How EMC is giving Lotus F1 a Big Data edge

For several years, businesses around the world have been implementing big data analytics to speed up their processes and improve productivity. Few have taken it as far as the Lotus F1 team.

Simplifying Big Data

The Lotus F1 team recently made the move to EMC’s V-Blocks server architecture, allowing them to use data in more simple and innovative ways. Anthony Smith, Lotus F1’s converged infrastructure specialist, explains: “We’ve had the V-blocks around 18 months now. We were using a set of different hardware from various vendors before. This has been one of the big changes for us.” Switching to one provider for everything helped to simplify the process. “We have one provider and one system that we know works together. We keep it as simple as possible so we have one company to contact if something goes wrong.”

Custom analytics

Using EMC tools has enabled the team to collect vast amounts of data and make significant changes and adjustments to their factory and processes.

“All the time the car runs we’re gathering data from it. It’s constantly streaming, even when it’s just in the garage. It’s producing around 60GB of data per weekend,” he said.

“Then we’re using that to analyse and refine the performance, and find improvements. We’re working to improve our competitiveness through the data.”

Testing and climate challenges

Given new limitations on the amount of real-world tests the team can do, the use of data analytics has become even more important in today’s racing environment.

“We’re not allowed to test during the year. We do three tests at the beginning of the year – that’s three weeks of testing – and then during the year we have four days in total throughout the year that we can test the car that isn’t a race weekend,” he said.

“This is why the simulation and the data analysis is so important because we can’t just decide to test it on the circuit. There are so many possibilities for the car and we’ve got to turn up at the circuit and pretty much know exactly how it’s going to be and what’s going to happen.”

The converged future

Moving forward, Smith wants to continue the team’s move towards a hyper converged infrastructure.

“We’re looking at whatever we can get our hands on. We’ve seen the whole virtualisation hybrid cloud infrastructure develop over the last few years and that’s helped us massively,” he said.

“We’re looking towards boosting our resilience. Looking at X-Racks VSpex Blue, hyper converged, the next step on.”

“If we can get more performance for less size, weight and power on the track that’s another advantage for us.”

To find out more you can read the full article on V3.co.uk

EMC picks up European Best Workplace Award

EMC has been recognised as one of Europe’s Best Multinational Workplaces in the Best Workplaces 2015 awards announced last week. Every year the Great Place to Work Institute surveys some 6,000 organisations around the world to find companies that encourage workplace cultures of high trust and engagement. Due to the success of EMC’s operations in 12 national Best Workplace rankings across Europe, the company ranked an impressive second out of a field of 25 multinationals.

Ever since EMC came 19th in the 2012 awards, its ranking in these prestigious employer awards has improved year on year. This shows the strength and quality of EMC’s people, from senior leadership setting the strategy and direction to the employees on the front line. EMC’s EMEA President, Adrian McDonald said: ‘A key factor of EMC’s success is our focus on building our strength as an employer and creating the kind of workplace that attracts and retains the best talent, talent which focuses on meeting customers’ needs by helping them optimise their existing infrastructures and build new ones.”

Head to the career page to learn more about the company and what it’s like to work for EMC.

IT as an enabler for business change – EMC Forum Survey

The trends of cloud, mobile, social and big data have fundamentally changed the expectations of consumers and end-users, affecting what is required and expected of IT departments. This much has become clear from our recent survey findings*, questioning IT decision makers in the UK for their perspective on IT’s role as an enabler of business change during the rise of these industry mega trends.

Jeremy Burton, President Products and Marketing, EMC Corporation, explains: “To remain relevant and competitive, businesses across every industry are reinventing their business models to handle unprecedented levels of access, interaction and scale. For this reason, IT finds itself back in the driver’s seat, morphing from cost center to a true catalyst for change through the use of cloud and big data technologies.”

Our survey results reflect this, as although creating efficiencies and reducing cost is still a priority for 60% of businesses, 70% of respondents see IT as a strategic business driver and 78% agree their organisation sees the increasing role of automation as critical to business growth.

Customer experience is a key factor, with 54% of respondents using cloud, mobile, social and big data technologies to improve customer experiences, and 53% seeing it as a top business priority. Organisations are making use of the technologies available to get their IT into shape by building new products and services (43%) and streamlining business functions and improving efficiencies (42%).

However, barriers will need to be overcome to achieve IT’s full potential, as 73% of respondents don’t believe IT has the skills to keep up in the next couple of years.

Take a look at more results from the survey below, and get in touch with any questions or comments on @emcuki.

 

IT is a Business Enabler

  • 70% of respondents in the UK report that their CXOs consider IT as a strategic lever to grow the business, now more than ever before.
  • The top three business priorities when implementing new technologies in organisations from the UK are: delivering savings and finding efficiencies (60%), enhancing the customer experience (53%) and automating processes (49%).
  • 78% of respondents in the UK agree that their organisation sees the increasing role of automation – such as software defined storage – as critical to business growth.

Taking advantage of the Mega Trends

  • 77% of respondents in the UK expect next-generation technologies such as mobile, social, cloud and big data to give their organisation a competitive advantage.
  • UK respondents say these new technologies will impact key aspects of the business, including: improving customer experience (54%), building new products and services (43%) and streamlining business functions and improving efficiencies (42%).
  • As businesses operate increasingly online today, 71% of respondents identified a need for joint public and private cloud services – hybrid cloud – as a means for greater agility and security.

Future of IT

  • 59% of respondents in the UK believe their organisation has the right level of skills and knowledge to complete business priorities successfully.
  • 73% believe it will be a challenge to have these skills keep up with the pace of IT innovation over the next 1-2 years
  • 70% of companies see IT as a business enabler, yet 43% of companies believe that spending for technology was outside IT’s control – indicating there is still work to do in gaining trust from decision makers.
  • 77% believe that the model IT department of the future will act as the in-house provider of on-demand services, including platform-as-a-service and public and private cloud.

*Collected during a non-mandatory questionnaire after completion of registration for the EMC Forum held in London on October 21, 2014. This research polled a total of 664 business and IT management and executives, technical architects, data scientists and storage/infrastructure managers from a range of UK businesses

Redefine your business – EMC Forum UK just two months away

Are you ready? EMC Forum UK is back to help redefine your business! In just two months’ time on the 21st of October we will be hitting Westminster Park Plaza Hotel for a day of cloud insights, practical advice, and IT strategy and storage talk. Of course there will be plenty of opportunity to meet and catch up with peers too.

The 2013 event was a great success, so we’re looking forward to seeing many of last year’s attendees again, and to welcoming some new faces. We’ve also pulled out a few of our favourite tweets from last year below.

EMC forum is free to attend, and especially designed for IT professionals looking to get up to speed with everything that is going on in the world of cloud, with plenty of opportunity to engage with technical experts and connect with EMC partners. In other words, it’s a must-attend event for anybody looking to redefine their IT strategy and help transform their business with the latest industry knowledge, best-practices and insights.

vic-bhagat-bwYou can look forward to a keynote from Vic Bhagat, the Executive Vice President of Corporate Services and global CIO EMC – keep your eyes peeled on @EMCUKI for updates on what he will be covering – and dozens of sessions ranging from how to redefine your big data strategy to a look at what’s hot and new in 2014. Explore the agenda here, and register for free!

To get the latest updates on EMC Forums follow @EMCForum on Twitter or take a look at the Facebook page for news and images from the global events. You can also join in the conversation on Twitter using #EMCForum.

 

Steve O’Neill – Transformative CFO on CFO World

The role of the CFO has evolved. With the key role technology now plays in business success, CFOs have the ability make big investment decisions that influence the future of a business. With this in mind, the Transformative CFO blog on CFO World, by our very own Steve O’Neill, is dedicated to technological issues CFOs are facing today and offers advice for those tackling these challenges in their business.

Steve is CFO EMEA Strategic Operations at EMC and is responsible for the company’s overall financial and operational strategy and commercial engagement in EMEA. With over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, he has some great insights to share on technological issues relevant to today’s CFOs.

In his most recent post, Steve discusses why CFOs should consider flash storage as a solution to their data storage challenges. Flash storage has historically been the more expensive option compared to traditional hard disk drives and is therefore quickly ruled out as an option. Given the amount of digital data being created and consumed is growing exponentially however, companies needing to store, secure and manage data in order to succeed as a business now face the tough challenge of meeting staff and customer needs and compliance requirements, whilst keeping the costs down. To address this, Steve discusses the benefits that make flash worth considering.

Another crucial issue facing companies of all sizes and around the world is cyber risk. The number of risks companies are facing is growing all the time and increasing in variety, and the potential costs to companies suffering a cyber-attack are considerable. However, even though understanding and planning for risk are part of a CFO’s remit, few CFOs had any processes set in place to manage cyber risk. Another of Steve’s posts laid out why CFOs are no longer able to turn their back and pass the buck when it comes to cyber risk: Cyber risk? Not my job.

Other topics discussed by Steve include why it is so important for companies to manage the exposure to risks of their digital data, which has become quite a challenge with technological developments such as public and hybrid cloud, and how the businesses that will be most successful in the future are those who are making the most of their data to gain real value, and the role of a CFO in achieving this.

So, keep an eye out for updates on the blog, and in the mean time you can find Steve on Twitter to get further insights from this transformative CFO.

Redefine Possible – Mega Launch 2014 – 20 days to go!

It’s just 20 days now until EMC hosts a major launch event that will unveil industry leading innovations that redefine the possible.

Taking place on Tuesday, 8th July 2014 at London’s Old Billingsgate Market, attendees will hear from David Goulden, CEO, EMC Information Infrastructure, Jeremy Burton, President, Products and Marketing, EMC Information Infrastructure, and Jonathan Martin, CMO, EMC Information Infrastructure as they announce breaking news from EMC.

Participants at the event will also receive exclusive access to EMC executives, customers, partners and industry in what promises to be a fantastic spectacle at one of London’s finest venues.

We’ll be sure to bring you more updates as soon as they happen!

The countdown begins – Just six weeks till EMC World 2014!

It is only six weeks to go until EMC World 2014, the annual hotbed for EMC customers, partners and IT professionals to meet. On May 5th EMC World returns to Las Vegas for three days of IT stars, hands on product demonstrations and hundreds of technical sessions on every aspect of IT life.

Keynote speakers at the event include EMC’s top executives; CEO, Joe Tucci, David Goulden (CEO of EMC’s Information Infrastructure division), Jeremy Burton (Executive Vice President) and Amitabh Srivastava (President of EMC Advanced Software Division).

In addition, you’ll be able to hear from VMware’s CEO, Pat Gelsinger and Pivotal’s CEO, Paul Maritz talk about the importance of the EMC Federation in 2014.

There will be a lot of talk around the third platform and how businesses must recognize both the challenge and necessity that they embrace this migration away from the standard second platform of computing. Big data, cloud, mobility and social networking are all going to be key components for businesses to understand and embrace if they are to cope with the complexity of today’s IT environments.

To find out more, the dedicated Facebook page will keep you updated with the latest developments around EMC World 2014.

If you haven’t already, there is still time to register your place here. We anticipate big news this year in Vegas so watch this space for what will hopefully be the most successful EMC World yet.

EMC Business Partner Program Revamped

The EMC Business Partner Program was a great success in 2013, particularly for its UK partners, but where would EMC be if we didn’t strive to keep improving everything that we do? The countdown to the unveiling of the new Business Partner Program has commenced, and we can offer you a sneak preview into some of the changes that have been made to keep offering our partners the very best!

Shaking hands small

The industry spends billions of dollars on marketing, so few questions are as important as the question whether marketing activities are providing real ROI, real value for money. This year will focus on making marketing count, by collating lessons learned, sharing next generation marketing concepts and improving the feedback loop process to track spends against pipeline and bookings.

EMC will also be enhancing the advanced sales training to focus more on solutions; instead of offering the narrow solution of a specific software or hardware product, it is important to identify key issues for the customer and their business needs and to develop inclusive solutions that address those needs. Additionally, it will be easier – not to mention more profitable – for partners to provide cloud services by working with EMC’s existing Cloud Service Provider partners.

Hopefully this has ignited your interest – if you’d like to read more about the upcoming EMC Business Partner Program, why not take a look at this blog post by Fred Kohout, the Vice President WW Channel Marketing at EMC, on the EMC Community Network.

London’s digital media opportunity

James Petter, vice president and managing director of EMC UK&I, argues that London needs to focus on five key areas to succeed as a centre for digital innovation in the 21st century

Today we stand alongside our partners Deloitte, London First and Intel to launch a report that looks closely at the opportunity and challenges ahead of us as London seeks to become a hub for the digital industries. The opportunity is immense; already valued at £125bn, London’s digital industries are well placed to outperform Britain’s legacy industries and form the foundation of economic recovery and job creation, in digital media, data science, agile development and beyond.

We concur with the report’s findings that London needs to focus on five key areas in order to ensure its primacy as a worldwide centre of excellence in digital media. To take each in turn:

Brand / Identity: Around the world, rightly or wrongly, London is synonymous with its architecture, the Royal Family, black cabs, the financial services sector, bad weather and warm beer. We need to create and market a distinct digital media identity for London, demonstrating the city has the attributes, infrastructure, culture and skills to be a global centre of excellence and growth.

Skills: We face a stark skills shortage, in traditional media industries as well as in new emerging fields like data science and agile development. Industry and educational institutions need to find a way to engage and inspire today’s youth by any means. In tandem, entrepreneurs and technologists need to find a way to share skills and exchange experiences, and open their doors to young people interested in careers in technology and digital media.

Finance: Despite the large number of financial institutions based in London there is still, decades into the digital revolution, significant reticence about investing in start-ups here, and a considerable ‘funding gap’. There’s a role for government to encourage and incentivize this type of start-up financing.

Environment: London is early in its development as a ‘smart’ city. It lacks the infrastructure, innovation and consistent cultural experience that visitors to San Francisco, for example, encounter from the moment they step off the plane. With our new Aston Martin designed Routemasters and the increasing number of innovative technology and digital media events centred on London, including LeWeb and The Wired Event, as well as the Mayor’s own Global Futures events with Jimmy Wales et al during the Olympics, we will start to demonstrate London’s aspirations and capabilities to the world. But we need a consistent drive here.

Connectivity / infrastructure: Digital media industries require sophisticated digital infrastructure. The UK has long been a mid-table contender in the developed world broadband league tables, but as we vie for pole position as a hub for digital media globally we’ll need to provide a new class of services, providing 1gbp/s+ connectivity to digital media firms facing a 20x explosion in the size of their digital Universe in the next 5-7 years.

London has an opportunity here; but as the saying goes, “opportunity doesn’t knock twice.” We all need to come together to ensure that we seize the opportunity and make London a global digital media leader.

IT Key to driving Business Growth in 2013

Earlier this month, EMC revealed the results of a survey on the topic of IT transformation, conducted by Vanson Bourne. The survey revealed that IT is now recognised as key to driving business growth in 2013, whilst businesses across Pan-Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are prioritising growth activity, with 40 per cent of respondents ranking the development of new products as a top business priority besides increasing revenue (46 per cent).

According to the research, two drivers in particular will be key to this change: big data and cloud computing. Nearly half of surveyed businesses in EMEA (47 per cent) now believe that big data will make new industry winners and losers, while 46 per cent state that they think cloud computing architectures will overtake traditional IT architectures within their organisation over the next three years.

Overall, respondents are confident that their IT priorities align with their wider business objectives, with emerging markets taking the lead. Morocco (89 per cent) and the Czech Republic (88 per cent) are the most confident in this respect.

Unsurprisingly, with big data and cloud computing rising on the corporate agenda, security and data governance are noted as a major concern for all businesses surveyed across EMEA. This is particularly so for businesses in emerging markets (79 per cent) but is also of key concern for businesses in developed countries (75 per cent). It seems clear that as businesses wake to the true value of corporate data, security and governance will only increase in importance.

Adrian McDonald, President EMEA at EMC said: “These results paint a positive picture for EMEA. Businesses surveyed across the region are actively targeting growth and are increasingly using their IT function to enable this. Where once IT was a cost centre, it is now becoming a strategic profit centre. Interestingly, businesses in emerging EMEA markets appear to be progressing with big data technologies at a faster rate than in developed nations. If this trend continues, we expect it to deliver real business advantage to organisations in developing markets, increasing competition across the whole region.”

A write up of the news on Cloud Pro can be found here.