Recent Blog Posts

Transform IT – Episode 3 Recap: The Curvy Path

During the latest episode of the Transform IT show, Patty Hatter, Sr. VP of Operations and CIO at McAfee, challenged us to take what I called, “the curvy path.” To be unafraid of having a career path that doesn’t look like a straight line. But the curvy path can be scary, right? The trick is in how you approach it.

 

Wasn’t it fun to hang out with Patty? What I love about her is that she is a no-nonsense, get-it-done executive who makes big things happen. But she also refuses to accept the status quo, is easy to talk to and she’s just a lot of fun to be with. What a powerful combination.

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And as I was talking to her, I couldn’t help but think that her own “curvy path” is a lot of the reason why.


As she explained during the interview, she is able to relate to all of her counterparts because she has been in their shoes, at least in part, at different times in her career. I think that kind of depth and breadth of experience gives you an inner confidence that allows you to drop your guard a bit. I think that inner confidence – and the easy manner it engenders – came through loud and clear when I was talking with Patty.

 

So her challenge to each of us was to be unafraid of our own curvy path. To be willing to step off the safe, straight and narrow career path that most of us have been on, and to be willing to try something completely new and different.

 

It’s scary. It’s risky. But it’s what will give you the depth of experience that you need to have that kind of inner confidence in almost any situation.

 

So how will you step off the safety of the straight path and seek out the less direct, but much more interesting path that will lead you forward? It may be an uncertain future, but by embracing the uncertainty and becoming an intellectual and experiential explorer, you can prepare yourself for whatever that future may hold.

 

So what will it be? What will be your first step off the straight, safe path onto your own “curvy path”?

 

Share that first step with us in the comments below or via Twitter using #TransformIT and #ITChat. Taking that step is a critical decision that will put you on the path to getting some amazing things done at the intersection of IT and business!

 

If you missed Episode 3, you can watch it on demand here.

 

Also, make sure that you tune in on October 28th when I’ll be talking to Frank Wander, former CIO at Guardian Life and Author of the book, Transforming IT Culture. We’ll be discussing the similarities between wine and culture from his own personal wine cellar! You’re not going to want to miss it. You can register for a calendar reminder here.

 

Join the Transform IT conversation anytime using the Twitter hashtags #TransformIT and #ITChat. Don’t forget that you can order my book, “The Quantum Age of IT” for 50% off thanks to the Intel IT Center: http://intel.ly/1pfz4tU

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How to Improve Hospital Efficiency

 

Efficiency is the goal for streamlined, affordable healthcare. But how do we get there?

 

In the above video, Gabi Daniely, vice president of Stanley Healthcare, talks about the company’s five hospital category solutions and how they can improve the operational efficiency of healthcare facilities.

 

How are you improving your facilities’ efficiency? Watch the clip and let us know what questions you have.

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Intel at SAP TechEd – Plan Your Schedule Now

SAP TechEd and && d-code Conference, coming to Las Vegas from Oct. 20 to 24, is SAP’s premier event for IT architects, administrators, and developers. With over 1,000 hours of instruction on SAP technologies, plus roll-outs of new tools and live coding InnoJams , this event is designed to help front-line IT pros address the real challenges they face every day. With hands-on training and lots of opportunities for networking and collaboration, this is one event where what happens in Las Vegas definitely won’t stay in Las Vegas!

 

Intel and SAP have shared a rich, innovation-based engineering collaboration for more than 8 years, and the relationship continues to evolve. The two companies worked together very closely during the development of SAP HANA*, the revolutionary in-memory database that powers real-time analytics and business solutions. The Intel® Xeon® Processor E7 Family and SAP HANA were co-optimized for superior performance, optimal reliability, enhanced security, and flexible management. Intel Xeon E7 is SAP HANA’s reference architecture design platform, and is the certified platform of choice for over 160 computing appliances with ten SAP HANA OEMs. Since we’re talking Las Vegas here, you can wager that the rich collaboration between SAP and Intel will continue—both companies are moving forward together with innovations for on-premises and cloud-based HANA platforms, and with solutions for enterprise mobility and the Internet of Things.

 

Intel has a full roster of keynote appearances, sessions, demos and other events at SAP TechEd, so start planning your itinerary now. Don’t miss the Steve Lucas SAP Executive Keynote (5:45pm-7pm, Oct. 20, Venetian Ballroom, Level 2). Steve Lucas, president of SAP Platform Solutions, is always an entertaining and enlightening speaker, and you can bet that he will kick off the show by unveiling some exciting announcements. Shannon Poulin, vice president of the Intel Datacenter Group, will join Steve on stage to discuss the latest in Intel and SAP ongoing collaboration, including news about SAP HANA in the cloud. With subscription-based SAP HANA now available via AWS and Virtustream, customers can try out SAP HANA in the cloud before investing in an on-site scale-up deployment.

 

Check out these technical sessions presented by Intel executives & experts:

  • DEV-114 Better Together (3:15-4:15pm, Oct. 21, Bellini 2103). Join Dietrich Banschbach,Intel director of SAP engineering, and learn how running SAP HANA on Intel Xeon E7 processors delivers up to 80 percent more performance and up to 80 percent lower TCO than alternative RISC architectures.
  • TEC212 Data Center Intelligence – SAP HANA Platform Extension for IT Departments (3:15-4:15pm, Oct 21, Lando 3202). Curt Aubley, Intel Data Center Group VP/CTO, will co-present with Nico Groh, SAP data center intelligence project owner. Learn about the ongoing Intel and SAP engineering effort to optimize SAP HANA power and performance on Intel® architecture and the enablement of Intel® Data Center Manager.
  • EXP17738 Accelerate the Performance of the SAP HANA Platform with Intel Architecture (4:30-5pm, Oct. 21, Lounge 3, Show Floor). Frank Ober, data center solution architect at Intel NV Memory Group, explains how Intel® Solid State Drives change the game for in-memory systems such as SAP HANA, where low-latency and parallel data movement is key.
  • EXP17764 Increase SAP HANA Data Security: Deploying the Vormetric Solution (1:30-2pm, Oct. 22, Lounge 3, Show Floor). Martin Guttmann, principal architect for Intel Data Center Solutions Worldwide, and Sri Sudarsan, director of engineering for Vormetric, highlight the business benefits and functional capabilities of deploying Vormetric data security solutions for data encryption on SAP HANA and Intel Xeon E7 platforms in a cloud-hosted infrastructure.

 

Stop by the Intel booth (#3000) to check out demos by Intel partners such as Fujitsu, SGI, and Lenovo, which showcase scale-up solutions built on the Intel Xeon E7 v2 platform. You’ll have a chance to experience Intel®-based tablets and 2-in-1 devices as secure platforms for SAP HANA mobile apps; meet SAP HANA Data Center Intelligence* (SAP HDCI), which integrates Intel® Data Center Manager with SAP HANA for improved power management; and discover 3D cameras built on Intel® RealSense™ sensory-input technologies.

 

We’ll also host almost 20 half-hour Tech Talks at our booth, so stop by for a chance to hear experts deliver quick overviews of the latest co-innovations from Intel and SAP. I’ll be there to help film the Tech Talks, and – get excited – I’ll feature several of these in an upcoming blog.

 

Follow me at @TimIntel and watch for my Vine videos and man-on-the-street commentary and impressions on SAP TechEd keynotes and Intel sessions. Follow @IntelITcenter and join the dialogue with Intel IT experts, and follow @IntelSoftware to engage with Intel’s software community.  

 

See you in Las Vegas!

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IT Leadership – How Do I Get There and How Do I Move Up?

As I look back at my career (no it’s not over ), I think on the important lessons I have learned. When I first started in IT, my first two promotions happened without any real involvement by me. I worked hard, did my job and my manager promoted me. I remember thinking this was great, but it was really my boss who was responsible for me being promoted.

 

All of a sudden, I noted that others who worked just as hard, were also getting promoted around me. As a result I wasn’t moving up as quickly as before, comparatively speaking. I began to spend time trying to understand why this was happening. I hadn’t changed anything in what I was doing — I was still working hard, arriving on time and working well with others. So it took me a while to figure it all out.


I saw that these newly promoted individuals were taking an active role in their careers by seeking out new opportunities and new ways to demonstrate their skills to a wider audience. They were taking on projects that others didn’t want and delivering results.

 

I was not doing that.


Truthfully, the thought had never even occurred to me. To reach out and ask for work that was not inherently mine wasn’t something that I intuitively pursued.


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From this realization, I started to look for these opportunities. I viewed it as a way for me to expand my knowledge and demonstrate the work I knew I could perform. Taking the time to meet with others, I focused on how I could help my surrounding colleagues and managers, and just as important, how they could help me. In this way, I connected with people that provided me with mentorship and guidance throughout my career.

 

The hard lesson that I ultimately learned was that my career was my own responsibility. I had to take an active role by seizing opportunities. It wouldn’t be in my interest to wait around and play the selection game. I couldn’t expect for things to just happen.

 

For me, this change came about when I took the initiative to take on the projects that no one else wanted — the assignments that came with no fanfare. However, these menial tasks were still key to actual delivery, albeit their success was not easy to measure. In such cases, failure was definitely an option. But while I thought that failure would mean early termination from the company, the truth was that it was only through failure that I was able to learn so much so quickly. As long as corporate policies were followed and we learned something during the process, our “failures” on a project would never be the cause of getting fired.     

 

As I’ve worked over the years, I have come to a profound discovery regarding career promotion. When you start to climb the ladder, your boss is the one that promotes you. But as you reach the middle rungs of the corporate hierarchy, it’s actually your peers that promote you. And as you get closer to the upper reaches of executive level leadership, it is the peers in your specific industry or executives outside your current path that are the ones that move you up the ladder.

 

More often than not, this happens much sooner if you get directly involved rather than simply being in the right place at the right time. 

 

Good luck with the climb and connect with me on Twitter to let me know what you’ve learned along the way.

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Humanity Is the Heart of the IT Revolution

The CIO of today can no longer focus on just technology.

 

Our world is shaping itself more and more around tech every single day. The enterprise has been feeling the tug of consumerization, the strain of mobility, the continuous development of the Internet of Things for years now, and CIOs are tackling problems greater than ever before. Users are demanding more convenience in spite of the rise of corresponding threats, as is the rest of the C-suite. So while an IT decision maker was once well-versed in technology and removed from the business, that’s no longer the case.

 

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Since tech is now a tremendous business driver, IT is more about the human needs shaping tech-oriented business decisions. Enterprises hiring new CIOs are looking for resume experience that reflects soft skills and business acumen. Leaders bearing a cross-disciplinary background are of greater value to both business and customer, and IT decision makers are starting to take notice.

 

Communication Breakdown

 

Erika Van Noort, director of consulting at Softchoice, recently told CIO.com, “Our theory is that within leadership roles, folks have to understand the entire business so they can better serve customers — both external and the internal customers, users, that IT supports. Our external clients are facing skills shortages not with technology and certifications, but with business skills and seeing the larger business strategy.”

 

As the innovation engine continues to toss new disruptors into the enterprise, a CIO has to be able to make a business case for the changes happening. Social, mobile, analytics, and cloud will continue to mold and shape the way tech fuses with business, and an IT decision maker is tasked with catering to the customer while still satisfying the business.  So it’s necessary to learn how to communicate with and understand the needs of each business unit that relies on tech.

 

Listen to and Learn From Your Users

 

Here at Intel, we’ve designed The Way We Work program, which aims to provide workstations better catered to the needs of employees. Our reasoning was to acknowledge that we, as humans, work better when in a happy environment. Unhappy work conditions can often give way to counter productivity. Improvements have ranged from digital whiteboards in meeting rooms to communal workspaces to wireless video conferencing equipment. And one day, digital voice transcription and location-based sensors that allow users to find coworkers. Although it was a costly initial investment, the return seen through greater employee productivity has been undeniable.

 

The ideal is to let your users guide your strategy. IT is all about customer service, and our customers have changed. So put on your listening ears, strap on your CEO hat, and be ready to learn.

 

To continue this conversation, please follow us at @IntelITCenter or use #ITCenter.

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A Revitalized Argonne Returns to Compete at SC14 Competition

Mike Bernhardt is the Community Evangelist for Intel’s Technical Computing Group

 

Argonne National Laboratory’s rich legacy of pursuing fundamental and applied science, and engineering has led the lab to develop a world-class computational center that supports more than 800 active users and over 120 active projects from universities, national laboratories, and industry.

Last year Associate Laboratory Director Rick Stevens led the Argonne Argonauts in the inaugural Intel Parallel Universe Computing Challenge (PUCC). This year he has passed the reins on to Kalyan “Kumar” Kumaran, manager of Performance Engineering and Data Analytics in the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ACLF).

We managed to get a few moments of Kumar’s time in the midst of a hectic schedule and DOE audits to answer a few question about the 2014 Argonne team which he has christened “Linear Scalers” in hope that the new name will give them better luck than last year when they were eliminated in the first round of competition.

 

The Argonne Linear Scalers include (L to R) Vitali Morozov, Performance Engineering, ALCF; Kumar Kumaran; Kevin Harms, Performance Engineering, ALCF, and Tim Williams – Computational Scientist, ALCF. Not pictured is Hal Finkel, Computational Scientist, ALCF

 

Q. Rick Stevens was the team captain of last year’s team from Argonne called the Argonauts. He’s recruited you to fill that role this year. What did he tell you about the competition to convince you to take the lead?

A. Not much. Other than that he enjoyed the experience and Argonne should definitely take part this year. Also the Argonauts were not too lucky, so we changed the name and will return as the new and revitalized Linear Scalers.

 

Q. How do you think this competition will help others to understand the value of modernizing their code?

A. Developers will quickly notice how their portable code can be made Intel specific, but will run 1,000 times faster!

Q. How will your team prepare for this year’s challenge?

A. Pre-competition stretching, and coffee. We will start memorizing sections from James Reinders’ books.

Q. SC14 is using the theme “HPC Matters” for the conference. Can you explain why “HPC Matters” to you?

A. HPC matters because no single modern technology has had such an impact on such a wide range of research activities. The U.S. Department of Energy has a long history of building user facilities in support of science, but computing moved front and center a decade ago with the creation of the Leadership Computing Facility (LCF). The science being done in LCF centers is changing the world– producing better airplanes, accelerating discoveries of disease-fighting drugs, and designing better materials for everything from computer chips to new ways to store energy. All these advancements come from better simulation science, better codes, and better and faster HPC systems.

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The Quiet Transformation of Internal Communications

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If you are a communications professional, a project manager or an org leader – you’ve probably already found out by now that your social collaboration platform is changing the way you work at a very fundamental level. In addition to being a ‘communicator’ – you are now a blogger, a curator, a viral marketer, a librarian ,etc. Your responsibilities and the skills required to be successful look vastly different than they did a few years ago.

 

Three key shifts explain the transformation in internal corporate communications:

 

1. From ‘Communication’ to ‘Conversations’


Traditional communication tools enabled you to inform your audience about a change, but didn’t offer much to engage them in a discussion. If you use newsletters or web-mailers, you need to closely manage your mailing list.  Currently there are no means to determine if an email or virtual message has been filtered, deleted, or even worse, unsent to specific people. Click-through statistics might give you a rough idea on the effectiveness of a content – but there is very little feedback on how the audience actually responded to a message.

 

Your social platforms can offer a fresh new way to bridge this engagement gap. Something as mundane as an org announcement can evoke feedback (likes, shares, congratulatory messages!)

 

2. From ‘Communicator’ to ‘Curator’

 

If you manage communications for an organizational unit, you need to stay on top of the trending discussions and blogs written by employees. It is key to remember that not all content on the community site needs to be written by professional communicators or org leaders. You will find noteworthy content emerge from across the organization – and your job is to curate, and bubble up the best.

 

Tap into what employees are saying: in their blogs, in discussions and in smaller teams. Highlight the right conversations that add value to the discussion and give them visibility on your community page. Promote diversity of opinion and support your organization’s efforts in ensuring that all voices are heard.

 

3. From ‘Newsletters’ (publisher’s push) to ‘Newsfeeds’ (consumer’s pull)

 

This is by far the biggest change that you need to deal with and embrace when you adopt the enterprise social network for business communication.

 

When the newsletter was the tool of choice, you, as a communicator, were empowered to ‘push’ content to recipients that you had personally identified and chosen. In social communication, the paradigm shifts. The consumer now decides what content to follow and when to view it.

 

If your organization chooses to make your social platform the primary communication vehicle, you need to use traditional channels (web mailers, website etc) to invite org members to ‘follow’ your community. Monitor the count of followers, and reinforce the ‘get in or get left out’ message with the primary target audience. Eliminate willful ignorance. Deliberately ignoring the subscribe button is no excuse to plead ignorance about the information.

 

Once you hit the enrollment numbers, you will start seeing the benefits of the ‘pull’ model. You will get very “real” feedback on readership, ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and of course, ‘comments’. Your content could ‘go viral’ when primary readers share with their extended network. Over time, you will get a much better pulse on content consumption patterns than you might not have had with past tools.

 

I feel it is a particularly exciting time to be an internal business communicator. The cornerstones of communication strategy include: content, audience and channel. The social communication channel can bring about connectivity and engagement via human interactions like never before. All the best.

 

To continue the conversation, would love to hear your insights in the comment below.

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How to Conduct 264 Years of Research in 18 Hours

 

In the above video, Cycle Computing CEO Jason Stowe talks about the strong disconnect that exists between research and clinical analysis. He says the current challenge in bio IT is to analyze data, make sense of it, and do actionable science against it.

 

He shares an example of a 156,000-core workload run in eight regions of the globe that produced 2.3 million hours of computational chemistry research (264 years’ worth) in just 18 hours. He says this capability will transform both access patterns and the kinds of research that pharmaceutical, life sciences, and healthcare companies are able to tackle when it comes to analyzing genomes.

 

Watch the clip and let us know what you think. What questions about research and clinical analysis do you have?

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