This article was originally published at Australian Mining.As a former analyst at technology firm IDC, I’ve been following the technology industry for the best part of two decades now.But only recently have we begun to really feel the force of technology and digital disruption at large. This is also true of the mining industry, which is on the cusp of being transformed by technology; by things like clouds, robots and drones.As with any technology, there are opportunities and pitfalls, and in this piece I would like to look at how with the right approach, mining companies can maximise the opportunities available.Firstly we need to look at the current state of IT in mining, and where it’s currently heading. Then we can investigate how new technologies and trends will impact mining, and finally what organisations’ can do to prepare.IDC recently conducted technology research into the Australian mining sector, which showed our mining companies are truly world class, with a quarter actively investigating robots and 80 per cent automating operations.Furthermore, 36 per cent of mining companies do expect to see IT budgets increase, which is at odds with other sectors where we see flat IT spending for the foreseeable future.However, what emerged as the biggest challenge facing mining companies is the problem of bridging mining operations and corporate IT.Connecting these forces together is essential to creating a seamless, efficient and profitable mining organisation. While this problem has been evident for some time, there’s real progress being made on tackling the issue.The challenge of linking the business with technology is not exclusive to the mining sector, with the subject being of critical importance to the economy in general. In my experience one of the best ways to initiate the linking process is through the establishment of “tiger teams” that are dedicated to the unified application of technology. This is reflected by an IDC prediction that states by 2016, 50% of large mining companies will set up a cross-functional IT operations/LOB (Line of Business) team to focus on third platform technology. IDC describes the third platform as IT for growth and innovation; built on mobile devices, cloud services, social technologies, and big data. Put more simply, in the mining sector, this third platform framework translates to a dynamic elastic technological fabric that stretches across the empire of the mine with both centralised and de-centralised processing occurring at scale. The outcome is about connecting supply and demand; much like Uber, AirBnB and other new services available in the shared economy.Indeed, one of things we’re starting to see across the mining industry is similar process innovation, where a combination of IT and operations teams coming together with an armory of new technology (social, mobile, analytics and Cloud) combined with robotics and automation to look across the organisation and investigate how these technologies can be implemented, and processes significantly improved.I have had the benefit of observing these teams for many years and noticed that the most successful teams all exhibited key characteristics. One such characteristic was the cross-pollination of ideas through the adoption of best practices from other industries. In the case of mining I would recommend looking to high tech manufacturing, the adjacent industry of Oil & Gas, and also the Australian Banking sector. Successful teams were also canny in the projects they took on, electing to demonstrate value through rapid ROI attainment, rather than more cumbersome long term projects. Importantly, successful teams were brilliant communicators, striking a balance between establishing a technology vision while maintaining realistic expectations.The hope is that in the mining company of the future, we will look back at issues of productivity and efficiency as vestiges of a time gone by. In the mine of the future, technology will have enabled us to be all seeing and predictive. With the correct use of technology, many of the constraints that have defined the industry will be obsolete.This transformation will not come from merely introducing some technical curiosities, but rather through the seamless interconnection of a web of input and output sensors. The workforce will utilise simulated and augmented reality technology in a wearable format like we currently see with virtual reality company, Oculus Rift. This will culminate in a world where no resource is hidden from sight and extraction can occur in a way that closely links your supply with the demand.When the internet of things hits its stride, there will be an army of sensors providing a variety of information feeds such as text, video and machine information that produces a tsunami of data, and rather than being overwhelming, this data stream will be very positive for mining. There’s a really strong hand in glove relationship between the internet of things, and analytics. This is because of what we do with the outputs from the IOT requires that we derive insights.Mining companies need to ready themselves for the onslaught of data. Without the right backend tools to deal with the IOT, organisations risk not being able to capitalise on their wealth of data to extract valuable insights that could further their businesses.Converged infrastructure is a logical option for organisations that want to take data analytics to the next level. For example, VCE’s Vxblock systems, the world’s most advanced converged infrastructure, provides a standardized big data and analytic infrastructure to scale across multiple business units while embracing existing applications and systems.IOT applications also have very different requirements compared to the usual business applications. IOT apps generate vast data in moments and traditional IT infrastructure isn’t tuned to the task at hand. Converged infrastructure can provide the massive scale and performance needed to work in the third platform era.To truly capitalise on all that’s ahead, mining companies must take the following steps:Establish a digital vision for the role of IT in your mineArchitect a framework to support the needs of tomorrow, not just today, leaving room for the unknownPrepare for an IT arms raceImage: “Washed iron ore is loaded into trucks from M2500”, by Peter Craven.
Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (#WPC2016) is here again, and Dell is excited to be a Titanium sponsor! From July 10-14, our team will be in Toronto, Ontario, presenting, discussing, and showcasing the innovative technologies that benefit our customers. Here are some highlights you won’t want to miss:The Dell Booth #1015Electronic Plinko: Play to win prizes, including a virtual reality viewer and a laptop camera! Demonstrations galore: We’ll be showcasing some of our most exciting solutions, including Microsoft Analytics Platform System (APS) by Dell, the Dell Hybrid Cloud System for Microsoft, and more. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have.Booth Theater Presentations: Presentations from Dell and its partners will take place at the Dell booth throughout Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. All that knowledge, yours for the taking – plus you’ll receive a sports bag for attending. You can find the full booth presentation schedule below.Our experts will be presenting best practices and tips on topics such as big data, hybrid cloud, and security. Here’s a sample of what Dell will be presenting – be sure to work these into your conference agenda!Software Asset Management (SAM) Award Winner: Dell BrazilDell Brazil won the Software Asset Management (SAM) Award for Latin America and the Caribbean Region! Learn the secrets to their success at “Building Long Term Customer Engagement though SAM SQL & Cloud Opportunities.” The presentation will be given twice: Monday, July 11, 2:30 p.m., Room 707, South Building, and Tuesday, July 12, 1:00 p.m., Room 707, South Building </p><p>Future ready workforce with Dell client solutionsKarl Jakosalem, Field Marketing Manager, Dell Client SolutionsMonday, July 11, 11:30 a.m., Microsoft Partner TheaterThe way we work is evolving; work happens anytime, anywhere. Millennials expect technology to do more than just computing. New computer platforms with innovative solutions are making it all possible. Don’t miss this opportunity to attend the Dell future ready workforce presentation. Learn workforce transformation, why client refresh, Dell value proposition and end-user client portfolio. It’s never been a better time to work with Dell.Dell: The Future Ready EnterpriseSteve McMaster, Microsoft Global Alliance ManagerTuesday, July 12, 1:30 p.m., Microsoft Partner TheaterAre you embracing change or just responding to it? Are you a champion of innovation in your organization? When your organization is future ready, technology becomes an engine of value creation from the data center to your workforce. Join our session today and learn how our comprehensive solution portfolio helps you become – future ready.Simplifying Hybrid CloudPreetham Mukhatira and Jeff SwansegarDell Booth #1015Cloud computing is maturing in several ways – as a service delivery model, in rates of adoption, and in the way it’s being deployed and managed holistically. Shifting to a cloud operating model is a journey for both business and IT together. We will discuss Dell’s approach to simplifying cloud infrastructure, spanning your private, hybrid, and public cloud strategies. We will explore how customers and partners are driving new business opportunities using Dell engineered solutions, such as the Microsoft Cloud Platform and Dell Hybrid Cloud System for Microsoft, and Dell’s unique approach to hybrid cloud with financing, global services support, and partner ecosystems.Big Data Platform Advantage with Dell APSRajitha ThalluriDell Booth #1015In a digitally driven world, data analytics is the key to competitive advantage. With the Dell Analytics Platform System’s converged MPP architecture, in-memory analytics, and support for virtually all data types, the Dell Analytics Platform System greatly accelerates complex queries that join data from diverse sources. You can now get an out-of-the-box solution with high-speed parallel query processing, highly scalable data storage, integration with Hadoop, and high-speed data transfer. Best of all, Dell delivers an end-to-end big data solution—from the appliance and its hardware and software to services, support, and technical guidance.What is Dell Storage for Microsoft Storage Spaces?Craig RushDell Booth #1015Overview of Dell’s Microsoft Storage Spaces offerings including details and benefits of choosing an engineered, certified solution versus a do it yourself (DIY) solution. Discussion around Scale Out File Server (SOFS) and Converged Compute offering.If you are attending WPC, please stop by our Booth #1015 and say hello. And whether you’re onsite or not, you can follow along online! We’ll be covering the conference expo, keynotes, and more on Twitter: @DellAlliances, @DellChannel, and @DellOEM. Booth Theater ScheduleMonday, July 11 1:00 p.m. Future Ready Workforce with Dell Client Solutions1:30 p.m. Simplifying Hybrid Cloud2:00 p.m. Dell Preferred and Premier partner program2:30 p.m. Achieving Easy and Highly Secure Access to All of Your Windows Desktops and Apps from Anywhere3:00 p.m. Uncovering Services Opportunities within Azure AD and Office 365 Security3:30 p.m. The Internet of Things, Simplified4:00 p.m. Maximizing Profits and Growth with PartnerDirect4:30 p.m. How to Ensure a ZeroIMPACT Migration to Office 365Tuesday, July 12 2:00 p.m. Future Ready Workforce with Dell Client Solutions2:30 p.m. How to Ensure a ZeroIMPACT Migration to Office 3653:00 p.m. Big Data Platform Advantage with Dell APS3:30 p.m. Achieving Easy and Highly Secure Access to All of Your Windows Desktops and Apps from Anywhere4:00 p.m. Dell Preferred and Premier partner program4:30 p.m. Bringing the Internet of Things to EnergyWednesday, July 13 1:00 p.m. Uncovering Services Opportunities within Azure AD and Office 365 Security1:30 p.m. Achieving Easy and Highly Secure Access to All of Your Windows Desktops and Apps from Anywhere2:00 p.m. What is Dell Storage for Microsoft Storage Spaces?2:30 p.m. Future Ready Workforce with Dell Client Solutions3:00 p.m. Dell Preferred and Premier partner program3:30 p.m. IoT blueprint for Predictive Maintenance4:00 p.m. How to Ensure a ZeroIMPACT Migration to Office 365
CRN has again awarded the Dell EMC Partner Program a 5-Star RatingLast week I had the opportunity to meet with Titanium Black Partners and Global Distibutors at our exclusive partner event, Access to the Future. This event encourages an open dialogue between our most strategic partners and executive leadership team so that together, we can build the portfolio, programs and strategy that will propel our partnerships to new heights. While Access to the Future only targets our largest and most strategic partners, it’s just one of the many ways we collect and act on feedback from our partners; we also host quarterly Partner Advisory Boards, satisfaction surveys and regular partner meetings. It’s feedback like this that allows us to build a program and priorities that hit the mark for partners.I am thrilled to share that CRN® has once again recognized the Dell EMC Partner Program with a 5-Star rating in its 2019 Partner Program Guide. This annual guide identifies the strongest and most successful partner programs in the industry today, offered by the top technology suppliers for IT products and services. The 5-Star rating recognizes an elite subset of companies that offer solution providers the best partnering elements in their channel programs.We cannot thank you enough for providing the feedback that guides our priorities and builds our programs. Without your commitment, contributions and feedback, this amazing distinction would not have been possible.We’ll continue to work with you, striving to be the best in our partners’ eyes. We will work tirelessly to ensure that the Dell EMC Partner Program delivers on its core tenets, Simple. Predictible. Profitable.TM Please continue to provide feedback that helps us drive program improvements, operational excellence and simplified engagement for our partners.Looking ahead, we have big plans to accelerate our joint momentum, and I’m excited to make these partner announcements during Global Partner Summit at Dell Technologies World 2019. I hope to see you there. If you haven’t registered yet, there is still time and you won’t want to miss out!Again, thank you for your outstanding partnership. You make it possible for distinctions like this to happen.
BERLIN (AP) — The head of Germany’s national earth sciences research center has been dismissed from his post amid allegations of corruption. The German Research Center for Geosciences said Tuesday it had terminated the contract of scientific executive director and board chairman Reinhard Huettl “with immediate effect.” The center runs an international seismic monitoring network known as GEOFON that provides near-real time information on earthquakes around the world. Huettl had been in his post since 2007 and was suspended in October following allegations of what the research center called “compliance violations with respect to handling of financial resources.” He couldn’t be reached for comment on Tuesday.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Anyone visiting Tampa’s popular outdoor destinations for the Super Bowl will be required to wear a mask to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor signed an executive order Wednesday saying masks must be worn outside while downtown, in neighborhoods around Raymond James Stadium — where the Super Bowl will be held — and in other tourist hotspots. The order says those who aren’t wearing a mask can be cited with a “nominal civil infraction” that carries a penalty up to a $500 fine. It will remain in place until Feb. 13 — nearly a week after the Super Bowl ends. There are a few exceptions, including children under 5.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge will hold a hearing next week on whether to arrest or increase bail for Kyle Rittenhouse. The hearing comes after the 18-year-old from Illinois who’s accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a police brutality protest in Wisconsin last summer allegedly failed to update his address with the court. Rittenhouse’s attorneys say he moved into an undisclosed “safe house” after he posted $2 million bond in November to get out of jail. They don’t want to give out the address unless it’s sealed. Prosecutors have asked Judge Bruce Schroeder to issue a new arrest warrant and raise Rittenhouse’s bail by $200,000. Schroeder scheduled a hearing for Thursday.