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.
Are you ready for application delivery at the speed of light?
EMC IT is making giant strides to deliver the capabilities its business customers need, faster and less expensive than ever before through the use of a Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution along with an innovative development methodology.
In June, EMC IT launched EMC Pivotal Cloud Foundry (ECF) PaaS, the on-demand delivery of an automated IT platform which includes compute, network, storage, data protection, security, operations, and monitoring for application development. Our ECF runs on vSphere infrastructure which enables developers and cloud administrators to provision development environments on demand.
Sometimes, when your organization is leading the way in adopting bleeding-edge technology, you need to be a trail blazer to help to advance the innovation as an early adopter. EMC IT has a history of doing that, most recently with its groundbreaking deployment of SAP HANA in the Business Intelligence landscape.
EMC IT has hit a new milestone in its use of SAP HANA as part of its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) transformation, a good example of how such efforts can pay off for us and our customers. After three years of using an interim, standalone HANA appliance for its real-time reporting needs, Big Data Services has successfully incorporated the real-time environment into our main Business Warehouse (BW) environment on HANA.
The migration and consolidation of data over the past six months has resulted in a more agile, efficient and cost-effective data environment where both real-time and batch operations are performed from a central location. The move not only saved EMC an estimated one-time $1.5 million, the transition also allows EMC IT to reuse the capacity freed up by eliminating duplicate data sets to expand our burgeoning BW.
The game has changed. As CIOs and IT professionals, we were comfortable with controlling the environment; talking in ERP terms and timelines; and in using a liquidation/unit cost financial model to manage our operations. However, the landscape has changed and our business users expect and need IT’s help in driving agility, intelligence, innovation and value. To remain relevant, CIOs and IT organizations must reenergize IT.
On October 6th, EMC celebrated the tremendous strides the company is making to dramatically enhance our Total Customer Experience (TCE) globally. Like other EMC customers, my team and I wholeheartedly embraced cloud and big data analytics, as well as mobile and social technologies to innovate and propel us forward. That said,building on my blog earlier this year, I believe that digitization is the key to improving TCE and transforming how businesses run for the future. (more…)
Sometimes the insights you are looking for to resolve a problem turn out to be right in your own backyard. When EMC IT embarked on a bold mission to transform its IT operating model almost two years ago, it made perfect sense for EMC IT to turn to an inside resource—our top EMC consultants in the IT Transformation Work Group within EMC Global Services—for help.
After all, the Global Services IT Transformation Practice had years of experience helping clients transform their IT operations to better serve their business clients. Global Services could apply what we knew to move the EMC IT effort forward In turn, our IT Transformation service leaders could benefit from being involved in one of the industry’s largest IT transformations, through which we could hone and refine our consulting approach and practices on a scale we have never done before.
Nineteen months later, EMC’s IT transformation is on track, and our group has gained a long list of new best practices and insights to leverage with other clients going forward.
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