Month: February 2021

Assessing Cities Around the World for Female Entrepreneurs

first_imgEver since the end of the aughts, Dell has been running a project that revolves around supporting female entrepreneurs: the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN). Around that time, the question often arose – not least in the wake of the financial crisis – as to how enterprises could return to increased growth. One potential answer: companies led by women.The World Bank and the World Economic Forum drew the conclusion that female entrepreneurs could be decisive in effecting a shift towards increased growth in the global economy. This is because, taken as a total, female entrepreneurs possess economic power roughly equivalent to those of China and India combined. That vast resource should not be left untapped.However, research into this area also indicated that female executives and entrepreneurs often do not actually play the roles that they could in the economy. In most cases, this has nothing to do with the fact that women are often hindered or thwarted in their work. Usually, their inability to reach their full potential is due to ‘static’ framework conditions that have a negative impact. For example, these include disadvantages in access to capital or markets, or poor access to other resources such as technology or ‘the best and brightest’ staff – to say nothing of women’s need to catch up with their male counterparts in terms of informal networking, a phenomenon that I can confirm from personal experience. In the established business networks that men have often built up over many years, an ‘old boys club’ attitude still prevails – which, of course, nobody would ever actually admit out loud.That is why DWEN has, from the very start, operated as an international networking platform for women in leadership positions, forming a network and community of like-minded women that also opens up direct access to valuable resources. At the many and highly popular annual DWEN meetings, which have been held at sites including New Delhi, India, Cape Town, South Africa, Berlin, Germany, and, recently, San Francisco, we lived up to our promise and created a platform for making new contacts, one that women use to share their professional experiences. DWEN is a success story; and since women still aren’t where they could – and should – be in the business world, it will continue to serve as an important stimulus towards making that happen.Addressing factors on a local scale: DWEN’s WE Cities IndexOf course, DWEN has not contented itself with merely building an international networking platform. Another pillar of the work we do – in the broadest sense – is lobbying for female entrepreneurs. We want to instill within decision-makers in the fields of business and politics a sense of how important a role women-led companies can play in the global economy.Our effort towards this end particularly includes the Women Entrepreneur Cities (WE Cities) Index, which was informed by numerous experiences gathered through the DWEN campaign.WE Cities takes a different focus – as its name suggests, instead of focusing on countries, it focuses on cities. The WE Cities Index evaluates various cities’ potential for female entrepreneurs. It is a gender-specific index that researches the conditions for companies founded by women in the respective cities. The index also makes it possible to summarize the effects of local politics and measures for promoting women at the workplace.Of course, since studies are always bound to a certain scope, only a limited selection of cities could be taken into account: 50 cities in total were researched and evaluated along the criteria of access to capital, technology, education, and markets, as well as cultural factors. Out of 72 indicators in total, 45 had a gender-specific component.The 50 cities were selected for their general, gender-independent reputations as hubs of innovation, as well as for geographical aspects – in other words, these are cities from all parts of the world.Two German cities were included in the index: Berlin and Munich. Berlin took 21st place in the overall ranking; in the ‘Markets’ category it attained 8th place, and took an impressive third for costs of technology. Meanwhile, Munich only took 31st place in the overall ranking. The Bavarian state capital came away in 13th place in ‘Culture’ and a mere 42nd in access to capital.I want to strongly discourage against conceiving of the selected cities as being in a competition for the best spots, turning the index into a mere comparison of figures, and obsessing over where we stand. It is far, far more important that the (political) powers that be in the selected cities take the data and information from the WE Cities Index as a tool that they can use to critically assess and review their own efforts towards promoting female entrepreneurs. The index is meant to serve as a way of identifying needs for optimization.I also do not wish to address the individual results and the rankings of the 50 cities at this point in time. Instead, I would prefer to point out two things that I found particularly interesting.Firstly, there is a great deal of room to improve. Although New York City came in first in the overall ranking, at 63 out of a potential 100 points, even number one has significant potential for optimization. NYC is still a long way away from being an ideal city for female executives and entrepreneurs. In other words, nothing is set in stone.Secondly, the rankings in the individual categories vary widely – no one city is leading the way in terms of all criteria, and no one city is bringing up the rear on all fronts, either. For example, Lima, the Peruvian capital, is lagging far behind in terms of access to capital, but offers comparatively good opportunities for market access. This means that even lower-ranking cities have areas in which they are doing well.Taken as a whole, WE Cities shows that there remains a great deal of work to be done – women stand to achieve more than is currently the case. The digital transformation represents a vast entrepreneurial challenge, one that calls for drawing upon all available resources. No society can afford to leave valuable resources – such as a qualified female workforce – untapped.last_img read more

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Smart Devices and Services Are Driving Edge Computing. Is Your Organization Ready?

first_imgThe fourth wave of computing is being driven by a combination of forces – organizational demands to increase revenue, profitability, and serve customers better as well as robust use cases that can be solved by the latest technology advances. The first wave of computing started with centralized mainframes, the second wave swung to distributed use of client-server-PCs, and the third wave shifted back some to centralized cloud computing. Now, the fourth wave, which is also called “distributed core” or “fog computing”, distributes computing back to the sources of data and consumption of services.Operational EfficiencyOperational efficiency leads the first phase of the fourth wave deployments. These include Internet of Things (IoT) sensors installed in high value, mission critical products deployed in field. This is a low cost entry point to add sensors to field devices, and cuts across many industry verticals. Early adopters such as manufacturing and facilities benefit economically from monitoring and acting on critical or expensive end-point data generated from manufacturing platforms, IT equipment, electrical grids, oil and gas grids, shipping containers to transportation fleet equipment. Another low-risk, high-return application is the automation of facilities such as HVAC, lighting, and facilities equipment.Predictive MaintenanceExtending monitoring to predictive maintenance is the logical next step. This requires developing machine learning infrastructure and applications in the back end data center to predict upcoming failure conditions in field equipment. Predictive maintenance is an easy upsell of a value added service that creates an extra revenue stream for the provider and improved customer satisfaction. The Dell Technologies Support and Deployment services (SDS) group is applying this through SupportAssist. Over the last several years, the SDS team has collected more than 260 attributes from 50 million hard drives. Using this info, they’ve trained neural network models to make highly accurate predictions of drive failures. Those models are then pushed to the edge to monitor real time attributes of active drives in-service and to generate alerts with associated metadata of any imminent drive failures weeks in advance. This allows customers to take corrective actions like backups or replacing drives dispatched by the services team.SecurityThe next round of IoT deployments is around security. These include analysis of sound, images and video from cameras and surveillance equipment deployed in many private and public spaces. The analysis happens in batch mode retrospectively, or with a significant time lag. Infrastructure with machine learning  intelligence detects unusual or abnormal situations in these physical spaces. Automating this repetitive and mundane process reduces human labor and decreases the risk of overlooking real anomalies. Moreover, humans can be deployed to address these abnormal situations.In the initial phases of these use cases, the compute and storage are deployed at the back-end data center (aka core) or cloud. Scaling out these applications increases round trip data size transfer, and adding a real-time component overloads the end-to-end infrastructure. Real-time security alerts need very low latency decision making. To satisfy that, compute (including storage and communication) pushes closer to the action, driving the need for a layer of computing. This layer is called edge computing.Smart Devices and Smart Services: Two Main Categories of Edge ComputingThere are two broad categories for edge computing – “Internet of Things,” described above, and “Smart Services”.  While IoT primarily consists of interacting with inanimate “things” like field equipment, smart services add a layer of rich interactions to humans as well. Examples of smart services at the edge include smart multi-media service, first responder services during emergencies, multi-player gaming with real-time and richer audio-visual experiences, and immersive experiences like AR/VR.  This new class of “born in the edge and for the edge” services demands faster response time, high data bandwidth, and predictable quality of service. These cannot be well-serviced with long round trips back and forth from consumption point to a centralized data center.  The majority of data created at the edge needs to be computed and acted upon locally.In smart multi-media services, real-time analysis of audio and video can then be extended to object profiles recognition, human sentiment and intent analyses, and more. These can be used to provide improved, personalized services or precautionary actions as the case may be.Retail object recognition can be used for inventory management and faster checkouts. In manufacturing, image analysis of quality of final products at the end of assembly line can improve yield and lower cost at higher speeds with lower human involvement.More viewpoints at The hitchhiker’s guide to Edge Computing – by Moor Insights posted on ForbesMicrosoft BrainwaveDell Technologies and Microsoft have kicked off joint proof of concept for bringing Microsoft Brainwave to the edge. Brainwave improves quality by processing product images in manufacturing use cases. Brainwave executing on PowerEdge servers with custom FPGAs will improve accuracy, speed up the process, with reduce the amount of human intervention to improve both operational efficiency and customer experience. More info is available here: Microsoft-unveils-project-brainwave, view the video, and Open to External TestersImmersive ExperiencesToday, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) add immersive experiences to mostly 2-dimensional internet experiences. They provide distinct competitive advantages by changing the experience for your users, customers or partners. Even today’s content delivery requires content caching at edge cloud locations for latency. However, immersive experiences are computationally more intensive, requiring high data bandwidth and low latency responses matching human reaction time. It is infeasible to drive this from centralized data centers or distantly located clouds.  This will require a combination of powerful edge computing distributed closer to consumers and 5G mobile for practical applications such as consumer shopping, virtual real estate property visits, and remote physical examinations. On the consumer side, these need to be supported with affordable and lightweight headsets. To learn more, refer to Enabling Mobile Augmented and Virtual Reality with 5G Networks.As servers and accelerators can be deployed away from traditional data centers, the technology improvements described here are key drivers for moving compute closer to the edge. Technology that is more power efficient, lower cost, secure and resilient for training and inferencing; fast NVMe storage, storage class memory, software defined paradigms, cheaper sensors and AR/VR headsets. 5G promises theoretical bandwidth of gigabits and will reduce latency to sub-millisecond levels – ideal when data needs to be transferred back to the core.OT and IT DynamicsAre groups inside your organization ready for the fourth wave?  There is strong collaboration required between Operational Technology (OT) groups and IT groups. OT from lines of business (LoB) lead the charge on use cases and business cases.  IT needs to deliver on their strengths of software, infrastructure, security, and analytics to OT groups.  451 Research reports that OT budgets will rise by an average of 49% in 2018, higher than IT’s 35% gains. Despite the fact that IT has the bigger budget. The good news is that both groups rate business value of such projects very similarly.Organizations leading the change work through longer investigation and deployment cycles but will benefit from competitive advantages to better serve their customers and improve revenue streams.The fourth wave will require modernization of IT infrastructures on account of:IT will be deployed in less than ideal data center environments like manufacturing floors, retail environments, closets, switching stations, telecom central offices, and remote and branch offices. Infrastructures in these “extended” environments must operate in +10° to +20°C above data center ambient, in constrained spaces, or using fresh air cooling. Infrastructures are already available today to operate in these near to data center like environments (“near edge”) including from Dell EMC.To further reduce decision latency and data transfer sizes, infrastructures will be rolled out one level further to harsher environments like parking lots, rooftops, rugged terrains like hills, fields, deserts, barges, glaciers, or trucks. These are hot, dusty, and experience severe humidity, temperature, and power variations. These infrastructures must be resilient to operate in sustained 50°C to 70°C temperatures in polluted and humid environments. Self-contained data centers with optional power and cooling called micro data centers (MDC) are emerging to tackle such environments. Additionally, server, storage, and network switches will be hardened beyond what is possible today.Software-defined hyperconverged architectures will be more prevalent in edge deployments compared to traditional 3-tier architectures deployed by core IT. These converged devices will integrate server, storage, and networking and will be easier to deploy and manage with minimal IT resources.The remote management of these edge infrastructures and the services that run on them will add a layer of complexity beyond traditional data center management. Additionally, some level of autonomous management will be required in situations of dropped connections to core operations.More devices outside the cozy confines of the data center, significantly increases the risk of hacking and security interference. There will be more machine-to-machine interactions with 3rd party devices of an uncertain pedigree. These will demand both physical and virtual security with stronger firewalls so any intrusions can be as contained as possible. Refer to “6 ways IoT is Vulnerable”. The solution is to invest in vendors to who offer 7 to 10 years of support and vendors offering more end to end systems.Despite the improvements in mobile networks, network services will not be uniformly available in many of near-edge situations. Therefore, network services acceleration will be required using innovations like Smart NICs.This data-centric approach naturally leads to the application of machine learning models with global training at the core, fast inferencing for decision making and localized learning at the edge. This will require infrastructures to support accelerators of different types, such as GPUs or IPUs at the core and FPGAs at the edge.Lastly, expect more diversity of agents or parties at the edge, autonomously setting up and executing on multi-party transactions without being constrained by centralized single owner databases, leading to need for blockchain based databases.Read more at Edge Computing – the Fourth Wave Rises – by Moor InsightsTo participate in proof of concepts, contact your Dell EMC sales team.References: “OT Stakeholder Perspective – Q1 2018 Advisor Report – Voice of the Enterprise, Internet of Things” by 451 Research“Edge Computing – the Fourth Wave Rises – by Moor Insights” Matt Kimball, Moor Insights and Strategy“6 ways IoT is vulnerable,” in IEEE Spectrum, vol. 55, no. 7, pp. 21-21, July 2018“Enabling Mobile Augmented and Virtual Reality with 5G Networks”, AT&T Foundry, Jan 2017“Azure AI – Productivity for virtually every developer and scenario”last_img read more

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Announcing Dell EMC Innovations in Data Protection and Data Management

first_imgToday I joined Jeff Clarke on stage at Dell Technologies World to announce major innovations in our data protection portfolio. As we have maintained no. 1 positions in the Purpose-Built Backup Appliance Market and the Data Replication and Protection Software Market[1], we have been hard at work continuing to innovate without compromise. Dell EMC is powering up our portfolio with the introduction of our next-generation data management software platform and first multi-dimensional data management appliance.The fact that Digital Transformation is disrupting every industry is unavoidable – and our customers all make it clear that the explosion of data has been hard to manage. Organizations are facing unprecedented complexity and inefficiency, making it difficult to derive business value from their data. Businesses are consuming IT resources differently, and the need for a powerful, efficient and trusted solution to protect data assets is clear.Protecting data’s value isn’t about locking it away; it’s about providing superior risk reduction for workloads and enabling data reuse. With those goals in mind, we’ve built a platform to help organizations not only retain and manage essential data, but also keep the digital business running.With the all-new Dell EMC PowerProtect Software platform and the multi-dimensional Dell EMC PowerProtect X400 appliance, we are helping mid-size and enterprise organizations transform their data protection strategy and prepare for the future of business.PowerProtect Software is a software-defined platform that gives IT staff confidence that their data is protected and available. PowerProtect Software offers efficient data management capabilities across ever-changing IT environments, leveraging the latest evolution of our trusted protection storage architecture. With the flexibility to consume via software or via an integrated appliance, PowerProtect Software provides data protection, replication and reuse, and can be simply deployed on any standard hardware.PowerProtect Software empowers the entire IT team – allowing data owners to perform backup and recovery operations from their native applications, while at the same time providing central oversight and governance to ensure compliance. We believe this balanced approach to self-service for admins combined with central IT governance is a key element of any team’s data management strategy.Of course, the PowerProtect Software platform is built with multi-cloud organizations in mind. The platform is multi-cloud optimized, enabling long-term retention via cloud tiering and soon cloud disaster recovery. PowerProtect Software can send data directly to the cloud with no cost, allowing customers to maximize their investment and expand capacity further.Additionally, PowerProtect Software utilizes SaaS-based management to easily monitor, analyze and troubleshoot distributed environments from anywhere. PowerProtect Software and the PowerProtect X400 appliance enable IT to meet objectives more effectively with evolving operational intelligence.As with any purchase, we want to make sure the investment is one that prepares our customers for the future. PowerProtect Software leverages a modern, services-based architecture to ensure the ease of deployment, scaling and upgrading that all our customers desire.Future IT demands are difficult to predict precisely – I have noted how the explosion of data has been hard for organizations to track. Consequently, we developed our new integrated data management appliance to be multi-dimensional.PowerProtect X400 scales out with linear performance and capacity increases and delivers scale-up, grow-in-place capacity expansion. This allows the appliance to grow with the organization as its IT demands change. As additional scale-out cubes are added to bring more performance and capacity, the X400 uses load balancing enabled with machine learning to deliver optimal deduplication and performance.Further flexibility comes from the option of hybrid or – for the first time – all flash. In fact, PowerProtect X400 is the industry’s first All-Flash Integrated Purpose-Built Backup Appliance.[2] Providing all-flash as an option ensures that every organization can find the level of performance they need, preparing today’s largest organizations to meet the SLOs of tomorrow.After using PowerProtect X400 in his environment, our customer Brian Linden, director of IT with Melanson Heath, shared this perspective: “Adding complexity to our data center right now is not an option. The PowerProtect X400 appliance was easy to deploy and configure. Within minutes we protected our virtual machines. The tight integration with VMware and Instant Access allows our IT staff to quickly deploy production VM images for test and development. As a result, we are able to speed up the process for initiating test and development of production applications, making our data center staff more efficient.”Our continued focus on integration has been key to our leadership in data protection appliances, which makes PowerProtect X400 a natural addition to our portfolio as our first integrated data management appliance.While we’ve been developing the PowerProtect X400, we’ve also been focused on extending our Integrated Data Protection Appliance (IDPA) portfolio, including last year’s DP4400. Today, we also announced an 8TB capacity option for the IDPA DP4400, furthering IDPA’s momentum and market acceleration. According to the latest market data from IDC, both IDPA revenue and unit shipments have grown by more than 10x from 2017 to 2018.This announcement cements Dell EMC’s commitment to the IDPA platform and conviction that no business is too small for world-class data protection. Now, smaller customers and locations can obtain all the enterprise-level data protection features and functionality of the IDPA family, including simple deployment, easy management, high performance, widest application coverage and cloud extensibility with native cloud tier and cloud DR capabilities, in a smaller capacity appliance. And, as the customer’s needs expand, the new 8-24TB model can easily expand to 96TB with an optional hardware kit that will be available later this year.We are proud to introduce the Dell EMC PowerProtect next generation data management platform and the new entry point for the IDPA DP4400. To learn more, please visit the PowerProtect Software home page, the PowerProtect X400 Appliance home page and the IDPA home page. And, be sure to follow @DellEMCProtect  on Twitter for our latest announcements and content. Your future self will thank you. Finally, be sure to stay tuned to Dell Technologies World 2019 coverage from Las Vegas for the latest announcements.[1] Based on combined revenue from the IDC 4Q18 Purpose Build Backup Appliance (PBBA) Tracker, with select Storage Software market segments from the 4Q18 Storage Software and Cloud Service Qview.[2] Based on Dell internal analysis, March 2019.last_img read more

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Maduro’s ‘miracle’ treatment for COVID-19 draws skeptics

first_imgCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro appears to be counting on yet another “miracle” to save his citizens from COVID-19. He’s promoting a secretive solution with no published scientific evidence he claims will conquer the new coronavirus. Maduro said on television over the weekend that “it’s a powerful antiviral” that neutralizes the coronavirus. But his government has released no evidence and he’s touted other ephemeral treatments in the past. He even kept secret the name of the person behind it. Scientists at home and abroad remained skeptical. The local National Academy of Medicine said it appeared be derived from the common herb thyme.last_img read more

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