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  • Goodbye Dell EMC World, Hello Dell Technologies World!
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    When we launched Dell Technologies we created a unique family of businesses to serve the increasing desire of companies to have a one-stop shop for their digital, IT, workforce and security transformation needs. As the last year and half has unfolded it has become increasingly clear that many of you would also like a one-stop show where you can learn about the strategy, products, technology and know-how required to make transformation real in your business.

    So today we’re announcing that Dell EMC World is now… Dell Technologies World!

    How much is the show changing? It isn’t so much changing as its getting bigger and better. You’ll still have all the things you loved about Dell EMC World: general sessions, breakouts, hands-on labs, the solutions pavilion, training courses and certifications, and of course… the party. But now you’ll see an increased presence from each of our businesses – Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMware – providing you all the information you’ll need to realize your digital future.

    But the evolution doesn’t stop at just Dell Technologies World, after all, not everyone can make it out to Las Vegas for our annual show – that’s why the Dell EMC Forum will now become the Dell Technologies Forum.  The Dell Technologies Forum will be visiting over 60 cities this year starting in May and will expand in scope to cover the full breadth of Dell Technologies.

    Now, you may be asking, what about VMworldRSA Conference or Spring One Platform – is anything changing with those shows? The short answer is no – nothing at all.   These shows are huge and over the years have built up a loyal and dedicated following. Our aim for 2018 is simply to continue to grow our audience and deepen the level of content at each.

    Let me be the first to invite you to Dell Technologies World. Register here, and I look forward to seeing you in Vegas!


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  • Dell Technologies is Among Fortune’s Most Admired Companies
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    Michael Dell often says what we do here at Dell matters – to our customers, our employees and to people around the world.  That belief drives me personally day in, day out for the last 30 years to deliver the best products and to take everything we do to the next level…from PC and infrastructure innovation to creating a closed-loop supply chain that reduces waste.

    Well, I’m incredibly proud to announce that Fortune has taken notice, naming Dell Technologies to its 2018 Most Admired Companies listing.  This is, by far, one of the most exciting honors we’ve received – and in just our first year as our newly combined organization.

    I had the opportunity to share my perspective on what sets Dell Technologies apart, what I’m most proud of, the keys to our success and how we’re driving innovation.  I, of course, had a lot to say – but there’s only so much room on one page! Fortune’s spotlight captures what makes Dell Technologies a global powerhouse.  But there’s more to our story – so I’m sharing the Q&A conversation below.

    As our Chief Human Resources Officer Steve Price said on Direct2Dell, we owe a huge thank you to our employees, our customers and partners, and our leadership team. This honor is a reflection of our collective commitment to delivering game-changing technology, services and innovation – responsibly.

    What does it mean for Dell Technologies to be named one of the world’s most admired companies?

    It’s a real honor, especially for our 140,000 team members, and testament to the value of Dell Technologies – a unique family of businesses that exist to provide the essential infrastructure organizations need to realize their digital future and drive progress around the world. With the edge, data center and cloud capabilities of Dell, Dell EMC, VMware, Virtustream, RSA, Pivotal and Secureworks, customers can turn to us as their one-stop-shop for the full IT stack. We have a totally unique value proposition in the market. To be recognized by our customers and the entire business community as one of the most admired companies in the world just a year-and-a-half after Dell Technologies was born, is an incredibly proud moment for us.

    What company initiatives, products, or services are you most proud of? 

    Innovation in our supply chain is a soft spot for me. Supply chain is a big part of Dell’s legacy we are extending across Dell Technologies. Through our supplier relationships, diversity in sourcing, operational excellence and transparency, we have one of the most innovative and effective supply chains in the world. This gives us scale that benefits our customers and makes technology more accessible to more people everywhere around the world.

    A little known fact: 70 percent of all the commercial RFPs we respond to ask about our sustainability commitment. A big part of that commitment is our sustainable supply chain. From reclaiming carbon fiber from aerospace, to upcycling ocean plastic into packaging, to recycling plastic back into our products and now piloting reuse of recycled gold from motherboards, sustainable business is smart business today.

    A few numbers worth touting. Since 2012, we have recycled more than 50 million pounds of content into new products. Since 2015, we have reused two million pounds of aerospace grade recycled carbon fiber in new Dell products that would have otherwise gone to a landfill. In Dec. 2017, we formed a working group called NextWave along with the Lonely Whale Foundation, GM, Trek Bicycle, Herman Miller and Microsoft to open source our ocean plastics supply chain work to expand use cases of this trash. We anticipate that together we’ll divert more than three million pounds of plastics from entering the ocean within five years. The equivalent to keeping 66M water bottles from washing out to sea.  While this is only a drop in the ocean of plastic trash, it’s a good start. Plus, we’re able to do it while cutting our own packaging costs.

    What is Dell Technologies’ approach to ongoing success? 

    As a 30-year veteran of the company, I’ve seen us grow while maintaining our risk-taking, fast-decision-making culture.  A bias to action is a real strength for us. Michael has said it many times that our unique structure as Dell Technologies allows us to be nimble and innovative like a startup with the scale of a global powerhouse.

    That is one attribute the strategically aligned businesses, like VMware, especially add value. Dell has a big footprint in many large markets creating access and acceleration in products we develop together like VxRail – the only fully integrated, preconfigured and pre-tested VMware hyper-converged infrastructure appliance on the market.  VMware’s success just earned them the No. 6 spot on Fortune’s inaugural Future 50 list, the ranking of companies best positioned for breakout growth. Put the scale of Dell and Dell EMC with the growth potential of VMware, Pivotal, Virtustream, RSA and Secureworks, that’s a winning combination. That’s what gets us excited about the future and what we can deliver for customers.

    What are the key ways Dell Technologies is driving innovation?

    When it comes to innovation, culture is everything. Yes, we heavily invest in R&D – approximately $4.5B annually – but it’s our approach to innovation, I think, that sets us apart. It is iterative. We don’t innovate for innovation sake. We focus our investments on technologies that will make the biggest difference for customers and society. Emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and immersive computing like Augmented and Virtual Reality.

    In a world where the cost of processing power is decreasing and every object is becoming smart – we’ll soon have 100 billion connected devices, approaching one trillion soon after that, IoT is one focus area where we’re betting big. In October 2017, we announced a $1 billion investment in IoT bringing together capabilities from Pivotal, VMware, Dell EMC, Storage and Server innovation, and Dell IoT gateways designed to enable IoT applications. Combine all that with what we’ll see made possible through the power of AI, we’ll accelerate automation, speed decision making and drive a new level of business innovation.

    We are also very progressive when it comes to accessing and cultivating talent. We have a talent plan just like we have a business plan – and the needs of each business dictates our strategy.

    At Pivotal, for example, the combination of technology and people gives customers what they need to accelerate the digital transformation. Pivots are what set Pivotal apart. Developers working together in open, inspiring workspaces around the world where they can teach and learn from each other, demonstrate empathy, trust, respect, communication, feedback, and collaboration at every turn.

    At Dell and Dell EMC where location is less important, we approach work as an activity not a place. This mindset gives us flexibility to access the very best talent no matter where they live. Technology now makes it possible to work from almost anywhere — and we lead by example as we help our customers go through their own workforce transformations to create sustainable and innovative business models.

    How does Dell Technologies continue to serve its customers in the face of dynamic change?

    It’s all about anticipating the technology advancements, trends and market dynamics that will have the most meaningful impact on the way we work, live and do business and then partnering with customers like GE, Salesforce and millions more to ensure they have an IT strategy in place that helps them realize their digital future.

    Take PCs. Whether processing power, bandwidth, storage capacity or display technology – everything improves 10X every five years. That means 15 years from now, we’ll have another 1000X the power, speed, efficiency and capacity we have today. Think of the possibilities this creates for end users. Combine what PCs will create with the immense data generated by those 1 trillion IoT devices, and it’s clear that having an infrastructure game plan that spans the edge, the data center and the cloud is critical. This is a huge undertaking for IT organizations and where we come in to help make digital and IT transformation possible.

    Like helping companies think through their multi-cloud approach. Having a multi-cloud strategy is key to meeting business needs, but with it comes the risk of cloud siloes and the inability to fully exploit data analytics and AI initiatives. Where we see cloud going is the emergence of the ‘mega cloud,’ weaving together multiple private and public clouds that operate as a holistic system. To make this possible, we’ll need to create multi-cloud innovations in networking (to move data between clouds), storage (to place data in the right cloud), compute (to utilize the best processing and acceleration for the workloads), orchestration (to link networking, storage and compute together across clouds) and, as a new opportunity, customers will have to incorporate AI and ML to bring automation and insight to a new level from this next generation IT environment.

    Living in a world of dynamic change is challenging, but it’s one reason I love what I do and is an attribute of the Dell culture our people love, too. And it’s why we are a trusted partner to our customers to help them make business sense of all this change.  The companies that understand and embrace the changing way we work will be the leaders in IT and digital transformation. They will be the ones who unlock the power of their people; free up IT to manage change not technology; and invest in strategic priorities and innovate for the future. I’ve never been more optimistic about the future than I am today.


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  • Cheers to the Futuremakers! Celebrating a Bold Year in OEM and IoT & Looking Forward to 2018
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    As we celebrate the start of 2018, it seems only right to briefly look back at last year. 2017 was a landmark year for the Dell EMC OEM organization. In December, we celebrated a major milestone – our OEM global sales hit the $3 billion mark for the first time. Earlier last year, thanks to our customers and partners – we achieved the hard-won status of #1 OEM Provider worldwide.[i] We’ve had some incredible successes over the past 12 months and I’d like to take a moment to express my appreciation.

    Thank You!

    To our OEM customers who place their trust in us to help bring their ideas to market, thank you! To the partners who support our business and augment our capabilities, we are grateful for your partnerships. And to the Futuremakers, who are using the Dell Technologies portfolio to drive real progress for businesses and humankind, we salute you. By forging new paths in uncharted territories like IoT, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, you are truly making a difference in your industries and around the world. We are honored to play a role in your achievements.  And now for some of the key highlights during 2017…

    2017 Highlights

    • In February, as we officially launched the Dell EMC Partner Program, we integrated our OEM Partners into the greater partner ecosystem to give them a more Simple. Predictable, Profitable,™ experience. Utilizing this new OEM track within the greater Partner Program, our OEM partners are now eligible to receive over 5x more rebates than in the prior year. And our OEM partners have access to new tools and resources that make it easier for us to work together.
    • In May, coinciding with Dell EMC World for the first time, we hosted our OEM Summit – where over 150 customers and partners experienced the full Dell Technologies eco-system, while also benefiting from OEM-centric content and great networking opportunities with peers and the OEM team.
    • This was followed in July with the launch of our 14th generation PowerEdge servers. Many of our OEM customers are already on the leading edge of technology with demanding workloads that require extraordinary performance so it’s no surprise that they value 14G capabilities like increased processing performance with Skylake CPUs, increased support for offload/acceleration technologies, and the added storage performance with increased NVMe.
    • In September, we marked the first anniversary of the Dell EMC merger with our company now ranked as the largest privately-controlled technology company on the planet.
    • Fast forward to October – when we unveiled our new IoT strategy in New York City. Michael Dell announced an investment of more than $1 billion in IoT R&D over the next three years – plus a new, dedicated Dell Technologies IoT Division.
    • In December, we announced the small but mighty XR2 server – designed for tight spaces or tough conditions needing a lot of compute power. Finally, as a great wrap up to the year, we were honored to make CRN’s 2017 list of the 15 Coolest IoT Hardware Companies for our edge Gateways and Embedded PCs.

    Looking Ahead

    So, with all these 2017 accomplishments, how will this New Year stack up? Apart from celebrating OEM’s 20th year anniversary, my prediction is that it’s going to be an amazing period, when we enter the next era of human-machine partnerships. We will increasingly embrace AI, and see the blurring of ‘real’ reality and augmented reality coupled with the emergence of the mega cloud.

    I believe that IoT is now at a critical inflection point – where companies can drive real economic value, moving from proof of concept to a technology that makes sense to adopt. In 2018, expect IoT to go mainstream and become “real.”

    Digital Disruption

    I wrote about digital disruption last year. We all know that it’s not going away. In fact, IDC predicts that another 33% of industry leaders will be displaced before the end of 2018.[ii] I know this sounds scary but the digital opportunity is real and the rewards are rich for those who can navigate the transition. In my book, every company in every industry should be on a journey to transform their business and create a new digitally-enabled operating model. And the good news is we’re here to help!

    What Won’t Change?

    Of course, some things won’t change. We will continue to invest heavily in customer and partnership relationships with an emphasis on making it easier for us to do business together. We will continue to launch new products and improve our services, tools, and processes.

    In 2017, we concentrated on how to combine Dell and EMC while providing a smooth transition for our customers and partners. With a successful merger behind us, we now have the opportunity to dive into the details and execute on the plays within the plays. While we have more to do, I love our trajectory and believe that we have the portfolio, experience, and drive to help our customers win.

    Additional Responsibilities

    On a personal level, I have had the pleasure of leading the OEM and IoT Solutions Division for the last five years and will now also take on responsibility for the Dell EMC Global Channel business. The OEM Solutions business has been a part of the Partner program for more than a year, therefore I’m very familiar with the team and looking forward to this new challenge.

    I’d love to hear your comments and predictions about 2018. In the meantime, wishing you and your business continued success. Here’s to the year ahead!


    Learn more about Dell EMC OEM or the Dell EMC Partner Program.

    Keep in touch. Follow @DellEMCOEM on Twitter, and join our LinkedIn OEM Showcase page here.


    [i] OEM Global Share based on 2016 Dollar Volume Shipments, VDC Research

    [ii] IDC: IoT and Digital Transformation, March 2016


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  • The IoT Put to Practical Use: From Projects to Business Models
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    Although the Internet of Things (IoT) is making massive strides, development of the associated technology – which, in my opinion, numbers among the most exciting IT innovations over the past few decades – is still in its early stages. We still don’t know where the IoT will take us, but analysts have yet to revise their predictions for IoT development. Some of these are quite lofty: For example, certain sources predict that 26 billion IoT objects will be in circulation by 2020, while others have estimated this amount at a staggering 50 billion. Recently, I was surprised to read the following claim regarding IoT development: “In the future, we will be able to integrate nearly any desired physical object into the digital world.”

    Enough is enough: I feel compelled to set the record straight. The purpose of the IoT can’t be to integrate ‘nearly any’ object; the underlying principle isn’t to exhaust the limits of technical possibility. There needs to be a practical business model in place behind any IoT application; without this, even the most impressive-seeming networking will not really amount to anything. As I see it, precisely therein lies the most important IoT-related gain that has been made over the past year: The IoT has outgrown the trial stage and become an established, integrated component of business models. The focus has shifted from trying to identify all the possibilities that the IoT has to offer towards using the IoT to make processes more efficient, as well as to enable entirely new processes. In concrete terms, this involves leveraging the IoT to generate revenue and/or save on costs. As such, the IoT is increasingly becoming a fixed component of many business models. Over the course of this development, several preferred areas of application have emerged. Below, I’ve put together a brief overview of the IoT projects we have implemented.

    The smart home is often considered the IoT field of application par excellence, incorporating intelligent heating, sensor-controlled curtains, and, of course, the famous IoT refrigerator. While these applications elevate user comfort and security, they are not critical (except, perhaps, to the manufacturers behind them) in the sense that they haven’t become indispensable. For that reason, smart home innovations remain a niche market. Moving beyond the scope of user homes, I feel that the IoT is being put to excellent, practical use in commercial applications.

    Industry and production: I don’t want to dredge up the well-worn example of elevators – that would be a disservice to the vast breadth of exciting applications currently used in the field of industry. For example, an Irish company is using an IoT solution to seamlessly monitor concrete production through all phases, from the manufacturing stages to provision at construction sites. This lets employees know precisely when concrete is dry, which allows them to further process it accordingly. Doing so no longer requires estimates or security buffers – which saves a great deal of time, and, therefore, costs.

    Agriculture represents a frequently underestimated area of industrial production. The IoT has also taken root in this field – for example, a farm in India uses the IoT to control the health and milk production of its 6,000 head of cattle in real time. This immediately results in improved yields.

    Retail: What works for concrete, also works for food: A large British supermarket chain with around 3,000 stores is using the IoT to ensure that the refrigeration chain for frozen products remains uninterrupted from the manufacturer’s facilities through to points of sale, and that the relevant cooling systems are used efficiently so energy isn’t wasted and food doesn’t spoil.

    Energy: Many IoT applications are used in the generation of alternative energies. For instance, a Spanish manufacturer is using an IoT solution to monitor and control decentralized photovoltaic systems in a centralized way. This solution also includes weather sensors to enable quick responses to local conditions.

    Meanwhile, in the field of healthcare, the frequently discussed fitness trackers are just the tip of the iceberg. In this industry, IoT systems are also used to monitor patients’ cardiac activity or blood sugar levels in their home environment so that the duration of hospital stays can be shortened; automatic alerting of emergency services can be life-saving in this context. Meanwhile, a retirement home in Thailand used an IoT system to reduce service response times by 50 percent, improve resident satisfaction, and reduce the number of nursing staff.

    The IoT also plays a decisive role in the smart city. Municipalities use IoT applications to measure traffic flows in real time, which allows them to respond very quickly to congestion on particular routes. Other IoT applications enable intelligent control of street lighting, which sinks energy costs without sacrificing comfort or security for citizens.

    All of the above examples illustrate that outside of corporate environments – or ‘out in the field,’ so to speak – IoT solutions often represent the sole means of receiving information about processes in a timely manner and, conversely, of immediately taking measures on-site that are necessary to optimize said processes. The IoT is already being put to practical use, but there is still a great deal of untapped potential as far as this is concerned. We can look forward to new and exciting application scenarios in the future.


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  • Microsoft and Dell EMC: A Must-Read Before Deploying Windows Server 2016
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    Shortly before Dell EMC introduced the 14th generation of PowerEdge servers, Microsoft released the Windows Server 2016 – its flexible and cost-efficient OS with pioneering software-defined compute, storage, and network virtualization features. Combined with the scalable business architecture, intelligent automation, and integrated security of PowerEdge servers, these new product offerings from two of tech’s biggest enterprise players provide a perfect solution for the modern software-defined data center.

    What makes this combination of PowerEdge and Microsoft Server 2016 so beneficial? A recent white paper by TechTarget provides a whopping ten reasons, three of which we’ll cover here. If you want the full skinny on the Windows Server and PowerEdge partnership, download the TechTarget white paper.

    Reason #1: A Modern Data Center Environment

    Modernizing the data center for the cloud era involves shifting to a software-defined model that extends virtualization from the compute infrastructure to servers and networking. It’s a shared vision by Microsoft and Dell EMC. Microsoft Server 2016 incorporates this vision with an architecture supported by three planes: data, control, and management. This means expanded and enhanced virtualization, networking, storage, management, and security features that can be controlled through the software.

    Much like the three-plane architecture of Windows Server 2016, the latest PowerEdge servers are designed for the modern software-defined data center. Dell EMC PowerEdge servers are designed to adapt and scale to dynamic business needs – including for workloads like real-time analytics, software-defined storage, and virtual desktop infrastructure. Dell EMC and Microsoft recognize the importance of the software-defined data center (SDDC), and build solutions to help companies migrate to and manage their own SDDC. PowerEdge 14th generation servers built with the SDDC in mind mean the product family is ideally suited for Windows Server 2016 environments.

    Reason #2: Virtualization and the Cloud

    In choosing the best server platform for Windows Server 2016, IT teams should focus on the characteristics required to maximize virtualization and cloud features and functionality. This is where the latest PowerEdge servers really excel. Memory capacity is a key for cloud and virtualization optimization, and PowerEdge 14th generation servers come with the largest memory capacity we’ve ever offered. PowerEdge servers also provide excellent platform performance with the fastest processors available, offering performance improvements of 1.65x over the previous generation. Finally, I/O throughput is a key to successful cloud and virtualization deployment. PowerEdge servers all include the latest processor updates, ensuring I/O throughput for all applications and workloads.

    Reason #3: The Global Dell EMC Partnership with Microsoft

    Our long standing ties with Microsoft allow us to provide customers with transformative benefits in supporting the use of Windows Server 2016 and transitioning your data center to the SDDC model. Dell EMC works closely with Microsoft to develop new solutions and features for the PowerEdge portfolio of servers. Customers benefit from this partnership via access to in-depth knowledge and experience as Dell EMC assists in the customer’s migration to new OS platforms. During the migration to Windows Server 2016, Dell EMC can help with transformation planning and design; mapping dependencies and prerequisites, establishing targets for each new and existing workload; testing, monitoring, and troubleshooting; and ongoing support and professional training.

    In migrating to the SDDC model, choosing the right partner for the compute platform (servers) is essential. The PowerEdge focus on the SDDC, Dell EMC innovations tailored for cloud and virtualization, and a world-class partnership between Dell EMC and Microsoft uniquely position Dell EMC to support customers deploying Windows Server 2016. But this is just scratching the surface when it comes to the advantages of partnering with Dell EMC for Windows Server 2016. For a complete list of what this pairing can do for your data center, download and read the full TechTarget white paper.


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  • The Power of Compute... At the Edge
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    The compute location pendulum has been swinging from a centralized to a distributed model, from the cloud to the edge. New ways of analyzing data securely in real-time are being developed, driven by the incredible amount of data brought on by devices connected via the Internet of Things. Is your business ready to leverage the power of data at the edge and the core?


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  • Accelerating Business Transformation
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    Here’s a prediction for 2018:  Business will continue to get more complicated and every enterprise or government agency will have competitors investing in business transformation. There is a wealth of data that suggests business transformation will play a role in sorting out winners from ‘also rans’. While new technology plays a key role in modernizing infrastructure for both on premises and public cloud-based offerings, transformation is about much more than hardware and software. A number of recent studies provide useful guidance for 2018 decision making with respect to modernizing IT operations in support of transformation initiatives.

    Leaders and Laggards

    A Forbes global survey of 500 C-level executives concluded that “there’s a large gap between transformation leaders and their less advanced peers”. Leaders, companies, whose sales and profits had grown by 7% or more, have IT leaders with tighter ties to the business, more advanced IT transformation strategies, and achieve faster ROI for IT transformation.

    At Dell EMC, we embrace a Modernize, Automate, Transform (MAT) strategy both for our own IT strategy and for customers. At the highest level, this can be explained as a strategy to modernize IT infrastructure by leveraging the latest and most advanced technologies, automating IT processes through advanced software capabilities, and transforming organizations, business processes and skill sets through education, training and services.  Increasingly, these strategies are predicated on a foundation of converged and hyper-converged (CI/HCI) infrastructure, and we observe that organizations getting the most value from their CI and HCI investments saw the need to transform from an organization that managed infrastructure components in silos to one that manages infrastructure more holistically. They built an IT Services model that delivers more business agility and improved business outcomes. They drove operational change and developed mechanisms for measuring business outcomes. As a result, they have achieved much higher ROI.

    Becoming a Leader

    This approach isn’t all that surprising. You’ve heard it before. You need to change people, process, and technology to achieve value. It takes time to do that, so you should not expect immediate results. However, when ESG analyzed the correlation between IT maturity and a range of business outcomes, they found that IT metrics improved at each stage of IT maturity. The positive correlation held for KPIs ranging from projects completed ahead of schedule to over achievement of revenue goals. ESG further reported that IT organizations implementing self-service portals are freed up from more mundane tasks to focus on business priorities.

    That‘s good news!

    An IT service orientation results in better organizational alignment and business outcomes, as shown by an IDC study, based on a survey of over 2500 senior managers and executives.  It concluded that “enterprises in which the IT organization has a strong service orientation reported a 100% greater increase in bookings, a nearly 80% greater increase in inventory turns, and a 140% greater improvement in employee time spent serving customers”. But there is more to it. IDC reports that, over 3 years, “enterprises in which the IT organization works proactively with the business” reported:

    • 50% greater improvement in compliance-related activities
    • 80% greater growth in revenue from established product lines
    • 90% greater growth in revenue from new product lines.”

    Chargeback mechanisms can aid in the process. IDC reports that implementing chargeback mechanisms enables the business to ensure that IT expense is aligned with business priorities. Companies that implemented chargeback report increases in employee productivity and improvement in profit margin.

    Measuring Results

    It is important to set expectations and establish an ongoing process for reviewing progress. You will want to have a plan to evolve organizational roles, structures and processes, and for measuring progress at each step as the IT organization matures.

    Metrics should address both financial and non-financial goals to enable IT to demonstrate support of strategic initiatives.

    As the organization matures, focus especially on the metrics that matter most to the business. These might include time to roll out new applications, or the headcount required to support application growth. Begin with a baseline and plan on developing measurements that, while not precise, will indicate whether you are on the right track or whether a course correction is needed.

    Charting and Staying the Course

    IT investment can drive the business but it is essential to evaluate and measure the benefits. My recent blog, A Business Value Approach to IT Investing, offers sound advice for those evaluating a new investment. The Customer Value Program can help you create the baseline measurements for your organization, monitor and report on progress, and commit to continuous improvement.

    In addition, Dell EMC offers a portfolio of services to help you accelerate time to value and optimize business outcomes. Our expertise is based on work with successful companies and with our own data center transformation. Whether you want get a jump on organizing for success, or need some assistance as you get started, we are ready to help you improve business outcomes.


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  • Interview With Datrium: Combining Software and Dell EMC OEM Technology to Deliver High Performance Storage, Data Protection, Orchestration, and Data Management Services
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    Recently, I had the opportunity to ask Datrium Co-founder Ganesh Venkitachalam a few questions about Datrium, its unique solutions, and why they chose to incorporate Dell EMC OEM technology in their appliance.



    Ron: Hello Ganesh, thanks for taking the time to share your story with us. Can you tell me a little about yourself, your role and the business Datrium is in?

    Ganesh: I was a Principal Engineer at VMware (employee #35 if I recall correctly) in the hypervisor team. I left VMware to co-found Datrium with 4 other industry veterans from DataDomain and VMware. The Datrium founders have very different backgrounds and the company draws from this experience. I presently lead an engineering team at Datrium, but as a founder I wear many hats.

    Datrium is in the business of simplifying virtualization and application deployment infrastructure end to end. HCI 1.0 converged compute and primary storage, which was a good idea – but it did not consider low latency mission critical deployments, nor infrastructure for simple/efficient backups, DR orchestration, or hybrid/multi clouds from day one. Consider us HCI 2.0 – we got the opportunity to learn what is wrong with HCI 1.0, do it right, and take it further into the heart of the data center.

    Ron: Can you tell me about Datrium’s DVX Solution? What challenges are you helping customers solve with the platform?

    Ganesh: One of the biggest problems in the IT industry is complexity – there are silos and separate domains for the primary workload and backups/DR orchestration. Worse yet, the public cloud has not simplified any of this, it has become yet another management domain that the IT admin needs to worry about. HCI 1.0 simplified this some by converging compute & primary storage but still left behind a whole bunch of complexity, particularly as you scale.

    Datrium takes convergence much further by converging compute, primary storage, backup, DR orchestration and archival/recovery to cloud in one simple-to-manage platform. The administrator deploys one platform that handles it all with minimal data movement, very high performance, and low RTO/RPO recovery and DR orchestration. The platform can handle absolutely any primary workload and manages the data all the way through the entire lifecycle including backup, DR, and archival. A modern consumer grade UI makes all of this intuitive, simple and delightful.

    Ron:  What technologies did you choose as part of your solution? What drove those decisions?

    Ganesh: What we do very well is infrastructure software that offers reliable high performance storage, data protection, orchestration, and data management services. And we are open – we work well with VMWare, RedHat, Kubernetes, AWS, you name it. We built all the software from the ground up – a distributed log-structure file system, orchestration, and GUI. Reliability, simplicity, and ease of use for the customer have been a driving force in every single design decision we made.

    We do offer a turnkey appliance because that is the way many of our customers prefer to consume our solution. We rely on our Dell OEM relationship to supply that turnkey solution.

    Ron:  What were your top priorities when you were selecting an OEM to do business with?

    Ganesh:  It came down to 3 key things:

    1. Product quality and reliability. The starting point in our mind is a product that has the highest quality and reliability standards. Dell EMC OEM sets the standard here, which made partnering with Dell EMC a no-brainer.
    2. Partnership and program. We sought an OEM that has an established feature rich program. There are many OEM vendors who can sell a product with minimal support. In Dell EMC OEM we discovered a true partner – one who has thought through the program from a supplier, buyer, and end customer perspective. Further, the Dell EMC supply chain and support solutions are second to none.
    3. Speed and ease of onboarding. We needed an OEM partner who could meet aggressive qualification and onboarding schedules. Dell EMC OEM has this figured out to a science.

    As a startup company we are moving fast and maximizing the resources we have at hand, but validation at scale is a challenge.  We really appreciate the support from the Dell OEM team to help us take our solution to the next level.  We could not have completed our 128-compute node POC without the collaboration from your team.

    Ron: We appreciate the collaboration.  Our mission within the OEM Solutions Group is to accelerate our OEM customer’s time to market, leveraging our scale and dedicated OEM resources so you can focus on your core value, your IP, and we grow together as partners. Our focus is on building long term partnership, we think we make a great team, and we look forward to a growing our business together


    For those of you reading this, I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions on how Dell EMC OEM enables our customers to be successful.  Please feel free to leave a comment below or visit


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  • From Big Data to Big Intelligence: Six Key Trends Shaping IT for 2018
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    The turn of the calendar always brings the opportunity to both reflect and look forward. Technology continues to accelerate and the level of digital disruption continues to expand. Now is a good time to consider what’s happened in the last 365 days and contemplate what’s likely to happen next in this digital technology ecosystem that continues to be core to almost every business with new technical capabilities that bring us both unexpected opportunities and threats.

    Dell Technologies recently issued its predictions for 2018 – and in looking back, many of Dell Technologies’ 2017 predictions are coming to fruition and evolving rapidly – from the New Media Evolution to Deep Learning and finally IoT sparking demand for a new level of accountability.  We at Dell Technologies even announced our own IoT division with VMware CTO, and now Dell Technologies’ IoT GM, Ray O’Farrell at the helm to drive a comprehensive and coordinated strategy – in close partnership with leading edge customers and solutions providers.

    Some of the most exciting emerging technologies of 2017 were in the general use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning – rapidly transforming data into actionable insights for many leading edge organizations.  Approximately 1,500 companies in North America alone have initiated projects related to AI – with an estimated 71% of enterprise applications expected to leverage AI by the year 2021 (IDC).  AI projects tend to be at the core of business systems and processes. All of that AI is powered by data, delivered via compute, and connected with networks that drive a new need for enhanced data protection and end-point security strategies.

    There are a number of important trends that are being shaped by the convergence of data, advances in processing and economies of scale in the data center that we’ll see this year – below are my top six to watch.

    Big Data Becomes Big Intelligence and Big Business

    Extracting business value from large data sets is certainly not a new trend this year, but the sources of that data are both growing and diversifying significantly. Collecting, consolidating and analyzing data from the “edge” is critical, stemming from billions (and eventually trillions) of devices, apps and systems.  Figuring how to make use of the flood of this data will be a key focus for many enterprises this year.

    Relatedly, we’ll see data unleash new possibilities in AI for business intelligence – and revenues.  IDC is predicting that by 2020, 90% of large enterprises will generate revenue from data as a service – where raw data, metrics, insights and recommendations emerge as a revenue stream and business opportunity – and subsequently fuel even greater predictability of business trends, enhance product cycles and innovation, and much more.

    However, the major difference between these new AI driven systems and the past few years of big data and analytics is that more and more of the AI systems are being used in core real time business systems so they not only need to process and reason over huge data sets but they need to do that at a speed of outcome that can influence the real time flow of business. To achieve this will require the combination of storage and compute innovation.

    The Data Center Is No Longer “The Center” for Data – We Need a Mega-Cloud

    The explosion of data has created a highly-distributed ecosystem across increasingly decentralized data sources.  While most of the existing data processing is done in the core of the IT data centers today, as we look forward the ability to gain insights from data will spread throughout the enterprise IT topology – from the device, to the edge to the core to the public clouds. The key will be to develop architectures that allow the combined insight of the dispersed data to be used in the place where it can have the most impact and that may not always be the same area of the enterprise.

    One emerging concept to better coordinate this multi-cloud world is the intelligent ‘mega cloud’ that we discussed in our 2018 prediction #1.  Many customers are finding – or will soon find – themselves struggling with silos of data that are a result of a multi-cloud environment. Data gravity – the larger the amount of data, the more applications, services and other data will be attracted to it and the more quickly those will be drawn to the data body – partitioning can be a significant impediment to gaining the in-depth insight and impact organizations seek as more and more information is captured. Additionally, issues like compliance and regulatory requirements, IP protection, and data leakage only compound the problem.

    A mega cloud solves the issue of cloud silos by taking a holistic view to the collection of clouds that the enterprise interacts with to ensure that the right data is housed in the right place. It brings together multiple public and private clouds, as well as leverages data coming in from the edge and at the core. By evolving to have a single view into the multi cloud environment and creating consistency between clouds at the software, hardware, and services layers, enterprises are far more likely to be able to connect the right data sets to the best processing capability in the correct place to impact their business and make visions such as AI a reality.

    The Maturation of New Media / Persistent Media

    New forms of persistent media are emerging, blurring the distinction between large memory and fast storage, to tackle a new set of high-value workload requirements. These media will change the way that we view the intersection of application performance, storage density, and data placement. New media cost, capacity, and performance attributes will deliver new benefits for the most demanding workloads. New media technologies will be used as new tiers of data center storage, delivering more IOPs, lower latency and higher density. They will be used to deliver larger, more cost effective infrastructure for in memory workloads. As these technologies mature, they will enable an entire new class of workload-enhanced ‘collapsed servers’, containing fast and dense new media, SDN and virtual security tools, and new types of specialized processors, all tuned to host high performance applications. These “Decision Servers” will enable more rapid, relevant, and impactful business insights than ever before.

    2017 brought with it the rapid adoption of a new host-storage interface: NVMe. Anticipating the capabilities and performance of new media, NVMe is architected to bring storage media directly onto the PCIe bus, closer to the processor, to reduce SW overhead and to exploit the advances of multi-core processors for server and storage system applications. While initially used with flash storage today, NVMe is expected to be the preferred SSD interface for low latency storage class memory (SCM) technologies. Finally, with the emergence of NVMe-OverFabrics, the benefits of NVMe will be extended to seamlessly operate across lossless, low-latency data center fabrics such as Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and InfiniBand.

    IT Infrastructure Accelerates Its IQ for AI and IoT

    With enterprise business requirements quickly evolving to deliver the benefits of data and AI, new requirements for IT infrastructure are emerging to ensure that this new distributed data environment is effectively monitored, managed, stored, secured and protected. It must be delivered cost effectively, within already tight IT budgets – and it must achieve demanding, sub-millisecond response times. This means that intelligence and efficiency must co-exist at the edge, core and cloud, driving server, storage and data protection design requirements that fully embrace new interconnect models like NVMe, diverse processing capabilities like FPGAs and GPUs and the growth of high speed in-memory data management workloads.

    Embedded analytics and automation, enabled by machine learning, will become a default requirement for dynamic, consumption-based application and IT infrastructure provisioning. As I put it in our 2018 predictions, AI will do the “thinking tasks” at speed.  The “brains” of the IT infrastructure will evolve to quickly and efficiently recognize, analyze and label data, know what data goes where, identify how it needs to be stored and accessed in the future, and decide where it needs to live specifically. The payoff? Optimal costs, speed and efficiency for tactical IT functions, freeing up time, talent, and budget for more strategic projects that maximize an organization’s ability to take advantage of all that data.

    Organizations Adopt a Security Culture

    As a colleague recently stated, there are an average of 4,000 ransomware attacks per day with hackers gaining intelligence and skill with every attack. Protecting and securing our most valuable data is becoming increasingly complex as the way we capture, store and draw insight from that data becomes increasingly sophisticated. It’s not sufficient to just have multiple copies of data in different places. You must assure that the copies are uncompromised, protected and can endure even in the most catastrophic of events. This has led to new technologies such as the Dell EMC Isolated Recovery Solution (IRS) that blends data protection and content security in a way that has now been shown to survive some of the most destructive attacks ever seen.

    Additionally, the continued and expanding deperimeterization has changed the ways in which we need to view security. We expect to see the complexity of application placement become a foundational focus. Applications generate data that enterprises must be able to intelligently place and intelligently protect. Employing ‘security chains’ via Software Defined Networking technologies, such as NSX, associate application components as they are deployed with security capabilities logically and dynamically. This is rapidly becoming the primary way to lower risks while increasing visibility, creating a truly a new world of data security.

    Organizations can’t simply make security a solution – they’ll need to deeply integrate it as part of their corporate culture where everyone, CEOs included, need to be invested in protecting the crown jewels. Further, consumers and customers are becoming increasingly vigilant, putting their trust and ultimately their business and loyalty with the organizations that prove they’re able to stay one step ahead of cyber attackers and malware. As a result, we’ll see progress in security transformation this year that shores up end-point security across a diverse and distributed mobile workforce and IT infrastructure.

    IoT Takes Enterprise IT and Digital Strategy to the Mat: Transform or It’s a TKO

    In 2015, the IoT market reached $900 million, and it’s predicted to grow to $3.7 billion by 2020 – only a little over two years away.  IoT forms the basis for new decision making and directional shifts within the business, and allows companies to remain competitive in nearly every market – healthcare, agriculture, automotive, banking, education, manufacturing, and many other industries. It will require new investments across the board but particularly in the evolution (or potentially revolution) of IT infrastructure.

    The data generated by IoT will quickly exceed the capacity of traditional data centers.  To digitally transform, customers will rely on edge, core, and cloud components, from hyperscale data centers to optimized servers that can handle large and dynamic workloads at the edge. Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, my colleague and head of the Dell EMC Server Division, recently discussed the notion that customers are looking to deploy accelerator-optimized server architectures, with GPU and FPGA processing at the edge in order to handle the demands of an IoT-centric environment.

    IoT clearly changes the storage game as well. The 451Group recently conducted a survey where respondents said they expect to increase storage capacity by an average of 35.9 percent over the next year due to IoT activity, with security concerns being central to IoT strategies and deployment plans. As discussed in #4 above, innovation in the data center plays a critical role in developing a holistic, intelligent IT infrastructure that maximizes the power of the IoT information captured.

    Last but never least, IoT is driving the need for mission-critical services at the network edge for emergency services, real-time communications for autonomous vehicles (Vehicle-to-Vehicle, and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure), and the tactile Internet (drones, robotics, etc.) – they all require a level of real-time, two-way communication.  A new battle for the network edge among cloud and service providers will commence with a focus on “fog” computing that exists between the edge and the cloud.

    2018 is going to be yet another disruptive year in the world of emerging technologies. These six predictions tell a story driven by data – how it’s managed, stored, processed, protected and exploited – to reduce risk, derive value, and create new, meaningful opportunities. Data is the key.

    To read more of what the innovative minds here at Dell Technologies are anticipating for 2018 – check out our 2018 Predictions at our Perspectives blog.


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  • Deal Registration from Anywhere, at Any Time with the Dell EMC Partner App
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    You’ve just had a great customer meeting and there’s a major opportunity coming down the pipeline. You want to register the deal right away, but you still have three more client calls to make before returning to the office. You know that if you don’t lock in the opportunity, you could lose out on potential discounts and a preferred partner status…

    Enter the Dell EMC Partner app, which makes it easy for you to register deals on the go, from almost anywhere and at any time.

    This intuitive app lets you register a deal, check a deal’s status (won, lost, cancelled) and retrieve supplementary deal status information. With the Dell EMC Partner app, you’ll know immediately the number of days until a deal expires or the stage of active deals (e.g. “qualified 30%”). In addition, the Dell EMC Partner app enables you to be more productive—giving you more time with clients and reducing the amount of time you spend on administrative tasks.

    Newly Launched

    The just-launched Dell EMC Partner app (which replaces the Dell PartnerDirect App) makes it easier to register deals on the go. The app will initially be available in 14 countries including USA, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, UK, Germany, France, India, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, and Japan, The release of this app includes an upgraded authentication method. Simply use your Partner Portal login to access the app—and all of your deals.

    Some of the features of the Dell EMC Partner app include:

    Easy Deal Registration – Register a deal with Dell EMC faster. Simply create a deal, add products and submit—all with just a few clicks.

    Check Deal Status – Monitor the status of your deals right from the app; and receive alerts when a deal is about to expire.

    Save Draft Deals – The app enables you to create a deal draft and then submit to Dell EMC only when you are ready. Within the app, you can take notes, enter deal info, add products and save as a draft.

    Download the Dell EMC Partner App Today

    The Dell EMC Partner app is available for iOS, Android and Windows smartphones, as well as for Apple iPad.

    Download the updated Dell EMC Partner app User Guide

    Start saving time. Use the Dell EMC Partner app to register your deals from almost anywhere, at any time.


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