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INDUSTRY REVIEW: GLOBAL IT LEADERS MAKING THE HEADLINES An ITP Technology Publication

January 2013 | Volume 26 Issue 1

January 2013 | Volume 26 Issue 1

Windows 8 Does Microsoft’s new OS create security risks?

Aligning business and IT strategies in the Middle East for 28 years

Aligning business and IT strategies in the Middle East for 28 years

Security Adding physical solutions 58

Siddiqui Altaf, IT manager, Middle Eastern Region for Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, on data centre virtualisation

STORAGE: TACKLING BIG DATA VOLUMES 38

End user

Virtual delivers value An ITP Technology Publication

Data centre virtualisation creates platform for growth for Hellmann Logistics 40

CRM EVOLVES NEW CAPABILITIES IN CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT 52

PLUS

Project Round Up New deals and ICT project deliveries from around the region Cyber Attacks Hacking tactics adapting more quickly says Sophos

FUTURE ROADMAP IT ANALYSTS’ 2013 PREDICTIONS 46


/CONTENTS

January 2013 VOLUME 26 ISSUE 01 40

VIRTUALISING THE DATA CENTRE Hellmann Worldwide Logistics completes ďŹ rst phase of project to virtualise its IT environment.

Madhav Kurup, CEO Middle East and North Africa, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics.

40 January 2013 ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS

1


/CONTENTS

THE FRONT

07

25

38

64

/START

/TRENDS

/COMMENT

/AFTER HOURS

The latest news headlines and vital data from the local and international IT markets

Taking a look back at the industry leaders who made the news in 2012.

Intelligent data management can help companies cope with big data, says CommVault.

John Robert Pearson, Senior Project Manager for STME, on creating the company’s PMO.

52

40

46 12

37

46

52

Nicolai Solling of helpAG discusses the pros and cons of security for Microsoft’s new Windows 8 OS.

IT analysts give their predictions for the technologies and trends that will shape the regional IT industry.

Mobility, social media and analytics are making companies re-examine the value of customer relationship management.

SECURITY ON WINDOWS 8

2

ANALYSTS PREDICT THE YEAR AHEAD

ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS January 2013

CRM SYSTEMS GET SECOND WIND

58 58

PHYSICAL SECURITY SOLUTIONS RISING Biometrics, IP surveillance and access controls taking their place in the IT manager’s security tool kit.


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Advanced features for maximum battery life Back-UPS features highly efficient electrical and inverter designs, making battery power last longer when the power goes out. Additionally, special features save your battery life for when you need it most. -ANYMODELSOFFERAUTOMATICVOLTAGEREGULATION!62 WHICHAUTOMATICALLYCORRECTS UNDERVOLTAGESANDOVERVOLTAGESEXPERIENCEDDURINGUNSTABLE power conditions without using your battery. And adjustable transfer voltage sensitivity lets you customize when your Back-UPS transfers to battery, preventing the Back-UPS from switching to battery power unnecessarily.

Back-UPS 650 Line Interactive Back-UPS 650 features “double boost� and “single trim� Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) with wide input voltage range 140-300V. That instantly corrects voltage fluctuations, so you can work indefinitely during brownouts and overvoltages, without draining the battery. It also provides a combination Power/LED Status Indicator and Audible Alarms, a push button circuit breaker and automatic diagnostic testing.

BX650CI-ZA This unit features PowerChute™ Software that lets you use your computer to access additional power protection and management features. s3OUTH!FRICAN/UTLETS s7ATTS6! s-INUTES-AXIMUM2UNTIME s0##OMMUNICATION0HONE&AX$3,0ROTECTION

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Arab Technology Awards

Awards honour regional IT excellence Arab Technology Awards recognise leaders in regional IT sector

BIG DATA: GOING BIG WITHOUT SPENDING

Project Managers Rising demand for IT project professionals 52

CIO EXCLUSIVE: GLOBAL CIO TALKS DELL ON DELL

58

PLUS

End user

Building cloud success

Governing Progress Performance solutions for government manage strategic initiatives

24

OFFICE SOLUTIONS EVOLVING POWER OF PRODUCTIVITY

Gulf Air streamlines IT as private cloud project proves its value

58

STUDIO Head of Design Daniel Prescott Principal Creative Simon Cobon 16

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Honouring women executives driving marketing strategies in the IT channel (26)

20

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STORAGE SURGE

A LOOK AT EVENTS THAT SHAPED THE MARKET IN 2012 (36)

SMB STORAGE SOLUTIONS OFFERING SOLID MARGINS (42)

ADVERTISING Sales Director George Hojeige Tel: +971 4 444 3203 email: george.hojeige@itp.com Sales Manager Ajay Sharma Tel: +971 4 444 3398 email: ajay.sharma@itp.com

2012Ă&#x2026;Â&#x2122;{M2

_www.itp.net_

INTEL INNOVATES R&D INITIATIVES DRIVE BUSINESS

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Vol. 10 Issue. 12

Hyper-connected CRM Contact centres build bridges to the social media generation

An ITP Technology Publication

MARKET MOVERS

YEAR IN REVIEW

EDITORIAL Senior Group Editor Mark Sutton Tel: +971 4 444 3225 email: mark.sutton@itp.com Contributors Keri Allan, Georgina Enzer, Roger Field, Stephen McBride

Breaking the silos Dunia takes different view of ďŹ nancial services

46

40

www.itp.nett DECEMBER 2012 2 LENOVO CEO VOWS TO KEEP COMPANY ON TOP BROCADE RESHUFFLES CHANNEL TEAM MITSUMI SIGNS AS WD DISTIE ALFALAK TO DISTRIBUTE IXIA EMPA, SUPERMICRO PARTNER

52

GREEN IT: GOING BEYOND POWER SAVING

Dr Jassim Haji, director of information technology for Gulf Air, talks about the beneďŹ ts of the airlineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s private cloud

40

PLUS

Building and delivering IT solutions for the Middle East

ITP TECHNOLOGY PUBLISHING CEO Walid Akawi Managing Director Neil Davies Managing Director Karam Awad Deputy Managing Director Matthew Southwell General Manager Peter Conmy Editorial Director David Ingham

Outsourcing Managing service providers

22

Hosting Growth VoiceTrust looks to hosting for local ops

An ITP Technology Publication

Inside ERP Myths Six common misconceptions that harm ERP roll-outs

Aligning business and IT strategies in the Middle East for 27 years

Aligning business and IT strategies in the Middle East for 27 years Ahmad Almulla, vice president of IT at Dubai Aluminium, and winner of ACNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CIO of the Year 2012

December 2012 | Volume 25 Issue 12

An ITP Technology Publication

Cloud Concerns Security holding back local cloud computing adoption

2016Â&#x2DC;¢Â&#x2013;q+g¤+cq{G*gd6¢³*Â&#x203A;*^th6*gFyÂł¢Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x2DC;^Â&#x2021;HÂŁÂ&#x2013;<&*^Â&#x;|h6c¤Â?MyD&*KÂ&#x201A;6K&Âą*Â&#x2019;y|G*gÂ? Â&#x153;H¢Â&#x201C;{¤62012Ă&#x17D;¤¾cÂ&#x2021;G*$cFy|G*yÂŽ'¢HÂ&#x17D;¤§h{-"iÂ&#x153;¤-4¢D" "Â&#x203A;Ă&#x2021;Â&#x201C;¤d6Â&#x20AC;{F¢D"CGNcÂ&#x201C;My7"gÂ&#x2122;¤Â?G*Â&#x2C6;M5¢hGg6cÂľ*" "g¤IKĂ&#x2021;Â&#x201C;G(Âą*jcIc¤dG*Â&#x203A;cn0&*°,yÂ? G&c¤T Â&#x;HĂ?=Â&#x201A;6K&Âą*Â&#x2019;y|G*"ÂĽ6ÂŚ2ÂŚ%*"

November 2012 | Volume 25 Issue 11

An ITP Technology Publication

Registered at Dubai Media City PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE Tel: + 971 (0)4 444 3000 Fax: + 971 (0)4 444 3030 Web: www.itp.com Offices in Dubai & London

WINDOWS 8: NEW DEVICES AIMING FOR ENTERPRISE ACCEPTANCE

HUAWEI: ENTERPRISE BUSINESS CONTINUES TO BUILD MOMENTUM

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12

FUTURE NETWORKS Ericssonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CTO on the latest technology trends and applications p30

An ITP Technology Publication

www.commsmea.com

PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION Group Production & Distribution Director Kyle Smith Deputy Production Manager Basel Al Kassem Managing Picture Editor Patrick Littlejohn Distribution Executive Nada Al Alami CIRCULATION Head of Circulation & Database Gaurav Gulati MARKETING Head of Marketing Daniel Fewtrell Marketing Manager Michelle Meyrick Deputy Marketing Manager Shadia Basravi

DECEMBER 2012

Critical analysis for telecommunications executives

PHOTOGRAPHY Chief Photographer Jovana Obradovic Senior Photographers Efraim Evidor, Isidora Bojovic Staff Photographers George Dipin, Juliet Dunne, Murrindie Frew, Shruti Jagdesh, Mosh Lafuente, Ruel Pableo, Rajesh Raghav, Verko Ignjatovic

DECEMBER 2012 VOLUME 18 ISSUE 12

SEEKING SATELLITES Satellite solutions that allow companies to work from anywhere p25

DISASTER RECOVERY: A NECESSITY, NOT A LUXURY

P36

â&#x20AC;&#x153;People want a data centre facility immediately; they want to be able to move quickly.â&#x20AC;? James Coughlan P28

Plus

Middle East telcos are taking an early lead with LTE but major challenges remain

NETWORK CONVERGENCE STRATEGY

P13

ANALYSIS OPINION RESEARCH PRODUCTS CLINIC

SCALING 4G NETWORKS

FROM ATM TO IP/ ETHERNET:

COMMENT

NINE KEY TERMS TO UNDERSTAND IN CLOUD DEALS P10

DATA CENTRE TRENDS FOR 2013 Experts unveil the top global trends and innovations in the data centre sphere

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ITP DIGITAL Editor ITP.net Stephen McBride Tel: +971 4 444 3597 email: stephen.mcbride@itp.com Digital Publishing Director Ahmad Bashour Tel: +971 4 444 3549 email: ahmad.bashour@itp.com Business Development Manager Josephine Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Sa Tel: +971 4 444 3630 email: josephine.dsa@itp.com Group Sales Manager, ITP.net Vedrana Jovanovic Tel: +971 4 444 3569 email: vedrana.jovanovic@itp.com ITP GROUP Chairman Andrew Neil Managing Director Robert Serafin Finance Director Toby Jay Spencer-Davies Board of Directors KM Jamieson, Mike Bayman, Walid Akawi, Neil Davies, Rob Corder, Mary Serafin Circulation Customer Service Tel: +971 4 444 3000 Printed by Emirates Printing Press Dubai, L.L.C Controlled Distribution by Blue Truck Subscribe online at www.itp.com/subscriptions Arabian Computer News is audited by BPA Worldwide Average Qualified Circulation: 10,198 (May - Jul y 2012) The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication, which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the readersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; particular circumstances. The ownership of trademarks is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review.

Published by and Copyright Š 2013 ITP Technology Publishing Ltd. Registered in the B.V.I. under Company Registration number 1402846.

4

ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS January 2013


COMMUNICATIONS

No consensus at UAE telecom summit ITU summit held in Dubai fails to get backing of West over web control proposals

Image: KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images

A

12-day summit convened in Dubai by the International TelecommunicaKramer: The US opposed proposals tion Union (ITU) was intended to esto allow greater tablish a new international treaty for government control of the Internet. telecom regulations, but instead culminated in a bitter schism that largely pitted East against West over the issue of Internet governance. Eighty-nine out of a possible 144 delegates within the UN-affiliated ITU’s 193 members signed up to the treaty, first adopted in 1988. Among those refusing to sign were the US and much of Europe, nations that expressed concerns over proposals to formally regulate the Internet through governmental control. More government control of the Internet had also been opposed by technology companies, particularly Google. The treaty was originally intended to spell out international regulations that would allow seamless telecom services across international boundaries and mainly covered financial issues such as co-operative tariffs. The new treaty comes into effect in 2015, but is thought to herald little change in telco operations. The UAE and Saudi Arabia were among those nations, led by Russia, who advocated stricter policing of cyberspace. They were joined by China and several African countries, together signing Russian proposals that included calls for an end to the US-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers› (ICANN) control over Internet naming and addressing. The pro-control group was also keen to control Web content and eliminate Internet anonymity. However, the US, Australia and many European countries countered the move. Indeed, the US called on the ITU to focus on regulating the telecoms sector and not the internet. Speaking at the event, Terry Kramer, Ambassador, Department of State, USA, said that the US was “candidly disappointed” by the proposal co-signed by Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan and the UAE, which called for regulation that would allow countries to block access to websites and take control of allotting Internet addresses. Kramer called for the conference to focus on issues directly related to telecoms, including the deployment of broadband infrastructure and international roaming. “Let’s all agree that advancing international telecoms services, advancing the networks that

support broadband, transparency in mobile roaming. Let’s focus on those things that matter most and if there are other issues around the internet, let’s find an acceptable place discuss those. But let’s not pollute this conference, let’s not hijack this conference — we want to come out of this thing with success.” In comments made at the conclusion of the event, Dr Hamadoun I Touré, secretary general of the ITU stated: “The new ITR treaty does not cover content issues and explicitly states in the first article that content-related issues are not covered by the treaty. Likewise, in the preamble of the new text signatory Member States undertake to renew their commitment and obligation to existing human rights treaties.”

January 2013 ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS

7


/START

AMD cuts chip commitment

AMD scales back wafer purchase from GlobalFoundries

AMD cut the value of silicon wafers that it committed to buy from GlobalFoundries in the fourth quarter of 2012, in light of weakening PC markets. The company renegotiated its Wafer Supply Agreement (WSA) with Abu-Dhabi owned GlobalFoundries, to purchase $115 million worth of wafers, down from the original agreement for $500 million. AMD had to make a termination payment to Globalfoundries of $320 million in relation to the deal. The chip company does expect demand to recover however, committing to purchase $1.15 billion of wafers in fiscal 2013 and approximately $250 million of wafers during the first quarter 2014. AMD also said that as it standardizes

BUSINESS

Read: the new agreement will strengthen relations with Globalfoundries and help AMD get back on track financially.

on 28-nanometer chip technology from GlobalFoundries, it will reduce R&D funding to the chip manufacturer. Rory Read, president and chief executive officer, AMD said that the company was still committed to GlobalFoundries, but the deal would help AMD’s financial stability.

PRODUCT FOCUS

WD delivers SMB storage up to 16TB Western Digital launches WD Sentinel DX4000 small office storage server, to give SMBs better control over their data Available in configurations of up to four 2TB or 3TB drives, for total capacity of 4TB to 16TB

WD Guardian Services provide additional support and warranty options for small business customers

8

ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS January 2013

Connectivity with two Gigabit Ethernet ports and two USB 3.0 ports

Setup within 30 minutes, has backup and recovery licences for up to 25 client PCs


/START

THE BIG PICTURE

December 3 Dubai, UAE

Image: KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images

Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU), speaks ahead of the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) in Dubai. The conference convened to review the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs), which outline governance of global communications, although disputes between countries meant little progress was made.

9


/START

Bahrain CIO Council launched Technology and Business Society launches CIO group

Bahrain’s Technology and Business Society (TBS) has announced the formation of a new Chief Information Officers (CIOs) Advisory Council. The council will create a forum to discuss technology, and will also work to develop standards, guidelines and best practices for different industries, as well as host vendor presentations of new technologies. The council has currently formed a steering committee to develop a plan for how its operations will develop.

BUSINESS

The CIO Advisory Council will be a discussion platform for CIOs, says Hadi.

Esam Hadi, chairman of TBS said: “This initiative will help the IT industry to serve as a medium for the exchange of ideas between members, and will enable members to discuss IT strategic issues of common interest, develop solutions, provide perspective and direction for the development of standards, guidelines and best practices. It will also provide a discussion platform for CIOs to proactively collaborate and provide perspective and direction for the development of the IT industry.”

WORD CLOUD

The targeted cyber attacks that hit the Middle East last year could be seen as the evolution of previous attacks such as Stuxnet, and an indicator of the increasing complexity of security threats, but the fact that an organisation of the scale of Aramco could be hit, was perhaps something that could not be predicted. The security industry is very much in the business of prediction however and in 2013, the leading security companies are predicting more of the same, with politically-motivated threats, mobile malware and more sophisticated and consumerised attack kits all on the radar for this year.t Here’s a break down of the 2013 IT security predictions from three leading vendors.

Trend Micro

10

ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS January 2013

Sophos

Kaspersky Lab


/START

REDUCING DOWNTIME SMBs and midsized organisation need to consider upgrades to new systems and management tools to cut outages

S

mall-to-medium and midsized businesses that are struggling with out of date and unreliable systems, need to consider upgrades in order to manage the business risk associated with these systems, according to research by IDC. While larger organisations have the resources to address downtime issues, IDC says that for smaller companies, many of the risks caused by systems downtime can be mitigated by investment in more up-to-date hardware and software. IDC suggests solutions to monitor and manage IT infrastructure, better security, and provisioning of proper backup solutions, can all have a significant impact on the resilience of systems. Although infrastructure investment is a priority for most SMBs and midsized organisations, (those with up to 1,000 employees), spending plans may well have been on hold exacerbating downtime risks. Companies are facing downtime from outdated or poorly

12

managed infrastructure that throws up a number of different problems and consequences namely system downtime, which means data and applications are not available to end users or customers; network outages, that can halt business operations and in some cases suspend revenue-generating operations, as well as raise questions about the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reliability; and security breaches, that can compromise sensitive information and likewise damage the organisationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reputation. The use of appropriate technologies, including proactive monitoring of hardware components to single-pane-ofglass control consoles can cut administration costs. Combining updated technology and IT best practices can reduce costs associated with downtime by 30% to 60% and reduce the amount of lost productivity by up to 80%. By adopting best practices and updating IT infrastructure, companies can lower annual downtime by up to 85%.

ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS January 2013

Pain points causing downtime Older, unreliable systems & applications Poor patch management Inconsistent back up Lack of network monitoring Lack of single view of systems No single sign-on Backup not encrypted Hardware at different software release levels Inconsistent lifecycle management

16 20 AVERAGE ANNUAL DOWNTIME HOURS DUE TO NETWORK, SYSTEM, OR APPLICATION DOWNTIME BY MIDSIZED COMPANIES


/START

Cost of downtime in different sectors Sector

Productivity Loss / Hour

Revenue Loss / Hour

Average annual downtime hours

Financial

$3.64

$9,997.50

3.57

Retail

$2.58

$397.50

7.75

Healthcare

$1.25

$157.50

21.70

Manufacturing

$3.06

$59.93

8.01

Public Sector

$0.85

$.00

9.41

Investing in new technology and management tools cuts back and recovery times Hours per user per year spent on recovery

Hours per user per year spent on backup

4 0.5 60 6

Before investment

After investment

Before investment

After investment

65%

50%

43%

30%

Use of Management software tools

Upgrade servers, storage etc.

Failover clustering for inter apps

Standardisation on single desktop OS

28%

25%

15%

Comprehensive PC security

Thin clients/ blades

Deploying multiple antivirus

$70,000

ESTIMATED AVERAGE LOSS PER DOWNTIME HOUR January 2013 ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS

13

Source: IDC

Percentage reduction in downtime that can be gained from:


/START

Oracle CloudWorld to kick off in Dubai

Global tour to promote Oracle Cloud will launch in the UAE on 15th January Oracle has announced Oracle CloudWorld, an event series where senior Oracle executives, customers, partners and industry thought leaders will share how they drive business transformation using the Oracle Cloud. Oracle CloudWorld will comprise a series of global events, with the show starting in the UAE this month. “Oracle Cloud is the most comprehensive cloud in the world, being used each day by more than 25 million users and more than 10,000 organisations,” the company said. The debut of Oracle CloudWorld follows closely on the heels of the expansion of the Oracle Cloud services portfolio at Oracle OpenWorld 2012. Oracle president Mark Hurd will kick off Oracle CloudWorld on 15th January in Dubai. The tour will include events in several cities around the world, including London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Mumbai, Munich, New York City, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. Keynote sessions at the evenet will highlight Oracle’s strategy and roadmap for cloud and social. Subsequent tracks for line of business executives will focus on sales and marketing, customer service and support, HR and talent management, and finance and operations. The events will also have

CLOUD

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“I take it off. It’s too annoying.” ANTI-VIRUS PIONEER JOHN MCAFEE EXPLAINS WHY HE DOESN’T USE THE PRODUCT THAT STILL BEARS HIS NAME, WHILE TALKING TO THE FT, ON THE RUN IN BELIZE DURING DECEMBER. MCAFEE WAS WANTED FOR QUESTIONING OVER THE DEATH OF HIS NEIGHBOUR IN BELIZE, BUT ESCAPED TO THE US.

KPIs

Apple sees biggest one-day drop in four years 580 560 540 520 NOV 26

DEC 3

DEC 10

DEC 17

Apple TICKER: AAPL GLOBAL NEWS: Apple suffered a 6% drop in share price on 5th December 2012, its largest single-day drop in four years. Financial markets see a number of concerns with company, although the stock is still up nearly $100 from start of 2012. Analysts cited increasing competition, particularly from Android-devices, and questions

14

over whether the company is still capable of innovation. “This is not going to be a shortterm trend. This is a management test, of how well they can perform without Steve Jobs,” said Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners. LOCAL NEWS: iPhone 5 was launched in select countries in the Gulf region on 14th December, along with local iTunes Stores.

ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS January 2013

Oracle’s Mark Hurd will present a keynote at the Oracle CloudWorld event in Dubai. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

tracks for application developers and DBAs focused on how to use the Oracle Database and Java Cloud Services. It will also highlight how organisations can best leverage social media to monitor, engage, and market to their customers. Oracle executives, along with customers and partners, will share ideas on how to drive business transformation and gain competitive advantage from technologies like cloud, social, and mobile to drive innovation across lines of business. Each Oracle CloudWorld event will include customised local content, as well as multiple tracks, in-depth Q&A sessions, real-world case studies, and hands-on demos and exhibits.


HP Software CIO Speaker series Antonio Antonuccio, &KLHI2SHUDWLQJ2Æ«LFHU Injazat Data Systems

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Read more atZZZKSVRIWZDUHGHOLJKWPHFRP


/START

PROJECTS

Arabian Computer News brings you a regional roundup of recently announced and ongoing enterprise IT projects

1 / EGYPT

Smart Glass selects Epicor ERP to manage operations Smart Glass, an architectural glass processing company, has chosen Epicor ERP to manage operations at its headquarters and manufacturing plant. The Egyptian company, which produces high-quality engineered glass products at its state-of-the-art facility, will deploy Epicor ERP to manage the complete manufacturing cycle, and provide analytical tools and insight to decision makers, to help deliver on the company’s strategic business objectives. Global Business Solutions (GBS), an Epicor VAR in Egypt, will be carrying out the implementation.

2 / QATAR

3 / SAUDI ARABIA

4 / UAE

Qatar Airways connects Boeing 787 Dreamliner

KSU controls network with Procera’s PacketLogic

Dubai Roads & Transport Authority upgrades CRM

Qatar Airways has extended inflight connectivity to its Boeing 787, using OnAir solutions, the first such deployment for the new Dreamliner. The OnAir technology allowed passengers to access the internet and use mobile phones during the flight from Seattle to Doha in November. Over 50 Internet sessions took place during the flight, using a total of 1,250MB of data, while the mobile phone network was used by nearly 75 phones, sending 340 text messages and 50MB of mobile data.

King Saud University (KSU) in Saudi Arabia is deploying Procera Networks’ PacketLogic solutions for network traffic management and user awareness. KSU has over 100,000 students and nearly 10,000 faculty members and has seen network usage increase by over 50% year-on-year recently. The Procera solution allows KSU to implement specific policies to manage applications and control usage, prioritise traffic and has improved network performance and end user experience.

Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) has rolled out the second phase of its CRM system. The system, which has been deployed by software provider LINK Development, is intended to increase customer care and communications channels. The CRM system is based on Microsoft Dynamics, which has been upgraded from version 4 to CRM 2011. The upgrade will give the RTA access to a number of new modules, for marketing and campaign management, and a Facebook app.

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/START

5 / UAE

6 / UAE

Itzza Pizza improves efficiency with Openbravo

Dubai Taxi Corp enhances asset management

DEPLOYMENT

A regional enterprise project at a glance

UAE pizza restaurant chain Itzza Pizza has turned to Openbravo ERP solutions to help it manage growth and efficiency. The chain has rolled out Openbravo for Retail solution at six outlets in the UAE, gaining improvements in efficiency. Itzza Pizza selected the Openbravo solution because of its seamless integration with web POS, so that it can operate on commodity Android devices, and the flexibility and low cost of the open source system. The system was implemented by Openbravo partner, SC Soft – Dubai.

Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) has selected DSI’s mobile application development platform, dcLINK, and on-premise mobility applications for inventory and fixed asset management, to track the status and condition of fixed assets, ensuring more accurate and effective enterprise asset management. The solution will be used on a mix of handheld devices and fixed work stations for workers to track more than 34,000 parts per day from receipt to repair in real time.

7 / UAE

8 / OMAN

Omnix delivers infrastructure for Sharjah Co-op

Bank Muscat deploys POS customer service terminals

Systems integrator Omnix International is carrying out the deployment of 80 point of sale terminals for the Sharjah Cooperative Society (SCS). The deployment is part of a multimillion dirham IT project, begun in 2011, to completely redesign SCS’ IT infrastructure. The project has already seen the provision of a new data centre for SCS, including virtualized blade servers and storage, and an new ERP application to improve management and better analysis of customer data and trends.

Bank Muscat has deployed new point of sale (POS) terminals from OMA Emirates to provide its customers with new, secure, value-added services. The terminal solution, using customised solutions from payment terminal specialist Ingenico, will work with different types of cards including magstripe and smart contact cards, and are capable of running multiple applications to deliver services such as loyalty, mobile prepaid, instalment/loan option, and dynamic currency conversation, on one device.

The KIS is used by pursers to brief crew and to provide inflight customer service support and feedback.

User: Emirates Airlines Project: Knowledge Driven Inflight Service (KIS), in-flight communication/CRM solution The product: KIS application, Windows 8, HP ElitePad 900 The objective: Roll out of Emirate’s KIS on Windows 8 for better performance. What they said: “At Emirates, we strive to deliver the world’s best in-flight experience,” said Kevin Griffiths, senior vice president, Cabin Crew at Emirates. “To support our crew, we have created an application on Windows 8 that delivers a unique, personalised experience with the necessary information for our cabin crew to better serve the needs of customers. The Windows 8 platform running on HP ElitePad 900 devices gave us this option.”

January 2013 ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS

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/START

Cyber attackers reacting more quickly to security research and zero-day exploits The pace of cyber attacks and attackers adaptability increased during 2012, according to security specialists Sophos. In the company’s Security Threat Report 2013, released at the end of last year, Sophos highlights the fact that attackers are becoming quicker to respond to security research findings, and are leveraging zero-day exploits more effectively. Attackers are also creating more sophisticated malware and targeting attacks against a wider range of platforms and applications. Writing in the report, Gerhard Eschelbeck, CTO of Sophos, commented: “Modern malware is effective at attacking new platforms and we are seeing rapid

SECURITY

Eschelbeck: Security risks emerged more rapidly in 2012.

18

growth of malware targeting mobile devices. While malware for Android was just a lab example a few years ago, it has become a serious, and growing threat.” The report highlights the threats from sophisticated malware such as the Blackhole malware toolkit, which has been made available on a commercial basis by hackers to launch redirect attacks. Sophos also noted the emergence of creative social engineering attacks on social networking platforms such as Facebook, the widespread delivery of Twitter direct messages (DMs) that link to malicious sites, and also the growing number of account takeovers on Pinterest. The growth in mobility and BYOD was also creating a wider range of platforms that need to be secured, and there are also ongoing concerns about the security of cloud service providers, according to the report. Eschelbeck said that while these new threats are emerging rapidly, the security industry is also moving quickly to counter these threats. End-user organisations are beginning to recognise the importance of layered defences, and many organisations have begun to address the security challenges of smartphones, tablets, and BYOD programs. Enterprises are more aware of the risks from platforms such as Java and Flash.

ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS January 2013

SECURITY WATCH

Blackhole accounts for nearly one third of redirect attacks The Blackhole Malware kit has been identified by SophosLabs as one of the most pressing security threats today. Blackhole is a complex software tool that can be used on a malicious web server to sneak a variable malware payload onto computers.

BLACKHOLE MALWARE REPRESENTS 27% OF EXPLOIT SITES AND REDIRECTS Exploit site (Blackhole): 0.7% Drive-by redirect (Blackhole): 28.7% Exploit site (not Blackhole): 1.8% Payload: 7.5% Drive-by redirect (not Blackhole): 58.5% SEO: 1.1% Fake antivirus: 0.4% Other: 3.4%

WHERE ARE BLACKHOLE EXPLOIT SITES BEING HOSTED? Germany: 3.68% China: 5.22% Turkey: 5.74% Italy: 5.75% Chile: 10.77% Russia: 17.88% United States: 30.81% Other: 20.16%

FOUR STAGES OF BLACKHOLE EXECUTION 1. Sending users to a Blackhole exploit site Attackers hack into legitimate websites and add malicious content which that generate links to the pages on their Blackhole site.

3. Delivering the payload Payloads are typically polymorphic—they vary with each new system that’s been infected, and use encryption to avoid detection by anti-virus.

2. Loading infected code from the landing page The exploit code records how you arrived at the Blackhole server, along with your OS, browser, plugins and more.

4. Tracking, learning and improving Blackhole keeps a record of which exploits worked with which system configuration, to learn from attacks.

Source: SophosLabs

Pace of cyber attacks increases says Sophos


/START

Banks looking for solutions for Basel III New banking regulations driving demand for risk solutions says Moody’s Analytics Financial institutions in the region are turning to risk management solutions to help them manage compliance with the new Basel III regulations, according to Moody’s Analytics. The latest Basel regulations, which set global regulatory standards for bank’s capital adequacy, stress testing and market liquidity risk, begin implementation from the start of this year, and many banks in the region are aiming for compliance with the new rules, said Wael Jadallah, director, Moody’s Analytics (DIFC). “The biggest issue for banks is regulatory compliance. With the advent of Basel III — there’s still a lot of banks trying to come up to compliance with Basel II — the central banks are very much pushing for Basel III, which means the banks will have to become compliant, and that is the greatest area of focus where we are able to assist,” he said. Moody’s Analytics is offering a range of

software and services to the regional finance sector, including enterprise risk management for banks, loan risk management, and solutions to measure and report on the organisation’s regulatory credit risk, an important aspect of Basel III compliance. The uptake of new solutions is part of an increased acceptance of risk solutions in the region, Jadallah said. The company opened its local office in Dubai International Financial Centre in 2008, and today has expanded to 15 people in the region, with growth driven by the increased awareness of the need for, and uptake of, risk solutions. “We’ve seen across the board a massive increase in acceptance, visibility and adherence to risk, looking to having the right systems and IT focus with the banks,” he said. “Over the last four years, while banks might be cutting budget overall, they are increasing their spend when it comes to risk management and risk management IT systems.”

FINANCE

Jadallah: Financial institutions in the region have increased their use of risk management software and solutions.

Five stages of business analytics readiness

1

Analytically impaired: Your organisation is ‘flying blind,’ plagued by missing or poorquality data and poorly integrated systems. The company has some data and management interest in analytics

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2

Localised analytics: Your analytic efforts are isolated, opportunistic and function-specific. Your organisation collects transaction data efficiently but often lacks the right data for better decision making.

ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS January 2013

3

Analytical aspirations: Your organisation has executive support for analytics plus business intelligence tools and data marts, but most data remains unintegrated, nonstandardised and inaccessible.

4

Analytical companies: Your organisation begins to develop an enterprise wide analytics capability as a priority, with high-quality data, an enterprise wide analytical plan and governance principles.

5

Analytical competitors: Your organisation is routinely reaping big benefits from its full-fledged, enterprise wide analytics architecture, which is fully automated and integrated into processes.

Source: SAS/From Competing on Analytics, Thomas H. Davenport and Jeanne G. Harris

Organisations are moving towards better analysis of their data, but are at different stages of the journey to getting the full benefits of analytics. The stage of adoption of analytics can be measured in five stages.


/START

MEA x86 server market drops in Q3 2012 x86 server shipments down 10.5% in volume in third quarter, says IDC

The x86 server market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) saw a sharp year-on-year decline in Q3 2012, according to IDC. The MEA x86 server market dropped 10.5% in volume, and 2% in value, combined to the same quarter last year. IDC observed a similar trend in the GCC, with the regional x86 server market declining 9% in volume over the same period, although there was a 10% increase in revenue yearon-year. Qatar registered the highest rate of growth among these countries, increasing 88% in volume and 60% in value. “Large deals were closed in Qatar’s education and banking sectors during Q3 2012 and these contributed significantly to the country›s strong growth,” said Zeeshan Gaya, research

BUSINESS

Gaya: Key projects drove shipment of x86 servers in the GCC, but the sector still declined.

manager for servers and systems at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “Meanwhile, key projects in verticals such as oil and gas, government, and telecommunications helped catalyse growth in the GCC region as a whole.” Different countries showed varying results in terms of x86 shipments, with the UAE up 16% on the back of increased consumption in the telecommunications and government sectors; while Saudi Arabia dropped 45% due to delays to key projects and the shuffling of budgets in preparation for the new fiscal year. Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia all saw a slowdown of 14% in volume due to political and social unrest, while South Africa slipped 16.1%. The overall negative trend was observed across almost all form factors in the MEA region during Q3 2012.

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January 2013 ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS

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/TRENDS

2012 IN PICTURES

It was an eventful year for the IT sector, with many of the majors undergoing significant changes. ACN takes a look at the industry leaders and events that made headlines in the past year.

Apple losing its shine? US patent win over Samsung nets Apple $1bn, but Apple Maps’ flaws prove embarrassing

TIM COOK

APPLE CEO AT THE LAUNCH OF IPHONE 5 IN SEPTEMBER

Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Still one of the most innovative and influential, not to mention richest, technology companies in the world, Apple had a year of mixed fortunes. March saw the company’s first major product launch since the death of company founder Steve Jobs. Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage for the launch of the third version of the iPad andd an updated Apple TV, followed by the launch of iPhone 5 in September and the iPad Mini in October. While the products were well received by the Apple faithful, many commentators felt that the new launches were not the big bangs of yesteryear, with even company co-founder Steve Wozniak suggesting Apple has lost its innovative edge. Apple’s patent battle with Samsung finally came to court in the US in August, with Apple being awarded $1.05bn in damages, although the ruling was appealed and Apple’s many other patent lawsuits continue to grind on in different jurisdictions around the globe. The company made a rare slip with the launch of iOS6, in particular its new Apple Maps app that replaced Google Maps. The flawed application misplaced locations, didn’t display properly and gave wrong directions, even leading to warnings from Australian police not to use the app for fear of getting sent to the wrong location of several remote towns, and ending up lost in the Outback.

January 2013 ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS

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/TRENDS

MEG WHITMAN PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF HP

HP talks turnaround For HP, 2012 marked year zero in new CEO Meg Whitman’s attempts to revive the fortunes of the PC giant. Whitman took over the reins from Leo Apotheker the previous year, but 2012 saw the first steps in the multi-year turnaround plan, with variable results. After confirming that HP is still committed to the PC business, the company merged its printer and PC units into the new Personal Systems Group, which then launched 80 products in May. Across the various business units, HP continued with product launches, notably new Windows 8-based tablets, cloud technology and services. The revival plan was not all positive however, as the company announced 29,000 job cuts, and financial performance was still problematic. HP announced a write down of $8 billion from its Services division during its fiscal third quarter, a move that stemmed from its $13.9 billion acquisition of EDS in 2008, and then in November took another charge of $8.8 billion for the fourth quarter, after uncovering serious accounting irregularities in its Autonomy business. HP said that more than $5 billion of the charge related to these accounting irregularities in Autonomy, which HP bought for $10.2 billion in 2011. Overall the company posted a loss of $12.7 billion for FY2012.

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Image: Carla Osberg Photography

Strategic plan to revive HP’s fortunes hit by EDS and Autonomy charges


/TRENDS

Microsoft year of launches Windows 8, Windows Phone and first tablet hit market

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STEVE BALLMER MICROSOFT CEO LAUNCHES THE SURFACE TABLET PC

Image: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

2012 was a big year for product launches for Microsoft, as the company released the latest version of the Windows OS and more. Windows 8, complete with a new touch-screen oriented user interface, which may or may not still be called Metro, was released with much fanfare at the end of the year, followed by Windows Phone 8. The OS was met with complaints that the tablet-style interface was confusing to use on a normal desktop, and initial uptake has been slower than that of Windows 7. Other notable launches included Windows Server 2012, and, in a shock move, Microsoft announced its first PC hardware, the Surface tablet. Reaction from PC OEM partners was mixed, with some suggesting that Surface threatened their relationship with Microsoft. Last year also saw rebranding efforts, including a new Windows logo and the rebranding of Hotmail as Outlook.com. Last year also saw the departure of 23-year Microsoft veteran Steven Sinofsky, who was president of Microsoft’s Windows and Windows Live business. Sinofsky, who was seen as a possible future leader of the company, left under something of a cloud, with suggestions that he had fallen out with other department heads and was trying to take control of the Windows Phone division.


/TRENDS

Social media landmarks New records for Twitter and others as social media continues to take hold 2012 also marked a landmark year for social media, or at least a proof of its ubiquity among consumer users. US president Barack Obama set a new record for Twitter, after his Tweet announcing “Four more years” was re-Tweeted 816,000 times. It was not the only record of the presidential campaign, with the first US presidential debate generating ten million tweets, and another record for number of Tweets per second, hitting 2,615 per second. The 2012 London Olympic Games also set records, with 20 million hours of video streamed online, and 150 million Tweets about the games sent throughout.

Further evidence of the importance of social media came from the emergence of a number of cyber attacks against popular services, including Facebook, Twitter and even Pinterest. Social media didn’t get everything its own way however. In May, Facebook listed on the Nasdaq, with much hype, and a share price of $38, which valued the company at over $100 billion. Technical problems in trading, and market skepticism, saw the stock drop almost immediately, reaching a low of $17.55 by September. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg later described the share price as “disappointing... It’s not the first up and down that we ever had.”

MARK ZUCKERBERG

Image: KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images

CEO OF FACEBOOK, STILL THE WORLD’S YOUNGEST BILLIONAIRE

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/TRENDS

Security meltdown Middle East targeted by wave of complex cyber attacks; Saudi Aramco takes hit Among Middle East IT security professionals, 2012 will probably be remembered as a watershed year, with a number of attacks actively targeting the region. Several advanced persistent threats (APTs) were uncovered, including Wiper, which destroyed data on systems at Iranian oil facilities; Gauss spyware that monitored transactions with Lebanese banks; and Mahdi, another spyware targeted at Iran. The most sophisticated malware uncovered was the multi-part cyber espionage tool kit known as Flame. The complexity of the spyware and its ability to change methods, seek specific targets and cover its tracks surprised security researchers, with Kaspersky Lab describing it as potentially “the most sophisticated cyber weapon yet unleashed”. In the most high profile incidents, Saudi Aramco and Qatar’s RasGas were both hit by cyber attacks at the end of August. Aramco was forced to restore 30,000 workstations after the Shamoon malware deleted their master boot records. It is not known if the malware stole data before destroying the systems. Khalid Al-Falih, CEO of the oil company said that oil production was not affected, and Aramco later said that the attack did not involve insiders, despite earlier reports to the contrary.

KHALID AL-FALIH

Image: Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images

PRESIDENT AND CEO OF SAUDI ARAMCO

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RIM not in a death spiral Mobility leader suffers through lack of new products, banking on BlackBerry 10 launch BlackBerry maker Research in Motion had a turbulent year, with product delays exacerbating the company’s financial worries, and chief executive Thorsten Heins even going as far as denying that RIM is not in “a death spiral” during a radio interview. Heins took over leadership at RIM from company founders Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis in January, as the company saw market share slip and revenue decline for the first time in nine years from its second quarter results in June of the preceeding year. The company launched a CORE project (Cost Optimisation and Resource Efficiency), in March, to reduce the number of layers of management; streamline supply

chain and manufacturing, increase outsourcing and focus on sales and marketing to chase profitable business, and also announced 5,000 job cuts as part of the plan. In June RIM posted its first quarterly loss, of $518 million, for seven years, and revenue was down 33% from the previous quarter and 43% from the same quarter 2011. The company’s share price improved towards the end of the year, as RIM has announced the global launch event for the new BlackBerry 10 operating systems and smartphones that will take place on 30th January, but analysts are still not convinced that the new launch and an enterprise beta testing scheme for BlackBerry 10 will be enough to turn around RIM’s fortunes.

THORSTEN HEINS

Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

RESEARCH IN MOTION CEO PREVIEWS BLACKBERRY 10

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/EDITOR’S COMMENT

On the path to the Third Platform Welcome to the first issue of ACN for the New Year, I hope it is peaceful and prosperous for you all. In this issue, we’ve gathered together some of the predictions made by IT analyst companies for the coming year. As usual, there is some consensus and some disagreement, on the technologies and trends that are going to shape the industry in future. One of the most interesting predictions came from IDC. The company has essentially described a vision for computing that pulls together four key areas of technology - cloud, social, big data analytics and mobile – into what it is calling the Third Platform. IDC predicts that 80-90% of all industry growth between now and 2020 will be driven by this Third Platform, and that there will be an “explosion” of new solutions based on it. The vision extends to emerging markets, which will see a rapid uptake of all the component pieces of the Third Platform. The importance and interrelation between these technologies is not an entirely new idea. The ‘SMAC’ acronym — for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud — was in use at least by the middle of last year, but most commentators acknowledge that as a model, it is a coherent vision of how computing will develop. At present however, it is perhaps premature to talk about a single ‘platform’ as the component parts of the model are at varying stages of adoption. Ranjit Rajan, IDC, research director, Software & Services, MEA region, told ACN that there was already interest in private cloud in the region, but with some of the major providers such as Google, Microsoft and Salesforce.com increasing focus on the region, public cloud is likely to get more attention this year. Will 2013 be the year that public cloud is accepted in the Middle East? Quite possibly. Private cloud is on the rise among larger organisations, but it would be interesting to know what proportion of local companies are only just starting down the path to virtualisation. The OTT cloud providers are gaining ground in the region — Salesforce.com

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CEO Marc Benioff recently let slip that Emirates Airlines is adopting its Sales Cloud solution for its reps, and Microsoft is aggressively promoting its Office 365 solution in the Middle East. Several of the telecoms operators are also looking to roll out public cloud services, so we may finally see public cloud make an impact. As for the other parts of the platform, you only have to attend any local IT conference to see the amount of attendees that rely on tablets or smartphones – most conference sessions are practically lit up by the glow from dozens of mobile devices. Not all corporate applications have been made mobile-ready, but the software vendors are putting a lot of emphasis on pushing applications to mobile platforms, so mobility could be just an upgrade away, if the device management problem can be addressed. Analytics and social are the sticking points at present. Analytics, or big data analytics, is a little bit hard to define. Data warehousing and basic business intelligence solutions are not uncommon, but it would be interesting to know how many companies are genuinely leveraging this business insight to steer strategy. ‘Bigger’ big data solutions, like in-memory computing, are still at the pilot stage at best. My impression of businesses going ‘social’ in the region is that there’s not much beyond Facebook pages and Twitter accounts at present. The huge popularity of Twitter in the Arab world means that any consumer-facing organisation needs to keep social media in mind, but it might not be so relevant to most. The idea of social business technologies for internal collaboration and so on is interesting, but I’d suggest minimal in the region — but I’d like to hear from any organisation that has been able to make this work. Although the Middle East might still be putting all the parts of SMAC, or the Third Platform, into place, it still represents a potent vision of how the IT landscape could shape up. It is going to be interesting to see how closely the industry follows the prediction.

Mark Sutton Senior Group Editor


/COMMENT

Windows 8 security implications Nicolai Solling, director of Technology Services, help AG, discusses some of the possible security implications of Microsoft’s new operating system, and what it might mean for corporate deployments.

R

eaction to Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS, with its new look user interface, has been mixed, and although there is little expectation of immediate corporate uptake, the OS is still likely to appear in the workplace through employees’ own devices. According to Nicolai Solling, director of Technology Services for help AG, the technical security of the operating system is a major improvement over past iterations of Windows. “Windows 8 has done away with a lot of the technical lack of security that was part of the old Windows platforms,” Solling said. “Every single time we see Microsoft release a new version of software, what has been very good to see is that at the core of any new enhancements, there have been security enhancements.” Solling points to technical enhancements in Windows 8 that should help address specific threats. The OS now has a dynamic memory allocation feature to combat buffer overflow problems. Windows 8 also supports a new way of controlling the pre-boot environment, to make it harder for rootkits to hijack the PC during boot-up, and the Early Launch Anti-Malware feature allows anti-malware solutions to be the first non-Microsoft application to run on boot-up. “We are not going to get into the situation where Windows 8, or any kind of operating system, is going to be bullet proof,” Solling commented. “There is a very big concern with Windows 8, in that the change in the graphical user interface is pretty dramatic.” The change to the way Windows 8 looks and works, has potential to cause problems initiated by the user, he explained. There are some specific features that are less secure, such as IE10 running on Windows 8 not showing the web address bar, but the issue in general is about users lack of familiarity with the operating system. “Users do not know the normal behaviour of this operating system. If you have a security event on the system, is it because the system is behaving in a different way because it is Windows 8, or is it because there is a malware running on my PC? It is about user awareness of how that specific OS works,” he said. “If look at Norton 360 in the Metro GUI, it looks very, very different than it did in Windows 7. One of the things that people ask is ‘what is a good AV?’ My advice is ‘one that you know and are comfortable with’. If you do not understand the information it is giving you, you are going to end up being less secure. It is going to be a steep learning curve for a lot of users.” Solling also sees a risk from pirate software containting malware, that users might install as they upgrade their applications: “In Windows 8, in order to utilise the whole Metro UI, you also have to up-

“THERE IS A VERY BIG CONCERN WITH WINDOWS 8, IN THAT THE CHANGE IN THE GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE IS PRETTY DRAMATIC.” grade your Office packages and other applications to take advantage of this new user interface. That means that people need to re-invest in all of this software, and when people need to re-invest in software, there is a big window for software piracy. Every time there is a release of a major Microsoft product, we see this.” There are other risks that arise from features such as close integration of the OS with SkyDrive cloud storage, which creates a potential security hole for enterprises. As an OS that is initially going to get uptake with consumers, Windows 8 also shares the same BYOD concerns as iOS or Android. Overall however, Solling expects the security benefits of Windows 8 will prove themselves. “We are going to see a short term increase in risk, but in the longer term, think about the benefits that organisations will have of running one unified security policy across smartphones, laptops, tablets, servers, everything — that is where we will see the real security benefits of Windows 8 in the future.”

Solling: Lack of user familiarity with Windows 8 is likely to cause some security issues.

January 2013 ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS

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/COMMENT

Intelligent Data Management cuts Big Data chaos Allen Mitchell, Senior Technical Account Manager, MENA, CommVault outlines how businesses can best tackle the challenges of managing large volumes of data while ensuring that information remains accessible

O

ne of the big topics around IT discussions these days is Big Data. In thinking about today›s data centre trends — the growth of unstructured data, the universal adoption of virtualisation and increasing consolidation — an interesting paradigm is developing. Big Data is something that can creep up on you and before you realise it, it can be causing huge expense and present new types of risks, complexity and cost. What often starts as a project can become business critical and the bigger it is, the harder it is to keep it available or recover in an emergency. Most organisations distribute data over a number of systems and because it’s distributed, the true costs are hidden. As organisations experience the Big Data phenomenon, they are faced with several challenges. Protection and disaster recovery can be staggeringly expensive. To mirror 1TB these days is relatively inexpensive, but to mirror 500TB on high-end disk for scientific analysis is cost prohibitive for all but those with very big purses. Even backup to relatively cheap media like tape can be expensive due to the sheer volumes involved. The other issue is time — while everything is faster today than it used to be, moving even modest amounts of terabytes around can take a while, let alone tackling petabytes! So how do companies deal with Big Data? Using storage resource management (SRM) software is a good start. SRM reports present a consolidated view of all storage resources, including logical and physical components, providing unified tools to analyse storage requirements and plan storage infrastructure for the

“MANAGING, PROTECTING AND UNDERSTANDING THE BUSINESS VALUE OF THE DATA YOU HAVE CAN HAVE A TANGIBLE IMPACT ON BUSINESS AGILITY AND THE BOTTOM LINE.” 38

ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS January 2013

Mitchell: Many companies struggle to properly manage their data.

purposes of capacity management, content management, and historical data management across the entire enterprise. Not only will this type of trending warn you that you’re heading down the Big Data path, but it can help drive archiving policies for effective long term storage and keep costs under control. Big Data needs expert handling and getting the right help early on can make a big difference. So while it’s not easy to spot a problem before it becomes acute, doing so can save companies a lot of expense and pain. Choosing the right technology is critical. Today’s legacy data management tools just aren’t up to the task. According to a CommVault-sponsored CIO Market Pulse Survey on data protection and management that polled 111 IT and business management professionals, 42% of respondents described their organisations’ data management processes as ‘outdated’, and 31% called it ‘chaotic’. More than half stated that data searchability and the current level of automated data management is less than adequate. Overall, those surveyed cited improving operational efficiency, the ability to access and analyse information and flexibility as the top business drivers for investing in data management solutions. So what if you could reign in the wild growth of unstructured data in the Big Data era using fewer resources? Managing, protecting and understanding the business value of the data you have can have a tangible impact on business agility and the bottom line. The advent of Big Data is causing IT to rethink and possibly redesign architectures to accommodate business requirements as data volumes grow. The only way to accommodate such growth is


/COMMENT

“BIG DATA IS SOMETHING THAT CAN CREEP UP ON YOU AND BEFORE YOU REALISE IT, IT CAN BE CAUSING HUGE EXPENSE AND PRESENT NEW TYPES OF RISKS, COMPLEXITY AND COST.” to implement a modern approach to data management. Customers need: • A highly scalable repository for unstructured data • Protection and archive from a single pass through the data • Storage tiering to lower costs And it all needs to be done from a single management console with application-aware snapshots, replication, data deduplication, encryption, and a range of other built-in features. Studies estimate that multiple copies of files now require organisations to use and administer 2 to 50 times more storage than they actually need. Given the impact on the bottom line, or-

ganisations need to recognise that, far from being a niche technology, deduplication needs to become standard practice and an integrated element in their overall IT strategy. Data deduplication lets you significantly reduce the amount of disk you need for backup. Deduplication results in improved backup windows, faster restore and recovery, and reliable transfer of data for disaster recovery copies. Every IT vendor out there is trying to stake its claim to be the de facto standard for managing Big Data environments. Vendors who have a unique approach that stands out from competition will have success in the world of Big Data.

January 2013 ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS

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/HELLMANN WORLDWIDE LOGISTICS

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Hellmann Worldwide Logistics chose to virtualise its local data centre, rather than just replace its old servers and infrastructure, says Altaf.

GETTING VALUE FROM VIRTUAL

WHEN HELLMANN WORLDWIDE LOGISTICS NEEDED TO UPGRADE ITS LOCAL SERVER ENVIRONMENT, THE COMPANY DECIDED TO LAUNCH A PROJECT OF DATA CENTRE VIRTUALISATION, TO CREATE AN IT INFRASTRUCTURE THAT WOULD BOTH PROVIDE ENHANCED EFFICIENCY AND HELP THE COMPANY TO CONTINUE WITH RAPID REGIONAL EXPANSION BY MARK SUTTON January August 2012 2013 ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS

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Kurup: Flexible IT solutions are essential for the company to be able to roll out innovative new logistics services and to expand into new territories.

irtualisation is at the core of many of the advances made in ICT in recent years, bringing enhanced efficiency to environments and enabling new models including cloud computing. The technology has taken off, with widespread adoption in many larger enterprises, although virtualisation has not been universally adopted. According to TechTarget, two-thirds of organisations have virtualised 50% or less of their infrastructure. Roadblocks to virtualisation include lack of skills, confusion over tools for server availability and performance monitoring, managing storage and backup of virtual machines, and software licensing issues. Many of these hurdles were faced by the Middle East operations of logistics provider Hellmann Worldwide Logistics when it looked to virtualise its data centre, but the company approached them as challenges to be overcome, rather than a reason not to go forward with modernising its infrastructure. The logistics provider, which is headquartered in Germany with operations in 54 countries worldwide, began operations in the Middle East in 1999. With specialities in automotive and healthcare, both busy sectors for the region, Hellmann’s business in the Middle East has expanded rapidly. The company began with a user base of around 40 people, but has since grown from its local headquarters in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone, to include 15 facilities in the region and an internal user base of over 130 users. The rapid growth experienced by the company over the past few years resulted in a burden on the IT infrastructure, according to Siddiqui Altaf, IT manager for the Middle East Region for Hellmann. “We had a massive challenge of how do we accommodate IT, and facilitate our users with IT services, using the existing infrastructure. We decided to start off on a project for server virtualisation,” he explained. “We had a discussion, and came up with two options — option A, if we just replace the existing environment, or option B, if we plan for the future — and go with server virtualisation in a high-end environment. After discussion with the management and my regional boss in Australia,

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we concluded that, based on our expansion, we would go with option B.” The company scoped out the project, and selected local systems integrator NewRAS as the partner for the project, based on the support and interactions with NewRAS’ technical team and management, its expertise in virtualisation and integrating multiple vendor environments, and through understanding of Hellmann’s business needs, including strict compliance requirements for standards including ISO 90001 2008. A number of options for the hardware and software were considered for the project, with the final choice made to deploy IBM blade servers in a BladeCenter H Chassis, with VMware virtualisation software and Veeam virtualisation backup and management software. IBM hardware was selected, as it is Hellmann’s global standard, which simplifies the operating environment and means that Hellmann’s global IT team is able to provide assistance with any support issues. IBM BladeCenter H Chassis was selected as it has support for SAN, and the project also includes virtualised SAN storage and an IBM tape backup library, part of the company’s audit requirements. “The reason we selected VMware is it is one of the best products in the virtualisation environment that we have seen so far; and it is used in our global and regional offices,” Altaf said. “We

“THERE WERE DEFINITELY CHALLENGES TO DEPLOY LOCAL AS WELL AS GLOBAL APPLICATIONS. WE HAD TO OVERCOME IT, WE FOUND OUT VARIOUS SOLUTIONS TO OVERCOME THE PROBLEMS AND MAKE IT WORK IN OUR ENVIRONMENT.”


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HELLMANN WORLDWIDE LOGISTICS VIRTUALISATION PROJECT SOLUTIONS IBM BladeCenter H chassis IBM blade servers VMware virtualisation VMware vCenter Operations Manager Veeam virtualisation backup IBM fibre SAN IBM Tape Library WhatsUp server monitoring AnywhereUSB

went with VMware vCenter Operations Manager, which gave us entire visibility on how the systems run, what the capacity utilisation is, and lets us manage our virtual environments with various alerts and automation.” The need for backup that would meet compliance standards, and how to manage that in a virtual environment was a particular challenge to Hellmann. Many of the audit points related to SAN usage and FTP ports. The company selected IBM fibre channel SAN storage and tape drive, to standardise with the rest of the organisation globally, and to get the performance benefits of fibre channel systems, but selected backup administration solutions from Veeam, over its global vendor Symantec. Altaf said that Veeam offered a wider functionality, and provides more flexibility and automation to manage the virtual storage. “We are a heavily audited company and NewRAS came at the right time and helped us design our virtualisation project and consolidate our storage making it fully redundant, and gave us a perfect solution for our data backup and replication,” he said. As virtualisation was a new technology to the local IT team, Hellmann drew on NewRAS’ expertise, while Altaf and another member of the team qualified as VMware Certified Professionals (VCP) to ensure that they had proper product understanding and

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awareness to optimise and utilise the technology in-house. Another area where Hellmann faced challenges was in shifting applications to a virtualised environment. While the local infrastructure hosts applications such as local apps, file and print servers, mail servers, billing management systems and access control, the company has a number of applications hosted at its global data centre, along with applications including a Kofax archiving application and WhatsUp server monitoring, that reside locally, but which are integrated with central applications. “There were definitely challenges to deploy local as well as global applications,” Altaf said. “We had to overcome it, we found out various solutions to overcome the problems and make it work in our environment.” One of the sticking points was that several local applications used licences hosted on USB dongles. Without physical connectivity to the virtual machine, these licences would not work. The


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Altaf: Hellmann and NewRAS identified a number of supplementary solutions that would assist them in making the virtualisation project workable.

company was able to switch some licensing to a software-based model, while for other applications, a solution from AnywhereUSB was deployed to allow USB dongles to still be used. With the first phase of the project completed, Hellmann has already realised a number of benefits from virtualisation. The physical server environment has been reduced from 30 servers down to the single chassis, providing more efficient power and cooling, reducing the physical footprint and simplifying administration. The project has enabled migration from Novell’s eDirectory to Microsoft Active Directory, and 80% of the points of audit have been eliminated, through following global security policies and standards while deploying the infrastructure. The time to provision a new server has gone from four and a half weeks to just five minutes, which allows the IT organisation to be much more responsive to the end users and requests for resources, which is particularly important in providing specialised logistics services, Altaf explained: “IT operationally is very important; it is a niche user organisation environment, the users are heavily dependent on IT for providing services to the customer — it is a very particular environment.” Madhav Kurup, CEO for Middle East and North Africa at Hellmann added that new infrastructure will help support the company in its ongoing expansion into new territories in the region. “In our business, IT and the investment in IT is becoming a critical part for the value differentiation that you bring to the customers, especially in the vertical specialisations we have that have helped us to grow, specifically in automotive and healthcare,” Kurup commented. “Creating customised IT solutions to support our operational processes is one of the key success factors behind our growth.”

The second phase of the project, one of the additional reasons for initiating virtualisation, is to move the local desktop environment to a virtual basis. The IT team are aiming to eliminate purchases of fixed assets, and to that end, plan to roll out virtualised desktop solutions from Citrix for end users. While Hellmann’s data centre virtualisation project faced many of the obstacles that currently dissuade companies from virtualisation, Altaf said that the project shows there are solutions to tackle those obstacles: “There are hurdles in every project, but we had to overcome them. Our planning, processes, and documentation was done in great detail before we went into this project, to make sure that the outcome of this project was successful. It was tough at the start, but through hard work, we can enjoy the fruit of our labour.”

“IN OUR BUSINESS, IT AND THE INVESTMENT IN IT IS BECOMING A CRITICAL PART FOR THE VALUE DIFFERENTIATION THAT YOU BRING TO THE CUSTOMERS.” 45


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The IT industry in the Middle East is likely to see a lot more reliance on cloud and services as companies look to more cost effective models of computing.

PREDICTING THE 2013 IT LANDSCAPE

WITH NEW COMPUTING MODELS EMERGING THAT ENCOMPASS ALL ASPECTS OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS ASKS MIDDLE EAST IT ANALYSTS FOR THEIR PREDICTIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY IN 2013 BY MARK SUTTON January August 2012 2013 ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS

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Mahapatra: Green IT, social and cloud computing will be talked about a lot in 2013, without significant uptake.

he start of a new year traditionally brings with it thoughts on the direction that the IT industry will take in the next twelve months, with the major analyst companies setting out their predictions on the trends and technologies that will shape the development of the business, and drive strategies and spending for CIOs. As a unique market, with its own distinct challenges, the Middle East doesn’t always follow global trends, so Arabian Computer News asked analysts based in the region for their predictions for 2013. There are many areas of general agreement among the analyst community for the trends that are likely to have the most impact. Four of the big drivers — cloud computing, social, big data analytics and mobility — are identified by IDC as a holistic, interrelated set of technologies, that are coming together in what it describes as the ‘Third Platform’. The Third Platform is seen as a once-in-twenty-year-shift in computing, that IDC predicts will account for 90% of all industry growth to 2020, with a major growth of new solutions based on the platform.

“2012 SHOWED US THAT SOCIAL MEDIA CAN NO LONGER BE IGNORED. ORGANISATIONS NEED TO BROADEN THEIR FOCUS FROM MAINSTREAM FORMS OF DATA COLLECTION TO INCLUDE NON-TRADITIONAL DATA TYPES.” 48

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Ranjit Rajan, research director, Software & Services, IDC MEA region said that while there is an increased interest and appetite in these four technology drivers in the Middle East, there is a varying degree of interest in each. In cloud computing, Rajan expects 2013 to be the year that the region begins to take a much larger interest in public cloud, with development previously confined to private cloud projects. Global Over The Top (OTT) cloud providers such as Google, Salesforce and Microsoft are actively promoting their offerings in the region, and more and more large enterprises are seeing the applicationas-a-service model as an attractive option to rapidly provision services such as email and productivity for branch offices, along with CRM, project management and HR management. “There has been a lot of interest in private cloud, but not so much in public cloud services, but I think we are beginning to see a greater interest in public cloud and I think that [in 2013] we are going to see a lot more,” Rajan said. The adoption of ‘social’ technology has similarly been onesided, with little business adoption, he added: “Obviously there is a lot of activity on the consumer side around social networking and social media, but on the social business side, it is still early days. The use of social platforms internally within the organisation will be the key shift, I think we will see this probably within the next two years; I don’t see it happening immediately.” Haritha Ramachandran, program manager, Information and


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Rajan: 2013 will be the year that public cloud makes an impact in the region, with emphasis on global players and telcos.

Communication Technologies Practice, Frost & Sullivan, also sees social media having more of an impact in the region. She points to ‘Social’ as one of three ‘S’s, the other two being security and services, that will drive the market in 2013. Social media is of particular relevance to big data analytics as companies look to better analytics tools to make sense of the data available from nontraditional sources such as social media. “2012 showed us that social media can no longer be ignored. Organisations need to broaden their focus from mainstream forms of data collection to include non-traditional data types. To verify and garner a 360-degree view of their customers, companies need to gather non-traditional data via social customer relationship management and other social media sources. In 2013, with more organisations looking at big data, solutions such as open sourcebased Hadoop Distributed File Systems [HDFS] and database oriented NoSQL are likely to show significant growth, as are business intelligence tools for analysing and presenting results,” she said. “2013 is expected to be all about looking at big data with proper analytical tools and deriving the right answers from the mountain of data available. The results of these projects will begin to be felt in 2013, but the scale of data and amount of processing required will not see results hitting most businesses until 2014.” Not every analyst expects social and cloud to make an impact in the region however. Biswajeet Mahapatra, research director for Gartner, believes that lack of confidence in social solutions, and their perception as not enterprise-relevant, along with lack of major cloud providers and overwhelming data protection and security concerns, will make both technologies non-starters for the region at present. “Green IT, social, and cloud will be much talked about but very much less adopted. Out of these, private cloud adoption will be done in bits and patches in enterprises, but nothing beyond that. Social is a big no-no for business and cloud is looked at with suspicion — especially the public cloud. Security and lack of data protection and privacy laws will be the major reasons for very low to negligible adoption of cloud,” he said. Osama Ghoul, managing partner, Devoteam, also sees resistance to cloud in the region: “Cloud and mobility stand to be the two domains that we expect to see on the CIO agenda. Having said that, during

Social media can no longer be overlooked by organisations that want to improve customer data, says Ramachandran

GROWTH SECTORS IT expenditure in the region is likely to follow a familiar pattern in the region in 2013, according to Biswajeet Mahapatra of Gartner. “Government is one of the largest IT spenders in this region and will continue to be. Globally, spending by local and federal governments is predicted to be flat, or we will see a minimal 1% increase in spending. However, that percentage will be much higher for this region as governments are in overdrive working to IT-enable services and provide welfare schemes. Governments in this region are also looking at developing models to help provide cheaper IT services to SMBs and single users to help them in their business and education. Hence, overall IT spending in the Middle East, as a percentage of Opex, will also be much higher than the global average of 3.3%.” Other sectors that are predicted to see IT spending higher than global levels include construction, healthcare, manufacturing, utilities, energies, oil & gas and banking, Mahapatra said, as these sectors adopt the latest technologies, including virtualisation, consolidation, application integration, hardware refresh and best practice adoption. “The most interesting aspect of this investment is that most of it, except for the hardware refresh, will be in the Grow area, which means there is going to be a lot of push for newer technology and best practices,” he said. “This is also based on the fact that economies in this region are by and large doing well, so they expect business to grow and they need to adopt newer technologies to help them serve business needs.”

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“2013 IS EXPECTED TO BE ALL ABOUT LOOKING AT BIG DATA WITH PROPER ANALYTICAL TOOLS AND DERIVING THE RIGHT ANSWERS FROM THE MOUNTAIN OF DATA AVAILABLE.” Bring Your Own Device will bring new challenges for security and data management this year, says Ardill.

a survey that we did it was clear that more than 50% of CIOs are still skeptical with regards to adopting the cloud as a way of life, especially because the vendors have yet to clearly identify the real benefits of adopting this new technology in the context of the Middle East.” Mahapatra expects to see organisations in the region continue to develop virtualisation projects, with realistic and cautious investments in virtualisation. Companies will virtualise non-core apps and develop proof-of-concept projects first. Data centre consolidation, including storage, applications and infrastructure, will be one of the main areas for investment in 2013. One trend that all of the analysts agree will have an impact in the region is the continuing influence of consumer technology in the workplace, although the trend is not without its challenges. Stephen Ardill, partner and lead for AT Kearney’s Strategic IT Practice in the Middle East, said that consumer consumption of technology is creating business end-users who demand better access, higher quality services, and a greater say over their computing environment. They are also responsible for the proliferation of private devices in the workplace. “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) will come to the fore in 2013 as organisations struggle to contain the impact of consumer-led IT whilst reconciling the need for tighter security given some of the high-profile cyber-attacks that occurred in the region last year.

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The other challenge to be addressed will be around personalisation and the pressure to deliver more granular, segment-specific services in a cost-effective and repeatable manner,” he said. Rajan also predicts that BYOD will create security issues for IT: “There will be significant challenges, particularly around security and mobile device management — it won’t be easy. IT departments will be under a lot of pressure to allow BYOD from business, and IT is facing significant challenges on how to manage it.” Ardill also expects that many companies will revisit their ERP deployments this year, driven by maturing solutions, and the need to ensure solutions are fit for ongoing regional expansion “The focus going into 2013 will be on simplification and consolidation, with a rationalised ERP vendor base and a broader deployment of more standardised solution templates, enabling improved business integration and reporting and greater transparency and comparability of enterprise information,” Ardill said. Another area where the majority of analysts are in agreement, is the drive to extract value from existing solutions. With IT budgets still under pressure, IT departments are rationalising their solutions, and looking to gain maximum return on what they have, as well as looking to technologies such as cloud and virtualisation. According to Mahapatra, this pressure also means that companies are looking to intelligent investment at the right price, which


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“IT DEPARTMENTS WILL BE UNDER A LOT OF PRESSURE TO ALLOW BYOD, AND IT IS FACING SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGES ON HOW TO MANAGE IT.”

should lead to a marginal improvement in the best pricing. Ramachandran said that the drive to push value from IT solutions will focus both on traditional cost reduction such as outsourcing, and implementing new technology as well as streamlining existing processes and systems. IT is also likely to be asked to help create new revenue, she said. “IT’s role in providing revenue growth through innovation has often been downplayed in the region. In 2013 C-level executives are expected to be tasking their IT leaders to help provide new services and products, or come up with other areas of expanding revenue streams,” she said. Ghoul also sees a shift in the agenda: “We are seeing new trends starting to appear in the market which are driven more by corporate CEOs , rather than by CIOs, in which the aim is to transform the business using IT. This is surely a new era for IT as the function of IT is changing from being a business enabler into becoming a business changer.” Budget pressure will in part drive strong growth across the services sector in the region, while increasing market maturity and the emergence of larger players will see services including managed security, cloud, IT-as-a-service in various flavours, hosting for backup and recovery come to the fore. Frost & Sullivan predicts managed services to grow by 18.8% CAGR from 2011 to 2018. The leaders of the market are still emerging as global cloud players, local systems integrators and the local telcos all look to build strategic alliances to capture the market. “It’s an area in which competition has been heating up, with local Telco players, global giants such as Google and Amazon, as well as system integrators, all targeting this segment,” Ardill commented. “To support business growth, larger organisations will also tap into hosted services that will allow them to trial new applications at a lower risk and cost.” While these new services will take some of the load off of the region’s IT departments, the emergence of new technologies will add to the persistent problem of skills shortages among local organisations, IDC’s Rajan predicts. “The skills challenge will continue. It has always been a big challenge in the Gulf, but I think the challenge will modify a bit, and it will worsen, with the requirements of the Third Platform,” he said. “The Third Platform technologies will require a different set of skills, and while IT departments will try and adopt these Third Platform technologies because of pressure from business, they will not be able to accelerate or rapidly deploy some of these technologies because of skills challenges.”

SECURITY PREDICTIONS “As a result of the high-profile security breaches over the past six to twelve months and before, security is no longer an IT discussion topic, security has been elevated to a C-level, even a boardroom topic,” said Ranjit Rajan of IDC. “The overall discussion will obviously move up a couple of gears, CEOs will start talking more about risk, business continuity, governance, and this is going to be critical, it is going to be a shift for security, and it is going to create tremendous opportunities for the security industry in terms of consulting and technology solutions.” The BYOD trend is going to drive demand for mobile device management solutions, according to Haritha Ramachandran while convergence is also changing the security landscape: “Technology convergence is driving demand for advanced security intelligence. Security vendors are expected to focus on Next Generation Firewalls (NGFWs) and eXtensible Threat Management (XTM) that will feature added functionalities in one device. These new technologies and services are pushing IT leaders to adapt and integrate what they have with what is new, enabling enterprises to facilitate safer and more productive working environments for their employees.” Big data will also have an influence on security. Shirley O’Sullivan, vice president of marketing for EMEA at Blue Coat Systems said security companies are looking to improve threat intelligence through greater analysis. “Security and networking solutions all generate logs – significant amounts of information that tell you about user behaviours, traffic on the network and more. Mining this data to find discernible patterns in risky behaviour, threats and anomalies on the network as well as correlations between behaviour and risk will allow the industry to build new defences that can help users make safer default choices.” Mobility and the proliferation of devices will create more emphasis on identity authentication and content-based security, as traditional security perimeters become obsolete, according to George Khouri, of CA MENA. “Strongly authenticated identity is the new perimeter. This places emphasis on reducing risk at the authentication point, signalling the end of the password as we know it today. We will see more risk-based authentication coming into play based on the device, transaction, location and more. We will see industry move towards more intelligent methods of authentication such as pattern creation, image recognition, mobile phone-based authentication, audio and biometrics, and we will see more content-driven security based on what the data is, or how it’s classified, and that information, plus user identity and role, will be used to guide access rights,” he said.

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CRM applications are evolving to include new channels of communications with customers, such as social media, and much greater depth and analyis of customer data.

CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS EVOLVING THE MARKET FOR CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT (CRM) SOLUTIONS WAS CHILLED BY THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN, BUT COMPANIES ARE BEGINNING TO RETURN TO THE NEW GENERATION OF CRM SOLUTIONS AS THEY LOOK TO BUILD BETTER COMMUNICATIONS, AND BETTER UNDERSTAND CUSTOMER BEHAVIOUR BY KERI ALLAN January 2013 ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS

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Talhouk: CRM uptake is on the rise in the Middle East, while solution capabilities continue to provide new functionality.

doption of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions in the Middle East continues to rise as businesses look for solutions that will ensure customer satisfaction whilst simultaneously cutting costs and increasing productivity. “CRM software adoption in the Middle East has exceeded the 20% annual growth mark according to the Annual Middle East Call Centre/ CRM Conference,” says Karim Talhouk, Microsoft Business Solutions lead, Microsoft Gulf. “[Plus] the Middle East contact centre market is currently witnessing a 30% growth rate in the number of agent positions,” adds Mina Nagy, product manager, BSolutions. Arnold Gutmann, practice lead CRM, Business Solutions, GBM highlights that CRM initiatives really started in the region around four to five years ago, and after a lull, interest is up again. “The economic boom surprisingly slowed down CRM efforts and the following economic downturn has stopped them altogether due to a lack of readiness to invest in business software,” Gutmann comments. “The new confidence in the market has reignited the search for more efficient marketing, customer retention and growth strategies especially in the retail and services sectors. CRM is back — with a strong focus on business intelligence and analytics.” Vendors are highlighting that uptake comes from across the board: both SMEs and larger organisations are noticing the possible return on investment (ROI) and benefits a CRM solution can offer. “In my opinion, ROI for CRM applications can potentially be easy to attain,” says Shaheen Haque, territory manager, Middle East and Turkey, Interactive Intelligence. “The potential areas that can lead to impressive ROI for CRM technologies and provide business benefit include administration/operational efficiencies, better customer brand and product aware-

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Haque: CRM solutions can deliver considerable business benefits across a range of different operational areas.

CASE STUDY: COBONE AND SALESFORCE Cobone, a company that provides daily deals across the Middle East, has a CRM solution from Salesforce. Lead developer Muhammad Minhaj Mehmood believes the company has benefited hugely from its implementation. “Cobone is an extreme high growth company with double-digit growth monthon-month. We therefore have an enormous need for streamlining, automation of processes and live data for our decision-making,” he says. “For Cobone, the ROI of our CRM is enormous as this finally allowed us to do this effectively. We now have automated business processes and streamlined data flow and dashboards, along with reports providing insights about Cobone’s working. “The result we have seen in our sales department is an increased ROI of 20% per employee within three months.”

ness, improved business intelligence, increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, and improved sales conversion rates.” Not only are vendors being approached by new companies, but businesses that introduced traditional systems a few years ago are returning as they’re now interested in investing in more powerful and capable CRM solutions. Different trends are appearing, such as the move towards more mobile-enabled solutions.


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“THE NEW CONFIDENCE IN THE MARKET HAS REIGNITED THE SEARCH FOR MORE EFFICIENT MARKETING, CUSTOMER RETENTION AND GROWTH STRATEGIES, ESPECIALLY IN THE RETAIL AND SERVICES SECTORS.” “A hot trend in the CRM industry revolves around mobile,” says Nagy. “With the fast-growing smartphone market, CRM has currently gone mobile and is easily accessible almost anywhere. This new trend is fast gaining ground as the need for easy access is fundamental to any executive.” “Mobility has moved from being a nice-to-have feature to a necessity,” agrees Haque. “The use of smartphones, iPads, netbooks, tablets and other mobile devices will be used to support customerfacing workers like sales and relationship management employees. Most customers are demanding availability and interaction via this media. The CRM vendors are falling over themselves to provide apps for the popular OS brands. That being said, a cross-platform interface is also an important factor. Customers demand familiarity whether they are using a Mac, PC or tablet.” Business intelligence is also a keyword right now. “As business intelligence is becoming a built-in function for most applications, CRM is becoming more analytical with vendors putting more effort into providing analytical tools to help their customers in newer versions of CRM applications,” says Ali Hyder, CEO, Focus Softnet. Then there’s cloud. Vendors have seen a significant shift, especially from customers with a large install base, migrating to cloudbased CRM applications, as on-premises solutions run into mobility and scalability limitations. “CRM is one of the first applications that has been accepted as a cloud application. Since most CRM users are on the move, companies expect CRM to be available over the Internet,” notes Hyder. “There’s no question that cloud-based CRM has taken off in the Middle East and is growing in momentum,” continues Haque. “Cloud CRM and the cloud application offerings from the major vendors such as Salesforce and Microsoft are, we believe, proving most popular. “Cloud-based CRM applications are especially attractive to customer experience-focused businesses, be they commercial or public sector,” he adds. Cloud is very much a growing area, however Salesforce partner NSI Technology is keen to highlight that there are still some issues to overcome. “Regulation and data privacy laws within the region currently hinder significant uptake,” business development manager Michael Ovens notes. Social media is also becoming an important part of any CRM solution. Vendors continue to include social connectivity in their solutions, allowing businesses to understand social trends and analyse

their sales and marketing efforts across social media. Of course, in this day and age, organisations that ignore social media are in threat of alienating a huge number of prospects and customers. “In order to be effective in 2013 and beyond, companies will seek to know more about their customers and use that insight to talk, engage and interact with them more often and more meaningfully in existing and new innovative ways. For example, dynamic content, blogs and social networking,” Gutmann notes. “This requires CRM solutions to cater for quick and easy personalisation and customisation without losing sight of proven international models and past local experiences.” There are many different ways social media is being integrated into CRM solutions. “Complaints and suggestions can be made through Facebook and fed through to Salesforce, with notifications and cases created. Marketing campaigns can also be orchestrated via social media,” highlights Ovens.

THE WEAKEST LINKS Customer relationships are based on good customer experiences, therefore one bad experience can destroy any relationship you’ve built, leading to customer churn and a negative brand reputation. We asked vendors what the weakest links in the customer relationship process are so you can focus on what you need to strengthen. For Salesforce partner NSI Technology, a weakness is creating unnecessary delays for customers. “When a complaint is logged, being placed on hold for long periods of time [can be a problem],” says business development manager Michael Ovens. “[Plus] getting through to the wrong department and receiving little or no assistance on how to progress or who to talk to.” Ali Hyder, CEO of Focus Softnet believes it’s important for top-level management to be fully behind a CRM implementation. “Most of the CRM projects fail to get implemented or are partially implemented due to the lack of enforcement from the top management. Users, being the weakest link, resist CRM applications, unless they are pushed hard by their top management. Hence the number of enterprises using fully-fledged CRM in the region would remain low,” he notes.

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“BUSINESSES NEED TO CONSIDER TIGHT INTEGRATION POINTS, WHERE IT ALLOWS THE DIFFERENT VENDOR OFFERINGS TO OPERATE SEAMLESSLY AS A SINGLE BUSINESS SOLUTION RATHER THAN AS DIFFERENT TECHNOLOGY ISLANDS.”

CRM is becoming more analytical, with vendors putting more analytics tools into their product offerings, says Hyder.

Microsoft Dynamics has integrated solutions powered by Yammer and Skype into its CRM offering. “Using Yammer, users can collaborate with colleagues inside their organisation or with customers, partners and other stakeholders. Yammer fosters simpler information sharing around customers, business processes and key business documents - all through social networking capabilities. It also marks a significant step forward in providing customers with the ability to project CRM information, activities and insights across their organisation,” says Talhouk. “Skype capabilities connected to Microsoft Dynamics CRM address an organisation’s need for direct interactions with customers and partners to drive new levels of productivity. With Skype, users can now initiate voice and video communications directly from Microsoft Dynamics CRM, enabling businesses to open communication channels and connect with individuals inside or outside of their organisation,” he adds. Finally there’s integration. Key integrations to other business systems are critical in today’s business. “CRM vendors are fostering relationships with ERP and contact centre vendors like Interactive Intelligence,” Haque notes. “Businesses need to consider tight integration points, where it allows the different vendor offerings to operate seamlessly as a single business

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solution rather than different technology islands,” he notes. “Like it or not, it is essential to integrate CRM with [all other enterprise applications, such as ERP],” says Gutmann. “Only the hardly achieved concept of a 360° customer view as the core of all business processes within an organisation guarantees success and protects investments. New-generation CRM solutions cater for most common data touchpoints between these applications such as the master data record, financial customer data information, order/invoice/complaints status, customer product portfolio, credit scoring, risk assessment and productivity/sales efficiency. “As mentioned above, the ‘Datarati’ will win the race for market share, growth, customer satisfaction and profitability,” he continues. “To be able to become one, all data sources need to be integrated and consolidated, and CRM is the place for that. Technically, integration via APIs, Web services, ready-made connectors etc. depends on the IT environment in place/targeted, but the challenge lies with the business process management and the ability to extract actionable meaningful information from the vast amount of data available,” he concludes.


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Physical security solutions are coming to fore as part of authentication processes to reduce the issue of poor practice by end users.

SECURITY SOLUTIONS GET PHYSICAL WHILE IT ORGANISATIONS ARE MORE COMMONLY CONCERNED WITH VIRTUAL DATA SECURITY, PHYSICAL SECURITY SOLUTIONS SUCH AS ACCESS CONTROL, BIOMETRIC AUTHENTICATION AND IPBASED SURVEILLANCE ARE INCREASINGLY MOVING INTO THE IT DEPARTMENT’S DOMAIN BY KERI ALLAN January August 2012 2013 ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS

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Zaidi: Companies are adding physical security measures to the their corporate networks to enhance security procedures.

n this day and age we’re regularly reminded about our virtual security and keeping passwords secure etc., but it’s just as important not to overlook physical security, which can be as much, if not more, of a threat to businesses. Physical security solutions such as biometrics, access control and IP-based security are seeing a rise in uptake in the Middle East as leading companies increase their focus on security. There is a growing end user awareness of the ROI that security systems offer, and the region continues to see investment across a wide number of sectors including airports, logistics, government, oil and gas, and transport. “There is growing demand for faster, more accurate and more user-friendly identification and verification technologies for a wide range of applications, from border control and aviation security to law enforcement, healthcare, humanitarian aid and disaster relief,” says Joseph Pritikin, director of Product Marketing, Identity Solutions, AOptix. “In the future, ecommerce and mobile banking will be enhanced by these technologies as well,” he adds. Even so, some experts believe that many companies are still too laid back about physical security. “On the whole our experience is that organisations in the Middle East do not perceive physical security as a big risk – tending to rely on ‘traditional’ methods like security guards, which lags behind business in the West, and in fact around the world,” says Peter Chadra, chief executive and founder of DrPete Inc, an independent strategic technology advisor. It cannot be denied, however, that the region is taking more of an interest in physical security solutions, and certain trends are appearing. For example an increasing number of companies are adopting IP-based solutions. “The reasons are obvious: lowered costs, more responsive, better security,” notes Richard Jenkins, VP of Marketing, RF Code. “ Now, however, IP-based security is going one step further: it’s merging with other innovative technology solutions to provide a consolidated security

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IT and facilities management departments need to collaborate on physical security, says Coughlin.

“THE PRIMARY REASONS BIOMETRIC SECURITY IS BECOMING MORE POPULAR GLOBALLY ARE INCREASING CONCERNS ABOUT THE STRENGTH OF NATIONAL SECURITY, AND INCREASING OCCURRENCES OF IDENTITYTHEFT RELATED FRAUD.” platform. This trend - converged security - brings together physical and asset security to provide a unified approach to protecting a company and its physical assets.” “Today we see a convergence between physical and network (IP) security to provide services that promote flexibility while keeping basic authentication principles in place. For example, to log onto a company intranet, users may need to do two-way factoring


/SECURITY

Chadra: Organisations in the Middle East have tended to overlook technology solutions for security, prefering traditional solutions like guards.

NEW TECHNOLOGIES

or biometric, retina or pin codes authentication. This eliminates the possibility of illegitimate access,” notes Asfar Zaidi, senior consultant, Security Solutions, Huawei Enterprise Middle East. “As networks become more open the need to provide end users with the flexibility to work at any time, any place and on any device while maintaining network security also increases. This can only be done through creating strong controls and a strong security framework for access authentication and authorisation,” he adds. “The integration of biometric technology with security systems is on the increase, as more system administrators and data centre managers look to leverage off innovation within identification infrastructure in order to improve access control,” says James Coughlin, director of new business, Cannon Technologies Middle East. “As data centre and facilities management (FM) departments continue to cross paths, the same trend is happening in the security market. To date, information security typically sits with the IT department and physical/traditional security sits with the FM or real estate departments. However, as physical and information technology security policies, technology and people converge, it is vital that FMs learn about the opportunities and challenges their individual organisation will face. The convergence of data and telecommunications over (IP)-based networks now brings FM and

As protection of IT assets rise on the security agenda, new physical security solutions are emerging. For example, RF Code’s Proximity Locator solution fully automates the correlation of people and events, correlating what moved, with who moved it. “Such information helps to identify a limitless range of unauthorised activity, from who’s using what particular piece of equipment that someone else may need to determining the presence of unauthorised personnel in ‘off limit’ areas to discovering the presence of someone sneaking into a facility behind a ‘badged’ employee,” notes Richard Jenkins, VP of Marketing, RF Code. According to Ian Lowe, senior enterprise solution manager, HID Identity Assurance, a new technology set to shape the market is embedding ID credentials within mobile devices: “This is blurring the lines between IT and physical access control,” he notes. “There are a number of industry initiatives to drive this forward, including TEE, Intel IPT and TPM that has gained a new lease of life with Windows 8.” James Coughlin, Cannon Technologies Middle East says that Iris on the Move technology is emerging to provide fast and unobtrusive biometric verification: “Unlike other options that require people to stop or to position their eyes close to a camera, ‘Iris on the Move’ can verify an individual’s identity from a quick glance at the system from a comfortable distance.” “Smart Mobile Identity, featuring multi-modial biometrics built on popular smartphone platforms will go to market in 2013 and start to gain adoption in markets such as law enforcement, border control and national ID management,” adds Joseph Pritikin, director of Product Marketing, Identity Solutions, AOptix. IPv6 also has implications for physical security, says Peter Chadra of DrPete Inc: “Because IPv6 address scope is massive it can eliminate the requirement to NAT behind router addresses. This means that it becomes much easier to trace devices on the global Internet. This is important as we move towards an ‘Internet of things’.”

IT closer than ever and security forms a key element of this. “CCTV surveillance systems are a great example of this and have been relying on transmission over IP networks for many years. The access control market has been slower to adopt this approach over the years, however, today’s access control systems are increasingly IP-based and as a result, are becoming more advanced, easier to integrate with existing systems and more costeffective,” Coughlin adds. “The primary reasons biometric security is becoming more popular globally are increasing concerns about the strength of national security, and increasing occurrences of identity-theft related

January 2013 ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS

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/SECURITY

Biometric solutions are deployed in areas like border control, cash handling and storage areas and server rooms, says Raghavan.

fraud. While North America and Europe have previously dominated the global biometric market, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa are emerging as viable, growing territories for biometrics.” Integration and convergence seem to be key themes, for example there is a general movement of manufacturers, installers and end clients to the physical security information management (PSIM) model – having a single command and control interface to monitor and control information from various security subsystems including CCTV, access control, Intrusion etc. A PSIM system also provides information to operators to select the most optimum response to deal with any given situation. “The above is in fact part of a larger emerging phenomenon. The concept of a master system integrator (MSI) will gain significance over time,” says Venkat Raghavan, general manager, Al-Futtaim Technologies. “The MSI will be capable not only of offering a solution that will encompass the complete range of low current and ICT systems, but also manage integration of various systems to enable seamless exchange of intelligence within the eco-system leading to empowered administration, secure community and unique user experience,” Raghavan adds. But who are the customers? Businesses that offer e-services

“THERE IS GROWING DEMAND FOR FASTER, MORE ACCURATE AND MORE USER-FRIENDLY IDENTIFICATION AND VERIFICATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR A WIDE RANGE OF APPLICATIONS.” 62

ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS January 2013

look to be at the forefront of driving these technologies, as are companies that focus strongly on security solutions, such as the oil and gas industry. However experts are finding interest building across many verticals. “Financial services, hi-tech, pharmaceuticals, government and healthcare remain the primary verticals deploying this type of technology for physical access control purposes,” notes Ian Lowe, senior enterprise solution manager, HID Identity Assurance. “Biometric technologies are still primarily used at immigration and border control. There are some enterprises that use biometric readers for staff time and attendance systems as well as high security areas such as cash handling and storage areas with high value IT infrastructure such as server rooms,” highlights Raghavan. “Hospitals and other areas where sanitisation is of primary importance have moved from the contact based keypad or fingerprint readers to a non-contact based proximity palm vein based solutions,” he adds. “Hotels, shopping malls and other large commercial properties with multiple control systems have moved to a more integrated approach for their security and control systems allowing for the operator to have a single interface to monitor and control the various sub-systems within that network.” As criminals get wiser, it’s more important than ever for businesses to put security high on the agenda and use the latest technologies to secure their assets. From what the experts see and say, it’s clear that the region’s enterprises are rising to the challenge and are embracing the best physical security solutions available to them. And with new technologies continuing to hit the market, security looks set to be stronger than ever.


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Arabian Computer News delves below the corporate strategy to understand what really makes the region’s IT leaders tick.

THIS MONTH: JOHN ROBERT PEARSON SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER, STME How did you end up in your current business role? I started in the IT industry with IBM as a customer engineer in 1977 in the UK, before progressing into large systems with IBM, both hardware and software. An opportunity arose in 1996 to move to Saudi Business Machines, where I was the account coordinator for large customers. I was based initially in Damman. STME came along in 1999 and offered me a job as services manager in Riyadh, where I supported EMC storage and STK Tape Technologies. I then moved to Kuwait in 2003 with STME, to become the services manager for Kuwait, where I stayed until 2007 when I moved to Qatar as service manager. In 2008, STME asked me to move to Dubai as a project manager, and this year I was asked by the CEO to set up a Project Management Office for STME. What is your management philosophy? I am a great believer in team work. It is crucial, especially in Project Management, where one single person cannot do it all alone and has to rely on his colleagues to work as a team to ensure a successful completion of the project at hand. What was your first computer? It was a Sinclair ZX81 in 1981. What is your greatest achievement? To gain the trust of the new CEO of STME, Ayman Al Bayaa, to have the confidence in asking me to set up the PMO for the company.

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ARABIAN COMPUTER NEWS January 2013

What is your biggest mistake? Everyone makes mistakes, some are small but on occasions they tend to become a bigger issue. The main thing is that you have to accept these mistakes and learn from them especially as an engineer where your mistakes can have a major impact on the customers systems.

GETTING PERSONAL Nationality: British Number of years in the industry: 35 Favourite food: Curry Holiday destination: Thailand Music: Music from 60’s, 70’s and 80’s Dream car: Jaguar Gadget: Samsung S3 Piece of advice: Think of others!

What is your fondest memory of working in the IT industry in the Middle East? Being in the Middle East for the last sixteen years, I have seen major changes within the region. Not only seeing the growth in the industry, but also within the working culture. The Middle East in general is such a multicultural region, that it is interesting in understanding cultural differences and seeing them all working together. What emerging technology do you think will have the biggest impact on the market in 2012? Cloud technology, it is the global hot topic and it gives everyone the opportunity to access data from where ever they are.It is extremely cost effective and gives businesses more flexibility in the services they offer their end users. What’s the best way to deal with stress? Being a sports fan, I unwind watching football and golf.


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ACN - January 2013  

Arabian Computer News (ACN) - January 2013 - Volume 26 - Issue 1 "68 Pages" ITP Technology Publishing, Dubai, UAE

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