What is your primary strength and focus as a vendor?
Our core strength lies in providing easy-to-use, simple and flexible software-defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) solutions, while cost-effectively utilising both Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) and the Internet to reduce costs to the end user. We also specialise in zero-touch deployment of our installations, which makes use of the Internet to deliver our enterprise-class Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity. This can be applied to both a hybrid MPLS network, or as a standalone Internet-based network in a secure, adaptable, and easily manageable system for corporate offices, and that is what we will be offering as vendors at GITEX 2015.
What do you plan to showcase in GITEX 2015? What’s the punchline this time?
The focus at GITEX 2015 will be on our latest SD-WAN solution: Unity EdgeConnect. Unity EdgeConnect enables enterprises to reduce the cost and complexity of building a WAN by leveraging broadband to connect users to applications. With real-time traffic direction over MPLS links, edge-to-edge data security, and high-quality private line performance over the public Internet, and a unique Cloud Intelligence feature, the product will definitely garner a lot of attention at GITEX 2015. Our punch line is simple: ‘Broadband Your WAN’.
What is your geographical footprint?
Globally, we operate in all major regions – the United States, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Having provided solutions to some of the world’s largest corporations, and with a rapidly growing customer base, Silver Peak is steadily expanding as the Internet is becoming more and more business-critical to enterprises around the globe.
Do you have any new products in the pipeline?
That would be our new SD-WAN solution, Unity EdgeConnect. This solution was launched this year in June as a unique zero-touch deployment-based SD-WAN solution. What it enables is the ability for end users to leverage the Internet and reduce their networking costs by subscribing to a flexible, scalable, and zero-touch or virtually deployable solution to corporate branch offices. The cost reductions we are talking about here are significant – up to 90%, actually.
What is the competitive advantage of your solutions/services above others?
Very simply put – flexibility. Our solutions are flexible and completely scalable to cater to our customers’ changing needs. With zero-touch deployment, there is no longer a need for trained IT staff to install the equipment. It just needs to be delivered to our customers, who would, in effect, switch the box on, connect two cables, power it up and the box would auto-configure and auto-connect back to its central site. All of this, of course, happens in a fully secure environment. The link is encrypted and the boxes will only talk to another EdgeConnect box. None of the data streams leak out of that connectivity channel, which acts as a secure information tunnel between devices. In short, Silver Peak’s solutions provide flexibility, security, ease-of-deployment, ease-of-use, all whilst reducing IT-infrastructure related costs by 90%.
Who are your key partners in the region?
We operate across the Middle East with a variety of partners including Dell, EMC, Gulf IT, K Logix, Alpha Data, Oregon Systems, Hitachi, and Infotech, among others. In Qatar we work closely with Qatar Datamation Systems (QDS). In Bahrain, we have Oregon Systems, and some of our key partners in Oman are Sultan and MHD Infotech. Among our most recent partners are Gerab System Solutions in Dubai and we are in dialogue with MTS and others. We’re expanding our reach across the region, and are supported by some of the strongest players in the field.
On a not so serious note, what do you think shall rule the floor at GITEX 2016 (yes, we mean the GITEX next year)?
In general, SD-WAN is going to be the next big thing in the IT market. Every other vendor is going to be talking about it. Not just software-defined WAN, but software-defined anything: software-defined security, storage, and other key aspects of business operations. The trend indicates a ‘hardware moving over to software’ environment. That is where the industry’s focus will lie in the upcoming year, and is essentially what we will be looking at, too. SD-WAN in particular, is growing in popularity – even technology platforms and expos like Gartner are talking about it. In the Middle East, specifically, the growth in this space is a little slow right now, but it is picking up. We do expect though that it is likely to be the hot topic by the time GITEX 2016 rolls around.
What kind of growth do you see in the IoT market in this region?
The predicted growth for the Middle East’s IoT market is set to outpace the global average – there is little doubt IoT will be a game-changer in the Middle East. The ability to connect, communicate with, and remotely manage a number of networked, automated devices via the Internet presents incredible possibilities. And this growing IoT market holds significant potential for companies such as Silver Peak, which provides software-defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) solutions. Our prediction is as IoT grows companies in this region will concentrate on areas for potential savings, which will call for a high demand for cost-effective solutions such as ours. Any enterprise that has a WAN router is a potential customer for SD-WAN.
A world where every ‘THING’ is connected. What would be the situation and the requirement?
From an enterprise standpoint, a lot of applications are now being routed through the Cloud; the digital-age business requirement is to be able to access everything, at anytime, anywhere. Companies need to access information quickly and regularly, which is where Silver Peak’s SD-WAN solutions come into play. Our product line provides the ability to leverage the Internet, while accelerating the use of applications such as SAP Citrix, Box.com, and other Cloud-based services, in a secure environment, in an enterprise network.
How is your organization placed in the IoT scenario?
With the Internet becoming more important and business-critical to organisations, the demand for SD-WAN is climbing. We can leverage our SD-WAN solutions with augmented bandwidth that organisations already have on an MPLS service, whilst reducing the costs and bandwidth requirements of the MPLS. We are making it easier for companies to migrate over to Internet-based service in a secure environment, allowing them to connect to and access anything, from anywhere, in a flexible, scalable and easily managed solution. That is where we are placed: a solutions-provider in an increasingly IoT-dependent global business environment.
What are the main roadblocks you see herein and what is your strategy to counter them?
We don’t really see that many roadblocks. The market for SD-WAN is forecasted to be one of the biggest growth areas, and there is nothing to stop us from capitalising on it. All that’s involved is a slight reallocation of budgets and some organisational adjustments on the part of enterprises that will ultimately enable us to help companies reduce costs and improve performance.
Because the IT-space is constantly innovating, it is important that end-customers are kept abreast of solutions that are being developed – this is something we focus on as well. We educate the end customers so that they understand and appreciate the trends in the market, the effects of these trends, and how we can leverage them to help maximise their investments in their IT infrastructure.
What kind of future do you envision from the IoT perspective?
In an Internet of Things environment, we believe that we are well-aligned with what the future holds: cost-effective, scalable and flexible solutions that enable organisations to reduce their costs, increase their application performance, and have access to information anywhere, anytime, and at the speed they require.
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