Making an Impact on the Silicon Slopes

Last Friday, I had the privilege of hosting U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch at the EMC Utah Center of Excellence (CoE). Senator Hatch spoke on the state of Utah as a technology leader and noted EMC’s advancements in the enterprise technology industry:

“EMC is providing the type of jobs and critical technology needed to help keep our country ahead of the technology curve. The company invests in its people and the communities in which it operates, while also providing leading solutions for Cloud Computing, Big Data, and Cybersecurity. Today’s visit to EMC’s Utah office showcased the great work that is being done to help keep our state’s technology industry at the forefront of the global economy.”

More than 1,000 EMC employees are based at the Utah Center of Excellence (CoE), working on a variety of IT-as-a-Service projects such as setting up Hadoop-as-a-Service so that customers can do faster Big Data analytics.

The CoE is right in the middle of a new tech corridor becoming known as the Silicon Slopes. Much like what exists in the Bay Area of California, but unique to our mountainous geography. Many of us believe we enjoy a higher quality of life than in California and combined with a vibrant, well-educated workforce and infrastructure investments like Google Fiber, we’re driving substantial growth in Utah’s tech sector.

EMC isn’t the only company out here either. There is also Adobe, whose Digital Marketing business is based in Utah, and IM Flash, an Intel-Micron JV that produces a vast amount of the NAND flash memory used in consumer electronics like the Apple iPhone, just to name a couple.

You can’t just show up on the Slopes and reap the benefits though. There are three areas that have been key to our success so far:

  • Government Relations – Relationships with state and local governments have been critically important. Together we have created programs like the Engineering and Computer Science Initiative that provides substantial funds to increase the number of engineering graduates from Utah universities. And when those relationships are backed by strong partnerships at the national level with people like Senator Hatch the benefits are extended to the entire tech industry.
  • Local Industry Associations – We work closely with the Utah Technology Council, our local high-tech industry association. Together we have created programs like Curiosity Unleashed, a STEM initiative to encourage students, parents, and educators to develop skills that are in high demand in the tech industry.

On top of this, employees are driving several other partnerships that benefit both our company and the local community, such as the working with the Utah Food Bank and the Salt Lake Valley Science & Engineering Fair.

When all of these factors come together, you get results – like the ability to expand business presence – not to mention continued attention from public figures like Senator Hatch who influence key issues like patent reform, corporate tax reform, immigration reform, and cybersecurity.

Thanks again to the Senator and all of the other partners who have been part of our journey at EMC in Utah!

I hope to see you here soon on the Silicon Slopes.

About the Author: Vance Checketts

Vance is the senior executive for Dell EMC in Utah. Under his leadership local operations have exceeded expectations for growth and delivery of real value for Dell EMC and customers. There are approximately 1,300 employees in the state construction was recently completed on a new building in Draper City’s transit-oriented Vista Station business park. All of this has been achieved with Vance’s direct oversight. Vance’s responsibilities also include a 500,000 sqft data center and other operations in North Carolina, as well as close coordination with other “Centers of Excellence” around the globe. Vance has been with EMC since 2007, when EMC acquired Mozy. As the COO of Mozy, Vance helped drive triple-digit revenue growth and a significant transformation of their cloud operations, security and customer service functions. Prior to Mozy Vance worked at several other high-tech firms, including 10 years at Oracle in Silicon Valley, WordPerfect, Novell and several start-ups. In addition to technology, Vance is passionate about his family, the outdoors and helping improve the world through healthcare and education. Vance currently serves on boards for several local organizations, including the Utah Technology Council, Women’s Tech Council, Intermountain Healthcare, Utah Valley University, and University of Utah. Vance was appointed by Governor Herbert to serve on his Economic Development Coordinating Council and the Technology Initiative Advisory Board. Vance has served on several other boards, including holding an elected position on the Provo School District Board of Education. Vance has an MBA from Brigham Young University.