A cloud stack
Mohammed Zameer, general manager at UAE-based systems integration firm Al Rostamani Communications LLC, talks about the company’s focus in the cloud space and how it’s helping clients to move there.
How would you assess the current state of the cloud segment in the Middle East?
Overall the ICT market in the region is transforming from in-house infrastructure to hybrid cloud, where key applications are provided on a private cloud and the rest on public cloud, and ultimately all applications will be on the cloud and converging with managed services built and offered via the cloud.
What are the main influences that are driving cloud adoption in the region?
I do believe that ICT on the cloud, BYOD, LTE and managed IT are the emerging trends that would define regional enterprise IT in the next five years. Currently, enterprises are still clinging on to the concept of in-house IT departments and expertise. Slowly but surely, IT will become part of a managed service done either by a global provider or a local cloud or services provider.
How is Al Rostamani Communications helping its clients to adopt cloud computing business models?
We have in our organisation dedicated staff who are cloud solution architects. These are experienced consultants who do a system study of the customer environment and then advice on the path to a successful cloud model and more importantly, the time frame it would take to migrate existing applications onto the cloud. This system study phase also would help the customer understand the implications on moving to the cloud.
Which industry verticals are leading with cloud adoption and how are these filtering through to benefit your business?
We have noticed that the government sector is an early adopter due to the e-government initiatives being implemented in the UAE. However, enterprises are slowly catching up and are migrating on a hybrid model and then planning on a full cloud adoption as they ramp up activities.
What innovative approaches are you taking to ensure that your business grows to profitability?
We are bundling our professional services along with the IaaS especially in the system study, migration and integration portfolios. These services will ensure that we grow profitably along with the product business that is already in place in our organisation. We are also providing managed services to our major enterprise clients, which provides us consistent and predictable revenues.
What do you think will be the hottest technologies in the next 12 to 18 months and how far ahead do you need to plan?
Big data analytics is definitely gaining ground along with the Internet of Things (IoT) offerings in the region. Applications are currently being launched that utilise big data to the full potential and these are the growth sectors in the near future for our business.
How are you advising your customers to adopt cloud solutions public, private or hybrid models?
We advise clients based on each environment as one solution does not fit all. Our initial approach is a system study for the customer, which enables us to see what is the current status of the customer environment and then to provide a systematic change to the cloud environment. Most of the cases we advise them to go through a hybrid cloud phase as the first step.
How has Al Rostamani Communications evolved its systems integration business to become a cloud services provider?
Since our inception in 2001, we have evolved our business to suit the IT and telecoms market space and technology. In our industry, if we do not evolve every three years, then we would be left behind. We realised on the importance of the cloud business in 2011 and have since invested into people and partnerships to slowly equip both our sales and service staff to align the business model to be able to provide cloud solutions. These includes consultancy, cloud building, cloud monetisation and managed services.
What else could vendors and distributors be doing to help systems integration partners develop and strengthen their offerings in the cloud space?
Vendors and distributors should take a lead in educating channel partners on how to position cloud offerings and also bring leading cloud-based products from all over the world to the Middle East market. They should also create awareness in the market to motivate and pull customers.
What should your customers expect from Al Rostamani Communications in 2015?
As always, we are consultants to our customers and in 2015, we will be emphasising the importance of a proper and planned migration approach to the cloud. We will also be helping our customers to use mobility and BYOD solutions to enhance and better the productivity of their staff.
What is Al Rostamani Communications’ competitive edge and what value proposition do you take to market in the Middle East?
Our competitive edge is our capability to provide complete end to end solutions to both the enterprise and telecoms market. There are very few competitors in the UAE that have equal expertise in infrastructure, ICT, cloud, professional services and telecom solutions. Customers will feel comfortable in dealing with one systems integrator for all their technology needs.