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Sitecore Experience Award Winners Announced at Symposium 2021



Sitecore has today announced the 2021 Sitecore Experience Award recipients at the 2021 Sitecore Symposium. The Sitecore Experience Awards recognize companies that successfully use Sitecore solutions to innovate their digital experience transformation. Twelve winners were recognized from more than 140 submissions in the 2021 Sitecore Experience Awards (SEA), with three taking the top honors of Ultimate Experience Winners.

Sitecore selected winners from each of the four 2021 SEA categories, including Best Digital Experience Transformation, Most Intelligent Content Optimization, Best Innovation with Emerging Technologies, and Leading the Way for the ‘Phygital’ Future.

The 2021 Ultimate Experience Award recipients are:

Aston Martin, in partnership with WPP and Wunderman Thompson UK, for developing a platform that brings together Aston Martin real estate on one platform and provides a consistent, flexible and transparent customer experience. The digital team at Aston Martin utilized Sitecore to improve three key areas: customer-first innovation, data-driven decision making and to create a path for growth.

Renato Bisignani, Head of Global Marketing and Communications, said: “Aston Martin is an ultra-luxury brand and at the core of our marketing initiatives is always a desire to offer the highest possible level of experiences to our customers. With Sitecore, we’ve been able to improve our UX and UI, and our ambition is to further enhance our platforms to provide a more personalized, considered and integrated digital journey. We are only at the beginning of our digital transformation so we are grateful to be recognized for our work in creating the best digital experience for our customers.”

Cracker Barrel, in partnership with Pricewaterhouse Coopers, for extending its legendary hospitality beyond its four walls through the launch of Digital Store (web, mobile web, and mobile app). Through Cracker Barrel’s work with Sitecore, the company was able to replace its separate brand site, third party online food ordering site, third party catering ordering site, retail ecommerce site, and mobile app with a uniquely Cracker Barrel unified experience for web, mobile web, and mobile app called ‘Digital Store.’ Digital Store allows guests to seamlessly purchase to-go food, catering, and retail with a single mixed cart, account, and payment in addition to streamlining the in-store experience with waitlist, curbside check-in, and dine-in check payment, all while delivering personalized hospitality like your favorite Cracker Barrel team member.

“We view digital as a new type of hospitality that, through convenience and personalization, allows us to extend our legendary hospitality consistently across more than 660 stores and allows our guests to make memorable moments anywhere life finds them,” said Bryan Hooper, Vice President of Digital Experience at Cracker Barrel. “We are so honored to be recognized as a Sitecore Ultimate Award Winner for our Digital Store and our guest-first approach.”

UnitingCare Queensland, in partnership with Triggerfish, for providing upwards of 2,000 COVID-19 contact tracing check-ins per hour in healthcare facilities across Queensland through digitizing its existing manual, paper-based procedure. As one of the largest healthcare providers and charities in Australia, UnitingCare Queensland (UnitingCare) was directly affected by COVID-19 government contact tracing protocols and needed to demonstrate to Queensland Health that they could respond quickly and efficiently to potential second wave cases. The key factor of UnitingCare’s new solution that set them apart was their ability to act with speed and at scale by building the application on their existing infrastructure. The organization is now screening people across 150 locations, with the ability to scale further to 500 when required without affecting the customer experience.

“Our organization extends compassionate healthcare services to more than 430,000 people, so it was no easy feat to digitize our originally paper and manual contact tracing process for COVID-19, but with support from Triggerfish and Sitecore we were able to quickly and efficiently deliver a secure and streamlined tracing process,” said Dan Shaw, Group Digital Marketing Manager, UnitingCare Queensland. “We are honored to be recognized for our efforts by Sitecore as a leader and trailblazer in the physical-digital (Phygital) future.”

Other winners recognized by region today include:


  • Procter and Gamble, with partner Valtech Global Project
  • Kimberly-Clark Corporation, with partner Accenture / Avanade
  • United Airlines, with partner Avanade


  • Rufuge, with partner Wunderman Thompson UK
  • Kerzner International
  • L’Oréal


  • Central Queensland University, with partner Liquid Interactive
  • Honda Australia, with partner Deloitte Digital
  • City of Sydney, with partner Merkle

The 2020 Ultimate Experience Award winners were announced today by Lee Miles, Sitecore’s Chief Customer Success Officer, at the Sitecore Symposium 2021. “We’re seeing brick-and-mortar shopping merge with digital consumer experiences,” said Lee Miles. “From an exponential increase in e-commerce, consumers have gotten used to a low-touch experience, with no silos separating inventory and extremely personalized recommendations – which will continue to drive changes in the physical retail experience. Architects of the best in digital experience, like this year’s Ultimate Experience Award winners, are best positioned to provide the platform-agnostic consumer experience.”


Riyadh Gets Ready for Black Hat MEA 2022



Black Hat is gearing up to bring together the top minds in information security to Riyadh this November, as part of an iconic 3-day event. Taking place from the 15 to 17 of November at the Riyadh Front Exhibition Center, Black Hat MEA is set to welcome 30,000 visitors to Riyadh, making it the largest cybersecurity event in the region while featuring the most powerful speaker lineup of any technology show in its first edition.

Following the success of @Hack, Black Hat MEA will host over 250 exhibitors and more than 200 speakers this year. The event will also host international tech giants including Cisco, IBM, Spire, Infoblox, and more. The event is the result of the partnership between the Saudi Federation of Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones (SAFCSP) and Informa Markets, the largest events company in the world. This strategic partnership highlights the Kingdom’s investments and growth in cybersecurity and the digital space while being a testament to the adaptation of modern technology in the region.

“@hack set the bar for cybersecurity events across the region in 2021, surpassing our expectations across all measures. This success reflects Saudi’s position as a growing center of global cybersecurity excellence & the global ecosystem’s confidence and curiosity in what we are building from the grassroots up” said Faisal Al-Khamisi, Chairman, SAFCSP. “The credibility of evolving @hack to Black Hat MEA is a powerful indicator of our intentions within the cybersecurity space. This partnership will spark innovation, supercharge our capacity building and develop investment opportunities which we are excited to share with the world in November”

“IBM recently reported that a data breach in 2022 can cost a company an average of USD 4.35 million. This cost is at its all-time highest now and sits at a 12.7% increase from 2020. In today’s digitally powered world, this is an alarming situation for all of us, but especially for those who are not aware of nor possess the tools needed to protect their sensitive data. This is where Black Hat MEA comes in and cements its position as a must-attend event to generate awareness, create understanding around the importance of cybersecurity and educate on how to safely use tomorrow’s digital space to its maximum potential.”

Mike Champion, Regional Executive Vice President of Informa Markets, added: “Last year we launched the largest infosec show of 2021, worldwide. This year, it’s grown even more – more than 25,000 visitors have seen it with their own eyes, there’s now only one event that gives you so many elite hackers and CISO speakers, so large a community, such a variety of hacking tools, so much prize money, such a big buzz – and that’s Black Hat MEA in Riyadh.”

Event attendees will get the chance to hear testimonies about cybersecurity and its implications from an exciting line-up of world-renowned speakers from leading companies including CISOs of Equifax, Boom Supersonic, and Lufthansa; Jamil Farshchi, Chris Roberts, and Naby Diaw respectively, as well as Dr. Alissa Abdullah (Dr. Jay), Deputy Chief Security Officer, Mastercard, Ira Winkler, Chief Security Architect, Walmart and Timothy Brown, VP & Global Chief Information Security Officer, SolarWinds among others. The event will also welcome David Colombo, CEO of Colombo Technology, and the teen tech genius, the world-renowned cyber security expert who hacked into Tesla cars. The show will also be home to demonstrations and product launches of the latest cutting-edge security solutions, from across all areas of the industry including software, services, and training.

Black Hat MEA will also feature several different themes and tracks to cater to the diverse audience, including

  • Training – 23 bespoke training sessions by 30 Black Hat-approved trainers in a hands-on environment with training partners like Offensive Security, we45, Orange Cyberdefense and Madiant
  • Executive Summit: The exclusive conference with over 200 senior leaders in information security, including CISOs and senior decision makers in charge of influencing and implementing security strategies.
  • Arsenal – A developer space where the latest open-source tools and products are showcased by developers along with hands-on experience.
  • Briefings – Where infosec experts present research on industry trends, hacking tools, and security vulnerabilities.
  • Capture The Flag – a jeopardy-style hacking tournament for over 1,000 participants to enhance their ethical hacking skills at different difficulty levels for a SAR 700,000 prize fund.

Other competitions include the Bug Bounty Cup with a prize fund of SAR 300,000, a Start-Up competition where the top pitches present to seasoned judges, angel investors, tech experts, and government stakeholders for a cash prize of SAR 90,000. The event will also host a merchandise design competition for talented and unique digital artists who can create artwork exclusively for the Black Hat MEA Cyber Heroes. The winning design will also be printed as a limited collection.

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A10 Networks Launches Harmony Controller As-a-Service Release 5.4



A10 Networks has just announced the launch of Harmony Controller as-a-service, Release 5.4 with enhancements that ease multi-cloud operational complexity and strengthen security. Network admins for enterprises and service providers all know the pain of growth and change. Rapid or unexpected growth in users, subscribers, and traffic; migration from centralized data centers to edge deployments, cloud, multi-cloud, or hybrid cloud environments; and the pandemic-inspired shift to distributed and suburban/home-based applications means network administrators must continually scramble to ensure capacity is correctly and efficiently deployed to meet demand.

For the critical functions that A10 provides, including Thunder Application Delivery Controller (ADC), Thunder Convergent Firewall (CFW), and Thunder Carrier-grade Networking (CGN), customers are managing their Thunder appliances or virtual machines throughout this massive change using A10 Harmony Controller. The A10 Harmony Controller provides centralized management and analytics for A10 secure application services including A10 Thunder ADC, SSLi, CFW, and CGN in multi-cloud environments for application configuration and policy enforcement. It is available on self-managed (on-premises/cloud) and as-a-service.

Harmony Controller as-a-service has key advantages over self-managed systems, providing organizations a centralized management interface for installation, configuration, monitoring, and troubleshooting of physical and virtual devices wherever they are deployed. Adding or changing Thunder devices used to require manually intensive processes for installation, licensing, and registration of devices. Harmony Controller-as-a-service makes those processes simple and easy to use. The service is operated by A10 to ensure its security and availability. The service creates simpler elastic capacity with a management interface that automatically scales as the system grows, supporting millions of users and thousands of devices.

Harmony Controller as-a-service, Release 5.4, includes the following enhancements:

  1. Stronger Security with Multi-Factor-Authentication (MFA): Now, administrators can enable MFA for all the users in the account. MFA is available when the users are authenticated locally in Harmony Controller. Users need to install the Google Authenticator app on their mobile devices for a one-time setup of MFA. While users can postpone set-up, the administrator can set an enforcement deadline. The device communicator role is created for users who use Harmony Controller to register Thunder devices.
  2. Local Authorization after Remote Authentication: Now, users can authenticate on remote servers, such as LDAP, TACACS +, or RADIUS, and authorize locally in Harmony Controller. The user privileges and access information are stored in Harmony Controller.
  3. Flexible Device Configuration Backup: Now, users can schedule periodic device configuration backups with precise time-zone and frequency.

“With the Harmony Controller, organizations can efficiently automate deployment and operations of application services, increase operational efficiency and agility, enhance end-user experiences and reduce TCO, simplify the management of distributed application services to dramatically shorten troubleshooting times, receive alerts on performance or security anomalies, improve capacity planning and optimize IT infrastructure and cloud environments,” concludes Amr Alashaal, Regional Vice President – Middle East at A10 Networks.

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Spire Solutions to Show Off a Triad of Digital, Data, and Cybersecurity at GITEX 2022



Spire Solutions has announced that its core focus at GITEX 2022 (October 10 to 14, 2022) will be to help governments and enterprises reimagine the triad of digital, data, and cybersecurity which is timely and crucial given the various digital transformation initiatives around the region. “While organizations are busy implementing several tools, technologies, and workflows, Spire will ensure the overall impact is positive by implementing solutions for efficient and scalable digital infrastructure & operations management with SolarWinds and prioritizing employees’ digital experience with Nexthink,” the company said.

Digitization invariably produces a tremendous volume of data but managing data remains the main challenge for organizations of all sizes. Therefore, with its bespoke data company Spire Data, and partners such as Cribl and Elastic, Spire will show how to manage data end-to-end including governance, observability, modernization, automation, classification, and more. Most importantly, the digital disruption has led to a surge in cyber risks and attacks across different industry verticals so Spire will help organizations strengthen, modernize, automate and transform their cybersecurity strategies by focusing on comprehensive detection & response (XDR) by Elastic & Corelight, continuous attack path visualization by XM Cyber, ultimate network visibility with Gigamon, secure identity governance & access management by CyberArk, digital risks management by Digital Shadows and cyber threat intelligence and attribution by Group IB, to name a few.

Sanjeev Walia, Founder & President at Spire Solutions, said, “We are committed to the national and regional priorities and our goal is to help governments and enterprises achieve a secure and seamless digital transformation. At GITEX 2022, we will share our integrated approach to creating and executing relevant strategies and introduce unique solutions around digitization, data, and cybersecurity along with our technology partners. We will also announce industry shaping partnerships, showcase live demos and run educational sessions on all 5 days.”

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