Entry of Global Public Cloud Providers in the Middle East Sets Spotlight on Criticality of Cloud Data Management

The advent of cloud, scale and hosted pay-as-you-grow services are finally upon us! The two major cloud providers, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have put down large investments and opened datacentres in the Middle East. 

In June this year, Microsoft brought online two United Arab Emirates (UAE) regions – in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, enabling government agencies and businesses to comply with local regulations, by providing data residency in the UAE for its Azure and Office 365 services. A little over a month later at the end of July, AWS announced the expansion of its global footprint with the opening of the AWS Middle East (Bahrain) Region. The announcement stated that ‘developers, start-ups, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and non-profit organizations can start using the new AWS Middle East Region to run applications and serve end-users across the Middle East.’

We are facing exciting times ahead with the launch of these public cloud providers in the Middle East, which will undoubtedly provide an impetus for regional companies to better integrate cloud into their strategies. Organizations will be more comfortable with consuming these services now that data sovereignty and security issues, which have been the main stumbling blocks in the past, are no longer a concern. We are facing exiting times with the advent of all these public providers. 

Do these announcements sound the death knell for traditional hardware solution providers? No doubt analysts will be keeping a close eye on hardware sales in the next two to five years. I recently returned from Las Vegas where there was a large Public Cloud provider conference of over 60,000 delegates and I was thoroughly and pleasantly surprised at the content and mindset of providers, customers and partners. One thing is clear – we are at an infliction point in IT. Any CXO returning from this event would have many questions about their IT services and I suppose their first priority would be to halt all procurement. Why would you want to incur huge costs to own and maintain your own datacentre, besides the operational and security challenges that go with it? The advantages of public cloud services have been well documented. But the answer is not that simple. As both, public and private cloud continue to mature in the region, many companies will opt for both, leveraging multiple clouds to satisfy their diverse enterprise computing needs. Multi-cloud combines on-premise operations with services and applications running on multiple cloud providers, which enables organizations to capture the benefits of each platform while mitigating their downsides.

In this heterogeneous environment, the main challenge now is managing the distributed data between all the clouds and centralising this management to ensure visibility regardless of where the data is residing. 

The 2019 Veeam Cloud Data Management reportsurveyed over 1,500 business leaders globally andfound that organizations are on a journey to become a more intelligent business, meaning they are leveraging technologies such as Cloud Data Management and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create a real-time view of the collective business and the ability to act intelligently on that insight. Amongst the businesses on this journey, the study highlights four common components globally:

  1. Cloud: Cloud Data Management is a key component of delivering Intelligent Data Management. Three-quarters of companies report using Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms. Many are utilizing the cloud for their backup and recovery services, with 51% using Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) and 44% using disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS). It is evident that leaders are recognizing the advantages of a multi-cloud and hybrid-based approach, citing cost, reliability, flexibility and data security of the cloud as their main reasons for choosing it. 
  • Capabilities: Organizations must enhance their capabilities, to ensure employees can draw on data insights and use new technologies as they are deployed, with 9 out of 10 businesses viewing upskilling employees’ digital skills as vital to their digital success.
  • Culture: Creating a culture that is adaptable and receptive to new technologies so that people can evolve with the organization is essential, with more than two-thirds of respondents believing that company culture needs to become more open and accepting to digital technologies.
  • Confidence: Organizations must create a sense of confidence in the business’ digital capabilities, built on a strong data foundation. Presently, only a quarter of respondents report total confidence in their capability to meet their digital challenges. 

What is clear from the 2019 Veeam Cloud Data Management Report, as well as the entry of the major global public cloud service providers in the region, is that the time for action is now. This starts with a strong digital foundation, which ensures that data is backed up and always available. With this in place, organizations can confidently deploy new digital initiatives, leveraging the business value and competitive advantage for today and into the future, and harness the potential of Cloud Data Management. 

Kodak Alaris Unveils New Developer Program and Partner Portal to Expand Revenue Opportunities for the Channel

Alaris, a Kodak Alaris business, is launching a series of initiatives designed to support channel partners and significantly increase their ability to pursue new revenue streams. The global information capture firm is expanding its Developer Program to accelerate innovation within its new Smart Connected Scanning category. Alaris is opening a new dedicated partner portal that provides resellers with easy access to a wide range of training resources, sales support tools and marketing assets. And it is enhancing its Managed Capture Services offering.

The Alaris Developer Program gives Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), System Integrators (SIs), Value Added Resellers (VARs) and third-party developers access to Alaris’ technical toolkits including market-leading application program interfaces (APIs) that they can use to jointly create new and innovative customer solutions. The program supports the demand for increased connectivity, the ability to elevate traditional push scanning to enterprise-scale efficiency and enable scanning directly into line-of-business processes. Through this collaborative developer ecosystem, partners can also help their customers realize the full potential of the Alaris INfuse Smart Connected Scanning Solution to automate workflows by seamlessly connecting document capture to existing business systems and the cloud.

“By making it easy for partners to access our APIs, they can custom-develop integrations that work with their customers’ business processes to deliver automated, easy to manage workflows,” said Don Lofstrom, President & General Manager, Alaris, a Kodak Alaris business. “The program will also extend the value and reach of our solutions, empowering partners to secure new recurring revenue by transforming legacy, transaction-based hardware sales into a simple to deploy, subscription-based offering.”

New Partner Portal
Partnering with Alaris helps resellers find new ways to expand their offerings and reach into new sources of profitable revenue. With the launch of its new partner portal, Alaris is making partnership easier, offering resellers its full support across the entire sales cycle, empowering them to grow their business and earn more with Alaris.

As part of its commitment to help resellers win new business, Alaris will enable partners to build a pipeline with qualified leads secured from Alaris-led demand generation programs.

The mobile-responsive portal which is accessible via single sign-on enables partners to register new sales opportunities and automate sales cycle activities, saving time and streamlining processes. In addition, the portal offers easy access to a range of sales enablement tools such as market research, competitive intelligence and ‘why-to-buy’ tools; co-branded collateral, as well as assets and support for marketing activities.

Partners also benefit from access to Alaris’ learning management system where they will find a wealth of sales and technical training courses. The company has introduced a number of selling and partnership incentives, benefits and rebates that increase in line with the resellers’ business commitment to Alaris.

Expanding Alaris Services
Alaris has built on its heritage and expertise in enabling customers to transform data into a powerful competitive advantage, by enhancing its Managed Capture Services (MCS) proposition. Partners looking to deliver added customer value, deepen customer relationships and expand their business opportunities can now leverage the value of the Alaris’ repair and maintenance and professional service offerings. With the new Alaris Scanner Management Platform, Alaris and its partners can directly monitor scanner operational data, deliver usage reports and manage multi-variate alerts for its customers’ scanners.

With the Alaris Scanner Management Tool, Alaris and its partners can provide customers with an understanding of total imaging costs and usage to enhance efficiency and effectiveness and drive tangible savings for customers. Alaris also provides an alternative for customers that enjoy savings, visibility and consumable management afforded by Managed Print Service (MPS) providers as well as the use of centralized PC management solutions. The Alaris Scanner Management Agent expands these offerings by allowing scanners from Alaris to be seamlessly integrated into device management solutions for smarter reporting and management.

“With a requirement to reduce costs, organizations are buying into managed and as-a-service options across their IT infrastructures. Our enhanced MCS offering gives us ‘permission to play’ more actively in the managed services space,” Lofstrom said. “This model will help partners to get closer to customers, increase the value of what is delivered and build a more sustainable business based on recurring revenue streams.”

HID Global and VMware Collaborate to Drive Mass Adoption of Mobile Access to Digital and Physical Workspaces

HID Global, a worldwide leader in trusted identity solutions, today announced it is collaborating with VMware to drive mass adoption of mobile access to digital and physical places by adding HID Mobile Access®for opening buildings and doors to VMware Workspace ONE, an intelligence-driven digital workspace platform for managing any app on any device. The collaboration will make it possible for Workspace ONE users, for the first time, to more securely open doors with their smartphones as part of a unified mobile experience that also enables them to access applications, computers, networks, data and cloud-based services.

Workspace ONE is an industry leader in unified endpoint management (UEM) and the collaboration with HID will fuel even broader interest and uptake by enterprise organizations focused on blending physical and digital employee experiences with technology.  

 “Adding physical access control capabilities to Workspace ONE will bring a unique element to our customers’ digital transformation journeys as we take yet another step-in redefining what it means to provide empowering digital employee experiences across any application on any device,” said Tony Kueh, vice president of product management, End User Computing, VMware.

HID mobile credentials are delivered to Workspace ONE through the HID Origo™ cloud-based access control platform that provides a suite of integration, enablement and developer tools and services that simplify how HID partners and a growing community of new developers and resellers bring mobile access control solutions to market. The platform also streamlines mobile ID replenishment over the air when employees lose or must replace their smartphones and other mobile devices.

“The collaboration between two of the leading companies in the fields of cybersecurity and physical security will help accelerate the use of converged physical and logical access control on mobile devices,” said Hilding Arrehed, Vice President of Cloud Services, Physical Access Control, with HID Global. “The solution underscores HID’s and VMware’s shared commitment to bring to market one of the industry’s first unified access control solution for a user base of this size.”

VMware recently completed a pilot of their platform integration at VMware facilities using Bluetooth-enabled HID iCLASS SE® readers and mobile IDs. The HID Mobile Access application programming interfaces (APIs) and software developer kits (SDKs) provided VMware with direct access to HID access control hardware, speeding integration and pilot execution. The incubation of this technology partnership has validated the benefits of converged physical and logical access control on mobile devices including a more seamless, convenient and intuitive experience for users with improved security and administrative efficiency. Users accessed buildings, rooms and other spaces by tapping their mobile device to a reader at the door, and also unlocked doors from a distance using “twist and go” mobile gesture technology or by simply swiping to unlock their phones as they approached. 

Workspace ONE integrates access control, application management and multi-platform endpoint management into a single platform and is available as a cloud service or on-premises deployment. IDC named the platform the 2018 leader in Enterprise Mobility Managementand Gartner placed it in its leader quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) management tools

Fortinet Acquires Advanced Endpoint Security Company enSilo

Enhances integrated security portfolio with real-time automated detection and response capabilities to further protect endpoints and edge data

“As businesses become more networked and operations extend from the cloud to the edge and Internet of Things, the digital attack surface has expanded exponentially and has become more complex to secure” said Ken Xie, Founder, Chairman of the Board, and CEO, Fortinet. “Manual threat hunting or point security solutions are ineffective when managing or securing these new environments. Instead security and the network need to be integrated and orchestrated to enable advanced threat containment at network speeds. In acquiring enSilo, we add automated, real-time detection, protection, and response enhancements to our Fortinet Security Fabric to further protect endpoints and corresponding edge data.”

The combination of Fortinet and enSilo will be a powerful offering for enterprises and service providers of all sizes. Fortinet intends to offer customers additional security effectiveness through the integration of enSilo’s endpoint detection and response (EDR) technology with Fortinet’s FortiSIEMsolution, FortiInsightUEBA (user entity behavior analytics) features, and FortiNACsolution. Enterprises will gain superior endpoint visibility and tightly coordinated, dynamic control of network, user, and host activity within their environment. Likewise, MSSPs will be able to extract the full value of this combination and deliver a comprehensive and efficient managed detection and response (MDR) service. Furthermore, enSilo, a Fortinet Security Fabric-ready partner prior to the acquisition, already complements FortiGate Next-generation FirewallsFortiSandbox, FortiSIEM and the FortiClientFabric Agent, providing an additional detection and enforcement layer that helps organizations further reduce the time to detect, investigate, and remediate malicious attacks. 

Roy Katmor, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, enSilo

“Together, enSilo and Fortinet share the commitment to solve customers’ most difficult challenges and to protect the endpoint and their corresponding operations and data. Now, enSilo brings its patented approach for advanced endpoint protection and response to Fortinet and its broad security portfolio.”

Dave Gruber, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG)

“According to ESG research, 76% of organizations find threat detection and response more difficult today than two years ago. Vendors like Fortinet are tackling this problem by constructing an integrated security platform across endpoints, network and cloud infrastructure. The move to natively add enSilo’s automated EDR capabilities to the Fortinet platform should improve and accelerate alert correlation, leading to faster threat detection and incident response.”