MAF CEO's tech Prioritisation is Welcome Confidence Boost

Ross MacKenzie
Categories: Technology

A recent bullish forecast for the UAE economy and its businesses from no less an authority than Alain Bejjani, CEO of Dubai-headquartered shopping mall operator and retail and leisure conglomerate, Majid Al Futtaim, came as music to our ears. More so because this UAE business leader went on to credit technology as a key business driver.

In other words, Mr Bejjani is recognizing that technology can be used to better the bottom line and should no longer be viewed as a business expense, but rather an investment for growth.

Speaking to The National newspaper, Mr Bejjani also forecast improvements to the UAE economy in Q2 of this year, particular as Expo 2020 nears for Dubai. He also points to an IMF forecast for the Emirates which predicts economic growth of 3.7% this year. All good news.

But it’s Mr Bejjani’s technology take that is the real sweetener. Majid al Futtaim is no stranger to technology prioritization. Its venture capital arm has already backed technology start-ups and has now partnered with’s Los Angeles firm, to deploy its AI-powered conversational and contextual voice assistant technology, Omega, at its retail outlets, starting with Dubai.

Yet it’s MAF’s overall conviction that technology can be a business generator that we so love and Mr Bejjani’s belief that every business, if it wants to remain relevant, has to continuously evolve and embrace trends and the tools, i.e. technology, which allows it to become more effective and efficient.

Cobweb has a similar take on business and has the tools and the expertise to ensure all businesses, regardless of size, can seize the opportunities, stay relevant and grow.

We continuously innovate with new packages to bring the latest developments to our clients in the most efficient and affordable way possible – such as subscription services which are backed by a solid round-the-clock support pledge.

Alain Bejjani says Majid Al Futtaim is opting for digital solutions to transform its business by honing its decision making to be ‘fact-based’ – which means acquiring and analyzing data. We couldn’t agree more – data is the tool which will let you target the customers you want and enable you to give them what they want, when and where they want it.

But do you have the tools in place to enable this to happen? Many don’t and that’s precisely why we have come up with Cobweb Database Modernization – a package of services which enable businesses of any size to update and overhaul their on-premise database platform by transitioning to the Microsoft Azure cloud.

And there’s an even more pressing reason why this package of services should be considered – because support for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 is drawing to a close while the Microsoft Azure offering is being extended. Really there couldn’t be a better time to transition on-premise SQL Server databases to the cloud, particularly as Microsoft is offering three years’ free security updates for SQL Server 2008 database server workloads hosted in Azure.

The business case for addressing the shortcomings of an out-of-date, less agile on-premise solution is clear. By upgrading legacy on-premise database technology, businesses consolidate their environment, and optimize performance, recovery, and provisioning, while minimizing costs. By transitioning to the Microsoft Azure cloud, businesses will gain greater agility for business growth and reap the benefits of the planned Microsoft datacentres in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain – including local data sovereignty and increased data latency.

The Cobweb Database Modernization service will help transfer existing on-premise legacy databases to Microsoft Azure. Using industry best practice and software database migration tools with more than 20-years’ experience in helping customers move to the cloud, Cobweb experts will work in partnership with your team to assess, and migrate to, and optimize, your SQL database workloads in Azure. Cobweb can also provide ongoing service management of the database workloads.

We’ll begin with an assessment phase, when the Cobweb team will gain a full understanding of your business transformation goals, assess and review your existing IT infrastructure and applications to evaluate migration readiness, identify a desired, future-proof IT roadmap and propose a new database architecture in Microsoft Azure.

Based on the assessment output and the agreed target solution, Cobweb will move your infrastructure and database workload into Azure. We can then work with you to ensure ongoing database performance optimization, analysis and monitoring of your cloud spend and use, to allocate and trim costs to put towards your next database roadmap cloud investment and use of security and management tools to govern, secure and monitor your cloud investment. We even have optional managed services to ensure you maximize your investment.

Alain Bejjani’s optimistic forecast for Q2 is heartening, his belief in the role technology and digital have to play even more so. If you’d like to ensure you’re ready to seize the benefits and want to know more about Cobweb’s Database Modernization services and transitioning your on-premise databases to Microsoft Azure.

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