Scenic Settings – Santorini, Greece

By Shereen Shabnam

I fell in love with Greece from the moment I stepped out of the airport in Athens. And while each of the Islands in Greece have their own charm, Santorini still remains a favourite for regular visitors who fall in love with this crescent-shaped precious gem of the Aegean dotted with blue and white villages.

Santorini is actually a group of islands in the southernmost part of Cyclades.  The islands came into existence as a result of intensive volcanic activity and the Santorini islands is still an active volcano.

The whole island is actually a huge natural geological/volcanological museum where you can observe a wide range of geological structures and forms as wells as black volcanic pebbles.

Santorini is considered as the most romantic getaway in Greece with exquisitely clear waters and famous sunsets for the ultimate romantic experience. It has deep blue waters, spectacular rock formations, and vertical cliffs plus white, red and black sand.

Firá is the picturesque capital of the island has traditional architecture and offers an amazing view of the volcano. There are other smaller villages that are peaceful and are surrounded by vast vineyardsand whitewashed cliff-top towns with castles.

For sun, sea and sand, head to the Oia with its wild untamed beauty or Ammoudi, on the harbour of Oia for the charming cafes and restaurants. Then delight your visual senses with azure waters, sun-drenched beaches, magnificent black sand and chiselled rocks.

The wild beauty of the beaches on the eastern side of the island will prove irresistible to sunseekers looking for peace and seclusion with Impressive sculptured rocks, black sand, volcanic pebbles, small ports with fishing boats casting colourful reflections on blue waters and some beech trees.

On the south-eastern side of Santorini, sun-loving tourists will encounter magnificent black sandy or pebbly beaches with shallow waters and with playgrounds so it is perfect for families.

Visitors can also soak up the atmosphere along the lively waterfronts, charming beach bars or head to the modern marina with the Sailing and Yacht Club of Santorini for sailing and yachting.  The staff at the club can guide you to the best spots for scuba diving, windsurfing, jet ski adventures, parasailing, kayaking and other water sports.

Santorini is not just about the sun, sea, sand and sunsets – A visit to Santorini offers the ultimate gastronomic experience with fresh cherry tomatoes, white egg plants, fava, fresh goat cheese found on the island.

After each day of exploring the beauty of Santorini, the best way into the evening is dinner after sunset and then head to bed to dream away about what natural wonders to discover in the different parts of Santorini the next day.

From the UAE, you can get to Athens via Istanbul. If you are looking to combine a few destinations like I did, you can fly Turkish Airlines and spend a few days in Istanbul and Athens and end the holiday in the idyllic island of Santorini.

3 Items on Every Digital Business’s Agenda

By: Daniel Fried, General Manager (GM) and Senior Vice President (SVP), EMEA and Worldwide Channels, Veeam

There was a time in the not so distant past when the function of IT within an organization was considered an operational formality rather than a driver of competitive advantage. Nowadays, technology is no stranger to the boardroom agenda. In fact, it’s a regular fixture.

While the ways in which technology can help an organization are almost infinite, there are three areas I see many businesses focusing on.

The first is ensuring business continuity. This can be viewed as ‘keeping the lights on’ but it’s more about providing a foundation that allows the business to operate as close to its maximum output as possible at all times.

The second is investing in cybersecurity – particularly to minimize the risk and impact of ransomware attacks. While linked to business continuity, there are longer-term impacts for organizations to consider such as reputational damage and a loss of customer confidence.

Finally, organizations need their data to be available at all times. The crucial distinction is that when we talk about ‘availability’, we are talking about data being accessible to the right people at the right time and in the right place, as well as being protected and recoverable at all times.

Business as usual

Veeam’s 2019 Cloud Data Management Report found that three-quarters of organizations are looking to adopt Cloud Data Management.

Two thirds of those surveyed cited stability as one of the key benefits they expected from an investment in technology. Four out of five said they needed to see an uptick in productivity.

This nicely summarizes the role technology plays in ensuring business continuity. Stability is key for any organization, especially during periods of uncertainty caused by factors the business has no control over.

Furthermore, as businesses look to transform digitally, they need a stable foundation on which to base the associated shift in working and cultural practices.

Cloud Data Management provides this foundation for business continuity, as well as giving businesses the means to use data more productively.

Securing corporate reputation

Any business that stores and uses data must be prepared to protect it against ongoing threats to cybersecurity such as ransomware.

This process is two-fold. The first is ensuring that the business is taking proactive steps to mitigate the impact of cyber-attacks and prevent them from spreading across the organization.

Secondly, businesses have to ensure that they are in a position to recover immediately when an attack takes hold.

Restoring mission-critical apps and communication functions means the business can swiftly deal with the reputational damage that comes with a cyber-attack – keeping customer confidence intact.

Open all hours

The ability for businesses to recover mission-critical operations is important beyond protecting against the threat of a cybersecurity breach.

Veeam’s research found that almost three quarters (73%) of organizations are failing to meet users’ demands for uninterrupted access to applications and data.

Simply put, data needs to be available for business to leverage its full power.