The IT industry is one of constant change, perhaps never greater than right now – from sweeping consolidation, to revolutionizing IT infrastructure. Transformation is happening all around us – at Dell EMC, we talk about the four critical transformations we believe every organization must embrace to remain competitive.Being a viable business today means having a strong point-of-view of where the world is going tomorrow. Earlier this month, during our Titanium Black “Access to the Future” experience, we shared with these select, elite Partners Dell EMC’s vision for the future, how we’re thinking about 2030 – from our technology roadmap, to our go-to-market plans. Titanium Black Partners are innovating in incredible ways, going big and winning big with Dell EMC’s best-in-class portfolio, and architecting real and meaningful change for our end users. They understand the four transformations as essential, and are helping their customers prepare for tomorrow… today.Hearing and engaging with Dell leadership, including Michael Dell, Jeff Clarke, Tom Sweet, Howard Elias, Rory Read, Jeremy Burton, Marius Haas, Bill Scannell and John Roese, we discussed the decisions and influences shaping how Dell EMC will remain competitive and win, and how our Partners can align and embed with us.As we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our Partners, we face an exciting future. One that promises continued evolution and even revolution. One that holds tremendous opportunities. Titanium Black Partners told me throughout “Access to the Future” that they are on board with us 100%. They told me they are excited about and confident in our vision and strategy. Most importantly, they told me they can see and feel how Dell EMC and our Partners will lead and continue to grow… together.Global Channels is a powerful force in Dell EMC’s success, with our incredible Titanium Black Partners leading the way. No one at “Access to the Future” is settling for ordinary. We are charging full force towards Extraordinary.
Although these films cannot fully replicate the onsite experience, they provide authentic insight for those currently unable to visit, providing a foundation for dialogue on key topics such as staff wellbeing and social and environmental responsibility. We’ve already seen these benefits in sharing the VR experience with customers, NGOs, academics and our own team members. Expanding transparency to drive insight, feedback and dialogue is not only enriching our current relationships but establishing new connections with audiences wanting a more immersive experience.Although the vehicles may change, the outcomes remain the same: driving a better product (through increased insight), strengthening relationships, and enhancing the ability to up-level standards in our supply chain, especially for the people whose work is so critical to ensuring our products perform to the high standards expected by customers.While the VR experience is best viewed through a Dell VR visor, our 360-degree videos offer great insight into how this video approach can expand transparency into our supply chain. Our full suite of 360-degree supply chain tour videos are here.Related article: Pioneering Virtual Reality & Its Potential to Improve Our World Championing Transparency – Leadership That Everyone Can SeeTransparency is an increasing and transformational trend, with vehicles such as social media and virtual reality now providing unprecedented abilities and responsibilities in sharing thoughts and experiences with others.Businesses face the same trends – and challenges – in demonstrating transparency with a growing number of stakeholders. Customers increasingly want to know more about their products, and we’ve seen this first hand at Dell: the number and range of the customer requests we receive is rapidly accelerating, especially about the manufacturing of our products.This isn’t something we’ve just realized. We recognized its importance back in 2013, when we defined 100 percent transparency as a supply chain guiding principle in our 2020 Legacy of Good. Although we’ve established specific ambitions to demonstrate progress, such as setting greenhouse gas reduction targets or reducing water use, ensuring the proactive sharing of this data is just as important as capturing it.Driving transparencyThe building blocks for transparency are well established across many areas of sustainability, starting with common auditable standards subject to regular scrutiny and reporting. The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure is just a recent example reinforcing the importance of “improving what is measured.”The dislocated nature of supply chains can make transparency even more challenging, requiring change across multiple businesses and factories of varying size and expertise – especially so in aspects of commercial differentiation.Our actions in response to these challenges are captured in a twice-yearly published Supply Chain Sustainability Progress report, which consolidates information and data on areas of most interest to customers and stakeholders, such as monitoring working hours, up-levelling health and safety and environmental risk mitigation at supplier factories.Our yardsticks for progress come from the Responsible Business Alliance, RBA (formerly Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition), reflecting our role as a founding member and RBA’s intention to establish common standards across a sector where suppliers often work with multiple technology customers.We also recognize the need to convey our information across a number of different channels, leveraging their attributes and preferences of customers and other stakeholders to inform them proactively.Introducing new ways to be transparentIn 2015, we pioneered tours of supplier factories to enable customers to see operating areas, canteens, dormitories and leisure areas at first-hand, as well as meet the people who work there. The benefit of this initiative was clearly evident in feedback and dialogue with participants, complementing the data-driven transparency provided through monitoring and reporting.We wanted to open up these benefits to a wider audience, so we undertook filming during a 2017 supply chain tour at one of our suppliers’ facilities in Chengdu, China.The outcome is a series of virtual reality tours accessible to anyone worldwide, sharing three views:Look around a supplier factorySee the living conditions for people working at the facilityObserve an engagement session featuring customers and members of the facility team
Microsoft Azure Stack is an extension of Azure to consistently run hybrid applications on-premises. It delivers unmatched levels of integration, automation and manageability and enables customers to increase IT efficiencies while adopting a Dev/Ops model.Dell Technologies is the only vendor able to provide an Azure Stack turnkey hybrid cloud platform offering:A foundation of Dell EMC PowerEdge servers and Dell EMC NetworkingSimple, self-service, policy-enforced encryption-as-a-service, through Dell EMC CloudLink SecureVM.Dell EMC best-in-class backup and recovery technologiesReduced complexity and risk with build in lifecycle components for the entire hybrid cloud platform.“But key among that is to validate that all of that works together,” Mike Truitt, director, Global Solutions Engineering, Dell EMC – Converged Platform & Solutions Division, explained in a video conversation with Anshul Chadda, director of Product Management. “Not only do we have the code and all the features tested at a team basis, but we really take a scientific approach to the validation of the solution. We then take all that code that has been tested once and we have a separate team validate it again to make sure that we’re delivering a first-in-class solution. That no issues are found by the customer.”Back in March, Ryan Hicks noted here on Direct2DellEMC that “Azure brings an entirely new way of doing business in the cloud. The Azure ecosystem consists of redundant data centers located literally around our globe. In most cases, Azure can provide you with far better security, performance, and reliability than you can provide on-premises.”Paul Galjan (@PaulGaljan), senior director, Microsoft Hybrid Cloud joins me from the Dell Technologies World 2018 Expo Hall with the latest on VxRack: Azure Stack.Get Dell EMC The Source app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, and Subscribe to the podcast: iTunes, Stitcher Radio or Google Play.Dell EMC The Source Podcast is hosted by Sam Marraccini (@SamMarraccini)
As any architect worth his brick and mortar will tell you, a solid foundation is the key to achieving the desired outcome of any substantial structure. This is certainly true when it comes to implementing a successful digital transformation with an eye toward maximizing the benefits of artificial intelligence and all of the other new technologies now available.While it is easy for C Suite decision makers to become dazzled by the potential offered by advances in AI technology, it is also important to remember that emerging technology solutions are not guaranteed to succeed unless companies merge their digital & technology agenda with their corporate vision.At Dell Technologies, we encourage our customers to look beyond the capabilities of a particular technology like AI and focus instead on the internal layers of application that go into creating a flexible and robust foundation on which myriad AI solutions can prosper.Customizing your Digital Agenda – The Value of LayersAt its core, any smart digital agenda has four main goals: modernizing the workforce, enhancing your customer experience, encouraging the adopting of flexible new business models, and gaining a competitive advantage.To do so effectively, the 21st century CEO, or the Connected CEO in other words, must recognize the stages needed to give tomorrow’s technology the platform it needs to succeed, from edge to core to cloud.Step One involves taking a hard look at your existing legacy structure, establishing its strengths and weaknesses, and deciding how best to incorporate and/or upgrade your IT designs to best suit your company’s goals. Do your applications need to be modernized, or are they capable of handling the needs of tomorrow’s mobile, analytics, data and cloud requirements? Would your data centers best benefit from more traditional (IaaS) structures, a cloud native (PaaS) setup, or a more flexible hybrid combination of on and offsite repositories? For many of today’s businesses, infrastructure modernization relies on a host of products capable of enabling a hybrid cloud platform designed to drive cost efficiencies and increase speed. Special attention must be paid to the ways in which data is to be managed, stored, and shared, both throughout the company and externally.Step Two focuses on building a layer of customer engagement IT, which not only heightens the all-important customer experience, but opens new channels for data mining that serve to improve data quality and enhance message focus. This helps a company better understand its customers, and thus allows them to build more accurate machine learning algorithms to give them an added competitive edge and increase brand trust and loyalty down the line.Advances in AI, as well as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and the Internet of Things (IoT), have led to a dramatic shift in the way modern consumers interact with the digital world. As these solutions further break down the barriers between human and machine relationships both online and in-store, the user experience will continue to evolve and the ways companies communicate with their customers will grow more personal.Emerging customer engagement apps rely on the formation of a new intelligent intermediary layer capable of connecting people and systems, and for savvy companies, their potential goes beyond the customer experience to include the workplace itself. Virtual assistants, chatbots, kiosks and digital assistants have the power to spread real-time information in ways previously only imagined, while intelligent things such as smart phones and cameras allow humans and machines to collaborate throughout every step in the supply chain. Both consumer and employee benefit from the same technology.Step Three involves the all-important data layer. If, as Michael Dell states, “data is today’s rocket fuel”, then this layer is the navigation system guiding a company’s vision. The role of a strong data centric analytics platform and corresponding data lake goes beyond the simple collection, storage and prioritizing of data to include analyzing these mountains of information and predicting trends based on past performance. Properly implemented, it aids in the prevention of data drift, improves data integrity, hones customer focus and offers a user-friendly interface to provide the C Suite with up-to-the-minute facts on which to base decisions.The earlier a company commits to a smart data strategy, the more cost effective the results and the easier it is to customize new applications. Early adopters also benefit from greatly reduced data migration periods and eliminate the need for future apps to be reworked to align with their existing central data repository.Once a strong data layer is firmly in place, Step Four can then focus securely on the advantages of AI. This layer enables companies to develop well-governed, accurate machine learning models that apply to every stage of their business. Machine learning is capable of taking on those tasks at which computers excel, such as analyzing large amounts of data, monitoring the business environment and making accurate predictions based upon past performance as well as plotting trends. This frees up the workforce to engage in more human-centric functions such as planning, strategizing and orchestrating the business based on that output.This allows a company to:grow revenue streams by identifying new areas of business and using predictive analysisincrease efficiency by relating pertinent information in real-time and improving productivity by using analytical insights to enhance focusimprove customer service and satisfaction through more personalized engagement and predictive insightsboost security and compliance by monitoring unusual behavior and broken patterns throughout the entire enterprise, including the cloudcreate customized algorithms for present and future machine learning solutions that can function to improve performance both internally and externally, building upon acquired knowledge to improve future performance Reaping Multiple Benefits to Increase ROIGartner states that “the ability to use AI to enhance decision making, reinvent business models and ecosystems, and remake the customer experience will drive the payoff for digital initiatives through 2025.”However, investing in a series of well-planned intermediary layers has additional payoffs that go beyond enhancing AI solutions. Solid technology foundations help emerging tech integrate more efficiently with one another, thereby unlocking a host of new methods and substantially increasing their reach.AI, AR, VR, IoT and Blockchain all benefit equally from a solid, up-to-date internal foundation – IoT to collect data, AI to analyze, AR/VR to visualize, cloud services to add speed and flexibility, and Blockchain to secure. Given the proper base, these technologies go from standalone solutions to a cohesive business organization infrastructure capable of being customized to a company’s needs and greatly increasing both their present and future value.The key to a successful digital transformation that allows companies to get the most out of tomorrow’s technology and maximize return on investment lies in sound preparation and a view to the long term. These often overlooked internal layers are the unsung heroes of the Digital Age, and their importance cannot be underestimated.
After two and a half great years as Vice-President & General Manager of Dell Large Commercial Accounts in Germany, I recently moved to head up Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions in EMEA as Vice President and General Manager. I’m excited about the chance to dig deep into a different area of our business, and cannot wait to embrace the new opportunities and challenges ahead!The same but differentWhat are my first impressions? I’m struck by the fact that the classic Dell and OEM business are similar in so many ways and yet quite different. Of course, both are about serving customers and providing the right IT technology. When you boil it all down, everything we do at Dell is all about helping our customers stay relevant and successful.Embedded in our customers’ businessThe question is, what’s different? Ultimately, I think that the whole question of relevancy becomes even more pronounced in OEM. After all, our technology is not a cost overhead for the customer – rather, it becomes a profit center.If you think about it, customers engage with us at the solution planning and design phase – we work to integrate our technology with their IP, assist with any compliance and regulatory needs, optionally rebrand the systems, pre-install software images, integrate third party hardware, certify the solution, offer global build and distribution at our network of factories, manage the infrastructure lifecycle of the project, plus provide support on a regional or global scale. We are effectively partnering in bringing the customer’s solution to market.Importantly, in OEM, our supply chain physically interlinks with that of our customers. We become literally embedded in our customers’ product solutions and by extension their business model and marketing strategy.Relevancy drives successFor me, this notion of staying relevant is key to survival and success. Indeed, we’re walking, living proof of that maxim. I just have to think about my own personal experience. Twenty years ago, I joined Dell as a green, young intern. It was honestly one of the smartest decisions I’ve made. I was so lucky to join the right industry and the right company at the right time. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed so many different opportunities to learn, develop and progress that it feels like I’ve worked in at least ten different companies!And of course, over that same time period, Dell has also made many smart decisions. We’ve transformed several times over in response to changing customer needs and evolving market conditions. We’ve never stuck our head in the sand, afraid to embrace change. We’ve never accepted the status quo and stayed content in our own little rut.A disruptive force in the marketI’ve seen the company evolve from a PC company to an infrastructure solutions company, disrupting the market for the benefit of customers, offering servers, storage, workstations, networking, rugged systems, services and everything in between. I think it’s that ability to turn on a dime that keeps us relevant.However, here’s the thing. While we have transformed our own company positively in the process, we’ve never changed just for the sake of it. Our motivation has always been to help our customers stay relevant for their customers. At the end of the day, I believe that relevancy is what matters – it drives success, creates margin and keeps employees happy. After all, everyone wants to make a difference and feel pride in the company they work for.Digital transformationAnd of course, over this same time period, the pace of change in the marketplace has dramatically accelerated, particularly in the last few years with business models being digitally transformed through the power of IoT.For example, one of our customers, Brembo, has transformed its business model for manufacturing high performance brake systems for supercars and motorbikes. The company has begun integrating all PLCs and sensors installed in its manufacturing lines, collecting information during the brake production period. This allows it to gain DNA from each caliper and disc and integrate that information into big data, enabling the analyst to improve the quality and efficiencies of its brake systems. The data collected from each plant is used to see how Brembo can make the production process more efficient, optimizing the outcome of what they produce.New career pathsThese changed digital business models are also translating into new and exciting career paths. In parallel, lines between industries like pharma and IT are beginning to blur. As a result, a lot of young people struggle to know what to study. Relevancy is again a big driver. The big question is, if I study this course, will there be jobs when I graduate?As a father of two children, I understand this dilemma. All I can say is that my love of technology started as a teenager, when I helped to provide technical support to my mother’s medical practice. And so, my career advice is simple – study what you love and what you feel passionate about. If you do, work will never become a chore, you’ll excel in what you do, and the rest should hopefully follow.A positive force for goodOf course, I know from first-hand experience that it can be tough to always feel relevant. For example, when I ask my sister – a doctor – about her day and she tells me she saved a patient’s life, my work seems to pale into dim insignificance.However, I remind myself it’s all about perspective. I might not directly be saving lives but nonetheless, the technology Dell is helping develop and implement is actually helping doctors and scientists better identify cancers, implement the most effective treatment regimes, address climate change, launch rockets, measure crop growth and conduct deep sea exploration. For example, read here about the work we are doing in DNA analytics with our partner HybridStat and how we helping explore new frontiers here with The Arggonauts from the Fraunhofer IOSB.My visionAnd so, I believe that the work we do at Dell is making a positive difference to society. The truth is that IT technology is a big driver in human progress and a huge force for good. In my view, Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions is at the very vanguard of that movement. Under my leadership, rest assured that the team and I will work hard to remain relevant and become even more embedded in our customers’ product solutions and business models.What role do you see technology playing in society? What is your advice to young people starting out on a career? Do join the conversation. I’d love to hear your comments and questions.Come meet us at our Next Gen OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions Summits, taking place currently across Europe at a location near you. Register here, now.Learn more about Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge SolutionsJoin our LinkedIn OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions Showcase page here.Keep in touch. Follow us on Twitter @delltechoem.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Police documents say a Tennessee man stabbed a man with whom he got into an argument over not wearing a mask and later swung two metal baseball bats at police officers. A Metro Nashville police affidavit says Jerry Cowan began arguing with another man outside of an apartment complex early Sunday because Cowan wasn’t wearing a mask. Cowan allegedly pulled out a pocket knife and then a “long blade” and stabbed the other man twice. Police said Cowan later swung two metal bats toward officers before being stunned multiple times and taken into custody. He’s been charged with aggravated assault. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney who can comment for him.
ATLANTA (AP) — Some retired Georgia teachers could return to work and collect both a full salary and a full pension under a measure that Gov. Brian Kemp is proposing. The Republican governor said Tuesday that Georgia needs to bolster its teacher workforce. The proposal would let educators return if they can teach in one of the top three subject areas in which a local region most needs more teachers. Kemp also wants to recruit more teachers from the military and from historically Black colleges. Georgia isn’t experiencing as severe a teacher shortage as some other states, but experts say it’s still a problem amid declining enrollments in colleges of education.