Tip-top tactics

Jumeirah Group constantly leverages high-tech systems to offer its customers more and put its competition in the shade.

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By  Sathya Ashok Published  September 30, 2007

The Jumeirah Group is a true home grown brand with global aspirations and one that is on an aggressive growth path. The group, which is already one of the largest hospitality firms in the UAE with 10,400 employees and 3000 computer users, has several iconic properties in Dubai, like the Burj Al Arab, some worldwide and is working on more global sites.

"We have been growing at a fast clip and the aim is to reach 50 to 60 hotels by 2011," says David Teklit, group director of IT infrastructure and IT security, Jumeirah Group. And that growth is just the hotel division.

Befitting an organisation that wants to become a global player of note, the Jumeirah Group pays a lot of attention to technology.

"I would like to quote my CEO here. He always says that information technology is the cornerstone of the organisation. IT infrastructure is the glue that sticks things together and there is no part of the business that IT does not touch. We constantly try to innovate and use technology as a competitive weapon in the marketplace. We use technology to stay different from the competition and to ensure that we always have an edge," says Teklit.

Information technology is the cornerstone of the organisation. IT infrastructure is the glue that sticks things together and there is no part of the group’s business that IT does not touch.

So crucial does the group consider technology that it has often implemented IT systems way before its peers in the region. The group began using Microsoft's Windows Rights Management Services to secure sensitive content way back in 2004 and according to Teklit, this was the first implementation of its kind outside the United States.

It has also been extensively using solutions and systems for remote infrastructure management that allows Teklit's team to predict and analyse troubles on the group's growing network, covering its set of global properties.

The company constantly tries to improve, upgrade and add to its network and infrastructure components to achieve higher efficiency and add more services.

Jumeirah Group's recent implementation of a remote access solution is a good example of its use of technology to reach its goals as well as the processes it strictly follows to achieve optimum benefits.

Remotely yours

"The network is the core foundation of Jumeirah's IT Infrastructure. It brings together applications, systems, storage and every aspect of IT," states Teklit.

With the group expanding beyond home shores and setting up more offices and properties globally, Teklit felt the need to ensure the highest efficiency levels on the network while delivering optimum performance.

"We considered a remote access solution since it would help us centralise our applications at a primary location. It would also be a reliable way to provide access to our remote users, even those who are travelling," says Teklit.

The company surveyed various solutions from different vendors and piloted some before picking Citrix's remote access solution.

"There were two key reasons for selecting the Citrix access solution. The first was that it allowed us to manage and operate applications centrally which reduced complexity at the remote site as well as improved efficiency levels at the headquarters. The second reason was bandwidth. As we all know the cost of bandwidth in the UAE is extremely high and this is a big challenge. We found Citrix's Presentation server to be the best choice to deliver applications on a limited bandwidth," says Teklit.

The company also considered the need to enforce high levels of security when opening up apps for remote access.

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