New Dell Unified Communications Solution Suite Helps Organizations Improve Operational Efficiencies and Make Better Business Decisions

  • New Unified Communications Command Suite (UCCS) delivers deep-dive Microsoft Exchange and Lync usage, diagnostic and quality of experience information under one umbrella
  • New analytics, diagnostics and management capabilities give organizations insights on employee engagement and enable data-driven decision-making
  • Dell Software’s UC Command Suite is the market’s only solution to offer both analytics and diagnostics across MSFT Exchange and Lync platforms


Dell Software
today announced the release of Dell Unified Communications Command Suite (UCCS), a scalable, data-driven platform for UC management. Designed to help organizations gain better insights into their UC investment, remove the barriers associated with employee adoption and deliver consistent, high-quality user experiences, UCCS streamlines the complexity of managing multiple communication platforms and delivers a flexible, cross-platform management, reporting and diagnostic solution on workforce activity, communication consumption and system performance.

In the pursuit of a truly connected business, organizations spend millions of dollars to assess, install and deploy unified communications (UC) solutions, yet lack accurate insights into how the myriad solutions are used, if at all. A recent survey on Lync adoption and challenges confirms that organizations that have adopted Lync cannot easily report on savings and 80 percent of organizations don’t have the reporting capabilities to tell them if they have met their cost reduction goals. In this same survey, only 17 percent of respondents have a dedicated Lync administrator, leaving the full UC management to IT administrators focused on other platforms, like Exchange. These statistics reinforce a gap in knowledge within organizations in terms of “who” is responsible for managing, communicating and educating employees on the adopted UC platform within the business and ensuring the highest quality of service if network issues arise.

Quality of experience is a primary roadblock for the business in achieving the full benefits of its UC solution, with 72 percent of respondents in a recent survey noting QoE issues ranging from delay in video sharing, connectivity and dropped calls. Only 35 percent of respondents have a third-party tool that identifies and resolves these issues.

Businesses lack a single source of truth across their UC platforms to compare usage patterns and trends, gain business insights on workforce activities, encourage adoption, speed migrations, or increase ROI. This level of analytics gives each department within the organization valuable insight on how they gain the most value from the UC platform. Dell’s new UC Command Suite addresses this pain-point with its flexible, cross-platform management approach that offers deep-dive analytics and diagnostics, turning data trapped in a business’ communications systems into understandable, usable and actionable insights about workforce activities, business processes and system performance. For example, businesses that are looking to gain insight on high performing sales executives can easily visualize email usage and trend patterns that in turn gives guidance that empowers all sales teams within the organization. UC Command Suite enables organizations to take command of their unified communications by connecting the dots between activity and adoption trends, quality of experience and infrastructure performance and availability, ultimately speeding time to resolution and removing the barriers to adoption.

Dell’s UC Command Suite helps organizations take command of their UC platforms
Messaging remains one of the business world’s most critical means of communication. As new technologies are introduced, the complexity of an organization’s messaging system grows exponentially and so does the valuable data trapped inside, resulting in the need for fast, efficient and accurate business insights and system diagnosis and resolution to inform, improve and protect the business. With centralized analytics and diagnostics, the Dell UC Command Suite gives IT and business users the intelligence needed to increase adoption, speed up migrations, enforce communication policies and meet business objectives. The Dell UC Command Suite is comprised of the following:

  • UCCS Analytics – Includes aggregated analytics and insights across Microsoft Exchange and Lync, streamlining the complexity of multiple-platform reporting and helping IT and the business make better decisions regarding their communications systems, workforce activities and business processes. UCCS Analytics supports Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Lync platforms.
  • UCCS Diagnostics – Features diagnostic capabilities that help administrators detect problems within the messaging environment by displaying activity of all messaging components in a single interface – including Exchange Server, Lync Server and Blackberry Enterprise Server – to quickly locate the root-cause of operational issues and assist in the resolution. UCCS Diagnostics supports Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Lync platforms.

 

Availability:

  • Dell’s Unified Communications Command Suite is currently available globally. Each UC Command Suite component also is available individually. More information is available here.
  • Dell Software solutions are available through the channel

 

Supporting Quotes:
Brian Hopkins, Forrester Research, Inc. wrote:
The use of flexible processes, more data, and better analytics means that leading firms can: 1) provide intelligent products and services that are of more value to consumers and provide more information on their usage; 2) plug into their ecosystem better by tapping data from partners, government entities, and data marketplaces; and 3) make better strategic decisions by anticipating and detecting shifts in their market.”1

Curtis Johnstone, senior unified communications product architect, Dell Software, and Lync MVP
“IT is no longer the only part of the organization that needs more data and better analytics on their unified communications platforms. Business leaders require this insight to improve decision making and business outcomes and expect their UC investments to provide better tracking of customer engagements, service level agreements, marketing and sales initiatives, and much more. Dell’s new UC Command Suite with cross-platform analytics and diagnostics delivers the answers the business needs to ensure they are getting the best value from their Microsoft UC solutions by offerings valuable and actionable insights into the workforce activity.”

Delivering Complete and Connected Software Solutions
Dell Software empowers companies of all sizes to experience Dell’s “Power to Do More” by delivering scalable yet simple-to-use solutions that can increase productivity, responsiveness and efficiency. Dell Software is uniquely positioned to address today’s most pressing business and IT challenges with holistic, connected software offerings across five core solution areas, encompassing data center and cloud management, information management, mobile workforce management, security and data protection. This software, when combined with Dell hardware and services, helps customers simplify IT, mitigate risk and accelerate business results

About Dell
Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.

1 Forrester Research, Inc., “Top Technology Trends To Watch: 2014 To 2016,” by Brian Hopkins, November 4, 2013

twitter linkedin google facebook

Car Companies Promise to Protect Driver Privacy

As connected consumers, we typically realize the benefit of giving up certain personal data. From swiping a frequent buyer’s card at the supermarket to posting pictures of a meal at a restaurant on Facebook, the digital trail we leave behind via our online transactions and interactions equate to big business for companies that gather, parse, and sell big data.

This will also be the ultimate payoff from the connected car, which is why automakers want to control the data generated by their vehicles. But they also need to control and protect driver privacy, which is why this week the auto industry made steps towards letting drivers know what data connected cars collect and how the information is used.

Nextcar Bug artOn Thursday, a group of automakers that includes BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo, Mitsubishi, and Mazda issued voluntary industry-wide principles on driver privacy. They were developed by two D.C.-based trade groups, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers, with guidance from the Federal Trade Commission, the White House Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, and others.

The principles cover data such as a vehicle’s location, behind-the-wheel behavior, and even biometric data about a driver’s physical characteristics, and will require the car companies that have signed on to receive permission for certain uses of data starting with model year 2017. This includes consent from customers to use personal information for marketing such as geo-targeted ads based on the driver’s location and providing insurance companies with individual driving behavior data. Automakers could still collect anonymous driver data, but only to help find a stolen vehicle or for diagnostics, warranty, maintenance, or regulatory compliance purposes.


Acura TLX


Alfa Romeo 4C


Aston Martin DB9 Volante


Bentley Continental GT Speed


BMW 2 Series


BMW i8 Concept


Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4

The automakers agreed to disclose to consumers the kinds of data collected and how it is to be used or shared via a vehicle’s owner’s manuals, on screens inside vehicles, or Internet-based registration sites. The data privacy policies will also be available for consumer to review before buying a car.

Will This Really Protect Consumers?
Some privacy advocates and policymakers feel that the principles don’t go far enough. In a statement, AAA said that it “is encouraged that automakers are taking a first step to address consumer rights with connected car data, but this agreement falls short of providing consumers the right to control their own information.” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, advocated for legislation as opposed to the automakers’ voluntary principles.

OpinionsSen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said in a statement that he plans to “call for clear rulesnot voluntary commitments—to ensure the privacy and safety of American drivers is protected.” The senator, who last year sent letters to 20 automakers inquiring about consumer privacy protection, added that it’s “unclear how auto companies will make their data collection practices transparent beyond including the information in vehicle owner manuals, and the principles do not provide consumers with a choice whether sensitive information is collected in the first place. As vehicles are equipped with 21st-century wireless technology, we need auto companies to make security and privacy as standard as seatbelts and stereos for drivers and their vehicles.”

Markey Paul Schwartz, a law professor at the University of California who specializes in information privacy, agreed that the new automaker principles are a good starting point. But he also pointed out that even companies with a long history in data analytics are dealing with questions of whether using personal data, even after it’s been anonymized, is a breach of privacy.

“That’s a huge debate going on now in the age of big data,” Schwartz told Automotive News. “I don’t think [this document] is necessarily where that debate gets resolved, and in a way, it’s not reasonable to expect the auto industry to figure out something that we, as a society, still have not figured out.”

As with otherand often freetech features ranging from Google Maps to streaming music, the cost of similar conveniences in connected vehicles may ultimately be giving up some personal data. And it may be up to each driver to know the price they’re paying for it. After all, few bother to read the privacy fine print when it comes to swiping a frequent buyer’s card or posting to Facebook, but are willing to give up this data if they know they’ll get some reward in return. Or that they can choose to opt out.

New Dell Unified Communications Solution Suite Helps Organizations Improve Operational Efficiencies and Make Better Business Decisions

  • New Unified Communications Command Suite (UCCS) delivers deep-dive Microsoft Exchange and Lync usage, diagnostic and quality of experience information under one umbrella
  • New analytics, diagnostics and management capabilities give organizations insights on employee engagement and enable data-driven decision-making
  • Dell Software’s UC Command Suite is the market’s only solution to offer both analytics and diagnostics across MSFT Exchange and Lync platforms


Dell Software
today announced the release of Dell Unified Communications Command Suite (UCCS), a scalable, data-driven platform for UC management. Designed to help organizations gain better insights into their UC investment, remove the barriers associated with employee adoption and deliver consistent, high-quality user experiences, UCCS streamlines the complexity of managing multiple communication platforms and delivers a flexible, cross-platform management, reporting and diagnostic solution on workforce activity, communication consumption and system performance.

In the pursuit of a truly connected business, organizations spend millions of dollars to assess, install and deploy unified communications (UC) solutions, yet lack accurate insights into how the myriad solutions are used, if at all. A recent survey on Lync adoption and challenges confirms that organizations that have adopted Lync cannot easily report on savings and 80 percent of organizations don’t have the reporting capabilities to tell them if they have met their cost reduction goals. In this same survey, only 17 percent of respondents have a dedicated Lync administrator, leaving the full UC management to IT administrators focused on other platforms, like Exchange. These statistics reinforce a gap in knowledge within organizations in terms of “who” is responsible for managing, communicating and educating employees on the adopted UC platform within the business and ensuring the highest quality of service if network issues arise.

Quality of experience is a primary roadblock for the business in achieving the full benefits of its UC solution, with 72 percent of respondents in a recent survey noting QoE issues ranging from delay in video sharing, connectivity and dropped calls. Only 35 percent of respondents have a third-party tool that identifies and resolves these issues.

Businesses lack a single source of truth across their UC platforms to compare usage patterns and trends, gain business insights on workforce activities, encourage adoption, speed migrations, or increase ROI. This level of analytics gives each department within the organization valuable insight on how they gain the most value from the UC platform. Dell’s new UC Command Suite addresses this pain-point with its flexible, cross-platform management approach that offers deep-dive analytics and diagnostics, turning data trapped in a business’ communications systems into understandable, usable and actionable insights about workforce activities, business processes and system performance. For example, businesses that are looking to gain insight on high performing sales executives can easily visualize email usage and trend patterns that in turn gives guidance that empowers all sales teams within the organization. UC Command Suite enables organizations to take command of their unified communications by connecting the dots between activity and adoption trends, quality of experience and infrastructure performance and availability, ultimately speeding time to resolution and removing the barriers to adoption.

Dell’s UC Command Suite helps organizations take command of their UC platforms
Messaging remains one of the business world’s most critical means of communication. As new technologies are introduced, the complexity of an organization’s messaging system grows exponentially and so does the valuable data trapped inside, resulting in the need for fast, efficient and accurate business insights and system diagnosis and resolution to inform, improve and protect the business. With centralized analytics and diagnostics, the Dell UC Command Suite gives IT and business users the intelligence needed to increase adoption, speed up migrations, enforce communication policies and meet business objectives. The Dell UC Command Suite is comprised of the following:

  • UCCS Analytics – Includes aggregated analytics and insights across Microsoft Exchange and Lync, streamlining the complexity of multiple-platform reporting and helping IT and the business make better decisions regarding their communications systems, workforce activities and business processes. UCCS Analytics supports Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Lync platforms.
  • UCCS Diagnostics – Features diagnostic capabilities that help administrators detect problems within the messaging environment by displaying activity of all messaging components in a single interface – including Exchange Server, Lync Server and Blackberry Enterprise Server – to quickly locate the root-cause of operational issues and assist in the resolution. UCCS Diagnostics supports Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Lync platforms.

 

Availability:

  • Dell’s Unified Communications Command Suite is currently available globally. Each UC Command Suite component also is available individually. More information is available here.
  • Dell Software solutions are available through the channel

 

Supporting Quotes:
Brian Hopkins, Forrester Research, Inc. wrote:
The use of flexible processes, more data, and better analytics means that leading firms can: 1) provide intelligent products and services that are of more value to consumers and provide more information on their usage; 2) plug into their ecosystem better by tapping data from partners, government entities, and data marketplaces; and 3) make better strategic decisions by anticipating and detecting shifts in their market.”1

Curtis Johnstone, senior unified communications product architect, Dell Software, and Lync MVP
“IT is no longer the only part of the organization that needs more data and better analytics on their unified communications platforms. Business leaders require this insight to improve decision making and business outcomes and expect their UC investments to provide better tracking of customer engagements, service level agreements, marketing and sales initiatives, and much more. Dell’s new UC Command Suite with cross-platform analytics and diagnostics delivers the answers the business needs to ensure they are getting the best value from their Microsoft UC solutions by offerings valuable and actionable insights into the workforce activity.”

Delivering Complete and Connected Software Solutions
Dell Software empowers companies of all sizes to experience Dell’s “Power to Do More” by delivering scalable yet simple-to-use solutions that can increase productivity, responsiveness and efficiency. Dell Software is uniquely positioned to address today’s most pressing business and IT challenges with holistic, connected software offerings across five core solution areas, encompassing data center and cloud management, information management, mobile workforce management, security and data protection. This software, when combined with Dell hardware and services, helps customers simplify IT, mitigate risk and accelerate business results

About Dell
Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.

1 Forrester Research, Inc., “Top Technology Trends To Watch: 2014 To 2016,” by Brian Hopkins, November 4, 2013

twitter linkedin google facebook

Car Companies Promise to Protect Driver Privacy

As connected consumers, we typically realize the benefit of giving up certain personal data. From swiping a frequent buyer’s card at the supermarket to posting pictures of a meal at a restaurant on Facebook, the digital trail we leave behind via our online transactions and interactions equate to big business for companies that gather, parse, and sell big data.

This will also be the ultimate payoff from the connected car, which is why automakers want to control the data generated by their vehicles. But they also need to control and protect driver privacy, which is why this week the auto industry made steps towards letting drivers know what data connected cars collect and how the information is used.

Nextcar Bug artOn Thursday, a group of automakers that includes BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo, Mitsubishi, and Mazda issued voluntary industry-wide principles on driver privacy. They were developed by two D.C.-based trade groups, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers, with guidance from the Federal Trade Commission, the White House Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, and others.

The principles cover data such as a vehicle’s location, behind-the-wheel behavior, and even biometric data about a driver’s physical characteristics, and will require the car companies that have signed on to receive permission for certain uses of data starting with model year 2017. This includes consent from customers to use personal information for marketing such as geo-targeted ads based on the driver’s location and providing insurance companies with individual driving behavior data. Automakers could still collect anonymous driver data, but only to help find a stolen vehicle or for diagnostics, warranty, maintenance, or regulatory compliance purposes.


Acura TLX


Alfa Romeo 4C


Aston Martin DB9 Volante


Bentley Continental GT Speed


BMW 2 Series


BMW i8 Concept


Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4

The automakers agreed to disclose to consumers the kinds of data collected and how it is to be used or shared via a vehicle’s owner’s manuals, on screens inside vehicles, or Internet-based registration sites. The data privacy policies will also be available for consumer to review before buying a car.

Will This Really Protect Consumers?
Some privacy advocates and policymakers feel that the principles don’t go far enough. In a statement, AAA said that it “is encouraged that automakers are taking a first step to address consumer rights with connected car data, but this agreement falls short of providing consumers the right to control their own information.” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, advocated for legislation as opposed to the automakers’ voluntary principles.

OpinionsSen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said in a statement that he plans to “call for clear rulesnot voluntary commitments—to ensure the privacy and safety of American drivers is protected.” The senator, who last year sent letters to 20 automakers inquiring about consumer privacy protection, added that it’s “unclear how auto companies will make their data collection practices transparent beyond including the information in vehicle owner manuals, and the principles do not provide consumers with a choice whether sensitive information is collected in the first place. As vehicles are equipped with 21st-century wireless technology, we need auto companies to make security and privacy as standard as seatbelts and stereos for drivers and their vehicles.”

Markey Paul Schwartz, a law professor at the University of California who specializes in information privacy, agreed that the new automaker principles are a good starting point. But he also pointed out that even companies with a long history in data analytics are dealing with questions of whether using personal data, even after it’s been anonymized, is a breach of privacy.

“That’s a huge debate going on now in the age of big data,” Schwartz told Automotive News. “I don’t think [this document] is necessarily where that debate gets resolved, and in a way, it’s not reasonable to expect the auto industry to figure out something that we, as a society, still have not figured out.”

As with otherand often freetech features ranging from Google Maps to streaming music, the cost of similar conveniences in connected vehicles may ultimately be giving up some personal data. And it may be up to each driver to know the price they’re paying for it. After all, few bother to read the privacy fine print when it comes to swiping a frequent buyer’s card or posting to Facebook, but are willing to give up this data if they know they’ll get some reward in return. Or that they can choose to opt out.

Computerworld Honors Carol Fawcett with Premier 100 IT Leaders Award

  • Award honors individuals who have positively impacted their organizations through technology
  • Under Fawcett, Dell Software IT strives to make it as easy as possible for customers to work with Dell’s sales, support and back office teams throughout the lifecycle of their Dell solutions


Dell
today announced that Carol Fawcett, Executive Director and CIO for Dell Software, is the recipient of a Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leaders Award for 2015. Fawcett’s honor marks the second consecutive year a Dell IT leader has been recognized with the award. The Premier 100 IT Leaders Awards honor individuals who have had a positive impact on their organizations through technology. Recipients manage internal IT organizations, mentor and motivate their IT teams with interesting challenges, envision innovative solutions to business problems, and effectively manage and execute IT strategies.

Fawcett, who leads an IT team of more than 150 in one of the most strategic business initiatives at Dell — the effort to grow the company’s software business — has been recognized for her leadership in bringing eight company acquisitions together onto one platform to provide a smooth and seamless software solution experience for Dell Software’s external customers. Building a software business is an entirely new program within Dell, as the company builds its capabilities as an end-to-end solutions provider.

The common platform for software brings significant benefits to Dell customers, including an easier software fulfillment process, improved billing, and award-winning support for non-third-party software. All future Dell Software acquisitions will be integrated onto the same platform, easing acquisition integration and uniting disparate teams in the pursuit of the common goal of providing a solid, end-to-end solutions customer experience encompassing hardware, software, services, support, and financing.

“The Dell Software IT team works diligently to ensure that external prospects and customers have a positive experience with our solutions. This is an extremely exciting transformation as we work toward the goal of providing an easy, seamless way to work with our various teams throughout the lifecycle of the phenomenal solutions and products they purchase from Dell,” Fawcett said.

Supporting Quote:

John Swainson, president, Dell Software
“Under Carol’s leadership, Dell Software’s IT teams have worked closely with the business to achieve two goals – to firmly establish our business as a key strategic differentiator within Dell, and to deliver a seamless and positive experience for customers who choose Dell Software solutions. We are honored that Carol has received this recognition for her outstanding work and leadership.”

Delivering Complete and Connected Software Solutions
Dell Software empowers companies of all sizes to experience Dell’s “Power to Do More” by delivering scalable yet simple-to-use solutions that can increase productivity, responsiveness and efficiency. Dell Software is uniquely positioned to address today’s most pressing business and IT challenges with holistic, connected software offerings across five core solution areas, encompassing data center and cloud management, information management, mobile workforce management, security and data protection. This software, when combined with Dell hardware and services, helps customers simplify IT, mitigate risk and accelerate business results.

About Dell
Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.

twitter linkedin google facebook

Car Companies Promise to Protect Driver Privacy

As connected consumers, we typically realize the benefit of giving up certain personal data. From swiping a frequent buyer’s card at the supermarket to posting pictures of a meal at a restaurant on Facebook, the digital trail we leave behind via our online transactions and interactions equate to big business for companies that gather, parse, and sell big data.

This will also be the ultimate payoff from the connected car, which is why automakers want to control the data generated by their vehicles. But they also need to control and protect driver privacy, which is why this week the auto industry made steps towards letting drivers know what data connected cars collect and how the information is used.

Nextcar Bug artOn Thursday, a group of automakers that includes BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo, Mitsubishi, and Mazda issued voluntary industry-wide principles on driver privacy. They were developed by two D.C.-based trade groups, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers, with guidance from the Federal Trade Commission, the White House Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, and others.

The principles cover data such as a vehicle’s location, behind-the-wheel behavior, and even biometric data about a driver’s physical characteristics, and will require the car companies that have signed on to receive permission for certain uses of data starting with model year 2017. This includes consent from customers to use personal information for marketing such as geo-targeted ads based on the driver’s location and providing insurance companies with individual driving behavior data. Automakers could still collect anonymous driver data, but only to help find a stolen vehicle or for diagnostics, warranty, maintenance, or regulatory compliance purposes.


Acura TLX


Alfa Romeo 4C


Aston Martin DB9 Volante


Bentley Continental GT Speed


BMW 2 Series


BMW i8 Concept


Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4

The automakers agreed to disclose to consumers the kinds of data collected and how it is to be used or shared via a vehicle’s owner’s manuals, on screens inside vehicles, or Internet-based registration sites. The data privacy policies will also be available for consumer to review before buying a car.

Will This Really Protect Consumers?
Some privacy advocates and policymakers feel that the principles don’t go far enough. In a statement, AAA said that it “is encouraged that automakers are taking a first step to address consumer rights with connected car data, but this agreement falls short of providing consumers the right to control their own information.” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, advocated for legislation as opposed to the automakers’ voluntary principles.

OpinionsSen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said in a statement that he plans to “call for clear rulesnot voluntary commitments—to ensure the privacy and safety of American drivers is protected.” The senator, who last year sent letters to 20 automakers inquiring about consumer privacy protection, added that it’s “unclear how auto companies will make their data collection practices transparent beyond including the information in vehicle owner manuals, and the principles do not provide consumers with a choice whether sensitive information is collected in the first place. As vehicles are equipped with 21st-century wireless technology, we need auto companies to make security and privacy as standard as seatbelts and stereos for drivers and their vehicles.”

Markey Paul Schwartz, a law professor at the University of California who specializes in information privacy, agreed that the new automaker principles are a good starting point. But he also pointed out that even companies with a long history in data analytics are dealing with questions of whether using personal data, even after it’s been anonymized, is a breach of privacy.

“That’s a huge debate going on now in the age of big data,” Schwartz told Automotive News. “I don’t think [this document] is necessarily where that debate gets resolved, and in a way, it’s not reasonable to expect the auto industry to figure out something that we, as a society, still have not figured out.”

As with otherand often freetech features ranging from Google Maps to streaming music, the cost of similar conveniences in connected vehicles may ultimately be giving up some personal data. And it may be up to each driver to know the price they’re paying for it. After all, few bother to read the privacy fine print when it comes to swiping a frequent buyer’s card or posting to Facebook, but are willing to give up this data if they know they’ll get some reward in return. Or that they can choose to opt out.

Computerworld Honors Carol Fawcett with Premier 100 IT Leaders Award

  • Award honors individuals who have positively impacted their organizations through technology
  • Under Fawcett, Dell Software IT strives to make it as easy as possible for customers to work with Dell’s sales, support and back office teams throughout the lifecycle of their Dell solutions


Dell
today announced that Carol Fawcett, Executive Director and CIO for Dell Software, is the recipient of a Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leaders Award for 2015. Fawcett’s honor marks the second consecutive year a Dell IT leader has been recognized with the award. The Premier 100 IT Leaders Awards honor individuals who have had a positive impact on their organizations through technology. Recipients manage internal IT organizations, mentor and motivate their IT teams with interesting challenges, envision innovative solutions to business problems, and effectively manage and execute IT strategies.

Fawcett, who leads an IT team of more than 150 in one of the most strategic business initiatives at Dell — the effort to grow the company’s software business — has been recognized for her leadership in bringing eight company acquisitions together onto one platform to provide a smooth and seamless software solution experience for Dell Software’s external customers. Building a software business is an entirely new program within Dell, as the company builds its capabilities as an end-to-end solutions provider.

The common platform for software brings significant benefits to Dell customers, including an easier software fulfillment process, improved billing, and award-winning support for non-third-party software. All future Dell Software acquisitions will be integrated onto the same platform, easing acquisition integration and uniting disparate teams in the pursuit of the common goal of providing a solid, end-to-end solutions customer experience encompassing hardware, software, services, support, and financing.

“The Dell Software IT team works diligently to ensure that external prospects and customers have a positive experience with our solutions. This is an extremely exciting transformation as we work toward the goal of providing an easy, seamless way to work with our various teams throughout the lifecycle of the phenomenal solutions and products they purchase from Dell,” Fawcett said.

Supporting Quote:

John Swainson, president, Dell Software
“Under Carol’s leadership, Dell Software’s IT teams have worked closely with the business to achieve two goals – to firmly establish our business as a key strategic differentiator within Dell, and to deliver a seamless and positive experience for customers who choose Dell Software solutions. We are honored that Carol has received this recognition for her outstanding work and leadership.”

Delivering Complete and Connected Software Solutions
Dell Software empowers companies of all sizes to experience Dell’s “Power to Do More” by delivering scalable yet simple-to-use solutions that can increase productivity, responsiveness and efficiency. Dell Software is uniquely positioned to address today’s most pressing business and IT challenges with holistic, connected software offerings across five core solution areas, encompassing data center and cloud management, information management, mobile workforce management, security and data protection. This software, when combined with Dell hardware and services, helps customers simplify IT, mitigate risk and accelerate business results.

About Dell
Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.

twitter linkedin google facebook

Car Companies Promise to Protect Driver Privacy

As connected consumers, we typically realize the benefit of giving up certain personal data. From swiping a frequent buyer’s card at the supermarket to posting pictures of a meal at a restaurant on Facebook, the digital trail we leave behind via our online transactions and interactions equate to big business for companies that gather, parse, and sell big data.

This will also be the ultimate payoff from the connected car, which is why automakers want to control the data generated by their vehicles. But they also need to control and protect driver privacy, which is why this week the auto industry made steps towards letting drivers know what data connected cars collect and how the information is used.

Nextcar Bug artOn Thursday, a group of automakers that includes BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo, Mitsubishi, and Mazda issued voluntary industry-wide principles on driver privacy. They were developed by two D.C.-based trade groups, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers, with guidance from the Federal Trade Commission, the White House Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, and others.

The principles cover data such as a vehicle’s location, behind-the-wheel behavior, and even biometric data about a driver’s physical characteristics, and will require the car companies that have signed on to receive permission for certain uses of data starting with model year 2017. This includes consent from customers to use personal information for marketing such as geo-targeted ads based on the driver’s location and providing insurance companies with individual driving behavior data. Automakers could still collect anonymous driver data, but only to help find a stolen vehicle or for diagnostics, warranty, maintenance, or regulatory compliance purposes.


Acura TLX


Alfa Romeo 4C


Aston Martin DB9 Volante


Bentley Continental GT Speed


BMW 2 Series


BMW i8 Concept


Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4

The automakers agreed to disclose to consumers the kinds of data collected and how it is to be used or shared via a vehicle’s owner’s manuals, on screens inside vehicles, or Internet-based registration sites. The data privacy policies will also be available for consumer to review before buying a car.

Will This Really Protect Consumers?
Some privacy advocates and policymakers feel that the principles don’t go far enough. In a statement, AAA said that it “is encouraged that automakers are taking a first step to address consumer rights with connected car data, but this agreement falls short of providing consumers the right to control their own information.” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, advocated for legislation as opposed to the automakers’ voluntary principles.

OpinionsSen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said in a statement that he plans to “call for clear rulesnot voluntary commitments—to ensure the privacy and safety of American drivers is protected.” The senator, who last year sent letters to 20 automakers inquiring about consumer privacy protection, added that it’s “unclear how auto companies will make their data collection practices transparent beyond including the information in vehicle owner manuals, and the principles do not provide consumers with a choice whether sensitive information is collected in the first place. As vehicles are equipped with 21st-century wireless technology, we need auto companies to make security and privacy as standard as seatbelts and stereos for drivers and their vehicles.”

Markey Paul Schwartz, a law professor at the University of California who specializes in information privacy, agreed that the new automaker principles are a good starting point. But he also pointed out that even companies with a long history in data analytics are dealing with questions of whether using personal data, even after it’s been anonymized, is a breach of privacy.

“That’s a huge debate going on now in the age of big data,” Schwartz told Automotive News. “I don’t think [this document] is necessarily where that debate gets resolved, and in a way, it’s not reasonable to expect the auto industry to figure out something that we, as a society, still have not figured out.”

As with otherand often freetech features ranging from Google Maps to streaming music, the cost of similar conveniences in connected vehicles may ultimately be giving up some personal data. And it may be up to each driver to know the price they’re paying for it. After all, few bother to read the privacy fine print when it comes to swiping a frequent buyer’s card or posting to Facebook, but are willing to give up this data if they know they’ll get some reward in return. Or that they can choose to opt out.

Computerworld Honors Carol Fawcett with Premier 100 IT Leaders Award

  • Award honors individuals who have positively impacted their organizations through technology
  • Under Fawcett, Dell Software IT strives to make it as easy as possible for customers to work with Dell’s sales, support and back office teams throughout the lifecycle of their Dell solutions


Dell
today announced that Carol Fawcett, Executive Director and CIO for Dell Software, is the recipient of a Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leaders Award for 2015. Fawcett’s honor marks the second consecutive year a Dell IT leader has been recognized with the award. The Premier 100 IT Leaders Awards honor individuals who have had a positive impact on their organizations through technology. Recipients manage internal IT organizations, mentor and motivate their IT teams with interesting challenges, envision innovative solutions to business problems, and effectively manage and execute IT strategies.

Fawcett, who leads an IT team of more than 150 in one of the most strategic business initiatives at Dell — the effort to grow the company’s software business — has been recognized for her leadership in bringing eight company acquisitions together onto one platform to provide a smooth and seamless software solution experience for Dell Software’s external customers. Building a software business is an entirely new program within Dell, as the company builds its capabilities as an end-to-end solutions provider.

The common platform for software brings significant benefits to Dell customers, including an easier software fulfillment process, improved billing, and award-winning support for non-third-party software. All future Dell Software acquisitions will be integrated onto the same platform, easing acquisition integration and uniting disparate teams in the pursuit of the common goal of providing a solid, end-to-end solutions customer experience encompassing hardware, software, services, support, and financing.

“The Dell Software IT team works diligently to ensure that external prospects and customers have a positive experience with our solutions. This is an extremely exciting transformation as we work toward the goal of providing an easy, seamless way to work with our various teams throughout the lifecycle of the phenomenal solutions and products they purchase from Dell,” Fawcett said.

Supporting Quote:

John Swainson, president, Dell Software
“Under Carol’s leadership, Dell Software’s IT teams have worked closely with the business to achieve two goals – to firmly establish our business as a key strategic differentiator within Dell, and to deliver a seamless and positive experience for customers who choose Dell Software solutions. We are honored that Carol has received this recognition for her outstanding work and leadership.”

Delivering Complete and Connected Software Solutions
Dell Software empowers companies of all sizes to experience Dell’s “Power to Do More” by delivering scalable yet simple-to-use solutions that can increase productivity, responsiveness and efficiency. Dell Software is uniquely positioned to address today’s most pressing business and IT challenges with holistic, connected software offerings across five core solution areas, encompassing data center and cloud management, information management, mobile workforce management, security and data protection. This software, when combined with Dell hardware and services, helps customers simplify IT, mitigate risk and accelerate business results.

About Dell
Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.

twitter linkedin google facebook

Blizzard’s Overwatch: The World Needs a Team Fortress 2 Rip-Off

Hey, did you hear about Overwatch? It is Blizzard making Team Fortress 2.

I’ve heard that statement a lot over the last few days, and after watching the cinematic and gameplay trailers of Blizzard’s upcoming first-person shooter I can’t say it’s wrong. Colorful characters, unique classes, and gameplay that depends heavily on multi-role cooperation reeks of Valve’s venerable Source-based shooter. The cinematics and style seem much more Blizzard-y (and Pixar-y) than Team Fortress 2, but it’s hard to get past a playfulness and aspirations to variety that resonate with the mixed-up class-based mayem of TF2. 

And that’s great. 

More than great, it’s actually pretty unique. Yes, if it’s a ripoff, it’s unique. Relatively speaking.

OpinionsTeam Fortress 2 was and still is one of the best multiplayer first-person shooters ever made. It’s polished, tweaked, fast-paced, satisfying, and varied, and over eight years after it came out I can still jump back in and find a lively community, fresh content, and a fun time. Whatever your mood or play style, you can find a way to enjoy the game with one of the nine classes. They all play completely unique, have completely different roles, and ultimately no single class or player can carry a team without the cooperation of other players on it. It’s a game of variety, choice, and teamwork.

With very few exceptions, this hasn’t really been seen in any other shooters. Look at all of the other major shooters out there. Titanfall. Destiny . Call of Duty. Battlefield. Sure, you have different classes, but ultimately it’s all about swapping guns and filling needs on the fly. The roles are so fluid and similar that anyone can do nearly anything, or just respawn with slightly different equipment and do the job.

The idea of unique, specific classes with unique, specific roles was ceded by shooters in favor of more universal action and lip service to classes. Instead, those concepts were embraced by a completely different genre: multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs). These games, like the huge hits DOTA2 and League of Legends (and Blizzard’s upcoming Heroes of the Storm, and Smite, and several others) aren’t shooters. They’re closer to real-time strategy games, but in each case the character you play has a set of skills that makes him or her useful in specific situations. The characters are also colorful, have lots of personality, and are basically everything the TF2 classes are except you control them with hotkeys and an eye on the mini-map, not down a set of sights.

So here we are in 2014, where there really aren’t any shooters that rip off TF2. Everything is grey, vaguely futuristic, hands out double-jumps and jetpacks like candy, and puts an assault rifle in everyone’s hands. It’s fine, but it’s so same-y. There are tweaks and variations and different spins, but from fighting the Darkness to waiting for mechs to spawn to being creeped out by Kevin Spacey, ultimately you’re the same thing in every case: a soldier ready to fill a tactical need. You’re just Guy with Gun (and Maybe Robot and Jetpack).

Let’s see some of that MOBA variety in shooters again. Monday Night Combat tinkered with the idea, but sadly petered out with Super Monday Night Combat and its attempt to do too much, too fast in a still-developing free-to-play market. Besides Riot Games’ laudable attempt, all we’ve really had is Team Fortress 2 or over-head click-frenzy MOBAs.

I’m optimistic about Overwatch, and hope it’ll show promise when it goes into beta next year. Team Fortress 2 is still excellent, but we’re ready for a new take on it. After seeing so many shooters riff on the same tired military and sci-fi themes for years, let’s embrace these derivative cartoony hijinx. At the very least, it’s a welcome and varied change from derivative double-jumping rifle-toting drama. A fresh rip-off is a welcome change from the same slowly tweaked formulae we’ve seen in the last serveral years.