You are on page 1of 20

2011 newsletter

> Message from the CEO

The way forward

> GBM named System Integrator of the year > GBM and Indra to develop national healthcare system infrastructure for Bahrains King Hamad University Hospital > GBM and Tonbeller team-up at MEFTEC > IBM CENTENNIAL > GBM develops first educational cloud computing platform in Abu Dhabi for Higher Colleges of Technology > GBM hardware solutions power Oman Cement Company IT augmentation project > Qtel joins forces with GBM to offer enhanced ICT solutions > GBM launches 1st Cisco training centre in Oman

our partners

Message from the CEO

Evolutionary Road

GBM, leading IT solutions provider

Cesare cardone, CEO, GBM

The Oxford dictionary describes evolution as the gradual development of something. In the IT industry we are constantly in a state of evolution, adapting quickly and consistently to changing technologies, changing business environments and changing customer needs. In fact few other industries function in as much of a state of fluidity as the IT industry is constantly challenged to.

Founded in 1990, Gulf Business Machines (GBM) is the leading IT solutions provider in the region fulfilling the IT requirements of local, regional and international organisations in the GCC. A spin-off from IBM, GBM is the sole distributor for IBM - excluding selected IBM products and services throughout the GCC, except for Saudi Arabia. GBMs momentum was further enhanced in 1999, when the team secured the Cisco portfolio. Today GBM holds the highest level of recognition in the region from Cisco, Gold Partner status, in addition to the Cisco Learning Partner status. The company has offices in the UAE (Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah), Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Pakistan and Bahrain.

As I look back at 2011, I see clear evidence of Gulf Business Machines resilience and its ability to adapt to a fast-evolving environment. In fact, the developments of this year demonstrate that we are not only able to adapt but we have been able to thrive by expanding our talent pool, staying ahead on new technologies and generally setting the pace. Just last year, we launched the first ever Network Operations Centre (NOC) in the Middle East. In addition to reinforcing our portfolio of value-added services for our customers, the NOC was a clear indication of things to come and our willingness and ability to invest in the future. At the outset, the NOC was a decisive step towards GBMs evolution as a leading, homegrown provider of Remote Infrastructure Management as a service. Significantly, Remote Infrastructure Management as a service is a sign of the times we live and work in. In a post-recessionary environment the need to

boost efficiencies is driving tremendous changes in the way our clients work. As businesses attempt to replace capital expenditures with operational expenditures and reduce costs in the process, theyre increasingly looking at asset-light alternatives to investing in hardware-heavy infrastructure. All of this has a very real and direct impact on us as a company as we evolve our product and service offering in anticipation of these changes. What does this mean to GBM? While we constantly reinforce our belief that evolution remains very much a gradual process and that our industry will not dramatically change overnight, were firmly focused on our vision for the future and we will continue to deliver the right solutions to our customers at the right time. However, the main topic on every CIOs agenda is nowadays server consolidation. In fact, GBM has completed over 160 server consolidation projects around the region on IBM Intel and System p servers. This is

also a result of the drive to efficiency, but less disruptive than Remote Infrastructure Management as a service, server consolidation aims to make more efficient use of available server resources. According to some estimates, companies around the world on average only use between 15 and 20 percent of their server capacity, which is unsustainable in the current economic environment. Unsurprisingly companies around the world and here in the Middle East are taking to server consolidation as part of efforts to evolve a more sustainable and cost-effective approach to computing. In fact, 61 percent of the respondents in a recent Gartner Group research study said that they were conducting a server consolidation, while 28 percent were planning to do so in the immediate future which reflects the business potential for such activity. As we progress through the current evolutionary cycle and take change in our collective stride, we will continue to invest time, effort

and resources in maintaining GBMs competitive edge, an approach that is clearly delivering results. In addition to a number of new business wins, it was gratifying to be acknowledged as the regions best Systems Integrator by Reseller Middle East magazine at its Partner Excellence Awards. The recognition is just one of several our teams have earned from partners and customers over the years. As we look forward to a promising start to 2012 we will strive to continue down this evolutionary road. After all the combination of constant change, the ability to set the pace and the reward of success is what drives us onward.

Cesare Cardone, CEO


The way forward
By substantially lowering capital expenditure, Virtualization can decrease and at times eliminate the purchase of new hardware

By Pappu R. Rao Director of Technology Services, GBM

Organizations today face unique challenges that stem from regional expansion and globalization. As a result, IT professionals find themselves catering to a geographically distributed workforce with scattered branch offices. Distributed datacenters and mobile workers have to be managed and servers need to be deployed on the fly across multiple locations to manage dynamic business needs. A question of wasted capacity The legacy model of one application, one server has led to servers sprawling and consuming available data centre space, power and cooling. However, at a global level, servers have an average utilization of five to fifteen percent, resulting in poor return on investment. Organizations have made significant investments in IT infrastructure, as every new requirement was translated into a new server purchase, hence adding associated costs and complexity, which in turn impacted effective manageability. The continued trend of investing in more processing power at lower price points has made a shift in how we view IT infrastructure costs. While hardware costs may have gone down, associated costs including software licensing, data center space, power and management overheads have actually risen. With the current focus of CIOs to do more with less, the total cost of ownership needs to be addressed. Server consolidation, which essentially is reducing the server count, is the obvious solution. Virtualization is an effective way to achieve server consolidation by allowing multiple physical server workloads to run on a single virtualized hardware platform. Virtualization has the potential to unlock much of the underutilized capacity we see in datacenters today. Introducing Virtualization Virtualization addresses the problems of cost and complexity and at the same time provides the flexibility and speed needed to deploy infrastructure to meet the dynamic needs of todays business. Gartner estimates that enterprises can achieve cost savings of as much as twenty to fifty percent on hardware and other overheads including software licensing, while enjoying increased flexibility along with speed, and improved quality of service. It must be noted that virtualization can actually reduce software licensing costs which are predominantly CPU-based, thereby reducing the overall total cost of ownership. The technical advantages of virtualization are many: it allows for increased resource flexibility and improved utilization since the resources for a virtual machine can be scaled up or down or even scheduled based on workload requirements. Virtualization also allows servers to be available ondemand, providing flexibility in keeping them dormant and activating them based on dynamic requirements. This translates into significant savings in hardware resources and licensing costs. In addition, Virtualization offers portability and recovery since a virtual machine can be copied from one server to another and even replicated from one location to another. Another benefit is the ability to take a snapshot of a virtual machine which facilitates application upgrades or even the application of operating system patches and rollback if desired results are not achieved. Virtualization is an ideal fit for addressing todays need for server consolidation. It also provides building blocks for the next steps including desktop virtualization and cloud computing. The business case for Virtualization Increasingly, businesses are turning to Virtualization as a means of cutting unnecessary costs and maximizing the return on investment. This is possible as virtualization lowers capital expenditure and optimizes operating expenses by reducing power, cooling, data centre and administrative costs. Virtualization also helps lower risk to business by minimizing system downtime and associated business interruption, improves end-customer satisfaction levels through improved system performance and improves business agility by quickly deploying servers in response to market needs. In short, it makes perfect business sense. To find out more about GBMs Virtualization offering, please contact your Client Manager to arrange an assessment of your current server environment and provide you a with a roadmap.

The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC

GBM and Virtualization
With over 160 completed projects in the last 4 years, Gulf Business Machines (GBM) is today a regional leader in the Virtualization space, using a combination of skills and cutting-edge technologies to deliver results to its customers. GBM today has satisfied customers across all industry verticals including Banking, Retail, Government, Hospitality and Travel & Transport. In fact, the Banking and Retail sectors have been the forerunners in adopting Virtualization constituting 60% of these delivered projects. At any given time, GBM is implementing about 20 virtualization projects across the region. This leadership position is the result of our long and varied experience in server consolidation, addressing all aspects including design, implementation and support for virtualization projects. GBM boasts a large technical resource pool of certified specialists in key areas of virtualization technologies distributed across the region. Server Virtualization projects require various factors to be taken into consideration including: identifying servers that need to be virtualized, assessing current performance and utilization metrics, selection of virtualization software or platform deployment strategy, selecting management and monitoring software, considering storage and network virtualization and identifying the disaster recovery strategy. It must be noted that virtualization projects can start small and scale up in a phased manner based on business requirements. While executing complex virtualization projects, one may encounter many pitfalls. GBM with its expertise gained from several such projects over the years can provide the required insight to successfully transform existing server environments into state-of-theart virtualized IT infrastructure. GBM today partners with all the major server consolidation and Virtualization vendors including IBM, VMware, Citrix and Red Hat to deliver the optimum solution specific to customer requirements based on best of breed technology.

[GBM] has successfully delivered numerous projects for enterprise customers across the Gulf and is continuously scaling itself higher to meet customers expectations
GBM also offers its customers a seamless roadmap from virtualization to cloud computing. GBMs Cloud Service offerings are being evolved and now include Cloud Infrastructure Management comprising of PowerVM, VM Control and Systems Director. The most important advantage of GBMs cloud strategy is the ability to integrate IBM and non-IBM cloud solutions from partners using an IBM cloud integration framework.

Real World Experiences

Sector: Area: Profile: Construction Project Infrastructure Construction Company in GCC Government Disaster Recovery Government Department in GCC Banking and Finance Testing and Staging Infrastructure Retail Bank in GCC

A project office catering to 150 users was required to be setup in difficult environmental conditions. The office included expensive CAD workstations for architectural drawings. Since the project office was remote, additional administration and breakdown support personnel were needed on-site.

Provide a reliable and flexible disaster recovery environment for 75 servers and facilitate the performance of nondisruptive testing.

The in-house development team was faced with the problem of licensing costs of software for testing and staging infrastructure since software licensing costs are typically tied to the processing power of the underlying hardware.

GBM deployed IBM Storage with remote mirroring between sites. A VMware vSphere platform was deployed on six servers to host seventy-five virtual machines at the production site with an identical setup at the disaster recovery site. VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) was also deployed to integrate with storage and automate server recovery.

Two VMware View servers were installed to deploy the desktop infrastructure (consolidation ratio of 75:1) and rugged thin-clients for project office users.

The VMware vSphere platform was deployed to virtualize the physical server infrastructure. VMware Cloud Director was also used to take care of the dynamic requirements and make available desired servers onthe-fly.

Quick deployment of desktop infrastructure. Shared server processing power ensured the design team got better performance vis-vis individual workstations. The company also saw a significant saving in operation and support costs due to remote management of desktop infrastructure by its central IT team.

The government department benefitted from easier management of replication at a more granular and flexible VM-level. Simple, quick and reliable recovery because of automation in DR failover/ failback procedures.

Instead of sixty servers, only eight servers were required to provide the bank with robust Windows/ Linux infrastructure. This resulted in immediate cost saving of 60% on the projected capital expenditure. Significant savings were achieved on the application software licensing and ongoing operating and support cost. The solution also provided a self-service, policy-driven access control to deploy the servers for testing.

GBM in the media

GBM and Cisco Organise Workshops to Showcase Vertical IT Solutions
GBM and Cisco recently ran a very successful series of regional workshops to discuss the latest regional and global trends in vertical IT solutions. The first was held in Manama on May 23rd, with the second taking place in Doha, Qatar on July 12th.
From left: BBM Country General Manager Abdulla Ishaq, Indra Health Sector Director Jose Cubelos Pascual, and BBM Sales and Marketing Manager Ashesh Mukhopadhyay

GBM and Indra to Develop National Healthcare System Infrastructure for Bahrains King Hamad University Hospital

The Cisco Partner Sales Force Workshop, Bahrain

GBM and Indra, a world leader in healthcare solutions, announced an agreement to jointly develop IT infrastructure for the King Hamad University Hospital in Bahrain. Bahrain Business Machines (BBM), GBMs Bahrain division, and Indra will collaborate to develop the infrastructure, which will form the basis for the new National Healthcare System being established at the hospital. This project will provide the hospital with a unified system for inpatients, outpatients and emergency-related information. The project will also include a Laboratory Information System (LIS), including anatomical pathology, Intensive Care unit and anesthesia dietetics, medical imaging, Radiology Information System (RIS) and Picture Archiving Computer System (PACS), electronic drug prescriptions, electronic health records, administrative, clinical support services and statistics. As part of the project, GBM will be providing and implementing the latest IBM and Cisco infrastructure. This is a pioneering project and when it is complete, it will be a showpiece for healthcare informatics and an example of how the right IT infrastructure can make a significant difference to patient care and operating efficiencies, said Jose Cubelos, Health Sector Director for Indra. Indra has implemented such systems around the world, which cater to around 5600 hospitals, about 100,000 professionals using the system and around 500,000 appointments every day. He added: Due to the significance of this project, we needed to select our partners with care, ensuring they have the right competencies and this led to our decision to work with GBM. With its track record with various government agencies in Bahrain, expertise in supporting mission critical projects and strong credentials in offering end-toend infrastructure, GBM is the ideal partner. GBM will be responsible for deploying a wide variety of hardware and software solutions to support the project. IBM products to be deployed include IBM Blade Servers, IBM System Storage Storwize 7000 storage systems and

enterprise backup software from IBM Tivoli Storage Manager. The network infrastructure will also contain switching and security solutions from Cisco, bandwidth management devices from Bluecoat, load balancers from F5 Networks and a network time server from Symmetricom. We are proud to have been selected by Indra to work on this prestigious project, said Abdulla Ishaq, Country General Manager for GBM. At GBM, we are committed to working closely with our partners to provide cuttingedge solutions. With our knowledgeable engineers, who have proven to be a big draw to customers, we are confident that we will provide world class expertise and counsel before, during and after the implementation of a project. He added, It is evident that the Bahraini government and its entities are serious about enhancing their IT efficiencies, while adopting the latest in technology. This is reflected in our decision to deploy a range of best-in-class solutions that will boost efficiencies, maintain network resilience and ensure full scalability.

Titled The Cisco Partner Sales Force, the workshops set out to address the business and Information Technology requirements of different industry sectors. The event also provided attendees with the training needed to deliver customised solutions based on customer and industry needs, with a special focus on Financial Services, Manufacturing and Retail.

The Cisco Partner Sales Force Workshop, Qatar

Workshops were conducted by GBMs Cisco Certified Systems Instructors (CCSIs). Both were well attended by sales managers and executives of Cisco Channel Partners, with a series of useful and informative discussions taking place. GBM and Cisco hope to repeat this success again with more workshops in the future.

GBM became Cisco Gold Partner

GBM became Cisco Learning Partner


2003 2008

Indra is a global company of technology, innovation and talent, leading in high valueadded solutions and services for the Transport and Traffic; Energy and Industry; Public Administration and Healthcare; Finance; Insurance; Security and Defence; and Telecom and Media sectors. Indra operates in over 100 countries and has 30,000 employees worldwide who share their knowledge of different sectors and countries to find innovative solutions to the challenges that clients face. Indra is the European company that most invests in R&D in its sector.

The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC

GBM in the media

Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs & Waqf sign Agreement with Bahrain Business Machines
GBM and the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Waqf in Bahrain announced on June 28th that they had signed an agreement to develop a customised Disaster Recovery Infrastructure and revamp their production site, using the latest IBM Platforms. The project will be undertaken and implemented by Bahrain Business Machines (BBM), GBMs Bahrain division. The project award was based on a thorough technical evaluation by Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Waqf between Major IT vendors. The purpose of building a Disaster Recovery Infrastructure is to keep the Ministrys critical applications up and running in case of planned and unplanned outage or natural disasters. In any of these disruptive events, all applications and data at the Production Site will be hosted and running at the Disaster Recovery site. To enable a flexible and robust switchover of sites, BBM will also replace the Ministrys production system, including their storage infrastructure, with IBM Enterprise Storage and Storage Replications Systems. According to Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Waqf spokesperson BBMs strong credentials in offering Disaster Recovery Solutions reinforced their selection for this project. With their vast experience in providing mission critical projects, we are positive that we have chosen the right vendor for the implementation of this project. Our decision to work with BBM was also based on its track record with various government ministries in Bahrain. We are confident that we will benefit from continued access to best-in-class technical support and expertise even after the completion of this project. Other IBM Products that will be used include, IBM Blade Servers which run applications quickly and efficiently, enabling the Ministry to have better ROI (Return on Investment) and high-availability midplane to ensure maximum uptime and investment protection for future technologies. Also, in a continuing effort to provide storage solutions that are designed to provide low total cost of ownership, high performance and robust functionality, BBM will also deploy the IBM System Storage DS5020. This system will provide the Ministry with infrastructure simplification using next-generation 8GBPS FC Interface, up to 67.2 TB of fiber channel physical storage capacity and powerful system management, data management and data protection features. We are proud to be associated with Bahrains Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Waqf offering them stateof-the-art solutions from IBM to enable data protection and disaster recovery at a lower cost. It is evident that the Bahraini government and its entities are serious about enhancing their IT efficiencies while adopting the latest in technology, said Abdulla Ishaq, Country General Manager, BBM. At BBM, we are committed to working closely with our partners to provide cutting edge and fully scalable solutions to our customers. With our knowledgeable engineers, who had proven to be a big draw to customers, we are confident that we will provide world class expertise and counsel before, during and after the implementation of a project.

About Oman Cement

Since 1983, Oman Cement Company (OCC) has symbolized Omans drive for self-reliance in core industries. The company has given new strength to the construction industry, consolidated the nations efforts for infrastructure development and created resources to achieve self-sufficiency. With a manufacturing facility operating on world class ISO 9001 certified quality management system and ISO 14001 for environment, OCC products meet global standards in performance and quality and reflect OCCs enduring commitment to customer satisfaction and a stronger foundation for tomorrow.

GBM Launches Training Centre in Oman

GBM announced on June 14th the launch of Omans first Cisco Training Centre. The world-class training centre, part of GBMs Learning Services, is located at GBMs Qurum premises in Muscat. GBMs fully-fledged centre will offer a broad range of Cisco training services to job seekers and IT professionals in the private and public sectors. The training sessions will be led by Certified Cisco Systems Instructors (CCSIs) and will deliver Cisco authorised and approved content, including technology, productspecific and certification-preparation courses. In addition, courses on Cisco technologies will be offered using the markets latest hardware and remote labs. Cisco is very proud to collaborate with GBM in this initiative which we hope will encourage local Omani talent to realise their full potential to be tomorrows leaders of the local and regional IT industry. The Cisco Training Centre is the first of its kind in Oman and we are confident that it will bring great value to the local community, said Iyad Al Chammat, Cisco General Manager in Oman. GBM has been a Cisco Learning Partner (CLP) since 2008. With a strong presence in the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Pakistan. GBM Learning Services is one of the regions leading IT training provider and offering over 1,000 comprehensive training programmes across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, training over 3,000 IT professionals annually. to fit a wide variety of their needs, said Olivier Mouries, Country General Manager, GBM Oman. GBM is committed to supporting local talent in Oman and providing them with the skills needed to excel in todays ever-growing IT industry.

First worldclass Cisco Training Centre in Oman

The launch of the our training centre in Oman marks a milestone for GBM and shows GBMs commitment to invest in developing the IT talent in Oman. As part of GBMs Learning Services offerings, this initiative reinforces our efforts to help Omanisation by providing cutting edge Cisco training solutions to Omans IT workforce and job seekers

From left: Cisco General Manager - Oman Iyad Al Chammat; GBM Oman Country General Manager - Olivier Mouries; Sales Manager, GBM Learning Services (Gulf Region) - Pawan Arora, AND GBM Learning Services Specialist, GBM Oman - Indranil Goswami

GBM Hardware Solutions Power Oman Cement Company IT Augmentation Project

GBM recently completed the implementation of hardware solutions to augment the IT infrastructure at the Oman Cement Company. GBM has installed state-of-the-art IBM Power Systems servers that will support the deployment of the Companys Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. The new infrastructure uses IBM Power Systems 550 servers running the IBM i Operating System (formerly known as i5/OS). The combination

will offer Oman Cement Company a highly scalable and resilient architecture with a proven reputation for exceptional business resiliency. The Company will also have the choice of running IBM AIX or Linux-based software, offering greater flexibility in the future. The chosen hardware will provide servers, storage and an integrated operating system for production and disaster recovery (DR). The Oman Cement Company is a strategic component of our countrys drive for self reliance. As a result it is important that our supporting infrastructure is in a position to maximize efficiencies and minimize downtime and our decision to invest in boosting our IT infrastructure reflects that, said Jamal Shamis Al-Hooti, CEO, Oman Cement Company. For a project of such critical importance, we were well aware that selecting the right solution would ensure success. Our decision to work with Gulf Business Machines was based on its extensive track record and its ability to provide top-of-the-line solutions.

Our upgraded IT infrastructure will allow us to run our business in a more effective manner, ensuring reliability, efficiency and complete scalability of our systems, added Saleh Sultan Al-Rashdi, Manager IT, Oman Cement. The combination of GBMs expertise and IBMs hardware and software solutions has contributed to the tremendous success of this project. As we complete this first phase we look

forward to further enhancing our IT infrastructure, he continued. Power Systems provide servers and software that are the foundation for enterprise infrastructure that can help businesses, such as Oman Cement Company, manage rapid change, reduce business risk, and meet higher service levels all in the most cost-effective manner. In addition, Oman Cement also selected the IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for this project to be the backup solution to allow for flawless continuity of services. We are positive that this project will go a long way in helping the Oman Cement Company overcome challenges in demanding business environments. The infrastructure will also act as a tool to boost productivity and operational efficiency, said Olivier Mouries, Country General Manager, GBM Oman. With our pool of knowledgeable engineers, GBM is always committed to provide best-inclass solutions and technologies to its customers and partners.

For a project of such critical importance, we were well aware that selecting the right solution would ensure success.

Qtel Joins Forces with GBM to Offer Enhanced ICT Solutions

New Agreement will Provide Advanced Services that will Create the Right Environment to Develop Business for both Qtel & GBM Customers - Helping to Support a Knowledge Based Economy
Qtel today signed a major partnership agreement with Gulf Business Machine (GBM); establishing a long-term strategic relationship. This partnership will allow both companies to offer greater value to their business customers while opening up opportunities for expansion into new markets. Under the terms of the agreement, Qtel and GBM will jointly pursue and provide advanced ICT solutions to their clients. The new partnership will leverage Qtels ever-expanding network and its long-term relationships; and GBMs reputation as one of the largest IT solution providers in the region. Through the partnership, Qtel and GBM will engage in activities including technical site surveys, designing full solutions, defining the needed resources and works, supplying materials and services for installation as well as testing, commissioning, maintenance, support and warranty for clients. Eng. Khalid Abdulla Al Mansouri, Executive Director, Business Solutions, Qtel, said: Qtel continues to forge ahead in offering a range of technology solutions to its business clients, and with this new partnership we are able to present a more comprehensive ICT offering. Partnering with GBM allows us access to a raft of specialist expertise and the worldwide resources of IBM, adding to the unparalleled range of IT solutions for our customers. The initial focus for Qtel and GBM will be within Healthcare, Education, Energy, Hospitality and Small to Medium Enterprise business sectors. Mr. Bader Al-Mana, Chairman of GBM Qatar, said: We are extremely excited about this new venture for GBM in the region. We are positive that our

From left to right: Eng. Khalid Abdulla Al Mansouri, Executive Director, Qtel Business Solutions and Mr. Bader Al-Mana, Chairman of GBM Qatar, sign the partnership agreement at Qtel.

partnership with Qtel will enhance our position in Qatar, since its a key market for us, and as a regional leader within the ICT industry. Qtel is a dynamic business that continues to grow at pace with Qatar and we are certain that this partnership will be a success. As the company that helped build the ICT network infrastructure within Qatar, Qtel has worked with a huge range of leading companies, with significant support provided for pioneers in the fields of energy, aviation, government and retail. Contributing to this growth, Qtel recently reached a major milestone with the commencement of its

momentous campaign of switching customers to a high-speed fibre network. Qtel field teams have already laid out over 1,200 kilometres of fibre cable throughout Doha. Small businesses in particular are set to benefit from the Qtel Fibre network, through a range of specialists solutions that leverage the enhanced speed and capacity of Qtel Fibre. The agreement with GBM is another key step in evolving strategy for Qtel Business Solutions, which aims to fuel the ongoing growth of Qatars key business sectors.

The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC

GBM in the media

GBM and Cisco Showcase

The Power of the Cisco Collaboration Portfolio

GBM and Cisco organised an event in Dubai on March 7th, 2011 to discuss ways and means to accelerate innovation, growth, and business improvement opportunities through enhanced collaboration. Held under the theme of Discover the Power of the Cisco Collaboration Portfolio, the latest developments in Digital Media Systems, Voice and Unified Communications, Video, Cable and Content Delivery, and Physical Security and Building Systems were showcased during the event. Speakers at the event included Doug Fleming, Business Video Specialist - DMS, Cisco; Osama I. Al-Dosary, Consulting System Engineer, Cisco; and Wael Abdulal, Collaboration Sales Lead UAE, Cisco. The event, which targeted IT managers and executives in the fields of education, manufacturing, retails, real estate, government and financial services, was attended by over 70 people including a number of GBM and Cisco customers and employees.

Gulf Business Machines Forecasts Significant Business Growth for 2011

GBM announced that it foresees a significant growth in business in 2011. These forecasts were announced at a series of internal 2011 kick-off meetings held in all GBM locations. The meetings, which were led by Cesare Cardone, CEO, GBM and Country General Managers, form part of GBMs annual review and are essential for its planning and strategising as well as providing an in-depth analysis of the companys performance in the last year and business growth predictions for 2011. Over the past 21 years, GBM has consistently grown from strength to strength in all its operating markets from increasing its customer base to partnering with the IT industrys global names such as Cisco, and Red Hat while continuing to be the sole distributors for IBM, excluding selected IBM products and services, throughout the GCC, except for Saudi Arabia. In 2010, GBM also announced its acquisition of Performance Systems, the launch of the first Network Operations Centre in the Middle East and continued to partner with various governments across the region on a range of e-Government projects.

GBM and Tonbeller team-up at Meftec

GBM and Tonbeller AG, a specialist in the development and implementation of company-wide risk and compliance solutions, jointly participated at Meftec, the worlds premier financial technology event for emerging markets. The event provided a platform for both companies to showcase the best-in-breed compliance solutions for customers in the Gulf region. The event took place from May 30th to May 31st at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi, UAE. GBM partnered with Tonbeller to assist customers in dealing with the alarming developments of fraudulent activities such as Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorism Financing (CTF) and to comply with the respective regulations. During the event, both partners also addressed the best approach in the prevention of financial crimes and risk assessment. The selection of GBM gives our clients in the Gulf region a very reliable partner that brings a lot of regional AML compliance subject matter expertise, as

well as the capability to manage complex compliance and banking projects, making them an excellent bridge between our clients and Tonbeller, Paul Hamilton, Global Alliance Director of Tonbeller AG, said. Our Compliance solutions support the organisations in streamlining processes, lowering operating expenses, and - most important of all - in complying with the national laws and regulations quickly. Leveraging from our long-term experience including successful projects in the GCC, we are looking forward to teaming up with GBM with its broad knowledge to help customers improve their compliance processes faster and achieve their business goals, added Torsten Mayer, Managing Director of Tonbeller AG. In addition to services and consulting, Tonbeller has deployed more than 700 installations of their Anti Money Laundering and Compliance solutions worldwide. Along with GBMs local and regional experience and knowledge as well as their subject matter

The selection of GBM gives our clients in the Gulf region a very reliable partner

GBM develops first educational cloud computing platform in Abu Dhabi for Higher Colleges of Technology
GBM and the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) announced that they have signed a partnership agreement for the development of an educational cloud computing platform, using the latest and leading enterprise technologies. Undertaken by GBMs Abu Dhabi division, the project partnership was signed by H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor, HCT and Ali Bin Hamoodah, Chairman Bin Hamoodah Trading on behalf of GBM, and it will be the first of its kind to be deployed in an educational institute in Abu Dhabi. In addition to the benefits that cloud computing will offer HCT, the project will act as a learning, research and development tool for students. Also, as part of the effort to build the UAEs human capital and local cloud computing capabilities, GBM will involve HCTs students in the development process of the project to ensure optimum exposure to the cutting-edge technology. When a higher education institution partners with leading IT companies, the benefits are endless and this is an indication of the growing importance of providing the latest IT technology for research, educational and training purposes. The partnership between GBM and HCT for the deployment of cloud computing solutions will leverage these benefits for building the UAEs human capital and cutting-edge, future IT skills and knowledge, Dr. Tayeb Kamali, Vice Chancellor, HCT said. He added: HCT is a UAE leader in adopting the latest educational and training technologies throughout its campuses, where faculty and staff work closely with students to deliver innovative curriculum in technologically sophisticated environments. Hence, this collaboration will also allow HCT to optimise its overall cloud

The partnership between GBM and HCT for the deployment of cloud computing solutions will leverage these benefits for building the UAEs human capital and cuttingedge, future IT skills and knowledge
computing services and education for its students. In addition to involving students in the development of the Educational cloud computing platform, HCT will host guest lecturers from GBM on a regular basis. During the lectures, GBM spokespeople will showcase their experience and success stories in enterprise information technology and provide students with industry insights. We are very proud to be part of this prestigious partnership with the HCT. In addition, we recognise the importance of training a new generation of IT professionals in the very latest technologies and we hope this project will achieve that goal, said Cesare Cardone, CEO, GBM. This project reflects our commitment to the United Arab Emirates, its people and our partners in the country to provide cutting edge solutions to meet their needs from an IT and educational perspective.

H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor, HCT, presenting an appreciation award to Cesare Cardone, CEO, GBM in recognition for sponsoring 2011 Abu Dhabi Industry Awards for Academic Excellence.

experts, both companies will ensure that customers are provided with the best solutions to fight and combat financial crimes and ensure optimum productivity and cost efficiency while complying with legal requirements and local rules and regulations. GBM is very pleased to partner with Tonbeller and participate at Meftec, one of the worlds leading financial technology events. Together we can provide next generation compliance solutions that are more effective, innovative and quick to deploy to our GCC customers while enabling them to securely comply with ever demanding regional and international regulations, said Mohamed Daoud, GBM Banking & Finance Solutions & Services Practice Leader across GCC.

The Turning Data into Information vision has been with TONBELLER since its founding in 1971. We help our clients successfully manage their businesses by providing the tools and the know-how to mine data from any source for guidance in making decisions. That puts us up against an ongoing challenge: to fully integrate innovative technologies with our solutions. And it ensures that our customers will profit from their investments for a long time to come. Competitive advantage We thoroughly design all components of our full range of services The fact that TONBELLER solutions can be used on all standard IT platforms is generally considered to be our unique selling point The advantage for our customer Cost benefits due to using existing infrastructures Portability of existing TONBELLER solutions Integration of and access to data in all current databases and file systems No proprietary data stocks and so no redundancy Openly available for other applications

Gulf Business Machines Named System Integrator of the Year

GBM received the System Integrator (SI) of the Year Award at the Reseller Middle East (RME) Partner Excellence Awards. The prestigious award was presented to Cesare Cardone, CEO, GBM, at the award ceremony which was held at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina on June 12th. This was part of a series of awards for excellence and appreciation given to organisations that have contributed to the development of IT market in the region over the years. GBM has previously been recognised and awarded for their achievements and innovative initiatives, solutions and offerings. The awards include Public Sector Partner of the Year and Services Partner of the Year at the Cisco Partner Summit in 2011, Cisco Enterprise Partner of the Year (Emerging East, UAE) at the Cisco Partner Summit and Best ICT Solutions Provider at the Bahrain eGovernment Excellence Award in 2010 and Cisco Enterprise Partner of the Year (Gulf & Pakistan) at the Cisco Partner Summit in 2009.


The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC

IBM Centennial
How does an organisation deal with the inherent tensions among its constituents? A companys constituents all have choicesthe employee of where to work, the investor of where to put a dollar. Communities allow companies to operate within their borders; customers choose which company wins their business.

IBM and American Airlines launched the worlds first computer-driven airline reservation system, SABRE - which paved the way for online banking technology. In our history, there are many other examples5 where tensionsamong the interests of investors, employees, society and clientswere resolved through innovation and by responsibly confronting, not shying away from, new realities.

IBM was formed as the Computing Tabulating and Recording Company, or C-T-R, specializing in punch cards, commercial scales and clocks. Which of these constituents has primacy? Its a false choice. Generating shareholder value may be the baseline responsibility of a public corporation, but we have learned that, by itself, it does not build a lasting enterprise, much less a great one.

IBM technology guided the Apollo mission to the moon the company has played a part in the U.S. space program since the 1950s.

With global ambitions, the company renamed itself International Business Machines today, it operates in 170 countries.

How does a company confront relentless commoditisation? The technology field is cruel to those who fail to make the leap from era to era, but tech companies are hardly alone. The hand of commoditisation spares few. The question becomes, as leaders, what to do about that.

Perhaps youll agree with us that this is not merely about balance and compromising among divergent interests. Rather, its about making the hard choice to live at their intersectionusing the inherent tension to drive innovation. As the recent downturn reminds us, the tensions get harder the tougher times get. Shareholder expectations for higher returns dont diminish when the economy stutters. In these moments, the temptation is strongest to cut investments

IBM labs developed the magnetic strips on credit cards still ubiquitous on ID cards, drivers licenses and ATM bank cards.

IBM worked with the U.S. government to start Social Security the largest accounting project of its time. Our lesson learned: You have to keep going to the future. Partly, its about creating new spaces to move into investing in good times and bad. This requires a kind of institutional patience; upside benefits rarely come this quarter, or even next year. Sometimes, they never come. But its not just about what you create. Its also about what you choose to leave behind. Every institution, by its nature, favours the ideas, products and services that made it successful. Leadership often requires shedding emotional attachment to that heritage.

in skills and R&D. But Tom Watson Sr. actually increased investments during the Great Depression. In this most recent down cycle, we protected R&D and continued to make strategic acquisitions. But this also meant that we had to drive

IBM created the floppy disk, which made storage powerful and affordable and the PC revolution possible.

RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control), the first magnetic hard disk drive, created the data storage industry.

higher levels of productivity in other parts of the businessour global supply chain and functional processes. Doing so requiredand led tomajor innovations in how we operate the company, resulting in $6 billion productivity savings over the past five years.

Consider the IBM Personal Computer. This wasnt just a breakthrough invention and successful IBM business. It was a product that spawned a whole new sector of our industry. But several years ago, it became clear that the PC was not central to our future, or the future of computing. So we got out a move that scratched almost $11 billion in annual revenues from our books. This was just one of several similar moves over the past 10 years. All part of the perpetual motion of building higher-value businesses.

The Selectric Typewriter was an instant design sensation, delighting typists for 25 years.

Supermarkets started scanning UPC bar codes, invented by IBM. Today, they track everything from clothing to dairy cows.

Other times, tension is caused by a seismic shift in the world around you. By the middle of the last decade our pension obligations were almost as large as our revenues. We had to address this or risk severely impairing IBMs long-term competitiveness. Yet we also knew that helping our people build secure futures is itself a competitive advantage. So the real work beganto replace the traditional pension plans with entirely new kinds of programmes and options. Certainly some employees did not welcome the change. But many did, and several aspects of the new programme are viewed as leading innovations.

Moving to the future can also include reinventing what you have, as we repeatedly have done with our mainframe business. Despite repeated pronouncements of its imminent demise, weve increased installed mainframe capacity 1,000% over the past 13 years. The largest lesson we have learned is about value creation itself. Every leader has to determine how the new is born. We have realised that innovation itself is ever evolving. Over a century, we have added fundamental research to development. We have collaborated with universities and governments. We embraced open source. We selectively acquired companies. And most recently, we have generated


IBM was granted the first patent for LASIK surgery technology and continues to hold more U.S. patents than any company.

We see an increasing number of leaders in business, government and civil society choosing instead to think systemically, and think for the long term. They have come to believe there are no short-term fixes for long-term problems, no shortcuts to longevity. In our case, it starts with remembering why IBM exists as a corporation. We listed IBM on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time in 1915, which

ideas at population scale via social media. We have learned that a profitable idea can come from many sources. What does a companys nationality mean in an era of global business? We have learned that national origin is less important than the indigenous value you create everywhere you choose to do business. IBMs Deep Blue supercomputer defeated the best chess player in the world.

The IBM Personal Computer launched the PC revolution, helping computers go mainstream beyond hobbyists and geeks. Certainly this starts by creating jobs, making local investments, paying taxes and bringing products and services to new buyers. But it goes beyond that. Our history teaches us the difference between entering a market and making a market. The latter requires working with leaders in business, government, academia and community organisations to help advance their national agenda and address their societal needs.It requires building real skills in the local workforce and enabling new capabilities among its citisenrybeing a force for modernisation and progress.

gave us access to capital for long-term investment and growth. In return, we accepted the responsibility to provide our owners with clear, fact-based updates on the performance of their company, and to comply with applicable rules and regulations. In the years since, this has compelled IBM leaders to build real businesses that create tangible value for our clients, actual profits, cash flows and returns for

IBM invested $1 billion in Linux, spurring open source innovation that still reverberates around the world.

By the mid-80s, IBM computers understood 5,000 spoken words at 95% accuracy; today, speech recognition is pervasive at home and on the road. All of this means we must think differently about long-term commitment and investment. And, as the world becomes flatter, it also means that we have to be particularly thoughtful and progressive in helping every part of the world adjust to and participate in global integration.

investors. It means never mistaking 90-day reporting cycles for the end goal. It means behavior that consistently meets high standards, because future growth depends on trust. None of this is easy. It requires leaders to show up in defense of the future. We remind ourselves of this every day.

Smarter Planet launched to improve how the world works now smart buoys in Irelands Galway Bay detect pollution, protect fish stock.

What must never change. If Tom Watson Sr. were to visit IBM today, he would hardly recognise what we make or the services we provideanalytics, clouds, the Jeopardy!-winning computer named in his honor, solutions for a smarter planet. But he would very much recognise why IBM is pioneering these spacesto make the world work better through information and the tools of thinking. If Tom Watson Jr., our second CEO, were to return, he would not recognise the structure or global footprint of IBM. But hed instantly recognise the IBMerthe women and men who still very much believe that a company can, and must, change everything about itself... except its beliefs.

IBM scientists won the Nobel Prize for the scanning tunnel microscope which would eventually manipulate atoms to spell I-B-M.

How do leaders manage for the long term in a world driven by short-term thinking? Fifty years ago, the average share owner held their investment in most companies for about eight years; today thats down to six months. Markets move at an everfaster pace, increasingly driven by speculators. In the past 15 years, CEO turnover has increased by approximately 50%. Short-termism is winning. Or is it?

Watson supercomputer can detect nuances in words, irony and riddles and inspire new realms of search queries and artificial intelligence.

IBM launched eBusiness, turning the Internet into a tool for business and ushering in the future of electronic commerce.

Over the past 100 years, millions of IBMers have chosen to lend their talents to fulfilling this companys mission. Tens of millions of share owners have given us their trust. More than 170 countries have welcomed us to do business within their borders. And hundreds of millions of clients, customers and business partners have found value in our products and services, and used them to help make the world work better. To every single individual, thank you. We pledge boldness in IBMs second century to create a company that never stops moving to the future. Ever onward.
Article courtesy of:

The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC


Did you know?

congratulations ibm
For 100 years IBM has been a trailblazer, turning imagination to reality and leading the way in making technology a part of our everyday lives. Few companies in the world can claim they have had as much of an impact on the human race as IBM has and we salute them. As a company, GBM is proud to share such a strong relationship with IBM and we look forward to a future as filled with innovation as the past has been.


IBMs presence in the Middle East
IBM has been present in the Middle East region for more than 60 years The first IBM office was established in Bahrain in order to be close to Saudi Aramco IBM also has a deep-rooted presence in North Africa with operations in Morocco for 74 years and Egypt for 57 years to-date


IBM, research & education

GBM founded as a sole distributor* for IBM in GCC


1992 2007
GBM Pakistan was established GBM celebrated its 20th anniversary GBM became Cisco Gold Partner

GBM Distribution was established

In the past few years, IBM made several joint agreements with universities in the region to conduct research on nanotechnology and applications of nanotechnology

GBM was certified ISO 9001


2003 2010

In Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) is currently conducting research on IBM super computers to get commercial level efficiency from solar cells which will then be used in desalination In Qatar, IBM installed some of the very first IBM clouds in the world with three Doha-based universities In Jordan, IBM built a cloud centre in 2010 with the Ministry of Education

GBM received Highest Growth Award from IBM

2006 2008 2010

IBMs Scientific Centres

In the 1970s and 1980s, IBM specialised in building Scientific Centres which focused on areas around natural language support, speech recognition and Arabic text recognition Regionally, Scientific Centres in Cairo and Kuwait were two of just a few centres around the world IBM was a very active member in the design of Unicode to allow for all languages and all companies, not just in IBM products

GBM became Cisco Learning Partner

IBM in the Vertical Sectors

IBM worked with companies including Aramco and ADNOC on several business focused initiatives and with Dubai Municipality and Dubai Road and Transportation Authority on eGovernment solutions and with financial institutions including Emirates Bank on IT banking solutions

GBM launched 1st NOC in the region

*Excluding selected IBM products and services, excluding Saudi Arabia.


GBM in the media

IT services soar in Abu Dhabi

by David George-Cosh

Abu Dhabi will be one of the few areas in the Gulf to achieve double-digit growth in the IT services market over the next year, says Cesare Cardone, CEO, GBM.

The sectors revenues in the capital are expected to increase by more than 20 per cent this year, reflecting the investments made in infrastructure, banking, energy and retail projects, he explained. Gulf Business Machines (GBM) was spun off from the US giant IBM in 1990 to provide a greater focus on the Gulf market. It is now one of the largest IT service companies in the region. The IT sector is often seen as serving as an economic indicator, because it shows by how much companies are investing in cost-effective programmes to generate greater revenues. This year, we will grow in every country but we are planning higher growth in Kuwait, Qatar and Abu Dhabi because of the budgets for big government projects that were previously delayed, Cardone said. Companies in the Middle East and Africa spent about US$49.77 billion (Dh182.8bn) on IT last year, with the Gulf region accounting for about 25 per cent, according to IDC, a technology consultancy. Aside from Abu Dhabi, only Qatar and Kuwait are expected to post significant growth among Gulf states to their IT services sector, Cardone added. Abu Dhabi is a new frontier for us, he said. While the growth in Dubai was down in 2009, the growth in Abu Dhabi continued without any problem. It was very sizeable. We have significant projects that we closed at the end of last year, so we expect growth of around 20 per cent in 2011.

Revenues from companies that GBM works with in Abu Dhabi increased by about 15 per cent over 2009 and last year, Cardone said. GBM, which helps companies manage technology infrastructure, such as designing computer networks and buying specialised software applications, bounced back last year after a tough 2009 with revenues increasing by 5 percent to about $400 million. Its revenues were down by about 4 percent in 2009, he said. To be honest, we expected to be down more in 2009 and to do a little bit better in 2010, Cardone said. Difficulties in the economy in 2009 forced GBM to shift its strategy from attracting new business from a customers increased spending in capital expenditures to maintaining existing accounts. While new spending may be beginning to rise again, the company is exploring various ways of providing additional support to its customers. Compared to the West, [capital expenditures] here is a dream, Cardone said. Nevertheless, when you compare [capital expenditure] from the glory days to the future in the next five years the market is maturing towards increased [operating expenses]. One of the ways of providing additional support is through GBMs new Network Operating Centre that is able to manage and monitor a companys computer network from its home offices in Dubai. The office is able to remotely track a companys network and warn officials

Compared to the West, [capital expenditures] here is a dream

if usage exceeds capacity, saving potential headaches for its workers. Cardone said cloud computing, a technology that is based on the cloud drawing used to depict the internet in computer network diagrams, would be a major trend that the regions IT sector would shift to over the next few years. GBM is the regions largest provider of Salesforce software, a cloud computing application that distributes business software by subscription and hosts the programs offline.
Published in The National, January 2011

The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC


GBM in the media

Data: an asset of critical importance

While data management may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering the factors that influence an oil and gas companys success, the fact is that information is a significant asset that needs

to be managed carefully.
Soubhi Chebib, Director, IBM Systems Brand, GBM explains

When it comes to data storage, the oil and gas industry faces a number of challenges. Some of these, like data management, data archiving and organic growth, are not unique to the sector, while others, such as being able to use information to meet worldwide demand for product while trying to control costs, are. Amongst the specific challenges faced by the industry is the efficient management of large volumes of new and archived seismic data. Additionally, as oil and gas companies upgrade their systems to boost efficiency and productivity, issues arise from having to manage and merge data from legacy systems. Another problem that energy companies face is a high amount of reliance on monolithic cache centric disk systems, which creates a considerable amount of additional investment. These challenges and their associated issues can be overcome in a number of ways, such as providing scale out systems, enabling improved data protection and recovery, and using data management to facilitate accelerated decision making. Energy exploration and geo-sciences data requires huge addressable namespaces and very high performance systems. New exploration and production data is generated on a daily basis and this requires processing for visualisation modeling and rapid analysis. There is also an increasing requirement to reanalyse historic data as technology moves on and systems become more intelligent. This results in huge data files that need to be stored for much

longer periods of time. In order to meet these demands, information technology teams in oil and gas companies need to provide secure, cost effective, scale out solutions.

[scalable file solutions] help reduce cost by being easy to use for administrators and users, whilst still being flexible and adaptive to diverse needs.
This focus has prompted companies to look at scalable shared file serving solutions like Scale Out Network Attached Storage (SONAS). These scalable file solutions provide access from networked storage devices, combined data and storage sharing with an integrated file and data management system. They help reduce cost by being easy to use for administrators and users, whilst still being flexible and adaptive to diverse needs. These types of solutions are perfect for large unstructured data intensive environments. The cost of architecting and managing traditional enterprise storage can be substantial and when the dynamic of the infrastructure needs to change they are seldom able to rapidly adapt, especially if re-provisioning is required.

Therefore, organisations tend to over-provision disk based storage, which is both cost intensive and time consuming. By investing in more scale out storage systems, technologies such as thin provisioning can be utilised to overcome this and create a competitive advantage. The oil and gas industry collects multiple classes of data including seismic, geological and petro physical, drilling, production operations, production and injection volumes and surface and downhole facilities. In addition to giving rapid access to recently collected data when required, the type of data collected can throw up a host of issues. A majority of energy organisations have taken advantage of the advances in computer technology and have recognised the value of considering data as a company asset. Historically, this data was stored in various media such as paper, magnetic tapes, diskettes and spreadsheets, which were typically scattered over several departments and private files. Now with the advent of large data storage facilities, the oil and gas industry has benefited from a high level of data quality and data access and sharing by geoscientists and planners. Along with the traditional ways of storing data, there are many new methods leveraging data storage technology, especially when trying to avoid data duplication, data corruption, data loss, and media deterioration. This has been solved through DeDup technology (ProtecTier) and faster backup technologies (Jaguar, LTO 5) using Virtual Tape Systems.

Some organisations have created automated near-line and on-line data management systems, but many companies still need to move to contemporary data storage. They need to consider retrieval best practice focused around smaller data centers, using modern media, online storage and with the focus on data quality and its availability. The final piece of the jigsaw is to bring together process and content to deliver true business intelligence that gives the business the ability to rapidly make informed decisions. This can be achieved through solutions built around content management systems. For example, Filenet provides a flexible platform to monitor Key Performance Indicators, reduce cycle times and improve productivity by automating and optimising complex processes, whilst at the same time managing the flow of work throughout the organisation. With a reliable content management solution, businesses can optimise all types of digitised content across multiple platforms, databases and applications. Managing data in a manner that ensures efficiency and security is extremely important to most businesses. However, secure storage of data is of critical importance to the oil and gas industry, where information is an asset in its own right and its effective management can drive competitiveness.
Published in Oil & Gas Review ME, Issue 1, 2011


What it the companys commitment to support ICT initiatives and projects in Bahrain? GBM has established collaborations with government as well as private sector entities. Since the launch of the Bahrain International eGovernment Forum, GBM stood as a Gold Sponsor and is currently a Diamond Sponsor.

As a Bahraini company, we offer training programmes at the operation department or programmes to qualify Bahrainis for leadership roles. Would you like to add any final comments? I would say that the best project would not thrive without a plan shared by all stakeholders. The human nature is to resist change, so the interaction and communication plan should go in line with the eTransformation project. I want to highlight the resources allocated by the eGA to awareness programmes, including the e-magazine, and this is excellent. Secondly, as you know, the Kingdom of Bahrain has a strategy that is shared with other ministries for the eGovernment for the coming years. However, there will be no progress if each ministry is centred on its own systems. As I mentioned, no programme will work unless we understand the importance of sharing systems and information among ministries. We need to raise awareness to cope with the change. Published in eMagazine, May 2011

ePartner Interview
With Abdulla Ishaq, BBMs Country General Manager

In this context, we provide IT support to the eGovernment Authority and ministries as required and through the dissemination of education and training or participation in foreign conferences to organise conferences, seminars and awareness workshops for students. This may also include sending students for short courses abroad, as requested by the official authorities. Recently, IBM has moved towards Open Source technologies. Are there any IBM initiatives by GBM to reinforce this in Bahrain? Since 2003, we have been investing in IBM hardware and software for Open Code technologies. We started with the Government of Bahrain to provide the infrastructure of open source software as a Linux system, which is one of the open sources. At present there is a global trend towards open source code systems because the technology is free of charge. IBM has been keen to make

How do you see GBM today; and what are the main lines in your future marketing plans in Bahrain? IBMs existence in the Gulf region can be traced back to 1945 when Bahrain was chosen as the first business location for IBM in the GCC region. In 1990, six of IBM agencies in the GCC agreed to merge in a new company - and Gulf Business Machines (GBM) was formed. Today, GBM is the leading IT solutions provider in the region, the sole distributor for IBM products and services in the GCC, except for Saudi Arabia where the agent is Saudi Business Machine (SBM). What is your assessment to Bahrains progress in ICT? The Government in Bahrain is one of the first GCC countries to initiate and implement ICT projects. As a Bahraini, I can say that the country has always been in the foreground except for a few projects but now we are the pioneers of new projects such as the ePortal ( as well as other telecommunications projects. It is no surprise that senior executives at IBM are impressed by Bahrains progress. GBM will continue to remain supportive and draw on the latest technologies because Bahrain always tries hard to achieve excellence. Although many sectors in many parts of the world were affected by the repercussions of the financial crisis, our Bahrain branch successfully improved during the crisis. To the contrary, we increased the ratio of employment in the company during the world crisis period. There had been about 29 employees two years ago, but today, the number has risen to 65. We also continue to support our clients in

Bahrain for the newly implemented projects, to strengthen their confidence in our company and our role is to continue to support them. The world today is moving towards Green IT. Can you tell us something about the companys direction in this regard? The Green IT concept is associated with the use of hardware. As you know, we market IBM products, and the Company is the manufacturer of machines. IBM had started an environmentally friendly trend decades ago by applying the idea of consolidation. To simplify it, let us replace your 100 servers with one; you can save resources, energy and money by doing this. Thus, consolidation is a green technology to reduce the consumption of resources. In this context, IBM spends billions of dollars on R&D, in various fields including environment and Green IT. Does Cloud Computing fall within this context? Derived from the concept of virtualisation, the idea of Cloud Computing is to allow various companies to utilise infrastructures remotely as a service through a centralised server rather than setting up lots of machines and infrastructures in one site. This virtualisation or consolidation allows sharing of resources/equipment by running more than one operating system on the same resource. During the 1980s and 1990s the concept of mainframe was promoted; there were calls to split the Main Frame into mini operational units. A decade later, the old mainframe has gone full circle and been renamed as Cloud Computing.

At a glance Bahrain eGovernment Authority

in Middle East

all its programmes compatible with open source technologies. Moreover, we held a number of conferences on Linux and we have a Linux Training Centre. What is the main strategic joint projects implemented by IBM Bahrain with the eGovernment in Bahrain? Since the introduction of the eGovernment Authority, enormous upgrading was carried out for the infrastructure. This required a lot of training, education and awareness in line with the eGovernments vision to increase the amount of eServices provided; now 204 services are available online. Another pioneer project is the National Gateway Infrastructure (NGI), which aims at integrating systems and government services. What is the companys commitment towards the development of Bahrains leadership in the company? Ideally, all GBM staff members are Bahrainis and we always go beyond the Bahrainisation ratio. For example, it is 100% in the HR Department.

in Asia


United Nations eGovernment Readiness Report - 2010

GBM Awarded Bahrain eGovernment Excellence Award for Best ICT Solutions Provider - 2010.

1 rd 3

The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC


GBM quotes in the media

On Next Generation Banking Solutions:
Regional SME financial institutions are looking for sizable localised or regionalised solutions specifically adopted for this market, as a majority of applications are not adapted for the GCC banking and finance sector due to architecture size or deployment costs. This is where the role of a focused software boutique is a fundamentally better approach than that of other supermarket providers, where most of the banking solutions in the market are too large and are designed for developed markets and supermarket-style banks. This is where financial solutions providers must excel; by sleeting, crafting and shrinking sizable state of the art solutions specifically for this region. This includes culturally customised project management methodologies and consulting-led delivery approach. Bridging Gaps published in Computer News Middle East, April 2011

On Outsourcing IT services:
The challenge for IT departments today is to achieve more with less and this is only made possible by implementing strict operational processes. The major benefit of outsourced IT services is that it places the onus on the service provider to develop pre-defined operational processes, ensuring there is no need for the client to invest further in developing processes and routines. The reality is that all enterprises now need to achieve more with less. That means that implementing a service support model, including outsourcing IT services to one or more third-parties, will be high on the agenda for many organisations this year. Cost Savers published in Arabian Computer News, February 2011

On Service Level Agreements:

On Business Intelligence:
Spreadsheets have issues of up to date data, prone to human errors, serious security issues, being isolated in its analysis, i.e. not in a proper workflow or connected with systems and people in a collaborative way. So while spreadsheets are great. Business Intelligence (BI) is the next step for medium and large organisations towards being more competitive with its smaller, faster, and BI enabled competitors; or for cutting costs, or for identifying revenue opportunities and profitable customer sets In search of the truth published in Computer News Middle East, March 2011

Our information suggests that the biggest cause of failed outsourcing is poor or no relationship management. The emphasis must be on agreement, and SLAs should not be used as a way of holding one side or the other to ransom. A true partnership should be developed between the IT provider and the customer, so that a mutually beneficial agreement is, otherwise the SLA will quickly fall into disrepute and a culture of blame will prevent any true service quality improvements from taking place.
Are you being served? published in Arabian Computer News, February 2011


On enterprise software:

On IP Communications:
Oil and gas customers are attracted to the collaborative environments enabled by the technology, because it gives them a way to bring together such geographically dispersed teams. Healthcare organisations see IP telephony as a way to bring smart services to patients and enable doctors to collaborate on surgery remotely, without having to travel. These remain relatively cutting-edge deployments and much still depends on the ability of service providers (SPs) to deliver IP telephony in flexible formats something that Cisco, in particular, has focused on. The voice choice published in Network Middle East, January 2011

In regards to the Gulf region, we are seeing customers warming to the concept of Cloud-Computing. However, concerns remain over governance, privacy, security, availability and broader integration into existing infrastructure. If anything, these issues are pushing CIOs overwhelmingly towards private Cloud rollouts. Established Cloud players such as have made major strides and we remain bullish about the markets overall potential. We also market a number of leading Cloudbased solutions developed by IBM, which are attracting considerable interest from clients.

On emerging enterprise software sales trends We are seeing strong demand for enterprise performance management and Business Intelligence (BI) solutions. Customers are looking at ways to use BI, to help optimise costs and inventory, to increase revenue and profitability and become more customer focused. We are witnessing stronger demand for enterprise software in general, particularly in the government and financial services sectors. Sales are growing as the economic downturn corrects, so we continue to be optimistic. Every cloud has a silver lining published in Channel Middle East, April 2011

On The Importance Of Data Security; the Financial sector

The impact of a security breach in financial organisations can be bigger than most of the other sectors due to the fact all the transactions are dispatched via the network (LAN and/or WAN). A network failure in most of the cases has a direct financial impact. Financial organisations have to pay specific attention to the manner in which they handle risks, bugs and patching to safeguard their networks against malicious intent. In IT for the money, published in Channel Middle East, May 2011

on Saas:
The cloud seems to be the new trend for IT and a whole new way of doing business. Organisations will have no choice but to adopt either fully or, at the minimum, some partial applications in that space This opens up a big market for SaaS in the region.
Service Model published in Computer News Middle East, March 2011

The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC


GBM in the media

United Al-Saqer Group, parent company of Abu Dhabi Motors, has undertaken an ambitious project to centralise and deliver its entire IT estate as a service

For the automobile enthusiast, the highways of the United Arab Emirates are a proverbial Shangri-La of luxury vehicles. On any given day, you can see countless examples of some of the most recognisable and not to mention expensive automotive brands cruising the streets of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It perhaps comes as no surprise then that the Gulf nation is home to the worlds largest dealer in cars built by Rolls-Royce, the name perhaps best associated with motoring elegance. The dealership in question is Abu Dhabi Motors, which opened its new RollsRoyce and BMW showroom in the city in April 2011. The 10,000 square feet location has space for five top-of-therange Rolls-Royce models, as well as featuring a high-tech service centre, and customer theatre and lounging areas. However, the new site is also home to a much larger operation than that of the United United Al-Saqer Group, a major Abu Dhabi conglomerate, whose other business interests encompass a diverse array of industries, including companies that supply commercial vehicles, heavy machinery, healthcare and real estate. Each of these entities has its own branch offices geographically spread across different locations in the UAE, such as Al Ain, Dubai and Sharjah. United Al-Saqer Groups new headquarters is not only the focal point of the groups various business operations, but also its IT. As part of the move to the premises in the UAE capitals Umm Al Nar district, United Al-Saqer Group has embarked on a

hugely ambitious project to centralise its entire IT infrastructure, and then provide it back to each company in the group as a service.

All of the companies across the UAE are now taking IT services from the head office directly
Our objective was an investment that would centralise our ICT services and to do a full rehabilitation project for the entire infrastructure - which we have succeeded [in doing], explains United Al-Saqer Groups head of ICT, Osama Abushaban. There was one major obstacle standing in the way of this move though: United Al-Saqer Groups new HQ was being built on the same site as its existing office. Making this switchover without disturbing any of the companys existing business was a mammoth task, Abushaban recalls. We decided to rebuild the new office at the same place, and in two phases, without disturbing the operations - that was really the challenge. In achieving this objective, the company turned to experienced Gulf-based systems integrator GBM, a company

that Abushaban says has an intimate knowledge United Al-Saqer Groups business and the quality of service it demands. GBM have been a partner with us for more than 12 years, which gives them a good reputation, Abushaban observes. They understand our business, our requirements. We have good relations in terms of finance, business and technology, and that made our project with them easier. In terms of technology, the United Al-Saqer Group project involved a complete array of infrastructure IT, all of which had to be installed and integrated into a data centre located within the new building. The planning and designing stage alone took approximately two years. It was a full infrastructure project, Abushaban says. It was covering the data centre, networking, active components, a wireless implementation, a security implementation, IP telephony. One notable networking component integrated by GBM is a full unified communications suite from US vendor Cisco. Using this, staff at United AlSaqer Group can be contacted through a single phone number, regardless of where they are in the building, via wireless handsets. Away from the networks, United AlSaqer Group is making extensive use of VMware virtualisation software to cut down the amount of servers used by the company. This reduced hardware dependency, Abushaban says, has not only reduced its infrastructure costs, but also bolstered its environmental credentials.

United Al-Saqer Group is now not only delivering services like email and internet access from its Abu Dhabi office, but also its core, mission critical applications. These include Microsoft Dynamics GP, for financial management, and various vertical programs for functions such as HR, purchasing and facilities management, from its central data centre in Abu Dhabi. These are delivered to each of the branch companies elsewhere in the UAE via an MPLS IP VPN connection. As a result, none of the companys other offices will run any of their own IT whatsoever, Abushaban says. They have nothing to do with any IT infrastructure - they are taking all the IT offerings from here - like internet, email, telephony, applications, connectivity and support. There is not even any IT support at the branches. Importantly, United Al-Saqer Group is not only centralising the IT behind functions such as accounting and purchasing, but it is also moving the staff behind these units to its new HQ. Abushaban says that this allows its branch offices to focus on doing business, and not be burdened by administration. All of these companies are now just revenue centres and they are focusing on their business segment directly - they have nothing to do with the head office, he explains. The head office is fully outsourcing everything to them. Another significant change for the better that Abushaban and GBM have implemented is a new approach to how United Al-Saqer Groups head office provides IT support to its


branches based elsewhere in the UAE. Leveraging the ITIL concept of process management, United Al-Saqer Group has developed a ticketing system whereby most problems or incidents at branch offices can be resolved without requiring a visit from a technician. About 70% of the tickets dont require someone to physically go to the branches, Abushaban explains. Eighty percent of the other 30%, the support team can do it over the phone, and advise the end user how to do it from their end. One eminent consequence of the project, Abushaban says, is that United Al-Saqer Group is reducing its dependency on outsourced IT services. Two or three years ago, prior to my joining [the business], 95 people in IT services were outsourced from this company, and there was maybe five employees [working internally], he recalls. Following the work United Al-Saqer Group has done so far, it now employs a skeleton IT function of just 18 employees, the vast majority of whom are inhouse, and work at the companys new Abu Dhabi headquarters. This drive to in-house IT staff has ultimately benefited United Al-Saqer Group, Abushaban says. Once you in-house, you have more control over the resources - the employees - and they understand the business and its requirements. United Al-Saqer Group employs approximately 2,500 staff , many of whom rely on IT and connectivity for their roles. Any outage while switching

over to the companys centralised approach would have been disastrous, leaving employees unable to do their jobs. Its not easy to work on a live environment, especially one that is a service that generates money, admits Abushaban. Considering this, Abushaban says that it was essential that both he and United Al- Saqer Groups IT partner, GBM, kept an extremely close eye on the transition to the new infrastructure was progressing. You have to be aware

There is further work to be done on rolling out United Al-Saqer Groups centralised, service-based approach to IT, he says, with some of the remote branches not yet fully hooked up. So far though, head of ICT Osama Abushaban claims that his company has made significant savings on its IT infrastructure costs. While the vision for the project stemmed from United Al-Saqer Group, Abushaban says ultimately, at least part of its success was down to the mutually beneficial relationship his company holds with its systems integrator, GBM. We appreciated their sense of urgency when it comes to some issues, he observes.

Our relationship is not suppliercustomer - its financially-related, but its a partnership, because our success is their success. When all of the work is finally finished, Abushaban believes, the companys new approach to IT will be in harmony with that of its approach to customer service. Its about reflecting the image of United United Al-Saqer Group, he explains. We are just following a philosophy to have the highest customer satisfaction when it comes to the sector.
DRIVING IT AS A SERVICE published in Network Middle East, June 2011

Its not easy to work on a live environment, especially one that is a service that generates money
of every single thing you do, day-today, to make sure everything is going fine and smooth. Otherwise, if there is any disruption in any service, all of the branches are out too. The project is still far from completion, with a further two phases that will see the company fully complete the construction of its new Abu Dhabi HQ.

The Leading Provider of IT Business Solutions in the GCC


Lets connect
2011 awards

Careers @ GBM

GBM offices
Abu dhabi Gulf Business Machines L.L.C. P.O. Box 203, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Tel: (+971) 24084444 Fax: (+971) 26272498 bahrain Gulf Business Machines B.S.C. (C) P.O. Box 819, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Bahrain Business Machines W.L.L. P.O. Box 10554, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: (+973) 17584333 Fax: (+973) 17584343 Dubai Gulf Business Machines B.S.C.(C) P.O. Box 9226, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: (+971) 43435353 Fax: (+971) 43433232 United Computer Management Consultancy UCMC P.O. Box 9226, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: (+971) 43435353 Fax: (+971) 43436868 jebel ali Gulf Business Machines Personal Systems Division P.O. Box 16829, Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates Tel: (+971) 44511999 Fax: (+971) 44511998 kuwait

Systems Integrator of the Year Award

Reseller Middle East Partner Excellence Awards

ACN Top 20 System Integrators in the Middle East

Arabian Computer News

GBM is an equal opportunity employer

Public Sector Partner of the Year

Cisco Partner Summit

GBM has expanded at a phenomenal rate and this growth is thanks to the commitment of a creative, talented and diverse workforce. Our people are passionate about what they do and passionate about the service they provide to our customers. GBM supports continuous development of all staff through investment in training, social programmes and a stimulating working environment.

At GBM youll be empowered, recognised for your contributions and have the opportunity to grow your career. Visit to find out about our job vacancies or simply submit your cv and we will get back to you when a vacancy becomes available. Keep an eye on available job openings at:

Services Partner of the Year

Cisco Partner Summit


Qatar The event explored how leading organizations use business analytics to drive customer loyalty and profitability, enhance operational effectiveness, and minimize risk and organizational threats. Cisco and GBM Collaboration Event - Oman The event had executive speakers from Cisco to discuss Collaborative Work Environment and Unified Communications.
OCT SEp DataCentreDynamics Oman The event comprised of three conferences in one, under the following themes: Design, Build, Operate; IT Optimization and Outsourcing Decisions. Nov Smarter Business Analytics -

different industry sectors and provided attendees with the training needed to deliver customised solutions based on customer and industry needs. GBM launches Cisco Training Centre - Oman The event launched the ISR Cisco training center in Oman, at GBMs premises in Muscat. The center offers a broad range of Cisco training services to job seekers and IT professionals in the private and public sectors.

GBM at QITCOM - Qatar The event provided a platform to showcase technologies and to network with peers for both established corporate heavyweights and local companies. Abu Dhabi The event acted as a platform for both companies to showcase the bestin-breed compliance solutions for customers in the Gulf region. the cloud - Oman GBM, IBM and VMware introduced their virtualization solutions that can lower costs, increase processing and storage power. GBM and Cisco Showcase The Power of the Cisco Collaboration Portfolio Dubai The event discussed ways and means to accelerate innovation, growth, and business improvement opportunities through enhanced collaboration. The latest developments in Digital Media Systems, Voice and Unified Communications, Video, Cable and Content Delivery, and Physical Security and Building Systems were showcased. The series of meetings held in all GBM locations discussed GBMs annual review and its plan. It also provided an in-depth analysis of the companys performance in the last year and predictions for 2011.
FEB GBM Kick Off meetings MAR Accelerate Your Business with APR GBM and Tonbeller at MEFTEC -

Khorafi Business Machines W.L.L. P.O. Box 4175, Safat 13042, Kuwait Tel: (+965) 1844433 Fax: (+965) 22233280/1 oman

Reseller ME Awards - Dubai GBM received the Systems Integrator (SI) of the Year Award at the Reseller Middle East (RME) Partner Excellence Awards. Cisco Partner Sales Force Vertical Selling Training - Bahrain The event provided attendees with the training needed to deliver customised solutions based on customer and industry needs, with a special focus on Financial Services, Manufacturing and Retail.

Gulf Business Machines Co. L.L.C. Qurum Plaza, Qurum, P.O. Box 1476, Jibroo, Sultanate of Oman Tel: (+968) 24559800 Fax: (+968) 24568833 qatar

GBM Qatar W.L.L. P.O. Box 9307, Doha, Qatar Tel: (+974) 44073111 Fax: (+974) 44073222 pakistan

The First Predictive Analytics Event Dubai The event explored how leading organizations across a variety of industries use predictive analytics to drive customer loyalty and profitability, enhance operational effectiveness and minimize risk and organizational threats. GBM sponsor of Ankabut Users Meeting: The Way Forward - Dubai The focus of the meeting discussed The Way Forward built on 3 concepts: Connect, Communicate and Collaborate. Cisco Partner Sales Force Vertical Selling Training Qatar The event addressed the key business and Information Technology requirements of

GBM Diamond Sponsor of the Bahrain International eGovernment Forum 2011 - Bahrain The forum shared vision and insight on the latest solutions and innovations in eServices and eGovernment technologies around the world. GBM Deluxe Exhibitor at the 3rd Cloud Computing Summit 2011 - Abu Dhabi The event addressed the most pressing issues and concerns including: security, infrastructure and regulations specific to the region.

GBM Pakistan W.L.L. Islamabad Office No. 1, 2nd Floor, VIP Square, Plot 25, 1-8 Markaz, Islamabad, Pakistan Tel: (+92) 514861236/7 Fax: (+92) 514861238 GBM Pakistan W.L.L. Karachi 5C-6C Prime Point Building Mezzanine Floor, Main Khayaban-e-Ittehad, Phase VII, Defense Housing Authority, Karachi, Pakistan Tel: (+92) 21-35316145-50 Fax: (+92) 2135381273 GBM Paksitan W.L.L. Lahore 167, Street 11, Cavarly Ground Extension, Lahore Cantt. - 54810, Lahore, Pakistan Tel: (+92) 4236625501-2 Fax: (+92) 4236683370

Find us online: