Keeping IoT Weird

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Last week Dell went to San Francisco to participate in the self-proclaimed ‘world’s largest and most comprehensive IoT event’: IoT World. It was indeed big and covered a wide range of topics – from Consumer to Industrial and Hackathons to hard core analytics. 

It was also a little bit weird, but in a good way. It was like being part of an emerging ‘scene’ where the hopes and dreams haven’t been polished away.

In one small area of the floor we saw an antenna provider close to a telecom giant all a stone’s throw from a 100 year old industrial firm. We saw startups with flipcharts showing products stuck on with double-sided tape, near mega booths from Fortune 500 technology firms with slick demos and snack bars. People were sizing each other up like the first days of high school.

Our team loved it.  We thrive on being part of the ground floor of a very new and fragmented technology space that’s bristling with untamed energy. The people who wandered past our booth, and stopped to curiously ask, “Why is Dell here?” represented the inquisitive spirit that’s still fresh and new.

It was inside this environment that we were able to bring our experience and vision for IoT to the attendees. Andy Rhodes presented in a session called Fast and Safe: Technology Choices in IoT. The session covered the integration of OT and IT, analytics from the edge to the cloud and security in a connected world. Andy also shared some of the generalized anxiety many in IoT are experiencing in his blog post, Keep Calm and Carry On with IoT.

The upshot of our observations was that IoT will require a lot of flexibility and know how to deliver on the dreams of this diverse space. An end-to-end solution provider, like Dell, can build a cloud, or an edge solution where data decisions are often faster, cheaper and more secure. We also have the security, endpoint, storage, large scale data management and analytics capabilities needed to foster IoT success.  

Very soon, the IoT marketplace will shake out with clear dominant players and the conferences will become more predictable. Let’s hope, however, that the diversity of applications and ideas remain.  Just as our hometown of Austin, TX has grown in sophistication, it still strives to Keep Austin Weird.  

Perhaps next year we’ll  wear our hipster glasses and serve breakfast tacos.  

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