March 2019, Venue TBC


Advisory Board:

Andrew Grenville, Chief Executive Officer, ORIXCOM
Omid Mahboubi, Co-Founder,  MENA CLOUD ALLIANCE
Raju Ved, Former Regional Manager Network Operations, STANDARD CHARTERED BANK
Ajay Rathi, Senior Director, IT, MEERAS
Mubarik Hussain, Head of IT, PETROSERV

Agenda - 5 March 2018

9:15      Registration and Refreshments

9:45      Opening Remarks

10:00    The Changing Role of The WAN: Matching WAN Networks To Shifting Business Needs

  • Enterprise service providers and buyers must design networks that satisfy current user needs and adapt to meet their future requirements. Corporate teams require a constantly evolving set of applications, and networking technologies continually advance. These conditions pose both risks and opportunities in meeting current and future needs.
  • What are the key applications that shape corporate network requirements? How are they evolving?
  • What challenges do network designers face in meeting these requirements?
  • How can businesses in the region meet both cost and connectivity growth goals?


Karthikeyan Gunasekar, Solutions Architect, ARUBA, A HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE COMPANY
Mohammad Al-Debsi, Middle East, Africa and Turkey Network Communications, BLOOMBERG
Mahesh, Jaishankar, Vice President International Connectivity and Infrastructure, DU
Ajay Rathi, Senior Director, IT, MEERAS

Nabeel Abolkhair, Marketing Planning Director, STC

Moderator - Dr. Dhrupad Mathur, Associate Professor IT, SP JAIN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, DUBAI


10:40    Deploying a Modern WAN in the Middle East: What are the Options?


Morning Coffee Break

11:30     Technology Overview: WAN Service Options, Benefits and Drivers

Corporate WAN managers face major shifts in the network services market, replete with buzzwords and acronyms that can be hard to sort out. This tutorial will offer an overview and explanation of new WAN service options and their implications for WAN managers.

Catherine Lucas, CEO, NAVIGACOM

12:00     Enterprise Case Study: Adapting my WAN to the Cloud

Kumar Prasoon, Group CIO, Al SAFEER GROUP

12:20     Lunch

13:30     Panel: The Enterprise Cloud—How The Cloud Is Changing The Network

Many corporate computing applications are moving to the cloud. WAN managers must ensure that the network can accommodate the resulting shifts in traffic. The geography and technology of the network is intertwined with the location of corporate data centers, neutral colocation facilities, and cloud service provider presence. This panel will highlight issues and experiences with adapting network strategy to meet the new demands that cloud services present for the WAN, with emphasis on the unique attributes of the Middle East.

  • How are most enterprises connecting to cloud providers and will this change going forward?
  • How does cloud provider geography affect network design? How do data sovereignty issues affect cloud adoption?
  • What are the unique attributes of cloud implementation in the Middle East? Does it require a separate strategy from other locations in the network?
  • What are the costs and network factors enterprises should consider when moving an application to the cloud? What applications will not move to the cloud? What mix of private and public cloud will enterprises adopt going forward, and how will the WAN accommodate that?
  • How can enterprises design their network to ensure performance of applications that are being accessed remotely? What implications do cloud services pose for clear security standards?


Kumar Prasoon, Group CIO, Al SAFEER GROUP
Rajat Arora, Lead, Global IT - Converged Infrastructure Services, DIEBOLD
Alex Holvoet, SVP Program Office, LEOSAT ENTERPRISES
Andrew Grenville, Chief Executive Officer, ORIXCOM
Mohammad Shahzad, Chief Information Officer, RDK COMMERCIAL INVESTMENT

Moderator: Omid Mahboubi, Co-Founder, MENA CLOUD ALLIANCE

14:10     TeleGeography Presentation: Benchmarking Enterprise Networks — Modeling Hybrid Network Costs

This TeleGeography presentation will examine several hybrid network alternatives and see how adopting a hybrid solution might alter network and access spend for a hypothetical global enterprise network. 

Erik Kreifeldt, Principal Analyst, TELEGEOGRAPHY

14:40     New Service Options: SD-WAN Use Cases in EMEA 

Johan Witters, IP Regional PLM for evolution of Business Services to SDN and NFV, NUAGE NETWORKS

14:55     Afternoon Coffee Break

15:25     Enterprise Case Study: Securing Cloud Solutions for the WAN

Mahmoud Yassin, Manager Data Center & Cyber Security Leader, NATIONAL BANK OF ABU DHABI

15:45     Panel: Cyber Security for the WAN

With new network technologies and topologies come new security concerns. As many applications move from private servers to the cloud, administrators must secure them, while maintaining security of applications that remain on private servers. This panel will explore how and where WAN managers can secure evolving traffic flows.

  • How do new technologies change security needs and how does this differ by industry?
  • Are cloud-based firewalls a workable alternative security strategy? In what situations?
  • What challenges does the move from private to public cloud for business applications present?
  • How can enterprises prepare for known threats such as DDOS?
  • How do you deal with visibility in cases like SaaS that is often delivered over SSL?

Mahmoud Yassin, Manager Data Center & Cyber Security Leader, FIRST ABU DHABI BANK
Johan Witters, IP Regional PLM for evolution of Business Services to SDN and NFV, 
Srinivas Rao, Senior Manager, IT Infrastructure, OASIS INVESTMENT CO. AL SHIRAWI GROUP

Ahmad Manzur, Specialist Transport Network Operations, Network Development, VIMPLECOM

16:15    Growing your WAN to Meet the Demands of the Modern Workplace – Future Trends

Cloud, telework, mobility, BYOD, OTT communications, collaboration, IoT, and a host of other changes are having a large impact on how we work, and on how WAN managers ensure an available, reliable, and secure network. This panel will explore how the nature of work is changing and what tools are now available to accommodate these changes. The panelists will discuss the emerging managed services and how they will enable the WAN of the present and future:

  • How do you extend the corporate network and its security and QoS requirements to employees that are increasingly mobile, on outside devices, and on consumer-sourced connections?
  • How do enterprises understand and forecast bandwidth needs at each site? Are there tools or do they rely on carriers and vendors based on business needs?
  • What impact do OTT communication tools have on bandwidth needs? Is peering with OTTs an opportunity?
  • How do IoT and big data change the job of the WAN manager and what tools can help?
  • IPv6 has been on the horizon for quite some time, but rollouts are now finally coming. Are WANs ready to adapt?
  • Are there particular challenges for highly regulated industries such as banking/finance?

Sivakumar Venkatraman, CIO,  DUBAI FIRST, UAE
Joseph Nettikaden, CIO, ESOL EDUCATION
Jawad Abbassi, Head of MENA, GSMA
Kevin Vachon, COO, MEF
Sanjay Nahar, Senior Product Manager, Vodafone Global Enterprise Connectivity Portfolio, VODAFONE

16:55     Closing Remarks from the chair

17:00     Close of Summit and Networking Reception