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Interview with Matt Oostveen, Chief Technology Officer, Asia Pacific & Japan, EMC Converged Platforms

Matt Oostveen, Chief Technology Officer, Asia Pacific & Japan, EMC Converged Platforms

Data&StorageAsean: What do you think are the key challenges and opportunities for APJ businesses today?
 
Matt: Technology is redefining businesses today and disrupting traditional modes of operation. Today, startups and MNC’s alike are competing for survival as the pressure mounts for businesses to transform themselves and keep up with rapidly changing demands of the digital economy.
 
With third-platform technologies such as social media and the cloud in their hands, customers have changed the fundamentals of the business landscape. There is a plethora of data waiting to be tapped on by businesses, but more often than not, many tend to underestimate the magnitude and speed needed to fully tap into the new opportunities presented.
 
This is why business leaders today are looking towards innovative technology that can help them make sense of burgeoning data lakes within and across their organizations. While scalability, reliability and availability of systems remain mission critical for the enterprise, businesses must put agility at the heart of the business.  With the right IT in place, new products and services can be brought to market more rapidly, customers’ buying preference are better understood and post-sales services will see improved quality and response time.
 
 
Data&StorageAsean: What challenges are businesses facing today with regard to their IT infrastructure?
 
Matt: In the age of IT transformation, the data center will see more intensified demand coming from an exponential increase in data volumes, types and sources; rapidly growing number of mission-critical applications with wider use across the organizations; more challenging service level agreements; as well as increasingly complex compute and data intensive processes. On top of all these, CIOs are expected to operate with a tighter budget and often, a lack of skilled talents
 
The digital economy means IT must be able to rapidly bring innovation to market. IT leaders must therefore modernize, automate and transform their data centers to keep pace with the speed of business – and they must do it now. IDC predicts data transformation to be a central focus for organizations, with 80 percent of global CIOs thinks this will enable competitive business differentiation. However, 60% of global businesses will not be able to scale due to a lack of strategic architecture .
 
 
Data&StorageAsean: What is converged infrastructure and how does it help solve today’s business challenges?
 
Matt: Hyperconverged systems collapse core storage, compute and networking functions into a single software solution or appliance. The result is a simple, easy-to-manage solution that increases business agility and lower risks. Designed with today’s fast-paced data-driven economy in mind, the hyperconverged infrastructure is well-suited for the modern data centers. It gives businesses the ability to set up a fully virtualized software-defined environment easily and quickly. This in turn allows businesses to shorten the innovation cycle as IT services can be provisioned to match the speed of business.
This is a particularly popular solution for enterprises looking to grow and transform quickly. From a broader trend point of view, we are seeing these businesses shift towards “buy” instead of “build” in order to quickly up level their IT operation while remaining agile and avoiding the introduction of silos.
 
Data&StorageAsean: There is a lot of noise about using technologies to future proof business success. What role does Converged infrastructure play in this? 
 
Matt: Speed and agility are two key components necessary in safeguarding and future-proofing business success. In this aspect, Converged Infrastructure is a great asset for businesses as it enables the faster provision of IT services and improved scalability while enabling control through a centralized management infrastructure.  It has a software-centric architecture that perfectly encompasses storage, computing, networking and virtualization. It’s basically the back-end equivalent of plug-and-play—straight from the box, simple to deploy and manage, all from one vendor.
 
Converged Infrastructure allows companies to start small and seamlessly up level as the business grows. It also is the most effortless choice for businesses that simply do not have time to call up multiple vendors, order multiple pieces of infrastructure, and assemble it all on their own.
 
Data&StorageAsean: I understand EMC, VMWare and VCE launched VxRail recently, can you tell us a bit more about that?
 
Matt: An important focus for EMC in 2016 is the nascent, rapidly growing hyper-converged appliance market segments. This is why for the past few months, EMC and VMware have partnered very closely to develop a new next-generation, hyper-converged appliance family that uniquely leverages technology from EMC, VMware, and VCE, and will change the game in this part of the converged infrastructure space. This appliance family is called VxRail.
 
VxRail provides a simple, cost effective hyper-converged solution for a wide variety of applications and workloads. With the VxRail Appliance, businesses can start small and easily scale capacity and performance by non-disruptively adding appliances to the cluster without the investment or up-front planning required with traditional infrastructure.
 
Data&StorageAsean: Do you expect businesses in Asia Pacific to adopt converged infrastructure solutions this year?
 
Matt: Definitely. We are expecting an upward trend in the adoption of converged infrastructure solutions across Asia Pacific and there are a number of reasons for that. n. According to IDC, 60% of APAC top 1000 enterprises will have digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategy  putting the pressure on businesses to quickly transform their IT, while ensuring minimal disruption, lower risks and competitive costs. 
 
Converged Infrastructure provides businesses with the back-end equivalent of plug-and-play—straight from the box, simple to deploy and manage, all from one vendor. With converged infrastructure, businesses now have the ability to respond quickly to changing business needs, shorten their innovative curve and ultimately, realize digital transformation without chalking up the costs and risks associated with traditional infrastructure provisioning.
 
With built-in IT management automation, it will also equip companies, based in developing Asian nations that face a lack of highly skilled professionals and reliable infrastructure, with the ability to provide a higher standard of IT service to their customers, staff and partners. In short, it will make them more competitive.
 
Converged infrastructure also provides capabilities that are particularly helpful to business growth in this region: the option to scale. For companies that are looking to grow but perhaps isn’t yet prepared to make a significant financial commitment to their IT budget, scalability is crucial. With Converged infrastructure, businesses will have the ability to start small – and scale up as their business thrives. 

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