Jim Roth – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services https://infocus.dellemc.com DELL EMC Global Services Blog Tue, 07 Aug 2018 19:04:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 The Forgotten Tribe and The Dell Digital Way https://infocus.dellemc.com/jim_roth/forgotten-tribe-dell-digital-way/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/jim_roth/forgotten-tribe-dell-digital-way/#comments Sun, 03 Jun 2018 09:00:52 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=35503 As digital transformation hype continues to grow, IT is still an enabling function that exists to deliver business outcomes. As with other support functions like human resources finance and legal, in IT it’s very common to refer to functions outside of IT as “the business”. The business is trying to grow margin dollars. The business […]

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As digital transformation hype continues to grow, IT is still an enabling function that exists to deliver business outcomes. As with other support functions like human resources finance and legal, in IT it’s very common to refer to functions outside of IT as “the business”. The business is trying to grow margin dollars. The business is trying to increase productivity. The business is trying to reduce customer effort.   But who is this nameless faceless business that IT supports? The face of the business is the forgotten tribethe tribe of users – the people that actually use your software tools, sometimes for many hours a day.

Our Dell Digital team is working hard to put a face on the business to enable exceptional outcomes even faster and with less re-work. We call it the Dell Digital Way – a major cultural shift for us built on people, process and technology.  Heavily inspired by our brothers and sisters at Pivotal we’re combining elements of design thinking, Agile, SAFe, extreme programming and IoT. That’s a lot of jargon so what exactly are we doing? We’re taking the Pivotal methodology adding in a few dashes of our own and applying across everything that we do.

First we start with user empathy which is the hallmark of design thinking and we are doing it with professionally trained designers – actually spending time to understand not only what our users do but how they do it and what motivates them. Qualitative empathy is critical but I can’t do it justice compared to the classic TedX talk by Doug Dietz. What we learned is that users care most about an effortless experience and far less about new bells and whistles. In their hierarchy of needs users want applications that are first up, then fast and ultimately easy.

Our human-centered approach brings qualitative and quantitative approaches together. We’ve adopted an iterative approach focused on user empathy with elements of Agile, extreme programming and SAFe to release small increments in days or weeks. We always write test cases before developing of any user story.  Finally we instrument our applications (not just the website) in the spirit of IoT.  The software application itself is the thing and instrumentation gives us performance and adoption feedback so we can continue to fine-tune our interface configuration as well as optimizing performance of backend calls.  Using this quantitative empathy we can begin the cycle or qualitative empathy over again at the start of the next cycle.

A great example of where we’ve applied this approach is in our current Salesforce Service Cloud implementation. We started by setting up a lab in our contact center and selected a team of users that represented a small sample of the total user population. Our team of product managers, designers and engineers spent hours and days observing and building rapport with the users. In parallel they started configuring (never customizing) the application and doing demos with the users. Prior to configuring each user story they wrote test cases to ensure story success.

There’s a common misconception that you don’t need UX with SaaS because there’s already a UI.  When you decide to go with a SaaS application you are outsourcing UI but the UX is still in your hands.  SaaS platforms generally give you enough degrees of freedom to overwhelm users if you don’t make a conscious commitment to design and control complexity throughout the life of the application. If you empathize with your users and apply design and analytics properly, you’ll see this forgotten tribe celebrate their tools instead of wrestling with them, improving the employee experience and ultimately benefiting customers. This is the art of delivering a world class end-user experience and the outcome we expect with the Dell Digital Way.

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Dell’s Unique Customer Service Portal: You Can See Everything from Here https://infocus.dellemc.com/jim_roth/dells-unique-customer-service-portal-myservice360/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/jim_roth/dells-unique-customer-service-portal-myservice360/#respond Mon, 21 May 2018 09:00:40 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=35369 It is a hallmark of the digital age—customers want real-time access to personalized business information along with the ability to control and use the information however they see fit. That is the fundamental premise—and the key to success—behind Dell EMC’s groundbreaking online customer support portal called MyService360. Launched in May 2016, MyService360 is a place […]

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It is a hallmark of the digital age—customers want real-time access to personalized business information along with the ability to control and use the information however they see fit.

That is the fundamental premise—and the key to success—behind Dell EMC’s groundbreaking online customer support portal called MyService360. Launched in May 2016, MyService360 is a place where customers can go to look at their Dell EMC installed base and customer service environment in a customizable view to suit their priorities.

The portal features a personalized dashboard that provides customers and partners with a 360-degree view of their installed environment, including incident management, onsite service tracking, and health and risk assessments.

MyService360 not only created a stir in the industry when we introduced it at Dell EMC World nearly two years ago, but it has been a growing hit with customers and partners whose user ranks have tripled since we launched.

In response, we continue to add new features to enhance the experience and are using the latest big data technologies to deliver the capabilities faster and faster.

Overall, MyService360 is a great example of the business and IT working together to drive customer benefit and the journey provides some best-practice insights for any application modernization efforts.

How We Started

MyService360 stems from our Dell IT team and the Dell EMC services business working together to bring about an idea —to evolve from being reactive and waiting for customer issues to happen — to creating a more proactive, predictive model.

Customers could be more proactive, if we shared the massive amount of information we collect on their installed base, including large amounts of IoT data our installed devices send along with various sets of internal customer data about their product and service history.

Since we had all this data in the Dell data lake, we thought why not just put an application on top of it and provide customers with a snapshot so they could see an overview of their service life. They could then slice and dice the data however they wanted for their needs.

MyService360 runs on Dell-on-Dell technology, including Isilon, ScaleIO and XtremIO as foundation for the data lake and Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) for rapid delivery of portal capabilities.

Using our agile PCF framework to spin up micro-services in cloud native format, we are able to release new capabilities to customers every two weeks compared to the traditional release cycle of every three to four months. Upgrade launches now take minutes rather than two or three days.

Our latest upgrades include the ability for customers to look at a single asset view of their installed base. Previously they could only see a full view of their installed base. This lets users drill into a specific asset to hone in on a problem or a refined set of details. A second recent upgrade expands the range of installed products customers can see to include VCE, EMC, Cisco, VMware and Dell as components of broader solutions.

MyService360 is allowing customers to be more proactive with expanding capabilities, from alerts that let them know of impending problems before equipment fails to recommended code upgrades that enable them optimize their products and experience fewer issues down the road.

Dell, in turn, gets greater visibility into our customers so we can head off issues, save time and keep our customers happier.

A 360 View of Lessons Learned

As we continue to refine our MyService360 portal, there are a few best practices I can pass along:

  • Don’t be afraid to show customers their data, even if it is not perfect. We discovered that customers were actually the best ones to fix their data and customers like being involved.
  • Spend more time on interface design and the visual display of information. We spent a lot of time honing our data presentation to maximize user experience and it paid big dividends.
  • Find the right experts internally who can make the data actionable. We had some fantastic data scientists who really brought the data to life for our customers.
  • Speed is crucial and the Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform enabled rapid development, testing and refinement of the user interfaces and underlying capabilities.

Summary

MyService360 has been transformative for our customers and it keeps getting better and better every two weeks thanks to the modern technology we are using. Our customers can be more and more proactive which helps them focus on their business outcomes instead of IT infrastructure.

Isn’t that what digital transformation is all about?

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Self-Service Eases PC Deployment https://infocus.dellemc.com/jim_roth/self-service-eases-pc-deployment/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/jim_roth/self-service-eases-pc-deployment/#respond Tue, 30 May 2017 09:00:12 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=31332 Do any of you remember when self-service was reserved for all-you-can-eat buffets? Some of you aren’t old enough to remember when there was no such thing as a self-service gas station. Every gas station used to be entirely full-service, which meant a nice person would come to your car and ask you which grade of […]

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Do any of you remember when self-service was reserved for all-you-can-eat buffets? Some of you aren’t old enough to remember when there was no such thing as a self-service gas station. Every gas station used to be entirely full-service, which meant a nice person would come to your car and ask you which grade of gas you wanted and you wouldn’t have to lift a finger. While the pump was going, they would clean your windows and you drove away with a full tank and truly perfect windows.

In the 1980s, self-service really took hold when people started paying for everything under the sun with credit cards and when credit card processing got so good that you could build it right into the pump it became the norm. Since then, self-service seems to be everywhere and rightly so because it allows buyers to make quick decisions at point-of-sale, and reduces time spent on menial tasks freeing up resources for more strategic efforts.

These great self-service characteristics can even be applied by IT organizations today. For example, Dell IT is now leveraging a newly-launched capability called Shared Connected Configuration to bring the efficiency of self-service to enterprise PC deployments. This new service allows Dell PC customers to connect directly to Dell factories to manage their own custom Windows image—including applications and configuration—and ultimately have their PCs shipped to end users ready for first time login.

Dell IT technicians, who service some 140,000 employees around the world, are putting Connected Configuration to the test and driving efficiencies in our own PC deployment practice.

Taking PC deployment to the next level

In the world of hardware infrastructure, self-service has always meant online support portals where you can search the knowledge base, submit a ticket or post to a community forum. Connected Configuration, part of Dell’s ProDeploy for PCs, goes beyond the simple online portal by allowing customers to upload PC images, pick their configuration options and keep those selections up-to-date using existing tools.

With Connected Configuration customers connect their Microsoft System Center Configuration Management (SCCM) environment to Dell’s supply chain. That means customers can use the SCCM toolset for image creation to customize and maintain their organization’s Windows image and burn that image on new device orders as part of the factory process. When they order PCs, they can ensure the latest image is installed on the systems in the Dell factory and that they are ready for first time login.connected-configuration-820x461

In the past, customers worked with their services program manager to update their PC configurations, shipping the image to Dell’s Customer Factory Integration (CFI) team via a thumb drive or a hard drive. Dell Services would then make sure all of the systems ordered had the specified images.

Besides being able to maintain their PC images themselves, the new self-service option offers another big advantage for users. Before Connected Configuration, an IT technician at the organization receiving the PC would have to perform the second-touch action of adding the new system to that organization’s Active Directory domain before delivering the PC to the user for first login. With Connected Configuration, that step is performed at the factory before the system is shipped.

Using our own technology

Based on our current pilot, Dell IT is very excited about the value that Connected Configuration can deliver to our organization by eliminating the need for our IT techs to prepare new PCs for login across the company. This new self-service capability will also expedite employee PC orders because it will allow Dell to ship the systems directly to the end users.

In fact, pilot results indicate that the self-service process could cut shipping time for a newly ordered PC in half, from 6 to 10 days to 3 to 5 days and totally eliminate the need for IT to do 10 to 15 minutes of onsite preparation per system.

Considering that Dell IT is on track to refresh some 29,000 systems a year for both legacy companies in the U.S. and EMEA, the potential value of this self-service innovation is significant.

Some lessons learned

Enterprise integration with the Dell factory requires anticipating and addressing networking, firewall and other technical challenges, but the rewards can be considerable. Be proactive and consider the following lessons we learned.

  1. There’s a huge opportunity to enhance the way PCs are distributed. If you are doing it the old way, there’s definitely a better way to do it.
  2. Engage your security teams early and have them be a part of the process in this security-centric integration. You’ve got to have those guys on board and they’ve got to be part of the conversation.
  3. This capability has the potential to free up substantial IT resources that can be used to address other value-added IT challenges.

We think this solution is great now and its capabilities are only going to get better for both end users and for IT.

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Learning from Extreme Users – What XL IT Shops Can Teach Their Smaller Brothers https://infocus.dellemc.com/jim_roth/learning-extreme-users-xl-shops-can-teach-smaller-brothers/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/jim_roth/learning-extreme-users-xl-shops-can-teach-smaller-brothers/#respond Mon, 10 Oct 2016 19:08:37 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=29189 David Kelly who founded one of the most recognized design firms in the world, IDEO, and who helped create the computer mouse, has a theory. While everyday users drive markets, true insights come from studying extreme users, those who use a product or service in a severe and perhaps unintended way. For example, studying extreme […]

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David Kelly who founded one of the most recognized design firms in the world, IDEO, and who helped create the computer mouse, has a theory. While everyday users drive markets, true insights come from studying extreme users, those who use a product or service in a severe and perhaps unintended way.

For example, studying extreme PC users in military, police and mining environments led to the market for rugged notebooks where portability and durability are paramount. Users on the edge are almost always the best models for unlocking insights.

With over 140,000 PCs and 65,000 servers spread across a vast geography, Dell’s IT organization definitely qualifies as an extreme user! How does one of the largest IT teams in the world get the most out of its Dell infrastructure? We leverage Dell EMC Services to the max. We rely heavily on our lifecycle services to keep the company up and running, and more importantly, our services development team applies lessons learned from our own IT to improve our portfolio.

Whether you are a small, medium, large, or a hyper-scale IT shop, the Dell EMC Services capabilities can help you do more. During our Dell EMC World session MT111, Pat Quigley, Executive Director and I will share real life examples. And we’re not just talking about break-fix; we get maximum benefit by using services throughout the lifecycle from consulting to deployment to training and support.

Your infrastructure might be smaller than Dell IT but one day, if your organization grows, it could be even be larger! Either way, we’ll share how the pros from the Dell EMC Services team help us get the most out of our investment.

DEW-banner-150x150-02So join us at Dell EMC World Session MT111: Under the Covers – Dell on Dell Deployment and Support on Wednesday, October 19, 2:15 – 3:15 PM and hear it all straight from the largest Dell EMC Services customer on the planet.

 

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