Dell says no other vendor can match its scale in the IoT market, claiming it is ideally placed to capitalise on M2M demand
Dell believes its ability to provide ‘end-to-end’ IoT hardware, software and services makes it ideally placed to capitalise on demand for M2M technology.
Speaking at the company’s innovation event in Copenhagen, Andy Rhodes, head of Dell’s newly created IoT division, acknowledged that Dell was hardly the first company to target the IoT, but its scale and experience in both the IT and operational technology (OT) markets would give it a significant advantage.
“IoT is absolutely not new,” he said. “M2M has been around for many years in many industries. The reason why it’s getting so much airplay is consumerisation … and the underlying technologies that allow for business value have massively fallen in price.”
End to end IoT
This includes cheaper component costs, less expensive mobile connectivity and the capability to analyse large sets of data. However while Rhodes admitted many people dispute the true meaning of IoT, Dell’s definition was firmly an enterprise one.
“[It’s] all the sensors out there sending data, which is then analysed and an action is taken,” he continued. “It’s about machines talking to machines, moving data and the analysis of data for some business function.
“IoT is transforming the commercial world. Dell is not going into the consumer end of IoT. We’re providing the back end infrastructure, including data management and data analysis, to power IoT infrastructure.
Whereas other companies focus on one component of the IoT, such as sensors, gateways or cloud services, Dell can provide everything, he said, meaning it can offer an objective view for customers rather than attempting to sell a particular type of equipment.
“We’re probably the only Tier 1 vendor still standing that can provide end-to-end,” said Rhodes, noting that some components were made by ‘Tier 3’ manufacturers, untrusted by IT managers and unable to offer the level of customer support Dell can.
Dell’s IoT vision centres on the ’Internet of Data’ – where machine to machine and people to people processes combine. Whereas IT prioritises security, productivity and speed, OT customers in the manufacturing and logistics industries need low cost per unit, low energy use and long lifespan.
Rhodes said it would partner with some companies to fill in gaps in its portfolio, noting some of its acquisitions had also helped in that respect.
The IoT unit’s first product, an in expensive gateway, has now been made available in Europe, while the company has opened its first European IoT lab in Ireland to help customers build and test M2M applications.
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