One of my favorite fictional dogs can speak English via a special collar that translates his thoughts into speech. Over the next few weeks — squirrel — some equally lovable canines will be guest posting here on Direct2Dell in celebration of National Service Dog Month.You may have already heard of one of them if you’ve been reading our blog for a while, or more recently if you’re on Facebook:Long known as “man’s best friend,” service dogs in particular play a special role. These four-footers are hardworking helpers that have shown themselves to be outstanding assistants for people with disabilities of all kinds.Just as no two people are alike, no one size or type of breed fits the bill to become a service dog. A lot depends on what tasks they will be called upon to complete. Service dogs may be called upon to guide the blind, hear for deaf, perform tasks for wheelchair users, anticipate and warn of seizures, and perform many other jobs for disabled owners.They have to be calm, cool and collected, and also need to have a laser focus that the animated hound I mentioned above definitely lacked. Service dogs can’t be distracted by what is happening around them while assisting their handler.Yes, it’s all business when they’re on duty, but that’s not to say they never get a break.Becoming a service dog is not easy, though. They must be energetic, but not overly active. People-oriented and friendly, but ready to work in an instant. It can take anywhere from six months to up to two years for them to complete the necessary training.While some share their insights with us on the blog this month, there are many more alert, smart canines around Dell that enable our employees to contribute to the team. We’re thankful for their hard work and salute them this National Service Dog Month, and every day.Service Dog Posts:5 Ways to Become a Top Dog at Work – by Coach5 Ways to Be a Zen Dog at Work – by Adella5 Ways to Teach an Old Dog New Tricks – by Maggie5 Ways to Make a Friend at Work – by Sabrina
Whenever I am asked to speak to a C Suite audience, their ears always perk up when I base my story around Dell Technologies’ own internal experiences. Today’s decision makers are well aware of the need for digital transformation, but the nuts and bolts of successful implementation can still be daunting. The desire is there, but the blueprint remains elusive.Simply put, the key lies in strong partnerships across the board and a willingness to work together to achieve an all-encompassing goal. By combining strengths, each department gets what they want, transformation takes on a new dimension, and the company as a whole flourishes. It’s as easy as that.Unification Offers a 360° PerspectiveIn Part One of my CIO/CMO Partnership blog, I discussed how the perspectives of the CIO and CMO are basically two sides of the same coin. IT sees the business looking out, while Marketing shifts the outlook to center on what the market wants, looking inward.To illustrate, let’s examine how similar the basic needs of CIO and CMO are:Improving the experience through personalization – CMOs want to increase customer satisfaction by leveraging a host of advances in AI, IoT, cloud computing and social media to customize their message and take the customer journey to new heights.For CIOs, this means offering employees greater mobility and connectivity, including work-from-home, floating workspaces and stronger connections between departments and sites, as well as use of various mobile devices and apps that allow for customization.Encouraging collaboration by opening new channels and streamlining existing ones – For the CMO, this involves improving m- and e-commerce through the use of in-store sensors and advanced analytics, which often result in real-time interactions with customers so as to personalize their message. This also allows for extending their ability to gather pertinent customer data for future use.CIOs see advantages in improving global networking, video conferencing and file sharing capabilities across international sites. They also look to provide stronger, more organized intranet access and office tools such as Office 365, MS Teams, etc.Enhancing efficiency – Faster webpage loading, the ability to handle greater numbers of online customers, and emerging tech innovations such as floating checkouts and shelf sensors to reduce paying and stocking times all work to the CMO’s advantage.CIOs benefit from streamlined, technology backed new training programs, coupled with the aforementioned collaborative and organizational improvements designed to bring employees closer, increase flexibility and establish new, more productive ways of working.Implementing and enforcing greater security measures – Both parties recognize the importance of protecting financial and confidential data, be it for the employee or customer.By recognizing their similarity of vision, CIOs and CMOs can more easily combine forces to determine which emerging technologies are most beneficial to the company as a whole, while doubling return-on-investment, extending their corporate reach and increasing the odds of a successful digital transformation.The Intersection of Employee and Customer SatisfactionThough a necessity for survival in the modern age, committing to a full scale digital transformation does not ensure success on its own. Just as marketers seek to satisfy the hyper-connected customer, for IT professionals the focus is on the hyper-connected employee and organization, and that means taking the necessary steps to transform the workplace to meet the needs of the Digital Age.To today’s workforce, strong technology in the workplace is no longer seen as a luxury, but a necessity. Younger generations of employees have grown up connected and tech savvy, and they now demand the same level of quality, innovation and personalization in the office as they experience in their personal lives. When they come to work, they bring the same expectations they have when ordering a pair of pants at home online. Nearly half of American Millennials (42%) say they’d likely quit a job if workplace technology didn’t meet their standards.If companies want to attract (and keep) the best and brightest, they need to implement technology capable of allowing their employees to turn their visions into reality. Those who fail to do so risk certain extinction.If you think about it, today’s employees are really just customers who went to work. Our C Suite perspectives have merged, our corporate vision is consistent, and our goals are now unified.Transformation Begins at HomeAs a representative of a giant international company, with all the resources that entails, it may seem easy for me to talk about the importance of digital transformation. But consider this, as the world’s largest privately controlled technology organization, with greater than $72 billion in revenue and 145 thousand team members, when it comes to transforming our IT and digitizing our workforce – and doing it securely – we have exactly the same challenges as you. The bottom line is – we are a company like any other.So what did we do? Well, we created the Dell Technologies IT Proven Program. In point of fact, we are Dell Technologies’ first and best customer, spending billions on our own IT.Let’s focus on our own Workforce Transformation initiative. Our in-house program centered on meeting the demands of that new breed of employee we’ve just discussed. Basically, we thought of them as customers. We analyzed them.First, we pinpointed what they wanted, sought to improve their experience, and looked at the channels we needed to communicate with them effectively.Their expectations are high. They demand:Full mobility and global connectivityFocus on speed and agilityOngoing innovation, andAccess to intuitive experiences that allow them not only to grow and learn, but to put this new knowledge to useThat was no small order, especially when you take into consideration that IT has always been measured in terms of cost. Even so, we chose to include the human factor in our strategy, focusing not only on the price tag, but also quality of User Experience. Then we saw where things overlapped and devised a plan to amplify the most important aspects common to all.Know Your Market – Understand Your EmployeeMuch like Marketers courting their customers, we created an initiative that sought to:Personalize the experience by creating role based personas to deliver the right apps, data and devices to meet the needs of each employee and departmentPromote secure and efficient collaboration and communication by enabling Dynamic Teams capable of communicating anywhere, at any time, on any deviceDeliver faster, more efficient workforce services including automation and self-service to simplify and streamline workforce consumptionBasically, we leveraged those same technologies Marketing uses to increase customer engagement, and put them in a workplace environment. Personalization was key.By knowing our employees, understanding their different needs and catering to their preferences, we were better able to find tangible, workable solutions, such as:Standardizing Windows 10Rolling out MS Office 365Customizing application experiences with Vmware Workspace OneOffering seamlessly connected wifi, andProviding mobile apps customized to the needs of the workforceJust as Marketers use Big Data to detect a customer about to defect, we even created our own in-house app to signal when employees were unhappy and potentially looking for work elsewhere.The moral of the story is that when C Suite members commit to making the change to partner with each other, goals are united, diversity of perspective and skills combine and the possibilities for tomorrow become limitless.
A federal appeals court has reinstated a verdict that found Connecticut’s Department of Correction violated the Constitutional rights of an inmate by forcing him to wear full shackles during outside exercise periods. The court upheld Wednesday a jury’s decision that convicted killer Michael Edwards was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment by the department and then-warden Angel Quiros while at the maximum-security Northern Correctional Institution between September 2010 and March 2011. The ruling Wednesday found that inmates have a right to exercise outside their cells. The state Attorney General’s office said it is reviewing the decision and deciding next steps. Quiros is now acting commissioner of the Department of Correction.