3 Ways to Drive Operational Excellence

Sean Baird

Sean Baird

Sean leads Energy and Engineering Industry solution marketing and market development for EMC’s Enterprise Content Division.

Earlier this month, EMC was one of several sponsors at IQPC’s Operational Excellence in Oil and Gas conference in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The conference featured industry experts and thought leaders, and among the highlights were a number of interesting presentations and panel discussions covering success stories and industry best practices.

As I have discussed in previous blog entries, lower oil prices have impacted operations in a number of different ways, and EMC has seen an impact on large-scale capital projects, with many energy companies being forced to reevaluate their capital investment in new projects.

For operating assets, the key to profitability with lower oil prices is increasing productivity and lowering operational costs. As was discussed in-depth at the conference, Operational Excellence principles can provide dramatic improvements to reliability, production, and compliance, while reducing the risk of incidents and downtime. Companies from Chevron to Shell to ConocoPhillips shared their approaches to achieving operational excellence, and it became clear that companies had three areas of focus to improve their operations.

Standardizing Operations

Power PlantStep one in achieving operational excellence is thoroughly understanding and documenting your critical business procedures. Several customers noted that it’s not enough to just document best practices and standard operating procedures; several speakers noted the challenges of adopting operational excellence in the field.

Over the two-day conference, a few best practices emerged: Continue reading

Rain or Shine in your Content Management Future?

JD de Haseth

JD de Haseth

Director, Marketing — Cloud Services in the Enterprise Content Division (ECD) at EMC Corporation
Director, Marketing -- WW Cloud Services @ EMC Enterprise Content Division

As EMC continues to heavily invest in cloud – like this week’s Virtustream announcement road to the sky s_72304255– now is a good time to assess your own enterprise content management (ECM) needs and whether clouds are in your forecast. It takes a combination of strategic vision and pragmatic execution to transform content into your competitive edge. We can help you on both fronts. This includes considering what role the cloud can play.

Working closely with customers, for example, I have seen several ways that EMC Documentum and Capital Projects customers can succeed using a variety of cloud “options”. Each emphasizes how your own organizational, cultural, and procedural nuances can play into choosing the right deployment model for your unique situation. While you can’t control the weather, you can control what and which clouds are part of your content management strategy.

A good place to start is exactly there — broadening the cloud horizons of your teams. It helps if everyone understands that an ECM cloud is not just one single approach (even the weather service has cloud options). With EMC, customers mix and match from a variety of location and technology options. Begin by discussing a few basic questions with your technical and business teams:

  • Are there any requirements prompting either a Private or Public cloud choice (e.g. legal, compliance, security, finance)?
  • Based on common use cases, is it important the cloud is hosted on premise or can it be hosted remotely by a third party (e.g. VPN access, security technical requirements, disaster recovery)?
  • Is your staff ready, able and willing to manage the environment (e.g. staff to install, maintain, patch management, upgrade), or is it more efficient and hassle-free to hand it off to specialists, such as EMC Managed Services OnDemand, who will oversee and fully manage the entire environment on your behalf?

I also recommend you take a look at the EMC Cloud Advantage video showing the many virtues of what EMC Managed Services has to offer when managing your ECM environment—whether on premise, private cloud, public cloud or hybrid cloud.

The Elasticity Advantage

Once your team has this broader strategic understanding in mind, you can then look at practical choices to start operationalizing your deployment strategy. This includes sketching out how many users and administrators might rely on your system, both now and in the future.

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We use the term “elasticity” to describe how much you can stretch and grow your cloud when you need it. Unlike traditional apps that may be hard coded with features and thresholds, cloud instances can be rapidly scaled up or down. Three common use cases for ECM elasticity include:


1 – You acquire a company and bring on new EMC Documentum users.

In some situations, customers keep parallel systems (application and cloud instances) up and running until the legalities of acquisitions are final. Then they move all combined users to the cloud instance. In other situations, there is no migration, and all users – existing and new – start on the cloud version only.

2 – You need common functionality and ECM capabilities for a single department or group of users

In this situation, a specific group of users or team needs advanced capabilities only offered by a robust content management solution, such as EMC Documentum D2 or xCP. Rather than roll out an enterprise-wide application, you use a cloud instance to quickly serve up the ECM service to the people that need it.

3 – You need new and different functionality, but you’re not entirely sure how users will leverage it.

In these exploratory and business-case-building scenarios, customers open the cloud to a small number of pilot users (such as regulatory publishers in Life Sciences or maintenance workers in Oil & Gas). Based on user feedback and use cases, they scale up the cloud deployment quickly, putting the best-leveraged functionality in the hands of the most relevant users.

Think about your strategic vision for leveraging the cloud for content management, whether it’s relying on Captiva, Documentum, InfoArchive or Document Sciences technologies. Operationally, talk to our specialists for further insight on weighing the pros/cons of the various cloud “options” now available for ECM applications and solutions For additional resources, check out:

  • Prior ECM-related blogs discussing the cost of waiting to move to cloud deployments, and lessons learned from customer cloud experiences. In this on-going cloud series, we will also explore security, and end user enablement
  • The comment box below — share other topics of interest and feedback for future blog discussions

Projects Remain Critical – Despite Uncertain Oil Prices

Sean Baird

Sean Baird

Sean leads Energy and Engineering Industry solution marketing and market development for EMC’s Enterprise Content Division.

Large-scale capital projects have always been the lifeblood of Energy companies. From offshore platforms, refineries, and pipelines to power generation plants and transmission lines, these projects fuel growth and enable companies to take advantage of new opportunities.

Projects costs averaged 59% above initial budgets estimates

Despite their importance to the business, capital projects are often a risky investment for Energy companies. A recent Ernst & Young survey showed that projects in the Oil & Gas industry have a poor track record. In fact, E&Y found that nearly three-quarters of projects failed to deliver by their projected completion date, and nearly two-thirds of projects came in over-budget. Those are scary numbers, but the scale of these cost overruns makes it even worse: estimated projects costs averaged 59% above initial budgets.

Even in the best of times, this is a problem that demands attention. But in the Oil & Gas industry today, it is not the best of times. From its three-year high last June, oil prices have plunged dramatically over the last half of 2014, and the impact to this industry has Continue reading

What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas… or Does It?

JD de Haseth

JD de Haseth

Director, Marketing — Cloud Services in the Enterprise Content Division (ECD) at EMC Corporation
Director, Marketing -- WW Cloud Services @ EMC Enterprise Content Division

A visit to Sin City as a content management aficionado makes it impossible to keep what happens in Vegas a secret. I returned from Momentum and EMC World 2015 eager to share with customers all the ways they can leverage the cloud as an underlying foundation for their enterprise content management strategies.

In terms that any Las Vegas visitor might appreciate, here are my top four EMC World 2015 insights to share. I hope these ideas and case studies inspire you to forge ahead and become the Digital Enterprise of tomorrow.

1 – Headaches arise from complicated IT application rolls-outs, not just from hangovers.

An estimated 80% of large enterprises will have deployed cloud environments by 2017, according to a 2014 Gartner Survey. As organizations transform into the digital enterprise, a razor-sharp focus on technology — and specifically, cloud deployments — will be the enabler to realize the next phase of growth. CIO’s and IT Director roles all rated “cloud is a modern approach,” “innovation” and “operational agility” as prime reasons on why making the journey to the cloud is a necessity today.

As EMC’s Enterprise Content Division showcased in the exhibit halls across EMC World, EMC enterprise content rationale to move to cloudmanagement solutions and products are available in a number of cloud deployment options. Deploying EMC Documentum in a public, private, or hybrid cloud helps alleviate installation and configuration challenges by leaving the complicated work to EMC technical experts. Depending on your needs, you may find that either a public or a private cloud model is a best fit. In some cases, it may be a combination of the two options – a hybrid cloud model. Bottom-line: it’s comforting to know that with EMC Documentum, you have choices! Talking with EMC experts, you can determine which cloud deployment model is right for Continue reading

The Best of the Best of the Best

Jason Capitel

Jason Capitel

Chief Revenue Officer, EMC Enterprise Content Division

The Best of the Best of the BestYou may not remember it, but there’s a line in the movie Men in Black where a character opposite of Will Smith says, “We’re here because you’re looking for the best of the best of the best, sir!”

This line came to mind as we were preparing for the EMC Enterprise Content Division (ECD) Partner Awards Dinner this week at Momentum at EMC World.

It’s no secret that our partner ecosystem is the best in the content management industry. Many of the solutions that they’ve built on our products have transformed the way that organizations – ones that you know or even work for – do business. They’ve helped these organizations thrive, and ultimately do amazing things like save lives and preserve historic documents. And they’ve helped EMC ECD be named a “Visionary” in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for BPM-Platform-Based Case Management Frameworks.

These partners, and those that resell and implement our solutions, are an extension of our EMC family. Many of them have been with us a good portion of our 25 years and are dedicated to seeing that our mutual customers are successful (by the way, you can help us celebrate our 25th Silver Anniversary by supporting charity: water).

In particular, I’d like to highlight International Turnkey Systems (ITS), the winner of our President’s Award for Customer Satisfaction. Both Rohit and I were impressed by ITS and their many stellar references. Consistent throughout was the emphasis on clear, dependable communications and thorough expectation setting. It was apparent that this partner is as passionate about having truly delighted customers as EMC is.

Although it was difficult to acknowledge just a few out of this fantastic ecosystem, I’m proud to announce the “best of the best of the best” and share my sincerest appreciation for all that they do.

Please join me in congratulating these partners on their tremendous effort and successes!


Nasr Albikawi and Remy Foudapres award winner ITS

President’s Award for Customer Satisfaction International Turnkey Systems (ITS) Strategic focus on customer service; Exceeds customer expectations with the highest levels of satisfaction in services and solutions.

Bhavani Balasubramaniam and Suresh Ramachandrancosi

Innovation Award: Best Value Office Solution Cosi Consulting Insight

Gary Hodkinsoninoovo

Innovation Award: Best Capture Solution inovoo NOVO Mobile

Tim Nelms and Ernie Crawfordcrawford

Innovation Award: Best InfoArchive Solution Crawford Technologies PRO Archiver for InfoArchive

Bruce BoltonPortford

Innovation Award: Best ApplicationXtender Platform Portford Solutions DocuNECT Lifecycle Platform

Mario Duckettmario metasource

Innovation Award: Best ApplicationXtender Solution MetaSource MetaStor – ApplicationXtender for the Cloud

Ed Stevens

Innovation Award: Best Design Integration Award (OEM) Cerner Content 360

KEvin tompsettwindward mktg

Marketing Excellence Award The Windward Group Embracing EMC digital marketing tools and content, and going above and beyond with digital marketing efforts

Joe Mihalikflatiorns2

Partner of the Year – Overall Flatirons Solutions Revenue contribution and focus on building solutions that support ECD’s revenue priorities in 2014

James Robinson and Nikki Hansellpaperfree

Partner of the Year – AMER PaperFree (same as above)

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Partner of the Year – APJ Impact Systems (same as above)

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Partner of the Year – EMEA Deloitte (same as above)