Women in STEM: An introduction to Sony Electronics’ Cheryl Goodman
In an industry where the goalposts are forever moving, heading up corporate communications for a company such as Sony Electronics is no straightforward or indeed predictable task.
The likes of AI and the all-encompassing world of IoT are constantly finding ways of enhancing all aspects of commercial and consumer life, from manufacturing electronic goods to the way we discover content to play on them.
Such a task has been the responsibility of Cheryl Goodman since August last year.
“Is it a headache? Yeah,” she tells me in an interview for Business Chief. “I think there's a lot of nuances. I don't know how big a TV buff you are, but when you walk into that aisle I'm sure you look at the TVs and you see new HD, 4K, and all these acronyms and you probably think to yourself, ‘why do I care?’
“So, we have to drive that why you care, and we have to drive understanding. I figure if I can explain to my mom why, what all these acronyms mean, and why she should care then we're at a good spot. So, we try to drive understanding down to the very base level. It all equals quality, that I can say.”
Goodman is certainly well-qualified and prepared to negotiate the communications conundrum of such rapid advances in technology. Having majored in political science and television media from San Diego State University, she has worked through the rise of web and new ways of consuming media.
As a web and tech reporter for ABC Affiliate KGTV News 10, she helped drive the digitisation of the channel’s content offering, and her next job at MP3.com arose from a KGTV interview with CEO Michael Robertson.
“Every day I would put together compelling thoughtful pieces of video, and add some graphics and combine with digital distribution, build web pages, and so forth,” Goodman recalls. “It was a really fun exercise. Again, I found that I love understanding how these things came together – it was really a poetic marriage of skills. I believe that's what's carried me through technology up here today.”
A long stint at Qualcomm started in 2005, and during Goodman’s time there she joined Athena, an organisation devoted to promoting professional growth for women in STEM industries.
Since then she has been a prominent figure in championing female participation in STEM fields, with Sony Electronics a prime example of a company where women can thrive in leadership positions.
To find out more about Goodman’s work with Sony Electronics, look out for the full interview in the June edition of Business Chief magazine.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”