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Tech Barometer – From The Forecast by Nutanix
12 minutes | Jul 27, 2021
Restaurants Order More Tech to Survive COVID-19 Pandemic
Restaurant owners and experts explain how the industry responded to the COVID-19 lockdown with technologies that keep them connected to customers. Two sisters, Shanny Covey and Deborah Mok, tell how they evolved their central California coast restaurants through the pandemic. Find more enterprise cloud news, features stories and profiles at The Forecast. Transcript: Perry Quinn: We took 10 years of digital technology and pushed it out all in four days starting about March 16th. Jason Lopez: This is the tech barometer podcast. I’m Jason Lopez, a wave of lockdown mandates in March of 2020 halted, many aspects of life as we knew it. It was especially true for the restaurant industry, which dove deeper into digital technologies to stay competitive and in many cases, just to stay alive. For this story, we talked to restaurant owners, an it expert, and a restaurant innovation advocate to get a flavor of what was happening behind the scenes. Perry Quinn: Those that embraced and got in front of the digital side of this, whether it’s email, web, mobile, online ordering, et cetera, really hit the ground running, extending their services to their existing customers. Jason Lopez: Perry Quinn is the senior vice president of business innovation development for the National Restaurant Association. He says the organization tracked over 110,000 restaurants, which temporarily or permanently closed since last year. What’s notable is that it’s less than 20% of restaurant locations in the U S. How did 80% of restaurant locations stay in business? They switched to take out. Deb Mok: Well, we arrived at that because we were all forced to do that. Jason Lopez: Initially, Debra Mok is the owner and chef of wild ginger in Cambria, California, a small coastal town, just south of Hearst castle. And here’s, what’s interesting about her story of adopting digital technologies to survive. Deb Mok: Well, I’m not at a very technology savvy person, so I don’t utilize much of those tools.Deb Mok: Jason Lopez: So when the lockdown came, how did she transition her small sit-down restaurant to take out. Deb Mok: Well we’ve improved our website tremendously. We have made sure that all the updates and changes do appear on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google. And so that when people go in and look, those updates are accurate. Jason Lopez: This is one of the key insights of digital adoption. She did it without really knowing it, putting up a restaurant presence online seems almost effortless. Deb Mok: I’m a very low tech person, but if people can go to their phones and their devices and see what’s available out there and what we are doing, then those are great tools. Jason Lopez: An app is only one part of the equation, a small restaurant like Wild Ginger can physically shift to take out without too much hassle. What about bigger sit-down places? Deb Mok: You know, my sister owns a very large incorporated restaurant, whereas mine is just a little small sole proprietorship and it’s a small, Shanny Covey: Our main concern was like, what could we do to stay open? You know, so a lot of things were just manual initially. The plan wasn’t to look for the software and then figure out how we could use it. It’s like, do what we had to do, and then figure out what software would work. Jason Lopez: Deb’s sister is Shanny Covey who co owns Robbin’s in Cambria as well as Luna Red and Mint and Craft in San Luis Obispo. She runs these with her former husband and still business partner, Robin Covey. Shanny Covey: So we stayed open offering takeout and figuring out what menu worked well and who could work it and how to get the word out to everybody, which is why the emails and social media posts. And then while we were doing that, we were able to look into some software that would help us, you know, accomplish what we needed to do better. Like the contact lists, you know, payments and ordering and things like that. It was just a process, you know, but the main thing was, keep the doors open and then figure out how we can do it better. Jason Lopez: Aside from being able to quickly establish an online presence there was another factor in Deb’s and Shanny’s favor. They already had positive feelings about transforming their kitchens to making takeout food. The sisters grew up in Singapore, loving the city’s famous street food sold installs by food makers known as hawkers. Deb Mok: The street food is the best and that’s where our inspiration comes from. Singapore’s a food paradise, they’re all just focused on food. And so that’s what I’ve been trying to bring to Cambria: excellent Southeast Asian street food. Shanny Covey: I don’t know of any city other than Singapore, where you can eat 24-7, and there’s people eating all the time. The favorite pastime in Singapore is to eat. It’s so amazing. You go there. It’s like, oh my God, what am I going to eat? It’s like, everything. Jason Lopez: Within days of shelter in place orders issued throughout California, Shanny’s customers began receiving highly tailored email communications about takeout, curbside services, updated menus, and an easy online point of sales process. Shanny Covey: I try to be forward-thinking in the sense of, you know, like knowing that, hey, it’d be a good idea to utilize a contactless payment option. So let’s look into that. And just looking at, from a guest perspective, too, what would they like to have? And that’s where we were put our energies to. So in this case, you know, our digital growth has been in the online ordering and the contactless payments. We feel that that’s been necessary because of COVID. Perry Quinn: I see this as just yet another mode for delivering food to people where they are. Jason Lopez: Perry Quinn is not just referring to delivering food to a customer at their home, the way we usually think of delivery. He’s referring to a digital ecosystem in which the customer could be using any device, anywhere, picking food up, curbside, having a delivered to their home or wherever they happen to be. Perry Quinn: I think that’s similar to the convenience side of target, right? You order on your app, you roll up, you call the number or you say I’m here and they come and deliver the product into the back of your car or hand it to you. I see the convenience on some of these food offerings. I don’t think you can put that genie back in the bottle. I think that it’s going to be expected. The convenience aspect is not, it’s not going to slow down there at all. Tarak Parekh: A lot of existing brick and mortar businesses such as Walmart and Target have had to digitize. Jason Lopez: Tarak Parekh is director of product management at Nutanix. He points out that everything the customer sees on their phone or laptop, whether it’s retail sales, reservation systems or ordering apps is as seamless and simple as it is because of what’s happening in the background… data centers, the cloud virtualization, these technologies allowed developers to quickly spin up features like curbside pickup. Tarak Parekh: That feature kind of showed up within two to three months of pandemic hitting something that would have taken maybe 12 to 18 months just happen in 3 months. Not just because they wanted to capture more consumer dollars, but just the acceleration of what they could deliver this quickly I don’t think would have happened if the digital adoption that was already under way was not there. And they had the drive to accelerate it and take advantage of the current situation to deliver these features. Perry Quinn: The mobile app or the online ordering, you know, I put those together a lot of times it’s powered by the same. I think that that was a big turning point for the industry to get behind something. And, and again, I think there’s so much work on the backend to make the user experience and the onboarding from a speed and efficiency perspective, much easier than it used to be. Jason Lopez: Before the rise of contract data center services, if you wanted a comprehensive online presence for your restaurant, you basically had to get into the weeds of computer science and do it yourself. But cloud services have gotten so flexible and costs so low, developers now handle that platform layer. They rent servers such as from Amazon, AWS and sell their platform services to restaurant. Shanny Covey: We found that since COVID software engineers have been working around the clock, trying to get platforms made and designed and ready for restaurants and other businesses to use. So we’ve grown along with them and given them feedback: this works, this doesn’t work. Jason Lopez: We’ve come to expect to be able to use our smartphone to access anything. That idea is infecting how data centers even operate. Imagine running enterprise applications and platforms with the ease of using a smartphone. There are people working on this and it’s how a restaurant owner even thinks. Shanny Covey: Well I’m always looking at things to be simpler because I feel like technology has added an element of complexity to our operations that wasn’t there before. And in the same way, as in other ways, made it simpler like the online ordering, for instance. But myself in our company, we focus on taking care of our guests, however complex it might be. But the goal is to try to keep it as simple as possible. Perry Quinn: Some are super savvy. Some are less savvy. Jason Lopez: In this story of two restaurant owners, one hip to digital and the other, not so much the massive digital adoption because of the lockdown might lead you to think we’re on the path of tech companies, making food, but Quinn points out one big reason why he doesn’t see that happening. Perry Quinn: Most of the folks don’t come into this to be technologists. They have passion for food, and they have a passion for community Jason Lopez: Talk to data center engineers, and they may say something similar. They also want to focus on the things that they’re passionate about in computer science and let the automation tools handle the mundane stuff and let the complexity recede into the background. Restaurant owners don’t want to think about boring stuff as well. Shanny Covey: We don’t think of how it’s going to present digitally or with the different platforms. My goal has always been, I got to focus on doing the best that we can here every day for our guests, for every single person that comes in the door, because I feel that everything else will flow from that. And that has always been my premise. And you want to grow your business. You know, you’ve got to focus on those things. I mean, of course there’s the operational cost controls and all that, but you won’t have the business. If you don’t focus on customer service, food and ambience. Jason Lopez: Shanny Covey is the co-owner of Robbins and Cambria, California, as well as restaurants in San Louis Obispo. She says because of the pandemic, the concept of takeout, even for a fancy sit-down restaurant is probably here to stay. Her sister, Deb Mok, says she loves the idea of wild ginger transitioning to take out only where she can focus on the kitchen and the food much like the street food hawkers in Singapore. And Perry Quinn says the trends toward a higher end food offerings for takeout and a broader range of restaurants offering takeout could accelerate the development of delivery technologies such as robotic vehicles and drones. This is the Tech Barometer Podcast. I’m Jason Lopez. Tech Barometer is a production of The Forecast. Find more stories on technology at theforecastbynutanix.com.
47 minutes | Jul 8, 2021
10 Essential Steps to Hybrid Multicloud IT
In this special full-length Tech Barometer segment, Nutanix CIO Wendy M. Pfeiffer shares lessons learned from leading a significant shift to next-generation cloud technologies. Her team transformed IT operations by fusing hybrid multicloud capabilities, including hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), with automation powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence. Below are individual podcast segments for each of Pfeiffer’s 10 steps to cloud: Step 1: Define New Infrastructure Standards Step 2: Create a Flexible Foundation Step 3: Establish Infrastructure Purpose-Built for the Cloud Step 4: Focus on the User Experience Step 5: Institute Autonomous IT Step 6: Augment IT Skills with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Step 7: Measure Success By Delighting IT Users Step 8: Monitor Customer Satisfaction Results Step 9: Validate the Business Case with ROI Metrics Step 10: Adopt an Attitude of Continuous Improvement Find more enterprise cloud news, features stories and profiles at The Forecast.
12 minutes | Jun 29, 2021
Business Decisions Are Driving Cloud Technologies
New innovations can quickly become IT sweethearts, but what’s best for the business remains the overriding factor for deployment. The emergence of cloud native was born from developers needing to flexibly deploy resources and reconfigure them as needed. “That’s why we invented containers,” said Steve McDowell, senior analyst of data and storage at Moor Insights and Strategy, in this Tech Barometer Cloud Coverage segment. “They’re very ephemeral, very temporary in nature,” he said. “They were designed for that. Now we’re in the process of adapting those to more stateful and enterprise kind of workloads.” Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
11 minutes | Jun 21, 2021
Rajiv Ramaswami — Ripple Effect of Infrastructure Innovation
In the real world, infrastructure is railroads, highways and power grids. In the digital world, infrastructure is servers, networks and data centers. Rajiv Ramaswami is a man of both worlds. He grew up on India’s national railway system, which employed his father and mother. As a graduate researcher, he envisioned optical networking tools for the emerging information superhighway. In the private sector, he led divisions of technology infrastructure stalwarts like Cisco and VMware. Now he’s the CEO of Nutanix, which specializes in creating digital equivalents of technology infrastructure like servers, switches and networks. In this Tech Barometer segment, Ramaswami talks about his life and career as an infrastructure guy and what it’s like building technologies that benefit businesses, industries and daily life. Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
16 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
SUSE Flattens the Cloud Native Learning Curve with Udacity Courses
IT leaders are hungry for cloud native technologies but struggle to find expertise because Cloud Native is nascent. SUSE and Udacity team up to feed the need by creating courses to train the next wave of engineers. In this Cloud Coverage segment by The Forecast, meet Sarah Whitlock, the global head of the SUSE and Rancher Community. She talks about the Cloud Native nanodegree called “Cloud Native Application Architecture.” The curriculum consists of four courses: Cloud Native Fundamentals, Message Passing, Observability, and Microservices Security. For more information see: nutanix.com/solutions/cloud-native nutanix.com/theforecastbynutanix/technology/cloud-native-computing-what-it-is-and-why-businesses-need-it nutanix.com/theforecastbynutanix/news/cloud-native-innovations-fuel-growth Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
12 minutes | May 26, 2021
Our Home is Not the Office of the Future… Sorry, Not Sorry
The COVID-19 pandemic proved that video conferencing could sustain businesses even if workers couldn’t work from their company’s office. It also peaked interest in VR, AR and other technologies that will shape the future of work. In this Tech Barometer report, explore the future of workspaces with Nicole Peterson, professor of interior design at Iowa State University; Don Massaro, who headed up the Xerox sales team in the early 1980s; and Paul Noll from office furniture manufacturer Steelcase. Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
12 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
What is Cloud Native Exactly?
Get beyond the buzzwords and break down what cloud-native technologies are and what they promise. In this Tech Barometer Cloud Coverage segment, data center technology analyst Steve McDowell of Moore Insights and Strategy. “Cloud native is one of those terms that’s becoming more overloaded daily,” he said. “It means different things to different people. It’s very contextual. Cloud native is about packaging, managing and running a workload that is sensitive to its environment.” Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
22 minutes | Apr 1, 2021
Digital Transformation Requires Change in Business Mindset
Tech innovations aren’t enough to keep companies ahead of the curve. Their stakeholders need to buy in to new approaches and skills, according to Brent Schroeder, CTO of SUSE. Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
28 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
AI and ML Are Empowering IT to Do More with Less
Automation technologies have evolved rapidly in recent years and they’re helping IT pros manage more things across their data centers. In this tech Barometer podcast interview, Rahul Kelkar, Global Head of Product Management at Digitate and Tarak Parekh, director of product management at Nutanix, explain AI and automation trends, how these technologies are evolving and the kinds of benefits they’re bringing to businesses and organizations. Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
47 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
Take a Journey to Cloud in 10 Steps
Partly as a result of cost-cutting necessities, but also to demonstrate how Nutanix software can anchor a global hybrid cloud, Wendy Pfeiffer, CIO at Nutanix, led her team on a transformative journey. The goal was to make IT easier, better automated, and more readily accessible to the user community so employees could focus on their work and not be held back by inscrutable procedures and frustrating delays. “Ultimately, corporate IT services should be as easy as your smartphone: you simply choose the apps that you want to use and the technology adapts to your preferences,” Pfeiffer said. “Thus hybrid cloud starts with the notion that there is a right way, an optimal way, to run IT services. IT should become a partner to the business, and the technology we provide should make most computing activities invisible.” The lessons shared here are apropos: Nearly every organization is making headway with cloud computing, and yet many of them struggle to mix different types of IT services in a way that effortlessly meets user needs. “Progressive organizations have always required a mix of technologies and capabilities,” Pfeiffer added. “However, if IT only supports a single cloud or a single type of technology, then it can’t carry out its mission of helping everybody be productive. Ultimately, the technology must slip into the background, so it doesn’t matter what kind of hardware you use, or what kind of cloud.” Listen to Wendy Pfeiffer talk about all 10 steps in this one podcast. Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
21 minutes | Feb 26, 2021
COVID Could Reveal Businesses Failure from Lack of Technology Investments
The pandemic wreaked havoc but it also revealed that investments in digital technologies helped keep many aspects going during lockdown and social distancing. In a Tech Barometer podcast segment, Professor Art Langer says technology will only become more important in the future. Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
8 minutes | Feb 19, 2021
Grab Hold of Growth on the S-Curve or Fall Behind
Companies that don’t innovate risk losing to others that learn, adapt to and adopt new data technologies, according to Columbia University professor and author Dr. Art Langer in the first of a two part Tech Barometer podcast series on leadership through transformative times. Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
6 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
Journey to Cloud: Step 10 – Adopt an Attitude of Continuous Improvement
Closing out the 10-part Tech Barometer podcast series Journey to Cloud, Nutanix CIO Wendy Pfeiffer talks about step 10, having a hunger to progress. With so much pressure to perform everything right the first time requires teamwork set on continuous improvement. Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
7 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
Journey to Cloud: Step 8 – Monitor Customer Satisfaction Results
Almost every organization making headway with cloud computing struggles to mix different types of IT services in a way that effortlessly meets user needs. In this Tech Barometer segment, Wendy Pfeiffer, CIO of Nutanix, talks about how automation and continuous monitoring of success metrics helps her IT team keep customers (employees) satisfied. Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
5 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
Journey to Cloud: Step 9 – Validate the Business Case with ROI
The ninth step in her journey to cloud at Nutanix, CIO Wendy M. Pfeiffer focused her IT team on saving space and money. She explains how moving to hybrid cloud helped Nutanix reduce electrical consumption and footprint. Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
20 minutes | Jan 20, 2021
Founder to CEO – Nutanix Leadership Transition
As the Nutanix leadership torch changed hands in late 2020, co-founder and departing CEO Dheeraj Pandey interviewed his successor Rajiv Ramaswami in a podcast for company employees. In this version edited for the Tech Barometer, the two tech leaders discuss the future of hybrid cloud, focusing on customer needs, IT automation and more. Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
6 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
Journey to Cloud: Step 7 – Measure Success by Delighting IT Users
In the seventh segment of a 10-part Tech Barometer podcast series “Journey to Cloud,” Nutanix CIO Wendy Pfeiffer explains why it’s critical to measure and optimize performance in order to delight IT users. Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
4 minutes | Jan 11, 2021
Journey to Cloud: Step 6 – Augment IT Skillsets with AI and ML
In this 6th segment in a 10-part Tech Barometer podcast series, Nutanix CIO Wendy M. Pfeiffer talks about augmenting IT skills with artificial intelligence and machine learning to help bring efficiency and grow IT team capabilities. Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
6 minutes | Jan 5, 2021
Journey to Cloud Step 5 – Institute Autonomous IT
In this 5th segment in a 10-part Tech Barometer podcast series, Nutanix CIO Wendy M. Pfeiffer talks about why creating a common, flexible IT infrastructure foundation – based on a hypervisor to virtualize and hyperconverged infrastructure to scale – is the second step toward a hybrid cloud IT operation.? Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
5 minutes | Dec 28, 2020
The Journey to Cloud: Step 4 – Focus on the User Experience
Hybrid cloud technologies are about bringing better user experiences across teams to every employee. In the 4th of a 10-part Tech Barometer podcast series, Nutanix CIO Wendy Pfeiffer explains how she empowered her IT and every employee to work securely and effectively from anywhere, on almost any device. Follow the enterprise cloud tech revolution at The Forecast by Nutanix.
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