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DI FF ER EN CE A MA DE TH AT ST OR IE S

ISSUE 02

POWERED BY

Exploring Possibilities DELIVERING BUSINESS OUTCOMES THROUGH INNOVATION


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DATA → INSIGHT → INNOVATION → REVENUE Capitalize on New Opportunities with the Right Infrastructure

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Intel® Xeon® Gold Processor (6000 Series)

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Intel® Xeon® Gold Processor (5000 Series)

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Intel® Xeon® Silver Processor (4000 Series)

Up to 24 Cores (12 cores x 2 sockets)

Up to 1.5 TB of Memory (768 GB x 2 sockets)

Efficient Performance at Low Power As Low as 70 Watts

Intel® Xeon® Bronze Processor (3000 Series)

Up to 16 Cores Up to 1.5 TB of Memory (8 cores x 2 sockets) (768 GB x 2 sockets)

Sockets Cores

Entry Performance As Low as 85 Watts

Memory


Published by

PROLOGUE CONTENTS 04

BUILT TO SCALE ThingLogix 06

SELLING BUSINESS OUTCOMES Welcome to the second edition of Value Stories, showcasing innovation and true novelty from our partner community in the Middle East. Partners have gone beyond the call of duty to ensure customers’ challenges are addressed in an exceptional manner by providing excellent support and enterprise-grade solutions. Increasingly customers are seeking business outcomes more than just solutions to challenges. It is heartening to see that partners are progressively realizing this. Their efforts in integrating technologies and customizing them have ensured customers of business continuity in any environment In order for customers to be able to achieve favorable business outcomes, organizations today can go a long way if they recognize the capabilities that advanced analytics can offer in helping them make mission-critical decisions. Identifying this huge opportunity, Redington Value has introduced a new practice around data science and advanced analytics to capitalize, together with our channel partners, on the opportunities that the $4 billion data analytics market has to offer. We recognize that there continues to be an acute skills shortage in the market, especially when it comes to advanced technologies such as data science and analytics. We are determined to not to let this deter our partners from harnessing the market potential. Therefore, one of the key priorities for setting up the data science and advanced analytics practice includes upskilling partners through investments in trainings, programs and workshops. Extensive specialization will be a key component that we look for in partners joining this practice. We are also investing in 25 people within Redington and an equal number in our consulting arm Citrus, from a delivery standpoint. This is a serious investment from Redington’s end and we urge our partners to be equally, if not, more excited about the prospects we can leverage jointly. Ramkumar Balakrishnan

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BANKING ON SECURITY Paladion IN THE BEST LIGHT HyperThink Systems

MAXIMUM WINNINGS Secure Max SECURE CONTROLS Network Intelligence CONCIERGE SERVICES BIOS Middle East

CENTER OF EXCELLENCE BIOS Middle East

SEAMLESS INTEGRATIONS GTFS THE BEST DEFENSE Saudi Paramount Computer Systems

President, Redington Value

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

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BUILT TO SCALE FAISAL ALJUNI, GENERAL MANAGER, MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA, THINGLOGIX, DISCUSSES DETAILS OF A PROJECT WHERE THE FIRM IMPLEMENTED AWS AI AND IOT SOLUTION TO RADICALLY ENHANCE OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCIES.

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leading UAE-based construction company realized that their existing employee-time-clock solution took too long to check in over thousands of laborers working at their sites. This was a critical aspect to track as the employees were paid according to the number of hours they put in. The current check-in solution was connected to the payroll system. The present solution took as long as 20 seconds at times to validate one worker’s access card or recognize his fingerprints. Some of the customer’s construction sites employed 5000 laborers, which meant one shift could have around 2000 to 3000 workers. Even if there were five to six queues, it could take up to one hour for the last worker to check in or check out. This was resulting in massive waste of efforts, time and money. The customer’s innovation

manager decided to improve efficiencies and sought for an effective solution to address this challenge. The customer approached ThingLogix, a fouryear-old solutions provider, which had commenced operations in the UAE last year. Faisal Aljuni, General Manager, Middle East and Africa, ThingLogix, says, “As a company, we only focus on innovative projects related to Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). As soon as we heard the customer’s challenge, we knew Amazon Web Services (AWS) AI and IoT technology will be the most ideal solution.” Post doing business calculations, Aljuni and his team discovered that if they managed to eliminate all the delays by 100 percent, they would be able to save the customer’s money by half percent of the total construction project cost. This amounts to huge savings. Aljuni adds, “Using AWS AI and IoT technology, we designed the Time Attendance solution with which

CUSTOMER: LEADING CONSTRUCTION FIRM Customer’s objective

To eliminate delays during employee clock-in at the construction sites’ gates

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To increase operational efficiencies

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

Why AWS AI and IoT solution

To reduce costs

Offered deep insights to improve operational efficiencies

Saved business costs dramatically

Delivered visibility into employee monitoring


THINGLOGIX

“OUR INNOVATIVE IMPLEMENTATION HAS NOW LED TO THE CUSTOMER LOOKING AT LONGTERM PARTNERSHIPS WITH US. I AM PARTICULARLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS PROJECT BECAUSE IT IS THE FIRST PROJECT DELIVERING AI TIME ATTENDANCE SOLUTIONS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY IN THE MIDDLE EAST REGION.” FAISAL ALJUNI, THINGLOGIX

AT A GLANCE CUSTOMER: Leading construction firm OBJECTIVE: To increase operational efficiencies by eliminating delays during employee clock-in at the gate CORE REQUIREMENTS:

the workers could check in or check out through the gate without stopping. This eliminated all delays and helped the construction customer improve operational efficiencies drastically.” However, ThingLogix had to first overcome a few challenges before presenting the solution to the customer. As it was a construction site, the solution had to be functional for both day and night shifts and created in such a manner that it could withstand extreme conditions of the locations, including temperatures that went as high as 55 degrees. “With AWS technology and our expertise, we were able to successfully address these challenges.” ThingLogix went a step ahead and presented different use cases for the customer with the same technology.

How ThingLogix did it

Did extensive proof of concepts to ensure accuracy and efficiencies met expectations

Analyzed customer premises to ensure solution could weather any environment

Identified different use cases with the same technology to improve business efficiencies

With this solution, the customer could also now identify how many laborers were present at the site at any given time; and also obtain each worker’s personal details effortlessly. The solution also alerts the security team if an unknown person passes through the gates. Additionally, it also provides deep AI analytics to identify which gate is optimum for the laborers to enter. This helps the customer’s project manager to make faster and better decisions. Aljuni says, “Our innovative implementation has now led to the customer looking at long-term partnerships with us. I am particularly excited about this project because it is the first one delivering AI Time Attendance solutions for the construction industry in the Middle East region.” n

Greater efficiencies, deeper insights, better security SOLUTION IMPLEMENTED: AWS AI and IoT solution PARTNER: ThingLogix

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

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BANKING ON SECURITY KOTRESH KALMANI, PARTNER HEAD, MEA, CYBER SECURITY SOLUTIONS AND DEEPAK JACOB, VP, CLIENT SUCCESS AT PALADION, SHARE DETAILS ON HOW THE FIRM IMPLEMENTED AND INTEGRATED MICRO FOCUS SOLUTION WITH THEIR PROPRIETARY ANALYTICS PLATFORM.

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ost an expansion spree, a leading bank in the region was looking to bolster its combined infrastructures and systems of its acquired entities. Having first-hand experienced the benefits of Micro Focus’ ArcSight solution for the last several years, the bank now wanted to ensure the solution was extended across all its new operations. The customer’s objective was to detect and monitor all malicious security activities such as hacking, insider fraud, malware and so on; and be in a position to address it quickly, across all its newly gained business units. The bank approached its long-term trusted Managed Detection and Response service provider partner, Paladion to implement Micro Focus’ ArcSight SIEM analytics platform. Deepak Jacob, VP, Client Success, Paladion, says, “ArcSight boasts several benefits when integrating

diverse systems. It also comes with a large set of default alert user cases depending on the devices that are being integrated. Although, ArcSight runs on SIEM technology, which is complex in nature, it also enables for faster implementation, which saves costs for the customer. “ArcSight is the go-to solution for most large enterprises because it is ideal when integrating complex multi data center architecture environments.” Paladion’s role involved ensuring smooth integration of the solution with the customer’s legacy applications. “It was a challenging task as we had to manually configure the integrations and develop smart connectors to support legacy devices,” says Kotresh Kalmani, Partner Head, MEA, Cyber Security Solutions, Paladion. However, as ArcSight supports an open architecture and allows for effortless technology integration, it made Paladion’s implementation easier.

CUSTOMER: LARGE REGIONAL BANK Why Micro Focus SIEM ArcSight ESM solution

Customer’s objective

To detect and monitor malicious security activities across all business units

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To be able to effortlessly integrate new solution with existing systems

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

To save on costs and time invested

Easy integration processes

Open and scalable architecture with provision to deploy additional analytics tools and dashboards

Extensive default use cases


PALADION “ARCSIGHT IS THE GO-TO SOLUTION FOR MOST LARGE ENTERPRISES BECAUSE IT IS IDEAL WHEN INTEGRATING COMPLEX MULTI DATA CENTRE ARCHITECTURE ENVIRONMENTS.” KOTRESH KALMANI, PALADION

“WITH AI.SAAC, WE CAN CONTINUOUSLY ANALYZE AN ORGANIZATION’S DATA TO DETECT ATTACKS IN NEAR REAL-TIME.” DEEPAK JACOB, PALADION

AT A GLANCE CUSTOMER: Large regional bank OBJECTIVE: To provide 24/7 visibility on security activities across all business units CORE REQUIREMENTS: Integration of legacy systems, detect and monitor security incidents

Jacob adds, “As it supports an open architecture, it is also scalable. Customers do not have to overhaul their entire systems, instead, it can be integrated within existing ones.” The implementation was completed over five to six months, which is faster than other projects of similar nature. “Other security solutions work in silos, however, with this solution, customers now have the advantage of a single holistic visibility for all their security monitoring.” Paladion has gone the extra mile and also integrated its own analytics platform, AI.saac, which integrates seamlessly with the Micro Focus solution. “Paladion’s AI.saac is an advanced analytics platform, which enables faster predictions of attacks before they happen. AI-driven analytics are very important to understand anomalies that bypass traditional signature-based alerts. This is especially true as

How Paladion did it

Offered advanced technical capabilities and expertise

Ensured seamless integration of ArcSight solution with legacy applications

Integrated proprietary analytics platform – AI.saac

attackers use newer methods to penetrate and exfiltrate data,” Jacob says. “The false positive ratio of anomaly-based alerts is very low leading to much faster detection of attacks before an active compromise.” Kalmani adds, “AI.saac runs on a Hortonworks Big Data platform and uses next-generation algorithms to detect complex, targeted, and unknown attacks. With AI.saac, we can continuously analyze an organization’s data to detect attacks in near real-time.” He explains, “Once a threat is detected, AI.saac accelerates and fully orchestrates fast, accurate, and effective response to remediate threats in minutes, not months.” Through the ArcSight implementation, Paladion was able to successfully help the banking customer to detect, monitor and resolve security incidents in a quick and reliable manner across all its entities. n

and predict security breaches in advance SOLUTION IMPLEMENTED: Micro Focus SIEM ArcSight ESM with Paladion’s AI.saac integration PARTNER: Paladion

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

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IN THE BEST LIGHT

AWDESH CHETAL, CEO, HYPERTHINK SYSTEMS, DIVULGES HOW THE FIRM WORKED ON BUILDING A SMART SOLAR STREET LIGHTING SOLUTION TO ELEVATE THE CUSTOMER’S BUSINESS.

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leading construction firm based in the Middle East sought a street lighting solution that could be fixed temporarily for each of its remote construction sites. The customer was looking for a solution that would function even in the absence of power supply and one that could be easily transferred to new sites. The firm selected the solution from HyperThink Systems, a leading IT and business services company with a diverse services portfolio. HyperThink Systems’ Smart Solar Street Lights solution not only met with all the customer requirements but also offered additional features. With this solution, the customer could now remotely control all the street lights. Awdesh Chetal, CEO, HyperThink Systems, says, “We offered the customer a complete street lighting solution with built-in controllers and innovative functionalities.”

Powered by solar, the solution was integrated with features such as remote controlling and scheduling, where the customer could manage key aspects such as dimming the lights to different levels, diagnosing issues and managing maintenance. Smart Solar Street Lights solution was built on a proprietary IoT platform from HyperThink Systems. Chetal adds, “It can also be deployed on PTC ThingWorx platform. We used Microsoft Azure for the backend.” As a construction firm, it was necessary to be able to transfer the solution to each new site, as often they were remote locations. HyperThink Systems managed to make this possible by ensuring it was portable. Integrated on an IoT platform, the customer was also able to gain real-time insight into the data derived from the light fixtures. They had visibility into any issues that may happen, saving costs on having technicians do routine maintenance work. At the cus-

CUSTOMER: LARGE CONSTRUCTION FIRM

Why Smart Solar Street Lights solution

Customer’s objective

To deploy smart lighting at remote construction sites

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To ensure the solution can be easily transferred to new sites

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

To be able to use the solution even in the absence of power supply

Offered the ability to control and schedule remotely through a mobile application

Provided real-time data, enabling faster diagnosis of issues and saving costs on human resources

Boasted nifty features such as powered by solar and portability


HYPERTHINK SYSTEMS

“WE OFFERED THE CUSTOMER A COMPLETE STREET LIGHTING SOLUTION WITH BUILTIN CONTROLLERS AND INNOVATIVE FUNCTIONALITIES.” AWDESH CHETAL, HYPERTHINK SYSTEMS

AT A GLANCE CUSTOMER: Leading Middle East construction firm OBJECTIVE: To deploy smart lighting solution at remote construction sites CORE REQUIREMENTS: Remote control

tomer’s central office, the technician would be notified through a mobile application if any anomalies occurred. He can then use the app to control and rectify the issue. According to the service provider, the obstacle the firm faced was during the design stage of the solution. “It was a challenge to obtain the right hardware, test the product in secluded locations and ensure remote control and connectivity.” Chetal adds, “The innovation in our solution was being able to build it on an IoT platform and offer the customer a ‘smart’ lighting solution that could be optimized remotely through a mobile appli-

How HyperThink Systems did it

Designed a solution built on proprietary IoT platform, which was also deployable on PTC ThingWorx platform

Incorporated effective features such as portability, remote control, solar-powered, remote maintenance and visibility

Helped save up to 20 percent energy through remote scheduling function

cation. The customer can save up to 20 percent energy by using this solution.” Pleased with the benefits of the solution at the pilot stage, the customer is now considering larger deployments across its sites. HyperThink Systems is currently developing another variant of this solution, which includes a smart street light pole, which will boast features such as visual display, CCTV, public addressing and the like. “With Middle East governments driving solar-powered or alternate energy projects, we see a huge opportunity in this market for IoT-enabled smart solutions,” he says. n

and connectivity, portability, conducive to isolated site environments SOLUTION IMPLEMENTED: Smart Solar Street Lights PARTNER: HyperThink Systems

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

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MAXIMUM WINNINGS

MOHAMMED SHAHID AHAMED KHAN, SENIOR SALES ACCOUNT MANAGER, SECURE MAX, DISCUSSES HOW BARRACUDA’S EMAIL AND WEB SECURITY GATEWAY SOLUTIONS HELPED SAUDI-BASED CUSTOMER SEE TANGIBLE OUTCOMES.

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government customer overseeing tourism and national heritage in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was looking for new Web Security Gateway (WSG) and Email Security Gateway (ESG) solutions. The customer’s main line of business involves boosting domestic tourism through sponsoring and conducting relevant events as well as overcoming obstacles to the growth of tourism within the country. The customer’s IT team defined the core requirements for a new solution at the beginning of the evaluation phase. It revolved around ensuring more security, higher availability and greater efficiency. In addition to meeting the strict data protection law stipulations, an effective solution was required to counter the diverse attack attempts and malicious code activities. The customer was looking

for secured access to the firm’s Internet downloads. The aim was that the 1000 plus full-time employees and their external colleagues should have Internet access with file downloads without compromising on security. Having had a positive experience with Barracuda previously, the customer was determined to implement the vendor’s solutions once again. The customer chose Barracuda’s Email Security Gateway Vx. Barracuda Email Security Gateway includes bestof-breed spam and virus blocking, data protection, DoS prevention, large file transfer, email continuity, encryption, and policy management, at an affordable price. As new email security requirements emerge, the Barracuda Email Security Gateway is automatically updated with new capabilities to ensure long term protection. The implementation process was quick and easy. The customer’s IT manager says, “We received a download link and entered data to create a virtual

CUSTOMER: SAUDI-BASED GOVERNMENT ENTITY Why Barracuda ESG and WSG solutions

Customer’s objective

To protect spam and Internet traffic and deploy spam and virus filtering in emails

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To prevent users from downloading files from unknown senders

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

To avoid Exchange server from being flooded with spam emails

Offered 90% spam reduction from previous solution

Provided protection against email borne viruses and malware

Controlled and monitored users’ Internet traffic and blocked illegal websites


SECURE MAX

“BARRACUDA ESG AND WSG PROJECTS ARE TWO OF MY BEST AND MOST SUCCESSFUL ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN MY CAREER AS AN IT SENIOR SALES ACCOUNT MANAGER.” MOHAMMED SHAHID AHAMED KHAN, SECURE MAX

machine. And that was it, really. At most, it took one to two hours to have the new appliance up and running.” The customer decided the new web security gateway should also be a Barracuda solution as well. The Barracuda Web Security Gateway is a web content filtering solution that enables the connected business to benefit from new technologies and online tools, without being exposed to lost productivity, wasted bandwidth, and data loss. It enables highly granular, real-time visibility into online activity, letting administrators create and enforce effective content and access policies. The IT Manager says, “Barracuda’s Web Security Gateway was also easy to install. It had default settings, so it was basically ‘plug & play’.” The deployment was done by Saudi-based solutions provider Secure Max. Mohammed Shahid Ahamed Khan, Senior Sales

AT A GLANCE CUSTOMER: Saudibased government entity OBJECTIVE: To protect spam and Internet traffic CORE REQUIREMENTS: More security, higher availability, greater efficiency

SOLUTION IMPLEMENTED: Barracuda Email Security Gateway and Barracuda Web Security Gateway PARTNER: Secure Max

How Secure Max did it

Shared in-depth expertise on Barracuda solutions

Conducted extensive demos and PoCs

Account Manager, Secure Max, says, “Barracuda ESG and WSG projects are two of my best and most successful accomplishments in my career as an IT Senior Sales Account Manager.” He explains that the customer was looking for a technology on availability, performance and flexibility interwoven with sustainability and security. “The end user faced a big challenge when downloading huge files on the network. Additionally, the heavy traffic flow made the problem much worse. Also, the customer’s exchange server was flooded with spam and virus filtering in emails.” Khan adds, “Secure Max and Redington team along with Barracuda managed to provide necessary demos and PoCs successfully to satisfy the end user and help the firm address the challenges and enhance performances as per expectations.” n

Helped show costsavings and enhanced performance

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

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SECURE

CONTROLS

VINAY SINGH, REGIONAL MANAGER, UAE AND KSA, NETWORK INTELLIGENCE, DESCRIBES HOW THE FIRM ENABLED A GOVERNMENT CUSTOMER TO ENHANCE ITS SECURITY CONTROLS THROUGH THE VALUE-ADDED BENEFITS OF CYBERARK PRIVILEGE ACCESS MANAGEMENT SOLUTION.

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large Abu-Dhabi based government entity was looking to efficiently and proactively manage and develop its financial resources through active fiscal policies, excellent abilities, and local and international relations in order to achieve development, sustainability, and integrity of fiscal system in accordance with the best practices. In this regard, they were looking for a robust solution that could give them the complete visibility to all its security activities and have controls in place to restrict unauthorized access. By adding a privilege layer, the customer wanted to secure direct access to target devices and record proofs for each session. The primary objective was to add an additional layer of security with privilege access management to secure the customer’s privilege accounts used on various platforms. The customer sought a partner who had the expertise and technical capabilities to implement such a

solution. The leading global cybersecurity services and products provider, Network Intelligence (NII Consulting) was able to win the contract, beating stiff competition. Network Intelligence comes with over 17 years of expertise with offices in KSA, Dubai, Mumbai (HQ), Singapore and USA. Vinay Singh, Regional Manager, UAE and KSA, Network Intelligence, says, “The customer was unaware of the security activities in the privilege accounts that took place in their network. They also needed to restrict unauthorized access and control privileged service accounts. Being a trusted, long-term partner with CyberArk and having the expertise in PAM field especially on CyberArk, we were able to recommend CyberArk as the Privilege Access Management solution, which met all the requirements as specified by the customer.” According to Singh, one of the customer requirements was that they sought an application that could control and manage all privileged accounts with clear visibility. The client was looking for a product, which supports

CUSTOMER: LARGE UAE GOVERNMENT ENTITY Why CyberArk Privilege Access Management

Customer’s objective

To efficiently and proactively manage and develop the government financial resources

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To restrict unauthorized access

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

To gain visibility into all security activities

Offered complete control of all servers

Provided Privileged Threat Analytics

Delivered efficient and optimum security capabilities


NETWORK INTELLIGENCE “PTA WAS THE MOST INTERESTING PART OF THIS PARTICULAR IMPLEMENTATION. THE SOLUTION HAD THE CAPABILITY TO MONITOR AND DETECT ON-GOING SECURITY THREATS AND WAS MOST EFFICIENT IN THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE.” VINAY SINGH, NETWORK INTELLIGENCE

AT A GLANCE CUSTOMER: Large UAE Government entity OBJECTIVE: To efficiently and proactively manage and develop the government financial resources through active fiscal policies, excellent abilities, and local and international relations in order to achieve development, sustainability, and integrity of fiscal system in accordance with the best practices.

break-glass mechanism that helps users to gain direct access to the target devices using Privilege accounts in disaster scenarios without causing any downtime. After evaluating other PAM solutions and tallying all the features, the customer selected CyberArk, as their PAM solution as it was addressing all the concerns of the customer. “Our team did a fantastic job in ensuring the implementation was smooth and quick. We are a client-centric company and meeting the client’s objectives is our goal. Additionally, as the solution itself was ideal in every way, we were able to win this customer engagement.” CyberArk provides partners with demo access keys that can be used until the original master and operator keys are dispatched. “With our vast experience in this technology, the implementation was smooth. Thanks to the fact that CyberArk provides demo keys to deploy the solution at initial stages,

How network intelligence did it

Boasted deep expertise with CyberArk solution

Understood client requirements to recognize CyberArk is a perfect fit

Delivered a smooth and hassle-free implementation

with provision to replace them with the original keys later, made the process even easier,” he adds. Singh believes one of the primary reasons why the customer chose CyberArk was because of its Privileged Threat Analytics (PTA) feature. “PTA is a part of the CyberArk solution and provides an additional security layer, which not only detects malicious activities caused by privileged accounts but also looks for the attackers who try to comprise privileged accounts by running sophisticated attacks such as Golden ticket attack.” Post the successful implementation, the client was able to enjoy benefits such as passwords management of privileged accounts. “CyberArk automatically manages these aspects as per the policy set up by the client,” he says. The customer could also now monitor sessions in the privileged accounts as well as easily manage least privileged users. n

CORE REQUIREMENTS: Restrict unauthorized access, control and manage privileged accounts, visibility of all security activities SOLUTION IMPLEMENTED: CyberArk Privilege Access Management PARTNER: Network Intelligence (Dubai Branch)

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

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CONCIERGE SERVICES

ADAM WOLF, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, BIOS MIDDLE EAST, ELABORATES ON HOW THE FIRM UTILIZED AWS TO DESIGN A CUSTOMIZED SOLUTION FOR A HOSPITALITY GIANT, ENABLING THE CUSTOMER TO STREAMLINE COSTS AND EFFICIENCIES.

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leading hospitality conglomerate housing global hotel brands centralized all their services to Dubai, UAE. However, with worldwide operations in over ten countries, they needed to de-risk any issues that might occur with their existing infrastructures. They decided to have their disaster recovery center outside of the Middle East region. This was critical as considering the stature of the company, if there were any issues with the data, the customer would have to incur heavy financial losses and face reputational damage. The customer reached out to BIOS Middle East, an IT systems and cloud systems integrator headquartered out of UAE, to help deploy a managed disaster recovery (MDR) as a service on AWS platform. One of the customer’s core requirements was to have resilient systems. Adam Wolf, BIOS Middle East’s Technical Director, says, “The challenge was how to deliver a DR outside

the Middle East region while also providing a good cost-efficient SLA to internal customers. Another major setback was seeding nearly 60TB of data over the Internet from UAE to Ireland.” To address this challenge, BIOS Middle East used a direct connect service to increase bandwidth and reduce latency along with optimizing the link with Riverbed. “However, syncing the data still took several months as pre-seed to disk option still doesn’t exist in this region,” adds Wolf. BIOS Middle East provided a complete end-toend managed services offering, taking care of everything, right from design, implementation, on-going management, testing, documentation and so on. The entire implementation was completed in three months, which was the time taken to seed the data fully. “During that time, we also configured all the networking aspects for the solution including firewall policies, load balancing, optimization and internal

CUSTOMER: LEADING HOSPITALITY CONGLOMERATE Customer’s objective

To have resilient systems

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To avoid financial losses in case of outages

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

Why AWS solution

To reduce operating costs

Supported all features to recreate customer network

Have all the tools that are needed to be compliant

Could take advantage of pay-on-demand option


BIOS MIDDLE EAST

“AWS SOLUTION COUPLED WITH THE BIOS ASSURED SERVICE FOR MONITORING AND MANAGEMENT ELIMINATED ALL OVERHEADS ON THE CUSTOMER’S IT PRODUCTION TEAM.” ADAM WOLF, BIOS MIDDLE EAST

AT A GLANCE CUSTOMER: Leading hospitality conglomerate OBJECTIVE: To deliver a DR outside the region while also providing a good cost-efficient SLA to internal customers

network structure for AWS VPC.” According to Wolf, the innovative aspect of the implementation was using real time replication and building orchestration into the failover that allows for automated recovery and more importantly testing. “The tools available allow us to script runbook processes on the cloud that not only bring servers up and change the IP but also bring online firewalls and load balancers to ensure the network functions for incoming client connections, including granular rules for public DNS switching,” he says. The hospitality giant was able to enjoy a number of advantages

How BIOS Middle East did it

Utilized their own cloud platform

Reduced staffing costs by 50 percent

Provided a complete end-to-end managed services offering

with this implementation. It could now take advantage of the payon-demand option within AWS, which helped keep operating costs low without compromising on all the required processing power, available within minutes to enable business continuity. Wolf adds, “AWS solution coupled with the BIOS Assured service for monitoring and management eliminated all overheads on the customer’s IT production team. This is because all tasks were now undertaken by BIOS and the system was being monitored 24/7 by our NOC, which reduces their staffing costs by 50 percent.” n

CORE REQUIREMENTS: Resilient systems, deliver DR outside of Middle East region, reduce risks SOLUTION IMPLEMENTED: Managed Disaster Recovery as-a-Service on AWS platform PARTNER: BIOS Middle East

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

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CENTER OF EXCELLENCE

RUDI FEITSMA, DIRECTOR, BIOS MIDDLE EAST, ELABORATES ON HOW THE FIRM ENABLED A HOSPITALITY ENTERPRISE TO SUCCESSFULLY INTEGRATE SECURITY IN ITS NETWORKS.

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leading hospitality conglomerate manages luxury resort properties across the world. Operating through its subsidiaries, the company also develops and runs destination resorts, ultra-luxury hotels and residences. It boasts properties in Bahamas, Mexico, UAE, South Africa and Australia to name a few. Considering the stature of the firm, the customer sought to increase network agility while reducing costs and improving end user productivity. In order to achieve this, it was looking for solutions that reduce the high costs of operating physical data centers and associated hardware, increase application performance for users who process and analyze financial models with large amounts of data, and enable rapid and easy deployment and provisioning of new offices or users—or moving existing ones—without compromising performance or security. After much deliberation, the customer chose AWS for its enterprise grade cloud-computing in-

frastructure. The hospitality conglomerate’s core requirements were to easily protect data and applications in the cloud, gain visibility into traffic both on premises and in the cloud, and ensure consistent security everywhere. However, in order to achieve this, the customer had to first address few challenges. They had to ensure that cloud-based assets were as secure as premises-based assets. They needed to gain outstanding flexibility and manageability while also simplifying security management across both environments. The customer examined security solutions from large networking vendors but found them to be limited in a number of ways. Some of them didn’t have sufficient number of supported VM interfaces while others had extensive VM resource requirements or lacked the required performance. The customer decided that Check Point CloudGuard was the ideal solution to secure their AWS cloud environment. The end user selected regional solutions provider BIOS Middle East to implement the solution.

CUSTOMER: LEADING HOSPITALITY CONGLOMERATE Why Check Point Cloudguard for AWS

Customer’s objective

To ensure that cloud-based assets are as secure as premises-based

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To gain outstanding flexibility and manageability

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

To simplify security management across both environments

Offered comprehensive security protection

Enabled secure connectivity from enterprise network to AWS

Provided advanced security services


BIOS MIDDLE EAST

“NOW THE IT TEAM CAN SPIN UP—OR DECOMMISSION—A SERVER OR DATA CENTER WITH A FEW CLICKS. WITH UNIFIED POLICY MANAGEMENT PROVIDED BY CHECK POINT, CLOUD RESOURCES ARE NOW SECURED THE SAME WAY AS PREMISES-BASED SYSTEMS.” RUDI FEITSMA, BIOS MIDDLE EAST

Rudi Feitsma, Director, BIOS Middle East, says, “AWS implementation was entirely new to the end user and therefore the customer did not want to deploy another new solution at their DR. As the customer was already using Check Point for the last five years or so, one of the requirements was to ensure that we offered them Check Point solution itself, in which their team already had expertise in handling. With the Check Point CloudGuard solution, they were

AT A GLANCE CUSTOMER: Leading hospitality conglomerate OBJECTIVE: To increase network agility while reducing costs and

able to save time and costs in training their IT teams and resources in an entirely new solution.” From BIOS Middle East perspective, the challenge was to implement DR with the policies and rules which match with the customer’s evolving business requirements. “We had to ensure legacy policies from the earlier configuration were not carried over. We worked closely with AWS and Check Point along with their partner technical teams in devising the best possible architecture, which can provide scalability and sustainability to business,” explains Feitsma. Check Point CloudGuard for AWS extends advanced threat prevention security to protect AWS cloud environments from malware and other sophisticated threats. As a AWS certified solution, CloudGuard enables organizations to easily and seamlessly secure their workloads, data and assets while providing secure

How BIOS Middle East did it

Boasted deep expertise with Check Point solution

Understood client requirements well

Delivered a smooth and hassle-free implementation

connectivity across cloud and on-premises environments. Comprehensive Security Protection Check Point CloudGuard for AWS protects assets in the cloud from attacks while enabling secure connectivity from the enterprise network to AWS. It provides the customer with advanced security services, including Firewall, IPS, Application Control, IPsec VPN, Antivirus, Anti-Bot, and SandBlast sandboxing technology—as well as single-pane-ofglass manageability. The customer was also able to increase its network agility by migrating key applications and services to the cloud. “Now the IT team can spin up—or decommission—a server or data center with a few clicks. With unified policy management provided by Check Point, cloud resources are now secured the same way as premises-based systems,” says Feitsma. n

improving end user productivity without compromising on security CORE REQUIREMENTS: Secure cloud-based assets, gain flexibility and manageability SOLUTION IMPLEMENTED: Check Point Cloudguard for AWS PARTNER: BIOS Middle East

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SEAMLESS

INTEGRATIONS

Dijo Jose Neelamkavil, Regional Sales Manager, GTFS, explains how the solution provider empowered two large regional enterprises to advance business operations with the power of Microsoft Azure.

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large regional e-commerce entity with recently expanded operations globally was looking to upgrade its ERP solution, Microsoft Dynamic Navision 2009 edition, to the 2018 version. The ERP solution was running on another vendor’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) system, which caused certain issues such as complicated upgrade processes, manual database management and increased costs. Besides not having scalability and flexibility features integrated in the solution, another key challenge was that the vendor did not offer any local support. Armed with 13 years of experience as a Microsoft Dynamics and CSP partner, regional solutions provider, Gulf Testing Factory Services (GTFS), identified an opportunity for the e-commerce enterprise to streamline operations through a different IaaS platform – Microsoft Azure.

Dijo Jose Neelamkavil, Regional Sales Manager, GTFS, says, “When we discovered the customer was facing issues with their IaaS platform, we recommended Microsoft Azure. Azure features a number of benefits and was the ideal solution in this case.” Jose and his team presented detailed PoCs to showcase the advantages of the solution. Microsoft Azure offered minimized initial investment unlike on-premise ERP solutions. “Cloud-based ERP deployment is like a breather for the small and medium enterprises as cloud solution does not require a substantial initial investment.” Additionally, customers have the option to pay for only the resources they use and enjoy the benefits of a subscription model. In addition, Microsoft typically provided a higher level of security compared to other vendors, says Jose. “In the AZURE cloud, taking the advantage of AZURE SQL , Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) , enabled

CUSTOMER: LARGE E-COMMERCE ENTERPRISE Why Microsoft Azure

Customer’s objective

To enable easy and automated upgrades

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To have better SQL management

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

To improve efficiencies and costeffectiveness

To save operational costs

Minimized initial investment and had low maintenance cost

Had subscription benefits and came with better security


GTFS

“THE CUSTOMER WAS ABLE TO EFFORTLESSLY ADD INTO THE IAAS SYSTEM WITHOUT ANY ADDITIONAL TECHNOLOGY IMPLEMENTATION. THEY ALSO HAD ASSURANCE OF AUTO BACK UP AND DISASTER RECOVERY.” DIJO JOSE NEELAMKAVIL, GTFS

AT A GLANCE CUSTOMER: Large e-commerce enterprise OBJECTIVE: To enable hassle-free upgrades to existing ERP and IaaS platform CORE REQUIREMENTS: Easy and quick upgrades, costefficient operations, scalability SOLUTION IMPLEMENTED: Microsoft Azure PARTNER: GTFS

the customer to have seamless connectivity between different third party business applications with zero manual intervention on data base management .” The solution also helped the customer to maintain low maintenance costs, have easy integration and scalability while ensuring fast and agile operations. Added benefit was that cloud solutions enable mobility, allowing access from any device, anywhere, anytime. “It reduces barriers to innovation by allowing new classes of applications and services to be delivered that were not possible before,” he adds. The customer was able to observe significant results in productivity. The e-commerce giant no longer needs to

be concerned about problems relating to implication on database management (AZURE SQL – PaaS), as Microsoft took care of all those aspects as platform as a service, allowing the customer to focus on core business. “The customer was able to effortlessly add into the IaaS system without any additional technology implementation. They also had assurance of auto back up and disaster recovery.” The solution’s disaster recovery and high availability functions integrated in the Azure Site Recovery (ASR) meant that customers do not need any additional software infrastructure (VMs or appliances) in their Azure subscription to enable this functionality. Jose says, “You avoid all the complexity and cost associated with de-

How GTFS did it

Supported easy integration, scalability, flexibility and accessibility

Featured disaster recovery and high availability function through Azure Site Recovery (ASR)

Showcased the benefits of Microsoft Azure IaaS solution through detailed PoCs

Provided local 24/7 support to help with business continuity

Offered local resources to quickly resolve issues

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

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a 24/7 operating e-commerce firm, it was critical to the customer that the implemented solution did not disrupt normal business or have any down time as this would mean a huge loss in revenues.” The customer selected GTFS for this implementation primarily because the solution provider understood the customer challenges and offered a tailor-made solution. With 24/7 local support and resources, the customer could rely on GTFS’ strengths and business expertise.

RETAIL DEPLOYMENT

ploying, monitoring, patching and maintaining any DR infrastructure.” Azure Site Recovery is backed by a 99.9 percent SLA and 24/7 support to keep the customer enterprise running smoothly. With best-in-class recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO), customers can feel confident that their Azure applications will be available and compliant. Additionally, ASR’s advanced monitoring capabilities such as the vault dashboard and email notifications allow customers to eas-

ily monitor DR health and failover readiness, and troubleshoot any issues quickly. What’s more is that customers no longer have to worry about remembering to sanction updates. Azure Site Recovery has a monthly release cadence where enhancements to existing features or new ones are added and known issues, if any, are fixed. “Customers can configure automatic updates to be always on in the latest version and also avoid overhead of managing deployment of patches,” adds Jose. “As

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TFS has deployed Microsoft Azure solution for not only pure-play e-commerce firms but also for large leading legacy enterprises across several verticals in the region such as retail, hospitality, media houses , construction and contracting, distribution as well as oil and gas. One of the solution provider’s success stories includes implementing Microsoft Azure within a large retail conglomerate based in the region.

CUSTOMER: LARGE RETAIL ENTERPRISE Why Microsoft Azure

Customer’s objective

To seamlessly connect retail stores

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To manage servers effortlessly

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

To improve efficiencies and costeffectiveness

To incorporate high-level of security

Minimized initial investment and had low maintenance cost

Had subscription benefits and came with better security


GTFS

AT A GLANCE CUSTOMER: Large retail hospitality enterprise OBJECTIVE: To seamlessly connect POS systems with back office solution without compromising on security and performance CORE REQUIREMENTS: Easy management of servers, cost-efficient, high security Solution IMPLEMENTED: Microsoft Azure PARTNER: GTFS The challenges that the retailer faced were that their data centers were deployed on-premises and security was managed in-house. They managed their own servers internally, which posed frequent problems in terms of security. After being victims of virus attacks on their on-premise deployments, they decided to implement a stable solution. They were seeking an expert who could implement a solution that did not compromise on security and high-performance

“THEY WERE NOW ABLE TO SEAMLESSLY CONNECT AND INTEGRATE SALES DATA FROM RETAIL STORES POS WITH AZURE CLOUD ENVIRONMENT FOR ACCESSING THE BACKOFFICE SOLUTION MICROSOFT DYNAMICS. IT IS EASY TO SYNC MULTIPLE TECHNOLOGIES FROM MICROSOFT.” DIJO JOSE NEELAMKAVIL, GTFS

while also being cost-efficient and scalable. As their retail outlets’ POS systems were using a different software compared to Microsoft Dynamics Navision deployed at their back office, the challenge was to integrate both solutions smoothly on the same environment. As a Microsoft Dynamics partner, GTFS, recommended that they move their infrastructure to a cloud environment with Microsoft Azure IaaS platform. “Based on what was required from the existing POS software and Dynamics Navision, we believed it would be easier to integrate on a cloud platform such as Microsoft Azure,” says Jose. Another challenge the retail customer faced was that they did not have a dedicated IT team to manage their servers. Microsoft Azure offered easy data center management with user-interface console to monitor all activities. Through the solution, the new Azure administrator can learn

how to deploy Azure virtual machines by using the Azure Portal, Windows PowerShell, and the Azure Command-Line Interface (CLI). The administrator can also learn to enhance Azure system security and understand how to monitor and troubleshoot the retailer’s Azure services. Post the implementation, the customer enjoyed all the benefits of Microsoft Azure reinforced with dedicated 24/7 GTFS local support in terms of managed services and other areas. He says, “They were now able to seamlessly connect and integrate sales data from retail stores POS with Azure cloud environment for accessing the back-office solution Microsoft Dynamics. It is easy to sync multiple technologies from Microsoft.” Thanks to the successful deployment by GTFS, the customer was able to expand its business without any hitches, having the assurance of Microsoft Azure and Dynamics. n

How GTFS did it

Supported easy integration, scalability, flexibility and accessibility

Featured disaster recovery and high availability function through Azure Site Recovery (ASR)

Showcased the benefits of Microsoft Azure IaaS solution through detailed PoCs

Provided local 24/7 support to help with business continuity

Offered local resources to quickly resolve issues

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THE BEST DEFENSE

SADAKKATHULA KADAR, SENIOR INFORMATION SECURITY ENGINEER, SAUDI PARAMOUNT COMPUTER SYSTEMS, ON HOW PALO ALTO NETWORKS NEXT GENERATION FIREWALLS ENABLED SAUDI-BASED TELECOM CUSTOMER TO ENSURE BUSINESS CONTINUITY THROUGH ADVANCE SECURITY SOLUTIONS.

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large enterprise-grade Saudi-based telecom and information technology customer, with branch offices across the Kingdom, boasted two data centers in Malaga and Sulai. Each data center was fortified with multiple-layered security with a host of security appliances, which consists perimeter firewall, DDOS protection, perimeter IPS, DC firewall, DC IPS, ATP appliance and web proxy. The customer was facing many IT incidents due to high traffic latency and packet loss at their primary data center in Malaga as a consequence of poor performance of their existing IPS devices. In just a few months, this issue had affected their IT SLA by causing loss of productivity, availability and business continuity. The customer was therefore looking for a solution that could address this challenge and also help in enhancing business performance.

After careful evaluation of several technologies, the end user selected Palo Alto Networks to protect their corporate traffic. This comprised of their data generated by the core infrastructure at their primary and DR data centers and enterprise data generated by the corporate employees at their head office. The end customer chose Saudi Paramount Computer Systems, a specialist in information security space, to deploy Palo Alto’s Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) solution. As a niche security solutions provider, Saudi Paramount Computer Systems has been delivering worldclass solutions and products to enterprises and governments in Saudi Arabia since 2001. Sadakkathula Kadar, Senior Information Security Engineer, Saudi Paramount Computer Systems, says, “Our expertise includes applying multiple technologies in mature processes of implementation that ensures professionalism and cost-effective delivery to our clients. We provide our clients with all the latest information security requirements, right from designing, execution and testing.”

CUSTOMER: PIONEER TELECOM COMPANY Why Palo Alto NGFW

Customer’s objective

To prevent IT incidents due to high traffic latency

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To enhance productivity and performance

VALUE STORIES|ISSUE 2

To ensure business continuity through advance security

Prevented threats by eliminating unwanted applications to reduce the threat footprint and apply targeted security polices

Embrace safe mobile computing by ensuring devices are properly configured and protected from threats

Combined high performance intrusion prevention, threat prevention, web filtering and virtual system features


SAUDI PARAMOUNT COMPUTER SYSTEMS

“IMPLEMENTING PALO ALTO NETWORKS NEXT GENERATION FIREWALLS WAS AN EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO DEMONSTRATE OUR TECHNOLOGY EXPERTISE AND SKILLS.”

SADAKKATHULA KADAR, SAUDI PARAMOUNT COMPUTER SYSTEMS

The telecom customer’s main challenge was that its corporate outgoing traffic would traverse a couple of IPS devices being checked for vulnerabilities before reaching the existing firewalls on the way out to the Internet. In addition to this, its incoming traffic would also traverse the same couple of IPS devices before reaching the existing firewalls on the way in. The end customer’s primary objective was to replace the existing IPS devices with Palo Alto Network NGFW acting as IPS. Also, the customer’s Malaga data center was the primary site

AT A GLANCE CUSTOMER: Pioneer in telecom and information technology sector in KSA OBJECTIVE: To enhance productivity, availability and

while the Sulai data center was the DR site. Therefore, the second objective was to off-load the security functions from the web proxy to the Palo Alto Networks Next Generation Firewall. Kadar explains that with such an off-load, the existing web proxy would become a proxy-cache while the NGFW will apply the web filtering functions. Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation firewalls enable unprecedented visibility and granular policy control of applications and content – by user, not just IP address as well as accurately identify and control applications – regardless of port, protocol, evasive activity or SSL encryption – and scan content to stop threats and prevent data leakage. The firewalls act as the basis of a security platform that is designed from the ground up to address the most sophisticated threats.

How Saudi Paramount Computer Systems did it

Proved its technology skills and ability

Designed customized solution after understanding client requirement

Implemented the solution without any production downtime

The customer was able to achieve its objectives using the enterprise-grade Next Generation Firewalls from Palo Alto Networks. With the smooth implementation process from Saudi Paramount Computer Systems, it was able to successfully replace its existing IPS and web proxy and obtained improved vulnerability, threat, application classification and prevention. Kadar adds, “Implementing Palo Alto Networks Next Generation Firewalls was an excellent opportunity for us to demonstrate our technology expertise and skills. With the help of our team’s exceptional product knowledge, we were able to design the best technology-oriented solution for the end customer’s critical migration project. “Another noteworthy aspect was that we were able to fulfill their requirement without any production downtime.” n

business continuity through advance security CORE REQUIREMENTS: To protect corporate traffic, enhance performance and productivity SOLUTION IMPLEMENTED: Palo Alto NGFW PARTNER: Saudi Paramount Computer Systems

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Value Stories | Issue 2  
Value Stories | Issue 2