Upping the Ante of Our User Experience

  • CIOs are challenged to provide employees with a positive user experience to support collaboration and productivity.

  • EMC Corp. looked to AT&T to develop and support a secure file sharing solution for its employees in EMEA.

As CIOs, one of our greatest challenges (and opportunities) is providing our employees with the consistent, convenient experience they have in their personal lives. Gone are the days of one device hardwired directly into the corporate network. Today, employees need to access and share information, collaborate and be productive while accelerating our company’s go-to-market activities. And, all of this has to be possible from any device while minimizing risk to the employee, our customers, and our intellectual property.

We all grapple with the following questions:

1. How critical is this capability for the business?
2. Can we deploy this in a timely manner for all of our users worldwide?
3. Does the user benefit outweigh the potential risks to our intellectual property?
4. Can we support the service internally or do we need to partner or broker it elsewhere?

We answered these questions prior to giving 48,000 global employees an enterprise file Sync and Share service. Our users needed a simple way to collaborate, share and access files on multiple devices without using email. Rather than letting this information live purely in the public cloud, we built a secure solution using on-premises storage and our Syncplicity application. Our users were pleased with the service, and we successfully answered the first three questions above.

The key to answering the fourth question revolved around our desire to provide flexibility and elasticity to grow, scale and improve on the service, as needed to meet our varying business requests and expectations. For instance, as a global company, we weighed the cost, management and other logistical challenges with building an on-premises solution closer to our employees in EMEA versus aligning with an experienced provider to deliver a hybrid service based upon Syncplicity in other geographies.

In this situation, we chose our AT&T to help us in EMEA. Their solution combines the flexibility of cloud-based SaaS; the security of on-premise storage; and the monitoring, reporting and troubleshooting we need to ensure a consistent and superior user experience.

As with any partnership, the capabilities, cost, management, security and service level agreements are just table stakes. However, to truly be successful as we move further toward the Third Platform, we need to up the ante on our user experience. Whether doing it internally or working with a provider, our strategic imperative as CIOs is now about making the business case and reaching the desired business outcome – driving performance, increasing productivity, and speeding go-to-market – without sacrificing the quality of the user experience.

Vic Bhagat is the Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at EMC Corporation. He has written this guest post for the Networking Exchange Blog.


Vic Bhagat Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer EMC Corporation About Vic