Storage Informer
Storage Informer

Tag: Talent

It isn’t the Smart Idea. It is the addition of “Passion, ” + “Connections, ” that Bring Success.

by on Oct.15, 2009, under Storage

It isn’t the Smart Idea. It is the addition of “Passion,” + “Connections,” that Bring Success.

EMC logo

I spent the day yesterday with a room filled with 200-300 really smart people. Not just a little smart, but truly fabulously smart.  There were finalists from our global innovation idea contest, distinguished engineers (our elite force), a fellow (turbo-elite), a few authors, a couple of CEOs, and in total, hand-selected, innovation-minded representatives from every major functional area at the company. 

DE oct 2009
[PHOTO:  Three of EMC's tech elite Distinguished Engineers. Helen Raizen, Peter Madany, Dan Cobb. Taken during the Innovation Conference by talented EMCer, David Elmes.]

If that wasn’t intimidating enough, I was asked to present.  It was all fine and good until the morning of the event when I told my 8th grader why I was rushing off so early. “My goodness,” I thought to myself, “what have I done?!”

In my last blog, I shared a bit of what I discussed. The fun part of the presentation, for me, was when others joined me on the stage to share a story of something they witnessed at the company by way of an innovation. I asked them to highlight the ingredients that came after someone having “a great idea” — the “Passion” and working toward “Success” parts.

Some times you have to be a bit of a Pest!

The first story to be shared came from a non-engineer, Tom Broderick, a Director at EMC involved with Business strategy and our global Centers of Excellence. His story was about a radically new pricing strategy for EMC in 2003 (think depth of recession.)  He said the team presenting this idea was shot down 2 or 3 times by the executive committee at the company. Each time, they tweaked the plan, build their network of supporters, and essentially, refused to give up. Their conviction, passion, and yes, smart work sold the strategy.  The result? It transformed the industry pricing model and, looking at EMC’s dramatic rise in revenue from 2003 – 2008 (roughly $6 billion to $15 Billion!), I’d say it had an impact on the company, too.

Some times you have to be Master Networker!

The second story to be shared came from Barry Burke.  He couldn’t list just one innovation idea he witnessed. He recited a long list of mainstream products at EMC which would never would have seen the light of day had it not been for …. “the idea generator forgetting it was his/her idea and making it the idea and passion of others.”  He said it was the network of believers that drove those ideas over the finish line and into the giant product success circle that they live in today.

Some times you have to put yourself On a Limb in the interest of making it great!

A third story came from David Spencer, about a work in process.  He told of an engineering team working on a stealth product. One of the members of the team suspected that something wasn’t quite right and could be better.  He confided in a senior member of an engineering team not associated the project.  This senior person had a full plate, and was on an aggressive schedule managing another product release. But, in true EMC fashion, he listened, thought about it, and he, too, suspected there could be a better way.  Tireless work began to unfold in parallel. The work is still in play. We don’t know how it will end.  One definition for sure is the opinion of the senior engineer. He said he hasn’t had this much fun at work in years!!

———- Oh that Feeling When Someone Connects! ——-

A highlight for me was when a senior engineer and finalist of the global innovation idea contest quoted my presentation during he panel he sat on.  He said we need more of the culture I discussed — one filled with passion and connections. As a global and wide-reaching company it is more important than ever that we support one another, know what one another is working on to move FASTER!  He also pointed to the opportunity to eliminate waste from projects that get done, that others don’t know about and ultimately get under-utilized.

———————– A surprise! ———————–

Another highlight was meeting EMCer David Elmes, who works in API support for our eRoom product.  He told me he was an English major and we started talking about EMC ONE, our internal collaboration network, and how we found some photographers there recently. Ends up he, too, is a professional photographer. He asked if he could take some photos.  Ends up, he took the one at the top of this blog and many more amazing shots. He took this one of me too …

Polly oct 09

An amazing day.  Lots of connections and inspiration, and family building.  At the cocktail hour that followed the day there was even more!

——————- Talk Back —————————

Personal connections, uber smart people/engineers.  Do they mix?

Is more needed, or is everything just fine thank you?

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Offset Lead Designer, Yeong-hao Han

by on Oct.14, 2009, under Storage

Featured Artist: Offset Lead Designer, Yeong-hao Han

Thank you John Tilton for providing another great interview from the talented team at Project Offset (!  Whether you&aposve already worked in animation – either in film, broadcast or games – or you&aposre aspiring to do it – the guys at Project Offset provide amazing insight into the process, and what it takes to get there.

Check out Yeong-hao&aposs interview in the Featured Artist area of the Artist/Animator site ( to learn what it takes to be a professional concept artist and level designer from a real pro.

You&aposll also come away with some insights into the Offset Editor – one of the tools created by the magicians at PO that give this project its unique look and feel.

For you mega-fan&aposs and artists -send your modeling, texturing, lighting and animation tips to the Animate This! Tutorial challenge (which will also add to your Intel Blackbelt points btw)!

- Pitz


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Open Source for the Cloud

by on Oct.12, 2009, under Storage

Hadoop and Cloudera: Open Source for the Cloud

With the recent Hadoop World event hosted by Cloudera on October 2, 2009, Cloudera and Hadoop have been getting quite a bit of attention from the media, and the visibility for open source software in the cloud has increased along with them. I didn&apost attend the Hadoop World event, but I heard that it was well attended with solid content. Stephen O&aposGrady from RedMonk did a great summary of the event along with his analysis of the key trends if you want a little more information. The Hadoop World event is just a single point in time; however, the more interesting story in my opinion comes from the Hadoop / Cloudera combination.

Hadoop is an Apache project focused on open source software for reliable, scalable, distributed computing. One of the largest contributors to Hadoop is Yahoo, and Hadoop is part of the solution powering Microsoft&aposs new Bing search engine. According to the Who Uses Hadoop page, other companies using Hadoop include Amazon, Adobe, AOL, Facebook, Google, Hulu, IBM, The New York Times, several universities, and many more.

Cloudera was founded to provide enterprise class support for organizations using the open source Hadoop product, and they recently announced the availability of a new product, Cloudera Desktop, a graphical interface for Hadoop that can be used with internal clusters or clusters running in a public cloud. Cloudera has also put together a strong team of people with deep expertise in open source, data management, search and cloud computing. One of the most recent additions to the Cloudera team is Doug Cutting, a search engine specialist from Yahoo and one of the founders of the Hadoop project. This is a big loss for Yahoo and a huge gain for Cloudera.

Om Malik recently weighed in on Cloudera to compare them to Red Hat. He sees many parallels between what Cloudera is doing now for Hadoop and what Red Hat was doing for Linux in the early days from similarities in the executive team, venture capital funding, technologies and more. Here&aposs how he summarized his comparison:

The big change came this past August, when Doug Cutting left Yahoo and joined Cloudera. Cuttings involvement is like the icing on the cake, giving the company the ability to corner all the Hadoop talent out there. It also helps that Cloudera has started to make inroads into newer markets, including biotech and retail. Hadoop is going to find potential markets in any industry where there are large data sets that need complex analysis, CEO Olson told me.

I remember talking to Red Hat executives back in the day and listening to their pitch about Linux everywhere, how they were going to go beyond the web community and help drive Linux into other corporate environments and eventually, build a services business around it.

Cloudera is following that same path. Its developed its own version of Hadoop, one thats optimized for the needs of large corporations, especially those that prefer a little hand-holding from their suppliers. By giving them this version of Hadoop, Cloudera hopes to make revenue from services. And the timing X the company unveiled Cloudera Desktop at Hadoop World (we are media partners) in New York, an event it organized X is perfect.

Game, set, match for Cloudera. (Quoted from GigaOM)

With cloud computing taking off, the open source Hadoop project is well positioned to become a key part of the many clustered solutions with large, complex data requirements, and Cloudera will be right there for those organizations that need help implementing Hadoop.


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