Monday, March 28, 2016

Project Vista Update

Our new building at Vista Station in Draper is making excellent progress! We're on track to start moving in this July. Thanks to the EMC Global Real Estate & Facilities team as well as our local partners and contractors. Following are some pictures.
1st floor - Partial view of fitness center & cafeteria
1st floor training rooms - Note ceiling structure to support large moveable walls
2nd floor - Future home of Virtustream teams
2nd floor - General workspace
3rd floor - Small section of over 85 miles of network cabling
3rd floor - Note the open floor plan
4th floor - Note the EMC-blue walls
4th floor - Future home of Data Protection Cloud & Mozy teams

Monday, March 21, 2016

EMC Customer Service in Utah

EMC's expansion in Utah roughly 5 years ago started with a team of about 100 Customer Service professionals. Since then, we've grown to a much more functionally diverse group of over 1,200 people, but Customer Service is still one of the biggest teams. The functions in that team are actually quite broad. Following are some of the Customer Service roles in EMC Utah and a few details about each:
  • Technical Support Service Engineer - Highly specialized technician who responds to customer problems as they occur and resolves them remotely over phone, chat, web, email, etc. The request for help may be initiated by a person or by one of our systems. Their specialization may be in a particular EMC product (e.g., Isilon, XtremIO, Data Domain) and/or a more general technology (e.g., networking, databases, operating systems). A variation on this role is a Designated Support Engineer where the technician works on one or two named customer accounts. 
  • Workflow Manager - A manager with technical skills who spends their days helping the Engineers above and balancing the workload across a team. 
  • Remote Proactive Upgrade Engineer - A technician who responds to requests for changes that are not usually as critical as the reactive ones above and which can be performed remotely via a secure connection. This usually means software upgrades or patches that need active monitoring or scheduling around customer activities. 
  • Customer Engineer - A technician who spend most of their time "in the field" helping customers on-site for work that can't be done remotely. They work in close coordination with our Scheduling & Dispatch Agents as well as the Technical Support Service Engineers.  
  • Customer Service Technician - The first point of contact for customers who reach out to us. While not the technical problem solvers, they know about the breadth of our products and how to best categorize, prioritize and direct the problem to the right Technical Support Service Engineer. 
  • Scheduling & Dispatch Agent - These are the masters of complex coordination between our customers, their equipment, our Customer Engineers and the physical parts that are often required onsite, wherever EMC equipment might reside. They need to know about schedules, access controls, skills, bills of materials, operating procedures, and many other things required to address problems that can't be resolved remotely. 
  • Account Service Representative - Very similar to our Scheduling & Dispatch Agents, but they are more proactive in their approach. They work closely with the Sales & Service account teams to make sure things run smoothly. They ensure that all customer information is up-to-date (contracts, contacts, equipment, etc.). 
  • Customer Service Advocate - Working in partnership with Account Executives on our sales team, a CSA specializes in Customer Service activity for a small set of customers. They are often the go-to resource when other EMC'ers want to understand a customer's overall technology landscape, not to mention a particular issue. Because of their customer-specific knowledge they can often anticipate problems and address them proactively.
  • Root Cause Analyst Technical Writer - When complex problems occur that require further follow-up with our engineering teams, a root cause analysis is usually performed. The Escalation Manager usually engages an RCA Tech Writer to assist in this process. They are experts at taking complex, highly technical language and making it clear and concise for everyone to understand.  
  • Escalation Manager - The "quarterback" for resolution of the most complex technical problems that have additional visibility or sensitivity. They are master communicators and coordinators that are calm under the most stressful of situations. While they work across a broad range of products, they are usually surprisingly deep in their technical knowledge. Their greatest value, however, is rallying the right team to solve the problem rather than trying to solve it themselves.
  • eServices Tools Team - We employ a variety of systems to accomplish the work of customer service, including the tools that customers use without any direct, real-time involvement with our team. This includes the community forum where customers interact with each other as well as the online knowledge bases and self-services tools available at These teams develop, administer and provide content to these tools. 
  • Managers, Supervisors, etc. for all of the above
As you can see, we're anything but a typical "call center." In addition to the functions above, there are specialized skills and attributes that set our EMC Utah Customer Service team apart from others: 
See the Customer Service area on for more details on the above, plus a whole lot more! 

Monday, March 14, 2016

What is an EMC Center of Excellence?

The Utah operations of EMC are considered a Center of Excellence (COE) for the company. Here's some detail on what that actually means . . .

First and foremost, a COE is a community of diverse people coming together to meet the goals of the company, typically within relatively close geographic proximity. Sometimes the diversity extends to the functions performed by the teams (e.g., Utah), or the products and technologies they work on, but sometimes the teams are highly specialized around a particular function (e.g., Durham, North Carolina). In every case, the diversity comes through the people themselves. Following are some of the different functions in Utah:
  • Cloud operations 
  • Consulting
  • Hardware engineering
  • Managed services
  • Project management
  • Quality assurance
  • Sales
  • Software engineering
  • System administrators
  • Technical support
  • Technical writing

Second, a COE implies a globally-consistent operating model which supports the local employee teams in the broader context of the company. This includes things like local management and critical infrastructure (facilities, IT, security, etc.). This operating model allows different business units to expand quickly and with minimal risk. There is a cross-charge mechanism based on space used (seats or labs) that leverages the economies of scale offered by the shared infrastructure and shared services. Those services may include:
  • Community involvement
  • Customer & partner briefings
  • Employee engagement
  • Finance
  • Government relations
  • Human resources
  • Recruiting
  • Risk management
  • Training
  • University relations

While the Utah COE is functionally diverse, there are also two areas of specialization: 1) the ability to perform work for state and federal government agencies in the United States, and 2) the ability to speak in the language of many of our customers and partners around the globe. Yes, Utah has a lot of multi-lingual people

Most of the COE's at EMC have some form of government incentive associated with their operation. This could be at the city, state or even country level. In Utah, we get tax rebates based on meeting certain job growth and wage requirements. 

EMC has several other Centers of Excellence around the globe:

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Georgia Bulldog in Utah

~~~ Guest Post by Greg T ~~~

Hi, my name is Greg Thompson and I am the Director of Professional Services in at EMC Corporation. I relocated to West Jordan, UT from Hartwell, GA with my wife Cathy about a year ago.
Greg & Cathy
As you hopefully know, EMC has a large presence in Utah and my previous role gave me an opportunity to visit several times over the years. I’d always had it in mind that I would jump at the chance to live here, and thankfully I got that chance!

In the short time I’ve been in Utah, I’ve been super impressed with EMC’s community involvement, especially in our relationships with local universities. I really wanted to join in and get involved. Since I’ve been here, I’ve been invited to speak at the University of Utah, guest lecture at Utah Valley University, and attend recruiting events at both. I've also given Tech Talks and done recruiting at Neumont University.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with great EMC recruiters, including Cary Demello. He has established productive relationships with our area universities. It’s been due to Cary’s efforts that we have been able to hire numerous graduates with 4-year and advanced degrees.
Greg & Cary
Out of my team of roughly 50 here in Utah, approximately 25% have Masters degrees, or are currently enrolled in Masters programs. I look forward to continuing the work I’ve been doing at the universities I’ve mentioned, and starting relationships with the other universities in the area.