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Contents

Editorial

Cover Feature - 20

Getting hold of the future T

here is agreement around the fact that the momentum with digital transformation initiatives is gathering speed. And while setting out to embrace this new future, the experience or the journey is likely to be unique for each company as it decides how best to embrace new infrastructure or solutions that helps it stay most competitive in a very dynamic marketplace. Every company will have its own story to write and journey to make. A new world order that is dominated by relatively newer technologies (cloud, social, mobile etc) has already become central to the way we run our Businesses or interact with customers and partners. This is likely to become more entrenched as familiar ways fade out and are steadily replaced. Automation is very much at the threshold in many domains, making inroads, bringing better efficiencies but also displacing some of the jobs. However, new opportunities will come in which will require upgrading of skills and more training hours for people already part of the workforce. For companies, there is the urgency to embrace new technologies, else they will fall behind in their capabilities vi-a-vis competition who could have a jumpstart by adopting new ways of doing their Business. There is the opportunity for partners who have upgraded their competencies in emerging technologies to help enable the goals of the companies who are aspiring for a digital makeover. Change can be devastating if we don’t prepare to do so voluntarily and proactively. Among companies that were powerhouses of an earlier era, several of them have made successful transitions through a combination of strategies from buyout and mergers to adopting new directions. However, some have exited. And yet, some of the biggest technology companies today are companies born within the new millennium. Every company continues to have the opportunity to be a survivor and achieve sustainable success through a mix of great strategies, greater execution and probably some good fortune as well.

R. Narayan Managing Editor

Accelerating digital transformation

Businesses need to show urgency about adopting digital transformation initiatives to stay competitive

News In Detail

Dell EMC set to make most of GITEX participation - 16

Legacy networks holding back transformation, says Riverbed survey - 18 Point2Point

Growth strides - 26

Securing Access - 28

Bringing the change - 42 Specialist services - 52

Thriving with domain expertise - 54 Enabling better solutions - 56 TechKnow

Enabling transformation - 30

Toshiba flaunts enterprise focus - 34 Fueling the growth engine - 36 Building robust solutions - 40 Beyond Storage - 46

Growth with commitment - 48 Delivering unified access - 50

A Business built with trust - 58

Enhancing Malware Detection - 60 Insight

Unattended payments get stronger - 62 Building the networked future - 64

The Business Value of Automation - 66 Regulars

News Bytes EyeTech Market Stats

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News Bytes

Sophos puts spotlight on NextGen Security Sophos it will highlight its innovative approach to next-gen security at GITEX Technology Week 2017, which is being held in Dubai from October 8-12, 2017. The company will also showcase its latest innovations and shed light on a new topic in nextgen technology; deep learning, an advanced form of machine learning, that is more effective (higher detection rate) and more accurate (lower false positives) than other machine learning technology in the market at the region’s premier ICT event. Harish Chib, Vice President, Middle East & Africa said, “We look forward to participating at GITEX this year and plan to use this as a platform to enlighten our customers on Ransomware as a Service and Dark Web through Sophos’ in-depth report on the subject called “Ransomware as a Service (Raas): Deconstructing Philadelphia”. We also intend to educate decision makers across the Middle East about our highly differentiated range of industry-leading IT security solutions that will protect their organizations against advanced threats like Ransomware.“ At the event, Sophos will highlight its next-gen technology that is built into its security solutions that offer the latest in anti-ransomware, anti-exploit, anti-malware and Advanced Persistent Threats protection across all the devices and data.

4  |  October 2017

Focus Softnet to highlight multi-lingual and VAT-ready ERP Focus Softnet will be placing the spotlight on Focus 8, its flagship ERP, which has been upgraded with multilingual capability, GCC VAT readiness, and cloud platform enablement at GITEX Technology Week 2017. The company will also be showcasing its verticalfocused solutions, mobile apps and cloud-ready business software solutions at the region’s premier ICT event. From an operational point of view, being VATready is slated to become a mandatory compliance requirement by the end of 2017. By having both multilingual and VAT readiness capability built into Focus 8, its next-generation ERP solution, Focus Softnet expects to generate significant interest and inquiries from enterprises and SMEs during GITEX Technology Week 2017. "VAT will impact both consumers and businesses in the UAE and wider GCC. Focus Softnet has been working closely with customers to prepare IT managers and CIOs to assess their readiness for VAT implementation. Focus Softnet has the experience and expertise of implementing VAT and GST for our customers in other countries and we are using this experience to help our GCC customers become VAT-ready as well," said Ali Hyder, Group CEO of Focus Softnet. Technology experts from the company will be holding demonstrations for cloud-ready version of Focus 8, the company’s flagship product.

SAP to showcase Internet of Things innovations With 90 percent of organizations investing in the Internet of Things by 2019, business transformation enabler SAP will showcase how the Internet of Things can drive Middle East digital business competitiveness at GITEX Technology Week 2017. By 2025, IDC predicts there will be 80 billion Internet of Things devices worldwide, enhancing productivity, efficiency, and the customer experience. To boost digital competitiveness, 90 percent of companies plan to invest in Internet of Things projects over the next 12-24 months. As the GITEX Business Transformation Partner, SAP will support Middle East adoption of Internet of Things solutions. The SAP stand will showcase Internet of Things in Live Airports, the SAP Leonardo Experience for the recently-launched digital innovation system, and SAP Blockchain for Real Estate. “World class digital business competitiveness requires collaboration and co-innovation across every industry. GITEX Technology Week is an exciting and strategic platform for SAP to showcase transformational cloud business models and exchange innovative Internet of Things best practices to enhance citizen experiences and enable Smart Cities in the region,” commented Steve Tzikakis, Regional President South Europe, Middle East, and Africa at SAP, the event’s Business Transformation Partner. GITEX attendees will also be able to experience SAP’s cloud innovations in artificial intelligence, blockchain, and machine learning. Attendees can hear the latest trends and insights from SAP experts at the GITEX Vertical Days conference sessions.


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News Bytes

Mimecast to present email-borne cyber attacks at GITEX Mimecast, a leading email and data security company, will discuss how organizations can build a comprehensive cyber resilience strategy for email during its participation at GITEX Technology Week. Experts will also perform a live email hack, and will demonstrate how organizations can protect themselves against advanced cyberattacks with Mimecast’s range of services. Brandon Bekker, MD at Mimecast MEA said, “According to a recent survey Mimecast commissioned from Vanson Bourne, only 30% of respondents say they have adopted a complete cyber resilience strategy, with about one-third still in the early stages of development or planning. This low rate of adoption – and ultimately, preparedness – has consequences: 64% think they will suffer a negative business impact from cybercriminal activity this year. To achieve a comprehensive cyber resilience strategy, organizations need to first assess the actual capabilities of their current email security service.” Mimecast will highlight how its cloud-based email security services and capabilities of Targeted Threat Protection including Internal Email Protect, a cloud-based security service providing threat capabilities for internally generated email, helps reduce the risk, complexity and costs traditionally associated with protecting email.

6  |  October 2017

ManageEngineto unveil IT Security and ITSM Enhancements ManageEngine, the real-time IT management company, announced that it will promote its IT Service Management (ITSM), IT operations management, Windows Server management, endpoint management, mobile device management, security information and event management (SIEM), and IT analytics products at GITEX Technology Week 2017, Dubai, from October 8-12, 2017. The company will also unveil enhancements in IT security and ITSM at the event. “With several advances in disruptive technologies such as mobility, big data analytics, and cloud, organizations are realizing a void between their IT and business goals. This void is a leading cause of complexity in user experience and requirements. Our objective is to eliminate the complexity in IT management and bridge the gap between IT and business goals by building contextual integrations within our products. This will also help reduce silos and operational costs. With IT service management being the heart of IT, we have plans to announce new developments in this space,” said NirmalManoharan, regional director of sales, ManageEngine. Visitors can join ManageEngine executives for a quick discussion on “Bot Technology & Machine Learning in IT Management,” in the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), Hall 7, Booth A7–10. ManageEngine experts will also be available to give product demonstrations and talk one-on-one with customers and partners.

Infoblox enhances Partner Program Infoblox Inc., the network control company that provides Actionable Network Intelligence announced enhancements to its partner program, BuildingBLOX, to offer additional benefits and training for valued channel partners. The new program reinforces Infoblox’s commitment to the channel with increased investment and focus on partners' go-to-market efforts. Network environments are rapidly evolving, driven by IT business drives such as security, virtualization, cloud, SDN, IPv6 adoption, and the Internet of Things. Channel partners are tasked with helping their customers navigate this complex and ever changing landscape in order to select the right solutions to keep their networks running and protected. InfobloxBuildingBLOX offers partners the tools and resources necessary to be a trusted advisor and offer expanded services with increased revenue potential. InfobloxBuildingBLOX Partner Program rewards partners for their investment in accreditation. Partners who invest in certifications and training will receive increased benefits. It features a pay-for-performance reward for partner-sourced opportunities based upon the value partners bring to each deal. The program encourages and incentivizes partners to go broader and deeper with Infoblox security platform technology. A Partner facing dashboard will provide reseller performance visibility. There are additional plans for a partner training portal to offer on demand resources and learning. “At Infoblox, our partner relationships are paramount to our success. We’re committed to making it easy for our partners to work with Infoblox.” said Chris Jones, vice president of worldwide channel sales at Infoblox. “The new program emphasizes the value of our partners, our investment in partners and rewards our partners for investing in Infoblox. BuildingBLOX rewards our partners for their value and pipeline contribution and aligns program milestones with those most important to driving business together.”


News Bytes

Pure Storage will showcase All-Flash Data Platform At GITEX Technology Week, Pure Storage will be showcasing their latest cloud-enabled, all-flash data platform, powered by the combination of FlashArray//X, the company’s first all-NVMe, enterprise-class, all-flash array for high performance structured data workloads and FlashBlade, the company’s all-flash array built for high-performance unstructured data workloads. “At Pure our mission is to help our customers put their data to work to drive innovation. This means bringing their business three critical attributes—speed, agility, and intelligence—to succeed in their own digital transformation,” said James Petter, Vice President, EMEA at Pure Storage. “We do this by delivering the Data Platform for the Cloud Era – a well-integrated set of softwaredefined data services, delivered by our flash systems, software, and cloud-based management that enables our customers to run all operations with cloud agility, improve the economics of data analytics at high velocity and scale, and ultimately derive new insights to deliver datadriven customer results never before possible.” Launched at last year’s edition of GITEX, FlashBlade, is a cloud-era flash array, purpose-built for modern analytics and and is available in 8TB, 17TB and 52TB blade configurations

8  |  October 2017

SonicWall to unveil advanced network security products and services SonicWall will launch a range of advanced network security products and services at GITEX Technology Week in Dubai. The range of products works to accelerate speed thresholds for its Automated Real-Time Breach Detection and Prevention Platform across wired, wireless and mobile networks. “In a modern, hyper-connected world, there are no compromises. Our customers, and their end users, expect the best in real-time security, performance and analytics — regardless of network, device or physical location,” said SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner. “This automated, real-time breach detection and prevention platform ensures organisations can build smart, consistent and sound security postures while meeting the speed, performance and cost-of-ownership demands of today’s businesses and their users. We are happy to launch the platform for our Middle East customers at GITEX technology Week in Dubai.” The platform enhancements include more than 50 new SonicOS features, a new high-performance firewall, a series of new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless access points, an intuitive cloud analytics application and advanced secure federated single sign-on (SSO) capabilities.

Palo Alto Networks to showcase GlobalProtect cloud service Palo Alto Networks,is encouraging Middle East organizations to secure their applications and data in the cloud to drive business competitiveness, ahead of GITEX Technology Week 2017.During GITEX Technology Week, the next-generation cybersecurity companywill reveal the findings from its 2017 cloud security survey which explores cloud security concerns in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. MENA organizations will spend $1.2 billion on public cloud services this year, according to Gartner and expects this to reach almost $2 billion by 2020. By, 2018, 60 percent of workloads around the world will run on public clouds, according to 451 Research. “As Middle East organizations shift business and mobile apps to the public or hybrid cloud, they need to move away from traditional siloed network security solutions and approaches and towards strategic security,” said Tarek Abbas, Systems Engineering Director, Emerging Markets at Palo Alto Networks. At GITEX technology Week, Palo Alto Networks will showcase its GlobalProtect cloud service, which enables customers to secure remote networks and mobile users. The cloud service utilizes the preventive capabilities of the Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Security Platform, including application visibility and control, Threat Prevention, URL Filtering, and WildFire threat analysis service. On the stand, attendees can experience the Palo Alto Networks VM-Series virtualized next-generation firewall which can be deployed in a range of private and public cloud computing environments based on technologies from an array of major cloud providers.


News Bytes

Gemalto unveils payment hardware security module Gemalto announced the launch of the industry’s first payment hardware security module (HSM) to include partitioning as an advanced security feature. This new capability allows financial services organizations to simplify cryptographic operations by using a single HSM to support dozens of security applications and protect sensitive payment information and transactions. While necessary to meet stringent security requirements, adding more HSMs can increase the complexity of cryptographic infrastructure and operations. The new partitioning capability of Gemalto’sSafeNet Luna EFT Payment HSM solves this challenge with a single HSM platform that can be separated into multiple virtual HSMs to provide the scalability financial services firms require today. “Gemalto has a long history of enabling and securing payments from credit cards to mobile devices and our SafeNet HSM has a proven track record of protecting over $1 trillion transactions worldwide every day,” said Todd Moore, Senior Vice President for Encryption Products at Gemalto. “By adding partitioning to the SafeNet Payment HSM, we are enabling our customers to reduce hardware, improve cloud usability, and decrease transaction processing times all while maintaining the same level of security required by the financial industry.”

10  |  October 2017

Rittal showcase focuses on innovations Rittal, is hosting a voyage of discovery through Innovative IT scenarios and presenting itself as an ‘Enabler of Innovative IT solutions’ at GITEX 2017. Visitors to GITEX, can find out how companies can quickly and easily implement cost effective, secure, flexible IT solutions from Rittal. Rittal is showcasing a display of their ‘Edge to Hyperscale’ solutions and Innovative technologies on their enhanced 120 SQM Innovation Stand at GITEX 2017. The ‘Discover it’ showcase will include a focus on innovative IT solutions for SMB, SME and Large Enterprise businesses. Rittal Edge Data Center &Datacentre-in-a-Box tailored products as well as specialized racks for OCP are also part of the showcase. Other highlights would be Innovative Overhead Power Distribution for Datacenters as well as TS-IT & Outdoor IT Innovative rack designs. Cooling solutions &Rittal DCIM software as well as Physical Security Solutions including Micro Data Centre & IT Security Room are also solutions that Rittal would be presenting at the stand. A virtual display of the Intelligent Industrialization of datacenter solution (Lefdal Mine Datacenter (LMD) – one of Europe’s most efficient, secure and greenest datacenter), Rimatrix S, Balanced Cloud Solutions, etc. is also part of the showcase for partner and customers visiting the stand. “Our participation at GITEX 2017 is set to captivate audience with our Innovative 120 SQM stand and Innovative solutions offering opportunities to all visitors for enhancing their businesses. Further, we are set to discuss few trending new technologies and products for the New Generation IT Infrastructure and Intelligent Industrialization of datacenters,” saidJoseph Najjar, Managing Director, Rittal Middle East

Evanssion in distribution agreement with Cohesity Evanssion, a regional value-added distributor (VAD) for cloud transformation and information security solutions, has signed a distribution agreement with Cohesity, the only provider of hyper converged secondary storage platform. According to the agreement, Evanssion will operate as VAD across the Middle East, Levant, North Africa and India, providing Cohesity’s complete suite of solutions. “Enterprise IT is moving towards a software defined and hyper converged architecture. This trend is apparent in the current market demand for secondary storage and backup solutions from organisations that especially generate massive amounts of data,” says Ashok Chakravarthi Arulmozhi, MD at Evanssion. “About 80% of an enterprises’ storage capacity is consumed by secondary data, and this imposes a huge burden on enterprise IT budgets. As a pioneer in introducing hyper converged technology in secondary storage, we believe Cohesity has the capability to enable organisations to consolidate and manage secondary data cost-effectively. Our partners are keen to introduce Cohesity to their key customers and we are committed to grow Cohesity’s footprint." Cohesity delivers a web-scale, hyper converged storage system that spans both private data centers and cloud.


News Bytes

Centra Hub to showcase VAT compliant CRM Centra Hub, a subsidiary company of Focus Softnet, announced its plans to promote the upgraded version of its CRM solution with inbuilt entry-level accounting module that is completely VAT-compliant as well as the cloudready version built on thin-client architecture at GITEX Technology Week. The company will also showcase its other industry-leading solutions such as Real Estate Management Systems (REMS), Computer Aided Facility Management Systems (CAFM) and Human Capital Management (HCM). “Centra Hub believes in delivering next-generation solutions that bring together people, platforms, and processes through effective, easy-touse and integration-ready CRM and HCM systems. Through our solutions, we are helping organizations adopt the latest digitization trends and are empowering them to streamline their processes for better customer and people support,” says Nisith Naik, CEO of Centra Hub. “We are excited to introduce our best-in-class, cloud enabled, CRM, HCM and vertical solutions for a focused audience. Through this year's participation, we hope to increase Centra Hub’s product and solution visibility, meet with existing partners and customers and sign on new reputed partners across the regional and global markets,” added Naik

12  |  October 2017

VMware to showcase how Cloud enables Digital Transformation VMware will showcase the latest innovations in security, data center modernization, and digital workspaces to enable Middle East digital transformation at GITEX Technology Week 2017 in Dubai. VMware’s hands-on digital demos would be held in coordination with partners Aptec, Redington, and Starlink at the VMware stand in Hall 6. VMware will also showcase the latest solutions across fields such as multi-cloud management, cyber-security, data center modernization and hyper-converged infrastructure, Internet of Things, enterprise mobility, and softwaredefined networking and virtualization. Showing the strong demand in cloud technology as the foundation for digital transformation, public cloud spending in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa region is set to top USD 715 million in 2017, up 37 percent from 2015, according to a recent report by research firm IDC. Ahmed Auda, Managing Director - Middle East and North Africa, VMware, said: “Digital transformation is the top priority for Middle East CIOs. Successful digital transformation is not a one-off IT project, but should be a continuous business journey centered on customer, consumer, and citizen experiences. GITEX Technology Week is an ideal platform to show Middle East CIOs how the cloud can deliver secure and exceptional mobile experiences that drive business competitiveness.”

Schneider Electric unveils EcoStruxure Building Schneider Electric has announced the introduction of EcoStruxure Building, an open, collaborative Internet of Things (IoT) platform for smart buildings that delivers significantly enhanced value across the building ecosystem. Utilizing the latest in digital technology and solutions, EcoStruxure Building is specifically designed to meet the requirements of building owners and occupants, real estate developers, system integrators and facility managers. EcoStruxure Building is the latest addition to Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure, its IoT-enabled plug-and-play open architecture that delivers end-to-end solutions in six domains of expertise – Power, IT, Building, Machine, Plant and Grid – for four end markets – Building, Data Center, Industry and Infrastructure. EcoStruxureis driving digital transformation for Schneider Electric clients globally, enhancing their competitiveness in today’s digital economy. EcoStruxure Building enables users to gain valuable insights from building data to make building environments smarter, more secure and comfortable and up to 30 percent more efficient. By connecting everything from sensors to services, this comprehensive solution integrates key building systems such as energy, HVAC, lighting, fire safety, security and workplace management to make the most of new opportunities presented by the IoT. Philippe Delorme, Executive Committee member and EVP of Building and IT Business at Schneider Electric, said, “Today, our customers have a significant opportunity to improve their buildings’ lifetime efficiency, occupant comfort and productivity due to EcoStruxure Building. The proliferation of connected, intelligent systems and devices generates mountains of data that our customers and partners can now leverage, making building management as easy as ABC.”


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News In Detail

Dell EMC set to make most of GITEX participation D

ell Technologies, the world’s largest privatelycontrolled technology company, celebrates the first anniversary of its formation through the historic merger of Dell and EMC. In its inaugural year, the company formed a unified Dell and Dell EMC salesforce and created a $35 billion Dell Technologies channel and global channel program that added 10,000 new business customers to the Dell EMC portfolio. In addition Dell EMC experienced explosive revenue growth (nearly double historical rates) in underpenetrated accounts in the first half of 2017, fueled by cross-selling of server, storage, client and converged infrastructure solutions. Dell Technologies accomplished these milestone achievements while rapidly paying down approximately $9.5 billion in debt, quickly completing three major

16  |  October 2017

business divestitures and continuing to invest aggressively in the most innovative technologies for customers. As evidence of early traction, a new independent IDC survey reveals that 91% of customers surveyed worldwide believe Dell and EMC have delivered on the promises made to them ahead of the merger. The Dell Technologies family of businesses includes Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMware. It stands as a $74 billion market leader with the industry’s most expansive portfolio from the edge to the data center to the cloud. Mohammed Amin, Senior Vice President, Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Dell EMC says, “In a market wherein Digital Transformation is a priority and is driving disruptive projects, the relevance of Dell Technologies and Dell

EMC has never been starker. This year we are bringing to the market the power of our family of strategically aligned businesses to help organization make digital transformation a reality through information technology solution from edge to core to the cloud. This year the tradeshow will be a great opportunity to share with IT Decision Makers and LOBs our broad capabilities that will enable them to be more competitive, optimize costs and drive innovation.” The company is set to use this year’s GITEX as the launchpad for its one-year celebration since the merger, and as a platform to get closer to partners, customers, and numerous other stakeholders. Amin adds, “With an attentive and relevant audience, GITEX is the perfect opportunity to share our latest news and plans for the near-term and the

longer-term future, around products, solutions, initiatives, partnerships, and much more during the course of the trade show. We will be engaging with key stakeholders during the event, and communicating our vision and expertise through various means.” He believes that as a focused networking platform for the technology industry, GITEX is unparalleled in the region. “It is also an opportunity for our people to get a view on developments within the industry and the evolving customer requirement, which goes a long way towards informing our strategy and approach in the future. Conversations sparked at GITEX often result in interesting new avenues for Dell EMC and Dell Technologies to explore, bringing great learning and the chance to build and strengthen expertise along the way, “ says Amin.


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News In Detail

Legacy networks holding back transformation R

iverbed Technology has announced the results of the Riverbed Future of Networking Global Survey 2017, which explores the impact both legacy infrastructure and nextgeneration networks have on cloud adoption and digital transformation. The global survey, which includes responses from 1,000 IT decision makers across nine countries, revealed an incredible level of agreement that legacy infrastructures are holding back their cloud and digital strategies. Nearly all respondents (97%) agree that legacy network infrastructure will have difficulty keeping pace with the changing demands of the cloud and hybrid networks. Conversely, 91% of respondents say their organization’s cloud strategy will only reach its full potential with a next-generation network, and 98% agree that a next-gen network is critical to keep up with the needs of their business and end users. The survey also found there is a current gap in the adoption of next-generation technology such as SD-WAN (softwaredefined wide area networking) that will accelerate the cloud and digital transformation, however a tipping point is near. Of the IT decision makers

18  |  October 2017

surveyed, 93% plan to migrate to SD-WAN within the next four years, up from just 4% today. “This survey and the resulting data reveal the tremendous pressure that IT decision makers are under to execute their cloud strategies, achieve digital transformation and keep pace with the speed of innovation that is the norm in today’s hypercompetitive markets,” said Jerry M. Kennelly, co-founder and CEO, Riverbed Technology. “It was almost unanimous that to have a successful cloud strategy, organizations must adopt next-gen software-defined networking immediately to support it. Riverbed is dedicated to ensuring this transformation is successful and that organizations are able to achieve the operational agility needed to thrive through the use of SD-WAN for cloud networking.” Currently, performance pains experienced by businesses are glaring, as 58% report that they experience cloud-related network issues specifically caused by their legacy infrastructure a few times a month or more; and 93% said it impacts their business at least monthly. Unfortunately, 85% of these same decision makers say they

are still several years away from reaching the full potential of digital transformation, in part due to their legacy infrastructure. This gap between realization and actual deployment is consistent from companies across verticals such as financial, manufacturing, retail, energy and utilities, communications and media, and IT services, and could threaten their competitive positions in their respective markets. 69% of respondents stated both legacy networking infrastructure and lack of visibility into the cloud are a barrier to their cloud strategy reaching its full potential. Decision makers display a very high level of understanding that meeting their digital and business challenges means moving to a next-generation, softwaredefined network is critical. As organizations are turning to

a cloud-centric or cloud-first strategy, there is a major gap between what their current hardware-centric infrastructure offers and what they need to realize the benefits of the cloud. In the survey, 57% of respondents acknowledge that achieving operational agility is critical to the success of a modern enterprise, and nextgeneration networks as well as the technology to support them are key to reaching this goal. Other top factors driving the move to next-generation networking technology: • 56% – successfully achieving digital transformation initiatives • 55% – a strategic move to the cloud and hybrid networks • 51% – growing demand for mobility • 51% – rising customer and end user expectations • 45% – support for IoT devices


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Cover Feature | Digital Transformation

T

Accelerating digital transformation Businesses need to show urgency about adopting digital transformation initiatives to stay competitive

20  |  October 2017

here is a steady ramping up of investments across enterprises and SMB organizations towards digital transformation. Companies are adopting digital tools that enable them to be more innovative in processes, enabling new products and services as well as enhancing customer experience. Over the next few years, this will accelerate, helping organisations evolve towards better efficiencies in Business processes and enhancing their core competence. According to IDC, the efforts around digital transformation is increasingly shaping the investment decisions of organizations across the region with mobility initiatives likely to be the largest focus of spending in 2021 at $49.7 billion. Further, this is also likely to give impetus to investments in internet of things ($16.3 billion), augmented and virtual reality ($5.9 billion), and big data analytics ($4.6 billion) all of which look to emerge as the key areas of investment by 2021. Frida Kleimert, Channel Lead – Cisco Middle East & Africa says, “Businesses today are at a critical point where they must decide how they respond to digitization, which is disrupting all industries and has the potential to overturn and reshape markets faster than perhaps any force in history. To cope with digital disruption, business must innovate vigorously and relentlessly at a fast pace. Customers are now demanding that partners become experts in their field so they can deliver the correct business outcome for the marketplace.”


According to Savio Tovar Dias, Senior Director, Sales Engineering, Avaya, “Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, automation, big data, and the Internet of Things have made digital transformation an absolute necessity for organizations. With people, processes, services and things more dynamically connected than ever, companies are feeling relentless pressure to digitize, simplify, and integrate their organizational structures to remain competitive.” The best approach with Digital Transformation is letting business leaders focus on managing their business outcomes, rather than managing new technology and have the new technology to seamlessly adapting to their environments. That’s the viewpoint that Prabu Balasubramanyan, Executive Director, TransSys Solution shares. He elaborates, “Digital transformation brings companies into the future, and it enables them to be more competitive. Using modern technologies, you not only gain a better understanding of your environment, your customers’ needs, and your own business, you also benefit from putting all your best assets—whether they’re your employees, supply chain, processes, or products—to the newest and best possible use.”

The journey for organizations To every organization,



the transformation journey will entail a very intricate understanding of its Business model, processes, engagements with employees, partners and customers. According to Mechelle Buys Du Plessis, Managing Director – Middle East, Dimension Data, digital transformation is a business strategy change that requires not only significant investments at a technology layer, but a change in mind-set and structure of employees that join the journey. She says, “Digital Transformation is a very exciting space and topical for most of our clients – from a strategy perspective, to project planning and execution that supports the strategy. To thrive as a digital business, you need the flexibility to adapt to changes and stay ahead of the curve. But no two organisations’ technology journeys are the same. The services you need may change over time, or may vary across different areas of your environment. Dimension Data works with our clients every step of the way. We consider services and technology across digital infrastructure, hybrid cloud, the digital workspace and cyber security in our go to market.” It is possible that the

Frida Kleimert Channel Lead Cisco MEA

timeous task. Changes affect all in the business – from senior leadership, all the way through the organization.” The region has been in the forefront of adopting emerging technologies as Artificial Intelligence, Predictive Analytics and digital transformation are in focus. For SMEs, Technology uptake is the key driver for their growth in the region and change is not an option—it’s an imperative driven by customer expectations and the pace of innovation, says Prabu. He adds, “Businesses today are at a critical point where they “SME’s are seeking must decide how they respond to digitization, which solutions that provide scalable is disrupting all industries and has the potential to information overturn and reshape markets faster than perhaps systems that helps them digitize and any force in history." connect processes. journey could be more prolonged for organisations that are larger sized with entrenched systems and processes, whereas organisations that are far more nimble and smaller would find it easier to take the leap. Mechelle adds, “SME’s might find the journey less painful as the size of their organizations may offer more agility in adapting to change. For larger organizations, the change in strategy and people structure could be a more

October 2017  |  21


Cover Feature | Digital Transformation

Savio Tovar Dias Sr. Director Sales Engineering Avaya

Digitizing Enterprise Resource Planning, Customer Experience Management, Human Resource and Analytics simplifies the way SME’s run business. For SME’s, Digital Technologies such as cloud - software-as-aservice (SaaS), platform-as-aservice (PaaS), infrastructureas-a-service (IaaS) brings potential benefits with low TCO and high ROI.” It comes down to the fact that all touchpoints from customer to partner and the workflow processes along with the employees would need to be holistically addressed through digital transformation initiatives. This would mean embracing a multitude of relevant technologies that are helping brining in the change towards empowering the organization. According to Sunil Paul, COO of Finesse, “Most organizations are prepared for the transformation as it makes a huge difference in the way employees work and deliver. Technologies

22  |  October 2017

like BI & Analytics give deep insights into the huge data available so that employees can make educated decisions that affect business positively. CRM solutions enhance how employees work together to handle customer data to improve business relationships and driving sales growth. The power of cloud computing and the ubiquity of mobile devices means companies can now redesign their entire processes to the benefit of both the employee and the customer, ensuring that everyone has all the information they want, whenever and wherever they need it.” The journey will require a willingness to go through with all the necessary changes as half measures wouldn’t be enough to get the desired outcomes in terms of the business objectives that is driving digitization in the first place. Hence transformation has to be all encompassing across the various aspects of the Business.

Frida comments, “To be ready for digital transformation, customers need to transform their business strategy and IT, connect everything, embrace analytics, and secure their technology and operations. Becoming a digital business requires an agile IT model, and the ability for CIOs and business leaders to rethink core processes for the digital era.” She elaborates further, “Embracing new security, cloud, mobile, social and analytics technologies are all required to fully digitize takes imagination, investment and expertise. The benefits of digitization and connectivity will be enormous – greater efficiency and economy, better end-user experiences, greater usage of assets and clearer views of the business. Organizations that are agile enough to innovate rapidly and unbridle their capacity to create cost value, experience value, or platform value for their customers will be the winners.” Savio believes that while businesses understand the importance of digital transformation and that digitization represents massive customer experience, operational, and revenue opportunities, yet they’re struggling to go from vision to execution. “Seizing this opportunity, requires transitioning to a services-based approach that targets customer- and verticalspecific needs, especially those related to communications. They’re however challenged with evolving from legacy hardware to a services-based ecosystem that supports digital drivers like cloud, mobile, big

data analytics, and social.” Highlighting conclusions from an industry survey, he adds that nearly 80% of businesses identified digital transformation as their top strategic priority last year, yet only a fraction have implemented an enterprisewide digital strategy. Further, while nearly half of CIOs plan to spend 50% or more of their time in digital activities by 2021, yet only 5% feel they’ve mastered digital to a point of competitive differentiation.

The go to market strategies Many vendors have been repositioning technologies and frameworks to take partners and customers along as they lead the change. To be in the lead, they cannot continue with the closed ecosystems approach towards their own domains but should be willing to increase space for collaboration with other vendor ecosystems that will make the journey more seamless for customers and easier for channel partners to deploy. One of the strategic pivots of Cisco in playing a key role in digital transformation initiatives is the recently launched ‘The Network. Intuitive.’, a result of years of research and development by the company to reinvent networking for an age where network engineers managing hundreds of devices today will be expected to manage 1 million by 2020. Designed to be intuitive, the new network can recognize intent, mitigate threats through encryption, and learn over time, thus unlocking opportunities and enhancing


business agility. “As the new Cisco network is secure, simple, and based on software, with always-on analytics, partners will be able to help customers to make better business decisions faster, with lower costs and lesser risks. To embrace this technology, our channel partners are evolving their networking practices and developing new skills to pursue new business opportunities. Cisco is helping partners in their efforts by introducing new programs, incentives and tools to help them build networking practices that incorporate software, security, automation and analytics for their customers.” Cisco has also created a new portfolio of services that leverage best practices and innovative tools. Whether customers are looking to transform their entire network or integrate new security and automation capabilities into their existing network, Cisco partners have a life cycle of advisory, implementation, optimization and technical services to help. She adds, “Digital Transformation is also changing the go-to-market strategy of the channel. It requires rethinking of what role partners play and how vendors structure their entire channel strategy to accommodate the line of business customers and solving for business outcomes. Cisco is also opening up its internal Accelerating Cisco Ecosystem Sales (ACES) program to the channel to drive multi-vendor solutions.” Savio opines that there are gaps in the understanding



of the customer aspect in current approaches to digital transformation. An incomplete understanding of the customer experience can derail effective transformation and Avaya has a major focus on enhancing this aspect through its solutions. He says, “there’s a big hole in the fabric of most digital transformation (DX) plans: the customer experience (CX). The problem isn’t that companies fail to understand the importance of the CX in relation to digital transformation. Rather, most fail to understand their customers well enough to envision a truly customer-centric, digitallytransformed environment. While Gartner research shows 89% of companies expect to compete primarily on customer experience, just 6% of companies in an Aberdeen Group survey said they were extremely satisfied with their ability to use data to improve the customer journey.” Savio claims that Avaya’s Oceana is a truly multi-touch customer engagement solution that gives companies the freedom and flexibility to create, innovate, optimize and future-proof customer journey-driven experiences that generate customer loyalty, retention, share of wallet, and repeat business. Built on the Avaya Breeze development platform, Avaya Oceana is an extensible, software-based solution with simple drag and drop visual workflow capabilities to create and manage multi-touch customer journeys while Avaya Oceanalytics delivers a single, comprehensive view of customers across all

Prabu Balasubramanyan Executive Director TransSys Solutions

sources, including Avaya and non-Avaya systems, and ease to add any other data sources as needed. Avaya also offers the Avaya Breeze Client SDK to its developer ecosystem and customers to create their own unique experiences. For Transsys, the strategy is to take the lead around the key emerging technologies and offer their services to customers. “As a trusted Digital Transformation partner in the region, we have taken lead in building capabilities to harness the opportunities around Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics platform. For us, Transformation is continuous Invention, Innovation & Integration and that’s our strategy.”

Getting there It is best to see digital transformation as a journey, where you need to plan out as many details and try and accomplish project milestones in a timely manner.There could

be decisions to replace some of the technologies that would not be part of the plan but ideally it wouldn’t be a complete rip and replace strategy. Mechelle comments, “The transformation journey needs to be planned and projects prioritized to deliver against the transformation strategy at the right time. Legacy technology may or may not change as part of this journey, or may change at different stages. Where changes are required, they must deliver against the business strategy and should form part of a holistic plan. Prabu says that adopting modern technologies doesn’t mean that legacy systems need to be consigned to history. He advocates a phased approach towards digital transformation. “Organizations can achieve agile transformation by integrating some of these legacy applications with new cloud applications and the digital platform and achieve digital relevance very quickly while total transformation could October 2017  |  23


Cover Feature | Digital Transformation

Sunil Paul Co-Founder & COO Finesse

be a progressive achievement. Advances in the technologies brings considerable opportunities but it also continues to put more pressure on organisations and its decision makers to ensure its successful adoption. TransSys has witnessed several successful transformations with Integration at the core.” Avaya’s strategy is to seek leverage of existing assets on a customer site, while transforming and delivering innovation at the same time. Savio says, “In the Digita transformation journey, it is not a rip and replace but more of a wrap and embrace until you deliver a native Digital solution.As Avaya is continuously working on new emerging solutions for businesses that can be integrated today, through an open, standards-based approach. We work with our

24  |  October 2017

Mechelle Buys Du Plessis Managing Director, ME Dimension Data

"Organisations have to get move out of legacy technologies if they have to adopt newer and relevant emerging technologies. Today decisions need to be taken at the speed of business, where ever you are." partners to ensure that they continue to leverage their past investments, while allowing them to transcend into the digital era.” On the other hand, Sunil from Finesse contends that an entire new generation of technologies will need to be adopted to go full throttle with the transformation initiatives. It is in any case clear that there would be a different strategy for each company or customer. He opines, “Organisations have to get move out of legacy technologies if they have to adopt newer and relevant emerging technologies. Today decisions need to be taken at the speed of business, where ever you

are. For instance, conventional ERPs no longer work to provide these flexibilities and extensions are required to get information to facilitate such decision making.” Frida believes that digital transformation opens up avenues to create strong partner ecosystems which include solution providers, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), technology partners, and consulting firms who can provide solutions that address changing market conditions, enable flexible consumption models and help customers achieve desired business outcomes. She adds, “Designing solutions for digital transformation in the Digital

era requires deep understanding of solution spaces and an ability to connect hierarchical systems. It requires understanding specific usage models and domain expertise to translate those user models into sensors, actuations, control logic, data aggregation, and local network connectivity and service layers.” Partners who are developing applications for a specific line of business or vertical market can win huge because digital transformation is largely about selling to customers on business outcomes. Just as the opportunity is significant for Businesses looking to evolve into the digital era, so is the opportunity huge for the companies in the partner ecosystem looking to enable Businesses with successful digital transformation.


Point2Point | RBH ACCESS

Discuss your focus in the Middle East market and growth outlook? Since 1995 RBH Access has been designing and manufacturing Access Control and Security Management systems for customers around the globe. RBH is selling in over 125 countries and in 16 languages with offices located all over the world. Our Middle East office is focusing on all the security requirements with standard and tailor made solution for our Middle East customers. We are proudly securing the ports, airports and many banks in the Middle East region. We continue to target continuous growth in all the segments by addressing their security needs. Elaborate on your partner strategy? Our sales, distribution, and support center together provide services tailored to Middle East customer’s needs as we market our products through our network of security dealers and systems integrators. We have selective dealer recruitment along with comprehensive training to ensure highest customer satisfaction for RBH customers. RBH works with system integrators for end to end solutions based on customer requirements. What is driving demand in the market for Electronic Access Controls? An emerging trend with respect to the Electronics Access Control System market is the demand for integrated solutions that integrate immediate onsite response with electronic security and alarm systems. This growth is mainly attributed to heightened security concerns backed by government and regulatory mandates. Critical infrastructure, port security and financial segments are among the verticals that are showing strong demand growth. Elaborate on your focus in Access Control solutions? RBH Access Technologies has been known for quality and innovative design. From an Enterprise to Small Business solution, we have solutions specifically tailored to a customer’s needs. Utilizing the latest in

26  |  October 2017

Ajay Dumbhare, Regional Sales Manager at RBH Middle East discusses how the company has steadily built a strong customer base across key verticals

Ajay Dumbhare Regional Sales Manager RBH Middle East

Growth strides Microsoft platform technology, we deliver responsive and reliable software on the desktop, server and over the web. Mention your new launches at the forthcoming GITEX showcase? RBH View is a powerful Video management software platform allowing management, viewing and recording of industry standard IP cameras. It is a seamless bridge between user and technology to maximize building efficiencies and security efforts for an unparalleled video experience for viewing and incident resolution. RBH View’s core is built for Flexibility, Expandability and Robust operation while maintaining a simple operational interface for maximum Return on investment. It can be deployed as a standalone product as well as integrated into RBH’s Access Control Software platforms, or simply sold as an upgrade to existing IP systems.

Discuss how the various solutions you provide from different vendors can help extend access control cost effectively? Our Products ensure robust, “bullet proof” performance out in the field. RBH guarantee maximum ROI, only one time investment. We provides the flexibility to Just pay for the feature you need & add – on as the system grows. RBH is One Company with Multi Level Solutions and we offer hassle free migration from our entry level solution to Enterprise system as the system requirement grows. Discuss interoperability features of the security hardware you provide? RBH integrates third party products as the importance of cross industry co-operation becomes significant. Our Open Architecture system can be integrated with any 3rd party system such as, Active Directory, ASCII Interface, OPC Server, Message Port, XML, OSDP, BacNet etc.


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Point2Point | DFS Group

Securing Access DFS Group (Digital Factors & Business) have been the key player in the Identity issuance and access management in ME&A for the last two decades with immense experience in providing solutions for the Identity card issuance for various verticals and national wide issuance projects. Mohammed Zaheer, GM elaborates trends in the market and their forthcoming GITEX announcements Discuss your focus in the Middle East market and growth outlook? While we retain our leadership in card issuance, we have been focusing largely in growing our access control business which is quite complimentary to card issuance business. Our primary focus in this area is to address the small to medium corporate and government organizations security needs with world’s best ACS Hardware and credentials from HID Global, combined with our own most easy and customizable software applications. Our Access control solutions based on “Mobile Access" ACS credentials has been the most successful and innovative business product for the last two years and we are optimistic on the growth percentage from mobile access trend in our industry. Elaborate on your partner strategy? We are quite strong in distribution channel strategy across ME&A where we work with a large number of over 100 dedicated and committed channel partners engaged in security solutions, primarily system integrators and installers in countries across ME&A. We do have a direct end

28  |  October 2017

user and project based business model implemented for UAE under our “Solutions Division" with strong technical team capable of building solutions across the Identity and access management space. Is the market for Electronic Access Controls growing in the region? Which have been the strong growth verticals? We see a very strong growth prospects in terms of Electronic Access control in the region, UAE being the highest and fastest growing market for our security business. We have seen great level of acceptance towards Mobile Access which is a kind of system upgrade and new trend against the traditional card based access and credentials. In terms of verticals, we see government being the most successful vertical followed by corporates in the ME region, As we are all aware that a large number of residential and commercial building projects are being in the handing over stage in UAE, we have also seen a sudden demand in Electronic Access control system from the construction and real estate verticals primarily for gated

Mohammed Zaheer Group General Manager DFS Group (Digital Factors & Business)

communities, residential and commercial complex to address the security need for buildings, elevators and parking. Mention your focus at the forthcoming GITEX showcase? We are excited to announce the first ever Middle East brand of Card printer under "Digital Factor" Brand name, an OEM of World renowned “Entrust Datacard”. This will provide flexible options to our large partner and clientele base to select from a vast range of brands and technologies. In Partnership with HID Global we will be launching the Midrange All options card printer “DTC1500” to address the affordable and low-cost card printer with lamination first time in our region. Finally, as part of our growth plan in ACS space we will be showcasing a unique blend of security solution application suite which will combine card issuance, Physical and logical access in a single window manageability which will allow the organizations to manage their security needs from a single window application with seamless integration to various departments in any organization.


TechKnow | Dell EMC

Shams Hasan, Infrastructure Solutions Manager – META, Dell EMC discusses the company’s digital transformation initiatives

Shams Hasan Infrastructure Solutions Manager, META Dell EMC

Enabling transformation How does Dell EMC look at digital transformation EMC in terms of solutions you take to market? First and foremost, whatever Dell EMC takes to market is driven by the needs of our Customers. The increasing relevance of Dell Technologies to customers and businesses on the path to digital transformation is underscored by the findings of “The Next Era of HumanMachine Partnerships”, a study commissioned by Dell Technologies with the Institute for the Future (IFTF) to help companies navigate an uncertain world and prepare for the future. According to

30  |  October 2017

Dell’s Digital Transformation Index, 52 percent of senior decision makers across 16 countries have experienced significant disruption to their industries as a result of digital technologies. Digital transformation is not an absolute concept but a journey, which can have different parameters and success markers for different organizations. For this journey Dell Technologies bringsrelevance to organizations with the combined strength of seven families of businesses, which includes Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream, and VMware.

Together these brands stand as a $74 billionmarket leader with the industry’s most expansive portfolio from the edge to the data center to the cloud. As a leader in the technologies of today and technologies of the future, including servers, storage, PCs, virtualization, security, and cloud infrastructure, Dell Technologies will continue to be a primary choice for those seeking to harness emerging technologies for digital success no matter where they are in their journey. What does it encompass in terms of steps or readiness for an organization

that is keen on digital transformation? A lot of customers get daunted when they look at the collective roadmap of possibilities of Digital Transformation and, similarly, the collective maze of new technology trends, directions, and methodologies to get there.Rather than look at digital transformation as increased technology adoption alone, it should be a strategic view of the organization’sbusiness objectives aligned to the state of technology systems and processes. This balanced perspective helps to understandwhere digital enhancements can improve efficiencies and which of these are to be prioritized. Aligning digital transformation to the business aspirations and transformation is key to breaking the “sum total” into bite-size goals that become “the journey”. For the basic building blocks some key transformation projects that Customers need to look into include: - IT Transformation: Cloud computing, mobile transactions and 2.5 quintillion bytes of data produced daily. IT needs to be viewed as an innovation hub rather than just as a maintenance and ‘keeping the lights on’ function. Once organizations see how IT can be a revenue generator, Digital Transformation will give it the power to improve organizational speed, agility, and effectiveness through IoT, software, and insights from data. - Workforce Transformation: The urgency to become


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TechKnow | Dell EMC

a digital leader is driven by people: customers and employees. They demand personalization, secure connections, and on-demand service and technology is at the heart of meeting those needs with worldclass products, services and solutions. - Security Transformation: If an organization’s security strategy fails to keep pace with the enterprise, business risk increases. Redefining the organization with transformational security makes it safer for businesses. A transformational security strategy is built for resilience, adapts to a shifting environment, and unifies security and risk. Do you see great awareness among Businesses in the region about digital

transformation? Awareness and preparedness are not always natural companions. Given the vision of the leadership, particularly in key markets like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, awareness of digital transformation is quite high. With the imminent implementation of VAT in the region, organizations are evaluating their financial systems upgrade as a time to consider broader digital transformation. The preparation levels are yet to be determined, as there is no formal mechanism of monitoring the industry’s progress in terms of transformation. We are working with a number of organizations across the region on their digital transformation priorities, and are ensuring that their strategic visions are broken down into action points that address each of the transformation priorities;

IT, Security, and Workforce transformation. Will customers always need to replace legacy technologies they may have on premise when undertaking such transformations? It is not always the case that legacy technology needs to be completely ripped-andreplaced. Very often, legacy technologies help keep a certain part of the organization functioning efficiently, and the transformation agenda is built around enveloping its benefits and efficiencies into the broader goal. Every transformation project begins with an analysis of what needs upgrading, migrating, replacing, and maybe retiring. What does this mean for partners in terms of role

and responsibilities towards customers? Our partners play a vital role as the primary points of contact with customers. With the training, certification, and access to information that our partners receive, they are often consulting with customer leadership on what their vision and goals from digital transformation need to look like. After this, the specific roadmap is drawn out and vendor expertise brought in accordingly. The partner community has a responsibility to consistently elevate its standard of awareness of trends and technology solutions available, so that their consulting to customers is most impactful. The vendor has a responsibility towards ensuring the continued market relevance of the partner community too.

Digital Transformation disrupts across verticals

D

ell EMC and IDC’s spotlight on digital transformation for VSPs (Vertical Solution Providers)predicts that enterprises who are quick to embrace digital transformation trends will outgrow their competition, with those too slow to react will struggle to survive. The report finds that many digital transformationrelated technologies are still in their nascent stages but will have a profound impact across the following verticals in the next three years:

Healthcare The coming years in healthcare will focus on the adoption of disruptive technologies, with IDC predicting that: • Payers will have saved $1 billion globally through implementation of

32  |  October 2017

robotic process automation (RPA) tools, skill sets and process reengineering by the end of 2018 • 60% of healthcare applications will collect real-time location data and clinical IoT device data by 2019 • There will be a 50% increase in the use of robots in medications, supplies, and food delivery in hospitals by 2019

Manufacturing IDC predicts that: • 75% of large manufacturers will update their operations with IoT and analyticsbased situational awareness by 2019 • 60% of plant workers at G2000 manufactures will work alongside robots, 3D printing, AI and AR/VR by 2020 • 50% of manufacturing supply chains

will have an in-house or outsourced capability for direct-to-consumption shipments and home delivery by 2020

Telecommunications The future of telecommunications will be based around virtualized and softwaredefined networking (SDN) with a huge impact across verticals • 90% of enterprises will leverage communications service provider ‘cloud connect’ services to access multiple public cloud capabilities by 2018 • More than 65% of enterprise UC&C implementations will be cloud-based UC as a Service by 2018 • Software-defined wide area networks will be adopted by 60% of enterprises by 2018


TechKnow | Toshiba

Toshiba flaunts enterprise focus The leading storage manufacturer is expanding its storage business and looking to make greater inroads across both consumer and enterprise segments in the region. Santosh Varghese, General Manager –MEA, Digital Products and Solutions at Toshiba Gulf FZE discusses the manufacturer’s focus Discuss Toshiba’s enterprise storage focus? Is this largely around both the HDD and SDD drives? Toshiba is a top brand in the enterprise HDD and SSD space. Our products range from Enterprise Mission critical HDD to Near line HDD; we are also a key player in the SSD space. These enterprise storage drives fuel the growth of server farms and data storage centers which help in Cloud Storage, Disaster recovery sites , Server Storage etc. We also have a strong portfolio products for Surveillance How do you see yourself placed in the enterprise storage market vis-à-vis competitors? Toshiba is a top 3 brand in the Enterprise storage space with wide range of products. We are the first vendor to have the complete portfolio of HDD and SSD storage in the enterprise space. We have lead among other vendors like WD and Seagate with our product range in the enterprise SSD space How do you see growth outlook for SSD drives in the enterprise? Do you see

34  |  October 2017

wider usage scenarios in datacenter deployments? The capacity increase of HDD (hard disk) is progressing steadily. Mass production of the 3.5-inch type with recording capacity of 12 to 14 T (Tera) bytes began in 2017, and there is a possibility that products of 20 T bytes may appear even around 2020. Although the role of HDD as a conventional external storage device is being deprived by SSD (semiconductor disk device), it seems to be able to survive as "nearline storage" which is one stage below the storage hierarchy. For the near term HDD may not be driven out by NAND flash (rewritable flash memory on SSD). One reason is that from 2016 to 2017, HDD demand picked up due to insufficient supply of NAND flash memory. Another reason is that predicting that applications that must be HDDs will continue for at least the next 5-10 years. There is still price difference between HDD and SSD. According to a study by Techno System Research, the average price per 1 GB of HDD and SSD shipped in 2016

Santosh Varghese General Manager, MEA Digital Products & Solutions, Toshiba

is US $ 0.04 and US $ 0.332, respectively. It is about 8 times more. If there is a difference so far, it is possible to maximize the cost effectiveness of the storage device by storing frequently used data in the SSD, and storing the data which is rarely accessed (socalled cold data) in the HDD. What is your channel strategy for integrators in terms of making inroads into enterprise accounts? Toshiba is currently working with a network of Value Added Distributors and System Integrators focusing on data center solutions, other mission critical solutions and data center solutions for cloud storage and normal data center storage You had earlier mentioned that Toshiba would be launching Enterprise Performance drive for Mission critical Application and Enterprise Capacity Drives (a Near line HDD device). Please elaborate on this

Enterprise Performance drives (Mission critical Storage) are 2.5’’ HDD and SSD which are optimized for transactional data access at the fastest response times Enterprise Capacity Drive(Near Line Drive ) are high capacity drives ranging from 6TB to 12 TB for data storage , cloud storage and some SAS drives are used for critical surveillance projects. Do you have storage solutions for vertical segments such as surveillance? Yes, we have dedicated drives for Surveillance .Toshiba surveillance HDDs, typically incorporate rotational vibration (RV)Sensors. These enable multiple drives to be safely mounted close together in the same enclosure and still operate reliably.Without the sensors there’s a risk of rotational vibration affecting other drives in a multi bay system like DV-R/NV-R


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TechKnow | ManageEngine

Nirmal Manoharan Regional Sales Director ManageEngine

Fueling the growth engine ManageEngine, the real-time IT management company, is set to promote its IT Service Management (ITSM), IT operations management, Windows Server management, endpoint management, mobile device management, security information and event management (SIEM), and IT analytics products at GITEX Technology Week. Nirmal Manoharan, Regional Director of Sales, ManageEngine elaborates on the focus at the exhibition and the growth it has been seeing in the region

36  |  October 2017

What would be the larger focus at GITEX this year for ManageEngine? What are the new solutions being showcased? Globally, ManageEngine is on an effort to bring IT together for IT teams that need to deliver real-time services and support. With new technologies and innovations taking center stage in the realm of IT, the company believes the future of IT management is in aligning IT to business. We are looking forward to talking to our customers and partners in Middle East on the best ways to bring IT together using our comprehensive IT management software and address the future IT management needs. We will be showcasing new developments in IT Service Management (ITSM), IT operations management, Windows Server management, endpoint management, mobile device management, security information and event management (SIEM), and IT analytics products at GITEX. We are also looking forward to unveil enhancements in IT security and ITSM at the event. Elaborate how you have grown the business in the region through strong partner and customer engagement? The Middle East is one of the best performing markets for ManageEngine. Our business in this region has grown significantly over the last few years mainly because of our strong and established partners in different countries. We work closely with them and support them through the entire sales cycle.

We believe that training and certification programs are critical for organizations to build their IT skills and implement best practices. In the Middle East, we are seeing a high level of interest for all our certification programs including the Product Expert Program, Domain Expert Program, and Solutions Expert Program. Apart from the certification programs, we conduct periodic user conferences, seminars, trainings, and webinars. These are all designed to keep IT professionals from our customers and partners’ organizations abreast of the latest trends in IT, and up to date on ManageEngine product releases and enhancements. These engagements are tailored to be interactive sessions to promote knowledge sharing and collaborative learning. Discuss the major areas where you are recognized in the Gartner Magic quadrant? Our products have received several recognitions in the Gartner Magic quadrant. ManageEngine was positioned in the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Security Information and Event Management– Log360. ManageEngineDesktop Central was included in the 2014 and 2015 report of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools too. ManageEngineServiceDesk Plus Positioned in the Gartner Magic Quadrant 2014 for IT Service Support Management Tools. Discuss how the solutions you offer for IT infrastructure


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TechKnow | ManageEngine

"ManageEngine takes care of network management, server management, mobile device monitoring, application management, analytics, security tools, asset management and CMDB – all of which are required in the organization’s digital transformation initiatives."

Management can help in the digital transformation journey? With digital transformation, everything has to be next generation as transformation demands change management. ManageEngine takes care of network management, server management, mobile device monitoring, application management, analytics, security tools, asset management and CMDB – all of which are required in the organization’s digital transformation initiatives. Our IT service management tools such as ServiceDesk

Plus has helped over 100,000 organizations across 185 countries to optimize IT service desk performance and achieve high end user satisfaction. Applications monitoring, website monitoring, bandwidth monitoring and IT analytics solutions from ManageEngine support digital transformation. Should organisations see shadow IT as a threat or opportunity? The combination of BYOD, high-definition games, videos,

and movies have raised serious concerns among enterprises about the exponential increase in bandwidth usage and shadow IT. While organizations are striving to make work fun, there’s no or little distinction between the work and fun. Having said that, organizationsare facing a severe bandwidth choke, as the employees use unofficial sites and unauthorized tools while they are at work, and also engage in a lot of social media activities too. This is

set to be a perfect recipe for the death of the network in an organization. To avoid bandwidth fatigue, to detect Shadow IT and to ensure the business critical apps such as CRM, payment gateway, video conferencing, etc., are constantly up and running, network managers have to monitor bandwidth closely in realtime in order to prioritise and shape the traffic appropriately. ManageEngine Firewall Analyzer and Networkflow Analyzer have the capabilities required by an IT team to curb Shadow IT in organization of any type and size.

IT roles to become more challenging, says survey results

A

ccording to the results of the IT Service Management Future Readiness survey, a large majority of respondents hold the belief that IT roles of the future will be more challenging. The survey, which was conducted in collaboration with ITSM.tools, consisted of ten questions that focused on the opportunities and challenges ITSM will see in the future. It was presented to ITSM professionals and garnered over 300 responses, yielding key findings in five distinct areas. Key Findings: Strong Affinity for the Cloud; AI Not a Threat to Jobs • Working in IT: Eighty-two percent of ITSM professionals believe that the IT roles of tomorrow will be more challenging — and the majority of the workforce currently feels undervalued by management. • Impact of politics on IT staffing: More than 60 percent of respondents feel that current global and local political scenarios — like Brexit, the recent U.S.

38  |  October 2017

election and Australian immigration policies — will adversely affect recruitment for IT roles. • New technology: Cloud technology continues to enjoy positive feedback from ITSM professionals in spite of a major outage. Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t seen as a major job disruptor yet, with only 16 percent of respondents saying it will affect IT jobs. • Best practices: Only 24 percent of ITSM professionals show confidence in the existing ITSM best practices, including ITIL, making a strong case for their revamp. • Meeting service expectations: With an incoming millennial workforce, 77 percent of ITSM professionals believe that IT teams will have to do more to manage the expectation gap between younger and older employees. ITSM Is Getting Shaped by the Cloud, AI and a Millennial Workforce Interestingly, while a majority of ITSM professionals (57 percent) feel that their IT teams deliver equal or better service

than consumer-facing companies, 77 percent also believe that they need to do better to match the expectations of the incoming workforce of millennials. The timing of this survey — almost coinciding with the widespread outage of a cloud service provider in February 2017 — also brings to the surface a strong affinity for cloud technology. Even with this incident, only 8 percent of respondents had a negative opinion about cloud. Also revealed in the survey, only 16 percent of respondents said that they view the development of AI as a threat to IT jobs. The Relevance of ITIL in a Changing ITSM Landscape While only 5 percent of respondents feel that ITIL and other published ITSM practices are irrelevant, roughly 66 percent believe ITIL and other ITSM best practices have failed to keep up with the changing ITSM landscape. These findings reinforce the need for ITIL to reinvent itself to keep pace with changing trends.


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TechKnow | Linksys

Discuss the SMB focus at Linksys in the region? Linksys relaunched its SMB portfolio in 2013 with the goal of bringing back the Linksys heritage of providing enterprisegrade networking products to SMBs. Holding onto the position of an industry leader in networking, Linksys continues to invest in enhancing its portfolio, bringing innovation to the marketplace, making it easier for business to deploy and manage the network and thereby helping them to improve efficiency and reduce cost. We have seen exponential growth year-on-year, exceeding the market average. Linksys’ SMB Networking product portfolio includes a wide range of VPN routers, business access points, and unmanaged, smart-managed, managed and POE switches. Linksys’ performance perfected solutions and innovative products and technologies make it a preferred vendor among its partners and customers alike. What are your recent launches? Along with the launch of the access points LAPAC1750 and LAPAC2600, Linksys launched enhanced clustering features, at no additional cost, across its entire portfolio of wireless access points (APs) for small businesses. Clustering enables easy management of core AP functionality without the cost and complexity of cloud-based controllers or hardware wireless LAN controllers. Discuss how you have grown your SMB channel? As one of the largest networking solutions vendors, we support

40  |  October 2017

Linksys has a strong portfolio of SMB networking products with enterprise grade quality and the manufacturer continues to enhance its range of Business solutions. Amanullah Khan, Managing Director, Linksys, Middle East, Turkey & Africa discusses more details of its Business solutions focus our regional and local channel partners from our headquarters and regional offices. All of our channel partners have been certified to perform pre-sale activities, installation and aftersales services. They are fully supported by the Linksys sales, marketing, and technical support teams. We also run partner programs that benefit both our customers and partners by expanding Linksys’ global and regional sales channels and making it easier for companies to work with local partners. To build a strong partner channel, Linksys understands the need to educate and support its partners about the products and services through its Linksys Partner Advantage Program. Through this scheme, partners are offered access to sales tools with overflowing resources that help them grow their

Amanullah Khan Managing Director Linksys Middle East & Africa

Building robust solutions businesses. Through pre- and post-sales support, marketing support, sales incentives, resources and training, Linksys builds a strong, mutually profitable relationship with its partners. The incorporation of proof of concept, trainings and promos, amongst other strategies, has helped revamp our SMB market strategy. Do you also offer these solutions to the enterprise segment? We have enterprise-grade hardware and software in our product portfolio, but our focus now is on supporting the SMB market.

More and more bandwidthintensive applications, such as IP communications and high-definition video, place greater demands on wireless networks. The Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable devices are moving into the workplace, further consuming Wi-Fi and straining the network. For a robust digital ecosystem, reliable Wi-Fi is critical. There is thus a high demand for better connectivity to be provided by networking specialists. Linksys offers enterprise-grade networking products and solutions at affordable price points to match the demand.


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*source: Forrester - The Future Of The WAN Is Software-Defined, 2016


Point2Point | Condo Protego

Bringing the change Condo Protego is a leading system integrator in the region with a strong focus across storage and security domains. Savitha Bhaskar, COO at Condo Protego offers her perspective on the digital transformation trends and how the solutions provider is helping customers with such transformation initiatives Discuss how the company is gearing up for GITEX showcase? What is the broad theme that you will focus on? At GITEX Technology Week, Condo Protego will work hand-in-hand with our vendors at their stands to support our customers in starting their digital transformation. Middle East organizations, like all organizations worldwide, are facing major challenges in their business applications generating vast amounts of new and different types of data. Across the board, organizations’ current data center infrastructure cannot manage all of the data coming in. During GITEX Technology Week, Condo Protego will focus on educating our customers in the steps to undergo digital transformation, with information management as the foundation. In particular, we will highlight how the latest solutions from Dell EMC, Veritas, VMware and RSA are the industry standards, and are ideal for helping organizations to solve their most pressing business needs across enterprise infrastructure, storage, data availability, disaster recovery orchestration and business continuity, and data security.

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How has the market performed over the current year from your perspective? The technology market has performed strongly this year, especially thanks to government-led digital transformation plans in the UAE such as UAE Vision 2021, Dubai Plan 2021, and Dubai Smart City. In the current economic environment, organizations of every size and industry vertical are looking to undergo digital transformation in order to achieve new levels of business competitiveness, efficiency, and new digital business models that will be vital in the Internet of Things era. On both the channel side and the customer side, organizations need to be closely examining how they can differentiate their value to their vendors, partners, and customers. In the rapidly changing technology field, channel partners need to ensure they have the latest training certifications from the leading vendors, and take a specialized approach either by solution or industry vertical. Condo Protego believes that only by taking a specialized approach and offering value-added services can channel

Savitha Bhaskar COO Condo Protego

partners find success in the Middle East. On the customer side, investing in digital transformation may have a significant upfront cost, but delivers midterm and long-term return on investment, as organizations can emerge leaner, stronger, and more competitive. This era of digital transformation reveals an organization’s true character. Elaborate how storage and security, the domains that you focus on, have become critical areas in digital transformation strategies? Condo Protego is committed to re-defining the region’s business and technology landscape, especially by driving customer take-up of the latest technology solutions that enable digital transformation. We have a strong focus in SoftwareDefined technologies that help transform networking, servers, and storage, such as VMware’s NSX network virtualization platform for software-defined data centers, and VMware’s Virtual SAN software-defined storage.These solutions are led by Dell EMC’s VxRail, Dell EMC VxRack, Dell EMC ScaleIO, VMware vSAN, and VMware NSX.


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Point2Point | Condo Protego

"CondoProtego’s key differentiator is our specialized approach to information management, our high levels of staff development, and our commitment to 24/7 customer service that provides full consultation across the entire solution lifecycle, from design to build and support."

We are seeing a massive momentum in cost-effective, easy-to-use, and factory-assembled converged and hyper-converged infrastructure, such as Dell EMC’s VxRail that we offer. Among the fastest-growing markets, especially among organizations that need real-time data. Systems integrators should help customers choose the storage that best meets their business needs, and ensuring their storage configuration drives maximum performance. Dell-EMC Unity and Dell-EMC VMAX-All Flash are seeing strong demand. We also see a strong potential for organizations to ensure they have business continuity across public, private, and hybrid clouds, in particular with the Veritas Resiliency Platform. Discuss strong verticals investing in storage and data management in the region? Every industry vertical is undergoing their own digital transformation journey, especially industry verticals that need to store, secure, and analyze vast amounts of data in real-time, including banking and finance, education, government and public sector, hospitality, leisure, and entertainment, Smart Cities, and smalland medium-sized organizations. Condo Protego works closely with industry-leading organizations to drive digital transformation agendas, with examples across sectors. • Government – For one of the UAE’s leading free trade zones, Condo Protego has implemented solutions such as Dell EMC hyper-converged infrastructure, and Dell EMC software-defined storage such as ScaleIO, ECS scale-out storage, and Isilon network attached storage. This technology infrastructure has enabled the free trade zone to publish business apps, and move closer to cloud and mobile app delivery – meeting their small business customer needs in real-time.

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• Tourism, Leisure, and Entertainment - Condo Protego has seen strong success in enabling one of the UAE’s leading theme parks to better manage company and customer information, with DellEMC converged infrastructure solutions across backup, networking, processing, replication, and virtualization. Isilon network-attached storage, XtremIO allflash storage, and VERITAS information management and data protection solutions are all seeing strong theme park demand. • Banking and Finance – For a major UAE-based health insurance company, Condo Protego has deployed a 360-degree Data Management strategy across the entire organization. By implementing world-class data protection, data classification and unstructured data analysis applications, the company is ahead of the curve in detecting and preventing data rot, reducing long-term costs associated with data, and ensuring that critical corporate data is secure, accessible and auditable. The end-toend design and deployment of this Data Management Platform, based on multiple different technologies, was undertaken by Condo Protego.   How aware and prepared is the average enterprise and SME customer in the region for the transformation? Is there an urgency? How does this impact employees for instance? Every Middle East organization is looking to digital transformation with a sense of urgency. The biggest challenge facing Middle East organizations is how to plan and implement a seamless digital transformation journey, one that does not impact its customer base with a problematic transition or one that causes their customer base to fall off for a period of time. Equally important for organizations is

for organizations to ensure that their own staff have the qualifications and training to understand how best to optimize new digital solutions. Digital solutions should not be deployed in isolation, rather it requires breaking down organizational and data silos, and sharing data on common platforms to drive return on investment. For example, one recent report shows that data management skills are among the most important for UAE organizations. Statistical analysis and data mining, storage systems and management, and data presentation are among the Top 10 most in-demand skills in the UAE or worldwide, and organizations need to ensure their staff are working closely with channel partners to upskill in these fields. Many Middle East organizations are also deploying Chief Data Officers to conduct digital transformation. What are the standout differences in Condo Protego’s approach/ best practices to systems integration from its competition? CondoProtego’s key differentiator is our specialized approach to information management, our high levels of staff development, and our commitment to 24/7 customer service that provides full consultation across the entire solution lifecycle, from design to build and support. Instead of being a vertical solutions focused organization, Condo Protego consults with more than 300 customers across a wide range of verticals, giving us the breadth of experience and depth in solutions to solve business challenges. As a result, we are the leading UAE partner for industry-leading technology companies – Dell EMC, Veritas, VMware, and RSA. We also have the largest pool of technology consultants for these vendors and their solutions compared to similar channel partners in the region.


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TechKnow | NetApp

AT GITEX 2017, NetApp will highlight solutions around Cloud, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure, Flash, Software Defined Storage, Data Security and Analytics. Fadi Kanafani, the Regional Director Middle East & Africa for NetApp discusses the shifts in the market and its partner focus

Fadi Kanafani Regional Director MEA NetApp

Beyond storage With themes around digital transformation domination the buzz and focus, discuss how NetApp is gearing up for the GITEX showcase in terms of the transformation focus? Over the years, GITEX has ably positioned itself as the ideal platform for companies like NetApp to showcase their latest innovations around data management. With our team of experts and a reliable network of partners, our diverse portfolio of solutions and services have played a key role in the move to transform the IT landscape in this region – aptly guided by our understanding of today’s businessrequirements for

46  |  October 2017

companies and organizations. We know that each entity has a different storage need and we focus on delivering a customized solution that helps address that requirement, aiming to enable our customers to manage increasing data growth and workloads efficiently and to ensure data security. To date, digital transformation is the primary concern of most companies. As such, making an effective shift is driven by the understanding that data is the lifeblood of an organization – allowing it to seamlessly flow through in order to ensure optimal operations, while also

creating innovative business opportunities and enabling new customer touchpoints through technology. The last few years have seen a key growth in enterprises, SMBs and vertical industries within the Middle East. This upsurge has been accompanied with an increase in pervasive and persistent data challenges that companies and organizations need to address. During our presence at GITEX, we will be showcasing the latest Data Fabric solutions that enable users to seamlessly manage data across different IT platforms and we will also be promoting our portfolio around Cloud, Hyper-Converged

Infrastructure, Flash, Software Defined Storage, Data Security and Analytics. As an example, the new FlexPod SF solution offers an ideal infrastructure for the data-intensive scale-out workloads that are critical to digital transformation. It features innovative NetApp® SolidFire all-flash, scale-out, cloud-connected storage, Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) B-Series servers, and Cisco Nexus switching. The new solution can support enterprise and emerging architectures with precise storage capacity and performance tailored to the needs of individual tenants


in multitenant environments. It extends the FlexPod technology portfolio that has been deployed by over 8,400 global customers and 1,100 partners that serve 100 countries globally.

"NetApp HCI, which is one of the solutions we are highlighting at this year's GITEX, is set to become globally available this October and partners who are interested in selling NetApp HCI are more than welcome to approach us."

Are there any launches being announced? NetApp is set to launch a new range of solutions and will announce strategic cooperation agreements that are aimed at fulfilling our commitment to help our customers harness and leverage a wealth of data to be further efficient and profitable for their future business endeavors. Are you looking to on-board partners in some specific markets? NetApp HCI, which is one of the solutions we are highlighting at this year's GITEX, is set to become globally available this October and partners who are interested in selling NetApp HCI are more than welcome to approach us. This ground-breaking solution is the world's first enterprise-scale hyper converged infrastructure solution to provide compute, storage and networking in agile, scalable, easy to manage 4-node building blocks. NetApp HCI has been developed on the foundation of SolidFire all-flash storage to deliver guaranteed performance, automation, and mature integrated efficiency, replication, data protection, and high availability services. This solution delivers on the full promise of HCI, allowing



customers to run multiple applications with guaranteed performance and benefit from unmatched flexibility, scale, automation, and integration with the Data Fabric. We are excited with the launch of this new solution as it signals our entry into the HCI market – giving us the opportunity to further leverage it as a catalyst to transform and optimize IT to accelerate business outcomes. Would you look to have demos of your solutions? NetApp will host leading local and international experts to help interact with customers and partners at GITEX, shedding light on current industry topics, trends and their accompanying opportunities and challenges. We will be featuring solution demos, covering three key pillars: “Harnessing the power of Hybrid Cloud;’‘Building a Next Generation Data Center;’ and ‘Modernizing Storage through Data Management.’NetApp will also showcase key strategic partners at our booth, which include Splunk, NEC, Bosch and Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace. GITEX visitors can also discuss about NetApp solutions at several of our partners’ booths such as Aptec – an Ingram Micro Company, Logicom and Ixtel. Discuss the increased pace of adoption of all flash and hybrid flash in enterprise/

data centres and key verticals specifically from a Middle East perspective? Earlier this year, NetAppreleased the results of a survey that we conducted covering the adoption of Flash across the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. The survey was composed of responses given by 3,000 IT decision makers active across EMEA, around 90 per cent of the participants stressed on the significance of Flash in modern businesses. With companies now making the effort to effect a digital shift, the concept of an All Flash data center has become a reality. Amidst the emerging presence of new high capacity drives and reduced pricing of these Flash technologies, the survey shows that there is still a need to increase awareness on the benefits and advantages to be gained from its use. The survey shows that 40 per cent of IT decision makers still view Flash as a costly investment. The study also reveals that one in five financial decision makers, roughly around 22 per cent of those surveyed, do not have complete understanding on Flash technology's benefits to their organizations – which includes less power, less cooling, less space and less moving parts in combination with higher performance. Despite the growing

popularity of Flash, the survey participants have still expressed concerns about price and the need to increase awareness on its benefits--which have become an obstacle to its mass adoption in the region. To help amend this, NetApp is exerting key effort to educate and make people more aware of the advantages that Flash technology holds. Comment on the traction you are seeing vis-a-vis your hyperconverged infrastructure solution deployments in the region? Companies and organizations that know the full value to be gained from their data will see that their digital shift will be faster and position them ahead of the game. These companies, along with all the others moving towards digital transformation, will need to change their understanding of data management, which in turn, will free them from databased obstacles and see more ways to integrate data. NetApp’s expanded portfolio, with its new HCI, hybrid cloud, and consumption model solutions, provides the means to maximize the impact of data, no matter where it lives, and create new value across the organization. This solution will now allow customers to run multiple applications with guaranteed performance and benefit – resulting in unmatched flexibility, scale, automation, and integration with the Data Fabric. October 2017  |  47


TechKnow | D-Link

D-Link is a company that has stayed steadfast to partners and has grown its business reach in the region with a growing number of solution deployments across sectors. Sakkeer Hussain, DirectorSales & marketing at D-Link MEA discusses the company’s focus across SMB and enterprise segments

Sakkeer Hussain Director Sales & Markeing D-Link MEA

Growth with commitment How do you think the SMB market is shaping up for D-link in terms of solutions you offer? Currently, there are a lot of opportunities in the market even though external market pressures still exist. SMBs across the region have continued to adopt fast Internet connectivity and this is creating opportunity for the wireless networking solutions that we bring to market. That said, business has remained on the right track as small businesses move to digitise their businesses and embrace smart solutions. You have tied up with Moxahow does this addition help you expand your solutions? MOXA’s industrial Ethernet solutions are tailor-made to unlock automation network convergence for demanding industrial applications. With help from MOXA solutions,

48  |  October 2017

multiple industrial networks can be unified into a single integrated Ethernet-centric solution that includes wired, wireless, and security connectivity. The outstanding performance and stability of MOXA’s solutions form a trusted backbone for any business. With worldwide experience in product integration, MOXA also specializes in providing solutions for a variety of vertical markets, especially rail, ITS, smart grid, marine, oil and gas, and process automation. Discuss new solutions/ products introduced for the SMB? Are there any new SMB product launches featuring at GITEX? D-Link will be showcasing the 4K2k resolution/60frames per second HD cameras, 10G switch range, IP Telephony, Structured Cabling Solutions

and our alliance security and industrial networking solutions for niche verticals such as the transport, oil and gas industry from MOXA and Gajshield. Also present a new range of D-Link Value IP cameras and NVRs, as part of its costeffective high-performance IP surveillance solutions. “Controller-based indoor/ outdoor Wi-Fi access points that cater to different business segments are also part of our new business product portfolio that will be promoted at this year’s show,” Is the bulk of the business around routers and switches? Routers and switches are one of the key area of business for SMB segment and we see lot of movement in business wireless too. Discuss how you have grown your SMB channel with initiatives? How many

integrators do you work with in the region? D-Link carries a broad array of IT network infrastructure to support the needs of any small and medium sized business. Because we have such a broad portfolio of business networking products, what we are doing to help partners is by continually adding training to the many initiatives we do with partners. We emphasize training and getting partners certified as we believe that’s the only way they can serve their SMB clients competently and with confidence. Given the current market conditions and business climate, it is critical that channel partners have the right products and solutions from their vendor and distribution partners. What we have done at D-Link is to work with partners on the pipeline, enable their sales and technical teams and continue to provide


training to ensure that they are able to deliver IT infrastructure and solutions that SMBs need to grow their businesses. Elaborate on your distribution strategy in the SMB segment? As a dedicated SMB networking solutions vendor, D-Link remains committed to offering its channel partners products, solutions and services that differentiate them from the competition and competitor brands. The schemes are offered through the umbrella D-Link Partner Programm, which is augmented with regular product, pre- and post-sales, and technical training help by certified D-Link training instructors at our facility in



Jebel Ali in Dubai. In addition, we have a robust incentive programm that runs quarterly with different offers and promotions. To ensure continued success in this market segment, we have enhanced our pre- and post-sales support by increasing the number of support staff on the ground and in-country, wherever we have local presence. Do you also offer these solutions into the enterprise segment? D-Link has been creating complete, end-to-end networking solutions and is today a billion dollar company with the scale, the resources, the experience and the expertise that the world’s

most demanding businesses look for. Over the past few years, enterprise access networks have seen one of the fastest areas of growth. As technology has evolved and user demand has increased, enterprise access networks haveturned from a ‘traditional’ data network to a more complex network with integrated data, voice and multimedia services. D-Link provide a wide range of networking solutions in meeting the needs of businesses in the enterprise segment. Discuss the focus on telephony products in the region? D-Link IP Telephony solutions combine the industry’s latest

Voice over IP network (VoIP) technology with advanced communication features and are compatible with industrywise phone service. They give callers the advantages of VoIP, while maintaining the same look and feel of the familiar analog telephones. The IP phones are standalone devices and do not require a computer to make an Internet connection. D-Link IP PBX supports enhanced IP PBX features convenient for management and maintenance. D-Link IP Telephony solutions provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional IP Telephony systems. We do have fullfledged solutions which has been deployed in many of our prestigious customer premises.

October 2017  |  49


TechKnow | Pluse Secure

Elaborate the areas of focus for your Secure Access suite? The Pulse Access Suite contains all the software and services needed to deliver Secure Access. It’s never been easier to secure your data center, provide mobile access and enable new cloud services. We make Secure Access simple to purchase, deploy and manage. As Pulse Secure we aim to provide Secure Access to the Next Generation of People, Devices, Things and Services. Discuss network access control/ management/ visibility solutions are meant for on premise as well as cloud infrastructure? As companies move from on-premise to cloud or Hybrid models of access, it is key for them to have the visibility and control over the way these services are being Accessed. With the Secure Access portfolio, we not only cover the compliance and visibility of devices on premise, but we are able to extend this to users accessing this information from remote locations and on any device. We are also able to provide a seamless experience to the users, with single sign on capabilities to not just the datacenter, but cloud applications as well. Elaborate on your Middle East operations and channel strategy? who are the distributors? The Middle East region is the fastest growing region for Pulse Secure, with constant quarter on quarter growth. We are currently a team of 3, expanding to 5 by the end of the year. With presence in UAE and Saudi, we

50  |  October 2017

Abdul Rehman Tariq, Regional Sales Manager – MEA & Turkey at Pulse Secure discusses the company’s secure access solutions for on-premise to cloud based infrastructure

Abdul Rehman Tariq Regional Sales Manager MEA & Turkey Pulse Secure

Delivering unified access are focused on building the business through our channel. We currently have 3 distributors that cover the Entire Middle East region, with 2 additional distributors focused on Turkey. We follow a simple 2 Tier model, where we look at rewarding our key partners with handsome margins, and complete on ground support to help them hit their targets. Our distributors are Westcon, Mindware and Spectrami in the Middle East. Discuss the demand growth for such solutions in the region? With the current wave of cyber attacks, there is a huge focus on Security solutions that prevent such malicious activity. With local Middle East regulations in play as well, customers are looking to improve the way their employees/partners get access

to the local and cloud based resources. So we are perfectly placed to provide the best Secure Access solution to our customers, with control and visibility both internally and externally. Most importantly, we ensure no access is provided to unauthorized devices, removing chance from the equation. Do you have vertical focus solutions? Please elaborate The good thing about our Secure Access solution is that it fits all verticals. From Finance to Government to Service Providers, everyone needs to have a Secure Access strategy in place, and as Pulse Secure, we are able to offer that without having to make any major changes to our solutions. In the Middle East alone we have all major service providers, universities, Oil and Gas and banks as our customers, which

shows that as a company, we focus on the customers challenges and address them, rather than focus on verticals. Do you focus across both SMB and enterprise size customers? As is the case with the verticals, for us a customer with 10 users is as important as a customer with 1000. We have solutions starting at Secure Access for 10 users, which enables SMBs to offer a Secure yet productive Access solution to their employees and partners. Discuss if some of these solutions are also appliance based? Pulse Secure offers it’s Secure Access solutions in appliance, virtual or hybrid models. We also have Cloud hosted offerings, catering to all kinds of customers and their Secure Access needs.


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Point2Point | Commnet

Discuss the domains of focus across infrastructure and Technology for the company? As part of our integration offering we have partnered with HPE &Huawei as our strategic vendors for services and solutions to cater to the market. As part of our core services, we offer data center design and implementation, end to end from inception until eventual handover of the site. We offer infrastructure services across structured cabling, CCTV surveillance, Power solutions, WIFI, IP Telephony and Access Control. Commnet has a specialized team of cabling professionals trained and experienced on various low current solutions. We have a professional services team that is available for outsourcing on long term or short term basis in IT or ITES domains, for project staffing, contract to hire staffing, rebadging etc. In Information Security, we focus on Application Security, Mobile Application, Network Security and Information Security Consulting. We have also entered the fast emerging space of “IOT” and have signed up with couple of IOT sensor manufactures to cater to our customer needs. Currently the demand is from the hospitality, manufacturing and retail sectors predominantly; however we are also looking at different avenues like government and oil sectorsas well. Which are the technology vendors you are associated with? We do a large part of our enterprise business with HPE & HUAWEI on the servers and storage front. We closely work with Aruba for the networking components. Commnet is one of the oldest partners with Tripplite in the UAE region for the UPS business. We work with Avaya for their telephony solutions and also with a few enterprise customers, we position Meraki as a solution. We are also associated with a few IOT vendors from Europe. Do you cover markets outside the UAE? Today we are a 100 odd employee organization with offices in UAE,

52  |  October 2017

Commnet started operations in the early 2000’s as an IT solution provider, has grown from a modest start-up phase to having operations in multiple countries including UAE, Oman, Singapore, India etc. Karthikeyan Narayanasamy, the founder and CEO of the company, discusses the company’s domains of focus

Karthikeyan Narayanasamy Founder & CEO Commnet

Specialist services India & Singapore. We have also done large turnkey project in India, Oman, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in the past. Mr. Gopal Krishnan, our Chief Project Officer looks after the project execution across these regions to ensure we maintain the SLA similar to UAE. Which have been strongest verticals of focus? Do you also have solutions for the SME/SMB? Being one of the oldest player in the services industry within the UAE, we cater to most of the customers regardless of the organization size. Our service offerings are customizable according to customer expectations.

How has the year been in terms of growth highlights? Our focus towards expansion has been immense in 2017. Mr. Nikhil Nair who is the Chief Sales Officer is tasked with the responsibility to increase market penetration into newer territories and customers with dedicated turnkey solutions approach. We have signed more than five multi-million deals this year with different customers in upgrading their Infrastructure and Ensuring Information security compliance assurance to them. In addition to that we are also a part of few ongoing prestigious projects across UAE this year. With three months more to go before the year ends, we hope to see a few more large deals coming through.


Point2Point | Elitser

Thriving with domain expertise Elitser Technologies LLC (Elitser) is a client-centric IT Solutions, Consulting and Training provider Company with a strong focus in ITSM, IT andnon IT Infrastructure Monitoring and IT Security. Jignasu Rathod, CEO, Elitser Technologies LLC discusses at length the company’s solution focus and its engagement with customers and partners

Elaborate on the company’s solutions portfolio as a VAD? We as Elitser call ourselves as Value added partner rather than VAD as we deal with partners as well as end customers directly. Our primary relation is with ManageEngine and all our offerings are revolving around ManageEngine solutions. We offer sales/ presales/implementation and post sales support to all ManageEngine customers in UAE. Ideally we are representing ManageEngine for UAE/Bahrain region. Over the period we have developed business lines which are complimenting ManageEngine solutions. We offer ISO/ITIL process consulting, we are AXIN certified ITIL training providers, we offer trained servicedesk resources and Managed Services. Apart from ManageEngine, who are the other vendors you partner with? Other than ManageEngine, we have partnerships with WEBNMS,ZOHO,JEDOX, CyberArk, NetIQ, MalwareBytes etc. Elaborate how you help partners with Business development/lead generation? The partner community is a very integral

54  |  October 2017

part of our business and we work closely with some of the major System integrators in the region. We are offering presales/ implementation and support services to the partners so that they don’t have to invest on in-house resources. We are requesting partners to show and open doors for us and we do all the activities which are required to close the deal and deliver the solution. Since we are also working directly with the end customers, we are not able to assist partners with BD/lead generations but if the lead has been generated by the partners then we put our 100% efforts to bring to the closure. ManageEngine solutions are technically and commercially best fit for Managed Services offerings. We are closely working with so many Managed Services partners who have made Manage Engine as their primary offering to win the overall deal. Do you engage with end customers through activities with partners? We have recognized the benefits of engaging with end customers on regular basis and we along with ManageEngine do various activities to get in touch with the customers. We are operating in major IT

Jignasu Rathod CEO Elister Technologies

domains like ITIL Helpdesk, IT monitoring & Management, IT Security & Compliance, Active directory management & auditing, BI etc. Other than participating in trade shows we do atleast 1 workshop every quarter on these domains by which customers can gain knowledge about products, new features, enhancement and future developments. We also offer free product trainings during these events so that customers can get maximum output from their product investments. We organize user conference once in a year where we call all the customers/ users of our products. User conference is the best platform to get in touch with the customers, understanding their requirement and concerns, having them meet our management, technical team and support team. This is an open platform where customers are allowed to appreciate and/or raise their concerns related to products/support/delivery etc. We try to bring the product managers and key top management from ManageEngine to participate in the user conferences. We have seen great success with our user conferences. We have average around 350-400 attendees and the numbers are growing YoY.


How do you think is the outlook among enterprise customers for network management/visibility solutions? Which are the key verticals of growth? Network management solutions have become very critical part of enterprise IT infrastructure. Customers have realized the need and necessity to have monitoring solutions in their infrastructure. Now a days datacenters have become the heart of any organizations and these monitoring solutions are monitoring heart beats of the organizations. Due to too many vendor solutions and complexity in the data centers it is necessity to have a monitoring solution which can monitor the infrastructure irrespective of brand/ company. The IT team should be able to get the fault and alerts from single system. Also these tools are useful for getting compliance reports for availability and capacity planning. Customers have realized and started investing on monitoring



tools for Network/Servers/bandwidth etc. The key vertical of growth and the key driving factor is to monitor business services and applications. Customers have started looking out for solutions which can give availability reports and alerts on business services and applications along with infrastructure monitoring. Now a days, end user experience monitoring and transaction monitoring are the key requirements from the customers.

hybrid implementations where monitoring solutions are running on premise and only data is pushed on cloud to the remote NoC. These kind of scenarios are increasing now due to various Managed Services provider offer remote monitoring/ offshore monitoring. The hybrid model helps customers to save lot of cost on on-premiseNoC. They can achieve the NoC facility remotely at a very cheaper price without losing any functionality.

How do you see such solutions working across mixed deployments – on premise and in cloud? All the solutions offered by us are compatible with both On Premise and On Cloud deployments. So far customers were preferring On Premise model due to concerns about data security. Due to various regional cloud offerings customers are ready to host the monitoring solutions on the cloud. We have started doing

How large is the technical team at the company? Our strength is our experienced and qualified technical team. We have a team of 20 strong technical consultants who are experienced into this domain as well as products we are dealing with. These consultants have delivered more than 350+ enterprise projects and are instrumental in keeping the heartbeats healthy for the customers.

October 2017  |  55


Point2Point | DVCOM

Discus market outlook as you see it around the areas the company focuses on? Increased payment cycles are contributing to problem in liquidity in the distribution channel and the planned VAT implementation of VAT also has had an impact in terms of the preparation towards it. Distributors will have to take the maximum risk in terms of existing stock and market engagement for next 6 months. This will definitely affect liquidity of distributors and companies with good financial backing will float. Channel Partners got into passive mode and very cautious in keeping inventories or doing projects because of payment terms coupled with the current market sentiments. In this region, market is stable for Voice applications like Telephony, Call Center, IVR based projects. Channel needs to be engaged with proper value-offerings both in terms of lead-generation and competitive price offerings. The video conference market globally is estimated to be at around $4 Billion by 2020 and video collaboration solutions can be used to improve communications, reduce the delay in decision making, enable knowledge sharing, save on travel time and expenses. This Gitex we will be showcasing the Yealink Meeting Server which is a distributed cloud-based video collaboration infrastructure from Yealink, and it will be a major focus area for us in 2018. To meet HD video conferencing collaboration, the solution enables access for various devices, including room systems, video phones, mobile apps, PC software. Another area we are focusing on is the IP access control and paging solutions as we are seeing the market shifting from analog to IP based systems. IP based video intercoms allow higher video quality and it also enables organizations to leverage mobile applications to ensure building security from any location. In fact, the

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DVCOM, a specialist value added distributor with a focus on enterprise and SMB telecommunication solutions is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. Renjan George, DVCOM Managing Director elaborates on some of the key areas of focus as well as comments on trends in the market

Renjan George Managing Director DVCOM

Enabling better solutions 2N range of access control systems that DVCOM distributes is compatible with big players like Cisco, Avaya, Milestone, Bosch etc. and seamlessly integrates with IP based CCTV systems as it supports the ONVIF protocol. Elaborate if the SMB sector if the region is investing in unified communications and collaboration tools? What are your solutions in this segment? Under the current times, the SMB segment also aspires to deploy cost effective and technically efficient “integrated-solutions” to manage multiple tools and platforms, making their business more productive. DVCOM has always focused on democratizing the communication space

by adopting Open Source technology. What we have done as part of consolidation is to ensure that we build our expertise in that domain and add products and solutions which integrate to provide an effective business solution. In short, we are using the power of Asterisk as a building block to provide UC solutions at highly affordable price. We provide state-of-the-art, INTACT, an integrated Unified Communication Platform, where IP Telephony, Video Conferencing, IP Surveillance, IP Audio Paging, IP A/V Intercom, Call Center and Networking is seamlessly converged. INTACT is an Integrated UC Platform, which is the Core engine with elements plugged into it as solution threads creating


"DVCOM has ramped up initiatives to enable the channel by housing dedicated and qualified trainers to conduct specialized training courses and provide certifications through its strategic affiliations with global technology partners."

a functional Converged Communication Platform. These include IP Telephony with Asterisk’s versatile capability to provide a seamless, unified experience throughout the company, regardless of industry type, company size, and number of locations and enabling implementation of a mobile strategy that includes seamless UC using mobile devices, IM, Voicemail, Social media, Follow- me technology, and much more. Video Conferencing enables the Business Users to effectively communicate with Users at the other end on FHD Video Call using the lowest possible IT resources and Internet bandwidth at both sides of the organization.IP Video Surveillance allows efficient surveillance for both indoor & outdoor environment securing the premises from physical threats. There is IP Audio Paging to broadcast announcements to one or as many as 100 different destinations or zones within the space of the institution/Premise over the IP network. Further, IP Audio/Video Intercom is exclusively designed for Residential Apartments, Commercial Buildings, Corporates, Hospitals, Warehouses, Prisons, Schools to have secured access and video monitoring. There is also Call Center solution to measure performance and realtime monitoring within the call center. INTACT UC is a business communications solution that meets critical business needs for organizations of all sizes. Our solution can help an organization to substantially increase its effectiveness – and cost savings, by combining a broad range of communications and features into a more complete UC solution and integrating it with other business processes. You offer networking solutions from vendors such as Draytek in the



networking space- who are the other vendors in this segment that you partner with? How has this business grown in the region? Over the last decade DrayTek has really made its presence known in this region especially with its robust and stable VPN capabilities. The latest solutions from them are designed to deliver high speed internet connectivity, failover and redundancy for mission-critical applications, managed WiFi, load balancing and a central management system to monitor and control the network and the CPE. In the networking space, we have added a comprehensive solution for Internet access management. The Hospitality Internet Access solution offers bundled features like advanced access controller for guest AAA RADIUS solution, hotel Wi-Fi Hotspot management software, bandwidth management, walk-in coupon management and many more for single and chain of hotels. Elaborate the focus on IP surveillance – do you offer turnkey solutions in this space or only the cameras and other hardware? We have partnered with Milesight a bestin-class IP surveillance solution provider who manufactures products with superior image quality, exceptional flexibility and reliability. Apart from the supply of a comprehensive product line up of network cameras and NVRs, we offer support and training to our partners on the software such as VMS, CMS, mobile APPs and tools. The new release of video content analysis enhances the performance of the network cameras to provide advanced, accurate smart video analytics through 8 detection

modes, ensuring quicker response of cameras to different monitoring occasions.

What are some the partner engagement activities you have organized in the year? Have you grown your partnerships with integrators? We have vendor specific engagement model for our partners. We conduct regular road shows across the region to educate the channel on the usage of various technologies and run sales campaigns to motivate and incentivize the channel. Every year we have events like DrayTek Channel Champ, Yealink Marathon, Yeastar UC Meet. Most of the products we carry are a solution sell and therefore it requires channel readiness in terms of technology understanding from partners. DVCOM has ramped up initiatives to enable the channel by housing dedicated and qualified trainers to conduct specialized training courses and provide certifications through its strategic affiliations with global technology partners. In addition to this, our partners have access to weekly training at our premises and, we conduct regular webinars to keep the partners updated. Our in-house state of the art lab allows partners to have hands on testing of demo units without investing in the same. We also provide certification programs for our Resellers/Partners that empowers them with knowledge and innovating ideas to scope and design solution architecture for their valued customers. Certification programs also help our partners to understand and position the right product and solution, which will complement their customer’s line-of-business. Once the partners have been certified, they qualify for a preferential pricing model which helps them achieve substantial profits on the products/solution acquired from DVCOM. October 2017  |  57


Point2Point | TechAccess

Discuss the growth outlook in enterprise and mid-market segments in the Middle East on IT solutions/ infrastructure? Large enterprises are driving the adoption of technological innovations in the region. We are seeing a paradigm shift in the way IT is being used in large organisations. With the emergence of the connected enterprise, organizations are making strategic investments to enable IoT infrastructure and machine-learning for future readiness. Digital transformation efforts are seeing organizations pay more attention to the value of their data in enabling them to make data-driven business outcomes, which is where spending on software, especially analytics,has increased. Security is key in this environment. We are seeing spending patterns change from investments in governance and risk management, to specific areas such as threat mitigation and prevention. Ahsan Ali Chief Operating Officer TechAccess

A Business built with trust TechAccess has been one of the leading VADs that has partners selling solutions from leading vendors into enterprise and SME segments. Ahsan Ali, Chief Operating Officer at TechAccess discusses how the distributor along with partners is catering to end to end needs of customers

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Elaborate on the larger focus areas in terms of enterprise IT in your solutions portfolio? TechAccess essentially focuses on catering to the IT needs of enterprises across the region. Today, our portfolio offers endto-end solutions ranging from servers and storage, to networking, security, virtulisation, unified communications, database, data management, and middleware. By partnering with world class IT vendors, we are able to offer its partners the ability to cross sell across solution ranging from infrastructure to applications. You have some long standing partnerships with vendors including Oracle. Elaborate on some key highlights of your successful partnerships? The success of our partnerships lie in our ability to nurture and grow our vendor’s business, and synergize with their business models. Over the years, we have built formidable vendor relationships, earned the trust and loyalty of our partners, and in doing so, have built new relationships in the IT community. Over the last 12


months, we have grown our presence across the region and added new vendors to our existing portfolio, such as Huawei, and Informatica, to complement our solutions portfolio. Partner Training seems to be a large focus for TechAccess. Do you see this as a key differentiation that you bring to the table as a distributor? Partner training is a key element, in which we drive training and certifications programmes on behalf of our vendors. A key differentiator for us is our million dollar Solutions Center in Dubai, and Partner Hub in Riyadh. The Solution Center is an indispensable asset that is equipped with technologies from vendor partners ranging from server and storage, networking and monitoring solutions and unified communications. Solutions at both facilities are updated regularly to keep partners abreast of the latest vendor technologies. Functioning as the nerve center for partner enablement sessions, the facilities also serve as training centers for customers and partners, product showcasing, executive briefings, need assessment as well as a POC. This emphasises our ‘Test before you invest’ model. The Solution Center and Partner Hub also function as Oracle’s Authorised Solutions Center, and Hitachi Vantara Authorised Training Center for partners in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, North Africa & Pakistan. Elaborate on the verticals focused product portfolio you offer. Do you also



help partners configure and deploy solutions for high end enterprise customers in these verticals? Our vendor portfolio includes Oracle, Huawei, Hitachi Vantara, Commvault, Netscout, Informatica, Extreme Networks, and Unify. These vendors cover the entire solutions portfolio ranging from servers, storage, infrastructure, virtualization, security, data backup and archiving, disaster recovery, networking, unified communications and data management. As a value added distributor, we are involved from the start and assist our partners throughout the sales lifecycle as well as the implementation process. We provide sales, and presales support, back-end support, professional services and logistics and operations services to help our partners deploy solutions with large enterprises. Do you have a cloud computing practice? Do you see the move to cloud based infrastructure private/hybrid etc) gaining ground in the region? A number of our vendors in our portfolio offer solutions that cater to cloud computing, Our specialized partners are highly skilled and possess the technical capabilities to enable cloud solutions. Despite the many concerns surrounding the adoption of a cloud environment, we are witnessinga gradual uptake of technologies that enable cloud computing. A hybrid cloud environment is an ideal way forward for some organizations looking to address the challenges with implementation, security, infrastructure

and management costs, as well as access and availability to mission critical applications and data. It is here that ourchannel partners have the opportunity to sell complementary solutions, while also offering technical services to support the customer in the long term.The regional market for cloud solutions is growing, and has to be nurtured by vendors, distributors and their partners. Vendors offer tailormade solutions that demonstrate tangible value to their customers. Elaborate on your recent tie-up with informatica? How does this partnership boost what you offer to your partners? TechAccess is the only Master Value Added distributor for Informatica in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) and Pakistan regions. We will offer Informatica’s entire software portfolio of big data management, cloud integration, data integration, data security, data governance and data compliance solutions. The increase in deployments of cloud based and IoT environments is influencing the demand for big data management and analytics solutions in the region. Organisations are realising the value that data governance and analysis offers; it helps transform their business, brings clarity and allows them to make better informed decisions. The addition of Informatica to our portfolio is ideal at this time, as it helps expand our software portfolio, and allows us to provide our partners with marketleading enterprise cloud data management solutions to address growing demand especially from the large enterprises and public sector organizations.

October 2017  |  59


Point2Point | Forcespot

Traditional methods have given way to new methods as far as malware detection and remediation is concerned. Please comment. The current spate of Malware attacks have capability including AI to evade traditional detection mechanisms. The new approach must address these challenges and technology selection must be based on effective detection whilst remaining stealth to threats and response mechanism. With current increase in Malware & Phishing attacks, traditional security controls including Anti-Virus and Sandbox solutions have failed to detect and prevent such attacks. Only a multi-pronged approach is required to detect and stop such attacks. How do you think better malware detection can be achieved? It must be said that while the use of traditional monitoring approaches will continue, there will be enhancements in the detection and prevention techniques. For instance, the ability of a traditional A/V engine to detect Malware is dependent on its static signature database which is limited and varies from vendor to vendor. Therefore, the advantage is in going ahead with a platform that integrates and supports several A/V engines all working together which delivers greater success in Malware detection rates. This can be offered in combination with the ability to include Dynamic detection engine using 3rd generation stealth sandboxing technology that will allow detection of zero day attacks and AI based Malware that are beginning to appear. Further, this can be better enhanced by deploying deception honeypots and bread crumbs that lure the adversary to be detected while moving laterally within the internal network. Discuss the strategic focus of your company as a security VAD? FORCESPOT has put together a portfolio of complementary vendor technologies that tightly integrate with each other and offer the customers a compelling proposition

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JaytirthaDiddigi, Vice President at Forcespot, a fast growing security VAD discusses how the company is working with partners to equip customers with an advanced approach to Malware Detection & Response

Jaytirtha Diddigi Vice President Forcespot

Enhancing Malware Detection & Response to address and alleviate persistent threats that emanate all the time. We are providing an integrated mix of cyber security technology solutions who can address the current and emerging threats to enterprise networks and mobile devices. Elaborate on the vendors you are associated with? We have solutions from different vendors that have unique approaches that employ advanced techniques to tackle malware. OPSWAT provides On-Premise MultiScan Anti-Virus scan support for Portable Media such as USB, DVD, SMTP and Web downloads or uploads.VMRay is Agentless Dynamic Malware analysis with capability to remain stealth and undetectable to

advanced malware threats.Light Point Security is a Browser isolation technology that provides full isolation from all web content downloads. Acalviois a Distributed Deception platform for detection and prevention of APT attacks and spread of East to West malicious traffic. And finally, Zimperium is a Mobile Threat Defense solution that delivers real-time, on-device threat detection for Android and iOS devices. Discuss the size of your partner base? We work with over 25 channel partners across the Middle East and support them to develop and grow with our portfolio .Our technical team assists in POCs apart from rendering onsite services on behalf of Partners


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Insight | OMA Emirates

Niranj Sangal Group CEO OMA Emirates

Unattended payments get stronger Niranj Sangal, Group CEO, OMA Emirates discusses how self-operated payment kiosks are here to stay

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nattended payment technology has come a long way and has made deep inroads into several additional business domains. From its prominence in the retail market, the filtration of the technology is evolving across new and uncharted waters and include, utilities, airports, transportation, parking, entertainment, healthcare, education, and more. Selfoperated terminals have a far reaching impact on customer service levels,and they are clearly here to stay with

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their transaction efficiency, security, cost saving, revenue opportunities, personalized customer communication and the sophistication it brings along for the providers. According to a recent MarketsandMarkets study, the interactive kiosk market was valued at USD 20.37 billion in 2016 and is expected to be worth USD 30.53 Billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 5.69% between 2017 and 2023. According to them, the interactive kiosk market is segmented into banks, self-

service and vending kiosks. The rising market for vending kiosks can be attributed to the increase in the number of cashless vending machines and driven by the growing number of customers moving towards cashless payments via mobile, and credit and debit cards. This is further supported with the addition of secure payment gateways and higher efficiency of network operators. Currently, in the world of payments, it is not just about providing the facility across the spectrum of payment options and the focus on security with end-to-end encryption. Going beyond that, the need to become more industry specific is the highlight. It focuses on faster integration and processing, the need to service a wider variety of indoor and outdoor requirements which entails higher durability not just to withstand the environmental factors such as heat, moisture, etc, but to also test number of times the machines are used. Also, prominent on the design front is the prerequisite to have greater visibility for varied light conditions. Given the increasing focus on carbon efficiency, most manufacturers are now capable of providing features such as longer lasting battery usage, lowered power consumption, effective cooling systems, etc. Similarly, there is also the option of incorporating biometric authentication into the payment process and are used mainly for customer verification rather than to identify the person. Technology advancements in the field of unattended payments have been making progressive strides not only for customer service enhancements, but are also proving to be a boost for the service providers. Machines

are being manufactured with greater detail for data analytics which support their marketing and sales agendas and assess market trends. Simultaneously terminals are also geared to remotely monitor and manage faulty machines. The benefits of unattended terminals include flexibility in kiosk locations with 24/7 availability. There is a remarkable synergy within the integration of the terminals between the gateway, kiosk and system integrators who are capable of providing reliable and durable solutions to suit any business need. Moreover, they support the most advanced payment options that include EMV and NFC/contactless and mobile wallets. While the hardware and software solutions are available, customers must be consciously aware of the available options and work with the most knowledgeable and experienced system integrators who guide, implement, manage and maintain the unattended terminals. This must include strong after sales support and services and extended warranties. According to another MarketsandMarkets study the global self-checkout systems market is expected to grow from USD 2.24 billion in 2015 to reach USD 4.58 billion by 2022 at a CAGR of 10.7 percent between 2016 and 2022. This is due to the convenience, privacy and control being provided to customers. And, besides large format stores such as supermarkets and hypermarkets, it will also be adopted by smaller format retail stores, and other segments such as convenience and specialty stores.


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Insight | Nexans

Tarek Helmy Regional Director, ME, South & East Africa Nexans Cabling Solutions

A networked future While we cannot predict the future, we can build better networks to manage the demands of tomorrow writes Tarek Helmy, Regional Director Gulf and Middle East, South & East Africa of Nexans Cabling Solutions

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decade ago none of us could have imagined that we would be computing with a mobile device, while on the move. That the bulky PC that sat on our desks would be transformed into a fun handheld device, both for work and for social leisure. And that we could carry it into and out of work. Or that we would look for business solutions on what is now the cloud. Or stream the latest news clips on a mobile phone. And most importantly, the repositories of data that used to be stored previously

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everywhere, are now the most valuable assets of a business in today's digital connected age. Yesterday’s networks are under pressure to cope with the increasing bandwidth demands of today and the varying conditions under which they now need to operate. Increasing number of devices on the network, changing work styles, changing composition of users, more applications per device, increased demands for compute linked to richer user experiences, are skyrocketing the expectations from network

performance. And all this, while leading to the arrival of the Internet of Things, where devices and sensors go-live on networks and drive demands of performance, reliability, and security in an exponential fashion. To meet these demands we see wireless and cabled networks scale up and grow hand-in-hand. Convergence of networking technologies, new expectations including availability, reliability, scaleout, always-on, are driving datacentres to be redesigned and rearchitected. Monolithic industries such as broadcast media and publishing are being digitized, driving the need for modern datacentres within those organizations, to cope with their future consumption models in social media, search engines, and mobile devices. Increasing attention to the business gains from big data and real-time analytics is vastly changing the relationship between how in-memory compute, flash storage, and networking is architected in the datacentre. Growing urbanization and sensitivity to sustainability are driving concerns about how environmental friendly is the overall datacentre and networking infrastructure. The arrival of next generation wireless, new high-speed protocols (25G, etc) and high level of Power over Ethernet (PoE++) allowing for true IP convergence, is putting huge pressure on the traditional local area network to cope and deliver with higher performance and computeintensive workloads, in an efficient and predictable way.

Many of the existing building networking infrastructures are no longer future ready, and will not be flexible to accommodate devices, workloads, and applications, to meet user expectations of tomorrow's digital workforce. Bringing in parallel building networks may be a temporary fix, but will not be a solution to meet future requirements. Adding in networking to meet present requirements will not be future proof. While it is possible to make some educated guesse, no one knows exactly what is coming. And it is even more difficult to exactly predict what the demands and workloads on the network will look like. We are being challenged by the changing application environments and increasing user requirements. Cabling installations, by their nature, are intended to last multiple generations of equipment and technology life cycles. Therefore, whatever decisions we take now on cabling standards are important enough to for the future. These decisions will need to safeguardthe future of networks today. The decisions and standards need to be comprehensive, flexible, and forward looking. They need to cover everything from bandwidth delivery, signal continuity, latency, energy efficiency and more. Moreover, new generation technologies, digital convergence, and IoT network topologies, are making the industry rethink the entire span of datacentres and network architectures. Making smart choices has never been more vital than today.


Insight | Red Hat

Massimo Ferrari Management Strategy Director, Red Hat

The Business Value of Automation Massimo Ferrari, Management Strategy Director at Red Hat discusses how automation is key to supporting the growth of your business

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any enterprises have now reached a stage where managing the scale of their IT infrastructures is becoming a challenge second only to increasing the speed of provisioning. A broad spectrum of technologies, solutions, processes, and skillsets is available to help manage a large scale environment. Among management technologies, automation is one of the most powerful. Automation is not merely a technology choice. First and foremost, it’s a business choice. Without automation, supporting the growth of your business can be increasingly complex, to the point of becoming impossible beyond a certain scale. If it’s true that software is eating the world, as the well-known venture capitalist Marc Andreessen said in 2011, and if it’s true that

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every company is becoming a technology company, as the Chief of Research at Gartner said in 2013, then automation becomes a must-have tool in the hands of the business, not just of the IT organization. Here are four key reasons why automation is critical to managing a large-scale IT environment: • Less waste • Less complexity • Less mistakes • Less uncertainty Less Waste: Automation Optimizes IT Operations Highways are a good analogy to explain the concept. When the population in a geographical area grows, the government is forced to develop the infrastructure to support the additional cars. In some places, these highways must be equipped with toll

gateways to regulate the access, and toll gateways must be operated by humans, each performing thousands of repetitive operations per day. In turn, the newly built highways attract even more citizens in the region, and more cars on the road. The government can deal with the spike in traffic either by adding more gateways and hiring new people to manage them, or it can make the existing highways more efficient by implementing automated barriers and automated access systems. Electronic tolls enable more cars to access the highway in the same amount of time that human operators take: by eliminating the brief stop at the toll and the interaction between the driver and the human operator or the cash machine, automation allows each car to move through the toll at a

higher speed, in less time. In the same way, IT automation can help your Operations team to manage more workloads over the same working hours, reducing the need to hire more staff to support the growth of the infrastructure. Less Complexity: Automation Orchestrates Sophisticated Services Beyond a certain point, success often leads to a diversification in the market demand, as your popularity attracts a broader audience. In an enterprise environment, this dynamic implies that some of the Lines of Business (LoBs) that you are serving may eventually start requesting services that are outside the planned offering or far more complex than what originally anticipated. For example, after a


cloud computing environment designed to offer a few highly standardized services becomes highly successful, the organization may experience a raising number of requests to serve complex custom services. Each of those custom services includes many application tiers that must be coordinated in terms of provisioning, configuration, sequential system updates and patching, migration (if necessary), and retirement. The risk is that this newly introduced complexity, paired with the scale you reached, lessens productivity if not properly managed. Let’s use a different analogy to explain how automation can simplify by orchestrating complex systems: the automatic transmission in a car. In modern cars, the transmission is managed by a computer which operates the gearbox and the clutch, coordinating them with engine, brakes, wheels and many other components. Automating the gear shifting task reduces the amount of work required to drive because it simplifies the entire process, for example by removing the need to monitor the tachometer. The simplification introduced by the automated transmission is particularly useful when a certain aspect of driving must be repeated over and over. For example, thanks to automation, the continual operation of accelerating, stopping and re-accelerating when stuck in traffic during rush hour doesn’t require the driver to shift gears endless times. Like the automatic transmission in your car, an automation tool is designed to



deal with a large number of moving parts at the same time, taking care of repetitive tasks and keeping all the pieces together while delivering predictable results. Moreover, to comply with regulations and reduce emissions, car manufacturers have introduced more efficient gearboxes made of eight or even 10 gears. Manually shifting eight gears not only would be complex and distracting, but it would also almost certainly result in highly inefficient driving. In the same way, automation tools can simplify your experience of deploying and maintaining applications of increasing complexity, from the multi-tier service composition to the configuration of ancillary components such as networking and firewalls. Less Mistakes: Automation Reduces Human Errors Even the most talented member of your IT operations team is human, and humans are prone to mistakes. The larger and more complex an environment, the higher the chances for mistakes. For example, large-scale environments easily force the IT organization to deal with time pressure and stress. The psychological stress comes from the realization that a task, even a simple one, can’t be accomplished across all the managed machines in the allocated amount of time with a low probability of errors. It must be also considered that growing complexity leads to more articulated operations that need to be performed. Highly complex tasks require

constant focus and precision – skills that not all team members may possess. Back to our car analogy. The autopilot feature recently introduced by Tesla is a good example of how automation can assist humans and help them to avoid mistakes. Driving is certainly a complex task but yet manageable by humans. Automation here, while not yet perfect, can be two times more reliable than human drivers. Less Uncertainty: Automation Prepares You for the Future So far I talked about the value of automation in facing today’s challenges, but automation can do more than that. Automation can also better equip organizations to face the uncertainty of the future. As an abstraction layer interconnecting many elements on the enterprise IT and operating at scale with minimal effort, automation can be seen as an extensible platform that can evolve and adapt to market changes. Automation as a platform builds upon the foundational elements you already have in your computing environment, simplifying the evolution of existing services and the creation of completely new ones. For example, automation can simplify the deployment of existing applications across new public and private cloud infrastructures that don’t exist today. In another example, automation can make it easier to combine new IT components, like a new Identity and Access Management (IAM) service,

with existing ones, to help create new offerings at a fraction of the time otherwise required to re-engineer the whole stack from scratch. Let’s take the automatic gearbox analogy to another level. Think about an highway with a long queue of cars progressing at a very low, tedious speed. To reduce the annoyance of driving in queues, several manufacturers introduced a technology called Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). ACC uses information from sensors like radars and cameras to instruct the car’s control systems to automatically follow the vehicle in front, adjusting speed and stopping when necessary. The development of such technology, exactly as for the autopilot, has been possible thanks to the automation of several car components, pioneered by automatic transmission. In this example, automatic transmission is a key building block for car innovation. As car manufacturers introduce more and more new features, the automatic transmission acts both as enabler and actuator of many new capabilities. In summary, automation is not just a great tool to deal with today’s market demands, but it can also be a building block to help sustain the growth and evolution of your business tomorrow. However, as I said at the beginning of this post, automation is just one of the many technological, operational, and cultural elements that you may need to introduce in your organization as part of a digital transformation journey. Automation alone is not enough. October 2017  |  67


EyeTech

WatchNET’s Unified VMS Media Gateway

Cisco Intersight

Overview: VMS-2000D Server is one of the advanced embedded Enterprise Class VMS Media Gateways. The Media Gateway is a self-adaptive hardware which seamlessly integrates with eVMS-PRO software. It is an enterprise-class client/ server based IP video security solution that provides seamless management of digital video, audio and data across an IP network. VMS-2000D is a unified server that is composed of WatchNET’s video management software (VMS), center storage of device database for effective Video Management Solutions to handle any size of the project. VMS Platform Server provides the best level of support while maintaining an easy-to-use interface for operators and technicians with the state-of-the-art software features as follows. Key features: • Embedded device, 30*24 stable operation • Support Local Storage & IP-SAN Storage • Max support 2000 channels (Max support 500 input devices) • Support 10000 accounts management and 1000 online users • Support 700M transfer capability • Support 20 distributes server • eMap max displays 200 channel on one screen • VMS-2000D Client support 4K signal decoding www.watchnetinc.com

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Overview: Cisco has unveiled Cisco Intersight, a management and automation platform for CiscoUnified Computing System(Cisco UCS)and Cisco HyperFlex Systems, marking the start of a multi-year strategic program to provide customers with clear IT advantages that support their competitive business goals.Cisco Intersightsimplifies data center operations by delivering systems management as-a-service, alleviating the need to maintain islands of on-premise management infrastructure. Complete system lifecycle management is delivered by Cisco Intersight through machine learning, analytics and automation. Key features: • Cisco Intersight features a dynamic user interface that can be customized by user role. As a cloud-based service, new functionality is delivered via portal updates without burdening customers with upgrades, and the experience scales seamlessly as customers directly connect new systems for management. • The platform is designed to constantly learn to help make daily IT operations easier. Analytics combined with tight integration with the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) constantly improve the assistance provided through the recommendation engine. • Tight Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) integration and insights from Cisco and the UCS Community provide recommendations and best practices. • The ability for the Intersight platform to provide actionable intelligence will grow stronger over time from the power of cloud-based machine learning.


FLASHARRAY//X

AXIS D2050-VE Network Radar Detector

Overview: Cloud-era web scale applications and a massively increased focus on data analytics across nearly every industry demand a new generation of all-flash storage, designed to power tomorrow’s innovation. Today, infrastructure underpins the number one priority we hear from our customers – The need to put their organizational data to work. This was the driving force behind the release of FlashArray//X, the company’s first all-NVMe, enterpriseclass all-flash array. Designed for the cloud era, //X delivers the highest performance and enterprise reliability for Tier 1 applications. Microsecond latency and GBs of bandwidth – with all the rich data services, proven 99.9999% availability over two years (inclusive of maintenance and generational upgrades), and unrivaled Pure1 support that the FlashArray family is built on. And with the Pure Storage Evergreen model, any FlashArray can be fully upgraded, non-disruptively, to //X. Key features: • µS Latency – FlashArray//X delivers consistent latency in the 100s of microseconds • 1PB in 3U – Unprecedented density with 18.3TB DirectFlash modules* • Evergreen Upgradeable – Every FlashArray//M can be fully upgraded to //X online, with no disruptions and no re-buy of storage TBs

Overview: Axis Communications, the market leader in network video, introduces its new AXIS D2050-VE Network Radar Detector. Radar technology is used for accurate and reliable area detection of moving objects in a variety of light and weather conditions. It is a good complement to cameras with video motion detection and can be used to track moving objects with PTZ cameras. Radar also allows for a wide area to be covered whilst thermal cameras are more suitable for long perimeter protection. Developed primarily for medium-sized industrial installations, the product is designed to integrate with Axis cameras and video management systems (VMS) – in addition to surveillance systems and VMS from other major vendors. Axis’ first detector with network radar technology, AXIS D2050-VE is an affordable wall-mounted detector primarily designed for outdoor use with a wide detection coverage of 120 degrees and 50 meters (164 feet). It is powered by Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) for simple installation and has IP66, IK08 and NEMA 4X ratings for tough environments. The detector can be operated in temperatures ranging from -40°C to 60°C (-40 to 140°F).AXIS D2050-VE will be available in October 2017 through Axis’ distribution channels. Key features: • Vandal-proof and suitable for outdoor use, AXIS D2050-VE can deliver real-time information about the position, speed, angle, and size of a moving object. • With a longer range than passive infrared sensors, it covers a wide field of detection, while minimizing the number of false alarms triggered by spiders, small animals, moving shadows and light reflections. • The radar motion detector can be set to trigger camera recording, activate a horn speaker, or switch on a light for deterrence and improved visibility on camera. • Axis’ network radar detector can be used as a standalone product or as part of a surveillance system.



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Stats & Trends

Cognitive and AI systems spending to rise

W

orldwide spending on cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI) systems is forecast to reach $57.6 billion in 2021, according to a recent update of the Worldwide Semiannual Cognitive Artificial Intelligence Systems Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC). With many industries aggressively investing in cognitive and AI solutions, spending is expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50.1% over the 20162021 forecast period. Worldwide spending on cognitive and AI systems will total $12.0 billion in 2017, an increase of 59.1% over 2016. The retail and banking industries are forecast to spend the most on cognitive and AI systems in 2017 with investments of $1.74 billion and $1.72 billion, respectively. The discrete manufacturing, healthcare, and process

manufacturing industries are also forecast to spend more than $1 billion each this year. These five industries will continue to be the industries with the largest spending amounts throughout the five-year forecast and, by 2021, their combined investments will represent nearly 55% of all worldwide spending. In addition to

spending the most on cognitive and AI systems, retail will also deliver the fastest spending growth with a 2016-2021 CAGR of 58.8%. Six other industries will see CAGRs greater than 50% over the forecast period. Overall, the cognitive and AI use cases that will see the largest amount of spending in 2017 will be automated

customer service agents ($1.5 billion) and diagnostic and treatment systems ($1.1 billion). These will remain the largest use cases in terms of spending throughout the forecast. Meanwhile, the fifth largest use case in 2017 – intelligent processing automation – will see enough investment growth over the forecast period to become the third largest use case in 2021. Meanwhile, automated preventative maintenance will see its spending levels fall from third largest in 2017 to fifth largest in 2021, despite a CAGR of 40.1%. The use cases that will see the fastest spending growth over the 2016-2021 forecast are expert shopping advisors & product recommendations (96.6% CAGR), public safety and emergency response (96.2% CAGR), and intelligent processing automation (69.9% CAGR).

Finance is moving to Cloud faster than expected

A

major shift is taking place in how enterprises select their financial management applications, with a migration to cloud applications happening faster than expected, according to Gartner, Inc. A recent Gartner survey of senior finance executives found that by 2020, 36 percent of enterprises will use the cloud to support more than half of their transactional systems of record. Gartner surveyed 439 global senior financial executives (including 410 who had implemented cloud strategic and financial corporate performance management solutions) from January through March 2017 to explore their technology perspective, influence of IT, needs and priorities in technology

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investment. According to the survey: • Organizations of all sizes are moving to cloud solutions, such as core financial applications, for transactional systems of record. • Cloud momentum is consistently higher across financial business applications year over year. • Business analytics and enterprise business applications continue as top investment initiatives for senior financial executives. Smaller and midsize organizations are adopting cloud more rapidly than larger organizations, with 44.6 percent of smaller organizations, 37.7 percent of midsize enterprises and 40.4 percent of large organizations planning to move to

the cloud over the next three years. "We have found that most clients asking about these financial business application markets are solely interested in the cloud option," says John Van Decker, research vice president at Gartner. "Many enterprises that currently run on-premises solutions want to move to newer solutions that put more control in the hands of the end user, and reduce the effort required when compared with on-premises upgrades."


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The integrator oct 2017  
The integrator oct 2017  
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