Imtiaz Al Arabia Co.

Switching to a Cloud-Based Solution for Enhanced Reliability, Security & Cost Savings.


Increasing agility with a modern microservices architecture on AWS




Retail Franchise – B2C


Fashion  – B2C

no.of employees

>200 employees


About Imtiaz Al Arabia Co.

Imtiaz Al Arabia Co. is a Saudi Arabian fashion retail franchise company founded in 2010. The company has a portfolio of over nine fashion brands and operates over 100 stores across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Imtiaz Al Arabia Co. is part of the Jarir Group, a leading retailer and investment company in the Middle East.

Just like any retail franchise, Imtiaz Al Arabia Co. faces significant competition in the market. To keep ahead of competitors and keep customers happy the company needs to deliver reliable, efficient, and secure operations.

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“We’re in the fashion business, but technology matters to us. Our solutions must work flawlessly day in, and day out and must be resilient against challenges including cyberattacks. Our operations depend on it.”
-Umar Khitab Abbasi, IT Manager at Imtiaz Al Arabia Co.

The Challenge

 Imtiaz mostly relied on on-premise infrastructure – including a Dynamics GP solution used for billing. Branch offices connected to the head office using a multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) link to exchange transaction data with the company’s retail and ERP systems.

But Imtiaz Al Arabia Co. faced several challenges that prompted the need for a migration to AWS. According to Dania Al Refai, Senior DevOps Engineer at Bespin, the existing setup had three problems. “First, the machines hosted on-premise were aging and prone to breakdown, which was causing significant downtime – and meant that our client sometimes couldn’t retrieve important transaction data.” – said Al Refai.

The on-premise technology was at higher risk of cyberattacks – partly because of the older technology in use, and because of the on-premise, standalone nature of the technology. Imtiaz also struggled with the MPLS-based connectivity as the dedicated lines were relatively speaking more expensive than using the public internet, while also being prone to high latency.

“We knew that we needed a modern, cloud-based solution that provided better performance, reliability, and security.” – said Imtiaz IT Manager, Abbasi.

The company was also concerned about data loss prevention, improved application availability and scalability, and reduced operational headaches. Achieving these objectives mandated a shift to the cloud – alongside a qualified cloud partner that could not only steer the transition but also act as an ongoing managed services provider (MSP).

The Solution

“We quickly realized that we didn’t have the right partner to help us with this transition”, according to Abbasi. In searching for a partner, Imtiaz received a strong recommendation from one of the companies within the group which said that they were highly satisfied with the service received from Bespin. Imtiaz Al Arabia Co. decided to partner with Bespin Global MEA to migrate their workloads to Amazon Web Services (AWS). The project involved two key aspects: migrating the on-premise systems to AWS and setting up alternative network connectivity for branch offices.

1- Bespin Rapidly Prove Their Worth

Moving across to a cloud-based environment requires a lot of planning and discussion – and Bespin and Imtiaz worked closely together to achieve that. But a critical problem emerged during the discussions.

In the middle of the planning process, the team at Imtiaz suffered a significant hardware failure in one of their on-premise servers. The hardware failure was serious enough that it was clear recovery would take a significant amount of time and disrupt operations.

Together with Bespin, a decision was made to rapidly switch the server over to AWS – speeding up a part of the migration plan. It was an intensive process that relied deeply on Bespin expertise – and Bespin experts stayed up until 3 AM that day to execute the switchover.

Thankfully, it worked. Imtiaz and Bespin managed to shift the workload of the failed server into AWS leading to relatively little disruption, and the first big step to Imtiaz’s switch from on-prem to cloud.

2- Deep dive Into AWS Products

As AWS experts, Bespin configured a tailored array of AWS services to match Imtiaz’s operational and security needs. For operations, Bespin recommended and implemented the following group of AWS services:

  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for scalable computing capacity
  • AWS Key Management Service (KMS) for data encryption
  • AWS CloudTrail for logging and auditing
  • AWS Compute Optimizer for optimized instance recommendations
  • AWS Backup for automated backup and restore capabilities


EC2 provides scalable computing capacity in the cloud, acting as a powerful application platform that helps Imtiaz to cut costs vs. running the same infrastructure on-premise. Bespin also recommended AWS Key Management Service (KMS) to make it easy to manage cryptographic keys for AWS resources – keeping operations secure.

AWS CloudTrail provides a record of all API calls made to the Imtiaz AWS account. It helps Bespin to troubleshoot any issues in Imtiaz’s AWS account by auditing account activity.

As part of its managed services (MSP) role with Imtiaz, Bespin configured CloudTrail to generate alerts when specific events occur in the Imtiaz AWS account while relying on Compute Optimizer for automated recommendations around optimal EC2 usage.

3- A Comprehensive Security Configuration

To achieve comprehensive security, Bespin enrolled Imtiaz with a broad range of AWS services, including:

  • AWS CloudWatch for monitoring and management
  • AWS Detective for threat detection
  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for improved network isolation and security
  • AWS Marketplace Fortinet FortiGate (BYOL) next-generation firewall for better security
  • Amazon GuardDuty for continuous security monitoring.

AWS Detective is a service that helps detect threats and anomalies in the AWS environment. It uses machine learning to identify unusual activity and patterns that could indicate a security threat.

“We also used Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) as a logically isolated section of the AWS Cloud to deliver improved security, network isolation, and compliance with regulatory requirements.”
-Dania Alrefai, DevOps Engineer at Bespin Global MEA

AWS Marketplace Fortinet FortiGate is a next-generation firewall deployed in the AWS VPC. FortiGate provides a comprehensive set of security features, including intrusion prevention, web filtering, and application control.

4- RDP for Connectivity

Imtiaz continued to use ICG POS software from Sequential Soft, but it was now hosted on AWS infrastructure within a private subnet – alongside Microsoft Dynamics GP. Connectivity was through Remote Desktop Service (RDP).

The AWS environment for Imtiaz consisted of four servers and two firewalls, including a mid-market business accounting and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software package that uses Microsoft SQL Server to store data, for the Sequential Soft POS application.

Branches needed to be able to connect to AWS. For this, Bespin recommended a VPN connection to AWS – connecting through the FortiGate firewalls. An RDP server installed in the NAT subnet facilitates connections to Dynamics GP Jumpbox – and to the POS application.

5- Taking Care Of The Details

Imtiaz continued to use ICG POS software from Sequential Soft, but it was now hosted on AWS infrastructure within a private subnet – alongside Microsoft Dynamics GP.

There were a couple of challenges to iron out once the service was fully implemented. First, the branch offices experienced network delays trying to connect through to AWS.

“We found that when branches connected to the AWS-hosted server some branches experienced delays. Thankfully, Bespin quickly recommended a couple of changes that fixed the problem.”
-Umar Khitab Abbasi, IT Manager at Imtiaz Al Arabia Co.

There was also an initial performance challenge on the server, but that was rapidly solved thanks to Bespin’s recommendation to upgrade from 8 processors to 16 processors.

Finally, the company needed a backup service. Bespin activated Amazon’s Data Lifecycle Manager to automate the creation, retention, and deletion of EBS snapshots and EBS-backed AMIs. The backup policy has been set up to ensure automated backup and restore capabilities, minimizing the risk of data loss and improving data availability.

End Result

Imtiaz Al Arabia Co. realized a range of benefits from migrating to AWS with the help of Bespin Global. The much-needed migration to the cloud was completely seamless, the company enjoyed significant cost savings and 24×7 availability – and received top support from the Bespin MSP team.

1- Improved Reliability

The retailer now uses mostly cloud infrastructure, with the branch offices connecting to AWS through VPN across the public internet. The company experienced improved connectivity and efficiency after migrating to the cloud, resulting in cost savings and increased productivity. Bespin also helped the company manage its cloud costs by outlining the differences between savings and on-demand plans and helping Imtiaz choose the best AWS plan mix.

“We were impressed with the expertise and responsiveness of the Bespin team right through the migration process, especially during a hardware failure that could have caused significant revenue loss.”
-Umar Khitab Abbasi, IT Manager at Imtiaz Al Arabia Co.

2- Significant Cost Savings

For Imtiaz, backup processes are now more efficient and significantly more cost-effective, and with the high level of security, means concerns about data loss are much lower. Lower risk of data loss alongside improved reliability means less chance of costly disruptions.

Imtiaz also saved significant amounts of money by switching from MPLS services for branch connections, to using public internet connections – including 5G – instead.

“Bespin has been incredibly helpful acting as an AWS MSP, the company actively managed cloud costs by outlining the difference between savings and on-demand plans and helping us to compare costs between the two.”
-Umar Khitab Abbasi, IT Manager at Imtiaz Al Arabia Co.

Overall, thanks to an ongoing engagement with Bespin Global as MSP, Imtiaz’s technology services will stay agile, flexible, and sustainable. Employees can collaborate better, while the company’s IT services will stay at a much lower risk of downtime and data loss.


An AWS Premier Tier Services Partner and AWS Managed Service Partner, BESPIN GLOBAL MEA (Middle East and Africa) is a leading provider of automated cloud solutions and consulting services, including cloud adoption, strategy, migration, implementation, Managed Services, DevOps, FinOps and Data & Analytics. Bespin is positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Professional and Managed Services, as well as a “Visionary” in Gartner’s 2022 Magic Quadrant for IT Transformation Services.

In late 2022, Bespin Global MEA and e& enterprise formed a joint venture with the aim to assist enterprises in their digital transformation journey and eventually become the largest pure-play public cloud-managed and professional services provider in the Middle East, Turkey, Africa, and Pakistan.

Bespin’s cloud FinOps management platform, OpsNow offers an automated end-to-end solution for customers to effectively manage cloud assets and costs, optimize cloud expenses, and automate the implementation of cloud governance policies across multi-cloud environments.


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