SELL­ING EN­TER­PRISE STOR­AGE

Channel Middle East - - Avaya -

En­ter­prise stor­age can be com­plex and dif­fi­cult to man­age. How­ever, us­ing server vir­tu­al­i­sa­tion tech­nol­ogy to man­age stor­age sim­pli­fies ad­min­is­tra­tion and boosts per­for­mance. How can so­lu­tion providers de­velop some mas­tery in the en­ter­prise stor­age space?

The en­ter­prise stor­age mar­ket in the Mid­dle East has been the star turn in a tech­nol­ogy hard­ware sec­tor that has oth­er­wise con­tin­ued to wit­ness lethar­gic growth sales and a de­cline in mar­gins. A com­bi­na­tion of de­mand for in­fras­truc­ture to help man­age the ever-grow­ing data moun­tain, and the rise of vir­tu­al­i­sa­tion, big data and an­a­lyt­ics tech­nol­ogy, which has helped or­gan­i­sa­tions to sim­plify ad­min­is­tra­tion and boost per­for­mance, has kept things tick­ing over nicely for so­lu­tion providers serv­ing the en­ter­prise stor­age mar­ket.

Now, with a new gen­er­a­tion of solid-state stor­age op­tions emerg­ing from global multi­na­tion­als, from con­sumer-level flash drives to highly-spec­i­fied flash-based ar­rays for en­ter­prise data cen­tres, a tide of op­por­tu­nity is sweep­ing through the Mid­dle East en­ter­prise stor­age mar­ket. The need for se­cure but cost­ef­fec­tive stor­age so­lu­tions have never been greater, as the adop­tion of the lat­est tech­nol­ogy is eas­ing pro­vi­sion­ing and re­duc­ing com­plex­ity in the data cen­tre. This in­dus­try pun­dits say is open­ing up op­por­tu­ni­ties the re­gional chan­nel.

An­a­lyst IDC said the world­wide con­verged sys­tems mar­ket rev­enue in­creased 9.9% year over year to $3.5bn dur­ing the sec­ond quar­ter of 2018.

“Data cen­tre in­fras­truc­ture con­ver­gence re­mains an im­por­tant in­vest­ment driver for com­pa­nies around the world,” said Se­bas­tian La­gana, re­search man­ager, In­fras­truc­ture Plat­forms and Tech­nolo­gies at IDC. “HCI so­lu­tions helped to drive sec­ond quar­ter mar­ket ex­pan­sion thanks, in part, to their abil­ity to re­duce in­fras­truc­ture com­plex­ity, pro­mote con­sol­i­da­tion, and al­low IT teams to sup­port an or­gan­i­sa­tion’s busi­ness ob­jec­tives.”

Char­bel Zreiby, se­nior man­ager, Chan­nel Spe­cialty Sales – META at Dell EMC, said stor­age forms a crit­i­cal pil­lar in any IT trans­for­ma­tion strat­egy.

Zreiby said ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Fu­ture Mar­ket In­sights, the Mid­dle East data stor­age mar­ket is ex­pected to reg­is­ter a CAGR of

14.4% till 2025.

He said what the re­port demon­states is the fact that or­gan­i­sa­tions are keen on in­creas­ing their in­vest­ments in trans­form­ing their stor­age in­fras­truc­ture and pow­er­ing IT op­er­a­tions with a mod­ern data cen­tre, which is es­sen­tial for the de­liv­ery of new lev­els of scale and per­for­mance. “In this en­vi­ron­ment, Dell EMC is cap­i­tal­is­ing on its strength and ex­per­tise as a pur­pose-built so­lu­tion pow­er­house to help chan­nel part­ners and their or­gan­i­sa­tions across all sec­tors who may be seek­ing to trans­form their dig­i­tal land­scape with a strong stor­age foun­da­tion,” he said.

Savitha Bhaskar, COO, Condo Protego, said the Mid­dle East’s en­ter­prise stor­age mar­ket is rapidly grow­ing for the year ahead and be­yond.

Ac­cord­ing to Bhaskar, en­ter­prise stor­age is a pil­lar of dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, for stor­ing, se­cur­ing and man­ag­ing data’s ex­po­nen­tial growth.

She said stor­age vir­tu­al­i­sa­tion and soft­ware­de­fined data cen­tres are re­mov­ing busi­ness com­plex­ity and are the next step in stor­age evo­lu­tion for the ma­jor­ity of work­loads. “With vir­tu­al­i­sa­tion, or­gan­i­sa­tions no longer need to go through com­plex data mi­gra­tions,” she said.

Jithin Varghese, se­nior so­lu­tion ar­chi­tect at Dubai-based dis­trib­u­tor VAD Tech­nolo­gies, said the en­ter­prise stor­age mar­ket in the Mid­dle East be­tween 70% ma­tured com­pared to the tier one coun­tries in Western Europe and North Amer­ica. “For the past two years, we have ex­pe­ri­enced re­mark­able growth com­pared to pre­vi­ous years es­pe­cially in the hy­brid and all flash stor­age,” he said. “In fu­ture, we ex­pect an­other 15% to 20% growth for the all flash and NVME stor­age mar­ket due to the ex­po­nen­tial growth of high per­for­mance needed work­load pro­ject such as IoT, AI and an­a­lyt­ics.”

Given that the en­ter­prise stor­age boom is un­de­ni­able largely, so­lu­tion providers in the re­gional chan­nel still face chal­lenges.

Ac­cord­ing to Condo Protego’s Bhaskar, most Mid­dle East so­lu­tions providers do not have the ex­per­tise for dif­fer­ent types of spe- cialised stor­age. “Spe­cialised stor­age chan­nel part­ners, such as Condo Protego, can cor­rectly iden­tify the type of stor­age for each busi­ness use case,” she re­marked.

She added that in the Mid­dle East, the mar­ket is see­ing strong de­mand for Dell EMC’s flash stor­age so­lu­tions, which are now be­ing de­ployed with ma­jor­ity of new stor­age re­quire­ments and is es­pe­cially use­ful in op­ti­mis­ing costs.

Ra­jiv Prasad, chief in­no­va­tion cat­a­lyst, Xpan­dretail, said the cost in­curred in pro­vid­ing and util­is­ing op­ti­mal en­ter­prise stor­age so­lu­tions in high. “The cost is in­curred in terms of time and money spent in train­ing the staff,” he said. “In the case of small to medium en­ter­prises it is sim­pler to use en­ter­prise stor­age so­lu­tions, but as the size of the firm in­creases the data gen­er­ated also in­creases and hence it be­comes dif­fi­cult to main­tain ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient col­lec­tion and stor­age of data.”

Zreiby agreed with Prasad on the in­creas­ing costs of en­ter­prise stor­age so­lu­tions and said that: “We live in a time of change and so­lu­tion

We live in a time of change and so­lu­tion providers have to also trans­form in or­der to be able to pro­vide the right stor­age so­lu­tions to their cus­tomers.

CHAR­BEL ZREIBY, SE­NIOR MAN­AGER,

CHAN­NEL SPE­CIALTY SALES – META,

DELL EMC En­ter­prise stor­age is a pil­lar of dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, for stor­ing, se­cur­ing and man­ag­ing data’s ex­po­nen­tial growth.

SAVITHA BHASKAR, COO, CONDO PROTEGO For the past two years, we have ex­pe­ri­enced re­mark­able growth com­pared to pre­vi­ous years es­pe­cially in the hy­brid and all flash stor­age.

JITHIN VARGHESE, SE­NIOR SO­LU­TION

AR­CHI­TECT, VAD TECH­NOLO­GIES

have to also trans­form in or­der to be able to pro­vide the right stor­age so­lu­tion to their cus­tomers.”

Zreiby said it’s no longer about of­fer­ing a ca­pac­ity and or cer­tain per­for­mance met­rics, it’s more about un­der­stand­ing where the cus­tomer is in their IT trans­for­ma­tion jour­ney and how to help them build the ideal so­lu­tion that will pro­vide the de­sired busi­ness out­comes. “This means so­lu­tions providers should equip them­selves with the right ca­pa­bil­i­ties that will help them cover any so­lu­tion from the ap­pli­ca­tion (cloud or native) down to the in­fras­truc­ture lay­ers such as stor­age and data pro­tec­tion,” he said.

With a new breed of stor­age so­lu­tions providers en­ter­ing the en­ter­prise stor­age mar­ket tra­di­tional sys­tems in­te­gra­tors, value-added re­sellers (VARs) and ISVs have had to up their so­lu­tions game to stay abreast with what’s hap­pen­ing in the mar­ket.

Haseeb Soleja, MD, Newras Tech­nolo­gies DMCC, said the stor­age so­lu­tions ball game is def­i­nitely evolv­ing and there is ex­treme prob­a­bil­ity of be­ing run over by a new breed of stor- age so­lu­tions providers as sys­tems in­te­gra­tors, VARs and ISVs re­alise the po­ten­tial of sell­ing stor­age in a mar­ket which con­tin­ues to dou­ble and in some cases tre­ble year on year (YOY). “Some of them have names sug­gest­ing they do only stor­age and noth­ing else but this could be a mis­nomer,” he noted.

Soleja pointed out that re­cently the Newras team was meet­ing with a ma­jor Ger­man multi­na­tional com­pany in Dubai and the cus­tomer kept say­ing that they would like to go for all flash for their stor­age. “This sug­gests that en­ter­prise flash-stor­age is what clients’ de­sire as the pre­ferred stor­age so­lu­tions in their data cen­tres,” he said.

He said the Mid­dle East mar­ket is not averse to a world­wide trend which has moved to­wards flash stor­age as it has be­come more cost ef­fec­tive than be­fore and pro­vides more speed and per­for­mance. “En­ter­prise flash stor­age use cases are one too many, wher­ever ran­dom data reads are re­quired which in­clude and not re­stricted to on­line trans­ac­tional pro­cess­ing (OLTP), on­line an­a­lyt­i­cal pro­cess­ing (OLAP), ap­pli­ca­tions us­ing data­bases (Data ware­hous­ing so­lu­tions, con­tent man­age­ment,” he said.

Bhaskar added that ev­ery Mid­dle East in­dus­try sec­tor is adopt­ing flash stor­age, and ev­ery com­pany uses some level of flash stor­age. How­ever, ob­served Bhaskar, there is a huge stor­age skills chal­lenge. “Chan­nel part­ners need to un­der­stand that en­ter­prise stor­age is not a com­mod­ity and not all stor­age so­lu­tions are equal,” he said. “Chan­nel part­ners need to un­der­stand stor­age per­for­mance, pro­tec­tion and re­li­a­bil­ity. In the en­ter­prise stor­age space, Mid­dle East chan­nel part­ners need to of­fer more value across ac­cu­rate con­sul­tancy, the cor­rect so­lu­tions for the cor­rect use cases, and sup­port cus­tomers post-in­stal­la­tion.”

As skills con­tinue to be a huge chal­lenge in the en­ter­prise stor­age mar­ket, Dell EMC’s Zreiby said the evo­lu­tion in the stor­age tech­nolo­gies con­tin­ues at an ac­cel­er­ated rate and train­ing on the lat­est trends and strate­gies is a must oth­er­wise chan­nel or­gan­i­sa­tions risk be­com­ing ir­rel­e­vant or out­dated com­pared to other cer­ti­fied part­ners. “We work con­tin­u­ously with all our part­ners to at­tain train­ings and cer­ti­fi­ca­tions on a reg­u­lar ba­sis in or­der for them to stand out and gain a com­pet­i­tive edge within their mar­kets,” he said. “This helps the part­ners have their sales and pre­providers sales team trans­form into cer­ti­fied cham­pi­ons who can fully own the sales cy­cle thus giv­ing them an edge to lead with those tech­nolo­gies into the mar­ket.

Prasad said the skills re­quired in the util­i­sa­tion of the en­ter­prise stor­age mar­ket are tech­ni­cal in na­ture hence the re­liance on em­ployee train­ing be­comes im­per­a­tive. As the com­plex­ity and re­liance on en­ter­prise stor­age is in­creas­ing the need for em­ploy­ees with design and man­age­ment skills also in­creases. “Em­ploy­ees should not only be able to ma­noeu­vre out of prob­lems in the en­ter­prise stor­age but must also be able to guide their cus­tomers,” he said.

Look­ing ahead, Zreiby said dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is driving a mas­sive shift in tech­nol­ogy, un­prece­dented data growth and in­creas­ing se­cu­rity threats which is driving or­gan­i­sa­tions to trans­form their crit­i­cal in­fras­truc­ture.

The skills re­quired in the util­i­sa­tion of the en­ter­prise stor­age mar­ket are tech­ni­cal in na­ture hence the re­liance on em­ployee train­ing be­comes im­per­a­tive. As the com­plex­ity and re­liance on en­ter­prise stor­age is in­creas­ing the need for em­ploy­ees with design and man­age­ment skills also in­creases.RA­JIV PRASAD, CHIEF IN­NO­VA­TION CAT­A­LYST,XPAN­DRETAIL

The stor­age so­lu­tions ball game is def­i­nitely evolv­ing and there is ex­treme prob­a­bil­ity of be­ing run over by a new breed of stor­age so­lu­tions providers.HASEEB SOLEJA, MD, NEWRAS TECH­NOLO­GIESDMCC

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