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Discussion With Jim Kokoszynski, Director Mainframe Software Engineering, Broadcom

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It was another great day when I got the opportunity to talk with Jim Kokoszynski, Broadcom Mainframe division, (Director Software Engineering) at SHARE event Pittsburg 2019, America. We started the conversation by talking about his roles and responsibilities at the SHARE event and community, Broadcom’s latest offerings, the Broadcom Vitality & Associate Software Engineer (ASE) programmes, the future of Mainframe, and plenty more. 

To begin the conversation, Dez asked Jim to share about his roles as a director of software

Engineering. Sure it’s a very broad role so he gave us a quick summary of what the role entails and how the day in the life of Jim Coco looks like. 

Dez appreciated the event and stated how people believed it was a bird of a feather gathering and how many huge brands are investing in the event not so much for the taking of the share but just to Sponsor that makes it a fairly unique scenario.

Further in the discourse, I asked Jim to talk about the Broadcom Mainframe vitality program and its three components. 

  • The onboarding and the mainframe familiarity piece
  • The associate software engineer 
  • The mentoring within Broadcom

 

Later while talking about the Broadcom vitality program, he also discussed the onboarding process and how people go through getting into the vitality program, and also the first phase of mainframe familiarity.

Going further, Dez and Jim exchanged their thoughts on the talk of the media worldwide around this whole skill-shortage arrangement and how the mainframe is no different to any of those industries.

Later while concluding, Dez asked Jim to share what is the next thing they are thinking about or how you are trying to make it scale globally as they want to see ample people come through the program. He shared his thoughts around some of the next key steps to see the program go through and beyond Broadcom.


To get more details about the Broadcom Mainframe offerings or broadcom mainframe vitality program, visit https://www.broadcom.com

Business Continuity

Skills shortage puts SAP projects on hold

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Business demand creates double whammy on recruitment pressure

Skills-related issues have hit a quarter of SAP users, in some cases putting projects on hold, according to a survey of companies in the Americas.

Research released by the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) shows that 26 per cent of organisations see skills in supporting, developing, and upgrading SAP systems as their number one challenge in working with the technology.

A quarter of users loyal to the German vendor said skills problems were holding up projects.

Geoff Scott, ASUG CEO, told a webinar last week that the combination of skills shortages in businesses and their technology teams created a vicious cycle of driving the demand for new tools and technologies.

“Business functions come and say, ‘Hey, I need to have all these things done.’ And technology teams say, ‘Well, I don’t have the same skills I used to have.’ And I think it creates a major disruption inside many of our member companies,” he said.

Skills were also a major issue for SAP users looking either to migrate to or support S/4HANA, the latest version of the tech giant’s ERP software based on an in-memory database.

“We are going to feel the pinch of that skill gap. My word of caution is that as you think about moving to S/4 if you have not already, the ability for you to plan that migration may hit some turbulence related to skill gaps with your external partners. That’s something that you absolutely positively should consider,” he said.

While technology issues were the greatest concern in the research overall, broken down, only integration problems were more cited than staff turnover and maintaining knowledgeable staff.

Of those with integration problems, 28 per cent said they were causing data errors to spread, 17 per cent said they were affecting the compatibility between SAP and other applications, and 17 per cent said it meant they were unable to keep up with new technologies.

One respondent said: “Changes made in SAP and Salesforce that do not get reflected in the other system are causing data inconsistencies.”

Overall, the majority of SAP users were increasing their spending on the technology. Fifty-two per cent said they were increasing spending, up from 46 per cent last year.

However, the proportion of users saying they were cutting spending on SAP also rose from 5 per cent last year to 8 per cent in 2022. The number of organisations making the same level of investment fell, according to the ASUG research.

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Business Continuity

Commvault’s Martha Delehanty Discusses joining the company

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Martha Delehanty joining Commvault

Imagine stepping into a new video game where you know nothing of the rules or the genre, much less have a strategy. You are paired with a random team of assorted players and you are responsible for their survival. As you press start, you feel tremors beneath your feet in the real world.

 It’s an earthquake!

 And your survival in the real world is dependent on you somehow learning the game well enough to survive in it within the next thirty minutes.

The story of Martha Delehanty joining Commvault

Martha Delehanty’s story of joining Commvault in the week just before the company went into global remote is much more dramatic. This is a story of grit, perseverance, and keeping not just your wits, but also your empathy around because the numerous people depending on you at work and at home really need it. This is the story of Martha’s amazing start with Commvault as Chief People Officer, and the journey the twain have been on throughout the rocky ride that’s been the year 2020.

Why people?

This is one of the first questions I posed to Martha and her answer was atypical. She found her passion in working with people and large organisations through her experience of restructuring at a psychiatric institute where she was interning as an art therapist. She never got to like art therapy but found her calling in the disruption and sweeping organisational changes going on around her as the institute shifted from being federal to state-run. That experience provoked her interest in harnessing the capacity of people into making money and she went on to pursue an MBA to learn P&L for business transactions.  

Martha spent nearly three decades working at Verizon and joined Commvault at what should have been an auspicious moment – the company had just successfully acquired Hedvig, had a very successful launch of SaaS-based data protection and data backup product called Metallic and were set to go full-swing into 2020. And then came the pandemic.

Perfect organisation, perfect role, great acquisition, fantastic launch of a startup into a legacy company – and the pandemic 

What should have been a dream start to a new inning in her career turned into a quagmire of uncertainty as Commvault went into global remote within a few days of Martha coming on-board. Imagine being responsible for taking care of people and continuity of a business (that went remote overnight) in a global organisation without really having access to the ecosystem of people and relationships you would have available to you in any job. You probably don’t even know your executive team yet.

Martha was forced to make big, bold decisions quite literally in the dark as the pandemic situation unfolded with its own Pandora’s Box of uncertainties – knowing full well that her decisions might have second or third orders of impact that she simply could not gauge at this point.

Martha’s experience, put quite simply, was probably once-in-a-generation.

Martha herself takes a different approach. She reiterates that in a crisis situation, a lot of bureaucracy simply goes out of the window and decisions and people come together much faster than normal as they band together to survive. This included making tough calls such as voluntary reduction and global salary reduction while ensuring transparency in communicating with employees and supporting them in every manner possible.

Working with the wrinkles and remembering to smile

Once the remote paradigm of work settled in, it was time to deal with the fallouts. As Martha puts it, there was no longer the scope to put away the noisy dog or hide the misbehaving child on your lap during work in the new normal. People were dealing with anxiety, exhaustion, and burnout, trying to get adjusted to the new regime of work where the ‘off switch’ had all but disappeared. 

In Martha’s case, it wasn’t just about finding the balance between the professional and personal (home-schooling and taking care of three children plus other responsibilities) that all of us struggled with, but also helping her team and the larger ecosystem of partners, integrators, resellers and customers find that balance and ray of sanity. 

Shaping the future by not holding tight to the past

Martha is introspective and insightful when it comes to defining the future. She believes in helping people thrive during and going forward from the crisis rather than holding tight and praying for the storm to pass. After all, the past ‘normal’ we can’t help but hanker for at times – had its fair share of problems too. The pandemic has forced us not only into changes in jobs and relationships, but also into setting different priorities altogether. As Martha puts it quite profoundly, “A good day looks different now.” 

Commvault has tried walking the path by enabling people to collaborate better not just at work, but in sharing home and social responsibilities, better channels of communication and resources through podcasts, having non-scripted courageous conversations around difficult topics (generally cast aside in professional environments as ‘too personal’), engaging communities in dialogue and participation, partnering more with mid-tier companies and the UN, coding challenges for young students, and something as seemingly basic as ‘story-time’ for kids of employees or keeping empty office canteens open for frontline workers and first responders at a local hospital and residents of a domestic violence shelter. In the process, hopefully, they are becoming more comfortable with being vulnerable and better partners to each other throughout the crisis. 

Changing for the better and building value and relevance

Martha says we could all do with being a bit ‘less comfortable in our glass houses’ and accepting the reality we live in rather than living in a veneer of Instagram-like unreality. She is quick to recognise that even in the pre-Corona times, we were at a breaking point with an epidemic of stress, suicides, domestic violence, exhaustion, depletion and more.

She believes people officers right now have ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity window of influencing organisational processes for the better and creating an environment where people create value by thriving, not just surviving. Simple steps like assuming positive intention, partner mentality and community-enriching mindsets can go a long way for businesses to stay relevant and create sustainable value in a world that’s (hopefully!) long since passed the grasp of the pandemic. 

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Business Continuity

Dez Talk With Martha Delehanty, Chief People Officer, Commvault

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I got this great chance to talk with Martha Delehanty, Chief People Officer, Commvault. We discussed her fantastic journey, her career path, roles, and responsibilities. She also shared, what she and the company have had through in the year 2020, and how thrilling it is to begin the exciting new role with a fantastic company like Commvault when the #COVID19 global pandemic captured the world and brought a wide range of difficulties that arrived with such an extraordinary event.

When I joined Commvault just before COVID19 hit North America, the company was already undergoing significant changes – a new CEO and other leadership changes, the acquisition of Hedvig, a startup inside the company known as Metallic, driving continued innovation and plenty more. She shared what the path was like bearing in mind she came in to assist people in transforming while praising 20-year heritage.

She describes how, upon joining the company, she was focused on progressing the company’s Inclusion & Diversity initiatives, but within days of joining the company, everyone was given the task of addressing the pandemic and giving importance to key fundamentals like patient care. She told how she managed new challenges while working remotely, stress, childcare/education, self-care reinforcement, flexibility, while staying attentive to and balancing consumer needs, empowered my team to deliver, and more.

We discuss broadly the emergence of the COVID19 pandemic & the challenges it brought with it, in light of the fact that Commvault is a global company, and as such, they noticed COVID19 rise from day one as it appeared in China, made its way through South East Asia,  EMEA, A/NZ, the UK, and into the Americas, and how that played out in their world as they addressed the primary challenges to hold people safe, ensure they could run the company as well as help their global ecosystem of partners,  integrators, resellers, and consumers.

In addition, we discuss the varying degrees of status quo as a Global company, Commvault continues to operate its business while dealing with COVID19. The fact that the company is keeping its own servers operational and offers training and support to its customers, partners, resellers, integrators. She shared what she thinks are the key success factors that not only saw the business “get through it” as it were but do so very successfully for both Commvault and the global ecosystem of businesses they invest in beyond their own company.

In conclusion, we discussed the vital question of where to go from here and how the ideal world will seem post-2020. We now enter the third quarter of 2020; as we approach the impending Christmas season, organisations of all kinds, shapes, and sizes are now facing the challenge of another potentially catastrophic event associated with people and operations. – I ask Martha 

“What does an ideal world look like post 2020 and what steps can organisations take to achieve such a state operationally?”.

The episode concludes with a little Crystal Ball gazing as I question Martha if she were to offer any piece of guidance to peers in parallel markets or industries as they look ahead to the 12 to 18 months through 2021 and beyond, what would she say?

It was a very nice discussion, and certainly, it is one not to be forgotten.

Check out now for the details of all such topics and more.


To get to know more about Commvault please visit:

Commvault homepage: http://j.mp/commvaulthomepage
Metallic homepage: http://j.mp/metallic-io
Metallic offering via Azure Marketplace: https://bit.ly/metallic-on-azure-marketplace

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