The Journey Toward a Predictive Enterprise

MAC_0298By Brahma Tangella — Sr. Manager of Service Strategy, EMC IT

The 2014 EMC Digital Universe Study, with research and analysis by IDC, predicts that by 2020 the digital universe will contain nearly as many digital bits as there are stars in the universe.

According to the study, digital growth “is doubling in size every two years and by 2020, the digital universe—the data we create and copy annually—will reach 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes.”

As companies brace for this data tsunami, they are challenged to identify the next business opportunity, improve risk management, customer engagement and sustainability. They will need to become “predictive enterprises” which leverage their data to define their future focus and how to get there. Sifting massive amounts of data to find relevant insights for business will be a continuous process, constantly evolving and adapting to business climate. IT departments need to have a robust framework to manage their organizations’ ambitions and goals.

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The EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud: Hitting New Heights

NorrisBy Mike Norris — Vice President of Cloud Platforms, EMC IT

EMC IT’s ongoing quest to meet business’ need for speed and on-demand infrastructure has entered a new chapter as our IT organization implements a software defined data center using EMC’s Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud technology. As we continue to build our infrastructure and services in the cloud, there are several lessons we have learned along the way that will hopefully help your organization on your path to the hybrid cloud.

Our Journey              

Like most organizations, EMC IT has virtualized and consolidated our infrastructure, achieved significant cost savings, and continued to drive down provisioning time and increase agility. After this, we used a myriad of tools, software, and scripts to deliver some Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) capabilities.  The introduction of new EMC Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud technology (FEHC) is accelerating our progress toward a software defined data center by leveraging a fully integrated technology stack with virtual networking, storage and security, in addition to the virtual compute layer we have been – accustomed to for years.

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Pulling Ahead with Converged IT Infrastructure: More Time in the Driver’s Seat, Less under the Hood

paul-divittorio2By Paul Divittorio — Director of Cloud Infrastructure, EMC IT

With the demand for IT infrastructure growing at a steady rate in most organizations, embracing converged IT infrastructure allows IT operations to keep pace with demand without ramping up resources and expenses. Converged infrastructure combines compute, storage, and network in a single package, through technology such as VCE’s Vblock. EMC IT was an early adopter of Vblock in 2009/2010—first to enable our virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and then to support the build out of our brand new 100 percent virtualized, cloud data center.

EMC IT found that standing up IT infrastructure in pre-assembled, converged chunks offers several advantages, including a single vendor for support, a single end-of-support date for all technology components, and a single code release/support stack.  In addition, due to the reduction in footprint, cabling and errors, we’ve seen faster deployment times.

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EMC IT Proven Going Social at EMC World 2015

Transforming an IT organization is a complex, multi-faceted journey that requires new ways of thinking, analysis and structure. With the industry changing at a break-neck pace, the need has never been greater to assume an IT as a Service (ITaaS) model and become a true service provider to the business. To help organizations with their transformations, EMC IT Proven engages customers so they may leverage EMC IT’s first-hand experience to accelerate their own IT transformation journeys.

That is why EMC IT experts will be hosting five LIVE Virtual CrowdChat events during EMC World this year which can be attended virtually from anywhere in the world!
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Creating New Business Value Around the Business Data Lake

Profile PicBy Sean Brown — Director of Big Data Service Strategy, EMC IT

If your organization is like most, you have multiple business groups seeking to leverage pools of segmented Big Data in various ways to improve their operations, gain insight into customers, target marketing efforts, hone product features and more.  Maybe you are even one of the few who have gained some significant value from these siloed business analytics using increasingly popular data science techniques.

However, most organizations, including EMC, still have a way to go to become an analytical enterprise, which bases both tactical and strategic decisions on data and analytics.  This does not mean that the decision-making is out of the hands of the leadership of the company and the years of experience they bring, but it does mean that every decision has been critiqued based on what your analysis is telling you.

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Flash Comes Down to Earth: High-performance Storage Goes Mainstream

KKBy KK Krishnakumar — Vice President and Chief IT Architect, EMC IT

Flash storage is getting decidedly more flashy these days. The once exclusive and expensive, high-performance storage technology is staking out an increasingly mainstream storage footprint across the current data environment.

Typically, flash has been the Formula 1 of storage technology, used to meet workloads requiring high-intensity IO with low-latency needs for applications like high-performance computing, database acceleration and data mining support. While it is still used to meet these demands, we find that due to both technology and business model changes, we are able to use flash in a variety of general purpose storage situations, and, in fact, that’s how we are putting it to use in EMC IT.

There are several factors that have made flash a more viable option for a wider array of storage needs:

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10 Lessons Learned from the EMC IT Transformation

1c0038eBy Jon Peirce — Senior Vice President, EMC IT

We have shared many insights on EMC IT’s multi-year journey to transform from a traditional IT operation to an IT-as-a-Service model—from steps which determine a new organization structure to strategies on changing the mindset of employees to focus on serving our clients. With some significant transformation successes under our belt and many more in the works, it seems like an opportune time to look back a bit on how far we’ve come and reflect on what we’ve learned in the process.

What follow are the Top 10 Lessons EMC IT learned in its IT transformation process. Regardless of whether your IT organization is just beginning this crucial transformation or is in the throes of the climb, we hope these lessons will help you move forward.

#1:  IT Transformation is not a project. It’s a journey.
IT transformation is a complex challenge, for which a prescriptive approach to change management is inappropriate.   A more iterative and agile approach is necessary.

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Enterprise Vendor Management: Getting What Vendors Promise

DobbinBy Michael Dobbin — Director, IT Partner Management, EMC IT

“That’s not what I wanted”… “You said you were going to seamlessly support my apps”… “I thought you understood what the project was”… PROJECT STATUS: RED

Have you ever heard of the Latin term ‘Caveat Emptor’? It means let the buyer beware.  How many times have you heard about someone who purchased a product or service and it is not what they thought they were buying? In countless courtrooms, both large and small, consumers (whether individuals or corporations) are warned about understanding what they are agreeing to, knowing what they are buying and taking responsibility for any agreements they are entering into.  In a way – our computer age has made this easier than ever to do.  So if this is so easy why are there still many vendor disputes or – worse yet for IT organizations –failed projects?

Contract Execution and Compliance is a key part of EMC IT’s Enterprise Vendor Management approach that can have a huge impact on the ongoing success of the work we produce. It is one of four pillars or focus areas we use to address key components of our IT sourcing. The other three pillars, discussed in other blogs in this series, are Strategic Partnership; Partner Selection and Negotiation; and Analytics, Process and Communication.

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Adopting the SAP HANA Platform to Power Your SAP Implementation

By Mike Harding — Senior Technical Architect, EMC ITHarding

If your organization is running SAP’s software products and applications, SAP’s in-memory computing platform, SAP HANA, offers tremendous game-changing potential for delivering business value via data analytics. However, as EMC IT recently discovered, there are key steps you should take to pave the way for leveraging this new platform.

EMC is still a relatively new customer of SAP’s software products and applications, having gone live with a large-scale greenfield SAP deployment back in July 2012.  The implementation program continues to thrive, having added more SAP modules and solutions over the course of the last couple years, and gearing towards a large SAP CRM deployment in 2016.

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From Neuroscience to Data Science

Shiri_blogBy Shiri Gaber — Data Scientist, EMC IT

Project: Root cause analysis of difference in support hours
ROI: Model suggests saving of 500-1,000 support hours on average weekly (up to $5M annually)

I have recently made the transition from academic neuroscience to becoming a member of the Data-Science-as-a-Service team in EMC’s IT organization. The change from academia to the business world is far from trivial. Coming from a computational neuroscience lab, where most of the work involved developing probabilistic models for the activity of neural populations, simulations and implementations were not a top priority. As a data scientist with a mostly theoretical background, coping with implementation, let alone implementation in a Big Data environment, is challenging.

Lucky for me, the change of scientific domains underlying the two disciplines is not as large a “leap” as it may seem at first. When you think about predictive analytics, what is more natural than to think of our brain as a complicated learning machine whose main goal is data compression and interpretation?

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The CIO/CMO Relationship: Breaking New Ground Together

Tccthumbnail2he idea that Chief Information Officers and Chief Marketing Officers exist in different worlds, where one is a service provider and the other a service consumer, is outdated thinking. With demands growing on CIOs to drive value to the business, and CMOs operating more rapidly to customer demands, the need for harmony between the two has never been greater.

In response, the CIO/CMO relationship can be forged by mutual opportunity. As IT transforms to more contemporary operating models and services, Marketing can embrace agile technologies, such as analytics and data science, that unlock value and bring success to the CIO, the CMO and their respective organizations.

In the latest edition of Coffee in the Café with Vic Bhagat, EMC CIO Vic Bhagat and Jonathan Martin, CMO, EMC II, discuss the deepening relationship and how their respective organizations can advance together.

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Enterprise Vendor Management: Forging the Right IT Partnerships

EcklerBy Richard Eckler — Senior Manager, IT Partner Management

Second in a series on Enterprise Vendor Management

Selecting IT sourcing partners and negotiating effective contracts are key to the success of your organization’s IT sourcing strategy.  Failure to dedicate enough time to these items will almost certainly lead to issues down the road, either in project failure or not achieving intended goals.  In this the second blog on Enterprise Vendor Management, we will review some foundational steps to get you started in the right direction. (Read the first part on Framing a Better Sourcing Strategy)

Selecting a partner

Before deciding who you want to purchase services from or partner with, you must clearly define your goals and requirements including timeframe and budget.  If possible, do this without a specific partner in mind to avoid tailoring your requirements.  Depending on the scope of your project, you may want to issue a formal request for proposal (RFP).

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EMC IT Redefines IT as a Service: The Transformation Story

For several years, EMC IT has been on a journey toward ITaaS and has gradually evolved the structure, culture, and role of its organization to better align with the needs and objectives of the business. This organizational transformation has touched every aspect of IT—from architecture, infrastructure and application development, to the way in which IT services are created and funded, to enterprise security and support.

No longer does IT hold a monopoly on technology. Instead, EMC is building new consultative relationships with the business, streamlining business units’ access to IT services, and creating new job functions centered on providing the business with not only the services it needs, but, just as important, an outstanding customer experience.

In addition, EMC IT is helping business units reduce risk by building controls into the services it offers, rather than attempting to bolt security onto services that already are being delivered.

This animated video provides an overview of EMC’s IT Transformation journey, from a reactive IT organization to a true service provider. For more information about the EMC IT Transformation, read the latest white paper titled EMC IT Redefined.

Service Portfolio Management: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

KKBy KK Krishnakumar — Vice President and Chief IT Architect

When it comes to running your IT operation like a business to deliver IT as a Service (ITaaS) and competing with outside providers, Service Portfolio Management (SPM) is where the rubber meets the road.

SPM is the process by which your IT organization makes sure your service catalog is providing the right mix of services that will meet customers’ needs and deliver business value while at the same time enabling you to be a financially viable service provider. Or, put in plain business terms, SPM is how you make sure you are selling the right product mix to meet your customers’ demands (and needs) at the right price to keep you in business–to keep IT relevant. It is basic supply and demand.

That said, achieving SPM as you transform your traditional IT operation to ITaaS has its challenges. EMC IT has been in the process of transforming to an ITaaS model for several years now. And just as our transformation journey has been a learning process, so has our journey to effective SPM.

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Talent and Innovation Come Together To Reach the Third Platform

VicThe journey to the Third Platform is forging new requirements, skills and expectations of the evolving employee. To stay ahead of the curve and fulfill the opportunities associated with emerging technologies, CIOs must tap new resources to acquire global talent that drives innovation. Such is a key mission of the EMC Centers of Excellence, where EMC is constantly breaking new ground to the benefit of the enterprise and our partners and customers.

In the latest edition of Coffee in the Café with Vic Bhagat, Vic traveled to the EMC Israel Center of Excellence. There, he met with Orna Berry, Vice President of Growth and Innovation, to discuss how EMC is finding, fostering and developing talent in a hot bed for technology.
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Strategic IT Partnerships: Framing a Better Sourcing Strategy


Brian_Roy2jpgBy Dr. Brian P. Roy — Sr. Manager, IT Partner Management, EMC IT

All organizations need to strategically manage their IT sources to fulfill their needs in the most efficient way.  Many companies leverage hundreds of vendors to support their IT operations as well as a select core of strategic partners with whom they collaborate for mutual success.

At EMC IT, we are incorporating industry best practices into a newly launched Enterprise Vendor Management Office (EVMO) to bring our IT sourcing strategy to a new level of efficiency.

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Digitization at Top of CIO Priority Lists

VicBy Vic Bhagat — EMC Chief Information Officer
@VicBhagat

Over the last three decades in this industry, I’ve seen many impressively disruptive waves of technology, but I have never witnessed as many waves hitting simultaneously as we are seeing today.

While we can and will pursue many of these, as CIOs in a hypercompetitive global environment, we have to catch the wave that makes the biggest impact on enabling the business and accelerating our revenue and business growth.  In 2015, I predict the highest priority for CIOs is digitization.

As the digital economy pushes enterprises to analyze and solve problems faster, businesses are asking CIOs and IT professionals to help reduce complexities, improve synergies across organizations, and leverage existing information regardless of where it resides.  For instance, my team is extending our data lake architecture capabilities to enable multiple organizations to make data-driven decisions and accelerate the value for the business like never before. To do this, CIOs and IT professionals must:

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EMC Leaps To IT-as-a-Service: Redefining the Organizational Model

1c0038eBy Jon Peirce — Senior Vice President, EMC IT

In describing our journey to Redefine our IT organization at EMC, I told you how we brought in consultants to help us bridge the old IT world with the new, devised a fresh strategy and workstreams to execute on our roadmap and used added insights about our customers to define wins for IT.  What we still needed to do beyond those milestones was to determine what our new organization would look like; we were struggling with several organizational components.

While we had broken down some technology silos in the past, we still had not taken the leap fully into a services-based organizational structure.  We still had “sand in the gears” with respect to how teams worked together.  Each group had its own goals and objectives, and what was important to our end customer was too often getting lost in the “interlock.”
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The CIO and the CISO: Evolving Security Together

VicIn an ongoing video series, EMC Chief Information Officer Vic Bhagat and EMC leaders discuss the changing landscape of IT. From maturing partnerships with the business to redefining IT to be more contemporary, Vic and his guests explore how the industry is evolving to maximize agility and improve responsive times to business demands.

The latest edition of the Coffee in the Café with Vic Bhagat featuresDave-Martin---Headshot2 EMC Chief Information Security Officer Dave Martin, who offers a look into how EMC is taking a new approach to data protection — leveraging the latest in analytics and other predictive tools – while maintaining a positive, more functional user experience.

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Smart Data Visualization: Helping Decision Makers Get the Picture

lena2By Dr. Lena Tenenboim-Chekina — Senior Data Scientist, EMC IT

Smart data visualization is proving to be an essential tool in maintaining increasingly complex Big Data systems in the cloud.

The adoption of Big Data tools and technology heavily relies on distributed scaled out computing. One of the main differences in this setting is that it includes systems that operate as a whole on top of several independent hosts. These hosts coordinate their actions with limited information and as a result maintenance complexity significantly increases. One way to overcome this challenge is smart data visualization, which helps the IT experts and management pinpoint the source of problems quickly.

The need for smart visualization is not unique to this problem. Representing complex data as a concise picture which tells decision-makers a story is a key part of any data analytics or data science project. Valuable results of a rigorous analysis may remain undiscovered due to a lack of a visualization clearly communicating the underlying information to the reader. The importance of data visualization is not a novelty. A number of visualization tools, as well as a general interest in data visualization topics, have exploded in popularity in recent years, as evidenced by the proliferation of literature available about infographics and visualization arcanum in both print and online media.

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