Dell Technologies | February 18, 2022
Dell Technologies and VMware are working with Munich Re, one of the world's leading reinsurers, to create a consistent approach to global IT operations that performs with improved performance and flexibility at the high level of security required for its data-intensive workloads.
Dell and VMware are assisting Munich Re to more easily adhere to compliance requirements and reduce IT costs. Azure VMware Solution, part of Microsoft Azure, and a modern private cloud based on Dell Technologies and VMware will help create a consistent multi-cloud architecture where data and workloads can be processed and delivered exactly where they are required and shared across multiple environments. The multi-cloud architecture will support Munich Re to offer a coherent customer experience across environments through a consistent IT infrastructure that consolidates all of Munich Re's global data centers into three hubs.
"With Dell Technologies and VMware, we are creating a consistent cloud operating model to standardize our infrastructure and increase our environment's performance, stability, and resilience in a smart way," said Robin Johnson, CIO at Munich Re. "This modern multi-cloud infrastructure will help us in our daily business operations by providing the agility to match the right cloud to any application or use case."
The Azure VMware Solution can accelerate application and cloud modernization initiatives with less risk and better economics than traditional approaches. It also allows for the extension or migration of existing VMware workloads natively on Microsoft Azure. Munich Re's private cloud will be based on Dell VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure systems with VMware Cloud Foundation software. Munich Re will also use VMware vRealize Cloud Management and VMware NSX to enable consistent management across cloud environments and enable security policies that follow workloads wherever they move.
The insurance industry is going through a technology revolution ranging from how they process claims to how they engage their customers. Munich Re turned to Dell and VMware with the ambition of creating a multi-cloud strategy that could provide a powerful and stable IT infrastructure and respond flexibly to the demands of a dynamic industry with a seamless, standardized and automated platform."
Bradd Lewis, Dell Technologies vice president and global lead for financial services
"Across the insurance industry, we are seeing our customers invest in hybrid-cloud strategies to deliver more efficient and tailored solutions for their clients," said Jennifer Manry, vice president, global industries, VMware. "But to remain resilient, it's no longer about a 'cloud first' approach—it's about being 'cloud smart'. Together with Dell, we are uniquely positioned to give Munich Re the power to accelerate innovation with a smarter path to a hybrid-cloud environment that enables the flexibility to scale quickly and move workloads between IT environments without restrictions or trade-offs."
About Dell Technologies
Dell Technologies helps organizations and individuals build their digital future and transform how they work, live and play. The company provides customers with the industry's broadest and most innovative technology and services portfolio for the data era.
VMware is a leading provider of multi-cloud services for all apps, enabling digital innovation with enterprise control. As a trusted foundation to accelerate innovation, VMware software gives businesses the flexibility and choice they need to build the future. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to building a better future through the company's 2030 Agenda.
Supernatural | December 23, 2021
Supernatural, the leading virtual reality fitness experience, announced that actress, comedian and producer Tiffany Haddish will be its next guest coach. The breakout star will lead workouts in virtual reality as part of Supernatural's second annual This Year, Be You campaign that will kick off on January 1, 2022.
Supernatural is a connected fitness app that uses the power and benefits of virtual reality—through the Meta Quest 2—to provide members with immersive health and wellness experiences. With workouts that integrate both mind and body movement, Supernatural creates an experience that is focused on making fitness fun. Supernatural offers members an industry-leading music library with the most expansive collection of major-label music with more than 1000 songs from the world's biggest artists, and awe-inspiring photoreal workout destinations that make working out a joyful experience.
"I became addicted to Supernatural last year,"
saidTiffany Haddish. "I've never felt so powerful or had so much fun working out. I can travel the world from my living room, move to music I love, and feel like a superhero every day. My mission in life is to spread joy and empower people and, as a Supernatural Guest Coach, I get to spread that goodness in a way that also gets people sweating and smiling as they get a great workout."
Tiffany Haddish will lead Supernatural members through the start of their 2022 fitness journey, encouraging everyone to make a resolution to embrace their true selves this year, all while breaking a sweat and having a great time. Throughout the month of January, she will coach four Supernatural sessions: Boxing, Flow—Supernatural's original cardio workout—guided meditation and a stretch session.
Tiffany is not just a force for joy, she is a force for good, breaking boundaries and expectations with everything she does. With this series, we're proud to have her share her unmatched energy with the Supernatural community through a series of workouts that invite you to take on the most welcoming, positive and joyful new years resolution possible."
Chris Milk, Supernatural Co-Founder and CEO
Haddish has been very open about her own fitness journey, and already has a keen interest in the world of virtual reality. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Haddish started incorporating virtual reality into her workout routine and became hooked on Supernatural, losing over fifty pounds in the process.
Supernatural members will have access to This Year, Be You with Tiffany Haddish starting on New Year's Day. Each Supernatural membership includes access to the full and ever-expanding catalog of integrated fitness offerings plus a curated selection of Supernatural Programs and Collections designed to help members meet individual fitness goals with results that benefit both body and mind. Sign up for a free trial followed by $18.99/month or $179.99/year. Membership automatically begins and renews monthly after the free trial ends. Cancel at any time.
Supernatural launched in April of 2020 as the world's first subscription-based, full-body fitness service for virtual reality. Designed for Meta Quest and paired with your smartphone, Supernatural provides users with expertly coached daily workouts, detailed fitness tracking, an expansive catalog of music and a chance to exercise in the world's most beautiful locations without ever leaving home.
About Tiffany Haddish
Tiffany Haddish is a comedian, actress, and producer who was the breakout star of the smash comedy Girls Trip, where she appeared as the scene-stealing "Dina" alongside Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, and Regina Hall. Her additional film and television work includes The Last O.G., Night School, The Carmichael Show, Keanu, and a turn as host of the 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards. Her debut stand-up special, Tiffany Haddish: She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood, debuted on Showtime in August 2017. In November 2017, she made history by becoming the first black female stand-up comedian to host Saturday Night Live. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
University of Tennessee, Knoxville's Haslam College of Business | February 14, 2022
On a Thursday morning in fall 2021, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville seniors weren't sure what to expect from the next session of their capstone marketing course at the Haslam College of Business. As they took in the scenic view of a desert landscape surrounding them, they watched their fellow students fill the class space, where instructor Mark Collins stood at the front of a futuristic-looking auditorium.
These students weren't on a field trip; they were in their apartments and dorm rooms, attending an experimental hybrid section of Marketing Strategy (MARK 460), which Collins, distinguished lecturer of marketing at Haslam and director of the college's Office of Technology-Enhanced Education, believes to be the first class at UT to utilize virtual reality as a regular delivery modality.
Engaging Marketing Students in a New Way
VR technology has become common in fields like medicine where training involves high risk or high price tags, but Collins was inspired by marketers who had begun using the related technology of augmented reality, enabling users to view their physical surroundings through a phone or tablet and see computer-generated content such as a brand mascot overlaid on the space. With the encouragement of the college's leadership, he obtained Oculus Quest 2 headsets to interface with the VR platform Spatial, which provides high-quality audio and video and integrates easily with smartphones and Microsoft Office.
For this hybrid section of MARK 460, Collins planned for six or eight class sessions in the middle of the semester to be delivered via VR and the rest face-to-face. In the same semester, he taught another section of the course that was completely face-to-face. He says that while both sections achieved the required level of learning for the class, he believes the VR class absorbed the material at a higher level.
"Because it was so different, it made them focus and pay attention a lot more," says Collins, who makes a clear distinction between VR and other types of remote learning. "The interaction and engagement by the students in VR is night and day compared to if we only had met on Zoom. Part of it, I'm sure, is the fact that they're an avatar, so they don't feel that self-consciousness."
Bridgette Liederbach, a Haslam marketing major scheduled to graduate in May 2022, agrees.
Having an avatar makes the classroom experience feel personal and like we are all in the room together but also makes it less intimidating. Zoom sometimes makes me uncomfortable to have my camera on and [unmute myself] because I know everyone will see my face pop up on their screen, but using Spatial makes talking in class easier."
Bridgette Liederbach, a Haslam marketing major
Potential for Teaching Across Disciplines
For future sections of the course, Collins wants to take his entire class on a virtual field trip to a store, using VR footage of retail aisles that has already been shot.
"I want to stand there with them in front of that and say, 'OK, what's happening here? Why are there 13 different types of Cheez-Its?'" he says. "Then we can go down the aisle and see how the competitors are reacting, and what they're doing that kind of matches up with what Cheez-It did."
Other Haslam faculty members have approached Collins about the feasibility of using VR in their courses, and he is enthusiastic about the possibilities, especially as more units, apps and software become available at lower price points. While he doesn't recommend teaching full courses exclusively via VR yet, he imagines financial reports in which students could reach out to pick up information and place it where it belongs, or a VR supply chain where they could identify and manipulate bottlenecks.
"Across all disciplines, there are moments where we want the students to understand something at a really deep and meaningful level, and we can use VR to make that engagement and interaction happen," he says. "I can see using it in a focused, short time span, to keep it really powerful rather than just becoming the new normal."
Lightbits Labs | January 18, 2022
Lightbits Labs (Lightbits), the first software-defined and NVMe-based data platform for any cloud, is pleased to announce it has been named a winner in the 2022 BIG Innovation Awards presented by the Business Intelligence Group.
This is recognition for the company’s unique Complete Data Platform, which is an innovative architecture of NVMe/TCP, Intelligent Flash Management, and VMware vSphere 7 Update 3 compatibility that delivers high performance, simplicity, and cost-efficiency for VMware environments. As such, Lightbits, the inventor of NVMe/TCP, is quickly becoming the defacto standard for managing, analyzing, and storing data on any cloud. Leveraging NVMe/TCP protocol and a shared storage architecture, Lightbits delivers the lowest latencies and highest scalability while delivering performance equivalent to local flash. Lightbits solves the storage challenges for cloud-centric applications with greater efficiency than proprietary appliances and when combined with VMWare vSphere is giant leap forward in delivering an end-to-end NVMe solutions ecosystem.
This recognition is further validation that Lightbits fills a critical need for modern IT organizations looking to inject efficiency and agility into the data center. We invented NVMe/TCP, its native to the software, and thus delivers all the low latency and high performance of local flash. And Lightbits is the only solution available with Intelligent Flash Management for maximum cost-efficiency. So, while we may pause to appreciate this recognition, we’ll keep making BIG innovations that enable customers to efficiently leverage their IT investments to extract maximum value from their data.”
Carol Platz, Vice President of Marketing, Lightbits Labs
“Innovation is driving growth in the global economy,” said Maria Jimenez, chief operating officer of the Business Intelligence Group. “We are thrilled to be honoring Lightbits as they are one of the organizations leading this charge and helping humanity progress.”
About Lightbits Labs
Lightbits Labs (Lightbits) is leading the digital data center transformation by making high-performance elastic block storage available to any cloud. Creators of the NVMe over TCP (NVMe/TCP) protocol, Lightbits software-defined storage is easy to deploy at scale and delivers performance equivalent to local flash to accelerate cloud-native applications in bare metal, virtual, or containerized environments. Backed by leading enterprise investors including Cisco Investments, Dell Technologies Capital, Intel Capital, and Micron, Lightbits is on a mission to make high-performance elastic block storage simple, scalable and cost-efficient for any cloud.
The NVMe, and NVMe/TCP word marks are registered or unregistered service marks of the NVM Express organization in the United States and other countries. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use strictly prohibited.
About Business Intelligence Group
The Business Intelligence Group was founded with the mission of recognizing true talent and superior performance in the business world. Unlike other industry award programs, these programs are judged by business executives having experience and knowledge. The organization’s proprietary and unique scoring system selectively measures performance across multiple business domains and then rewards those companies whose achievements stand above those of their peers.