Michael Dell: Line between business and IT is disappearing

Dell's CEO asserted that his company is not a PC company, but rather an "end-to-end" solutions enterprise.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

SAN FRANCISCO -- Technology is no longer the tool that enables business, but rather it’s actually embedded inside the business function itself, according to Michael Dell, CEO and founder of Dell Computers, at Oracle OpenWorld 2011 on Tuesday afternoon.

“Cloud is enabling an even bigger change,” Dell argued, “The line between business and IT is simply disappearing.”

Based on what's happening with mobile, cloud and social computing these days, Dell said that we're in the midst of a "true paradigm shift."

“We’re in the business of productivity,” Dell said, positing that in challenging times, it’s a good business to be in.

But that doesn't mean that the industry can remain stagnant. There will be approximately 1.5 billion PCs in the wild in the next couple of years. Right now, Dell asserted that five percent of all the disk drivers in the world go in servers and storage, but 95 percent goes into PCs. The same is true for processors and memory.

For developers, Dell said this means that running infrastructure and applications are no longer enough.

"It seems these days that not everyone is so totally committed," Dell remarked, adding in a rather snarky way that "You can guess who I’m talking about. They used to say that ‘the computer is personal again.’”

Nevertheless, Dell gave audience goers a pep talk by positing that "the opportunities have never been brighter to advance inside our organizations, and in our careers.”

Dell tried to clarify that "IT and the business process are linked from here on out," by citing a quote from Dell Computers CIO Robin Johnson, who said, "My job is creating business value and streamlining business process."

Additionally, Dell argued that his company is "not a PC company," but an end-to-end solutions company that is more than just hardware and understands how important the end user is.

"Hospitals don’t want devices. They want better outcomes for their patients,” Dell explained. “Customers don’t want to talk to us unless we truly understand their business.”

Thus, Dell asserted that his company is evolving constantly, ranging from a billion dollar investment for its secure private cloud to inorganic investments for bolstering its applications at the heart of the datacenter.

Dell Computers is acquiring roughly eight companies per year, such as EqualLogic, Kace, Compellent, and Force10, the last of which is found in the datacenters of half of the world's "top" companies. It will be the first validated networking provider for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, working from small environments to the world's largest enterprises.

Also in partnership with Oracle, Dell unveiled the 12th generation of PowerEdge Servers, which will include Oracle's integrated x86 platform.

Each server is connected with 10 Gigabit Ethernet, hosts 1,024 cores, more than 40 terabytes of DRAM and Flash each, features storage tiering from hard disks to flash memory, and delivers queries 60 times faster.

This is going to solve a problem that benefits all applications and all software, Dell boasted.

He pointed towards the Dell Boomi, an "integration cloud," that enables on-premise apps and cloud apps to be able to connect and communicate with each other.

Among other subsidiaries, Dell also highlighted the SecureWorks team. Here are just a few of the stats going on in that department

  • Discovers about 100,000 varieties of malware out in the wild each day
  • Monitors over 15 billion security events everyday for 3,000 customers globally
  • Protects $14 trillion in assets in the financial sector alone
  • Discovered the Zeus banking trojan, which cost banks more than $70 million
  • Found that $1 billion a year stolen from small and medium businesses due to cyber crime

Dell acknowledged that "customers are doing the right things" by buying the all of the necessary security software, appliances, and more, but he touted SecureWorks as a client that ties it altogether.

"Unfortunately, there’s no way for every individual customer to know how to respond to all the attacks possible once this infrastructure is in place," Dell said.

This was also Dell’s ninth appearance at Oracle OpenWorld, joking that for his tenth visit, he is “hoping I get a prize or something.”


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