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IT best practices for delivering business value


Today I read a new paper published by the Intel IT team that discussed the strategies and best practices we use in managing the wide area network  (WAN) capacity across more than 200 Intel sites in 66 countries.

WAN Capacity.JPG


Honestly, I have to admit that 2 years ago, I'm not sure I would have even known what a WAN was ...  let alone understand how important it is to a global enterprise business.  It is effectively the glue that keeps us connected with each other, with our customers and with the world.  In today's work environment, the business requirements to collaborate, share, interact and back up data are all driving growth in a variety of ways across our network.


Intel's WAN capacity is growing at an average rate of 10% annually and while that does not seem like a lot, consider that this is average and that the growth is not linear at each site ... and if capacity is not available at any one site to meet associated business demand, the consequences can be business limiting.  On the flip side, building out and managing excess WAN capacity can also be business limiting due to cost inefficiencies.


WAN growth drivers affecting Intel IT range from a variety of sources including:


  • More business group use of social media
  • Increased use of virtual tape for backup storage
  • DC consolidation increases remote server access (note we have reduced the number of global DC by 26% since 2008)
  • Increased use of video conferencing and video training
  • Rich media application usage increase
  • Intel silicon design complexity
  • Private cloud implementation and BYOD (more devices on our network)


Intel IT has had to embrace multiple strategies to address this WAN growth and manage business costs while maintaining or improving customer service levels.  The strategy I found particularly interesting was the capacity forecasting and network management tools we are using to predict demand vs capacity (below) giving us valuable business intelligence to ensure our WAN capacity at any given location is sized properly to meet future demand.Intel IT WAN Capacity Forecasting Process.JPG


I invite you to read more about Intelligent WAN Capacity Management at Intel


Chris (@chris_p_intel)

Chris wrote about the evolution of social computing at Intel in last few years, I would like to add to his post and share how we fared on Enterprise 2.0 in 2011.


In 2011, we saw a jump of 64% in using the enterprise 2.0 platform. Almost all visited the platform at least once, and 30K+ users actively contributed content. Another significant achievement was the use of the platform more for the business purpose than just socially connecting. It was demonstrated by the fact, out of the top 10 most active groups, 7 were related to work. We saw communities helping each other on technical issues, without having to go to the service desk.


We also added a few capabilities like Enterprise RSS and Enterprise Video Platform (pilot) to make the platform more complete. Social bookmarking was another feature we encouraged employees to use for knowledge management.


One of the challenges we faced is still the social computing matrix of 1-9-99, i.e. when 1 person writes a post, 9 persons reply to it, and 99 just view the content and do not respond. On our platform, there were many users creating content, and the viewership has also been impressive (9+ Million page-views in 2011). However,  there was less participation in the discussions by commenting and replying to the original content. This is an area we plan to focus on to improve effectiveness of the platform as a communication and collaboration capability


To increase the use of the platform for true collaboration, we are trying to build a pool of Enterprise 2.0 champions. These champions, who would be volunteers and passionate about Enterprise 2.0 are expected to be adept in using the Enterprise 2.0 tools and help others build the expertise – similar to train the trainers exercise. The idea is to provide tools and trainings to the champions, so that they encourage other employees to use the platform for the business needs and participate more in the group discussions.


We are expecting Enterprise 2.0 champions proliferate Enterprise 2.0 tools by identifying "Enterprise 2.0 patterns" and "anti-patterns" so that the business groups can model the workflow that is optimized for their business needs. We are planning to have a face-to-face event where the volunteers get together and share their success stories and pain points. We would like to we make 2012 truly the year of E2.0 champions!

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