Business managers and HR professionals alike are familiar with the “4 Ps” that companies have traditionally used to incentivize their employees: Pay (salary, bonus, equity), Promotion (new role, new title), Perks (office space, travel policies, free beverages), and Praise (recognition and rewards). At a recent meeting of EMC’s top executives, noted author Dan Pink (Drive, A Whole New Mind, To Sell is Human) argued that business leaders need to look beyond these extrinsic incentives to intrinsic motivators. He suggested that people are driven by three essential motivations:Purpose: “I want to contribute to something important.”Mastery: “I want to be really good at something.”Autonomy: “I want to be in control, not controlled.”Extrinsic incentives and levers of control are fundamental to our traditional concepts of command and control. Pink’s list of intrinsic motivators, on the other hand, seems more suited to art classes and book clubs than to the rough-and-tumble world of business.In an attempt to compare and contrast Pink’s model to the more traditional, hard-edged notion of command and control, I turned to the definitive, or at least eponymous, publication on this subject, U.S. Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication 6, “Command and Control.” Marine Corps officers who would study command and control are urged to understand that:“We are… fond of saying that commanders should be ‘in control’ of the situation…. The truth is that… it is a delusion to think that we can be in control…. [U]nlike in chess, ‘pieces’ consist of human beings….” “The essence of war is a clash between human wills, and any concept of command and control must recognize this first. Because of this human element, command is inseparable from leadership. The aim of command and control is not to eliminate or lessen the role of people or to make people robots, but rather to help them perform better.” MCDP 6 goes on to explicate a model of command and control based on giving those under one’s “command” a clear sense of the overarching goals, training them extensively, and giving them the information and ability to respond intelligently in the field. Sounds suspiciously like Purpose, Mastery, and Autonomy. Olive drab is decidedly Pink.On the surface, this may seem surprising. After all, commanders need not offer incentives – they can simply issue orders that must be followed, and voluntary attrition by their “employees” is a limited threat (it’s called desertion). But commanders do need to motivate. The key point is that incentives are not motivation. They are related, but quite distinct.Seen through this lens, striving to make a work group a great place to work, or defining a team mission that is as important as quotas or share price, or building work communities that give back to their home communities, are not “nice to have” complements to business leadership, they are central to leadership.Like a general, a business leader must set strategy, build plans, and properly use extrinsic incentives to guide and reward specific actions. But to win convincingly, repeatedly, and profitably, she must also build a business and work environment that gives her comrades a sense of purpose, the opportunity to develop true mastery, and the autonomy to function as people.
When Dell and EMC merged, our leadership team made an important decision about our midrange portfolio to bring the best products from both companies together, raising some questions in the industry about overlap and rationalization. There was skepticism about which products might see end of life and whether buyers might be stranded.Let me be very clear about the future direction of our midrange portfolio – we are fully committed to our entire midrange product family including Dell EMC Unity and the Dell EMC SC Series. Each product solves different customer problems and is suited for different environments. Customers can buy both Dell EMC Unity and SC Series today and with continued confidence in the future.We feel the best path is to offer customers choice in price, performance and features suitable for small-to-medium businesses to large enterprise customers. Here we stand just nine months later and the market has spoken. After bringing forward both the Dell EMC Unity and Dell EMC SC Series midrange storage platforms, our decision to keep both product lines has been validated – Dell EMC grew worldwide external midrange storage revenues 32.8 percent sequentially which resulted in a sequential revenue share gain of 1.5 points (from a 29.2 percent share in Q3CY16 to 30.7 percent in Q4CY16.)[i].Dell EMC Unity generated a high double-digit quarter-over-quarter revenue increase from Q316 to Q416 and SC Series revenue also grew by double digits from Q316-Q416. This all reflects on another positive trend for the Dell EMC midrange storage portfolio – we saw a substantial increase in total customers for Dell EMC Unity and SC Series from Q316-Q416.[ii]We’d like to think that validation of this strategy translates into the kind of success our customers are experiencing with Dell EMC Unity, our best-in-class midrange all-flash offering and SC Series, our best-in-class hybrid storage for the midrange. Both Dell EMC Unity and SC Series are essential in this strategy. Customers are choosing these solutions to help modernize their data centers and simplify the way in which business data is managed while reducing TCO of the IT assets that power the business.Here are a few recent customer examples that prove this out:Dell EMC Unity:The Society of Swedish Literature (SLS) in Finland, established in 1885, is the eldest non-profit in Finland and wanted to create a modern IT infrastructure that would support the organization’s work and protect SLS’ digitized cultural treasuries, while also being flexible, easy to deploy and use. In the end, SLS chose a Unity system optimized for simplicity and all-flash performance.According to Madsen Wikholm, IT manager for SLS, “The [Dell EMC] Unity user interface seems like a godsend, or close to it.”The SLS realized the benefits of their Dell EMC Unity system including:Performance improvements of their front-line storageSimplified IT management through an HTML5 interface and VMware integrationSupport for multiple protocols (block, file, and vVols) streamlining their storage footprintDell EMC SC Series:The Oregon Judicial Department, the judicial branch for the State of Oregon is another customer that has had recent success with our midrange storage products. The Oregon Judicial Department Server Team for years had struggled with modernizing and unifying their aging SAN and NAS systems in its data center. Their struggles included multiple SAN vendors, isolated backend protocols and a lack of capability across the SAN architecture to provide reliable application performance. According to Peter Diec, Lead Server Administrator for the Enterprise Technology Services Division for the Oregon Judicial Department, “Our ultimate objective for our next generation SAN architecture was performance, uniformity and simplicity.” They chose the SC Series 8000, 2060 and the FS8600 to deliver the consistent performance needed to power its VMware, Microsoft SQL Server, CommVault Enterprise Backup and other related business applications. The result of its data center upgrade enabled the Oregon Judicial Department to create uniformity across multiple environments and helped reduce IT man-hours spent managing storage by consolidating to a single storage solution.The key to the success of both these products has been our ability to address a wide variety of customer needs through continuous innovation and in ensuring customers see immediate and tangible benefits when deploying Dell EMC storage products in their environment. We recently upped the ante on this promise with a new storage efficiency guarantee for Dell EMC midrange customers who opt for all-flash configurations.The All-Flash Storage Efficiency Guarantee is a new program guaranteeing customers who purchase Dell EMC XtremIO, VMAX All Flash, Dell EMC Unity and SC Series all-flash array configurations with an effective logical storage capacity at least four times (4:1) the physical capacity of the drives purchased in their new array – leveraging our powerful efficiency features that are native to our systems. The end result is that customers are able to squeeze more valuable data into less space with less management effort, while aggressively reducing start-up and lifecycle costs.With market share momentum and more new customers coming on-board, the combined Dell EMC midrange storage business has hit its stride. And with Dell EMC World 2017 not far away, we’re looking forward to showing off BOTH of our leading midrange storage products to all of our valued customers, partners, media and analysts in Las Vegas. Also be prepared to see many new surprises we will be introducing into our market-leading midrange portfolio. You asked, and we are delivering! Look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas![i] IDC Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker – Q4 2016, March 3, 2017[ii] From Dell EMC internal figuresTop image via Creative Commons by Mike Lizzi.
What is the Use for Data Analytics?Analytics offers many benefits to organizations as they embark upon digital transformation, including:Increasing efficiency and driving cost out of operationsMaximizing customer satisfactionDeveloping new products and servicesUse of streaming data to respond to issues and opportunities in near real-timeThe number of use cases made possible by data analytics seems limitless and, on top of that, we are only now beginning to glimpse the potential of machine learning and other forms of artificial intelligence to open new frontiers of what organizations can achieve with data.But as we at Dell Technologies engage with customers on a variety of use cases, the more we learn that many are still struggling with the prerequisite task of getting data into their analytics environments in order to deploy the use cases they want. This task is called ETL, or “extract, transform, load”, and it can be defined as the process of reading data from one or more data sources, transforming that data into a new format, and then either loading it into another repository (such as a data lake) or passing it to a program.Dell Technologies and its telecom data analytics ISV partner, Cardinality have been working together to help customers resolve complex ETL issues so that they can do the kind of analytics they want. What follows are real-world examples that illustrate three key pain points customers tend to experience with ETL, and how we have helped resolve them.Data MyopiaTelcos sit on a wealth of data, but organizational or technical barriers can often make it difficult for data engineers and data scientists to gain access to the data they need. The data analytics team at one tier-1 telecom operator faced just such a challenge. Only able to access data from the IT environment, the team couldn’t get the data they needed to start answering questions about the factors that influence customer satisfaction. To solve this problem, Cardinality conducted a pilot on a small footprint of Dell EMC PowerEdge servers to demonstrate to the Network Operations team the value that could be unlocked with a simple use case: device analytics. In a matter of days after configuring its ETL Engine to ingest data from the operator’s network probes, Cardinality was able to produce a real-time dashboard of all the mobile phones and other devices on the network, and show vital information such as types of SIM cards the devices where using and which could be upgraded to 4G networks. This operator was able to build on this initial use case to create a complex, Network Customer Experience use case that delivers measurable business benefits by using machine learning to analyze over 350 network KPIs in order to predict and circumvent customer churn.Creeping ComplexityNew technology spaces typically offer developers a wealth of tools to choose from. Many tools, both open source and proprietary, exist in the world of data analytics (e.g., Informatica, Talend, Kafka, StreamSets, Apache NiFi, Airflow, and many more). While choice can be good, the use of too many tools by too many different people in a single environment can make management a costly ordeal.One telecom operator that Dell Technologies recently worked with had fallen victim to the creeping complexity that can be introduced when there is too much choice and too little control. Over time, different developers decided to use whatever “flavor of the month” tools looked interesting to them, and this resulted in a situation where it became next to impossible to debug existing use cases and create new ones.Dell Technologies and Cardinality were able to quickly clean things up with the Cardinality ETL Engine, which provides an elegant and easy-to-maintain mechanism for ingesting data. The result is that the operator is now able to build use cases without having to worry about the complexity of ETL.Data IndigestionA variation on the complexity theme has to do with the complexity of data sources themselves.Dell Technologies helped another customer that was saddled with having to keep up with a variety of data formats from different network probes. Having multiple probes is complicated by the fact that probe vendors occasionally change their data formats, requiring rework and telecom expertise to reformat the data into formats used for analytics. An additional problem is that some older, proprietary data formats can’t always be used with newer ingestion tools, introducing latency and performance limitations, and this ingestion “indigestion” can limit the kinds of real-time use cases that can be put into production.By modernizing the customer’s environment with the Cardinality ETL Engine, we were able to relieve the customer of the headache of having to manage a multitude of data sources and were further able to vastly improve streaming performance. The number of data records ingested and parsed per day increased from 9 billion to 23 billion and the number of files needing to be discarded due to format quality issues dropped to nearly zero.“Plumbing” MattersThe Dell Technologies Service Provider Analytics with Cardinality solution dramatically reduces customers’ data ingestion pain points with an ETL Engine that allows customers to:Get into production fast with “out-of-the-box” ETL functionality that is purpose-built for telecom environmentsCollect streaming and non-streaming data with the low latency and high throughputLower OPEX by reducing the resources needed to manage multiple data formats from different sourcesScale from small to huge on a unified data analytics platformDell Technologies and Cardinality offer customers a Kubernetes-based microservices platform that spans the data pipeline from ETL to analytics to prebuilt telecom use cases is tuned to run on scalable, high-performance Dell EMC PowerEdge clusters and is integrated with Dell EMC Isilon and Pivotal Greenplum. Together, Dell Technologies and Cardinality are committed to ensuring they can make the most out of data analytics. Extract, transform, load.
The volume of data created by today’s enterprise workloads continues to grow exponentially. Data growth combined with advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and containerized application platforms, creates a real challenge supporting critical business requirements. This can really place heavy demand on your infrastructure. Adaptability and agility means having the right resources to service ever changing needs. Performing at scale while keeping up with data growth to deliver business critical outcomes comes from a well architected solution that comprehends all the functional ingredients: networking, storage, compute, virtualization, automated lifecycle management, and most importantly the applications. It also comes from a close partnership between customers and technology suppliers to understand the business drivers needed to deliver a best in class outcome.Would you ask a stranger to hold your wallet full of cash? Metaphorically speaking, this might be what you’re asking an emerging technology vendor or a startup in the storage space to do if you hand over your key data currency. You might be willing to take a chance on a new pizza delivery service, but I bet you would think differently if someone came to your house to collect all your data.We respect the innovation that emerging technologies and startups bring. However, when it comes to your most valuable asset – data – it’s important to partner with a vendor with a proven track record of leadership and experience who will be there for you well into the future. One such example is the Dell EMC VxFlex software-defined storage (SDS) platform, which offers customers the kind of predictable scalable performance required to host their critical application workloads and data storage in a unified fabric.The VxFlex platform is capable of growing compute or storage independently, or in an HCI configuration with linear incremental performance while sustaining sub-millisecond latency. No matter what deployment model you need today or in the future, VxFlex provides the flexibility and non-disruptive upgrade path to host any combination of workloads, without physical cluster segmentation, that scales modularly by the node or by the rack. Whether you need to support conventional Windows and Linux applications or next generation digital transformation initiatives, VxFlex helps you reduce the risk associated with future infrastructure needs.VxFlex can handle your most critical and demanding workloads in a full end-to-end lifecycle managed system using an adaptable myriad of hypervisors, bare metal, or container technology combinations to meet or exceed your requirements. A great example of VxFlex at work is the Dell EMC VxFlex solution for Microsoft SQL Server 2019 Big Data Clusters, which deploys a future-proof design that improves business outcomes through better analytics. This solution highlights the use of persistent storage for Kubernetes deployments and performance sensitive database workloads using a unified compute, networking and systems management infrastructure that makes it operationally complete. VxFlex software-defined architecture provides an agile means to blend changing workloads and abstraction models that can adjust as workload demands change.Dell Technologies is a market leader across every major infrastructure category and enables you to proactively leverage technology for competitive advantage. Dell Technologies gives you the ability to drive your business and not be driven by technology. Learn more about how Dell EMC VxFlex can help you achieve your IT goals.
Beijing (AP) — China is building a coronavirus quarantine center with more than 4,000 rooms in a northern city at a speed that’s rarely seen in other countries. Each room is equipped with an air conditioner, television and Wi-Fi. China has sent construction workers and materials from all over the country to help build the project, as the government often does when it is dealing with natural disasters or other crises. China has largely curbed the domestic spread of the coronavirus, but is battling outbreaks this winter in its frigid north. The National Health Commission reported 145 new cases on Monday.
TOKYO (AP) — The president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee says he will not resign despite pressure on him to do so after making derogatory comments earlier in the week about women. The controversy surrounding gaffe-prone former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori is one more problem the postponed Olympics really don’t need as organizers and the IOC try to pull off the games in the midst of a pandemic. They are scheduled to open on July 23. Mori says “I have been working hard and helped devotedly for seven years. I will not be stepping down.” The International Olympic Committee says it will not urge Mori to resign.