Lulu Group’s Line Investments wins big at Retail Congress MENA

Line Investments Team

Line Investments & Property L.L.C, the shopping mall development and management division of Lulu Group International went home with five awards last night from the Retail Congress MENA Awards 2019.

Held at the Ballroom of the Ritz Carlton, DIFC, the Awards ceremony honored the most outstanding achievers in the shopping mall industry in the MENA region. Line Investments & Property L.L.C took part in the event together with entries from Mall of Um Al Quwain, Al Wahda Mall, Mushrif Mall and Khalidiyah Mall winning one gold and 4 silver awards.

Mr. Wajeb Al Khoury, Director of Line Investments and Property LLCsaid,“Our vision is to enhance the retail experience for our customers and partners and receiving awards for all the malls that took part is a testimony that the Line Investments & Property team is committed to excellence in the new age initiatives and community events they bring to the mall.”

Contributing to the success of the five awards were the malls detailed submissions accompanied with images, videos and editorial coverage for the participating malls.

Line Investments & Property L.L.C won in the following categories:

Design & Development

-Line Investments and Property LLC – Mall of UAQ (Gold)

Net Operating Income (NOI) Enhancement

– Al Wahda for Celebrity Visit (Silver)

Traditional Marketing – Cause Related Marketing

– Al Wahda Mall for Operation Smile (Silver)

Traditional Marketing – Digital/Social Media

– Khalidiyah Mall for enhanced website (Silver)

Traditional Marketing – Sales Promotion

– Mushrif Mall for Talentology 2019 (Silver)

The winners of the Retail Congress MENA Awards 2019 were selected by a jury of regional and international industry experts in retail.

NetApp Reinvents the Customer Experience for the Hybrid Multicloud

Company introduces new simplified cloud experience for the enterprise, on and off the premises, with consumption models as easy as 1-2-3

NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP), the data authority for hybrid cloud, today announced its reinvention of the customer experience with NetApp® Keystone, a program that offers a range of flexible solutions for customers whether they choose to build or buy their cloud infrastructure. 

Organizations are digitally transforming to drive competitive advantage. They need to accelerate innovation in today’s real-time world while dealing with the complex reality that data and resources live anywhere and everywhere. In order to address this complexity, today’s IT environments must transform. While the industry has been focused on addressing these needs from a technology standpoint, the incremental improvements to financial options and to the upgrade process haven’t kept pace, until now. 

“While the advent of hybrid multicloud brings incredible potential, it has also resulted in increasingly complex environments. At the same time, budgets have contracted this year, creating intense demand to optimize and streamline not only how infrastructures are orchestrated and managed, but also the economics around IT buying,” said Ashish Nadkarni, vice president of IDC’s Infrastructure Systems, Platforms and Technologies Group. “In introducing flexible consumption models and automation-focused products, NetApp is making it significantly simpler not only to use its own products and services, but for IT leaders to modernize, monitor and manage the entirety of their infrastructure.”

“In today’s environment, cloud sets the benchmark for customer experience,” said NetApp CEO George Kurian. “We’ve built and delivered the data fabric strategy to simplify and modernize our customer’s data centers and enable success in the hybrid cloud era. The solutions we are introducing today are an extension of that philosophy – what data fabric has done to simplify and integrate data infrastructure; our new flexible consumption models do at the business level.”

NetApp’s vision is to simplify the business of data services for customers from every perspective: from how they buy and consume products and services to how they run them in their environments and who services them. As a leader in storage systems and software[1]and an innovator in cloud services, with a business that is growing by almost 200% year over year, only NetApp offers the full range of capabilities that customers need to build and manage their unique data fabric to solve the financial, operational, and technical barriers to adopting hybrid multicloud environments. 

NetApp Keystone: The Customer Experience Reinvented

NetApp Keystone is a program that offers a range of flexible solutions for customers, whether they choose to build or buy their cloud infrastructure, on their premises or off. Keystone offers the agility, pay-per-use economics, dynamic scaling, and operational simplicity that customers need to be able to consume cloud on their own terms. 

Keystone features:

  • Flexibility to mix and match purchases and subscription payment methods
  • Ability to run any NetApp service in any environment—on premises, cloud, and hybrid
  • Freedom to choose how it’s all managed—by NetApp, a partner, or internally
  • Simplified ownership experience that makes it easier to buy, operate and grow starting with NetApp’s new systems, the A400, FAS8300 and FAS8700

Keystone is designed to meet the reality of a hybrid multicloud world where IT teams need to have greater choice, flexibility, and freedom to run and pay for their data services however they want. 

“NetApp’s data fabric strategy has been a key element in how we help our customers modernize their infrastructures,” said Ken Farber, President, ePlus Software. “With Keystone we can help our customers build their data fabric via a consumption model that simplifies the experience and complexity of navigating hybrid multi-cloud.”

Featured Portfolio Updates

Along with the new program and simplified customer experience, NetApp announced a number of updates throughout its portfolio, with a range of new product launches, enhancements, and integrations. 

  • AIOps.New integrated solution with Active IQ® and Cloud Insights offer access to NetApp’s exponentially growing data lake of IT infrastructure intelligence for real-time, one-click resolution of issues across an entire hybrid multicloud environment. 
  • Data security and protection purpose-built for hybrid multicloud.New data services provide security and compliance for key industries, including federal, defense, and critical infrastructure, in addition to enterprise-class protection and tiering of cloud data, regardless of the choice of cloud. 
  • New software and systems meet the demands of new and traditional enterprise applications. New flash storage systems and solutions and NetApp ONTAP® updates offer a wide range of performance options, simplicity to power enterprise and modern applications. Additionally, the AFF All SAN array delivers state-of-the-art resiliency and record-setting performance in the midrange.
  • Cloud-agnostic DevOps.Leveraging Kubernetes, NetApp has created a redesigned model to allow true application portability and answer the economic factors and complexity concerns that have begun to plague modern DevOps. Based on NetApp’s own transformation, which connected the dots between three disparate solutions being used internally, we are providing the template for anyone to avoid vendor lock-in, lift and shift entire infrastructures, with the flexibility around anywhere workloads live.

[1]Gartner Magic Quadrant for Primary Storage, September 17, 2019

Line Investments & Property LLC showcases Forsan Central Mall at Retail Congress MENA 2019

Line Investments & Property L.L.C, the shopping mall development and management division of Lulu Group International will highlight the progress of the Forsan Central Mall as an all-in-one shopping, dining and entertainment destination at the Retail Congress MENA convention held from the 26th to the 29th of October 2019.

Set to open in August 2020, Forsan Central Mall is designed around the concept of a bamboo forest with a restful ‘garden in the city’ ambience. The Mall is located strategically in central part/area of Khalifa city.

Mr. Wajeb Al Khoury, Director of Line Investments and Property LLC said, The Line Investments & Property team remain at the forefront of the regional retail industry and are at the Retail Congress MENA to stay abreast of industry market trends and new age innovations aimed to enhance the retail experience in our projects. This year, we will be speaking to stakeholders about our latest project, Forsan Central Mall in Abu Dhabi.

Forsan Central Mall’s strategic location in the heart of Khalifa city, nature inspired ambience, extensive retail offering, unique dining concepts, iconic experiences at the family entertainment centre and the state-of-the-art cinema will keep residents and visitors engaged and entertained all year round and offer every convenience at the doorstep.

Forsan Central Mall offers a state-of-the-art Lulu Hypermarket with a brand-new design concept, trendy fashion retailers, electronics shops, bookstores, school supplies, home decor stores as well as retailers for perfumes, cosmetics and personal care in a three level one stop destination mall. A nine-screen cinema offers cinemagoers the ultimate movie experience in state-of-the-art theatres or have the option to enjoy an interactive family entertainment centre.

There will be cafés and a wide choice of diverse global cuisines and specialties including Indian, Arabic, gourmet burgers, vegan, seafood, popular brands and themed restaurants, juice bars, gourmet food vendors and ice cream outlets. The experiential dining options in the highly atmospheric indoor garden will in itself be calming and relaxing. On the first floor, a number of international restaurants and Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) cater to those regular to the mall and crave variety.

Services at Forsan Central Mall include banks and financial services, beauty salons and spa, telecommunications services, laundry services and tailors. The Mall has 1,258 parking spaces across two levels.

Forsan Central Mall is 70% completed and is scheduled for handover to tenants for fit out in January 2020. With a GLA of 43,114 sqm, there will be 89 retail stores, 22 Food & Beverages Outlets and an entertainment area spanning 3,123 sqm.

The nature inspired Forsan Central Mall will soon be a second home to nearly 30,000 families in the primary and secondary catchment area within the residential neighbourhoods of Al Raha Gardens, the gated communities of Rayyana, Golf Gardens and Sas Al Nakhil Village, among others, and the Emirati community of Al Watani and Masdar.

The Line Investment team will be at the Retail Congress MENA until 29th October at Ritz Carlton DIFC networking with retail industry leaders and related service providers.

ACJ and Sabena technics to co-operate in Self-Protection

Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) and Sabena technics are to co-operate in proposing self-protection systems (SPSs) for Airbus corporate jets.

Each SPS would combine an existing, state of the art, directional infra-red countermeasure (DIRCM) system with installation on an Airbus corporate jet.

SPSs will initially be offered for the ACJ320 Family.

An SPS offers protection against missiles fired from man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS), which are the most widespread missile-threat today.

Self-defence systems are already in service on some Airbus corporate jets.

The co-operation agreement was signed at the NBAA show, by Sabena technics Senior Vice president Sales and Business Development Daniel Soltani and ACJ President Benoit Defforge.

“This is a great new opportunity to work with ACJ on aircraft protection, which builds on an extensive portfolio of business-aviation services that includes cabin-outfitting and maintenance,” said Daniel Soltani. “We strongly believe that our ability to install and certificate these systems with airworthiness authorities, such as EASA and the FAA, is a key driver of success.”

“Offering self-protection is yet another way in which we care for our customers, and expands and consolidates the widespread range of modern aircraft and services that ACJ offers,” said ACJ President Benoit Defforge.

Around 200 Airbus corporate jets are in service worldwide, flying on every continent, including Antarctica.

Ethnic flavours attract food lovers to Moodgood Restaurant at Al Foah Mall

Embark on a culinary journey sampling wholesome traditional regional cuisine

Al Foah Mall welcomesMoodgood Restaurant as it brings new energy to the mall F&B experience, serving traditional Yemeni and Saudi cuisine with an aromatic blend of ethnic flavours, regional spices and fresh ingredients.

Moodgood Restaurant specialty includes madghut – a flavourful rice and meat dish, salads, grilled chicken, fish and shrimps as well as kunafa with cream or cheese at reasonable prices.

Mohammed Al Rakhees, General Managerof Moodgood Restaurant said, “We look forward to welcoming guests at Al Foah Mall to experience a traditional menu that reflects the true essence of regional dishes coupled with the warm Arab hospitality. We are delighted to be part of this community and hope to offer residents a taste of our local cuisine.”

Irfan Idaris Kundawala, General Manager, Al Foah Mall said, “Moodgood Restaurant brings traditional local flavours to our guests in a comfortable and serene setting, so they can unwind, enjoy good food and great company before and after their retail experience.”

Al Foah Mall is located within easy access to Dubai and Abu Dhabi and provides food lovers a diverse mix of restaurants, coffee shops and food court outlets under one roof.

Memorable arcade games at Al Wahda Mall until October 26th 2019

Old favourites highlighted during ‘Games and Tech’ week

The very first ‘Games & Tech Week’ is currently attracting gaming enthusiasts in Al Wahda Mall, powered by a jam-packed list of memorable arcade games until October 26th 2019.

Located on the first-floor of Al Wahda Mall extension, thrill seeking mall visitors will find an entertainment hub with retro gaming machines and experiential arcade zones. Old favourites to indulge in include Street Fighter Zero, Space Invaders Dx, Pacman, Sonic the Hedgehog, Frogger, Donkey Kong and Mario Bros.

Mr. Navaneeth Sudhakaran, General Manager, Al Wahda Mall said, “Visitors to Al Wahda Mall can get introduced to different arcade games and go down memory lane with their favourite games from the past as well as get a fresh perspective on the thriving gaming and tech industry. We look forward to welcoming our customers to try these games out.”

The Games and Tech event is part of an activation by The Department of Culture and Tourism that brings gamers to experience fun, immersive and educational games together.

Fortinet Ranked in Top Three by Gartner for SD-WAN Equipment Market Share by Revenue

Fortinet® (NASDAQ: FTNT), a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, today announced that it is among the top three vendors in worldwide market share for SD-WAN equipment by revenue in Gartner’s Q2 2019 report titled, “Market Share: Enterprise Network Equipment by Market Segment, Worldwide, 2Q19.”According to Gartner, total worldwide SD-WAN equipment revenue in 2Q19 was $417M, up 30% quarter-over-quarter.In 2Q19, Fortinet’s SD-WAN revenue is reported to have grown 234% quarter-over-quarterto $46M. This represents the third highest revenue market share at 11.1%.

“Cybersecurity has become a top-of-mind strategic business issue for enterprises deploying WAN edge solutions,” says John Maddison, EVP of products and CMO at Fortinet. “We’re hearing from an increasing number of customers who are concerned about the security risks associated with SD-WAN exposing branch offices to the Internet. We believe our growing market share validates the need for Fortinet’s unique Security-Driven Networking approach, which tightly integrates security and SD-WAN functionality into a single offering. Fortinet is committed to SD-WAN innovation; just this year we released the industry’s first SoC4 ASIC specifically designed to increase SD-WAN performance and security. Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN solution includes best-of-breed next-generation firewall security, SD-WAN, advanced routing, and WAN optimization capabilitiesas well as the ability to extend SD-WAN to the access layer via SD-Branch. Because we deliver our SD-WAN solution in-built into every FortiGate Next-Generation Firewall, customers benefit from some of the industry’s best threat protection and threat detection capabilities, fully integrated with one of the top SD-WAN solutions on the market.”

Riverbed Names Rich McBee as New President and CEO

Industry Veteran to Drive Expanded Growth for Company’s Digital Networking and Digital Experience Management Solutions

Riverbed®, The Digital Performance Company™, today announced that Rich McBee has been appointed President and CEO to drive continued momentum for the Company’s Digital Networking and Digital Experience Management businesses. McBee is the former President and CEO of Mitel, a global leader in business communications. 

McBee is a trusted leader with more than 30 years of experience holding top leadership roles driving market expansion, revenue growth and operations excellence at a range of technology companies. He departed Mitel after leading the company through a period of strategic transformation, including driving Mitel’s industry consolidation strategy, completing a dozen strategic transactions. During his eight year tenure as CEO, Mitel evolved from  a premise-based PBX pioneer to being the market leader of Public and Private Cloud Unified Communications and Collaboration solutions.

“Rich is a strong leader and strategist, and has a solid track record of driving business execution and results. Riverbed has experienced strong performance recently and Rich is the right leader to continue our upward momentum, as well as bring the passion and dedication to operational excellence that he is well known for in the industry,” said David Murphy, Riverbed Chairman and Senior Operating Partner, Thoma Bravo. “I look forward to working with Rich and the Riverbed executive team as we continue to deliver against our strategy and drive growth in two very unique and growing markets: Digital Networking and Digital Experience Management.”

“Riverbed has a well-respected brand, a history of innovation and a strong customer installed base that is well-earned,” said Rich McBee, President and CEO, Riverbed. “Riverbed’s current technology portfolio and strategy opens up significant market opportunities for our Company, as organizations worldwide are looking to capitalize on their digital transformation investments and enhance the digital experience of their users. I’m looking forward to working with our experienced team to accelerate our execution and drive great outcomes for Riverbed, as well as for our partners and customers.” 

Orlando Bravo, Thoma Bravo Founder and Managing Partner, said, “Rich McBee has the right skills and experience to lead Riverbed to greater success as well as deliver operational excellence. We remain fully committed to Riverbed’s success and look forward to continuing to deliver great value to Riverbed’s customers and partners, and maximizing the Company’s full potential in a $20 Billion total addressable market.”

Prior to transforming Mitel into a leading global provider of unified communications, McBee served as President of the Communications and Enterprise Group of Danaher Corporation. In this role, he was responsible for annual sales derived from carrier, enterprise, and SMB markets via both direct sales and channel partners. Rich joined Danaher in 2007 when they acquired Tektronix Communications, where he worked at since 1998 in a variety of leadership positions including: Senior Vice President and General Manager, Communications Business Unit; Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales, Service and Marketing; and Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Initiatives.

McBee holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Chapman School of Business and Economics and graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science in 1986.

The Riverbed Board of Directors conducted a thorough search for the new CEO. Prior to McBee’s appointment, Riverbed Chairman David Murphy took on the interim role of CEO. Riverbed is a portfolio company of Thoma Bravo.

ToysRUs partners with Capillary Technologies to increase store conversion with AI powered solutions

The iconic toy chain is undergoing a digital transformation in the KSA backed by Capillary Technologies as a strategic partner

Capillary Technologies, a leader in omnichannel engagement solutions along with its partner Naizak AlElm have become a key technology enabler for ToysRUs in Saudi Arabia by providing the popular chain of toy stores with its AI based Instore solution. ToysRUs will benefit from Capillary’s retail marketing solution to accurately identify in-store walk- in’s and derive rich insights about customer behaviour and buying patterns to help plan store operations efficiently. 

According to research from Euromonitor International, Saudi Arabia’s retail market is expected to grow at 12.3% to be worth US$119 billion by 2023. Having recently established its regional entity ‘Capillary Arabia’ in the Kingdom, Saudi Arabia is the fastest-growing market for Capillary in the region. With this latest partnership with ToysRUs, Capillary aims to further consolidate its presence in the country. 

Offline retail in Saudi Arabia continues to contribute about 95% to the total spend. Consumers still prefer to visit brick-and-mortar stores to experience and feel the product before a purchase. Keeping customers at the center of attention, ToysRUs wanted to build an offline clickstream of data, similar to what ecommerce does, to support the company’s mission to provide an exceptional retail experience to customers.

ToysRUs deployed Capillary’s VisitorMetrix which not only enables it to analyze historical store traffic patterns to determine staffing requirements through power hours, but also gives immediate responsive data to changes, including studying the impact of promotional campaigns. ToysRUs uses this information to strategize their operations and marketing campaigns to look deeper at their performance and pull the right levers for improved productivity.

“While our ecommerce business is growing, we did not want to lose focus on the offline stores. Combining the instore consumer behaviour with the transactional data will give us a complete 360 degree view of our customers and will help us personalise our offerings and services,” said Mr. Mansour Al-Akeel, Managing Director and CEO at ToysRUs.

Capillary’s President and General Manager for META, Nitin Kaushal said, “Saudi Arabia is one of our key markets in the region and we are pleased to partner with ToysRUs and be involved in their digital journey. We will soon be launching VisitorSense to help retailers capture more in-store data. It will provide brands with demographics and fashion profiles of store visitors to better understand their buying habits, patterns and preferences. We look forward to establishing a long-term partnership with ToysRUs and help elevate their customer experience.”

Capillary has also partnered with Naizak in Jeddah to leverage its rich and localised expertise in the market to design localised loyalty solutions for homegrown brands. 

FVC Signs Strategic Partnership with Virsec to Deliver Advanced Cybersecurity Solutions in the Middle East

FVC, a leading value-added distributor in the Middle East and Africa, today signed a strategic partnership with  Virsec, a cybersecurity company delivering a radically new approach to protect organizations against advanced cyberattacks. The partnership will enable FVC to distribute Virsec’s cybersecurity solutions throughout the Middle East region.

Responding to a sharp increase in cyberattacks targeting businesses, Virsec has validated its patented Trusted Execution™ technology with FVC’s partners and customers to provide unprecedented protection against advanced cyberattacks. High-profile attacks such as WannaCry, NotPetya, Black Energy, Industroyer, and others have used advanced hacking techniques and memory exploits to hijack control, cause disruption, shut down critical business applications or worse. These techniques bypass conventional network security tools and have been considered “indefensible” by many security experts.

“Cybersecurity is a top concern for our customers today as hackers are evading conventional security defenses,” said K.S. Parag, Managing Director, FVC. “Virsec provides effective runtime application memory protection against fileless and memory-based exploits, helping our customers eliminate these dangerous attacks. Through this strategic partnership we have strengthened our IT security portfolio to provide our partners and customers with a complete suite of complementing security solutions required to protect their businesses and critical assets.”

Virsec is the only security vendor that protects processes and memory in real-time. The solution maps acceptable application execution, and instantly detects deviations caused by attacks. This deterministic process takes the guesswork out of cybersecurity by detecting and blocking application attacks within milliseconds, with precise forensics at every step. Analyst firm Gartner has stated that memory protection should be considered “mandatory” and has recognized Virsec for its unique technology.

“It’s time to rethink how we approach security as hackers are using increasingly sophisticated attacks to expose holes in an organization’s infrastructure,”said Bobby Gupta, Managing Director for International Business at Virsec.“These attacks affect all industries from critical infrastructure, government and defense, to financial services, healthcare, telecom, retail, and more. Our philosophy is simple – rather than eternally chasing elusive threats, we need to eliminate the guesswork in cybersecurity and stop attacks at the application, in real-time.”