Dell sees the imminent acquisition of EMC as significantly driving its cloud strategy, building on an advantage the company already claims as an early mover in the hybrid cloud, and bringing strong benefits to partners with a stake in the hybrid cloud.
TORONTO – At the Dell Power To Do More Canadian event here, a key theme presented to the 600 or so attendees was the importance of the imminent Dell-EMC deal, and the need to clarify what is actually happening from noise which may or may not be relevant. This applies with some force to Dell’s cloud strategy as well.
Much of the analysis of the Dell-EMC merger has focused on synergies, or lack of same, between Dell servers and EMC storage. The problem with this is that it’s 2016, not 2006, and the focus on hardware tends to obscure the importance of the software-side gains Dell is making. Cloud is just one of those.
“We’ve already said publicly that this will make our solutions better,” said Jim Ganthier, vice president and general manager of Engineered Solutions and Cloud at Dell. “I had a recent conversation with Rodney Rogers, Virtustream’s CEO. “This will really enhance the capabilities we will be able to bring to bear. Virtustream is a mission-critical class cloud, and our ability to offer this up for government, education and health and life sciences is a major asset.”
Ganthier thinks this expands the advantage Dell already has in the hybrid cloud, where it made a strong play last year, buttressed by a series of key agreements with Microsoft announced at Dell World.
“Dell has a very clear and consistent strategy here,” he said. “The world is going to go to hybrid cloud – period. It’s not a question of when, but how fast. It was only a couple years ago people were saying the same thing about the public cloud – that everyone was going to move to the public cloud. They also said that a lot of channel partners wouldn’t survive as a result. We have the right cloud with the right characteristics, and we believe that the end state will be the hybrid cloud. Every customer is on that journey, but they are at different points and with different needs. A one size fits all approach means one size fits none.
“90 per cent of organizations have said the hybrid cloud was fundamental to the future-ready enterprise – but only three of ten have actually realized that goal,” Ganthier stressed to the event attendees. “That’s a huge opportunity for all of us.”
Ganthier also emphasized this is an especially big deal for Dell’s channel partners.
“Many partners were concerned that the public cloud was leaving them behind,” he said. “The fact is that the combination of Dell and EMC will allow us to give them better solutions for the hybrid cloud. We can help them do the upfront assessment, help them with successful deployments, help them reduce costs and implementation risks and get rid of the complexity. Our abilities to help them include support capabilities, and by improving their business capabilities with financing through Cloud Flex Play and Provision and Pay. It’s not just about innovation on the product. It’s also about business innovation.”
Ganthier said partners can leverage Dell’s hybrid cloud strength with their customers.
“When you have a conversation with your customers, this is the kind of conversation you can have from a position of strength,” he said. “Hybrid cloud will be 80 per cent of the market by 2018. If you aren’t thinking about how to make this a part of your conversation with customers, we would encourage you to do that.”
Ganthier said that the future is bright for an expanded Dell and its partners, as a solutions powerhouse with 22 leaders in Gartner Magic Quadrants.
“There will be new opportunities in capabilities on services and support, and on financial services,” he said. “There will be new opportunities in terms of security, responding to customer requests. The availability to have RSA [security] as part of an HPC solution makes it that much better. We’ve had a great partnership with VMware, and the ability to work with them now will be better by an order of magnitude compared to when we were two separate companies. Most importantly for partners, there will be new programs and incentives that should help them not just with the solutions, but help them become lifecycle trusted advisors for the people they serve.”