Month: February 2021
‘Get Disruptive’ is the theme of Entrepreneurs Organization’s event, EO Alchemy this year – and what a great topic for those creating new businesses! After all, new companies are usually built on the premise of disrupting an existing industry – and of course more and more of today’s disruption is enabled by advances in technology.A window to innovationJust think of some of the famous disruptors of recent times – Tesla in auto, Netflix in media and Uber for taxicabs. All three companies have become differentiated, based on a brave, bold vision, brought to life through tech.Disruption is a force for good. It kills complacency, shakes things up, and provides huge customer benefits, like more choice, new or improved products and services, and better value for money. Without disruption, we would continue to do the same-old, same-old and never move the dial.We know first-hand all about disruption at Dell Technologies. Over the years, we’ve successfully disrupted the PC, server, workstation, services and gateway markets. You could say that disruption is part of our DNA. Indeed, finding new sources of disruption is a key reason why we invest in new and interesting companies – as the President of Dell Technologies Capital, Scott Darling, says, “Our goal is to get a window on innovation.”Things can be messy for a whileOf course, it’s not all a bed of roses. As the name implies, ‘disruption’ is usually a bit messy. Things can break. It can be unsettling or confusing for a while as things are re-arranged and old realities disappear. Long standing product lines can become less relevant and less profitable and that in itself drives angst and second thoughts about pursuing something new.Change is challenging. And while a company might be clear eyed and positive about the need for change, in most mature organizations, change takes a bit longer to move forward. Healthy checks and balances need to take place before radical changes in products or processes are implementedWhy?So, if it’s messy, why bother? Well, staying relevant and competitive in today’s world is not easy but companies know that it’s a case of disrupt or be disrupted.For example, according to Professor Richard Foster from Yale University, the average lifespan of an S&P 500 index company has decreased 50 years in the last century, from an average of 67 years in the 1920s to just about 15 years today. Half of the companies listed on the Fortune 500 in the year 2000 have fallen off the list – and indeed many of those no longer exist. It used to take Fortune 500 companies an average of 20 years to reach a billion-dollar valuation; today’s digital start-ups are getting there in four. The moral of the story – disrupt or be disrupted!Lessons learnt in disruptionBased on our own experiences and that of our customers, what pearls of wisdom can we impart? Every day, we hear customers talking about a need and desire to drive disruptive innovations – but doing so in a way that their organization can buy into and support.Here are some lessons we’ve learned from our customers and partners while working with them to drive disruption through technology:Top Tips for Success1. Focus on the outcome to be improved, rather than the technology. Whether it’s new efficiencies to become more competitive, or new features to deliver more for customers, or improved safety to better protect employees, focusing on common values held within an organization helps keep teams aligned to focus on one deliverable. Remember, technology is just a means to an end.2. Paint the vision to get the team together and communicate it loudly and consistently. Involve people at all levels. Understand that a range of stakeholders will need to work together –some of whom may not have had an opportunity to work together before.For example, a lot of disruption is happening today at the edge, where the physical world meets the digital world. This means that IT folks will need to learn how to harvest and integrate the right data from the OT world. These worlds tend to have different cultures and ways of working so clashes can easily happen, if not acknowledged upfront and worked through.3. Focus on your core competencies. Bring in external partners to provide critical expertise where needed. Look for partners with deep domain expertise in a given vertical – they will be able to accelerate the work as they’ll understand which levers to throw to enable the outcome dial to be turned in the right direction.In that context, it’s interesting to see that in a global Dell customer survey, carried out earlier this year, more than 88 percent of respondents said that existing OEM partnerships are helping them overcome barriers to innovation, with close to 83 percent indicating that OEMs had helped them accelerate their own product and services initiatives.4. We’ve already talked about the transformational role of technology in driving technology. Our customers certainly agree with 81 percent of those surveyed saying technology is critical and can make all the difference between winning and losing.Dell Technologies offers a differentiated portfolio that is delivering hardware and software solutions that play at every level of AI and IoT implementation, from the edge, to the core, to the cloud. We can deliver all the necessary assets, including scalable, secure, manageable and open infrastructure architecture, IoT and big data expertise, the ability to customize through our OEM division, the right partners plus a sophisticated global support and supply chain.And importantly, we understand innovation and disruption. It’s part of our heritage. Get disruptive – we’re here to support you!I’d love to hear your comments and questions about disruption in your industry and business.Come meet me at EO Alchemy, 11-14 September in Portland.Learn more about Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge SolutionsRead the key highlights from our 2019 Global OEM Customer SurveyKeep in touch. Follow us on Twitter @delltechoem and @kirstenatdell. Join our LinkedIn OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions Showcase page here.
NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar’s military has denied its chief was threatening to stage a coup over complaints of election fraud, saying the media had misinterpreted his words. Political tension in the Southeast Asian nation soared this past week after a spokesman for the military, which had ruled Myanmar for five decades, said a coup could not be ruled out if its complaints of widespread fraud in November’s election were ignored. The commander-in-chief told senior officers Wednesday that the constitution could be revoked if the laws were not being properly enforced. Adding to the concern was the unusual deployment of armored vehicles in the streets of several large cities. Saturday’s statement says some media organizations wrote without foundation that the military threatened to revoke the constitution.
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Somalia’s police say a hotel in the capital has been hit by an explosion and an attack by gunmen. Police spokesman Sadiq Adan Ali said a vehicle loaded with explosives crashed into the entrance gate of the Afrik hotel, near Mogadishu’s strategic K-4 junction. Somalia’s police say a number of armed gunmen then quickly invaded the hotel, opening fire on staff and patrons inside. Government forces responded to the attack and gunfire could be heard coming from the hotel. At least seven wounded civilians could be seen although police did not immediately give casualty figures. Al-Shabab extremist rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country star Morgan Wallen has been suspended indefinitely from his label and seen his music pulled by radio stations and streaming services Wednesday after video surfaced of him shouting a racial slur.,Big Loud Records said in a statement that Wallen’s contract has been suspended indefinitely. Republic Records, which he is co-signed to, said it agreed with Big Loud’s decision and said “such behavior will not be tolerated.”,The video, which was first published by TMZ on Tuesday night, showed Wallen outside a home in Nashville, Tennessee, yelling profanities and a racial slur.,Wallen said in a statement to TMZ that he is embarrassed and sorry.,“I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back. There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better,” his statement said.,He’s one of the genre’s biggest young stars. His sophomore album, “Dangerous: The Double Album,” is spending its third week atop the Billboard 200 chart and it has set several streaming records, even besting the recent release from country star Luke Combs. Wallen is also one of the few country acts to score a Top 10 hit on the pop charts, thanks to the success of “7 Summers” and “Wasted on You.”,But the fall from the top has been swift.,“In light of Morgan Wallen’s recent actions involving the use of a racial slur, we have made the decision to remove his music and content from our stations effective immediately,” according to a statement from iHeartMedia, which has hundreds of radio stations across the country.,The Academy of Country Music, which is currently taking nominations for their annual awards show in April, said in a statement they would “halt” Wallen’s eligibility for this year’s show and will also be reviewing the awards eligibility and submission process. “The Academy does not condone or support intolerance or behavior that does not align with our commitment and dedication to diversity and inclusion,” the ACM statement said.,As of Wednesday morning, streaming apps like Spotify and Apple Music don’t have his songs in their most popular country music playlists, where normally Wallen had multiple songs from his new album.,SiriusXM and Pandora also removed his music from their playlists, according to a spokesman for SiriusXM. The music television channel CMT said it was removing his appearances from all its platforms.,The Tennessee-born singer who has hits with songs like “Whiskey Glasses” and “Up Down” featuring Florida Georgia Line, has done a lot of public apologizing lately.,Wallen was arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct in May 2020 after getting kicked out of a downtown Nashville bar.,In October, “Saturday Night Live” dropped him from a scheduled performance on their show after he violated COVID-19 protocols when videos appeared on social media of him partying with fans in Alabama. He was later invited back on the show in December, where he appeared in a skit making fun of himself.,Other country stars criticized his actions publicly.,“It actually IS representative of our town because this isn’t his first ‘scuffle’ and he just demolished a huge streaming record last month regardless,” tweeted country star Maren Morris. “We all know it wasn’t his first time using that word. We keep them rich and protected at all costs with no recourse.”,Other music stars have faced backlash for using racial slurs or derogatory language. Justin Bieber apologized in 2014 for using a racial slur joke in a video from when he was a teenager.,In the past, country radio has sometimes ignored offensive behavior by male stars, even as female artists like the Chicks, formerly known as the Dixie Chicks, were removed from radio for criticizing the U.S. president. Country star Jason Aldean wore blackface for a Halloween costume in 2015, but never issued an apology, and he remains one of the top selling country artists.,Marcus K. Dowling, a music journalist who has written about Wallen, said the country music industry has experienced a reckoning in the last eight months prompted by the Black Lives Matter movement that has had an effect on the industry’s reaction to Wallen’s words.,“I feel like it set a trip cord that never existed in country music for racial behavior,” said Dowling. “It was inarguably the Black people who work and occupy space in the genre who set that boundary. And any artist, even an artist who has sold well and has over 500 million streams in three weeks, if they cross that line, they were going to be impacted.”
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — President Joe Biden’s announcement that the U.S. will end its support of a Saudi-led coalition’s yearslong war against Yemen’s Houthi rebels likely will increase pressure on the kingdom to end its campaign there. However, reaching an enduring peace for the Arab world’s poorest country still remains in question. Yemen’s Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, remain firmly entrenched in the country’s north and hold its capital, Sanaa. The rest of the country remains held by a series of competing tribal, regional and political alliances, backed overall by the Saudi-led coalition that’s been fighting there since 2015. How those fractious forces respond will be key.