In this ESG On Location Video, the ESG team offers some succinct-but-valuable insights for the key [cloud-extended] data center trends, needs, and offerings that we follow closely.
Announcer: The following is an ESG On Location video.
Mark: Welcome to Vegas. It's spring time. We're here at the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas for the full first inaugural Dell EMC World. Can there really be any more apposite place for this event? Look behind me. Is this faux splendor or real splendor. The theme for Dell EMC World is REALize, with the emphasis on real. It might be based off something else, transformed from something else, but it's real. So what we're here to find out this week is really playing off the colors and the names of the two companies. Do we have deja blue or something new?
Kevin: Lots of excitement yesterday at Partner Summit at Dell EMC World. It included bagpipers. It included the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It included David Byrne in a big suit, and a lot of really impressive messages for partners. There were two major takeaways. The first is it's been about 90 days since the new partner program, the consolidated partner program has been introduced, and the company's not standing pat on the program as it was released. They're adding new certifications. They're adding new MDF funding. They're adding incumbency rights for accounts. And they're formally bringing Virtustream into the partner program. It will now be an active track that it wasn't up until now. The second major takeaway was about one of the key messages of the entire conference, which is digital transformation. And in the partner world, digital transformation equals customer transformation, which equals partner transformation. And Dell EMC has put an underpinning in that process for partners to improve their business through additional training and certifications, through business process and business outcome training, and simplifying the services and services that they offer for resell as well.
Terri: There's an awful lot of talk about Better Together here at Dell EMC World this year and there's probably no place where Better Together is more exemplified than in the division that used to be called BCE and is now called CPSD, or Converged Platform Solution Division. What we're seeing in our research, what we're hearing from the end users that we talk to are that converged and the hyper converged platforms are the platforms that they'll be building their on-prem and hybrid clouds in the future. There's tremendous demand out there. It just makes sense. It's a simpler consumption model. It's a simpler management model, and it drives tremendous efficiency within IT. Dell EMC has solutions that span the gamut of what customers are looking for. And it's also great seeing Dell EMC roll out a consumption-based billing model to align their on-premise offerings with the way IT buyers wanna consume their technology. It remains to be seen if the sales force can transition to be able to have the solutions sales discussion that they need to have in order to ensure that they're meeting the right needs of their customers. We'll be watching and waiting to see if they can transform their sales motion as well as they've transformed their portfolio.
Scott: At Dell EMC World this week, we have seen a number of storage announcements. We've seen new innovations with VMAX. We've seen a dramatic decrease in the cost of All-Flash with XtremIO. With Isilon, they have transformed the hardware from a scale-out commodity hardware node approach to a 4U four-node modular design that's incredibly transformational. And transformation is really what we're talking about this week. A key component of IT transformation is infrastructure transformation. And it's not just about buying new hardware. It's about buying capabilities that move your organization past the tipping point to where your business can not only achieve what it needs to with this storage technology but free up resources to do more. With storage at the core of that portfolio, as they build in all these other aspects of the greater solution, can they continue to deliver this transformational benefits to their customers?
Mark: The transformation that Scott referred to is part of an overall digital transformation that was front and center at Dell EMC World. ESG actually worked with Dell EMC over the last few months to come up with what we've called a maturity model so that individual users can not only measure where they stack in terms of IT transformation maturity, but can get actionable ideas for what they can do to improve as well as an idea of the impact that those improvements will have on their operations, their business, and their finances.
Scott: In general, I'm not a fan of the purpose-built backup appliance category as a term mostly because it confuses such a wide range of blinky light boxes that you might use as part of your data protection strategy. But this week, something kind of interesting happened when Dell EMC announced the integrated data protection appliance, IDPA. Now what they've done is they've taken the backup software within their data protection suite, added some search capabilities, and then put that on top of a data domain architecture within a single solution for easy to acquire, easy to deploy, much faster time to value. But what I think is really exciting is recognizing the fact that only one in four organizations has a single backup application, one ring to rule them all.
A lot of organizations, particularly enterprises, will have something different for virtualization or have something different for databases. But in the IDPA case, remember, there's a real data domain in that box. And that virtualization backup software can write to that data domain and Oracle RMAN can write to that data domain. So you actually do get centralized protection storage for everything across the environment and yet for anything that doesn't presumably or prescriptively need a workload-specific approach, use that IDPA software so you still get that best overall experience. We'll see how 2017 brings forth some other parts of the portfolio but there was a lot of new things to be talked about when it comes to data protection appliances from Dell EMC.
Mark: Coming back to what we really wanted to find out is do people think this is really going to lead to something new? Or is it just that deja blue that I talked about the beginning? I would say the ratio equally from end users as well as employees is two to one in favor of something new actually happening. The interesting about the one is nothing bad has happened. There's no deja blew it, if you like. It's just that they're still waiting for things to roll out. So I think eight months into a new organization with all this opportunity, it certainly looks as if the goodness is coming out more than the challenges that we might have expected.