One of my favorite aspects of being senior vice president of North America Field Marketing at Dell EMC is hosting customers weekly in our Executive Briefing Centers where we can sit down together to talk about the day-to-day needs of a business, learn more about our customers’ goals and help bring to life the technology solutions that will work best for them. The meetings also give our customers a great opportunity to get their hands on the client products to experience them firsthand.Given the value of these meetings, I’m proud to announce the wheels are rolling on Destination Dell, our new mobile Executive Briefing Center hitting the road to visit our customers around the United States. We’re beginning with a 40-stop tour of the west coast, with visits to Seattle, Portland and the Bay Area, including a visit to Intel, our Destination Dell partner, on-the-ground in Santa Clara.So what is Destination Dell? Imagine an RV fully wrapped in the city skyline of our hometown, Austin, Texas, equipped inside with our top-of-the-line commercial products and demos to bring to life our technology solutions. There’s also a conference room fully equipped with Intel Unite, along with an architecture-based VR experience, an outdoor lounge area and often a “best-of” local food truck. Our customers will get a chance to step inside and see what the future workforce will look like as we help them adapt their business to be ready for what’s coming – and our hope is that they’ll have some fun while doing it, too.Why now? There are critical shifts occurring in the way people work and what makes them happy. Based on what we know from our Future Ready Workforce study, it’s important for our customers to have these conversations now. As part of our research we learned:More than 50 percent of employees expect to be working in a smart office in the next five yearsMore than 80 percent of millennials say workplace tech would have an influence when deciding to take a jobHalf of all employees, and three in five millennials, believe technology will make face-to-face conversation obsolete in the near futureMore than 60 percent of millennials would rather receive high tech perks at work versus low tech perks like ping pong and free foodThere is so much to consider about technology in business these days so we’re taking to the open road to make sure our customers feel ready and excited about the future of their solutions. Follow the journey of #DestinationDell and if you have questions, you can reach out to [email protected]
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A WORKING GROUP of 13 set up by Bud Shuster, Chairman of the House of Representatives Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, reported on June 23 that ’Amtrak is now awash in red ink, buffeted by conflicting missions and ballooning debt, and virtually starved of capital in both political and financial terms.’ If nothing changes – and the chances are something will – the corporation which has run US inter-city passenger trains since 1971 could be bankrupt within 12 months. Kirk Rostron, Manager of Corporate Communications, points out that Amtrak has been receiving less government funding for investment than the railways of Bolivia. It must therefore borrow from banks to buy rolling stock, and last year’s order for high speed Northeast Corridor trains will quickly inflate this debt from $1bn to $2bn. On top of this, with its operating subsidy slashed by 50% in the last two years, Amtrak has had to take out ever-larger short term loans at the end of each fiscal year until the next batch of even smaller federal grant cheques starts coming through. The result is that interest and loan repayments are set to exceed the 1998 subsidy, leaving nothing to support operations. While Amtrak was committed to operating without subsidy from 2002, and already covers 80% of costs from revenue, this can only happen if $750m a year of capital funding is available – a 0·5cent/gallon tax on petrol has been proposed.The Working Group suggests splitting Amtrak into two. ’Amrail’ would own or procure from freight railways the infrastructure required by passenger trains, and be responsible for investment to achieve improvements. The other company would operate trains without subsidy from 2002, and would be open to competition from new entrants in bidding for the right to provide service – Virgin Group is among those keeping a watching brief. But as Amrail would require the same $750m a year as Amtrak, it is hard to see what is to be gained by inserting a third party between train operator and infrastructure manager on most of the network. Other key issues are the need to eliminate legal impediments which prevent market-based decisions by Amtrak, and new arrangements for access to freight tracks which address liability issues such as those preventing New York State from expanding Empire Corridor services to Buffalo.Two members of the group dissented from the report, accusing the other 11 of ’unwarranted pessimism about Amtrak’s prospects.’ Jim Florio, former governor of New Jersey, and academic Carl Van Horn claimed the plan was based on British privatisation which ’thus far has cost nearly $1bn a year more in public funding.’ They said the structure put forward would not remove inter-city passenger trains from the annual battle for infrastructure funds. o