Recently I was invited to attend Dell’s Technology Summit, a closed-door event where Dell’s CTO group and our suppliers walk through the direction of Dell’s products for the next three years. Make no mistake, these were not power-point laden presentations focusing on vague definitions of “value” or marketing speak. Here, reference architectures and emerging technologies generated frothy discussion.
Due to the nature of the event, it is closed to customers and to press, so I will tread gracefully about presenting my observations.
Michael Dell and the leaders of KACE, Secureworks, and Compellent
My first takeaway was that Dell’s intellectual capital has grown significantly over the past two years. This may seem obvious given the long string of acquisitions we have experienced, but what may not be obvious is how well these acquisitions fit together into an extremely flexible toolkit of software, services and hardware.
It is not hard to imagine the possible stacks that can arise when the best products from computing, storage, infrastructure management, compliance and security monitoring are all available from a single vendor. Within that context, Dell’s decision to build the cloud infrastructure that will be the foundation of services that complement these products makes a great deal of sense, far beyond just hosting mission critical systems for our most demanding verticals like healthcare and defense.
The second takeaway was the depth of expertise that these acquisitions bring to Dell’s portfolio. After watching Jon Ramsey talk about the cat and mouse game that Dell SecureWorks plays on a daily basis with dark forces around the globe, I gained an entirely new respect for the term ‘security’. Did you know that you can commission malicious bots and hacks with virtual currency through online portals? All it takes is Jon’s explanation of working with the FBI to take down Coreflood to realize that this is not the Dell that made the “Dude” commercials.
While I can’t go into details, it is great to see how Dell SecureWorks is starting to apply their expertise to other product and service offerings that will be coming out in the near future. Indeed, there are certain hot IT topics were security is a deeply rooted concern, and having this team to help solve those issues a serious step in the right direction.
Having the chance to connect with the best technology experts from Dell in a single place is rare. Having our suppliers there to share recommendations and concerns about our vision is invaluable. But there is a missing link . . . this information is critical to our OEM customers who routinely use it to advance industries such as healthcare, smart grid and manufacturing.
To bridge this gap, I have put into motion a plan for a follow up event later this year to connect the CTOs of our OEM customers with the newly expanded CTO office within Dell. As it develops, I will share more details here, so stay tuned. Space will be extremely limited compared to our large customer base, but that is the only way to keep the dialog highly interactive, an assertion I think attendees will agree with. This is going to be a first of its kind event for OEM technologists to learn about the deepest currents that are running through what I call “New Dell”.