If you’re a frequent Direct2Dell reader, you’ve likely heard about Dell’s 2020 Legacy of Good Plan and our mission to use our technology and expertise to improve our communities and planet. You’ve maybe even read about our recycled carbon fiber initiative or our new program to intercept ocean-bound plastics for use in our packaging.The backbone of so many of these innovations powering a circular economy is a sustainable supply chain.As the United Nations reminds us, supply chains have enormous potential to advance economic development around the world. And Dell believes a sustainable, ethical supply chain can also uncover tremendous innovation and efficiencies that transform business for the better.Since 2009, Dell has been actively working to address a key industry issue affecting the electronics sector: responsible mineral sourcing. We were a leading voice in the industry wide collaborations that led to the formation of the Conflict Free Smelter Initiative (CFSI) in 2011, which established a global framework for sourcing tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold (often referred to as 3TG or “conflict minerals”).Aligned with CFSI, we implemented a management system for conflict minerals based on the OECD’s five-step framework for due diligence in the mineral supply chain. We mapped our supply chain for 3TG and published our conflict minerals policy and smelter list on our website. We also incorporated conflict minerals reporting into our contracts with suppliers, setting up a robust process to identify risks and remove smelters from our supply chain.But even with the progress the industry has made around 3TGs from conflict-afflicted areas, there are still broader social and environmental challenges related to the sourcing of other minerals. Similar to CFSI, a global framework is needed for sourcing these minerals – and work is underway. In 2016 Dell joined the Responsible Raw Materials Initiative (RRMI), which seeks to build the infrastructure necessary to accurately identify smelters and mining companies that do not conduct proper due diligence to safeguard human rights where they operate.One of the minerals that is a key priority for the RRMI is cobalt, which is commonly mined from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and used in the production of lithium-ion batteries. As much as 20 percent of the cobalt sourced from the DRC may be mined by companies that do not have responsible sourcing programs that meet our standards, and the DRC produces roughly 50 percent of the world’s cobalt. As an active member in the RRMI’s Cobalt Working Group, we are working to map the cobalt supply chain and improve traceability.In a parallel effort, Dell joined the Responsible Cobalt Initiative (RCI). Through RCI, we aim to improve visibility into the cobalt supply chain and monitor where cobalt is coming from, the conditions under which it’s being mined, and engage with the DRC government and local NGOs to address risks and challenges on the ground. We are actively engaged across industries and sectors to protect human rights and address behaviors at all levels of the cobalt supply chainDell’s goal is to continue developing our due diligence systems for the sourcing of other minerals, like we have done for 3TG. While the work to build traceability infrastructure for cobalt is underway, Dell has taken steps to broaden our responsible raw material management system to include cobalt. In January 2016, we surveyed our battery suppliers and other key suppliers to understand their cobalt supply chain, current traceability, and sourcing policies. This year, we expanded the survey and began to collaborate with the RRMI to develop an industry-standard cobalt sourcing reporting template. We also launched a continuous improvement pilot project with battery suppliers to build their capabilities to follow the OECD’s responsible sourcing due diligence and help create awareness on cobalt sourcing in their supply chains.Addressing these challenges is a very complex endeavor that requires cross-industry collaboration. We do not yet have all the answers, but we are committed to transparency and open dialogue as we seek solutions. It’s through candid discussion that we’ll find shared interests that will make a positive difference in business and communities around the globe.
Dell 2017 Legacy of Good Update from Dell Technologies We are energized by the opportunities ahead, and we are just getting started.As we strive for a more sustainable future, collaboration and openness will be critical. Everyone has a role to play. Our role is to apply our technology and expertise where it can do the most good, and in doing so build a legacy of which we can be proud. Bringing together Dell and EMC in September 2016 was the start of a special opportunity. We now have broader technology expertise, a greater global reach and more resources with which to serve our customers. But even more, it equipped us with the talents and tools to be a major force for positive change.Today we released our first 2020 Legacy of Good Update as a combined company. The report highlights where we’ve had the most impact, across all areas of our business, in working toward our 2020 goals.For example, to combat pediatric cancer, we have incorporated our new broad end to end portfolio to provide the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) an even better solution for analyzing a child’s sequenced genomic data. TGen can now use precision medicine with children shortly after their diagnosis, not as a last resort. This results in more effective treatments with less side effects.We also applied our flexible work program to the combined company, allowing eligible team members to work where and how they can be most effective. And with the number of our employee resource groups growing from 11 to 14, we celebrate and connect even more team members who share interests, lifestyles, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity or background.While integration unlocks new possibilities, let’s not kid ourselves — integration is also really hard. Team members worry about all the change. When the heritage companies share common values and a similar culture, however, that transition can bring a new enthusiasm and commitment to action. We found that our companies’ Legacy of Good commitments provided a rallying call to all. For example, for Earth Day team members volunteered more than 7,000 hours and organized 55 events to clean-up our oceans and waterways.Below are some key highlights on the progress we have made:
Dell remodels offices around the world to improve comfort, flexibility, and collaboration.Among today’s top tech strategists it has become something of a mantra. It’s been written about in publications such as Forbes , CNN Money and Fast Company, and pronounced by CEOs around the world: Work is no longer a destination, but an activity.With nearly omnipresent internet, easy-to-use video conferencing, and email on our smartphones, the boundaries of the physical office have almost completely dissolved. So how does a 21st-century business, especially one with as many employees as Dell Technologies (almost 140,000 at last count) plan for the future? As Dawn Longacre, Dell’s global workplace strategist asked, “When you can work anywhere, what makes you want to come into the office?”“Work is much more collaborative today, so we need to break down the walls.ShareBuilding the FutureDell has always been focused on ‘building innovation’ – from our first years as a direct-to-market game changer, to the mid-90s, when we constructed one of the world’s largest corporate campuses. Now, with changing workstyles and generational shifts, we’re addressing the evolution of the office space by remodeling our buildings into state-of-the-art environments.“People come to the office for specific purposes – to collaborate; to be more productive; to garner inspiration and innovation from their teammates,” Longacre said. “That’s why we’re creating spaces where people want to work.”Breaking Down Walls “The cubicle was created in the 1960s, and it provides a functional purpose. But work has changed drastically. The management styles and tools we use have evolved,” she said. “Work is much more collaborative today, so we need to break down the walls.”Even if workers commute to a central office, their work is rarely stationary. “Today’s employees aren’t tethered to the desk. So we want them to feel comfortable to collaborate anywhere in the building,” said Terry Burr, senior program manager.Part of that solution is to create common areas that people actually want to use. So Dell’s workplace strategists came up with a smart, straightforward solution (If you’ve ever been to a party where everyone gathers in the kitchen, then you’ll get it).“When you can work anywhere, what makes you want to come into the office?ShareTalking Around the Table In addition to reimagining conference rooms and personal work areas (more on this soon), Dell has begun a major overhaul of its cafeteria spaces. “We have created many more meeting spaces in the cafeteria,” said Burr. “There are new varieties of seating options and furniture – communal seating like benches and off to the side, a two-seater booth for private conversations. I see people in there now, exchanging ideas, at all times of the day. Not just at lunchtime.”Every building’s cafeteria space will be optimized for comfort and collaboration. “You’ll find taller coffee bar tables, picnic tables, lounge seating – plus power outlets for your tech so you can work as long as you want,” adds Longacre. “The goal is to create environments that are inviting with soothing color palates, warm wood and interesting stone textures. It’s more like a coffee shop or restaurant, where you’d hang out for a while and talk.”The renovation doesn’t end at the door. Dell has also expanded and improved the exterior terraces. “Just outside, our employees will find new chaise lounges and patio seating, as well as access to Wi-Fi so you can work outdoors and soak up a little vitamin D,” she said.The JourneyIt’s like a neighborhood,” said Emily Dreyer, director of Global Real Estate Strategy. “When people come together, whether purposely or not, it forces them to talk. Just overhearing something can spark new conversations and ideas.”Feedback from current employees has been overwhelmingly positive, but according to the strategists involved in the process, the renovation could bear long-term benefits for Dell.“This is a journey. So far, people seem to appreciate the changes we’re making. But if our spaces are more collaborative, people will talk more and good things will come of that – they’ll solve problems and create new products,” said Tom Menke, vice president of Global Facilities. “That’s the goal.”Stay tuned for future updates about transformation on Dell campuses around the world.
The 2018 hurricane season – which kicked off June 1 – is expected to be “near-or above-normal,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As those who have been in a hurricane will tell you, nobody affected by Harvey or Irma or any other event will look at an approaching storm without profound anxiety.Safety professionals and our Dell disaster relief volunteers agree on this recurring advice: Prepare ahead of time. A well-prepared plan for your family can help reduce anxiety and chaos before, during, and afterward.Last year’s historic hurricane season taught many – including our own volunteers – some lessons about major storms and flooding. Dell team members responded in 2017 to a record-breaking year of natural disasters around the world by helping our employees, customers and suppliers. As waters rose and fires blazed, our team members organized supply drives, connected people to vital services, replaced products, repaired networks and recycled damaged equipment. We share this story within our new FY18 Annual Update on our 2020 Legacy of Good Plan.Here are some hurricane preparation tips from some of our Dell volunteers, learned through their own experience:Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico’s infrastructure inspired many team members to take bold action. Dell Services Director Jeff Poyner traveled to the island and volunteered tirelessly to deliver supplies and set up emergency communications. Poyner’s tips:Become familiar with your area and plan out potential evacuation routes (in the event your area becomes flooded).Create a “go bag” or “72 Hour Kit“, in the event you must evacuate.Keep a small radio with batteries. Do not count on cellphones or Internet to keep you informed.Dell team members organized donations of food, supplies and technology aid across 11 Dell sites in Puerto Rico post Hurricane Maria. They collectively raised more than $90,000 and 11 pallets of goods, including 250 donated solar kits. More than 3,500 Dell team members volunteered over 23,000 hours for disaster relief efforts in FY18, taking the initiative to do some truly extraordinary things along the way.Mariely Franzetti, vice president of support services IT and a Puerto Rico native, spearheaded a fundraiser that raised more than $90,000 for the Puerto Rico Community Foundation. She and her colleagues also coordinated the purchase of two generators to aid Poyner’s work. Franzetti’s tips:Stock-up on bottled water ahead of time.Prepare your home for a hurricane. Trim trees away from your home and clear gutters and drains of debris so rainwater can move away. Move any valuables from your home’s basement or low areas. Guidance on how you can strengthen your property is available from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) at disastersafety.org.After Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, Dell partnered with the Texas and Arizona National Guards and Nutanix to help six Houston schools ready their computers and audiovisual equipment for students’ return. These efforts were led by Joseph Cimato, the director of National Security and Civilian Government Support at Dell. Cimato’s tips:School districts or business with multiple locations should develop one standard for protecting electronics ahead of a hurricane. Cimato says Houston-area schools strongly benefitted from their IT protection plan last year.Move electronics to a safe room and off the ground, to protect from flooding.Shut down computers and unplug machines and power surges.Unplug Ethernet cables from computers or docking stations.Power off printers or any other accessories.Use dry bags or wrap electronics in plastic to ensure some short-term protection.At Dell, I am Dell’s Latin America giving manager and global disaster relief response manager. In Panama, where I live, I have dealt with earthquakes and when I lived in Venezuela, I experienced landslides. My tips:Sign-up for news alerts from reliable sources. At a recent conference, I learned how social media can spread inaccurate information during a disaster.Check your insurance coverage ahead of time.Make copies of important documents and keep them in your “go bag.”For more guidance on hurricane preparedness, visit www.ready.gov/hurricanesAt Dell, we are monitoring this hurricane season closely with our communities, customers and Dell team members in mind.Dell’s seven Global Command Centers (GCCs) serve as the front lines of our disaster relief efforts for customers. The GCC teams track all Dell product shipments and are the first to pinpoint weather-related delays. They reroute shipments, keep customers informed and give Dell team members the information they need to help their customers rebound from disaster.Our team members will continue helping communities affected by hurricanes and other natural disasters. In addition to matching employee donations and providing cash grants to relief organizations, we are exploring ways we can expand our role in assisting with long-term rebuilding and future disaster preparedness.
A young California company has launched a simplified processing architecture with software-orchestrated control to bring predictable performance to compute-intensive workloads.One of the great things about working for a world-class company like Dell EMC is the chance to get a close-up view of startup companies that are bringing exciting new technologies to the market. This is the case with a company called Groq, a Silicon Valley startup that offers a groundbreaking streaming Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) architecture for compute-intensive and inferencing workloads.Known as a “secretive semiconductor startup,” Groq is focused on helping organizations overcome some of the fundamental problems associated with compute-intensive applications, including machine learning and artificial intelligence. To gain the maximum value from data that grows larger every sub-millisecond, Groq believes we need a smarter approach to the underlying compute processing architecture.As Groq points out in a white paper on its innovative tensor streaming architecture, machine learning computations like inferencing put unprecedented demands on processors, as well as the software developers who need to make it all work. To perform more operations per second, chips have become larger and more complex, with multiple cores, multiple threads, on-chip networks and complicated control circuitry, Groq notes. To squeeze higher levels of performance out of silicon, chip designers have integrated more and more components and building blocks on the chips, driving up the complexity.To get outside of the box and gain the benefits of AI, Groq believes organizations need a simpler and more scalable processing architecture that can sustainably accelerate the performance of compute-intensive workloads. And that all boils down to a less complex chip design. To that end, Groq is introducing a new processing architecture designed for the unique performance requirements of machine learning applications and other compute-intensive workloads.Inspired by a software-first mindset, Groq’s overall product architecture provides an innovative and unique approach to accelerated computation. With the company’s integrated circuit architecture, which is optimized to run TensorFlow, the compiler choreographs the operation of the hardware. All execution planning happens in software, freeing up valuable silicon space for additional processing capabilities.Groq’s breakthrough chip design reduces the complexity of hardware-focused development, so developers can concentrate on the algorithms that turn massive amounts of data into business value — instead of spending their time adapting their solutions to the complexities of the hardware. The simpler hardware also saves developer resources by eliminating the need for profiling, while making it easier to deploy AI solutions at scale.The bottom line? Groq says that the tight control provided by its simplified chip architecture leads to the deployment of better and faster machine learning models using industry-standard frameworks, along with fast and predictable performance for data-intensive workloads.This is all exciting stuff. And its great to know that Dell EMC is working with this visionary startup that promises to advance the frontiers of artificial intelligence.To learn moreFor a deeper dive, see the Groq white paper “Tensor Streaming Architecture Delivers Unmatched Performance for Compute-Intensive Workloads.”Check out “A look inside the Groq Approach to AI Inference.”And to learn more about Groq and its work to deliver the compute for the next generation of high performance machine learning, find Groq at SC19 and visit groq.com.