Executive Reflections

The Great Xscape at Dell EMC World

It’s been one week since we debuted The Great Xscape (Steve McQueen would be proud, I’m sure) at Dell EMC World. Now, perhaps you’re asking yourself “just what is an escape room?” It’s a real-life adventure game where teams of players work together to solve a series of puzzles and accomplish a specific objective. But, if you’ll indulge me, I can make it a bit more real for you. Here’s the Las Vegas story

You’ve just left the CPSD booth, and entered a room humming with LEDs. There is a series of buttons to your right. To your left, a half assembled network patch panel. And was that a server cabinet behind you? You begin to think about quickly leaving Las Vegas when the door closes behind you and your team. You’re trapped. A display springs to life.

A woman in a white lab coat briefs you. The app your company just launched is a success beyond anyone’s expectations. Hooray right? Well, sort of. She goes on to inform you that the user demand is so great that your infrastructure is about to crash (which will mean very bad things for you and the company). Fortunately, you have in your possession one prototype VxRail node—all you have to do is deploy it in time.

A digital display above the screen begins to tick away… 10:00… 9:59… 9:58… The gauntlet has been thrown down. Will you get out in time???

Now as cool as this experience was, the cooler part was the experiential learning that took place inside the room. Successfully completing a puzzle triggered the next video setting off another challenge. Woven throughout the videos was all manner of VxRail goodness. Participants learned how to update the software running on a VxRail Appliance with the click of a button, saw VxRail Manager auto detect a new node when it was cabled up to the network, and experienced how easy it is to scale out additional nodes. A little work, a little play–what can I say? That’s just what happens in Vegas.

Over 500 attendees put their wits to the test, puzzling their way through The Great Xscape. We designed the escape room to be challenging, and our partners and customers rose to the occasion. Each day’s fastest team won Dell laptops. And even those teams that ran out of time still left with smiles on their faces (and swag in their pockets).

 What’s that? You’re feeling a bit of fear and loathing because you didn’t have a go at The Great Xscape? Not to worry–just plan to meet me in Las Vegas in August. We’ll be at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino for VMworld with a slew of exciting product announcements and our escape room in tow. In the meantime, we’re going to huddle up with our team of mad scientists–we have 21 ideas for how to make The Great Xscape even better. Viva Las Vegas.



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