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The investment aims to help customers navigate a complex and fragmented IoT landscape.

Lynn Haber

October 12, 2017

5 Min Read
Tons of Cash
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In a big strategic kickoff, Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, this week announced the company’s strategic vision for IoT.

It includes a $1 billion investment in IoT R&D over the next three years; a new Dell Technologies IoT division; a new “distributed core” computing model; a new IoT-specific product, lab and partner program; and artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology that will work in concert with IoT infrastructure. 

Ray O’Farrell, executive vice president and chief technology officer (CTO), VMware, will head up the new IoT division, as general manager. He’s responsible for orchestrating the development of IoT products and services across the Dell Technologies family.  

“We’re positioning Dell Technologies to be our customers’ best, most trusted partner in the journey toward our collective digital future,” said Dell. “We created Dell Technologies to combine the innovations of Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, Secureworks, Virtustream and VMware. And, if you look at the Internet of Things, it’s a logical place for Dell to play, to lead and to win,” he added. 

CloudTech1's Rick Beckers

CloudTech1’s Rick Beckers

Putting the marketing hype aside, Rick Beckers, president and CEO of CloudTech1, a cloud master agent, MSP and Dell partner, acknowledges that the Dell IoT news is exciting and will have wide-ranging implications for the channel.

“Anytime a big vendor like Dell, Cisco, Microsoft, AWS, the top-tier vendors, make an investment of this size in something that is right up our alley, as it pertains to channel partners, it’s exciting. When you see a vendor willing to invest $1 billion dollars in technology, it validates that this is something partners need to get involved in and up to speed on,” he told us. 

Beckers is a speaker on the IoT circuit and a subject-matter expert (and a Channel Partners advisory board member), often addressing partners on the importance of building an IoT practice. He notes that every validation of IoT by vendors makes it easier for partners to have discussions with clients, colleagues and other people about IoT.  

One of the core pieces of Dell’s multifaceted IoT announcement is the IoT division, whose key role is to determine and direct the future of IoT for Dell Technologies.

“In that process, we plan to deliver unified solutions and leverage the assets that we have across all of Dell Technologies; we plan to focus on building and partnering with the broad ecosystem of partners reflecting the diversity of real-world IoT solutions, and we want to drive a unified go-to-market, making it easy for customers to consume these technologies, products and services. And, lastly, we’ll build new products to drive and determine what is the future of IoT,” said O’Farrell.  

Also vital in Dell’s announcement is the new distributed model for computing, and more specifically, a distributed core that focuses on the real-time processing of information. 

“We’re also going to need a layer of computing power that’s near the edge, and we call this the distributed core. This is a new generation of localized, hyperconverged infrastructure that will handle real events in real time. This emerging highly distributed compute model is the basis of …

… our Internet of Things strategy. In fact, we believe that there will be an order of magnitude more data at the edge in the distributed core than in the cloud. And, there’ll be plenty of local processing power out on the edge too,” Dell said. 

The company’s investment is critical to fuel Dell’s IoT future. Dell’s IoT Solutions Partner Program today includes more than 90 technology partners and now supports partners across all Dell Technologies businesses to facilitate communication and implementation of blueprints, the company said.

To support the company’s strategic IoT agenda, Dell Technologies Capital, the venture arm of Dell Technologies, will closely align with the IoT division. Dell Technologies Capital provides a link to external innovative resources to help accelerate the development and deployment of new IoT, AI and ML technologies and solutions. 

Like Beckers, Steve Haddock, vice president of business development and strategic alliances at Webbing Inc., is excited by Dell’s IoT strategy.

“There’s a ton of opportunity here and everyone is seeing major dollar signs, billions and trillions in the marketplace and trying to find how they can build the solutions and strategies to take advantage of it [IoT]. Any time you get a giant like Dell jumping in feet first and saying that ‘we’re committing to this and investing heavily,’ it gets everyone to take note that this is really happening,” he said. 

Currently in beta, Beckers is developing a master agency business model to enable agents to sell IoT solutions in a manner that they’re used to — stay tuned.

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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