms will provide access to the information required for the live data-driven decision making that is critical to maintaining business continuity in such a complex environment. It will be enabled through increased automation and improved business process execution in line with global business standards, alongside upskilling its workforce across its businesses. To date, eight companies spanning a range of commercial and industrial sectors have switched to SAP applications as part of the initial pilot phase, with a full conversion planned for HSA’s remaining companies planned over the next two years. The comprehensive programme implemented by HSA includes SAP S4HANA realtime business suite for its larger enterprises; the SAP Business ByDesign, a cloud-based ERP solution for its smaller companies; and the SAP Direct Store Delivery solution for real-time insights on customers, orders, and deliveries. As the largest private employer in Yemen, the company also implemented the SAP SuccessFactors human experience management suite

HODA MANSOUR, Managing Director, SAP Egypt, Yemen, Sudan and Levant.

to optimise employee experiences. During the coronavirus pandemic, HSA has also deployed the SAP Environment, Health, and Safety Management solution to ensure the safety of its employees and customers across its operations. Together, the implementation of these SAP business platform solutions allows HSA to obtain a holistic view of all of its business activities, providing greater accuracy and better control over its businesses and enabling the organisation to achieve excellence across its business areas.

UAE insurance company Takaful achieves 60% datacentre savings using Nutanix HCI Nutanix announced that National Takaful Company, a UAE insurance company based in Abu Dhabi, has standardised on Nutanix Hyperconverged infrastructure technology. The implementation has resulted in approximately 60% savings on the company’s data centre footprint and operation cost, and brought reliability, scalability and flexibility to the IT environment. It has also greatly enhanced database management and performance of missioncritical applications - including Watania’s core insurance platform, digital platform and other peripheral systems which includes HR and Payroll, Financial and RPA to name a few - which has a direct impact on Watania’s user experience and business. The company was founded in 2011 by leading institutions – Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and Al Dar Properties.

MARTIN SEBASTIAN, CIO of Watania.

The aim was to provide ‘takaful’ insurance solutions for the regional market. The company focuses on personal and commercial insurance business lines and its operation is in full compliance of Sharia regulations. On top of the core infrastructure challenges, databases were also a challenge since Watania had a variety of databases from different

vendors Oracle, MySQL, SQL that needed to be managed. After a thorough evaluation of market leading technologies from various vendors, which included reports from leading research firms, Mr. Sebastian and his team decided to standardise on Nutanix. Transition to the Nutanix HCI platform was easy and smooth thanks to the Nutanix Services team and the vendor’s service partners. Watania deployed Nutanix Prism that allowed Watania’s IT team to manage, operate, and monitor the entire IT infrastructure life cycle from a single pane of glass. In addition, the company implemented Nutanix Era - a suite of software which automates and simplifies database management, bringing one-click simplicity and invisible operations to database provisioning and lifecycle management.

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ICT B2B platform, ICT Circle ready to expand across GCC and MENA in next 6 months ICT Circle - the world’s first B2B online platform and first-of-its-kind, that connects the entire ICT industry has cemented its position in the UAE with a huge inventory of stockkeeping units in a niche IT products category. While this marks a milestone achievement for

the company, ICT Circle envisions to expand to GCC and MENA in the next 6 months and eventually go global by the year 2024. ICT Circle is an e-commerce platform that facilitates the buying and selling of products and solutions within the ICT ecosystem. The

platform enables vendors, distributors, resellers, and system integrators in the ICT sector to scale up their business capabilities by utilising cloud computing. The company has captured the interest of a large number of IT distributors worldwide and with more than 100’s active subscribers using the platform on a daily basis, thus enabling members of the ICT fraternity to connect, network and strike the best deals. With the introduction of ICT Circle, industry stakeholders will be able to reduce operational costs as products are made available online, and distributors will get better insights on the latest technologies. The platform facilitates the easy launching and testing of new products while offering verified and secured transactions so that businesses can be conducted with peace of mind. Overall, ICT Circle will provide global exposure and enhanced reach towards potential customers in the industry. Members who subscribe to the platform will enjoy access to features such as, escrow facility, real-time market analytics, closed partner circle, ad promotions, lead generation assistance, product insurance, logistics assistance, inspection and verification services, access to other partners’ SKUs and much more. Easy to use features offered by ICT Circle enable seamless indent sales, procurement, marketing, and training to its subscribers, thus simplifying the day-to-day processes of the ICT community.

88% MENA IT decision makers changed customer experiences announced Sitecore Sitecore the global leader in digital experience management software, announced, ahead of Gitex Technology Week, that 88% of IT decision-makers in the Middle East and North Africa have fundamentally changed their customer experiences in response to the pandemic. The research, conducted by YouGov MENA, surveyed more than 650 IT decision-makers across 12 countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Levant, and Egypt. Furthermore, with the rise in e-commerce, 91% of customers in MENA have become digital converts since the pandemic and want to keep buying everything online. Supporting the Middle East’s customer experience and e-commerce markets, Sitecore will hold its first standalone participation at Gitex

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under the theme of delivering memorable experiences. Sitecore will emphasise the rollout of its $1.2 Billion global investment plan and the recent acquisitions of Boxever and Four51 and Moosend. Sitecore will also highlight the integration of the Sitecore Experience Platform and Sitecore artificial intelligence solutions with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation across websites, apps, and social media. Overall, the YouGov survey shows that 83% of MENA organisations advanced their marketing technology stack more in 2020 than in the three previous years. Among the top three technologies seeing the strongest take up to improve the customer shopping experience

MOHAMMED ALKHOTANI, Area Vice President – Middle East and Africa, Sitecore.

are apps or websites 63%, remembering customers’ shopping history 39%, and giving preferential offers or invitations 35%.


REAL LIFE

iGTB launches cloud native, integrated cash management for MENA banks

The world’s first cloud-native, fully integrated cash management platform, powered by microservices and Open Banking APIs for banks in Middle East and North Africa has launched in the UAE. Intellect Global Transaction Banking iGTB, the transaction banking specialist from Intellect Design Arena Limited, ranked #1 in the world for Transaction Banking by IBS Intelligence two years in a row, recently announced its completely reimagined Digital Transaction Banking on a cloud platform. iGTB, with origins that can be traced to Citibank, has three decades of experience in transaction banking technology. Currently 90+ banks globally and 30+ banks in MENA region trust iGTB for their digital cash transformation. Middle East and North African banks that desire a large piece of the pie of the rapidly growing transaction banking business, and those that wish to accelerate SME and corporate digital customer acquisition, are set to experience a major turnaround with this

MANISH MAAKAN, CEO, iGTB.

announcement. A key tenet of this redesigned Cash Management Platform is to embrace simplicity in digital banking transformation, for banks to stay relevant to their customers and investors by adopting latest cloud technology without high CAPEX investments and to bust the myth of endless technology projects that must span into years. This platform is powered by comprehensive product coverage across cash management, payments, account services, self-onboarding, liquidity and virtual accounts and is offered

across three easy-to-consume bundles – the CashNow plan, the CashXtra plan, and the CashPower plan. Each bundle tailored specifically for banks at various stages of their transaction banking digital maturity, with an innovative pay-as-you-grow pricing model. The bundles are specially curated with iGTB’s thorough repertoire of user journeys and domain packs built up from its large client base, designed to accelerate sales cycles for banks, increase stickiness across their client segments and impact the customer experience with a fully digital 360 offering. Banks will now be able to capture stable, predictable corporate and SME fee revenues in weeks rather than months. iGTB’s fully managed, cloud-ready Digital Transaction Banking Platform will help de-risk banks’ IT operations with up to 40% reduction in IT total cost of operations. Pre-configured domain packs for the GCC and North African markets will speed up bank’s go-to-market product launch aided by the operationallyready suite of 135+ Open Banking APIs to help roll out consumer-friendly innovative features. Corporates and SMEs can be rapidly onboarded, saving up to 70% in onboarding costs, bringing in operational efficiency, and driving down acquisition costs. All this backed by pay-as-you-grow ready-plans that can help banks go-live in as fast as 10 weeks, leveraging our global cloud infrastructure from Microsoft Azure.

Saudi based Edarat Group selects IBM Cloud Satellite to enable hybrid cloud services IBM has announced that Edarat Group, a Datacentre and Information and Communications Technology, ICT, Infrastructure firm in the Middle East, has selected IBM Cloud Satellite to enable its customers in Saudi Arabia to harness IBM Cloud services in hybrid cloud environments. Using IBM Cloud Satellite, Edarat Group will enable its customers to run workloads in hybrid cloud environments while keeping their data in Saudi Arabia. This is a key for regulated industries like financial services, telco, and healthcare, and can allow companies in these industries to run workloads in local and global datacentres. This will be a catalyst for technology innovation in Saudi Arabia, a core component of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

IBM Cloud Satellite brings IBM Cloud services securely to any environment where data resides, whether at the edge, on premises, or on multiple public clouds. It is designed to enable clients to access cloud services with speed and security across any environment. Rather than having to migrate workloads fully to a public cloud environment, Edarat Group’s enterprise customers can access secure IBM Cloud services in any environment where their data resides, allowing them to abide by local regulation. The adoption of IBM Cloud Satellite is designed to improve Edarat Group’s agility and enhance its operational efficiency in an increasingly competitive and evolving datacentre and ICT landscape in Saudi Arabia. By expanding the partnership with IBM, Edarat

FAHAD ALANAZI, General Manager, IBM Saudi Arabia.

will harness open hybrid cloud technologies to gain better deployment flexibility, enhanced security, and access to advanced services that can fuel innovation.

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Kuwait National Petroleum deploys private cloud in twin datacentres using VMware

AHED AL-KHURAYIF, Deputy CEO, Admin and Commercial Affairs, KNPC spokesperson.

Kuwait National Petroleum Company has taken its digital transformation to the next level with VMware. This agility means that KNPC will be able to deliver new mega-projects in the country and support the goals of Kuwait Vision 2035 to further support economic growth. With Kuwait increasing productivity across sectors as part of its national Vision 2035, it is critical that the oil sector, the traditional mainstay of the economy for several decades, also modernises, allowing it to achieve maximum efficiency to support diversification efforts. To support these ambitious plans, KNPC deployed its own private cloud in two datacentres in Kuwait, with a Software Defined Datacentre, approach, built on VMware solutions,

virtualising compute, storage, network and security layers for maximum agility, in addition to reduced cost and complexity. KNPC’s IT team is operating both sites in Active-Active configuration, allowing them to provide high resiliency and Service Level Agreements to the business units. With cybersecurity a growing concern in the energy sector, VMware’s solutions, including NSX, has helped boost KNPC’s security by providing intrinsic security throughout the network. VMware Cloud Foundation also helps boost KNPC’s security by automating the lifecycle management of all software components across the organisation’s infrastructure, which means security updates occur automatically, as and when required.

ABDULLA AJMAL, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Ajmal Perfumes.

Accely implements SAP Business Suite, SAP SuccessFactors at Ajmal Perfumes Ajmal Perfumes, one of the Middle East’s largest perfume manufacturers, is driving the Middle East’s $4.4 Billion fragrances market, by announcing a digital transformation partnership with global technology company SAP. Middle East consumers are rapidly shifting from massmarket fragrances to upmarket, home-grown brands. Founded in 1951, Ajmal Perfumes hosts a 150,000 square foot stateof-the-art factory that manufactures 100,000 bottles of perfume per day. Worldwide, Ajmal Perfumes counts more than 1,000 dealerships and distributors, 240 retail stores in 45 countries, and 30 Duty-Free locations and international airlines.

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Supporting innovation in the perfume market, Ajmal Perfumes is working with the channel partner Accely to digitally transform its operations. Ajmal Perfumes will run on the SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA, SAP S/4HANA, real-time business suite on the RISE with SAP platform, and enhance employee experiences with the SAP SuccessFactors human experience management suite. In its digital transformation roadmap, Ajmal Perfumes is also exploring SAP’s innovative solutions to further integrate digital marketing, customer experiences, and loyalty programmes.



ANALYST CORNER

85% organisations admit integration challenges stall digital transformation finds MuleSoft Whereas Middle East companies used to build one-to-three-year transformation plans, today technological advancements and customer expectations are changing much faster. Everything companies do has to be driven by flexibility, agility, and customer centricity. To digitally transform entails everything from connecting with and serving customers, to building the right data architecture, to embedding an open data culture throughout their organisation. It also involves training their workforce to share and leverage data effectively and transparently. In many cases it is not technology that is holding companies back. Rather, this is caused by the ways which companies have set up their systems to handle data. According to MuleSoft’s 2020 Connectivity Benchmark Report, 85% of organisations admit that integration challenges stall their digital transformation efforts. Disparate systems create siloed insights with negative knock-on effects on customer experiences. CIOs, previously seen as too expensive and service-oriented, are today tasked with reconceptualising their organisation entirely. By aligning the business and its objectives with integrated data architectures, and through rapid deployment of cloud-based systems, they

JULES DE MEESTER, Senior Director, Solution Engineering Middle East and Africa, Salesforce.

can help generate business results in months rather than years. This explains why in the digital economy we will see more CEOs with a digital background, and more CIOs becoming CEOs. When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, many businesses were not as streamlined and resilient as they once thought. Companies that entered the crisis with a compelling digital customer experience have benefitted at the expense of those which did not. The growth of Amazon’s market share over retail is just one example of the pandemic’s acceleration effect. Rather than think vertically, in terms of sales

and brand recognition, companies increasingly need to know about their interactions with customers. That includes how they interact with them, in what ways, and how they can put the customer at the centre of everything that they do. Bringing key customer information together, for instance, enables sales teams to request meetings and communicate key customer information, and setting customers up for success faster. Whereas traditionally data has helped companies to be more efficient, today it is entirely reimagining the ways they do business and make timely decisions, helping them find new ways of dealing with their suppliers, employees and wider stakeholders. Take employee onboarding processes for instance. What can be a confusing time for new hires is made more challenging by keeping employee data in separate silos. Having a 360-degree view of employee data will free managers up to welcome and build relationships, and ultimately provide a greater hiring experience. Data is also transforming the employee help desk experience. Where previously employees haven’t been able to find information, they needed on their intranet and IT case volumes have become overwhelming, by consolidating and migrating data from older systems companies can set up self-service and improved help-desk functionality, improving issue resolution timeframes and increasing workforce productivity.

Edge, 5G, AI, real drivers for growth of IaaS public cloud says Gartner The worldwide infrastructure as a service market grew 40.7% in 2020 to total $64.3 billion, up from $45.7 billion in 2019, according to Gartner. Amazon retained the No. 1 position in the IaaS market in 2020, followed by Microsoft, Alibaba, Google and Huawei. Hyperscale providers are continuing to build distributed cloud and edge solutions that extend the public cloud’s reach into private and on-premise locations, addressing the needs of organizations relating to data sovereignty, workload portability and network latency. This fact, coupled with reliance on the public cloud by a majority of organisations during the pandemic, drove another year of double digital market growth in 2020. In 2020, the top five IaaS providers

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accounted for 80% of the market, and nearly 90% all IaaS providers exhibited growth. Amazon continued to lead the worldwide IaaS market with $26.2 billion of revenue in 2020 and 41% market share. Amazon’s 28.7% growth was slightly slower than that of the market, with their sales growth primarily reflecting increased customer usage. The dominant IaaS provider in China, Alibaba, grew 52.8% in 2020 with revenue surpassing $6 billion, up from $4 billion in 2019. In 2020, Alibaba saw its highest growth rate in the education vertical at 105%, driven by downloads of Alibaba’s enterprise communication and collaboration platform DingTalk among employees and students working and studying from home. After its second consecutive year of over

SID NAG, Research Vice President at Gartner.

200% growth in the IaaS market, Huawei broke into the top five IaaS vendors for the first time in 2020, with $2.7 billion in revenue. Over 90% of this revenue comes from Greater China, a region that continues to see rapid cloud market growth. After 2019, Huawei made a hard pivot away from selling equipment to investing heavily in their cloud services business which is starting to yield results.


ANALYST CORNER

67% UAE technologists lack tools to measure how technology impact business, AppDynamics report AppDynamics announced significant shift in the company’s go-to-market strategy and introduced some important modifications to the existing Global Partner Programme to underpin that change. The market opportunity for full-stack observability continues to grow at break-neck speed as technologists battle on multiple fronts including, keeping pace with rapid digital transformation projects, managing increasing complexity across the IT stack and filtering overwhelming data noise. Visibility of IT performance and health across the entire IT stack, and the ability to correlate this with business outcomes, has never been more critical. But the clock is ticking for enterprises to leverage the benefits and competitive advantage that full-stack observability promises. In a recent AppDynamics report — The Agents of Transformation 2021: The rise of full-stack observability — 83% of UAE technologists stated that the inability to

MARK MASLACH, Vice President, Global Channels and Strategic Alliances at Cisco AppDynamics.

connect full-stack observability with business outcomes would be detrimental to their business this year. Worryingly, 67% confirmed they lacked the strategy and tools to effectively

measure how technology decisions impact business outcomes. Key updates to the AppDynamics partner programme include: l 100% channel-centric route to market: AppDynamics will transition from a mixed ‘direct and indirect’ sales model to a 100% channel-centric route to market. This will provide closer alignment to Cisco’s sales motion and gives partners the confidence and opportunity to build out full-stack observability practices with AppDynamics and Cisco. l A new Elite level added to the Global Partner Programme: To make this transition a reality AppDynamics has created a three-tier structure with a new top-tier ‘Elite’ partner category added to the existing ‘Alliance’ and ‘Titan’ levels. The Elite level is designed for the largest Global Partners and creates the optimal conditions to fully exploit the full-stack observability market opportunity across AppDynamics and the wider Cisco portfolio.

Talent shortage biggest obstacle in adoption of emerging technologies, up 64% from 4% IT executives see the talent shortage as the most significant adoption barrier to 64% of emerging technologies, compared with just 4% in 2020, according to a new survey from Gartner. A lack of talent availability was cited far more often than other barriers this year, such as implementation cost 29% or security risk 7%. The ongoing push toward remote work and the acceleration of hiring plans in 2021 has exacerbated IT talent scarcity, especially for sourcing skills that enable cloud and edge, automation and continuous delivery. As one example, of all the IT automation technologies profiled in the survey, only 20% of them have moved ahead in the adoption cycle since 2020. The issue of talent is to blame here. Despite talent challenges, infrastructure and operations I&O and other IT leaders have increased the adoption of emerging technologies to drive innovation as organisations begin to recover from the pandemic. Across all technology domains, 58% of

respondents reported either an increase or a plan to increase emerging technology investment in 2021, compared with 29% in 2020. Furthermore, I&O functions have witnessed a reduction in deployment timelines, with all technologies in deployment expected to reach adoption within the next six to 18 months. This indicates that organisations feel more comfortable directly deploying new technologies to accelerate growth, rather than relying on an extended observation period to develop the business case. In addition, a greater number of leaders both inside and outside of the IT function are influencing technology investment decisions this year, driving the trend of democratised delivery. In 2021, 82% of IT leaders either agree or strongly agree that enterprise leaders outside of IT influence emerging technology adoption decisions across all technology domains evaluated. Resilience and improving critical IT infrastructure are top priorities among I&O

and other IT leaders in 2021, according to the survey. As a result, they are prioritising cloud deployments and investments in security technologies.

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INNOVATION

INFOBLOX

ARRIVAL OF INFOBLOX 3.0 As customers extend on-premises infrastructures into the cloud, they are redesigning datacentres, networks, security, and need new foundations.

FRANK RUGE,

Vice President, EMEA Sales, Infoblox.

A

INFOBLOX 3.0 ATTRIBUTES SIMPLE Automating and standardising the delivery of cloud-first network experiences with the richest set of cloud-native APIs, integrations, and contextual data available on the market. RELIABLE Providing proven five-nines reliability for missioncritical networks, including the largest networks in the world, with the flexibility and cost efficiency of the cloud. SECURE Enabling customers to automate anytime, anywhere, foundation security for all uses and devices with faster threat detection and remediation. SCALABLE Delivering services when and where customers need them with a seamless, uniform experience.

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s customers extend on-premises infrastructures and applications into the cloud, they are redesigning datacentres, networks, security, and need new foundations. Infoblox is integrating its on-premises and cloud technologies, making them available from a single cloud-based portal, which enables customers to see where all their assets live through a centralised console. Infoblox 3.0 harnesses the industry’s leading networking core services and security solutions to provide the highest availability and to secure on-premises, virtual, cloud and hybrid deployments. Infoblox is uniting NIOS, the industry leading on-premises DDI solution, with its cloud-native BloxOne Threat Defense and BloxOne DDI platforms to help customers bridge core networking and security into cloud environments that underpin the needs of the modern enterprise. Infoblox 3.0 gives customers the cloud foundations they need whether in the form of private clouds that stay on-premises, hybrid networks combining datacentres with cloud offerings, or fully cloud networks. Connecting the on-premises DDI capabilities of NIOS to BloxOne DDI and BloxOne Threat Defense enables customers to build the hybrid and cloud-only DDI networks that modern enterprises need for workplace transformation.

THE APPROACH Infoblox pioneered enterprise-grade DDI, which customers use in their centralised datacentres and regional offices. Infoblox followed up with support of private and public cloud to help customers move workloads to the cloud. Under CEO Jesper Andersen’s leadership, Infoblox made a bet on offering DDI as a cloud managed offering with BloxOne DDI - doing for this space what Amazon did for compute and Microsoft did for storage. Infoblox leveraged two decades of experience delivering the market’s preferred on-premises DDI solutions to simplifying, scaling, and securing that experience in the cloud. Infoblox is building on-premises DDI leadership to delivering virtual, hybrid and cloud DDI deployments. ë


Power and protect life online. akamai.com/lifeonline


GUEST COLUMN

MOUSSALAM DALATI,

General Manager, Middle East, Liferay.

5 TIPS FOR CIOS TO MOVE FROM REACTIVE TO STRATEGIC Leaders can move from reactionary to strategic, from narrow-sighted to big picture, and from side character to playing a critical role in business success.

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GUEST COLUMN

I

f that statement alone does not capture the pressure being placed on a technology leader, then rising expectations from leadership and evolving business needs are more than enough to keep any CIO, IT director, or technology leader up at night. Too often, IT and tech leaders are left out of strategic business decisions because it’s assumed that their role comes after paperwork is signed. They have to put the pieces together after the fact, resulting in increased costs, security issues, and siloed solutions. As businesses continue to invest in technologies and become digital-first, involving technology leaders early in the buying process will be critical to business success. If you’re one of these leaders, how can you break this mold to become a truly strategic technology director? Being a strategy-led technology director is becoming critical as businesses continue to invest in technologies and become digitalfirst. If you’re a technology leader and want to change when you’re invited to the table, then you must lead your team strategically and avoid these five blunders:

Is a new technology or system actually needed or is there something existing in place that can be used? l Is there a more efficient and strategic way we can help them accomplish their needs? DO work together with departments to present solutions that will actually help these teams, instead of blindly fulfilling an ask. l

#2 DO NOT WORK IN A SILO DO NOT work isolated from other business units and see each individual request or initiative as isolated from other projects and the overall business strategy. While IT and technology teams may not be directly involved with other departments, they have a direct hand in the success of their initiatives based on the applications and systems they build or acquire for these teams. In order for these solutions to be successful, think beyond just this individual team or project. Break the silo mindset by asking: l Are there other teams who are struggling with a similar challenge?

Being a strategy-led technology director is becoming critical as businesses continue to invest in technologies and become digital-first #1 DO NOT RESPOND REACTIVELY TO REQUESTS DO NOT just immediately find a resolution to every isolated request that comes to your team. Even though the initial reaction may be to quickly fulfill everyone’s requests and put out the day-to-day fires, this leaves the team and technology in the backseat, rather than a major driver in the business. Instead of having different business units dictate what technology they want at the moment, sit down with these teams to really determine what they need. Strategic leaders should be able to collaborate to find the best tool or process to solve these challenges. Rather than just being task doers, strategic tech leaders know that they need to slow down and will ask the requester: l What is the business goal this team is trying to achieve with the request?

Are there other teams who would benefit from a similar solution? l How does this play into the overall organisation’s success? l What are other ways we can leverage this solution for other teams? DO think outside of the individual team or project to expand its success to the organisation as a whole. l

#3 DO NOT JUST FOCUS ON THE SHORT-TERM DO NOT think of needs just in immediate context. Immediate needs arise and should be addressed but should be done so with thoughtfulness. Tech teams can step in to be integral to organisation-wide success by thinking beyond immediate needs and looking toward long-term solutions that empower the entire business. For example, instead of investing in a single point solution, strategic leaders may

explore a more holistic option that can address both present and coming needs. DO think ahead to find solutions that can be future proof as business and customer needs evolve.

#4 DO NOT JUST THINK LOCALLY, REGIONALLY DO NOT just think or rollout solutions to individual regions or offices, but rather strategise how these solutions can also be leveraged broadly across your different locations. Think globally, act locally. This can be challenging, as many organisations with a corporate-local office structure struggle with offices operating in their own silo, creating different procedures and policies from location to location. But strategic leaders will find better ways to unify the entire organisation so that everyone is consistent in how to solve issues, find the right tools, and scale efficiently. DO work with other teams, especially the tech teams, across all offices. The success of your business requires constant collaboration.

#5 DO NOT TRY TO BUILD EVERYTHING IN-HOUSE DO NOT always assume that building a custom solution is the best option. Traditionally, IT leaders have preferred to build custom applications in-house rather than trying to deal with a third-party solution that might not meet their needs or will fail to connect with existing systems. But, while many IT teams are more than capable of building tailored solutions, the question shouldn’t be whether or not they can, rather if they should build something new. There are several factors to take in consideration: l What is the cost and effort required to build and maintain a custom solution vs. purchased? l How easy will the solution integrate with not only existing applications and systems, but also future ones? l How much time will be needed to launch and manage a custom vs. a purchased solution? DO make cost-efficient and scalable decisions to balance both immediate and longterm needs, whether that is building in-house or purchasing from a vendor. By avoiding these costly mistakes, leaders can move from being reactionary to strategic, from being narrow sighted to thinking big picture, and ultimately from being regarded as a side character to playing a critical role in business success. ë

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MARKUS EISELE,

Developer Adoption Programme Lead EMEA, Red Hat.

ORGANISATIONS ARE CHANGING THE WAY THEY DESIGN APPLICATIONS To better respond to today’s fast-paced, software-driven markets, with applications getting more complex, the demand to develop faster needs to be met.

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hen Linux containers first emerged as an architectural concept for building and packaging applications, they opened the door to a whole new world for developers. The Kubernetes container orchestration platform quickly followed, giving organisations a way to harness the power of containers more fully by answering the need for managing container environments at scale. The result was a wholesale shift in how we think about the cloud. To better understand the impact of containers and Kubernetes on developers today, Red Hat commissioned CCS Insight to explore the current state of container use, including the benefits, challenges, adoption and use cases of container technology in organisations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa EMEA. First, let’s set some context. Applications are getting more complex, and the demand to develop faster is ever-increasing. To better respond to today’s fast-paced, software-driven markets, organisations are changing the way they design, build and deploy applications,

ducing software application code or deploying application services. Among those rating container-based development as a high or important priority, thirty% 30% are motivated by the need to deliver new types of application services, while another 19% are turning to containers as a way to better support business groups in their organisation. Given the broad use of containers throughout the IT industry, the technology also presents a professional growth opportunity for developers. Forty% 40% of these respondents pointed to career progression as a key driver for using them. As the use of containers increases, so does the need for capabilities that support this growth. Platforms like Kubernetes that help orchestrate, automate and manage containers are critical for making the technology tractable in an enterprise environment. Respondents recognise this, with 61% acknowledging that they need container orchestration services; however, 19% of these respondents view it as being too complex to implement themselves. Consequently, more than half of all respon-

40%

of respondents pointed to career progression as a key driver for using containers using cloud-native architectures based on containers and this trend is expected to continue. According to industry analyst firm IDC, by 2024, 75% of enterprises will prioritise infrastructure agility and operational efficiency, leading to a 5x increase in the adoption of cloud-native architectures for core business applications.1 This mirrors findings from our own study, in which cloud adoption 33%, scalable operations 30% and improved productivity 29% were among the top business benefits identified by respondents for using containers. In light of this, it comes as no surprise that container-based development was noted as a high or important priority for 91% of respondents who are directly involved in application development and deployment through pro-

dents expect container development in their organisation will be conducted by a third-party service provider, either wholly 24% or through a combination of service provider and in-house resources 32%. Among respondents who are decisionmakers or influencing the choice of containerbased programming technologies, usability of tooling services 37% and reputation and trust 44% are the two leading requirements governing their choice of vendor to support their container-based application goals. Those that get the balance right between developing and engaging internal talent and working with external partners should be well-positioned to meet the growing cloud opportunity. According to IDC, ecosystem of tech com-

panies helping customers migrate to cloud environments, create new innovations in the cloud, and manage their expanding cloud environments will enable enterprises to meet their accelerated schedules for moving to cloud.2 Overall, container adoption is high among organisations represented in the survey, with 71% of respondents indicating that they are actively using the technology in some form, whether in widespread production 22%, limited production 26% or in pilot projects 23%. There is a strong appetite for containers that reflects a drive to modernise as well as improve the quality, performance and security of applications. Forty-six% of respondents who are involved in producing software application code or deploying application services placed container-based applications as a top software development priority over the next 12 months. This is followed by improving quality, performance and security 43%, strengthening CI and CD processes 32%, improving portability 29% and migrating to cloud-based operations 27%. 34% of technical respondents who are directly involved in producing software application code or deploying application services and have direct container programming and development experience named support for hybrid IT operations as a key development and operational benefit of using containers. Hybrid cloud is the ongoing reality within organisations at multiple levels – infrastructure, tools and applications – necessitating a multifaceted open platform and support services capable of mitigating the complexity drain on productivity and velocity. The survey findings show that respondents see containers providing both technical and business benefits that validate their role in enabling application portability and a consistent deployment model for hybrid IT operations. Out of the 524 respondents who were served on the issue, 43% said the predominant types of container-based applications being developed and deployed within organisations are those that simplify integration and consistency for internal systems and components. The overarching trend that we see coming out of this survey is that containers are more than just a ‘nice-to-have’ technology. They are an important element to sustainability and success for today’s organisations. And with the increased realisation of their business benefits, alongside their IT capabilities, the race is now on to leverage containers to enable greater competitive advantage. ë

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GUEST COLUMN

RAVI SARAOGI,

Co-founder and President, APAC, Uniphore.

ARE PEOPLE REALLY ENGAGED WITH YOU DURING VIDEO CALLS UAE consumers reported being unable to tell if people with whom they were conferencing were fully engaged, and a third said they found it hard to be motivated.

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t should be no surprise to anyone that video conferencing has undergone massive adoption growth over the past 18 months. A recent Consumer Survey on Video Conversations: Trends, Fails & Wins showed 56% of UAE consumers to have spent significantly more time on video calls over the last 18 months as lockdowns became a catalyst for change in business operations. And many want and expect remote work and other uses of video conferencing to continue beyond the current crisis. For example, two thirds of UAE respondents now prefer a video call over an audio call for a professional meeting. Regional organisations face another byproduct of the pandemic however – the need to differentiate. Pre-COVID strategies on differentiation concentrated mainly on the customer experience CX, but it is also now incumbent upon business stakeholders to consider the employee experience EX. Once remote work proved itself, it gave rise to an implied globalisation of the labour market. Differentiation now means globally

calls. Consider a platform that leverages the power of AI to help enterprises deliver customer and employee video conferencing experiences that transcend anything that has come before. Such a platform would automate and optimise conversations themselves in real time. Business-tocustomer communications would be covered from self-service to agent-assisted service right through to post-interaction analytics. And employee-to-employee collaboration would receive the same treatment, resulting in optimisation of time usage and engagement. The AI needed to drive these outcomes already exists. In fact, ‘conversational automation’ platforms conveniently combine naturallanguage processing AI, robotic process automation RPA, intelligent decision-support, intelligent self-service, voice biometrics, and other advanced technologies into enterprisegrade SaaS solutions. These platforms can be deployed in contact centres, for B2C and B2B communication, or within an enterprise to deliver remote working and more. The need for conversational automation in

Some

43%

say they are distracted during video calls and need AI to handle operational minutiae and keep them focused competing for the talent needed to innovate effectively. And this brings us back to the quality of video conferencing. The use of technology tools to deliver positive experiences hinges on the tools’ abilities to go beyond their tin-label functionality and into value-adding territory. We need to take a fresh look at video communications technology to understand the gaps between what customers and employees want to experience and what they are currently experiencing. After all, it’s concerning that 31% of UAE consumers reported being unable to tell if the people with whom they were conferencing were fully engaged, and a third said they found it hard to be energised or motivated on video

the enhancement of video conversations is suggested by psychologist Professor Albert Mehrabian’s 7-38-55 Communication model, which tells us that 7% of communication is verbal, 38% is tone of voice emotion and empathy, and 55% is visual cues. So, without effective video conferencing, today’s enterprises – whether they are trying to optimise CX customer experience or EX employee experience – are missing out on more than half the communication gamut. We live in a video-centric world, where our customers and employees tolerate, expect, and even demand AI integration in their platforms to optimise their experiences. According to the consumer survey, 85% of UAE respondents approve of the use of AI tools to improve their

video conversation experiences and 39% believe AI could help them develop a deeper connection with others on a call. Almost half 43% are open to being provided with advice from an AI agent on how best to engage their fellow participants based on emotional cues, and for the platform to provide real-time references to correspondence or documents relevant to the communication. Once active, AI-powered video communications platforms will allow participants to collaborate, interact, enquire, and answer as effectively as if they were conducting their conversations in person. It is not difficult to visualise value in such systems for teachers trying to better engage students, or for bank tellers trying to assist depositors or advise investors. And, of course, salespeople will benefit greatly from quality communication channels with advanced digital coaches guiding them to successful closes. In the general case, however, conversational automation must be a means to an end. We must use it to differentiate, but also to stay productive. Team leaders recognise that in remote- and hybrid-working environments, optimisation of employees’ time-usage is a top priority. About three in ten UAE workers multitask while meeting; 44% confess to doing so secretly, and 36% would like AI to help them multitask more surreptitiously. Respondents also want AI to help them get more out of meetings. More than half 56% encounter difficulties taking notes or capturing follow-up items on their VC platforms, and 31% are in favour of AI support in acting on points being discussed. Some 43% say they are distracted during video calls and need AI to handle operational minutiae and keep them focused on their fellow participants. As an industry, technology tools that have seen strong adoption over the years have undergone significant functional overhauls. The more popular something is, the more optimisation it receives over time. Video conferencing’s significant increase in popularity heralds a forthcoming boost to the experiences it provides. Customers and employees can best be served by conversational automation platforms that slicken workflow and supercharge value. Its underlying technologies support such a large range of use cases that we can expect to see many adopters customise it for broad and niche industry applications. What comes next is a new communications revolution. ë

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EXECUTIVE MOVEMENTS Nutanix promotes Adam Tarbox to Vice President of EMEA Channel Sales

Nutanix announced promotion of Adam Tarbox to Vice President of EMEA Channel Sales. This senior promotion demonstrates Nutanix’s continued investment in the channel as it looks to accelerate the company to its next level of growth and support partners and customers in their journey to hybrid multicloud. In this role, Tarbox will lead all routes to market, spearheading channel activities in all the European countries, Middle East and Africa region and will draw upon his extensive industry experience to play a strategic role in supporting Nutanix’s expansion in EMEA. Assuming overall responsibility for Nutanix’s go-to-market strategies with resellers, distributors, OEM platform partners, system integrators and technology partners in the EMEA region, he will be key in driving the continued growth and success of the company’s already enviable channel and alliance ecosystem.

Safe Security appoints Cherif Sleiman as Chief Revenue Officer, EMEA and global markets

Safe Security, announced its entry into Europe, Middle East & Africa region, to build on its success in North America. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Safe Security helps organisations manage, measure and mitigate cyber risks with its breach likelihood prediction platform SAFE. Backed by marquee investors such as British Telecom Group, John Chambers and other prominent industry leaders, the company appointed Cherif Sleiman, a veteran industry leader to head the business for international markets. Sleiman is a visionary technologist and ‘turnaround specialist’ who will focus on building Safe Security’s regional presence, go-to-market and channel strategy in the region. Over his illustrious career which spans over 26 years, he has held leadership positions at giants of the tech industry including Cisco, Nortel, Brocade and most recently Infoblox.

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VMware elevates Kit Colbert to Chief Technology Officer

VMware, announced that Kit Colbert has been named VMware’s next Chief Technology Officer. Colbert joined VMware in 2003 as the technical lead behind the creation, development and delivery of the vMotion and Storage vMotion features in VMware vSphere. Throughout his tenure at VMware, he served in multiple roles, including VMware’s Cloud CTO, General Manager of VMware’s CloudNative Apps business, CTO for VMware’s End-User Computing Business, and as the lead architect for the VMware vRealize Operations Suite. As part of his new role, Colbert will shape the technical vision for the company, and the transformation to a cloud and subscriptioncentric R&D organisation. His oversight includes advancing research and development efforts, overseeing the VMware Engineering Services team, the Design UX team and the company’s ESG commitments.

Global warehouse automation player Savoye appoints Alain Kaddoum, Middle East MD

As part of its mission to solidify its position in the Middle East as a leading global warehouse automation integrator and software publisher, Savoye has announced the appointment of Alain Kaddoum as the Middle East Managing Director. With Kaddoum now on board, Savoye will enhance its long-term strategy to become one of the leading providers of supply chain solutions in the region, combining hardware and software according to customer needs such as manual, semi-mechanised, mechanised, highly automated, or robotised installations. The recent designation of Kaddoum to the role was due to his previous experience and knowledge in the said field. He has dedicated over six years of his professional career in the intralogistics industry in the Middle East, providing him with technical background on automation and warehouse management, which will be beneficial to Savoye’s daily operations.

Google Cloud appoints Niral Patel as Regional Director Sub-Saharan Africa

In an announcement by the company, Niral Patel has been appointed as the Regional Director of Google Cloud Sub-Saharan Africa. Patel will be responsible for spearheading Google Cloud’s business across the Sub-Saharan region as he brings over 20 years of experience with him. Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, Managing Director, Google Cloud Turkey, Middle East and Africa, said, “Seeing strong customer momentum in Africa, companies ranging from digital natives to large corporations are coming so as to help them digitally transform and reinvent their business models. With Niral joining, the company can accelerate the next stage of growth with the local teams, partners and customers. He brings a wealth of experience to the Google Cloud family.”

Brian Hamel joins Veritas as Executive Vice President Worldwide Field Operations

Veritas Technologies has announced that Brian Hamel has joined the company as Executive Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations. Brian started his career at IBM as an enterprise account manager and over a 30-year career held Infrastructure leadership positions in the US, Asia, and Europe. More recently, Brian spent approximately five years at Oracle as Senior Vice President, Cloud Business Group. Greg Hughes, Chief Executive Officer, Veritas, said, “I am delighted to welcome Brian Hamel to lead the global sales organisation and continue to attract top talent to Veritas’ leadership team. Brian’s experience in leading global direct sales, channel partners, systems integrators, and cloud service providers will help to even better serve the customers on their data management journeys.”


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