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A step ahead

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Hatem Hariri, general manager, Middle East and Africa is responsible for all aspects of sales strategy, planning and operations across Juniper’s entire MEA business. He discusses the vendor’s focus on secured networks and the shifts in the marketplace

Discuss briefly Juniper’s strategy towards SDN and how it is unique?
Networking and security are both domains where we are an established leader. Bringing these two together, we are offering SDSN (software defined secure networks). So while other vendors are still discussing SDN, we are a step ahead.
What is needed today is a network that can service the partner and customer the way they want with scalability, open and interoperable with different vendors. You don’t want to be locked into solutions that aren’t open and interoperable. We confirm to open standards so that we can interoperate with other vendor solutions and can help customers build appropriate cloud environments that can support required applications.
Everyone want to embrace the new digital technologies. You cannot rely on traditional technologies of past years to offer the flexibility required for digital transformation for instance. Which is why we are moving further into the SSDN journey.


Discuss Juniper’s focus on simplifying network management?

The budgets are shrinking. We have been a leading manufacturer of secured routing, switching, datacenter equipment etc. We offer the Junos Space Network Management Platform that works with our management applications to simplify and automate management of Juniper’s switching, routing, and security devices. This sit on top of all these and reduce costs by automation and providing monitoring and enable the right platform for the cloud. Before we used to have standalone network management for security, another for data etc. Today with our platform, you can cover everything form a single window.
The platform helps network operators at enterprises and service providers scale operations, reduce complexity, and enable new applications and services to be brought to market quickly, through multilayered network abstractions, operator-centric automation schemes, and a simple point-and-click UI.

Elaborate on partner focus?
There is a massive evolution happening in the industry. Our partners are key to our strategy. We are a partner centric organization with 95% of our Business coming through partners. We are looking at ways to help partners enhance their skills and to give them more opportunities.
In our region, all of our telco Business requirements is addressed by partners. We do direct engagement with these large key customers but the sales is through partners.
We are also working with telco service provider to become partners for us to their customers. This is a growing trend. The decline of revenues from voice services has inspired telco companies to resell cloud and other technology solution to their customers in the enterprise segment.
Our routes to market include the SI channel, global integrators and the ISP channel. At the end of the day, they are our feet in the market. Today customer are looking for partners that can understand their Businesses and accordingly propose the right solutions. They need to bring some domain expertise and therefore vertical focused partners are quite important for us.
Discuss specialization focus for partners?
At the moment, specializations are around technologies. We have scaled our program to include specialization around the datacenter and the cloud. We don’t offer specializations around verticals but we have marketing campaigns directed around verticals that our partners can take to market.

Is the datacenter Business a strong focus?
The datacentre business is a strong play for us. We have a good customer base in the GCC. We are transforming the solution to a cloud datacenter. We have recently acquired AppFormix, a cloud operations management and optimization startup are integrating the solution to offer a unique solution to the market.

How aware are customer about the advantages of solutions with open standards?
Everyone is transforming and it is the time for consolidation. Customers are more aware that today they cannot afford to be locked into a technology solution, in order to take advantage of newer technologies, they need solutions that adhere to open standards, open platform that are also secure at the same time. This is our differentiator and we are seeing more enterprises approaching us to build their network as well as private and hybrid clouds.

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

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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

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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

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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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