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Vendors collaborate with end users for efficient IT solutions

The recent increase in end user conferences in the region suggests that vendors are beginning to realise that their customers require comprehensive after-sales support in addition to the best in breed solutions so as to deliver the expected levels of service and ultimately capitalise on greater IT investments from these customers.

Faced with increasing competition in a largely standardised ICT sector, vendors are making efforts to differentiate themselves by addressing their customer needs through interactive roundtables and end user conferences that encourage customers to collaborate with their vendors to address challenges and share best practices when implementing advanced technology solutions.

The sudden spurt in end user roundtables and conferences indicates the evolution of a collaborative IT ecosystem and also fosters an environment that builds customer confidence in their vendors and IT solutions.

At a recent  interactive seminar organised by nCircle, an international vendor of automated security and complaince auditing solutions and value added distributor FVC,end users of the nCircle IP 360 solution, discussed not only the benefits of having invested in risk assessment and vulnerability management software, but also addressed difficulties when embarking on the project.

According to the companies, the explosion in security breaches coupled with the increasing regulations surrounding compliance certifications, contributes to the need to develop automated software that enables customised network scanning that not only detects patches in an organisation’s security network but also makes vulnerabilities identifiable in an enterprise environment.

“The IP 360 solution enables end point intelligence and functionality with API tools that allow for better integration across networks, user groups and IT assets. The hardware solution comes with integration capabilities because it is most effective when it seamlessly integrates with an organisation’s existing security infrastructure; add to that the fact that IT and security teams at organisations no longer have to maintain a risk database, as the IP 360 vulnerability database is managed and updated regularly as part of our solutions package,” said Ric Walford, director, Field Security Engineering, nCircle.

Walford briefed users gathered at the roundtable on functionality and applications of IP360 solution, from defining the contents of an organisation’s network right down to risk assessment customisation tools that users of the solution have at their disposal. He also addressed how best organisations can manage their networks to minimise risk as well as track and define accountability for network risks.

Attendees at the roundtable also discussed at length the need for an automated compliance management tool that allows IT and security personnel more time to focus on their primary role that involves maintaining an organisation’s IT infrastructure.

End users largely agreed that meeting stringent compliance standards such as PCI, ISO and the most recent Abu Dhabi Security and Information Centre (ADSIC) is a role that places IT teams under mounting pressure to manage an organisation’s network in addition to making sure that their products, services and assets are certified.

According to Walford, “In an environment where organisations are expected to meet compliance standards both by their at the customers and regulatory authorities, the Configuration Compliance Management (CCM) tool provides them with essential applications like the Policy Editor that boasts an existing database of over a 100 different prescriptive and regulatory policies. The app scans the organisation’s assets and network so as to make sure all standards are met and highlights errors and gaps in compliance.”

The roundtable also sought to introduce prospective customers to their Suite 360 Intelligence Hub Solution that combines the functionality of risk assessment and regulatory compliance management with analytic reporting software.

Users felt that an unbiased, agent-less platform that monitors network security and compliance standards and unifies them with presentation tools that enable efficient reporting and analysis of an organisation’s IT assets and network would enable efficient IT management and better security infrastructure.

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