Across the globe, CIOs are facing common challenges heading into 2016. The list includes shrinking IT budgets; countless new technologies and platforms; finding the right talent and leadership; and creating a culture that breeds rapid innovation, to name a few. CIOs everywhere are coming together to exchange ideas around these issues and brainstorm ways to tackle them.EMC Forums, one-day technology events for our customers and partners, facilitate many of these collaborative conversations. At the Forums I traveled to this year, I learned about some of the more unique and local challenges for IT organizations. In cities like Cairo, Egypt and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where we hosted EMC Forums for the first time, barriers to innovation are often geopolitical. The oil industry in Saudi Arabia affects how IT departments spend on technology, forcing many IT leaders to think creatively about capital and resources. And in cities like Moscow, Russia, IT budgets are being squeezed. On top of all this, relevant IT talent can be hard to find in some of these regions.Among IT leaders, I also noticed new attitudes around cloud computing. A few years ago, most businesses were just considering a cloud strategy. Now everyone is racing to execute on those strategies to avoid disruption, lower cost, and increase competitiveness. But the big question for many is “how;” how to innovate with a cloud strategy, how to lead organizational change, and how to integrate software, infrastructure and systems.To address the “how,” some IT departments are experimenting with innovation sandboxes. With this approach, they work with emerging technologies and DevOps models without worrying about traditional IT processes. This helps jump start agile methods and open source within their company culture. But many CIOs still aren’t sure how to connect and transfer this new way of working to the mothership of IT. Also, questions arise around how to build a technical community to foster lean processes versus using traditional IT project management.EMC has made strides in this area with the creation of our Cloud Foundry Dojo. Starting in January 2016, customers can come to the Dojo to work with EMC and Pivotal experts. They will learn about Platform-as-a-Service and how to integrate DevOps into their IT departments. This combination allows them to unite their PaaS and IaaS strategies. Customers not only gain new software coding skills, but also a new understanding of how to foster lean development within their own companies. By visiting the Dojo, customers can develop new thinking and ‘learn by doing’.Above all else, what stood out from this year’s EMC Forums was the appreciation I’ve felt from all who attended. In times of great change, people look to EMC as a trusted advisor to help them with their IT transformation. The ability to help plan out courses of action, no matter the geopolitical obstacles, is something we take very seriously. I look forward to next year’s discussions with many of you and the opportunity to help address your IT challenges.What are the most pressing IT issues you need to tackle in 2016? Which technology trends do you think will be most central to the future of your IT organization? Let us know when our EMC Forum roadshow continues in 2016.Originally published on EMC CIO Connect on 12/30/2015
When it comes to information technology, we are truly living in exciting times. Virtualization, cloud, big data, IoT and mobility technologies are fundamentally changing the way in which businesses, both big and small, relate to and consume technology.As this occurs, service providers are increasingly becoming the face of IT service delivery for startups and even many enterprises. Service providers around the world are aggressively investing in cloud & related technologies to meet these growing market needs. Dell EMC has been at the forefront of this shift for more than a decade now.Though many may not realize it, Dell EMC has a long history of delivering tailored offerings to cloud and communications service providers through our Extreme Scale Infrastructure (ESI) division, and the growth of such services throughout the broader marketplace is being accelerated even further by the need for edge computing and the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT).Specifically, facilities-based telco and multi-system operators (MSOs) are modernizing legacy central office environments and virtualizing the service and network functions currently running on proprietary systems. At the same time, the building blocks they use for compute, storage, and networking need to meet the rigorous requirements the industry has built over time. Dell EMC is leading the way in building new future-ready, service provider-focused solutions for these customers and we’re excited to showcase these advances at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.At MWC 2017, our ESI team is bringing together several key components of the Dell Technologies portfolio into a unified solution built to flexibly address this service provider shift at multiple levels. Imagine flexible compute, storage, and open networking infrastructure built on industry-standard systems management APIs that also include the ability to collect and analyze IoT data at the edge while further supporting leading network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies and the global management of power, cooling & related ‘facility-level’ information…all in one ground-breakingly innovative solution.Because not all service provider environments are created equal, our approach is uniquely flexible and built around our proven DSS 9000 rack-scale infrastructure. This allows providers to tailor compute, storage, and networking needs to their requirements, scaling as needed, all while staying ahead of the curve on rapidly-changing power and systems management advances.Dell EMC remains committed to open technologies and has built the DSS 9000 to take advantage of the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) Redfish specification for hardware interoperability. In concert with our technology partner Intel and their Rack Scale Design (RSD) initiative, we have built a highly extensible and open management framework that serves as the nerve center of this highly-scalable service provider solution. Providers can easily discover and provision resources within and across dynamic pools, even across data centers, on demand at any time.But the underlying hardware infrastructure is just one piece of the story. We’ve leveraged our many years of modular data center expertise with leading cloud providers to encapsulate all of this exciting technology into a miniaturized software-defined package that we call a micro MDC. Though we’ve talked about the micro MDC previously, the version you’ll see at Mobile World Congress adds several new elements that are of specific interest to service providers looking to enable edge computing and IoT services quickly and flexibly. You can take a deep dive into the solution details here.The first big advance specific to service providers is around NFV technology, where we’ve built in support for Dell EMC’s 100 percent open software-defined networking (SDN) solutions encompassing a variety of virtualized network function (VNF) providers, management operations (MANO), and NFVI orchestration solutions including those for OpenStack and VMware (who will be showcasing major advances of their own in the Dell Technologies booth at this year’s MWC).Secondly, we’ve enabled the Dell Edge Gateway 5000 as part of the solution for providers looking to collect and analyze IoT-related data closer to their customers, where the true explosion in service needs are coming. We’ll also be showcasing our MDCi control software for the first time as part of this package, which allows operators insights into how the overall data center environment is functioning in terms of power, cooling, and other key ‘facility-level’ parameters.As you can see, we’re excited to show you the transformative business value we’re delivering to service providers and their customers at this year’s Mobile World Congress. If you happen to be in Barcelona at the show, please stop by the Dell Technologies booth (Hall 3, Booth 3K10) to see how we can help address your needs with uniquely tailored solutions built around your business. Or reach out to us at any time at [email protected] with questions or comments.
Healthcare organizations across the country typically have one end goal in mind – to provide as many people as possible with the medical services they need.But this can be a challenge for fast-growing organizations, particularly those expanding through acquisitions which involve multiple large facilities such as hospitals and clinics. The challenge is often compounded on the IT infrastructure side, where server and storage environments can be scattered in silos across multiple locations. This makes it both costly and difficult to efficiently manage the technology foundation that health professionals – and their patients – depend on each day.Such was the case for Lafayette General Health (LGH), a regional health network in south-central Louisiana comprised of eight hospitals and more than 40 clinics, along with multiple affiliates. In just four years, LGH acquired seven hospitals and over 20 clinics. Because LGH’s infrastructure was siloed across the various facilities, it was unable to scale without scheduling for planned downtime.LGH turned to Dell EMC Isilon scale-out storage as the foundation for a data lake to serve its entire network of hospitals and professional centers. The Isilon data lake supports a range of applications, including Nuance PowerScribe, Cerner radiology PACS images, McKesson Cardiovascular PACS images, home drives, department file shares, virtual desktop and user profiles. More than 4,000 radiologists, clinicians, hospitalists, and administrators access Isilon daily. LGH uses Dell EMC Isilon InsightIQ® for performance monitoring and reporting.With Isilon, LGH created a data lake that supports rapid business growth by scaling easily. This also enabled IT to take on a new role as service provider, hosting clinical applications for other independent hospitals and transforming from a cost center to a revenue generator. Plus, Isilon accelerated image retrieval for clinicians, to help improve patient care.LGH now has a storage and server infrastructure that can scale easily and non-disruptively to handle growing volumes of data, including picture archiving and communication system (PACS) images, emails, and file shares. Before implementing this solution, IT struggled to schedule time even for simple updates because they required downtime. That problem has now disappeared.Isilon’s ability to scale easily also enabled IT to transform into a service provider organization. Through LGH’s Healthy Link initiative, IT now hosts EMR and other advanced clinical applications for smaller local hospitals that cannot afford to comply with U.S. healthcare IT regulations.IT has regained time, too. Isilon requires far less system administration to handle different data types in the data lake, freeing up resources for other important tasks.William Landry, LGH’s director of information systems infrastructure, explains, “Every second that we can improve our user experience is huge. Those seconds add up over time, and if we can give back even five minutes a day to our clinicians, it drastically improves patient care across our organization. The more time they’re face-to-face with a patient instead of on a computer, the better.”Click here to read more about Dell EMC’s work with Lafayette General Health in this customer profile.
This post is co-authored by Marta Sieron, Account Manager at Dell EMC in Warsaw, Poland, and participant in the EMEA Graduate Program.The EMEA graduate program recently met in Lodz, Poland for a 4-day face-to-face event. Read on to learn more about Lorin and Marta’s experience!Where it all beganThe most appropriate word to describe the experience we as participants in the EMEA Graduate Program have been lucky enough to have, is diversity. When we use the word diversity, we are referring to opinion, culture, gender, social and professional backgrounds, and most of all, the multitude of bright ideas shared. There was no doubt that when one hundred minds hungry for knowledge, gathered from across the globe, an impressive events was to be had.The recent EMEA Graduate Event took place in Lodz, home to an incredible number of art museums and a former textile and industrial center. This was the perfect setting, as it allowed for, and encouraged all members of the group to express themselves through the combination of art and technology. We both truly believe this combination brings out the best in people. Lodz is also home to one of the most advanced manufacturing facilities, the Dell factory, where our adventure began.Lessons of leadershipAfter the tour of the facility and time with employees, we were very lucky to experience Anja Monrad’s Lessons of Leadership. Anja spoke of her career path and inspired us to never be afraid to take risks. She had the room completely enchanted—it was such an honor to meet someone who thrived so heavily at Dell, as one of us, part of the same team. She too was a graduate, so we will strive to follow in her footsteps.“There’s a reason why Michael Dell wants a certain percentage of the company to be graduate hires” said Anja Monrad “it’s your strength, bringing new and different perspectives and your passion and energy. We can’t build the future of our company based on outdated ideas. Don’t you ever forget that.” she stated strongly, looking at us full of pride. In her speech Anja emphasized, multiple times, the endless potential that we are all capable of bringing to Dell Technologies. Even though we have only just begun our journey, we have so much to contribute.As briefly mentioned previously, Anja humbly, and with a great dose of humor, explained how she achieved her role at Dell. She shared her knowledge about the challenges in making difficult life choices and stressed the importance of having a healthy work/life balance. She encouraged us to remain open minded, “make sure you learn every time you make changes in your career. Don’t be afraid of taking risks or moving somewhere else. Most importantly, know what you bring to the table.” said Anja warmly. On top of this she also talked us through the importance of the following:Self-awareness and the cultivation of your personal brandBeing a woman in TechAmbition and planning of the futureThe importance of networkingAt the very end of her speech, Anja looked around the crowded room and said calmly: “Remember that creating the right career path is like running a marathon and not a sprint. Do not rush too much. Give yourself time to learn and get new experiences. Be ambitious but always remember to do your best in anything you do. Things don’t always go as planned. Be patient. It’s another part of life.”She was right in everything she shared with us. There is so much that we are yet to learn, but we have so much potential. We will all face difficult choices and decisions throughout our careers, but how we chose to deal with them will define us. After all, we are the future of this company—the fresh perspective, the passion and most importantly, the strength necessary to bring Dell Technologies to a new level.Event activitiesThe 100+ attendees from 16 different countries were divided into six groups. We learned a tremendous amount through multiple trainings and plenary sessions:PiB (Personal Impact Booster) hosted by Brigitte Van Ardenne – Discovering the importance of first impressions in both professional and private lifePiE (Personal Image Exposure) hosted by Jana Jurdikova – Understanding the importance of self-awareness, self-development and working on our personal brand through social media platformsEndorsements – A role play session that included a constructive conversation with clients, highlighting the 4 transformationsSpecial Projects hosted by Tsnatee Elisa and the core team – Putting our presentation skills to practice and gathering feedback from peersIn addition to these valuable sessions, we were given the opportunity to spend time deepening our knowledge of the Dell Technologies portfolio. We found this part of the event extremely helpful not only because of our positions as , but also because of the impactful discussions we had with our colleagues afterwards. It was amazing to share knowledge and best practices from each of our own countries.It wouldn’t be a full summary of our learnings, if we didn’t mention the inspiring Diversity and Inclusion session led by Wieslaw Grzelak, and the second Lesson of Leadership session by Dariusz Piotrkowski. We also experienced an eye-opening Presentation Skills session by Daniela Petrikova, who made sure we were all aware of our strengths, the impact of body language and the idea that everyone can present.Although we were confident and excited to meet our virtual teams, who we previously worked with for several months, there was one thing that kept us all awake at night, The Special Project Presentations. This was the first time we presented the results of our hard work.It’s one thing to present on a specific subject, but it is a completely different feeling of satisfaction to present something you are extremely proud of. These special projects were created to improve the visibility of Dell Technologies regarding the employment market and the graduate program.Exploring LodzThe atmosphere was full of excitement—our virtual teams finally worked together face-to-face for the first time. We worked together as a unified team, listened to each other each individual opinion, and ultimately enjoyed the time together.With tablets in our hands, we started a treasure hunt adventure, running around the city in the search of the unknown prize. The game was created especially for us, designed to bond us as a team, teach us the history of the city we spent last few nights in and challenge our teamwork skills. We chased the ghosts, answered questions about famous polish movie directors, art and proletarian revolution. We tried traditional Polish food, created a piece of art and decoded old poems. When we finished the game, we realized we achieved more than we expected—we bonded as a new team and successfully cooperated with each other despite many language and cultural differences.The experience wasn’t about the prize—it was about learning new things about each other and thinking outside of the box to find solutions to unusual obstacles.The treasure hunt around Lodz wasn’t the only bonding event during the 4-day event. We were given many opportunities to get to know each other. This ensured that our Special Project would be lead with passion.Saying goodbyeAs all things must come to an end, we found ourselves on the bus once again, but this time slowly moving away from the Dell factory site.We were fortunate to have a very dedicated and proactive Core Team who made this incredible event possible—a big thank you to Hind Mouna, Brigitte van Ardenne, Yanny Chau, Farah Chith, Steven Vlaminckx, Tsnatee Elisa, Jesús Ruiz García, Mary-Anne Tijani, Jana Jurdikova, Thomas Schiefner.This event was more than a job-focused learning experience. It was also about connecting with people and understanding that the notion of borders is not the same as it was years ago. This was a great opportunity and gave us the freedom to combine our ideas.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________About the authorMarta works as an Account Manager at Dell EMC in Warsaw, Poland. She joined the EMEA Graduate Program in October 2018 where she became a part of Large Commercial Team. Her academic background contains master’s studies in Administration from Nicolaus Copernicus University and Business Marketing from Long Island University in the USA. Marta has previous experience in publishing and has also been engaged in many cultural exchange programs within European countries.
“Simplicity is a great virtue, but it requires hard work to achieve it and education to appreciate it. And to make matters worse: complexity sells better.ShareI could not agree more with this quote from the Dutch essayist and pioneer in computing science, Edsger Dijkstra – famous for his works on algorithms from the ‘60s to the ‘80s. For the 30+ years I have been working in the IT industry, I have witnessed that with every new hype comes the promise of a complexity killer whereas, in fact, the new trend often creates more data silos to handle, at least for a transition period.The recent example is cloud computing, whose scalable pay-per-use model can bring real flexibility advantages to users, while also generating infrastructure chaos if there is no integrated multi-cloud management solution to bring consistency between private clouds, public clouds and on-premise datacenters. 93% of companies will use more than one cloud. They need a unifying partner to help them manage this complexity – connecting teams and processes across different platforms. Dell Technologies offers services, solutions and infrastructure to achieve consistency in a multi-cloud world and eliminate obstacles.As a CFO, I consider it part of my mission to fight unnecessary complexity, whenever I can. I share this opinion by Jim Bell, a former CFO turned CEO, that complexity is the enemy of agility and that some level of automation (through selected RPA technologies, for instance) can help make things like planning and forecasting simpler in an age where companies are more and more data-driven.Now, how do you take all the noise away and make sure you focus on tools and data that really bring some return on investment to the business?I think the first milestone on the road to simplicity is to create and apply metrics that integrate user-friendliness when trying to calculate productivity gains yielded by a piece of software or an app. Dare to question (pilot) users on the time they need to make their way through the solution. How simple do they find it? Do they confirm the efficiency gains that the sales rep convinced you of? Do they see room for improvements that would make their lives much easier?Secondly, when rolling out a new solution, set the right framework around the project. By ‘right’, I mean a steering committee, for instance, that has the authority to take (drastic) corrective action without delay. Concretely, make sure you have a good balance in that decision body between ‘subject matter experts’ and ‘outsiders’ so that you have different points of view on what is complex or not. In any case, you need mavericks that will challenge the projects on the simplicity/user-friendliness side. The profile of the ‘maverick’ will depend on the type of project. For instance, in a very process-driven accounting project, it is interesting to have someone with a creative personality to track the ease of use of the project, in combination with more system-driven types of person.My third tip is to learn and share lessons from every IT project so that each project is a step forward on an improvement path towards greater efficiency. For instance, every year in January, I put ‘simplifying the complex’ on my list of priorities to discuss with the team, based on what we learnt from the past year.Last but not least, I think fighting complexity often comes down to changing (bad) habits – we have always worked that way so it is probably the most efficient. I am convinced that simplicity starts with the right mindset – an ability to challenge things and be open to change. Why should we keep on with complex processes if there are simpler alternatives? It is a mindset that should be encouraged in the workplace, certainly towards newcomers that do not have a biased view yet.In a recent podcast on the evolution of the CFO, McKinsey consultants refer to the finance function and the CFO as a talent factory which needs to flex different muscles to attract, retain and drive talent going forward. I am convinced that the ability to bring more clarity in things that tend to be messy is one of these key muscles.Are you too? Do not hesitate to share comments or experiences on how you fight complexity in your work environment.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota prosecutors are asking a judge to reinstate one count that had been previously dismissed against the former Minneapolis officer charged with killing George Floyd — saying an appellate court decision from earlier this week shows the count can apply. Derek Chauvin faces trial in March on one count of second-degree murder and one count of manslaughter. Prosecutors want to reinstate a third-degree murder charge. Their request comes after the state Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a third-degree murder conviction can be sustained even if the action is directed at a specific person. That thinking is at odds with Judge Peter Cahill’s reasons for dismissing the count. Prosecutors say the appellate decision sets precedent and gives new guidance on how to proceed.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The impeachment trial of Donald Trump is more than an effort to convict the former president over inciting an insurrection. It’s a chance for a public accounting and remembrance of the worst attack on the U.S. Capitol in 200 years. In the month since the Jan. 6 siege by a pro-Trump mob trying to overturn the election, defenders of the former president say it’s time to move on. With the trial set to begin Tuesday, many lawmakers have started recounting their personal experiences from that day. For many who were witnesses, onlookers and survivors, it’s not over.