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Editorial

The plot thickens in the VAD space

O

f late, the VAD space has seen the entry of several new distributors. What used to happen in the broadline space a few years ago is now being witnessed in this space. There are several specialist distributors that are either entering the Middle East from other markets or there are new start-up distributors that have quietly carved their toeholds in the region’s market in recent years. With cloud computing coming of age, doors have opened for start-up vendors to position niche solutions in storage, security, infrastructure etc and they can easily get their share of fair attention from these distributors who are likewise keen to build their distribution portfolios. Seen that way, the plot is a little different from the broadline distribution space where the rights to some of the top two to three brands in each vertical was the desired formula to get the economics of volume sales right. In the value space, there are of course the heavyweight brands in each segment – storage, security, networking etc. However, there is enough scope for the niche brands who have products built around great ideas and which might be still lacking in the arsenals of the heavyweights. Of course, somewhere in the future, the niche brand may be bought out by one of the top tier brands that is seeking to flex its muscles in a new domain where it lacks presence. It is mutually convenient for these niche brands and emerging distributors to pair up in the market. The distributors then own a flavor of differentiation. And there are takers in the customer segment for such differentiated solutions. This gives room for the younger distributors to fast track growth and consolidate. And then somewhere along the line, they may also get to talk to top tier vendors and possibly partner. Things therefore have never looked better than now for start-up VADs.

R. Narayan Consulting Editor

Founder & CEO: Vivek Sharma Consulting Editor: R. Narayan Assistant Editor: David Ndichu Art Director: Faiz Ahmed Sr. Sales Manager: R. Subramanyan Sales Coordinator: Smitha Jithesh

Content

Cover feature - 18 The SMB wave

A growing number of companies in the SMB segment are embracing new Technologies to seek accelerated growth

News in Detail - 12

VMware’s new launches to further enable SDDC Feature - 14 Scaling up

Cyberoam is building out UTM solutions that help customers manage security of their future ready network infrastructure, whether physical or virtual.

Techknow

Wired for Success - 22

CommScope is building the business environment of the future thanks to high tech communications solutions built around a traditional cabling and connection background.

Steady gains - 24

Khalid Abu Baker, the new MD of Kaspersky Lab Middle East discusses some of the highlights of the company’s focus

Point2Point

Innovative and resourceful - 25

Pat Luby,who has pioneered several web based HR systems and now runs Pat Luby Consultancy discusses the company’s key focus areas and trends in market

A continued pursuit of differentiation - 26

Steve Lockie, Managing Director at Westcon Group discusses the distributor’s strong intent to differentiate as a VAD that offers unique facilities for partners to succeed and grow

Insight

Big Data Management - 28

Christina Wong, senior product marketing manager at Red Hat writes about how to Boost Application Performance and Improve Time to Market by Leveraging In-Memory Data Grid Technology

How to stop Advanced Attackers - 30

Defenders need a new threat-centric approach to security to address the full attack continuum writes AnthonyPerridge, channel director EMEA, Sourcefire

Regulars

News Bytes Eyetech Stats & Trends

Published by: JNS Media International MFZE

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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

InfoWatch partners with ATCOM InfoWatch, a global market leader in DLP solutions, has announced a strategic partnership with ATCOM, a leading supplier of telecommunications, networking solutions and services in the region, to offer InfoWatch Data Leak Prevention (DLP) solutions in the UAE and Qatar by the end of August 2013. The partnership forms part of InfoWatch’s business expansion plan in the GCC for 2013. Data protection and overall information security have become ever more important in the GCC with more than half of the companies without internal data security systems in place, according to recent data from InfoWatch. Natalya Kaspersky, CEO of InfoWatch Group said: “We are pleased to formalize our on-going collaboration with ATCOM, who we regard as one of the top IT solutions suppliers in the region. In the near future, we expect that DLP systems will become a standard piece of information security within organisations. As a result, the information security sector will significantly increase. "

4  |  September 2013

EiQ Networks appoints Bulwark Technologies as VAD EiQ Networks, a pioneer in simplified security, risk and compliance solutions, announced a distribution partnership with Bulwark Technologies, one of the leading value added distributors for IT Security and IT Solutions in the Middle East. Through this partnership, SecureVue NGS will be offered to customers across the Middle East including United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and neighboring countries, to help combat the industry-wide challenges associated with traditional SIEM and log management. “We have had many organizations come to us expressing their growing frustrations over the complexities and costs associated with traditional SIEM solutions,” said Jose Thomas, managing director of Bulwark Technologies. “Our partnership with EiQ Networks is both refreshing and rewarding as we can now drive demand within the end-user space and through the education of our solid partner base. SecureVue NGS is a simple solution that provides immediate value for security and compliance to organizations of any size.” SecureVue NGS is a next-generation SIEM solution that can be fully deployed in one hour and provides log management, event management, network behavioral analysis and intelligent security search, all in a simple, easy-to-install, cost-effective solution.

AccessData eyes channel Business expansion through ARM tie-up AccessData has signed ARM, a leading value-added distributor of cyber security and other consumer-related IT software products in Middle East and Africa. ARM is responsible for business development and market expansion and has been contracted to build the channel partner community for AccessData, which includes recruitment, partner training, marketing support and first and second level technical support. Simon Whitburn, Senior Vice President and General Manager at AccessData says, “Traditionally we invested in a very small number of technology partners because our heritage business in the forensics space was very niche and focused almost entirely on the law enforcement vertical. However, our operations in the Middle East now need to be driven by a larger channel.” He added, “We already have an existing channel engagement with DRS, ARM’s sister concern in South Africa and so we thought it only logical to extend the relationship to the Middle East as the company is very familiar with our highly specialized technology.” ARM will be looking to recruit partners that are serious on developing their security portfolios, who understand networks and have experience in verticals that are important to national infrastructure, such as government, telecommunications, energy, utilities, and banking and finance. The company will direct its efforts in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar.


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News Bytes

Spectrami and Actifio hold partner workshop Spectrami in association with Actifio recently organized TechWorkshop, an training workshop its channel partners on Copy Data Storage Management in Bahrain. Spectrami is the value added distributor for the pioneers in the copy data storage management, Actifio in the Middle East. Actifio pioneers the industry’s first storage system optimized for managing copies of production data, eliminating redundant silos of IT infrastructure and data management applications. Actifio is part of Gartner Magic Quadrant for Backup/Recovery Software for the year 2013 and is also one of the fastest growing technology companies in the world. Channel partners from all over Bahrain attended the TechWorkshop that was held recently at Hotel K in Bahrain City. The workshop was attended by leading players in channel business and was given a run down on the latest activities about Actifio in the region.

6  |  September 2013

SAGE Middle East appoints new Regional Director Sage Middle East, a leading provider of business management software has appointed Reggie Fernandes as the Regional Director for the Middle East. Reggie Fernandes joined Sage Middle East in March 2008 as Sales Manager for the Gulf Region bringing with him over 20 years of experience in the industry. He was then promoted to Director – Gulf Operations in 2010 and finally to Regional Director in March 2013. “I am delighted to be given greater responsibility and new challenges,” said. Reggie Fernandes, Regional Director, Sage Middle East. “My role will include driving operations across the Middle East as well as forging strategic partnerships to improve business in the region. Sage has all the right blend of products, resources, skill set and partners to become the undisputed leading provider of business management software in the region.” In this new role, Reggie Fernandes’ core responsibilities will also include overall operations management while achieving significant growth in the business every year by expanding Sage products and services offerings across the GCC.

Smartworld achieves elite partnership status from Juniper Networks Smartworld has been elevated to elite partnership status from Juniper Networks Inc., a leading American manufacturer of networking equipment. The new level of partnership, which reflects reinforced ties between the two parties, is expected to add more value to Smartworld’s diverse portfolio of services and products. The move also proves to be very timely as recent industry reports have shown that the Middle East region’s IT spending is expected to reach USD 192.9 billion before the end of 2013. According to Smartworld senior executives, being included as one of Juniper Networks elite partners will allow us to leverage the company’s wide range of highperformance Internet Protocol network products, which includes routing, switching, security, application acceleration, identity policy and control and management systems, across various industry verticals in the region. Smartworld is also looking to increase its Middle East market share while at the same time satisfy the demands and requirements of their customers and stakeholders. With the upgraded partnership status in place, Smartworld will now be able to offer customized high-performance network infrastructure built on simplicity, security, openness, and scale depending on each customer requirement. Hani Esber, Senior Sales Manager, Smartworld said, “The Middle East is expected to increase its IT spending this year and is positioned to reach USD 192.9 billion - wherein a large fraction of this will be spent on improving data centre facilities and enhancing connectivity capabilities. Our enhanced level of partnership will not only give us added value to the services and products we offer but will also give our customers the security and confidence of a world class leading brand name like Juniper Networks.”


News Bytes

EMT Distribution spreads its wings in Middle East EMT Distribution is to start up its operations in the Middle East. The company is in the process of recruiting qualified, experienced sales and technical professionals. EMT is a global distribution house offering a suite of security products and solutions to its channel partners spread across the globe with its offices located in Australia, Austria, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore and UK, besides UAE. With strong relationships with several of the vendors across the globe it intends to enhance its product portfolio. Currently, EMT portfolio includes IKARUS, Altaro, RSA, Kaspersky, Catbird, Delta TSL, Secunia, 2X and Radar Services. Shane Mahney, General Manager at EMT Distribution, said “The need to secure the thriving industry like Oil and Gas, Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Services, Telecom against cyber-attacks and security breaches is becoming paramount importance that is generating huge potential for best of the breed technologies that we represent in our portfolio. We believe this is the right time for us to take our operations to the next level in the region and expand our channel base across the region,” “To expand our operations, apart from acquiring new vendors in our fold, we are also looking forward to work with new channel partners spread across the region including countries like Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait and others.” concluded Mahney.

8  |  September 2013

Prologix Inks Agreement with Digital Lightwave Prologix Distribution, a leading value added distributor (VAD) of IT and Telecom technologies in the Middle East and Africa, has signed a partnership agreement with Digital Lightwave, a provider of test equipment and technologies for the telecommunications industry, which will mark the introduction of vendor in the Middle East IT market. The agreement enables Prologix to distribute Digital Lightwave's entire portfolio of products for portable/rack-mount Ethernet, Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH), Optical Transport Network (OTN) and Fiber Channel testing. These solutions fill the current market gap for high-speed multi-protocol 40/100G network test equipment. “Building a brand that is instantly recognized as being the leading technology provider for the telecommunications industry in the MEA region is our objective at Prologix Distribution,” said Aditya Sahaya, Director-Sales, Prologix LLC. “Digital Lightwave's innovative and modular solutions allow testing advanced voice and data networks with higher efficiency, accuracy and at a lower investment. Leveraging these technologies and the long standing expertise of this market leader will help us steadily gain market share though business opportunities with both new and existing partners.”

Brocade collaborates with VMware to launch Analytics Management Pack for SAN Brocade has collaborated with VMware to extend the visibility and monitoring capabilities of the VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite into the SAN layer with the development of the Brocade SAN Analytics Management Pack. Designed for SANs deployed in highly virtualized environments, the solution enables realtime reporting on the performance of the network and provides information on a number of key metrics through the vCenter Operations Management Suite. Sufian Dweik, regional director, MEMA at Brocade Communications said, “SAN is the de-facto standard for data centers and enterprises in the Middle East are well versed with this technology. With increased server virtualization however there is an additional complexity brought into the mix and unless integrated properly with the SAN, it will result in degraded application performance. For every physical server, there are multiple virtual servers that are now dependent on the capabilities of the SAN. This makes monitoring SAN performance and proactively identifying potential network bottlenecks essential.” In March this year, Brocade launched its Brocade Fabric Vision technology which serves as the foundation for the Brocade SAN Analytics integration into vCenter Operations Management Suite. Dweik claimed that Brocade dominates the Storage Area Networking market in the Middle East, with a market share of over 70%.


News Bytes

GFI enhances MSP opportunity for more revenues GFI MAX, part of the GFI Software family, announced a new revenue opportunity for managed service providers (MSPs) with the launch of its free-standing GFI MAX Backup. This new service enables all MSPs to add secure data backup to the services they can offer customers at a time when demand for secure online backup continues to rise. MSPs no longer have to worry about on-premise backup failure, or someone missing a crucial tape backup. “Cloud-based backup is a natural addition to the portfolio of services that MSPs provide their customers,” said Alistair Forbes, general manager, GFI MAX. “GFI MAX Backup removes the stress and hassle from onpremise backup solutions that require media handling to provide the off-site storage capability necessary for security and regulatory compliance and allows MSPs to increase their revenue by providing competitivelypriced, highly-efficient, encrypted backup.”

10  |  September 2013

StarLink to include Dell SonicWALL in its distribution portfolio StarLink, a security-specialized “true” Value-AddedDistributor (VAD) and currently the Master Distributor for Dell Quest across the Middle East region, announced that its distribution relationship with Dell Software Group now includes SonicWall covering Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Dell SonicWALL integrated intelligent security solutions feature high-performance, solid-state firewalls, Next-Generation Firewall and VPN appliances with application intelligence, and control and visualization plus value-added security subscriptions such as anti-virus, intrusion prevention and anti-spyware, for wired and wireless networks of all sizes. Shahnawaz Sheikh, Regional Director Dell SonicWALL Middle East & Turkey said: “With the advent of our carrier-class product category, we felt that it was the right time to partner with a VAD in the region that has an extensive reach into the enterprise, telco and government market segments.” “The partnership reinforces our objective to expand our product reach in the Middle East.” “StarLink has traditionally been a niche IT Security focused distributor but given the constantly developing relationship with Dell Software Group, and their visionary acquisition strategy to become an IT Security powerhouse, it became clear to us that with the acquisition of SonicWALL, they would be able continuously deliver best-of-breed and bleeding-edge next-generation firewall technology,” said AvinashAdvani, Director – Business Strategy at StarLink.

Dimension Data introduces next Generation Managed Services Dimension Data, the $5.8 billion ICT solutions and services provider, announced an enhanced version of its Managed Services for Visual Communications (MSVC) offering. MSVC focusses on maximising end-user adoption – and, ultimately, return on investment. Ian Heard, Dimension Data’s Group GM, MSVC says, “Dimension Data is the world’s largest video integrator by revenue and endpoints. Through our Managed Services for Visual Communications, we manage 20,000 calls per month for 430 clients across 5,600 Cisco and Polycom endpoints today. We are already a big contender in this space, with the most comprehensive set of on-premise, managed, in the private cloud or as-a-service video services in the world.” Heard says, “With the enhanced version of MSVC, we have taken mission critical reliability and ease of use to a new level with the development of new management and scheduling tools. Our goal is to enable collaboration and continue to deliver videoconferencing on an open, standards-based platform without confining clients to expensive proprietary networks, and network services that don’t integrate with their broader UC estate”.


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News In-Detail

VMware’s new launches to further enable SDDC

A

ddressing the needs of organizations to simplify IT, VMwareat VMworld 2013 announced a wave of new products and services designed to help IT accelerate their adoption of a software-defined data center architecture and take advantage of the value of advanced virtualization in areas such as networking and security, storage and availability, and management and automation. The news was unveiled at the company’s 10th annual VMworld in San Francisco, where more than 22,000 attendees saw first-hand details and demos of newly-introduced technology including VMware NSXTM, VMware Virtual SANTM, VMware vCloud Suite 5.5 and VMware vSphere with Operations ManagementTM 5.5. “VMware is further empowering IT to help organizations become more agile, responsive and profitable,” said Raghu Raghuram, executive vice president, Cloud Infrastructure and Management, VMware. “New products such as VMware NSXTM and VMware Virtual SANTM will fundamentally redefine the hypervisor and its role in the data center. Along with the recently introduced VMware vCenterTM Log InsightTM, these products represent

12  |  September 2013

the next wave of innovation at VMware. We continue to evolve the softwaredefined data center architecture to address IT’s critical needs - enabling them to build infrastructure that is radically simpler and more efficient while delivering the agility and flexibility to support the velocity of their businesses.” Customers that moved to a softwaredefined data center architecture have experienced greater value than those that did not. In a recent survey, for example, VMware found two-thirds of respondents reported being able to generate new revenue for their businesses when they expanded their use of virtualization1. Of those businesses able to take full advantage of a complete software-defined data center architecture, 85 percent were able to generate new revenue as high as 22 percent for their businesses. By extending the virtualization principles of abstraction, pooling and automation across all data center resources and services, the softwaredefined data center architecture can simplify and speed up the provisioning and management of compute, storage and networking resources through policy-

driven automation. VMware announced four products that enable customers to virtualize infrastructure and deliver it as a service; providing efficiency, agility and control for building and operating private, hybrid and public clouds The launches included VMware NSX, a network virtualization platform that will deliver the entire networking and security model in software, decoupled from networking hardware. By virtualizing the network, VMware NSX delivers a new operational model for networking that breaks through current physical network barriers and will enable data center operators to achieve significantly better speed and agility, while reducing costs. VMware also introduced VMware Virtual SAN, a breakthrough technology that extends VMware vSphere to pool compute and direct-attached storage. VMware Virtual SAN will deliver a virtual data plane that clusters server disks and flash to create high-performance, resilient shared storage designed for virtual machines. It will unlock a new tier of converged infrastructure that enables rapid and granular scaling of compute and storage resources. VMware has also unveiled VMware vCloud Suite 5.5, which features new and enhanced product functionality as well as broad product integrations. The VMware vCloud Suite will enable customers to build and operate a vSphere-based private cloud using the software-defined data center architecture, providing virtualized infrastructure services with built-in intelligence to automate on-demand provisioning, placement, configuration and control of applications based on policies. VMware vSphere with Operations Management combines the industryleading vSphere virtualization platform with insight to workload capacity and health. VMware vSphere with Operations Management will enable customers to optimize their environment through integrated capacity planning.


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Feature | Cyberoam

yberoam, which was placed in the visionary quadrant of the 2013 “Magic Quadrant for Unified Threat Management” report by Gartner, has steadily increased its stature as a leading UTM vendor. In an industry that is witnessing consolidation, it remains one of the few independent UTM focused vendors. The company incidentally adopted the name Cyberoam Technologies and remains as an SBU within the parent company, Elitecore Technologies. Over the year, the company has enhanced its UTM product line offerings and claims they are geared to meet the new-age risks that come with always on apps and usage of high speed internet on a plethora of devices that users bring into networks. Since the beginning of the year, Cyberoam has launched its NG series UTM appliances and virtual UTMs to protect physical and virtual network environments. These solutions provide features of next generation Firewalls including advanced Application Controls, granular Layer 8 identity-based controls, Web Application Firewall, Advanced Threat Protection, FlexiPorts with flexible I/O slots complemented with ease of management. As Hemal Patel, CEO, Cyberoam Technologies says, “Cyberoam has evolved its network security solutions, offering future-ready security and ensuring that network security does not become a bottleneck for businesses.” The company forecasts continued growth in the UTM market of approximately 15% CAGR through 2018. This is expected to come from first time adopters in the SMB segment as well as Businesses migrating to latest UTM solutions from first-generation legacy UTM platforms to fulfill the need for faster network performance. The launch of its range of virtual Unified Threat Management appliances now gives Cyberoam an opportunity to tap into the opportunity in the growing Virtualisation space. With support for multiple virtualization platforms, the vendor is geared to address this opportunity. Surender Kumar Bishnoi, General

14  |  September 2013

Surender Kumar Bishnoi, GM, Cyberoam

C

Scaling up Cyberoam is building out UTM solutions that help customers manage security of their future ready network infrastructure, whether physical or virtual. The company has now a broader suite of solutions to offer with some significant product launches this year, giving it room to make further inroads. By R. Narayan

Manager of Cyberoam says, “We came up with our virtual product line a few months ago. The line-up is the replica of our Physical UTM product line in terms of functionalities and features. So the product line has all features minus the ports that our physical line-up features.” He adds, “These solutions are invested in only by customers who already have some virtualization deployments. We are seeing good acceptance in the market, since there is infrastructure readiness with those customers. This is something we have been working on for some time; this helps provide an option to also the logistics challenges with handling physcial appliances and a quicker time to deploy.” Managed Service Providers partnering

with Cyberoam can offer a complete suite of solutions for managing network security in virtualized environments with virtual Cyberoam Central Console for centralized security management, and the Cyberoam iView software for logging and reporting. These also help data centres that have virtualized other instances including servers and storage, to also virtualize network security, eliminating the need for deploying a physical appliance. There are other advantages as well with the advent of the virtual UTM. It benefits the vendor, partners as well as the customers. As Surender adds, “It takes out the shipping costs, helps provide licensing flexibility and removes the hassle of


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Feature | Cyberoam

handling appliance boxes from our perspective including possible RMA issues or those related to Memory, upgrading etc. Performance is based not the hardware per se but the capacity of the VMs (Virtual Machine) which the customer has invested in. So the customer has better control over this.” As there is no stocking and shipping, the order comes from end user via the channel to the distributor. The distributor places an online order. The customer gets a link from which he can download the virtual appliance. The license activation key is delivered via the channel. The focus has been on ease of customer experience. The channel has a key role to play in deployment. Surender says, “We have emphasized on performance enhancing features including a better GUI which makes it easier for customers to deploy and operate. We are also using these in our training environments. However, there are some basic set ups which need to be done and our channel is trained to help the customer with that. It will be a sort of matching of the hardware that are available and suitable with the licenses and the number of cores he has bought as well as the number of users he wants to cover.” When it comes to determining number of users to be covered by the solution, the approach is common to both physical or virtual appliances under discussion. The mapping takes place with the number of local users on the network plus the VPNs and external visitors into the network. On that basis, the number of users that need to be covered by the Firewall is known. Even servers on the network are accounted for as heavy users because they are constantly pulling data. Finally, the mapping also includes the customer’s forecast for the future in terms of additional demand. “We deploy a solution that can scale up to meet

16  |  September 2013

growing demand for the next 3-4 years for an ‘x’ number of users. However, when a solution is meant to support 200 users or so, it is not that it couldn’t support more. Perhaps it may support even upto 300 or a bit more but what we believe is that the user experience will go down when the solution is stretched to an increased workload of users.” When there is an overflow of users, customers have the option to go virtual if he has already virtualized some of his infrastructure and upgrade with new licenses to meet needs of more number of users. The second option is to go for a hardware upgrade and Cyberoam claims to offers customers attractive options. As Surender says, “We would prefer to protect ROI of our customers when they go in for a hardware upgrade so that he benefits form the enhanced functionalities of a new generation of hardware, we can offer one year's free of cost of licenses for the hardware. This offers a balance for the customer who would else hesitate to rip and replace his older appliances.” In addition to making a strong foray into the virtualized market segment, Cyberoam is also riding high on its new generation physical Flexi Port (XP) UTM appliances as part of its future-ready NG Series range. The company claims it has been able to make further inroads into the market. The new appliances offer flexible network connectivity with I/O slots that allow additional Copper/Fiber 1G/10G ports on the same security appliance, allowing

organizations to upgrade to new technologies easily and cost-effectively. Cyberoam has introduced this innovative feature with CR200iNG-XP and CR300iNGXP UTM appliances for SMEs and will soon extend it for enterprises. “The new generation offers 3-4 times increased performance compared to the previous line-up. The GUI is vastly improved. We have had a phased launch since the beginning of the year. We launched the Soho series first, then the SMB and will be soon launching the enterprise series. We can now target the MSPs, operators and other larger account customers. We offer durable, stable, and scalable products for the enterprise users,” says Surender. Cyberoam currently has Bulwark Technologies and FDC as its distributors and has recently appointed Emitac for incountry distribution in Qatar. The company is keen to appoint in-country distributors for deeper penetration and with local stocking. “This will offer greater success and help us tap more verticals in the other countries. As a first step, we have signed on Emitac for Qatar. We are working out on more countries,” comments Surender. As Cyberoam Technologies, the company stays focused on UTM Technologies while its parent entity Elitecore Technologies has a diverse portfolio catering to Telecom clients. It is trying to stay ahead in an industry that has seen several consolidation plots play out, with the recent event being the acquisition of Sonicwall. The fact that bigger vendors are trying to offer end to end offerings to get a project end to end is an undeniable scenario and perhaps a challenge for standalone entities like Cyberoam. Staying at the top of the Technology curve in its segment would be definitely part of the strategy to compete.


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Cover Feature | The SMB wave

The SMB wave A growing number of companies in the SMB segment are embracing new Technologies to seek accelerated growth. By R. Narayan

I

t would appear that SMB organizations are now more confident in deploying IT solutions, especially as they are now well aware of the advantages that IT brings in enabling better Business productivity, leading to better bottom-line. Small and medium-sized businesses vary dramatically in size from just a handful of employees to several hundred people, but all are in a position to benefit from IT solutions that allow their organisations to be more reactive and scalable. Basil Ayass, Regional Marketing Director at Dell Middle East says, “There is a change in the outlook of regional SMBs these days as many now understand that a robust IT infrastructure is dependent on multiple facets, including security, mobility, data storage and cloud services.Most SMBs consider access to technology as key to successful growth, however the technology solutions often used in this market lack the flexibility, scalability and ease of management necessary to grow efficiently

18  |  September 2013

and compete with larger organizations. That is one of the reasons Dell recently launched Dell PowerEdge VRTX” The Dell PowerEdge VRTX is built as a converged IT solution designed specifically for remote and small office environments, with enterprise-class capabilities and in a desk-side, space-saving design. Information security is a strong area of concern for SMB organisations that are looking to zealously protect their competitive advantage. Symantec recently released its 2013 Global SMB IT Confidence Index, which found that SMBs with higher IT Confidence scores are more successful in leveraging IT to drive their business, and ultimately experience stronger, better business outcomes Fady Iskander, Regional Commercial Manager (Middle East, Africa and Turkey), Symantec says, “SMBs founders’ attitudes about IT can have a significant impact on their business. According to the survey, there is a positive correlation between

protecting their information assets and achieving their business goals. If small businesses want to maximize their success, they need to embrace IT as a strategic tool with the potential to deliver a competitive advantage and really drive their business. “ From two of the fast growing value add distributors in the region, the opinion is that the SMB segment in the region is in fact well aware of the need to leverage Business growth and profitability through a smarter leverage of IT adoption. Meera Kaul, Managing Director of Optimus Technology & Telecommunications says, “Not only does the small and medium business segment in our market understand the need for technology led growth; they are also cognizant of the fact that the more they drive technology adoption driven efficiencies, the more effectively can they focus on revenue and profitability. They are aware that technology enablement drives a competitive advantage for them.”


This awareness is translating into investments in IT. Data storage and protection seem to be among the prioritized areas of investments. “ We see an increasing number of SMBs in the Middle East investing in agile and scalable IT solutions especially data storage and data protection. Today, businesses rely on data and the challenge for most SMBs is to ensure that their data is stored properly, protected and is accessible from anywhere. With the growing pace of business and the increase in mobility, SMBs need their data to be shared as well as protected against loss. We see a strong demand for 'data protection' from SMBs as they are constantly on the lookout for a better way to protect their virtual environments,” says Suren Vedantham, Group Managing Director, StorIT Distribution.

Adoption of new Technologies Cloud based Technologies are making several new areas of IT enablement, previously out of the realm of access, now available to Small and Medium Businesses. Further, there are multipurpose solutions in appliance form factors that deliver scalability as well. There are in fact myriad ways in which SMB clients can look at IT enablement of their Business processes. What it boils down to is how they look at these choices. Are they ready to adopt an attitude that looks at the intrinsic long terms value these investments bring or are they unduly bothered about the upfront costs? Dell’s Basil says, “Small businesses lack the resources to make capital investments in IT the same way that a large corporation would, but that doesn’t mean they can’t embrace concepts such as mobility and cloud to maximum effect. In terms of cloud, Dell provides scalability for its offerings and customizes them specifically to meet the needs of our customers. We understand IT needs, especially for our SMB customers, which will change rapidly, and we have designed our cloud



offerings to grow and expand along with the business needs of our customers. Cloud computing enables companies of all sizes to effectively offload various parts of their IT operations, leading to greater efficiencies and cost savings. “ According to the Symantec Global SMB IT Confidence Index, top-ranking SMBs match the right IT initiative to their business goal. They are more aggressive at deploying advanced technologies such as mobile and cloud, and they focus on efficiency. For example, top-tier SMBs would consider using online collaboration tools and video conferencing to reduce landline and travel costs. Symantec’s Fady says, “The key is to map IT initiatives to corresponding business goals. If, for instance, you have a goal to increase your business innovation – like most of the businesses we surveyed – you should look at the advanced IT initiatives top-tier companies are more involved in, including cloud, virtualization and mobility. More than three-quarters of them found that mobility was important for helping drive business innovation. They are also focused on efficiency, using tools such as online collaboration and video conferencing to reduce travel costs.” New Technologies including Cloud based services are offering SMBs opportunities which were previously limited to large enterprises. According to StorIT’s Suren, there is an increased trend where SMBs are adopting cloud services, mobility, social media and big data to grow their businesses, reach broader markets and increase sales. He says, “What sets apart the fastestgrowing small businesses is their innate strength at turning data and information into results. It’s becoming easy to spot a smaller business who is going to break out and grow quickly. Therefore, many SMB customers are focusing on deploying new technologies including ‘Cloud Computing’ and ‘Mobility’. With this shift in trend, vendors have invested in cloud computing products and solutions to cater to the SMB segment which will be a big boost to their

Basil Ayass Regional Marketing Director Dell

incremental business. StorIT, along with its technology partners has introduced new exciting technologies which fits the budget of small businesses as well.” And while companies in the segment are considering IT deployments or redeployments and upgrades, the key functions that first receive attention are similar across verticals. On the downside, some of the other non-critical functions maybe left less integrated with IT processes. “The complexity of cloud, social and mobility driven technology adoption has made SMB companies more focused on getting non-core and core processes highly technology enabled. The key verticals that first drive technology enablement in their strategy remain Sales Force Automation, Customer Management and Human Capital Management functions,” says Meera. In the BYOD era, SMB organisations face as much threats as enterprise do or perhaps even more, especially if employees don’t have clarity on procedures to follow as they might in an enterprise when they bring in their own personal devices into the network. This is September 2013  |  19


Cover Feature | The SMB wave

Meera Kaul Managing Director, Optimus

an area that SMB Managements could look at strengthening. Ralf Haubrich, Vice President, Sophos CEEMEA says,” We are still seeing many SMBs in the region slow to address the issue of mobility and cloud. However, there is a growing recognition of the need to gain a greater understanding of these areas. The explosion of mobile devices (tablets, smartphones, etc.) coupled with the emergence of more and more mobile malware every day is leaving many companies with gaping holes in their security posture, and for no reason. With user-centric security models, one simple policy can move with the user, regardless of which device (PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone) they have in their hands at the time.” SMBs are also encouraged to look at security as a service. In fact, this could be among the first step to start adopting cloud services. Ralf adds, “Another

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development where SMBs are increasingly seeing opportunities is to consider cloudbased security-as-a-service, where the management of the security process is handled remotely by a specialist MSP (managed security provider). This can also offer the advantage of flexible licensing, where companies pay for the exact amount of services they're using without tying capital up in under-utilised hardware and software.”

Focus on the SMB opportunity SMB companies that are hungry for success, can see adoption of the cloud and other new Technologies as a great opportunity to enhance their competitiveness and leapfrog competition in terms of growth. Companies that have SMB product lines are ensuring that they brings products that are relevant to the Mid-segment Businesses and achieve the objectives of better efficiencies. According to Techaisle, with the rapid increase in number of mobile workers, cost of solutions that support mobile workers, security from theft and data privacy, mobile data pricing, transaction security and mobile device pricing will be major concerns of SMB Businesses. Therefore security is a huge concern and security vendor including Sophos are engineering products that are created to meet typical requirements of an SMB profile customer. Ralf says, “We see enormous opportunities in this sector and our products are ideal for SMBs. SMBs want to be able to get on and do what they do best - running their business, rather than having to worry about how its security is implemented and managed. SMBs need security that is simple to implement and simple to manage, and that's our philosophy - security made simple. The sector also tends to be good at qualifying the technical and commercial budgets required for IT, so it often makes closing deals faster.” It does seem that the cloud is in fact likely to impact the

SMB as much as it does the enterprise. The adoption and the gaps will vary from company to company but for sure, there are going to be more affirmative initiatives towards deploying these new Technologies by the mid-market companies as they seek growth and results on par with larger competitors. Basil says, “Each SMB organization will have different priorities, but clearly security, storage, cloud and mobility are all areas where Middle East SMBs are making significant investments. This is certainly what we hear from our channel partners, which work with such customers. The arrival of the cloud, advent of consumerization and BYOD are huge boosts to the SMB sector, allowing them to operate with the same efficiency as a much larger enterprise.” For the channel, the SMB segment has always been a key segment. With vendors looking to provide products that are purpose built for mid-size Businesses, taking into consideration their paint points including costs, space etc, there is a greater opportunity to tap into. Meera Kaul says, “The strong impact of the economy that that the SMB represent is not only varying the manner in which vendors are redefining their product lines but also the way the channel has traditionally approached their business. SMB’s are redefining business growth. The entire channel is moving its strategy to benefit from the growth in SMB business.” “The SMB segment is an important one for StorIT and our partners. SMBs are looking for cost effective storage solutions that enable sharing, protection and recovery of data while aiding growth of the business. The storage solutions also need to easy to use as SMBs do not have large resources or budgets to maintain complex IT infrastructure,” adds Suren. StorIT offers a range of data management, data protection and virtual data back-up and storage from vendor partners such as Quantum, EMC, Supermicro, QLogic, Emulex and Mellanox.


Fady Iskander Regional Commercial Manager, MEA Symantec

Ralf Haubrich Vice President Sophos, CEEMEA

Suren Vedantham Group Managing Director StorIT Distribution

Refresh cycles

companies. These are the fast adopters use technology for competitive advantage. or the advance SMBs, the traditionalists They are also much more likely to SMB companies that are laggards in and then the conservative companies who anticipate revenue gains than those with Technology adoption will be likely left adopt the safe approach. flat or declining IT expenditure.” behind by competition that leverages IT. She says, “The advanced SMB’s are One of the biggest drivers of high IT Research published this year by the SMB investing heavily in technology to drive Confidence scores in the Symantec Global Group shows that 85% of SMBs that plan their growth. The SMB traditionalists are SMB IT Confidence Index was the founder’s to invest more in technology anticipate less growth but more business lifecycle perspective and how that impacts IT. annual revenue increases, while only driven. They will invest in technology but “Top-ranking SMBs match the right IT 42% of those planning to decrease IT there must be a real demand driven case initiatives to their business goals. They are spending - and 38% of those planning study to support that investment. Then more aggressive at deploying advanced for flat IT investments - are expecting there are the abstemiously adventurous technologies such as mobile and cloud, growth. This gap is expected to widen as SMB’s who will look at a middle ground and they focus on efficiency. For example, more SMBs make the technology-business and push their strategy to a risk balanced top-tier SMBs would consider using online performance connection and see business approach.” collaboration tools and video conferencing benefit from it. However, sooner than later, most to reduce landline and travel costs,” adds Dell’s Basil says, “Customers have SMB companies including those who Fady. traditionally focused on refresh cycles, but characteristically defer investments, will Meera Kaul opines that there are it is often quite difficult for SMBs to keep have to enhance what IT infrastructure essentially three types of approaches to a pre-determined investment plan if when it comes to investments in IT by SMB they already have since the needs of they are a fast-growing organization, as the Business they will need to will dictate such scale and adapt requirements. their IT operations SMB companies that are hungry for success, Sooner they to maintain and invest, better drive their growth. can see adoption of the cloud and other new their opportunity Studies show that Technologies as a great opportunity to enhance their to keep a good progressive SMBs pace of growth in are more growth competitiveness and leapfrog competition. their respective driven, invest more industries. in technology, and



September 2013  |  21


TechKnow | CommScope

Ciaran Forde, VP, Enterprise, MEA, CommScope

broadly than that. We just want to solve the connectivity problems of our clients, service providers etc. and let the process of solving those problems take us where it needs to take us. A recent and significant acquisition for CommScope is iTracs. Discuss the inspiration behind this move The move to acquire ITracs was a natural progression for us. As a connectivity and infrastructure provider, we’ve been active in the data centre arena for many years but our activities were confined with bringing intelligence and high bandwidth connectivity solutions. However as we read the requirements in that

in a different league as we can provide wireless solutions, connectivity, and now data centre solutions like no other. Our peers in the industry would be cable companies who just would not have that kind of technology in their portfolio. The advantage of DCIM is that it’s a crossover technology between IT and facilities management and it brings all of it together and we look forward to integrate that with our existing portfolio of imVision which is the intelligence. So this gives you intelligence in the physical layer and you can see what’s connected to what and how everything is connected and with that it gives the system intelligence and control not

Wired for Success CommScope is building the business environment of the future thanks to high tech communications solutions built around a traditional cabling and connection background. Ciaran Forde, VP, Enterprise, MEA explains.

As a company known for its cable solutions, discuss your transformation over time to a communications solutions provider We sell cable to solve a connectivity and communication problem for our clients. We don’t make cables just for the sake of it. What we try to do is read the problem of our corporate enterprise clients and now

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the main requirements for those clients is to have high bandwidth cabling plus quality high performance and modular flexible connectivity solutions around that. It is by default then that we make cables. But we are very much also into software and wireless. Having said that, it’s a real differentiator that we manufacture cables cable but we look at things more

area, energy management, facilities management, control and monitoring issues seemed to be increasingly complex and a challenge. It then became clear that a natural progression for us was to take our intelligence and move it into the area of DCIM (Data Centre Infrastructure Management). iTracs is thus a perfect complement to what we do. This puts CommScope

just over IT connectivity but all systems in the environment. What does iTracs bring to the CommScope Brand? The major advantage of iTracs over rivals is that iTracs is a purely agnostic system, with completely open architecture; many of the DCIMs in the market are either tied to the power system or tied to the IT system that have come


concept on how from a specific "The major advantage of iTracs over rivals is that you can create vendor; what we a Cat 8 channel iTracs is a purely agnostic system, with completely have been able to and bring gigabit do is build on the open architecture; many of the DCIMs in the market speeds over copper. open architecture are either tied to the power system or tied to the IT The Cat 8 is for 40 and technologysystem that have come from a specific vendor." gigabit Ethernetand agnostic footprint typically for of iTracs with our the data centre own neutral-type because that is where the RF network into the optical and when these corporations position-SYSTIMAXitself is open need is.In terms of investments domain and then manage it decide to move those system architecture and neutral as in human resources, we now through large micro sites. So well. This means customers can out, they want those systems have a dedicated power we’ve got very complex RF create an intelligent strategy to to go to very well managed specialist just for the data solutions for those complex manage their environment and environment. So anything that centre as well as a person in-building environments and can enhance the environment also give them all the freedom specialized just for the oil and very cost-effective passive and the efficiencies of that they need to get their servers gas sectorin addition to other systems for lower-end basic environment is going to build and switches from any vendor specialized resource people. coverage type needs. The the confidence of the client they like, get their powering breadth and strength of to move his applications into from any vendor they like As Fibre becomes more the portfolio gives us the the cloud. Likewise for the giving them all the freedom common, do you see the flexibility to map out on operator of the data centre and then we just interface demise of Copper in the the big diversifications we with more and more growth with all those systems. iTracs future? see in the market. In this and complexity coming into is more than a DCIM. The The fibre solution we have region we some of the most the environment, they need underlying technology in iTracs called is LazrSPEED and we’ve modest technologies as well the tools to be able to manage is converged IP management, got this in 10, 40 and even as the most advanced. But that complex environment. So or CPIN (Computer Program 100gigs standard. In terms increasingly, governments see we think the cloud is a great Identification Number) and trigger to accelerate the uptake technology as a way to change of full bandwidth migration, this technology can manage the fibre transmission media their economies. In fact some of this. any IP environment so we we have is strong enough of the poorer countries are the also to use it beyond the data to do it. Fibre of course as ones investing in state of the With diverse communication centre. For instance with this a transmission medium is art technologies to elevate infrastructure capabilities in we undertake smart buildings much more superior but what their economies from that different markets, discuss projects and integrate that sets back the widespread position. how CommScope is able to with the enterprise network adoption of fibre is economics. offer solution across this in these buildings and get If the switches have a copper As demand for even greater uneven digital terrain that crossover between IT and interface, it’s much more speeds rises, discuss We try to reflect the market facilities management. CommScope’s investments to cost effective to have the with the products and services chipsets and the transmission meet this mandate by having sufficient solutions What would CommScope equipment working on a 10 gigabit cabling has been in our portfolio to cover any offer clients trying to make copper medium. At the end of around for a number of years customer needs.We’ve seen the switch to the Cloud? the day as a company we have in form of Category 6 A. We a significant uptake of our As a strategy, cloud fits to be vendor agnostic whether now have Cat 8 for a new in-building wireless solutions perfect. When you are talking it’s copper or fibre or wireless, category of cabling and ISO with which could be a simple about cloud, you are talking CommScope will provide all. has created Cat 8 for its gigabit passive distributed antenna about a multitude of different We provide the client with type of cabling.We are happy system or a complex project applications and clients all the freedom to address those that we are the first to bring hosting their applications either where we’ve got a full optical economic issues. to make public a real proof of network that connects the in the private or public cloud



September 2013  |  23


Point2Point | Kaspersky Lab

Discuss your focus on channel penetration in the region We focused on a broader regional level in the past and in the past couple of years, we have intensified that focus on a country to country basis. We have moved deeper and deeper into the channel. We have recruited many new channel through activities and will be looking at adding more in different countries. All over the region, we have done events which gives an overview of our company, product lines and roadmap to our new potential resellers. We have done this in multiple locations including Dubai, Riyadh in KSA, Lebanon as well as Egypt. This year, we are hoping to do one in Iraq. We have a channel recruitment manager now on board who will focus on new channel recruitments. We will consolidate the channel on the consumer side as well as the commercial segment. The focus however

24  |  September 2013

maybe more so on the latter where we want to strengthen our profile. Discuss your product for the corporate segment Launched beginning of 2013, the integrated Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business is a single, unified platform. Through ONE platform, ONE console, and at ONE cost, IT administrators can see, control and protect all systems and endpoints within the organization’s IT infrastructure. The Kaspersky Security Center helps manage all Kaspersky solutions from one console. Kaspersky Security Center is included in Kaspersky TOTAL Security for Business and all tiers of Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business – CORE, SELECT and ADVANCED. We can manage virtual, mobile and physical environments. Since IT environments are generally hybrid, therefore we have developed our solutions accordingly to support the different requirements. We have a full range of targeted solutions – patch management, event management, collaboration management, patch management, gateway security etc - that offer a cost-effective way for small businesses who may not want to buy the full range of solutions and with pricing options as well. How is the retail Business faring? Our retail Business is still the flagship Business. We have developed several products in that area. KIS is the lead product in this segment and the

Khalid Abu Baker, Managing Director, Kaspersky Lab

What is the expected highlight of the 2014 line up? The 2014 product line up will usher a new concept for the market. Our new product will be a multi device product which can be used on different form factors including smartphones and tablets. This will be unveiled around GITEX. The new Kaspersky Internet Security Multi-Device will include licenses for all of Kaspersky’s platform offerings – Kaspersky Internet Security for PC, Kaspersky Internet for Mac and Kaspersky Internet Security for Android. This will merge our separate solutions for smartphones and tablets.

Steady gains Khalid Abu Baker has succeeded Tarek Kuzbari as the new Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab Middle East. Khalid who was previously the Corporate Sales Director at Kaspersky Lab Middle East will continue to be based out of the company’s regional headquarters in Dubai, UAE and will report to Garry Kondakov, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Kaspersky Lab. He discussed some of the highlights of the company’s focus Multi device product will help consumers further. Our success in this segment has also helped us in the corporate segment. Is Mobile security going to be a huge focus? The threat scenario is rising in mobility. Mobile devices are becoming more attractive for criminals as there is a lot of personal and even corporate data on these devices. Mobile

security is a therefore a great focus for Kaspersky. Are there any shifts in your distribution strategy? Our existing distributors continue to grow with us but there are also some areas which need a different focus, which is why we are looking at new distributors as well. We are working with distributors based on their strengths.


Point2Point | Pat Luby

Pat Luby began his recruitment career in Central London in 1974 and a year later he joined Grove Personnel, one of the first British agencies to focus on the Middle East market. He has gone on to pioneer and steer many HR companies in the region including Clarendon Parker Middle East of which he was 100 % owner and MD from 2002 until December 2007, when it was sold to Manpower Inc. Pat served initially as Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs then as MD of the Manpower Middle East/Clarendon Parker network. He has pioneered several web based HR systems and now runs Pat Luby Consultancy that focuses on creating and supporting a range of HR-related online software to empower HR teams in corporate businesses. In this conversation, he discusses the company’s key focus areas and trends in market

Innovative and resourceful What are the solutions that the company provides in HR recruitment? We are offering a web-based, locallyfocused HR solution which has 4 modules – Recruitment, Visa Tracking, HR administration and Payroll. Hawk HR Software is 100% Microsoft-based, so we can customize and integrate with clients effectively. What are the major challenges that companies find in recruitments? The main challenge is that in this region, the response to online job postings and adverts via public sites is often overwhelming in terms of volume, but lacking in quality. Unless the software can quickly sort and screen out the unsuitable candidates, the filtering process can take weeks instead of seconds. How do your solutions help companies



streamline their recruitments? Another issue is communication – there can be huge email traffic to handle between the HR teams, Hiring Managers and the candidates, from trying to select the best, arrange interviews – 2 or 3 rounds – to offers and acceptances, whereas with a web-based tool like Hawk, all parties have a portal so this is all handled online in real time views. We can also produce valuable reports and statistics about the recruitment activity which companies still using old technology or just Word.docs saved on C drives are unable to do. We also have a unique feature which is a parallel database for customer’s existing staff’s skills and attributes to be captured – just as searchable as the recruitment database, so companies can easily look for internal candidates before going to external sources to find new talent. Engineering and similar companies find this useful for finding and preparing

CVs for bids and proposals also. Are these customized solutions? Are you also making available off the shelf HR software solutions? The modules are all complete and delivered on a SaaS basis, customisation can be done easily as we own the product and have our own development team. Apart from recruitments, what are the other major HR processes you deal with? We also do Visa Tracking, which tracks the whole process from offer to full onboarding, including Saudi Arabia and plus HR administration and payroll. Are these services made available to SMB clients or do you largely focus on enterprise clients? Being a SaaS model, all Hawk modules are scalable from 5-user systems to enterprise size, multi-location, multi-company corporations. September 2013  |  25


Steve Lockie, MD, Westcon Group

Point2Point | Westcon Group

Westcon Group is a value-added distributor of unified communications, network infrastructure, data center and security solutions with a global network of specialty resellers. Steve Lockie, Managing Director at Westcon Group discusses the distributor’s strong intent to differentiate as a VAD that offers unique facilities for partners to succeed and grow

A continued pursuit of differentiation Is distribution likely to be dominated by the bigger powerhouses who now focus on value-add business as well? It is inevitable that there will be consolidation in the distribution industry. However when companies aren’t focused on what their core competence is whether as a specialist distributor or as a broadline distributor, that is

26  |  September 2013

when the issues crop up. With the larger distributors coming in, obviously they would be able to offer better credit in the market, which is good news. There will be more compliance to standards with good practices being followed. The specialists can continue to differentiate by focusing on their strengths. The Westcon Way of recruit, enable & grow methodology goes well

beyond simply providing IT products to the channel. The emphasis is on having a highly skilled reseller and SI partner network and which is why we lay a great deal of emphasis on our value add services. While we are a strong name in the networking distribution Business, there is the challenge of resellers being on sort of ‘speeddial’ access with broadline

distribution houses which may also include networking products as an add-on, additional to PCs and servers requirements that the partner may have. We are keen to facilitate a change in that behavior which means if there is a networking requirement to start with, the reseller should be looking to approach a specialist distributor such as us.


aggregation portal Please elaborate "The key is we have tried to create different ways of where the reseller on Credit as can patch and resell a service that ways of enabling a deal and help improve demand.In cloud services. Westcon offers. spite of these tools, there are challenges in the market We provide the What we and an example is Foreign exchange volatility from reseller with a offer is a suite of shopfront, a single financial services market to market." stop for billing so which recognizes that he can easily the different needs aggregate services and resell. that the partner has for us. exchange volatility from of financing within the reseller market to market. community. How has the growth been in Is distribution of Security To start with, we offer the year? products a growing Do Comstor and Westcon Microcredit, the basic credit The growth has been good component in your portfolio? continue to have a separate facility offered from day one We have enhanced our security in Saudi. We are looking focus? for partners joining us. We of at Iraq, Egypt and Libya for portfolio that addresses They are still two different course need some financial faster growth. We are looking network security, secure legal entities, each with its data about the company to be a company that is a web gateways, enterprise own credit lines but where and information about the leading distributor not only in email security, unified threat we benefit is in the back end owners. We then offer credit management, and cloud-based Technologies and marketplace functions which are common immediately at our risk. growth but as a great place security. We had made our and include HR, Finance etc. We pioneered the leasing to work. We can continue intent to be a leader in the This helps costs down to a products, especially for events to achieve the growth we reasonable level and also helps security distribution Business. and short periods of time. are targeting if we have the We are at number two in size offer a good quality of service The trend has shifted towards most motivated and engaged this year and will be able across both Business Units. OPEX model away from the workforce in the industry. to overtake Computerlinks Comstor focuses on CAPEX model. This is true for who has primarily grown its Cisco centric solutions. We even telecom operators who While you don’t have a Business in the storage and have signed with Panduit look to lease equipment for specific SMB focus as of Datacentre products Business for datacenter products and short periods of time as and now, do you think this is whereas we have grown enclosures. We also have Flex when they need the additional something that you may our pure security distribution Pod. We have started to build capacities to scale up. take a relook at? Business. We also continue to more complementary products Then there is Project In the sub-50 user space, we see growth in other areas of in the Business. It needs that Financing facility, some of don’t focus much because our Business including Physical which is available for end users separate focus. most of our existing partners security and Access control, where you can create escrow conferencing, convergence and do not focus in that segment. What has been the latest accounts and the partners sign We do have some products so on. introduction by means of on for the debts. We also have in the telephony space from channel friendly initiative? channel financing for upto a Avaya. The service opportunity Does the advent of cloud Marketing as a Service is a year where we can Finance is rich in that product segment services create a possible recent introduction as part of projects. which is why we find it opportunity for the the Westcon Way. Many of the The key is we have tried relevant. So some partners are resellers do not have their own distributors? to create different ways selling into that space. Else, we We provide the equipment Marketing staff. We can run of ways of enabling a deal would rather have our service that helps build the cloud. We their marketing campaigns for and help improve demand. engineers helping our VARs the partners and we have seen see a sell in and sell through In spite of these tools, there build enterprise solutions at all opportunity for cloud services some good response. It also are challenges in the market other instances. and their access. We have an helps strengthen the loyalty and an example is Foreign



September 2013  |  27


InSight | Rad Hat

the necessary levels of performance and flexibility at scale. As a result, in-memory data grids are quickly becoming a popular approach to modernize software and accommodate complex performance requirements. Here are several reasons why this technology is gaining steam: • Provide accurate, realtime information: Having real-time access to accurate information often makes the difference between right and wrong decisions. Data grids move data closer to the application, provide fault tolerance, and enable fast, low latency access to businessChristina Wong Senior Product Marketing Manager Red Hat

grows, reads and writes to traditional back-end data stores can become a major performance bottleneck for applications. Data grids act as an intermediate layer between relational stores and front ends to meet data-retention requirements and promote extremely fast, scalable performance. • Efficiently integrate with a complex and rigid data-tier: Deploying new applications or updates should be a streamlined, straightforward process. Data grids reduce the overhead and headache that comes with data tier integration, allowing organizations to more quickly go to market.

Big Data Management Christina Wong, senior product marketing manager at Red Hat writes about how to Boost Application Performance and Improve Time to Market by Leveraging In-Memory Data Grid Technology.

L

ast year in 2012, companies generally had enough database capacity to handle and process daily customer activity; however, industry analysts at IDC have predicted a massive rise in mobile internet usage on smart phones and tablets. These mobile data streams are being further augmented with distributed, interconnected systems, such as those now found in cars, household appliances, and utility sensors. The combined transactional

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volumes from this “Internet of Things” means that traditional database systems may soon reach their limits. Middle East enterprises are now looking to scale systems in a way that allows them to maintain performance and take advantage of the business opportunity presented by mobile. Whereas traditional data tiers are often too rigid, complex and expensive to meet the mobile data challenge, in-memory data grids are designed to provide

critical information. • Meet high uptime and responsiveness expectations: To keep customers loyal and engaged, applications must perform with consistency and deliver seamless service, even during peak activity times and unexpected traffic spikes. A data grid can elastically spin up and down distributed nodes helping meet required response times. • Process significantly larger transaction volumes: As the amount of data

• Interoperate in mixed IT environments: Today’s organizations have a diverse IT environment. Applications and infrastructure may be on-premise, in the cloud, legacy or contemporary. Data grids can serve as a data abstraction layer and offer the flexibility to work in a variety of environments, applications, platforms, and databases. An in-memory data grid is an intelligent distributed caching solution that lets applications meet tough


requirements of performance, availability, reliability, and elastic scale. It can act as an intermediate layer between the relational database (RDBMS) and the application, holding data that is transient or temporal in nature, or needed for fast access, frequent access, or access across multiple geographies. The RDBMS may subsequently be freed up to store data infrequently accessed or modified. Simply put, a data grid can act as a supercharger for an application. It boosts application performance to accommodate larger

"Whereas traditional data tiers are often too rigid, complex and expensive to meet the mobile data challenge, in-memory data grids are designed to provide the necessary levels of performance and flexibility at scale." volumes of transactions, spikes in activity, and all at in-memory speeds. And, due to their distributed, faulttolerant nature, data grids are well-suited to support today’s global, decentralized businesses. Data grids can be used in a variety of different industries and use cases today. For example, providing a seamless customer experience across mobile and web applications, achieving

reliable performance and scale through seasonal business fluctuations, or reducing the load on traditional relational databases to offer timesensitive services to users. Data grid technologies are also increasingly used by global companies to manage and distribute resources across multiple data centers in real time. Across a spectrum of industries, Middle East organizations today face

challenges that traditional data tier scaling cannot easily resolve, whether that is providing access to real-time information, handling large transaction volumes, meeting high uptime expectations, or integrating with a diverse and dynamic IT environment. In-memory data grid technologies empower organizations to achieve a high degree of flexibility and performance for their applications and streamline interactions with the data tier – giving them an edge they can use to take advantage of business opportunities and go to market faster.

In-Memory Data Grid Market to Reach $1 Billion by 2016

T

he rapid maturation of application infrastructure technologies and a continued dramatic decline in the cost of semiconductor technologies are paving the way for mainstream use of in-memory computing (IMC). Gartner said that although the in-memory data grid (IMDG) market, a key IMC segment, is small, it is likely to grow fast and to reach $1 billion by 2016. Until recently, only the most technologically savvy organizations — for example, in vertical markets like financial trading, telecommunications, military and defense, online entertainment and logistics — could cope with the high cost and complexity of adopting IMC. But IMC technology is now more affordable and more proven.



IMC enables user organisations to develop applications that run advanced queries or perform complex transactions on very large datasets at least one order of magnitude faster than when using conventional architectures. In-memory-enabling application infrastructure technologies consist of in-memory database management systems, in-memory data grids, highperformance messaging infrastructures, complex-event processing platforms, in-memory analytics and in-memory application servers. These technologies are being used to address a wide variety of application scenarios requiring a combination of speed of execution, scalability and insightful analytics. IMC completes batch processes that

would otherwise take hours in minutes or even seconds, enabling processes to be delivered to clients, suppliers, citizens or patients as real-time cloud services. IMC can also be used to detect correlations and patterns to help pinpoint emerging opportunities and threats as things happen, across millions of events, in the blink of an eye. The rapid penetration of IMC and its likely adoption by at least 35 percent of midsize and large organisations through 2015 will be determined by factors such as expanding demand for real-time analytics for ever larger volumes of fast-changing data, growing requirements for 24/7 operations and the increasing availability of IMC-enabled packaged business applications.

September 2013  |  29


InSight | Sourcefire

W

e all know that advanced attackers have the resources, expertise and persistence to compromise any organization, at any time; attackers fundamentally understand the nature of classic security technologies and their applications and exploit the gaps between them. Once they penetrate the network they go to great lengths to remain undetected, using technologies and methods that result in nearly imperceptible indicators of compromise to accomplish their mission. The challenge for defenders is that traditional security technologies can’t capture or analyze weaker indications of compromise. Plus, these technologies are only able

what happened and what was stolen or destroyed. To regain control against these stealthy attacks, defenders need a new threatcentric approach to security to address the full attack continuum – before, during and after an attack– with continuous visibility intoindicators of compromise and retrospective security to quickly contain and stop the damage.Examples of activities that could indicate compromise include a system attempting to communicate back to a known bad (blacklisted) IP address; trying to access a part of the network, a device or a database it hasn’t before;or creating a process that it wouldn’t under typical circumstances. In

analysis and response.Identify technologies that use trajectory capabilities to track systemlevel activities, file origination and file relationships and then leverage big data analytics for root cause and forensic analysis. When combined, these technologies can highlight and pinpoint subtle patterns of behaviors and weak indicators,suggesting a compromise has happened and a breach has most likely occurred. The ability to alert and automatically take action can speed response and help mitigate damage. Tier 2: Actionable intelligence.Visualization technologies are also important so that you can quickly understand the chain of events

How to stop Advanced Attackers

Anthony Perridge Channel Director EMEA Sourcefire

Defenders need a new threat-centric approach to security to address the full attack continuum writes Anthony Perridge, channel director EMEA, Sourcefire.

to make a determination at a single point in time.If that one shot at identifying and blocking a threat is missed, most IT security professionals have no way to continue to monitor files once they enter the network and take action if they turn out to be malicious. Eventually you’ll realize a breach has happened,but if you’re like most organizations it can take months or even years to discover according to the latestVerizon 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report. At that point you’re left calling in the forensics team to figure out

30  |  September 2013

isolationeach of these activities isn’t a detection or prevention event, but when correlated with malware intelligence and otherbehaviors, even seemingly benign or unrelated,they may suggest a compromise. To be able to identify indicators of compromise once a threat has entered the network,you need to take a two-tiered approach with tools and processes that combine trajectory capabilities, big data analytics and visualization to enable the following: Tier 1: Automated

leading up to and following a possible compromise. This allows you to apply context based on your expertise, perspective and knowledge of activities happening at that moment in your environment to make an even more nuanced determination of suspicious activity and indentify indicators of compromise. If you identify an indicator of compromise you can see what’s occurring across your environment at that moment, look back at preceding events and then control activities that could be risky. If you determine

a breach has occurred, by locating the point of origination and understanding the scope of the exposure you can stop the attack and remediate. While detection and prevention are essential to any security defense strategy, defenders also need the ability quickly tie together unrelated events to identify a threat that has evaded defenses. With decisive insight from trajectory, big data analytics and visualization capabilities defenders now can see that blip on the radar, hone in, understand it and take action.


Educating and empowering the channel VAR Magazine is the leading B2B publication for the MEA IT channel with the widest readership among the region’s reseller community. With over 170 print issues to date, the publication plays a pivotal role in keeping the MEA IT channel well informed about the latest industry events and announcements that could potentially influence their business decisions.

VAR MEA Magazine

Pioneering training series for frontline sales Conceived by VAR Magazine, ‘In Search of a champion’ is a series of multi-brand training workshops for frontline IT salespeople and serves as a platform for sales talent development. The format enables interactive training in classroom environment where sales lessons are imbibed. Participants are graded throughout their participation and champions receive grand prizes at the end of the year. Over the past couple of years, ‘In Search of a Champion’ has drawn wide appreciation from all participants and brands that have been associated with it. With its unique format and process, the event is trusted by leading Technology brands in the channel to keep the frontline sales staff abreast of product, Technology and market updates. It is currently organized in the UAE and KSA markets and is very soon expanding to other MEA markets.

IT Business Networking VAR Conclave is a series of networking platforms envisioned in several flexible formats as standalone events as well as in partnership with leading regional ICT expos across the GCC. VAR conclave fosters channel partnership opportunities and helps clinch strategic business leads across strategic markets. It includes one-on-one focused meetings between participating exhibitors and leading resellers. It is also an ideal platform to showcase products and technologies.

An essential read for the Value add IT channel The Integrator is a magazine that offers strategic insights to the systems integrator and the value add reseller channel. The magazine offers path breaking features and other content including case studies, expert columns, Round Table discussions that focuses on Industry trends which are opening up new frontiers of opportunities for the SI channel. The magazine has the intent of demystifying Technology trends for facilitating the channel’s learning of the same and empowering their decision making in Business. The magazine is distributed to an exclusive database of systems integrators and VARs in the region.

For sales queries, please email info@var-mea.com. or contact Tel: +971 4 3705022, Fax: +971 4 3706639

To read online log on to: www.VARonline.com


eyetech

Cintiq Companion Hybrid

WD Se Hard Drives

Overview: The Cintiq Companion Hybrid is a traditional Cintiq when plugged into a Mac or PC, but when used as a mobile device, works as a stand-alone Android tablet with enough power to do light sketching and start creative processes with suitable apps.

Key features:

Overview WD, a Western Digital company announced availability of its innovative WD Se line of hard drives, the first designed for scale-out datacenter deployments. Built on an enterprise-grade platform for reliable 24x7x365 datacenter operation, WD Se is tailored to deliver the right combination of performance, reliability and robustness for large-scale replicated environments, mid-sized network attached storage (NAS) deployment, and backup/ archiving applications. WD’s other datacenter hard drives – WD Xe and WD Re – round out the high-end of the NAS market, offering higher durability and performance for large-scale rack-based NAS systems. Together, WD Se, WD Xe, WD Re and WD Red provide a total portfolio of robust storage devices to match every size and scale of NAS deployment.

Key features: • WD Se is a true enterprise-class drive with the right blend of affordability and capabilities to address the massive growth of semi-structured data, which is accelerating the scale-out of datacenters of all sizes. • Shipping in capacities up to 4 TB, the new WD Se hard drives enables customers to balance their data growth challenges in multi-drive enclosures without compromising enterprise-class features. • The robust enterprise-class design and higher workload capabilities for SMB-focused 6-bay-plus table-top NAS units and rack-mount multi-tenant NAS solutions with up to 24 bays, provide NAS integrators a complement to WD Red hard drives, which are for small NAS systems.

32  |  September 2013

For the likes of illustrators and designers who want to draw, sketch and paint when mobile, but who also want to use their professional software when connected to a Mac or PC, the Cintiq Companion Hybrid offers a ‘two-in-one’ solution.

The Cintiq Companion Hybrid functions as a traditional Cintiq when connected to a Mac or PC. When unplugged, it is perfect for light, spontaneous work using Android apps.

The tablet comes with a powerful NvidiaTegra 4 processor, Android Jellybean and specially designed software such as the new Wacom Creative Canvas for painting and sketching and Wacom Manga Canvas for the first phases of Manga creation.

For further refinement when back in the studio, rough images can be easily transferred to a computer or shared directly to popular cloud services with the easy and pre-loaded ASTRO File Manager.

• Two versions of the Cintiq Companion Hybrid are available, a 16 GB version and a 32 GB version. •

All of the time-savers that professionals expect from a Wacom Cintiq are integrated including the customisable new on-screen controls, ExpressKeys, Rocker Ring and Radial Menu.


Nexsan NST6000 platform Overview: Imation announced its next-generation, Nexsan NST unified hybrid storage platform and NestOS 3.0, a highly scalable, flexible storage operating system. The new NST6000 platform adds Fibre Channel support and meets demanding SAN and NAS workloads without sacrificing performance.

ATEN eco PDUs Overview ATEN has developed a new generation green energy power distribution units (eco PDUs) to effectively increase the efficiency of data center power usage. The NRGence PE8216 and PE8324 eco PDUs are intelligent PDUs that contain 16 AC outlets and are available in various IEC or NEMA socket configurations. NRGence eco PDUs provide secure, centralized, intelligent, power management (power on, off, cycle) of data center IT equipment (servers, storage systems, KVM switches, network devices, serial data devices, etc.), as well as the ability to monitor the center's health environment via sensors. ATEN offers two variants eco PDU, PE8216 and PE8324

Key features: •

The NST6000 is a fully unified hybrid storage platform, providing simultaneous support of block (Fibre Channel, iSCSI) and file-level (NFS, CIFS, SMB and FTP) data traffic in a single solution without additional software overhead or licenses.

The NST6000 is ideal for organizations that need highly scalable and high-performance storage that supports SAN and NAS enterprise-class workloads at the same time.

An application-friendly hybrid storage system, the NST6000 leverages solid-state technology to create the FASTier acceleration tier. FASTier technology increases storage I/O performance, lowers latency and extends the life of SSDs.

The NST6000 and FASTier acceleration technology are ideal for organizations that are growing their virtualized environments, expanding database applications and adding other applications that require adaptable, high-performance storage.

Optimized for virtualized IT environments with high capacity requirements, the Nexsan NST6530 system simultaneously supports large- scale I/O intensive workloads generated from multiple virtual machines.

The heart of the NST6530 system is the NestOS 3.0 storage operating system, which will be available across the Nexsan NST hybrid storage solutions.



Key features: Metering • PDU and outlet level power metering and monitoring • Environment monitoring — supports external temperature & humidity sensors for rack temperature and humidity monitoring • Current, voltage, power, power dissipation, temperature, and humidity metering and threshold level setting • Support door sensor Outlet Switch Control • Remote power outlet control (On/Off, Power Cycle) by individual outlets and outlet groups • Outlet group support at the PDU • Supports multiple power control methods — Wake on LAN, System After AC Back, Kill the Power •

Power-On sequencing — users can set the power-on sequence and delay time for each outlet to allow equipment to be powered on in the correct order

• Proactive overload protection(POP) — automatically powers off the last outlet that caused the current overload

September 2013  |  33


Stats & Trends

Consumer spend on Apps to Reach $75 Billion by 2017

J

uniper Research’s latest report on Future App Stores has determined that in 2017, over $75 billion will be spent on consumer apps. This will be largely as a result of the in-app purchase model gaining continued traction across many markets, and the impact of new monetisation models. The report, Future App Stores: Discovery, Monetisation& Ecosystem Analysis 2013 – 2018, explores how the growing app ecosystem will be strengthened as storefronts such as Microsoft and Amazon attempt to advance against the effective duopoly which Apple and Google presently have. The intensifying competition will lead to the release of new features within these stores, such as better search and discovery tools, encouraging developers to write their apps for the more peripheral stores. Nevertheless, the report also found that to 2017, the proportion of revenue accrued from apps paid for at the point of download would fall to almost a quarter of the $75 billion total. This presents a challenge for developers who are seeking to maximise the number of users and revenues from their app. Yet Juniper found that developers at the cutting edge of the market were using business models which allowed them to monetise 100% of their user base, through a combination of advertising and in-app purchases.

Report author Siân Rowlands also pointed out that “it is not only developers who are seeking to capitalise on their user base; many app stores are also implementing carrier billing to ensure that unbanked consumers are able to pay for apps, which will contribute to the strong growth in app downloads”. The amount of revenue spent by tablet owners will increase substantially, from $7.8 billion this year to $26.6 billion in 2017. The most popular category of app, games, will also see the greatest share of consumer spend, taking 32% of the total revenues in 2017.

Enterprise WLAN Market Grew 14.8% Year over Year in Second Quarter of 2013

T

he combined consumer and enterprise worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments increased 10.8% year over year in the second quarter of 2013 (2Q13). According to the preliminary results published in the IDC Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker, the enterprise segment continued to grow at a very healthy rate and increased 14.8% over the same period last year. While the pace of the enterprise WLAN market growth is starting to slow from the 20%-plus year-over-year increases witnessed in the last several years, the enterprise WLAN market continues to be one of the fastest growing networking markets out there. The consumer WLAN market also performed well in 2Q13 and increased 6.5% year over year, which was on par with the consumer WLAN results in 1Q13.

34  |  September 2013

"Across all verticals and geographies, enterprise IT continues to see an explosion of mobility applications running on more devices than ever, resulting in new investments in WLAN infrastructure," said RohitMehra, Vice President, Network Infrastructure. "While growth slowed slightly this quarter compared to previous quarters, the growing mobility needs of education, retail, healthcare, and other distributed enterprise segments will continue to fuel substantial growth in the overall enterprise WLAN market." From a geographic perspective, the enterprise WLAN market performed especially well in Latin America and in Asia/Pacific.. Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) grew 6.4% year over year in 2Q13, weaker than the other major regions but still positive and an improvement.


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