ESG's Mark Peters, Bob Laliberte, Christophe Bertrand, and Kevin Rhone discuss their impressions from Dell Technologies World 2020, held virtually.
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Mark: I'm surrounded today by three of my really smart colleagues, Kevin Rhone, Bob Laliberte, Christophe Bertrand. Gentlemen, good to see you all. And we're here to talk about some takeaways from Dell Technologies World. I've already done one of these videos, talking about APEX, one of the key consumption model announcements that was made.
The event was very professionally run, as one would expect. But here, we want to talk less about that, more about the content. So let's start with you, Bob. In your coverage area, what struck you as most significant, important, or otherwise interesting?
Bob: Yeah, thanks, Mark. So I think my takeaway from it, obviously, there was a clear focus on leveraging both 5G and deploying infrastructure at the edge. And so this is something we've been talking about for a while. The distributed nature of enterprises is certainly accelerating, and now we're seeing these applications are hosted in data centers, in clouds, and increasingly at the edge.
And 5G plays a very important role in enabling that, and it requires better infrastructure at the edge to accommodate those applications. We've seen both Dell and VMware make significant bets on 5G this year, and I think we're going to see that continue to grow as well. In a lesser note, there were some other implementations around SmartFabric services, SmartFabric Director that enable organizations to run their data center environments far more efficiently.
And so, in particular, SmartFabric Director, they were able to upgrade that with a bunch of new features, and that really, the key of that is it enables you to have a single view into both the overlay and the network underlay, the physical underlay. So a lot more visibility for these really dynamic environments.
Mark: All right. Thank you, Bob. Hold those thoughts because those will be relevant for what I want to come to in a second, but I do want each of you to have an opportunity to lay out the key things. So, Christophe, turning to you.
Christophe: So Dell has had a data protection strategy and portfolio that has been probably one of the strongest in the industry for a very long time. And here, a couple of things got my attention. I really like the focus in a couple of sessions on cyber resilience, and of course, just the PowerProtect portfolio, a focus on containers with Tanzu and Kubernetes clusters management.
So very much like Bob indicated, some level of tight integration across the board, including at the storage level with, for example, recent capabilities around SRM and VMware, with the ability to support mission-critical applications. So all in all, I would say, and not surprisingly, more great data protection solutions and capabilities, but clearly, containers and cyber resilience are top of mind.
Mark: I'm going to turn to Kevin now. Kevin, obviously, you're going to talk less about products, because you cover the partner space for us. Was this a good conference, a bad conference, how well partners have taken it?
Kevin: We see the announcements particularly around APEX at this event as pretty significant for partners and giving them a methodology and a platform to transform their businesses from data center sales to recurring revenue to more cloud and present them a broad range of flexibilities in terms of how they make money while still being able, most importantly, to leverage the complete Dell portfolio.
So really, we came away with pretty strong foundations and news for partners going forward as they tweak and rework and continue to improve their programs.
Mark: One of the things that COVID has done is really to accelerate, not necessarily change the general march of IT, but to accelerate the rate at which it's happening. To me, that means that, to some degree, Dell's ability to paint the future was somewhat muted because the future is kind of catching up with us all, if that makes any sense, whatsoever.
I mean, basically, do you agree with me? What do you take away, very briefly, in terms of the general big picture movement that you heard through this event? Anyone.
Bob: Hey, Mark. I'll jump in. So I think you're absolutely spot on with the comment that we're seeing organizations accelerate their digital transformation efforts. You know, some of the things that Dell was able to throw out there, certainly, the things around 5G. I mean, we're still at the very beginning. We're in the tip of the sphere for 5G deployments. And so I think there's a lot of good future vision around how 5G will enable a lot of workforce.
In fact, Pat Gelsinger once again put out this deliciously disturbing quote around 5G will replace Wi-Fi. Clearly, there's going to be a lot of people who maybe take issue with that. Right now, I think there's going to be a lot more collaboration going on between the two than one replacing the other. But certainly, that's one area where I think they're really looking forward and placing significant bets on how that's going to roll out.
Christophe: The one thing that I've noticed here is lots of talk about 5G, edge, core, etc. Well, the question I have really is, where is that data going to go when it comes to being protected? Do you have to protect everything? Where is it going to be protected, at the edge, at the core, or both? Of course, these are the type of areas that I expected to hear a little more about and maybe haven't.
So let's see where we go with the next event. I would certainly expect to hear a lot more about that. Lots of great opportunities for sure.
Mark: Anything pithy from you, Kevin, before we close?
Kevin: You know, the Dell partners that we talk to on a regular basis feel as though they've moved from triage status to now really working with their customers on a long-term strategy. How do I transform my entire infrastructure and far-reaching network of endpoints to really work in the new ways that we now recognize that we need to do?
So the partners are investing a lot in that strategy, architecture, design, including a number of the things that Christophe and Bob have talked about today.
Mark: Gentlemen, thank you for being both smart and succinct. It's so challenging with something as big as Dell and these digital events or whether they're in Vegas, wherever, to really summarize, but hopefully, this has been helpful by pulling out a few important things. Please look for more blogs, briefs, and so on and so forth, other videos and so on from ESG, because there's so much to cover here. Meantime, thank you for watching.