Dell World 2012

They called it a Dell World “Super Session” and from my perspective it was. I had the honor of hosting a panel of customers who use elements of Dell’s cloud solutions and they illuminated the audience with insights and advice from their own experiences and journey to the cloud. We kicked off the session with an overview of our cloud strategy that, simply put, is to develop a cloud solution for any size business with multiple paths to cloud. Whatever the business challenge or need, Dell has the end-to-end cloud capabilities to help customers migrate to cloud at a pace that is comfortable for them.

Dell Coud ComputingOver the past year, we’ve made significant investments in developing and acquiring cloud capabilities from pocket, public, private to hybrid cloud. Our acquisitions in security and software augment our core capabilities and greatly strengthen our portfolio and differentiation. We’re intent on maintaining a leadership position as a partner to cloud providers , becoming a trailblazer in private cloud (that’s where 8 out of 10 of our customer say they want to go), and ensuring that we have public cloud capabilities for customers that seek that as their cloud solution. We don’t take a cookie cutter approach to cloud, but rather, one that enables businesses to realize their IT and growth objectives. We view cloud as an enabler of value creation, not as the latest trend in IT.

The accelerated adoption of cloud was touted at Dell World one of the five forces shaping IT. According to our panelists, it is a force to be reckoned with and a new era of technology that levels the playing field for businesses. The panel suggested that cloud brings the ability to innovate and experiment with new ideas more cost effectively (and removes more risks of failure), greater speed -to- market responsiveness and scalable compute power that moves along with business performance cycles. Cloud has removed many of the barriers to entry, allowing smaller companies to compete in big ways and bigger companies to get smaller on IT legacy maintenance spending and staffing.

Dell Cloud Computing Super Session - Dell World 2012What wisdom did our panelists impart about cloud? Simon Anderson of DreamHost, runs his web hosting business on Dell hardware and partners with us on OpenStack innovations like Inktank. He is absolutely sure that cloud is an enabler, supporting business growth in “far-flung” corners of the globe. Ron Davis, Yugma, President Americas started his journey on a Dell public cloud and, as his web conferencing business grew, migrated to a public hosted model. Ron is happy letting Dell Services run his infrastructure so that his IT talent can focus on development work. GoPro’s CTO, Stephen Baumer knew from the start of this catapulting business as a manufacturer of extreme activity HD and digital cameras that he would run 98% of his business on cloud. He flat out attributes the use of cloud as the reason his company has seen 300% YOY growth. Scott Houston, CEO of GreenButton, advised the audience to move quickly to the cloud and sees it as a “game changer” for small businesses, giving them access to compute power that they would otherwise never have.

The panel concluded overwhelmingly that cloud is here to stay and with good reason. It is the single common denominator enabling their business and customer growth. They also suggested that companies looking to move to the cloud should pick a partner and provider with end-to-end solutions, an eye for innovation, a reputation for collaboration, a bankroll for stability and a history of longevity. For whatever the reasons they came to Dell, we’re proud to have them as our customers and pleased to have helped them with their different paths to cloud. It makes me really proud that we were able to contribute to our customers’ business success. That’s the reason we’re here.

At Dell, we try to stay grounded on delivering innovative customer solution, but after the lofty praise by our panel customers, I have to admit, our heads are more than a little bit in the clouds.

To learn more about Dell’s cloud capabilities, visit cloudinfo.dell.com that is running on a beta of our public OpenStack cloud.