Friday, December 9, 2016

Dell EMC: Best Company to Work For!

I'm thrilled to announce that we have been recognized AGAIN as the best large, broad-based IT company in the state of Utah! It is cool enough just to be part of the largest privately-held IT company in the world and recognize that it has a significant presence here in Utah. Recognition from Utah Business Magazine is the icing on the cake! And what's great about the process is that the data comes largely from our team members. Of course, there is an analysis of benefits and corporate programs, but there is a lot of weight placed on how our team members feel about the company. I'm proud of what we've accomplished together!

On the same day we received this local recognition, Dell EMC also announced our perfect score of 100% on The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) 2017 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality. This marks the thirteenth consecutive year Dell has been recognized with a perfect score and the sixth consecutive year for EMC. Truly, we are a great place to work for EVERYONE EVERYWHERE, including Utah!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Career Growth: An Inside Job

One of the things I love about working in a large office for a large company that enjoys "Winning Together" is the opportunity it affords to our team members for career growth. We've had lots of internal movement over the last 5 years. In addition to people changing teams and roles, we've attracted people from other Dell EMC offices around the globe. This contributes very positively to our diverse and engaged team. Of course, we hire plenty of people from universities and other companies, but it is good to know that there are opportunities right around the corner or on the next floor for all of our team members. Here's a partial list of some specific examples:

Relocation to Utah
  • Sri - from India 
  • Michael - from Ireland 
  • Jorge - from Brazil 
  • Hagen - from Germany
  • Greg - from Georgia 
  • Steve - from Maryland 
  • Sean - from New York
  • Anna - from Massachusetts
New business unit or function within the same location
  • Sarah - from Customer Service to Consulting
  • Shawn - from Customer Service to Virtustream
  • Josh - from Customer Service to engineering
  • Evan - from Customer Service to sales
  • Gavin - from Customer Service to IT
  • Sage - from IT to Consulting
  • Jared - from Mozy to VMware
  • Michael - from Mozy to Virtustream
  • Liberty - from EMC to RSA
New job function or level within the same location
  • Kellie - from individual contributor to manager
  • Windie - from contractor to full-time
  • Brent - from technical to managerial
  • James - from intern to full-time
In many of these instance there were literally dozens of names to choose from. Thank you to all of the team members and leaders who make this culture of "Winning Together" possible. We truly believe in and value our people. We know we perform better, are smarter, and have more fun working as a team than as individuals. And the definition of our team is broad and inclusive.

Our Women's Leadership Forum which actively promotes networking & career development

Graduating class from one of our internal leadership development programs

Me with Paul in Virturstream's Ireland office

Me with my global HR business partner

Monday, November 14, 2016

STEM Mentor Exchange

The STEM Mentor Exchange is a mobile application designed to connect Utah educators with industry mentors & volunteers. It will be an important tool for developing a vibrant workforce to match Utah’s growing economy.

This is a volunteer effort by multiple industry partners to assist educators in preparing our kids for the future. I'm proud that much of the software development is being done by a team of engineers from Dell EMC, with support from the STEM Partners Foundation. We expect the mobile app to be released early 2017.

In addition to providing support to our children and their teachers, this tool will also provide data about the quantity & quality of efforts from companies like ours. There are so many good things going on already, but there hasn't been a consistent, transparent way to capture and share that information. I know the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) is anxiously watching this effort. I envision opportunities in the future where state & local incentives for companies could be tied to performance measured through the STEM MX platform.

And, there's nothing to prevent this from being a platform for other states and even countries! Please join me and sign up today at!

Friday, October 7, 2016

9-year Anniversary of Mozy Acquisition

I love October for several different reasons, namely . . .
  • It is my birth month
  • I love the changing of the seasons, including the cooler temperatures and Fall colors in the mountains
  • It is the anniversary of EMC's acquisition of Mozy
Dave Robinson
It was 2007 and we had a deal on the table to raise a serious round of financing from a top-shelf VC firm on Sand Hill Road. I was excited about the prospect of growing the business and my own personal share in it. We had already turned down several potential acquisition offers and had all but signed the term sheet from our almost-investors. Then the offer arrived from EMC and our plans changed. And I'm so glad they did!

I'm proud of the Mozy business and the team that built it. More than a handful of them are still Dell EMC, Virtustream and VMware today and this is a shout out to them. You know who you are. I caught up with Dave Robinson, the most tenured Mozy person who is still in the family, and here's what he had to say . . .
iJustine & "the shirt"
Q: What is your favorite promotional marketing item? 
A: My favorite Mozy item would have to be the "Back the F:\ Up" shirts. This was an idea that we had been kicking around the office in the early days, but were too chicken to actually pull the trigger on it. One day we just decided "what the heck" and it became a huge hit. I'd guess we've given out over 20,000 of those over the years. Admittedly, it's something I don’t wear around the house and my kids, but people love it. I remember doing press and analyst interviews a few years back and that’s all they wanted to talk about." 

Q: What is your fondest memory of the Mozy culture pre-acquisition?
A: I have many fond memories from the early days. There were only a few of us, so everyone was really close and we all wore many hats. I still remember my first day on the job when I was directed to an empty desk. I asked where my computer was and Jared Wilks (finance/operations) told me to go find something at Best Buy and he'd reimburse me. I was hired as the marketing guy, but was also the first sales and product leader until we could hire someone full time. In the early days we used to take every new hire to China Isle in American Fork. As we got bigger, it became harder to do that and my arteries are probably the biggest beneficiary of that! I also remember the first meeting with GE out in Fairfield Connecticut. Josh Coates (Mozy founder) absolutely hated flying and was pale and uneasy the entire flight. I recall him having his head down on the tray table for most of the flight. 
Q: What was the most pivotal moment for the business in the last 9 years? 
A: There were a few "trajectory altering" moments in Mozy history, but the Walt Mossberg write-up on Mozy and Carbonite in the Wall Street Journal was one of the biggest. We were all sitting around the office at like 11pm waiting for the article to appear. Someone yelled "It's up!" and there was complete silence for about 2 minutes as we all read it. Suddenly the office erupted in simultaneous cheering as we all reached the end of the article where Mossberg wrote the infamous line... "I prefer Mozy." Still get goose bumps thinking about that night. 
Q: What are you personally most proud of in terms of your many contributions to Mozy? 
A: First and foremost, I'm most proud of the people I hired and worked with at Mozy. Josh's mantra was to only hire the best and brightest or "A players," no longer how long it took to find them. If you look at the Mozy marketing family tree, this was certainly the case. While it is always difficult to part with great coworkers and friends over the years, I could not be prouder of all the people who worked for me and are now off doing awesome things at other companies! In addition to the people, growing the company from essentially $0 in revenue to where we are today has been extremely rewarding. I still remember those early board meetings where the revenue line was below the cost line and there was intense pressure to get to profitability because we didn’t want to raise any more money. We did it!
I'm also grateful for the EMC team that gave us the opportunity to continue to grow the business, just in a very different way than what we would have done with a round of venture capital. I could never have dreamed up the amazing things that happened along the way. Here are just a few keywords and pictures to highlight the journey that will only be meaningful to those who were close to Mozy during different parts of the journey.
Not a failed product, just a little fun dating back to 2007
  • BDS
  • DRS
  • Happy Fun Ball
  • TDN & TDS
  • CMRR
  • US Airways 1549
  • iJustine
  • Skeletor
  • Demeter
  • Hellcat
  • Fortress
  • Pi Corp
  • Decho
  • VMware
  • Rubicon

Okay, here's the failed product . . . A retail box
People cheering for Mozy . . . or RSL's Kyle Beckerman

Dave Robinson at the 2010 launch for Mozy in France 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Emerald Economy

I recently returned from a trip to the Emerald Isle. It was a wonderful experience. I’ve been there quite a few times, but I had several new experience and resulting perspectives that I’m going to share. Part of the difference for me surely has to do with this blog about the Silicon Slopes. I will draw a few comparisons between our "Slopes" and what I’ll call the Emerald Economy.
  1. Chambers of Commerce – I was privileged to attend an annual member meeting and business luncheon with the American Chamber of Commerce. My friend and colleague Bob Savage is the current president and invited me along with several other visiting guests. Ireland’s Prime Minister (An Taoiseach) was in attendance along with the US Ambassador to Ireland. It was an impressive meeting with very direct and engaging commentary by the leadership. Utah has several local chambers of commerce, including the impressive Salt Lake Chamber. We also have a WorldTrade Center organization for Utah, but there’s no singular focus like Ireland’s American Chamber of Commerce.
  2. Incentives – Part of the reason for EMC being in Utah is the incentives package we received from local government. Part of the reason for EMC being in Ireland is the incentives package there, not to mention low corporate tax rates. It was interesting to be in Ireland soon after the news had broken about the EU’s attempt to claim billions of dollars in unpaid taxes from Apple.  Everyone in Ireland called the EU decision “unfortunate” and said that Ireland had no intention of trying to collect that money.
  3. Customs & border protection – There’s no other country in Europe with a US Customs pre-clearance facility like what exists in the Dublin & Shannon airports. Once you’ve gone through it you’re virtually on US soil. Subsequent flight connections are similar to a domestic transfer. It was convenient and efficient. The use of technology combined with the movement of people and goods was a model I wish we had in other locations. Utah is obviously easy to enter and leave and the SLC airport has many international flights, largely thanks to its status as a Delta hub. That said, you can’t clear customs for any other country there.
  4. Languages – For the most part I understood everyone I came across. There were only a few exceptions in both Scotland and Ireland. Some of the accents were pretty thick J What was more notable were the many other languages I heard spoken. One of my colleagues used to live in Utah and was friends with my son during high school. He now lives in Dublin where he works for Dell EMC. He’s a great example of the type of multi-lingual, multi-cultural people who are attracted to Irish life. His parents are from different countries and he’s lived in several places, as a result he speaks Spanish, Italian, French and, of course, English. He loves working for a company like ours and he loves living in Ireland where he has such easy and affordable access to all of Europe. Utah boasts a lot of cultures and languages, but its diversity isn’t quite on the same scale.

A last and playful comparison between the Silicon Slopes and the Emerald Isle would be Ireland's lack of snakes and Utah's ample supply. I can't compare the skiing in Utah to Ireland's for obvious reasons :) 

On a more serious and final note, both EMC and Dell along with several of our strategically-aligned businesses have substantial operations in Ireland. There was some buzz around Dell’s decision to move manufacturing operations from Limerick to Eastern Europe several years ago, but the Ireland payroll for our combined companies is more now than it ever was before. I can only imagine that our investments will continue. Perhaps even more notably, the investment of other American companies will continue to grow in Ireland. The Emerald Economy is certainly an impressive one.

American logos on display at the AmCham luncheon
Me with friend & colleague Gillian
Friend & colleague Bob kicking off the luncheon
Ireland's Prime Minister - Enda Kenny
US Ambassador to Ireland - Kevin O'Malley
Me & Black Rock Castle
Not a postcard - This is Kinsale :)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Thoughts on Dell EMC

Day 1 of Dell Technologies and Dell EMC has come and gone and we're happily living the reality of what has transpired. Here's what this means to me personally, right here in Utah:
  • Dell Family - It is more than a little interesting to think that I work for a privately-held family business. Of course, that's because the business happens to be the largest privately-held information technology company in the world! But the fact that it is owned in large part by Michael Dell himself and that he talks about the Dell Technologies portfolio of companies as a "family" is part of what what makes it so unique. It also is nice to have met with Michael and his wife here in Utah. They made me feel like part of the "family."
  • A series of fortunate events - I initially resisted EMC's offer to acquire Mozy. I selfishly wanted a bigger exit for myself personally. I didn't have some of the perspective and the patience that I have now. Looking back, I'm very glad that I saw the benefit for our little company and my team members. And fortunately, I have been thoroughly engaged and energized by the events over the last 9 years. Now, with the 11-month process of EMC's acquisition and subsequent combination with Dell behind us, I can say that I enthusiastically supported the decision all the way along that journey. And now I look forward to another engaging and energizing chapter in the journey. 
  • Diversity & inclusion - This is one of the things that I appreciated about EMC and now it is something which I also appreciate about Dell. Not only are the people themselves diverse, but the very business is diverse. From consumers and small businesses to the world's largest enterprises and governments. From software running in the Cloud to hardware sitting on your desk or in a data center. From Publicly-traded companies to privately-held companies. From R&D investments in organic growth to multi-billion dollar acquisitions. No matter how you slice it, Dell Technologies is a diverse & inclusive family. 
Cheers to all of my new brothers, sisters, cousins, etc.! 

Me at the recent #GoBigWinBig #DellTechnologies launch party

Friday, September 9, 2016

Salt Lake Corporate Games 2016

Our Dell EMC Utah team members recently finished another round of the Salt Lake County Corporate Games. As usual, it was amazing! Not only did we have fun, but we made a huge impact on the community. Here are some of the details . . .

76 other companies participated this summer. Dell EMC was in 20 events, with a total of 148 team members. Our events ranged from Trivia to Trap Shoot, and Softball to Scavenger Hunts.

The opening ceremonies had a 1980’s theme, so we used a team member's Golf hole from our recent Office Mini Golf Classic. The hole was based on Caddyshack, complete with a dancing gofer.

  • We won a total of 8 medals taking 5th Overall
  • We took 3rd overall in Most Volunteers
  • I'm most proud of receiving the Heart & Soul award for the 2nd year in a row, thanks to the generous contributions of our employees gave food, blood and money    
    • We raised a total of $6,160  
    • We donated 944 pounds of food to the Utah food bank, enough to provide 24,862 meals or feed 69 families of 4 for 1 month.
    • We also gave 127 units of blood, which is enough to save 381 lives

There are many benefits to participating in the Salt Lake Corporate Games:

  • Keeping our team members healthy & active 
  • Promoting team member morale & camaraderie
  • Providing a competitive, yet safe environment where we can encourage each other & work as a team
  • Brain or brawn, there is something for everyone . . . players, volunteers, spectators & cheerleaders are warmly welcomed
We're looking forward the Winter games and repeating it all again in 2017! Also, see my post about our 2015 participation

Our Heart & Soul Award!
Yes, we are all champions!
Setting up our Caddyshack booth
Lots of volunteers, including friends & family
Sea of Dell EMC blue at the start of one of the events
Our biggest fan & coordinator . . . Windie D!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Happy 5th Anniversary to EMC Utah!

5 years ago we hired the first wave of new EMC employees in Utah that were part of a concerted expansion effort designed to meet the needs of our growing business. While there had long been a sales and field service presence here, the focus to create what is now the Utah Center of Excellence has brought significant job growth, including multiple national and international relocations, and sustainable economic impact to the state and the company.

Following are a few highlights from this past year:
There have been lots of exciting events along the way, including the EMC Code Mars hackathon, our own winter games (foosball, table tennis, air hockey), a Car Show show, the Great Utah ShakeOut, EMC Student Star, and more. 

Over the last 5 years we've built some great partnerships in the community. Following are a few that we've focused a lot on this past year in particular. 
I'm excited about our newer partnerships, like the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Beehive Startups and others. One of the ways we connect with each other internally and with our community partners externally is through our Employee Circles, namely:

  • Women's Leadership Forum (WLF)
  • Latin Leadership Interest Team (ELLIT)
  • Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advocates (ELBGTA)
  • Veterans and Their Supporters (VeTS)
  • Indian Subcontinent (ISEC)
  • Tech Circle (Geeks)

These employee resource groups promote diversity and inclusion in addition to giving back to the community. Two of them are new this year (Geeks & ISEC) and the other four have all grown significantly over the 5 year period. The next 5 years will certainly be just as exciting as the first! Thanks to our customers, partners and EMC team members! And congratulations to the EMC Utah team for 5 years of excitement, growth and success! 

The small "shared" space in Pleasant Grove where it all started 5 years ago
On the bus for a field trip from Pleasant Grove to Draper to see our new office location in Fall 2011
Empty space under construction on Draper's Lone Peak Parkway in Fall 2011

Monday, July 18, 2016

Welcome to EMC Draper Vista Station!

We have officially moved in to our new building in Draper City's Vista Station business park! The early reviews from our team members are fantastic. Following are few highlights and pictures. Note that we're still occupying our current, leased building which is also in Draper on Lone Peak Parkway.

View from inside our lobby looking west toward the Oquirrh Mountains. eBay's parking lot is right across the street in the foreground and Rio Tinto's Kennecott mine is the the background. 
Our new cafeteria is managed by Sodexo and including a full grill and (my personal favorite) a full salad bar!
It is great to be so close to UTA's Frontrunner train station. We are literally the first building immediately south of the Draper station. It is also great that you can't even hear the train pass from inside the building. Same goes for the larger Union Pacific freight trains that also pass on occasion. 
One of our recently moved in managers is already hard at work in his new office. We need to get him a new computer to go with that shiny new office :) 
There are a variety of wall treatments and soft seating areas throughout the building. Note in this picture that the protective pads and runners from the movers are still in place. Like I said, we really just moved in. 
We have fun themes for our conference rooms and huddle rooms. Here's a view of the Star Wars area. 
This is our new bike locker! The sun and safety shading still needs to be added to the glass, but you get the idea. Bikes hang front wheel up from the little black arms you can see on each stand. 
We have a very nice "boardroom" for our customers, partners and other VIP guests to use. There is a nice video conference unit inside and a small lounge area right outside. 
When will fill up the current building we still have plenty of room left to build a 2nd or 3rd building. We own the raw land you can see in this picture, which is just south of us. We didn't even need to use it for parking.  
This is a partial view of our new Fitness Center which is managed by Premise Health. There are 2 shower rooms on the righthand side. 
Here's a look inside one of the shower / locker rooms connected to the Fitness Center. 
Everyone is also very excited about our new Hands-on Product Training Room. We will rotate different pieces of our own equipment through here for training and demonstration purposes for our own team members as well as for customers and partners. 
"The Matrix" conference room divides into 3 smaller rooms with easy-to-move whiteboard-walls. It has an integrated audio/video system that makes large conference calls and presentations much more effective for everyone. In the picture you're seeing less than a third of the room. The building visible on the right are our neighbors and 
Here's another one of those soft-seating collaboration areas that I just love. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Tour de Cure 2016 - Done!

I committed to participating in the 2016 Tour de Cure in December of 2015. It is now over and I'm kind of sad about it. I had such a fantastic experience for many reasons, including the following:
  • Thinking about people I already knew who are living with diabetes
  • Getting to know new people who live with diabetes or who are working to support them
  • Riding my bike for almost 5 hours in beautiful northern Utah
  • Enjoying great support from ADA leading up to and during the event, including fantastic feed zones replete with drinks, snacks and words of encouragement
  • Being the recipient of so much heart-warming support from YOU . . . my friends, colleagues, family members and relative strangers who offered kind words and monetary donations
I am already looking forward to the 2017 Tour de Cure! Please join me in person and/or in spirit!

Lots of bikes & riders getting ready just before the event
Heading to the starting line in downtown Brigham City
There were lots of "Red Riders" - People riding who live with diabetes
Lined up and ready for the ride to begin
Fueling up with my new Red Rider friend Mike who was diagnosed when he was 16 yrs old
This is the main group I rode with for most of the time, including the last 20 miles in rain & lightning
This was the 25th anniversary of the Tour de Cure