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Gitex Preview: Riverbed Technology

1)     What is the main theme of your presence at GITEX this year?Riverbed_Taj El Khayat_Sept 13

The main theme for Riverbed Technology at GITEX this year is ‘Storage Consolidation’. We chose this in order to send a strong message to our existing and potential partners and customers which is that all organisations, no matter how big or small, should tailor their data storage plans to fit their exact needs. This focus was sparked by our awareness and response to the growing amount of data passing through an organisation every day. The data needs to be effectively managed and Riverbed® can deliver best-in-class storage consolidation solutions to customers in an increasingly demanding market.

2)     Are you releasing/launching anything new at GITEX 2013? If so, what?

 Riverbed is constantly launching new products, solutions and additional functionalities to our existing portfolio. This year visitors to our booth will be enlightened with the latest developments and enhancements to the products and solutions within our portfolio. Our main focus will be on showcasing our solutions spanning WAN optimization, storage delivery, application-aware network performance management, application performance management, application delivery controllers, web content optimization (WCO), and cloud data protection. Some of the Riverbed products are thoroughly explained below (question 7).

3)     How is your company presenting itself at GITEX this year to differentiate it from competitors?

This year, Riverbed is combining its traditional promotional stand, with a much more hands on and collaborative approach ensuring that the experience visitors get is effectively distinguished from its competition.

Workshops, partner-focused meetings and trainings, solution and product demos are some of the activities that we hope will engage our GITEX visitors.

In addition to this, FVC, our Value Added Distributor for the Middle East, is due to endorse the Riverbed products by showcasing their capabilities at their own stand at GITEX 2013, whilst showcasing the advantages of joining the Riverbed Partner Network.

4)     What are the key trends influencing your approach to GITEX 2013 and the offerings you are pushing?

Riverbed have uncovered several key IT and technological developments which have somewhat swayed the approach afforded to GITEX this year.

If we refer to the evolution of the IT spending in the Middle East region, Gartner estimates a 7.7% rise for 2013 compared to 2012 and a 15.7% year-on-year growth for 2014. Clearly, the regional IT market is preparing for a boom.

Cloud, social media, mobile and information are set to equally impact IT organizations and technology providers in the Middle East in the near future, as the upward trend continues.

Consequently, telecom, devices, IT services and software represent most of the total IT spending forecast for this year, maintaining the trend from 2012, according to Gartner.

If we refer to the vertical markets that show most interest in IT investment over the next period, government, telecommunications and the financial sector are probably the most relevant.

In this respect, Riverbed is well aligned with what is clearly recognized as the main areas of market growth.

Riverbed Technology has noted several technology trends driving the global technology market and these are in tandem with similar trends in the Middle East and North Africa regions.

The ‘virtualization’ of data centers’ will increasingly move towards the edge of the organization. Virtualization technology has allowed entities to generate multipurpose “branch office boxes,” removing any need for traditional remote servers. A higher level of benefit can be extracted from the most radical virtual deployments.

Alongside consolidation within a branch, advances in technology allow companies to form “stateless branch” offices. Reaching 11% consolidation of edge servers, applications and data into the data center enables the companies system to more effectively secure, manage and defend its resources.

With software-defined networking and software-defined data centers more enterprises can stage-manage how to construct up and coming data centers in order to quickly divide up their network and data centers as applicable. These revised centers are giving the user a very high level of flexibility and agility, not available with conventional networks and data centers.

Another key trend we are experiencing is an increase in the amount of mobile technology in organizations as compared to fixed access portals. The introduction of 802.11 Wi-Fi as well as wireless 4G networks and BYOD’s ensures that in the future, businesses will be operating completely wirelessly. Riverbed offerings at this year’s GITEX are specifically tailored to this very trend. Application acceleration, bandwidth optimization and disaster recovery are just a few in the mountain of new options up for grabs at this year’s event.

5)     How have you seen the Middle East respond to those trends in question, and how did you think that will change over the next year?

The IT market is going from strength to strength. In the Middle East in particular, there is a huge emphasis on cloud, social media, telecom, mobile and information and consequently, IT services and software, particularly with IT organisations. These technologies account for the majority of the IT spending forecast for this year, preserving the trend from 2012, according to Gartner. Riverbed is therefore well placed, and has implemented an effectual strategy in line with the main areas of market growth in the Middle East.

6)     How do you think GITEX 2013 will be different to previous editions?

Riverbed offers products and solutions to a plethora of different sized organizations from a vast array of industry sectors. The company reaches its aims mainly through its various but valuable channel partners. Therefore GITEX 2013 will not be different in this regard.

 7)     What are the key offerings you will be presenting at GITEX – sum up their key and unique features.

The following products will be on offer at this year’s GITEX event:

Riverbed Performance Management (RPM) solutions (Cascade & OPNET):

–       Riverbed Performance Management solutions provide IT with the visibility and actionable insight to help deliver the application performance that users and business demand.

–       Network performance can run at its optimum by mapping application dependency and speeding up how the organisation both identifies and troubleshoots threats. The two work together in harmony to manage business problems on a truly integrated platform.

Riverbed® Granite™ appliances:

–       Riverbed Granite appliances is one unified centre that stores all available data. Any data gathered into this centre is organised and can be reviewed at any time. Functionality is not impaired even when the WAN is frail or at a significant distance from its subjects.

–       Picture yourself consolidating servers and data from remote locations to your central data center, where you have complete control. Now picture end users seeing no difference in application performance, even across vast distances and even during WAN outages. Then, imagine being able to instantly provision or restore a branch office. This is what we aim to present our potential customers with in order to better understand the benefits of storage consolidation.

Riverbed® Stingray™ product family:

–       Riverbed Stingray software harbours many benefits for its users. Specifically, it makes applications more reliable with local and global load balancing, it monitors and alters the users services by separating and appropriately arranging application traffic, and it identifies and blocks attacks at the application layer. On top of this, Riverbed Stingray software reduces SharePoint load times by 33%-75%, mechanises optimization for all of its technology and browsers and liberates developer time.

Riverbed® Steelhead® product family:

–       Riverbed Steelhead appliances optimises private, public and internet-based networks and their performance. Wide Area Networks, and now hybrid networks, bring together people, applications and data to improve any business or venture. Riverbed Steelhead appliances are  efficient and have a heightened performance and service delivery.

8)     How important is GITEX as a platform and event to your organisation?

GITEX is an extremely vital resource for Riverbed as it is the most prestigious IT and Technology event in the Middle East. At the event, Riverbed gains invaluable connections with existing partners, potential new customers and experts in the IT and Technology field. Riverbed sees GITEX as the ultimate opportunity to increase our exposure, highlight our successes to the wider industry and more importantly, learn more about the field we are so passionate about.

9)     What is the top reason you invest in GITEX — do you see a healthy return on your investment, or is it more about presence/visibility?

The exposure that GITEX affords Riverbed, makes every investment more than worthwhile. The wider MENA region is also reached on a more intimate level, making our presence at GITEX ever more vital. GITEX is the perfect forum for Riverbed to showcase their products, discuss business challenges and channel initiatives.

10)  What does your company hope to achieve by appearing at GITEX 2013?

Riverbed sees GITEX as a boundless opportunity that has the capability to expose all of its current products and services in the MENA region – all at once. Extending customer reach whether it be through regional or further channelled partnerships, is of strategic importance to our growth plan going forward. They are able to show how their product compares to those around it, or more importantly how it outshines other IT infrastructures and technological solutions.

11)  What are your company’s main recent achievements in the Middle East market?

We have been introduced to the global IT sector with WAN optimization solutions back in 2002 and since then the company has been expanding exponentially at the same pace with the increasing need for organisations to have fast access to data.

Riverbed has a strong presence in the region forging strong partnerships, developing our local distribution and creating the capabilities to provide the required support and expertise to our customers.

Riverbed has become a well-known technology leader in this region that defines the market with its broad set of IT solutions for enterprises.

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