Special Feature

Dell Technologies: Defying Gravity

Ever since Dell as a PC company has been created by Michael Dell, it has been soaring high and fluttering into new territories of compute, storage and security. Now since the customers are needing complete infrastructure along with service capability, Dell has internally realigned to present it to the market as Dell Technologies by integrating all its companies including Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, Secureworks, Virtustream and VMware, etc.

Since Michael Dell created Dell Computer Corporation in 1984, Dell has been soaring high and gaining more and more heights. From dropping the PC’s Limited name in 1987 to become Dell Computer Corporation to today’s Dell Technologies, the journey has been really inspiring and daunting at times – especially when he dared to acquire much larger companies including EMC in 2015.

Interestingly, from 1997 to 2004, Dell enjoyed steady growth and gained market share from competitors when the rival PC vendors struggled and either left the market or were bought out. In 1990 Dell entered server business and in 2000 because the leader in Intel based servers beating the competition. Keeping the momentum in mind the company rebranded itself as Dell Inc in 2003.

With the maturity of the PC market, in around 2005, the company realized that it should have strong inroads into the beyond PC market – including services, storage and servers. It had a strong supply chain and price advantage too. In 2013 Dell became a private company. And, on October 12, 2015, Dell announced acquisition of enterprise software and storage company EMC Corporation at $67 billion. This enabled the company to acquire EMC II, RSA Security, Pivotal Software and controlling stake in VMware.

However, till 2019 the company remained as Dell Inc and Dell EMC but this Dell Technologies World 2019 the integration became complete and the company renamed as Dell Technologies.

The company not only rebranded itself as Dell Technologies but also unified it’s fragmented partner programs.

Attended by 1500+ professional including 240+ media professional around the world, the event saw many achievements of the company in the recent past and many groundbreaking announcements too.

Among the announcements the important were Unified Workspace, Dell Technologies Cloud, Dell Technologies Partner Program, etc. However, there were a lot many announcements too. For example, the announcement was around new and enhanced storage, data management and data protection solutions, modern infrastructure solutions for the IT landscape – from the edge to core data centers to public and private clouds, The 10th generation Latitude portfolio is optimized for the new Dell Technologies Unified Workspace while giving workers a frustration-free, ready-to-work experience, VMware Cloud on Dell EMC,

Featuring VMware’s high-performance compute, storage and networking software powered by VMware vSphere, vSAN and NSX running on Dell EMC VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure,the service will be fully managed by VMware, enabling customers to focus on business innovation and differentiation. VMware Cloud on Dell EMC will be core to the Dell Technologies Cloud Data Center-as-a-Service solution unveiled today at Dell Technologies World 2019.

First of all, the Unified Workspace simplifies the entire device lifecycle for IT while providing workers with the personalized, frictionless, ready-to-work experience they demand. Unified Workspace integrates solutions across Dell devices and services, VMware and Secureworks to help businesses ease major end-user computing pain points and focus on transformative initiatives. The company delivers an intelligent, unified approach that provides IT leaders with improved visibility, insights and automation to streamline processes and deliver an exceptional end-user experience.

Dell Technologies and Microsoft Corp also announced that they are expanding their partnership to address a wider range of customer needs and help accelerate digital transformations. Through this collaboration, the companies will deliver a fully native, supported, and certified VMware cloud infrastructure on Microsoft Azure. Additionally, joint Microsoft 365 and VMware Workspace ONE customers will be able to manage Office 365 across devices via cloud-based integration with Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory. VMware will also extend the capabilities of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop leveraging VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.

This was much anticipated though but it was the biggest news of the event where three leaders, Satya Nadella, Pat Gelsinger and Michael Dell got together on the state making the statement that it is a confirmation of Dell Technologies working with Microsoft to enable its Azure public cloud customers to better manage their online resources with popular VMware software tools.

“At Microsoft, we’re focused on empowering customers in their digital transformation journey, through partnerships that enable them to take advantage of the Microsoft cloud, using the technologies they already have,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Together with Dell Technologies and VMware, we are providing our mutual customers with an integrated cloud experience and digital workplace solutions to open up new opportunities and meet their evolving needs.”

“With this announcement Dell Technologies and Microsoft are working to simplify our customers’ entire technology environment,” says Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies. “Our goal is to provide a single view from edge to core to cloud – an integrated platform for our customers’ digital future.”

“Customers are excited to see us expand our collaboration with Microsoft,” commented Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMware. “These innovative cloud and client offerings will deliver customers even more value, provide more flexibility to accelerate their hybrid multi-cloud and multi-device journey, and accelerate the digital transformation of their business.”

Pat Gelsinger, Chief Executive Officer, VMware
Pat Gelsinger, Chief Executive Officer, VMware

Dell EMC Partner Program, which is now known as the Dell Technologies Partner Program will put full weight of the Dell Technologies brand behind the partners. The program provides Partners with the competitive advantage of Dell Technologies, enabling them to do more business with transformational solutions. The evolved program provides simplified engagement for partners to cross-sell and procures products and solutions across the Dell Technologies family of brands.

“Our partners asked us to make it easier to do business across our full Dell Technologies portfolio, so we made it a top priority,” said Joyce Mullen, President, Global Channel, OEM and IOT Solutions. “By providing our partners with a clear roadmap and investing in training and development, partners will win even more deals and grow their business.”

Possessing the right skills to sell and deploy innovative solutions is a critical way for partners to differentiate their capabilities in the market. Dell Technologies announced two new solution badges composed of already in-market certifications to validate a breadth of capability to support and deploy across a solution. The new solution badges are for Dell Technologies Cloud Platform and Dell Technologies Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

Under the Dell Technologies Partner Program, the company also announced a new cloud competency that would support the newly announced Dell Technologies Cloud solution. The competency would be composed of the Dell Technologies Cloud Platform Badge and few other certifications, including Services Delivery Competency on VxRail.

Giving keynote, Michael S. Dell, CEO, Dell Technologies touched upon the overall growth of the industry and role of Dell Technologies. He said, “Fortunately, I have been among so good people including best customers, best partners, innovators, engineers, businesses and government leaders. And I am inspired by what you all have accomplished. You are dreaming so big and you are fearlessly facing the digital future. I am proud to be your partner in your incredible journey. We believe in creating Dell Technologies by bringing together – servers, storage, virtualization and data protection. And you all have responded. We are growing and gaining shares. We are investing in our business. we are paying down debts and we are integrating and innovating across our business like never before.”

He added, “We have invested US$ 20 billion in R&D in last five years. Our 20 thousand engineers, scientists and PHDs enabling your digital future. We are successful because of the meaningful partnerships with all of you. This is a beautiful world. Starting from millions of SMEs to very large organizations, we all have accomplished together. In a few days we will celebrate our 35th birthday of our company. I believe technology unlocks and accelerates you to progress. It is a privilege to play a role in the unprecedented and unmatched world of advancement. From life expectancy to infant mortality to vaccination to basic health, from literacy and go to school to economic growth rates and progresses, humankind has made unprecedented growth. Humankind has made astonishing progresses during the last 2 and half decades.The democratization of technology and simultaneously rise in human progress has been nothing short than miracles. But the fact is that those are the pre-game show as the next 3 decades will be more progresses than ever before. Self-driving taxies, drone deliveries, 3D printing, etc. are all preshow events. How about some real progresses? The eradication of deafness, blindness and paralysis to robotics and AI, a new phase of miracles is just around the corner. Where we have come from and how we have been connected in Dell Technology family, we have something in common that we are technologist and we share awesome responsibility. We are creating digital twine of reality of alter universe, which is rich in data and analytics. It is in this universe; we find great human potential and our greatest future achievements. It is up to us to make sure that technology reflects our humanity in their values because technology can amplify human genius.”

Echoing what Michael said in his keynote, Jeff Clarke, Vice Chairman of Products and Operations of Dell Technologies said, “We have to think about how we can make it easier to generate insights and intelligence from all of this data in this rapidly digitizing world, or what I call the foundation of digital transformation. It’s driving this technology led investment cycle that we think is key as IT has become an integral part of the business as well as intertwined in business decisions today. Dell’s approach in all these, places them in an advantageous position to deliver holistic solutions from the edge to the core to the cloud. Dell sees demand for these solutions to the point it gives them the rare opportunity to serve their customers better.”

Jeff Clarke, Vice Chairman, Products & Operations, Dell Technologies.
Jeff Clarke, Vice Chairman, Products & Operations, Dell Technologies.

Giving some facts and figures, Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMware said 81% of the workforce engages in work outside of their traditional office, with 76% working in two or more places. This means it’s a uniquely mobile working device that VMware needs to enable.

He added, “IT needs a strategy that supports all these devices, and against all of those devices, all of those apps users need a consistent experience for tomorrow. It needs to support provisioning, deployment, processes that get the right devices with the right services and applications in the hands of your team. It requires seamless access for this consistent experience.”

He added, “The cloud today is in a very interesting period in the industry. It’s no longer a case of public vs private. We live in a world that is more multi-cloud and hybrid, a world where organizations are investing more in their own data centers but wanting them to interoperate with public cloud resources. We see an increase and emerging set of edge resources, where workloads are migrating public cloud, on-premise and to the edge and being repatriated and managed across that environment. It truly is a hybrid world where public and hybrid need to work together seamlessly.” The Dell Technologies Cloud powered by VMware removes the complexity and control the chaos in the increasingly multi-cloud world. It is hybrid done right. It delivers a consistent cloud operating model no matter where the workload resides, be it at the edge, public or private cloud.

The Dell Technology Cloud offers consistent infrastructure operations across all cloud environments, better cloud economics, the ability to deploy across both private and public cloud, a consistent set of value-added services, a global ecosystem of 4200 cloud providers to seamlessly extend cloud environment, support for PKS and containers and the ability for simpler financing. VXRail fully supports VMware cloud foundation, delivering a seamless experience across physical, virtual, public and private cloud.

Gelsingersaid, “Code-named Project Dimension (now called the VMware Cloud), which is a fully managed, on-premise, IT in a box solution coming to market this year. It is an on-premise, cloud-like experience. What is interesting about this is that the “cloud” doesn’t scale well to the very largest companies because they can buy hardware and services at the same price as cloud providers. So, by eliminating this unnecessary middleman, they can reduce costs, gain greater control, and better assure themselves the security of the result. They then did a demo showcasing that the user interface for this offering was virtually the same for this on-premise solution and the firm’s external cloud resources. The audience appears to love this thing. This collects software, hardware, support and services into a single offering, simplifying invoicing and vastly reducing the headaches of managing a lot of diverse services that don’t interoperate well and that invoice separately. This appears to be a massive simplification of the concept of the “hybrid cloud.”

The most interesting part of the event was when Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft joined the stage with Michael Dell and Pat Gelsinger to show his happening and support to the entire equation and, Microsoft, CEO, Satya Nadella said, “VMware Workspace ONE is not integrated with Office 365, and VMware extending the new Windows Virtual Desktop to provide what appears to be a far stronger cloud-based desktop solution than either company could have done alone. Partnerships like this provide customers with the kind of solution that they have long said they wanted, a vendor-bridging solution that just works out of the box. This isn’t just VMware on Microsoft’s cloud but Azure capabilities on VMware’s on-premise solutions so that both together seamlessly provide a similar set of capabilities and the user isn’t disrupted by the ever more minimized differences.”

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Across APJ, there is an acknowledgement that there is an opportunity to leapfrog in technology

Dmitri Chen, COO & VP of Specialty Sales, APJ, Dell Technologies.
Dmitri Chen, COO & VP of Specialty Sales, APJ, Dell Technologies.

With so much of announcements in last couple of days, how is it going to be translated in APAC?

There is not a different opportunity in the APAC, whether it is about digital transformation AND ITS implications on software and around data lakes and data capital. There is not difference, it is over here or in US, whether it is in APJ or India more specifically. It is everywhere. No.2 is multi-cloud is the anything. It is probably the faster uptake from an APJ and India point of view.  The opportunity there is massive. The third conversation is that Data protection is everywhere, whether it is in the DC or in Cloud or in the Device level. That is probably the conversation hard right now. There is no difference from the conversation point of if it is in APJ, US or in India. It is a massive opportunity. So, the challenge is how to get enabled our team as quickly as possible to go out and engage with as many customers as possible. Because it is not limited to any industry or organizational size. The needs around digital transformation and IT transformation with multi cloud journey, workforce transformation and the transformation around security solution is across every single industry regardless of every organization size. So our real challenge is to enable our team as quick as possible so that they can confidently go and articulate our capability and our value proposition and then listen very carefully what a customer is going through his problems that he is trying to solve and stay there pay attention to the.

What is the opportunity in APJ out of the US$3 trillion-dollar market globally?

I do not know about the market size in dollar terms from total addressable market globally but yes I can say for sure that  across APJ, there is an acknowledgement that there is an opportunity to leapfrog in technology because in our region, we have less traditional deep investment into more recent tech. So, there is an opportunity to investment in new tech moving forward. We have more countries that are 5G enabled from the architecture point view within APJ than anywhere in the world. When that technology really starts surfacing and capability start occurring you see an opportunity to see potentially countries and GDPs leapfrog other parts of the Globe. So, that is a pretty exciting time.

The old way of doing business from tech standpoint are not deeply engrained in India so there is an opportunity or us to upscale faster. The other thing is that the transformation that is occurring – whether that is digital, IT, workforce, security, etc. the growth pattern is much faster in our region.

The customers in this region view the technology as great equalizer so you can unlock potential moving forward. A lot of organizations and countries tends to capabilities on that.

For India, it is a special moment in the history. There is a lot of convergence in technology and business. There is a lot of migration back to India by the software developers, which offers an opportunity to the country to capitalize on the software and application development.

How are you ready internally to execute the new strategy and integration – be it Dell EMC cloud, Unified Workspace or Unified Channel Programme?

Actually, the experience you have as an employee these days have shifted very substantially. You know are shifting to flexible workforce with the ability to work any time and anywhere. Their experience on role of device is also great. It is not restricted to what we give they can choose. We have Gen Z entering workforce.So, we have now Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z, all will work together from next year. All the generations would have completely different expectations that is compounded by all the different types of works they will be doing within the organization.

So, we are mindful of what is the employee’s expectation for each of those hundreds and thousands of employees because the role that technology has these days is significant.

Two and half years ago I used to spend about 80% of my time working from Office but now I spend 80% of my time working from home or remotely. And the company highly encourages that not only from the device standpoint but from the software capability standpoint.

We have 150 thousand team members working in this company globally. Each one of them has to have enhanced experience as much as possible.

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Matthew Zwolenski, Vice President, Presales, Asia Pacific and Japan at Dell Technologies.
Matthew Zwolenski, Vice President, Presales, Asia Pacific and Japan at Dell Technologies.

We Will Enable the Existing Workforce

How would you express this complete integration of Dell Technologies?

Like every merger, you expect to get through bumps. The way we executed this and the way we treated people as a precious resource has been phenomenal. I think people call us the most successful IT merger in the history. Today the brands integrated are stronger than ever. For last two and half years, we have been through huddles.

How does the pre-sales being affected by these announcements?

From my team perspective, we had the AWS side, now Azure being added, the strategy is going in right direction. The vision was always how does the customer manage many clouds. We had private cloud always part of our strategy, Now, with AWS and Azure on our side, it makes the core part of the technology for the customers to look at from their DC strategy. So, we had a vision now we got our execution complete.

The other thing is we have seen customers buy laptop, desktop and event VMware technologies, etc. We have made it simpler and integrated. VMware catalogue is evolving to complete the edge story of the user. It is an evolution. It was not there before because the customer was building everything.

What are challenges that CIOs facing and how are you mitigating those?

The biggest challenge is a lot of the CIOs tried public cloud projects and private cloud projects and failed in both. They have gone to public cloud and they are pulling things back. They have gone into private cloud and are disappointed too as it takes between five to twelve weeks to provision anything. So, the big challenge was how I solve the agility problem.

Today the IT spending is 70 % on DC and 30% on public cloud.

Customers are creating agile apps in public cloud. Legacy customers are still investing in DC environment but often that is turning into public cloud. Sometimes that goes to the service provider to run it as a public cloud. So, in most cases CIOs have large DC footprint. So definitely the role of the CIOs is changing. So, some CIOs are heading towards one direction of the two. Some CIOs are pushed down to under finance and IT is becoming purely a cost model. Some CIOs are moving into the boards. They are becoming the digital officers for the board members to drive digital strategy.

What are the challenges you expecting in next 3 -6 months?

I have been working on  this for 5-6 years how do I take the team of technologists who knows DC infrastructure and get them ready for agile cloud rout with analytics. So internally we got a programme where we train them on new application methodologies, DevOpp and agile concepts and Kubernetes and container. We teach them how to build applications which kickstarts their interest. The flipside is that many of our customers are not on the road of transformation. They are still running mainframe and they are still tied to the legacy applications.

Would you be adding resources for APJ region?

First thing is we will enable the existing workforce and the other part would be find the right skillset people and onboard them. So, we would hire people with software development background. We will higher people with agile skillsets’ background.

What kind of opportunity you are seeing?

When I sit down with the customers, the common conversation is for last 10-20 years they have a very predictable model of IT, but now I don’t know what my future is. There is private cloud, public cloud, multi cloud, software as a service, etc. So the question comes is help me with strategy? We are doing a lot of consulting service along with our partners and helping them with their multi-cloud strategy as a blueprint. We are also helping them with their people and process change too. This is creating a lot of opportunities. Second part is what application to put on VMware and AWS or VMware and Azure or which application to be put in the private cloud. Here we create the cost model and that creates strategy for investing in DC infrastructure or cloud infrastructure on Dell Technologies. They need to worry about the storage or server components as we take then pain out of them. So we help them shifting their worries on outcome of the business than the backend infrastructure.

What is the kind of opportunity for India?

I can visualize huge opportunity for India. The government sector has embarked upon digital transformation. Heart of that the government is building dedicated cloud infrastructure. Most part of the world government lacks but in India government is driving innovation which is a great opportunity for us to play. There was a digital transformation survey globally. We measure customers all around the world. Right now, India is top country in the world where the customers are investing and innovating digital way. And, government is playing a major role.

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