Dell Technologies Readies Partners for IoT Opportunity
Dell Technologies is creating new IoT bundles that aim to accelerate the opportunity for partners to ease into delivering integrated solutions and services that tie IT into the newest generation of endpoints ranging from sensors and surveillance cameras to building and manufacturing floor automation systems.
These bundles are the outgrowth of Dell Technologies’ new IoT division, created in October, to bring together integrated solutions from subsidiaries Dell, Dell EMC, VMware, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks and Virtustream. Dell Technologies launched the new division back in October with a pledge to invest $1 billion in IoT initiatives over the next three years.
The first bundle, an energy management solution for grocers with aspirations or plans to implement more green operations, was on display at this week’s Dell Technologies World conference in Las Vegas, where executives gave significant airplay to its IoT portfolio and partner initiatives.
“Our IoT strategy envisions a massive distributed core, optimized with artificial intelligence and machine-learning applications,” said Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell during the opening conference keynote.
Chris Wolff, head of global OEM and IoT partnerships at Dell Technologies, said the new Dell IoT Bundle is a SKU that consists of the Dell Edge Gateway for IoT device, VMware’s Pulse IoT management software and other relevant products from the Dell Technologies portfolio of companies, but also includes software from ecosystem partner IMS Evolve, which offers an energy management and automation solution for grocery stores.
“We’re launching a handful of these bundles to give our channel partners something they could adopt the same way they did with VxBlocks when hyperconverged infrastructure was a new idea,” said Wolff. “Those VxBlocks [originated by the VCE partnership between VMware, Cisco and EMC] sold like crazy because it took the risk and the requirements for the integration engine. We think the same thing will happen with these IoT models.”
The IMS Evolve solution, for example, feeds data from supermarket refrigerators to automate temperature controls, both ensuring food won’t spoil, but likewise, energy won’t be overused. IMS Evolve developed the solution for large grocery chains, including one major retailer with 6,000 stores.
Jason Kay, IMS Evolve’s chief commercial officer, said grocers of all sizes could benefit from energy management solutions like his, and sees the bundle as an opportunity to bring a more repeatable business to a larger base of partners without requiring the scale and extensive vertical expertise. The software is currently used with the Dell Edge IoT gateways.
“Products in the marketplace like ours that have significant traction, significant relevance and significance either on a linear functionality level or a specific deep domain, already [have] proven and productized capability to release value in specific market sectors,” Kay said during an interview at Dell Technologies World. “It takes a component element of the necessary stack, generalizes it and has it supported by one of the world’s leading organizations. That’s potentially attractive. Obviously until it’s there, we have to leverage our own capabilities.”
Another in the works, according to Wolff, is a digital surveillance system with digital operations software from ISV partner Pixel Velocity.
“That’s good news for all the parties involved,” she said. “The ISVs are coming to us now in droves, so we’re doing that matchmaking right now to get some momentum happening in the space. “
While the blueprints for the IMS Evolve and Pixel Velocity are “SKU’d up,” Wolff said, others will roll out throughout the year.
“I’m hoping to have about a half-dozen bundles in the next two months or so,” she said. “We’ll be posting those distributions so that they can be ordered with a single SKU by any reseller or distribution channel. There’s no special requirement; you don’t have to get any special credentials or certifications in order to use these bundles, but our hope is that we’ll get cash in the door for our partners, that they can then use to send their people to train.”
Among some channel program enhancements outlined at the Dell EMC Global Partner Summit this week, the company said its IoT Solution Competency is now available. It’s the first of several new competencies Dell plans to offer this year, including high-performance computing, analytics, business applications and security.