It is the best of times and it is the worst of times for IT. The wealth of technologies, like cloud and big data, has been a boon for IT professionals, but the EMC Global IT Trust Curve Survey found that 61% of organizations suffered unplanned downtime, a security breach, or a loss of data at least once in 2013. Complexity has increased exposure to failures and threats, creating a lack of trust in the technologies. A different kind of solution is needed in response to this environment – a solution built on a strong foundation of trusted infrastructure.Defining Trusted InfrastructureI am part of a group at EMC assigned with defining and developing our point-of-view on trusted infrastructure. We started by checking out what the industry was already saying. The most credible definition we came across is from the Trusted Computing Group (TCG), a well-respected nonprofit organization that defines security specifications.This definition emphasizes broad predictable behavior as the root of trust, rather than narrowly focusing on the security elements of infrastructure. Using it as a basic construct, we developed our own detailed taxonomy, comprised of Trust Dimensions – six broad categories, each containing properties like identity and data availability. Many of these properties are adapted from the work of the Cloud Security Alliance.This representation provides a complete visual definition of trust. The novelty of this taxonomy is that it provides a comprehensive framework that can be used to build and assess trusted infrastructure. Consumers can use the standardized framework to map trust requirements for their own systems, and deploy solutions that deliver on what they need. They can also query trust metrics to get an assessment of the overall ‘trustworthiness’ of their infrastructure.Envisioning a Trusted InfrastructureHaving defined the taxonomy, we started tackling implementation. The IT Industry has always had spot solutions on different dimensions of trust, so how is Trusted Infrastructure going to be different from any other infrastructure? Trusted Infrastructure has trust elements built in rather than added on as an afterthought and it is broadly usable rather than available only on a locked platform.Trusted Infrastructure will have three things in common:It needs a taxonomy which goes clearly beyond security and covers all relevant aspects of a predictable system.The services delivered to end users need to be highly integrated with the infrastructure.Trusted Infrastructure will need an open abstraction layer, Trust APIs, for use in higher level stacks like Hypervisor or Cloud OS.We now have a working taxonomy and vision, but there is still much work to be done. Our Trusted Infrastructure team is now identifying detailed use cases and socializing them with customers and industry thought leaders. Industry acceptance of the taxonomy is critical and your opinion is important. I am blogging on this topic regularly and would like to hear from you.
When most people see the name Technicolor they probably think of “The Wizard of Oz,” “Gone With The Wind,” and other classics from Hollywood’s golden age. Today however, Technicolor is doing much more than simply capturing indelible movie images and Dell is providing the infrastructure and cloud client-computing solutions to help create the latest on-screen magic.Technicolor was an early pioneer in photographic processes and constant innovator that transitioned to an all-digital workflow in 2013. To achieve the change-over from traditional 35mm film, the company needed a dynamic, elastic infrastructure that was streamlined for operational efficiency. Technicolor’s network and data storage also needed to be highly-secure, in order to safeguard works in progress even as the storied Hollywood firm added multiple access points and expanded its global footprint.These challenges were compounded by technology trends reshaping the entertainment industry. Having largely embraced a 4K high-definition standard, content creation and editing had become enormously CPU and storage-intensive. While an hour of standard-definition digital video required roughly 13GB of storage or nearly 217MB per minute, an hour of high-definition 4K digital content could require as much as 110GB of storage – eight times as much – or approximately 2GB per minute. With larger file sizes, creating effects, dropping in new sequences, moving media, and watching seamless edits in “native 4K” required huge processor power, significant networking bandwidth, and redundant storage capabilities that most VDI solutions are not equipped to handle.That’s why Technicolor relies on Dell’s powerful 13G PowerEdge servers to handle the processing load of rendering and editing and our Wyse thin and zero client endpoints to help keep their clients’ intellectual property and production workflows secure and safe from prying eyes. Specifically, our Dell private cloud architecture and desktop virtualization options provide a single vendor, end-to-end solution that lets Technicolor dazzle directors, producers, and ultimately audiences with many of today’s most compelling entertainment, video game, and VR experiences. </p><p>Leveraging our trusted and purpose-built cloud solutions and Wyse endpoints, Dell helps the 100-year old company stay on the cutting edge of visuals and sound, while expanding its capabilities in the U.S. and overseas. Dell also helps Technicolor strengthen its security posture in an industry that has seen its share of hacking and data incursions. In the same way, Dell’s cloud client-computing infrastructure is trusted by Technicolor’s primary customers, which include the largest media and entertainment firms in Hollywood including Universal, Sony Pictures, Paramount, Disney, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Bros., who need to know that their I.P. will be safe during the all-important post-production interval before the curtains can rise at a theater near you.To learn more about how Dell’s Could Client-Computing solutions can help your business with data security and CPU-intensive applications, visit dell.com/wyse
When marketers talk to customers, a lot of effort goes into the details of features and pricing. Emotion-led marketing is the idea that generating an emotional connection with your brand will yield longer term loyalty and profits.This holiday season, several companies have debuted commercials that as People puts it “make you feel all the feels.” But, if this approach is so great then why doesn’t everybody do it all year-round?The truth is that triangulating specific psychological attributes that construct value in the customer’s mind is demanding. There are organizational insights and brand identity challenges that need to be solved first.I’ve had the opportunity to broach this subject from many hats: as a product developer, operations and brand manager, among others in 13+ years at Dell and Alienware.I have been witness to successful shifts towards more focus on purpose and emotional-led marketing. In every implementation, I saw challenges: attributing marketing efforts to results, a balanced approach of promotion/emotion and having clarity on the reason for being. Brands that truly connect with customers tend to behave like expert conversationalists.Here are three major challenges and recommendations for shaping brands at the emotional-level in 2016-2017.Challenge 1: Attribution – the culture of “hit the goals now,” or, the preconceived notion that marketers need to focus on pricing, otherwise it will not convert into sales.As brand manager, I delivered training to sales teams on new products being launched. Here is feedback I found contradictory at first.“We can read what the specs and prices are, but you’re not telling us what Dell is about, what our angle is or who the customer is.”“Why are we talking about colors and feelings?”Recommendation: Value map your features vs. customer needs in plain language.In the end it was not a contradiction. Ben Franklin was reputed to be a polite and engaging communicator, never making people feel “less than” and taking genuine interest in their passions. The sales and local marketing teams wanted a clear context of our identity so they could have those “Ben Franklin” conversations with the customers. It is important to create a brand and customer pocketbook with the full context of your customer, focusing on benefits rather than features and customers use cases instead of specifications.Challenge 2: From promotion to emotion, or, internal benefits I want.Pinning down psychological values as perceived by the customer is complicated. Attributes like quality, peace of mind, motivation, accomplishment, reliability, variety, innovation and wellness are just a few of the many values and emotions that companies like Bain, Mckinsey, Forrester and CEB track regularly. These customer values should be leveraged and monitored regularly. Identifying the right values helps unify work efforts.Recommendation – Develop data centric customer focus by building an insights engine.Just like in a polite conversation, listening is a fundamental to being relevant and beneficial. Conducting research, deriving insights and synthesizing conclusions is a form of corporate listening. Sometimes entrepreneurs intuitively know their customers and at the beginning don’t need a data-driven approach to understanding what their audience wants. This was the case during my tenure with early days Alienware – we inherently understood and listened to our community; however, scaling and replicating over time required a more systemic approach. To do that in a product development role, we built an insights engine, gathering a 360-degree view of research, including business metrics, customer feedback, market-landscape and world trends.Challenge 3: Identity crisis – Clearly defining your brand promise and personality.Conveying and connecting with authenticity requires that a brand or marketer be clearly self-aware of what they stand for and how they are currently perceived. To be yourself, you need to know yourself and how you’re perceived. Simon Sinek said, “Companies and brands should be able to answer why. Why is not about making money. That’s a result. Why is the purpose, the core beliefs? It’s the very reason the organization exists.”In Dell’s manager Marketing Rotation Program, we go through a personal branding exercise that asks us to identify what is strong in us, what is expected of us and where we need to improve. The challenge lies in asking how you are perceived. This can produce tough feedback. Building an action plan to address this requires effort and is often de-prioritized by organizations.Recommendation – Develop a creed, not a slogan.In the XPS product team we worked on building a message that authentically reflected who we are and why we are in a way that inspires and aligns teams to our ultimate goal. The core team working on this realized the single most important output we needed was a creed, a sentence that could be articulated into visuals, designs and go-to-market plans. It took us six months of observing world trends, gathering research, listening to internal and external feedback and taking honest inventory of:What were we known for?What do we want to be known for?What is the industry standard?What is the investment and benefit on bridging the gap?We discovered strengths we were unaware of and found areas we needed to work on.It is an exciting time as authentic and deeply rooted brands are at a competitive advantage and can yield higher revenues and price premiums.Aim to derive a clear creed that aligns your internal teams more so than a fancy external tagline.Above all become a polite conversationalist by channeling your inner Ben Franklin.Talk about them not youListen more than you talkBe authentic
There are so many issues we could discuss to affect positive change in today’s world. At Dell, we want to use SXSW, where so many people intersect, to get people to the table. We want pressing public policy issues to be discussed. We want the conversation to be a starting point. That’s why when we laid out the plan for 2017’s upcoming SXSW in Austin, TX, we mapped out a different agenda. We are going to do more with this weekend than throw cocktail parties, network, or highlight our products (which are cutting-edge and consumer-driven – still had to be said!).How are we going to do this? Over the course of the next three days, we have taken some of the most relevant stakeholders, members of Congress, and honed experts to discuss a wide-range of public policy issues that are challenging society.Entrepreneurship is part of our DNA at Dell and we know that entrepreneurs and innovators are the engine that drives the world economy. We want to create a better climate for entrepreneurs to thrive – not just by bringing the best technologies to empower entrepreneurs in the new world of digital transformation – but also by working with leaders, policymakers and the public and private sectors on improving entrepreneurs’ access to four key elements of success: talent, capital, markets and technology.Instead of bringing entrepreneurs and innovators to D.C. to meet with policymakers, we think it’s best to bring the policymakers to SXSW to meet with the entrepreneurs and innovators. Rather than having discussions in suits in the halls of Congress, we are having discussions in jeans in Austin.We’re excited to be hosting a wide variety of events to tackle some of these issues – everything from panel discussions on how government, entrepreneurs and the tech industry can work together to solve policy challenges; a math competition with seventh and eighth grade student and members of Congress; an interactive policy hackathon (think American Idol meets Shark Tank); a “fishbowl” discussion on diversity and inclusion; and conversations with veterans who are innovating and starting companies.Our agenda is bold, diverse, and we hope inspiring. Topics we’re going to discuss include:How tech companies are fostering a culture of inclusion, and how government can further incentivize.What should government be doing to encourage women entrepreneurs? What should they stop doing to discourage women entrepreneurs?Advances in technology have radically impacted almost every aspect of our lives—except how we vote. What are the policy implications of using various forms of available technology to simultaneously increase voter turnout and the security of our voting system?The government has data on everything from which sewer lines are in use most to which restaurants violated the health code this year. Entrepreneurs everywhere could use this data to build their businesses and help the government accomplish its goals, so how can we put this data to collective use?What are the policies we need in place to support a digital economy? It accounts for one-third of the U.S. Economy or roughly $5.9 trillion.Why are younger generations less active in government and how can we change that? Two of the youngest members of Congress will talk about how to approach civic engagement for maximum result.What are the next steps in the transportation revolutions and how will policy adapt?What are some of the policy challenges that a home sharing world presents and how should Congress address these legislative issues?We must roll out broadband to rural areas in order to bring the benefits of tech to every person and sector of the economy. How can we create more public-private partnerships to address rural broadband access? Last year at SXSW this topic was raised during the government track – we listened and will report back.Diversity in tech, diversity in government and the policy implications of each.What role can and should the government play in preventing, responding to and mitigating cyber-attacks, and what level of cyber-attack constitutes and act or war?We are going to cover a lot of ground on a lot of issues with the right people at the table. We hope we elevate public policy discussion to a new level and we hope to see you there. If you can’t make it to Austin, you can follow us on social media at #GovEvolve, #DellExperience and #PolicyHack.yy
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — The demobilized guerrilla group known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia has changed the name of its political party in a bid to perform better with voters in next year’s congressional elections. The FARC’s party will now be known as Comunes, which translates roughly to commoners or commons. Leaders acknowledged that the FARC name “generates resistance in some sectors of society.” As part of a 2016 peace deal with Colombia’s government that ended five decades of war, the FARC was allowed to register a political party and was also given 10 guaranteed seats in Congress for eight years.
President Joe Biden and aides are showing touches of prickliness amid growing scrutiny of his reliance on executive orders in his first days in office.,The president in just over a week has already signed more than three dozen executive orders and directives aimed at addressing the coronavirus pandemic as well as a gamut of other issues, including environmental regulations, immigration policies and racial justice.,Biden has also sought to use the orders to erase foundational policy initiatives by former president Donald Trump.,Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says Biden’s reliance on executive action in the early going conflicts with the Democrat’s pledge as a candidate to be a consensus builder.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is warning of a growing “cost of inaction” on his $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan. And the White House says the new administration is searching for “creative” ways to garner public support for a package that has gotten a cold shoulder from Senate Republicans. In the age of COVID, it’s not a matter of jumping on a plane to travel the country and try to gin up a groundswell. And at a time of deep polarization, Biden may struggle to convince Republican voters of the urgency at this particular moment after Congress already has approved $4 trillion in aid, including $900 billion last month.
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A valuable concrete relief by Cyprus’ most avant-garde artist of the 1960s has been rediscovered after lying hidden in the underground recesses of a nightclub. The club is in the abandoned ghost town of Varosha, which has been under Turkish military control since a 1974 war ethnically cleaved the island nation. The nightclub’s 93-year-old Greek Cypriot former owner, who says he commissioned that artwork and others by artist Christoforos Savva, wants to remove them and transfer them to the country’s internationally recognized southern part. But the family that owns the hotel where the nightclub once operated says the artwork is its private property and objects to its removal, warning of legal action.
MASON, Texas (AP) — An official says a suspect has been taken into custody following a massive fire that destroyed all but the rock outer walls of an 111-year-old Texas courthouse. The fire at the Mason County Courthouse in Mason started Thursday night. No one was in the building. Judge Jerry Bearden said the flames could be seen from miles away. He says, “Right now, it’s just a shell. It just breaks your heart to look at it.” He told The Associated Press on Friday that fire investigators suspect arson in both the courthouse fire and a fire around the same time at a house about a mile away.
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemala says the U.S. government is ending an arrangement that sent asylum-seekers who reached U.S. borders back to the Central American nation to seek protection there instead. The Guatemalan government said in a statement Friday it welcomed the decision to end the accord, known as a safe third country agreement. Only 20 of 939 Hondurans and El Salvadorans who have been turned back from the U.S. and flown to Guatemala decided to seek asylum there. With so many returning to their home countries instead, the policy instituted by former president Donald Trump became known as “deportation with a layover.”