In the expanding world of Big Data, there is more and more information out there that can help your organization target the right customers with the most effective messages for the right products and services at the right time. EMC IT is using data lake technology to help our Marketing and Sales teams gain unprecedented insights into our customer behaviors, needs and sentiments to drive effective marketing.
At the center of this effort is our Marketing Science Lab, which provides advanced analytics support for Marketing using a shared Marketing and Sales workspace in the data lake. The Lab collaborates with Sales on shared data and models to deliver 360 views of customer behaviors by analyzing a vast array of data from internal and increasingly, external sources.
At EMC, as with many companies across the globe today, we are pursuing our path to digital transformation—enabled by our internal IT Transformation. For EMC IT, digital transformation points us towards a vision of personalized products and services, real-time information and analytics smartly helping ‘pilot’ the business, and contemporary customer experiences enabled on smart devices. In other words, we are transforming EMC into a software defined enterprise (SDE). The question is what does “software defined enterprise” (SDE) really mean for IT and how do we get there. By way of an answer, our Office of Architecture and Innovation team recently came up with a game plan—appropriately called EMC IT Architecture of the Future.
We have created a comprehensive blueprint detailing the foundational architecture principles which are critical to achieving our software defined enterprise goals. While the priorities highlighted in the plan are not new, this is the first time IT has brought them together in a single vision defining how each fits to deliver SDE. The intent is to help clearly communicate IT’s role in making the notion of SDE a reality.
With the digital universe expected to swell to 44 zettabytes of data by 2020, today’s enterprises need a central data repository that can process increasing volumes of all types of data faster to let business users make better, real-time decisions. In short they need a stronger backbone; they need the data lake!
Not only do traditional databases constrain real-time and shared data analytics due to their siloed nature, they also lack the technology to accommodate the skyrocketing level and types of data being created at an increasing rate. After all, according to IDC research, the growing number of smart devices that analyze everything from home heating systems to consumer information will mean that within four years there will be some 7 billion connected people using an estimated 30 billion devices.
Running everything under one cloud where we can seamlessly move workloads on and off premises as we need to and pay for IT infrastructure as we use it—that is the vision EMC IT is pursuing when it comes to its SAP mission-critical applications. As a first step toward that goal, we are in the midst of a pilot program to migrate some SAP applications to an off-premises environment operated by enterprise-class Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) hosting provider Virtustream. EMC acquired Virtustream, a global managed cloud services provider, in 2015.
As part of our ongoing SAP ERP journey, EMC IT will begin leveraging Virtustream’s IaaS model and its unique migration and chargeback technology in a pilot effort which will begin our methodical approach to off-premises expansion.
By the end of-April, we will have migrated our first SAP application—Sales and Operational Planning (S&OP)—to Virtustream’s off-premises hosted cloud environment. Virtusteam will then support S&OP using its unique software solution, xStream, which will also provide consumption-based chargeback capabilities, enabling us to more accurately track our utilization costs and more accurately bill business units for what they consume. (more…)
The ease with which we have long been able to retrieve information from the World Wide Web (WWW) using increasingly efficient and high quality search engines underscores a less-than-impressive performance from search engines serving the enterprise environment. Off-the-shelf tools that let organizations retrieve their enterprise information just do not give us the same experience as Google or Bing. But what if you could build your own enterprise information retrieval system by leveraging open source tools and platforms?
In this blog, we will explore the feasibility of doing just that.
From adapting energy use to maximizing data consolidation, Big Data (BD) analytics has taken the guesswork out of optimizing the modern data center.
More than ever, the modern data center is a living, changing environment, with new technologies coming in, old technologies being cycled out, and evolving energy efficiency strategies to keep it all humming. We have to make sure we have the space and power to install the latest technology, while we still have the old equipment in place.
Up until recently, orchestrating this shifting ecosystem was only partially data-driven and the rest was based on gauging changing needs from past experience. At EMC IT—like most IT organizations—we had long tracked metrics on our data center facilities, including space, power, cooling, humidity, temperature, etc. And we collected storage data—server utilization, virtual machines, growth trends. But we lacked the tools to process this vast amount of data and we were never able to aggregate this information into one data base.
Converged infrastructure (CI)—pre-engineered and deeply integrated blocks of compute, storage and network that deliver mission-critical performance offered as a turnkey solution—has been a game changer in helping IT keep pace with rapidly evolving business demands. And now a more agile technological cousin, called hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI), offers similar plug-and-play efficiencies using building blocks in smaller, more flexible chunks.
So when should you use converged infrastructure and when is hyper-converged infrastructure a better option? The answer depends on what IT workloads you are running, how much resiliency is required, and the need for guaranteed performance verses agility and scalability.
As EMC IT remains focused on its IT Transformation journey, we continue to take calculated risks in emerging technologies and adopt bleeding-edge solutions — but not without bumps along the way. However, we have found that leveraging a strong partnership with a trusted supplier is a crucial strategy to help smooth the road ahead.
Recently, EMC IT went live with the third release of its SAP implementation, replacing our direct and channel ‘selling’ tools with a suite of software products predominantly within the SAP landscape. This grouping of products – while not currently sold by SAP as a “solution” – needed strong partnership between EMC leadership and SAP, as we cooperated to string them together.
Back in 2003, EMC’s ‘selling’ tools, Direct and Channel Xpress, went live as two separate applications as a conscious choice in a very different selling model. At the time, EMC’s direct sales force was focused on high-end deals with little to no partner interaction. But as the channel grew and the go-to-market model adapted it became clear that this (EMC+Channel) partnership needed a more tightly coupled application – one that we just couldn’t deliver with two disparate applications.
The data lake is proving to be a crucial tool as EMC IT strives to partner more closely with the business clients it serves to help them get the most out of enterprise Big Data. For example, EMC IT is offering a smart data base that lets business users across the company leverage a uniform customer profile for more efficient and effective sales analytics.
Created in collaboration with EMC Global Services, the CAP (Customer Account Profile) is based on information collected and aggregated from multiple sources to provide a holistic customer view—a single version of the truth, if you will, about our customers.
CAP is managed by IT and is one of the enterprise data sets made available via the data lake to business clients seeking to analyze customer trends, opportunities and insights.
Last year, I predicted that digitization would be critical for introducing contemporary services that combat IT complexity, increase our efficiency and quickly meet shifting business priorities. At EMC, we have and will continue to make tremendous strides in this direction.
However, with flat budgets and resources in 2016, we must also get creative and innovate how we simplify, digitize and automate our processes to deliver value-driven services for the business. Perhaps it is all the Star Wars hoopla, but I’m predicting the rise of robotics in IT will help us advance our digitization initiatives in 2016.
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