Let It Go! Dismantle Your Operational Silos

first_imgBeing on the Professional Services side of VCE gives me a different perspective into how customers view converged infrastructure from an operations point of view. The major benefit of converged infrastructure deployment is without doubt the most difficult to address, How do I break down the operational silos?During an engagement the question of management of a Vblock often arises, it’s a question that needs to be asked more. In traditional IT this is quite a straight forward answer; the network team, the storage team but in the world of converged infrastructure this is where it gets interesting; Vblock is a blend of control over storage, network, and compute, so it’s often difficult to immediately assign ownership to one specific person or group. Here are some common conversation topics that relate to transformation:Should any one team be required to have ownership over the system? And if so – who is it?Should a new team be formed that has representatives of the three main technology group: server, storage, and network?Does the virtualization team, which is often a part of the server team, need access to storage, network and compute? So, what’s the answer?There’s no right answer to the transformation topics above because every organization is unique. However the key consideration across all three topics is to ensure that someone ultimately has ownership otherwise the blame game and finger pointing may become excessive and harmful, and potentially disruptive to the premise of removing the silos. To truly reap the rewards of the significant investment in converged infrastructure CIOs need to break down these siloes so that a single IT body delivers and takes ownership of all services throughout the business. This requires extensive skills in negotiation, removing the fear of staff thinking they are being diminished and helping technical experts relinquish their domain.Over time as IT operations teams have grown and matured, infrastructure subgroups would form to focus on complex domain-specific technologies. Servers, storage and networking all required deep subject matter expertise and a single-minded focus to keep up with the varying intricacies of implementation, operations and management. In large enterprises, fully staffed silos working in concert could leverage mountains of technology to great effect. But inevitably, turf battles, budget tightening and the fact that smaller organizations might not reach critical mass can make the silo approach costly and inefficient. The selling points to the individuals and the business are multi domain skills development and the implementation of a consultative and inclusive change management process.The hardest part is to Let It Go! The alternative to the removal of silos is the dysfunctional and unresponsive IT landscape we’re seeing today.Virtualization solutions at first helped the silo model by abstracting the user of traditional IT from its physical implementation. Increasingly independent silos of underlying infrastructure could then be designed and managed very differently, and hopefully optimally, from what the end client sees. In fact, virtualization became its own IT domain, adding yet another layer of IT silo complexity.With the ultimate goal of moving towards a software defined data centre (SDDC), cloud stacks and self service management and orchestration, IT must begin the transformation towards building skilled staff with multiple disciplines to remove the operational silos and as a result improve efficiency and ultimately deliver a better level of customer satisfaction through speed, agility and responsiveness.  Increased automation and integration is always good for organisations, but we are also seeing more and more interest in the compelling value of converged infrastructure for VDI, ROBO, and Test/Dev, if not for production clusters. Quickly deploying a converged solution may be a great way to head-off “shadow IT” efforts, as staging for cloud migration or hybrid cloud zones, or even as a target platform to bring back in-house costly cloud hosted apps with minimal effort.With this extra information in mind now is a good time to revisit the conversation topics raised earlier as the responses should now be able to have more context applied to them:1. Should any one team be required to have ownership over the system? And if so – who is it? Ultimately the newly formed IT body will have ownership not just over the system, but in fact all IT services. This group will be made up of the collective key stakeholders from the original silos but in a more consultative form, being able to share experiences and best practices amongst a broader group, providing bigger picture clarity and effective decision making across all IT services, and implementing more encompassing and effective change management.2. Should a new team be formed that has representatives of the three main technology group: server, storage, and network?Yes! As discussed above, the newly formed IT body will have key stakeholders from the previous technology silos working collectively as a single decision entity.3. Does the virtualization team, which is often a part of the server team, need access to storage, network and compute?This is probably the most difficult to answer as a definite because IT typically operates with a certain level of grey, but ultimately the virtualization team would now be absorbed within the new IT body because unlike traditional IT the virtual layer remains the one area that effectively plays across the previous technology silos in a converged infrastructure.One thing that is apparent is that silos are becoming more and more blurred with the idea of converged infrastructure, so Let It Go and reap the substantial reward of the operations transformation.last_img read more

Why It’s Good Business to Use Your Business for Good

first_imgBuilding an atmosphere to foster customer-centric innovation and experiences Over 90% of the Utah team directly serves customers through technical support, deployment, consulting, cloud operations and sales roles. To keep up with customer demand and provide the high caliber experience we strive for, it takes investment in our facilities and capabilities. On April 12th, we celebrated the official ribbon-cutting of our newest Utah COE campus in Vista Station. One of the keys to our success has been heavy involvement from the multiple Employee Resource Groups in Utah; our ERG’s typically to sponsor and support these events and activities. All of this focus on STEM education has been good for business too! Most of the companies, schools and other groups that are involved are Dell EMC customers. These types of engagements have allowed us to build relationships that go beyond any single product or individual sale – they are truly multi-faceted and enduring.Developing more environmentally responsible and sustainable operationsWhen it comes to impacting the environment in a positive way, the Utah team is relentless. We have been recognized for our environmental commitment via the Sustainable Business Award from Utah Business Magazine. Our partnership with the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) to provide heavily discounted Eco Passes for all team members, the electric vehicle charging stations at our offices, and our participation in the Utah Clean Air initiative (UCAIR) are just a few of the ways we garnered this recognition. Recent developments in this area include:100% Renewable Energy – Our new building in Draper City (see below section) is LEED Silver certified and includes a renewable energy power purchase program to offset 100% of the power needed. Mass Transit Program – With our newest site located next to a commuter train station, team member participation in the UTA Eco Pass program has doubled. As a company we are always looking to improve our products and our services, to better serve our customers and to leave a lasting impact on the communities where we work and live. The facts are clear—companies who deeply commit to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and improving the customer experience (CX) will see the financial, customer and team member impact:88 percent of consumers will be more loyal to the brand when companies are involved in CSR66 percent of global consumers say they’re willing to pay more for sustainable brands61 percent of buyers will place 2X more emphasis on total experience price when comparing two similar products60 percent of highly engaged employees are more likely to make a recommendation on how to improve your company vs. 15 percent of disengaged employeesOkay, so if you agree CSR and CX are important, the question is…where do you start your strategic focus?My personal advice: start where it connects with your team on a personal and professional level. Find the opportunities that reside at the intersection of people’s hearts and your company’s strengths. This way, you’ll know that what you are doing is meaningful and valued by those who work with you and there is a clear way to tie the impact to your business mission and results.As a leader of 1,300 team members in the Dell EMC Utah Center of Excellence (COE), I’ve become deeply familiar with and ensured we’ve invested in our intersection “impact” areas:Creating opportunities for youth in STEM fieldsDeveloping more environmentally responsible and sustainable operationsBuilding an atmosphere to foster customer-centric innovation and experiencesI’d like to share some tangible examples of how we have achieved success in each of these areas in hopes that other companies will be inspired to pursue a similar course when it comes time to set business and employee priorities.Creating opportunities for youth in STEM fieldsOur commitment to STEM is tied to our community focus, but it’s also a business imperative to ensure we have the right skills for our future talent pipeline. Our STEM impact is broad and in close partnership with external partners, such as local governments, schools and non-profit organizations. Our recent partnerships include:STEM Mentor Exchange – A new mobile platform from the STEM Partners Foundation based on Dell EMC technology and built through the volunteer efforts of our software engineers that matches industry mentors with teachers in classrooms who need help with STEM activities. It will be available on the Apple and Android app stores this summer. Although it is starting in Utah, there are no geographical bounds to where the app can be implemented and used.SheTech – Events sponsored by the Women Tech Council to expose young women to technology through workshops, presentations and hands-on experiences. We always have dozens of team members in attendance as mentors, facilitators and presenters.Student STAR – Summer program for high school students to come to our office and learn professional skills that prepare them for a potential job in the tech industry.Computing Pathways Initiative – New program to help K-12 students learn about Computer Science and related fields. Over $1 million was raised from the state to help fund this program as a direct result of Dell EMC leading an industry coalition to pass Utah Senate Bill 190. This new, state-of-the art site will allow us to deliver more personalized and consistent experiences with:Hands-on training facilities where Dell EMC products are available for customer, partner and team member education.A global command center for the Virtustream business, which enables us to collaborate with similar centers in our India and Ireland COEs and deliver 24×7 customer support.Sufficient space for team members to collaborate on customer ideas and issues and work together in a centralized location.Important amenities like an onsite 24×7 fitness center, full service café, game room, secure bike lockers, proximity to local jogging trails; all of which maintain a positive work-life balance—we know that companies with more engaged workers outperform competitors both in terms of financial results and CX.The value of what the Utah team provides and the establishment of this new site has been recognized by our external stakeholders, with Utah Governor Gary Herbert noting that we are an anchor to Utah’s “Silicon Slopes” and customers such as Adobe, Overstock.com, and RC Willey sharing their gratitude for our local partnership.In ClosingCompanies have a responsibility and measurable interest to improve how they serve customers and communities. Through my personal experience leading the Dell EMC Utah COE, I have learned that the easiest and most impactful place to start is at the intersection of what makes your team’s heart beat with passion and where your company’s capabilities lie. For my team in Utah, this intersection hits our CSR initiatives focused on promoting youth in STEM, environmental sustainability and providing an atmosphere for customer-centric innovation and experience to thrive.We all have the power to do more good, but we can’t just talk about what is possible in the confines of a conference room or on (yet another) conference call. We must be bold enough to act and to hold each other, our teams and industry peers accountable to do the same. And by doing so, we will see the returns to our business, customers and communities.last_img read more

#88: Video Surveillance Dell EMC & Pelco Better Together

first_imgDell EMC The Source Podcast #88: Video Surveillance Dell EMC & Pelco Better TogetherVideo management and Video Surveillance systems are complex by nature, and that complexity can be overwhelming. The Dell EMC extensive partner community allows for simple and efficient Plug and Play Solutions. One of those solutions was recently showcased by Pelco, a global leader in surveillance and security products and technologies.Back in April at ISC West 2017, Pelco announced a collaboration with Dell EMC to share technology, information and best practices to better serve customers globally. As a first initiative, Pelco is developing a new VideoXpert™ Professional Video Management System (VMS) line built with Dell EMC’s industry-leading OEM solutions.At Dell EMC World, I took the opportunity to sit down with friend of the show Ken Mills (@OtherKen) and Pelco Vice President John Roman (@PelcoVideo) to get all of the details of the press release and partnership.The Source Podcast: Episode #88: Video Surveillance Dell EMC & Pelco Better TogetherAudio Playerhttp://traffic.libsyn.com/thesource/DellEMC_The_Source_Episode_88_audio.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Don’t miss “Dell EMC The Source” app in the App Store. Be sure to subscribe to Dell EMC The Source Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or Google Play and visit the official blog at thesourceblog.emc.comEMC: The Source Podcast is hosted by Sam Marraccini (@SamMarraccini)last_img read more

Learn About Laptop and Desktop Storage Options

first_imgIf a new computer is on your holiday shopping list, or if your business is looking at upgrading yours for the new year, you may be wondering what sort of storage your system might need.If so, join us Wednesday, November 22, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. for a free webinar where we’ll discuss the differences between the multiple storage options now available for our notebook and desktop products.We’ll be digging into some of the reasons M.2 and Optane solutions are taking off while covering best practice when it comes to troubleshooting technical issues as they relate to your storage.Direct2Dell is designed to bring you news and stories about Dell people, products, services, partners and customers. Often those customers need support for their Dell products. For that, our Dell Support team continuously updates a library of articles called the Knowledge Base.In an effort to make that information even easier to find when you need it, each Friday I will bring you a list of the most highly reviewed articles with appropriate responses to the latest trends we are seeing in our customer inquiries.With these publications, you can stay informed about the latest troubleshooting guides and resolutions across various client system lines.Questions about these issues should be left in our Support Forums where trained staff are available to assist, rather than commenting here on Direct2Dell.You can also contact Dell Customer Service or Dell Technical Support for assistance. And, as always, our @DellCares and @DellCaresPro teams are just a tweet away for help.This week we’ve seen a lot of interest in these topics:BitLocker error when using TPM in 1.2 mode after updating the BIOFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the DisplayPort port on a Dell PCHow Random Access Memory (RAM) affects performanceHow to enable Secure Hibernation in Windows 10 Creators Update with Dell EncryptionColors are faded and washed out when High Dynamic Range is enabled in Windows 10Dell Dual Video D1000, Dell USB 3.0 D3100 & Dell Universal D6000 docks do not support daisy-chain functionalityWindows 10: Redstone 3 / Fall Creators Update Causes Recovery Drive ErrorDell LCD Display Pixel GuidelinesWhat Is Memory (RAM)?Dell computers tested for Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and previous versions of Windows 10last_img read more

Help Give Our Planet Some Re-leaf this Arbor Day

first_imgI just noticed that it’s National Arbor Day here in the U.S. and it gave me a flashback to the launch of something 11 years ago that I’m proud to know is still going strong – Dell’s Plant a Tree program.For a long time, we’ve been committed to helping our customers find new ways to protect the environment, and Plant a Tree is one way we can really collaborate with you on that. You can donate online by simply adding the “Plant a Tree option” to your shopping cart. If you are in a business, simply ask your account representative about adding the Plant a Tree option to your Premier Account.Together, we are having a positive lasting impact in vulnerable deforested areas and important watershed regions like Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in south Texas (home to the last remaining breeding population of ocelots in the country) and the Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge in my home state of Louisiana.Not only am I proud to have been part of the team that launched this program when I was responsible for the corporate content on Dell.com, I also got to enjoy bringing it into the virtual world of Second Life (SL) when we had Dell Island there (once one of the top eight corporate sites in SL). Users could plant the trees on their virtual land and determine the pace at which they grew, and click on them to donate and plant real trees.Here’s a few fast facts for you about the benefits of planting trees:A tree provides enough clean oxygen each year for two people to breathe.Over a tree’s life, the amount of pollutants it will remove from the environment increases 70 times.Each tree planted offsets the carbon emissions of approximately one laptop computer.*Announced by Michael Dell at CES in 2007, within its first year our Plant a Tree program had played a key role in restoring 775 acres of forestland in the Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Kansas. In 2008, we set a goal of planting one million trees by 2020 which we reaffirmed as part of our American Business Act on Climate Pledge.By Arbor Day 2012, we were able with our partners Carbonfund.org Foundation and The Conservation Fund to announce that customers had donated more than $2.3 million to plant native trees and restore deforested areas.Then last year, we reached our Million Tree Challenge goal – three years ahead of schedule – resulting in the restoration of 2,000 acres … that’s more than 1,500 football fields. Thank you to everyone who joined with us to make that possible. Let’s keep it going!*An average tree grown 16 years will absorb approximately 770 pounds of CO2 – similar to the carbon footprint of a Dell Latitude e6550 laptop.last_img read more

The Reality of Hardware-level Security: Companies Need It and They Need It Now

first_imgOrganizations are trying to protect their devices against the backdrop of a changing cybersecurity landscape. At the same time, hackers are working just as hard – if not harder – to infiltrate security measures. As security tools get more advanced, attackers find new ways to bypass them. The latest tactic used by hackers is attacking IT systems below the operating system (OS) of a device. Attacks at the hardware-, firmware- or silicon-level can expose organizations to systemic damages.To study the effects of these types of intrusions, the Dell Technologies Hardware Security study conducted by Forrester Consulting surveyed IT, security, risk and compliance decision-makers at companies with more than 500 employees. Below is a topline summary of the commissioned study’s findings.Hardware-level Breaches are the Latest RealityThe majority (63%) of organizations surveyed experienced at least one data compromise or a breach in the last 12 months due to an exploited vulnerability in hardware security, while 47% experienced at least two hardware-level attacks.Hardware-level breaches can be carried out via targeting software vulnerabilities (43%), web applications attacks (40%) and strategic web compromises (30%).These threats put customers and employees at risk, cause brand damage and impact revenue performance.Current Strategies Don’t Prepare for Hardware-level AttacksNearly two-thirds (63%) of organizations recognize they have a moderate to extremely high level of exposure to threats to the hardware supply chain, yet only 59% have implemented a hardware supply chain security strategy.While three in five companies see BIOS and firmware exploits as very or extremely concerning, only half feel the same about silicon-level vulnerabilities.The lack of a consistent security approach to hardware-level security breaches leaves organizations open to the risk of damage, including loss of sensitive data, financial loss and diminished competitive advantage.Hardware Security Vendors are a First Line of Defense Chip manufacturer validation and supply chain validation are viewed as critical to addressing hardware-level threats. Forty-seven percent of surveyed companies reported adopting and investing in supply chain validation initiatives now and 30% plan to implement in the next 12 months. Thirty-eight percent plan to adopt chip manufacturer validation in the next year.Organizations that invest in stronger measures report growth in overall security (55%), reduced hardware expenses (39%), increased business continuity (44%), and expedited digital transformation (42%).Endpoint security and platform security are equally important features that are expected from hardware security vendors by 61% percent of organizations. Although organizations expect excellent security from their vendors, only 28% said they were satisfied with the device security practices their vendor-provided at the silicon level.Bottom line, hardware security is at the core of any computing system, and exploitation at this level is devastating. Once you are hacked, your endpoint, data and entire enterprise are at riskDell Technologies understands the importance of building security into the foundation of our devices. We are leading the way by fortifying our trusted devices both below and above the OS, while the rest of the PC industry prioritizes security apps and defenses that only sit above the OS. This difference in approach has led Dell Technologies to claim the industry’s most secure PCs – hands down. You can read more about how Dell architects a system of security measures, built from the inside out here.To read the full Dell Technologies Hardware Security study conducted by Forrester Consulting, “BIOS Security – The Next Frontier for Endpoint Protection,” please click here.last_img read more

Bulgaria busts ring that made high-quality papers, banknotes

first_imgSOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian authorities say they have broken a ring printing high-quality forged banknotes and documents, including a promotional fake passport with the photo of actor Sylvester Stallone to impress prospective clients. Prosecutors on Friday charged four Bulgarians with being part of an organized crime group making and distributing fake Bulgarian documents and counterfeit U.S. dollar and euro banknotes. In a joint operation with Europol and the U.S. Secret Service, Bulgarian law enforcers raided 30 locations, prosecutors said in a statement. Six people were taken into custody after illegal printing presses and equipment for money and document printing were found, along with large amounts of counterfeit $100 and 50-euro notes.last_img