Living the ‘virtual’ reality

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In this tech-driven age, cloud computing is one of the most innovative mantras that enterprises are using to optimum levels to keep their operations agile and up-to-date in the prevailing ecosystem of cut-throat competition.
Also cloud is offering a flexible platform to the companies that are struggling with the problem of handling big data efficiently.
Currently majority of the businesses are making use of cloud computing, however, its widespread usage also makes it vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Henceforth, there is a need to have industry leaders, who can offer secure solutions to operate clouds. One such leading market player is VMware, which is dominating the cloud computing sphere in the region.
US-based VMware, which has its corporate office in Dubai, is one of the global leaders in cloud infrastructure and business mobility. Built on VMware’s industry-leading virtualisation technology, its solutions deliver a brave new model of IT that is fluid, instant and more secure.
With the help of VMware solutions, customers can innovate faster by rapidly developing, automatically delivering and more safely consuming any application. With 2015 revenues of $6.6 billion, VMware is eyeing to capture a good share of the technology market in the Middle East and north Africa (MENA) region in the forthcoming months.
The company is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the world. It has more than 500,000 customers and strong network of 75,000 partners globally.
Emirates Business spoke to Reeman Ansari,
Regional Channel Manager Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at VMware.
How do you see the regional IT channel evolving in the next two years?
I believe it’s time for a new model of IT — a brave model of IT. Everything we do starts with orientation around applications. What businesses care about is expedient access to applications. But the application landscape within most businesses is diverse; there are traditional, client-server applications and also there are new modern, cloud-native applications. And IT needs to manage all of them.
Process of serving apps efficiently starts with the architecture of the underlying infrastructure and data center. A few years ago, VMware introduced the concept of a software-defined data center (SDDC). We believe a SDDC is the best architecture for this instant, secure and fluid model of IT.

Please elaborate on the design of SDDC?
VMware’s architecture for SDDC builds upon the core concepts that made computer virtualisation so radically impactful, namely abstraction and pooling. We also applied those virtualisation fundamentals to the other key assets within the data center; storage and networking.
This architecture can be leveraged not just by your on premises data center or private cloud, but also by your public clouds.
Built upon the SDDC architecture, we call this unified hybrid cloud “One Cloud for Any Application”. It runs on a wide variety of hardware infrastructures, whether you want to leverage your existing infrastructure, or adopt converged or even hyper converged infrastructure. One Cloud’s offering is a complete choice.
We have discussed how applications are ultimately what users care about. To supplement, our users are also increasingly expecting to consume their apps on a device of their choice. Our business mobility solutions enable the safe consumption of applications and content on any device, all effectively managed by IT. We’re in the unique position at VMware to bridge these divides and conquer silos that create barriers and slow down the business.
You have talked about a new model for IT service delivery. How different this model would be?
We believe this requires a complete new model for IT service delivery. A model that is instant because we exist in an “on demand” world and literally need IT services and data available at the push of a button. It should be fluid because we are operating in a liquid environment, where IT must be agile to meet evolving expectations and requirements. At the same time, the model should secure because at the end of the day, everything is naught if our brand, our data, or our reputation are significantly compromised.
This is what we think of as a ‘Brave New IT model’. An IT model that is optimised for the development and delivery of all applications, allowing traditional, client-server applications, as well as modern, cloud-native apps, to be consumed on any device — safely.
IT must face these challenges and uncertainty with a bold and decisive attitude, and make thoughtful, calculated moves towards a new model of IT.
Can you give a brief description about yourself?
A mother and a wife, an IT professional and a humanitarian advocate for providing children who are struggling the consequences of war, conflict or poverty the medical care and treatment they rightly deserve. An Arab American of Palestinian origins, currently a happy resident of the UAE for the last 16 years. Fortunate enough to be part of this active and vibrant community, living under its visionary leadership, experiencing its continuously evolving aspiration to become the first, the best and the one and only.

What does your role involve on a day-to-day basis?
Leading my team, communicating, connecting and engaging in the business is a daily task. It is fully integrated with what we do. Motivating the team, leading by example and aligning our strategy and vision with our execution steps. I am consistently reflecting back, modifying and tweaking for efficiency and
What are you most passionate about your role?
A very exciting and motivating factor for me is definitely within the current market dynamics. With the big forces (social networking, mobile, cloud and big data) reshaping the world the way we know it, we are witnessing the transformation of IT, entering the mobile cloud era, serving billions of users with millions of applications. And the only way to deliver this is through IT as a service, which is founded on virtualisation. This is a huge opportunity for IT to deliver competitive advantage and for VMware eco system of partners to grow with us and add value to their customers and business.
My strongest assets are the passion for the business, armed with the positive attitude, and the ability to focus, to deliver collectively with the team the biggest impact.
Another motivating factor is definitely the company I work for. Its growing, it’s exciting, disruptive and innovative. I can connect with its vision, direction and values. You have to be part of a growing company that excites you that you can relate to, connect with and that resonates within you. VMware core values are EPIC. Literally EPIC squared. Bringing in Execution, Passion, Integrity, Customer and community into our daily engagements.
And being a role model for my kids. This is priceless and brings me pride and joy. It motivates me and keeps me going. I go to work every day to prove and foster in my kids the respect, talent, and ability of every women to succeed and make a difference.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?
One of the most difficult aspects faced by working women is the consistent stress over work–life balance. We need to get over this and get reality straight in our minds. There is no work–life balance. It is an all integrated life. And it’s most certainly all about the choices we make. Most mums struggle with guilt contending with the cultural expectations about mothering. It does not matter what others think.
We are blessed to be in a region where domestic help is easily available, hence allowing you to spend quality time with your kids and loved ones. This is teh region where family is an integral part of our culture, and where a helping hand is often there to support you throughout the way.
In addition, within the traditional institutions we were challenged with success been contingent upon a women not speaking out but simply fitting in, especially in IT, you become one of the guys. I ask and request that women do not shy away from the industry. Embrace who you are and do it on purpose. Embrace the beauty of being a women in the workplace, compassionate, soft, feminine adamant to support, insistent to collaborate, listening in, teaming up for a win-win situation for all.

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