Emerging cloud solutions and driving innovation at Dell

January 17, 2013

Here is the second interview I did from the floor of  Dell World.  I talk about the following three topics:

  1. The Web vertical – understanding and meeting the needs of web companies
  2. [1:20]  The 4 emerging cloud solutions we were showing at Dell world
  3. [2:25] How Dell is  promoting innovation internally

Check it out:

Extra-credit reading:

Pau for now…


Ferreting out Innovation

May 2, 2012

If you’ve been following my tweets you may have heard about “Project Sputnik.”  While I’m not quite ready to talk about it, I wanted to give some insight into the program that’s helped get it off the ground.

Innovation Incubation

At the beginning of the year Dell launched an internal incubation fund with the idea of rooting out innovation throughout the company.  The thought was that there are probably a bunch of cool ideas tucked away in the heads of employees at all different levels of the company, ideas that would ultimately benefit our customers if given a little protection and help to get off the ground.

The three Dell employees behind it, Nnamdi Orakwue, Michale Cote and Matt Baker act like a mini  internal VC firm hearing pitches from employees.  Those projects they approve get a small amount of cash to build out their idea for six months.  At the end of six months the projects will either get their training wheels taken off and folded into business units, apply for more funding or disbanded.

Enter Sputnik

The program is just getting started and the first project green lighted was Project Sputnik.  I’m very excited about it and am looking forward to be able to talk all about it in the near distant future.  Stay tuned…

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…



Kanban2go — How to build a cloud-based offering

February 27, 2012

Dell corporate strategist by day, entrepreneur by night, Prabhakar Gopalan recently launched a SaaS offering called kanban2go that helps you manage and share your task list in the cloud.  Prabhakar’s endeavor provides a quick overview of what it means to launch a cloud-based app today.  Take a listen as he talks about the process and what he learned:

Some of the ground Prabhakar covers:

  • Where he got the idea
  • From laptop to github to Rackspace
  • Desktop and mobile HTML5 version
  • Finding the right tools
  • Lessons learned

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Forrest Norrod of Dell on Open Compute

April 7, 2011

This morning, at Facebook’s headquarters in Palo Alto, the company unveiled the Open Compute project.  Also on hand to support the announcement were partners such as Dell and Intel, who served on a panel alongside representatives from Rackspace, the Department of Energy, Zynga and Facebook.  Forrest Norrod, GM of Dell’s server platform division represented Dell on the panel.

I caught up with Forrest after the event to get his take on the Open Compute project and what it means for Dell.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


A Data Center that fits in the Overhead Bin

October 16, 2009

Jimmy Pike is the director of systems architecture for the Data Center Solutions group here at Dell and self-proclaimed “head geek.”   Using a tool case with its insides stripped out, part of an old inbox and a bunch of off the shelf components he has created the world’s first portable “data center.”   (All for the princely sum of ~$2,000)


This former toolkit now holds:

  • Two dual-socket servers featuring 2.5GHz Intel processors
  • One server running Windows ’03 acting as the DHCP and domain server and the other running Red Hat linux.
  • 2 x 1TB SATA drives for each of the servers
  • 32GB of memory
  • A single central power supply
  • A 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch
  • 2 x 500GB scratch discs

and a whole bunch more…

Extra credit reading:

GigaOm – Exclusive: Dell Shows Off a Data Center — In a Briefcase!

The Register —  Dell chief stuffs data center into suitcase

Pau for now…


Lombardi Science Fair ’09

February 23, 2009

Last month we held our company kick off where all 200+ of our employees from all around the world gathered here in Austin for meetings to get set for the upcoming year.  One of the highlights of the three days was the 4th annual Lombardi Science Fair.

The official progarm and ballot.

The official program and ballot.

Each year, people are given a couple of weeks during work time to work on a project that extends the base platform of Blueprint or Teamworks in some cool new way.  As the official Science Fair rules state:  “Anyone at Lombardi can enter… all you have to do is think up a project, register the project on the wiki page  build the project, and show up ready to pitch your project on January 27!”

Two of the four winners, Scott and Allison and MC Phil previewing the grand prize.

Two of the four winners, Scott and Allison and MC Phil previewing the grand prize.

This year there were close to 40 projects and awards were given in three different categories as well as one project that was picked as “Best in Show.”    The winners received iPod Nanos and the Best in Show was the recipient of $1,000 in cold hard cash.  Not only that, but all of the winners will be show cased at Lombardi’s upcoming customer event, Driven.

The Fair commences.

The Fair commences.

Everyone Wins

The real cool thing for customers, Lombardi and the entrants is that a lot of these out-o’-the-box  projects find their way into the products over the coming year.

This was my first time at Science Fair and I was really impressed with, given the size of Lombardi, how elaborate the whole shebang was.  Nice way to keep innovation pumping.

Pau for now…

Craig pitching his innovation.

Craig pitching his innovation.


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