Dell Launches New IoT Division
Michael Alba posted on October 13, 2017 | 3081 views
VMware CTO Ray O’Farrell, pictured above, will head up Dell’s new IoT Division. (Image courtesy of Dell.)
VMware CTO Ray O’Farrell, pictured above, will head up Dell’s new IoT Division. (Image courtesy of Dell.)

For most people, Oct. 10 was just another Tuesday. But for Michael Dell and his eponymous company, Oct. 10 was IQT Day, the debut of Dell Technology’s vision for the future of the Internet of Things (IoT; add a tick to the middle letter and you get IQT, reflecting the growing IQ of our connected devices).

I was fortunate enough to see Dell, CEO of Dell Technologies, take the stage to kick off IQT Day with an enthusiastic speech about our IoT-fueled future.

“Through our senses, we’re constantly processing enormous amounts of data that we compile into our understanding of the world around us,” Dell proclaimed. “But today, we’re also standing at the beginning of a new reality. And this is a reality where sensors act as senses, and the processing is done in silicon and software. And soon there will be a perfect digital mirror of our world with every object streaming information—and this is the ‘edge,’ as we call it. And it will be everywhere and everything. Rather than the Internet of Things, it will ultimately be the Internet of Everything.”

The Beginning of a New Reality

The biggest announcement of the day was the new Dell Technologies IoT Division, which will be led by Dell subsidiary VMware’s CTO Ray O’Farrell. Though Dell has been no stranger to the world of IoT in the past (for example, it’s a member of the IoT Alliance and offers a series of edge gateways), the new IoT division signals a revitalized focus on offering IoT products and solutions.

“Dell Technologies has long seen the opportunity within the rapidly growing world of IoT, given its rich history in the edge computing market,” said O’Farrell. “Our new IoT Division will leverage the strength across all of Dell Technologies family of businesses to ensure we deliver the right solution—in combination with our vast partner ecosystem—to meet customer needs and help them deploy integrated IoT systems with greater ease.”  

At the center of Dell’s IoT strategy is a return to a model of distributed computing, or what Dell calls the “Distributed Core,” which will see artificial intelligence and machine learning working in concert with IoT infrastructure somewhere between the edge and cloud. In fact, Dell presented a three-tier compute model consisting of edge, core, and cloud, which will be disentangled in a future article.

Other highlights from IQT Day included a live demo of VMware Pulse IoT Center, the unveiling of Dell EMC’s Project Nautilus software for ingesting and querying IoT data in real time, and the announcement of Dell’s plan to invest $1 billion in IoT over the next three years.

“When you look at what’s happening in the world of IoT, this is an area where we are ripe to drive innovation,” O’Farrell explained on the IQT Day stage in his first address as general manager of the new IoT Division. “And with the strength of an organization like Dell Technologies behind an innovation engine in this new area, this is really going to be something very powerful.”

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