Digital Transformation: The Perils and the Keys to Success

November 2, 2016

The week before last Dell EMC held its first Dell EMC World here in Austin.  The event was full of keynotes, breakouts and Dell EMC and partner booths.  On the expo floor a stage was set up where partners and various Dell EMC employees, from Michael Dell on down, were interviewed as a part of Dell EMC World Live.

I was fortunate enough to participate in two of the live sessions, one about speeding up app development for the digital enterprise, and the one embedded below.  The session below was entitled “Stop Hitting Yourself. Tips for Succeeding at Digital Transformation” and featured Richard Seroter and Michael Cote of Pivotal as well as myself.

Check it out

Some of the ground Cote, Richard and I cover

  • How Uber delivered a Digital-transformation wakeup call to ordinary enterprises
  • Evolving your business to being a software-enabled business
  • It’s not about software for software’s sake, it’s about developing a more intimate relationship with the customer
  • The last 20 years for IT has been about driving efficiencies rather than improving the customer relationship
  • Moving from silos to platforms
  • Often support will come from the CEO down and the developers up but it’s the those in the middle who have the toughest time

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Of Linux Laptops, Open Source and Hawaiian Food

August 8, 2016

In the last two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to participate in two podcasts.  The first was the wild and wacky Lunduke & Whatnot (with Matt) show where System76 founder CEO, Carl Richell and I talked with our hosts about pre-loaded Linux laptops.  

In the second, which was recorded last week at SpringOne platform, Michael Cote hosts me as we talk about the evolution of Free Software/Open Source as well as the history of Hawaii and it’s foods.

Check them both out below.

Some of the ground Lunduke, Matt, Carl and I  cover:

  • [First I video bomb the intro by mistake]
  • How long System76 and Dell have been selling Linux preloaded on laptops
  • Mandriva as Lunduke’s favorite Linux distro
  • How System76 went from Carl’s basement to an office and a portfolio of 60 offerings
  • Why both companies went with Ubuntu first and why only Ubuntu
  • What are the biggest issues that System76 and Dell face when producing Linux laptops

Podcast #2

Open source and devs at Dell and the changing nature of OSS

The second podcast is audio only and, like the one above, is chock-a-block full of information and zaniness.  Here’s how Cote describes the occurrence:

“I’ve had a theory that the hard-line philosophy of open source has softened in recent times. Rather than thinking closed source is to be avoided at all costs, I think most developer types are a lot more willing to accept closed source bits mixed in with open source bits. That is, open core has “won.” I discuss this topic with my long time pal, Barton George, while at SpringOne Platform, plus the work he’s doing in the developer and OSS worlds at Dell.  We also talk about Hawaiian food.”

Take a listen

Extra-credit reading

  • Cuisine of Hawaii – Wikipedia
  • The XPS 13 Developer Edition THE best Linux laptop. Dell’s fifth-generation open-source developer laptop isn’t just good, it’s great — ZDNet
  • The XPS developer edition: Dell continues to build a reliable Linux lineage – Arstechnica 
  • Dell XPS 13 Skylake (2016) review: A lot for a Linux user to like – CIO
  • Review: The Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop is nearly perfect – Network World

Pau for now…


The coming donkey apocalypse — DevOps Days Austin

June 1, 2015

After a bit of a gap I’m continuing the my series from DevOps Days Austin.  After Damon Edwards kicked off the event, Michael Cote of Pivotal took the stage.  Cote presented “The coming donkey apocalypse — what happens when Devops goes mainstream.”

Take a listen (you can find his slides below):

Some of the ground that Cote covers:

  • What DevOps as a community needs to focus on next to expand
  • Unicorns (eg Uber and Netflix), Horses (eg top banks) and Donkeys (mainstream organizations)
  • 3 key areas of DevOps to focus on today
    1. Culture and process
    2. Supporting legacy code
    3. Tools and technology

Interviews on tap:

  • Cameron Haight – Gartner
  • John Willis – Docker
  • Paul Read – Release Engineering Approaches

Extra Credit reading

Pau for now…


Findings from 451’s DevOps study — DevOps Days Austin

July 8, 2014

Today we come to the final interview from DevOps Days Austin.  I began the series with an interview with Andrew Clay Shafer who gave the first-day keynote.  Today I close, with perfect symmetry, with Michael Cote of 451 Research, who gave the keynote on the second day.

In his keynote, posted below, Cote presented findings from a study 451 did on DevOps usage.  I caught up with Cote to learn more.  Take a listen.

Some of the ground Cote covers:

  • Tracking tool usage as a proxy for DevOps
  • How they focused their study on companies outside of technology
  • What they found and given that, what advice would they give to
    1. IT
    2. Vendors in this space
    3. Investors
  • How Cote would advise a mainstream CIO looking to get into DevOps and set a strategy

 

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Whitepaper: Learning from Web Companies to drive Innovation

December 4, 2013

Web-WhitepapercoverToday I finally get to debut a white paper that Michael Cote, now of the 451 Research, and I started quite a while back:

Learning from Web companies to drive Innovation – Embracing DevOps, Scale and Open Source Software

The basic theme of the paper is that Web companies set the agenda for the IT industry and enterprises can benefit by understanding and following their practices

The paper’s key themes:

  • Web companies are characterized by Open Source software and a three-tiered architecture:
    • A scale out infrastructure
    • A data tier that utilizes big data
    • An application tier supported by a proliferation of development languages
  • Developers are kingmakers and must be supported and allowed to innovate
  • DevOps is a key trend that brings developers and operations together to reduce friction and increase velocity

If this looks at all interesting, please check it out.  It should be a quick read and hopefully we’ve written it in away that is accessible to a wide audience.

Extra-credit viewing

Pau for now…


Ferreting out Innovation

May 2, 2012

If you’ve been following my tweets you may have heard about “Project Sputnik.”  While I’m not quite ready to talk about it, I wanted to give some insight into the program that’s helped get it off the ground.

Innovation Incubation

At the beginning of the year Dell launched an internal incubation fund with the idea of rooting out innovation throughout the company.  The thought was that there are probably a bunch of cool ideas tucked away in the heads of employees at all different levels of the company, ideas that would ultimately benefit our customers if given a little protection and help to get off the ground.

The three Dell employees behind it, Nnamdi Orakwue, Michale Cote and Matt Baker act like a mini  internal VC firm hearing pitches from employees.  Those projects they approve get a small amount of cash to build out their idea for six months.  At the end of six months the projects will either get their training wheels taken off and folded into business units, apply for more funding or disbanded.

Enter Sputnik

The program is just getting started and the first project green lighted was Project Sputnik.  I’m very excited about it and am looking forward to be able to talk all about it in the near distant future.  Stay tuned…

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…



SXSW: Our first developer Chill and Chat

March 10, 2012

This is the 26th year of the SXSW (South by Southwest), the annual music, film, and interactive conference.  Everybody whose anybody, and even a few who aren’t, are here.   Yesterday the 10-day event kicked off.  As a company, Dell is a big participant and sponsor from panels, to music lounges, to an entrepreneur’s UnConference, to education, to gaming.

As for the Web|Tech vertical we have taken our own guerrilla approach to participation in this shindig in our own backyard.  Besides going to parties that customers and partners are throwing, Cote and I have organized a series of informal “chill and chat” meet ups for developers and tech types.

Last night we held our first soiree at Opal Divines.  Here is a mini-montage I made featuring a few of the attendees:

I asked the folks to say who they are, where they’re from, who they work for and what they hope to get out of SXSW.

The line-up

Our next events

If you’re around here’s where we’ll be tonight and tomorrow:

  • Saturday, March 10th  7-9:00pm  – Speakeasy – Downstairs (412 Congress Avenue, Austin, TX)
  • Sunday, March 11th 5:30-7:30pm – Hilton Bar (Finn and Porter)  (500 East 4th Street, Austin, TX)

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


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