There seems to be many definitions of what constitutes the “cloud.” While the definition may be up for interpretation, one thing is clear, understanding, simplifying and managing it can be daunting. This is where Dell’s Cloud Solutions come into play with the key themes of flexibility, openness, and simplicity.  Rather than firmly positioning Dell as either a public or private cloud provider, we believe a hybrid cloud environment, which encompasses attributes of both, will present a sizable and attractive market. We are excited about the opportunities in supporting an open environment that allows customers to choose what they feel to be the best technologies for their datacenters.
We have historically been able to simplify IT through automation, standardization, and ease of deployment and management. This is the focus of our integrated solution stacks of services, software and hardware. They help address some key customer questions from, “how do we take advantage of cloud economics in our infrastructure,” to “what new business applications are enabled through the cloud.” Some of the ways we’re answering these questions include:

  • Customers benefit with expanded access to Dell based cloud solutions and services.   They can purchase cloud services from Dell Data Centers and can partner with us to use our Global Solution Centers which provide a forum for customers to learn more about Dell solutions and capabilities, as well as provide them with an environment to test new solutions in various IT environments. April 7, we announced our plan to invest $1 billion in technology solutions and services, which is partially dedicated to the cloud, in the form of investments in more Data Centers and Solution Centers.
  • Also included in this investment are easy to understand and implement solutions such as Dell vStart. This allows customers to purchase pre-packaged, integrated solutions that will run 100 to 200 virtual machines from a single management environment. The web browser becomes the window to everything instead of having numerous applications loaded to every system. This can reduce the IT resources and oversight required by the customer resulting in improved productivity and greater operational efficiencies.
  • Boomi, acquired in October, 2010, brings a cloud technology that reduces the complexities of managing numerous business applications. This includes managing combinations of software-as-a service (SAAS) and on premise applications. Integration is one of customers top concerns regarding the cloud, and the Boomi automation allows them to be more efficient (reduced data re-entry), have better information visibility, and make better business decisions. Our April 26 announcement provides more detail on the solution.
  • InSite One, acquired in December of 2010, has become the preferred platform for many customers in the diagnostic imaging industry. The InSite One solution enables healthcare professionals to accurately and easily share data, critical for providing safe and efficient patient care. The InSite One cloud-based medical archiving solutions are a key feature of our Unified Clinical Archive (UCA) solution and just reached the milestone of managing more than four billion diagnostic imaging objects and associated reports.
  • Customers continue to view Security as one of their top concerns in the cloud. SecureWorks, which Dell acquired in February of this year, addresses many of these concerns. Gartner recognizes SecureWorks as a leader in its magic quadrant for North American Managed Security Service Providers. A team of experienced, certified security experts provides customers with real-time monitoring of their environment and proactive identification of vulnerable spots in their IT systems.
  • We will continue to expand our capabilities, innovate and differentiate both through organic IP and external partnerships. A good example of the latter is the partnership between Dell and SAP AG announced last week that aligns well with bringing flexible and productivity enhancing solutions to our customers. 

We are well positioned to benefit from the projected growth of the cloud, which Gartner estimates could be a $149B market by 2014. We feel our services, solutions and unique capabilities, will bring our customers easy to implement solutions, greater operational efficiency and choice. Look forward to hearing more about our cloud strategy at the analyst meeting in June.

We welcome your comments.