Can Data Science Unlock the Secrets of the Morecambe Missile?

Yesterday John McGuinness, aka the ‘Morecambe Missile’, set a new lap record for electric bikes at the Isle of Man TT to grab a record-breaking 22nd win on this track.

This amazing feat seals the Missile’s reputation even further as a truly legendary motorcycle racer. But what is it that makes him so successful?

Earlier this year, EMC ran two competitions to answer this question by outfitting John’s bike and suit with an array of sensors as John rode round the Circuit Monteblanco in Spain. EMC captured over 700,000 rows of performance, biometric and mechanical data, including engine RPM, lean angle, g-force, pulse and respiration.

Connecting sensors to the bike

The data was then hosted on a CrowdANALYTIX platform in an open competition where over 750 data-enthusiasts analysed the data in an attempt to uncover the most compelling insights into why John is so fast.

The first winner, Stefan Jol, from a leading UK radio group, was able to show which stages of the race had the most impact on overall performance, and Charlotte Wickham, assistant Professor of Statistics at Oregon State University, demonstrated the impact of differences in cornering. Take a look at the full story here to learn more about the winning insights.

The bike

The same data capture has now been repeated at the Isle of Man TT races with a more elaborate array of sensors to capture even more data. Jonathan Martin, CMO, EMC says: “We were really excited to see how big data can provide revealing new insights about someone like John McGuinness, and have been thrilled with the interest shown in this project from the data science and motorcycling communities around the world. A project like this has never been undertaken before, and is already proving some interesting and significant observations. We are gaining a better understanding of what makes extreme athletes like John perform at such a superior level, but also through big data analytics we are gaining deep insights into how we can make the sport of motorcycle racing safer.”

The project has been documented in a film, the trailer of which can be found at the first link on this microsite here – and it’s well worth a watch: http://www.emc.com/microsites/morecambe-missile/index.htm. It will be released in full later this year.

John McGuinness riding

A different perspective on hybrid cloud – illustrations

What are the catalysts that lead people to deploying a hybrid cloud? This was the question we tackled with a number of EMC and industry professionals in the second hybrid cloud Twitter chat a couple of weeks ago.

This led to some great discussions around the issues IT departments are facing and the changing role of IT, which are well worth a read. You can find them in full here:  https://www.crowdchat.net/HybridCloudChat.

In addition, we had a very talented illustrator on board to follow the conversation, and produce live sketches of some of the key topics that came up. You may have seen some of them around on Twitter, but please do take a look below at the full collection.

If you’re interested in learning more about EMC’s Hybrid Cloud, visit our solution page for further information and demos.

What are the catalysts for the hybrid cloud? People, Process and Technology

Hybrid cloud continues to be a hot topic in the IT industry, but what does it actually mean for businesses?

HybridCloudchat2_Hans_410-412In the first #HybridCloudChat we spoke about what hybrid cloud actually is, and where businesses are on their journey to deploying it. Next Tuesday at noon, we’ll be expanding on this conversation and looking at the problems businesses are facing with regards to people, process and technology. We’re exploring catalysts for the hybrid cloud.

The chat will be hosted by Hans Timmerman, CTO of EMC Netherlands, along with a panelist of industry experts: Christian McMahon, CIO at Three25, Eric Debray, Business and IT Consultant and founder of Mageli, and Dinko Eror, EMC’s VP of Global Services.

We also have a professional illustrator on board who will creating sketches of the discussion as it develops – take part in the conversation and you could win a personalised illustration! If you have any questions, just tweet them at @emcuki.

Join us at 12.00PM on May 19th for #HybridCloudChat #2

For an introduction on the issue, take a look at Hans’ recent post on LinkedIn, or read more about business disruption, catalysts and catastrophes from Dinko.

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Hybrid Cloud Illustrated

What happens when you combine IT managers and hybrid cloud experts with an illustrator? Hybrid cloud as you’ve never seen it before! Last month, Dinko Eror, EMC’s VP Global Services, hosted the #hybridcloudchat, taking to Twitter to discuss what is holding businesses back from reaping the benefits of hybrid cloud, with a live illustrator bringing the themes to life. You can find all the final illustrations here, and if you’d like to find out more about hybrid cloud, check out the highlights here, or visit EMC’s Hybrid Cloud page here.

#HybridCloudChat Highlights

Dinko_thumbLast week, we held EMC’s first ever illustrated Twitter chat on the topic of hybrid cloud. Hosted by EMC’s VP of Global Services, Dinko Eror, the chat touched on the challenges businesses are facing when it comes to deploying hybrid cloud, and what is required to achieve a well-run hybrid cloud.

A big thank you to everybody who took part – it was great to see the involvement from people the world over, and from the discussion it’s clear that for many the hybrid cloud adventure is only just starting. You can see the chat in full here on Crowdchat and we’ve summarized the key themes and conclusion below.

Defining Hybrid Cloud

Is hybrid cloud simply a combination of public and private, or is it more? Just like with baking a cake, you need all the right ingredients, and a good chef to ensure they’re combined in the right way. Otherwise, despite investing in all of the resources of a hybrid cloud, you may see none of the benefits. True hybrid means controlling your workloads, storage and network resources so it limits risk and increase productivity, i.e. you need public and private cloud infrastructure, made transparent by a management platform. For us, of course, this is where solutions come in that can accelerate the adoption: VCE VBlock or EMC VSPEX , as well as the light-weight, software-defined storage solution EMC VIPR.

Challenges to hybrid cloud adoption

For some, there is clearly an expectation that it will be really difficult to deploy hybrid cloud. However, with fully engineered solutions available, technical complexity is immediately reduced. Security, data control and legacy contracts can still be a concern. For others, another issue limiting hybrid cloud adoption is that it can be hard to implement an architectural strategy when IT teams are focused on day to day application and infrastructure priorities.

Where can hybrid cloud best serve companies?

Although there are a lot of applications for hybrid cloud, it’s mainly the new, third platform applications that will really benefit from a hybrid environment. We’re talking apps that need to scale in some places, require performance in others and data protection in others still. On top of that, hybrid cloud will bring with it cost efficiency, and will allow IT to move at the speed of business.

When we discussed the types of business where hybrid cloud can best be applied – the answer seemed to be every one of them. The underpinning problem hybrid cloud addresses – of managing complex information management needs whilst containing spend, delivering scale and controlling risk – is universal in any business of any scale today.

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Orchestration and Standardisation

A properly orchestrated hybrid cloud lets you set policies and retain control over your data. That’s why it important to get it right. But who is in charge of orchestration? The CIO should make these decisions, but currently many are facing the challenge of juggling all the different demands coming from varying lines of business. This has to be brought together, and complexity must be reduced to get the control back. Standardisation is key and many hybrid cloud adopters see this as a key factor in delivering the benefits hybrid cloud has to offer.

Essentially, in order to have a well-run hybrid cloud and to experience all the benefits that come with it, people, process and technology need to be aligned.

For more information, please visit our website at http://emc.im/EHC_UK

This was originally posted on the EMC Thoughtfeast Blog

How close are you to deploying a hybrid cloud? Join the #HybridCloudChat

Ready, motivated, undecided – how close are you to deploying a hybrid cloud?

Hybrid cloud has been one of the industry’s biggest buzzwords for a few years now, and uptake is on the rise. However confusion around exactly what true hybrid cloud is and how it can be deployed remains. Recently EMC’s Vice President Global Services, Dinko Eror, debunked the top five hybrid cloud myths, and next week he is taking to Twitter to answer all your burning hybrid cloud questions.

So, where are you on your journey to the cloud? What is holding you back and what challenges do you face? Join Dinko and other EMC and industry experts in the #hybridcloudchat to discuss everything that is (and isn’t!) hybrid cloud on the 25th of March at 12:00 PM GMT.  We’ll cover common challenges and how to overcome them, and a professional illustrator will join us to bring your comments and questions to life, in real time!

Share any questions with us beforehand @emcuki , and don’t forget to join the #hybridcloudchat on March 25th!

Hybrid Cloud Chat Invite - FINAL_portrait

The future of digital: A deep-dive into party manifestos – the Conservatives

You’ve probably heard – you may even have begun to tire of the wall to wall coverage – but on Thursday 7th May, Britain will go to the polls to vote for the next government.

Thanks to the rise of UKIP, the SNP and the Greens, and the vagaries of the first-past-the-post voting system, the result is almost impossible to predict. The potential outcomes range from majority governments for either the Conservatives or Labour (albeit unlikely, based on current polling), to various flavours of coalition or minority government, depending on the final tally of seats for each party.

This sounds like a recipe for policy paralysis. However, when it comes to technology and digital transformation of the public sector, there is good reason to think that the work begun by the present government will largely continue.

The Conservative Government – a Digital Pledge

The Conservative-led coalition entered office pledging to be the most digital government ever. Under the leadership of Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office has driven Whitehall savings of more than £14.5 billion since 2010. Renegotiating contracts with large IT suppliers and adopting open source and cloud-based solutions have made a major contribution to this.

Another key reform has been the Government Digital Service (GDS), which has revolutionised the way government delivers citizen services. By bringing in outside talent, and focusing on user needs and good design principles, GDS has been able to transform a wide range of services people use every day. Citizens can now register to vote, renew a patent, apply for carer’s allowance, and even book a prison visit, using online processes as straightforward as anything produced by the likes of Google or Amazon.

Continuing the Digital Revolution

At the Autumn Statement in December, the Government shared the first details of its plans to continue the digital revolution after the election. The use of cloud-based services and digitisation will increase, but instead of simply putting services online, the goal is to increase digital uptake of services to 90% by 2020 by developing new cross-government platforms to deliver payments, track applications (e.g. for a driving license or passport), and book appointments. To encourage private sector innovation, all new digital services will be available via an open Application Programming Interface (API) as well as a web browser, and more data sets will be opened up. Many of these ideas were first proposed by Policy Exchange’s Tech Manifesto for government, which EMC supported.

If the Conservatives intend to go further and faster on government transformation, what of the other two main parties? Watch out for our next blog post, which will look at Labour and the Liberal Democrats, and what they have in store for tech.

EMC breaks fundraising record for Prince’s Trust

As a longstanding supporter of the Prince’s Trust and proud Platinum Patrons, over the year’s EMC employees have dedicated their time and resources to raising money for a meaningful charity which offers young people in difficult circumstances practical and financial support in order to stabilise their lives.

Over the past year, EMC’s Team Transformers have been taking part in Million Makers, an entrepreneurial fundraising competition where teams from leading UK companies across the country compete to raise the most money, whilst improving their business skills.

Last week, EMC’s Team Transformers attended an awards ceremony where they were crowned the regional Million Makers fundraising champions, after raising over £160K for the cause. Samantha Cooper, EMC’s Senior Systems Engineer also won the Outstanding Individual award for her fundraising achievements.

This follows a successful Prince’s Trust and EMC Leadership Dinner last month, attended by HRH The Prince of Wales and Baroness Joanna Shields OBE – Advisor on the Digital Economy, Chairman of Tech City UK, which raised over £400,000 for the Trust.

If you would like to donate to this charitable cause or see how you can offer your support please visit the website here.

Restoring confidence in UK data protection technology is vital

Last week, EMC launched its UK findings of their global Data Protection Index study at a media roundtable event on the 38th floor of the Gherkin. It was revealed that in the UK, £10.5 billion was lost per year due to downtime and data loss. In addition, 67% of organisations reported they had suffered disruption, up from 78% since the last study in 2011, while the average disruption causes 700GB of data loss – a significant amount that cannot be ignored.

Whilst up in the clouds, Chris Ratcliffe, SVP EMC Advanced Software Division, EMC and Kelly Brown, Senior Director DPAD Marketing Global, EMC discussed the effect on businesses of not having a secure data protection strategy in place. The study found that although, 25 hours was lost on average in the last year due to unplanned downtime, organisations are still spending less of their budget on recovery and data protection.

Data Protection Index

“If you don’t have a protection strategy in place, you may find that you don’t have the data you want to run things like analytics, business intelligence and Big Data”, says Kelly Brown. “IT can’t always be ‘sexy’; sometimes it has to focus on the slightly more practical side of what technology can do, in order to support the business, protect it from data loss and open up new revenue opportunities.”

The study looked at 24 different countries around the world and ranked them in order of their maturity with regards to data protection capabilities. The UK features very much in the middle of the rank, lagging behind the USA, China and the Netherlands.

John Bland, MD UK Sales at SCC concluded by looking at the emotional effect and executive behavior patterns behind data protection. He focused on the CIO agenda and explained that because data protection has become so integrated with other elements on the board agenda, the question becomes how you roll it into one business conversation.  “The CIO is becoming increasingly marginalized in the organisation as few people want to take the responsibility of ‘owning’ the company’s data” said Bland. “It won’t be long before Chief Digital Officers and the marketing teams are spending more on IT than their own IT department, without understanding the need to protect the data they are trying to work with.”

The rise in popularity of the cloud as a storage device and the use of mobile devices by company employees, mean data protection and back up is as big of an issue today as it ever was. The risk becomes greater as companies generate and store more and more data, and without a backup solution in place, businesses could be in real trouble should problems arise.

The audience heard how UK businesses need to increase their confidence in their own systems, but this can be tricky if there are delays to hardware upgrades, resulting in infrastructure that is more likely to fail. It’s startling that in this era, 78% of UK organisations are not confident that they can fully recover after a disruption. As budgets become tighter and tighter, delays in refreshing technology both at a hardware and software layer, only serves to further expose the risk of data loss.

Barely a day goes by without hacking and cybercrime filling the news agenda, so businesses are starting to invest in strategies and perimeters that can be put in place for protection. The same emphasis needs to be put into backup solutions so that if an attack were to break the perimeter, the company would have the effective data protection technologies in position to avoid too much loose of data or information.

Unfortunately the reality is probably more extreme than the results suggest, and whilst the number of data loss incidents is decreasing overall from 2011, the volume of data loss is growing exponentially and action needs to be taken quickly before the situation gets out of control.

Conversation highlights – ‘Leading the Healthcare Technology Revolution’

Last week EMC and Reform hosted a summit on ’Sustaining Universal Healthcare: Making better use of Information’, discussing the future of healthcare in the UK and how to deal with the problems faced by the NHS. The summit marked the launch of a healthcare report by Volterra Partners and EMC, highlighting how data analytics and better use of information have the potential to save the NHS up to £66 billion per year.

It was great to see so many people getting involved in the discussion on Twitter using #NHSdatareform. Take a look at the Storify below to see the conversation highlights.