RUN A MORE CONNECTED BUSINESS. STREAMLINE KEY BUSINESS PROCESSES. GAIN FINANCIAL INSIGHT AND DRIVE RESULTS. Keep your Edge with Sage Business Cloud. Be Sage. For more information call 800SAGE, email email@example.com and visit www.sage.com/en-ae
THE CHASE TO GLORY PUBLISHED BY Business Media International REGISTERED OFFICE: Office 10, Sharjah Media City www.bmi-digital.com
Creating new products for new revenue opportunities is easier said than done. And creating products that can bring in revenues repetitively is certainly a mountain to climb. But once achieved, that certainly opens up new vistas for the company. Some new products in a certain direction and behold, a new roadmap emerges for the company.
EDITOR IN CHIEF Raman Narayan firstname.lastname@example.org Mob: 971-55-7802403
Thinking outside the box is something that companies need to pursue as a strategic approach. How companies build that into their processes could be a key factor in institutionalizing innovation within the company.
SALES DIRECTOR Ankit Shukla email@example.com Tel: 971-4-2618885, Mob: 971-55-2572807
But often companies that are entrenched in different segments, are lulled into conventional thinking and are competing almost on the same lines, with not much differentiation in their offerings. Which is why it takes startups to disrupt the industry and change the rules of the game. And we see plenty of examples across verticals, from the Food business to retail to online commerce etc, where upstarts have come in and have built unbeatable value propositions.
EDITOR Diksha Vohra firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 971-4-2618885, Mob: 971-50-6395616 CIRCULATION MANAGER Bhawana Bhatia email@example.com Tel: 971-4-2618885 SALES R. Subramanyan firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 971-4-2618885 Mob: 971-50-8557531 FINANCE Akhilesh Pandey email@example.com Tel: 971-4-2618885 DESIGN Ali Raza firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 971-4-2618885
The role of technology as an enabler of creative disruption is just getting started and this will apply across sectors. With the multiplicities of technologies available from AI to IoT, it is possible for companies to seek innovation at an accelerated pace. It is perhaps straightforward reasoning that companies which are led by dynamic tech savvy leaders will be able to see an opportunity to leverage new technologies in their business better and seek the trajectory for further growth. Companies who seek leadership would know that the chase to the glorious future is built around innovation and commitment. Seek new products, new markets and make this search for those opportunities a consistent habit. And figure out exactly how some of the new technologies can help you on the journey ahead in your segment.
R. Narayan Editor in Chief, Smart SMB
Management Chairman S.N. Tiwari
CEO Saumyadeep Halder
Publisher Raman Narayan
Managing Director Ankit Shukla
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to validate the accuracy of all information included in the magazine, the publishers wouldnâ€™t be liable for any errors therein Copyright@2019 Business Media International LLC. All rights reserved.
July 2019 / SMARTSMB
news New edge solutions from HPE
Empowering women in Business
Microsoft Cloud datacenter
Building higher capacities for data storage
A strong proposition for network security
A GAME CHANGER
GDPR - REFLECTING ON THE PAST AND LOOKING TO THE FUTURE 30
Trading THE RISE OF WOMEN LEADERS IN TRADE
Tourism Developing sustainable tourism
The gains from IP Surveillance SMARTSMB / July 2019
NEW EDGE SOLUTIONS FROM DIC HPE TO ACCELERATE INTELLI- inaugurates a specialised GENT EDGE ADOPTION To accelerate IT operations and allow IT professionals time to focus on innovation, Aruba is making significant enhancements to Aruba Central
Supports entrepreneurial growth through the partnership
ewlett Packard Enterprise recently announced new edge solutions, research labs, and programs to simplify and accelerate Intelligent Edge adoption, enabling customers to create unique digital experiences and leverage analytics and machine learning to adapt to changes in real-time. The new offerings and programs include: • Major enhancements to Aruba Central, the only cloud-based platform that unifies network management, AI-powered analytics, user-centric service assurance and security for wired, wireless and WAN at the edge. • Integrations and new turnkey edgeto-cloud solutions, delivered with ABB, Microsoft and PTC, enabling real-time intelligence and control in industrial environments. • The Intelligent Edge and IoT Center of Excellence (CoE) and Labs, part of Hewlett Packard Labs, to develop and commercialize new capabilities and technologies that accelerate customers’ and partners’ Intelligent Edge journey. Research suggests that over the next decade, the Internet of Things (IoT) and related data growth has an economic potential of up to $11 trillion per year. To capture this potential, organizations need to implement an Intelligent Edge, an architecture that is fully connected, secured, distributed and autonomous. However, to scale the Intelligent Edge across the value chain, organizations need solutions that secure and simplify deployment and management, converge operational technology (OT) with IT and address
SMARTSMB / July 2019
platform for NASSCOM
D Keerti Melkote
Founder and President, Aruba the lack of skills and funding. “The edge has emerged as the new center of the digital universe, opening up opportunities for organizations to create new digital experiences and gain competitive advantages,” said Keerti Melkote, founder and president, Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. “Today, we announce innovations that will enable our customers to capitalize on these experiences and opportunities by dramatically simplifying, securing and accelerating the deployment of the Intelligent Edge.” Siloed network management solutions are creating complexity and increasing time to remediation. To accelerate IT operations and allow IT professionals time to focus on innovation, Aruba is making significant enhancements to Aruba Central. With these enhancements, customers will benefit from AI-powered network analytics, improved security and user-centric assurance for wired, wireless and WAN edge infrastructures from a single point of control.
ubai Internet City (DIC), the leading technology business community in the region, inaugurated a specialised platform dedicated to the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), in the presence of Navdeep Singh Suri, Ambassador of India in the UAE, Debjani Ghosh, President of NASSCOM, Malek Al Malek, Group CEO of TECOM Group, Abdulla Belhoul, CEO of TECOM Group and Ammar Al Malik Managing Director of DIC and Dubai Outsource City (DOC). The inauguration follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between DIC and NASSCOM at GITEX 2018, in which DIC committed to providing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) opportunities to develop their operations through offering support and a platform to expand in the MENA region. In line with the UAE’s vision to make Dubai a world leader in technology, the new partnership aims to position Dubai as an attractive destination for Indian firms looking to establish a footprint in the wider Middle East and North Africa. Dubai Internet City will provide
Nasscom members a dedicated launch pad to explore and tap into the thriving multibillion dollar tech market and grow regionally. Ammar Al Malik, Managing Director of Dubai Internet City (DIC) and Dubai Outsource City (DOC), said: “Talent is the currency of the future, and developing it is essential to all organisations looking to thrive in this ever-changing tech industry. Our partnership with NASSCOM reiterates our commitment towards driving the region’s IT industry while exploring avenues for increased co-operation between the UAE and India.” Al Malik added: “We are confident that our collaboration with NASSCOM will prove mutually beneficial for members of the tech community across both countries.” Debjani Ghosh, President of NASSCOM said: “Our priority has always been to provide Indian businesses with innovative solutions and help them achieve optimum productivity and profitability. We are confident that the opportunity being offered to our members by DIC will enable them to explore and grow in new markets and avenues. This partnership is a testament to NASSCOM and DIC’s sustained endeavour to deliver world-class solutions to a comprehensive base of partners.” According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the UAE’s domestic IT market alone, worth US$8 billion, is expected to grow at an average of five per cent annually between 2017 and 2022. Dubai Internet City has seen several home grown success stories including Dubizzle, Careem, Property Finder and most recently Amazon.ae (formerly Souq.com).
DUBAI TECHNOLOGY ENTREPRENEUR CENTRE APPOINTS SAGE AS STRATEGIC PARTNER TO SUPPORT TECH STARTUPS Sage will be listed as a recommended service provider to Dtec’s startup community
ubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), the largest coworking space in the Middle East, wholly owned by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), signed a non-exclusive, one-year strategic partnership agreement with Sage, the market leader in cloud business management solutions. Hans Christensen, Vice President at Dtec, and Viresh Harduth, VP New Customer Acquisitions (Start-up & Small Business) for Africa & Middle East at Sage, signed the memorandum of understanding, under the terms of which Sage will be listed as a recommended service provider to Dtec’s startup community. Sage will also be listed as a strategic partner on the incubation center’s website and will sponsor Dtec events such as the quarterly TechForum series, monthly entrepreneur workshops, and other meet-ups. Speaking on the partnership, Hans Christensen, said: “DSOA is keen to forge agreements with leading international institutions to support the growth and development of local start-ups. Well-integrated accounting, payroll, payment, and customer relationship management systems are key to streamlining functions and operating an efficient business, regardless of its size.” Hans added: “Ensuring the appropriate technology is in place at an early stage will spare entrepreneurs the
hassle and potential loss of having to rectify the process later. Servicing 23 countries across a span of 35 years, we are confident Sage will leverage its deep knowledge of global trends to boost business productivity for entrepreneurs at Dtec.” Viresh Harduth said: “It is an honour to join hands with Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre as a strategic partner. Dtec and DSOA have been champions of an enabling ecosystem for entrepreneurs and tech startups in the UAE. Through this partnership, we aim to make Sage Business Cloud Accounting more accessible to the Dtec community – in turn, helping them to manage their finances more professionally, automate administrative processes, and drive better business performance with VAT compliant software.” A wholly owned entity of the government of Dubai, DSO operates as a free zone technology park for large enterprises as well as medium and small companies looking to set up their offices in Dubai. Sage Business Cloud Accounting is an online accounting software for small, growing businesses who want to manage their business finances more professionally. Sage Business Cloud Accounting is accredited by the UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) and is fully compliant with value added tax (VAT).
July 2019 / SMARTSMB
Epicor MENA Customer Summit 2019 puts spotlight on Cloud, Industry 4.0 and the ‘Connected Factory’
Epicor Software Corporation, a global provider of industry-specific enterprise software to promote business growth, this week, hosted its annual MENA Customer Summit, which concentrated on how the cloud can enable enterprises to reinvent themselves amid the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The event—held at the One & Only Royal Mirage, Dubai, on June 18―provided regional businesses the opportunity to network with Epicor customers from across the manufacturing, distribution and hospitality industries. Epicor experts also shared key insights, trends and updates. Epicor’s keynote speakers demonstrated to delegates how digital transformation can fuel growth and elevate their businesses to new levels of agility, innovation, productivity and security. Andy Coussins, senior vice president and head of Epicor International said, “Our industry-specific expertise drives everything we do and allows us to laser-focus our product development. This ensures that as our customers embrace digital transformation, they have verticalised best practice at the heart of their business. This approach, together with our people, makes us stand out against other solutions in the market that simply can’t match us in industry depth and SMARTSMB / July 2019
breadth.” Another priority area for this year’s summit was the Connected Enterprise. Epicor has been a leader in creating awareness about the benefits of the Connected Factory, urging regional manufacturers to innovate for the future and ready themselves for an inevitable outcome of Industry 4.0. The latest version of Epicor ERP―which was released in April 2019—enables environments where factories, warehouses, machines and people are connected—in a single interoperable ecosystem―to improve productivity and competitiveness. Epicor experts discussed how organisations can use such connectivity to introduce automated data collection, IoT, workflows, processes, notifications and exception handling, that have traditionally been manual and labour-intensive. One of the highlights of the event was a Q&A with His Excellency Ali Bin Mohammed AlMuwaijei, a special guest at the summit, and Head of Audit and Governance at Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). Focusing on the theme of ‘data is the new oil’, Ali said, “Enterprises are beginning to understand the business imperative of the Internet of Things, as well as AI and data science. Industry 4.0 will enable
them to improve efficiencies while reducing costs, and we are proud of the work we have done in making businesses aware of just how much they can grow through cloud-connected technologies. Establishing intelligent ecosystems powered by vast data mountains is important in creating the smart society envisioned by our wise leaders. By 2020, there will be 30 billion connected devices on this planet, consuming data that is growing at an unfathomable rate—in the past two years we humans have created more data than in the previous 5,000 years of our history. Knowledge-based societies, powered by enhanced communications and data accumulation, are the future.” Epicor also used the summit to honour customers from the region.The 2019 Epicor Customer Excellence Award winners in the MENA regional programme are: • South Africa based, Nature’s Choice was the Business Transformation winner, chosen for clearly demonstrating best-in-class business transformation and measurable business value from its Epicor ERP implementation • The winner in the Technology Innovator category was Epicor ERP customer, Sonamet. The Angola based organisation was selected for demonstrating how it has used technology to drive innovation throughout the business • Vinnell Arabia, from Saudi Arabia, was recognised for demonstrating measurable business benefits with Epicor Cloud ERP and is the winner in the Cloud Deployment category
Mimecast Report says companies need to adopt a higher standard of email security Mimecast , a leading email and data security company, announced the availability of its latest quarterly Email Security Risk Assessment
Securenet partners with Data Resolve Technologies The distributor will offer User Behavior-driven Insider Threat Management Solutions to the region Securenet, one of the leading Regional Value-add Distributors based out of Dubai, has signed up with Data Resolve Technologies, an IIT Kharagpur (India) incubated cyber-security organization, to offer User Behavior-driven Insider Threat Management Solutions to the region. Currently serving more than 10,000 endpoints across the globe, the award-winning product inDefend from Data Resolve Technologies monitors & controls Insider threats through various channels like Browser, Applications, Media devices, emails & many more. It is focused on addressing issues related to Corporate fraud, Data leak & Employee productivity with security analytics via endpoints in-premise & on-cloud platforms, with its integrated product suite inDefend Solution for the workplace as well as handheld devices.
According to the Dhruv Khanna, CEO Data Resolve Technologies, “Data leak from insiders can come in many forms - setting weak passwords, opening email attachments, browsing unauthorized websites, using USBs - most of which look innocent. However, whether employees are ignorant of the recommended cybersecurity practices or are actively breaking the practices, the financial and reputational cost of data breaches is huge.” inDefend is a one-stop solution that helps protect your data from all kinds of insider threats within the organization. It allows you to monitor your employees’ behavioral patterns and pinpoint potential avenues for data exfiltration. This solution is built to achieve complete transparency over all the digital assets residing within an organization.
Insider threats are one of the major reasons for data leaks. According to industry research, 90% of today’s sensitive corporate data now resides in laptops, desktops, servers and mobile phones. 60% of data security threats arise from data thefts caused by defecting employees within the organization and 100% of data thefts occur due to incorrect access privileges and insufficient monitoring system.
Dhruv further adds, “With our unified solution, you can quickly tackle various kinds of security issues related to data exfiltration. It offers a proactive approach to the organization such as Insider Threat Management, Real-time Alerts, Accurate Analytics, Superior Control and Enforced Encryption. Securenet, as one of our value-add distribution partners in the UAE region brings us value by mapping us with
(ESRA), an aggregated report of tests that measure the efficacy of widely used email security systems. The report shows the need for the entire industry to continue to work toward a higher standard of email security. Many organizations think their current email security systems are up to the task of protecting them from phishing. Unfortunately, many of them fall short and do not keep their organizations safe. The latest quarterly ESRA report shows that many email attacks ranging from opportunistic spam to highly targeted impersonation at-
tacks are getting through incumbent email security systems both in large number and variety. The report found 26,305,457 spam emails, 27,156 malware attachments, 55,190 impersonation attacks and 466,905 malicious URLS, were all missed by these incumbent providers and delivered to users’ inboxes, an overall false negative rate of 11% of inspected emails. IImpersonation and phishing attacks are becoming a growing problem. According to the recently launched State of Email Security 2019 report, 85% of
CVP Strategic Alliances, SecureNet right channel in the region with their fantastic knowledge about the channel in the region & we always rely on partners like Securenet who are our key for our go-to-market strategy.” Avinash Wadhwa, VP Strategic Alliances at SecureNet says, insider threat is not a new phenomenon but has existed since centuries, only thing is that it has become more easier to steal the sensitive information these days with a few key strokes and the results can be more lethal in the modern world, “inDefend is a one-stop solution built to help protect your data from all kinds of insider threats within your organization. This solution complements our extensive set of solutions for the enterprises and we see a significant market need for this solution from Data Resolve Technologies.”
the 1,025 global respondents experienced an impersonation attack in 2018, with 73% of those victims having experienced a direct business impact – like financial, data or customer loss. Not only that, but 94% of the respondents said they experienced a phishing attack, with 55% noting an increase in this type of attack year over year. This reaffirms the need for the industry to continue to provide better efficacy in their email protection to help organizations strengthen their cyber resilience to keep their data and communications safer. July 2019 / SMARTSMB
MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY TO OUTPACE AVERAGE ADOPTION OF HYBRID CLOUD Multicloud use to more than double in the next two years
Nutanix, announced the findings of its Enterprise Cloud Index results for the manufacturing sector, measuring manufacturing companies’ plans for adopting private, public and hybrid clouds. The report revealed that the manufacturing industry’s hybrid cloud usage and plans outpace the global average across industries. The deployment of hybrid clouds in manufacturing and production companies has currently reached 19% penetration, slightly ahead of the global average. Moreover, manufacturers plan to more than double their hybrid cloud deployments to 45% penetration in two years; outpacing the global average by 4 percent.
BAHRAIN AMONG TOP 10 STARTUP ECOSYSTEMS Tops London and Silicon Valley for percentage of female start-up founders
Khalid Al Rumaihi
Chief Executive, Bahrain Economic Development Board
Bahrain is one of the top 10 startup ecosystems with the largest share of female founders, according to the SMARTSMB / July 2019
The manufacturing industry is at an “innovation impasse,” meaning manufacturers have a desire to innovate and drive transformation, but legacy IT systems have the potential to constrain their ability to do so. While 91% of survey respondents reported hybrid cloud as the ideal IT model, today’s global average hybrid cloud penetration level is at 18.5% — the disparity due in part to challenges of transitioning to the hybrid cloud model. Manufacturing industries reported barriers to adopting hybrid cloud that mirrored global roadblocks, including limitations in application mobility, data security/compliance, performance, management and a shortage of IT talent. Compared to other industries, manufacturers reported greater IT talent deficits in AI/ML, hybrid cloud, blockchain, and edge computing/IoT.
2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER), launched at the recent TNW conference in Amsterdam. Described as ‘the world’s most comprehensive and widely-read research on startups’, the report is produced by StartUp Genome in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. With 18% of its startups founded by women, Bahrain topped even internationally recognised startup hubs such as Silicon Valley (16%) and London (15%). The report also lauded Bahrain as: • one of the top 10 ecosystems to watch in FinTech in Europe and the Middle East • a top 15 Global Ecosystem for affordability of qualified talent. H.E. Khalid Al Rumaihi, CEO, Bahrain Economic Development Board said, “This report draws on the views of the people who know best – entrepreneurs and founders. Bahrain has emerged as a leading ecosystem with particular strength in FinTech. With both female founders and women taking leader-
SVP of Global Marketing, Nutanix
“Manufacturers are investing in modernizing their IT stack, and adopting industry 4.0 solutions to keep up with ever-changing business demands in areas like production and supply chain management. A hybrid cloud infrastructure gives manufacturers a fresh approach to modernizing legacy applications and services, enabling manufacturing IT leaders to focus on their long-term investments in big data, IoT, and next-generation enterprise applications, ” said Chris Kozup, SVP of Global Marketing at Nutanix. ship roles throughout the ecosystem, Bahrain is a dynamic and diverse market at the head of new trends that are shaping the way society and business operates.” Dr. Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi, CEO, Tamkeen (Bahrain’s Labour Fund) said, “Over the past decade, Bahrain’s startup ecosystem has made significant progress where startups can access a global network of partners to scale up and capture opportunities in Bahrain and the region. Dr Janahi pointed out one of Bahrain’s key competitive advantages in the region, which lies in its firm belief in the importance of women as an active player in shaping Bahrain’s economic future. “In line with these national objectives, Tamkeen has launched a number of ad-hoc programmes to foster the development of female-owned businesses in addition to Tamkeen’s flagship programmes supporting individuals and enterprises.” he added.
MICROSOFT CLOUD DATACENTER REGIONS NOW AVAILABLE IN THE UAE
The new cloud regions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai join Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure Microsoft took a significant step in its support of digital transformation across the Middle East, as it launched two new cloud regions in the United Arab Emirates. The new cloud regions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai join Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure – one of the largest and most secure in the world – to provide organizations, enterprises and developers in the UAE with access to scalable, highly available, and resilient cloud services while maintaining data residency, security and compliance needs. The new UAE locations will also deliver increased performance for Microsoft Cloud services to Middle East customers and partners. “These new cloud regions in the UAE are the dawn of a new era, driving digital transformation, economic growth and job creation,” said Sayed Hashish, Regional General Manager, Microsoft Gulf. “We are committed to empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Now, more customers in the Middle East can move with confidence to the trusted and intelligent Microsoft Cloud. They will be more competitive as they start their digital transformation journeys – engaging customers, empowering employees, optimising operations, and reinventing products and services.”
intelligence. Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, offering the next generation of intelligent business applications and tools, are anticipated to be available from the cloud regions in the UAE by the end of 2019. Microsoft provides expertise in data protection, security and privacy as well as the industry’s broadest set of compliance certifications to help customers manage compliance with supported industry standards and regulations such as ISO 27001/27018, SSAE 18 SOC, and GDPR. Data residency in the UAE will help enable government organizations and enterprises to comply with in-country regulatory frameworks and decrease the obstacles for cloud adoption. This allows, for example, public sector departments to revitalize their service delivery with the ability to improve data gathering, promote teamwork, portal development and analytics. Regional organizations of all sizes from across all industries have placed their trust in the Microsoft Cloud. These include the Emirates Group, Emaar Properties, Majid Al Futtaim, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, Landmark Group, Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), Mi-
ral, Daman Insurance, RAK Ceramics, Imdaad, Gulf Air, Viva, Kuwait Finance House, and Dubai World Trade Center. Entities from sectors such as government, aviation, financial services, manufacturing and healthcare are among those that are already benefiting from the new cloud regions. These include Dubai Airports, Etihad Airways, Mubadala Development Company, Mashreq Bank, The First Group, Network International, and Shelf Drilling. Microsoft has been working closely with Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA) and Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC) to enable compliant adoption of Cloud Services by the UAE government and semi-government entities. Microsoft is also the first cloud service provider in the UAE to achieve DESC’s Cloud Service Provider certification. Microsoft also anticipates the cloud services delivered from the UAE to have a positive impact on job creation, entrepreneurship and economic growth across the region. The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that cloud computing and the Microsoft ecosystem is set to bring more than half a million jobs to the Middle East, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE between 2017 and 2022.
Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Office 365 are generally available from the new cloud regions in the UAE. Azure, an ever-expanding set of cloud services, offers computing, networking, databases, analytics, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) services to help organizations overcome their business challenges. Office 365 empowers customers to get more done on any device, through cloud-based productivity solutions providing email, collaboration, conferencing, enterprise social networking and business July 2019 / SMARTSMB
A GAME-CHANGER In a world where people spend a major portion of their earnings on dining, shopping and other leisure activities, an app like the Entertainer would have made it big. But surprisingly, it wasn’t that easy. Donna Benton, Founder of the Entertainer discusses her journey to success over a conversation with SmartSMB. By Diksha Vohra ways nurtured a dream of starting her own company.
The gap Dubai was seeing a plethora of restaurants and other enterprises opening up but most of them were not able to attract customers in any sizeable numbers. Donna came to realise that there was a mismatch between the needs of these enterprises and the customers.
hen words like shopping, dining and holiday are spoken, Dubai is the first city that comes to the minds of many. For those living here would agree that the city has the best of everything for everyone, however considering a majority of the population are expatriates, savings are by default an essential part of their lives. The Entertainer thus came as a breath of fresh air as it provided for discounts, offers and exciting packages for those who wished to do any of the above. This not only gave customers a variety of affordable options to choose from, it also provided a platform to service providers to attract more customers. But that’s not how Donna initially thought it would work. The founder of the app, Donna Benton, talks about her humble beginnings
and what the future holds for the Entertainer.
The start Donna Benton, an Australian with strong work ethics had worked as a teacher and a policewoman back home before landing in Dubai in 2001 to take up a marketing job. Her sole aim then was to save some money and return to Australia. But fate had willed otherwise. She says, “The job didn’t work out (a blessing in disguise), and instead I came up with the idea of the Entertainer.” It was to be a service that would satisfy the needs of the sellers for more customers and the buyers’ need to get services and products at reduced costs. After all, she had al-
She hit upon the idea of acting as a bridge between the businesses and their potential customers that would benefit both parties. Her services started providing exclusive deals and offers for its members. This meant that the various businesses on her list had a chance to increase their customer base by attracting new customers and at the same time the customers had a lot more variety to choose from.
The concept Human nature was the principle on which Donna built and expanded her business. Everybody loves to maximise their profit whether they be businesses or their customers. Expanding on this principle Donna says, “It’s human nature to look for value for money – don’t you love the idea of getting a good deal?” So she came up with the idea of giving the buyers an option of buy one get one free that would be available at any time, any day and with as few restrictions as possible. This helped the customers to save a lot of money. On the other hand, the business who signed up with the Entertainer benefitted not only from increased footfalls but also from more rapid turnover of their goods and or services.
The challenges Donna had to decide on the type of company she was going to start. And it surely was a major decision that had the capacity to influence her future. She overcame this uncertainty by hitting on the concept of buy one get one free and started the Entertainer as a print publication. But it came with its own set of problems. To start with this severely limited her ability to expand her business. Any new merchant who wanted to be on her list had to wait for a long time to get its benefits even after signing the deal as she could add new merchants to her list only once a year. This deferred benefit meant that merchants were hesitant to join as members. It also meant that she had to do extensive legwork to not only reach potential customers but also to advertise her product as dissemination of information was not as fast in the pre-digital age as today. A printed publication by its very nature has a restricted reach and this severely hampered her business expansion.
The expansion All this did change with the explosion of the internet and her decision to go digital and changing into a 100 percent data driven app company in 2013. This gave her the capacity to on-board businesses within a span of some days only instead of yearly addi-
tions in the printed publication. Donna says, “Now we listen to the wants and needs of our customers in real time, and make continual improvements to the app’s UX and functionality.” The success of her venture in the UAE gave Donna the belief that the business could succeed in other countries too. So she embarked on an expansion plan that started with entry into Cyprus followed by Qatar, Oman and Bahrain. The next step was to expand across the GCC. At present the company does business in 20 destinations in 15 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe partnering over 10,000 merchants including some of world’s leading brands with 41 products on its app.
The innovations Technological advancement and the digital revolution came as a boon for the company. The use of digital solutions to help customers redeem their offers quickly, helped the company successfully launch new products as it minimised the time required to do so. It successfully rode the smartphone app revolution to satisfy customers’ need for a modern, sophisticated and convenient product. The company gives unlimited monthly offers at select outlets to its members and uses regular e-mail updates to communicate the latest offerings to its members.
Transfer of ownership For a long time, Donna was not interested in handing over the ownership of her company to anybody else despite many parties keen on running the Entertainer. Her reluctance stemmed from a desire to find the right fit in terms of vision, culture and chemistry. Such an opportunity arose in 2018 when Bahrain’s GFH evinced interest in taking a majority stake in her company and subsequently took 85 per cent stake in the company. Talking about the acquisition, Donna is firm in her view that the Entertainer is her commercial baby. “ I’m still a big part of the family and it will always be close to my heart,” she avers.
The verdict Moving forward the company will have to be at the forefront of technological changes and adapt quickly to the fast changing scenario in order to fulfil the customer requirements. This will help it continue its forward march of geographical and numerical expansion creating greater value for all the stakeholders. The ability of the company to successfully combine cutting–edge technology with the universal human emotions of being happy when one gets something for a discount and happier if it is free, has the capacity to take it on the road to even greater success in the foreseeable future.
July 2019 / SMARTSMB
THE RISE OF WOMEN LEADERS IN TRADE While women have proven their excellence in various business sectors, the world of trading still remains an unexplored territory for many. Why is there a gender disparity in the UAE’s trading industry and is it getting better or worse? SmartSMB explores. By Diksha Vohra
Sandhya Prakash Founder & MD, Beacon Energy Solution & Tech.
It is quarter past seven and Sandhya is nearly tired of walking at the LED Lights and Solar show held in Seoul. She looks around to find some businessmen to network with but they seem too busy in their own groups. She gets a message on her mobile and leaves instantly. It was from a business connect from India who had invited her over dinner. She meets him and together they discuss which suppliers are good to trade within their respective markets and have a productive conversation. “This happened because we were in touch with each other much before. I doubt if we were complete strangers, the man or I would approach each other for a lengthy discussion,” says Sandhya Prakash, Founder and Managing Director, Beacon Energy Solution
SMARTSMB / July 2019
and Technology. “With men, it is different. Traveling together to say China or Africa to scout for suppliers or customers is one thing I could never break into.” Like Sandhya, there are many other women facing similar issues. Since centuries, trading has been considered a male dominant industry. Traditionally, women did not work and when they started working, they ventured into ‘softer skills’ like teaching, nursing and so on. Now, things are changing but despite all the awareness, educational opportunities and talks about equality, the situation hasn’t changed much. Despite the fact that women make up 70% of the region’s university graduates and 44% of the workforce, women traders and entrepreneurs continue to
face a number of challenges.
Traditional Scenario As mentioned earlier, trading has been a male-dominated profession and for a woman to not only survive, but also thrive in this environment is quite tough. Psychologically people are attuned to seeing a trader as a man in a suit and it becomes quite difficult for a woman to get past this perceived image of excellence and establish her own credentials. Farah Anwar, head of Ashraf Electronics, Dubai, had started her business when she was 25 and her sister was 21. Back then, they were the only women traders in the market of electronics. “There were a couple of women in distribution companies and working with corporates in the local market but no one actually trading,” she says. “This was because the market conditions weren't always conducive to women working in the field. Neither the offices, nor the profile of customers made for a comfortable environment and there were traders from all walks of life, all over the world who would come and trade electronics in Dubai.” But why have women chosen to stay away from trading since years? Dr Cyril Widdershoven, Director of Dutch consultancy VEROCY, focusing on the Middle East, investments and oil-gas related developments, including geopolitics owes it to the cultural mindset of individuals. “I am from New York and there is still a tendency that if you will ask a man whom is he going to promote, he will promote a man because he is more likely to click with him than with a woman. Men between each other are more outspoken, blunt etc. If you put women there, they need to change the way they behave which they may or may not be open to.” Secondly, educational differences make is much harder for women to be employed for trading roles than men. According to statistics, in a Technology University, approximately 18,000 graduates pass out each year out of which only 13% are women. In the world, there are 51% women so in total,
there are only a handful who are actually choosing to become engineers or acquire a technical degree. Most of the women are choosing different career options, termed as ‘soft skills’ like teaching, nursing, finance and more. “It is much more easier to have women make a career in white collar sectors such as finance, commerce and more because they are considered to be more oriented towards career women,” says Cyrilw. “The question is actually how many women are willing to get
their hands dirty in the oil and gas industry? If it is only a handful then why are we blaming the industry for not being open to them?” Farah seconds that women are choosing different career options but she feels it is due to the low margins and opportunities being provided. “…the fact that the margins remain low, trading opportunities in electronics have become narrower and there are so many alternate lucrative options for women to do business that with the exception of second generation entrants, there is very little to attract women into trading.” So to attract more women into trading, the trading industry as a whole needs to undergo a systematic change wherein there is more on plate for women to take in terms of opportunities, new lines, profits and more, to attract more women into the line. SMARTSMB / July 2019
State of trading sector today
Scope of improvement
At present, the trading sector comes under the informal economy and thus grapples with all the problems that beset the informal sector like irresponsible business practices, technological underdevelopment, inefficiencies, etc. This is also one of the reasons why lesser number of women are attracted towards trading. But Farah is hopeful that technological advancement and the fact that mobile phones and electronics are 2 out of Dubai's top 5 nonoil traded commodities will pave the way for the formalisation of trading a ct i v i t ies in the UAE which will encourage more women to participate in trading.
As of today the industry is male-dominated and functions in a manner more suitable for males but it needs to evolve with the changing social norms so that women feel more comfortable in the industry. It needs to encourage women and give them opportunities to participate.
“It is much more easier to have women make a career in white collar sectors such as finance, commerce and more because they are considered to be more oriented towards career women"
Sandhya opines that senior women in the field need to come forward to coach and mentor newer women members in the trade to increase the number of women in this field. Similarly, society and particularly males need to understand the way women function, respect their abilities and change their whole outlook towards the women workforce. “Change is coming but it is slow,” says Cyril. “Five-six years ago, if you entered a corporate office in the Middle East, you would only find ladies at the reception and nowhere in the top management. However, now we see an influx of Saudi and Emirati women taking up various management roles and handling them responsibly.” But while the changes will take time, industrialists need to consider making small reforms on a daily basis to have more women into the trading workforce and thus create a sustainable environment in the industry.
Head of Ashraf Electronics, Dubai
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THE GAINS FROM IP SURVEILLANCE Along with securing physical premises and digital assets, Business analytics that can open doors to better efficiencies and growth is definitely a catalyst for commercial IP surveillance installations
By R. Narayan
he need for IP video surveillance and access control solutions is a necessity for Businesses today of all sizes and across all verticals. The benefits goes beyond security as with advanced analytics features available, video analytics has become a key driver of the growth for such solutions. According to a research report, the global video surveillance market is expected to reach USD 106.1 billion by 2025 on account of the increasing need for preventive measures for better safety and security. Advancements such as facial surveillance, license plate recognition, advanced object tracking, and queue management analysis are driving the growth in the surveillance market. IP surveillance systems are certainly inevitable because they are not just used for security, says Sathish Arya,
SMARTSMB / July 2019
General Manager - Middle East & Africa at WatchNET International Trading LLC, a leading manufacturer of video and surveillance equipment. He says,” The state-of-the art IP surveillance solutions are being introduced with more futuristic technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, IIoT (Industrial IoT) and many more. They are proactive and are all set to change with the arrival of AI systems that can detect a potential threat way before an incident occurs.” As it is possible to integrate IP Surveillance and access control systems into the exisiting network infrastructure, the goal to have a security network in place becomes an easier task. Sakkeer Hussain, Director - Sales and Marketing at D-Link MEA, a leading networking solutions vendor that also offer IP security solutions including
a wide range of cameras says, “The security of your business is at risk if there is no surveillance or monitoring system in place to protect your assets. IP video surveillance offers several key benefits, such as increased accessibility, real-time alerts, unlimited video storage, secure image distribution and superior cost benefits, not to mention, of course, the peace of mind that comes with knowing your business premises are being monitored 24/7. Choosing to implement video surveillance brings many advantages and not. least among them is that in most cases you can utilize your existing data network infrastructure to maximize investment.” Interconnecting various physical security systems is quite the key to ensuring control over the entire infrastructure. However, there could be just the one weak link that could be the undoing of the system.
Summarizing some of the key benefits of a robust security infrastructure Sathish elaborates, “Advances in IPbased technologies allow end users to deploy a variety of interconnected systems to deliver security, process monitoring and safety within perimeter system such as ultra-low light cameras, thermal imaging cameras, built-in radar cameras which effectively protects the perimeter complimenting with advanced video analytics features. By sharing data, these solutions provide layered protection and real-time awareness that allows problems to be addressed proactively before they can become catastrophic. Similarly, secured access control solutions for perimeter protection systems are important but they cannot be achieved with just a access control equipment. They are complemented with various integrated technologies such as video, sensors, analyzer modules, microwave, pulse detection etc based on the project feeds from installations such as in Defense, Airport, Ports & Factories etc.” According to Firas Jadalla – Regional Director META at Genetec, a vendor that has been named the world’s number one vendor of Video Management Systems (VMS) in a recent IHS report and has retained this position for the past eight years, “Indeed, your net-
work is only as secure as the devices you attach to it. For access control, one of the most vulnerable cyberattack targets are traditional readers and controllers that facilitate your access control solution. Ensure they, too, are equipped with the latest in secure technology and that that technology is compatible with any smartcard you choose.” And the same goes for electronic locks as well. Firas elaborates “ Access control has so many facets and chief among them is the electronic lock. Today, there are electronic locks that need no wiring and little more than an internet connection to facilitate access control. Sounds like the perfect storm for a cyberattack – and it can be – but reputable electronic lock manufacturers have been hard at work engineering important security protocols like encryption and authentication into these locks to help prevent malicious cyberattacks (and unauthorized access). When choosing hardware for your access control solution, only select those manufacturers that have committed to extending protection against cyberthreats all the way to the door.”
Driven by increased investments and stringent regulatory policies, the com-
mercial security market has witnessed an upswing throughout the region creating opportunities for suppliers of IPbased video surveillance brands like D-Link. Sakkeer says, “Growing demand for streamlined and IP network video surveillance will double the value of the Middle East’s commercial security market over the next four years, with hospitality likely to witness the highest growth of all end-user segments. Saudi Arabia and the UAE together comprise more than half of the entire regional market, while among the end-user sectors, hospitality will see the highest growth, followed by other sectors like retail, healthcare and education.” According to Satish, the UAE continues to see growth of demand for such solutions from both mid & large sized companies. He adds that due to the regulatory bodies such SIRA & MCC, the security standards are being well defined by these regulatory bodies which helps the security companies to install standard products with proven solutions to secure the premises.
Director - Sales & Marketing, D-Link MEA
“By implementing such standards & awareness, the solutions are well defined by regulatory bodies. Increased awareness triggers the end-users to implement such futuristic solutions in their facilities across different busi-
ness verticals such as retail, hospitality, healthcare, education etc which naturally increases the demand and price reduction. “
Need for Analytics Analytics has been one of the key benefits from physical security systems, especially in sectors like retail for instance. Video analytics has been part of security systems for much over a decade now but the utility value of the data streams from the IP cameras is now being mined for better decision making in Businesses, most of all in sectors like retail and hospitality. Firas says, “Traditionally, security departments used video analytics as a reactive tool that could detect something in a live video stream and then create an event that operators could respond to. But, organizations have come to realize that you can use video, as well as other related data from access control and license plate recognition, for more than physical security. Since then, video analytics, powered by the advances in computing power, has evolved considerably to extract very reliable and powerful data from our video streams. For instance, by tapping into video gathered via a physical security system, retail analytics applications use modules like visitor counting, conversion rates, queue management, heat maps, and directional analysis to better understand customer behavior and make real-time informed decisions that increase both consumer engagement and in-store profitability. ” Organizations of every type and size are always looking to make more informed decisions and the possibility to leverage the physical security systems in extracting relevant data insights is quite a handy proposition for Businesses. Firas adds, “In order to do better and plan for the changing world, Organizations want to have access to as much information as possible. And, rather than implementing a new information gathering system, many are looking to mine the data already SMARTSMB / July 2019
being collected by their physical security systems. But it’s not enough to simply access this data. You need to make sense of it, and that’s where video analytics comes in. In general, analytics tools take large amounts of unstructured data and structure it to allow you to unlock its value. When you are able to correlate and extract information, you can gain all manner of insight into your business and environment.” The focus with advanced systems is to present this data in the most user friendly and relevant manner. The possibility to visualize data better and therefore make better informed decisions is quite a Business advantage across key verticals. Satish says, “Industry specific solutions helps the end-user in many ways. For instance, people counting technologies in retail or hospitality business helps end-users to optimize peak hours of operation, display positions, improve efficiency, count on walk-in customers etc. Earlier, the costs were higher and there were other challenges but it’s no more expensive nowadays due to competitive prices as well as the availability of products with advanced features.” While the use of IP-based access control solutions to manage employees, consumers or visitors at the premises has dramatically increased worldwide, the concerns of compromise with the security technologies in the face of more connectivity enabled by IoT for instance have also been coming up. It is therefore necessary for Businesses looking to deploy such solutions to ensure that day are opting for the right
technology and ensuring proper precautions so that all devices and credentials – including those used in access control systems, whether mobile phones or other IoT devices– are very secure. A well qualified unified physical security solution would address those challenges quite well.
"organizations have come to realize that you can use video, as well as other related data from access control and license plate recognition, for more than physical security. Since then, video analytics, powered by the advances in computing power, has evolved considerably to extract very reliable and powerful data from our video streams."
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
Amanda Perry – CEO and owner of Vitality, a women-focused business accelerator firm which helps female-led businesses of all sizes achieve their goals, talks about her journey and hurdles faced by her on her way to achieving her dreams and how that led to her thinking of empowering women in business.
By Diksha Vohra
From an off-shore financial sector employee in the small isle town of Guernsey to a CEO in Dubai, what has been the journey that led you to start Vitality? Ten years ago, when my business took off in Dubai, I realized there was something else that was needed. Something that was more of a handson consultative approach for the clients who wanted more structuring in their businesses, access to a larger team, advice, guidance and, support to grow those businesses. That is how we launched Vitality two and a half years ago, which is the region’s first female-focused business accelerator. As I was born on a tiny little island called Guernsey, my career started in the off-shore financial sector before it took me to the Cayman Islands when I was 22 years old. That is where I really started building on my international experience of building companies around the world. It included advising clients in structuring, how to plan assets for their future, and also how to expand their businesses into new markets. After working there and the Bahamas, I was head-hunted to work at the DIFC. I had been advising clients on owning and operating their businesses for so long, that now I wanted to do it for SMARTSMB / July 2019
myself. I wanted independence and flexibility because of family. I wanted something that fit my plan for business along with my plan for personal life and family. With the onset of digitization and remote access, we were coming in an age where physical presence was no longer a requirement to operate. Hence I took the job with the DIFC and it gave me a chance to understand the new market. My plan was to be with DIFC while getting my business off the ground, but also get to learn how the Middle East worked and how I could incorporate that knowledge with the knowledge that I already had. A couple of years later, I set up my own business whereby I could deliver what I was already skilled at, building businesses, but apply it to this region. It was during this period that I did extensive research on how and where to place my start-up. Because of the enormous amount of information on various licensing laws, my original business model to set up a company here and helping clients set up companies around the world changed as I had learned a whole new skill set, which was knowledge of licensing authorities here and how they worked. This was the beginning of the initial seeds for Vitality.
How does Vitality help the women looking for business consultancy services?
At Vitality, things are done in a different and unique way. We work over an eight-week period wherein we go over all the pillars of their business and we refine and build their business model depending upon what stage they’re
CEO & Owner, Vitality
at. At the end of those eight weeks, we are left with a solid execution plan, that determines their course of action over the decided period of time and we stick with them making sure they stick to the plan, essentially becoming a part of their team. Sometimes clients do not know what goals they are looking for, and we work with them on finding the goals as well. What our clients walk away with is not just the support or accountability, but they get the result and it is done in a way that suits them. Normally in the case of a business accelerator, it is a classroom style with information being more generic, but there is a lot of value in building relationships and teamwork along with no cost to the client other than giving equity in their business. While in the case of business consultancy, there is a very high cost to the client but the value provided is immense and is delivered in a private and confidential way on a one-to-one basis, and you are left with a plan of action. Hence what we do is different, we accelerate your business but we do it one-to-one.
What are some gaps you witnessed in the UAE market which are being addressed by Vitality? As I said, we work very differently from other business consultants. Many of them will come in, evaluate your business, tell you what needs to be done and leave you with it. We donâ€™t do that and we stay for the duration. We do that because many of the fe-
male-led businesses in this market are still young. So most of our clients are either micro to small businesses or early-stage start-ups. Even the larger businesses tend to be having small leadership teams resulting in a lack of peer-to-peer support and accountability. So when it comes to the gap in resources, we work together to bridge the gap as resources are not just capital or financial, but intellectual. Hence we look to onboard our intellectual resources in the client leadership team to help them grow the way they want. In the end, it all comes down to action and accountability.
Have you worked with any local clients as there has been a surge of local Arabian entrepreneurs, especially women, in recent times? We have, and we are very pleased about that fact. When we launched Vitality and planned our target market, it was mostly expats. But what we are seeing is a lovely blended mix. Almost all of our business comes from referrals, and we took on our first local client six months back which snowballed from there. Having such a mix of clients gives us a chance to show diversity in what we offer here.
What are some of the sectors that the women entrepreneurs are getting into? Creative industries, particularly the fashion industry, have a lot of women being interested in fashion designing. A lot of local fashion designers, along
NORMALLY IN THE CASE OF A BUSINESS ACCELERATOR, IT IS A CLASSROOM STYLE WITH INFORMATION BEING MORE GENERIC, BUT THERE IS A LOT OF VALUE IN BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS AND TEAMWORK ALONG WITH NO COST TO THE CLIENT OTHER THAN GIVING EQUITY IN THEIR BUSINESS. WHILE IN THE CASE OF BUSINESS CONSULTANCY, THERE IS A VERY HIGH COST TO THE CLIENT BUT THE VALUE PROVIDED IS IMMENSE AND IS DELIVERED IN A PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL WAY ON A ONE-TOONE BASIS, AND YOU ARE LEFT WITH A PLAN OF ACTION.
with British and Italian stylists and fashionistas are coming up. E-commerce is also seeing huge industrial growth for obvious reasons such as digitization, networking and remote working. Being able to use automation in your business allows a lot of flexibility and women work smart that way as women are better at multi-tasking. We are also seeing a lot of health awareness and we are kind of becoming the go-to place to accelerate business on health awareness as even in our own company, we stress on a healthy lifestyle.
Why do you think the tech field has not seen many women entrepreneurs? What are the reasons in your opinion that this is happening? Is the government in the UAE is doing something in this matter? I think the government is doing a lot to change this. When you look at the initiatives for the coming decade, you can see a lot of changes there specifically related to the women in the technological field. I have done quite a lot of work with schools as part of our campaigns, where we have noticed more and more girls taking tech-focused classes. The school where my son goes has no barriers at all for girls to choose any subjects. While we are not seeing enough women in the tech field at present, wait for 10 more years and there will be a shift. Women of tomorrow will not just enter the field but will be leaders. Three tips for budding women entrepreneurs to ensure they get where they want to be. A clear direction is needed where you wish to go and get. A clear direction comes down to the goal setting, where you break your goal into smaller tasks and hold yourself accountable to finish those tasks or achieve those smaller goals. The best way to do that is to find someone on the same path as you, someone who supports you and you can support them and create collective accountability. July 2019 / SMARTSMB
BUILDING HIGHER CAPACITIES FOR DATA STORAGE
Khwaja Saifuddin, Senior Sales Director at Western Digital, Middle East discusses storage demands and how the company is consolidating its solutions portfolio addressing a diverse set of demands from the market By R. Narayan Elaborate how you look at your business across segments and the relevance for data storage? If you look back just a few years ago, Data was seen as the new oil and we had the best barrels to store data. Today data is the new currency and it has taken the leap from being a commodity to a currency. We see blockchain, cryptocurrencies etc which are data driven. For us at WD, we see that as a great opportunity to providing ways to create data, accessing that data, working on it and making it available whenever you need it. Making the data available and accessible when you need it, for consumers or anyone else is the critical role we play. We offer WD Red drives for NAS solutions, WD Blue for everyday computing, WD Black high-performance hard drives for games and professionals, WD Purple for the surveillance segment as well as WD My Passport external drives) and My Cloud EX2, the storage for businesses. We have the highest capacities on the MicroSDs, that are smaller than a thumbnail in size and going up to 1 TB of capacity. On the hard drive front for computing or for surveillance and security, we have solutions starting from MicroSD to the drives that go into DVRs as well drives that are meant for command centres, datacentres etc where you may want to run AI or other applications. For the enterprise side, we have storage solutions to help build your own cloud or the datacentre.
Are drives with higher capacities inflection points for the industry in terms of increased demand? When WD came out with higher capacities, that always led to new opportunities for the industry. The amount of data generated is doubling every year. But the amount of usage of the total data generated is still in single digits. The challenge is to make use of that massive volume of data that is being created. For instance, a typical surveillance installation with AI driven facial recognition etc is utilizing the data that is being created for preempting any possible crime. And you need storage products for enabling such solutions.
SMARTSMB / July 2019
Senior Sales Director, Western Digital, ME
Do you see availability of cloud storage take away demand from HDD drives?
In most instances, you are using cloud for backing data generated. The cloud storage service is only a backup of that created data. For instance in terms of personal memories, it is a critical asset and difficult to recreate, once lost. The low cost of HDDs and large storage space offered are some important factors driving the demand for HDDs, globally.
Discuss your go to market route to various target segments? Distributors, retails and resellers comprise our route to market for consumers. For the enterprise segment, we are very well entrenched with partners. As our drives are not solutions by themselves, they help complete a bigger solution, addressing the storage aspects of a possible turnkey solution.
Has surveillance been a growth market for WD? What are the products you focus on for the segment? For us it has been a focus area for over a decade and we see between 20-25% growth. There are some regions deploying IP surveillance for the first time and then there are others going through a refresh for the second or third instance. In all, it has been a successful segment and today WD Purple has become a well accepted brand in the segment. We also have a good set of partners among surveillance installers. We offer the WD purple drive and WD SD cards for the segment. WD Purple drives support systems designed for 24x7 video recording with up to 64 cameras. WD Purple 8TB, 10TB and 12TB capacities feature AllFrame AI technology that enables an additional 32 streams for Deep Learning analytics within the system. We have recently introduced the Purple SC QD312 Extreme Endurance microSD card for designers and manufacturers of AI-enabled security cameras, smart video surveillance and advanced edge devices that capture and store video at higher bit rates than mainstream cameras.
How was 2018 for the market and your partners? The channel did some soul searching in the past year and has started focusing in the right areas. There was a big positive in the PC gaming segment which gained limelight
and the attention from the graphics cards manufacturers as well. For us, we launched our black SSDs targeted at the gaming segment and have released a second edition, the WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD that delivers the fastest in the segment by far. We offer NVMe across our SSD portfolio as all the thin, light, fast laptops are coming with NVMe now.
Discuss how the various segments have performed in terms of sales growth? The consumer segment based has witnessed very strong growth in terms of market share, consumer pull etc, a clear vindication of product quality we offer. In the plug and play products SSD external drives have done well in the consumer segment across the three brands- WD, SanDisk and GTEC. GTEC focuses on the creative professionals. We have done a refresh on the passport drives. We offer Ultrastar drives for the enterprise that are faring well. They are most reliable for demanding workloads (up to 550TB per year) and with the largest capacities that go unto 14 TB as of now. On increasing capacities of the drives further, we are changing the technology of writing the data with microwave assisted magnetic recording (MAMR). it is all about writing more data in the existing space as MAMR drives are designed to expand HDD capacity to meet the demands of Big Data.
WESTERN DIGITAL’S ZONED STORAGE SET TO REDEFINE DATA CENTERS FOR ZETTABYTE SCALE With a focus on enabling purpose-built, open and scalable data center architectures, Western Digital has launched Zoned Storage, an initiative that brings together new innovations and industry standards for cloud and hyperscale data center architects to design efficient storage tiers that help maintain competitive TCO and achieve greater economies of scale as we approach the zettabyte-scale era. By 2023 and beyond, enterprises, machines, industries, consumers, science and more will be generating 103 zettabytes per year, according to IDC. For this next-generation of data, new data center constructs, such as composable disaggregated infrastructure, are needed as today's general-purpose architectures are inefficient and can carry resource and cost overhead when faced with an increasing span of workloads, applications and datasets. As more and more of this data will be sequential in nature – video, IoT/edge data, surveillance, or data that can be grouped or "zoned" into larger chunks such as large AI/ML datasets – there are opportunities to organize workloads for better
performance and efficiencies with lower TCO by accelerating the adoption of zoned storage devices. The Zoned Storage architecture enables applications, host and storage to orchestrate data placement and take full advantage of the highest available storage capacities typically with shingled magnetic recording (SMR) HDDs and the emerging zoned namespaces (ZNS) standard for NVMe SSDs to deliver better endurance and predictable, low-latency QoS performance. A planned extension of the NVMe standard, ZNS complements SMR technology, enabling developers to take advantage of both SMR and ZNS under a single storage stack, regardless of media type. With 50 percent of Western Digital's HDD exabyte shipments expected to be on SMR by 2023, customers will be able to leverage their SMR application development to encompass high-capacity ZNS SSDs. Delivering intelligence to application architectures, SMR and ZNS will be key foundational building blocks of the new zettabyte-scale era now and into the future. July 2019 / SMARTSMB
A CC ELERATING TRANSFORMATION
Epicor’s MENA Customer Summit, held recently, focused on how the cloud can enable enterprises from across the manufacturing, distribution and hospitality industries to reinvent themselves amid the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Hesham El Komy, Regional Vice President at Epicor Software discusses the company’s focus in key segments By R. Narayan Please elaborate on the company’s focus at your recent customer summit? We hold the MENA customer summit annually and have customers coming from across several countries of the region. We usually have one person from the technical team and one from the management of the companies. This has been running for over five years now. The turnout is usually quite impressive and a comfortable size for the attendees to get a good experience in terms of interactions. We had customers from across different segments of manufacturing to hospitality, trade and distribution.
typically mid-sized manufacturers with a smaller number of upper-mid sized manufacturers. The awareness of the new technologies like IoT remains modest with many in the seg-
ment and there is a need to take the message deep. That said, there are several organizations that are very well advanced in terms of adoption but they maybe in other segments, such
The regional summit follows on the annual global summit in the US. We collate information that is relevant for specific regions and ensure that is made available through such regional events. With the advent of IoT, it is no longer about the software itself but how the software manages the efficiencies of the tools used in manufacturing. The focus was on the move towards the connected factory, Industry 4.0 moving moving towards Industry 5.0, RPA etc, where Epicor is placed in terms enabling it.
Elaborate how the manufacturing sector in the region is focused on digital transformation strategies? Most manufacturers in the region are not very large sized. The majority are
Hesham El Komy
Regional Vice President, Epicor
as government sector for instance.
You have a wide portfolio including products for Retail which arenâ€™t available here? What determines your product strategy? Our retail product isnâ€™t available in this region and that is because there are several feasibility aspects to look into before releasing a software in the market. Some of the aspects that are not standard features, need to be built into the software to address specific market requirements such as the local language, mode of payment etc and then you have to look at the scope for the product in the territory. There is a lot of effort going into that and from that perspective, we decided to focus on our strengths in the region and to be guided by the market trends. For instance, our product for the timber industry is quite strong in the US but it may not make sense to have the same here.
What are your products of focus here? The major focus is our standard product Epicor ERP 10.0, our flagship product that addresses a broad array of requirements with many modules and functionalities with flexible deployment options, including on-premise and on-cloud featuring same code. Then there is Scala, which is a different kind of ERP that covers different kinds of functionalities and suit some typical segments like hospitality for instance. Sometimes, there are customers on Scala who are as large as any customers running our Epicor ERP 10. Then there is Epicor Human Capital Management that offers a feature-rich human resource management solution (HRMS) you can deploy in the cloud or on premises to comprehensively manage your global workforce from recruitment to retirement. We have Mattec that is our MES solution and that enables our ERP to enter the world of IoT and manage machine efficiencies. Epicor Mattec MES helps improve productivity, lower costs,
and gain a competitive edge. It offers around the clock manufacturing information for all your plant operations, reduce scrap, waste, and machine downtime with improved cycle times and production schedule efficiency on the shopfloor.
You have announced a local cloud hosting partnership with RheinBruke in addition to your partnership with Microsoft. Please elaborate on this Epicor works with Microsoft Azure globally as it cloud partner. Here, in the region, in the face of local data regulations, we now have local solution provider for the cloud with RheinBrucke. The Microsoft offering is always there and data latency is not an issue, except for the fact that the data doesnâ€™t reside locally. We have addressed the concerns, if any of potential customers, of local data hosting with the RheinBrucke partnership. For any customer of ours in their journey with us, we will ensure they have the right product, and that their data is hosted in the right place, on premise or on cloud at any given point. Not all customers are concerned about where the data is hosted as long as it is secure.
Is Africa a focus region for Epicor? We have some of our largest customers in Africa in markets like Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa for instance. There are parts where corruption is rife in the continent and as an American company, we ensure we stay away
from those situations, choosing to select carefully the markets we work in and the kind of partners we work with. Our largest customers in Africa in fact are from the government segment.
How is the business growth in the GCC? GCC is the hub, where we do more business but not necessarily the bigger business. We are focusing currently a lot on the market in KSA, where we are coming up as a vendor of choice. We are seeing the same trend across the region. We have high double digit growth rates in the region and this is not far off from our global growth rates.
How do you recommend customers regarding their cloud strategy? It really depends from company to company and we advise accordingly. Some customers come to us looking for cloud options, but we may convince them against it for good reasons. For instance, we had a customer in Uganda come up to us, looking for cloud options but we advised against it as latency they would have had to deal with in relation to the cost of of installing their own infrastructure would have been high. Although the initial costs would have been higher in the latter case but in the longer run, they would have a better option. For some of the other companies, we advise both options where their central HQ would have on premise deployment and the satellite offices would be on the cloud.
A STRONG PROPOSITION FOR NETWORK SECURITY Bitdefender, a global cybersecurity leader protecting over 500 million systems across 150 countries, has appointed Tarek Kuzbari as Regional Director for the Middle East. He discusses Bitdefenderâ€™s solutions for making inroads in the network security business of the region in addition to the overall growth plans for the company Tarek Kuzbari
Regional Director, Middle East, BitDefender
How has the journey been so far for BitDefender in the cybersecurity business and what is the outlook ahead? BitDefender started out on the cybersecurity front by initially providing some security solutions to safeguard its other software solutions that were deployed by customers. The success of the security software created more demand and it laid the foundation for the security business. The cybersecurity business was founded in 2001. In Europe and the US, the brand recognition is quite high and over 150 leading vendors use different security products from BitDefender in their technologies. That we see as a validation of the quality of the products. We have been a pioneer from a technology perspective. We have been working on behavioral analysis for over 17 years, AI for over 11 years and so on. We have long passed the period where other security companies working on AI have been struggling with false positives. We are offering more superior performance for users, with low positives and delivering the protection that users are looking for. SMARTSMB / July 2019
By R. Narayan
We are expanding aggressively in terms of technologies and our investments and need to make sure that the internal processes, product roadmap etc are aligned in the right direction. The company is in the phase of expanding more across the globe and is recruiting more resources etc.
Tell us about solutions you provide in addition to the consumer endpoint security? While in this region, we are known more for our consumer products, we are now communicating about our entire portfolio to the market, which encompasses in addition to the next gen endpoint solutions for both consumer and corporate segments, our EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) solutions, encryption solutions, patch management at the endpoint etc. We have an extensive set of solutions for both the SMB and enterprise segments with our GravityZone portfolio that meet expectations of the different segments. We have expanded into the network level security as well with our NTSA (network traffic security analytics) solution. NTSA comes as part of segment that Gartner defines as Network Traffic Analytics. As a segment, Network Traffic Analytics is perhaps as old as the network itself since the network administrators have been monitoring the network to understand the kind of traffic in the network. However, it wasnâ€™t thought of as a security tool for long. But now with AI, threat
intelligence etc incorporated into the network, security companies have taken network security to the next level. As we have incorporated our threat intelligence available from over 500 million devices installed across the globe, with all the insight available on the type of attacks going on inside the network and with machine learning also included, the security team reaps huge benefits. Using a combination of machine learning and behavior analytics with insights from Bitdefender cloud threat intelligence, NTSA is a plug-and-play, out-of-band solution, with flexible deployment options, that focuses on traffic meta-data and enables analysis over longer periods of time to accurately detect the most sophisticated malware and Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) with high fidelity. Combined with Bitdefender GravityZone, organizations can quickly remediate security breaches.
What specific benefits do your NTSA solutions offer organizations? NTSA is a time saver for organizations because there are challenges that companies face in terms of security. The foremost challenge is that the mid-market in particular is struggling with the fact they do not have security resources. It is expensive to have an expert in security in-house. Then we do see on an on an average, that there are ten agents from different vendors delivering security on a workstation. This means, more resources are being consumed, which is the second challenge. The efficiency of the machine is not as desired and it is counter productive. The third aspect is the security alert fatigue that you usually face with any new installations and the need to make frequent decisions. It becomes challenging for an organization struggling with resources to keep up with these. Automation makes it easier to get over this challenge and help make faster decisions, which is important for security decision making. We have IntelliTriage, as part of our NTSA (network traffic security an-
alytic) solution that automates the process of security incidents triage to dramatically improve incident investigation time and reduce organizational risk with high-fidelity alerts. IntelliTriage also provides recommended remediation guidance on steps to take based on the security incident.
With the Breadth of the threat vectors much wider now, how do technologies like AI and others help the cause of cybersecurity? About 15-20 years ago, the whole industry was talking of the looming threat of 500 unique malware likely to hit the market in a month on an average and the need to have security to cope with that. Now it is expected to hit one billion unique malware in a year and this will continue to grow. Further, the type of attacks is getting more sophisticated and more targeted and more challenging, which is why there are more advanced technologies being brought to market to address these new threats. AI technology is an enabler of better security and the cybersecurity industry is adopting AI to deliver superior threat detection. BitDefender for instance is offering Threat Intelligence that can be integrated into solutions like Firewall, IPS, SIEM solutions etc, in order to co-relate if what is inside the machines is a threat or not. There are more devices now that are used to store malware by cybercriminals like perhaps a printer for instance, network cameras or any IoT devices. Our NTSA solution can help correlate if the incoming or outgoing traffic from a device in the network represents malware or not and based on that analysis, the security team can take actions like isolating the machine or reset it for instance. We see our NTSA solutions deployed across verticals. One of our clients for instance is the city of Amsterdam and the solution is deployed in the network cameras deployed on the streets. And then there are healthcare clients, util-
WE HAVE EXPANDED INTO THE NETWORK LEVEL SECURITY AS WELL WITH OUR (NETWORK TRAFFIC SECURITY ANALYTIC) SOLUTION. WE HAVE A SOLUTION FOR NTSA (NETWORK TRAFFIC SECURITY ANALYTICS) AND COMES AS PART OF SEGMENT THAT GARTNER DEFINES AS NETWORK TRAFFIC ANALYTICS.
ity organizations etc, who have NTSA deployed in order to provide such level of enhanced protection.
With someway different kinds of specialist security vendors available to choose from that address different layers of security, how does BitDefender stand out? The dynamics of the cybersecurity industry is such that you donâ€™t see one vendor doing everything. It is the need for innovation and the need for addressing the many different aspects that provides room for many different vendors in the segment. What make us different is our strong relationships with technology vendors and our joint development on our security products for areas like virtualized, hyperconverged infrastructure etc with the vendors who are leaders in those technologies and which in turn ensures our products address specific challenges and are best suited to address the security challenges. Such relationships with over 150 vendors ensures that for our partners too, this becomes easier in recommending our solutions as they have superior value offerings for customers.
July 2019 / SMARTSMB
GDPR – REFLECTING ON THE PAST AND
Looking to the Future Danny Allan, Vice President, Product Strategy, Veeam discusses how GDPR has led to specific, fundamental changes in the way data privacy is managed, regulated and reported
It’s been a little over a year since the European Commission (EC) made its hotly anticipated General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enforceable on May 25, 2018. There has been a tremendous amount of fear, uncertainty and doubt surrounding GDPR since its introduction. But it is time for the conversation to evolve beyond the noise and into the next level of discussion. Over the course of the past year, the regulation, which replaced its predecessor the Data Protection Directive from 1995, has displayed two key characteristics: it’s both specific and has teeth. The impact of these characteristics is that data privacy is now recognized globally, similar to the way basic human rights are considered. Not only should any business that processes data want to respect GDPR, but they are now required by the EU to do so. This can be viewed as forward momentum, and a success for the technology industry. Technology is unable to reach its full potential until consumers have the trust required in the security and privacy associated with their data.
Data privacy gets specific One of GDPR’s most virtuous traits is that it is specific. It’s clear about who it serves, who it applies to, what it enforces and what the penalties for failure to do so are. As a result of this, people are increasingly viewing data privacy as a basic human right, akin to freedom of speech. The reason for this step-change is that GDPR has given us both individual and organizational awareness. The same as the tragic events of 9/11 gave us locked cockpit doors, GDPR has led to specific, fundamental changes in the way data privacy is managed, regulated and reported. According to official EC figures, there have been over SMARTSMB / July 2019
Vice President, Product Strategy, Veeam
95,000 GDPR complaints made by citizens, which demonstrates that individuals now have higher awareness levels of whether their data rights are being disrespected. An additional figure reveals a heightened sense of understanding from businesses, with 41,000 self-reported breach notifications. Other tangible impacts that can be traced back to GDPR are a decline in the use of third-party website tracking cook-
GDPR bares its teeth One of the most notable reasons that GDPR caused the stir that it did outside of the data privacy and corporate legal fields, is the hefty penalty for failure to comply. The EC has the authority to fine organizations €20 million, or 4% of their global revenue — whichever is higher — if they are proven to have breached a single line of the regulation.
there is a subtler deterrent at work: reputational damage. As data privacy becomes increasingly seen as a basic civil liberty, organizations of all sizes really cannot afford the stigma associated with abusing that right.
What’s next for GDPR? There won’t be a radical shift from a regulatory perspective in the next year. Simply put, GDPR is working. The result is that we can expect more of the same from data privacy regulators: more fines, harsher penalties and further efforts to expose incompliance. One interesting area to watch is whether the types of conversations GDPR is forcing CIOs to have will lead to repercussions at a global level; particularly when it comes to data privacy practices in countries such as China and the USA. We will continue to see the EC flex its data privacy muscles, but we’ll also see a shift in the way organizations use personal data. Data is the lifeblood of businesses in the digital era, despite examples of some firms taking a radical stance on GDPR and deleting entire user databases.
Data collected today can be mined for insight tomorrow, and used to create better user experiences, develop products which address genuine market needs and reward customers for loyalty. As user awareness increases, tolerance towards organizations who are seen to be collecting, but not respecting data, will get lower. Therefore, organizations that fail to get to grips with data privacy, making privacy part of its corporate culture, will face a backlash from customers, as well as draconian punishments from regulators. At Veeam, we believe that data privacy and protection should not be viewed as a box-ticking exercise, or something you just do because you must. Becoming GDPR-compliant is an ongoing journey, and success should not be viewed as not being fined, or worse yet, getting away with something. Organizations must take pride in understanding, managing and protecting their data. Compliance is just one step on the way to becoming a data-driven business, which is constantly looking for new ways to leverage information to create better products, services and experiences for customers.
What’s more, data privacy regulators have enforced these measures with EC figures accounting for 91 reported fines within eight months of GDPR being enforced. The most infamous of these financial penalties was issued by the French National Data Protection Commission, fining Google a massive €50 million in January 2019. German authorities have also handed out over 40 smaller fines for GDPR violations. As well as financial sanctions, which can be crippling for smaller organizations with shallower pockets than the world’s largest data processors, July 2019 / SMARTSMB
DEVELOPING SUSTAINABLE TOURISM Is RAK’s strategy to boost its GDP through tourism the right move? By Diksha Vohra Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) has been taking giant strides in the past few years to strengthen its already excellent business environment. As a part of these initiatives, Ras Al Khaimah has been investing heavily in the tourism sector not only to attract visitors to its shores but also to kick-start another revenue stream. The most scenic of all the Emirates Ras Al Khaimah has decided to leverage its diverse landscape from scenic mountains and salt flat areas to coastal strip, mangroves and desserts to boost its tourism industry. As a result, its tourism revenue grew by 12.4% in 2015 (YoY). During the same time, the number of visitors grew six per cent year-on-year to 740,383. According to figures from the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) there was a 19% growth in the number of tourists for the 12 months ending December 31, 2017. The number of international visitors to the Emirates saw a jump of 11.2% from January till September 2018 having received 795,000 guests in this period, according to RAKTDA figures. The momentum continued with the number of domestic and international visitors growing to 1,072,066 by 2018 end, overshooting the target of attracting one million tourists by the SMARTSMB / July 2019
end of 2018. The highest number of visitors (83,605) were from Germany followed by 83,531 from Russia with the UK being the third largest source market with 63,054 visitors. To cater to this boom in the tourism sector RAKTDA plans to increase the number of hotel rooms from 5,400 to over 10,000 by the end of 2020.
Destination Strategy 20192021 In continuation of its focus on giving a fillip to tourism, RAKTDA has now launched its new Destination Strategy 2019-2021. The three-year programme builds on the success of the previous RAKTDA strategy launched in 2016 and aims to diversify tourism offerings. According to Raki Phillips, CEO of RAKTDA, a prime area of focus in this strategy would be to position and promote Ras Al Khaimah in targeted international markets to attract higher yield customers all year round. The strategy also aims to prioritise sustainable nature-based adventure and to benefit SMEs creating more employment and business opportunities. According to Phillips, it has now set a goal to attract three million visitors by 2025. Correspondingly there has been a lot
of activity in the hospitality sector too. International hospitality chains like Sheraton Four Points, Marriott and InterContinental have been developing their properties in the Emirates. RAKTADA has also signed an agreement with Airbnb in 2018, to launch and promote the room-sharing service in RAK. These developments will not only open more options for the travellers coming to the Emirates but also allow for more differentiated hospitality options and at the same time open up the economy, even more, giving more business and employment options to the people. By 2021 we aim to employ 10,000 more people into the tourism and hospitality sector, said Phillips.
Increasing tourism’s contribution to GDP At present tourism contributes to 3% of the GDP but RAKTDA aims to grow it to 10% and Phillips is confident that developing sustainable tourism with world-class facilities would transform Ras Al Khaimah into a globally recognised destination drawing three million visitors and contributing 3.5 billion AED to the Emirate’s GDP by 2025. One of the main achievements in the tourism sector in 2018 that gave worldwide recognition to the Emirates was the opening up in February of Jebel Jais Flight on the highest mountain in the UAE - Jebel Jais. Being the world’s longest zipline, this made a noticeable splash on the world tourism map and at the same time made RAK the fastest growing adventure tourism destination in the region. Owing to the huge response to the 2.83 km flight, it has already seen more than 30,000 flyers since its opening, plans are afoot to expand the existing infrastructure and develop a survival training academy, a 47 room luxury mountain camp, hiking trails and the Jebel Jais Adventure Park. Expanding its tourism activities further RAK is in the process of developing the Mina al Arab coastal wetlands by providing a resort atmosphere in the area while preserving its natural
beauty. The development of Al Marjan, a 2.7-million-sqm island complex with resorts, leisure, and retail opportunities on each of its four islands is also in full swing. It is also encouraging setting up of mixed-use resorts. They are highest-quality integrated resort properties, including hotels, entertainment areas, convention facilities, luxury retail and fine dining. Special attention has also been given to expanding MICE tourism with RAK hosting many major conferences and events in recent years, the most notable among them being Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) which was shifted from Dubai for the first time in 13 years. Held at Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Center, an impressive architectural milestone, spanning a total area of 4,500m2 with astonishing sea and garden view. Not only will the centre contribute to the MICE tourism sector of Ras Al Khaimah, but the venue is also ideal for hosting largescale events including private events, weddings and private events. The Emirates is also opening overseas officers and organising trade road shows throughout the year as a part of its strategy to broaden its economy and use travel and tourism to add another vital element to its GDP. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, travel and tourism industry had a 5.1% direct share in UAE’s total GDP at Dh69.1 billion and is expected to account for 4.9 per cent of the GDP by 2028. At the same time, the total contribution of the sector including induced income, supply chain and other investment impacts is expected to increase to Dh234.2 billion by 2028, contributing to 10.6 per cent of GDP. According to RAKTDA, Ras Al Khaimah had the second highest revenue per available room in the region at Dhs402.2 ($109.6), average occupancy of 69.1 per cent in the first nine months of 2018 and the third highest daily room rate at Dhs581.6 ($158). All these activities have had a positive impact on the economic scenario of
CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority
RAK. The per capita GDP of the Emirates that was 15,240 USD in 2007 – 2008 is expected to rise to an average of 29,300 USD between 2018 and 2021 according to an S&P forecast. Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority said “In light of the current robust visitor demand, solid regional and international partnerships in place, iconic asset and product launches executed over the past few years, Ras Al Khaimah is on a mission to further assert its position as the fastest growing tourism destination in the region, while showcasing its breadth of offer in regional and international target markets. Our new Destination Strategy 2019-2021 is set to implement best practices as per international standards to fuel a sustainable tourism-driven economic growth in Ras Al Khaimah. The strategic three-year programme will focus on diversifying the emirate’s tourism offering to attract a wider segment of tourists and higher yield visitors look-
ing for authentic experiences, accelerating foreign and local investments within the tourism sector, nurturing home-grown small and medium enterprises to create further employment and business opportunities for UAE nationals, and prioritizing sustainable nature-based adventure and authentic cultural experiences”. Phillips added: “Under the guidance and directives of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, the new Destination Strategy will also look at expanding tourism driven employment. By 2021 we aim to employ 10,000 more people into the tourism and hospitality sector and nurturing investment from small and medium businesses, which benefit the community. This will of course raise the overall competitiveness of the industry attracting more international and local investments therefore enabling an environment for sustainable growth”. July 2019 / SMARTSMB
DCG MEMBERS LIST Company Name
A TOP COMPUTER SOLUTION LLC
Head of Company
Name of Company Description Sales Person
ATOP Computer Solutions is a Premium Partner for Lenovo, APC Select Partners, CISCO Select Partner, Lenovo Select Partner, Dell Partners, Avaya Partner, Sage – Platinum Partners, Intuit – Pro Advisors< Microsoft Partner – IBM and stockist for HP Servers and Server Accessories, Apart from the software, the company is into local PC assembler market and is the only IT Company to have achieved its position through “organic growth”.
AAL JAAFAR TRADING CO.LLC
Aal Jaafar Trading Co. LLC is specialized in trading of computers, peripherals & accessories.
ABC COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY LLC
ASHRAF K P
ASHRAF K P
Sepcialized in import & export of laptops, desktops, printers & scanners.
ACCENT OFFICE SUPPLIES TRDG
Accent Office Supplies Trading Co. LLC (‘Accent’) is based in Dubai, the trading hub of the entire Middle East region. Accent is a wholesaler of all major brand names in the office supplies & IT industry for the well known brands.
ACHIEVER COMPUTERS LLC
Achiever Computers LLC incorporated in the year 2003, in DubaiUAE is one of the leading IT Company in the Middle East. We are one among the top IT vendors in the region.
ADCON COMPUTER LLC
P. HANUMANTHA RAO
P. HANUMANTHA RAO
Wholesale, Retail & Corporate supplier for entire IT products range.
ADS SECURITY DEVICES TRADING LLC
ADS Security Devices Trading LLC has over 30 years of experience in CCTV distribution and Project Management.
ADVANCED BUSSINESS COMPUTER LLC
Computer Supplies & Accessories, Companies & Businesses
ADVANCED CONCEPT INFO TECH LLC
ACIT has expertise in information technology infrastructure & aspires to offer single window availability in core areas of computing & IT solutions.
ADVANCED LOGIC TECHNOLOGY LLC
ABDUL QADIR AHRARI
Specialized in Commercial, Gaming & Premium Laptops, Stockholder of HP POS and Workstations.
AL ADAAB COMPUTER TRADING LLC
We deal in new & refurbished memory, hard disk , laptops and accessories
AL BARSHA VISION ELECTRONICS LLC
Specialized in trading of projectors, projector screen & accessories.
AL ERSHAD COMPUTER TRADING LLC
Al Ershad Group has had its humble beginning in the year 2002 and within a span of 13 years it has been emerged as one of the credible and credulous group dealing all kind of IT products and services keeping ethos and values in all our customers. The group has its presence in UAE and Bahrain and it serves in other GCC, MENA and Indian subcontinent.
AL JEDAYEL COMPUTERS LLC
Leading IT company engaged in trading of computers, peripherals, printers & networking products
AL MARIA COMPUTER TRADING CO LLC
MOHAMED UMAR SHAMSI
Leading Computer Services Systems & Equipment Suppliers based in Dubai.
AL MASA IT DISTRIBUTION FZCO
In 1995, Almasa IT Distribution started operations as a IT reseller operating from Dubai and specialising in hardware and software solutions. Since then, the company has evolved to become one of the leading IT infrastructure distributors in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
AL NOORI COMPUTERS & STATIONERY LLC
Established in 1991, Al Noori Computers LLC has been an integral part of several businesses all over the world.
AL OTAIBA GROUP OF COMPANIES
KHALAF BIN SAIF AL OTAIBA
Al Otaiba Communications is a leading telecom and technology distribution company, market leader since 1996 with over 20 years in the field of mobility products and related accessories, gained massive knowledge, know-how and expertise to drive the sales to the highest level.
AL TAHERI COMPUTERS
Well known company in Computer Services Systems & Equipment Suppliers in UAE.
AMD (Advanced Micro Devices Inc. ) is an American multinational semiconductor company based in Austin, Texas and Santa Clara, California that develops computer processors and related technologies for business and consumer markets
SMARTSMB / July 2019
Head of Company VIKASH SHAH
Name of Company Description Sales Person
Amoli is an ICT distributor and a global leader in IT supply-chain & mobile lifestyle devices. We distribute and market a large variety of technology and mobility products from leading companies, such as Acer, Brother, Canon, Cisco, Dell, Glory, Hewlett-Packard (“HP”), Konica Minolta, Sharp, Samsung amongst others.
ARCAD WORLD COMPUTER SYSTEM LLC
Information technology, having proved to be the core of all industrial, commercial, educational & medical spheres of activity, ‘Arcad’ opted to venture into this business in the year 2002. Having 3 sales points in the heart of Dubai’s wholesale IT market, Arcad has achieved customer confidence and loyalty by virtue of its group philosophy - Keen Understanding the customer needs and relentless efforts to meet the same.
ARD AL GHADEER TRADING LLC
RAYED AMEER ABDULAMEIR AL RAMMAHI
ABDUL HAMEED FALIH
Ard Al Ghadeer Trading LLC (AGT) was established to be a leading IT organization. In a record time, we have been able to evolve and grow to be at the forefront of integrated ICT solutions and services, tailored to the needs of different businesses.
ASBIS MIDDLE EAST FZE
FARAZ ALI KHAN
ASBIS Group is one of the leading distributors of Information and Communications Technology products and solutions in EMEA Emerging Markets: Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltic States, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East and Africa, combining a broad geographical reach with a wide range of products distributed on a “one-stop-shop” basis.
ASHRAF ELECTRONICES TRADING LLC
Distributor, wholesaler and exporter in consumer electronics. We specialize in Audio, Visual, Photography and Home Automation. We deal in GoPro, Apple, Google, Samsung, LG, Amazon, DJI and more.
BAB AL SALAMA TRADING CO. LLC
MUHAMMAD AYUB BUTT
Leading importers & exporters of new, refurbished & used laptops and desktops
BLUETEC COMPUTER LLC
Leading reseller dealing in well known IT brand like HP, Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, Asus & Apple
CADDCARE COMPUTER LLC
SYED ABDUL KAREEM
SYED ABDUL KAREEM
Leading IT reseller specialized in branded laptops, desktops, printers, peripherals & other IT products.
CHANGE NETWORKS LLC
UMAIR AHMED SIDDIQUI
UMAIR AHMED SIDDIQUI
CHANGE Networks is into International Business dealing in ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Products and building it into a larger, faster growing, more global and more profitable company. It is incorporated in 2010 with its own offices at strategic locations in UNITED ARAB EMIRATES to manage International Business Operations smoothly.
CHATURVEDI SOFTWARE HOUSE LLC
Software development, Accounting, audit, bookkeeping Tally awarded best partner. Tally for VAT, Tally in French, Chinese, Arabic and many other languages. In house Customization team.
GOPALKRISHNAN C. R.
GOPALKRISHNAN C. R.
IT Service and Solutions Provider in UAE since 2000, and Microsoft Silver Partner
COMMit is one of the most reputed and leading IT & telecom solutions company in the UAE. Founded in 2002, in Dubai, COMMit is a vibrant organization with more than 10 years of experience & expertise in the field of IT & Telecom solutions. We offer a wide range of services to a variety of sectors including Hospitality, Health, Construction, Small& Medium Enterprise, Startups, etc. and have delivered more than a 1000 projects within the UAE.
COMNET INTERNATIONAL LLC
The best place to buy laptop products with affordable price
COMPUAGE COMPUTERS LLC
we are exclusive stockiest (wholesaler) of Server, Storage and WorkStation and components for HPE, Dell & Lenovo
COMPUNICS TECHNOLOGIES LLC
Importer and Exporter in wholesale & retail specialized in internal and external storage products
Compusouk is worldwide Independent distributor for Laptops, Netbooks, Tablets, Printers, Smart Phones and other IT Products in Dubai, UAE.
COMPUTER CARE LLC
Computer Care - a leading IT Solutions provider and Authorized reseller for many leading international brands including Microsoft, Intel, Lenovo, HP, Toshiba, Dell, Acer, MSI, Asus, Apple,Canon, Epson, Xerox, Lexmark, Samsung, Sharp, Oki, Panasonic and many more....
COMPUTER SELECTION LLC
Wholesale & Corporate supplier of all IT products including Laptops, Desktops, Printers & accessories.
July 2019 / SMARTSMB
NETAPP AFF C190 Every IT organization is trying to determine how to modernize with hybrid cloud, and all-flash storage systems are critical on-premises to speed up enterprise applications. However, small enterprises have continued to use hard disk storage systems because of the high cost of all-flash solutions. All-flash storage systems are no longer out of reach. The NetApp AFF C190 system is a simple, smart and secure all-flash storage solution. It helps smaller organizations modernize their IT infrastructure as part of their data fabric strategy. NetApp AFF C190 system make the benefits of all-flash storage with NetApp ONTAP data management software accessible to organizations that previously thought all-flash was beyond their budget. Simple to deploy and to manage, AFF C190 bundles ONTAP premium software to deliver enterprise-class data services for effortless connectivity to the cloud, storage capacity efficiency for great value and integrated data protection and security. The AFF C190 system is a flexible flash storage solution that is designed to support business applications, virtual machines (VMs), file systems and mixed workloads. The solution offers a single system to manage both file
SMARTSMB / July 2019
and block data, enabling consolidation of workloads for ease of use. It offers comprehensive data protection, including data encryption, helping to secure data and prevent data loss. It also provides Effortless connection to the major public clouds for simple tiering and backup, enabling organizations to more easily and affordably future-proof their IT environments
Highlights: • Fast-provisioning workflows enable you to provision new storage systems in minutes from power-on to serving data. • Simplify your infrastructure by consolidating your file and block data onto a single storage system. • Automatically tier cold data or back up to the cloud to reduce overall storage costs. • Reduce infrastructure costs with the comprehensive storage efficiency capabilities delivered by the AFF C190 system. • The AFF C190 system is optimized for flash and delivers 10 times • faster application response than hybrid arrays.
AVAYA IX COLLABORATION UNIT CU360 The Avaya IX Collaboration Unit is designed for the cloud, and uses unique Avaya next generation technology to deliver all that the cloud has to offer to any business space. It is an ideal stand-alone solution to enable individual workgroups or small to midsize businesses, and it can also be used as an integrated video endpoint to expand your existing collaboration infrastructure. The Avaya CU360 is a compact all-inone video collaboration unit with full HD 1080p performance, a 4K camera sensor, along with 4K display support. Right out of the box, the unit can be up and running in 5 minutes, providing a quick and easy “huddle room” set-up in virtually any space. It can be integrated with an organization’s existing UC platform as well as any existing standards-based video infrastructure. By delivering access to and use of cloud-based applications, it can turn any room into a cloud-enabled collaboration room.
And if that wasn't enough, it can also turn any TV into an Android device with a camera and microphone. This means it can be used for video recording, Skype, and any other functionality that Android apps provide. Thanks to this simplicity and performance, it encourages and empowers employees to use video for their meetings instead of just audio, adding a personal connection to training, brainstorming, and other team meetings and customer interactions. Given that 33% of employees won't use video conferencing if the solutions are difficult to set-up, start or enter; and an equal percentage say they won't use conferencing solutions because of poor audio/video quality, the Avaya CU360 is set to be a gamechanger in collaboration.
Highlights: • All-in-one device
ZOHO COMMERCE Zoho launched an e-commerce solution, Zoho Commerce, to help businesses set up and manage online sales. Zoho Commerce is powered by Zoho's AI assistant Zia and is VAT-compliant. Deep integration with other Zoho products like Z oho Books (online accounting software) and Zoho Campaigns (email campaigns software), helps businesses take care of the front and back end of their e-commerce operations. The e-commerce market in UAE is expected to be $17.8 billion by 2020 as over 80% of the internet users shop online. UAE businesses can set up VAT-compliant online stores within hours, use AI to show product recommendations to visitors and automate processes. Zoho Commerce is available immediately in different plans, starting from $20 per month when billed annually.
• 5-minute set-up • Full HD 1080p performance, 4K camera sensor, and 4K display support • Supports both SIP and H.323 for integration with existing UC platforms • Interoperable with any standards-based video infrastructure
Highlights: • Zoho Commerce has a drag-and-drop website builder and several templates that allow businesses to quickly set up an online store with minimal effort. The templates can be further customized to suit the needs of a business.
• Businesses can streamline and synchronize their orders to ensure they are ﬁled on time, while keeping a track of their inventory. F or tracking items sold across multiple channels, businesses can use Zoho Inventory, which is integrated with Commerce. • Zoho's AI assistant, Zia, helps provide product recommendations to potential customers based on their purchasing pattern. Zia can also automate processes like sending emails on cart abandonment. • Zoho Commerce integrates with several payment gateways, including PayTabs and PayPal. • Zoho Commerce follows VAT rules, and users can easily ﬁle their t axes online using Zoho Books, with which it deeply integrates. • Zoho Commerce is integrated with SalesIQ (live chat and visitor tacking tool), PageSense (A/B testing and conversion rate optimization platform), CRM, and Campaigns, apart from Zoho Books and Inventory. Together, these integrations allow businesses to ﬁnd, convert, and nurture customers. Businesses can also integrate with third-party apps using Zoho Flow.
• Access and support for cloud-based Android apps and collaboration tools
July 2019 / SMARTSMB
RPA SOFTWARE MARKET GREW 63% IN 2018
systems and choose RPA solutions to ensure integration functionality. “The ability to integrate legacy systems is the key driver for RPA projects. By using this technology, organizations can quickly accelerate their digital transformation initiatives, while unlocking the value associated with past technology investments,” said Mr. Biscotti.
REVENUE FORECAST TO REACH $1.3 BILLION IN 2019 Robotic process automation (RPA) software revenue grew 63.1% in 2018 to $846 million, making it the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner expects RPA software revenue to reach $1.3 billion in 2019. “The RPA market has grown since our last forecast, driven by digital business demands as organizations look for ‘straight-through’ processing,” said Fabrizio Biscotti, research vice president at Gartner. “Competition is intense, with nine of the top 10 vendors changing market share position in 2018.” The top-five RPA vendors controlled 47% of the market in 2018. The vendors ranked sixth and seventh achieved triple-digit revenue growth (see Table ). “This makes the top-five ranking appear largely unsettled,” Mr.
Biscotti added. North America continued to dominate the RPA software market, with a 51% share in 2018, but its share dropped by 2 percentage points year over year. Western Europe held the No. 2 position, with a 23% share. Japan came third, with adoption growth of 124% in 2018. “This shows that RPA software is appealing to organizations across the world, due to its quicker deployment cycle times, compared with other options such as business process management platforms and business process outsourcing,” said Mr. Biscotti.
Digital Transformation Efforts Drive RPA Adoption Although RPA software can be found in all industries, the biggest adopters are banks, insurance companies, telcos and utility companies. These organizations traditionally have many legacy
Gartner expects the RPA software market to look very different three years from now. Large software companies, such as IBM, Microsoft and SAP, are partnering with or acquiring RPA software providers, which means they are increasing the awareness and traction of RPA software in their sizable customer bases. At the same time, new vendors are seizing the opportunity to adapt traditional RPA capabilities for digital business demands, such as event stream processing and real-time analytics. “This is an exciting time for RPA vendors,” said Mr. Biscotti. “However, the current top players will face increasing competition, as new entrants will continue to enter a market whose fast evolution is blurring the lines distinguishing RPA from other automation technologies, such as optical character recognition and artificial intelligence.”
Table 1: RPA Software Market Share by Revenue, Worldwide (Millions of Dollars) 2017 Rank
2017-2018 Growth (%)
2018 Market Share (%)
"Source: Gartner (June 2019)"
SMARTSMB / July 2019
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