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eeln header.PNG.pngIn April of this year, we announced the 1-year anniversary of the E-Lab Interoperability Navigator (ELN) on the Support Community Blog, and shared details about its new and improved user interface and updated functionality.This month, we sat down again with Ronald Fenn, Program Manager and Lead Architect of EMC E-Lab’s web-based portal, to further understand the newly-redesigned Advanced Query function and how his team leveraged customer feedback.


HA: Thanks for joining us, Ron! So, for those who are unfamiliar with the ELN, tell us about Advanced Query and how it can help EMC customers?

RF: The Advanced Query is a tool in ELN where customers can find or validate specific EMC and third-party hardware and software interoperability data for related configurations. There are numerous ways in which this functionality can assist EMC customers. For example, customers may need to migrate to (or add new) hardware or software, or they may want to validate their environment. Customers can validate exactly which specific product combinations are supported and discover the capabilities of different product types. They can even see the differences between two selected storage arrays’ support envelope. A new query analysis feature lets you know why a query fails. All of this supports E-Lab’s mission to let customers build or transform their data center with confidence knowing E-Lab supports every configuration we qualify.

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HA: Advanced Query sounds like a highly valuable tool for every EMC product owner. Can you tell us more about why it was recently redesigned? Was it based on customer feedback?

RF: Yes. The E-Lab team reached out to our customers for user feedback and learned from our customers that Advanced Query wasn’t very intuitive. Since a tool is only valuable if it’s used, the team reexamined Advanced Query from both a novice user and field perspective. We quickly discovered how overwhelming the tool could seem if it wasn’t easy to use. As we reflected on how we could improve Advanced Query, questions arose: Why would I use this tool? How do I know what to choose? The team’s mission was to make it more understandable.

HA: What were the primary areas that have been updated and improved on the ELN?

RF: Most of the confusion our customers were experiencing resided in two sections: Attributes and Configuration Types, although Step 1 now contains more detailed information, too. The figure below on the left shows the older Advanced Query while the one on the right shows the new version. They may not look very different at first glance, but the changes are actually huge! The Attributes section is now an optional step and offers complete explanations via a pop-up table. A new Jump To option makes it even quicker to search, as well.

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An updated link provides a list of totally redesigned configuration tables, complete with definitions and layouts. Lastly, we revamped the Configuration Types tab, which now includes full explanations for each table, new categories that group similar tables, and ONLY the components customers selected display and show in which tables these component types exist. Completing new Steps 3 and 4 generates your results. Each table selected displays in a tab, which can then be exported. The user experience is now much easier for our customers.


E-Lab Wants Your Feedback

E-Lab continuously monitors ELN User Feedback and, as the redesigned Advanced Query shows, they not only listen but actually respond to customers’ needs. They’re hoping to get more feedback from our customers to further improve the user experience, so we encourage you to click on the ELN Feedback button on the ELN and tell us what you think!

Try ELN Today

A big thanks to Ron and the E-Lab team for walking us through the latest updates to the ELN! For more details about how to use the E-Lab Interoperability Navigator, we encourage you to download the ELN User Guide and read "New Updates for EMC's E-Lab Interoperability Navigator" blog article for an overview of the tool. Visit ELN at Simply register with EMC on and you’ll be granted full access to E-Lab’s entire knowledgebase. And, it’s absolutely free!


Holly Anderson

Social Media Strategy, EMC

Follow us at @EMCSupport

Some companies never use social networking sites (SNS) since it poses the risk of losing their brand in the market (e.g. flame war). But EMC proactively tries to take advantage of SNS. Why? Because social media can be a powerful tool for growing and sustaining customer engagement.


To understand the importance of customer/social engagement, let’s take a brief look at the history of marketing. “Segmentation” was very important for marketing in the beginning. Since we used to have only one-way marketing channels, such as TV, Radio, Newspaper, marketers tried to find the ideal segment in which lots of potential customers would be.




With the advent of the Internet, a huge change occurred. Suddenly, we had a two-way interactive marketing channel! In some industries, segmentation suddenly lost its importance since customers could directly provide a very specific demand to companies. Some companies were just waiting for customer’s specific demand and provided what he/she preferred. Dell, for example, was one of the successful companies in this era. People called it “Web 2.0.”




Web 2.0 did not last long. At the same time, a famous marketing theory, 3C, became obsolete. A new strong, non-negligible market entity emerged. They were called “Influencers.”  They tended to be existing customers or sometimes famous bloggers in the industry. Potential customers did not communicate only with companies but with key influencers as well. Potential customers really cared other user’s reviews, opinions, and word of mouth information.


Marketers could not ignore this new market entity. Many companies tried to control the influencers. Some companies even paid them to spread positive information about the companies. However, people could easily spot paid-influencers and no companies succeeded in this attempt.




Finally, “Engagement” came to light. We realize today that we cannot control influencers, reviews, or word of mouth – but we can participate in the conversation! Things that we can do, and have to do, begin with showing who we are. In other words, transparency is the key. If a company is excellent, customers judge its products and services positively in the social sphere, which generates engagement between the company and customers in the market.




There is no easy way or short cut to quality engagement. It takes time to build trust and communities which garner healthy, steady and valuable social/customer engagement. More importantly, not all companies are able to do this well. Only companies with great market value can. I believe EMC is one of them and hence we are working hard to continue to expand on the wonderful success we’ve seen to date in our EMC Community Network forums, our blog spaces, and our many social media properties.  We encourage our customers to join the conversation and engage with us! If you haven’t already, we invite you to participate in our Support Communities and to follow us @EMCSupport.


Yutaro Uehara

IT Social Engagement


We have included the Support by Product ID view to the Support by Product page experience.  This allows you to choose whether you want to see high level content (Support by Product) or customized content pertaining to your install base (Support by Product ID). Depending on the option you choose the Support by Product and Support by Product ID the sections will provide a much different view from each other.

Support by Product Pages

Support by Product pages are a high level view of the product and its appropriate support content. From the Support by Product landing page, type the name of your product within the product type ahead.
Click on the Product Name populated into the text field, then click on the blue button.




You will be directed to the Support by Product page, here you will be able to see support documentation, downloads, knowledge base articles, forums, how to videos, advisories, and in some cases Recommended Resources and Support Topics.




Support by Product- Product ID View Pages

The Support by Product – Product ID View experience Support by Product - Product ID page offers support customization for your installed base.  If you have a serialized product, you will be able to take advantage of this additional feature.  To get started to find content for your install base, follow the drop down options in located under the “Find a Product by Product ID” section.




The following Support by Product ID page is an example of what you will see when you arrive at your page .  This new features pulls in all the information pertaining to your install base. Targeted support content is also populated in the centerwell tab.




  1. The + to add this page to the Save Products section.
  2. The + to subscribe to Product Advisories.
  3. The + to subscribe to Product Updates.
  4. For Live Chat
  5. Create a Service Request


  The tabs provide the appropriate content for your install base product page:



The active tab is delineated by the bold font.  Filters are available for the content (1.) so you can get to the content type you are looking for easily and quickly.   Contingent on the tab you choose you will see a different set of options available to you. For example, if you choose the Documentation tab, you will be able to use the filters (1.) to target in on specific content.  If you choose Service Requests, you will be able to view the details to your active service.




For more details on Support by Product and Support by Product – Product ID pages see the EMC Online Help.

If you have any questions please feel free to post a comment and let me know.


Anna Maria Piermarini

Online Support Service Center SME

Follow us @EMCsupport

As part of the 200th anniversary of George Boole’s birthday, University College Cork (UCC) have a number of celebrations and events running throughout 2015. EMC Ireland is involved in, and a sponsor of one of these events, Boole2School, which takes place on 2nd November 2015. This date marks Boole Day, the actual birthday of George Boole.




The aim of Boole2School is to get every student aged 8-18 to engage by participating in a mathematics lesson based on the work of George Boole, not only across Ireland but also globally. Developed by Maths Circles Ireland, the programme provides a series of age-appropriate mathematical lesson plans for teachers and worksheets for children which introduce them to George Boole, his mathematics and his legacy. These lessons have been developed to minimise preparation for the teachers and will contain a ‘fun’ element for the students.


Mathematics is a life skill and problem solving is one of the transferable assets to be taken and applied to all forms of study and life roles. Logic puzzles stimulate children to learn how to use logic, reasoning and principles of deduction and how to apply those skills to everyday scenarios. Through the use of the process of elimination skills the students will be able to deduce the only possible solution to the puzzles. The lesson plans are designed to encourage high-order thinking and problem solving skills, encouraging the students to utilise their existing knowledge and real environmental experience in order to increase their problem solving ability.


As well as EMC Ireland being a sponsor of Boole2School, Peter O’Brien, a Technical Support Engineer with EMC Ireland, created this fantastic Boole2School Logo which is being used globally to highlight and promote the initiative.

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Over 500 schools and 13,000+ students have already registered with Boole2School, from across Ireland and internationally, including UK, Australia, Russia and China to name but a few. It is not too late for teachers or schools to register. To get your school involved simply follow this link and sign up today!


We are also encouraging anyone involved to share their stories on social media using the hashtag #GB200 and follow @Boole2School on Twitter. You can also learn more about George Boole and the events planned for 2015 here.

Did you know you can personalize the EMC Support home page and place some of the commonly used tasks (e.g. Create SR, View and Manage Service Requests, Downloads, Live Chat, etc…) on your Support home page for quick access?


We’ve received feedback that users are looking for a way to quickly access common tasks via the Support home page. There is a quick and easy way by editing the “My Tasks” pod located on the Support home page so you can select the tasks that are most relevant to you from a a list of key actions.


On the left side of the Support Landing page you will see a pod called “My Tasks.” You can add/remove resources to help you with your support needs by clicking “Edit” from within that pod.



Once you have clicked the “Edit” link to open the “Edit My Tasks Form” check the boxes next to the commonly used tasks you would like quick access from the Support home page.


Once you have checked the relevant tasks, click save and your Support home page will now show the common tasks you selected for quick access.


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This feature is a great way to personalize your EMC Support home page with your commonly used tasks. Please give it a try and let me know if you have any questions.




Hien Ho

Online Support Program Manager

Follow us @EMCSupport



In the book “Team of Teams”, General Stanley McChrystal describes how the Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF), of which he took command in 2004, was transformed to respond to the unorthodox battle tactics deployed by Al Qaeda in Iraq. After repeated failures, he and his staff discarded centuries of hierarchical military thinking and reshaped US military forces into a matrix organization that was “faster, flatter, and flexible”. This was no small feat given the engrained culture of top-down decision making, forces that had no accountability to each other, and that a war was taking place around them every day.


What CX organizations can learn from General McChrystal


A lesson from “Team of Teams” that applies to Customer Experience organizations is the JSOTF’s “embedding program”. In this program, a member of one team, such as the Army Special Forces or the Navy Seals, would be assigned to another force. The goal was to enable cross-functional information sharing and the forging of cross-functional trust.


The program was initially met with resistance as individual services were unwilling to trust a stranger from another service branch. To address this, McChrystal and his core leadership had two criteria when picking the Linchpin Liaison Officers, or LNOs, as they were called:


  1. If it doesn’t pain you to give up the person to the program, pick someone else; and
  2. If it’s not someone whose call you’ll take at 2:00 am, pick someone else.


McChrystal believed that the best people will always find a way to succeed. Through the persistent effort of the early LNOs, trust between forces developed, understanding of capabilities across forces were shared, and grass-roots dialog was enabled resulting in cross-functional cooperation to win the war.


Ultimately, this strategy resulted in a matrix of teams that broke down stove-pipes, decentralized decision-making, and were able to beat Al Qaeda at their own game. McChrystal pointed out that his own role changed from a hierarchical decision-maker (and bottleneck) to operational spectator as smaller teams took over the tactical fight.


A Customer Experience organization is a “Shared Service



Similar to Human Resources, it is a centrally-managed group that serves all the other organizations of the company. Typically, an HR Director and staff are located physically, or “embedded”, within the business group to which they are assigned. The HR staff attends staff and business meetings, builds relationships within the group, and learns the unique needs of that organization. In result, HR better serves the employees of that organization.


As a Shared Service, Customer Experience teams should assume a similar practice. CX teams should embed themselves to learn the business model of the organization they serve, address their unique requirements for Voice of the Customer feedback, and provide analysis that is pertinent, meaningful, and actionable to that organization. The CX “liaison” should be of a talent and level to work comfortably with the executives of the business to influence and enable change.


The best practice of an embedded CX program at EMC is in Customer Service. The Program Manager, or “liaison”, within EMC Total Customer Experience (TCE) team responsible for the Customer Service works in close proximity to CS management and has developed a working and personal relationship its executives. He’s come to understand EMC’s service models, the goals and objectives of the organization, the key drivers of its success, and its operational metrics. His analysis of VoC data is tailored to the CS’ objectives and resonates with its executive staff. The result of this relationship is that Customer Service is fully engaged in the CX program and views continuous improvement of customer experience as a primary strategic goal.


A conscientious effort to develop understanding and trust between organizations is critical to the success of a “shared service” function
such as CX. CX departments cannot expect client organizations to take action on CX data without an educated cross-functional dialog of the results. It’s this communication with the business unit that brings life and action to the CX data. Relationships and trust are critical to this dialog.


In “Team of Teams”, General McChrystal explains that success against Al Qaeda in Iraq was ultimately achieved through management change. All the power of the US military had previously been unsuccessful when used in the conventional way. Only a willingness to accept a change in management philosophy turned the tide of the war. CX organizations should give similar thought to the operational changes we can make to foster a stronger the relationship with our internal customers to enable similar success.


Brad Barker

Consultant Customer Advocate

Total Customer Experience

EMC Global Services


Twitter: @BradB555

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