Sherif AbdElGawad and Wieland Alge
Barracuda keen on strong Mideast presence
Dubai, November 7, 2012
By Sree Bhat
Barracuda Networks, a leading provider of security and data protection solutions, is rapidly increasing its presence in the Middle East, building a network of channel partners to service the increasing demand for its services.
Key to the company’s regional growth has been its ability to deliver flexible security solutions for physical, virtual and cloud-based environments, said Sherif AbdElGawad, general manager MEA, and Wieland Alge, general manager EMEA, in an interview with TradeArabia.
Excerpts from the interview:
What are the areas in which Barracuda Networks is active?
Sherif: Barracuda Networks offers industry-leading solutions designed to solve mainstream IT security problems – efficiently and cost-effectively. We offer the broadest range of advanced security solutions in the industry and our products span three distinct markets -- content security, networking and application delivery, as well as data storage, protection and disaster recovery.
Wieland: While we maintain a strong heritage in email and web security appliances, our award-winning portfolio includes more than a dozen purpose-built solutions that support literally every aspect of the network – providing organisations of all sizes with true end-to-end protection that can be deployed in hardware, virtual, cloud and mixed form factors.
What is the company’s focus in the Middle East region?
Sherif: The Middle East has become a major focus for Barracuda Networks with more than 1,000 customers in the region currently using its solutions. We’re continuing to build a strong presence in the region to satisfy the increasing demand for our enterprise application, network and cloud security services. With an aggressive channel partner recruitment drive in place, and partnerships with Redington Gulf and Alpha Data already signed, we’re continuing to expand at a rapid pace.
Wieland: Our channel strategy is to focus extremely closely on high growth areas. Most organisations across the Middle East are experiencing exceptional demand for improving and overhauling their IT security and data protection systems. Our partnerships with Redington Gulf and Alpha Data will help accelerate our ability to put our solutions into the hands of these organisations regardless of where they’re located.
How do you see the growth in adoption of cloud technologies in the region?
Sherif: Cloud technology is a key focus for most of the CIOs in the region. Telco operators are looking for new revenue streams by offering IT services through public clouds. Enterprise customers are using private cloud as a first step to more dynamic infrastructure and better use of resources.
Wieland: There is a definitely a massive trend to adapt cloud technologies throughout the region. We have always seen a keen interest to not only adopt new technology trends, but also define them.
What is hampering this growth, if any? And what needs to be done?
Sherif: Integration/orchestration and security are the key challenges with the complexity of the IT stack to cater for the different layers of cloud in the sense of providing IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS in a secure manner.
Wieland: The effectiveness of cloud technologies for the respective organisations is largely based on the availability of bandwidth. Here we see a challenge for distributed organisations operating in remote areas. Modern security systems integrating WAN optimisation methods can help to overcome such bottlenecks.
How important is the security issue in cloud-based systems? What solutions do you provide?
Sherif: Data security and availability are key concerns for risk management and compliance when cloud-service providers manage customers’ data. Many companies are now moving more of their sensitive personal or business data into the cloud as a means of giving them greater flexibility in dealing with that information. However, along with this move brings the danger that users information could be exposed to hacking attacks.
Email threats are becoming more dangerous, and customers are demanding more robust capabilities and greater flexibility in deployment options. As cloud technologies continue to mature, we are seeing a tremendous uptake in the number of organisations moving toward hybrid or pure cloud email security offerings. We provide cloud-based services for email security delivered as pure cloud-based SaaS as well as hybrid solutions integrating cloud, hardware, and software components.
What is your vision for the company’s growth in the region for next five years?
Sherif: Security trends are shifting to more integrated solutions to meet this driving force. As a result, customers are looking to an end-to-end comprehensive security solution provider rather than the traditional approach of having multi-provider. This is mainly driven by the need to simplify the integration and operation for security as a service in the cloud.
Barracuda Networks will continue its leadership in the market providing the end-to-end security solutions for users, data, and applications. The current solutions provide the required simplified management without compromising security. The new features and product roadmaps mainly address the vanishing divisions between the different IT stacks while moving to IT as a service solution. We are in a unique position to grow the business in the Middle East and secure the customer infrastructure on traditional physical environments, virtualisation, and cloud-based environments.
Wieland: We clearly see the region as one of our top growth regions worldwide. The Middle East has established itself as one of the leading regions in IT technology adoption, especially in the field of IT security.