30 years ago, Back to the Future changed the history of the world as we know it, at least for impressionable movie buffs. This year, the Dell Annual Analyst Conference (DAAC) showed what could be coming next, no DeLorean required. Dell is obviously a big company with many different lines of business to consider, but I'd like to focus here on one breakout session in particular, entitled "Helping Customers Cut through the Big Data Hype to Make Better, Faster Decisions." Snappy, eh?
Going one level deeper, there was a wheel diagram that really encapsulates the Dell solutions for big data and analytics. Now I love marketing diagrams as much as the next guy, but this one seemed to tell the story pretty cleanly. Here's the flow:
- Customers want answers
- Answers come from analytics
- Analytics require integrating data
- Data needs to be on managed platforms
- Platforms run on infrastructure
- This is all in a complementary ecosystem of strategic partners, complementary vendors, and professional services
Dell has put together an increasingly comprehensive story for the parts of this value chain that they directly and indirectly own, respectively:
- Customer-oriented vs. product-oriented is ALWAYS the right way to approach the market.
- Dell offers a capable, proven software package for advanced analytics (see: Statistica)
- Dell has utilities to blend data from on-premises and cloud applications (see: Boomi) and can help with data prep, integation (see: TOAD Data Point and TOAD Intelligence Central)
- Dell addresses database and platform management issues (see: TOAD and Foglight)
- Dell has servers, storage, and ready-to-go appliances (see: PowerEdge R930 and a bunch of other hardware options)
Much, much more could be said about each one of these pieces of the puzzle, but I like the logical flow and breadth of complementary solutions. More than anything, this shows Dell understands how customers think about their challenges at a top level, and how they can help at every layer on down. The future looks bright.