UAE businesses must embrace mobile technology
The head of axiom telecom has urged UAE businesses to embrace mobile technology.
Fahad Al Bannai, CEO of axiom, says the average UAE citizen owns three mobile devices and businesses that are not embracing the digital world are at risk of missing out.
Google’s latest Connected Consumer Survey shows mobile technology is having a profound influence on the consumer decision making process. And businesses who choose not to respond to this, and the country’s rapidly developing digital infrastructure, may find it difficult to both survive and thrive in today’s dynamic business landscape.
Al Bannai said: “As our lives become increasingly connected to the devices we use on a daily basis, there is a shift in the way we connect to data services and consequently engage with our surroundings.Today, UAE consumers live online. It’s the first place they turn to when seeking information or a service – and if your business is not there when they look, that is a lost opportunity. In today’s fast-paced and information-driven world, having a strong online presence is instrumental to the success of every business.”
According to the Google study, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of UAE residents use their smartphones to search for local businesses. In addition, 84 percent go online at least as often via a smartphone as a computer.
The UAE is now in third place when it comes to connected residents - higher than Norway, Germany, Saudi Arabia, UK, Switzerland and Denmark, thanks largely to the UAE government efforts to make the country highly advanced in adopting technology.
“People go online because they want to meet some of their basic universal needs, whether it is interpersonal connection, self-expression, exploration or for the sake of convenience. If brands and retailers manage are able to successfully tap into these personal motivators, they will have an incredible opportunity to reach consumers anytime, anywhere,” Al Bannai added.
Read the September 2016 issue of Business Review Middle East magazine
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”