Dell EMC’s First Anniversary

Dell Technologies, the world’s largest privately-controlled technology company, has recently celebrated the first anniversary of its formation through the historic merger of Dell and EMC.

 

In its inaugural year, the company formed a unified Dell and Dell EMC salesforce and created a US$35 billion Dell Technologies channel and global channel program that added 10,000 new business customers to the Dell EMC portfolio.

 

In addition, Dell EMC experienced explosive revenue growth (nearly double historical rates) in underpenetrated accounts in the first half of 2017, fuelled by cross-selling of server, storage, client and converge infrastructure solutions.

Dell One Year Anniversary Infographic

Dell Technologies has accomplished these milestone achievements while rapidly paying down approximately US$9.5billion in debt, quickly completing three major business divestitures and continuing to invest aggressively in the most innovative technologies for customers.

 

As evidence of early traction, a new independent IDC survey reveals that 91 per cent of customers surveyed worldwide believe Dell and EMC have delivered on the promises made to them ahead of the merger.

 

At the same time, the tech company also announced that GE, the world’s largest digital industrial company, has signed a multi-year commitment to use Dell Inc. infrastructure and end-user computing solutions to support GE’s ongoing digital transformation efforts.

 

Under the agreement, Dell Inc. becomes the primary IT infrastructure supplier for GE where the deal is one the largest non-government contracts in Dell Technologies, Dell or EMC history.

 

Meanwhile, Dell Technologies has released its Annual Report to Customers, demonstrating how the company has helped customers in the past year to achieve their peak potential in the digital future.

 

“We set the bar high and exceeded our own expectations,” said Michael Dell, Dell Technologies chairman and chief executive officer.

“We’ve made enormous strides this past year in serving the needs of our customers, from governments to fast-growing small businesses to many of the world’s largest enterprises who call Dell Technologies their most strategic IT partner. And we’re just getting started.”

 

The Dell Technologies family of businesses includes Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMware. It stands as a US$74 billion4 market leader with the industry’s most expansive portfolio from the edge to the data center to the cloud.

 

Additional milestones in its first year:

 

INVESTMENTS – Dell Technologies continued investingUS$4.5 billion in R&Dannually. It invested an additional US$100 million in innovative startups focused on future tech areas like artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, genomics and others through Dell Technologies Capital.Since the close of the merger, the company hascommitted to invest almost US$1 billion incrementally in its people, go-to-market strategy and technology for key growth areas.

 

MARKET LEADERSHIP – Dell EMC PowerEdge servers overtook the closest competitor to become the world’s No. 1 bestselling x86 server5 based on units shipped, and Dell EMC stood as theNo. 1converged systems6 provider. Dell’s PC market share continued to rise, with 18 consecutive quarters of year-over-year PC market share gains7Dell also led as No. 1 in worldwide workstation shipments7 and No. 1 worldwide monitor shipments8.Dell EMC retained the No. 1 position in All-Flash storage9 for the 12th consecutive quarter.

 

MILESTONES, AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS – Michael Dell was recognised as the Most Influential Channel Executive in 2017 by CRN. Pivotal was namedGoogle Cloud Technology Partner of The Year for continued innovation with the Pivotal Cloud Foundry on Google Cloud Platform. Dell EMC’s Unity storage array family achieved US$1 billion in revenue in its first year, becoming one of the fastest-growing storage products in company history. Dell products won more than 60 awards at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Dell received 13 Awards – including the Computex Design & Innovation and GOLD award 2017 for the Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming at this year’s Computex show, the largest IT trade show in Asia. VMware Cloud on AWS beta program was oversubscribed. SecureWorks was positioned in the “Leaders” quadrant of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed Security Services (MSS) Worldwide for the ninth consecutive time.10

 

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY – Customers and employees value Dell Technologies’ commitment to people and the planet we share, which has never been stronger. Today Dell was named to Fortune’s Change the World List, was recently recognised asone of DiversityInc’sTop 50 Companies for Diversity & Inclusion, and provided 2.3 million youth with better access to technology through grants and partnerships. In sustainability, the company diverted 99% of manufacturing waste from landfills, helped customers save US$380 million in electricity costs by improving product energy efficiency, created the first commercial-scale global ocean plastics supply chain and committed to turning 16,000 lbs. of ocean-bound plastic into product packaging. Dell and Dell EMCspent a combinedUS$4.9 billion on materials and services with certified women or minority-owned suppliers and small businesses.

 

ACCELERATED INNOVATION – The company continued to develop and bring to market new and improved enterprise products across the portfolio, including:

  • New client offerings such as the Dell Canvas innovativesmart workspace, Precision 7720 VR-ready mobile workstation, XPS 13 2-in-1, Latitude 7285 2-in-1 with wireless charging, and UltraSharp 8K monitor with the world’s first 32-inch 8K display
  • 14G Dell EMC PowerEdge servers, an ideal foundation for cloud, analytics or software-defined data centers
  • End-to-end storage portfolio refresh of high-end, midrange and unstructured storage platforms
  • Delivery of new ScaleIO Ready Nodes and Elastic Cloud Storage built on Dell EMC PowerEdge servers
  • Expansion of Dell EMC Data Protection capabilities to the cloud, along with native support for VMware vSphere and VMware Cloud on AWS
  • Major refresh of market-leading Data Domain protection storage and introduction of turnkey Integrated Data Protection Appliance
  • Momentum with and updates to the Dell EMC VxRailfamily, as the industry’s only HCI appliances powered by VMware vSAN and jointly engineered with VMware;move to PowerEdge Servers, supported now on Dell EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, and a major upgrade with VMware vSAN and vSphere updates
  • NewOpenNetworking solutions, theDell EMC OS10 operating system and newService Provider Solutions program
  • Dell EMC ProDeploy Suite, designed to help customers deploy PCs with greater speed, less effort and more control

 

SUPPLY CHAIN – Through its combined supply chain and unmatched ability to reach, service and support customers around the world, Dell shipped 2.55 unitsper second (40 million PCs; 2.5 million servers/enterprise products; 45 million S&P units). Just 27 days after the merger closed, shipped the company’s first integrated Dell and EMC product.

 

ALIGNMENTS – Virtustream, launched in Asia Pacific and Japan in March 2017, teamed up with Pivotal for rapid deployment of cloud-native apps and with VMware to extend mission-critical apps/workloads to Virtustream Enterprise Cloud. In addition, RSA accomplished a significant number of integrations with other Dell Technologies businesses, including RSA NetWitness Endpoint bundling with Dell Data Security, RSA SecurID integrations with VMware Workspace ONE and VMware AirWatch, as well as interoperability with VMware AppDefense.

 

 

Review: Samsung Galaxy S8+

Arising from the flames of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and taking up the notch from its predecessor, the remarkable Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Samsung has redeemed itself through the recent release of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 +.

Daring to defy barriers and breaking the boundaries, Samsung has redesigned the S8+ to define what it means to simply ‘unbox your phone’.

The S8+, redesigned from the inside out, has break free from the confines of the bezels and buttons, offering a smooth uninterrupted surface that flows seamlessly over the edges.

 

6066231

Infinity Display

Its stunning 6.2-inch Infinity Display of the Galaxy S8+ is 18 per cent larger than the display of the Galaxy 7, hence making more of an immersive viewing experience.

The Infinity Display in landscape mode has made watching movies more cinematic and gaming experiences have been enhanced and more entertaining as the Galaxy S8+’s 18:5:9 full screen mode is automatically optimised to full up the entire screen.

Mobile games such as Need for Speed: No Limits and Bully played on the S8+’s Infinity Display take mobile gaming to a whole different level with its astonishing graphics.

At the same time, the Infinity Display makes it a lot easier to see and do more from a single screen without having to scroll as often and to optimise on multi-window usability, making multitasking easy.

In addition, the Infinity Display is protected with Corning® Gorilla® Glass 5 which is impervious against scratches and external impacts.

 

Design

The design of the Galaxy S8+ is a futuristic work of art as Samsung has once again eliminate the left and right borders with a gently curved screen and now almost erases the top and bottom bezels too.

As previously mentioned of Samsung’s Infinity Display, it gives more screen without significantly increasing the size of the smartphone.

The S8+ measures 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm and weighs 173g but its subtle curvature flows from the front of the device to the back has created a more ergonomic grip ideal for one-handed use.

Additionally, Samsung has eliminated the unattractive rear camera bump and simply outlines the flat lens with a tiny lip.

Meanwhile, along the sides of the S8+ sits the typical volume rocker and standby buttons, however, they have been joined by a dedicated Bixby key to access Samsung’s new smart assistant.

That being said, with how limited Bixby is at the moment, it can be considered as a waste of space to give its own button.

Bixby

Samsung’s new mobile assistant Bixby will be a new take to use the Galaxy S8+ as it can understand the use of voice, text or touch. Even if you are lost for words, capture a photograph using a camera and Bixby will look it up.

That being said, Bixby is not ready for prime time as its voice interface does not work yet but Samsung has provided the Bixby Home panel where calendar appointments, daily activities, reminders and the local weather ready at your finger with a right-swipe on the homescreen or mashing the dedicated Bixby button.

It is just a matter of time before Bixby be fully operational to be utilised.

Camera

With the dual-pixel sensor technology, wide aperture and fast autofocus of the 12MP f1.7 rear camera of the Samsung Galaxy S8+, it has worked together to create beautiful photographs even in low-light conditions.

 

Meanwhile, its 8MP f1.7 front camera has been equipped with enhanced autofocus features and facial recognition technology that can recognise and track faces to provide clear, focused selfies, regardless of the distance between the user and the camera.

 

Additionally, with an easy-to-use filter setting, it was a fun experience to enhance photos by selecting from a variety of filters, including Auto Filter, which automatically selects one optimised for a photo.

 

Meanwhile, animated stickers and stamps can also now be applied to images when taking photos, right from the camera app. At the same time, the S8+ camera’s UX has also been optimised for one-handed photo-capturing.

 

Performance and battery life

 

The Samsung Galaxy S8+ powered by new Snapdragon 835 and 4GB of RAM onboard where it runs smoothly on Samsung’s improved interface and also while jumping between running apps.

 

Meanwhile, running on 3,500mAh battery, the S8+ gets about two full days of use on a single charge and that is with the screen set to its maximum resolution. Imagine how long would the battery last if the display is tone down to Full HD+ or lower.

This makes the Samsung Galaxy S8+’s battery one of the strongest in the market to date.

Security

All eyes are on security with the S8+ as it provide strengthened security features through the integration of Samsung’s trusted Knox security platform and a combination of biometric technologies.

Among the new security technologies is the S8+’s secure iris scanner that it is supposedly fast, accurate and touch-free.

However, that is not the case as it took some time or failed to detect whilst making a below par experience.

It goes the same with its fingerprint scanning sensor awkward location- on the S8+ back, next to the camera. The sensor is a little off the centre making it a easy to miss and more often smearing fingerprints all over the camera lens before finding it.

Meanwhile, for those who are a little narcissistic, the S8+ offers another form of security through unlocking the device with your face.

Personally, it was an uncomfortable experience as it was similarly like taking a selfie (never gotten used to it) to unlock the S8+.

That said, in my opinion, the old school pattern, PIN or password would make a better choice to secure the device.

Game Changer in Education

Gamification is the concept of applying gaming mechanic and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.

The concept is not something new as many industries have adopted the concept for training purposes in areas of sales, marketing, flight simulation, construction vehicular training and many others.

However, in terms of the education sector, it has slowly to become more popular among teachers and educators as they have finally realised the wealth potentials that games could offer their students.

So, gone are the days where video games are considered a waste of time today as gamification in education has transformed learning to become more interactive and entertaining for students.

At the same time, it has created a fun and engaging classroom environment where students are motivated to learn while excelling in their grades.

Looking at how the education landscape is seeing a shift leaning towards gamifying education, the first chemistry adventure role-playing mobile game, ChemCaper: Petticle in Peril was developed.

ACE EdVenture Studio in collaboration with Artoncode, a development team based in Jakarta, Indonesia developed the educational game based on the Cambridge University’s IGCSE Chemistry that covers topics such as elements in the periodic table, compounds, types of bonding and laboratory apparatuses that are taken directly from the textbooks and design into the game elements of ChemCaper.

Screenshot_MainMenu_Updated

Creating a role-playing game (RPG) with such content and scale may seem like a huge task, however, ACE EdVenture Studio, led by its founder Anne Tham (who also founded Sri Emas and Dwi Emas International) knows how to make learning fun.

Anne's HeadshotACE EdVenture Studio founder, Anne Tham

She says that students are actually interested in learning however lessons in most schools today are still conducted in such a way where they (students) will get easily bored.

“When the students are bored, they will not focus on what is being taught and eventually they will not be able to understand or memorise what was being taught in class.

“On the contrary, when students are entertained and excited to learn something, they will be able to absorb and recall the lessons better and it is possible through the use of video games in education.

She adds with the current generation of students who are glued to their mobile devices (i.e smartphones, tablets or handheld gaming consoles), she decided it would be a good idea to develop and design the game to be on mobile devices.

“Hence, we made it our mission to change the perception how education should be in the age of technology through developing and making ChemCaper available to be played on a global stage.”

Tham shares the reason behind the game is developed on the subject Chemistry is because the subject is among the hardest science subject for students to understand.  .

“Chemistry has a vast of information where students are required to understand remember and it will be difficult to grasp as they have to rely on words while learning the subject.

Screenshot_BattleFormation_H2O_02

“So by playing ChemCaper , it teaches the fundamental chemistry concepts which targets teenagers aged between 10 to 14. The game will teacher them chemistry topic on scientific apparatus, separation techniques, groups of elements, properties of elements and types of chemical bonding.”

She adds the game is designed to educate students the chemistry topics that they would usually learn in their textbooks in a classroom setting.

“With many learning features in the game, students learn to the types of elements in the game as it consists of diverse characters and landscapes based on the types of chemical elements in the Periodic Table.

Screenshot_Battle_BromBrom

“At the same time, they will easily learn what chemical bonding by creating Petticles – cute collectible companions based on real life particles that will assist Roub’s (the game protagonist) battling monsters,” she says.

She adds through the game feature of crafting potions, it will teach students about chemical elements, their chemical properties as well as learning how to separate them and to use scientific apparatus.

Since the launch of game, Tham shares that she has seen her students being able to understand Chemistry better after playing the game.

ice_screenshot_20160108-173421

With the first act of ChemCaper being based on Year 7 Chemistry, Tham says that they are currently developing the second act of the game where it will be based on the Year 8 syllabus.

“Meanwhile, we are also working Act III and Act IV that will be based on Year 10 and Year 11. At the same time, we are planning to develop an ecosystem of educational for subjects in Physics, Biology, Mathematics and Additional Mathematics which are in the pipeline within the next couple of years,” she adds.

 

Review: honor 8 Pro

Could the Honor 8 Pro be the next strong contender in mobile device industry?

Can you imagine a smartphone delivering maximum performance in a minimalist package with cutting-edge processing power, long lasting battery life, 5.7-inch Quad HD display and a dual-lens camera all packed into an impossibly thin body?

If your answer is no, you do not need to look any further as Honor has recently unveiled its super smartphone, the Honor 8 Pro.

As mentioned earlier, on paper, the Honor 8 Pro is truly an accomplished and well-rounded smartphone but does its form and function qualified to be in the same category with the more expensive and powerful flagships devices and in the mid-range category?

Let’s find out in the Honor 8 Pro review!honor 8 Pro-photos_blue_11-8000

Design and Display

It predecessor, the Honor 8 was considered one of the best designed devices of 2016 and definitely the Honor 8 Pro could once again be a strong contender of the ‘design crown’ once again in 2017.

Honor has given the Honor 8 Pro a slightly different design compared to the Honor 8 as the latter has a glossy glass back, whereas the Honor Pro 8 gets a metal unibody.

At just 6.97mm thick, it is beautifully slim and its 184g weight is well spread out across the phone 5.7-inch body – hence, creating a device that is well balanced to hold.

Without doubt, it is a big phone, and it surely feels like one where some may find the Honor 8 Pro too big to use with one hand. Nonetheless, the smartphone will fit comfortably in your pocket.

Meanwhile, the Honor 8 Pro 5.7-inch boasts a 2560 x 1440 pixel QHD screen which it is quite stunning and offers a beautifully sharp 515 pixels per inch image density.

Entertainment

Powered by Huawei’s top-of-the-line system on a chip (SoC), Kirin 960 with Mali-G71 MP8 graphics processing unit and 6GB of RAM, the Honor 8 Pro has the capacity to handle both aggressive multi-tasking and gaming without breaking a sweat.

The 6GB of RAM provides fluid performances and the phone does not falter – no lags or stutters.

Heavy mobile games such as Asphalt 8, Mobile Legend and Sword Art Online – Memory Defrag ran without any hiccups. However, the smartphone has a tendency to heat up after playing a game for 30 minutes straight.

It is quite understandable with most smart phones in the market today; overheating has been one of the common issues.

That being said, in terms of battery longevity, the Honor 8 Pro performs outstandingly as it could it battery life could last up to two days. This is because of its 4,000 mAh battery and efficient software optimisations.

At the same time, the fast-charging feature helps heavy users like myself to get a quick boost and not worrying about running out of battery.

The bundled 9V/2A charger helps charge the phone to a third of the battery capacity in 30 minutes while zero to 100% would only take up two hours.

Additionally, the Honor 8 Pro comes in a box where it can be transformed into a Google Cardboard-style virtual reality (VR) headset, while there are already two VR apps pre-installed on the phone – Jaunt VR and Cardboard.

It is quite a simple task to assemble the VR headset but it is not something you would use to really heavily indulge in VR. Nonetheless, the lenses are pretty good but it is quite difficult to hold comfortably and finding the right viewing angle.

It is a good way to introduce VR app and games and if it something that you would love to immerse more into, consider getting a third-party VR headset for better experience.

Camera

The Honor 8 Pro boasts its dual 12-megapixel rear mounted cameras where the two are used as independent RGB and monochrome sensors.

Even without the Leica branding this time around, the outcome of the photos taken by the Honor 8 Pro have turned out really good where details were better than expected. Colours were on point and in low light settings, the camera would sharpen images which improve visibility but at the cost of noise and some loss of detail.

Selfies were also good with the front 8-megapixel camera alongside the camera app which ‘beautifies’ the images.

Meanwhile, the Honor 8 Pro’s camera has the capacity to record video at 4k but the continuous autofocus will be disabled. However, you can switch to 1080 at 30 or 60fps to enable the autofocus.