As a Chief Marketing Officer, ensuring we’re delivering effective customer communications is at the top of my priority list. As a technology geek and a die-hard advocate for Enterprise Content Management, customer communications interests me in two regards. First, the expectations for customer communications have dramatically changed; and, second, customer communications technologies now play a significant role in Digital Transformation. Understanding the impact of these trends is critical, which is why I’m thrilled that EMC has been named a “Leader” for the third year running in the annual Gartner Magic Quadrant for Customer Communications Management (CCM) Software.Why should your organization care about the changes in customer communications? Here are a few telling metrics:Fifty percent of millennials expect to engage with a company whenever they choose and via any channel they want.Sixty percent of millennials surveyed expect a consistent experience from brands whether they interact online, in store or on the phone.Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. and now make up the greatest percentage of the workforce. They are also becoming an important and rapidly growing customer segment.And it’s not just millennials. Think about how customers interact with banks today. We may receive monthly statements via email, but if our balance reaches a certain level, the bank sends a text notification. We may still receive credit card offers in the postal mail, but get invitations for better mortgage rates via Twitter or Facebook. And the branding, messaging, and tone are consistent, irrespective of delivery method. In the past, everything would have been sent to the customer the way the bank wanted. Now the customer is in control.This change of control means that organizations need the right tools to help them manage the exponentially complex world of communications “the way the customer wants.”With our CCM solution, EMC Document Sciences xPression, organizations can communicate using the customer’s channels of choice, in an intelligent, timely, context-sensitive way. It’s designed to deliver a better customer experience, while providing additional benefits to the organizations that implement it – cost efficiencies, scalability, compliance, and more.Which leads me to my next point: CCM is not only critical to customer communications, but is becoming a critical part of the customer experience overall. And customer experience is a primary motivator for Digital Transformation. This truly is the age of the customer.Why? The digital economy fundamentally changed customer experience expectations and has become the key differentiator for successful organizations. The right customer experience can disrupt industries that have been in place for decades. We can all name cloud-native disrupters, like Uber, Netflix and Amazon that have revolutionized how we book transportation, view movies and make purchases. But, think also about more traditional companies, like Geico and GE, who are taking the lead in digital transformation to disrupt their industries.With this new bar set, new technologies are required to manage all aspects of customer interactions. This is one of the main reasons we’ve embarked on our next-generation offerings supporting customer interactions and experience, building on our heritage and technologies in all areas of ECM, including Customer Communications Management.As a CMO, I’m pleased to see customer communications elevated to a new level in the digital conversation. But I’m also aware that this is no longer only a marketing priority. Now, more than ever, customer experience is becoming a critical business priority – one that’s driving the shape of the organization as a whole – particularly as organizations take their first steps toward Digital Transformation.
The explosive growth of public cloud computing is transforming enterprise IT infrastructure. Organizations are finding it difficult to manage workloads and the proliferation of snapshots with the native tools offered by most infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud providers.What is Cloud Snapshot Manager?Cloud Snapshot Manager is a SaaS solution that makes it easy to protect workloads in public cloud environments – without requiring any installation or infrastructure. Customers can discover, orchestrate and automate the protection of workloads across multiple clouds based on policies for seamless backup and disaster recovery. Dell EMC breaks cloud silos, allowing customers to use one tool for the protection of workloads across multiple clouds. Designed for any size cloud infrastructure, CSM scales as your organization and data grows. The automatic assignment of resources to protection policies based on tags is essential to achieve auto-scaling in the cloud with the peace of mind that your resources are protected.How does Cloud Snapshot Manager Work?In the middle are the resources that are running in the AWS or Azure cloud. Snapshots are a key mechanism by which resources are protected in the cloud, primarily due to the fact that when snapshots are taken, AWS copies the data from EC2, EBC and RDS to a special snapshot bucket in S3 and for Azure from managed disk to a standard Blob store, separating the primary data from the secondary copy of the data. The initial snapshot is a full copy and all the subsequent snapshots are incremental in the case of AWS. Cloud Snapshot Manager runs inside Dell EMC IT infrastructure with the highest level of security and control. Cloud Snapshot Manager micro-services use the APIs offered by AWS or Azure to discover instances and create or delete snapshots per policy. Similarly, for restores, API calls are made to create the VM image from the snapshot. It is important to note that the data will always remain in the cloud and would never leave that environment.What are the benefits of CSM?CSM is designed from the ground up for any size cloud infrastructure and scales as your organization and data grows. The following are a few benefits of CSM.Automated cloud data protection from one pane of glass, breaking cloud silosProtection, compliance, and disaster recovery of public cloud workloadsMulti-tenancy capabilities enabling multiple accounts and usersAutomatic deletion of snapshots per retention policies for cost savingsApplication consistent framework in AWS and Azure for consistent restoresEmail reports for visibility into the health and overall status of your CSM environmentDiscovery of existing snapshots in AWS for better control over snapshot sprawlCall to ActionCloud Snapshot Manager is breaking cloud silos and providing a better way to consolidate and manage the entire lifecycle of snapshots and recovery from a single management console. If you would like to demo CSM hands on we have a free 30-day trial. If you would like to learn more about CSM check us out online. Lastly, check out this video for an overview of CSM. Dell EMC is a trusted partner in data protection and we look forward to hearing from you.
Digital Transformation has been a rallying cry of CXOs over the past few years, and global disruption, due to digitization, has yielded many examples of industry powerhouses becoming a footnote in history. It should come as no surprise then, that a major trend emerged in the most recent Vanson Bourne Global Data Protection Index commissioned by Dell EMC – data is almost unanimously understood to have value and 75 percent of respondents are either already monetizing it or are investing in tools that will help them monetize it in the future.As data becomes more valuable to an organization, there is a corresponding move to collect more of it and keep it for longer. The concept of Data Capital has become ingrained in every industry, as organizations find that using data to power applications and gain new insights from analytics, sets them apart from the competition. This results in a point of friction, as the creation, acquisition and protection of data are somewhat at odds. Data protection challenges range from financial (affordability of backing it up) to logistical (delivering performance and coverage). These played a significant role in the limited improvement of data protection maturity in companies we surveyed. Simply put, what worked to protect 1.5PB of data a few short years ago, won’t work for the almost 10PB of data respondents averaged in the latest study.Not surprisingly, such growth has also created a myriad of challenges for organizations with availability and data retention. More than three-quarters (76 percent) of respondents have experienced disruption of some kind in the last 12 months. To make matters worse, these service level events are coming about through all manner of sources, making it nearly impossible to eliminate risk entirely. From infrastructure failures and ransomware attacks to data corruption and user error, or even cloud provider issue, it’s time to realize we cannot eliminate the cause of a service level event. We can, however, mitigate the damage it causes by having an effective data protection strategy and solutions in place.The stakes are higher than everWhen looking at events that resulted in a disruption, we separated these events into two categories — downtime and data loss. Across these two areas, respondents noted substantial impacts from events.41 percent experienced downtime with an average estimated cost of $527,00028 percent suffered data loss that resulted in an average estimated loss of $996,000One of the most surprising results revealed that those who scored higher in the data protection index were more vulnerable to substantial losses in the event of an outage or data loss.This magnified impact was likely due to the increased importance data plays in their business but shows just how essential it is to get data protection right. Read more about disruption and creating a strategy to protect essential data.Improving protection in three stepsSubscribe value to data and protect it accordingly – Globally, 81 percent of survey respondents say they treat data differently based on its value. As data continues to grow exponentially, it is essential to leverage a variety of data protection strategies across continuous availability, replication, backup, archives, etc. creating an effective data protection solution that can scale.Consolidate vendors to lower risk – Across the board, respondents who used multiple vendors increased the likelihood of something going wrong. Organizations with only a single data protection vendor were twice as likely to indicate they had not experienced a disruption in the last 12 months, with 40 percent reporting they had no adverse issues.Protect more in the cloud – Automatic backup to the cloud was the most frequently included technology as part of a comprehensive data protection strategy with 43 percent of respondents indicating they were using it. This is critical to leverage moving forward, both to defer costs of traditional data protection, as well as to provide coverage within cloud environments themselves.Wrapping upUltimately, the report paints a picture of organizations trying to keep up with the data deluge, it’s increased value to the organization, and new advanced workloads that strain existing data protection solutions. We’ve entered a new age where protecting data has morphed into the need to apply advanced data management strategies to keep it both safe and available at all times. Data Protection can no longer be bolted on as a simple insurance policy, but should be a primary design consideration for any workload that the organization is prioritizing. Over the coming months, we will continue to highlight new technologies and strategies to use in meeting the ever-increasing needs in this space. For now though, please find your complimentary GDPI report here.
As data grows and becomes more critical to organizations, ensuring its protection has become a business imperative. However, there are significant transformations taking place across the information technology landscape exerting tremendous pressure on how traditional data protection services are delivered. In this blog series, I will describe four mega-trends that will disrupt data protection as we know it, and what organizations need to do to prepare for the new realities of the 2020s and beyond.Trend 1: Data valueThe first trend ushering in disruptive changes to data protection is exponential data growth. IDC predicts that by 2025 global data will soar to 175 zettabytes. Organizations will need ways to protect increasing data volumes consistently, reliably and affordably without impacting application performance or compromising data governance, compliance mandates and security.But it’s not just the quantity of data that is growing, it’s the value of the data itself. Organizations are finding new ways to monetize their data to enhance the customer experience, enter new markets and increase revenue. In short, as organizations undergo digital transformation, their data is not only supporting their business needs, but it in effect becomes the business itself, so data loss is totally unacceptable.In fact, data loss events are becoming increasingly costly to organizations of all sizes. According to the Global Data Protection Index (GDPI) survey, organizations that experienced data loss lost on average almost US$1M in revenue over the past 12 months.Respondents to this survey cited complexity, ballooning costs, and the lack of data protection solutions for newer technologies as their most pressing issues. This mismatch between the growing need to protect the data, and the challenges organizations face is a major gap that calls for significant innovation in this space.Source: GDPI 2018Trend 2: Application TransformationThe applications used by organizations have evolved, alongside the infrastructure on which they run. We started with the vertically integrated mainframe, where hardware, software, networking and applications were all provided by a single (blue) vendor, and then evolved to the “open systems” era in which software, compute, networking and storage were separated into distinct entities that were connected through standard interfaces.We have now entered the cloud-native era. Modern applications are increasingly adopting cloud-native (e.g. “12-factor”) design principles, in which a monolithic application is broken into stateless micro-services, that interact with each other through persistent data storage. The code is running in containers, or ad hoc using Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) platform capabilities. This enables the developers to focus on “what they want to be done” instead of thinking on “how it should be done.” In other words, software design is moving from an Imperative to a Declarative mode.This evolution of enterprise applications changes the way we view the environment. Instead of looking at “compute, networking, storage,” we can now look at “code/function, data, infrastructure.” This also impacts how data protection should be designed since it needs to protect the code and data, and not the storage.The increasing volume and value of data combined with the deployment of critical business services on physical, virtual and cloud-native application platforms are introducing more complexity, risk and uncertainty into the data protection process for organizations of all sizes.In the second part of this blog series, I will discuss how the other two mega-trends — Distributed Data and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning — will introduce still more complexity into the data protection process across edge, core and multi-cloud computing landscapes.
Executives and industry experts have given their views on new cybersecurity threats that have appeared in the wake of the global crisis – and shared their best strategies for defeating them.I recently participated on a panel during the Transformation Tune-In virtual event on The Evolving Cyber Threat Landscape, hosted by Dell Technologies and Intel.Bobby Ford, CISO at Unilever, began by discussing risks emerging from the increase in working from home, “While most of the technology was already in place to allow people to work safely from home – what many organisations didn’t have was line of sight to the distractions that would come with home working. The biggest threat is the ability to remain focused. We ramped up our education and awareness program to make sure everyone was mindful of trying to keep that office-like awareness while working from home.”Richard Curran, Global Security Officer at Intel, agreed, adding that cybercriminals have moved to exploit this vulnerability and the global focus on the pandemic. “What we have seen from intelligence across the market is that the volume of threats remains constant, but criminals have focused in on an opportunity around COVID-19. From February to May there were 67,000 bogus COVID sites established; made to take advantage of opportunities around phishing and so forth. Also, from speaking to governments in the last few months, there has been a fundamental change in investment from criminals from disruption to espionage. The ability to extract IP from companies. Business leaders need to remain very much aware of the seriousness of the potential impact of threats. Look at your overall base – your IP and your business continuity – and ensure you’re cognizant of what is needed to remain operational to continue to serve your customers every day.”From security to resilienceAs the conversation shifted to strategies for combating emerging threats, Michael Imeson, a Contributing Editor at FT Specialist said:“Businesses have to take a more holistic approach than they have in the past…you have to start moving away from just thinking about cybersecurity and think more about cyber-resilience. How do you respond, recover and learn from that experience?”Yaniv Harel, GM Cyber Solutions Group at Dell Technologies, agreed that, as companies look to adopt new technologies to gain business advantage, they must take a new cyber-resilience mindset: “Companies must balance technology with the right methodologies, talent and personnel. We are in continuous discussions with CISOs concerned about their strategies to adopt multi-cloud, consolidate their data center, reduce the number of systems that they have, to recover from cyberattacks; and this is before I mention containers, AI, blockchain and so on. We believe in what we call ‘intrinsic security’ – how security is built from the inside, from the base of the organisation and its technology infrastructure. This is how you balance the demands from all of these different priorities.”Bobby Ford, Unilever, offered advice to security leaders struggling to address many complex technology priorities while ensuring cyber-resilience: “You cannot do everything. You have to have a conversation with the business stakeholders and establish what are you in business to do and how does your organization make money? Once you really understand that, that’s when you start to build your security strategy.”Product-based mindsetFrom my perspective, companies must not only think about making security intrinsic to technology infrastructure, but also making security professionals intrinsic to future product development – where previously they have often been left out of the process until the end. One of the trends we’re seeing is the idea of moving from project-based to product-based organizations. Instead of having a network-storage-security, silo-based model, people are breaking down those silos and creating product teams. And instead of security being the “project prevention team,” they’re being incorporated into the product design from the beginning. This means they can think about where that work is going to run and where that data is going to live and wrap security around it.It has never been more important for organizations to be supported by their technology partners. Richard Curran, Intel, agreed, “We want [organizations] to reach out to their technology partners. We want to understand how we can help them become more secure, and to ensure that the impact to business is mitigated as much as it possibly can be.”Watch the replay of this Transformation Tune-In webinar on demand (registration required).
As we gear up for Dell Technologies World Digital Experience this week, I can’t help but look back on our customers’ incredible journeys and successes from the year. Even in the face of obstacles and massive change, our customers have been able to fulfill their missions.I’m inspired by their accomplishments. I hope these examples inspire you, too.Keeping grocery stores running: Practically overnight, U.S-based grocery chain Albertsons enabled more than 1,000 call center and store employees, who have vital roles in solving technical problems for Albertsons’ check-out systems and pharmacies, to work from home. Dell provided them with PCs, monitors, peripherals and support services to ensure they could keep serving customers while maintaining social distancing policies. Delivering industrial innovation at the edge: Dell and Software AG worked with SMC Corporation in Germany on a Smart Field Analytics solution to bridge the gap in factories between data detection and data capture. Software AG Cumulocity IoT Edge, powered by Dell, helps customers connect and visualize their industrial assets, perform analytics and integrate data sets between existing IT systems. This allows them to easily conduct predictive maintenance, leakage detection and energy efficiency monitoring. Shifting retail to remote work: Brazil-based retailer Grupo Boticario addressed a dual challenge as COVID-19 spread: How to enable 3,000 employees to work remotely while continuing to serve customers online. Dell helped the company quickly shift to remote work, armed with Dell EMC servers, more than 1,000 laptops, and configuration, deployment and support services. Grupo Boticario was able to maintain the performance and stability it needed even during peak demand. Bringing modern power to life with edge solutions: Taiwan Power Company generates, transmits, distributes and sells reliable and eco-friendly electricity across Taiwan while adhering to national energy policies. Taiwan Power Company launched a large-scale project to install smart meters to modernize their operations and selected Greenbird’s Utilihive to simplify managing data between the metering systems and the operational analytics platforms. The power company chose to use Utilihive, a cloud-native, digital integration platform powered by Dell EMC PowerEdge servers, at edge locations. The project’s initial rollout consisted of 1.2 million households and was completed in only five months.With so many incredible stories to share, we’re excited for you to join us this week – Oct. 21 and 22 – for Dell Technologies World Digital Experience. We’re looking forward to demonstrating how we are here to help customers, and our vision for how technology is reshaping our world. Fueling data and analytics: Insurance Australia Group (IAG) is Australia’s largest general insurer, with more than 13,000 employees and approximate revenue of $13 billion. The company turned to Dell EMC PowerFlex to help them power next-generation big data workloads within their private cloud. PowerFlex delivers the scalability, stability, resiliency and performance needed to support their leading-edge applications.