NTT Communications has announced its first partnership with Dell Global Services.
The focus of the deal means that NTT Com's Enterprise Cloud and its managed services capabilities will be incorporated into Dell branded Cloud services. On the face of it this is a bigger deal for Dell than it is for NTT Com.
The biggest advantage for NTT Com customers is that NTT Com's Enterprise Cloud us built on top of NTT Com's Software Defined Networking (SDN) architecture.
SDN allows cloud administrators to determine where applications and data are located. This means that they are able to meet increasingly strict controls around data protection, privacy and government driven compliance.
SDN will also deliver Dell and NTT Com a boost in Germany especially given the government's requirements on keeping data in country. NTT Com recently purchased e-shelter, a German data centre company and with SDN it means that both companies can assure German customers that it is possible to ensure their data stays in country thus meeting strict compliance guidelines.
The same is true in the UK where both vendors are part of G-Cloud. With UK parliamentarians making it clear that the offshoring of both local and national government data is an inhibitor to cloud, this deal will provide both companies with the opportunity to demonstrate their solution for of data protection and data privacy concerns.
How far can this partnership go? NTT has been aggressively building out its data centres and cloud strategy both via acquisitions and through its subsidiaries such as Dimension Data. Meanwhile, as a result of internal boardroom troubles, Dell was late getting onto the cloud and its strategy has been a little hit and miss.
What makes this announcement interesting is the decision to brand the NTT Com Enterprise Cloud as part of Dell cloud services. One possibility is that both companies are taking the view that Dell still has a very loyal user base, especially in the SME market and is better placed to bring those customers to cloud than NTT.
At the same time, Dell has been on its own acquisition spree over the last two years with the acquisitions of SonicWALL, EqualLogic and Quest Software the most significant.
Meanwhile, many people still see NTT Com as a telco with some IT assets. This is a serious mistake as NTT Com has an extensive cloud strategy and with Dimension Data and now e-shelter part of its business, has a large portfolio of enterprise cloud customers.
Irrespective of the reason for branding this under Dell, this appears to be a win-win for both companies. NTT Com has the cloud capacity while Dell has the marketing clout and reputation to deliver the customers to the underlying cloud and data centre facilities.