Category Archives: Middle East

Microsoft buys Islraeli security startup Adallom for $320, plans Israel cybersecurity centre – report

Microsoft has reportedly acquired Adallom for $320m in a cloud security push

Microsoft has reportedly acquired Adallom for $320m in a cloud security push

Microsoft has apparently added Israeli cloud security startup Adallom to its arsenal, with multiple reports claiming the software company paid nearly $320m for the firm. The reports also suggest Microsoft is planning to open a cyber security centre in the region using some of the local talent it has acquired.

Adallom has not confirmed the acquisition, while Microsoft spokespeople told BCN that the company has “nothing to share” about the reports.

Adallom (an abbreviation of the Hebrew saying “ad halom,” which means “up to here” or “the last line of defence”) is a security service that integrates with the authentication chain of a range of SaaS applications and lets IT administrators monitor usage for every user on each device.

The software works with a conjunction of end-point and network security solutions and has a built-in, self-learning engine that analyses user activity on SaaS applications and assesses the riskiness of each transaction in real-time, alerting administrators when activity becomes too risky for an organisation given its security policies.

The company, which has its headquarters in California and a research and development outfit in Israel, was founded by cybersecurity veterans Assaf Rappaport, Ami Luttwak and Roy Reznik in 2012.

The acquisition, first reported by Israeli business paper Globes, comes over half a year after its last security purchase; according to that report Microsoft plans to put Adallom and a number of other Israeli startups at the core of a new cybersecurity centre in Israel, a thriving hub from cybersecurity startups.

In November last year Microsoft ended months of speculation when it confirmed it bought another Israel-based security startup, Aorato, which offered software that tracks user behaviour when accessing applications linked to Active Directory, both in the cloud and on premise.

IBM, Mubadala joint venture to bring Watson cloud to MENA

IBM is bringing Watson to the Middle East

IBM is bringing Watson to the Middle East

IBM is teaming up with Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Mubadala Development Company to create a joint venture based in Abu Dhabi that will deliver IBM’s cloud-based Watson service to customers in the Middle East and Northern Afirca (MENA) region.

The companies will set up the joint venture through Mubadala’s subsidiary, Injazat, which will be the sole provider of the Watson platform in the region.

The companies said the move will help create an ecosystem of MENA-based partners, software vendors and startups developing new solutions based on the cognitive compute platform.

“Bringing IBM Watson to the region represents the latest major milestone in the global adoption of cognitive computing,” said Mounir Barakat, executive director of ICT at Aerospace & Engineering Services, Mubadala.

“It also signals Mubadala’s commitment to bringing new technologies and spurring economic growth in the Middle East, another step towards developing the UAE as a hub for the region’s ICT sector,” Barakat said.

Mike Rhodin, senior vice president of IBM Watson said Mubadala’s knowledge of the local corporate ecosystem will help the company expand its cognitive compute cloud service in the region.

IBM has enjoyed some Watson wins in financial services, healthcare and the utilities sectors, but the company has been fairly quiet on how much the division rakes in; over the past year the company made strides to expand the platform in the US, Africa and Japan, and recently made a number of strategic acquisitions in software automation in order to boost Watson’s appeal in customer engagement and health services.

Avnet Aquiring Magirus Group

Avnet, Inc. announced today that it has agreed to acquire the Magirus Group (Magirus), a leading pan-European distributor of data center solutions and services. Magirus is a leading value-add distributor of software, systems and related services encompassing virtualization, storage management, cloud computing, security, intelligent networks and information life-cycle management services. Through its professional services portfolio and knowledge of the IT sector, Magirus enables business partners to take new technologies to market in eleven markets throughout Europe and the Middle East. The transaction, which is subject to normal regulatory approvals, is expected to close in October 2012.

Phil Gallagher, president of Avnet Technology Solutions, Global, commented, “The acquisition of Magirus will significantly enhance our competitive position in Europe and the Middle East by expanding our suite of solutions in high-growth technologies. Magirus increased its revenue 20 percent in calendar 2011, delivering powerful, flexible and cost-effective data center solutions from a breadth of suppliers, including Cisco, VMware and EMC. We welcome the knowledge and expertise of their talented management team and staff, who will allow us to further enhance the value we provide to our customers and suppliers.”

Founded in 1981, Magirus has 400 business and technical professionals that help over 4,500 resellers, system integrators and IT service providers develop and deploy IT infrastructure solutions that bring together traditional server, storage and network operations so that constantly changing business requirements can be supported more efficiently. Its services span demand generation, pre-sales, consultancy, training, certification, implementation as well as support from its pan-European, multi-lingual support center. Magirus generated revenue of approximately US$530 million in the 2011 calendar year, and will be integrated into Avnet Technology Solutions’ EMEA business.

Graeme Watt, president, Avnet Technology Solutions EMEA added, “Magirus is a high quality focused business and represents an excellent expansion to our current operations as it adds complementary product lines across the region while meaningfully increasing our scale in important markets including Germany and France. Magirus’ position with market-leading suppliers in high growth technologies will bolster our solutions practices and create significant cross-selling opportunities in the combined customer base. Its business model is a strong fit with our strategy to provide more value-add services, and the combined expertise of both organizations will enable us to accelerate the success of our customers and suppliers.”