Last week I was happily surprised to receive a friend request on Facebook from Jonathan, an ex-student of a pre-vocational class I taught in 2001. My best teaching experience happened with his class where I was in charge of 25+ students who had failed the mainstream education system after six years of formal schooling.Learning to read and write is the most powerful skill a child acquires during his first few years of school and I was shocked to discover that more than half of those students were unable to write their own name at the age of 11.Our world is home to 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24.Yet, today, education remains inaccessible for millions of children around the world. More than 72 million children of primary education age do not have access to basic education, vital to their intellectual and social development.Dell believes that access to education and technology is not a luxury, but a human right and we work hand-in-hand with non-profit organisations around the world to ensure that quality education reaches all. How does it work?At the heart of our Legacy of Good plan is a commitment to community service, where employees who volunteer become part of the greater plan for change. There are plenty of exciting initiatives that are improving children’s quality of life and their access to community resources in remote villages and rural populations around the world. Our programs would not be complete without adventure!Last year, Dell Ireland partnered with Mellon Educate, an Irish-based African development charity to create an effective, nurturing environment for local children to continue their education in Masiphumelele, a township outside of Cape Town with about 40,000 people. Due to extremely poor classroom conditions, Ukhanyo Primary School positioned far from the developed tourism hotspots of South Africa, was selected for support.Each volunteer had to raise €4,500 to cover building materials, flights and accommodation; however Dell helped reach that goal by matching donations volunteers and other employees made.The classrooms, consisting mainly of portacabins, were unsafe for the children to learn in. With classes of close to 50 children and just 40 staff members in total, there were many challenges at Ukhanyo Primary School that needed to be addressed for the increasing number of children enrolling in the school.With the help of 260 volunteers, Tammy Nicholas, Chris Willoughby, Dara OCoisdealbha and Emma Lonergan from Dell Financial Services put their hands to good work and changed the lives of 1,700 young boys and girls. They had been able to address some of these issues at the school through the construction of 11 permanent classrooms, 10 hygienic toilets, a kitchen and 2 playgrounds.Wanting to do something constructive with his holidays, Chris Willoughby got involved in this project, dedicating his time bringing global issues into his worldview.“It’s hard work – getting up before 6 am each day for a full day of work on a building site,” he said. “As a volunteer you can find yourself doing all sorts of work, from wheeling concrete for foundations, laying blocks, plastering, tiling roofs and floors to plumbing sinks and toilets and building toilet cubicles.”So why build a school?“As Nelson Mandela said ‘Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world’,” he shared.Emma Lonergan has now visited South Africa three times and is hitting the road again with Tammy Nicholas.“Mellon Educate not only supports the building blitz, but also a 2 year teacher mentoring and training program in each renovated school, focusing on literacy and numeracy,” she said. “A previously renovated school in the area has already won an award for substantial improvement in mathematics.We get updates on the schools from the charity, and it’s encouraging to see dramatic results.”The culture will be different on their next trip. They are expected to work hard and be present physically and mentally for all activities. They will get hot, dirty and bug-bitten along the way, but their contribution will transform the community and they will return home with another life-changing experience.
Dell EMC is once again a Gold Plus Sponsor of SAP TechEd 2017 in Las Vegas, September 25 – 29th. Be sure to stop by our Booth #800 to meet with our experts and find out how Dell EMC can help you accelerate your digital transformation with SAP.Check out the Intense Popcorn Showcase and get some freshly popped popcorn. Learn how we are providing real-time data monitoring and control between intelligent sensors and the Dell IoT Gateway – certified on SAP Leonardo.For more details on the Popcorn Showcase, read Gunther Manz’ recent blog post on the detailed overview of the real-time interaction using machine learning with enterprise business systems at remote industrial sites. Be sure to Follow @DellEMCSAP and of course, @Jim_FranklinDon’t miss “Dell EMC The Source” app in the App Store. Be sure to subscribe to Dell EMC The Source Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or Google Play and visit the official blog at thesourceblog.emc.comDell EMC: The Source Podcast is hosted by Sam Marraccini (@SamMarraccini)
Innovation is a word I hear all the time – I even use it myself often. It seems as though every major organization, technology-related or otherwise, has branded itself an innovator that offers something unique and new. That’s particularly true when you think about companies offering artificial intelligence solutions. But here’s the thing – while these companies talk about what’s unique and ‘cutting-edge,’ many times they ignore a critical piece of the puzzle – the customer. I’ve challenged myself when using the term – am I truly innovating?As I travel and talk to customers & partners worldwide, it’s clear to me that although there are benefits to new, unique technology, what customers want more than anything is simplicity. They want simple ways to address their day-to-day pain points, as well as simple paths to adopt new technology so they can remain competitive and focus on driving revenue for their business. Partners are looking for a reliable ecosystem to simplify their go to market.Artificial intelligence and, more specifically, machine learning are aimed at empowering organizations to automate and simplify a great number of tasks. That said, adopting these transformative abilities often present more challenges than they solve. Steep learning curves, difficult adoption paths, and the inability to scale are some of the frustrations our customers deal with as they try to deploy AI solutions, resulting in more time and money spent than they were prepared for.Simplicity is a core value for Dell EMC and nowhere is this truer than in our work around artificial intelligence and machine learning. As we discussed during at our IQT Day event in New York earlier this month, we are committed to working with a strong ecosystem of technology partners to enable customers to leverage the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions – simply. Working with our partners, we offer real solutions that deliver results right now and drive long-term continuous improvement in business performance.Our efforts in this area were on display this week at the Intel SHIFT Event in New York. Dell EMC has a longstanding relationship with Intel which has resulted in a vast number of achievements. This year alone, we’ve worked with Intel (and SAP) to power better patient outcomes, continued to leverage Intel technologies in our Dell EMC HPC Innovation Lab, now recognized as one of the Top 500 supercomputers in the world, and continue to identify opportunities to do more for our customers in the areas of machine learning and deep learning. If you weren’t able to attend the event and speak with our team, I was fortunate enough to sit down with Daniel Newman for his S.M.A.C. Talk live blog and talk how Dell EMC and Intel are working together to help our customers achieve simplicity in adopting and deploying artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions. You can access that podcast by clicking here.Artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to be top-of-mind for me as I visit with both customers and partners. Keep your eye on this page for exciting news to come as we help customers navigate this brave, new world.
Watching the closing ceremony of a global sporting event last night, I got to thinking about how much shared events bring us together for longer than the actual event lasts. Once you experience something with other people, whether you knew each other before or not, you remain connected after.Dell Technologies World may not be your chance to earn a medal, but you could earn a certification there. And even if you’re not there for the training opportunities, you’ll have the chance to take away some inspiration from our recently announced “guru speakers.”One of them will be very familiar to listeners of the Trailblazers podcast. Author Walter Isaacson typically covers stories of digital disruption in various industries, such as entertainment, healthcare, air travel, and more on Trailblazers.In his recently released book, Leonardo da Vinci, Isaacson, tells the story of da Vinci’s genius. At Dell Technologies World, he’ll share how a group of inventors, hackers, geniuses and geeks created the digital revolution.Dell Technologies World attendees will not only hear about how digital transformation has accelerated disruption across industries, they will also learn practical insights and actionable next steps to make transformation real.The opening general session is hosted by Michael Dell, and a new afternoon general session has been added which will be hosted by Pat Gelsinger. Also recently announced is the second “guru speaker” Andrew McAfee who will be talking on the topic, “Business advice we shouldn’t believe anymore.”But in case all those great speakers are not yet enough to entice you to join us at this year’s event, there’s an opportunity to bring someone along to the special evening event for free! (I don’t think we’ve booked any 13 year old guitar prodigies, but history shows you can expect a big name musical performance.)That’s just one of the five special gift options you can choose from if you register before February 28. Yes, that’s just two days left to sign up for great speakers, hands-on training and… select one of these great prizes: Ring video doorbell, Bose wireless headphones, Alienware gaming keyboard, YETI cooler or guest pass to the evening event.Register directly here on the Dell Technologies World website.