Happy Holidays to all my dear friends and readers!
In the Sakac household - the tree is up, the elf on the shelf magically moves every night (man I hate the panicked late night "magic" almost every night). Sure, I'm furiously working with customers and partners for the next couple of weeks, as well as planning our January leadership meeting and the overall 2015 plan. But, you start to think about the end of 2014, and what 2015 will bring.
I have a couple posts in me still, and of course the big, bold Top 10 Predictions :-)
So - first, "a new tool", and more interestingly, "a valuable lesson".
At the beginning of the year, we decided that we desperately needed to do something about Powerlink (for those of you that don't partner with EMC, this was our main intranet/extranet site for critical product content in all forms).
Powerlink was awesome once. a long, long time ago. It was creaking so badly, search was so fatally busted, so much bureaucrazy (intentional spelling) had built up - something had to be done.
A furious debate ran for the bulk of 2013 about how to do it. After all - this thing was a critical info source, and so tied into processes and how people work - who would even know how to project manage it? It was a total hairball.
At the beginning of 2014, Jeremy Burton (at the time, the CMO) decided to use the delicate "Gordian Knot" solution: he just end-of-life'd Powerlink.
For a few days, people danced in the streets :-) After a few weeks - many SEs and Partner SEs started to sweat a little: "hey, where do I get the technical spec on the XtremIO 3.0 bits?" By the end of this year - it was one of the biggest pain points for thousands of people.
For EMCers - almost right away a new Presales portal (http://presales.emc.com) that has a ton of solutions-oriented content built around around our main solutions. But still - we were missing the core product technical info, and that product info needs to be much more open.
Last week - the team lit up the Enablement Centers. I've been playing with it for a while, and I think they have done a great job. It's simple to navigate. Search works and is natural. All the deep content is there. But - better than that - they made it more open, and more accessible. It is completely open to partners. You can get to the main portal by clicking on the picture below:
Furthermore - if you navigate to any specific product page on EMC.com (like I did for XtremIO below), there's a little "enablement center" link.
Check it out - and feedback is welcome!
Now - what's the moral of the story? I think the approach Jeremy used here ("the Gordian Knot") is often the best move when faced with an intractable, complex problem. If you have the luxury that it's not "mission/life-critical" (we couldn't have done this with our core ERP system, for example) - boldly "shutting down" the old sclerotic system is the scary, but right answer. It gets really bumpy for a while, but something awesome is far more likely to emerge.
When facing "stop stupid", I'm going to continue to try this approach in 2015 :-)