VMware-Powered Cloud Adoption Delivers Bevy of Data and Performance Benefits for Revlon, Says CIO David Giambruno

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Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast from the VMworld 2012 Conference on how cosmetics giant Revlon has benefited from innovative data delivery.

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast from the VMworld 2012 Conference on how cosmetics giant Revlon has benefited from innovative data delivery.

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  • 1. VMware-Powered Cloud Adoption Delivers Bevy of Dataand Performance Benefits for Revlon, Says CIO DavidGiambrunoTranscript of a BriefingsDirect podcast from the VMworld 2012 Conference on how cosmeticsgiant Revlon has benefited from innovative data delivery.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Sponsor: VMwareDana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to a special BriefingsDirect podcast series coming to you from the 2012 VMworld Conference in San Francisco. Were here the week of August 27 to explore the latest in cloud computing and software-defined datacenter infrastructure developments. Im Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions and Ill be your host throughout this series of VMware sponsored BriefingsDirect discussions. Its been a year since the last VMworld Conference in 2011 when we first spoketo Revlon. We heard then about their world-class private cloud as an early adopter of innovativecloud delivery and we decided to go back and see how things have progressed at Revlon.[Disclsure: VMware is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]Well learn now, a year on, how Revlon’s global and comprehensive cloud has matured, how thebenefits from aggressively embracing the cloud have evolved, and perhaps learn about someunintended positive consequences of their architecture.To fill us in, were joined by David Giambruno. Hes the Senior Vice President and CIO ofRevlon. Welcome back, David.David Giambruno: Morning, Dana.Gardner: Now that youve been doing private cloud as an early adopter and at an advancedstate, what it has been doing for you? How has it progressed now that there has been a bit ofmaturity?Giambruno: We have a couple of fronts. The biggest, which you alluded to, was the unintended consequence, and weve had a couple of them. When you think of Revlon, were global and we have a huge application portfolio. As we put everything on our cloud and are using our cloud, we realized that all of our data sits in one place now. So when you think of big-data management, weve been able to solve the problem by classifying all the unstructured data in Revlon and we did thatefficiently. We still joke that its like chewing glass. Youve got to go through this huge process. Page 1
  • 2. But, we have the ability to look at all of our data, a couple of petabytes, in the same place.Because the cloud let us look at it all, we can bring up all of Revlon in our disaster recovery(DR) test environments and have our developers work with it at no cost. We have disconnectedthat cost and effort.Once we realized we had this opportunity to start working on our big data, the other unintendedconsequences was our master data model. On top of our big data, we were able to able toefficiently and effectively build a global master data model.Chief directiveAt Revlon, one of our chief directives from the executive team is to globalize. So were collapsing 21 enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems into one. The synergies of having this big-data structure and having this master data models is changing the model on how to deploy a global ERP. Loading that data is now just a few clicks of a button. Its highly automated. Were not ETLing data and facing all the oldchallenges. Were not copying environments. Everything is available to us and it’s constantlyupdating.At Revlon, we replicate all of our cloud activity every 15 minutes. Youve seen on VMware,where we had disasters and we were able to recover a country quickly and effectively. Thatreplication process and constantly updating allows us to update all these instances at no cost andwith little effort.You have to build the structure and you have to go through that process, but once its done, itsnow automated and you march that out. Its the ability to quickly and effectively manage all yourbig data coming in. For us, its point of sale -- roughly 600 million-plus attributes.For us to provide information to the business teams, to build good products, to sell goodproducts, is a key differentiator in helping them.Gardner: Well, it seems that a key aspect of the modern enterprise, the integrated enterprise, ishaving that data and analysis, having a lifecycle approach from the point of sale, to inventory, toplanning, and to supply chain. You say that’s an unintended consequence. Why did you do thedata the way you did that’s now led to this best cloud architecture for you?Giambruno: We started the cloud architecture, and I always joke its like having a Ferrari thatyou can take out for a spin. When we were building it, we didnt realize all the things we can do.So its really that je ne sais quoi, the little thing that, as you see it, you realize all these things youcan do. You are always planning to do those things for the business, because that’s what we do,but its how you do them.Ive always said the cloud is what the local area network (LAN) was 15 or 20 years ago. TheLAN changed the way people dealt with information and applications, and the cloud is doing the Page 2
  • 3. same thing. Actually, its on a bigger geometry, because it really eliminates geography andprovides the ability to move data and information around.We live in the information age, and to me, the most important thing is delivering information tothe business teams. Thats what we see as one of the big next evolutions in our cloud -- makinginformation out of all this data and delivering that on whatever device they want to be on,wherever they are, securely and effectively, in a context that they can understand. Not in a waythat we can understand, but in a way that they can consume.Gardner: Understanding a bit about how you did this chronologically, for those that are still inthe process of getting there with private cloud, did you focus on the data issues first and thenapplication and workloads? Did you do them simultaneously? Is there some lesson to learn abouthow you did it in an orderly sense that others could benefit from?First things firstGiambruno: I live in this simple world of crawl, walk, run. Whenever I say that my teamstarts cringing, because they think, "Oh, there he goes again." But it was literally fix theinfrastructure first and then, from an application and data perspective, the low-hanging fruit, thefile servers.Its this progressive capability of learning how to do things -- low risk to high risk. What you endup doing is figuring out how to effectively do those things, because not only do you manage thetechnology, but you have to manage the people and the process changes, and all those things thathave to happen.But all ships have to rise at the same time. So its the ability to run these concurrent streams.From a management perspective, its how not to get overwhelmed and how to take advantage ofthe technology, the automation, and the capabilities that come along with that to free up workthat you used to do and put it towards making the change.Im a big believer in not doing big bang. So its not like, tomorrow were going to have a privatecloud. Throw the switch. Its the small incremental changes that help organizations adapt. Its alittle bit every day. You look back, and at the end of six months or a year, you realize how muchweve done.Its been the same in Revlon. I constantly take my team and sit them down and say, "Look whatweve done. Youre in the forest. Youre in the trees. Its time to look at the forest. Step back andlook what you guys have done." Because its a little bit every day, and you dont realize themagnitude or the mass, when you have a team of people doing something every day and goingforward.Gardner: For those of our listeners who may not be that familiar with Revlon, at least your IToperations, give us a sense of the scale -- the number of applications, size of data, just so webetter appreciate the task that youve accomplished. Page 3
  • 4. Giambruno: I usually quantify it by our cloud, because those are the simple metrics and weseem to be pretty steady, so the metrics are holding. Our cloud makes about 14,000 transactions asecond. Our applications move around Revlon 15,000 times a month with no humanintervention. Our change rate of data is between 17 and 30 terabytes a week.We have roughly, depending on the ups and downs, between 97 and 98 of our total compute onour internal cloud, we have some AS/400s and I think one UNIX box left. But thats really thescale of what we do.All of our geographies are around the world. We sit in all the continents except for Antarctica.We have a global manufacturing facility in Oxford, North Carolina, that produces 72 percent ofeverything we sell in the world. We have some other factors around the world. And we aredelivering north of six nines uptime.Gardner: An unintended consequence was a benefit for how data can be accessed andconsumed, but a lot of people are hoping for consequences around cost. Is there something goingon now a year later vis-à-vis your total cost, or maybe even the cost of data? Maybe you havebeen able to reduce the footprint of data, even while you have accessed more and more quickly.Whats the cost equation?Cost avoidance and savingsGiambruno: There is a history there, as we talked about. We have given back north of $70million in cost avoidance and cost savings, and were continuously figuring out how to useeverything. My team is highly technical, so I call it turning screws. We are always turning screwson how to more effectively manage everything.Were always looking at how to not spend money. Its simple. The more money we dont spend,the more that R&D, marketing, and advertising have to grow our company. Thats the key to us.We leverage capability, so one of the big things this year also was our mobile businessintelligence (BI) capability. Weve disconnected most of the costs for things in Revlon around IT.We only manage at a top line.But if someone wants to try a new application, generally by the time the business team gets in ameeting with us, its no cost. We have servers set up. We have the environment. We have theaccess control set up for the vendor to come in and set everything up. So thats still ongoing.We have got this huge mobile BI initiative, which is delivering information to business teamsand contacts. Thats the new thing where we have disconnected the cost. Were not laying outmoney for it, and were just now executing around that.For me, the cost equation is more and more around cost avoidance and keeping on extending thecapability of that cloud.Gardner: And it seems as if those costs are more of an operational ongoing nature, predictable,recurring, easy to budget, rather than those big-bang types of cost? Page 4
  • 5. Giambruno: Very, very predictable. For the past three years, we have had the same line items.While data keep growing, were still figuring out how to manage things better and better in thebackground, because  the cloud generates lot of data, which we want it to do. Data, information,and how we use that is the competitive weapon.This cost avoidance, or cost containment, while extending capability, is the little magical thingthat happens, that we do for the business. Were very level in our spend, but we keep deliveringmore and more and more.Gardner: Because we are here at VMworld in San Francisco, tell me a little bit about theVMware impact for the cloud. How do you view the VMware suite and portfolio vis-à-vis theimpact it has had on your maturation and benefits?Very advancedGiambruno: We kind of joke with the VMware team that we have whats called Revnomolies.Revnomolies is what one of the guys on the helpdesk called it, because when were calling, werevery advanced. I want to use technology as a competitive weapon. My team masters it. We ownit intellectually.For us, its where VMware is going. Were always pushing VMware. "What have you got next?What have you got next?" Its up to us to take capability and extend it. I dont mean to be flip ornarcissistic or anything like that, but weve got that piece under control. Its about how do you doit better.Every time theres an upgrade, what features and functionalities can we then take advantage andtranslate that into a business use? When I say business use, we tell the business teams, "Heres anew capability. You can do this and keep changing the structure of operating."The new version of 5.1 came out, and were in the process of exposing our internal cloud to ourvendors and suppliers. Were eliminating all these virtual private networks (VPNs). Its abouthow we change and how IT operates, changing the model. For me, thats a competitiveadvantage, and its the opportunity to reduce structural cost and take people away from managingfirewalls.We did that. We got that. Now were going to do this a different way. Were going to expose toour vendors securely the information that they need, that they can interact with as easily andeffectively.Theres even the idea of taking a portion of our apps and presenting those to our suppliers ontheir iPads and their iPhones so they can update our data and our systems much more cleanly andeffectively. We can get the synergies and effectiveness and have our partners like to work with usand make it easy on them as well. Its always a quid pro quo, "Its Revlon. Theyre good to dealwith. Let’s help them." Page 5
  • 6. Its how you create those partnerships and effectiveness to get business done better. It makes iteasier on the business teams, contracts go better, and its cascading. I call it the spiral up effect,changing the way you operate to spiral up and take advantage of capabilities.Gardner: Is that something we could classify as another unintended consequence -- a benefitthat you have been able to enjoy these efficiencies around cloud internally for your enterprise,but now you are taking it to an extended enterprise benefit?Giambruno: Absolutely. Look at the security complexity around VPNs and managing that andthe audits. Thats so much fun. Changing the model is really the opportunity, making it easier forthe auditors to audit and making it easier for your supply chain, for all of those people to interactwith you in a much more effective manner.Its about enabling procurement to process their information and work with the vendors, becauseeverything is about change. Its about speed of change. If we get a demand signal that changesand we need to buy more raw materials or whatever for our factories, we have the ability for notonly our procurement teams, but our vendors to interact with us easily to make those changes. Itensures that we can deliver the right products, to the right stores, to the right peoples, so at theend the consumers are happy. Its about how do you change the model of delivering that.Technology enablerVMware has done that for us, and we keep taking advantage of all the stuff. I joke that Im likea technology enabler: "What have you got for me? What have you got for me?" So I can give itout to the business and my teams, because it keeps people interested. We can say, "We saw youguys, and it was hard for you. Now, you can do this." And its done."What do you mean its done?" "Its done. Just use it. Its okay. Let us know what you think, ifyou want us to change something." But its always being on the front of the bow, saying, "Hereswhat we can do. Heres how we can help."That’s the culture of IT in Revlon. Im merciless about how were just here to help. We run thetechnology and own the technology intellectually, so we can help. That’s my only concern.Gardner: Given that we started our conversation about data and the benefits that the cloudarchitecture has brought to you, is there anything about the VMware approach? Theyve beenfocused on virtualization in their history, moving towards fabric approaches to development anddeployment in the cloud model. How about data?Is there something that youd like to see now that youre going down that path in the nature of therelationship between a cloud and data services, anything that you would like to see change orshift?Giambruno: My team thinks that there needs to be a cellular approach to applications. What Imean by that is we have had what we call dribs out there. In the press lately, everybody has beentalking about POD data centers. In 2009, we were written up in one of the magazines for our Page 6
  • 7. Mini Me data centers, essentially our little PODs, and that’s our cloud capacity that we managearound the world.But when you think about an application architecture, lets take an ERP instance. We want to takea vertical slice of our warehouse management and push that out from a central location into ourwarehouses. Right now, that’s really hard. You end up with multiple instances or a single globalinstance, and then you have to deal with network latency and all those fun things.Internal cloudBut in the future, in my internal cloud, I should be able to take a vertical instance offunctionality and push that. To me, thats next. If the vendors can figure out how to do that andhave my internal cloud manage those transactions back, but push the pieces of functionalitywherever it needs to be, so it sits in those Mini Me data centers and let it be close to people, so Idon’t have to deal with latency and then manage those transactions back, thats the next bigevolution.The one other one is mobile computing. What I mean by mobile computing is viewingapplications, so data never leaves my data center.I know a device. I know the person. When they hit the edge of my network, essentially hit mydata center, we know their device. We know who they are, and they only get access toinformation they are supposed to have and they only view it.I could encrypt my entire data center, and at a hypervisor level, encrypt everything, because ifyou encrypt the VBK file, the job is done. The compliance and security impact is huge. No moredata leakage, audits become easier, all of those things.Again, its a completely different way to operate and think about things, but we need to sliceapplications up, move them out, and then view the applications. That’s a whole new geometry ofoperating IT in a much more efficient manner.Gardner: Im afraid well have to leave it there. Weve been talking about Revlon’s global andcomprehensive cloud and how it has matured, and about the benefits, both intended andunintended, from aggressively embracing the cloud model.Id like to thank our guest. Weve been here with David Giambruno. He is the Senior VicePresident and CIO at Revlon. Thanks so much, David.Giambruno: Have a nice day.Gardner: And thanks to our audience for joining this special podcast coming to you from the2012 VMworld Conference in San Francisco.Im Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host throughout this series ofpodcast discussions. Thank again for listening and come back next time. Page 7
  • 8. Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Sponsor: VMwareTranscript of a BriefingsDirect podcast from the VMworld 2012 Conference on how cosmeticsgiant Revlon has benefited from innovative data delivery. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC,2005-2012. All rights reserved.You may also be interested in: • Services Provider BancVue Leverages VMware Server Virtualization to Generate Private-Cloud Benefits and Increased Business Agility  • VMware CTO Steve Herrod on How the Software-Defined Datacenter Benefits Enterprises • Case Study: Strategic Approach to Disaster Recovery and Data Lifecycle Management Pays Off for Australias SAI Global • Case Study: Strategic Approach to Disaster Recovery and Data Lifecycle Management Pays Off for Australias SAI Global • Virtualization Simplifies Disaster Recovery for Insurance Broker Myron Steves While Delivering Efficiency and Agility Gains Too • SAP Runs VMware to Provision Virtual Machines to Support Complex Training Courses • Case Study: How SEGA Europe Uses VMware to Standardize Cloud Environment for Globally Distributed Game Development    Page 8