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Dell Media & Entertainment – We are Only as Good as Our Partner Ecosystem (Did I mention our partners are AWESOME?)

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Yesterday Dell announced its new Technology Partner Program, and as Dell’s Media & Entertainment strategist, I’m thrilled about the opportunity this program presents for our customers.

Why? Well, let me back up a bit…

I was in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 405 Freeway near LAX last week, watching an endless river of taillights and twinkling lights of jets everywhere. Sitting there, bored, I was reminded of how quickly we human beings assimilate change. It really wasn’t that long ago when previous generations saw a car on the road or an airplane in the sky for the first time with wonder and awe. I suppose my car ride would have been cooler if a spaceship came cruising in firing lasers – until the tenth time that happened and then it would have been “whatever”.

Since the birth of the Internet, I could rattle off a dozen innovations that were awe inspiring, and now fade into the background of our daily routines. I want to focus on one of these in particular, the mobile application model. Whether it’s the App Store, Google Play Store, the Windows Store or another channel, I frankly think this invention is extremely profound, and I can barely believe how used to it we are already.

Applications helped devices change our relationship with the world. I also think they have paved the way to forever and dramatically change the way enterprise will customize industry-specific IT solutions. In fact, my view of how Dell’s Media & Entertainment business chooses and works with partners has been very much informed by the mobile application model, and the fact that when a profoundly better model emerges for the customer, there is no going back.

What’s the big deal with mobile apps model?

Rather than relying on a single or a few developers, you literally have hundreds of thousands of developers working 24 hours a day to provide you with a startling variety of apps for virtually anything, at an affordable price. What’s more, the fact that you are free to choose and socialize your choices drives so much competition at breakneck speed.

What about innovation? Suffice it to say, “Good luck staying on top if you get lazy”. You the consumer are in charge. He who meets your desires the best, wins – it really is that simple. Its Democracy meets Capitalism at its finest. This model drives innovation faster than any model ever before.

So how does this relate to the enterprise? More specifically, what does this have to do with the Media & Entertainment space? Let’s look at content creation workflows, which run the gamut from a small visual effects studio to a large broadcaster or a studio that may encompass feature film and broadcast entities. Most of these companies work with dozens of applications that interrelate to form process, or combinations of processes called workflow. Most of these companies have a strong preference for partners they choose, and usually it’s for a good reason: Companies focused obsessively on a niche tend to make great products and respond nimbly to the needs of their customers. The best model for the enterprise is to bask in all of that goodness just like you can bask in the thousands of apps available to you on your phone. The more access one has to modular niche solutions made by hungry developers, the better.

You may be thinking, “But you’re talking about industry solutions. That’s not the same thing as downloading individual apps!”

Bingo!

To deliver apps together as workflow or process, you must think in terms of orchestration layers, standard APIs, database integration and an enterprise service bus. Fostering a friendly environment for an ecosystem of partners to share resources and data is not easy, and it takes the capabilities of a company committed to providing the open framework.

We at Dell believe that there is no company better prepared for this challenge. We have the converged infrastructure, the efficient hardware, the services and the software to build and maintain the frame. The more quality partners we can incorporate modularly into our framework, the more those partners will be inspired to innovate and the better it will be for the enterprise customer. The better it is for the customer, the more the customers will acclimate to this method of customizing the solution that is right for them.

I am very happy that Dell’s new Technology Partner Program makes it easier than ever for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) and Solution Providers to build innovative and highly competitive solutions using Dell platforms.

In fact, we have an exciting new solution coming soon from Dell Media & Entertainment, and this new partner program will have a key role to play as the solution relies heavily on the niche abilities of best-of-breed partners.

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