Since joining Dell last January, I’ve had the pleasure of leading one of the most customer-focused and action oriented teams in the industry. The team and I have had the tremendous privilege to innovate on behalf of and serve our customers and partners around the globe in our ongoing mission to help them deliver business results via engineered solutions and next-generation infrastructure. Throughout 2015, we demonstrated both market and technological leadership with new solutions, services and lifecycle offerings that allowed customers to break past the traditional barriers of costs, control, and complexity on their path to an ultimate end-state of hybrid cloud.

In February we boldly and strategically proclaimed that the end state for the industry would be a Hybrid Cloud – we got some raised eyebrows on that one – and now the rest of the industry and analysts agree. As a customer-first-minded team, we were the first to highlight the concept and phenomenon of Cloud Repatriation; again, now the rest of the industry and many industry analyst groups agree with us – more on that later.  

In June I was proud to see how our great partnership with Red Hat had grown even better and stronger. In fact, Dell was awarded the 2015 Red Hat Strategic Partner of the Year at Red Hat Summit. This award matters because it represents the growth, innovation and evolution we’ve accomplished together this past year as well as over the past 15 years. I am excited to see Dell and Red Hat continue to deliver cost-effective, open source-based cloud computing solutions that will provide greater agility and results for our customers in 2016.

In July, our innovative Dell Cloud Manager offering continued to provide customers with agility, governance and choice while preparing them for future growth. Dell was the first out of the gate with cloud management solution support for both Windows Azure Pack and Microsoft Azure public cloud and we continued our support for other leading public and managed clouds as part of our multi cloud heterogeneous design requirements. Shortly thereafter, we tackled CapEx and OpEx impediments to cloud adoption in a Dell-unique way by introducing a new portfolio of Scale Ready Payment Solutions that helped expedite customers’ cloud adoption and growth.

At Dell World in October, we clearly demonstrated our commitment to collaboration and cloud innovation over the lifecycle with the joint unveiling by Michael and Satya of our Dell Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft and our Cloud FlexPay offerings. The teams proudly delivered the industry’s first integrated, modular, hybrid cloud solution. The Dell Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft delivers simplified, automated deployment and maintenance capabilities; a unique payment solution to reduce customer investment risk; and unparalleled hybrid cloud governance, control, and policy-based automation for Microsoft Azure and other cloud environments.  This optimized, unique, co-engineered solution and partnership delivers cloud control and future readiness while crushing cloud-adoption barriers. Business results wise, our customers can go from “crate to cloud” in less than three hours. While some competitors might attempt to copy our approach, let’s be clear: we are the only company with a comprehensive, end-to-end (client, data center, cloud) solution set, heterogeneous choice, and industry-leading innovation across the cloud lifecycle. This makes us the only partner who can fully meet our customers’ cloud requirements no matter where they are on their cloud journey.

It’s been a busy, productive and fun year for the Dell cloud team, but leaders do not, and cannot rest.  Big things will be happening in the cloud for 2016 and we intend to lead many of them! We believe that Cloud Repatriation (the movement of cloud services that were originally taken to public cloud will come back to a combination of internal/private or managed clouds) will accelerate in 2016. A Principled Technologies report evaluated the total costs associated with hosting a data store deployment on-premises against the subscription and usage costs of only hosting it in a popular public cloud service. In as little as 15 months the on-premises solution paid for itself. We believe companies of all sizes will realize the value of bringing back the management of services and applications internally, and those that participate in repatriation and hybrid cloud deployments will yield positive business results.

2016 will be the year of Hybrid Cloud. IT leaders and their customers will become more comfortable with their cloud infrastructures as innovations allow them to offer cloud more easily and seamlessly manage a hybrid approach be it a private, public or managed cloud combination. We’ll also start to see the extension of the hybrid cloud model address multi-cloud environments with both applications and data managed holistically and supported by various cloud services providers.

Organizations also will demand differentiated cloud financing options and support services that address how they use their cloud platform now and how they want to use it in the future. These new financing models will serve as encouragement, and, frankly, be a key enabler for enterprises to further invest in and accelerate the transition to a hybrid cloud model.

Lastly, Dell and our partners will continue to play a huge role in the cloud industry with new updates, innovations and announcements in 2016. Make sure to keep an eye on our Dell4Enterprise Blog so you don’t miss any of the exciting cloud news, follow us on Twitter, and stay tuned for the next chapter. It’s going to be another fun and exciting year in the cloud space!