What Is Dell’s Cloud Strategy?

 

Dell World 2015 DJ

Dancing to a different beat. A DJ warms up the crowd for the closing keynote of DellWorld15 (Photo: Justin Warren)

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out [entity display=”Dell” type=”organization” subtype=”company” active=”true” activated=”true” deactivated=”false” key=”dell” natural_id=”fred/company/1260″]Dell[/entity]’s cloud strategy at DellWorld over the past few days. I think I might have figured it out, but I’m not really sure.

The announcement during the opening keynote was surprisingly lacking in emphasis on the cloud agreement [entity display=”Dell” type=”organization” subtype=”company” active=”false” key=”dell” natural_id=”fred/company/1260″]Dell[/entity] has reached with [entity display=”Microsoft” type=”organization” subtype=”company” active=”true” activated=”true” deactivated=”false” key=”microsoft” ticker=”MSFT” exchange=”NASDAQ” natural_id=”fred/company/2854″]Microsoft[/entity]. I was expecting a much bigger deal to be made about what is a big deal. But no. Instead, we got a lot more mentions of Windows 10 than I was expecting given that we know that the PC business is slowing down. It’s one of the driving reasons for [entity display=”Dell” type=”organization” subtype=”company” active=”false” key=”dell” natural_id=”fred/company/1260″]Dell[/entity] to attempt to buy [entity display=”EMC” type=”organization” subtype=”company” active=”true” activated=”true” deactivated=”false” key=”emc” ticker=”EMC” exchange=”NYSE” natural_id=”fred/company/1441″]EMC[/entity], and why [entity display=”Microsoft” type=”organization” subtype=”company” active=”false” key=”microsoft” ticker=”MSFT” exchange=”NASDAQ” natural_id=”fred/company/2854″]Microsoft[/entity] is investing so heavily in Azure. I was not alone in being puzzled by this treatment of the only big news held back from the flurry of announcements the day before.

In order to get some clarity, I spent a lot of time talking to [entity display=”Dell” type=”organization” subtype=”company” active=”false” key=”dell” natural_id=”fred/company/1260″]Dell[/entity] executives about who their target customers are, and what their vision of the future looks like.

Speaking Different Languages

I discovered that [entity display=”Dell” type=”organization” subtype=”company” active=”false” key=”dell” natural_id=”fred/company/1260″]Dell[/entity] is talking about cloud, but it’s not the way that cloud native people talk about cloud. Confused? Precisely.

What I refer to as cloud native types are the ones who are firm believers in AWS and its version of public cloud. This is the world of developers, zero-state applications that scale horizontally, and NoSQL. It’s a brave new world that is all about apps and not about servers. The clouderati.

When [entity display=”Dell” type=”organization” subtype=”company” active=”false” key=”dell” natural_id=”fred/company/1260″]Dell[/entity] talks about cloud, it also includes all the players who are one step below AWS, Azure, [entity display=”Google” type=”organization” subtype=”company” active=”true” activated=”true” deactivated=”false” key=”google” ticker=”GOOGL” exchange=”NASDAQ” natural_id=”fred/company/1821″]Google[/entity], and SoftLayer etc. These are the telcos who are moving into content delivery, web-app providers, like Uber and Dropbox, and managed service providers who deliver cloud-like experiences to [entity display=”enterprise” type=”section” active=”true” activated=”true” deactivated=”false” key=”/enterprise” natural_id=”channel_3section_75″]enterprise[/entity] customers of their own. It’s a redefinition of the market, and it makes certain assumptions about its structure over some assumed time period.

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