Clipper Race Update: Crossing the Pacific

first_imgThis is the eighth in a series of blogs by Dell Ambassadors competing in the Clipper Race, a 40,000 nautical mile race around the world in 70-foot racing yachts. If you haven’t read the previous blog entries from Samantha Harper and Marek Omilian detailing their adventures thus far, you may want to go read those first. They’re all in the “Sport & Recreation” section of Direct2Dell. For background on Dell’s involvement in this incredible event, read our initial blog here.The mighty Pacific is done and dusted!Hello again – I’m now blogging from the west coast of the USA after finishing Leg 6 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, crossing from Qingdao, in Northern China, to Seattle, Washington, USA. I think every Clipper Race crew member started this leg with a bit of trepidation. For those of us ‘Round-the-World’ers, it was ‘the big one’ – the harshest, largest, most intimidating of oceans. Stories of snow on deck, massive swells, broaches and knockdowns on previous races had us feeling like the previous legs were all just prep work for what was to come. We were joined in China by some familiar faces, Dare To Lead crewmates from previous legs who felt the need to return to conquer this ocean.“…these wild ocean vistas get tattooed on your soul.ShareThe start from Qingdao was slow and foggy, and brought with it the dodging of massive fishing fleets that plagued us in Leg 5. With frustratingly inconsistent winds, we slowly sailed around Korea and Japan, occasionally playing cat-and-mouse with a surprise rival, Liverpool 2018. After a few days of light wind ‘snail racing’, we finally pulled ahead and out into the open Pacific, ready for the real test to begin.Despite our strategy of playing it conservative – making early reductions in sail size if wind or weather began to deteriorate – we were able to keep within the top five of the fleet and enjoyed some good downwind sailing. Although all the boats in the Clipper Race fleet are identical, every boat seems to have its quirks and strengths. Dare To Lead loves downwind sailing! Overall, the sailing was far more enjoyable than we’d imagined and playing it safe meant that life above and below deck was more comfortable than it could have been. The waves were large, as promised – often 30+ feet – but given our experience in the South Atlantic on Leg 2, nothing foreign to many of our helmsmen and cockpit crew.That being said, the icy cold of a North Pacific winter was every bit as torturous as we thought it would be.Our large stainless-steel kettle was on the stove 24/7, warming bodies with hot cups of coffee and hands as they hugged its sides. Drysuits were the must-have fashion item nearly every watch, as in these cold conditions, what is wet will never dry. The battle for warm hands was daily struggle. Despite the advances in athletic gear and fabric, we have yet to find a glove that provides perfect breathability, waterproofness and warmth without sacrificing dexterity. Let me tell you, if any closet inventors are out there, you will make a fortune off next race’s Clipper Race crew if you can invent such a thing! The crew used every kind of glove imaginable, from rubber kitchen gloves (Brits call them ‘marigolds’) to Gore-tex ski gloves (horrible when wet!) to surgical latex gloves. People were willing to try whatever it took to protect their cold fingers!We were fortunate to witness some of the finest visuals Mother Nature could display, from gorgeous sunsets and sunrises to endless shades of azure, cobalt and indigo blue blending waves and sky together. Morale on board was good and we were feeling confident that a podium was within our grasp… until our good fortune began to unravel a few days before the finish line. For starters, both our Code 1 (Lightweight Spinnaker) and Code 3 (Heavyweight Spinnaker) exploded in less than 48 hours. The loss of the Code 1, too damaged to repair at sea, was especially crippling as the winds began to ease in the final hundred miles, as it would have been the sail of choice to fly. To add insult to injury, while we were putting a reef in (lowering the main sail) two days before the finish, the main sail track separated from the mast 50 feet up in the air. Now it’s not unexpected that things will start breaking down after 30,000 nautical miles at sea, but the timing of this was especially bad. Essentially it meant that we were now unable to hoist the mainsail to its full height. This is fine in rough weather – more sail area means more for the wind to act on – but in light winds, being stuck on the third, smallest reef was also another nail in the coffin of our podium dream.And so we soldiered on, ultimately limping through the finish line in seventh place. Not our best finish, but in the grand scheme of things, we survived a treacherous crossing with all crew safe and sound and the boat generally in one piece. Our Dell products continue to perform well both on deck and below and have more than handled the icy temperatures and saltwater pounding the Pacific has brought.As Skipper Dale wrote in his daily blog, “these wild ocean vistas get tattooed on your soul.”I think we will all carry forward memories of the massive seas, the harsh chill in the air and the sheer awesome force of nature we witnessed in the North Pacific. The mountains of Vancouver were a welcome sight when we reached the finish, and our nighttime arrival into Seattle meant the full splendour of the city lights was on display when we motored up Elliot Bay.Our stopover in Seattle has been bittersweet as it means losing a few great ‘leggers;’ crew who have been instrumental to our podium finish in Leg 5 and all in all some of the greatest people you could ask to sail with. That being said, our new joiners are filled with enthusiasm and we are all looking forward to transiting the Panama Canal, one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.Thanks for reading – see you in New York!About Samantha Harper, crew member, Dare To LeadSamantha is a 37-year-old doctor from Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The Dell Latitude Rugged laptop was made for people like Samantha; when she is not sailing 40,000 nautical miles around the world on board Dare To Lead, Samantha splits her time between working in remote communities as a GP, and pushing herself to the limits mountaineering and running ultra-marathons (she has done the infamous Marathon des Sables, a 250 kilometre race in the Sahara Desert, five times). However, the Clipper Race is Samantha’s first sailing experience, and after initially considering only doing three legs, she signed up for the whole circumnavigation, knowing that once she started, she wouldn’t be able to stop until she completed and experienced the entire thing.last_img read more

Dell Technologies Capital Invests in AI Startup Immuta

first_imgThe following is a guest post from Andrew Gilman, Chief Revenue Officer at Immuta. Immuta specializes in data management and has recently joined the Dell Technologies Capital portfolio.It’s a tremendous honor to join the Dell Technologies Capital portfolio, as earlier today we announced Series B funding of $20 million, in which Dell Technologies Capital participated along with our new investors DFJ Growth and Citi Ventures, and existing investors Drive Capital and Greycroft. Dell Technologies Capital’s investment and support will help Immuta accelerate global customer growth and extend product leadership for our data management platform for AI (Artificial Intelligence).As organizations look to become truly AI-driven, one of the biggest obstacles is automating data science programs while maintaining compliance. According to Gartner, global business value derived from AI is projected to total $1.2 trillion in 2018, and will reach a staggering $3.9 trillion by 2022. Yet, legacy forms of data management for AI are proving counterproductive to the advancement of analytic success and regulatory compliance in the enterprise – it is our objective to remedy this issue.“As analytics and AI advance faster than any other technology category, the gap between regulation and analytics also increases.ShareThe law can’t keep pace with technology. As analytics and AI advance faster than any other technology category, the gap between regulation and analytics also increases.  The root of the problem lies in the fact that while organizations rely on complicated applications to access and analyze their data, regulatory compliance and monitoring remains a manual and cumbersome process which slows down progress in data science teams. The process of connecting storage technologies and analytics tools is complex, expensive and time-consuming, and policy enforcement is subjective with ever-evolving regulatory controls. This is especially important with the recent implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which places even more emphasis on enforcing purpose-based restrictions on data.There is a required shift from applications to data science, and that is where Immuta comes in – we help organizations meet the data-driven requirements of impactful and compliant AI initiatives in the modern enterprise.What differentiates Immuta is that our data management platform inserts the law into algorithms.The law cannot catch up with technology, and as analytics and AI advance faster than any other technology category, the gap between regulation and analytics also increases. The legacy application-centric approach to close this gap leaves organizations exposed to fines of up to 4 percent of total global revenue under GDPR and significantly impedes data science teams by adding complexity and wasting millions in capital.Immuta is designed to enable lawyers/compliance professionals to introduce controls into the analytic development process and adapt to the interpretation of law without having to re-write code. We’re working with large organizations to provide them with rapid, personalized access to data across organizational silos to accelerate and simplify every aspect of the analysis workflow—all while preventing them from losing control or insight into how their data is being processed.Our mission is to provide a solution that enables the most accurate, efficient and regulatory compliant data science programs for global companies across industries. This latest funding validates our existing efforts in achieving this goal, and provides the necessary resources to make our dreams a reality in this AI-driven, highly regulated global business environment.last_img read more

Dell Technologies Fostering Black Networking Communities in EMEA

first_imgDell Technologies team members are an incredible force that shape our innovative and inclusive culture focused on delivering best in class experience for our communities and customers. Our team members span 180 countries, each bringing their individual, diverse talents to the team. Dell’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) connect these team members based on shared common backgrounds or interests. They provide personal and professional development through mentoring, volunteerism and community involvement. Currently there are 13 ERG’s across Dell Technologies with over 37,000 participating members, and growing every day. In fact, our Black Networking Alliance (BNA) ERG just recently expanded to South Africa, the first BNA outside North America.Angela Allan, Senior Talent Acquisition Advisor, played an instrumental role in this expansion. She is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and provides a unique insight into the need for this community within her region.Can you provide more detail about BNA and its objectives?BNA is one of the 13 ERGs that Dell Technologies offers team members. However, until our launch in South Africa, BNA was only available to people at eight US sites. Its goals are to help black professionals establish working relationships and business networks with peers and mentors within the Dell Technologies group.When I joined Dell Technologies I was surprised that we didn’t have this ERG in South Africa given the dynamics of our country. Even though we became a democratic country in 1994 there are still significant levels of inequality. About 90 percent of the country’s 56.5 million population are non-white, and yet we live in a country where a vast majority of the population, mostly black, face unemployment and economic hardships.Companies operating in South Africa must adhere to government criteria introduced to encourage greater equality. But the establishment of the BNA demonstrates that Dell Technologies is going beyond these criteria. Dell Technologies is creating a notable and meaningful change for our country and the people that call it home.At Dell Technologies South Africa, from our 380+ team members, approximately 52 percent can be categorised as non-white. I feel proud that as an organisation we are working towards creating a more balanced workforce. Our vision globally for BNA is to be the top employer for black people. To deliver that vision the BNA ERG is built on four pillars: recruitment, retention, development and community outreach. I feel honoured and privileged to work with 17 core team members who look after those different pillars. Our executive sponsor is Doug Hubert Woolley, VP and GM Dell EMC South Africa, but none of this would be possible without the entire team.Why is the BNA important to you personally and what made you want to get involved?I was raised by a black mother who lived through Apartheid and was told that you can’t speak to white people in a certain way, you can’t be clear and frank about what you want, you need to watch how you carry yourself. Apartheid ended in 1994 but it still affects cultural attitudes where black people can feel afraid to speak out.For me, BNA provides a platform where black people can come and share their difficulties and feel free to ask questions that they might feel uncomfortable asking their white colleagues.I would also like to stress that BNA is not just for black people. It is also for all to join and hear what it is like to be black and get an understanding about the challenges we face. It will help everyone work better together.I came from a poor family but was privileged to go to the best schools on scholarships. But there are a lot of black people who aren’t as privileged and perhaps they are not as outspoken as me, and I really want this ERG to help those people and to mentor them so that they are not afraid to state clearly what they want to achieve with their careers.Is there a need for a Black Networking Alliance in other EMEA countries?I think every country has diversity issues and ways to address them should be top of mind. Perhaps BNA would not speak to diversity issues in other EMEA countries, however there is a need for ERGs that are focused on a range of diversity topics such as women, disability and environmental issues amongst others. There is a requirement to investigate what each country would need. We are already receiving requests to potentially launch a BNA chapter in France and the UK. We are looking forward to working with other countries to help them set up their chaptersAlthough BNA is a global ERG there is a lot that needs to be done to tailor BNAs per county. But the one thing that is very clear is the vision of the ERG which is to make Dell the top employer for black people, so whatever that looks like in the different countries, we need to prioritise recruitment, retention, development and reaching out to communities.What type of actions and activities are you working on or have planned?We are having conversations with the core team about partnering with other ERGs. We received a request from True Ability to partner and help with hiring black disabled talent. From an activity point of view, we’re looking to partner with academic institutions to see how we can attract young black talent. From a community outreach point of view we’re looking to find ways to assist those that are less fortunate than us. We still need to work on what we will be prioritising over the year. Internally we are already working on way to mentor our current black talent locally through our retention and development pillars.We’re really looking forward to a time when we hear that another multinational locally has launched. We would like other organisations to consider bringing in their ERGs to South Africa, we want to partner, we want black people who work for the competition to feel that they are cared about. When we do community outreach it would be great to partner and have greater levels of funding available to do things that will have a genuine impact on the country and look beyond the legal requirements.To learn more about Dell’s diversity and inclusion programs, visit read more

The Journey to As-a-Service

first_imgSimplicity. That’s the overwhelming need I’ve heard across conversations with customers, partners and analysts over the past several months which was echoed last week during Dell Technologies World Experience. And it’s no wonder – responding to COVID forced organizations to scale infrastructure overnight and accelerate their digital transformation. This rapid adoption of new technologies has uncovered a lot of complexity in how organizations budget for, consume and manage IT, and it has also led to increased interest in on-demand consumption models. In the past year alone, we’ve seen nearly 50% year-over-year growth in the customer base for our flexible consumption and as-a-Service offerings as of the most recent quarter. That’s why I couldn’t be more excited about our announcement of Project APEX, which brings together our as-a-Service and cloud strategy, offerings and go-to-market under a single effort to radically simplify how our customers consume and deliver IT services.Project APEX builds upon a rich history of giving customers the flexibility and freedom to scale their IT to their business requirements and budgets. In other words, we’ve been on this journey to delivering on-demand IT for decades – we’ve been offering flexible payment solutions through Dell Financial Services for 23 years and managed utility services for 15 years. And last year, we launched Dell Technologies On Demand (DTOD), the industry’s broadest end-to-end portfolio of flexible consumption and as-a-Service solutions aimed at providing organizations the flexibility of cloud with the performance and security of on-prem infrastructure. Since then, we’ve worked continuously to expand DTOD offerings and further simplify the as-a-Service experience for our customers. And we’ve helped our customers and partners fund their critical technology needs through the Payment Flexibility Program, which we are now extending through January 29, 2021.*At Dell Technologies World, we introduced Pre-Approved Pricing for Flex On Demand, making it simpler and faster to order our most popular configurations with a pay-as-you-use pricing model. These configurations include everything organizations need to get started – hardware, system software, essential deployment and support services – and offer baseline pricing, based on real-world numbers, so customers can align the best financial option with their objectives.In addition, we’ve extended Flex On Demand to cover Dell EMC PowerEdge servers powered by AMD as well as Dell EMC PowerFlex software-defined storage, rounding out its availability on our Power portfolio, including PowerScale and PowerStore. Flex On Demand is also available through our Dell Tech partners, and we are enhancing their ability to earn program benefits with Flex On Demand by increasing our partner incentives. Dell Tech partners can earn a 20% incentive for Flex On Demand on the committed contact value (CCV) of storage, HCI, CI, and Data Protection solutions and a 10 percent front-end incentive on servers. These new incentives are available globally in all locations Flex On Demand is available.**We’re helping organizations across the globe better predict and manage costs while gaining the agility and flexibility to scale capacity up or down. For example, a large multinational institution we work with to service their enterprise-scale private cloud implementation and storage as-a-service managed utility is seeing incredible results – they’ve achieved 50% more compute power at eight percent less cost, while reducing time to provision date by more than 90%. We’re helping a U.S. state’s department of IT shift to an as-a-Service model, transforming how their infrastructure is managed and consumed so they can avoid overprovisioning storage and compute resources while quickly delivering IT services to stakeholders across the state.We are making huge strides in our journey to delivering cloud-like, as-a-Service experiences across the full Dell Technologies portfolio. We’ve drastically simplified our customers’ ability to get on-premises cloud resources up and running quickly with the introduction of instance-based offerings for Dell Technologies Cloud Platform. We’re delivering a truly consistent self-service experience for cloud and as-a-Service workloads through a single web interface with Dell Technologies Cloud Console. All of these exciting announcements will propel our vision for Project APEX, bringing together the simplicity, choice and consistency organizations need to deliver IT as a Service and be ready for what’s next.* Payment solutions provided to qualified commercial customers by Dell Financial Services (DFS) or through Dell Technologies group companies and/or through Dell’s authorized business partners (together with DFS “Dell”). Offers valid through January 29, 2021. Offers may not be available or may vary by country. Offers may be changed without notice and are subject to product availability, eligibility, credit approval and execution of documentation provided by and acceptable to Dell or Dell’s authorized business partners.  In Spain, services are provided by Dell Bank International d.a.c branch in Spain and in remainder of the EU by Dell Bank International d.a.c, trading as Dell Financial Services which is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. ** Restrictions apply in certain countries and limitation related to Public end users. Engage your Dell Channel Account Manager or Dell Flex on Demand Specialist. More details on DTOD and Flex On Demand may be found on the DTOD Knowledge Center.last_img read more

Political storms swirl around California’s Newsom amid virus

first_imgSACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has gone from a governor in command to one lurching from one political crisis to the next as the coronavirus pandemic enters its second year. He’s recently faced questions over his decisions to abruptly lift stay-at-home orders and overhaul the state’s vaccine program, and his attempt to get kids back in school is stalled. Amid a Republican-led recall effort, some Democrats are starting to whisper about the need for a backup plan should voters decide to remove him. Newsom’s slide points to the pain facing leaders as virus fatigue takes hold, vaccines remain elusive and voters stop laying blame on the Trump administration.last_img read more