This is the toughest job I have ever had.
No. Not the strategy part. Not the work with the advanced development teams coming up with cool new things. And not even finding good technology. To be honest, that is the “easy” side of my job. The hard part is bringing it all together to create something more powerful together than was possible apart.
It’s hard for a number of reasons. As we acquire technologies and companies, their products have existing customers and we must make sure that we continue to exceed their expectations. For all of our products, we strive to offer the best technology in any given category. Development is organized around products. People can relate easily to products. We can easily measure a product success or failure in the market. Products are like the sports we play and watch – teams win and loose and the score is right there – simple.
OK, so with this analogy, you might think that building a larger set of IT capabilities (like our Information Infrastructure strategy) is done simply by aggregating the team scores and seeing who wins. As long as we have great products (teams) our overall record will be better. Just like the Olympics – lots of teams – an aggregated score – and a “winner” is declared. Right?
Good technology, architecture and the right processes can produce much more than “additive” effects. Our goal is not just to have great products or just additive effects. Our goal is to give customers more. Creating the best solutions and IT capabilities means creating a “team of teams” and it is tough.
To make life even more exciting, we don’t just want to do it across EMC, we want to include our partners on the “team.” And we even want to make sure we can still interoperate with our competitors as our customer’s mission sometimes requires different players on the team.
The closest analogy I can think of would be looking at the various Pro-bowls or All-star games in sports. Here, a new team is created from the best players in the league. In theory, this team should be unbeatable but, to be honest, they often basically suck (side note – I would reckon that this is the first time the word “suck” has been used on an EMC site).
So, one of my jobs (thanks Joe) is to make sure the “All-star” team is truly better than any other individual team – and just to make it interesting, through this process, we would like to make all of our individual teams better as well.
As this is getting a bit long and the plane is landing (and I am getting those dirty looks from the flight attendant) – I just decided to make this a three part series. In the next two installments I will discuss a couple of our innovations we are putting together in the areas of Common Platforms and Architecture/Standards that we believe will help us build an incredible all-star team!