By 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.
By 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:
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 ITlearned 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.
By 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.
By Mike Harding — Senior Technical Architect, EMC IT
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.
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?
The 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.
By 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).
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.
By 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.
The 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. Continue reading →
By 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.
By 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:
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.” Continue reading →
In 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 features 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.
By 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.
By Mike Koehler — Senior Vice President, EMC Global Services
On the road to IT-as-a-Service, transforming your IT infrastructure and applications is the easy part, comparatively speaking, that is. The really tough part is transforming the people and processes, and it’s also what differentiates the most successful IT transformations.
So you’ve virtualized your environment, set up your on-premises private cloud and connected it with a public cloud solution. You have a hybrid cloud up and running and you’re on your way to delivering IT-as-a-Service. Now that you have the hardware and software operating, how do you get your people operating in a new way – with new processes and structure — that allows your business to capitalize on the new IT agenda to deliver more business value than ever before?
By Debajit Banerjee — Technical Architect SAP, SAP HANA, Big Data Solutions, EMC IT
A few months ago, EMC IT successfully migrated its mission-critical, SAP Business Warehouse (BW) from an Oracle database to SAP HANA, an in-memory, relational database management system that offers several benefits over our existing system.
Not only is SAP HANA providing us with speed and efficiency needed to meet today’s growing demand for real-time business analytics, it is also allowing us to showcase how several EMC technologies can be leveraged in combination with HANA to create a contemporary IT architecture.
EMC implemented an SAP-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system in 2012, to replace its decades-old, Oracle-based ERP system. However, since SAP HANA was still very new and developing at that time, we waited more than a year to migrate our Business Warehouse database from Oracle to a now-evolved SAP HANA-based system. In the meantime, our data volume grew and our business reporting process to analyze and report on key data was slow and not so efficient.
By Vic Bhagat — EMC Chief Information Officer @VicBhagat
I had the distinct pleasure of presenting to many local CIOs and IT professionals at Evanta’s CIO Executive Summit in Boston last Tuesday. In speaking with a variety of attendees, one common topic revolved around how we must change our conversations and working relationship with our business users.
It is no surprise that today’s business leaders are faced with a trifecta of challenges – unwavering competitive pressures; shifting business and budgetary priorities; and unprecedented new technologies, such as cloud, analytics, mobility and social media. Traditionally, we would do all we could to help, but were often handcuffed by a budget-driven, multi-year command and control processes for IT projects. Continue reading →
Sometimes simple steps can lead to substantial insights in the midst of transition. One such instance proved extremely valuable in our Redefine IT effort.
In my previous Redefine IT blog, I described the structure of our IT transformation program, the workstreams we used to reshape our organization, and our pursuit of a more inclusive process for driving change. In this installment, I want to share an elegantly simple exercise that ended up bringing new focus to our IT Strategy.
As our transition to IT-as-a-Service was taking shape, we decided to actually spell out our IT Strategy and how it connects with what matters most to EMC. We have always had an implied IT Strategy that was tightly aligned to EMC’s corporate strategy; however, we had never written it down, and consequently there was varied understanding of it across our IT organization and across the company. Continue reading →