Last night, I had the wonderful opportunity to present to a group of engineering students at the University of Connecticut. It was great to be back on a college campus after quite a number of years away. The energy and curiosity in the room was wonderful to experience. I was excited and more than a little bit nervous about speaking. No matter how many times I present to groups, I have pre-game jitters. Regardless, it was a topic I knew well and once we got rolling, the discussion was engaging and free flowing. The topic for discussion was “Solving Business Problems with the Cloud”. I framed the discussion in terms of the needs of the business rather than the technical intricacies of the cloud itself (I’m hardly qualified to do that anyway). I did so by walking through use cases from my personal experience. My hope was to provide my audience with some real-world insight into the technical concepts they were learning in class.
The first use case I went through was vLab, cloud success story from early in my career at EMC. I worked within the team that created and evangelized a cloud platform for virtual sales demos. We took the corporation from sales engineers developing demos on laptops to a centralized platform that provides fully functioning, virtualized content to the tune of almost 100,000 demos per year. The content is co-developed with the product business units and aligns with sales campaigns. vLab is a perfect example of the value of an internal, private cloud.
The second use case I described was the application of cloud based services to enable the engineering teams that deliver EMC’s products. I introduced the concept of a Product Delivery Platform (PDP) which is essentially a combination of tools and resources designed to be a workspace for engineers across EMC. It is certainly a challenge to standardize and extend services such as source code control, build, and test / QA to engineers across diverse teams. Having acquired over 75 companies in the last decade, you can imagine the diverse processes and tools that exist within EMC. We’re well on our way but there is a lot of work left to do.
If you’re interested, here’s the deck I used: