Tech Prediction for 2014: Targeting the Value Office to Transform IT Business

first_imgJohn F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life and those who only look to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” Nowhere is this truer today than in the world of IT.That world as we know it is shifting rapidly from the client/server-based “2nd Platform” days to the “3rd Platform” era driven by the onslaught of Big Data, Mobile, Social, and Cloud technologies. Companies are not only challenged with managing massive amounts of data, but also protecting, optimizing, and ensuring that the right information is accessible to the right users at the right time.If done unsuccessfully, their entire business is at risk.If done right, it’s a game-changer.I believe this transformation starts where work happens – at the intersection of Content, Process, and Collaboration. The real enabler lies in meeting the need for 3rd platform-enabled, enterprise-grade cloud solutions aimed at the Value Office.High Value, Industry-Specific SolutionsThe Value Office is the core and lifeblood of every business – the set of work and employees chartered solely with creating value for the organization. Creating real solutions to help solve their customers’ toughest business problems. But there is even more opportunity to be had here… enter the cloud.By leveraging cloud technologies, businesses can extend and enrich their existing Value Office capabilities – and that has far-reaching implications, especially when you think about the transformative impact within specific industries like Healthcare, Life Sciences, and Energy and Engineering.Take big pharmaceutical companies for example, who have an extremely long and costly product development lifecycle. By leveraging cloud-based solutions, these organizations can collaborate on Research and Development activities with external development partners and subsequently reduce clinical trial durations.Every additional day that a blockbuster drug is on the market within patent generates $3M in additional revenue.*Enabling TransformationNaturally, the stakes are high. While customers in these industries have domain knowledge, they may lack the necessary infrastructure, content management expertise, or resources to develop solutions in-house. They also may not have a clear path to the cloud or possess the capabilities needed to get there.To succeed in each of these endeavors, companies need to carefully evaluate and select an enterprise content management (ECM) vendor that brings to the table the following: top-grade ECM, industry knowledge, best practices, a broad partner ecosystem, and a flexible deployment model that provides “just as much cloud as they need” based upon where their company sits in its transformation.All of this should be backed by a proven history of trust in infrastructure and cloud deployment. It’s not an either/or scenario, but the combination of these things that will drive real business benefits.And what company does not want to increase its productivity, ensure compliance, fuel innovation, lower costs, and speed up time to value?At EMC, we get this. My eyes are on the future, and helping customers transform their businesses.*Picking Up the Pace of Life Sciences Discovery, BIO·IT World—More Tech Predictions for 2014SDx (Software-Defined Everything) by Amitabh Srivastava, President, Advanced Software DivisionA Battle Cry for Protected Storage by Stephen Manley, Chief Technology Officer, Data Protection & Availability DivisionSoftware-Defined in Two Architectures by Josh Kahn, Senior Vice President, Global Solutions MarketingBringing Hadoop to Your Big Data by Bill Richter, President, IsilonA Whole New World by CJ Desai, President, Emerging Technologies DivisionIT’s Ability to Evolve Quickly by Vic Bhagat, Chief Information OfficerAs BYOD Matures, BYOI is Waiting in the Wings by Art Coviello, President, RSAService Orientation, Big Data Lakes, & Security Product Rationalization by Tom Roloff, Senior Vice President, Global Serviceslast_img read more

Testing and Validation – The Secret Sauce of True Convergence

first_imgIn early 2011, a colleague and I published a book called Enterprise Network Testing.  We were both working for the Cisco Performance and Validation Testing Services team.  We never believed the topic would be a gripping page-turner for readers, but we had several customers – working for some of the world’s largest companies – ask us for advice on how to do systems testing in their complex environments.A few years have passed and now I work at VCE, but the importance of systems testing has not diminished. In fact, I believe that testing is a big part of the “secret sauce” that makes the Vblock System such a successful product. The VCE Release Certification Matrix (RCM) is published regularly to document software versions that have been fully tested and verified for Vblock Systems, and it’s our way of keeping track of all the updates VCE investor partners make to their various products that are included in Vblock Systems.  The RCM is the result of thousands of engineering man-hours and it saves VCE customers time and money while improving availability during the patch management process.In order to understand why VCE pre-integrates, pre-tests and pre-validates every Vblock System, we need to compare component or software testing to full-system testing and certification.Component testing makes sure that an individual component works as expected. For example, when the code on a single Cisco Nexus 5500 is upgraded, engineers may ask, “Can I still connect to it?” or “Does it still pass traffic?” These questions are important and valid for component testing.However, let’s look at how that same validation test would work when we add a second Nexus 5500, a pair of Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnects, some upstream switches, a large number of VLANs and typical IP traffic loads. All of a sudden the testing is much more complex and also much more valid for a real-world use case, especially when you add in the EMC and VMware components that complete a Vblock System, which all need to work together seamlessly.The VCE RCM validates dozens of different hardware and software components to work together.  This includes the software/firmware of Cisco UCS and all of its parts (CNAs, FIs, BIOS, UCSM, etc.) as well as the Cisco network software, the EMC storage firmware, backup software and hardware, the VMware virtualization software and many other integrations. There are numerous Vblock System configurations that can be manufactured for a customer.Testing all of the components in this complex system together, and certifying that they will all work together seamlessly, is not an easy task.  We dedicate a lot of hardware, test tools, engineering time and expertise to this endeavor so that our customers don’t have to do it themselves – this is a key differentiator for VCE as it removes what otherwise would be a complex infrastructure maintenance process.As part of the RCM process, VCE also does testing for integrating new hardware and software features from Cisco, EMC and VMware in order to make our customers more agile when deploying them into their Vblock Systems.Along with validating that the Vblock System will perform as expected, the Release Certification Matrix can also be used as a troubleshooting tool to increase Vblock System uptime, as described by Greg Lyon in his recent blog post: Beat the Clock.Today’s IT organizations spend a big part of their budgets and time on “keeping the lights on” in their data centers. Leveraging the work that goes into the VCE RCM can save VCE customers money and time so they can shift their focus away from basic maintenance toward innovation that drives business value for their organizations, and they don’t even need to buy a book about testing to do it.last_img read more

Want to Solve Traffic Jams and Parking? Technology Can Help!

first_imgDriving Along in Your AutomobileDo you find the commute to work or to the shops a drag? Research shows that you are not alone – the average US commuter wastes an incredible 42 hours in traffic congestion every year[i] and spends an additional 17 hours just looking for parking?[ii] Apart from fuel emissions and the sheer waste of time and energy, just think of the collective frustration and raised blood pressure levels! We have all been there, stuck in a jam or circling around looking for that elusive space.On a different note, maybe you have heard people complain about local amenities – perhaps that newly opened park is not big enough for all the kids who play in it, a road was not made wide enough or there is a shortage of pedestrian crossings or street bins in the right locations.Wind of ChangeMoving to the weather, we seem to be experiencing an increase in major storms of late with hurricane force winds and flooding. Who can forget Storms Irma, Harvey, Ophelia, and Brian to name but a few? We are still in mop-up mode in Ireland and the UK, never mind the far more serious consequences, suffered by communities as far afield as Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and Cuba.Technology and the Power of PartnershipI know that these are all very different issues but all have the capacity to affect our lives to a greater or lesser degree as well as wasting time, energy, resources and money. Can technology and the Internet of Things help? Can industry, academia and local Government work for mutual benefit and help improve the local community for citizens?For me, the answer to both questions is a resounding yes. Real-time data with an instant feedback loop allows us to keep our finger on the pulse. I believe that IoT technology can help make our lives easier, allow planners design better services, save money, reduce risks and protect the environment.Optimizing Traffic FlowHere’s how. For example, one of the best ways to reduce traffic jams is to collect, store and analyse data in real time from road sensors, traffic lights, GPS on vehicles, Wi-Fi networks and CCTV to better understand traffic flows. By combining this data with road closures and maintenance schedules, the local authorities can design traffic models and get real-time insights about traffic performance, conditions and incidents to help optimize traffic flow.Simplifying ParkingDid you know that around 30 percent of the cars circling a city at any given time are drivers looking for parking?[iii] If we could reduce the time it takes people to find a parking space by even a fraction, the reduction in emissions and the difference in our carbon footprint – never mind, our frustration levels– would be significant. The solution is simple – an IoT-enabled smart parking application. So how would this work? Picture parking occupancy sensors communicating with a gateway, where data would be analysed in real time and then sent via an app on your sat nav or smart phone, indicating the number of available spaces and the best route to get there.Reducing the Danger of FloodingMeanwhile, experts say that flood risk could be significantly reduced by integrating real-time, wireless sensors with models of the flood plain or drainage area. Real-time measurements could then be used to allow real-time adjustments to be made to water networks to reduce the danger of flooding as well as sending early alerts to citizens and communities, who might be impacted by rising water levels.Smart Use of Limited ResourcesWe all know that the civic authorities have limited resources and budgets. To avoid needless work, could we perhaps send waste management crews out on a just-in-time basis to empty street bins just before they reached full capacity instead of doing it on a routine basis when bins may be either empty or over flowing? What about saving energy through lighting, which automatically dims and brightens, depending on the presence of pedestrians? Could CCTV technology automatically alert the emergency services to accidents? Research Delivered Through PartnershipAll these questions deserve answers. This explains why we have recently teamed up with Lero, the Irish Software Research Center, to jointly sponsor a two-year post-doctoral research study into the Internet of Things in Connected Cities. Based at our IoT Lab at Limerick, the researcher will explore how sensors and IoT technology can best be deployed in areas such as pedestrian footfall, efficient traffic management, smart parking, smart lighting, waste management, safety, security, flood detection, plus improved soil and water quality.Improving Planning and the Citizen ExperienceLed by Professor Brian Donnellan, Chairperson of the All Ireland Smart Cities Forum, Professor of Information Systems Innovation at the School of Business, Maynooth University and Academic Director of the Innovation Value Institute, the research will also examine how Limerick gathers, analyses and uses data, how the civic authorities engage both citizens and commercial entities, and how insights generated from the data can be used to design better services, improve planning and the overall citizen experience. Limerick City and County Council is fully supportive and believes that the research will foster IoT use cases that can be piloted in the local community.Outcomes Will Help Urban Centers Around the WorldWhile the initial study will concentrate on Limerick, Ireland’s third largest city, we believe that the outcomes of this research can be applied to other urban centers in Ireland and indeed around the world. For example, we will be sharing data with the All Ireland Smart Cities Forum, a cross border initiative, made up of local government officials, representing Cork, Dublin, Limerick, Galway, Waterford, Belfast and Derry, which explores common challenges related to implementing connected city policies and projects.I am excited about the potential for this project. Community benefits aside, this research is likely to influence the content of university courses while insights gained will undoubtedly shape the design of future products and services.Do you think technology and IoT can deliver benefit to society? What’s your take on Connected Cities? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.______________________________________________________________________________________[i][ii][iii] read more

Dell Recycles Gold for Motherboards — And Jewelry

first_imgWhen eWeek said ahead of CES that we were getting “fashion-conscious” with our new XPS 13 laptop, little did they know just how fashion – and environmentally – conscious we really are.In what BGR called “the most unexpected announcement of CES 2018,” we unveiled a collaboration several years in the making with actress, entrepreneur and activist Nikki Reed to create a jewelry line made from gold recovered from computer motherboards.“I want to shatter a lot off the misconceptions about sustainable materials and this preconceived notion that sustainability and luxury can’t belong in the same sentence,” Reed told Refinery29.Her company, Bayou with Love, sells apparel and home goods that meet a strict ethical checklist: Everything is local, sustainable, and recycled or upcycled. This now includes The Circular Collection sourced from gold recovered from Dell’s recycling programs. The collection includes 14- and 18-carat gold rings, earrings and cufflinks.It’s About More Than JewelrySomething that I think got lost in a lot of the news coverage of this collaboration, however, is that there is more to our gold recycling efforts than beautiful jewelry. Also announced last week was our industry-first pilot to use the same recycled gold from used electronics in new computer motherboards that will ship in our Latitude 5285 2-in-1s starting this spring.It’s About More Than TechnologyAs FastCompany noted, gold is the most malleable metal and the second-best conductor of electricity and usually comes from open pit mines, where miners blast rocks with dynamite, drill, crush the ore, and use chemicals to strip out tiny amounts of gold.But at CES, Darrel Ward, senior vice president of commercial client solutions at Dell, called out that there’s 800 more times gold in one ton of motherboards than there is in one ton of ore mined from the earth. According to a Trucost study, the gold reclamation process created by Dell environmental partner Wistron GreenTech has a 99 percent lower environmental impact than traditionally mined gold.“If we don’t start this now and we don’t start taking these precious metals out of the landfills and putting them back into the ecosystem, then we’ve all failed,” Ward said on the stage in Las Vegas.Currently, only 12.5 percent of e-waste is recycled into other products. As a result, it’s estimated that Americans throw away $60 million in gold and silver every year through unwanted phones alone.“I think in order to make this more than a blip on the radar, as a lot of these things have been–you know, with sustainable fashion, and conscious consuming–in order to make this more than a trend, we have to come up with new ways to harness people’s attention and really get them to see that this is the only way forward,” Reed said.’s About More Than GoldAs part of Dell’s Legacy of Good Program, the company has pledged to recycle 100 million pounds of recycled content into its product portfolio by 2020. The collaboration with Nikki Reed extends from the company’s widespread efforts to find innovative ways to create value from waste.“Let me tell you what I love about this company. It’s not just about the technology it’s what that technology empowers you to do,” said Ward. “It’s about driving human advancement. There’s a dimension of human advancement and what we do in the product group that’s particularly exciting to me. It really hits home. And that’s social responsibility and sustainability in our products.”Since 2012, Dell has recycled more than 50 million pounds of post-consumer recycled materials into new products. If you bought an Optiplex system from us in 2008, there were 17 water bottles worth of recycled plastic in that bezel. And if you buy a new Optiplex from us today, plastic from those old 2008 systems is used to create it.It’s About YouTo make this possible, we need you to help support the effort by sending us your old technology – whether it was manufactured by us or not.In the U.S., you can drop off unwanted and used electronics at a Goodwill participating in the Dell Reconnect program, a free and responsible recycling service partnered with Dell. Businesses can participate through Dell’s Asset Resale and Recycling Services. And, more global options can be found can feel good about reducing your personal impact on the environment, while also helping Dell reduce our impact across the value chain, take action against climate change, strive for zero-waste manufacturing and drive sustainability across the business.And, as Reed’s proud husband put it on his Instagram, your unwanted technology could become a beautiful line of jewelry to last and be passed down to other generations.last_img read more

PBS chief defends filmmaker Ken Burns, touts diversity

first_imgLOS ANGELES (AP) — The chief executive of PBS is rejecting an argument that public TV’s relationship with filmmaker Ken Burns has come at the expense of diversity. President and CEO Paula Kerger was asked Tuesday about an essay by filmmaker Grace Lee last fall. Lee contended that public TV’s deep attachment to Burns slights viewers of color. Kerger said she “respectfully disagrees” with Lee and said Burns has an extraordinary legacy. His documentary series include “The Civil War,” “Baseball” and “The Central Park Five.” Kerger said PBS is intent on fostering a culture of inclusion and ensuring that diverse voices are part of all aspects of creating content.last_img read more

Sri Lanka Tamils march to protest deaths, disappearances

first_imgCOLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Hundreds of ethnic Tamils have begun a four-day protest march from eastern to northern Sri Lanka to demand justice for civilians killed and forcibly disappeared during the country’s civil war, allegedly at the hands of the government’s military. Politicians, civil and religious leaders on foot and in cars joined the march, which is also protesting alleged plans by the government to change the demography of the traditional Tamil heartland by settling majority Sinhalese there and taking over private lands. Sri Lanka marks its 73th anniversary of independence from British colonial rule on Thursday. The approximately 500-kilometer (300-mile) march from the east to the north, which Tamils consider their homelands, is to end Saturday.last_img read more