Reflecting on the Past Year in Energy & Engineering

Sean Baird

Sean Baird

Sean leads Energy and Engineering Industry solution marketing and market development for EMC’s Information Intelligence Group.

As 2014 draws near an end, we reflect back to review what was significant in the past year. As we have worked with customers across the world, experienced their challenges, and worked together on strategies to improve their business practices, there are a few themes that consistently emerged.

Addressing an Aging Infrastructure with Innovation

Talking with energy enterprises revealed that there are big consequences when asset information is incomplete, hard to find, incorrect or inconsistent. As companies struggle to manage an aging infrastructure, we identified the benefits of asset management and how important it is to get control of asset-related documentation.

  • At the ARC Industry Forum, there were many discussions about the connected plant. It became clear that asset lifecycle information management enables the connected plant and moves the needle of information management into a goal-oriented focus of better collaboration and connectivity.
  • Ovum-ALIM-BenefitsA new report from Ovum opened our eyes about how state-of-the-art asset lifecycle information management (ALIM) provides significant operational and competitive advantages. It even helps avoid certain risks and reduce costs.
  • In a foreshadowing of events to come, we urged readers not to “wait for the big one” to prevent aging asset disasters and discussed best practices for organizing critical SOPs and asset-related documentation. A short month later, there was a significant earthquake in Napa, California that killed one, injured about 200 and interrupted power to 69,000 Pacific Gas and Electric customers. An early warning system automatically shut off gas lines to prevent some fires, but did not save 4 homes that burnt down in a mobile home park.

Better Information Management Eases Many Pains

With years of experience applying information management across the entire asset lifecycle, identifying best practices in plant information management was also a recurring topic. Our customers are increasingly recognizing that information being created through our plant information systems has considerable strategic value and needs to be properly maintained, continuously improved, and further extended.

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The Alphabet Soup of Compliance and Legacy Data

Mike Kan

Mike Kan

Mike is the head of Channels & Alliances in EMEA, and focuses on how trends, technologies, and products impact the channel in EMEA and globally.

In terms of sheer volume and complexity, few IT tasks are more challenging than the preservation of legacy data in a heavily regulated environment. Whether it’s the compliance parameters specific to the industry or the strict demands for eDiscovery, archiving must follow ever-more-strict guidelines that frequently feel like a moving target.

“Take the banking industry,” says Herve Desgouttes, EMC Alliance Manager for France-based Capgemini. “Globally, there are about 500 changes to the regulations every year!”

And the process never stops, nor does it ever track backwards toward renewed simplicity. The alphabet soup of compliance – SEC, SOX, HIPAA, CFTC, MoREQ and all the rest can easily overwhelm typical archiving strategies ill-equipped to handle the load.

When I spoke recently with Herve and his Capgemini colleague Norbert Piette, we discussed how builders of data archiving solutions remain current with the nonstop regulation onslaught. I discovered that not only do they handle it; they relish the opportunity.

“The rule changes must be learned and applied on an ongoing basis,” adds Herve. “But this is where we like to differentiate ourselves. We focus on industries where compliance is paramount: finance, insurance, life sciences, chemicals and others.”

“Keeping up is a challenge,” agrees Norbert. “Having a degree of boldness helps. So does having the right partners.” It is critical, he says, to work with those legal experts who specialize in absorbing every new regulation into industry-specific databases, which can link to properly-configured data archiving solutions. Putting this kind of infrastructure in place goes a long way toward automating compliance updates, ensuring that critical changes are applied properly and never overlooked.

Of course I was also happy to hear Norbert and Herve cite EMC as a valued partner as well, pointing out the capability to handle Continue reading

Planning for the Retirement of Clinical Legacy Applications and Ensuring Active Collaboration Between Clinicians and IT

Bill Bunting

Bill Bunting

IIG Healthcare: Passionate about innovative healthIT solutions that improve patient outcomes.

Electronic medical record systems have revolutionized the way patient information is captured and accessed by clinicians in recent years, but there’s a big problem: inaccessibility of a comprehensive view of the patient and the cost of maintaining existing clinical legacy applications. Even as providers have adopted next generation EMRs/EHRs, the goal of creating a more complete view of the patient continues to require access to multiple clinical systems for patient data and associated documents—information that may not be easily within reach.

Accessibility after EMR / EHR migration

For all the benefits EMRs / EHRs have brought the industry, they still fall short of a complete patient-centric view.

According to a recent Fierce Healthcare study on decommissioning legacy applications, “clinical and non-clinical staff in most organizations continue to struggle with scattered patient data stored across legacy platforms. Depending on which patient data they need to access, this requires staff to log onto multiple systems, creating not only inefficiencies, but also a risk to quality of care.”

At the same time, healthcare organizations are also experiencing a rapid growth in the volume of all forms of information. Their current applications and older legacy systems are bursting with information—patient data, clinical and administrative documents, voice recordings, and medical images. And to complicate matters worse, the healthcare industry as a whole is struggling to adopt a patient-centric approach to care while facing increasing challenges for better outcomes, lower costs, and regulatory compliance.

To satisfy these challenges, clinical archiving solutions have emerged to seamlessly integrate with existing clinical systems and preserve all forms of information—regardless of source, location or format. These solutions enable healthcare organizations to comply with regulatory requirements, maintain long-term patient records, and retire clinical legacy system applications to reduce costs and maintenance.

But just where do you start? Continue reading

EMC Named a Leader in Customer Communications Management by Gartner Inc.

Dane Becker

Dane Becker

Product Marketing Manager for EMC Document Sciences xPression, specializing in Customer Communications Management

In this era of empowered and always connected customers, organizations are faced with the reality that they need their customers more than their customers need them. Today, successful organizations are transforming the way they communicate with customers— communicating with more than just paper, leveraging advanced analytics from big data to drive greater levels of personalization, and re-engineering workflows to accommodate customer preferences and multi-channel delivery requirements.

At the heart of this transformation is Customer Communications Management (CCM)
software, which enables organizations to more effectively create, personalize, and deliver communications to any output medium. Once perceived as siloed, use-case specific, document generation/composition technologies, CCM has become enterprise platforms that seamlessly interact with existing systems of record such as ECM, CRM, Web, and Line of Business applications. As a result, CCM is now widely recognized as a vital element of an organization’s overall success – one that provides the ability to effectively engage customers, improve customer experience/loyalty, ensure compliance, and enable growth and profitability. By implementing CCM and adopting an effective enterprise communications strategy, organizations can increase efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve customer experience.

Today, we are pleased to announce that EMC has again been recognized as a “Leader” in the second annual Gartner Magic Quadrant for Customer Communications Management Software. The report focuses on the Continue reading

In Australia, the Conversation Shifts to Data Sovereignty

Jacob Van der Eyk

Jacob Van der Eyk

Partner Account Manager for Australia/New Zealand, supporting the growth and development of EMC IIG partners in the APJ region

All around the globe, you will notice a shift in the conversation about Cloud computing. The discussion just now is less about “Pervasive Data,” and more about “Data Sovereignty.” I’m based in Sydney, and as Partner Account Manager for EMC in ANZ, I hear the term every day. The U.S. Patriot Act and the NSA revelations are changing fundamental attitudes about the Cloud not just in Europe, but here in ANZ as well.

It’s a profound evolution in thinking, and one that IT pros can’t ignore: More and more, Australian organizations are becoming reluctant to engage in Cloud operations involving data centers outside their national boundaries. Some CIOs feel vulnerable and are shying away from purely public clouds. They don’t even want their metadata offshore.

This skittishness is part of a growing reversal of the affinity for outsourcing that began pre-Internet. As “homeshoring” gains new currency, so does Data Sovereignty. In a recent global survey, 82% of companies said they considered national privacy laws when locating their data, and want to know exactly where their “cloud” is based. Here in Australia and throughout ANZ, I see CIOs moving toward hybrid infrastructures: a less-than-totally-public, but not-quite-private Cloud system, with data hosted domestically. They’re looking for the best of both public and private strategies—and while national pride figures in the equation, but it’s really Continue reading