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Dell EMC: APAC modernised IT infrastructure shift driven by cost saving

As Dell Technologies positions itself to be the one-stop shop for the entire IT stack, the Asia Pacific and Japan region is jumping on board to modernise IT, with cost saving the driving factor.

Organisations in the Asia-Pacific region have been generally speedy on the uptake of new technologies, with Australia leading the geography when it comes to the adoption of IT, according to Dell EMC president of Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) David Webster.

In Austin, Texas, for the inaugural Dell EMC World, Webster told ZDNet that the freshly unveiled VxRail Appliances and VxRack System 1000 hyper-converged infrastructure systems are expected to deliver customers in the region more than just technology.

"If you look at VxRail and VxRack, and look at what it delivers -- and I don't mean the technology, but the impact it has within an organisation -- the business impact is to simplify IT," Webster said. "There's a very high understanding in the market now of the impact of what converged infrastructure can do, because if you think about it ... the customer just has to manage one appliance."

He said the simplicity of the technology allows customers to manage everything through one interface. For a minimum cost of $45,000, Webster believes it is a game changer for the APJ region.

"I believe that every country in APJ has a really strong appetite for reducing cost of infrastructure," he said.

"Customers are now are really interested in transforming IT, and I think that we've got to make sure we do a really good job of communicating our value proposition well, and I think customers are really interested in transformation and new technology."

To Webster, the challenge facing organisations in the region is how to modernise IT, and the key strategy is converged infrastructure.

"As it simplifies, reduces complexity, and takes cost, we think that VxRail and VxRack are going to be very successful products for us," he explained.

Prior to the EMC acquisition that was finalised in September, Webster was running EMC in APJ, having been with the company for more than 10 years. With his extensive knowledge of the IT landscape in the region, Webster said the Dell EMC amalgamation has aligned itself well with the shift that organisations in APJ are undertaking.

"Just as we're coming together, the market in APJ is starting to shift towards a really strong understanding of the impact that IT can have in enabling an organisation to change in a digital world," he said. "You can't become a relevant company that's digitally orientated unless you modernise your IT. The two go hand in glove."

Currently, Australia leads the region in the adoption of IT, followed closely by Japan and then South East Asia, with Webster adding that the rate of uptake has been quite fast.

"The interesting thing that's going on is organisations are starting to think about IT in two different modes, and this is really quite different to what's happened in the past," he said.

"Previously, they would have their IT and their datacentre all in one place and try to do everything in the one environment, but what's happening now is that CIOs are saying, 'I've got my existing infrastructure, I need to reduce the cost of that, and I need to build new infrastructure to deal with web-native applications."

Webster said organisations are realising they can build a private cloud using VxRail or VxRack, which is more cost effective than moving to a public cloud. He said this means they are beginning to focus on software development as a differentiator for their business.

"When we say that business is shifting to digital, what it really means is that organisations are realising that to be able to compete in the future and to be different -- and therefore be able to compete -- they really need to think of themselves as having a capability around software and application software," he said.

"IT is becoming the business."

He said organisations now need to make a mobile device app that gives a good user experience in order to compete in the marketplace, noting that the main device for computing now is a laptop for content creation and a mobile device for viewing.

"A lot of the innovation from customers is starting to work out how can they digitally enable their business to give a better customer experience and therefore be competitively different," he said.

"The companies that are really shifting quickly in this space are the ones that see their business in a different way. They think about their customer first, and they think about their customer experience, and they work backwards.

"That's what's going to differentiate organisations in the future."

During his opening keynote at Dell EMC World, Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Technologies, said his company is positioning itself as a one-stop shop for the entire IT stack, including servers, storage, virtualisation, security, cloud infrastructure, the software-defined datacentre, and platform-as-a-service, to name a few.

"We are the largest enterprise systems company in the entire world," Dell said. "This unique structure allows us to be nimble and innovative like a startup, but at the scale of a global powerhouse."

Disclosure: Asha McLean travelled to Dell EMC World as a guest of Dell.