Dell: Why we can be the brains behind your IoT

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As the Internet of Things continues to grow across the globe, the need for strong expertise in infrastructure to support the explosion in device is key.

Dell has long been one of the leaders in supporting the IoT, working across multiple verticals to bring its expertise to all areas. Although perhaps best known for its hardware offerings, according to Andy Rhodes, Dell vice president and general manager of Internet of Things (IoT), this background actually makes the company the perfect proposition for the IoT.

"This is the misnomer of IoT,” he told ITProPortal, “behind every IoT project is an IT project.” 

“If it's about the collecting and analysing of data, it shouldn't be a surprise that the big data companies that help people compute and analyse data are at the forefront."

"We had this vision long before anyone else did,” he adds, "this isn't theoretical for us."

(Image: © Image Credit: Flickr / Toshiyuki IMAI)

Dell’s sheer size means that its operations cover many of the key areas needed for end-to-end IoT support and deployment, with the likes of VMware, SecureWorks, Dell Boomi and RSA all contributing to make the company a key player. 

Asked if he believes that every company will soon become an IoT company, Rhodes disagrees, but counters that, instead, every company will use the IoT. 

He likens the forthcoming landscape to the introduction of IT itself 40 years ago, where computers were initially met with huge resistance by many businesses, before quickly disrupting many industries.

IoT technologies have four main business values, he adds, as it helps in driving efficiency, reducing costs, improving safety, and bringing in new business models and revenue streams - a huge range of benefits that any company should be desperate to bring in.

Digital disruption is affecting so many companies today, and IoT is helping accelerate this, with the businesses that are agile enough to adapt and evolve coming out the strongest.

"IoT is not about verticals, it's about verticals plus use cases," Rhodes notes, "there's always a danger, but if you have that lens focusing on on your key areas, and where you can add the most value to customers -you're bringing in the assets you have to build solutions for those focus areas." 

(Image: © Image Credit: Konica Minolta Business Solutions UK )

Dell’s IoT strategy hit the headlines earlier this year after the company launched a $1bn research and development fund, known as IQT - a move which Rhodes says shows how committed it is to the technology. 

“This isn’t brand new...but we felt we had enough exposure into the market...to go out in a public way and let people know that at the heart of IoT are these big companies like Dell,” he says.

“A lot of people are talking about this theoretically, but we have thousands of customers, so we can go beyond just talking about IoT.”

Ultimately, he says, Dell’s expertise across the board is what really helps the company stand out when it comes to the IoT.

“We want IoT technology to be accessible to all,” he says. “When you think about IoT, you don’t necessarily think about IT, and that’s the fundamental shift that I think will happen in most people’s minds.”

As Rhodes notes, "the PC is the place where work still gets done," - for now at least, but the sheer scale of Dell’s expertise makes it an incredibly powerful and appealing partner for any company looking to build out their IoT efforts.

“A lot of customers think that the tech is the hard part in IoT - but it's not, it's business transformation,” he says. “And it’s having that hands-on experience, and knowing about the end-to-end infrastructure, really helps differentiate us."