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GBM Horizons Newsletter 2010

GBM Horizons Newsletter 2010



Gulf Business Machines Horizons Newsletter 2010 - 20 years of making an impact on business in the region

Gulf Business Machines Horizons Newsletter 2010 - 20 years of making an impact on business in the region



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    GBM Horizons Newsletter 2010 GBM Horizons Newsletter 2010 Document Transcript

    • IN THIS ISSUE OUR PARTNERS Business Process 02 Welcome to Horizons 10 NOC 16 Management 03 About GBM 11 Salesforce.com 17 Virtualisation 04 Our recent developments 13 Learning Services 18 Smarter money for a smarter planet 06 Key events in IBM history 14 Anti-money laundering 19 Social networking 08 Conversation with Cesare Cardone 15 Business intelligence 20 Let’s Connecthorizons 20 years of making an impact on businesses > Our CEO talks about Cloud Computing > BPM strategies for the Banking Industry > Plan, deploy and maintain a virtual infrastructure2010 NEWSLETTER Learn about anti-money laundering and business intelligence projects START START LOADING THE FUTURE
    • Welcome to Horizons Message from the Chairman The past two decades Celebrating 20 years of success is a matter of pride for most companies, but this is an especially proud moment for all of us at Gulf Business have seen GBM grow Machines because of the challenges we have overcome to get here. from strength to The past two decades have seen GBM grow from strength to strength to strength to become become one of the largest, most capable and most profitable IT companies in the Middle East. We not only have a local presence in the markets in one of the largest, which we operate, but have a significant pool of skilled talent to support our customers, delivering the right products and solutions every time. most capable and most None of this would have been possible without the total commitment and profitable IT companies support of our shareholders who have stood firmly by this company over in the Middle East. JALAL M. JALAL, CHAIRMAN, GBM the past 20 years. Success would not have come without the intelligent stewardship of our management team who have steered this company through boom times and economic crises. And last, but certainly not the least, GBM has been built on the sheer hard work and commitment of our employees who have devoted themselves to delivering only the best to our customers across the region. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our customers, many of whom have been with us for several years, for their trust and support. On behalf of GBM, I would like to reiterate our commitment to constantly improving our services and delivering best-of-breed technologies. You can be assured that we will not rest on our laurels accumulated over the last 20 years, but will strive to be stronger in partnership with you. Jalal M. Jalal, Chairman Message from the CEO our employees, the support of our to build on our achievements and a small, but not insignificant, shareholders and the trust of our continue our focus on providing decline in business. customers. best-of-breed solutions and services to our customers. In truth, the impact would When GBM was first formed, have been more significant if it functioned in a very different And the future starts now. Our the company did not have the environment to what we experience investment in setting up the structure it does, offering a today. And the differences do not region’s first Network Operations diverse range of products and begin or end with the sophistication Centre (NOC) and developing our services. It also helped that a of technology at the time. We now Cloud Computing offering is only sizeable part of our business work in an industry which caters to the beginning. In an increasingly is related to ongoing contracts increasingly granular needs, be it competitive environment we and integration projects that technology or skills. We also contend aim to remain distinct from the CESARE CARDONE, CEO, GBM have long gestation periods. All with a fast evolving environment competition and stand out for our of this allowed GBM to weather where companies like ours need to excellence and expertise. the storm with steady revenues. adapt quickly to change or become a 20 years and beyond What’s more is that our market- historical footnote. As we celebrate 20 years of GBM’s wide reputation for reliability existence, it’s important for all of It is with great pride that we look and stability made us the Throughout, GBM has us to realize that we are not at the back at the past 20 years and it partner of choice for a number demonstrated an extraordinary end, but rather the beginning and certainly isn’t a case of resting of new customers. resilience. Whether the challenge that we should strive to build this on laurels. When Gulf Business was economic, technological company into something bigger Machines (GBM) was formed in There is now evidence of or simply business-related, and better. 1990 there were questions about recovery. There is also a sense we overcame them all with our its viability. Two decades later the of normalcy in our market, but it customer-centric approach, in question is “what next?” is very different to the normalcy effect, positioning ourselves to we experienced before the crisis Today, GBM is one of the largest, offer our customers the right where skyrocketing growth rates most respected IT companies in products and services at the right were the rule rather than the the Gulf. With a well-balanced time. That, in essence, is the exception. presence in every country we bottom line. are operating in, partnerships As we move into a more stable A very good example of GBM’s with some of the world’s most economic environment we need strength is its performance since recognized names in the IT to march forward with an eye on 2009, when the region experienced business and an enviable the future, making intelligent Cesare Cardone, CEO its most recent economic crisis. customer list, we have come a decisions on investing in the new As with most other businesses long way. This is wholly due to the and divesting the old. We need we were affected and experienced hard work and determination of2
    • About GBMLooking beyond 2010 INTERESTING FACTS GBM was founded inWe intend to continue to invest 1990 as a spin-off from IBMin GBM in order to further addvalue for our current and future GBM has more thancustomers 1000 employees from over 42 nationalities GBM has forged more than 20 solid strategic partnerships with internationally recognised ITFounded in 1990, Gulf Business more than 1000 employees and over Pakistan. GBM Pakistan now operates solutions providersMachines (GBM) is the leading IT 20 solid strategic partnerships forged three offices as an IBM Premiumsolutions provider in the region with internationally recognised IT Partner, one in each of Karachi,fulfilling the IT requirements of solution providers. This means that Islamabad and Lahore. The Pakistani GBM has overlocal, regional and internationalorganisations in the GCC.A spin-off from IBM, GBM is the GBM can offer an extensive range of IT infrastructure, IT solutions and services ranging from consulting, resource deployment and integration operation also holds a Silver Partner status from Cisco. Through a unique combination of local 2000 customers in thesole distributor for IBM – excluding to after-sales support. market presence, international levelselected IBM products and services skills, a network of business partners GCC region– throughout the GCC, except for GBM’s experience and expertise and the access to the worldwideSaudi Arabia. GBM’s momentum was span across multiple sectors and resources of IBM and Cisco, GBM GBM’s revenue in 2009 wasfurther enhanced in 1999, when the particularly e-Government, Banking consistently brings to customersteam secured the Cisco portfolio. and Finance, Telecommunications, $361m unparalleled IT business solutions.GBM now holds the highest level of Retail and Oil.recognition in the region from Cisco,Gold Partner status, in addition to the Believing in the importance of being GBM invests in the continuous trainingCisco Learning Partner status. where our customers are, GBM of its employees. The result, GBM’s today has offices in the UAE (Abu specialised team is well equipped to a compound growth rateToday, GBM is one of the largest IT Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah), Bahrain, address the ever-evolving, industry-solutions providers in the GCC, with Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, as well as in specific IT demands in every market. h of 10% over 20 years Our journey into the future 135 employees 204 employees 430 employees 643 employees 981 employees GBM founded as a Sole* ISO 9001:2000 Rebranding of GBM GBM expands to 20th Anniversary Distributor for IBM in GCC Pakistan 1990 1997 2005 2007 2010 1945 1992 2003 2006 2008 IBM founded 177 employees 365 employees 510 employees 842 employees in GCC GBM Distribution CISCO Gold Highest Growth CISCO Learning Partner Status Award from IBM Partner Status * Excluding selected IBM products and services, excluding Saudi Arabia The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC 3
    • Our recent developments GBM eyeing major Mideast expansion As GBM celebrates its 20th birthday “Part of that growth lies in increasing investment, but that does not cut into “Last year was a year of consolidation this year, it is looking for even greater the skills of individuals you employ our ongoing projects. in Bahrain with growth of between expansion across the region. And and then the number of people you 4pc and 5pc. “In a downturn you may put back it is looking to do this both through can afford to employ. a decision to buy a new flat screen “The flow of business tends to be technological innovation and “We need to grow both revenues and television, but you will not give up irregular but 2009 remained positive. geographical expansion according to the size of the business. your house and with our position Cesare Cardone, CEO, GBM. “Our strategy for the future means as a solutions provider we remain “That allows us to employ more people we will drop products that come “There is scope for geographical necessary to our customers who may with a wider range of expertise and comodotised,” he added. “We moved expansion, particularly in Iraq when be putting off capital decisions. offer a wider range of services at the out of PCs a long time ago. We will that country stabilises,” he said. top level in the industry,” he added. “We operate across the GCC outside concentrate on areas where there But he also emphasised that GBM Saudi Arabia and the market has is added value and we will move up GBM has largely weathered the storm was in an ever expanding industry and remained very healthy. the value ladder and stay on top of of the recent economic downturn there was a lot of scope for growth technology.” h because of its position as a company “Abu Dhabi and Qatar have been by moving ahead and keeping at the that has multiple lines of business in largely untouched by the downturn Published in Gulf Daily News on Feb 04, 2010 forefront of the latest technology. multiple countries. though Dubai has taken a big hit.” “We have expanded very fast in the “We are a solutions provider more “Bahrain was a positive year for us. In past five years and have increased than a technology provider. There 2007 and 2008 we increased business our workforce from around 300 in has been a systemic drop in capital by 25pc to 30pc. 2001 to 1000,” he said. GBM Earns Red Hat Premier Business Partner status in GCC region Gulf Business Machines has earned “We are very pleased to have “GBM has an excellent track Red Hat Premier Business Partner earned Red Hat Premier Business record of customer service and IBM AND RED HAT status in the Gulf Cooperation Partner status for the GCC region. contribution towards building together have been instrumental Council (GCC) region. This recognition validates not only open source competencies in the in the global adoption of Linux our partnership with Red Hat over region,” said Anuj Kumar, general and in the development of the GBM already shares a longstanding the past 10 years, but also our manager for Middle East and Africa operating system. As leading relationship with Red Hat, the commitment to investing resources at Red Hat. “In addition, GBM is participants in the massive world’s leading provider of open in developing the market for the sole distributor for a range of collaboration that drives Linux to source solutions, and offers its full solutions based on open source IBM products and services, many give birth to new technologies, range of products and services. The platforms,” said Cesare Cardone, of which use Red Hat’s Linux- IBM and Red Hat should be enhanced partnership will allow a CEO, GBM. based software solutions. This applauded. Today is an important fresh focus on developing complex, strengthened partnership is a win- day as we look 10 years back and high-end open source solutions for GBM is already a Red Hat win for our customers and we’re 10 years into the future. Linux is customers in the region. Red Hat Training Partner, a reseller of looking forward to working closely fueling a new software economy, source: www.redhat.com Premier Business Partners must Red Hat Enterprise Linux and a together to help enterprises in the and IBM and Red Hat will surely demonstrate extensive knowledge provider and integrator of Red region leverage the power of open be as instrumental in its future of Red Hat solutions and be able Hat Solutions. GBM also has a source solutions.” h as they have been in its history. to provide the highest level of large pool of Linux-certified Red contribution to its business and Hat Certified Engineers (RHCE) - Linux Foundation’s Jim Zemlin partner ecosystem. and Red Hat Certified Technicians (RHCT) in the region.4
    • Our recent developments2010 events NOVEMBER OCTOBER MAY MARCHGBM Launched Middle HR Access and GBM GBM the Diamond Sponsor GBM the Platinum SponsorEast’s First Network Hosted Seminar on Lean of the Bahrain International for Cisco NetworkersOperations Centre Human Resources for UAE eGovernment Forum 2010 Bahrain 2010 Companies - Abu Dhabi The forum shared vision and This was the first time that theGBM Gold sponsor for insight on the latest solutions industry-accredited networking The event featured a presentationIBEX 2010 International and innovations in eServices and forum was held in the Middle on HR Management Challenges inBanking & Financial eGovernment technologies around East. The event comprises five the Middle East.Services Technology the world. conferences in one, under theExhibition - Abu Dhabi theme ‘Knowledge is Power’.The partnership allowed both JULY APRILTrustDefender and GBM to unite GBM hosted Business FEBRUARYtheir extensive market knowledge Process Management in GBM showcased IBMand expertise in response to market Banking Seminar - Dubai Power Systems driven by GBM the Platinum Sponsordemand in the GCC and Pakistan. The event featured a presentation POWER7™ in Abu Dhabi, for InfoBiz Kuwait on best BPM practice. Kuwait, Oman and Qatar This event focused onIBM Next Generation The state-of-the-art line of e-government with the themeEnterprise Systems GBM Participated in Power IT hardware was launched “Toward the union of GCCRoadshow Systems Top Flight Event - worldwide in February 2010. IBM e-Governments.” ParticipantsGBM showcased the benefits of Montepellier, France representatives at the event spoke exhibited the latest technologiesIBM’s range of Power Systems at about the company’s “Smarter and solutions with an emphasis The event introduced the latesta road show in Kuwait, Oman Systems for a Smarter Planet” on networking and security, office technology from IBM.and Qatar. premise. technology and IT solutions.WHAT IS RED HAT?Red Hat is an S&P 500 company in the free and open sourcesoftware sector, and a major Linux distribution vendor. Foundedin 1993, Red Hat has its corporate headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolinawith satellite offices worldwide.Red Hat has become associated with its enterprise operating system RedHat Enterprise Linux and with the acquisition of open source enterprisemiddleware vendor JBoss. It provides operating system platforms along withmiddleware, applications, and management products, as well as support,training, and consulting services.As of February 2009, Red Hat was the largest corporate contributor to theLinux kernel. The Red Hat Partner Program helps partners: Grow business with a full portfolio of open source software and services Deliver results that maximize loyalty and satisfaction Build an annuity income stream Develop additional sales and consulting opportunities through the up-sale and cross-sale of Red Hat partner solutions Get staff up to speed quickly and easily with comprehensive sales source: www.wikipedia.org and technical training courses and certifications Manage the partnership through the Red Hat Partner Center Gain access to Red Hat solutions and support, including access to h the global Red Hat sales team. The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC 5
    • More recent developments GBM CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY, FORECASTS SIGNIFICANT BUSINESS GROWTH FOR 2010 GBM foresaw a significant growth in from strength to strength in all its Cardone was confident that 2010 business in 2010, even as the company operating markets from increasing will witness a recovery across the IT FIRST SECURITIES BROKERAGE celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. its customer base to partnering with industry. He knew it was going to be COMPANY (FSBC) ENHANCES the IT industry’s global names such a challenging year but maintained GBM plans to grow its business by as IBM and Cisco. In addition, GBM aggressive plans to grow sales figures ITS SERVICES WITH ON-LINE 10 to 12 percent as IT spend is widely has become a significant player in by around 10-12% and continue to BROKERAGE TECHNOLOGY expected to increase in the Middle the region’s e-Government evolution move towards higher value solutions East. The company also revealed plans partnering with governments in UAE, for GBM customers. “Looking beyond First Securities Brokerage to maintain an overall growth rate of Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait. 2010, we aim to continue growing at a Company (FSBC), an affiliate of the between 10 and 15 percent over the rate between 10 and 15 percent over Kuwait-based Global Investment next five years. “Over the past 20 years, GBM’s the next five years,” Cesare added. House (GIH) has signed an revenue has grown at a compound rate These forecasts were announced at a of 10% which is significant considering With broad experience across agreement with Khorafi Business series of internal ‘kick-off’ meetings the good and bad years in the two servers, storage, software and Machines (KBM), the Kuwait held in all GBM locations. The decades,” said GBM’s CEO, Cesare technical support, GBM has many operation of GBM, to deploy an on- meetings, which form part of GBM’s Cardone. GBM’s strength lies both in success stories in delivering line brokerage solution. annual review and are an essential our excellent reputation as one of the innovative products and services part of its planning and strategising, region’s leading IT solutions providers that helped meet their customers’ As part of the agreement, KBM included in-depth analysis of the and in our pool of over a thousand business goals in the most effective and its Italian Business partner, company’s performance in the last experienced professionals who provide ways. The company’s achievement ETA Sistemi, will implement a year and business growth predictions best-in-class support services to our over the years is highlighted by their sophisticated software package for 2010. customers. As we complete twenty continuous investment in ensuring that will support the Kuwait Stock years, we look back with pride at our a strong, unrivaled customer value In its very first year of operations in Exchange (KSE) OMX/NASDAQ accomplishments and our heritage. At proposition. h 1990, GBM’s revenue totaled US$50 with a Financial Interface the same time we’re looking forward million which increased to US$361 exchange (FIX) connection. h to building on our achievements and million in 2009. Over the past twenty continuing our consistent growth over years, GBM has consistently grown the next few years.” The term server is used to refer to one of the Key events in following: a computer program running as a service, to serve the needs or IBM’s history requests of other programs which may or may not be running on the same computer. a physical computer dedicated to running one or more such services, to serve the needs of programs running on other computers on the same network. a software/hardware system (i.e. source: www.wikipedia.org a software service running on a dedicated computer) such as a database server, file server, mail server, or print server. 1990 1993 1997 2000 Environmental programs Scalable Parallel Systems Technology Deep Blue Fastest supercomputer IBM joins 14 other leading U.S. IBM introduces the Scalable The 32-node IBM RS/6000 SP IBM delivers the world’s most corporations in April to establish a POWERparallel System, the first in supercomputer, Deep Blue, defeats powerful computer to the US worldwide program designed to achieve a family of microprocessor-based World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov Department of Energy, powerful environmental, health and safety goals supercomputers using RISC System/6000 in the first known instance of a computer enough to process an Internet by continuously improving environmental technology. IBM pioneers the vanquishing a reigning world champion transaction for every person on Earth management practices and performance. breakthrough scalable parallel system chess player in tournament-style in less than a minute. IBM built the IBM has invested more than $1 billion technology of joining smaller, mass- competition. supercomputer to accurately test since 1973 to provide environmental produced computer processors rather the safety and effectiveness of the protection for the communities in which than relying on one larger, custom- nation’s aging nuclear weapons IBM facilities are located. designed processor. Complex queries stockpile. This computer is 1,000 could then be broken down into a series times more powerful than Deep Blue, of smaller jobs than are run concurrently the supercomputer that beat Garry (“in parallel”) to speed their completion. Kasparov in chess in 1997.6
    • GBM & CISCO SYSTEMS COMPLETE PHASE I OF DATA MEYDAN GROUP’S NEW NET- GBM AWARDSCENTRE UPGRADE FOR PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT OMAN WORK RACES OFF THE BLOCKS 2010GBM Oman and Cisco Systems have successfully completed the first phase UAE’s Meydan Group has selected Cisco Enterprise Partner of theof a project to upgrade the Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) Data Cisco to deliver a range of Year in Emerging East UAECentre located in the IT department using the latest Cisco Nexus hardware. networking, security and unifiedSignificantly, this is the first time the complete range of Nexus Data Centre communications system for its Bahrain eGovernmentswitches have been installed in the Sultanate of Oman flagship horseracing development. Excellence Award for Best ICT The networking vendor completed the Solutions ProviderThe project was undertaken as part of an initiative within PDO to improve deployment with the aid of its Gold GBMD Lenovo SMBefficiency, reliability, expandability and scalability at their data centre, located Partner, Gulf Business Machines. Distribution Awardat PDO’s Mina Al-Fahal head quarters.Additionally, the upgrade is part of a plan to achieve Tier 3/4 compliance of the The development has seen the 2008Telecommunications Industry Association’s TIA-942 Standard, while paving deployment of a raft of Cisco systems, IBM Sales Excellence Award Gulfthe way for use of emerging server technologies such as cloud computing including a fully converged IP infrastructure, building management ACN’s Top 50 IT Companiesand virtualisation. The TIA-942 Standard defines international guidelines forplanning and building data centres, particularly with regard to cabling systems and security, covering the main Kofax, Implementation of Arabicand network design. Meydan Grandstand as well as the OCR Solutions Meydan Hotel. The latter also features Cisco, Enterprise Partner of the“Our decision to upgrade to Cisco Nexus switches was driven by the need a new unified communications Year, MENAto optimise reliability and efficiency, while preparing our infrastructure to system for guest use as IPTV, whichhandle architectural changes involving new server technologies,” said Engr. Cisco Advanced Technology provides interactive TV services, canAbdullah Sultan Al-Rashdi, Data Centre Upgrade Project Manager Petroleum Partner in Security accommodate up to 60,000 spectatorsDevelopment Oman. “We share a longstanding relationship with GBM Oman and is also the site of the Meydan 2007and Cisco Systems and it was only natural that we relied on their expertise to Musuem and Imax theatre.consult on and implement this project.” IBM Achievement Award - Published in itp.net on June 29, 2010 h GBM PakistanOlivier Mouries, CGM, GBM Oman added that GBM with its strong localexpertise and its Cisco Gold Partner status will continue to invest in delivering Best Network Integrator forleading edge technology to support customer demand at a time when a tighter 2007 - Network ME Magazineeconomy imposes strong focus on further optimization of their activities. h Kofax, Implementation of Arabic OCR Solutions Cisco Enterprise TechnologyGULF BUSINESS MACHINES COMPLETES PROJECT TO ENHANCE Partner, MENAIT INFRASTRUCTURE AT MINISTRY OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Cisco Enterprise Partner of the Year - Emerging MarketsGBM has completed a project to augment the Bahrain Ministry of Social “It has become increasinglyDevelopment’s (MoSD) IT infrastructure. The project was undertaken by Bahrain important for us to ensure that our 2006Business Machines (BBM), GBM’s Bahrain division. IT infrastructure is able to cope with Government of Dubai, Quality the demands of the environmentIn addition to successfully deploying a VMware vSphere virtualisation platform, Appreciation Award we work in. The deployment ofBBM also completed a project to consolidate the Ministry’s servers and deploy vSphere will help us move towards Highest Growth from IBMa Cisco Unified Communication System. MoSD is the first Ministry in Bahrain virtualisation and cloud computing, Best Network Integrator -to deploy vSphere, which can aggregate and holistically manage large pools of while the consolidation of our Network ME MagazineIT infrastructure including processors, storage and networking. As a result the servers and the use of a Ciscosolution creates a seamless, flexible and dynamic operating environment for the Unified Communication System will 2005Ministry’s IT infrastructure. boost efficiencies at the Ministry,” Cisco Security Partner of theThe Cisco Unified Communications System will provide the Ministry with a means said Rashid Madani, Director of IT Year for the Gulf Regionof ensuring consistent communications services for all its employees, while at MoSD. In Recognition of GBMproviding greater security, resilience and scalability. In addition to connecting Significantly, this is the latest in Outstanding Contribution toMinistry employees and their stakeholders, the system will facilitate better a series of projects that BBM has IBM SW Businessinteraction through virtual platforms and will help integrate collaboration and successfully undertaken for MoSD Best Network Integrator -communications into the Ministry’s processes. The System consists of Cisco Call since 2006. h Network ME MagazineManagers, Cisco Voice Gateways, Cisco Unity Solution, Cisco Presence Server,Cisco FAX Solution and Cisco IP Phones. 2004 Best System Integrator - Network Middle East In Recognition of GBM Outstanding Contribution to2003 2007 2010 IBM SW Business Best Network Integrator - Network ME MagazineBlue Gene/L Patent power Super greenThe BLUE GENE team unveils a proto-type IBM has been granted more US patents Topping the Green500 energy efficiency 2003of its Blue Gene/L computer roughly the size than any other company. From 1993 to review, IBM have 15 of the top 25 most In Recognition of GBMof a standard dishwasher that ranks as the 2007, IBM was awarded over 38,000 US energy efficient supercomputers in Contribution to the IBM SW73rd most powerful supercomputer in the patents and has invested about $5 billion the world. The top computer on theworld. This one cubic meter machine is small a year in research, development and Green500 is a prototype of IBM’s next- Businessscale model of the full Blue Gene/L built for engineering since 1996. IBM’s current generation Blue Gene computer, which Top Business Partnerthe Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory active portfolio is about 26,000 patents is 77% more energy-efficient than the Achievement Awardin California, which will be 128 times larger in the US and over 40,000 patents second most efficient model, the Tokyowhen it’s unveiled two years later. worldwide is a direct result of that Institute of Technology’s Tsubame 2.0. Cisco Partner of the Year for investment. Gulf Region source: www.wikipedia.org 2002 Cisco Partner of the Year for Gulf Region The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC 7
    • Conversation with Cesare Cardone Let’s keep our heads in The Cloud, but our feet firmly on the ground CESARE CARDONE, CEO OF GBM, TALKS ABOUT CLOUD COMPUTING From virtual obscurity to all- One might even argue that In a post-recessionary scenario, Despite all of this, it remains to be pervading, Cloud Computing has potential Cloud Computing users purse strings everywhere are being seen how customers in the Middle clearly come of age, particularly would first have to go through the tightened and companies are seeking East and across the world, will here in the Middle East. The recent IT evolutionary cycle with large to streamline operations to maximize overcome their trepidation. What GITEX Technology Week in Dubai scale adoption of more mature efficiencies and minimize costs. is clear, however, is that the large saw a virtual thunder storm of technologies such as IT business Here too, Cloud Computing offers scale adoption of Cloud Computing opinions and viewpoints on Cloud continuity, virtualisation and data significant benefits including lower is unlikely to be instant, particularly Computing and its future in the centers. cost of ownership, full scalability amongst medium and large region. allowing for changes in the business businesses, many of which will take IBM defines Cloud Computing environment and new efficiencies, a progressive stance, testing the It seems that there are two schools as “a style of computing whose without incurring capital expenses waters before they take the plunge. of thought on Cloud Computing foundation is the delivery of since services are provided for a services, software and processing fee that would be considered an At GBM, we have already taken in the region: on one hand you capacity using private or public operation cost. What’s more is that the plunge. We have also made have the Cloud evangelists who networks.” In essence, IBM says, it Cloud Computing users are protected significant investments, such as claim that it will have a dramatic is an emerging approach to shared from technology obsolescence since the recently-launched Network impact on the industry and change Operations Center (NOC), that allow infrastructure in which large pools the responsibility for keeping the computing in the Middle East in a us to offer Cloud-based services, of systems are linked together systems up-to-date lies with the very short time; on the other you while simultaneously also building in private or public networks to service provider. have the naysayers who genuinely on our traditional IT services, which provide IT services. believe that it is simply a buzzword Despite the obvious benefits, still form the bulk of our customers’ that will fade away and be replaced The argument in favor of Cloud however, concerns remain and the requirements. After all, as is the case by something new. Computing is hard to find fault concerns in the Middle East are with any IT business, we have to offer with: a dramatic surge in connected not very different from those voiced our customers the right products and From GBM’s perspective, I would devices, an increasing need for in other markets. The biggest of solutions at the right time. say that both points of view are real-time data and the adoption of these are security and privacy and extreme and do not reflect ground service-orientated architectures the largest players in the Cloud And we also practice what we realities. Cloud Computing is very and Web 2.0 applications have Computing space are working to preach. We are currently one of the much a disruptive innovation that collectively fuelled demand for reassure potential customers. IBM, region’s largest users of SalesForce, has the power to make significant shared infrastructure ecosystems. for example, brings state-of-the-art one of the most established Cloud changes to the IT technology Arguably, the Internet has fuelled security tools to its Cloud Computing Computing business applications. environment we currently operate and facilitated collaborative working offering, providing customers with Our heads may be in The Cloud in. But we have to be realistic and environments, which in turn, also security levels that are equivalent or but our feet remain firmly rooted to understand that these changes are drives demand for Cloud-based perhaps even better than what they the ground. h not going to happen overnight. solutions. can expect in a traditional computing environment.8
    • MAJOR CLOUD COMPUTING MODELS Contrary to what its name implies, Cloud Computing Some popular models of cloud computing that are offered today as services are: Software as a Service (SaaS): This is a hosted software model where an offers users a number of enterprise can obtain various application functions through the hosted service from a SaaS provider through a network connection. SaaS saves the complexity tangible benefits and these of software installation, maintenance, upgrades, and patches for the IT team within the enterprise, because the software is now managed centrally at the have been recognized across SaaS provider’s facilities. The pricing is typically on a per-user basis for a fixed bandwidth and storage. Salesforce.com is an example of a SaaS provider. the world and, as is more Platform as a Service (PaaS): PaaS provides a software platform on which users can build their own applications and host them on the PaaS provider’s recently the case, here in the infrastructure. The software platform is used as a development framework to build, debug, and deploy applications. The platforms offered by PaaS vendors like Middle East. Google (with its App-Engine) or Force.com (the PaaS offering from Salesforce. com) require the applications to follow their own Application Programming Interface (API) and be written in a specific language. Pricing for PaaS can be on a per-application developer license and on a hosted-seats basis. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): An IaaS provider offers you “raw” computing, storage, and network infrastructure so that you can load your own software, including operating systems and applications, on to this infrastructure. Pricing for the IaaS can be on a usage or subscription basis. Pricing for the IaaS can be on a usage or subscription basis. Amazon’s Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2) service is an example of an IaaS.WHAT IS CLOUD COMPUTING? BENEFITS OF CLOUD COMPUTING The term “cloud computing” has different connotations for IT Cloud computing is considered to be a potentially cost-efficient model for professionals, depending upon their point of view and often their own provisioning processes, applications and services while making IT management products and offerings. Some believe it is a disruptive trend representing the simpler and increasing business responsiveness. In a cost-benefit analysis, a next stage in the evolution of the Internet. Others believe it is hype, as it uses properly implemented and leveraged cloud computing model will drive lower cost-of-ownership, responsive delivery of services and higher service quality. long established computing technologies. Cloud computing can enable rapid business innovation by delivering easy-to-use So, what is cloud computing? Today, definitions of cloud computing are computing services to users “on demand,” regardless of their location or the type abound, but the general concept held by the market may be seen in this of device they are using. The cloud-based service can be “public,” “private” or a definition from Wikipedia: “Cloud computing is a style of computing where combination of the two, sometimes referred to as a “hybrid cloud.” IT-related capabilities are provided ‘as a service,’ allowing users to access Selecting the right use of cloud computing results in lower cost, by taking technology-enabled services ‘in the cloud’ without knowledge of expertise or advantage of economies of scale and automated IT operations while optimizing control over the technology infrastructure that supports them.” IBM defines investment in existing infrastructure. The resulting solution rapidly adjusts cloud computing as a new IT service consumption and delivery model that the volume of users as workload increases or decreases. Payment or internal enables self-service, economies of scale and flexible sourcing options. chargeback for the services is more flexible and typically occurs on a usage basis. Characteristics include: Elasticity and Rapid Scalability Location Independence Without Cloud Computing With Cloud Computing Highly Virtualized Resources Standardized Services • Virtualized resources • Location independant Automated, Rapid Provisioning • Automated service • Rapid scalability management • Self-service Optimized for IT and Business Services • Standardized services End User Focused Pay-per-use From a user perspective, cloud computing provides a means of acquiring Workload A computing services without requiring understanding of the underlying • Software technology. From an organizational perspective, cloud computing Workload A Workload A Workload B Workload C • Hardware delivers services for consumer and business needs in a simplified way, • Storage • Software • Networking • Hardware • Software • Storage providing unbounded scale and differentiated quality of service to foster • Hardware • Networking • Storage rapid innovation and decision making. It is a service acquisition and Service Management • Networking delivery model for IT resources and, if properly used within an overall IT Service Management Service Management strategy, can help improve business performance and control the costs of delivering IT resources to the organization. The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC 9
    • NOC The Middle East’s First Network Operations Centre A network operations center (NOC) is one or more locations from which control is exercised over a computer, tele- vision broadcast or telecommunications network. THE NOC CENTER WILL MANAGE CUSTOMERS’ IT INFRASTRUCTURE GBM announced the launch of its The NOC features state-of-the- cutting-edge Network Operations Centre (NOC), the first of its kind in art security measures including secured, encrypted connectivity NOC process the region . that relies on multiple layers of protection. Customers also have Based in Dubai, the Centre will access to three flexible, secure manage and monitor customers’ IT connectivity modules which include Infrastructure to ensure continuous a choice of an Internet Protocol operations, thereby maximizing Security (IPsec), Virtual Private operational efficiencies. In addition Network (VPN) Tunnel, Multiprotocol to its monitoring function, the NOC Label Switching (MPLS) technology will also provide quality IT support and Point-to-Point Leased Lines. to network users across the Middle The service is available to customers East, ensuring quick resolution of in the region for a fixed monthly fee problems. Open 24-hours-a-day, based on the service requirements. 7-days-a-week and manned by a team of highly skilled network and “GBM’s NOC is a wonder of system engineers, the NOC will technology and brings together provide customers with a single best-of-breed solutions and services reliable point of contact for all IT- in one comprehensive package for related issues. our customers,” said Hugh Hendry, Regional Manager, “The NOC represents the evolution Service Delivery and Service of GBM’s role as the region’s Support, GBM. “Using a combination preferred IT solutions and service of automated and human monitoring provider,” said Cesare Cardone, we are able to keep track of our CEO, GBM. “By launching this Centre customers’ systems 24x7. This GBM’s NOC is a NOC benefits: we are providing infrastructure and allows proactive and reactive wonder of technology applications as a service, allowing Improve workforce responses to help manage issues, our customers to replace capital investment with an operational no matter how small or big. All of and brings together productivity this allows us to help our customers expense. This, we believe, is truly manage their IT resources in the best-of-breed Manage a centralized one of the important directions in the workforce future of the IT industry. This is the most effective manner possible.” h solutions and services reason why GBM decided to make in one comprehensive Reduce operating costs this investment and launch this new GBM offering to our customers.” package for our Enhance customer experience customers.10
    • Salesforce.comGBM announced partnership withSalesforce.com in GCC regionGBM announced that it has earned customers cutting-edge cloud-basedSalesforce.com’s Business Partner solutions tailored to fulfill their needsStatus in the Gulf Cooperation Council and meet the level of support they(GCC) region. Salesforce.com is a require,” said Ali Hosseini, Director ofUS based Cloud Computing company Professional Services, GBM.which provides on-demand CustomerRelationship Management (CRM) As the demand on cloud computingsolutions globally. services becomes increasingly visible, GBM is planning to establish anGBM already shares a longstanding authorized training centre to leveragerelationship with Salesforce.com local talent while driving technologyand offers its full range of Cloud- innovation in the region. GBM is alsobased Business Applications. With in the process of deploying cloud-this partnership, supported by a based Business Applications forhighly skilled team, GBM will bring several regional and local customerslocal capabilities and expertise to in the GCC region.customers in the region. In addition,GBM will also offer service, training “We are proud to collaborate withand after sales-support to its GBM to bring our offering to thecustomers. region,” said Stephane Viallet, VP Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa,“We are very pleased to be business Salesforce.com. “By joining our forces,partners with Salesforce.com to cover customers will have access to world-the GCC region. This partnership class expertise and counsel before,validates not only our longstanding during and after the implementation ofrelationship, but also our commitment a project.” hto bringing to the market and our SALESFORCE.COM PROVIDES ON-DEMAND CRM SOLUTIONS GLOBALLY ABOUT SALESFORCE GBM Acquires Performance Salesforce.com is an enterprise cloud computing company Systems to enhance Performance headquartered in San Francisco, USA, with regional headquarters in Dublin (covering Europe, Middle East, and Africa), Singapore (covering Management and Business Asia Pacific less Japan), and Tokyo (covering Japan). Salesforce distributes business software on a subscription basis and hosts the applications offsite. Intelligence capabilities It is best known for its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) products. Salesforce.com has its services translated into 16 different languages and GBM has acquired Performance Systems, a provider of Corporate currently has 82,400 customers and over 2,100,000 subscribers. Performance Management and Business Intelligence solutions in Salesforce’s CRM solution is broken down into several broad categories: source: www.wikipedia.org MENA and the Cognos preferred services partner for the MENA region. Sales Cloud, Service Cloud Small Business Communication, Financial Performance Systems was previously a unit of Almasa Business Solutions. Services, Healthcare, High-Tech, Public Sector, Retail, Edition and Price, The acquisition supports GBM’s strategy to build more expertise and AppExchange. Salesforce also offers other activities or services on the and expand its current offering to include Corporate Performance Force.com Platform, Chatter and Jigsaw. Management and Business Intelligence solutions in the MENA region. A leading provider of innovative and cost-effective solutions designed to improve business performance; Performance Systems is one of only six Cognos platinum consulting partners in the world. Since the company ABOUT COGNOS was established in [2002], it has helped businesses across a number of different industries ranging from Telecommunications and Government, to Manufacturing and Hospitality in four continents successfully implement Cognos (Cognos Incorporated) was an Ottawa, Ontario-based and deploy their Cognos software solution, amplify their business benefits, company making business intelligence (BI) and performance mitigate their risks and maximize their return on investment. management (PM) software. Founded in 1969, at its peak Cognos employed almost 3,500 people and served more than 23,000 customers in over 135 “It has become increasingly important for us to be able to offer our countries. customers a framework of services that cover the entire lifecycle of a project from solution planning and implementation through to Originally Quasar Systems Limited, it adopted the Cognos name in 1982. business improvement,” said Cesare Cardone, CEO, GBM. “By acquiring On January 31, 2008, Cognos was officially acquired by IBM. The Cognos Performance Systems we are able to offer our customers access to one of name continues to be applied to IBM’s line of business intelligence and the most comprehensive IT solutions portfolios in the Middle East.” performance management products. The acquisition allows GBM to cater to its customers’ business intelligence In January 2010, as part of a reorganization of IBM Software Group, Cognos and performance management solutions through the IBM Cognos software and software from recently acquired SPSS were brought together offerings, coupled with access to a wide selection of IT solutions and source: www.wikipedia.org to create the Business Analytics division. services. The IBM Cognos product portfolio includes IBM Cognos Business Intelligence, IBM Cognos Enterprise Planning, IBM Cognos TM1 and IBM IBM Cognos 8 BI has won numerous awards including the eWEEK Cognos Controller. h Excellence Award in Analytics and Reporting, the LOTUS ADVISOR “Editor’s Choice” Award, and TechTarget’s SearchCRM.com 2005 Product of the Year. The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC 11
    • Learning Services The region’s leading IT training providerAs an exclusive training provider for selected IBM technologies and a Cisco AT A GLANCE IN NUMBERSLearning Partner for the MENA region, GBM Learning Services is well suited todeliver cutting edge training solutions to fit a wide variety of needs. Exclusive TrainingGBM Learning Services customers benefit from: A balanced combination of Theory and Practice All courses are designed to include a theory portion as well as hands-on Provider of selected IBM technologies Training facilities in Abu 3000 students trained workshops and case studies to provide the trainees with an opportunity to practice what they have learnt. This ratio in most of the technical courses is Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, annually in different 50% theory and 50% practical. Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan technologies and Qatar Cognitive factors in learning The focus of this aspect is on the mental processes associated with 1000 learning. Intelligence, differences in learning styles, cognitive strategies, CISCO LEARNING PARTNER meta-cognition and knowledge are always taken into account by our FOR THE MENA REGION trainers. Motivation on learning GBM is setting new milestones The trainers used by GBM are specially trained to motivate the trainees by delivering Cisco Authorized different IT courses Training in the GCC to major during the class by introducing discussions, questions and case studies. clientele from different industry conducted verticals like Banking, Telecom, Personality, group and social factors Petroleum Sector, Aviation, GBM teaching methodology encourages the trainer and trainees to develop Government and many more. 1000 sensitivity to different personality traits. Our train-the-trainer program aims at providing trainers with the necessary knowledge and skill to facilitate GBM guarantees training maximum positive growth and learning by arranging group and social quality standards managed by a factors. comprehensive evaluation system. Best practices in assessment and evaluation Our trainers have an extensive customers across networking experience in the Our course material uses quizzes, tests and challenge exercises to make industry and are CCSI’s delivering the region ongoing assessment during the class. training as per Cisco International standards. Widest selection of Courses 50:50 You get the greatest course selection as we offer the most comprehensive GBM offers courses on the hottest Cisco technologies using the set of courses in the marketplace, from beginner to advance. Choose from latest hardware and remote labs. close to 900 courses supporting a variety of hardware, software and industry Our Cisco training courses include technologies - including IBM, Cisco, Linux and Microsoft. hands-on labs featuring the Learning Effectiveness latest Cisco equipment, relevant the ratio of theory to You ensure learning effectiveness. Each course delivers specific skills by scenarios to help prepare you for practical content on real networking environments and job role, so you can be sure to get the exact results you want. We reinforce Cisco certification exams. technical courses the materials discussed in lectures through hands-on labs, improving your team’s learning experience. The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC 13
    • Anti-money laundering Technology: Noman Azim, Senior Consultant for Banking A frontline & Finance, GBM weapon against money-laundering When the UAE signed a series of anti- money laundering accords in June last year it was yet another indication of the country’s commitment to fighting this financial crime. The UAE Central Bank was among the their frontline weapon against money Action Task Force (FATF) with multiple first regulators in the GCC to address laundering. First generation anti- backend algorithms to generate alerts this issue by implementing an anti- money laundering (AML) detection list based on customer profiles and money laundering system to protect systems were developed and deployed. behavior and transactions patterns. its interests and those of its member Unfortunately, these systems were These include Risk Pooling, Ranking & institutions. based on detecting pre-determined Scoring, Peer Group Analysis and Know transaction patterns and monetary Your Customer (KYC) concept. While the exact origins of money thresholds and it was only a matter of laundering are unclear, it is an time before the criminals found ways to A crucial question is: “how can financial established fact that the American circumvent detection. institutions implement effective AML mafia was responsible for developing capabilities, with minimum disruption and refining new techniques during the Anxious to protect their business and costs while continuously enhancing Prohibition era in the late 1920s. Since interests and customers, while customer services?” It must be then, criminal and other outlawed maintaining compliance, the financial reiterated here that AML is not only organizations around the world have sector adopted more advanced about technology but is a strategy used money laundering to legitimize technologies capable of monitoring combined with smart software to illegally obtained funds. every transaction, tracking and flagging reduce the exposure of reputational suspicious behaviour. These new and financial risk while improving The global money laundering technologies are capable of developing customer services. ‘industry’ has evolved into an efficient, a risk assessment composite profile of powerful system that is, by some a customer using available information, International best practice calls for estimates, worth close to US$2 trillion measuring transaction risks and implementation of innovative processes per year. Despite the fact that a large detecting suspicious patterns from and workflows that have the right percentage of this volume is reportedly large volumes of financial data. balance between compliance and concentrated around Europe and customer care and service satisfaction. North America, every country in the Once the software has filtered the There are, of course, other factors that world has an interest in fighting this suspicious transactions and patterns, play a vital role in AML monitoring such criminal activity. this valuable data is handed over as customer data integrity and quality, to human investigators for further knowledge of the financial institutions’ While money laundering has analysis which may result in criminal compliance team, accurate detection historically been an almost exclusive prosecution. and effective reporting structures. domain of criminal organizations, the events of 9/11 and revelations that In the Middle East, a region with its In an increasingly electronic and global terror organizations had laundered own set of challenges, banks and financial market place, the risks money to fund their attacks, changed financial institutions have adopted now posed by fraudulent financial governments’ perceptions. Suddenly highly customised solutions that transactions have increased so much it became a critical issue of national take local factors into consideration that integrated AML strategies are security and wide-ranging international as part of the analytical process. no longer a luxury; in fact, it would measures, requiring compliance from Software solutions such as HLB- not be an exaggeration to say that it the financial sector, were subsequently NGA’s RiskSecure, supplied by Gulf is a critical factor in today’s business put in place. Business Machines (GBM), are not environment and a necessity for only compliant with current and future protecting a financial institution’s Aware of the limits of human analysis monitoring requirements but integrate reputation and customers. h and detection of financial crime, recommendations from regional institutions turned to technology as Published in Gulf Business, July 2009. Central Banks and the Financial14
    • Business intelligenceInvaluable IN NUMBERSintelligence 80% The percentage of business intelligence implementations initiated by non- technology enterprise executivesHalf of business intelligence projectsfail, but why? As it turns out, it’s acomplex combination of a number ofthings. So just how can your enterpriseavoid becoming another statistic whenit comes to making your data work?By Ben FurfieBusiness intelligence at its most basic Director of Professional Services,is all about data. It’s about using an GBM. “However, it is often initiated byenterprise’s data to make sense of other members of the business, andhistorical trends. It’s about using that frequently falls to CIOs to implement itsame data to plan for times ahead. It’s on behalf of the company.”about enabling enterprises to find outexactly what the state of the business is. According to Hosseini, the introductionThis very second. of business intelligence is driven by forces outside of the IT department inYet despite the simplicity of the concept, 80% of cases. “Only rarely is it initiatedhalf of all businesses implementing by the IT team, as more often than notbusiness intelligence fail to do so it won’t be them using the businesseffectively. There are, of course, a intelligence.” He says that it is ahuge number of factors governing why dangerous precedent and one of themany business intelligence projects main reasons why business intelligencefail to take off. However, according comes to be viewed as a technologyto many analysts, the one common project – which it isn’t – rather than atheme behind the high failure rate is change in the business processes.a misunderstanding of what businessintelligence actually is and who it is for. Some vendors are looking to take advantage of the issues surroundingRecent research by the University of complex IT infrastructures, and designCambridge on behalf of international solutions that fit around the reality of theauditors KPMG found that all too often situation. One such example is IBM. “Webusiness intelligence is viewed as offer a solution which can sit on top of‘IT’s problem’ despite the fact that the any solution, or any application, withintechnology side of the business process an organisation and start generatingis only a small part of it. According reports, KPIs or profit reportsto its findings, those companies that immediately,” explains Hosseini.find business intelligence failing tohelp them have more often than no One area that has changed in the pastthrust responsibility for the entire year or so, and has had an enormousimplementation process on to the CIO. It impact on the potential efficiency ofsays that business intelligence needs to business intelligence that the averagebe embedded within all of a company’s IT manager has within the business.processes and not just those of the IT “Because of the transformation ofinfrastructure if it is to be successful business processes in the wake of thein its aims. Many of the processes that recent financial crisis, enterprises areneed to be addressed are simply beyond waking up to the reality that it isn’tthe remit or influence of the CIO. enough to have these numbers available to them: they need to also use them,”“The need for business intelligence and explains Hosseini. hreporting is being driven by the high Excerpt from Arabian Computer News,importance of needing to know how your September, 2010.business is doing”, explains Ali Hosseini, The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC 15
    • Business Process Management Banking on Success Success in the banking industry can be tough without a Business IBM BPM SUITE Process Management (BPM) strategy The IBM BPM Suite contains a comprehensive set of collaborative, which effectively aligns systems and role-based capabilities that enable processes with business objectives. customers to model, simulate, execute, rapidly change, monitor and optimize core business processes. The IBM BPM Suite By Siddhartha Khare, WebSphere Sales Manager brings together software and – Gulf Region, GBM services from across IBM and includes a choice of three Foundational Offerings, IBM WebSphere Dynamic Process Edition, IBM WebSphere Lombardi Edition, and IBM FileNet Business Process Manager, that make it easier for customers to get started with BPM. Success in the banking industry can be tough without a Business Process Business Process Management can Management (BPM) strategy which effectively aligns systems and processes get fairly complex depending on with business objectives. the banking institution and a good solution is often the difference BPM offers a bird’s eye view of the organisation, bringing together business between greater effectiveness activities or processes, with people and information. This is not only limited and chaos while deciding what to to the organisation’s internal mechanics but also includes customers, automate. suppliers, partners and other stakeholders in the banking ecosystem. Through it all, there needs to be The past few years have seen a significant rise in the number of banks that a focus on return on investment have realized the value in investing in BPM solutions to execute and monitor because, while BPM is a necessary their business processes. It’s never too late for banks to adopt BPM, but the investment considering today’s decision to do so can sometimes be met with hesitation stemming from a economy, cost, time and effort are lack of clarity in its uses and benefits. key factors that influence the ever- important bottom line. Essentially, BPM solutions help provide a holistic view of a bank’s operations and help to cut cost in the long run by boosting efficiency and enhancing Often there is a fear that using customer service. And how does it do this? By recognising areas that can be BPM will result in employees automated and reducing the time needed to complete a business process, as being made redundant but it’s well as bringing down the number of errors involved in completing an activity. rather a case of finding out where there is an abundance of skills Perhaps the most important benefit BPM is seen to offer, given the nature and then streamlining process of today’s economy and increasing regulations, is that it provides a stable orchestration. For example, there flexibility to adapt to change. might be other departments that How does a bank go about implementing a BPM strategy? Initially, it starts need more attention and support, with identifying its needs. This might seem easy enough but in reality like call centres. Significantly, BPM involves in-depth research on specific processes that currently exist and often helps expose the need for the related owners of those processes. A process includes both system further training in order to make and human interactions - any activity taken in order to realise a business best use of human resources. function, such as credit card issuance, payroll, loans, online banking, sales At Gulf Business Machines, we and marketing, etc. have already helped a number of Next, a bank will decide on application requirements, which simultaneously the region’s leading banks and help in realising business priorities of the organisation. By doing this, banks financial institutions turn to BPM understand the core demands a BPM system should deliver on and decide solutions. This has allowed them to whether to choose a ready-to-deploy BPM solution that best fits their needs make the most of their resources or opt for a custom solution, tailored exactly to specification. There’s no in order to increase efficiency and shortage of solutions available through the best players in the BPM field, gain a competitive edge. BPM is such as IBM’s BPM Suite, and successful automation can be seen in banks truly enabling their success. h that choose either a ‘packaged’ or a customised solution. The key is finding a solution that is the best fit.16
    • VirtualisationVirtual realitiesServer virtualisation is sweeping through WHAT IS SERVER VIRTUALISATION?data centres. Here is what you need to Virtualisation is the creation of a virtual (rather than actual) versionknow to plan, deploy and maintain a of something, such as an operating system, a server, a storage device or network resources.virtual infrastructure. Server virtualisation is the masking of server resources, including the number and identity of individual physical servers, processors, and operating systems, from server users. The server administrator uses a software application to divide one physical server into multiple isolated virtual environments. The virtual environments are sometimes called virtual private servers, but they are also known as guests, instances, containers or emulations. There are three popular approaches to server virtualisation: the virtual machine model, the paravirtual machine model, and virtualisation at the source: www.whatis.com operating system (OS) layer. Server virtualisation can be viewed as part of an overall virtualisation trend in enterprise IT that includes storage virtualisation, network virtualisation, and workload management. Within a short span of time, server Train before you fire it up along with the servers and storage. virtualisation has emerged as a Each step towards server and fundamental part of data centre It’s also important to consider the storage consolidation, virtualisation, technology, mainly due to its basic training of existing staff. Virtualising automation and integration must value proposition. When you run an existing IT infrastructure implies be matched by a corresponding many logical servers on a single that the structural foundation of the improvement in the data centre physical server, you get a lot more entire computing platform will be network infrastructure,’ says out of your hardware. so you can altered. It is therefore essential that Chebib. He adds that the network invest in fewer physical servers to IT staff are familiar with handling design should not anymore be handle the same set of workloads. It this infrastructure when it goes taken as independent function but almost sounds like found money. live, as virtualisation does introduce are integral part of the data centre. various challenges. It is best to The servers and storage design The details. of course. are more train your staff before implementing teams need to take active role in the complicated. The hypervisor, a virtualisation on a full scale. Your network design. thin layer of software upon which chosen vendor should be able to you deploy virtual servers, is provide some form of training. Essentially, virtualisation can be a generally wrapped into a complete powerful tool as well as a strong software solution that incurs “The Success of any technology cost-saving initiative, provided it is some combination of licensing, adoption depends on the skills handled and executed effectively. h support and / or maintenance costs to implement and maintain the same. Virtualisation is no different. Excerpt from Network World Middle East, (depending on which virtualisation October, 2010. software you chose). Virtualisation marks the beginning of IT infrastructures turning Making the case for server dynamic and service-oriented. virtualisation Therefore, organisations need to necessarily train their staff on the The business case for server technology, management tools virtualisation is pretty compelling. and align its processes in order to Who doesn’t want to get the ensure successful implementation,” most possible use out of server says Soubhi Chebib, Director of IBM hardware? In fact, the basic idea Systems Brand, GBM. is so compelling, you need to be careful not to oversell. Make sure As you step through the planning you account for the likely capital stages of virtualisation, you should equipment, deployment, training and pay close attention to the network maintenance costs. The real savings requirements of the proposed achieved by virtualisation, as with so solution and the impact it will have many other new technologies, tend on your data centre network. “A to accrue over time. virtualised infrastructure places new demands on the networks and requires the networks to evolve The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC 17
    • IBM feature Smarter money for a smarter planet We know that a lot of money has evaporated in the current financial crisis — but what exactly is it that has been lost? Obviously it’s not hard currency, which real time. Which means we could These changes are exciting, but WHAT DOES IT MEAN represents only 11% of the U.S. money have a safer, more transparent and more are needed. There is growing TO BE SMARTER? supply. The rest of our “money” flows intelligent financial system for a consensus on the need for a from a paycheck to a bank to a store smarter planet. centralized risk utility, to help avert and then through the store’s supply future crises — perhaps building At IBM, we mean that chain, only to be deposited in another We can already see it happening at on the work of the International intelligence is being infused business’s account…to start the the level of national governments. Monetary Fund and other institutions into the systems and processes journey over again. The new integrated information to create an early warning system for that make the world work—into system for the Czech Republic global finance. things no one would recognize Money, in other words, has been Ministry of Finance, for instance, as computers: cars, appliances, reduced to zeros and ones. It’s provides insights to help set monetary Of course, restoring trust and roadways, power grids, clothes, intangible, invisible. It’s information. policy, and to handle state budget confidence is much more than even natural systems such as Which is central both to the problem resources and public finance more a technology challenge. It’s also we face and to its solution. efficiently. a major policy and behavioral agriculture and waterways. challenge. And no system can ever Today, it’s not a question as to Without question, the replacement of We see it helping multiple be devoid of risk. But the benefits physical money with electronic money interconnected institutions. The whether the technology to build of smarter finance are clear — for — and the spectrum of financial Operational Riskdata eXchange a smarter planet is real. Now, regulators, bankers, investors, innovations that have accompanied Association, a consortium of 52 we need to know what to do next. companies and communities, rich and it — have helped the world’s economy leading financial institutions, uses How do you infuse intelligence poor around the world, all of whose grow and prosper. They have also anonymized data to help improve well-being and prosperity depend on into a system for which no helped many more people around the statistical modeling, more accurately a money system that is stable, secure one enterprise or agency is world to join the middle class. But our quantify risk exposure and address and accessible to all. responsible? How do you bring technical and management systems regulatory compliance needs. all the necessary constituents haven’t kept pace. They couldn’t Let’s build a smarter planet. Join us together? How do you make the provide warning signals of risk We even see it transforming entire and see what others are thinking at case for budget? Where should concentrations, over-leveraging or global markets. Consider foreign ibm.com/think. h you start? underpricing. Banks could repackage currency exchange, the world’s largest single market. Intraday Article is courtesy of www.ibm.com We’ve learned a lot over the past risk and sell it, but they couldn’t value an individual loan in order to unwind settlement risk of more than $2 year about what it takes to build a the debt when needed. trillion in volume — more than 50% of smarter planet. Importantly, we’ve foreign exchange transactions — has learned that our companies, our However, the same digitization that been eliminated. cities and our world are complex has helped create this challenge is systems—indeed, systems of now providing the means to solve And through organizations like Grameen Foundation and Financial systems—that require new things it. Intelligence is being infused into Information Network and Operations of us as leaders, as workers and the way the world works, including Ltd. (FINO), poor people around as citizens. A smarter planet our financial systems. We’re all the world can overcome impossible will require a profound shift in source: www.ibm.com aware of advances like ATMs, credit cards and online banking. odds. Thanks to technology enabled management and governance But the transformation happening microfinance, they can get collateral- toward far more collaborative underneath is far more profound. free loans and financial services approaches. Unprecedented computing power and to support income-generating advanced analytics can turn oceans businesses — for a brighter future for of ones and zeros into insights, in their families and communities.18
    • Cisco feature Social networking has risks, even inside companiesBig enterprises have a hate-love Risks to Enterprise Social Networks Training and Policy Essential When outside contractors are allowedrelationship with social networking. on project wikis, it’s especially The problem is that internal social Using your own name is a huge important for employees to temperThey don’t want business reputations networks that are completely isolated guarantor of corporate responsibility. casual remarks. But rememberingconflated with people’s private lives. behind firewalls aren’t very useful. Many companies have concluded that to never disparage competitors orThey don’t want business details And opening up the firewalls to the first policy for social networks is clients can be difficult, especiallyleaking out in Twitter feeds. When trusted outsiders such as customers, that employees always use their true when the medium is designed toFacebook asks: “What’s on your mind?” suppliers, third-party contractors, identity. encourage freewheeling discussion.companies don’t want the employee advertising firms and search firms The problem is that even offhandreplying: “Just lost the Wal-Mart runs many of the same risks that Even if a company is doing business thoughts are saved once they’recontract. Forget my stock options.” public networks have. using avatars in a Second Life written down. community, they require employeesBut they want to hire tech-savvy, In fact, social networking behind a to identify themselves by name Legal expert Steven C. Bennett,gregarious Millennials who have porous firewall may be even riskier and position. IT can help by a lawyer with Jones, Day in Newspent their lives on social networks. than using public tools. Employees authenticating every user who logs on York, wrote in a January article onThey want their own workers to share may get a false sense of being able to to the corporate network. social-networking policies that it’sexpertise and ideas to build teams post frankly without being aware of vital to “Remind employees thatand boost creativity. who can see it. Employees still need to be trained any electronic communications and to be conscious of security risks. social networking activities for work- Internal Social Networks “Plaintiffs’ attorneys in sex, age or Sharing a list of tagged Web sites related purposes must maintain and race discrimination cases eagerly with a former colleague mightIncreasingly, enterprises are building reflect the company’s standards for examine social networks. “ seem harmless. But in aggregate,internal social networks that are professionalism, including proper the listings might indicate a newsafely behind a firewall. There are It’s vital for companies to train every tone and subject matter.” marketing campaign or a potentialinternal networking analogs for employee about the benefits and takeover interest. He adds: “profanity and vulgar orFacebook, Delicious, Twitter, IM, perils of internal-social networks. demeaning jokes are inappropriate.YouTube, presence and wikis. IT departments can put in some They also need to be conscious of the Employees should also avoid safeguards, but they won’t be difference between making jocularThe hope is that the enterprise will be discussions of conduct that is able to completely overcome the comments on a social network andable to use those tools without taking prohibited by company policies, technological imperative to share using informal comments on similartoo many risks. And enterprises want such as alcohol and drug use on the useful stuff. As Stewart Brand work sites.to make sure that employees don’t company’s premises.” memorably wrote, “Information wantsdecide to create their own insecure, to be free.” Social Networking - Legal Concerns So employees on corporatead hoc networks using smart-phones Lawyers say plaintiff’s attorneys in networking sites should feel free tobecause they seem much more One interpretation is that people who sex, age or race discrimination cases speak up and share as if they wereefficient than corporate e-mail. have it want to share it. Technology eagerly examine social networks for at a company cocktail party -- where can prevent casual hackers fromAs an executive at one management signs that behavior at a company, they’re drinking only club soda. h seeing corporate details, but it can’tconsulting company told me: prevent employees from unthinkingly especially by managers, may be Article is courtesy of www.cisco.com“Employees are asking why they can’t revealing corporate secrets. viewed as hostile by certain groups.do at work what they do at home. If They worry about wikis wherethey give a presentation their instinct participants offer inappropriateis to put it on Facebook.” suggestions for the office Christmas party that may be unearthed in some sexual harassment suit. The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC 19
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