Sheena Iyengar, a professor at the Columbia Business School, gave a famous TED Talk called “How to make choosing easier” a few years ago. She discusses research findings from case studies done by choices that CEOs and individuals make on a daily basis, as well as the choices that are made when we are given a set amount of options.Sheena discusses how the average American makes 70 choices a day and the average CEO engages in about 139 tasks in a week. About 50 percent of decisions are made in nine minutes or less, while only 12 percent surpass 60 minutes. This is where we encounter “The Choice Overload Problem.” Does offering an overabundant amount of choices make for a good business model? VCE has already learned that IT simplicity dramatically improves an infrastructure, but so can simplifying choices.The presenter highlights an experiment conducted at an upscale grocery store’s jam/jelly selection. A tasting booth was set up at different times, one with six different flavors of jam, and another with 24 different flavors. Although more people stopped and sampled the 24 jams made available for tasting, only 3 percent actually purchased jam. Fewer people stopped by the table with six flavors, but 30 percent made a purchase, yielding a 6X increase. Case in point, the lesser amount of offerings showed a greater amount of purchases. So what’s the summary? Less can be more. By offering more choices you can experience these negative consequences:The choice is delayed and procrastination takes place where you end up losing much sought after engagement.The consumer will be more likely to make poor choices thereby degrading their decision quality.The consumer is more likely to regret their decision and their overall satisfaction.VCE was founded upon many of the ideas that Sheena discusses. We offer a product set that is engineered to meet almost all data center environments with workloads such as VDI, high-performance databases, and generalized workloads with data protection offerings. Rather than making IT infrastructures more complicated, VCE pre-integrates, pre-tests and pre-validates the best-of-the-best components, reducing the amount of customer risk, simplifying the purchasing process and removing complexity from the customer’s infrastructure.“In reality, many choices are between things that are not that much different. The value of choice depends on our ability to perceive differences between the options.” – Sheena IyengarShareToo much complexity may ultimately lose what many CxOs are trying to accomplish: standardization. It’s a key attribute when trying to manage thousands of systems across many geographies because it simplifies the infrastructure. If you’re offered varying amounts of product sets from different vendors married with your own integration techniques, it leads to a devaluing experience with a loss in a few key areas:Purchase decisions are extended based upon the multitude of offerings presented as well as the time to engineer the existing integration.IT staff is burdened by the time spent learning a new technology instead of focusing on accomplishing the business initiatives.Soft cost is incurred with IT staff learning curves based on time as well as a hard cost with actual education.The ongoing maintenance effort becomes extra-ordinate by trying to couple a mix of inter-dependencies with best practices for maximum performance.Each one of these relates to a hard or soft cost that you will experience and encounter with a reference architecture model instead of a true converged infrastructure solution set. Less is more.Convergence with Vblock Systems: a Value MeasurementIDC’s recent study shows the positive results of VCE Vblock™ Systems. The simplified offerings from VCE are focused on the workload that customers need to run. Vblock Systems are flexible enough that we have more than three million different configuration options, but accounts for 95% of all standard data center workloads. Purchasing decisions can be made faster because the pre-engineered characteristics remove the need for multiple teams to agree on products and integration sets.A Vblock System is delivered as a fully functional and operable product that can be integrated with your existing systems in as little as one hour. IT architecture, quality assurance, operations and support staff can take solace knowing that many products are already a part of your existing data center and VCE Vision™ Intelligent Operations consolidates an entire Vblock System into a holistic view for ease of management. These teams will be complemented with VCE’s Release Certification Matrices to ensure integration (The VCE Certification Matrix – Ensuring Integration) for on-going maintenance.VCE Vblock Systems have made their way into many Fortune 100 companies because the experience is unlike any other. VCE addresses the challenges that many of these businesses face by creating a subset of simple choices that deliver a 45-day turnaround time from order to procurement to operation. As Sheena said, “The key to getting the most from choice is to be choosy about choosing.”
As I look back on my experience at Mobile World Congress (MWC) held last month in Barcelona, I’m struck by how rapidly the Telco and Service Provider industry is changing. As I mentioned in my previous post Telcos and service providers are all engaged in large, complex, multi-year infrastructure and service delivery transformations. The technology transformation is the replacement of dedicated network appliances such as routers and cellular network switches with software running on commercial off-the-shelf hardware. The industry term for this is Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). The aim of NFV is to reduce the time to service, and cost for Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to deliver network services.Different providers are taking different approaches to their transformation and the technologies they use. Some are building new services on custom, bespoke technology stacks while others are looking to implement blueprint based systems, but at a smaller scale, and cost. At Mobile World Congress we introduced the EMC Provider Cloud System (PCS). PCS is a reference architecture for communications service providers that leverages EMC’s strong industry expertise and Telco grade product portfolio. PCS is designed to accelerate the transformation of service delivery for CSPs. In what I believe is a transformation milestone for the industry, we’re now seeing the industry-focus change from architecting infrastructure solutions to deploying repeatable cloud solutions and using these clouds to provide new services.As transformation takes place across the industry, I believe the greatest opportunity for CSPs will be to monetize their data in order to influence events and consumer behavior in real-time. CSPs have a tremendous amount of data about their networks and customers and are now seeking to move beyond older analytics tools that are not able to process the volume of data efficiently or quickly enough. EMC has packaged a solution leveraging the latest analytics technology via the EMC Real-Time Intelligence (RTI) platform. EMC RTI leverages best-in-breed technologies from across the EMC Federation of companies and the open source community to provide a data analytics solution designed to operate at the multi-petabyte scale of the largest providers. It can enable use cases in network operations, security and fraud detection, network planning, customer experience and revenue generation. Today, RTI is in production at some of the largest operators in the world and EMC has a number of very exciting proofs-of-concepts underway with new startups looking to leverage the power of EMC’s data lake architecture.I am very bullish on the state of the Communications Service Provider industry coming out of MWC. EMC’s commitment to creating repeatable solutions to accelerate cloud and next generation data analytics solutions at massive scale will only accelerate the industry’s transformation in 2016.Now you know what I think, but what do you think? I encourage you to comment below.
As companies are facing increasingly distributed ecosystems, the need for companies to protect their virtual environments from Day 1 is becoming exponentially more important. It is simpler for companies to adopt the modern software-defined data center (SDDC) to deal with the explosive data growth and sprawl resulting from the digital transformation. Together, VMware and Dell EMC are creating a virtual ecosystem for customers that makes the cloud invisible to their users, enabling them to worry less about tedious tasks associated with backups and focus on transforming their business.Mark Stockham, Business Development Manager for Data Protection from Dell EMC, and Vipul Shah, Sr. Director of Product Management for Multi-Cloud Management, recently presented the new and exciting data protection capabilities for vRealize environments. The webinar started with Vipul Shah discussing how vRealize is the multi-cloud platform of the future. Data protection has never been easier for your virtual machines (VMs). With application operations, programmable provisioning, cloud automation services, and self-driving capabilities for the private, hybrid, and public cloud, vRealize has enabled companies to run and protect their VMs per their specifications, wherever it may reside.Vipul then transitioned into what’s new with vRealize Automation (vRA) 7.5. With new features that make it even easier to operate across the cloud environments while being built for developers, the latest version of the software demonstrates the evolution of the VMware portfolio. VMware now gives its users the choice to consume management either on-premises or through SaaS while providing IT automation to the cloud administrators and support developers.Mark Stockham then had the opportunity to present and transitioned into discussing Dell EMC Data Protection solutions for vRealize environments. Virtualized workloads are being backed up in a software-defined approach, even though companies are still working on-premises, cloud, and multi-cloud environments to cater how you want to consume resources. Dell EMC offers comprehensive and seamless data protection integration into VMware interfaces, lowering OPEX, enabling greater operator efficiency, and minimizing the storage footprint for more efficient and cost-effective data management.Dell EMC also provides software-defined backup and recovery options for your virtual ecosystem. To reduce OPEX costs and time needed to manage your data protection, the data protection architecture is critical when virtualized or cloud deployed. Dell EMC provides automation across the entire data protection stack for comprehensive automation, elegant scalability, faster backups and restores, best-in-class data deduplication, and simple customizable management. Proxy machines are based next to the virtual machines so as to take the workload out of the network and lower bandwidth requirements, which is particularly important when dealing with cloud environments. Make sure that what’s going on in the background in efficient too.Dell EMC Data Protection solutions supports IaaS or PaaS ecosystems and can set dynamic policies for the VMware SDDC based on VM names, tags, and other criteria. IT Admins can set up policies, retention periods, tags, expiration dates, replication targets, and much more, giving self-service capabilities to companies over their data protection. With auto deploy, software-defined data protection automates the rules used to identify and track resources in the SDDC, enabling automatic inclusion or exclusion of VMs. With Data Protection Suite for VMware, a company’s recovery options are flexible to configure and restore based on their specific business objectives. Application consistent backups ensure that businesses can restore their mission-critical applications.The Dell EMC vRA Data Protection Extension delivers Backup-as-as-Service (BaaS) and self-service data protection for VMware environments. The extension offers data protection natively as part of vRA Advanced Services and all tasks occur from within the vRA UI. Data protection is embedded into the blueprints, ensuring that VMs are automatically protected during the deployment of applications and compute services. The extension also supports application consistent backup and recovery through built-in agents. This solution is deployable today through the VMware Solution Exchange. Together, VMware vRealize Suite and Dell EMC data protection offer automation, governance, and compliance for users with the deepest integration points for your customers cloud orchestration portal.To show how easy it is to deploy, the webinar concluded with a demo on installing and running the Dell EMC data protection plug-in for vRealize Orchestrator. After installing the plug-in to the latest version, IT Admins can immediate start protecting VMs with pre-loaded configurations. Just another way that Dell EMC makes protecting data that much easier.To learn more: https://www.dellemc.com/en-us/data-protection/protection-vmware.htmAdditional ResourcesClick here to register for the next webinar: Moving DR to the Cloud – when does it makes sense?Click here to watch the webinar recordingClick here for Dell EMC VMware Data Protection Solution BriefFor further information on Dell EMC VRealize Data Protection Extension, click here
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers increased their borrowing in December by $9.7 billion, as Americans took out loans to buy autos or finance their educations. But credit card use declined for the third-consecutive month. The Federal Reserve reported Friday that the rise in total borrowing in December was down from a gain of $13.9 billion in November. The category that includes credit cards fell by $2.95 billion in December. That category has been up only three months out of the past year as households eased off on their borrowing in the midst of a pandemic-induced recession. Consumer borrowing is a closely watched indicator of the willingness of households to borrow to bolster their spending, which accounts for 70% of economic activity.