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A TECHNOLOGY HANDBOOK FOR BUSINESS

ADDING AI AND

CLOUD TO NETWORKING

D-Link is adding AI and cloud to its range of networking devices enabling users to rethink home Wi-Fi. .... /09-12 SAKKEER HUSSAIN Director Sales and Marketing, D-Link Middle East, and Africa


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Specialised players in a bigger picture

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

The pandemic spotlighted the survivor role played by cloud platforms and cloud technologies during the period of lockdowns. Moving forward, this accelerated transition to cloud platforms and on a bigger scale digital and business transformation, has brought into focus the role played by specialised vendors, who are also an integral part of the transition. Bespin’s Filippo Roselli Cecconi, says it is important to select the right MSP and DevOps methodologies to improve overall customer experience. With this digital-first behaviour, we are seeing a drive from businesses to increase IT spending and why a Managed Service Provider can help. We need to see a big change in how companies are focusing on the customer journey and the way digital technologies can improve buying. With the right MSP and DevOps methodologies, you can go to market, adjust, and constantly improve your customer experience, he explains. CISOs should prepare themselves in a big way with accelerated digital transformation, remarks Bulwark’s Jose Thomas Menacherry. CISOs need to carefully look at managed security service providers since the number of available solutions is going up and trend is towards hosting them with MSSPs. Another very important and business friendly outcome, is the emergence of low code solutions. Kissflow Low-Code eliminates technical skills barriers by enabling non-IT staff to rapidly develop customised applications, explains Vaidy Panchabikesan. Kissflow provides low-code and no-code solutions for organisations to manage all their work on a single platform. As we move into the next year, all businesses and enterprises are going to increasingly focus on sustainability and their carbon footprint. Points out Nikhil Nanda at Innovations Group UAE, any transformation should result in a more sustainable process as there is less human and physical effort required. The process of economic recovery from the pandemic means businesses needs to be lean and mean, while they focus on delivering huge value to new customers and recover old customers. One way to do this is to outsource peripheral support activities, while building new value systems at the core. Says Wissam Youssef at CME, in terms of outsourcing, the big question is always buying versus building, what to buy and what to build internally. If creating value is the objective, one should build rather than buy. If building a commodity, purchase a system that is already created and that can be tested and implemented quickly. Targets are moving as one progresses, meaning goals are sometimes closer, and one can see the outcome quicker. Those roles that nurture agile mindsets in companies are an investment that makes them competitive in the market. Today’s culture of innovation is a primary factor deciding which technologies are being prioritised within regional enterprises.

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CONTENTS OCTOBER 2021

COVER STORY

08-11

07

D-LINK

COMMENTARY Seven guidelines for happier hybrid and remote teams

ADDING

CLOUD

AND INTELLIGENCE TO NETWORKING

36-37 Planning and leading a digital transformation initiative

INDUSTRY FOCUS BUSINESS INNOVATION AND USES CASES

13-34

TONI EL INATI,

FILIPPO ROSELLI CECCONI,

RAM NARAYANAN,

PETE HALL,

WISSAM YOUSSEF,

JIHAD TAYARA,

OLA LIND,

NIKHIL NANDA,

VAIDY PANCHABIKESAN,

MOUSSALAM DALATI,

GORDON LOVE,

BACHIR MOUSSA,

Barracuda Networks.

FTFT Capital Investments

Bespin Global Middle East and Africa Bulwark

Innovations Group UAE

RODRIGO CASTELO, OutSystems

BOB AOUN, Poly

Check Point Software

Kissflow

Ciena

Liferay Middle East

PREM RODRIGUES, Siemon

CME

Mandiant

MOHAMMED ALKHOTANI, Sitecore

EVOTEQ

Nozomi Networks

MAHER JADALLAH, Tenable

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COMMENTARY

Seven guidelines for happier hybrid and remote teams Work out a common-sense approach for team members to combat anxiety and boost unity and efficiency for hybrid and remote teams.

B

y 2022, 25% of the global knowledge workforce will choose their home as the primary workplace, and 45% of the workforce will be working from home two to three days per week. Some employees are thrilled at the prospect. Others, not so much. For many employees, the novelty of working from home has already worn off, and they are anxious about the possibility of a permanent move to a hybrid work environment. You can help reduce their anxiety with some simple ground rules for virtual interactions and other work challenges that are unique to remote and hybrid work teams. The team dialogue around ground rules can help your team feel more invested and in control over their remote and hybrid work conditions. Here are seven examples of the kinds of common-sense guidelines you can set to make remote and hybrid team members more comfortable. #1 Encourage team members to determine their own work/life harmony, creatively blending personal, family and work obligations as long as desired outcomes are met. Allow team members to negotiate the sharing of work obligations as needed. #2 Be flexible on virtual dress codes and appearance. For example, allow individual preference to dictate each team member’s choice of video background — as long as those preferences are appropriate to the meeting objective and mood. #3 Prioritise empathetic communication and listening. This applies to both team managers and executive leadership. Keep team members well-informed about matters that affect them. Actively look for signs that someone is struggling or suffering from remote work fatigue. #4 Allow team members to set their own work hours and workplace — as long as they fully participate in team activities and maintain appropriate work outputs. For example, team

The pivot to hybrid work environments is just beginning, and most organisations are figuring it out as they go along. MATTHEW CAIN,

Vice President and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner.

members can specify specific times for collaboration vs. individual work, but may need to prioritise overlapping time zones for collaborative work. #5 Let the team collectively determine response times with various collaboration modalities. For example, agree to respond within two hours to voice or chat but up to one business day for nonurgent emails. Agree that team members need not respond to nonemergency work matters outside of published working hours. #6 Set limits on meetings. Team members should agree on the need for, timing, duration and location of team meetings. Meetings that include both remote and in-office team members should strive for equal-opportunity participation.

#7 Agree on remote collaboration standards. Make sure everyone has access to, and utilises, endpoint devices, internet connectivity, and adequate sound, lighting and video capabilities to participate productively in virtual collaboration. Agree on the use of common features such as hashtags and @mentions. The pivot to hybrid work environments is just beginning, and most organisations are figuring it out as they go along. These rules of the road are part of this journey, and enable individuals and teams to set their own paths while adhering to organisational guidelines. Not only do the guidelines enable cocreation and grass-roots innovation of hybrid work, they also help new team members quickly ascertain and embrace team cultural norms. ë

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COVER STORY

SAKKEER HUSSAIN Director Sales and Marketing, D-Link Middle East, and Africa


COVER STORY

D-LINK

ADDING

CLOUD

AND INTELLIGENCE TO NETWORKING

D-Link is adding AI and cloud to its range of networking devices enabling users to embrace stay-at-home lifestyle and rethink home Wi-Fi.

D

-Link’s most recent technologies support the post-covid lifestyle by delivering intelligent, strong network connections for bandwidthintensive applications. D-Link improves the performance of home networks by producing solutions that use AI technology to identify network issues and adjust accordingly. Most recently, the EAGLE PRO AI Series Router has been launched and added to its product portfolio. The EAGLE PRO AI series is a first-of-its-kind Wi-Fi solution that enables customers to embrace the new stay-athome lifestyle and rethink home Wi-Fi. D-Link’s EAGLE PRO AI series delivers quicker, more secure, and more dependable connectivity for endless

possibilities, whether for video conferences, HD streaming, or high-quality gaming. D-Link provides solutions from switching to structured cabling. Business products include switches, surveillance network cameras, firewalls, and business wireless, while consumer products include wireless devices, broadband devices, and the digital home devices, like media players, storage, and surveillance camera, NVR. D-Link’s core competency is to provide a wide variety of computer networking devices to SOHOs, SME, SMBs and large enterprises using regionally well-established channel network. D-Link offers networking equipment, from entrylevel to high-end networking equipment to its partners and end customers alike.

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COVER STORY

D-LINK’S GO TO MARKET INITIATIVES D-Link is one of the top four networking vendors globally according to Gartner reports. n

The EAGLE PRO AI series is a first-of-its-kind Wi-Fi solution that enables customers to embrace the new stay-at-home lifestyle. n

D-Link improves performance of home networks by producing solutions that use AI technology to identify network issues. n

D-Link’s competency is to provide a variety of computer networking devices to SOHOs, SME, SMBs and large enterprises using a channel network. n

D-Link’s Nuclias Cloud portfolio allows SMBs and large enterprises to deploy professional-grade networks from anywhere. n

D-Link’s partnership with call centre software provider Ameyo, offers cloud-based omni-channel contact centre solutions for Middle East. n

D-Link is the exclusive UAE and Oman cloud partner for Ameyo. n

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COVER STORY

SAKKEER HUSSAIN Director Sales and Marketing, D-Link Middle East, and Africa

We will see an even bigger adoption of cloud technologies during this year. D-Link’s core competencies is also in Ethernet connectivity and Wireless solution when compared to its competition. It is one of the top 4 networking vendors globally according to Gartner reports. D-Link products and solutions help to improve business process outcomes, improve compliance, and risk management. Convenience, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use make the solutions ideal for onboarding, studying, troubleshooting as well as monitoring and reporting network activity quickly and easily. D-Link strengths include faster time to market, innovative

A three-tiered programme has been a key contributor to creating a true win-win scenario. new technologies, increased product reliability, reduced warranty costs which lead to high customer satisfaction. Businesses across the globe are accelerating their cloud objectives and transforming into digital-first enterprises, especially because of the pandemic. This means we will see an even bigger adoption of cloud technologies during this year. D-Link’s Nuclias Cloud portfolio allows SMBs and large enterprises across retail, education, and hospitality, as well as MSPs, to deploy professional-grade networks from anywhere and anytime, eliminating physical space constraints. D-Link’s exclusive partnership with India-based call centre software provider Ameyo, offers cloud-based omni-channel contact centre solutions for the Middle East market. With this strategic collaboration, D-Link is the exclusive UAE and Oman cloud partner for Ameyo. The objective is to offer exciting opportunities for regional partners to leverage the hardware reliability from D-Link and the software services and capabilities from Ameyo under one umbrella. D-Link has managed to establish an efficient channel network in the Gulf region with a successful partner programme based on several tiers, to cater to the partner’s specific needs. A three-tiered programme with its inherent special partner pricing, rebate schemes, promotions, incentives, marketing support, technical trainings, and further support towards the end-customers, has been a key contributor to creating a true win-win scenario for both partners and D-Link. ë

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SPECIALISED INFRASTRUCTURE

BUSINESS INNOVATION

AND USES CASES

Top application, solution, services, networking, security executives provide their insights into specialised infrastructure solutions.


INDUSTRY FOCUS

SECURITY

BARRACUDA NETWORKS

Two focus solutions in the region are Cloud Application Protection, and Total Email Protection

TONI EL INATI,

RVP Sales, META and CEE, Barracuda Networks.

E

mail security and application protection are key requirements for Middle East businesses. In line with this, two focus solutions for Barracuda in the region are its Cloud Application Protection, and Total Email Protection solutions. Cloud Application Protection provides comprehensive, powerful application security that is easy to use and protects applications deployed onpremises, in the cloud, or hybrid. Total Email Protection combines gateway defence with inbox protection and user security awareness into a single, comprehensive solution. With the increasing use of Microsoft Office 365 by Middle East organisations, the company is also focused on Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup, a cloud-native platform that delivers a fast search and restore experience for Office 365 data, including Teams, Exchange Online, SharePoint, and OneDrive. Barracuda Sentinel combines artificial intelligence, deep integration with Microsoft Office 365, and brand protection into a comprehensive cloud-based solution that guards against these potentially devastating attacks. Sentinel’s unique API-based architecture lets its AI engine study historical email and learn users’

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O CTO B E R 2021

We also see public cloud as pivotal to the IT strategy of the modern enterprise unique communication patterns. Barracuda is a cloud-first company that delivers cloud-native solutions that offer unparalleled flexibility, ease of use, cost-effectiveness, and scalability. At the same time, we recognise that organisations are at different stages in their cloud journey which is why we continue to offer on-prem and hybrid deployment models – ensuring our customers can embrace cloud at the pace that’s right for their unique needs. We also see public cloud as pivotal to the IT strategy of the modern enterprise and work closely with hyperscalers like AWS and Microsoft to offer security features that extend far beyond the capabilities of the native controls. Barracuda remains an industry leader in

email security, and this year, the company was named 2021 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Email Security based on end-user feedback verified by Gartner. Barracuda has also been recognised as a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave: Web Application Firewalls, Q1 2020. In this report, Barracuda was cited specifically for offering a range of deployment options, and for its emphasis on cloud solutions in the excerpt, Given the company’s focus on the CloudGen and SaaS WAF products, customers looking for a public cloud deployment option should consider Barracuda. Barracuda Channel Partner Programme, with its 5-star CRN rating, includes several programme offerings, benefits, and services to help our partners enhance their businesses. The objective of the Programme is to allow Channel Partners to invest in training, technical and sales competence, and business development that will enable mutual revenue and margin growth. The Barracuda Channel Partner Programme has three levels - authorised, preferred and premier - with premier reserved for channel partners who offer pre-sales and post-sales support and customer service experiences to end users. Accor, a world-leading hotel chain, was looking for a solution that would keep their valuable data secure. With the help of the Barracuda Backup solution, Accor was able to safely backup their information and know that they can recover it quickly if needed. Carrefour, a leading supermarket chain, was looking for a cloud email security solution for their employees. With Barracuda Essentials, they were able to successfully secure their employees’ email inboxes. Qatar Airways wanted a VPN setup that was highly redundant, and the VPN with Barracuda CloudGen Firewall was the right fit. They are now about to securely send CCTV traffic from their booking offices to the HO in the Qatar Airways Towers. ë


INDUSTRY FOCUS

CLOUD

BESPIN GLOBAL

Why it is important to select the right MSP and DevOps methodologies to improve overall customer experience

FILIPPO ROSELLI CECCONI,

Chief Operating Officer, Bespin Global Middle East and Africa.

W

e have seen some definitive changes of how organisations are driving digital transformation. Many CIO or IT leaders are implementing an internal Digital Project Manager to support and drive digital strategy, digital capabilities, and digital outcomes. Many organisations have had to adopt and transform to a new digital area in a very short time to embrace and invest to digitalise their business through initiatives like an e-commerce website, offering tailored online based services, and adopting a cloud-first approach; this is true particularly across the Middle East region. With this digital-first behaviour, we are seeing a drive from businesses to increase IT spending and why a full Managed Service Provider MSP can help. We need to see a big change in how companies are focusing on the customer journey and the way digital technologies can support and improve the whole buying experience for the customer. With the right MSP and DevOps methodologies, you can go to market, adjust, and

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With this digital-first behaviour, we are seeing a drive from businesses to increase IT spending and why a full Managed Service Provider can help constantly improve your customer experience, operations, processes, data flow, continuity, complexity, and reliability, which will ultimately improve overall customer experience. Companies need to have the customer as their main point of focus and through adopting a digital first approach, you will not only be able to support your customers and their buying ease, but also be able to innovate, change and adapt without interfering with the customer experience.

The top focus priorities for regional enterprises on digital technologies, are allowing external vendor specialists to use their knowledge and skill sets to help IT departments with cost management, revenue growth and reducing risk. With this support, each IT leader can allow the company to focus on what they do best, as a core of their business through a culture of innovation, purpose, and revenue. The priority would be to focus on building a strong culture of innovation and adaptability, with a talented core IT team that knows how to build strong vendor and supplier relationships, while managing expectations and driving outsourced external expertise to constantly be aligned and driving forward the business goals. There is a cross over, as digital and business transformation is one of the core elements in driving sustainability through; Virtual Businesses which will help eliminate waste throughout the business by leveraging virtual and remote methodologies through cloud adoption. Optimisation through virtual machines and maintaining, extending all IT assets. Drive a green business model with the support of IoT to change the transactional business model into a more of a Service based and long-term sustainable approach.ë

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INDUSTRY FOCUS

SECURITY

CHECK POINT

What organisations need is Gen V cybersecurity that delivers real-time threat prevention across all operations

RAM NARAYANAN,

Country Manager, Check Point Software Technologies, Middle East.

A

ccelerating digital transformation and the move to cloud, organisations had to revamp their network and security fabrics overnight, resulting in security gaps and new opportunities for criminals. With the drastic shift to the new normal, employees faced a reality where their homes were now part of the company’s perimeter. This model of working required organisations to revisit and check the security level and relevance of their network’s infrastructures, processes, compliance of connected mobile and PC devices, IoT etc. Every company needed to rely more on each one of its employees to guard its data and critical network credentials. As lockdowns were lifted, organisations had to close the security gaps and secure their networks, from employees’ home PCs and mobiles to the enterprise data centre, with a holistic, end- to-end security architecture. As the world becomes more connected and networks continue to evolve, securing IT environments is becoming ever more complex. Unprecedented levels of large-scale, multi-vector cyber-attacks are inflicting major damage on businesses and reputations, using advanced

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O CTO B E R 2021

Large-scale, multi-vector cyberattacks are inflicting major damage on businesses and reputations using advanced attack tools attack tools. Modern organisations need to recalibrate their cyber security approach around three main elements: Securing their corporate networks and datacentres, securing cloud environments and lastly, securing employees – wherever they are. Achieving complete protection across the expanded attack surface, requires security solutions that deliver complete security against Gen V, zero-day attacks; solutions that are easy to

deploy and manage; and eliminate patchwork security architectures and high TCO with integration and interoperability. The Covid-19 pandemic reshaped our entire working culture. The changes were global, rapid, and widespread, compressing several years’ worth of IT changes into just a few weeks. As governments mandated lockdowns, organisations transitioned to employees working from home and accessing corporate resources through secure access. The new norm workspace expanded the organisation’s perimeter. Business data continually transferred between Bring-Your-OwnDevices, SaaS applications such as SalesForce. com and running on multi-cloud environments including AWS and Azure. What organisations need is Gen V cybersecurity that delivers advanced, real-time threat prevention across all networks, virtual, cloud, remote office, mobile and IoT operations. Check Point Software understands that it has a role in helping to ensure the sustainability of the world’s resources and environment. Check Point Software’s impact on the environment is generally through its products, services, and facilities. We are reducing our carbon footprint by creating reliable products and services that are cognisant of the environmental impact throughout all phases of the life cycle. We also address environmental challenges in our workspace through various responsible means. Part of our commitment involves closely monitoring our compliance with local and international laws in all our locations around the world. We work with our suppliers to identify environmentally conscious components to increase efficiency, lifecycle, and energy efficiency.ë

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INDUSTRY FOCUS

NETWORKING

CIENA

Enabling service providers to adapt in real-time through the creation and deployment of adaptive networks

PETE HALL,

Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Israel, Russia and Subsea, Ciena.

C

iena is a networking systems, services, and software company. Ciena’s portfolio includes Software Control and Automation; Analytics and Intelligence; and Programmable Infrastructure. Ciena has two main software components: MCP and BP. Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan MCP domain controller provides intelligent, data-driven software-defined programmability to lifecycle operations of Ciena networks. Ciena’s Blue Planet multi-domain orchestration, federated inventory, and service order management solutions support a broad range of closed-loop automation use cases across multi-layer, multi-vendor networks. Ciena provides a portfolio that enables Service Providers to adapt and respond in real-time to ever-changing demands through the creation and deployment of the Adaptive Network. Ciena and Blue Planet Unified Assurance and Analytics is an open suite of software products that unifies multi-layer, multi-domain assurance, with AI-powered analytics to provide strategic insights to transform and simplify business, IT, and network operations. A new generation of cloud-native applica-

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tions is quickly emerging in categories such as entertainment, retail, manufacturing, and automotive, which, in many cases, will be more compute-intensive and latency-sensitive. These market dynamics are putting new pressure across metro and edge networks, driving the need to evolve these architectures to meet end-user demands. From metro and edge cloud, through business, mobile and residential, Ciena is helping network providers prepare their network for this dynamic. Ciena’s portfolio provides a simplified approach to next-generation metro and edge architectures, starting with IP, Optical convergence. In addition, Ciena’s innovative Adaptive IP approach leverages intelligent data-driven automation software coupled with programmable routing infrastructure designed to take the complexity out of IP networks. Omdia has ranked Ciena number one in key service provider purchase criteria, including: Product Reliability, Technology Innovation, Management Software, and R&D Investment. Ciena has also ranked number one in optical market and key sub-segments and was named leader in SLTE upgrades, with 60% market share. It is also the number one DCI vendor

with 50% market share, according to Dell’Oro Group. Ciena won 20 industry awards in 2020, holds over 2,000 patents worldwide and serves over 1,700 customers around the globe, including 85% of the world’s largest service providers. Ciena is the only vendor with commercially available 800G product shipping today and had the first converged packet-optical platform and first intelligence automation platform, among many other breakthrough software and hardware innovations. Ciena’s award-winning channel partner programme, Ciena Partner Network CPN takes a collaborative and personalised approach, designed to enable, and reward all partner business models from a single platform. The CPN programme enables Ciena partners to uniquely respond to technology disruptions and market transitions, capture new opportunities, and offer specialised services and solutions. The CPN programme gives partners indepth, customisable training, enablement resources and collaborative joint business planning – all specifically tailored to the partners’ business requirements. It enables partners to reduce time to market, drive incremental sales, expand technical expertise, and deliver measurable outcomes. In 2020, Etisalat deployed the first end-toend multi-vendor DWDM Transport network orchestration in EMEA, with software from Blue Planet, creating one of the world’s most adaptive and self-optimising networks. Earlier this year, the Batelco Gulf Network BGN, a protected terrestrial network connecting the GCC to the Middle East and the world beyond, was upgraded in collaboration with Ciena to meet the demand for reliable high-bandwidth connectivity and capacity for Batelco’s customers and international carriers. The Europe India Gateway EIG submarine cable system was upgraded to using Ciena’s submarine network solution, allowing EIG to utilise flexible, express wavelengths to reduce operational costs as well as space and power requirements while improving reliability. ë


INDUSTRY FOCUS

APPLICATIONS

CME

In terms of outsourcing, the big question is buying vs build concept, what to buy and what to build internally

WISSAM YOUSSEF,

Co-founder and CEO, CME.

A

ccelerating digital transformation and the move to cloud, organisations had to revamp their network and security fabrics overnight, resulting in security gaps and new opportunities for criminals. With the drastic shift to the new normal, employees faced a reality where their homes were now part of the company’s perimeter. This The main digital transformation acceleration drivers are customer experience and user behaviour. For example, in retail, user behaviour changed from buying in-store to online. Even in insurance, where online sales were never intended, online sales are multiplying. Some businesses also changed strategies because their business model wasn’t working anymore. They had to create new business models by leveraging technology in the short-to-mid-term. Meanwhile, the long-term impact is related to two things: operational efficiency and risk mitigation. It’s more about optimising internal operations and increasing risk-related investments. Cyber security has also been a big transformation driver. Widespread restructuring will happen. Not

Targets are moving as one progresses, meaning goals are sometimes closer, and one can see the outcome quicker just at the department level, but at the role level; new roles are needed to embrace agility and nurture the agile mindset among teams. It’s not only related to technology. It’s a company-wide shift. There are plans every month to review, adjust and continue. Targets are moving as one progresses, meaning goals are sometimes closer, and one can see the outcome quicker. Those roles that nurture agile mindsets in companies are an investment that makes them faster, equips them with more flexibility to adapt to disruption, and ensures they are competitive in the market.

Today’s culture of innovation and outsourcing is a primary factor deciding which technologies are being prioritised within regional enterprises. This is driving in-house innovation cultures and design teams to be prepared for innovation and change. In terms of outsourcing, the big question is the buy vs. build concept; what to buy and what to build internally. For those unsure, several points should be considered as part of the thinking process. If creating value is the objective, one should build rather than buy. However, those with a commodity should purchase a system already created that can be tested and implemented quickly. Enterprises and decision-makers should be ready to reinvent themselves and diversify when necessary, whether in technologies, business levels, geographies, industries, or portfolios of products. This is what protected CME and was the biggest lesson learned during COVID-19. Another important lesson: businesses must focus on employee well-being. It’s clear how much health has an impact on the productivity of teams. The onus is on every company to build healthier and more engaged employees, which strengthens the culture and fosters a collective sense of purpose while minimising health-related risks, such as succession planning that became prominent following the pandemic’s outbreak. Carbon emissions are decreasing with digital transformation acceleration and the shared economy, while paperwork and energy consumption will also subside through digitalisation. Tools available today also enable people to perform transactions from any place, reducing transportation carbon emissions. And with hybrid work models, there’s better space sharing and energy utilisation. Software working on servers and the cloud still need energy, but carbon emissions are decreased thanks to the shared economy, with energy subsequently redirected. The same applies to cloud. Rather than many being involved with data centres, there is one optimised data centre that drives work and lowers carbon footprints. ë

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INDUSTRY FOCUS

SERVICES

EVOTEQ

Inside regional enterprises, contactless technologies and paperless transactions are getting prioritised

JIHAD TAYARA, CEO, EVOTEQ.

M

ost organisations have already restructured their operations to adapt to the situation during the pandemic as well as the post-Covid era. Remote working and the technologies that come with it allow them to significantly improve their business operations model and to provide a more customerfocused service. In my opinion, the most definitive change was the reduction in travel, be it local travel to meetings or global travel. While most organisations have adapted to the changes brought about by the pandemic, we see that many of them have retained remote working as it reduces operational costs and transportation and travel for its employees and the company. From a customer perspective, the major change was the shift to using digital services, be it for consumption or CRM services. Looking back, we can see more digitised and accelerated business models on all fronts - whether from the employee, customer, or company perspective. Support services for example, can be more and more aggregated to remote centres to

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We have witnessed shift towards customer centric services that can be delivered remotely that has been the highlight since the pandemic reduce cost on services and bring more efficiency and savings to end user. Typically, in implementing digital transformation, organisations are accustomed to having engineers, designers, user experience and software developers working in house. Now they are accepting these services to be delivered remotely, thus improving the effi-

ciency of remote centres. Inside regional enterprises, contactless technologies and paperless transactions are getting prioritised. It is a major shift and will continue to increase. Additionally, we have witnessed the shift towards customer centric services that can be delivered remotely has been the highlight since the pandemic. The most important step would be reassessing all technologies services and processes that allow a combined operating model- working remotely and face to face. This hybrid type of approach is one element. If the pandemic has taught us anything it is to be always prepared. It has pushed us to regularly review any challenges we might face. Digital transformation is a building block towards the reduction of carbon footprint and long-term sustainability. We can see that all the tools we are using are helping organisations achieve this goal. From paperless services to fleet monitoring and route optimisation and decrease in drive time has helped in reducing carbon footprint and promoting sustainability.ë


INDUSTRY FOCUS

SERVICES

FTFT CAPITAL INVESTMENTS

Using data to improve customer-centric journey and efficiency of an organisation will increase in 24 months

OLA LIND, DIRECTOR,

FTFT Capital Investments.

T

he pandemic has led to a complete transformation in the way that organisations collaborate and share information. Thanks to the need for rapid adoption of technology, companies were forced to investigate new digital solutions that would allow organisations to continue functioning remotely and continue to serve their client base. Digital transformation will not be slowing down anytime soon. In fact, the potential to use data to improve the overall customer-centric journey and efficiency of an organisation will surely increase in the coming 24 months. This is because the need for adaptation and staying relevant with the customers is critical since they too have evolved with new needs to be met. Definitively this is something that needs to happen. Since customers habits, knowledge and need for new ways of interacting with the regional organisations have evolved and if this is not taken care of users will have no brand loyalty as was the legacy past. Today the customers are more demanding, smarter and need to be catered to in this new format digitally. These important factors will either make or break the relationship of organisations with

The need for adaptation and staying relevant with the customers is critical since they too have evolved with new needs to be met their existing customers and other new contenders will arise. If we look at the new FinTech landscape, Neo banks, Insurance industry, they are all evolving rapidly, and new products are offering more vital customer care solutions. This has already made new front runners and disruptors in this industry. It is up to the management of each organisation and some choose to rely on their own in-house skills and deployments, but looking at the current trends, there is a shift to third-party vendors and service partners. Single or mul-

tiple API connectivity has very quickly created a new way for companies to work together and benefit from expertise and most importantly, speed to market these new services and product offerings. It is important to make sure that all stakeholders are committed, informed, and work together to make these changes. Looking at the social media sphere today and how it has changed the way a company communicates with its customer base. It is now common to have new roles created within the organisations to handle these situations. It is especially vital to make sure that the new development and implementation plan has the right people and the right tools to efficiently execute the new plan forward. Sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint need to be addressed and the main objective is to make sure that the right competence is onboard to drive this change. Each part of the business and the digital transformation should be included from the start, from the overall approach, all the way to the strategy for this initiative. There needs to be a full commitment from all participating stakeholders within the organisation for it to be successful. The information and communication flow within the organisation is vital for this change to be successful. ë

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INDUSTRY FOCUS

SERVICES

INNOVATIONS GROUP UAE

Transformation should result in more sustainable process as there is less human and physical effort required

NIKHIL NANDA,

Operations Manager, Innovations Group UAE.

D

efinitive changes in digital transformation have made the consumer’s life a lot easier. Certain examples can be taken from various industries: l Banking KYC for opening bank accounts, credit cards are all online including verification and activation. This used to be a process conducted by banking reps who would physically go and check customer documents. Post pandemic this has become an online process which has majorly benefited new customers. l Mobile applications Companies and industries that were not online such as laundry, cleaning and nurse assistance are all being done online because of consumers not wanting to venture outside. l Pace of work has increased due to online meetings What used to require a physical meeting being set up to take a decision now happens from your home with a click of a button and thus resulting in faster turnaround times. l Security Everyone has expanded due to the pandemic and brought in online processes but how much of it is secure? A lot of growth

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Customers do not want to travel to a physical location or have an encounter with anyone and they want to complete their customer journey online has come in to play but is its stable growth or unsecure growth. The next steps are to consolidate, stabilise and structure the new technology that’s been put into place to guarantee security. It is no longer an option but a necessity for all industries as customers do not want to travel to a physical location or have an encounter with anyone and they want to complete their cus-

tomer journey online at their own comfortable pace. Firstly, the ability to attract and hold more people online. Any business function which requires the customer to close a sale or end a journey needs to be prioritised to ensure there are no difficulties or abandoning of sales. Secondly, to prioritise and ensure that data matches with what is being processed online. This means that data that is tracked, stored, and extracted to indicate sales and costs needs to be accurate because this data essentially defines the success of an organisation. Yes, all digital and business transformation initiatives should automatically result in a more sustainable process purely as there is less human and physical effort required. However, these are just by products of successful digital transformation. Whereas specific agendas of social impact and sustainability should be address separately. ë


INDUSTRY FOCUS

APPLICATIONS

KISSFLOW

Using low-code and no-code solutions for organisations to manage all their work on a single platform

VAIDY PANCHABIKESAN,

Regional Sales Director, Kissflow.

K

issflow offers pioneering Low-Code and No-Code work management solutions for organisations to manage all their work on a single platform. Kissflow’s suite of products are used by over 10,000 organisations spread across 160 countries, Kissflow has found quick adoption for two of its core offerings in the Middle East: Kissflow Low-Code platform and Kissflow Procurement Cloud. Kissflow Low-Code is an enterprise-grade Low-Code application development platform that eliminates technical skills barriers by enabling non-IT staff such as line-of-business managers and department heads to collaborate and rapidly develop customised applications that automate and streamline business processes. Kissflow Procurement Cloud is a powerful cloud-based procure-to-pay P2P solution. By unifying advanced functionalities for purchase orders, purchase requisition, vendor management, purchase invoicing, and integrations into a single platform, Kissflow Procurement Cloud enables end-to-end management of procurement lifecycles, along with the ability

Kissflow Low-Code eliminates technical skills barriers by enabling non-IT staff to rapidly develop customised applications to enhance efficiencies and identify cost savings opportunities through data analytics. Kissflow uses Google Cloud Transformation to seamlessly deliver products globally. As a rapidly growing platform, Kissflow deals with product usage across geographies and was subject to a multi-region context sooner than expected. Across geographies, the company needed to become a region-specific solution with separate clusters that would reside in the same region, served by the same infrastructure. That’s where Kissflow used Google Anthos.

As this platform supports multi-cluster, it was easier to define traffic and direct it to specific regions, while also serving as a high-level solution. Kissflow makes use of Blue Green Deployment to roll out its infrastructure component without any downtime. Using service mesh, Kissflow could create a multi-version and enable new version downloads without service downtime. With a full functionality multi-ingress solution ready at hand, Kissflow had no problems routing inward traffic. The company was also able to use the Anthos Mesh Service AMS to manage policies. As a core B2B product, Kissflow aims to serve business users and AMS helps achieve its product goals. Through AMS, Kissflow uses Multi-Clusters that help it support any region with the same architecture, without a need to run a separate architecture. Last year, Kissflow was named the #1 software product company from India by G2 Crowd, a top peer-to-peer business software review platform. Akin to The People’s Choice Awards for tech companies, G2’s Best Software Awards rank the world’s best softwarecompanies and products based on authentic, timely reviews from real users, as well as data aggregated from online sources and social networks. Kissflow believes Channel partners are critical to the success of its organisational growth and brand. Over the last few years, the company has fortified an extensive network of partners across 65 countries. Kissflow today has over 350 channel partners and growing, and in the MEA region alone, the company has 52 partners. In addition, Kissflow has a dedicated 40-member channel sales team based in Chennai, India. This channel-driven go-to-market is especially relevant to the company’s operations in the Middle East where the company intends for 90% of billing to be executed through partners. ë

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INDUSTRY FOCUS

CLOUD

LIFERAY

The cloud strategy is anchored on cost-efficient scalable infrastructure, to modernise IT operations, delivery of new features

MOUSSALAM DALATI,

General Manager, Liferay Middle East.

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iferay’s DXP Cloud delivers agility, scale, and innovation via a multi-cloud environment with added PaaS capabilities and facilitates faster roll-out of enterprise applications and IT projects. Liferay’s Cloud strategy is anchored on a cost-efficient and scalable infrastructure, to modernise IT operations, streamline delivery of new features, accelerates customer response time, elevates end user experiences, and delivers immediate business value. Liferay has been recognised as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for the 11th time for Digital Experience Platforms. The only vendor to provide an integrated and cohesive set of technologies in one platform and enable organisations to deliver rich authenticated and seamless experiences across all primary use cases, scoring the highest in B2B and B2E among other evaluated vendors. Liferay continues to invest and grow through its partners with a shared vision of synergised goals. Liferay’s partner programme is designed for two primary roles in partner success: partner enablement and business development. The company invests in joint lead develop-

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Liferay has been recognised as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for the 11th time for Digital Experience Platforms

ment, sales support, partner education, training programmes and incentives to help ensure partners stay ahead of customer changing needs, increase profits and experience favourable ROI. To ensure partners’ success, Liferay helps its partner community to build a thriving Liferay practice and provide innovative and tailored

solutions to clients. The company’s network of 15 Partners in the Middle East is trusted digital transformation experts with recognisable and trusted presence in their territories and across different verticals. They also share Liferay’s commitment to garner optimum value for the customer and pursue excellence. Across Liferay’s product suite, the firm has the largest Insurance, Government, Banking entities under its portfolio empowering them to meet constantly changing experiences across channels throughout the entire customer journey and contributing to improved levels of engagement and retention. The solutions include self-service portal, website, e-commerce, digital workplace across various clients in the region, some of which are: Dubai Digital Authority, The Executive Council-UAE, Tawuniya Insurance-Saudi Arabia, Saudi Telecom Company-Saudi Arabia, Qatar Stock Exchange, Zain-Kuwait, Gulf Insurance Group-Kuwait, amongst several others. ë



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


INDUSTRY FOCUS

SECURITY

MANDIANT

Studying what attackers are doing while using automation and machine language to aggregate threat intelligence

GORDON LOVE,

Vice President for Middle East and Africa, Mandiant.

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andiant Advantage is a trusted technology approach to security operations. Powered by our unique Intel Grid, this SaaS platform combines XDR capabilities with our breach intelligence and expertise. Mandiant Consulting provides incident response, assessment, transformation and training services with hands-on tactical support to build security defenses from the ground up, minimise the impact of a breach and improve the effectiveness of existing security programs. Managed offerings from combine our innovative SaaS solutions and technology with consulting expertise for a proactive, expertdriven approach to security. Whether organisations are looking for managed detection and response services or they need to close the skills gap with access to industry-recognised security expertise on demand, managed services give access to help when and how it’s needed. Mandiant Advantage productises attacker expertise and threat intelligence capabilities into accessible, automated solutions that instantly provide the scale and capability that

Mandiant delivers SaaS-based cloud security solutions that ensure cloud data and critical systems are protected security teams so desperately need. Supporting more than 60 security technologies, cloud platforms and network management tools, the Mandiant Advantage SaaS platform works with best-of-breed, multi-vendor controls to deliver world-class XDR capabilities. Organisations continue to move workloads from private infrastructure to cloud and hybrid cloud environments. However, there are many challenges in safeguarding cloud data, such as misconfigured security controls, cloud-related blind spots, a larger attack surface, and complex threat landscape to manage—all increasing

overall business risk. Mandiant delivers SaaS-based cloud security solutions that enable visibility, optimise security effectiveness and enhance existing security controls to ensure cloud data and critical systems are protected. Additionally, Mandiant offers a comprehensive portfolio of cloud and hybrid cloud solutions enhanced by our industry leading threat intelligence and adversary knowledge. Mandiant delivers confidence to organisations in protecting their critical cloud and hybrid cloud footprint. Mandiant remains a channel-first organisation. The need to help organisations tackle challenges associated with having a limited number of cyber security professionals or sprawling resources remains universal. Together with our partners, our primary objective is to help customers positively transform their existing security teams to be more productive, equipped with better tools, extend their teams with Managed Services and move away from arbitrary security program success metrics to vendor agnostic Mandiant solutions. Through Mandiant’s unique and integrated suite of security solutions and expertise, partners can rest assured that they have the best customisable combination of security offerings to defend customers against the cyber threats that matter most to their business. Mandiant Managed Defense studies what attackers are doing and uses automation and ML to aggregate the threat intelligence into the Mandiant Intel Grid, which updates customers’ Mandiant Advantage products automatically with actionable threat intelligence. Constant data modeling provides technical indicators that customers can view through either the Mandiant Advantage Platform or intelligence reports. Mandiant Managed Defense collects OT and ICS telemetry directly and IoT and IIOT through partners. In addition, it offers Insider Threat Security as a Service. Customers commented positively on Mandiant Managed Defense’s detection capabilities with integrated threat intelligence, ease of implementation, threat hunting, and dedicated consultants. ë

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INDUSTRY FOCUS

SECURITY

NOZOMI NETWORKS

A SaaS platform for OT and IoT security recognised by Frost and Sullivan for a history of innovation

BACHIR MOUSSA,

Regional Director MEAR, Nozomi Networks.

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ozomi Networks products are deployable onsite and, in the cloud, and span IT, OT and IoT to automate the hard work of inventorying, visualising, and monitoring industrial control networks through the innovative use of artificial intelligence. Use cases stretch beyond cybersecurity, and include troubleshooting, asset management and predictive maintenance. Nozomi Networks Guardian delivers visibility, security, and monitoring of your OT, IoT, IT, edge, and cloud assets. Nozomi Networks Vantage leverages the power and simplicity of software as a service SaaS to deliver unmatched security and visibility across your OT, IoT, and IT networks. Nozomi Networks Vantage solution is at the heart of our cloud strategy. Vantage was designed to meet the rapidly evolving requirements of IoT-enabled infrastructures. The cloud-based OT and IoT network visibility and security solution delivers unmatched security and visibility with the unlimited scalability of SaaS offering that. Vantage makes it possible to grow without limits to consolidate data aggregation, analysis,

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The cloud-based OT and IoT network visibility and security solution delivers scalability from a SaaS offering

and operations. It makes it possible to protect any number. Earlier this year Nozomi Networks was recognised as the ICS Cybersecurity market leader based on 2020 review. Nozomi Networks is the first to market with a SaaS platform for OT and IoT security and has be recognised by Frost and Sullivan for a longstanding history of innovation.

In addition to supporting high performing partners with generous profit margins, Nozomi Networks’ ADVantage partner programme includes increased presales support, streamlined processes for deal registration and protection, advanced training and certification, and partner-exclusive demo accounts of Nozomi Networks’ flagship SaaS product Vantage. Nozomi Networks responded early with AI-powered network visibility and security solutions that integrate and work across IT, OT, edge, and cloud environments. Vantage, and subscription pricing options across the company’s entire product portfolio, make it possible for partners to leverage cloud-based industrial cybersecurity for their customers that enables them to scale quickly while minimising complexity and cost. ë


INDUSTRY FOCUS

APPLICATIONS

OUTSYSTEMS

Significant productivity gains for developers building complex, mission-critical cloud applications

RODRIGO CASTELO,

VP Middle East, and Africa, OutSystems.

O

utSystems is a market-leading modern application platform. What differentiates OutSystems is our ability to enable organisations to build software fast, right, and for future change. Every aspect of the OutSystems platform is designed to help organisations develop, deliver, and evolve applications that drive innovation at the pace that business requires. The fast visual development tools and automation powered by AI help our customers tackle strategic challenges such as application modernisation, workplace innovation, business process automation, and customer experience transformation. Our platform ensures that solutions are secure, resilient, cloud-ready, and built to scale - and that customers are always making progress even if technology or teams change. OutSystems helps businesses respond to market opportunities and continuously deliver value through software-driven innovation. The applications can range from highly scalable and secure cloud or on-premises applications, websites serving millions of consumers, back-office solutions powering massive factories, mobile

OutSystems platform is available as a service providing enterpriseclass cloud computing capabilities banking applications for Android and iOS devices, and IoT solutions that save peoples’ lives. OutSystems helps break the myth that high quality, efficient apps can only be created by the biggest tech giants with hundreds of world-class developers on the payroll. OutSystems offers a unique focus on delivering significant productivity gains for developers building complex, mission-critical cloud applications. OutSystems combines extraordinarily fast, visual, model-driven development with a modern platform built around AI, cloud, DevOps, and security. The platform is built from the ground-up for security, scalability, and

reliability with deep integration of AI-powered automation throughout, thereby making sure that any modification to the applications is quick and seamless once deployed. The OutSystems platform is available as a service providing enterprise-class cloud computing capabilities, minus the inconvenience of managing physical infrastructure. Our Platform-as-a-Service PaaS is called OutSystems Cloud, which can be deployed in private or other public clouds. Once subscribed, our customers’ infrastructure is automatically provisioned, configured, and tuned for high performance, security, and reliability. While OutSystems Cloud physical infrastructure is hosted in the secure datacentres of Amazon Web Services, OutSystems can also be installed in any other public cloud service provider of an organisation’s choice. OutSystems has consistently been named a Leader by industry analysts, including Gartner and Forrester. Most recently, OutSystems was named a Leader in both the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Multiexperience Development Platforms MXDP and the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise LowCode Application Platforms LCAP. But most importantly, OutSystems is the only vendor to be named both a Magic Quadrant Leader and Customers’ Choice in Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms. In 2021, OutSystems received a Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice distinction for Enterprise LowCode Application Platforms as voted by our customers. Together with our partners, OutSystems has one goal: customer success. With industry expertise and exclusive access to the tools and resources required to help our partners achieve business results, OutSystems Partners help fuel customers’ innovation. Named by Forrester as the ‘the Developers’ Choice - and an SI Darling’, OutSystems has a vibrant and extensive ecosystem of partners across the world, ranging from large global SIs and consultancy firms, to local system integrators. In the Middle East and Africa, OutSystems is primarily focused on our channel programme. ë

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INDUSTRY FOCUS

COLLABORATION

POLY

Providing premium audio and video solutions for both professional and personal use

BOB AOUN,

Regional Sales Director MENA, Poly.

A

s an innovator, Poly aims to provide premium audio and video solutions for both professional and personal use. In recent months, Poly has unveiled a series of products designed with hybrid working in mind. These include the Poly Studio P series personal camera devices, and the two newest additions in the Voyager family of headsets, the highly anticipated second-generation Voyager Focus 2 and the Voyager 4300 UC Series. The Poly Studio E70, which will also be on display at this year’s Gitex event, is Poly’s latest camera for larger rooms that’s designed specifically for those looking to better equip as well as enhance their meeting room experiences. Poly’s new products offer turn-key solutions for remote and in-house teams, allowing them to collaborate and communicate effectively, especially now that hybrid working is at play with most companies. Poly’s range of headsets are powered by Acoustic Fence technology that eliminates background noise while its studio solutions are embedded with the patented Poly NoiseBlockAI technology that intelligently tunes out

Its studio solutions are embedded with the patented Poly NoiseBlockAI technology that tunes out distracting sounds distracting sounds that interrupt meetings. To boost the overall experience of its studio solution, Poly also integrates its Acoustic Fence technology that helps capture only the voices within a defined space. For its optical solutions, Poly integrates the Poly Lens software that gives IT teams greater visibility and control over voice, video, and headset devices. Poly also offers cloud services known as

Polycom RealConnect for Office 365 - a cloudbased video interoperability solution built for Microsoft Office 365, that allow its customers to seamlessly connect and collaborate with remote teams. Poly’s cloud strategy is to consistently offer its customers a scalable and fully resilient cloud service as well as an interoperability service that enables compliant devices such as H.323 and SIP that do not support Skype for Business to connect to SFBO scheduled meetings and share audio, video, and content. Poly is committed to working with likeminded partners to deliver the most comprehensive set of Unified Communications devices in the industry. To drive this strategy, Poly initiated the Poly Partner Network programme - an ecosystem of resellers, solutions providers, and unified communications providers that achieve success by delivering unique, high-value business solutions that meet critical customer needs. Under this programme, Poly partners with organisations that its customers know and trust. This ensures that all Poly solutions are interoperable with the industry’s most popular business tools and most common UC environments. The programme’s mission is to make it easy for people to communicate on a humanto-human level with the applications, partners, and devices they use every day. ë


INDUSTRY FOCUS

NETWORKING

SIEMON

Certified installers can offer 20-year system warranty after training in the system design, installation, administration

PREM RODRIGUES,

Director for Sales and Marketing, India, Middle East and Africa, Siemon.

S

iemon’s advanced data center solutions comprise of copper and optical fibre cabling systems, racks, cable management and Intelligent Infrastructure Management solutions. Data Centre Services include comprehensive site surveys, scope of work, thorough document review, detailed floor plans, cabling and pathway layouts, bills of material, 2D drawings and 3D BIM modelling and expert guidance on deployment strategies, standards compliance, topologies and architectures. New business technologies and digital applications are driving data and storage needs and many organisations now entrust their IT to Cloud Service Providers and Managed Service Providers. CSPs sand MSPs must ensure that datacentre infrastructure has the flexibility and agility to cater to clients’ ever-changing needs while meeting top-level SLAs. Siemon’s Advanced Data Center Solutions are specifically designed to support CSPs sand MSPs by enabling cost-effective, rapid data centre deployment and scalability, while ensuring performance, reliability and future proofing.

Amongst Siemon’s customers are Kuwait University and Qatar University Key Siemon products include the Base-12 plug and play fibre system which is factory-terminated and tested and can be deployed up to 90% faster than traditional fibre connections, Base-8 plug and play fibre that enables 100% fibre utilisation to support 40,100 Gb,s applications and High Speed Interconnects for direct attach point-to-point applications support up to 100 Gig speeds. Siemon offers copper and optical fibre cabling systems, racks, cable management, and Intelligent Infrastructure Management solutions and has more than 400 patents specific to structured cabling. Siemon’s Category 6A Z-MAX system provides best-in-class performance with highest performance margins across all critical transmission parameters. It offers the fastest Cat6A

terminations in the industry under 60 seconds and Z-MAX jacks deliver the industry’s most reliable jack-plug connection for superior support of the latest PoE applications. TERA Category 7A cabling far exceeds all performance requirements for 10GBASE-T and enables cable-sharing that allows simultaneous support of multiple applications over a single cable, in a single outlet. Siemon is the first to demonstrate Single-Pair Ethernet over 400 meters of balanced twisted pair copper cabling. Siemon provides a training for installers in the areas of cabling system design, installation, and administration. Siemon Cabling System Certified Installers can offer an extended 20-year system warranty from Siemon. Siemon’s Registered Installer programme specifically serves the needs of integrators and installers of low voltage Intelligent Building applications. They receive industry accredited training and knowledge to deliver best-in-class cabling solutions for IP-enabled devices and applications. Trained RIs are authorised to deploy Siemon solutions with the support of an extended 15-year RI product warranty. Siemon’s Digital Lighting Partner programme helps low-voltage LV cabling contractors leverage their IP infrastructure expertise to become a go-to expert in the PoE lighting space. The Project Assistance programme helps entreprise managers locate installers and consultants for their project. Using Siemon Certified Installer companies ensures successful and consistent network cabling projects, from concept through to implementation. Amongst Siemon’s customers in the MEA reagion are Kuwait University and Qatar University. Siemon’s state-of the-art network infrastructure solutions have also been successfully deployed at iColo’s carrier neutral data center in Kenya, at the 3,500m2 MainOne data centre outside of Lagos, Nigeria and at Sasol’s new 70,000m2 head office complex in Sandton, South Africa. Siemon also helped Flexenclousre set up a new data centre facility for ACS in Angola. ë

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INDUSTRY FOCUS

APPLICATIONS

SITECORE

The solutions enable personalisation at scale, campaign orchestration, integrated data, and agile content marketing

MOHAMMED ALKHOTANI,

Area Vice President, Middle East and Africa, Sitecore.

S

itecore delivers a digital experience platform that empowers the world’s smartest brands to build lifelong relationships with their customers. Sitecore is the only company bringing together content, commerce, and data into one connected platform that delivers millions of digital experiences every day. Sitecore solutions enable digital transformation, personalisation at scale, campaign orchestration, integrated data, and agile content marketing. The Sitecore Managed Cloud service actively hosts, monitors, manages, and maintains the installation of Sitecore Experience Platform XP, Sitecore Experience Manager XM, and Sitecore Experience Commerce XC. Sitecore has secured backing for a large-scale growth plan fuelled by $1.2 billion in investment, the largest-ever capital investment in the marketing technology. Sitecore has also recently acquired Boxever Ltd, Four51 Inc, and Moosend. Sitecore Recognised for Third Year in a Row as a Leader in 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms Sitecore, the global leader in digital experi-

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Sitecore Managed Cloud service actively hosts, monitors, manages installation of Sitecore Experience Platform XP ence management software, today announced that the company has once again been positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms. The report evaluated 14 vendors and Sitecore was positioned in the Leaders quadrant based on the ability to execute and completeness of vision. Sitecore Experience Platform XP was assessed as part of the company’s evaluation. Sitecore will continue to support its Middle

East customers’ growth, and its partners’ growth into more industries, across broader geographies and channels, and into additional market segments. Sitecore is seeing strong interest in the government and public sector, banking and finance, telecommunications, energy, and tourism and hospitality sectors. The Sitecore Partner Network is the central hub for all Sitecore Solution Partner Programme information, enablement, sales tools, and deal registration. Our channel partners can own the marketplace, grow with their clients, and scale up client solutions with total flexibility. As part of our Middle East growth plan, Sitecore is training, upskilling, and expanding our regional partners. In the UAE, Mashreq Bank is using the Sitecore content management system to deliver content across all customer channels through an API, which is improving customer experiences with a modern, intuitive, and userfriendly website. In Saudi Arabia, Saudi Aramco’s Aramco LIFE mobile app experience and information marketplace, developed with AKQA, is empowering and engaging the people of Aramco, and transforming the company’s internal communications. Sitecore AI - Simply click a button, and our award-winning Sitecore AI solutions will use machine learning to personalise your customers’ online experiences. Whether you have thousands or millions of monthly visits, we have an AI solution to help you personalise at-scale. Sitecore Content Hub - Take charge of your entire content lifecycle. Sitecore Content Hub unifies content planning, production, collaboration, and management with a single, integrated solution. Sitecore Experience Platform - A powerful content management system CMS is just the start. Sitecore Experience Platform also combines customer data, analytics, AI, and marketing automation capabilities to nurture customers throughout their journey with personalised content in real-time, across any channel. ë


INDUSTRY FOCUS

SECURITY

TENABLE

Providing vulnerability coverage with the ability to predict which security issues to remediate first

MAHER JADALLAH,

Senior Director Middle East and North Africa, Tenable.

T

enable is focused on enabling our customers to see every asset and vulnerability across their entire modern attack surface, predict the vulnerabilities that will be leveraged in an attack on the assets that matter to the business and guide our customers on where they need to act to address risk. Tenable.io: Cloud-based vulnerability management platform provides a risk-based view of the entire attack surface - from IT to cloud to OT and containers - to quickly identify, investigate, and prioritise vulnerabilities. Tenable.sc: On-premises Vulnerability Management with comprehensive compliance reporting, highly customised dashboards, and real-time asset and vulnerability discovery. Tenable.ad: Continuously and non-disruptively discovers new Active Directory attack pathways and detects ongoing attacks in real time, recommending remediations without the need to deploy agents or leverage privileged accounts. Tenable.ot: Asset inventory, threat management, vulnerability management and configuration control of OT assets that integrates

Cloud-based vulnerability management platform provides a risk-based view of the entire attack surface with Tenable.sc and Tenable.io for full visibility across converged IT, OT environments. Nessus underpins every Tenable solution. As one of the most widely deployed security technologies on the planet - and the gold standard for vulnerability assessment, we continuously optimise Nessus based on community feedback to make it the most accurate and comprehensive vulnerability assessment solution in the market. Nessus was built from the ground-up with a deep understanding of how security practitioners’ work. Every feature in Nessus is designed to make vulnerability assessment simple, easy,

and intuitive. The result: less time and effort to assess, prioritise, and remediate issues. Cloud solutions are built for speed, scale, and ease of use, which presents a dilemma for cloud security teams. Left unchecked, organisations can quickly deploy complex assets to production and greatly increase business risks. Tenable.io is built on the cloud for the cloud. It provides the industry’s most comprehensive vulnerability coverage with the ability to predict which security issues to remediate first. Tenable cloud connectors for Amazon Web Services AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure enable near real-time detection of new short-lived compute asset deployments across multicloud environments. Our market-defining innovations transform how cybersecurity is managed and measured in organisations across the globe. We are building solutions that translate technical data into business insights to help security teams prioritise and focus remediation based on business risk. Using this intelligence, both CISOs and business leaders understand one another and more importantly understand what is needed to drive improvements and optimise security investments that ultimately reduce the risk to the business. Tenable is a 2021 Gartner Representative Vendor in Vulnerability Assessment. Tenable’s channel strategy is tailored for each country to address the market dynamics and provide the needed support for local partners. As a vendor, we look for and actively nurture relationships with partners that do more than just sell our products. We want to see commitment as we know that is what our customers demand, and we’re prepared to offer the same. Our partners need to be as invested in the technology as we are, and from this basis we will actively work to help and support them build services and value around our solutions. This could include complementary technologies that ultimately address the challenge the customer is facing. Tenable is committed to the Middle East region and the strategy we have built has managed to successfully win major customers across all sectors. ë

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INDUSTRY FOCUS

SECURITY

BULWARK

CISOs need to look at more MSSPs since number of solutions is going up and trend is towards MSSPs

JOSE THOMAS MENACHERRY, Managing Director, Bulwark.

In the next 24 months, forms of security services and tools that address cloud and on-premises assets will be in focus. Also, 34

O CTO B E R 2021

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eing a Value-Added Distributor, Bulwark’s products reduce the risk element for organisations and provide strong security measures. Bulwark’s products and solutions ensure to reduce the attack surface any organisation and its aim is at providing techniques and measures to counter the latest threats and being up to speed on what is there. Bulwark provides an environment in

which the organisation is covered both internally and externally in a secure manner. CISOs should prepare themselves in a big way with the accelerated digital transformation happening now. Focusing into patch vulnerability in a timely manner is important for all organisations. Organisations should have strong multi-factor authentication implemented and should do away with usernames and passwords. Organisations also need network segmentation and have a method of controlling privileged users to reduce the attack surface and provide a more secure environment. In the next 24 months, forms of security services and tools that address cloud and onpremises assets will be in focus. Also, organisations need to look at more MSSPs. This is because the number of solutions is going up and the trend is moving towards MSSPs. Cyber Attacks are more sophisticated and complex now. Therefore, there should be considerable intelligence built into the solutions and products with tools to provide the first level of defence for these complex attacks. Bulwark’s solutions make protection of the organisations more effective in these scenarios. Threat Actors have started exploiting vulnerabilities in CVE – there’s a lot more targeted attacks to infiltrate larger organisations. Ransomware as a service is being used as a collaborated attempt amongst the threat actors and dark web. There is been an upsurge in the number of ransomware attacks after the onset of the pandemic and hence emphasises the need for more cybersecurity enforcement. ë

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COMMENTARY

Planning and leading a digital transformation initiative

90% of organisations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia have fast-tracked some digital transformation programmes this year, 10% ahead of the global benchmark.

PROFESSOR PAUL HOPKINSON,

Change is often best accomplished through a team effort and digital transformation is no exception in requiring an approach that cuts across silos.

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Associate Head of Edinburgh Business School for Heriot-Watt University Dubai.

D

igital disruption has gained momentum over recent years, driven by, among others, rapid advances in technology such as AI and Blockchain, the rise of the omni-channel consumer and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Navigating these challenges has become a business

imperative for many, creating both opportunities and challenges for incumbents and newcomers alike as they adapt, evolve, invest afresh, and reinvent their business models and go to market strategies. According to Deloitte, the implementation of digital technologies can help accelerate progress towards enterprise goals such as financial returns, workforce diversity, and environmental targets by 22% – making it more important than ever. The impact of digital disruption across a range of industries has been significant. In fact, according to a report by Research & Markets, the global digital transformation market is projected to grow from $469.8 billion in 2020 to $1,009.8 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate CAGR of 16.5% during the stated period. Similarly, looking at the region, 90% of organisations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia have fast-tracked some digital transformation programmes this year, 10% ahead of the global benchmark 80% according to the latest Digital Transformation Index. However, navigating this disruption comes with its own set of challenges, including shifting mindsets and promoting adoption for employees, revising business models, building


COMMENTARY

Much of the potential of these technologies is founded on the ability of an organisation to harness and leverage data and data analytics.

the processes and infrastructure to deliver excellent customer experiences.

CUSTOMER CENTRICITY AT THE CORE While embracing disruptive technologies can be a positive step, it is important not to lose sight of the end goal of providing solutions and services to customers and end consumers. Innovations that enrich and build deeper connections with target audiences support marketers in building retention and benefit organisations in the long run. Enhancing customer experience through feedback is imperative. In fact, a study by Microsoft states that brands are viewed more favorably by 77% of consumers if they proactively invite and accept customer feedback. Using AI-powered tools to help organise, analyse, predict, and respond to customer behavior patterns and interactions is one of the intelligent ways in which marketers can make disruptive technology work. While much of this technology is still in its infancy and many of the affordances remain imagined, the future potential is significant.

CREATING A CULTURE OF COLLABORATION Change is often best accomplished through a team effort and digital transformation is no exception in requiring an approach that cuts across silos and departments to gain a 360 view of the customer. The use of agile methods involves small squads or teams to experiment with solutions, adopting a trial and error are a commonly adopted approach. Identifying individuals to champion initiatives and creating

forums to share and disseminate best practice help facilitate the integration and drive forward change. Any process of change needs to be accompanied by a plan for talent development to address skills deficiencies. Upskilling current employees and recruiting people with the right mix of specialist digital, commercial, and soft skills will ensure that businesses are equipped to gain the most value from emerging technologies. Evidence from the World Economic Forum Jobs of the Future report 2020 suggests that businesses often focus on buying in external talent at the expense of investing in their own, a trend that needs to be addressed if companies are to maximise the potential from emerging tech.

EMBRACE DATA AND DATA ANALYTICS Disruptive technologies and digital platforms provided by businesses offer no shortage of opportunities to create and deliver value for customers, but much of the potential of these technologies is founded on the ability of an organisation to harness and leverage data and data analytics.

By strengthening their analytical capabilities, companies can gain deeper insights into customer behaviour and preferences, which they can use to build better customer experiences and, ultimately, enhance customer retention. Insights from data can also expose inefficiencies in processes and technologies, allowing areas for improvement to be pinpointed and corrective action taken.

PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTATION A clear progressive plan showcasing the milestones to be achieved throughout the implementation period is as important as understanding the processes that need digital intervention. Well-established methodologies that support an impactful transition into building core digital capabilities must be the top priority for organisations. Additionally, relevancy is critical to the success of a business, and with digital transformation scaling new heights, it only creates a larger need to evaluate and understand the need to make such disruptions a part of the business plan. ë

Any process of change needs to be accompanied by a plan for talent development to address skills deficiencies.

O CTO B E R 2 0 21

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RESEARCH

GREAT DATA DISCONNECT

In a YouGov survey commissioned by Alteryx of UAE and Saudi Arabia data workers in large companies, and announced in August, Alteryx found that almost two thirds of data workers possess the advanced analytic skills needed to deliver business insights. Yet despite this enviable skillset, just 28% of workers use these talents to unlock business benefits. Alteryx commissioned market research company YouGov to survey 300+ data workers in organisations across UAE and Saudi Arabia on the topic of data literacy. The survey ran in June 2021.

Source: Alteryx survey, June 2021. 38

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