ICT UPDATE | Dell Technologies unveils new IoT strategy

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Dell Technologies unveiled its Internet of Things (IoT) vision and strategy, a new IoT division as well as new IoT specific products, labs, partner program and consumption models. Today’s announcement underscores Dell Technologies commitment to helping customers realize their digital future by safely navigating the complex and often fragmented IoT landscape.

New Dell Technologies IoT division

The company’s new IoT Division will be led by VMware CTO Ray O’Farrell, and is chartered with orchestrating the development of IoT products and services across the Dell Technologies family. The IoT Solutions Division will combine internally developed technologies with offerings from the vast Dell Technologies ecosystem to deliver complete solutions for the customer.

“Dell Technologies has long seen the opportunity within the rapidly growing world of IoT, given its rich history in the edge computing market” explained Ray O’Farrell, VMware EVP & CTO, and general manager for Dell Technologies IoT division. “Our new IoT Division will leverage the strength across all of Dell Technologies family of businesses to ensure we deliver the right solution – in combination with our vast partner ecosystem – to meet customer needs and help them deploy integrated IoT systems with greater ease.”

IoT, a new distributed model for computing

As more and more customers look to digitally transform their business, a new model of computing is emerging. For the last 15 years the IT industry has seen the rise of Cloud Computing, a highly centralized model for delivering IT services. But in an age where every type of device, from phones to cars to light bulbs to thermostats to heart monitors are alive and intelligent, there is a requirement for distributed, real time, processing of information. These devices simply cannot wait for a response from centralized cloud infrastructure that may be ‘seconds’ away.

“IoT is fundamentally changing how we live, how organizations operate and how the world works” said Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive officer of Dell Technologies. “Dell Technologies is leading the way for our customers with a new distributed computing architecture that brings IoT and artificial intelligence together in one, interdependent ecosystem from the edge to the core to the cloud. The implications for our global society will be nothing short of profound.”

Customers have expressed a growing need for one company to pull together complete IoT solutions that can be deployed within their organizations. Dell Technologies’ comprehensive approach to IoT is based on market leading technology and services and a carefully curated partner ecosystem designed to realize value for customers today and prepare them for the future.

“In the Asia Pacific and Japan region, with its size of population and where the number of connected devices is growing exponentially, the opportunity that IoT presents for large enterprises is as significant as the challenge.” David Webster, president, APJ Enterprise, Dell EMC said. “Extracting value from the vast amounts of data these IoT-enabled devices generate requires a modern IT infrastructure, that is secure from edge-to-core-to-cloud. Dell Technologies helps organizations address technology barriers and understand the whole IoT ecosystem, enabling them to innovate and differentiate their customer experience.”

Organic investments in IoT Future

Over the next three years, Dell Technologies is investing $1B in new IoT products, solutions, labs, partner program and ecosystem.

Today Dell Technologies already provides Edge Gateways, which can be secured and managed by VMware IoT Control Center. Dell EMC PowerEdge C-Series servers have been enhanced for batch training and machine learning as a part of the distributed core. Dell EMC Isilon and Elastic Cloud Storage provide file and object storage for massive amounts of data and enable analytics through HDFS. Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) and Pivotal Container Service (PKS) provide an ideal platform for developing new cloud-based analytics applications. Virtustream’s PCF Service provides a managed Pivotal Cloud Foundry Service simplifying the deployment and operation of mission-critical cloud architected workloads in Virtustream Enterprise Cloud, while Virtustream Storage Cloud is available for off-premises cloud object storage. Finally, Dell Boomi rapidly connects relevant data to enhance cloud-based analytics and deep learning.

New product development initiatives include:

Dell EMC ‘Project Nautilus’: Software that enables the ingestion and querying of data streams from IoT gateways in real time. Data can subsequently be archived to file or object storage for deeper advanced analytics;
‘Project Fire’: a hyper converged platform part of the VMware Pulse family of IoT solutions that includes simplified management, local compute, storage and IoT applications such as real-time analytics. ‘Project Fire’ enables businesses to roll-out IoT use cases faster and have consistent infrastructure software from edge to core to cloud;
RSA ‘Project IRIS’: Currently under development in RSA Labs, Iris extends the Security Analytics capability to provide threat visibility and monitoring right out to the edge;
• Disruptive technologies like processor accelerators will increase the velocity of analytics closer to the edge. Collaboration with industry leaders like VMware, Intel and NVIDIA and the Dell Technologies Capital investment in Graphcore reflect opportunities to optimize servers for AI, machine learning and deep learning performance.

Customers can also now visit one of the newly designed Dell Technologies IoT Labs.

New IoT services initiatives include:

• Advisory services including strategic consulting to set business goals, direction and strategy, infrastructure design, deployment and support services.
• Implementation of ‘Worldwide Herd’, consulting services for performing analytics on geographically dispersed data – increasingly important to enable deep learning on datasets that cannot be moved for reasons of size, privacy and regulatory concern.

In addition, with the core focus on technology and services, Dell Technologies’ strategy is to grow the IoT footprint via a strong partner program and ecosystem.

• Dell’s award-winning IoT Solutions Partner Program is a carefully curated, multi-tiered program comprising more than 90 partners from enterprises like Intel, Microsoft and SAP to start-ups like Action Point, IMS Evolve, FogHorn and Zingbox.
• The program will now support partners across all Dell Technologies businesses, allowing for easier collaboration and implementation of blueprints.
• An example of the partner ecosystem at work is the recent announcement that VMware and SAP are collaborating to create an integrated solution for IoT analytics and vertical applications. The solution utilizes VMware Pulse IoT Center, SAP Cloud Platform and SAP Leonardo and is designed to help customers roll out IoT use cases faster and scale more easily.

IoT is creating new revenue models for customers and, in turn, new financing options. Dell Technologies provides customers with cloud-like payment flexibility through Dell Financial Services flexible consumption models. These payment solutions are available across the Dell Technologies family of business and allow customers flexibility in technology acquisition and consumption.

“Digital transformation is a requirement for Asia Pacific and Japan organizations to survive today, and IoT is proving a key differentiator as part of this transformation,” Amit Midha, president, APJ Commercial, Dell EMC also commented. “Looking across different markets and industries in the region however, routes to realizing the benefits of implementing IoT are not always evident. Even the first steps on projects are hindered by the lack of best practice or the complexity of technology. From making our cities smarter through to enabling more sustainable farming practices, Dell Technologies’ tailored IoT solutions, services and partner ecosystem enable organizations to navigate the challenges and drive their digital transformation journeys.”