Dell, IoT… And The Spanish Inquisition

Vendor: “Our chief solution is networking… networking and analytics…analytics and networking… Our two chief solutions are networking and analytics…and business value… Our three solutions are networking, analytics and business value… and time to value…. Our four…no… Amongst our solutions…. Amongst our offerings…are such elements as networking, analytics…. I’ll come in again.

With apologies to Monty Python’s ‘Spanish Inquisition’.

Depending upon your source, there will be 40, 50 or even 500 billion ‘things’ connected to the Internet over the next five-plus years, worth $7.1 trillion (2020), which explains why is salivating over the Internet of Things/Internet of Everything (IoT/IoE). However, while connecting things will be critical, i.e. IP traffic will triple from 2014-2019, extracting business value from the IoT is the ultimate payoff, and that’s where is looking to carve out a slice of this explosive market, providing pieces of the puzzle, with its partners, and focusing on rapid time to value.

Dell announced a new set of gateways — small, wireless or connected devices that collect, help secure and process sensor data at the edge of a network, aka Cisco and IBM’s fog computing, and available now, starting at $479 — that it says complete its IoT portfolio. The company said the gateways were the missing pieces to its lineup that now allows customers the choice to balance analytics across edge, datacenter and cloud models.

One of Dell’s OEM customers looking to leverage the gateways is KMC Controls. In a prepared statement, Richard Newberry, who has transitioned from CEO to Chairman Strategic Advisor, noted that developing an IoT solution for building automation systems requires speed and responsiveness, but there are also considerations such as security and the need for an open development platform that must be addressed,. “Dell’s IoT gateways allow KMC to connect building automation systems to the with a truly open and secure platform that scales very well from small buildings to large buildings to distributed properties within a portfolio.”

According to a recent interview with Andy Rhodes, Executive Director IoT Solutions, Dell, current IoT solutions offer lengthy implementations, overly ambitious scoping and complex proprietary designs that raise risks and costs. The situation is made even more complex because there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everybody.

“Every use case, every project is somewhat of a snowflake. IoT isn’t one thing, its multiple different things.”

Technology Business Research, which said Dell entered the IoT sweepstakes with a strong contender, likens IoT to climate change: It has been happening for a long time, its pace is accelerating and the impact will be enormous. Demand is such that TBR forecasts the IT market for business IoT solutions will grow to $1.7 trillion in 2018.

Dell is approaching IoT from a perspective of enabling customers and partners to initiate solutions, with Dell providing the underlying technology, stated Ezra Gottheil, Principal Analyst. Although that technology is closely related to Dell’s other offerings, the company’s ability to integrate them has it well-positioned to participate in what is expected to be a vigorous IoT economy.

Dell is approaching IoT from a perspective of enabling customers and partners to initiate solutions, with Dell providing the underlying technology, stated Ezra Gottheil, Principal Analyst. Although that technology is closely related to Dell’s other offerings, the company’s ability to integrate them has it well-positioned to participate in what is expected to be a vigorous IoT economy. TBR believes that Dell, by relying on its customers and partners to initiate solutions, and by providing technology that is closely related to its other offerings, has positioned itself to participate in an IoT revolution, already in process.

KMC has been delivering building automation solutions long before IoT became the buzzword de jure. However, until now, these solutions weren’t practical for the mass market, said Newberry in a briefing with IT Trends & Analysis.

“We firmly believe that the low-hanging fruit in the IoT space is commercial automation.” He said there are 5 million ‘dumb’ buildings in North America that are spending 15-30% more than they should on energy, and a building automation as a service can move budgets from capital expenses to operating expenses. Building owners and/or operators “can see the energy savings right on their smartphones.”

Until now, there hasn’t been a solution that is affordable for the 50,000-foot and smaller market, he said. Not only is the KMC/Dell solution going to be affordable, there will be no ROI, he added.

KMC has been working with Dell’s IoT unit for several months, and will announce the first offering, KMC Commander, in the fourth quarter, which is when Dell will begin delivering that gateway. Shipments are scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2016. “We’re very pleased with how quickly Dell is moving.”

As much as KMC has been active in this field since 1969, IoT is a new ball game. “We expect it to change our business dramatically.”

Newberry said they’ve been conducting strategy meetings with current system integrators, prospects and some of their customers. In the past, operating technology (OT) projects frequently slowed down – or stopped – when they came to the IT department. With Dell getting involved, it will alleviate the challenges our integrators are having with IT, he stated.

Integrators are very excited, and many will offer it for free, as part of a recurring revenue stream. “KMC Commander is basically a platform to build a service business.”

While custom solutions will help drive Dell’s IoT revenues, Cisco is well aware that business value, not connections, will be key to IoT vendor success. At the end of 2014 it unveiled its Cisco Connected Analytics for the Internet of Everything, a ‘comprehensive data and analytics strategy and solutions portfolio’. The soon-to-be-ex CEO John Chambers said the company is making a big push on data and analytics. “We aren’t there yet, but boy, this is one big step.” He said data analytics was “the one area we were missing”, and combining it with IoE is intended to position the company for a big chunk of the $19 trillion IoE market expected to be available during the next 10 years.

Yesterday it announced the Cisco IoT System, which comprises six technology elements or ‘pillars’, in addition to 15 new Internet of Things products. “The Cisco IoT System provides a comprehensive set of IoT technologies and products that simplify and accelerate the deployment of infrastructure for the Internet of Things,” stated Kip Compton, VP/GM, IoT Systems and Software Group, Cisco, in the release. “This unique systems approach delivers a framework that makes it possible to deploy, accelerate and innovate with IoT.”

Other than Monty Python, few might have expected the Spanish Inquisition. Have no doubts that we will continue to be ‘tortured’ by IoT announcements for the foreseeable future.

Author: Steve Wexler

Share This Post On

Leave a Reply