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ontents

Editorial

Cover Feature - 24 Rising credentials

Cloud first T

he growing shifts of applications and workloads from on premises data centres to the cloud, as well as development of both cloud ready and cloud native applications, underline the growth potential for IaaS (Infrastructure as a service), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS). According to industry experts, large enterprises in the region are taking the opportunity to achieve business competitiveness by getting on to the cloud while the SMEs are opting for scalability and agility. A cloud computing environment can react quickly and, in some cases, automatically to changes in workload demand, and new applications can be provisioned with much less time lag and effort than with traditional computing infrastructures. In a hybrid cloud environment, which is the most common trend, there is a need to manage the multiple cloud platforms with a unifying layer, else you could end up creating silos and complexities. A unifying cloud management platform will keep the different portions of the same application together, however they are hosted, and helps maintain consistency from provisioning to retirement. If the tools for hybrid cloud management are being chosen separately, one of the factors to weigh in would be whether it is open source without vendor lock-in. Choosing a suite of tools that is quite comprehensive and is from a reputed vendor that has a strong roadmap is a critical factor to weigh in while taking the decision. Deploying the cloud must go hand in hand with its effective management. The cloud transformation journey is now well underway and according to Gartner, leading organizations are halfway through the transition to the cloud. While it may have started with Sales and Marketing, this journey is expected to continue over the next few years and cover various functions such as HR, procurement and financial management.

R. Narayan Managing Editor

Payments solution provider OMA Emirates expands into emerging opportunities and new markets

News In Detail

Sonicwall unveils new initiatives to enable SMB channel - 11

IIoT transformation will test CIOs, Pwc survey says - 12 Feature - 18

The shifts in the centre

The demands on the data-centre are rising with need for handling massive data volumes, enabling high speed of data accessibility and offering longevity of data

Techknow

Partner enablement for digital transformation - 14

David Hazard, Vice President - Head of EMEIA channel & sales Operations, Fujitsu Technology Products ‎Fujitsu discusses the company’s focus on enabling partners take solutions to market

The right connections - 22

Dr. Rick Pimpinella, Panduit Fellow, Optical Fibre Research discusses how innovations in optical fibre are helping to provide the next steps in capacity and through-put planning.

Insight

Containers and Microservices accelerate Banking IT - 28 Michael Fettweiss, Sales Manager in Financial Services at Red Hat and Andreas Neeb, Enterprise Solution Architect at Red Hat discuss containers and microservices

The case for Software Defined Storage - 30

Christian Putz, Director, EEMEA at Pure Storage, in which he shares his views on why Software Defined Storage (SDS) is the future of IT infrastructure.

Regulars

News Bytes EyeTech Market Stats

Published by: JNS Media International MFZE Founder & CEO: Vivek Sharma Managing Editor: R. Narayan Art Director: Faiz Ahmed Sr. Sales Manager: R. Subramanyan

P.O Box 121075, Dubai UAE, Tel: +971-4-3705022 Fax: +971-4-3706639, website: www.VARonline.com Sales Inquiries: sales@var-mea.com All other Inquiries: info@var-mea.com | Editorial: editor@var-mea.com Disclaimer: While the publishers have made every attempt possible to get accurate information on published content in this handbook they cannot be held liable for any errors herein.


News Bytes

D-Link to recruit partners for its SMB solutions D-Link is expanding its channel footprint in the GCC as the company wants to grow its SMB and IP PBX solutions offerings in the market. According to the vendor, the plan to expand its channel ecosystem will also see it recruit channel partners in the respective countries in the GCC. Sakkeer Hussain, Director - Sales and Marketing, D-Link MEA, said the company has decided to cement its channel presence to replicate the same success that it is enjoying in the power retail segment across the region. Hussain added that D-Link is seeking to recruit strategic systems integrators in different countries in the GCC so that they can take the company’s SMB and IP PBX solutions to the market. “Despite a tough business climate prevailing in the Middle East at the moment, we have continued to witness wider adoption of our SMB and IP PBX offerings in the market,” he said. “The UAE and Saudi Arabia have continued to perform well for us even in these challenging times.” D-Link wants to on board partners in Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar. “I am encouraged by the penetration D-Link products are having in the power retail segment,” he noted. “We would like to replicate this success with the channel by enlisting systems integrators (SIs) who will take our products to the SMB market,” he said.

4  |  April 2017

GISEC 2017 will spotlight on digital transformation

Cyber security experts from across the region and globe will discuss, debate and highlight the latest smart cities technology and service innovations at the Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference (GISEC) - the Middle East's largest cyber security event – which will run concurrently with the Internet of Things Expo (IoTx) from 21-23 May at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). With an increasing number of cybercrimes and cyberattacks on regional government entities and private organisations, GISEC 2017 will shine its heavyweight spotlight on the need for MENA-based public and private companies operating across diverse industry verticals to invest in and establish solid cyber security framework. The Middle East Cyber Security market is projected to be worth USD22.14 billion by 2022, according to a MarketsandMarkets report. GISEC 2017 will host more than 500 international delegates and 75-plus high-profile speakers. More than 6,000 visitors are expected across the three-day events.

Dell EMC launches Cloud Ecosystem Hub Dell EMC and Intel have announced a new web-based Cloud Ecosystem Hub, to provide EMEA Cloud Service Providers (SPs) and end users with an online one stop site to unify and simplify access to Dell EMC’s cloud proposition and resources. The hub will connect customers with SPs to help establish stronger marketing efforts, enabling digital transformation and significantly growing long term Cloud business. This new unified platform demonstrates Dell EMC’s commitment to providing choice and unique solutions to every customer and removing obstacles to cloud adoption through hosting an online cloud portal for Dell EMC Technology, making it easier for customers to select the right SP to address their needs. For SPs, the hub will be a platform to launch key initiatives and drive new business through the marketplace. “Historically, vendors have failed to support Service Providers in their campaigns and the Dell EMC Cloud Ecosystem represents a game-changing development for both Service Providers and customers alike,” said Eric Velfre, senior vice president, Compute and Networking Sales Dell EMC EMEA. “By simplifying access to the Dell EMC Cloud value proposition and offering content and support for co-marketing projects, we can generate awareness and enable new capabilities to achieve greater profitability for our partners. Through the Dell EMC Cloud Community we can also drive demand from the customer towards Service Providers and capture feedback to help develop future Dell EMC Cloud technologies.”


News Bytes

TechAccess hosts Sales Certifications for Extreme Networks Partners TechAccess, the leading value added distributor in the Middle East, North Africa, LEVANT, Pakistan and Afghanistan has successfully concluded a sales certification program for partners of Extreme Networks in two separate sessions held in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The certification program focused on Extreme Networks’ value proposition, solution portfolio and customer business benefits. Partners were given a brief introduction to TechAccess’ overall business model, as well as an overview of Extreme Network’s products & solutions portfolio. Later sessions included a course on Extreme Network’s Value proposition, business benefits and how best to position Extreme Network’s infrastructure in each market. “The sales certifications help partners’ sales teams to successfully position Extreme Network’s infrastructure, mobility, analytics, software and security solutions to customers as part of their overall value proposition,” said Roshan Sequeira, General Manager – Networks at TechAccess. “Organising regular training and certification sessions is part of our commitment and our constant effort to help partners hone their skills, and capitalise on opportunities by offering solutions, as well as services.”

6  |  April 2017

SAP invests USD 200 Million in UAE SAP SE announced a five-year USD 200 million investment in the UAE, underpinning objectives outlined by the UAE Vision 2021 plan to create economic diversity and jobs for youth.Senior officials participated in the official ribbon-cutting VIP ceremony and inaugurated the new SAP MENA headquarters in Dubai Internet City. SAP also announced plans to establish its first SAP Cloud Data Center in the UAE in 2017. Through the data center, organizations will be able to benefit from SAP cloud solutions, harnessing the real-time capabilities of the powerful in-memory platform, SAP HANA. The SAP data center will accelerate innovative business models especially for the UAE’s government, banking and finance and healthcare sectors. “Our UAE investment plan and our new Middle East and North Africa headquarters in Dubai affirm our commitment to this strategic market, with public-private partnerships fueling digital transformation, co-innovation, talent development and entrepreneurship,” said Luka Mucic, Chief Financial Officer and Member of the Executive Board, SAP SE. The first such investment plan (USD 450 million) had been announced in 2012. SAP, which was recently announced as a Premier Partner for Expo 2020 Dubai, also launched its first Co-Innovation Lab (COIL) in the UAE, its 15th lab across the globe, facilitating project-based co-innovation with customers and partners. SAP Co-Innovation Labs, located in high-tech clusters around the globe, provide opportunities to foster innovations with local ecosystems.

Infor announces growth performance in IMEA Infor, a leading provider of beautiful business applications specialized by industry and built for the cloud, today reported historic triple-digit Year-on-Year growth in 1HFY17. “Expansion in the Middle East and across the larger IMEA region is increasingly being driven by a healthy cloud uptake in what will likely be a decade-long ERP replacement market,” said Tarik Taman, General Manager of IMEA. This trend is in line with a recent report by research firm Markets and Markets, which shows the Middle East cloud applications market set to nearly triple from USD888 million in 2015 to USD2.4 billion in 2020. “The next few years represent the tipping point in the MEA with C-suite executives across industries and countries understanding the macroeconomic catalysts driving the necessity to embrace digital transformation,” said Taman. Taman also commented that “Keeping pace with near double-digit GDP growth in India, expansion in the Middle East Private Sector, and Africa as the last new economic frontier are all fueling Infor’s growth in the region.” Since the launch of the IMEA region in July 2016, Infor has added numerous marquee customers in the Cloud including Saudi Arabian mall and property firm Arabian Centers, which is a division of Al Hokair Industries, India’s largest retailer Future Group, and leading manufacturers Future Pipe Industries and S.K.M. Air-conditioning. “Today, Infor IMEA is a rapidly-expanding 2500+ person organization, with offices in Dubai, Jeddah, Cairo, Tunisia, and six cities across India. With more than 5,000 customers and plans to quintuple the IMEA market share by 2020, Infor remains committed to this fast-growing, dynamic region."


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News Bytes

Fortinet unveils program for Managed Security Service Providers Fortinet announced the launch of a comprehensive new program to empower MSSPs (Managed Security Service Providers) with the tools, expertise, training, and support to accelerate profitability, expand growth, increase market leadership and deliver the industry’s most advanced security services to their customers. Fortinet’s broad MSSP Partner Program offers unique benefits that enable participants to develop, operate, and expand their security service offerings. These include access to Fortinet’s developer network, official documentation, APIs, and tools originally developed for internal use to unlock advanced features and customization capabilities for Fortinet products and solutions. “Facing an increasingly hostile threat landscape, businesses of all sizes are struggling to ensure the security of their sensitive data and technology investments,” said ShadiKhuffash, Regional Sales Manager, Carriers & ISP’s, Fortinet. “These challenges are driving many organizations to seek out security service providers that have the technical expertise and advanced security offerings that can meet their unique business requirements."

8  |  April 2017

Unify holds channel roadshows in KSA with Brightstar Communications Unify, the Atos brand for communications software and services and KSA-based distributor Brightstar Communications, recently hosted a multi-city roadshow in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to cement its channel business in that country. The roadshows were held in Riyadh, Al Khobar and Jeddah as part of the company’s push to cement its channel ecosystem in KSA and to promote the OpenScape Business - All in one Solution for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). According to Unify, the three-city events, saw more than 200 channel partners grace the Riyadh, Al Khobar and Jeddah roadshow. During the keynotes, which were delivered by executives from Unify and Brightstar Communications, the emphasis was on cementing partner alliances and enhancing channel experiences. Asif Khan, Distribution Manager, Middle East and Africa (MEA) at Unify, said the company decided to host a three roadshows in Saudi Arabia to strengthen the channel and outline the partner training initiatives it will be rolling out this year. Khan said Unify used the roadshows to promote OpenScape Business - All in one Solution for Small and Medium Enterprises and launched a partner promotion together with distribution partner Brightstar Communications.

Centrify appoints new EMEA Channel Director Centrify, a leader in securing hybrid enterprises through the power of identity services, has appointed John Andrews as its new EMEA Channel Director. John, who reports to Vice President and Managing Director for EMEA, Andy Heather, will be responsible for setting out and delivering on the company’s long-term channel strategy and building a core set of distribution partners and VARs across the region. This will include countries and regions including the UK, DACH, Middle East, Northern Europe and Southern Europe. John, who joined from BeyondTrust, has spent the last 18 years helping to build a channel presence and coverage in the Middle East and APAC markets. He has worked for market-leading security vendors, including Juniper Networks, F5 and McAfee. He also spent three years as Marketing Director for Computerlinks Distribution. One of the first jobs of the new Channel Director will be to evaluate 250+ partners and focus on establishing a top 10 tier of VARs in each region. Centrify also plans to introduce an enhanced and improved virtual training platform for partners. This will include a one-week boot-camp style delivery into each region. “We have built up a strong channel network across EMEA over the past few years. Now is the time to assess these relationships to ensure our partners have the right skill set, product alignment and are committed to adding real value to our mutual customers,” comments John Andrews. “We also want to ensure we are working with channel partners that can offer specialist skills and routes into core vertical markets, including banking, retail and telcos.gate in DACH and France, StarLink in the Middle East, and DCB in Benelux.


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Yvolv ignites Startups with new program Yvolv, the technology JV between Alibaba Cloud and Meraas, is launching a new program aimed at technology startups. The program, Yvolv Ignite, aims to assist startups to focus on driving their core businesses rather than focusing on technology operations, which consequently helps them reach their growth targets faster and smoother. The program is built to tackle the common challenges that startups face in the early stages, such as overspending on technology and spending time on technology operations. The Yvolv Ignite program helps startups by providing them access to elastic in-country cloud resources, sharing guidance on how to build their technology platform and define a successful customer experience, as well as mentoring them on how to fast-track their growth. “Being a startup ourselves, we fully understand the needs and challenges that other startups face during the early stages. Therefore, we have tailor-made this program along with our partners to best help companies at the start of their journey”, said Fahad Al Hajeri, CEO of Yvolv. The Ignite program offers free Alibaba Cloud Credit, Digital Innovation consultation, mentorship, as well as networking and PR support where they will be invited to events sponsored by Yvolv and Alibaba Cloud, in addition to media coverage.

10  |  April 2017

Genesys acquires Silver Lining Solutions Genesys, a global leader in omnichannel customer experience and contact centre solutions, has completed the acquisition of privately held Silver Lining Solutions Ltd., a provider of industry-leading employee performance optimisation software and Genesys OEM partner. Silver Lining Solutions develops employee performance optimisation software that helps improve employee engagement and performance, enabling organisations to serve customers better, increase sales and operational effectiveness, and reduce costs. The acquisition of Silver Lining Solutions further expands Genesys’ capabilities to help organisations elevate employee engagement and improve business results related to sales, collections, workforce productivity, and customer satisfaction. “Silver Lining Solutions has been a valued Genesys OEM partner since 2009,” said Paul Segre, chief executive officer of Genesys. “Employee engagement is key to customer experience. This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to innovation and leadership in this rapidly evolving market. Assessing and evaluating employee behaviors, skills, and capabilities is critical for managing and understanding overall workforce performance and customer satisfaction – and ultimately, in improving a company’s bottom line.” Genesys has been offering the Silver Lining Solutions Performance DNA portfolio comprised of Optimizer and Planner, through Genesys Skills Management, which bundles Genesys Skills Assessor with Genesys Training Manager into one package.

Kodak Alaris appoints Allscan as Value Added Distributor for the Middle East Kodak Alaris Information Management has signed a ValueAdded Distributor (VAD) partnership with Allscan Middle East that will enable the distributor to promote and offer the entire portfolio of Kodak Alaris document scanners and information management software to enterprises across the Middle East. Allscan will also offer Kodak Alaris backed local service and support for organisations that use the company’s award-winning document scanners. The agreement is an extension of the excellent partnership the two companies have shared in the South African market over the last several years. Allscan recently opened an office in Dubai and is looking to ramp up business quickly and expand its reseller ecosystem in order to cater to increasing market demand. Allscan brings to the region over 30 years of experience in information management and has been involved in successful mega projects for governments and large enterprises like Exxaro and De Beers, two of the largest mining companies in South Arica. Allscan is a pioneer in the ‘project document control’ space, setting up teams on-site to manage documents throughout the complete life cycle of a project. Chris Botha, Managing Director at Allscan Middle East says, “The construction industry in the region is buoyant and there no doubt will be an increased number of construction projects, especially in Dubai as Expo 2020 nears. We plan to tap into the huge potential for project document control as we begin to educate developers and project owners about the vast benefits the service offers in terms of regulatory compliance and reduced claims settlement after project close-out. Kodak Alaris solutions will be an integral part of the solution.”


News In Detail

S

onicWall has introduced two initiatives designed to help partners secure customers in the shifting cyber arms race – SonicWall University to train partners on cybersecurity, and new global marketing programs and incentives to help the SonicWall channel deliver their cybersecurity solutions and services for small and mediumsize businesses (SMBs). The company announced that over 10,000 partners have already registered as SonicWall resellers since the SonicWallSecureFirst Partner Program was announced on November 1, 2016, following its spin-off as a separate independent company. Partners have registered for SecureFirst from 90 countries, underscoring the global nature of the cyber arms race and the extensive reach of SonicWall’s channel. According to the company, record numbers of partners have participated in SonicWall educational events, including attendance at SonicWall Virtual PEAK Performance in March 2017 which more than doubled year-over-year to over 1,300 partners. “The response from SonicWall’s channel partners to our spin out far exceeded even our own expectations,” said Bill Conner, President and CEO, SonicWall. “We’re excited that 10,000 partners have already joined the SecureFirst Partner Program and pleased to welcome 2,000 new partners to SonicWall. Today, we are announcing major investments in education and marketing to help enable these 10,000 partners to assist their customers with securing their business. We know these cyber



Sonicwall unveils SMB channel intiatives threats are shifting and small to medium-size businesses are increasingly becoming targets, but they often lack in-house expertise and rely on trusted partners to keep their infrastructure secure.” SonicWall has also made unprecedented investments in mining and analysing data collected by the SonicWall Global Response Intelligent Defense (GRID) Threat Network which collects real-time data from more than a million sensors worldwide. Many small to medium-size businesses are extremely shorthanded when it comes to having the resources on hand to address these new advanced threats. Information security non-profit ISACA predicts a shortage

of two million cybersecurity professionals by 2019. Partners are invaluable IT consultants helping SMBs put in place the technologies to detect and prevent security breaches, but partners continue to clamour for more real-time education. To address the lack of trained cybersecurity resources available to SMBs and enable SonicWall partners to provide the best real-time industry offerings to their customers, SonicWall unveiled SonicWall University. This channel enablement program is designed as an extension of the SecureFirst Partner Program, helping communicate insights SonicWall has gleaned from the SonicWall GRID Threat Network to the partner

community in a structure they can learn from easily. More than 5,600 individuals in the SonicWall channel already have earned technical certifications through existing SonicWall certification programs which will continue. Now partners can also access SonicWall University with rich enablement content, tools and resources delivered via an ondemand, web-based platform. SonicWall University highlights include specialised, role-based training and accreditation tailored to the three different audiences of sales, systems engineers and support team members. This opens up training to new audiences beyond traditional post-sales technical certification. April 2017  |  11


News In Detail

IIoT transformation will test CIOs, PwC survey says

T

he CIO's role in defining a company’s strategy has become more important than ever, according to a new PwC report that was launched ahead of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS). In its latest report, PwC said that managing the transition to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will be a highly complex task, which CIOs cannot afford to miss out on. It points to studies that show that by 2020, companies will likely spend $1.7 trillion a year on the combined industrial and consumer Internet of Things

12  |  April 2017

(IoT). That transformation to IIoT is materializing fast, cited a recent PwC Industry 4.0 Survey which found that industrial companies are planning to commit approximately $907 billion annually to their IIoT initiatives. Those companies expect $421 billion in cost reductions and $493 billion in increased revenues annually from the implementation of IIoT, with 55% expecting a payback within two years. The sheer size of the Industrial IoT opportunity, which PwC says far outweighs all expectations of the consumer oriented IoT, means that CIOs will have to take

centre stage in leading a digital transformation that aligns strategy and technology with the manufacturing environment and the manufactured product. Dr. Anil Khurana, Partner, Strategy & Innovation at PwC Middle East and the report’s lead author, said, “The IIoT will place huge demands on the CIO. It is indeed an opportunity that few will want to miss. First-mover status is critical to gaining a competitive edge as companies begin moving en masse to reap the benefit of digitization. Our research into the IIoT domain suggests that CIOs take six important steps towards their companies’ future digital transformation, which has been outlined at length in the report. These steps include key elements such as the development of a digital strategy, building capabilities and eventually, initiating pilot programmes.” Dr. Khurana added, “Supporting the GMIS vision to promote manufacturing and industrial innovation; driving towards sustainable development; and contributing to wealth generation and prosperity, PwC has facilitated connections between enterprises of all sizes that are now embracing the 4th Industrial Revolution, or 4IR, and embracing IIoT. PwC has facilitated the development of the pilot programmes being discussed and presented at GMIS”. The six necessary steps for IIoT Transformation, as per PwC’s report are: 1. Map out an Industry 4.0 Strategy: evaluate your

company’s digital maturity and set clear targets for the next five years. Then prioritize pilot programmes, capabilities, and architectural revisions that will bring the most value to the business and align with overall strategy 2. Create initial pilot programmes: to establish proof of concept and demonstrate business value 3. Define the capabilities that will be needed: building on lessons learned from pilots, map out in detail what distinctive capabilities are needed to achieve business vision. 4. Become a virtuoso in data analytics 5. Transform into a digital enterprise: capturing the full potential of Industry 4.0 will require company-wide transformation 6. Actively plan an ecosystem approach: develop complete products and solutions for customers and use partnerships to align with various platforms Badr Al-Olama, Chief Executive Officer, Strata Manufacturing, and Head of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit Organising Committee, said: “For the manufacturing sector, the Industrial Internet of Things is at the heart of 4IR. As PwC points out in this report, the CIO is the key driver in helping organisations to adopt IIoT, aligning business strategy with technology transformation. Their role is to ‘normalise’ innovation in large, complex organisations, drawing on a new capacity to intelligently connect people, processes and data through devices and sensors.


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TechKnow | Fujitsu

Partner enablement for digital transformation David Hazard Vice President, EMEIA Channel & Sales Operations Head Fujitsu Technology

Discuss how Fujitsu is looking at the impact of the shifts in IT in terms of solutions made available for the channel? The shift from old fashioned robust old fashioned IT methodologies and systems towards the new deployed fast IT, digital applications is happening very quickly. The consulting and deploying services required to manage the infrastructure is changing as well. Fujitsu has all of those solutions and services in our end to end portfolio. We have been more recognized in the Technology client computing part of our ICT portfolio. For instance, many people know we make good notebooks,

14  |  April 2017

tablets, workstations etc. Some know we make good servers, storage and compute technology. But not many are aware we also have the solutions that answers needs ranging from enabling migration to a hybrid cloud environment to data security solutions for IoT deployments etc. The message we want to send to the market is that we provide those end to end solutions for mid-market and enterprise customers and are enabling our partners in taking such solutions to their customers. Discuss the Enterprise focus and success in the segment so far? What is the partner

David Hazard, Vice President - Head of EMEIA channel & sales Operations, Fujitsu Technology Products - F‎ ujitsu discusses the company’s focus on enabling partners in taking solutions to market

focus in this business? We want to consolidate and build on our enterprise success across EMEA. We want to bridge the perception gap and be seen as not only a client computing devices vendor but also as an enterprise solutions vendor. We have some very good client references across the datacenter integration space, managed infrastructure services, security etc. We do a lot of these business through our channel. One of the big tasks ahead of us is how we enable and train our channel partners to take these digital solutions and services to customers. As I mentioned, while we have probably been well known as

a Technology vendor, there is room for increasing the awareness in the value add channel about the end to end solutions we offer in the enterprise segment. We want to get closer to the VADs, the value add resellers and to the customers. Elaborate on specific opportunities that as a company you are focused on? SAP integration is an area where we have been quite successful and we continue to see growth in that segment. We see growth for the Fujitsu PRIMEFLEX for Hadoop integrated systems. There is growth potential for PRIMEFLEX


TechKnow | Fujitsu

Cluster-in-a-box solutions, which is a hyper-converged solution including Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 pre-installed and preconfigured as virtualized high availability cluster. We see traction for such solutions especially in the mid-market segment, where customers maybe looking for their first deployments of virtual machines and also need to ensure it doesn’t cost a fortune. They would be looking for something that gets deployed relatively quickly and tested out. We are investing a lot in open stack, Microsoft cluster in a box, SAP and Hadoop, HPC as growth areas of focus. How do you see SME customers taking advantage of the new age solutions? There are thousands of corporate customers who want to do what large enterprises do but they don’t have the millions to invest in technologies that will get them to do all of what they wanted to. Five years ago, setting up a technology company would need 5 million USD but today you could set up a company with probably five thousand USD and some computers with access to the cloud. You don’t need the high cost infrastructure anymore. The way they want to do enable their infrastructure is without the complexities of deployments and integration. The SMB is a strong focus for us and our partners as they need ready to deploy integrated solutions with which

16  |  April 2017

"We need to develop the value propositions around the cloud for this market and this is on our agenda with our distributors because they are best placed to enable the partners."

they don’t need to contend with complexities around deployment. How are you managing the partners on this transformational journey? For partners we offer the Fujitsu SELECT program under which once they come on board as Fujitsu registered partners, that allows us to send them information and provide them access to our partner portal. At the next level of this program, we have Experts who would need to have a couple of people certified and accredited on the Primergy server for instance. What we are changing is that rather than ask them to retrain on the server technologies each year, we are asking them to look at what the integrated systems that include servers and storage are being used for and then train around those solution requirements. So we train them to take these solutions to market and focus on strategic areas of digitalisation and digital transformation. We are encouraging our partners to look at specializations in Hadoop, SAP integration, Microsoft cluster in a box, cloud, security etc. it is important they have a good understanding of the technology but it is more important to know the contexts and environments the solutions built around these technologies go into.

How do you see the role for distributors changing and what is the extent of your engagement with them? Across the region including Europe, we work with about 90 to 100 distributors. Several of these are large distributors. Over the recent times, there has been consolidation in the distribution segment with some large ones acquiring the smaller. Earlier, either you were a volume or you were a value distributor but that is changing. In a few years from now, you will just have distributors who will focus across volume and value opportunities. We are making sure that our distributors are in sync with our end to end diverse portfolio and that this doesn’t stop with products but could extend into services such as opportunities around K5 cloud integration (a key part of the Fujitsu Digital Business Platform MetaArc) and potentially into IoT, AI integration etc in future. The distribution and the reseller channel go hand in hand. A reseller cannot afford direct relationship management with 200-250 vendors and which is why it is easier for them to work with distributors. Resellers are starting to figure out areas they want to specialize and some are big enough to do all of them. The role of the vendor is to educate, enable provide rebate schemes and make it easy for them to buy

from us always via a distributor. There will be a certain number of tier-one partners who buy directly from us and there will a small number of corporate and government customers who we sell to directly. Discuss success with your cloud and the role for the distributor and the channel in taking it to market? We have had a phased launch of K5, our nextgeneration IaaS and PaaS cloud service. This cloud computing platform enables digital transformation through integrating traditional IT environments into new cloudbased technologies. We have launched in UK, Germany, the Nordic countries and a couple of other Western Europe countries. We already some customer references but we are not competing with AWS or Azure and are rather enabling integration of applications into those environments. We need to develop the value propositions around the cloud for this market and this is on our agenda with our distributors because they are best placed to enable the partners. For instance, some of the larger distributors are developing large cloud aggregation platforms and such platform enable resellers that are looking to put together some cloud solutions from different vendors and need help with the consolidation of billing, reporting and administration from a central portal.


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Cover Feature | Data Centre

The shifts in the centre The demands on the data-centre are rising with needs for handling massive data volumes, enabling high speed of data accessibility and offering longevity of data

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he data-centre remains pivotal to delivering IT applications for commercial and consumer consumption. In the region, the investments continue to be robust. Strong economic growth, rapid take-up of smart devices, the rise of Smart Cities, and increased investment in megaprojects like World Expo 2020 in Dubai and 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar are all driving business demands for more agile IT infrastructure. The data-centres of today are evolving to support the newer data intensive applications with real time output. Mohannad Abuissa, Head of Sales Engineering - East Region, Cisco Middle East says, “Cloud, mobility, and big data applications are causing a shift in the data-centre model. New applications are placing demands on the infrastructure in new ways. Distributed applications (for example, Big Data and Hadoop), database applications that run on bare metal, virtualized applications running in

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multi-hypervisor environments, and cloudbased applications that are available on demand all impose different demands on infrastructure.” Summarizing the changes and trends being see in the data-centre segment, Tarek Helmy, Regional Director Gulf and Middle East, South & East Africa of Nexans Cabling Solutions says, “The pace of innovation in data-centre infrastructure is increasing with more innovation in the past five years than in the previous 15 years. With the ever-increasing number of mobile devices and IoT (Internet of Things), data has also grown and increased exponentially. Data-centres today need higher speeds, greater design flexibility and a cost-effective migration path. There are a lot of changes going on in datacentres such as centralization of sites and growth of cloud based solutions. They also require greater design flexibility and a cost-effective migration path. The trend in data-centres is towards more data and

bandwidth. Data-centre infrastructure is now seen to extend beyond brick and mortar walls. There is a lot of data today being hosted with external service providers. Servers are getting consolidated and virtualized. Massive data volumes, speed of data accessibility and the longevity of data are key drivers for the transformation of data-centres in the Middle East. Cloud computing is one of the main technologies driving this change. Mohannad adds, “Boosted by the region's rise in Big Data, business analytics, and sharing of rich media, datacentres need to support new business models. The vast majority of the datacentre traffic is not caused by end users, but rather by data-centres and cloudcomputing workloads used in activities that are virtually invisible to individuals.”

Key trends Among other aspects, network monitoring


and management as well as integrated infrastructure are key facets of the next generation data-centre. Mohannad says, “The Virtualization of physical data-centre infrastructure has built a flexible foundation for many enterprises, and attention is now turning to enabling centralized visibility of all applications and systems in order to control performance and service management. Also, an end-toend data-centre solution should be able to integrate computing, storage, networking, virtualization, and management into a single platform and more efficiently support evolving business applications.” More global co-location third party data-centre service providers are establishing their presence in the region. More customers, both in the enterprise and the SMB are preferring co-location as an option to manage their IT needs. Mohannad says, “There are definitely more global players establishing their presence in the region. With traditional data-centre architecture, IT organizations often spend as much as 70-80 percent of their resources just maintaining the existing infrastructure. The evolution to cloud computing and IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) has allowed organisations to make significant improvements in efficiency and agility, ultimately freeing IT resources from the burden of maintenance to focus more on delivering innovation.” He adds, “Many enterprises, managed services providers and cloud providers in the region are choosing co-location, where they lease the data-centre space rather than buying or building their own data-centres. This is especially true in the case of SMB’s who are looking to build business continuity and disaster recovery solutions without incurring the high cost of building a secondary or a tertiary datacentre within a country. Colocation service providers can benefit from economies of scale, and thus are able to provide cost effective and attractive DRaaS offerings to lure SMB’s in. Cloud adoption has matured to an advanced stage where enterprises are increasingly relying more on cloud



infrastructure. According to Jeroen Schlosser, MD, Equinix MENA, “Enterprises are already using multiple clouds today, and the need to connect more diverse and traditionally divided ecosystems with demanding expectations around performance, user experience and seamless integration will push this trend more aggresively in the coming year. 2017 will be the tipping point, when the convergence of multiple clouds across the enterprise – data, applications, infrastructure and personal clouds – will fundamentally change the way people and businesses operate.” With hybrid cloud deployments very much part of IT enterprise investments in infrastructure build-up, CIOs are faced with choices as to best options. data integrity may influence the decision making of Enterprise to SMB customers who may prefer cloud services hosted from locally based data-centres. Mohannad opines, “Going forward every enterprise will live in a world of multiple clouds, and building a hybrid cloud strategy that includes both publiccloud and on-premises assets will be a top item on every CIO’s agenda. A CIO has to balance business and technical considerations such as being able to achieve the efficiencies and disruption that a public cloud provides, while staying within the confines of regulations around data sovereignty, providing acceptable application latencies, and avoiding cloud lock-in. It is for such considerations that we see growth in the data-centre segment. Vendors like Cisco, and local service providers and systems integrators wanting to create new revenue streams have a great opportunity to help their customers build their cloud solutions, whether private or hybrid.”

SDN ramping up The software defined focus in networking, storage, compute etc is rising. Jeroen says, “Networking that previously depended on physical wiring can now be dynamically controlled via software. Going forward, the next

Mohannad Abuissa Sales Engineering Head, East Region Cisco MIddle East

generation infrastructure - compute, storage, network and data-centres will be open source based. Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) centralize and automate the management of large, distributed multi-data-centre networks using simple application level policies. “ Cisco is focused on innovations that break down silos across the components of the data-centre, and add programmability to all layers of the data-centre to support increasingly virtualized and distributed applications. Among Cisco’s innovations are the Unified Computing System (UCS), which uses a Unified Fabric to converge both SAN and LAN connections into a single infrastructure and Cisco’s Application-Centric Infrastructure (ACI), or SDN 2.0, which simplifies and accelerates the deployment of applications, reduces IT costs and operational errors, and helps make businesses more agile. “Today's data-centre architecture must support a highly-mobile workforce, proliferation of devices, data-driven April 2017  |  19


Cover Feature | Data Centre

Tarek Helmy Regional Director Gulf & ME, South & East Africa Nexans

business models, and be capable of seamlessly incorporating cloud applications and services. To meet these diverse requirements, Cisco offers the Unified Data-centre platform, a unified data-centre architecture that combines compute, storage, network and management into a platform designed to automate IT as a service across physical and virtual environments, resulting in increased budget efficiency, more agile business responsiveness, and simplified IT operations. The Unified Data-centre also offers a flexible and open data-centre architecture that will support legacy infrastructure components, as well as delivery of ITas-a-Service and cloud services. Cisco’s Software-defined Networking (SDN) strategy for the Data-centre is built around the 3 key pillars of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), Programmable Fabric and Programmable Network Cisco’s competitor, Juniper’s new Open Cloud incorporates technologies in routing, switching, packet optical, network management and software-defined networking (SDN) Interconnect. It offers customers a flexible and open approach to architecting data-centre networks to meet the demands of public, private and hybrid multi-cloud environments.

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According to Masum Mir, vice president of Product, Solutions & Technical Marketing, Juniper Development and Innovation at Juniper Networks, “The demand for cloud services is bringing forth a tidal wave of change and new opportunities for the networking industry. The DCI infrastructure demands bandwidth capacity, secure connectivity and operational simplicity. The Open Cloud Interconnect solution can play a pivotal role within a technology transition cycle that’s heading towards a digitally cohesive era where automation, mega-services and machine learning will reign supreme.”

Need for high speed cabling One of the fundamental principles of the data-centre of the future, both globally and in the Middle East region, will be the ability to dynamically deliver business critical applications. To enable this, next generation data-centre infrastructure also entails a focus on the structured cabling part. Else, with Internal data-centre traffic expected to grow 80% over the next three years, networks are at risk of becoming bandwidth bottlenecks. Dr. Rick Pimpinella, Panduit Fellow, Optical Fibre Research says, “Just as the storage memory in your computer, USB drive, or smart phone rapidly reaches its

Jeroen Schlosser MD Equinix MENA

storage limit with photographs, music, and other data, the data-centre operator must plan for the unrelenting demand for more data as it is the foundation for business continuity. To meet future needs, it is important to focus on next generation network infrastructure. A critical component of the infrastructure is the structured cabling, and its important to know if it can support the next generation network resources and transceiver technology designed for higher speed data rates and maximum channel reaches.” It has become more imperative than ever for data-centre infrastructure managers to carefully consider their network architecture. In today’s competitive business environment, there is a need to implement the most cost-effective, future-proof connectivity infrastructure quickly and efficiently. Server virtualization is one of the trends in increasing the efficiency of data-centres; however, it can lead to stresses in the supporting connectivity infrastructure. Tarek elaborates, “The ever-increasing flow of traffic - from the cloud in particular is putting pressure on conventional network architectures, particularly in terms of ensuring business continuity. These developments affecting the data-centre environment place a new series of demands on the network at


"The primary role of data-centre cabling is to facilitate and enable this unprecedented growth in data and bandwidth while at the same time maximising data-centres’ up-time. To date network speeds as high as 200Gb/s are being discussed. Fiber is best placed to support such high network speeds."

the level of cabling infrastructure, and are changing datacentre design from the ground level up.” Elaborating the difference between LAN in an office and in a data-centre, Tarek explains, “In data-centres, the main requirements are high-speed links with condensed number or terminations (fiber & copper). The highspeed links require either fiber links, which are usually pre-terminated fiber cables to support switch-to-switch connectivity or high-end copper technology such as Cat6A, Cat7A or Cat8 to support server-to-switch connectivity.” Cabling needs to support the increasing need for high speed and bandwidth. Looking at bandwidth needs in data-centres, data-centre connectivity can be seen as “switch-to-switch” vs. “serverto switch” links. Tarek adds, “Switch-to-switch connections is fiber rich, while in serverto-switch more copper solutions are used. Parallel optics enables us to achieve up to 100GB today with multimode fibers (OM3 & OM4). Two-lane singlemode is also possible but will be much more expensive because of higher transceiver costs. Upcoming copper standard of 25Gb/s over copper (25GBASE-T) will also enable us to see more copper ports to support high



speed server-to-switch connectivity.” Optimum set ups include a mixture of copper and fiber cabling. Copper cabling should support migration paths to connect servers running from 1G to eventually 25G and possibly 40G whereas fiber cabling should connect network switches running from 10G to eventually 100G. Good quality cabling and careful design help to minimize disruptions. On the need to future proof investments in cabling, Tarek says, ”The primary role of data-centre cabling is to facilitate and enable this unprecedented growth in data and bandwidth while at the same time maximising data-centres’ up-time. To date network speeds as high as 200Gb/s are being discussed. Fiber is best placed to support such high network speeds.” As part of its vision of supporting the world’s growing data needs, Nexans recently launched new copper-based solutions to support bandwidths of 25Gb/s and 40Gb/s Ethernet and ultra-high density LANmark ENSPACE solutions for data-centres. Dr. Rick elaborate the importance to future proof structured cabling as

it is always an extensive upgrade and therefore is quite wise to do it with a longer time frame in context. He says, “To fully utilise all fibre strands, the data-centre infrastructure must be carefully designed with an upgrade path in mind. A more efficient upgrade path would be to replace 10GBASE-SR transceivers with next generation 50GBASE-SR transceivers (to be ratified in 2018), which utilises the same duplex fibre structured cabling. The higher speed 50Gb/s solution is projected to be lower cost and utilises an advanced modulation scheme which can be extended with future 200 Gb/s transceivers. Focusing on next generation data-centre infrastructure will provide a cost effective flexible infrastructure for years to come.” While the data-centre continues to evolve as the hub of IT infrastructure that enables IT applications, the challenge is to future-proof the data centre and how you should manage and support your data centre and your on-premise systems. Among the challenges anticipated, data-centres in future will have to manage application solutions based on containers and micro-services delivered in the cloud and utilising SDN and network function virtualisation (NFW).

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TechKnow | Panduit

Dr. Rick Pimpinella, Panduit Fellow, Optical Fibre Research discusses how innovations in optical fibre are helping to provide the next steps in capacity and through-put planning.

The right connections How do you expect fibre technologies to advance to meet increasing demand? Fibre technologies will evolve in response to the applications bandwidth needs. To support higher data rates over short channel reaches (< 100m), multimode fibre will continue to offer the lowest cost optical solutions. However, for future Terabit per second data communications, single-mode fibre (SMF) will ultimately be required. As network equipment data rates increase, fibre types must also evolve to support the optical transceivers. For example, consider the evolution of multimode fibre. Categories OM1 and OM2 MMF provided the necessary bandwidth and channel reach for 50Mb/s and 200Mb/s optical data links introduced in the early 1980’s. These early optical data links utilised light emitting diodes (LEDs) operating in the 1300nm window and supported reaches up to 2km. However, 20 years later when data rates increased to 10Gb/s, LEDs and OM1/ OM2 MMF had to be replaced with VCSEL

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technology and laser optimised Categories OM3 and OM4 MMF operating in the 850nm window, supporting reaches up to 300m and 400m respectively. The demand for fibre type is driven by application bandwidth requirements and cost. Although MMF is more expensive to manufacture than SMF, single-mode transceivers are significantly more expensive. Traditionally, SMF transceivers have been at least 3 times more expensive. For short reach applications, less than 500m, the transceivers dominate the total channel cost. As data rates increase beyond 400Gb/s, newer MMF technology capable of supporting multiple wavelengths must be deployed. Panduit’s Signature Core fibre and the recently standardised Wide Band MMF (OM5), developed within a TIA Task Force Chaired by Panduit, are designed to support multiple wavelengths. However, these wideband MMFs support relatively short channels (<200m) compared to SMF, and therefore, the

Dr. Rick Pimpinella Pandiuit Fellow Optical Fibre Research

demand for SMF in large and hyper scale data centers will increase. What challenges will we face when rolling out these fibre developments? One major challenge facing the data center operator is understanding what fibre type to install; single-mode or multimode and if multimode, which Category: OM3, OM4, or OM5. There is a great deal of “specmanship” and misinformation regarding the best fibre type, maximum channel reach, optical power margin, and overall installed cost. To achieve higher data rates beyond 50Gb/s, one must employ multiple fibre pairs (parallel optics), or multiple wavelengths (wavelength division multiplexing, WDM). For the transmission of Ethernet over multimode fibre, the IEEE 802.3 Standards body specifies parallel fibre pairs for aggregate data rates up to 400 Gb/s. Multimode transceivers utilising multiple wavelengths for transmission over a single duplex fibre pair is defined


"The challenge for selecting a fibre type depends on cost, future data rate needs, and maximum channel reach. SMF will support all future data rates and channel reaches, but the performance comes at a cost premium on the order of 3 to 5 times that of multimode channels."

in Multi-Source Agreements (MSAs) between transceiver manufacturers in order to attain market acceptance and to ensure interoperability. For data rates up to 400 Gb/s over MMF, the IEEE specifies parallel optics, but beyond 400Gb/s both parallel optics and Short wavelength WDM (SWDM) must be utilised. The challenge for selecting a fibre type depends on cost, future data rate needs, and maximum channel reach. SMF will support all future data rates and channel reaches, but the performance comes at a cost premium on the order of 3 to 5 times that of multimode channels. For SWDM, wide band fibre such as Signature Core or OM5 will be required to guarantee performance over the specified channel reaches with a high confidence level. All specified channel reaches are based on minimally compliant optical transceivers and the bandwidth of OM3 and OM4 laser optimised multimode fibre. Transceiver manufacturers often provide enhanced transceivers that can support longer reaches. For example, 40GBASESR4 has a standards specified reach of 150m over OM4, while an enhanced version of this transceiver can support a reach of 400m. A primary objective in developing the next generation data rate is maintaining the structured cabling infrastructure. To this end, 40GBASE-SR4, 100GBASE-SR4, and the future 200GBASE-SR4 currently under development, all utilises the same four fibre pair structured cabling. In addition, for each of these solutions the four parallel fibre pairs can be “broken out” (separated) into four discrete 10GBASE-SR, 25GBASE-SR, and 50GBASESR channels respectively. It is important to note SWDM transceivers do not support breakout.

For data rates up to 400Gb/s, there is little if any risk using your existing structured cabling comprising OM3 and OM4 fibre types. However, in the event the cabling contains marginally compliant fibres it is possible the channel efficiency would be reduced due to occasional frame errors. As data rates increase and technology evolves, lower data rates will become obsolete, as did 50 and 200 megabit per second optical data links. Therefore, the structured cabling should be capable of supporting future specified higher data rates network infrastructure. This suggests the deployment of parallel OM3 or OM4 fibres for short channel reaches less than 75 meters and SigCore or OM5 for reaches up to 150m. Single-mode will likely continue to be more expensive for at least 5 to 10 more years. How are cabling standards developing

to reflect the importance of future-proofing infrastructure? The development of cabling standards must precede the adoption of application standards and future network infrastructure. Only fibres specified by leading standards development organisations such as TIA or IEC are included as media type options in application standards such as Ethernet and Fibre Channel. The development of cabling standards and future higher speed infrastructure applications are coordinated by means of liaison letters and/or active participants in multiple standards bodies. Deploying standards compliant data centre infrastructure will ensure a reliable data centre network. Although SMF is significantly less expensive, the transceiver cost dominates the total cost of the channel. The cost of a multimode channel exceeds that of a single-mode channel at 555m. The data based on the cost to distributors.

What do data centres risk by not supporting the push towards 400G?



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Feature | OMA Emirates

Rising credentials Payments solution provider OMA Emirates expands into emerging opportunities and new markets

Niranj Sangal Group CEO OMA Emirates

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MA Emirates, a leading provider in the region for card personalization, payment issuance and payment acquiring systems through global delivery platforms, has set its sights on further expansions into emerging opportunities and additional markets. The UAE headquartered solution provider has been fast expanding its operations in various other regions including India, SE. Asia and Africa. As Banks look at enabling and enhancing digital modes of transactions and conscience for customers, the opportunities are indeed rising for companies like OMA Emirates. Niranj Sangal, Group CEO, OMA Emirates who has been leading the expansion of OMA into several markets says, “In the past one year, digital banking has been making strides with initiatives from several Banks. While also saving costs on opening a Branch, most Banks are also trying to ensure people use these technologies to transact rather than visiting the branches on a daily basis.” OMA Emirates counts several leading Banks in the region among its clients and has been a pioneer in digital banking technologies since the past decade. The solutions provider is now focusing on mobile card issuance and enabling omnichannel payment options for customers. Niranj says, “Where we used to do card issuance within a week, we now do it instantaneously. We are looking at getting an Omni-channel experience in place where via the mobile, a card is issued and gets onto a virtual card and you start transacting immediately, such as money transfers from one account to another, depositing etc. With Mobile issuance, Banks will have the option to issue a card virtually and set it up on the user’s device, which is a secured device and allow it to ‘tap and go’ via channels that allows contactless payments. We are promoting the technology in a big way.” Retail has also been a strong segment of focus for OMA. Several of the retail chains in the region have been adopting mobile technologies including contactless ‘tap and go’ for transactions. “Retail is one of the best industries you



could focus on. Margins may be eroding but consumer footfall and transactions remain on the higher side. Retail has been adopting loyalty cards. We are investing very heavily into technology for retail. Hypermarkets are opting for contactless options as they see the number of customers rising, they want to eliminate the queue factor. It also eases the system for installment purchases when a retailer has a tie-up with a Bank. 20% of purchases typically are made on the spur of the moment and such facilities help enable these purchases. We are trying to eliminate the instances where cash is a problem.” OMA also offers a retail suite that connects end to end. OMA Retail Suite is an ecosystem of web portals and Windows, Android applications, and a fully automated ERP system, scalable for future requirements. It enables merchants to connect with their suppliers as well as provides the ground work for loyalty and Business-to-Consumer gift programs. The suite is connected with the CRM and offers market analytics of customer behavior. This enables targeted SMS push notifications for the retailer. Niranj elaborates, “Among the areas we are focusing on is deploying geofencing, attracting people in the targeted neighborhood of a store or mall. Special offers or announcements can be pushed directly to prospective customers when they are at or near a particular location. We are also looking to do a PoC by mid-year with a mall and see the outcomes with customer behavior as to what they bought when they came, their preferences, cost factors etc.”

Partnering with leaders The company has been an exclusive partner for several leading manufacturers of POS terminals and card embossing machines. It partners with Ingenico, a leading manufacturer of all formats of POS terminals, from desktop to portables and also with CIM, a manufacturer of plastic card printing systems. They also partner with companies including Thales e-Security for payment hardware security modules. Niranj says, “We are exclusive partners

for Ingenico for the past 15 years in the region and have market penetration of about 50%, selling in the range of 50 to 80,000 units of these POS terminals a year. Ingenico has payment devices for different segments. There are different variants of the same device. A device used in Carrefour cannot be used in a petrol station because they require different certifications. Our solution is ported on these terminals.” “We also distribute the CIM embossing machines from which cards are made. We have over 70% market share in the Middle East- UAE, Qatar, Oman for those machines,” he adds. Recently, the company also signed up SKIDATA for parking management terminals. OMA Emirates will provide Ingenico’s iSelf solution with hardware that will be integrated with SKIDATA’s software and will comply with their required specifications. The project entails quick and easy payment of parking fees with hardware and software that will allow payment through credit and debit cards. The enablement of EMV chip and PIN and magstripe transactions on kiosks improves customer interactivity which are simple, faster and more secure. It also supports the increasing use of use of contactless payments in the region. While OMA is an end to end provider for retail POS, the company’s solutions also allow integration of third party apps as per customer requirements. “There are certain solutions that end users have from others. For instance, in retail, there would be a banking application to swipe in and transact and then we could integrate a gift redemption app, which would be from us. However, we also allow third party app integration, in order to widen the robustness and the scope of opportunity and also to keep in view any cost considerations that the customer may have.” He adds, “At the end of the day, we are looking at enabling CAPEX savings for the customer and move to an OPEX model. A lot of retailers have been therefore moving towards enabling omnichannel. Carrefour was the first to adopt, Landmark has April 2017  |  25


Feature | OMA Emirates

"We are investing very heavily into technology for retail. Hypermarkets are opting for contactless options as they see the number of customers rising, they want to eliminate the queue factor."

moved in. Others like Westzone and Hyperpanda are also adopting.” At the beginning of the year, OMA Emirates also announced investment into India based MobiSwipe, a company that specializes in Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) solutions. The solution enables merchants to accept both credit and debit card payments via a simple mobile application and provides an innovative, convenient and economical payment option to a wide range of business sectors. The mPOS solutions which is PCI-DSS and PA-DSS compliant is highly secure with payments accepted anywhere and anytime by using an Android smartphone or tablet that is loaded with the MobiSwipe application that is connected to an EMV certified pocket-size card reader. The solution runs on robust Ingenico payment terminals which are clearly supported by mPOS applications. “We are seeing a strong demand for MobiSwipe in Oman and UAE where there some major projects underway. Mobiswipe uses a platform that enables mPOS. We distribute the terminals here. These are very small terminals connected to a phone and doesn’t take much investment. Currently we use Ingenico terminals but plan to use more than one vendor which will ensure supply is always there.” One of the challenges with wider deployment of virtual cards is that not all smartphones comply to required standards of security. Niranj says, “Logically you can store a card as long as it is secured; some phones don’t offer a secured environment which means they cannot be used for financial transactions. Low value stored cards can have pre-defined limits can be used for transit, trains taxi etc. can be for any phones with NFC.” As mobile wallets gain traction, OMA is looking to consolidate on the card acceptance front. He elaborates, “The whole world is looking to move towards mobile wallet system. All of this will happen as and when

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the clients are convinced of the feasibility of mobile wallets like Apple Pay. As long as security standards need to be met as per compliance requirements, Banks would be fine with these wallets.” He adds further that the easiest route for OMA with the Mobile wallets is to consolidate on the card Acceptance and then look at the issuance part with some of the manufacturers. “On the acceptance part, we are working with 50% of the Banks in the region for card issuance. So for the acceptance part, Apple has to come back to us via the Bank who is a client and look to port it to the Apple wallet. So the first and foremost is issuance of card, only then does a wallet like Apple pay work; it is essentially a wallet that has a card ported on to it in a virtual format.” OMA had unveiled a multi-loyalty scheme ‘Benefits Beyond’ at Cards & Payments Middle East last year. A Businessto-Business-to-Consumer loyalty program, this enables retailers to collect to enroll for a co-branded loyalty program and analyze customer data and the supply chain data including distributors, dealers, and sales agents. ’Benefits Beyond‘ also works as an e-purse wallet (prepaid) that allows consumers to add money to the wallet to use along with loyalty points in real time across the OMA Emirates network of over 10000 POS terminals. This can also be white labelled to help large organizations create their personalized customer loyalty programs. Simultaneously it reaches out to smaller retailers who can now begin their loyalty program without the burden of large budgets. The cards include multi-features that make it extremely easy to use and include Smart Cards, Magnetic Stripe as well as Contactless options. Elaborating on the uniqueness of the program, Niranj comments, “We have a wallet but we are looking at one step ahead. Our wallet runs on the loyalty

program’ Benefits beyond.’ We are looking at a multiple segment wallet to which we can post hundreds of cards. You don’t have to pick and choose. It aggregates these cards and use these points to pay anywhere. The challenge is to make the customer use the wallet. We are creating an ecosystem that can integrate more cards. “ The past two to three years have been quite busy for the company as it has expanded into several new markets including Africa. Niranj says, “We are prominent in Middle East and entering south Asia and Africa. Our expansion to Africa has been quite fast. We have large requirements from eight countries that is being addressed. A lot of these clients have cards using different devices and we have been asked to integrate these devices on our platform.” He adds further, “The India market has been growing fast and the UAE has always been a big focus. Oman is doing well and Qatar shows huge potential. Further, surprisingly even now we hold a monopoly in terms of percentage of market share in Yemen. The Bahrain market is growing, Serbia is faring well and Morroco is picking up slowly. Besides, we are looking at penetrating 8 countries in Africa and are looking at Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar in South East Asia.” OMA currently has 9 regional offices and 3 partner offices. Another 4 to 5 offices are expected to open this year as part of expansions. The company works with about 40 odd channel partners. These are integration partners who port their solutions on OMA Emirates’ platform. Along with several simultaneous opportunities that it is pursing for growth and consolidation, OMA also hopes to be a payment service provider (PSP). It is looking at remittance as an opportunity to address in 2017 by enabling more convenience of making remittances.


Insight | Pure Storage

Christian Putz Director, EEMEA Pure Storage

The case for Software Defined Storage Christian Putz, Director, EEMEA at Pure Storage, in which he shares his views on why Software Defined Storage (SDS) is the future of IT infrastructure.

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hanks in large part to server virtualization in the data centre, Software Defined Storage (SDS) has gained strong momentum across the IT market over the past few years. In fact, according to a recent Gartner report, by 2019, 50% of existing storage arrange products will be available as ‘software only’

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versions, up from 15% in 2016. Furthermore, approximately 30% of the global storage array capacity installed in enterprise data centers will be deployed with SDS or hyperconverged integrated system architectures (up from less than 5% in 2016). SDS offers a simpler approach to traditional data

storage because the software that controls the storagerelated capabilities is separate from the physical storage hardware. This reduced complexity means hardware no longer needs to be custom made. Innovation is not only tied to the manufacturing of hardware components, but also borne out of software development, which is more agile, reduces development cycles and has a quicker time to market. For business users who rely on IT infrastructure, the storage element of “softwaredefined” enables greater levels of responsiveness and agility. Customers want greater flexibility with their storage, from the physical footprint to simplification of deployment and ongoing management. So, removing the complexity from the hardware means we can also simplify the software. A good example is the way data is protected on your standard hard drive. Having a single physical disk means that if there is a mechanical failure of that disk, your data is lost. Using a Redundant Array Independent Disks (RAID) protects data by having multiple copies of the data spread across several physical disks, along with parity checking which is used to recreate the data in the event of a disk failure. Traditional storage solutions utilize ‘hot spare’ disks that sit idle while waiting for a failure to occur, to rebuild the lost data on

the disk, using the parity information. Instead of providing availability at the physical disk layer, a more efficient and reliable storage method is via hardware like Solid State Drives (SSDs). Being much less prone to failure allows for RAID to be abstracted from the physical disk into segments (that include parity) which are spread across multiple SSDs within the storage array. The key benefit is that in the event of an SSD failure, only the data in use on the SSD is rebuilt from parity in minutes as opposed to the whole physical disk that can take days. Providing these capabilities in software means vendors can be much more agile in how they offer new features to customers. The ability to complete that upgrade non-disruptively in business hours, and on a repeatable basis helps build confidence within a customer. This process takes time and resources, but software defined means skilled support staff can monitor the change and any back-up or maintenance requirements remotely. This reduces operational costs for staff, who no longer need to work weekends or evenings to complete storage maintenance. Another important benefit of software defined is that changing the components comprising the storage solution doesn’t impact the system’s availability. You can start your investment small and


grow into it over time, without any disruption to the business. This creates a subscription style model where customers only buy what they need, as they need it. As requirements and capacity planning forecasts change, you can introduce additional components to scale capacity or performance independently. Gone are the days of sizing a solution for three to five years and building as much scale into the configuration from the beginning, to get the best price from a vendor. This process has traditionally been fraught with uncertainties—is



"SDS offers a simpler approach to traditional data storage because the software that controls the storage-related capabilities is separate from the physical storage hardware. This reduced complexity means hardware no longer needs to be custom made." the solution sized correctly for the performance/capacity I need for the lifecycle of these assets? Did the architects take my unknown changing business requirements into consideration when sizing the solution? Will I be required to pay a huge ongoing maintenance fee to keep the solution supported after the warranty expires? What if I want to push the asset beyond its intended lifecycle? What if that lifecycle could be ten years instead of five? Will I

be forced to repurchase the solution again and have to repeat the whole process? Software defined means you are able to change every component in the storage solution non-disruptively, without any impact to the availability or performance of production applications. When new storage technologies are introduced—for example, NVMe—they can easily be integrated into the existing solution. You won’t be required to upgrade to storage product

2.0 and repurchase storage capacity already owned, not to mention the skills, resources and financial investment required to migrate data to the new platform. Not only does SDS prove valuable for your IT team by saving time that can be redeployed back into the business but more importantly, it supports the overall growth of your organization. It's clear that software defined is the future of infrastructure components and we haven’t even started looking at how this impacts orchestration/automation – that’s the next story!

April 2017  |  29


Insight | Red Hat

D

ue to the increasingly competitive nature of the market, it is clear that financial institutions need to bring new products and services to market in a faster, more efficient manner quickly. An increasing number of near and non-banks are already offering services related to payment transactions, the credit industry, and investment consulting and this trend will continue. Intensified competition will likely force banks to secure customers quickly with new offers and services. However, innovations in the banking sector are often encumbered by the use of traditional IT models, which use the waterfall process for development. More and more banks are starting to make changes, though. Agile development methods are now more frequently used. Methods and technologies such as containers and microservices have taken on a special significance. In terms of agility, monolithic applications quickly reach their limits due to their very nature. Even if developers only change a small part of the application, the entire application usually has to be re-tested at great expense. Container technologies and microservices architectures allow these development processes to be made much more flexible. Linux containers and microservices accelerate IT processes Linux container technology offers a convenient and effective means of quickly

30â&#x20AC;&#x201A; |â&#x20AC;&#x201A; April 2017

Michael Fettweiss, Sales Manager in Financial Services at Red Hat and Andreas Neeb, Enterprise Solution Architect at Red Hat discuss how Technologies such as containers and microservices in particular are coming to the fore to enable financial institutions to react quickly to changing market and

Michael Fettweiss Sales Manager Red Hat

customer requirements in order to stay competitive.

Containers and Microservices accelerate Banking IT developing and deploying applications. Firstly, Linux containers make it easy to package software, which allows developers to bundle applications together with their runtime dependencies and execute them on compatible container hosts. These containers are quickly ready for operation and are

more portable than traditional applications, since they contain the entire application environment. They can also facilitate the isolated and efficient provisioning of multiple applications on a single host operating system. In both cases, system resources are allocated to the containers. The Linux

kernel is shared across all of the instances running on a system, meaning that little management is required. Advantages such as high agility and ease of management make container technologies suitable for a wide range of applications. PaaS solutions in which many processes run in parallel and


isolation from each other in one system, have been implemented with containers from the start. Containers are particularly well suited for applications that consist of components and run on microservices architecture. Unlike monolithic architectures, microservices are made up of loosely coupled, independent services with a self-contained, technical functionality. Thanks to interface versioning, it is largely possible to rule out that changes made to one service affect the functionality or characteristics of another service. It is also possible to perform updates with extensions or enhancements in a more frequent and targeted manner, without having to update the entire application. We already know from service-oriented architecture (SOA) that it is more efficient to exchange smaller services with defined interfaces. Scalability is also far superior compared to that of monolithic architectures, as services can be independently scaled to meet requirements. Currently, browser-based applications in particular are frequently designed as microservices, such as for e-commerce applications or for online and mobile banking applications in the banking sector. The following should be noted in this regard: The assumption that containers and microservices are only suitable for designing new applications is largely incorrect. Existing applications can also be transferred, and many



"Intensified competition will likely force banks to secure customers quickly with new offers and services. However, innovations in the banking sector are often encumbered by the use of traditional IT models, which use the waterfall process for development." more of these are suitable for transfer than one might assume: experience from Red Hat’s banking projects show that up to 80 percent of applications lend themselves to this. The migration process is very simple for Java applications, for instance.

Bimodal is trending These changes mean that there will be two IT speeds emerging for banking IT as a whole. The traditional banking IT infrastructure with the core banking system will remain at the forefront. It is designed with security and stability in mind, which are prioritized over allowing new functions and services to be quickly implemented. Because of this, traditional IT needs to be supplemented by an infrastructure that supports quick and flexible application development and deployment. This assessment is shared by many market researchers, including Gartner (which champions ‘bimodal IT’). They believe that the vast majority of businesses will soon use IT architectures based on a combination of traditional and agile process models. This includes the traditional and secure operational IT basis and a non-linear, agile IT design. Traditional scale-up applications with strategically important data run on the operational IT infrastructure, whereas agile IT application models use scale-out

application models, which make it possible to respond quickly to new business requirements or framework conditions. An IT model that combines tradition with innovation allows users to deploy the most appropriate IT environment and platform for different workloads and business requirements, such as bare metal servers, classic scale-up virtualization environments, or IaaS

(Infrastructure as-aService) and PaaS environments in private, hybrid, or public clouds. In light of the current shift towards digitalization and the dynamic changes in market and customer requirements, aspects such as agility, flexibility, and speed are critical in IT. From a technological viewpoint, container and microservices architectures will be unavoidable in the future. Banks will have to contend with this development if theystrive to remain competitive.

Andreas Neeb Enterprise Solution Architect Red Hat April 2017  |  31


EyeTech

PRIMERGY TX1320 M3

Wyse 3040

Overview: The new entry-level PRIMERGY TX1320 M3 server, an ultracompact tower server model is more powerful than ever, yet is whisper quiet in operation and small enough to fit on a desktop or a bookshelf. Fujitsu has upgraded both tower and rack models in the fully refreshed single socket PRIMERGY server range to provide more performance, adding the latest Intel Xeon processor E3 product family and introducing a wider choice of configuration options to boost flexibility. With the PRIMERGY line-up, Fujitsu provides a choice of versatile building blocks, able to keep pace with ever-evolving user demands for more throughput and performance from departmental servers. One of four new models, the Fujitsu PRIMERGY TX1320 M3 crams a full server system into an ultra-compact unit. With a chassis volume of just 13.3 liters, it is one of the smallest full-fledged servers available on the market today. Yet thanks to an operating volume of just 18 dB(A), the PRIMERGY TX1320 M3 is also a desktop- or bookshelffriendly addition to any office. Key features: • All three PRIMERGY tower servers – the TX1310 M3, TX1320 M3 and TX1330 M3 – plus the PRIMERGY RX1330 M3 rack server maximize the technology features of the latest Intel Xeon processor E3 product family, Core i3, Pentium and Celeron processors, and provide capacities of up to 64GB of super-fast DDR4 memory. • Across the revitalized PRIMERGY mono- socket system line- up, new generation servers provide more performance and bandwidth, making them a prime choice for a selection of use cases including running office and email applications, for telephony, as a web server, or in extending and updating existing server farms. • For businesses taking a step up to a server from a PC to power their digital business, PRIMERGY provides simple administration and high energy efficiency.

32  |  April 2017

Overview: Today’s workforce requires access to highly efficient, powerful systems and tools that enable them to innovate, collaborate and share information in a secure environment. In fact, more than 70 percent of millennials feel that advanced technology is crucial to a collaborative, productive and efficient work environment, according to the Dell Future Ready Workforce Study. The Wyse 3040 thin client is an affordable, efficient and easy to manage endpoint solution that allows IT managers to keep costs low while supporting basic productivity and light multitasking. It is ideal for customers across a range of industries, including highly-regulated sectors such as retail, finance, healthcare and education. Key features: • Compatible with Citrix, Microsoft and VMware virtual workspace environments, the Wyse 3040 thin client provides a cost-effective endpoint solution that is highly secure, yet easy to deploy and manage. • It is the industry’s first entry-level Intel x86-based quad- core thin client, delivering robust connectivity options and a choice of Wyse ThinOS or ThinLinux operating systems. • The Wyse 3040 is the first entry-level thin client to feature an Intel Atom X5 1.44GHz quad-core processor that supports up to 2GB DDR3 RAM and 8GB flash. • Designed for efficiency, the Wyse 3040 delivers 30 percent better performance than previous generations, making it ideal for light multimedia use and local application activity. • With its small size, it’s also easy to mount on the back of a monitor for a clean, de-cluttered workspace.


C•CURE 9000 v2.6 Overview: Tyco Security Products, part of Johnson Controls, introduced the latest version of its C•CURE 9000 security and event management platform that offers users increased operational efficiency, improved processes and procedure compliance as well as greater accountability. C•CURE 9000 v2.6 provides greater value for money for the integrator through the integration with the iSTAR Ultra and iSTAR Ultra LT door controllers for an improved distributed solution allowing customer with multiple small to medium sites to be managed as effectively as their larger sites. This new version also improved the security and accountability during the more challenging out of hour periods, by allowing security officers to funnel access through a single central point of entry. This also allows security officers to visually verify cardholders before they are allowed to access to the specific areas of the building assigned to his/her access privileges. Key features: •

C•CURE 9000 v2.6 includes a new web based Access Authorization Portal and a new Web Client user interface, which enables specific individuals greater flexibility and efficiency through the use of their mobile devices to perform administrative tasks.

Other important benefits delivered by v2.6 include greater protection for highly secure sites such as airports, R&D centers and governmental buildings with a new automated random screening function that uses a screening selection algorithm.

Additional security measures include the two-person and team rule, where, for example, a visitor cannot leave a selected room without their host accompanying them.

R&M OM5 Cabling Solution

Overview: R&M has unveiled its new OM5 fibre solution in the Middle East. The vendor’s lime green OM5 solutions support duplex transmission up to future 200G requirements, thereby eliminating all the cabling complexity associated with MPO polarity management. Internal data centre traffic is expected to grow 80% over the next three years, which places new strains on networks that are now at risk of becoming bandwidth bottlenecks. To prepare for upcoming traffic, data centre professionals must plan to support increased bandwidth by implementing optical fibre that enables simplified network transformation. The new OM5 solution enables customers to secure their data centre investments for the long-term. The new OM5 solution is available with R&M’s innovative push-pull LC-QR patch cords that boast the smallest cable diameter cable and this minimizes the cabling bulk. As per specifications of the OM5 standard, the solution supports all legacy applications as well as OM4, and is fully compatible and intermateable with both OM3 and OM4 cabling. Key features: • The new OM5 solution enables 40G and 100G on an LC- duplex and offers customers the ability to further increase capacity to 200G per fibre in the future. • It enables sending four wavelengths over a single multimode fibre, and is available with R&M’s innovative push-pull LC-QR patch cords • The solution also integrates with R&M’s Netscale, which is the industry’s highest-density fibre cable management solution.



April 2017  |  33


Stats & Trends

AIM software market revenues will reach $27 Billion in 2017

T

he worldwide application integration and middleware (AIM) software market continues to grow faster than the overall infrastructure software market, with revenue on pace to surpass $27 billion in 2017, an increase of 7 percent from 2016, according to Gartner, Inc (see Table 1). "Established approaches to application infrastructure are too rigid, closed and cumbersome to support many digital business requirements," said Fabrizio Biscotti, research vice president at Gartner. "Growth in mobile, big data, analytics, in-memory computing, cloud and Internet of Things initiatives is associated with digital business and requires application and integration professionals to invest in new AIM technologies," said Mr. Biscotti. "This in turn drives fresh integration approaches with new AIM technologies at their core, such as application programmable interface management and integration platform as a service." Three main requirements are central to this shift. Firstly, digital organizations need an open, flexible and lightweight model that enables simpler and faster configuration, as well as deployment of both cloud and onpremises resources. In addition, they need platforms that support diverse combinations of resources, applications, data, processes and things from within and outside the organization. Finally, they need self-service

middleware that can increase and decrease in scale rapidly. "Cloud application infrastructure offerings are still maturing, yet already meet market demands for greater agility, scalability, productivity and efficiency better than their on-premises alternatives," said Biscotti. "The older technology, however, often remains more suitable for the most demanding scenarios."

Emerging segments boost AIM software revenue in 2017 The AIM software market is split into mature and emerging segments. Mature segments are large in size, and most of the market is consolidated in the hands of a few established players. A high proportion of revenue is generated from maintenance fees and growth is slow, typically single-digit. Examples of mature

segments include application servers and business process management suites. The emerging segments include mobile app development platforms, in-memory data grids and platform as a service, to name a few. These segments are smaller in size, but exhibit double-digit growth rates as they grow rapidly in line with the growth of digital business and the market demand for increased agility and scalability. The segment shows a high level of fragmentation as new vendors fight for market share before the market consolidates. "The emerging segments are bolstering the above-average revenue growth within the AIM software market," said Biscotti. "Organizations seeking competitive advantage through digital business need new approaches to application infrastructure and integration, a trend shown clearly in the fast-growing emerging segments."

Worldwide Infrastructure Software Revenue Forecast, 2016-2020 (Millions of U.S. Dollars) AIM Software Revenue Total Infrastructure Software Revenue

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

25,538

27,358

29,351

31,412

33,600

178,363

187,750

197,930

208,538

220,553

Source: Gartner (March 2017)

Big Data & Analytics spending in MEA rises Revenues for big data and analytics (BDA) in MEA totaled $1.98 billion in 2016, according to the Big Data and Analytics Spending Guide from IDC. The region is expected to see year-onyear growth of 11.0% in 2017 to reach $2.20 billion. The growth is expected to continue over the coming years to reach approximately $3.20 billion in 2020, which represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.0% over the 2016-20 period. When it comes to the technologies

34â&#x20AC;&#x201A; |â&#x20AC;&#x201A; April 2017

used in BDA implementations, a large portion of investment is focused on IT and business services followed by software. Indeed, IT and business services alone accounted for 55.1% of overall spending. In terms of industries, the government sector (both state and federal/local government) was the largest spender on BDA solutions in MEA in 2016, accounting for 20.4% of spending. It was followed by the financial sector (19.2%) and

telecommunications (13.3%). Other industries with longer-term potential include manufacturing (both discrete and processed manufacturing), healthcare provider, resource industries, utilities, and transportation. Industries that have shown very little BDA spending include construction, personal and consumer services, and media. The finance, healthcare, and government are the fastest growing sectors, with all three expected to grow at CAGRs of around 12%.


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