Jon on Tech – How to modernize your organisation

 

There is no question that companies need to transform their technology stacks, both to improve their competitiveness and to remain relevant in the market. Studies confirm that digitally transformed companies are able to bring new products to market 44 times faster and run business-critical applications 3 times faster.

But getting there is not a simple task. Many great organisations have become stuck between realisation and execution. It’s not that they lack the will to make changes, but that these are very daunting and major shifts to adapt to.

Hosting a discussion show on the sidelines of the recent Dell EMC Forum held in Sandton, Johannesburg, renowned speaker and presenter Michael Jackson spoke to Brad Pulford, Director of Infrastructure Solutions at Dell EMC, about this impasse. Pulford noted that many organisations wrestle with digital transformation for elementary reasons:

“One of the things you need to do, when you are defining any customer’s outcome, is having an endpoint. This is one of the most difficult things for customers out there: they see a lot of stuff going on, a lot of the things we’re talking about. But how do you adopt those things and make them relevant for your organisation? It starts with actually understanding what journey you want to embrace today.”

It’s key to bring the right foundations into play, putting platforms in place that can show the effect of new technology and business concepts. Once these basic blocks are available, a company can begin to understand their environment. This makes it possible to start defining the way forward.

For example, what elements are present or missing in a company’s data centre environment? Would it help to consider a hyper-converged infrastructure approach or to adopt all-flash arrays? What would the impact be on the organisation and its ambitions?

As soon as you put some of those tangible ideas on the table, customers become familiar with what is required to inspire change among their people and processes:

“What we’re seeing at the moment is one of the key disruptors is taking your people on that journey, ensuring they are enabled and empowered, and au fait with what is going around the key tenets of what’s creating this revolution and change in the industry.”

Dell EMC’s family of companies are specifically geared towards bringing those possibilities to life. From redefining existing data centres to connecting users on cutting-edge devices to next-generation application development using platforms such as Pivotal, the very essence of the Dell EMC experience is to help its customers define the transformation journey.

If an organisation is treading digital water, it will soon start to sink. This is a frightening prospect for many. But it doesn’t need to be – and once an organisation knows where it is and where it needs to be, things become a lot clearer.

“It’s about having a starting point and a destination in mind,” said Pulford. “If you understand the elements of IT transformation and you understand what digital can do for your organisation, there’s no doubt you’ll embrace what is required to make a success of that journey.”

Jon on Tech – Dell Pushes the Boundaries

 

At the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Dell is unveiling a suite of elegant new products and software to address the myriad ways people play and work. In addition to revealing some of the world’s most beautiful devices, Dell will highlight incredible hidden innovations within these products designed to improve performance, functionality and the overall user experience.

“At Dell, innovation never sleeps. We’re passionate about creating technology that expands the boundaries of what’s possible,” explains Sam Burd, president, Client Solutions Group, Dell. “With Dell, the incredible product design you see on the outside makes for gorgeous machines, but one of our most striking advantages comes from the innovation within. Beauty and brawn lurk beneath those beautiful exteriors, revolutionizing and redefining personal computing, and giving people experiences they want – and some they’ve never dreamed possible.”

Feats of engineering—XPS 13 and XPS 15 2-in-1

Dell’s XPS portfolio has won more product awards than any other brand in the company’s history. The latest XPS 13 is improved in every conceivable way and was just named a CES 2018 Innovation Award honoree. Along with its next-generation InfinityEdge 4K Ultra HD display, the XPS 13 adds a dazzling Rose Gold with Alpine White woven glass fiber interior as an option to traditional silver and black, with narrower borders and up to 80% more thermal headroom. Inside its thinner, lighter design, the Dell Power Manager delivers power just when you need it, while GORE Thermal Insulation, the same silica aerogels used in the Mars Rover to diffuse and dissipate heat, introduces an innovative material into the thermal design to keep the system cool while it works hard.

Addressing a gap in the marketplace for thinner, lighter and more powerful mobile devices that both hobbyists and professional creators demand, Dell unveils the first XPS 15 2-in-1, the world’s most powerful 15-inch 2-in-1, a feat of engineering that embodies innovation on every level. Balancing high performance with a sleek design, the smallest and thinnest 15.6-inch 2-in-1 available delivers the CPU and graphics horsepower to run content creation apps, process huge files and play AAA games while featuring touch, pen, an innovative maglev keyboard and the screen real estate that creators crave. New 8th Gen Intel® Core™ processor combining a high-performance Intel CPU and discrete Radeon™ RX Vega M graphics in a single package, help make the new XPS 15 2-in-1 possible. The XPS 15 2-in-1 also offers an eye-catching next-generation InfinityEdge 4K Ultra HD display with vivid colour and cinematic immersion in an impossibly slim 16mm form. Expert craftsmanship, premium materials and finishes including machined aluminium, carbon fibre and Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4 make this a functional, futuristic design.

Dell PC and smartphone integration with Dell Mobile Connect Software

 
People don’t just have a mouse and keyboard in their hands when using a computer, they now also have a smartphone. To increase convenience and productivity, Dell is the first PC maker to introduce a software solution that enables complete wireless integration between Dell PCs and smartphones (iOS and Android). Pre-installed on all new Dell consumer PCs, Dell Mobile Connect empowers users to make calls, send texts, get notifications and even fully mirror their phones to interact with all their favourite mobile apps.

Immersive experiences with Dell Cinema

Now more than ever, people watch movies and TV shows on their PCs with the expectation of a full cinematic experience, including studio sound and visual quality, as creators intend. That experience is now available on XPS and select Inspiron PCs through Dell Cinema, an immersive audio and visual experience.

  • CinemaColor: powered by Windows HD Color, decodes and displays high dynamic range (HDR) streamed content with enhanced detail, more vivid hues, sharper brightness and a wider colour gamut; Netflix in HDR also is supported on Dell Cinema PCs
  • CinemaSound: a Dell exclusive audio innovation powered by Waves MaxxAudio Pro that delivers clearer highs, enhanced bass and higher volume for a true cinematic audio experience
  • CinemaStream: powered by Killer and SmartByte, a software-based solution co-developed by Dell and Rivet Networks that optimizes online streaming and interactive video resulting in less buffering, more bandwidth and better resolution

Dell debuts new Alienware Software Command Center and eSports Training Centers


Redesigning its software from the ground up, Dell debuts the new Alienware Command Center that merges system settings, content and other functions into a simple and elegant interface. Alienware Command Center helps a novice to experienced gamers optimize and tune PCs and peripherals to their unique gaming needs. Now a gamer can access her or his game library from all sources on a PC, easily create custom profiles for each game and squeeze out more performance with power management and overclocking tools.

Concurrently hitting the market is AlienFX 2.0, the second generation of Alienware’s proprietary in-game lighting system that works across Alienware PCs, mice and keyboards. The Alienware Command Center provides even more customization of individual keys and key groups with more than 16.8 million colours in each lighting zone.

Dell and Alienware have long invested in the eSports industry: supporting the first Championship Gaming Series in 2007; working with Team Liquid, Team Dignitas and ELEAGUE; and most recently working with Tobii to infuse eye-tracking technologies into eSports tournaments revolutionizing the spectator experience. Alienware currently is the hardware of choice for Team Liquid, who have selected Alienware peripherals (mice, keyboards, monitors) for use in training and competitions. Today, Dell is announcing the launch of the new Alienware eSports Training Facility for Team Liquid setting a new standard for a dedicated eSports training centre. The new 8,000 square foot facility in Los Angeles will serve as Team Liquid headquarters, supporting multiple competitive teams with an in-office chef, sports psychologists, nutritionists, dedicated coach and analyst and training spaces– with everything powered by the newest and most powerful Dell and Alienware technology. Athletes will be training for high stakes competition while design teams, video crews and coaching staff make use of monitors, touchscreen displays and more to break down the action and create content for fans.

Dell makes VR a reality

Alienware is collaborating with NVIDIA and Oculus to create a new category of competitive virtual reality (VR) eSports that combines physical and mental competitive gaming and brings it to the masses. During the last two months, more than 200 participants across 14 different cities competed on Alienware systems to get the fastest time on Survios’ latest VR game, “Sprint Vector.” 

Dell also is announcing a new VR-ready Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop starting at just $799 to reduce the entry cost of VR. Engineered for PC gamers, the new Inspiron Gaming Desktop features 8th Gen Intel Core processors with up to six cores and graphics, solid-state drive options for faster boot-up times and intelligent thermal design for longer gaming sessions.

Adding to the ease of one-stop shopping, Dell is the first PC provider to sell the consumer version of HTC Vive VR headsets. In addition to offering the HTC Vive Business Edition, Dell is also confirming a deal with Meta to offer its immersive augmented reality (AR) headset. This move will satisfy those developing new solutions with latest VR and AR technologies. Check out the blog for more information.

New monitors and a significant performance uplift for Dell’s Latitude portfolio

Dell continues to lead the industry in displays with the addition of the world’s brightest ultrathin monitors in their class: the Dell 27 Ultrathin Monitor (S2719DM) and Dell 24 Ultrathin Monitor (S2419HM). Pictures come to life in luminous, vivid colour and both monitors support HDR-content playback for a CinemaColor experience, producing beautiful colour depth, clarity and contrast in a virtually borderless InfinityEdge display for strikingly realistic images. With a sleek profile at only 5.5mm at its thinnest, both monitors deliver peak brightness of 600 nits.

Designed for the mobile workforce, Dell’s Latitude portfolio of secure and manageable commercial notebooks and 2-in-1s has been fully refreshed with the latest 15W dual-core and quad-core 8th Gen Intel® Core™ vPro™ 15W processors delivering significant performance improvement. Productivity benchmark tests show dramatic performance uplift over products based on the previous generation processors. The additional cores and threads make a noticeable difference on company networks when IT is running encryption, malware scans and other background apps to secure and connect employees. The Latitude product line also has been updated with several exciting new hidden innovations. For example, the Latitude 7490 notebook features an exclusive active steering antenna that delivers better WiFi range, speed and connection reliability, and a new Full HD super low power display that reduces power consumption by up to 50%, resulting in several hours of additional battery life. Check out this blog for more details on these innovations and the exciting new lineup of Latitude business solutions.

To maximize productivity for on-the-go professionals and media enthusiasts, Dell is introducing the world’s most compact Thunderbolt™ 3 storage device and one of the fastest portable drives available, the Dell Portable Thunderbolt SSD 1000 (1TB) and SSD 500 (500GB).

The Grey Ave Podcast – Robyn Farah

Robyn Farah, CEO of KATO is an Entrepreneur, Speaker & people connector in tech & innovation.

Her company focuses on product development to solve real world problems in order to create a better world. She also founded and run some of the most influential tech events and communities in South Africa which create exposure to and connect people who are pushing the boundaries of tech, as well as bridging the class and gender gap. These include #TechTalkCPT, Arduino Cape Town, Modern Alchemists and Women in Tech Cape Town. She’s a partner in Curiosity Campus, which taught people all sorts of tech skills from Python, building a robot to creating VR environments.

In 2016 she was listed as one of Mail&Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans and granted a Shuttleworth Flash Grant. In 2015 she was invited to be a guest lecturer at MIT and to attend the World Maker Faire in New York. She completed her Masters in Interactive Sound Installations at the Sonic Arts Research Center at Queen’s University.

Links:
Robyn’s website:
robynfarah.com/

KATO website:
www.kato.global/

www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtW-cYF-t…&feature=youtu.be

Curiosity campus website:
curiositycampus.co.za/

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Jon on Tech – Dell & Ocean Plastics

Dell announces the technology industry’s first shipment of ocean plastics packaging, the result of an innovative, commercial-scale pilot program. Dell recycled plastics collected from waterways and beaches for use in the new packaging tray for its Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, building on Dell’s broader sustainable supply chain strategy. In 2017, its ocean plastics pilot will keep 16,000 pounds of plastic from entering the ocean.

Dell will transition its award-winning XPS 13 2-in-1 to ocean plastics packaging beginning April 30, 2017. The company also will include educational information on its packaging to raise global awareness and action on ocean ecosystem health solutions, an area of shared interest between Dell, its Social Good Advocate, Adrian Grenier and the Lonely Whale Foundation. To help ensure the packaging does not end up back in the oceans, Dell will stamp each tray with the No. 2 recycling symbol, designating it as HDPE (which is commonly recyclable in many locations). Dell’s Packaging team designs and sources its product packaging to be more than 93 percent recyclable by weight so that it can be reused as part of the circular economy.

The ocean plastics supply chain process is made of multiple stages: Dell’s partners intercept ocean plastics at the source in waterways, shorelines and beaches before it reaches the ocean. It then processes and refines the used plastics, mixes the ocean plastic (25 percent) with other recycled HDPE plastics (the remaining 75 percent) from sources like bottles and food storage containers. Finally, it molds the resulting recycled plastic flake into new packaging trays and ship the trays for final packaging and customer delivery.

Dell’s pilot program – another environmental industry-first– follows a successful feasibility study launched March 2016 in Haiti. The company has a long history of incorporating sustainable and recycled materials into its products and packaging. Since 2008, Dell has included post-consumer recycled plastics in its desktops, and as of January 2017, reached its 2020 goal of using 50 million pounds of recycled materials in its products. Increasingly, the company’s focus has been on delivering in a circular way – where materials from someone else’s waste stream can be used as inputs into products and packaging. Dell was the first – and continues to be the only – to offer computers and monitors that contain e-waste plastics and recycled carbon fiber.

In partnership with Adrian Grenier and the Lonely Whale Foundation, Dell has helped to increase understanding of ocean health issues, using virtual reality technology to bring people closer to the issues facing the oceans. A recent study[1] reported between 4.8 and 12.7 million metric tons of mismanaged plastic waste entered the ocean in 2010 alone. Dell has published a white paper on sourcing strategies and plans to convene a cross-industry working group that will address ocean plastics on a global scale.

Jon on Tech – Dell EMC Merger

On September 7th, Dell and EMC officially combined to become the world’s largest privately-controlled technology company.

Jon Gericke caught up with Jonas Bogoshi, General Manager for Dell EMC Enterprise Business and Douglas Woolley, General Manager for Dell EMC Commercial Business. They provide additional insights on how the new company will benefit customers and partners, the new areas of opportunity, and how they will drive success for the combined business based on the latest new global research done by Dell EMC.

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Jon on Tech – The VXRail Family

Does this make sense to you?

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) and VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) today announced the new VCE®VxRail™ Appliance family, the only integrated and jointly engineered hyper-converged infrastructure appliances (HCIA) for VMware environments.”

If it does, then this podcast is just for you. Jon Gericke has a chat with Tom O’Reilly about the appliance. It is quite complicated and we will be also be bringing you some consumer technology news on this podcast.

 

Tom OReilly

 

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