Iron Chef, Cloud Edition. Whose Cloud will reign supreme?

I’m here at Dell World this week.  It’s only the first day but I’ve already gotten the message. The message came quick and it was loud and clear.  From discussion during an executive lunch to a Discussion Panel with Michael Dell and exec crew, the message is this: Through acquisitions, Dell is evolving to weather the post-PC era.

What does this mean exactly?

The message at Dell World is no different than any other conference, for any other vendor, you’ve attended over the past couple years.  It’s all about the Cloud.  Dell, known for hardware, has spent the last couple years bolstering its software and services portfolio, and is in a position to provide a Dell Cloud.  The Dell Cloud won’t come right away, but, according to those here, it should come within the next 5 years.

As you know, there are other vendors focused on being THE Cloud provider for the masses.  Microsoft has been on the Cloud warpath for a few years, and they have invested heavily in technologies like Windows Azure and System Center.  Dell doesn’t have their own Cloud OS yet (like Microsoft has Windows Azure), but through their acquisitions, they have very similar Cloud management tools to what Microsoft provides.  And, there has been reports that Google is working on Cloud management tools for Enterprises, too.

So, in the end, there will be a choice that has to be made.  Do you want a Dell Cloud? A Microsoft Cloud? One from Google?  Others? And, then, how will each Cloud vendor be able to differentiate themselves if each Cloud offering looks exactly the same?  It’s almost like someone, somewhere, has already decided what a Cloud offering is supposed to look like, and now each vendor is rushing to mirror that template.  This, even though we know that the Cloud continues to evolve.

Last year, when Dell announced their first Dell World, I had already decided this was coming.  You could just sense it.  For any company to compete in today’s technology business, there has to be a Cloud perspective.  Dell is catching up.  This is important for Dell to remain relevant.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the week’s presentations to see how closely they continue to mirror what we’ve already seen from other vendors. The topics look hauntingly familiar and are definitely things you’ve heard time and again.  Things like BYOD, Big Data, Public and Private Cloud, etc.  It’ll be interesting to hear and see what the Dell Cloud will look like.

More to come…



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