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Updated : April 5, 2015 0:0  ,
By Editor

4At the partner conference earlier this year, Sofocles Socratous, VP of Sales & Marketing for Seagate EMEA and Christian Assaf, Senior Sales Manager MEA, Seagate pursued the agenda of meeting with their partners and apprising them of the opportunities in specific areas including surveillance. They discuss trends that Seagate has adopted to as well the opportunities that lie ahead

Please elaborate on the rebranding?
Sofocles Socratous: The rebranding campaign includes our new corporate logo, which was revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. The rebrand of the company is to be seen as a trusted brand for all customer segments for their storage requirements. We want to be identified as a company delivering complete range of storage solutions. We offer hard drives, solid-state hybrid drives, SSDs, external storage products, recovery services, cloud services, and fully integrated cloud systems.

Do you see surveillance as a significant opportunity for Seagate?

Sofocles Socratous: Surveillance is an important segment and opportunity and the Middle East is in fact one of the largest markets for surveillance as far as Seagate is concerned. This is also due to the regulations that have come into place with the phenomenal growth in infrastructure. We have been working in this segment for a long time now and we are now offering the seventh generation drives. Seagate’s seventh-generation Surveillance HDD is also designed to ensure cost-effective and reliable performance and includes “idle 3” support to reduce power. We do have a full portfolio of surveillance products and solutions, also leveraging solutions from companies that we have purchased in the past couple of years.

There is a lot of data being created these days and as much as 50%, I believe is being recorded in accordance with surveillance regulations for longer periods. The content is also getting richer. So they require higher storage capabilities. I was talking to a couple of customers from Qatar and I believe they are installing surveillance cameras plus 4 TB of storage disk drive per ATM machine.

Christian Assaf: with the emergence of the 4k cameras now, the 1 TB drive is not enough now for surveillance, which is why 6 TB drives are in.  Further, Seagate surveillance drives are the only drives with RV sensors that prevents rotational vibration (RV) generating heat and movement from the stacked drives, thus prolonging the life of the drive and ensuring reliable performance.

Today you can’t jeopardize one sec of reporting. We therefore launched a dedicated surveillance hard disk drive featuring Seagate Rescue services. The Seagate Surveillance HDD offers data recovery services designed to restore lost data due to malice or accidental failure.

The significant development in 2014 was that people started understanding the need for appropriate drives for surveillance. Initially, people were using desktop drives for surveillance. Desktop drives are not designed for surveillance. Throughout 2014, we focused on educating the market. At the partner event, surveillance has been the key message.

How are you driving market awareness?

SS: We are partnering and doing roadshows with many of the key surveillance systems manufacturers across Europe. Many of these boxes sold are sold barebone without drives. We are educating the channel to include the right drives. We are also working with manufacturers with whom we partner such as Synology and QNAP across the regions to make sure customer are choosing the right drives that offer longevity and secure backup of data in their NAS solutions.

Seagate has been among the larger Technology manufacturers that have been bringing specific technologies and innovative products as the markets evolve. We have made huge R&D investments in this direction. Seagate spent approximately $1.303 billion dollars on product development in CY2014. We are now opening up the intelligence that we have gathered to our partners so that they can see where the market is heading. We would like to see them make the right investments so that they can continue to add value to the market segments they target. The key markets we see as of today are Surveillance, NAS, adoption of solid state drives and cloud storage.

CA: We are entering a world where everything is connecting to everything else and the resulting big data is anticipated to solve virtually all our problems. Data has evolved from static information stored and forgotten to a living entity that drives every day interactions. We are focused on Storage innovation bringing new systems and solutions which are faster, more reliable and expansive.

We are investing significantly in the region and Intersec was one example of the commitment that we are bringing in our approach to the region. We were present with all our premium partners at Intersec. We saw the surveillance Business taking off three years ago but are quite amazed to see how fast it is growing. We want to ensure our partners are ready to seize the opportunity and to be on top of it as it continues.

Discuss the NAS Business solutions focus?

CA: Seagate’s Enterprise NAS drive is available in capacities up to an industry-leading 6TB and can deliver up to 96TBs in one 16-bay rackmount or tower form factor. Seagate started offerings NAS boxes 5 years ago. We offer a range of high performance NAS solutions from rackmount to desktop for Business users. Our focus is clearly on the drive itself that goes into the box and we work with other NAS manufacturers as well in offering solutions.

How have the past several acquisitions changed Seagate’s go to market positioning?

SS: In the last couple of years, Seagate has gone through several transitions, in terms of growth as well as acquisitions. These include EVault, which provides cloud storage technology as well as Xyratex, which makes storage test equipment and systems. As we acquired several different companies offering different solutions, we have been successful in integrating these to offer a range of complete solutions to the market, right from the device down to the integration of the infrastructure. It has allowed us to understand better from a device level why it requires to better deliver the optimum result inside the solution. We have been able to do that. It is now about helping customers from a security perspective, scalability perspective, in terms of finding the right cloud solutions etc.

With the different acquisitions we have made, we are not only a storage drives manufacturer but a storage solutions provider for different segments.

Discuss the Solid state drives opportunity?

SS: In the client market, they have enabled speed and performance. However higher capacity and price positioning has been a challenge.

Last year, we had acquired LSI’s Accelerated Solutions Division (ASD) and Flash Components Division (FCD). We now have great enterprise solutions in the high performance segment.

What we have seen is that as a viable alternative, the Solid state hybrid drive (SSHD) delivers high capacity, economic value and almost equal performance in terms of boot-up time in comparison to SSDs. We have seen some adoption in the corporate segment with several customers taking the SSHD route for upgrades to achieve faster boot up times and also have the facility to store locally from a security perspective.

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HID Recognized for Its Design Expertise as Bahrain’s ePassport Wins Multiple Prestigious Awards



HID has recently achieved global recognition for its Bahrain ePassport project, clinching several top honors. These include the distinguished London Design Awards, the High Security Printing Award, and the iF Design Award. This suite of praises reinforces HID’s leadership in security design, showcasing its innovative approach to integrating cutting-edge security features with aesthetic and cultural elements.

Craig Sandness, Senior VP and Managing Director for Citizen Identity at HID, shares, “Our design philosophy is centered around seamlessly weaving security into the fabric of the document’s design. The Bahrain ePassport is a prime example of this approach, where innovation meets artistry. This is not just our success; it’s a shared victory with our Bahraini partners, local artists, and calligraphers. Together, we’ve crafted a document that is as secure as it is symbolic of Bahrain’s rich heritage.”

The Bahrain ePassport, celebrated for its innovative design, marks a milestone in document security by introducing the world’s first document-embedded hashtag, #teambahrain. This feature is more than a nod to digital savviness; it’s a strong symbol of national unity and a testament to HID’s ability to integrate modern digital elements with traditional security measures.

HID’s work on the Bahrain ePassport has been recognized across several categories in the London Design Awards, including Gold awards in Service Design for Government, Cultural, and Best User Experience categories, underscoring the project’s excellence in functionality, cultural sensitivity, and user engagement. The High Security Printing Award for Best New ePassport for EMEA and the iF Design Award in the Publications and Communications category further validate HID’s skill in creating secure, user-centered design.

The collaboration between HID, Bahraini authorities, and local artisans highlights HID’s commitment to incorporating local culture into its security designs. This partnership approach not only enriches the document’s aesthetic appeal but also enhances its acceptance and significance among citizens, demonstrating HID’s leadership in creating identity solutions that respect and celebrate cultural heritage.

“As we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Bahrain ePassport, we look forward to continuing our journey of innovation,” adds Sandness. “We invite governments and organizations worldwide to join us in this journey of creating secure, innovative solutions that pave the way for the future of identity documentation.”

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Fitness First Marks Mother’s Day with Four Days of Free Access



As Mother’s Day approaches, Fitness First is proud to honour and celebrate all mothers with a special gift of health and wellness. From 21 to 24 March, Fitness First invites all mums to enjoy complimentary access to its state-of-the-art facilities at any of its UAE-based clubs.

Recognising the invaluable role of mothers in our lives, Fitness First is opening its doors to mothers of all ages and fitness levels, offering them the opportunity to prioritise their well-being and embark on a journey to better health. Whether it’s a rejuvenating yoga session, an invigorating cardio workout, or a strength training class, Fitness First provides a wide range of fitness options tailored to meet the diverse needs and preferences of every mother.

In addition to offering access to top-notch gym facilities and equipment, mums visiting Fitness First during this special period will also have the opportunity to participate in group fitness classes led by certified instructors, and connect with other like-minded individuals in a supportive and motivating environment.

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Visa-free countries for UAE residents looking to book last-minute getaways this spring term break



As UAE schools gear up for the upcoming spring term break starting from 25 March, residents are planning for their well-deserved getaways, ready to embark on new adventures and explore the world. Global travel marketplace, Skyscanner recommends these visa-free travel destinations for UAE residents this spring term break.

Ayoub El Mamoun, Skyscanner Travel Expert, invites families and adventure seekers alike to explore these captivating visa-free destinations

Seychelles starting from AED 2,711 – “A tropical haven with pristine beaches and lush greenery, Seychelles is perfect for family retreats. Explore Anse Lazio’s white sands or snorkel in vibrant coral reefs for a blissful escape.”

Georgia starting from AED 1,703– “Steeped in rich history, Georgia welcomes UAE residents to explore ancient monasteries, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cities. Georgia is becoming a regular tourist haunt for UAE residents given the sudden influx of Georgia tour packages and the family activities to be experienced.”

Jordan starting from AED 1,752 – “A treasure trove of ancient history and natural wonders, Jordan is a captivating family destination. From the rose-red city of Petra to floating in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea, Jordan promises a timeless family adventure.”

Malaysia starting from AED 1,903 – “A melting pot of cultures and landscapes, Malaysia invites families to explore bustling Kuala Lumpur, beautiful Langkawi beaches, and vibrant neighborhoods in Georgetown. Trek lush rainforests in Taman Negara or dive into the colourful underwater world of the Perhentian Islands. Try Skyscanner’s multi-city search too to explore all that Malaysia has to offer.”

For travellers still deciding on a destination to visit this upcoming break, a Skyscanner ‘Everywhere’ search is one of the easiest ways to be inspired. Ordered by cheapest price, a search to ‘Everywhere’ shows travellers all the destinations available for your desired travel departure.

Skyscanner’s Everywhere search tool reveals return flights to visa-free destinations such as Thailand from AED 1,891, Philippines from AED 1,932, Azerbaijan from AED 1,634 and Malaysia from AED 1,976 round trip.

With the convenience of visa-free travel to various destinations, the options for an unforgettable getaway are endless. So pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready for a stress-free holiday.

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