Building the Converged Teams that Transformed IT and Enhanced Service to the Business

first_imgAchieving our present hybrid cloud environment based on a converged IT infrastructure may have taken two go-rounds for us. But the results have certainly been worth it—for both the business units we serve and for our converged team members.Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) is a privately held, Dallas-based company with a growing portfolio of competitive and regulated energy companies operating in Texas. EFH companies include Luminant, a diverse power-generation business, and TXU Energy, a retail electricity provider with 1.7 million residential and business customers in the state.Technology plays a key role in how we compete for business, engage with customers, and innovate. In 2009, when we first virtualized our IT infrastructure, we made a conscious decision to avoid going with a vertical stack from a single vendor. We didn’t want to be locked in. And we succeeded in creating a robust private cloud environment.But with each major upgrade, we had to spend another $1 million to $1.5 million on labor alone over the six months it took to complete the build. This dated the new environment before we could even leverage it, and the quality of the builds varied dramatically. Equally concerning, our business-unit customers were beginning to think of us in terms of red tape, not getting things done.So, in 2014, we reversed course. We chose Dell EMC’s Enterprise Hybrid Cloud running on Vblock® Systems. And we began a transformation from teams responsible for managing a specific technology such as Windows or UNIX, or networks or databases—to being capable of supporting our entire converged environment from the hypervisor on down.Building the converged teamsWe are very data driven. In creating our converged teams, we reduced the number of outside contractors, which had been the lion’s share of our IT team, and focused on expanding the team members’ skill sets. In many cases, contracts simply weren’t renewed when they expired.Among the factors we considered were:What roles existed then, and what would we need to address in the near future?What roles might we need outside of our converged environment—such as handling patches within a specific OS, or dealing with enterprise equipment such as SANs or NAS?What qualifications were required for each role? Level one, two, or three? Novice, intermediate, engineer, or high-level architect? Improved collaboration and agilityGoing into the transformation, we were of course concerned about the impact on our culture. But the changes were accepted very well—especially with the commitment we made to training. Teams were sent to conferences and training classes and everyone was given numerous opportunities from Dell EMC, Cisco, and our IT team partner to stay current on the latest technologies.This enabled people to keep their skills relevant in a constantly changing operating environment. And it also led to improved collaboration and the agility to respond much more quickly to service requests, even with far fewer resources.It’s also had a tremendous impact on our builds. With the shift to converged, we can now connect, configure, power up, and start provisioning new systems in about a week, rather than requiring six months or more. And we can do that with just one or two resources—eliminating the $1 million or more we spent on labor previously.Impressive results—with more to comeWith the transformation to Dell EMC’s Converged Platforms well underway, we’ve seen some impressive results:Our investment of $20 million in Enterprise Hybrid Cloud and Vblock Systems is expected to return $54 million in avoided costs and net operating savings through 2020We’re providing higher quality service with 75% less IT staffWe’re enjoying performance gains from the Dell EMC converged platforms, averaging 40% to 50%, with improvement on some tasks of up to 300%We’ll have shrunk our data center space from 35,000 sq. ft. to 6,000 sq. ft. by year-end, with a goal of reaching 2,500 sq. ft. by the end of 2017We’re also now able to use our converged teams to pursue our goal of becoming a service broker for business-unit clients. With the implementation of cloud services and automation, I see our teams’ focus shifting away from the simple delivery of infrastructure to providing catalogs of services that will ensure business users can get completely out of the IT business.Just as importantly, this will enable us to see the true big picture of what’s being spent and do a better job of managing IT usage and costs for EFH.To learn more about how Energy Future Holdings benefits from Dell EMC’s Enterprise Hybrid Cloud and Vblock Systems, read our case study and watch our video.last_img read more

What is the Best Dell Monitor for Photo Editing?

first_img1 Available for download from Dell.com/support2 The X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter is available in selected countries for purchase from Dell. Contact a Dell representative to find out if it is available in your country. i1Display Pro is also available from X-Rite’s North American and Pantone online stores, and also from X-Rite’s worldwide network of resellers.3 Dell’s software development kit enables you to customize Dell UltraSharp Monitors to your preferred in-house custom system, allowing you to easily manage color space and control video layout. There’s nothing worse than editing photos on one display and then seeing them on a different screen and the colors are “wonky” a photographer friend recently told me.You want a monitor that not only provides precise, accurate colors right out of the box with broad coverage of industry color standards, but also offers crisp images and consistent color viewing at any angle.To find that, I looked both inside Dell and outside to professional photographers and reviewers.Dell Pros Say Go UltraSharp with PremierColorWhen I asked some of our Dell display experts which monitor is best for photo editing, they recommended one from our Dell UltraSharp monitor with PremierColor family because it offers the ideal tools for color-critical projects.And there are several of Dell UltraSharp with PremierColor monitors to choose from to meet your specific needs and budget, including:Dell UltraSharp 32 8K Monitor – UP3218K – The world’s first 31.5 inch monitor with 8K resolution, announced at CES 2017Dell UltraSharp 32 4K Monitor – UP3216Q– 32 inch UltraHD 4k MonitorDell UltraSharp 30 Monitor – UP3017” 32 inch 16:10 aspect ratio, UltraHD 4k MonitorDell UltraSharp 27 4K HDR Monitor – UP2718Q –  27 inch 4k monitor is the world’s first UHDA Premium certified HDR10 monitorDell UltraSharp 27 Monitor – UP2716D – 27 inch QHD monitor with ultrathin bezelsDell UltraSharp 25 Monitor – UP2516D-25 inch QHD monitor with ultrathin bezelsDell UltraSharp Monitors with PremierColor offer the ability to calibrate and color match to a specific color space, for consistent color results with very little deviation between individual monitors. They have compatibility to major industry standards, such as AdobeRGB and sRGB, giving photographers the flexibility to select and use their preferred color space.You can also calibrate the monitor in-house using Dell UltraSharp Color Calibration Solution software¹ with the optional X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter² (sold separately), or tweak color parameters according to their proprietary color solution with the SDK3.Reviewers and Professional Photographers ConcurBut don’t just take our word for it that the UltraSharp with PremierColor monitors are great for photo editing. TechRadar recently listed the Dell UltraSharp UP3216Q and the Dell UltraSharp UP3218K among their top screens for photographers.And professional photographer Jack Fusco, whose work has focused on the landscape-astrophotography field, recently shared an in-depth review of that 8K model.“In a year where I plan on upgrading one of my main camera bodies, I believe this monitor will be an even bigger asset in improving the quality of my work,” Fusco said.This monitor was called “stunningly ahead of its time” by The Verge last year, who also noted that the world needed to do some catching up “to Dell’s impressive technological achievement.” (their words, not mine.)But, Fusco believes that it can be good to be ahead of the curve.“Very often, expensive gear needs to be replaced or is outdated in a short amount of time,” he said.  “Because people are still making the move to 4K, moving your workspace to 8K now means you’ll have plenty of time before you have to worry about upgrading again.”The World’s Favorite MonitorsYes, we can claim to be the world’s favorite because Dell monitors have been #1 worldwide for five consecutive years (2013 to 2017) according to IDC Quarterly PC Monitor Tracker, Q1 2018.By choosing a top-tier monitor with added features specific for color critical tasks, photographers can enjoy color depth of 1.07 billion colors (64 times more color depth than standard monitors) for smooth gradations in color and exceptional clarity – even in dark areas.Each monitor mentioned in this post is factory color calibrated on AdobeRGB and sRGB to a Delta-E < 2 and comes with a complete factory calibration report, giving you the confidence that colors will be accurate right from the start.All of this means photographers who chose Dell UltraSharp Monitors with PremierColor can feel confident that they’ve picked a winner.last_img read more

Democrats prep Biden’s virus aid package with or without GOP

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats are preparing to push ahead with President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told senators Tuesday to be ready to vote as soon as next week on a budget reconciliation package that would lay the groundwork for swift passage. The action provides a first test of Republican opposition to the White House priorities as well as to the new president’s promise of a “unity” agenda. It’s the first time in a decade that Democrats have controlled Washington, and the party says it has no time to waste trying to broker compromises with Republicans that may, or may not, happen.last_img

Report: lack of diversity, low morale plague Louisville PD

first_imgLOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A new report says the Louisville Metro Police Department needs more diversity among its leadership. It also says police must work to improve trust with the community, especially among Black residents. The Chicago consulting firm Hillard Heintze was hired by the city to review the department in the wake of the Breonna Taylor shooting last year. Taylor was a 26-year-old Black emergency medical worker who was fatally shot by officers serving a narcotics warrant at her apartment. The 155-page report called for a “true transformation of the department.”last_img

US judge paves way for extradition of American father, son accused of sneaking ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn out of Japan

first_imgBOSTON (AP) — US judge paves way for extradition of American father, son accused of sneaking ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn out of Japan.last_img

Lectures honor archbishop

Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s will mark the 32nd anniversary of the assassination of Oscar Romero this week with Romero Days, a series of lectures and events honoring the Salvadorian archbishop’s advocacy for the poor.   Fr. Bob Pelton of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies said he hopes Romero Days will inspire students to carry on Romero’s legacy. “I would hope that [Romero’s] example would help others to follow the example with their own attitudes, through the types of service they do and through relating their studies to a larger, stronger social commitment,” Pelton said. As Archbishop of San Salvador, Romero stood up for the poor and marginalized in his home country of El Salvador and was assassinated while saying Mass in 1980, Pelton said. He was also nominated for sainthood. “Archbishop Romero was extraordinarily devoted to the peasants of his country,” Pelton said. “He gave his life out of love for them and for our Lord.” Pelton said Romero Days begins today at 4:15 p.m. in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies with a workshop on teaching students about Romero’s social justice. The event will feature professor of theology Margaret Pfeil and educational specialist Michael Amodei. The workshop will precede a 7 p.m. screening of the film “Monseñor: The Last Journey of Óscar Romero,” a documentary which Pelton said follows the last three years of Romero’s life. Pelton said the Kellogg Institute chose to sponsor the workshop because it is important for educators to pass on Romero’s legacy to the next generation. “We want to understand better the social teaching that was embodied both in the instructions and in the life of the example of Romero himself,” he said. Kevin Dowling, bishop of Rustenburg, South Africa, will preside over a commemorative Mass on Wednesday in the Church of Loretto at Saint Mary’s at 4 p.m. Dowling will lecture on Romero’s life in Carroll Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Pelton said Bishop Dowling is a strong supporter of Romero’s teachings on social justice and Church teaching, proving Romero’s influence is ubiquitous. “The example of Archbishop Romero has spread throughout the world,” Pelton said. “Here we have all the way in South Africa a bishop who follows that example in his service to the very poor.” Dowling’s lecture commemorates not only the 32nd anniversary of Romero’s death, but also a longstanding tradition of social justice, Pelton said. “The annual Romero Address [will honor] 40 years of justice education on the part of the Catholic Church and also the 30 years of the Justice Education Center at St. Mary’s College,” he said. Pelton said students should emulate Romero’s drive and fortitude to advance causes of social justice. “It’s important for us to be willing to see the real needs of our sisters and brothers and to take the effective steps to bring about an improvement of that situation,” he said. read more

University students visit West Wing

first_imgNotre Dame students studying in the University’s Washington, D.C. program discovered they have friends in high places when they visited the West Wing to speak with Deputy Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama, Rob Nabors.   While participating in the Washington Program, students must work 20 to 25 hours per week at an internship and take nine credits of classes, according to the program’s website. Students also tour various sites of national importance, including the Supreme Court, the Capitol complex and the West Wing.  Junior Alex Caton [Editor’s note: Caton is a Viewpoint columnist] said getting to tour the West Wing and meet one of the President’s right-hand men was “surreal.” “You’ve seen the TV show, you’ve always heard about [the West Wing], but you’ve never imagined you could be in it. Sitting around a room with battle flags, medals, a portrait of FDR [Franklin Delano Roosevelt], boxes of M&Ms with reprints of Barack Obama’s signature on them … a surreal experience,” Caton said. “It was surreal: being in such close proximity to someone who spends three to four hours a day with the president and having him be so frank, so honest about his own experience … telling us that the way he got there was not by accident or good fortune, but hard work.” Caton said he was excited to hear of the path that Nabors took to reach his current position. “It was humbling to see the hard work that he did, but inspiring to see that if I want to contribute my own piece to the story of the American government, that dream is achievable for me if I do the hard work,” Caton said.  Junior Tim Scanlan said he was excited to meet Nabors because he hoped to learn about the life of a national policy-maker.  “I was excited when I found out about the meeting because of how integral Nabors has been to the domestic policy of the Obama administration,” Scanlan said. “I was really looking forward to knowing more about how decisions are really made and hearing about some of the current conflicts in greater detail, especially in regards to Syria.”   When he met Nabors in person, Scanlan said he was impressed with his candid account of his work. Scanlan said learning work at the executive level demanded 18 hours of work, seven days a week underlined the intensity of Nabors’ job.  “The meeting was great – Rob Nabors was an energetic and earnest speaker,” Scanlan said. “He covered everything from a typical day in the life to the priorities of the Administration going forward. It was an hour and a half of humble honesty about Washington success and the work it takes to get there.” Junior Nicole Sganga said she was inspired by Nabors’ willingness to speak candidly about his path from Notre Dame to just outside the Oval Office.  “This big, powerful man in Washington was sitting down and telling us jokes and stories about [University president] Fr. Hesburgh was his freshman seminar professor … it was amazing, how candid he was,” Sganga said. “It was very uplifting and inspiring to see a Notre Dame graduate who didn’t know what he wanted to do when he received his diploma, go so far.” Junior Emily Voorde said she was impressed by how easily Nabors found common ground between himself and her peers.  “We talked about Syria, about his day-to-day operations … but we also talked about dorms on campus and Fr. Hesburgh,” Voorde said. “It was neat to see someone with so much power able to sit down and speak with us on a really personal and honest level, it shows that these people aren’t superheroes – they come from the same roots we do.   “He spoke very candidly about how at our age, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do … to everyone in the room, I know that was reassuring. There’s still time to decide what we want to do and to make a really incredible contribution to the country and the world.”last_img read more

ROTC holds Pass in Review on South Quad

first_imgIn the middle of the 20th century, Notre Dame’s South Quad was a military rallying point. University archive photos from the WWII era and the 1950s show Notre Dame’s ROTC units and other military organizations marching up and down the quad in front of Rockne Memorial and a partially-constructed O’Shaughnessy Hall.Wednesday evening showcased that era, as the Notre Dame Trimilitary Organization – the Navy, Army and Air Force ROTC units ¬– presented themselves on South Quad for their reviewing by Naval Commanding Officer Mike Ryan, University President Fr. John Jenkins and the general public at the Annual Pass in Review, a symbolic display of skill and precision. The ceremony included a benediction by Fr. Peter Rocca, the presentation of student awards and a speech from Jenkins.Emily McConville “It’s a ceremonial thing, where in the field or in other military environments, they’ll do this as kind of a big show,” said senior, midshipman David Murphy, who received an award at the Pass in Review. “There’s usually something attached to it, where we’ll do the Pass in Review, and it’s symbolic when [troops] come home from deployment or something that shows discipline, that the uniforms are properly worn and things like that.”Junior public affairs officer and midshipman Cassie Gettinger said the ceremony in its current form, in which the troops perform exercises for the University president, dates back to the presidency of University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh.In recent years, the ceremony has taken place in Arlotta Stadium or the Stepan Center. Junior, event organizer and midshipman Lizzie Terino said the students wanted the Pass in Review to be a visible reminder of the military’s relationship with Notre Dame.“It’s kind of always been off to the side, not in a public area, but ROTC’s always been a big program on campus,” Terrino said. “The military has a long tradition with Notre Dame, with the Navy using Notre Dame and keeping it open, so we wanted to make it public and for people to come out and see the ceremony.Midshipman Murphy Lester, a senior and key organizer of the ceremony, said moving the event to South Quad was difficult logistically but ultimately rewarding.“Historically, you see all these pictures, the old WWII pictures of the whole formation out on South Quad,” Lester said. “South Quad was built as a parade ground for events exactly like this.“I’m not sure why we got away from it for awhile, but as a senior, I knew for our class it would really mean a lot to parade back and forth in front of the Golden Dome.”In his remarks, Jenkins pointed to the University’s long relationship with the military, in particular the United States Naval Academy, connecting it to Notre Dame’s identity as a Catholic university and speaking of the importance of each to the other.“You can point to the past,” Jenkins said. “During WWII, the school was really kept in business by the presence of the Naval community. You can point to the service of generations of Notre Dame graduates in the military … even those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation.”Jenkins said the Notre Dame ROTC program strives to train its cadets and midshipmen to show the highest level of moral integrity according to St. Augustine’s concept of a just war.“It is a just peace that you cadets and midshipmen will serve. That is a noble cause. A clear and consistent understanding of that high moral calling is what distinguishes everybody in the Notre Dame ROTC program.”Tags: Air Force, Army, Navy, Pass in Review, ROTClast_img read more

Saint Mary’s Career Crossings Office aids in student job hunt

first_imgDirector of the Career Crossings Office (CCO) Stacie Jeffirs said according to the Collegiate Employment Research Institute (CERI), hiring of bachelor’s level college graduates is up seven percent this year over the last year.“Although the increase is slight, the job outlook for college graduates has been making a steady and gradual comeback since the recession hit in 2008 and 2009,” Jeffirs said.Jeffirs said the College’s graduate destination survey showed that approximately 73 percent of the class of 2014 intends to pursue employment opportunities while almost 40 percent intend to pursue graduate or professional school or other studies. A little more than 12 percent intend to pursue internships or externships and 6.8 percent intend to pursue post-graduate service or volunteer opportunities.The survey results overlap in some categories, as some graduates intend to pursue graduate or professional school or other studies in addition to employment or other activities, Jeffirs said.Senior Gianna Burkhardt will attend King’s College in London after graduation to work towards a masters in English literature with a focus in literature from the 1850s-present.After studying abroad in Rome during her sophomore year, Burkhardt said she knew she wanted to travel post-graduation.“Prior to studying in Rome, I thought I was bound to the United States, but after, I have discovered a whole new world waiting for me to explore it,” she said. “If it hadn’t been for my education and experience at Saint Mary’s, I’m not sure if I would have the courage to follow my passion.”Burkhardt said she hopes to develop her love for English literature in a place so rooted in its history while using the skills she developed during her time at Saint Mary’s.“I will be studying English literature, which I think will be a richer experience because I’ll have many of the documents I will be studying right at my disposal at the British Library,” Burkhardt said. “King’s also offers internships as a part of their grad studies at places like the Globe Theater and British Museum, so I will be looking to participate in a more well-rounded experience in that way. “I also think living abroad teaches you a type of independence that can only come from being abroad.”Jeffirs said the liberal arts education Saint Mary’s provides gives students the necessary tools to be competitive and relevant in today’s economy.“The College prepares students to be global citizens and to be able to respond to the ever-changing workforce not only through classroom experiences, but also experiential activities and campus leadership opportunities,” she said.Burkhardt said her Saint Mary’s education has made all the difference in allowing her to craft and follow her dreams.“I think my English professors as well as the Saint Mary’s study abroad program have prepared me so well for the next part of my journey,” she said. “My professors have given me the tools that are necessary to create thoughtful and scholarly insights on literature and how to stand on my own in class discussion.”Jeffirs said CCO has been a valuable resource for many seniors this year, providing students with education and resources to aid those looking for a job.“We assist students in the entire job search process including networking strategies, connecting students to alumnae through our Alumnae Resource Network and LinkedIn, researching employers and options, writing resumes and cover letters and honing interviewing skills,” Jeffirs said. “We teach students the job searching and decision making skills they can use throughout their entire life.”Jeffirs said CCO will be open all summer. “Our office offers lifetime services to alumnae and is here to help graduates even after commencement,” she said.Tags: 2014 Commencement, employment, Saint Mary’s Career Crossings Officelast_img read more

Ireland program provides internship opportunities

first_imgTags: Dublin, Ireland, Irish Internship Program, O’Connell House Photo courtesy of Ciaran Pollard Many Notre Dame students are are all too familiar with the arduous search that is finding a summer internship. With that experience in mind, Irish Internship Program offers students a unique and challenging opportunity of not just an internship experience but a chance to live abroad in a country many on campus hold dear: Ireland.Senior Megan Ball, who participated in the Irish Internship Program last summer, said the program lasts for eight to 10 weeks and offers a wide variety of internship opportunities for students. The program is made possible by the O’Connell House, Notre Dame’s study abroad headquarters in Dublin.“It encompasses around 50 internship opportunities in various sectors from education to finance to research to the arts,” Ball said. “The program also incorporates, in addition to valuable work experience, a cultural enrichment program that exposes participants to all aspects of Irish culture through trips, and a professional development series.”Ciarán Pollard, intern coordinator for the program, said internship placements for 2016 include the Bank of Ireland, Abbey Theatre, Department of Foreign Affairs-Press Section and the Irish Cancer Society.Ball said her favorite part of the program was the immersion experience of living and working in Ireland.“The best part of program is certainly the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in the world of another culture,” Ball said. “While studying abroad is a truly great experience, to live and work in a city brings things into a whole new perspective.“You are a part of the hustle and bustle of a busy work day,” she said. “The office culture differs, and the lifestyle of Irish working persons is slightly different than Americans, [and] experiencing these things allows you to re-enter the U.S. with a new perspective.”Sarah Witt, a senior who also participated in the internship program last summer, said anyone can apply to the program. It is not restricted by interest or major but simply to students looking to spend time getting to know Ireland and Irish culture, Witt said.Ball said the program is especially helpful for students in the College of Arts and Letters, who often struggle the most with finding summer opportunities.“It is rare to find great internships in your particular field of study that are funded if you study in the liberal arts,” Ball said.“But the Irish Interns program allows for a fully-funded opportunity that is not only fabulous for career and educational development, but is also super fun!”Witt said she encourages all students to consider spending their summer in Ireland. The deadline to apply for the program is Friday, Witt said.“This past summer was one of the best experiences of my life,” Witt said. “I strongly encourage you to apply. … You will have a wonderful summer going on adventures across Ireland, gaining work experience and making lifelong friendships.”last_img read more