Fortinet Named a Leader in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure

Fortinet® (NASDAQ: FTNT), a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, today announced it has been positioned in the Leaders quadrant of the Gartner September 2020 Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure, placing higher in ability to execute and further in completeness of vision than its position the previous year.

John Maddison, EVP of Products and CMO at Fortinet

“A few years back while the entire industry was thinking about SD-WAN as a siloed product, at Fortinet we took a Security-driven Networking approach, combining networking and security to be the first vendor to deliver Secure SD-WAN. We’re pleased to be placed in the Leaders quadrant of the 2020 Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure, something we feel is another strong indicator of Fortinet’s ability to deliver better user experience with consistent security for our customers. We believe Fortinet will continue to disrupt the industry with solutions rooted in Security-driven Networking principles, next by delivering the most flexible security via SASE.”

Fortinet Delivers the Industry’s Most Flexible SD-WAN Solution

Fortinet continues to drive innovation of Fortinet Secure SD-WAN to deliver an organically developed solution that consolidates advanced routing, self-healing SD-WAN capabilities, and intuitive orchestration with the industry’s most flexible security options via integrated next-generation firewall or SASE-based cloud-delivered security. Fortinet’s dedication to SD-WAN innovation has also resulted in the industry’s most extensive and secure SD-WAN solution, able to be deployed across the home, branch, campus and multi-cloud. Fortinet Secure SD-WAN helps customers realize significant benefits, including:

  • Better user experience: Fortinet customers can dynamically learn and overcome WAN impairments at all edges through comprehensive self-healing SD-WAN capabilities, which are powered by purpose-built ASICs for higher performance. AI and ML-powered application learning provides visibility and control to deliver the best application performance possible.
  • Reduced costs and complexity: Fortinet’s Security-driven Networking approach converges networking and security into a unified Secure SD-WAN solution with centralized orchestration, enabling customers to reduce point products and operational complexity and achieve the best possible total cost of ownership (TCO).

Earlier this year, Fortinet was named a 2020 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for WAN Edge Infrastructure. This distinction is based on feedback and ratings from end-user professionals who have experience purchasing, implementing or using Fortinet Secure SD-WAN.

Fortinet was also named the fastest growing SD-WAN vendor by Omdia, which noted 247% year-over-year growth in Fortinet’s SD-WAN revenue from 1Q19 to 1Q20. Fortinet believes this additional accolade showcases Fortinet’s ability to deliver one of the top SD-WAN solutions on the market.

Fortinet Showcases a Clear Vision of the Future of SD-WAN

Customers who choose Fortinet Secure SD-WAN are able to futureproof their investments by extending SD-WAN to address emerging use cases with new cloud-delivered security innovations providing flexible SASE solutions for today’s diverse workforce anytime and anywhere. With the broadest availability for multi-cloud, continued innovations in unified cloud orchestration will enableend-to-end visibility and control anywhere. Fortinet was one of the first vendors to showcase the SD-WAN to SD-Branch expansion and continues to innovate to provide tighter integration, security and analytics between the LAN Edge and WAN Edge.

“Fortinet Secure SD-WAN helped us accelerate cloud services with automated cloud on-ramps. We were also able to consolidate branch services by extending to Fortinet Secure SD-Branch using both their wireless and switching solutions. The entire operation successfully enabled secure direct communication for our 1,600 employees.”

-Ricardo Girardelli, Network Architect, Creditas

“Fortinet Secure SD-WAN is flexible in the deployment models that it supports and reduces cost and complexity for customers. The combination of SD-WAN, security, SD-Branch, reporting, and automation make Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN a compelling full-stack solution for branches and campuses.”

-Robert Short, Vice President-Strategic Services at Liquid Networx

New Report Illustrates Need for Hybrid Cloud Solution Enabling Consistent Operations Across Multiple Clouds

Nutanix (NASDAQ: NTNX), a leader in enterprise cloud computing, today announced findings of a new report analyzing key challenges and opportunities with hybrid cloud adoption. While most see hybrid cloud as the ideal IT model, the report showed that many struggle to adopt it — with 70% of organizations believing that their transformation is taking longer than expected. However, the goal is clear: nearly all respondents (95%) think their organization would benefit from an optimal hybrid implementation providing consistent IT constructs and operations across multiple clouds, eliminating many of the challenges they currently face ranging from operational silos to staffing shortages.

As businesses everywhere struggle to adapt to a new reality, one thing is becoming even clearer: flexibility is crucial to business success. Whether enterprises need to leverage public cloud to deliver remote desktops quickly, consolidate disaster recovery sites, move workloads to a private cloud to stave off public cloud capacity concerns, or take advantage of on-demand capacity bursting, the current global situation has emphasized the need for an adaptable IT infrastructure for many businesses. But flexibility no longer means using both public and private clouds — it means having a consistent experience, tooling and operational practices across multiple clouds to dramatically simplify the ability to move applications and data to the most appropriate cloud environment.

“Today, modern organizations need to lead with flexibility, and a critical aspect of this is decentralizing resources to make them more readily available,” said Aaron White, Regional Sales Director – Middle East at Nutanix. “By using multiple clouds, whether public, private or at the edge, businesses can simply bring their IT infrastructure where it is most needed. But, as we saw in the research, this flexibility is only possible with consistent constructs, operations and tooling across multiple clouds, making a hybrid cloud environment ideal.”

The report, commissioned by Nutanix and created by independent market research firm Vanson Bourne, analyzed key challenges businesses are currently facing when managing both public and private cloud infrastructures. The company surveyed 650 IT decision-makers from multiple industries, business sizes and geographies in the Americas; Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA); and Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) regions.

Additional findings include:

  • Public Cloud Alone is Not Always the Answer: Public cloud revolutionized the IT industry, offering more agility and operational efficiency. And while it’s ideal for some applications and workloads, it’s not for others, leading businesses to embrace a hybrid infrastructure. According to the research, the majority of respondents have concerns about running business-critical applications, those most vital to their business, on public cloud, specifically around reliability (75%), portability (73%), and cost (72%). Additionally, some are simply unable to move their business-critical applications, due to complexity or cost. For example, the need to re-architect or re-platform applications (75%) and the complexity of the migration (71%) are top concerns preventing respondents from porting applications.
  • Hybrid Widens the IT Skills Gap: Although many businesses struggle to find enough qualified IT talent, the issue grows when looking for professionals who can manage both a public and a private cloud infrastructure, as currently the two environments require different skill sets. Most organizations (88%) are facing challenges in ensuring their IT staff has the necessary skills to manage a hybrid IT infrastructure, and over half (53%) see this as a top concern.
  • Skill Gaps Create Silos and Inefficiencies: Given the different skills required to manage public and private cloud infrastructures, businesses often need to rely on different teams creating silos, something that nearly all (95%) respondents encountered. Most importantly, they often impact the bottom line, something even more concerning at a time when many businesses are focused on optimizing resources. Nearly half of respondents identified resource sprawl (49%), an increase in costs (45%), and/or a waste of resources (43%) as concerns.
  • Portability is a Must and Not Just For Applications: For most businesses (88%) software licensing is a key aspect of a hybrid IT infrastructure, as many have run into difficulties surrounding licensing (58%) or vendor lock-in (58%) when moving to public cloud. Additionally, nearly two thirds (65%) are willing to consider subscription licensing for their IT infrastructure.

Businesses are looking for flexibility. It’s no longer a choice between private and public, or between different public cloud providers. Organizations need a solution providing consistent experience, tooling and operational practices across multiple clouds to address many of the challenges and operational inefficiencies they’re currently facing. An optimal hybrid cloud environment provides the consistency they need to take advantage of the full flexibility of multiple clouds, whether private or public.

Technology is a Game Changer for Financial Institutions in the ‘New Normal’

By: Jacob Chacko, Regional Business Head – Middle East, Saudi & South Africa at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company

If you spent any time in your childhood swimming in the sea, there’s a fair chance you remember the feeling of being dumped by a wave. For those brief moments in time, your feet lose the ground and mild panic sets in as you battle to discern up from down. It’s fair to say for many businesses in the financial services industry, that’s exactly how the better part of 2020 has felt.

Most of the major banks in the Middle East – traditionally brick-and-mortar institutions – had their hands full trying to reimagine their security measures overnight and ensure their thousands of employees could continue working seamlessly from home.

But now that the first wave of disruption has passed and we’re finding our way back to the surface again, it’s time for financial institutions to look beyond the initial panic and start focusing on what’s next. According to McKinsey, companies that want to excel in the ‘next norm’ should be paying attention to evolving customer behaviours and how they are likely to impact customer experience in the near term.

With this in mind, Aruba Networks has developed a ‘Banking for the New Normal’ series underpinned by its LAN, WLAN and SD-WAN networking solutions and enhanced with security, automation and analytics, to help banks reinvent their connectivity and the way in which they work.

Upping the ante on innovative service delivery

When it comes to more innovative service, people are increasingly looking for that always-on experience. COVID-19 has rendered time an even more precious commodity and service providers that don’t value their customers’ time do so at their own peril. If a client has travelled to an ATM, for example, they want to know that service will definitely be available to them. By harnessing the power of integrated analytics, banks can make sure that customers don’t end up travelling kilometers to an ATM, only to find it’s out of service. Instead they can proactively let customers know that ATM is not currently functioning and suggest an alternative. In fact, as part of Aruba’s offering, banks can access AI-powered analytics, allowing them to automatically detect and solve any number of different issues before they can impact the business.

Solutions that speak to social distancing

Research shows COVID-19 has normalised physical distancing and people’s need for constant sanitation. In the financial services space, this has translated into customers avoiding bank branches and ATMs where they have to queue with dozens of other people.

But here again real-time analytics can enable banks to provide their customers with insights as to how many other people are on site. Backed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Aruba provides edge-line platforms that provide real-time analytics, meaning the bank can notify the customer that there are four ATMs within their vicinity and let them know exactly how many people are currently at each ATM.

And there are numerous other ways in which forward-thinking banking institutions can draw on the latest technology to make it safer for consumers to engage their services.

IoT-based technology, for example, will be an important focus for banks moving forward because of the growing demand for thermal cameras. While IoT often comes with security concerns – and even more so for those in the banking space – solution providers like Aruba can assist with the secure onboarding of IoT devices – which is necessary when it comes to the deployment of thermal cameras, security cameras and the like.

Greater convenience key to success

Convenience has always been king where customers are concerned, but in a world where people are juggling more stresses and concerns than ever before, convenience is even more critical to success. Luckily, there are many ways in which a financial service provider can use technology to make their customers’ lives easier. Think of something as simple as alerting a client to the fact that their credit card will soon expire as they walk past an ATM. Again with the right edge-line platforms in place, the bank can access this real-time information and make it easy for the customer to pop into the branch and get a new card.

An added advantage of banks having this technology at their fingertips is that they can provide the same connectivity and infrastructure services to their business banking customers as well. In fact as trusted entities with access to the latest and most secure technology, banks can create entirely new revenue streams for themselves by evolving from financial service providers into tech service providers. 

With some banks expecting profit declines as dramatic as 85%, the ability to draw on technology to source revenue from alternative business models is of paramount importance. And with companies like Aruba packaging these solutions with flexible financing options, the technology is significantly more accessible in the current economic climate.

Now that the initial panic and uncertainty around COVID-19 has dissipated, it’s time for companies in the financial services industry to refocus their attention on what’s next. The pandemic has accelerated the demand for technological innovation from consumers and businesses alike, and service providers must ensure they can keep pace with the evolving needs of their customers.

Venetian Passion

The art of perfume as seen by Valmont Group

By Shereen Shabnam

Storie Veneziane’s olfactory fairy tales enshrine the respective talents of Sophie Vann Guillon and Didier Guillon, proudly embodying Sophie’s creative exuberance and Didier’s unshakable passion for art.

Illustrating Valmont Group’s embrace of perfumes, Storie Veneziane comes to life in Venice as the apotheosis of two life journeys, where Sophie and Didier Guillon each find the roots of their inspiration. Sophie relishes playing with the materials and contrasts that have delighted her throughout her career, while Didier indulges in unconstrained self-expression through unique artistic creations.

Collezione Privata, three eaux de parfum portraying
            Sophie’s vision of harmony.

Palazzo Nobile, five rare eaux de toilette featuring
creative input from Didier.

These two collections may share certain codes, but each conveys the artistic choices, the creative perspective and the intrinsic talents of its creator.


A Perfumer’s Imagination

By Shereen Shabnam

The standardization and conformity of niche fragrances is celebrated with alternative brands selling anti-conformist juices. We explore the exquisite perfumes from J.U.S, an uninhibited perfumery producing impactful olfactory creations and strong packaging. Through 100% French production, J.U.S pays tribute to the roots of French perfume, a true heritage common to all. As usual, I feature some of my current favourites.

CUIRISSIME – Fabrice Pellegrin – Floral Violet Leather

Oily Leather Base > Astrotone> Violet Leaves Absolute > Concrete Iris> Hedione> Muscenone 

Fabrice wanted to honor the birth of Grasse perfumery with a leather note reminiscent of tanneries. A tribute to the tradition of Grasse leather but also to the use of perfume as an olfactory ornament. The leaves of violet create the link between velvety leather and the bitter pistacia lentiscus.

COFFEEZE –  Aurélien Guichard – Oud Expresso

Laos FirBest Oud > Santos Coffee SFE> Sandalwood Accord> Patchouli HE> Tonka Absolute

Oud is a mysterious and elusive raw ingredient with a complex mix dark and golden tones.

Fascinating and repulsive, it intrigues… and becomes ever more attractive.

Coffee is another dark material, flat and bitter, resolutely roasted.

This is a unique fragrance that forces the Oud and the Coffee to meet, to hear each other, to talk to each other, to get tangled in each other.

GINGERLISE – Alexandra Carlin – Spicy Heperide

Madagascar Ginger roots > Pink peppercorns and leaves> Bouquet of aromatics> Angelica roots> Fig Accord > Absinthe

“When matter becomes color…”

Madagascar, a land of colors and contrasts, of spices and shamans. I discovered  there, on this big red island covered with laterite, an endemic variety of zesty ginger with hints of lemon and verbena, whose freshly cut root is distilled and whose color turns blues in the light.

Added to this is Angelica root, earthy and musky, Absinthe leaf, bitter and intoxicating, the wood of Abreuva and its ambrette tone, musky, powdery, slightly fruity animal and masculine musks, and woody aldehydes.

NOIRESSENCE – Alexandra Carlin – Leathery Floral

Black pepper essence> orange blossom Absolute > Bigarade sorbet accord> Iris powder> Ink accord> Velvet leather

A leathery Eau that does not fall into any category ….

A pointillist portrait in blackcurrant buds, with an overdose of pepper, styrax, fucus and cade: a palette of dark colors to translate every intensity of black.

Shimmering black ink, shiny algae adorned with water pearls… a mineral reflection, the dark, flat mercury of charred lava.

And beyond all this black, a peaceful, radiating breath of bigarade orange and orange blossom, and the powdery halo of Iris root.