Anshel: Hi Ed, thanks for joining us for an interview about Intel?s IT. Could you please give us a little bit of information about your background and how long you?ve been with Intel?
Ed: Sure, My background comes from 27 years of experience in IT organizations which include software development, enterprise application development, and the support, implementation and running of infrastructure teams. I?ve been with Intel for 2 ½ years and have worked for 7 companies before and have an engineering degree with an MBA.
Anshel: First and foremost, if you don?t mind me asking, how many users are you guys responsible for serving?
Ed: We?re responsible for approximately 100,000 Intel employees along with serving several thousand partners and other organizations, plus any customer that goes to Intel.com
Anshel: How many devices does that end up being in total, assuming lots of people have work devices and personal devices?
Ed: This comes out to be roughly 40,000 devices which does not include the approximate 20,000 factory feature phones served. It was a small number until BYOD was adopted, and as a result it jumped up to roughly 40,000 devices in 3 years. If you add servers and networks it becomes several thousand.
Anshel: What makes building and managing Intel?s IT different from any other large company? What about other tech companies?
Ed: We are a lot like any other IT organization out there. We deploy applications on infrastructure to support our business and help employees do their job on within budget. However, there are 2 very distinct things that set us apart from other large companies. One is our IT to Intel program in which IT acts as a consultant running proof-of-concepts on new technologies before they actually get brought to consumers and other enterprises. We incorporate the feedback of different groups to augment these solutions with real-world practicality. The other is our practice of IT@Intel which involves us writing down our best practices in how we do business and sharing it with our customers and partners in the industry. These two are what really make us distinctly different. You can see the content out at www.intel.com/IT.
Anshel: What kinds of trends are you seeing within your own company when it comes to BYOD? Have there been any recent IT policy changes that have adjusted to changes in the way people use their devices at work?
Ed: We have been looking long and hard at the consumerization of IT. BYOD is typically about bringing in devices while Consumerization is more than just the device, it involves applications that can be used across employee?s devices that do more than just typical email and calendar. In 2008 we sat down HR and Legal to figure out the best way to roll out a BYOD program. But the goal was a platform that supports our direction towards consumerization. We haven?t drastically changed any policies for the years since that rollout but the ways we contract and do business with certain partners has shifted and certain countries laws have affected the program over time.
Anshel: What is the biggest challenge that Intel has as a company having to service so many different locations with so many employees and devices?
Ed: Many companies are either pushing back against app stores, mobile application management (MAM) and mobile device management (MDM), or are only using a piece to enable BYOD. At Intel we?re focusing on moving our security model to something that?s ultimately is based on trust. MDM is one means of achieving a level of trust but the rest of industry is still not there yet. We need to get trust to a place where it is tied to the data and enabled through the infrastructure, a road we are on now. In addition, there are still challenges connecting apps to legacy technologies and dealing with the new realities of multiple OS platforms and touch interaction.
Anshel: Intel is one of the few companies that still has fabs, how important is IT within a fab and how does Intel make sure that those fabs stay online all the time?
Ed: Intel IT is accountable for keeping these fabs online. Inside of every factory there are tools in place for automation and managing a workforce. IT stability is very much tied to the success of any given fab. We partner with the fab managers (MBOs) to maintain uptime at the highest possible levels. It really isn?t a question of whether we are in it together, we are, and our fates are tied together as one. We also have very rigorous quality assurance controls at the factories in order to make sure that we roll out only the most stable updates.
Anshel: Where do you see Intel moving as a company in terms of IT infrastructure? How much of that is local and how much do you see that being cloud? (% mix)
Ed: Today we are running separate internal and external clouds. We are implementing a hybrid cloud approach that connects external and internal cloud platform this year, followed by a federated cloud that connects multiple public and private clouds for advanced scaling; we?ll be there in two years time. With a rich assortment of options we can then fully tailor services according to the most appropriate cloud platform. There are still some things that we want as external cloud and others that we want as an internal cloud, so those will still continue to exist on their own as well.
Anshel: Are there any emerging technologies that interest you as Intel?s IT CTO?
Ed: There are two emerging concepts that interest me most. The Dynamic User Experience ? Business intelligence that mixes the data on your device with contextual awareness and location based services to better instruct ender users. For example, imagine an alert that informs you there is a meeting room open but also gives you directions to the location all without any promoting. Then there is Deep Insights ? advanced analytics that mixes business intelligence and social media data and puts that in the hands of Intel employees. We?re talking data rich, visual information that can help make better business decisions. For example, questions concerning PC sales projections would incorporate internal data, industry data, and social media analytics and into an easy-to-read illustration.
Anshel: Thanks a lot Ed for speaking with me and answering all of our questions about Intel?s IT