Case story for Dell Software and Hardware

I’ve not posted much of late as I’m working on a lot of back office and process stuff, but still working in Dell Software Group. I recently attended the annual Dell Patent Award dinner where I was able to catch up with Michael Dell and my boss, John Swainson as well as a few other executives, as well many of the great innovators and inventors.

My former boss and Dell Vice President, Gerry Hackett made an interesting point in her remarks prior to doing the roll call for her team at the dinner, she said to the effect that Dell was going to be the only integrated solution provider. I was surprised, but thinking it through she was right.

When I saw this customer story about San Bernardino County School district, I thought it was worth linking here.

The technology curve and it’s impact on staff

Picture from wikipediaThe Hype curve is an interesting thing, especially in the modern development and services organizations. It’s been my observation that increasing, staff hiring, to fill out development teams, as well as the services teams follow pretty much the same curve. Development staffing tends to lag 3-6 months, services staffing, another 3-6 months.

The way it works is this. In the technology industry you build up products and services in specifics areas, they follow pretty much what has become known has the “Gartner hype cycle“. A few visionaries are required at first, eventually the adoption rate is so high and so fast that customers can’t get the people they need and you build up services teams to help them often in conjunction to the products you are bringing to market. No one wants a technology they can’t use.

Eventually customers and adoption of a given technology gets to a point where one of three things happen. 1. the technology is simplified and commodotized to the point where you can’t make money from it, or the customers are no longer buying it 2. The customers have taken on board their own teams to do the work or 3. The technology itself is no longer relevant and has been superseded. This can happen very quickly, I could give a number of examples of things I know from my time at Dell, but thats not the point.

Such is the state of the technology industry, that when you reach anyone of these situations you have to look at the people you’ve got and decide how best to use them going forward. Not everyone is willing to re-train, may IT skills are NOT transferable from project to project and while it seems harsh, a team of people focused on the inner workings of a technology from 5-years ago will often be better off being let go to find opportunities with the skills they have, than put into new positions, on new technologies for which they have weak skills at best. This is especially true for services teams. Remember, customers and businesses are being charged for, or paying for the skills, knowledge and experience when they buy services, not to have someone train or re-train on the job.

As I’m sure you are aware, the IT industry is in a constant state of change, old paradigms are going quickly. Expecting businesses to hold on to staff that no longer have the skill and knowledge to develop the products, or deliver the services that will be needed in 18-24 months, much less over a longer period is, sadly a concept from the 1990’s and earlier. Layoffs in advance of change are an important way to balance the demands of an ever changing industry.

I wrote a recent blog post about staying relevant in a large company which applies to a point here https://cathcam.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/how-to-stay-relevant/

Dell Software Official Site – Simplify IT Management

We’ve released our latest web presence for the Dell Software group, it’s got direct download links, try and/or buy, easy to find information and more.

Dell Software Official Site – Simplify IT Management | Mitigate Risk | Accelerate Results.

Software at Dell

What’s a standard…

image

As I was working on my latest proposal for the Linux Foundation,  I got this fortune cookie in my takeout.  A reminder,  a standard is only as good as it’s adoption.

Come work with us

We’re looking for a Senior Software Development Performance Engineer with a proven track record around performance engineering to join our Dell Software Common Engineering (CE) performance team. This team, as part of the Office of the CTO, helps product teams across the Software Group achieve their performance and scalability objectives through direct involvement and consulting engagements.

We are working on some key forward looking technologies essential to the future of Dell Software Group, and we need someone specifically to help on both performance design, as well as recommendations to the design and implementation teams.

Here is a direct link for the job application with a referral from me. As an Exec. I don’t qualify for the referral bonus, so if you know another Dell employee who isn’t an exec. feel free to reach out to them!

DMTF Announces New Vice President of Finance

Selva Subbiah from Dell joins Jon Hass, who is now Chairman of the Board of the DMTF, and Yinghua Qin from Dell Software Group who is VP of Regions. The DMTF remains a leader in industry standards, and is key in both emerging standards as well as getting engagement from the Asia Pacific region and their manufacturing and customer base.

It is an another excellent example of Dell broadening its’ horizon in both the technology industry, as well leadership in emerging and existing standards.

Dell Cloud Marketplace Beta

DCMWe’ve launched our new¬†Dell Cloud Marketplace Beta. It is a joint development by the Dell Software Group and Dell Commerce Services and features a number of new innovations.

I’m really not qualified to discuss DCM, I’ve not been part of the team overseeing it, but here is a good blog/forum by a number of the team members with some additional useful information and a place to ask questions.

Some useful press coverage from:

eWeek

ProgrammableWeb

and others.

 


About & Contact

I'm Mark Cathcart, Senior Distinguished Engineer, in Dells Software Group. I was formerly Director of Systems Engineering in the Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell, and an IBM Distinguished Engineer and member of the IBM Academy of Technology. I'm an information technology optimist.

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