The Upside of a Downward Oil Price Trend: Who is in the Sweet Spot?

Martin Richards

Martin Richards

EMC Corporation’s Enterprise Content Division Senior Director of Energy Industry Solutions

As I think about the ripple effect of oil prices on our varied stakeholders, one insight comes to mind – refineries are in the sweet spot. And we can all learn from their playbook as they maneuver the market.

Failing Oil PricesProfitability is traditionally housed in upstream areas of the energy market, which leaves the downstream end with little room to optimize. If anything, refineries are accustomed to slim margins and squeezing out efficiencies. But what happens to refineries when oil prices drop? Their cost of materials suddenly plummets, yet they keep on producing outputs  –  generating a welcome influx of profitability.

Certainly this varies by region and the refinery itself. I have seen firsthand, however, that a brownfield environment can reshape itself during market swings. Astute leaders are using the “upside” of the downward oil price trend to make infrastructure improvements and technology investments.

Refineries Taking Advantage

In the case of a U.S. refinery I know well, they made a strategic decision to aggressively implement new technologies with their new-found profits. What’s interesting is not only Continue reading

Email Management: 3 Steps to Making it “Crazy Simple”

Tom Broering

Tom Broering

Head of Americas Alliances and Channel Sales, Enterprise Content Division at EMC

Business man holding smart phone and sending emails

Email is a never-ending deluge in our professional and personal lives. We spend hours a day sifting through hundreds of messages, reading, responding, composing. We wake to notices on our mobile phones and log into accounts the second we hit the office. It haunts our weekends and our sleep.

Email is an indispensable tool for 90 percent of all business communication, from AP to HR. Managing that email correctly pays in business. Mangle it, and the enterprise suffers.

“Everybody wants to deal with email in a better, easier way,” says Phil Dixon, the CEO of North Carolina-based ZynBit and creator behind the EMC Certified Solution, Email Manager. “Or, not at all.”

Dixon is working to improve our love-hate relationship with the ubiquitous messaging system that’s both empowered—and haunted —business for some 40 years.

“There are more than twice as many email addresses out there as there are social media accounts, and daily email volume is many times greater than the total number of pages on the Web.” Phil Dixon, Zynbit

Now, consider the IT manager, who must determine how to properly archive that mountainous volume of unstructured data, a critical task that’s become more and more complicated.

“These days,” Dixon says, “when a new company starts up, the first thing they do is decide on a name. Second, the IT folks set up the email. It’s central to Continue reading

Content Access In the Cloud And On the Go – 5 Takeaways for Life Sciences

Lori McKellar

Lori McKellar

Director, Market Development, Life Sciences

Mobile and cloud technologies are primary drivers for change in Enterprise Content Management (ECM.) Workers want easy access to content from multiple devices, wherever they may be working and while on the go. Similarly, globally distributed teams are reliant on cloud-based collaboration for the exchange of ideas, decision making and keeping the business moving forward. A new AIIM report released last week looks at the current and future adoption of cloud applications and mobile access as they relate to ECM. In thinking about ECM in Life Sciences and what we’re seeing in terms of cloud and mobile adoption, there were several findings that jumped out at me. While I certainly encourage you to read the full report, I wanted to share five key takeaways from my perspective.

TAKEAWAY 1:  Assess Each Application for Cloud on its Merits

AIIM reports “16% of responding organizations are unequivocal about cloud for all core IT applications, 42% will review each application for cloud on its merits. 13% have a wait and see policy. Only 10% say “No cloud.” In a highly regulated industry such as life sciences, organizations are keenly aware of the compliance and security implications of any mission-critical application. And with the average cost to bring a drug to market totaling in
the billions, organizations can be understandably risk-averse when thinking about putting valuable, intellectual property in the cloud. Therefore, the fact that 42% of companies will review each application for cloud on its merits aligned to exactly what I’m seeing in the market. Each company has it’s own landscape of applications and systems. And, each company has its own Continue reading

Prepare for the Digital Economy: EMC ApplicationXtender

Lynda Orban

Lynda Orban

Product Marketing Manager, Enterprise Content Division, EMC

Everyone seems to be talking about the digital economy these days. As W. Brian Arthur stated in his article, “The Second Economy”, digitalization is creating a second economy, a digital one, in which there’s an ongoing exchange between the processes of the digital and the physical economy. I believe that the digital economy and the technologies that drive it will impact the way we do business now and in the future. According to a recent survey by Vanson Bourne of 3,600 business leaders in 18 countries, 73 percent expect digital technologies will have a direct impact on the way they do business with their customers over the next five years.

To prepare for this transition, you need to harness the power of your content. Content isGaining Insight from Your Content vital to this evolving digital transformation. Your content becomes the currency for your future. It drives everything digital: the workplace, the value chain and the mindset.  Let’s look at how you can get started on your quest to leverage the benefits of digital engagement.

Organizations with extensive IT resources that have generally embraced a digital mindset over the last 10 to 15 years are now expanding the approach in more areas of their business. However, what if your organization is limited in its IT resources and you still want to prepare for this digital transition? To make information more accessible to the organization to drive responsiveness, insights and better Continue reading

Rethinking Data Management “Solutions” in Government

Rob Silverberg

Rob Silverberg

Director and CTO, Enterprise Application Architecture, State and Local Government and Education

Too often we look at solutions without first clearly identifying the problems we are trying to solve. When a vendor approaches a government CIO with the latest new solution, how well do they truly understand the problem they are trying to solve and how the solution actually solves the problem? Government CIOs face data management challenges that are often very different from those in the private sector. The intent of this post is not to provide any solutions but rather a clearer understanding of the unique data management challenges faced by government CIOs.

Let’s start with the top priority for State and Local CIOs as published in the most recent NACIO poll, Cybersecurity. Government agencies currently store extensive amounts of confidential information that must be protected from hackers. A data breach at a Data Securitygovernment agency is usually front page news and often means the end of that CIOs tenure. This problem has evolved from trying to keep hackers out of the network to detecting them when they are in and stopping them before they get to confidential data.

At the same time, government CIOs are being asked to become more open and transparent with data that can be shared with the public. Freedom of Information, transparency of government, and open data are challenges that these CIOs must confront and solve at the request of their department director. So now the CIO has a data security problem on one side and open data sharing problem on the other. This is quite unique to Continue reading