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OUR PEOPLE AND WORKFORCE

Culture of Innovation

Innovation is at the core of everything we do at EMC – from how we run our operations to how we develop and deliver new products and services. We rely on innovation to survive and thrive. We believe the intersection of innovation and sustainability is where we can uncover solutions to our greatest business, social, and environ­mental challenges. In addition to always thinking forward, redefining how we solve issues is vital in our approach to deliver innovative solutions today and anticipate the needs of tomorrow.

The EMC Innovation Network, our innovation engine, is an internal team whose efforts spark the creation and delivery of high-value ideas that accelerate change and drive progress. The Innovation Network, led by the Office of the CTO, runs ongoing programs and annual events that help expand our understanding of the issues and challenges facing our company, customers, partners, and industry – as well as the world around us. With this understanding, we identify opportunities to create the future of our company and shape the world we live in.

Innovation Conference & Innovation Roadmap

The Innovation Conference is EMC’s annual celebration of innovation. In 2013, for the first time since the conference began seven years ago, we opened its doors to outside stakeholders as tangible evidence of our belief in the value of co-creation to drive innovation. More than 4,000 customers and partners participated virtually in the 2013 conference, joining thousands of EMCers who took part in the conference from 16 different locations around the globe, as well as online. To learn more, visit the Community of Innovation Site.

A cornerstone of the conference is the Innovation Roadmap, EMC’s annual idea competition and incubation engine, designed to collect, enhance, and implement employee ideas where top-down meets bottom-up innovation. Executives from every business unit and global Centers of Excellence post “challenges” representative of EMC’s most pressing business problems open to innovative solutions from any employee in the company.

In 2013, we changed the name of the competition from “showcase” to “roadmap” to reflect EMC’s vision of innovation as an evolving process rather than a static event or place in time. The competition received 4,429 ideas from teams of employees in 28 countries, more than double the number of entries in 2012. These ideas were submitted in response to 28 sponsor challenges (see below), posted by different business units at EMC seeking an innovation solution to a business problem or opportunity.

After a comprehensive judging process, winning ideas were chosen for each sponsoring organization and announced at the Innovation Conference, with cash awards and incubation commitments provided to the innovators. After the conference, the winners work with their sponsors and the Office of the CTO to incubate their ideas, and turn them into products, services, or processes for EMC and the industry at large. To learn more, visit the Innovation@EMC website.

Sponsored Challenges for EMC’s 2013 Innovation Roadmap

  • Big Data in Education Services
  • Backup and Recovery Systems (BRS) Sales & Big Data
  • China COE
  • Community Involvement
  • Customer Services
  • Durham COE
  • Egypt COE
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Enterprise Storage Division (ESD)
  • EMC Software Group (ESG)
  • Flash Division
  • Global Product Operations
  • Global Services
  • HR Cloud, Mobile, Big Data and Social Media
  • Information Intelligence Group (IIG)
  • India COE
  • Ireland COE
  • Isilon
  • Israel COE
  • IT – Leveraging Big Data Analytics within EMC
  • Office of CTO (OCTO)
  • RSA
  • Russia COE
  • Simplify Data Management of an Exabyte
  • The Next Phase of Marketing
  • Total Customer Experience (TCE) Data Integrity Program
  • Unified Storage Division (USD)

Extending the Impact of the Innovation Roadmap
EMC also developed Innovation Central in 2013, an online internal hub for EMC employees to manage the submission process for the Innovation Roadmap and connect with other innovators. All historical information and data from competitions since 2008 are incorporated into the hub, which now has 16,500 regular users. We are working on a mobile version of Innovation Central and putting this content into a format that enables any user to run his or her own contest under his or her own rules and timeline. This will help to make an even greater innovation impact across business units.

Innovation Central links to the Incubation Collaboration Site hosted on EMC|ONE, which currently hosts the 28 project winners from the 2013 Innovation Roadmap. A new addition to Incubation Collaboration in 2013 was the Incubation Fund. Sponsoring organizations contributed to the Incubation Fund, which was designed to push forward ideas that cannot be easily incubated by a single organization, such as ideas that combine multiple technologies or fall outside of our core competency areas.

Expansion of External Collaboration
In 2013, we introduced the Open Innovation Lab (OIL), an initiative to solicit business challenges from customers and partners and to work collaboratively with them to build prototype solutions in as little as six to eight weeks. Our goal for OIL in 2013 was to let customers know about this new offering whose charter is “to engage with EMC customers and partners to prototype first-in-kind solutions and to share the results back to our product and solution engineering teams.”

Fellow & Distinguished Engineer Program

Our Corporate EMC Fellow & Distinguished Engineer (FDE) Program honors individual contributors who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and technical leadership across the company. After the Innovation Roadmap and Conference, FDEs provide support as teams and individuals incubate and advance winning ideas across EMC and its subsidiaries. FDEs also serve as mentors for our employees and contribute to the company’s overall strategy development.

These 11 new EMC Distinguished Engineers were honored at an induction gala in 2013:

Philippe Armangau Gerald Carter Ravi Chitloor Ken Gould
David Gnall Mark O’Connell Robert Philpott Radhakrishnan Manga
Jeff Reagen William Reid Michael Scharland  

Global Innovation Network Analytics

In 2012, we launched the Global Innovation Network Analytics (GINA) initiative across the company. Leveraging an EMC Greenplum®-based repository, GINA enables employees to submit meeting agendas or minutes to a central database that automatically maps the distribution of EMC’s global activities, showing the specific lines of connection across the company through recruiting, innovation activities, research and development, publications, patents, and more. It provides a single pane-of-glass view of major collaboration and knowledge transfer across the globe, enabling the Innovation Network to achieve its mission to “expand knowledge locally, transfer it globally, and leverage it strategically.”

We continue to use and improve the GINA tool in 2013. In addition to putting all of our ideas, research, and publications into the tool, we started working directly with our customers and gathering their feedback into GINA, so that we can measure what our customers are saying about our vision and compare it to other data in GINA. We have conducted detailed analysis of customer feedback and addressed any gaps that our customers found. Meanwhile, we have had follow-up innovation meetings with certain customers that were attracted to the vision and wished to work directly with us on innovation initiatives going forward.

In addition to a customer focus, we have had an external focus on university research. We keep track of what research activities our global partners are working on through the use of Stanford’s Topic Modeling Toolbox, take these research themes, and map them to specific geographic regions. Through GINA, we could visualize the locations and activity level with EMC's global university research partners, and further analyze to discover examples of research that is occurring in each locale.

Starting 2014, GINA will empower a weekly newsletter on global innovations and initiatives called Vision-X Newsletter. Any team is welcomed to submit data to GINA at gina@emc.com and spread their knowledge across the company.

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