Dell…Making IT Transformation Real for Partners

Lots of forward-looking going on at this year’s Dell Technologies World (DTW – the former Dell EMC World) with main stage focus on the promise of Digital Transformation and IT Transformation on the world of IT. Of course, no IT event in 2018 would be complete without a discussion of the 4th Industrial Revolution, the merging of the cyber and the physical, and the impact of AI and machine learning on everything related to IT infrastructure, IoT, and beyond! Really cool stuff, for sure, but before they can get there, IT partners are, by necessity, rooted in the here and now. It is critical for them to see how they generate growth, profitability and the cash flow needed to sustain operations and invest for this glittering future. Quite often, IT vendors go heavy on pointing to the shiny objects in the tech future, but remain light on the details of how to realize their promise. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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DTW18 & Connecting The DoTs (Part 1 of 3)
May10

DTW18 & Connecting The DoTs (Part 1 of 3)

LAS VEGAS: During one of my Dell Technologies World 2018 briefings last week I had to stop part way through and explain that I meant digital transformation, not Dell Technologies, when I used the DT acronym. The business phenomenon digital transformation (AKA digitization or Industry 4.0) and its related technologies — cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and analytics (BDA), mobility, social media and security — is literally an extinction-level event — it’s ‘go digital or die’. While clarifying acronym anomalies is not a unique experience, it made me think of the greatest challenge I see facing Dell: how will the biggest IT infrastructure vendor — i.e. products and services — continue to prosper when the customer focus is moving to business outcomes, and not the bits and bytes that facilitate those outcomes? The answer is “better than everyone else.” I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say Dell is better-positioned than every other vendor out there. That’s not to say countless companies won’t provide one or more superior offerings in the fast-emerging software-driven, cloud-first IT environment, but that when it comes down to the vendor to trust most — and most often — it will probably come down to Dell. During his opening keynote to the approximately 14,000 customers, partners, employees, media and analysts in attendence — and an estimated 35,000 online — Michael Dell talked in generalities, stressing digital (along with IT, workforce and security) transformation  and the latest buzzword trifecta — AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning) and NN (neural networks), ‘Make It Real’ (the event’s DT theme), and how “our customers are using technology to change the world for the better, whether through a reimagined process or a reimagined industry.” He noted that since starting the company 34 years ago, it had grown to over a trillion dollars in revenues and a trillion customer successes but all that is “absolutely noting compared to what’s ahead.” The DT future — with or without Dell — is incredibly bright: spending on related hardware, software and services is expected to reach approximately $1.3 trillion in 2018, a 16.8% year-over-year increase, and continue growing at a compound annual growth rate of 17.9% through 2021 to more than $2.1 trillion. And the reasons so much money is being thrown at DT initiatives are equally compelling, as Dell (along with Intel and the Enterprise Strategy Group) told us in survey data released last month: -transformed companies are 22x more likely to get new products and services to market ahead of the competition; -81% of firms (4,000 were surveyed) agree if they do not embrace IT Transformation, their companies will no...

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DTW18 & Connecting The DoTs (Part 2 of 3)

LAS VEGAS: As usual, there was a lot to see and do at this year’s Dell Technologies World, so I’ve selected a number of analysts’ comments to provide a better synopsis of the week’s events. First up is the digital transformation research, released in April, that set the stage for DTW18. “Companies today need to be agile to stay competitive and drive growth, and IT Transformation can be a major enabler of that,” said John McKnight, Vice President of Research, Enterprise Strategy Group. “It’s clear that IT Transformation is increasingly resonating with companies and that senior executives recognize how IT Transformation is pivotal to overall business strategy and competitiveness. While achieving transformation can be a major endeavor, our research shows ‘Transformed’ companies experience real business results, including being more likely to be ahead of the competition in bringing new products and services to market, making better, faster data-driven decisions than their competition, and exceeding their revenue goals.” Another research initiative resulted in last week’s Built to Adapt Benchmark, a ‘quantitative framework of indicators that gauges how well an organization builds and operates software’ from Pivotal. According to the survey of more than 1,600 of the world’s top organizations in six countries and across five industries, software release velocity does not meet business needs: -38% of organizations polled report deploying code on a continuous, hourly, or daily basis; -50% only deploy code on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis; -37% of apps were built, or have been refactored, to run in the cloud; and, -20% of software launches and upgrades were delayed due to defects. Patrick Moorhead, Founder and President of Moor Insights & Strategy, noted that the event started well, and built from there. ‘One of my biggest takeaways from Day 1 was that Dell Technologies is more connected than I have ever seen before … which is very powerful to customers and partners.’ He was equally positive about the various product announcements. ‘From machine learning to hyper-converged, to VDI, The Dell Technologies family continues to make progress, and the industry is better for it. Moor also credited Michael Dell for leading credit ‘Dell Technologies to be a much more interconnected and valuable company while maintaining best of breed components. This is very hard to do. There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done in enabling, optimizing and getting revenue from the software-defined datacenter and the future of work, but I am liking what I am seeing.’ Jason Bloomberg, President, Intellyx, believes that the event proved that the company had ‘largely succeeded in rationalizing a complex, diverse product line’ but that digital transformation posed a challenge...

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DTW18 & Connecting The DoTs (Part 3 of 3)

LAS VEGAS: Of all the leading IT vendors, Dell has done the best job of ‘keeping it simple’, and ruthlessly embracing that mantra in everything it does, and the product launches at last week’s Dell Technologies World 2018 were no exception. Given its major brands — Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream, and VMware — and leadership in 22 product categories, the opportunity was there to release a flood of new and enhanced products and services, but KISS prevailed. Here’s the abbreviated version of the product — and company — news just announced by Dell Technologies: –Dell Technologies Capital emerged from stealth, and announced that it has completed 24 investments in the last year, with one third of new investments focused on AI/ML and the remaining focused on security, next-gen infrastructure and developer ecosystem, including DocuSign, MongoDB and Zscaler; -updated VDI portfolio includes adding the Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation infrastructure and simplified configuration options to the Dell EMC VDI Complete Solutions, and the Dell Wyse 5070 thin client, the company’s most versatile and scalable thin client platform; -AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) initiatives, including expanding the Dell EMC PowerEdge server portfolio to accelerate AI-driven workloads, analytics, deployment and efficiency, deeper relationships with Intel, and Dell Precision Optimizer 5.0 enhanced with machine learning algorithms, intelligently tunes the speed and productivity of Dell Precision workstations; -additions to the Hyper-Converged Infrastructure portfolio, including a simplified path to VMware-based clouds, and enhancements to VxRail and VxRack SDDC; –Dell EMC PowerMax, engineered with end-to-end NVMe, ready for Storage Class Memory (SCM) and NVMe over Fabrics, making it the world’s fastest storage array built for mission-critical applications of today and tomorrow, as well as Dell EMC VxBlock System 1000 support for end-to-end NVMe with PowerMax, native replication and a new entry point X-Brick system Dell EMC XtremIO, and a sneak peak at Dell EMC PowerEdge MX infrastructure, which is scheduled to be released later this year; -collaboration with Microsoft to build a secure, intelligent edge-to-cloud IoT solution featuring Dell Edge Gateways, VMware Pulse IoT Center and Microsoft Azure IoT Edge; and, -the next generation of Virtustream Viewtrust, its risk management and continuous compliance monitoring solution that offers enhanced scalability, performance, and serviceability to enterprises and public sector organizations with new SaaS capabilities. For more information on DTW18, check out Connecting The DoTs Part 1-Dell and digital transformation and Part 2-analysts’ insights. DISCLAIMER: I hold shares in many of the companies referenced in this article, and Dell looked after airfare and hotel while I was at Dell Technologies World....

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DWT18: The Premptive Prequel
Apr26

DWT18: The Premptive Prequel

In the increasingly cloud-first IT environment the misperception persists that “Infrastructure? We don’t need no stinkin’ infrastructure” is the ‘truth’. However, somewhere, somebody is supplying hardware, software and services to a datacenter to enable the cloud to function. Just ask cloud’s dynamic duo, Amazon and Google (and Microsoft), who helped more than double the amount spent on datacenters last year. While ODMs (original design manufacturers), whitebox servers and switches and public-domain software continue to proliferate, it comes down to three primary vendors in the broadline enterprise infrastructure business: IBM, HPE and Dell EMC. Big Blue looks like it has gotten it’s act together and is once again the profit-generating machine we’ve known forever (1Q18 $19.1 billion), while the post-Meg-HPE appears to be taking its new smaller-is-better philosophy and making a go of it (FY1Q18 $7.7 billion). Meanwhile the world’s largest private technology company, Dell EMC/Technologies, which is holding Dell Technologies World, its annual customer event, next week in Las Vegas, has continued to prosper (FY4Q18 $21.9 billion), despite running up a truly massive debt with its EMC acquisition (approximately $46 billion). The company borrowed billions to go private in 2013, and then a lot more billions ($52 billion?) to buy EMC n 2016, so while the amount still owed is impressive, the amounts paid off – around $10 billion – are equally impressive. The numbers were much less impressive for storage revenue ($13.6 billion), where HPE edged out Dell EMC for the fourth-quarter, 18.9% versus 18.0%. While IDC noted that “Investments on enterprise storage systems are increasing at a very healthy pace,” the original design manufacturers (ODMs) that sell directly to hyperscale datacenters recorded the biggest increase – 34.3% year over year – to just under $2.8 billion. Gartner puts overall Q4 server revenues up 25.7% year-over-year, on just an 8.8% YoY increase in shipments. Dell EMC won bragging rights, with top spot for the year (19.4%), up 39.9% in Q4, versus HPE (19.3%), on a respectable 5.5% increase in Q4. For the year, shipments were up 3.1%, while revenues jumped 10.4%. The latest numbers from IHS Markit show that Dell has supplanted HPE atop the datacenter server revenue heap. For the fourth quarter of 2017 Dell EMC accounted for17.9% of the market, worth $3.6 billion, just edging out white boxes (17.6%), and HPE (17.1%). The numbers are troubling for the non-ODMs, as white box shipped more units (24%), and while enterprises accounted for 44% in Q4 and 48% for the year, that segment is slowing down as cloud service providers (41%) are expected to overtake enterprises in 2019. Overall, Dell reported a 9% increase in quarterly revenues, and...

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