…Battle Royal for the Creative Desktop Future

Your PC is just about to become obsolete. Back in 2014, I wrote about a no-longer secret project at Dell to rethink the desktop and based on a recent post on Dell’s site that quietly went live it looks like this concept is getting much closer to reality. What is interesting is this product and the recently announced Microsoft Surface Studio are both targeting a group of users that Apple has a history of embracing and recently taken for granted. But, then again, users don’t like change and there could even be method to their madness. There are advantages and disadvantages for each approach. Let’s explore them. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Has Dell Got The Winning Ticket To The DT Sweepstakes?

A significantly larger and much deeper-in-debt Dell has packed up the inaugural Dell EMC World event — 8,000 attendees — and will hold DEW2 next May in Sin City (or as I call it, Lost Wages). With the just-completed acquisition of EMC, the new enterprise business, Dell EMC, is the largest enterprise storage and server vendor, but while storage capacity and server unit shipments continue to soar, prices and margins continue to erode. In addition to the IT industry’s largest debt load, Dell added significant resources in enterprise storage (EMC), virtualization (VMware), cloud (Virtustream, Pivotal and ECS), networking (SDN/NSX), all-in-one appliances (VCE) and security (RSA). The company also has investments in 150 companies for future technologies. It moved into top spot in server shipments for the most recent quarter, while EMC tied for first place with HPE ($1.6 billion each) in enterprise storage, with Dell in third place. In total, Dell claims leadership in 20 Gartner Magic Quadrants, but where is the growth and profitability going to come from? At DEW 1.0, the company called out digital transformation (DT or DX) as its future, while beefing up its present with a variety of cloud, appliance, analytics, security and flash announcements. “I say we’re going to be the trusted provider of essential infrastructure for the next industrial revolution,” said Michael Dell in his keynote. We’re facing “the sunrise of a new era… digital dawn” and the opportunities are huge, he added. Or as GE’s CIO put it in a video at the show: “You go to bed an industrial company and wake up as a software and analytics company.” Technology is undergoing sweeping changes as a result of cloud, analytics, software-defined everything, Internet of Things, mobile and social, and these technologies/applications are helping to drive the digital transformation impacting every aspect of our lives. Dell is now the biggest enterprise IT vendor offering the broadest portfolio of hardware, software and services, while its two closest competitors fall further behind. IBM continues to struggle with growth while HPE continues to struggle with its smaller-is-more-agile-and-therefore-more-relevant philosophy. “At Dell EMC World you’re getting a look at the next great technology company,” said Dell. David Goulden, President and Chief Commercial Officer, Dell EMC, believes the company has first-mover status in both the datacenter consolidation currently driving the enterprise IT market, and in the emerging digital transformation. He also believes Dell is best-positioned because of its size and breadth. “We don’t see many customers say I want more partners.” They want fewer, more capable IT partners, not a bunch of point product vendors. He calls Dell EMC and its DT focus “a game changer.” Other...

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Dell EMC…The Transformation is Just Beginning

“Let the Transformation Begin” was the mantra of the first Dell EMC World and that theme rung true in a variety of ways. While Dell Technologies seeks to transform the IT industry, it must also embrace its own internal transformation. First, let’s discuss the show itself. While it was still in Austin (for the last time it appears), influences from the former EMC World were everywhere. Michael Dell, obviously, led the company’s message, but the general sessions embraced the impressive production value that we have come to expect with Jeremy Burton, Dell Technologies’ newly appointed CMO. Attendance seemed to have shot up as well. While I don’t have the official numbers, after the first general session it was obvious Dell EMC World had simply outgrown the capacity of the Austin Convention Center, something that could not have been said of Dell Worlds in the past. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Cloud Highlights Dell EMC World
Oct19

Cloud Highlights Dell EMC World

Austin, Texas: A number of announcements were made at the inaugural Dell EMC World event (as well as VMWorld Europe), including a several cloud-related items. While not necessarily more significant or relevant than the other news, I decided to focus on the cloud items because cloud seemed to offer more perspective about Dell’s future, than its present. Dell’s Elastic Cloud Storage (formerly Project Nile), acquired with EMC, is a software-defined, cloud-based distributed file and object storage platform that manages data as objects. While it’s market segment represents an attractive solution for soaring data growth, it is not seeing corresponding growth, according to a study released at the start of the year. The ‘object storage market gains remained lackluster,’ although that should change: the ‘increased pressure on the storage infrastructure to scale bigger, protect longer, and keep more data active in more locations will likely continue to drive IT organizations to seek to deploy an architecture that can cost-effectively solve not only the scale challenges of today, but also those of the next decade or two in the future. For many organizations that architecture is object storage.’ Fast forward 9 months and following “good momentum”, Dell is making five ECS announcements, including software and enterprise enhancements, an appliance, and a single-tenant version due out later this year. While the announcements will appeal to existing customers, the intent is to grow the customer base, said Varun Chhabra, Director of Product Marketing for Dell EMC Emerging Tech Team. We’re “growing really fast,” he told IT Trends & Analysis. While the news should appeal to both existing and new customers, the “focus still remains on continuing to penetrate new accounts.” Given its position, Dell would seem to have nowhere to go but up. Chhabra said their goal is to equip customers on their journey to the cloud, wherever they may be. “We have to continue to innovate to provide customers that value.” It’s all about enabling choice for customers, and continuing to innovate, he added. Earlier this month VMware and Amazon Web Services announced a strategic partnership under which VMware’s software-defined data center (SDDC) offering will run on the AWS public cloud in mid-2017. With VMware Cloud on AWS (the new platform), customers will be able to run applications across VMware vSphere-based private, public and hybrid cloud environments using their existing VMware software and tools for a full range of storage, database, analytics and other services. “We see that we could bring together the best of both worlds,” said VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger. “The best of public cloud and the best of private cloud are coming together.” Earlier this year the company unveiled...

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Dell 3.0 Takes Center Stage at DEW

Austin, Texas:  The critical question arising from the inaugural Dell EMC World event — at least for me, an IBM, HP/E and Dell/EMC/VMware investor — is what makes Dell’s prospects any brighter than those of its two main competitors, IBM and HPE, and the trio of enterprise vendors offering more limited portfolios — Cisco, Oracle and Lenovo? IBM has seen its sales shrink for the last 17 quarters, HPE is just shrinking, and the other contenders can only offer partial solutions — predominantly networking and datacenter servers, DBMS software and appliances, and devices, respectively. From its humble roots in Michael Dell’s college dorm room, the company has scaled the PC heights, added servers, storage, software, networking, security and services and, with the completion of the EMC acquisition, is now grappling with the IT industry’s largest acquisition and largest debt load. It has also added significant resources in enterprise storage (disk, flash and software-defined), virtualization (VMware), cloud (Virtustream, Pivotal and ECS), networking (SDN/NSX), all-in-one appliances (VCE) and security (RSA). Of course there is a lot of overlap too, and while the combined companies may point out the differences, many others will be concerned about the similarities. We’ve already seen signs of tighter focus — i.e. the sales of the enterprise content division, services and software units, and the (lower-than-expected) SecureWorks IPO — and the first workforce reductions, 2,000-3,000 jobs are expected to be cut, out of 140,000. On the good (?) news front, Dell moved into top spot in server shipments for the most recent quarter, while HPE held on to top spot in revenues; shipments grew 2% year-over-year, while revenues edged 0.8% lower. Even better, EMC was named a leader in integrated systems, and the acquisition should strengthen that position, although Gartner cautions that uncertainty will plague the new Dell-EMC-VMware combination that brings ‘multiple overlapping and competing integrated system strategies under one roof.’ The results were equally ambivalent for enterprise storage, where revenue was flat while shipped capacities shot up 12.9%; EMC tied for first place with HPE ($1.6 billion each) while Dell came in third place with a revenue increase of 14%, up to $1 billion. Prior to the acquisition EMC was pushing a software-defined everything strategy, and it’s unlikely that focus will change under new ownership. The current evolution of IT is offering customers a couple of choices in pursuit of shrinking data centers, lower CAPEX and OPEX and the ability to leverage the cloud: some form of do it yourself versus an all-in-one solution, and hardware versus software lock-in (and that at the end of the day, there’s no getting away from software lock-in), Manuvir Das,...

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