Category Archives: Reports

Pund-IT Spotlight Interview: Stephen Leonard, GM of IBM’s Cognitive Systems

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  February 26, 2020

There is no single path that business executives travel. The best managers have significant talent that is then honed to a fine edge by training, experience and a willingness to take up new challenges. Employers contribute hugely to the process, of course, and it is difficult to think of a company that does a better job of recognizing, training and advancing new leaders than IBM.

I recently had a chance to interview Stephen Leonard, General Manager of IBM’s Cognitive Systems where he is responsible for the development, sales and marketing of the company’s Power Systems solutions, as well as offerings for cloud computing platforms and data centers. Our discussion covered a wide range of issues and events that have colored Leonard’s 30+ years with IBM. Continue reading

Dell Technologies and Hark Systems – Highlighting the Value of Strategic Partnerships

By Charles King, Pund-IT®

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturing) is one of the most commonly used acronyms in the tech industry and can be found applied across a huge range of business and consumer solutions. Why is that the case? Software vendors depend on hardware vendors to develop products that support their operating environments, applications and tools. Hardware vendors often utilize large scale manufacturers to build end products. Product builders, in turn, leverage the commodity parts and components produced by thousands of manufacturers large and small.

In other words, the vast majority of OEM and other solutions created by the tech industry are dependent on strategic relationships that make the most out of each partner’s particular skills and expertise. But since these relationships seldomly occur spontaneously, how do companies recognize their potential value to one another and get together in the first place? An interesting example of this is the strategic partnership between Dell Technologies OEM|Embedded and Edge Solutions group and Hark Systems, a U.K.-based energy management solutions provider. Let’s take a look at what the pair are achieving together.

Hark Systems – IoT solutions for real world problems

So, what is Hark Systems and what does it do? Founded in 2016, Hark focuses on a variety of energy management solutions designed to monitor and extract insights from energy-related data in commercial and industrial environments, including retail, life sciences, smart buildings, smart cities and manufacturing. That includes affordably linking analog and proprietary legacy systems with new digital platforms, thus enabling customers to avoid costly rip-and-replace investments.

The Hark Platform is a cloud-based service and software solution deployed at the edge to provide real-time insights into business operations and to control assets such as lighting, HVAC and energy storage. The company has enjoyed notable successes, including:

  • Deployments with a top-four U.K. retailer to provide visibility into and reduce the costs of energy consumption in stores and offices.
  • A micro grid solution that monitors the energy draw and operation of a Tesla battery deployed in the 70,000 sq. ft. Bright Building in Manchester, U.K. The Hark Platform controls the battery’s charge, discharge and other functions, enabling the Bright Building’s owners to manage their use of conventional energy sources and reduce costs.

The road to Dell Technologies

Great stuff but how did Hark come to engage with Dell? The company’s CEO, Jordan Appleson, has said: “I assumed back in 2016 that designing and shipping hardware was good for us. That assumption was dumb.” How did he come to that conclusion? Following an unsuccessful hardware development effort requiring considerable time, effort and investment. Appleson’s candor is refreshing but it also reflects his and his company’s ability to learn and progress from their mistakes.

In a blog by Mike Fay, a business development manager in Dell Technologies OEM|Embedded and Edge Solutions group, Appleson is quoted as saying, “We built hardware because we needed to. Designing hardware has made us even better at designing cloud software that talks to hardware. However, we quickly realized that we needed a partner like Dell Technologies to scale-up … to take the complexity away, reduce lead times, manage the certification process and allow us to focus on our own IP. We needed a partner like Dell for supply chain and logistics.”

What was it about Dell that impressed Hark and led to the partnership? Appleson noted the versatility, quality and durability of Dell Technologies solutions, including its Edge Gateways for IoT. The lack of moving parts, including cooling fans, means that systems are quieter and less likely to fail than other vendors’ products. Plus, by leveraging broader investments in developing ruggedized notebooks and other products, Dell’s Edge Solutions portfolio is IP rated for dust protection and moisture intrusion.

Finally, Hark appreciated the value of Dell Technologies’ 3-year warranty and the ability to leverage the company’s global support network for its own and its customers’ benefit. By working with Dell Technologies, Hark Systems has been able to scale-up and meet the requirements of demanding enterprises.

A dynamic partnership

Since every successful strategic relationship depends on providing value for all the involved partners, what does Dell get out of the deal? The fact is that Hark Systems provides real insights that enhance the value of Dell Technologies’ embedded|edge strategies. While the company has a notable portfolio of end-to-end IT infrastructure solutions, Dell Technologies depends on partners to provide expertise for and insights into industrial use cases and specialized markets.

Relationships with disruptive companies, like Hark Systems obviously create discrete new commercial opportunities for Dell Technologies. But these strategic partnerships also help the company better understand the changes powering evolutionary shifts in wider markets. As a result, Dell Technologies can more effectively develop products that can be applied to new applications and use cases and position itself to gain advantage from these developments.

Final analysis

Like other disruptive vendors, Hark Systems is succeeding by encouraging companies to rethink how they do business and refine the way they manage processes, including facilities operations. By powering edge-to-cloud insights into energy consumption, Hark is helping its customers better understand and more efficiently leverage conventional and emerging energy resources.

The considerable benefits of disruptive technologies can also extend to OEMs and other strategic partners. That is, working with Hark Systems does more than simply open new commercial opportunities for Dell Technologies’ OEM|/Embedded and Edge Solutions group. It also enables Dell Technologies to be more effectively disruptive to its own and its customers’ benefit.

© 2020 Pund-IT®. All rights reserved.

IBM Storage: Making Simple Easy

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  February 12, 2020

“Easy” or “simple” products have been mainstays in the tech industry since the launch of commercial personal computers (PCs) in the 1980s. However, while they share similarities, the two concepts are substantially different. The former emphasizes reducing customers’ anxieties and concerns about unfamiliar products, usually by masking technological complexity with user-friendly software and tools. The graphical user interface (GUI) that Apple introduced with its Macintosh PCs in 1984 is a prime example of this approach.

In contrast, the latter term suggests that a conscious effort has been made to improve the performance and quality of complex products, often by reducing or entirely removing redundant steps with innovative technologies, software and tools. As a result, customers (often businesses) enjoy better productivity and returns on their IT investments.

I’m raising these points to explore the new solutions that IBM introduced this week in its “radically simplified” FlashSystem storage solutions. Let’s take a look at what the company is delivering and what enterprise customers stand to gain.

Origins of storage complexity

Why do data storage solutions tend to be complex? Three issues come to mind; 1) storage evolution, 2) customers’ needs and habits, and 3) vendor strategies.

Concerning the first point, it’s hard to think of a technology that evolves as quickly or fundamentally as data storage. On the hardware side, storage media has rapidly shifted as various mechanical tape, floppy disks, hard disks, optical disks and, most recently, SSD/flash came to the fore and then, in many cases, faded away. Storage software followed a similar path, enabling customers to support sophisticated tasks and processes. They also enjoyed steady, massive improvements in storage capacity and performance that dwarfed what semiconductor and microprocessor vendors were achieving.

But that constant evolution sometimes leaves customers holding the bag, watching the value of their investments wither or blow away due to the flagging performance, redundancy, decline and failure of aging products. Those companies didn’t help themselves by attempting to lower their risk by mistaking cost for value, buying whatever products were cheapest from whichever vendors were offering the best deals that week. As a result, many if not most business data centers support multiple vendors’ storage solutions.

Finally, vendors themselves deserve a mention. Since customers’ storage needs vary widely, vendors have typically responded with unique solutions designed to support particular requirements, including pricing, performance data services and scalability, as well as specific applications and use cases. But uniqueness tends to increase complexity due to different management and troubleshooting platforms, APIs, automation tools and methodologies for hybrid cloud migration and support. Add that to the hodgepodge of systems businesses own and the headaches of storage staff and management take a quantum leap.

IBM’s new FlashSystem family members

It is likely that organizations would welcome better, simpler ways of addressing their data storage requirements. Is any vendor delivering the goods they need? IBM’s new family of FlashSystem solutions incorporates features and functionalities designed to address and remedy longstanding storage complexities. Let’s consider these in turn.

On the hardware side, IBM introduced a trio of new solutions:

  1. The FlashSystem 7200 is designed for mid-range enterprises and can be used in both scale-up and scale-out deployments. The end-to-end NVMe, 7200 supports 43% higher performance (9.2M IOPs max) and 55% better throughput (128GB/s) than IBM’s Storwize V7000 Gen. The cost is also lower than previous generation Storwize 7000 systems.
  2. The FlashSystem 9200 is designed for the most demanding enterprise applications and use cases. An end-to-end NVMe solution, the 9200 delivers comprehensive storage functionality with 20% better performance (18M IOPs and 180GB/s per 4-way cluster) at a lower price than the prior generation FlashSystem 9100.
  3. The FlashSystem 9200R offers the 9200’s same features and benefits to customers that require systems which are built, tested, delivered assembled, installed and configured by IBM. The 9200R includes 2-4 9200 control enclosures, Brocade or Cisco clustering interconnects and optional enclosures for expanded capacity.

The larger FlashSystem family also includes the entry level FlashSystem 5010, 5030 and 5100. Excepting the 9200 and 9200R, IBM FlashSystem solutions are available in all-flash and hybrid flash configurations.

Along with the new systems, IBM introduced a new FlashCore Module with 38.4TB of usable capacity so customers can deploy a remarkable 4PB of data in just two rack units (2U) of space with data reduction. As was the case with prior generation solutions, the new FlashCore Modules support both data compression and FIPS 140-2 data-at-rest encryption with no impact on performance. The new modules are also available as upgrades for IBM’s FlashSystem 9100 and Storwize V5100 and V7000 Gen3 solutions.

Along with the new FlashSystem solutions, IBM is introducing storage class memory (SCM) drives from Intel and Samsung to support ultra-low latency for performance-sensitive but less cache-friendly workloads, like operational applications and databases, virtualization and hybrid cloud implementations. The new SCM modules are also available as upgrades for IBM’s FlashSystem 9100 and Storwize V5100 and V7000 Gen3 solutions.

The software path to radical simplification

Substantially improved performance at lower cost than prior gen solutions is a great selling point, but where’s the “radical simplification” IBM is promising to deliver? Much of that value can be found in the applications and tools supporting the FlashSystem family.

Leading off that group is IBM Spectrum Virtualize, the company’s award-winning data services platform. Along with supporting both on-premises and hybrid cloud storage deployments, Spectrum Virtualize plays a central role in all IBM FlashSystem products. Just as important is the work that IBM has put into making the platform compatible with storage systems and arrays from other vendors.

At this point, Spectrum Virtualize can be used to integrate storage from over 500 IBM and non-IBM storage systems, a critical point for customers that hope to simplify and unify storage and data management. In addition, the company’s Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud can be used in hybrid cloud environments, enabling customers to leverage a common interface for both on- and off-premises data and systems.

Complementing Spectrum Virtualize are other company-developed tools and applications. For example, IBM Easy Tier is an AI-enabled solution that transparently moves data to the storage tier that best suits performance and budget requirements. IBM Storage Insights can be used to support common storage processes in IBM Cloud, like monitoring, reporting and AI-based alerts. Another version, Storage Insights Pro provides a single management pane for heterogeneous storage supported by Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud, including EMC Unity and Unity XT, NetApp FAS and AFF, and Hitachi VSP G-series.

Finally, IBM has developed consistent APIs to support automation in both on- and off-prem storage for all deployment approaches, including bare metal, virtualized, containerized and hybrid multi-cloud.

What is the bottom line here? By incorporating new technologies including its own next gen FlashCore Modules and SCM modules from Intel and Samsung, IBM has substantially rounded out the top end of its FlashSystem portfolio with solutions that combine exceptional performance and capacity. Added to the other members of the FlashSystem family, IBM enterprise customers now have access to a full range of all- and hybrid flash storage solutions capable of optimally supporting virtually any application, workload or business process.

Additionally, the company’s investments in storage software and management tools, such as Spectrum Virtualize, Storage Insights and Easy Tier make IBM worthy of investigation by organizations considering how best to consolidate and simplify the management of complex heterogeneous storage resources and tasks, whether they are located on premises or in public clouds.

Final analysis

Some years ago, IBM decided to press forward with a strategic vision and development efforts that served as the foundation of its FlashSystem family, Spectrum Virtualize, Storage Insights and other solutions. As a result, its customers enjoy the substantial benefits of IBM’s leading-edge enterprise-class flash offerings, as well as tools and methodologies for seamlessly managing data residing on other vendors’ storage systems.

In other words, just as it does in real life, successful simplification requires substantial work. IBM has put in the time, money and effort required to make enterprise storage simple. By doing so, the company has made life easier for its customers and their data center managers and staff. Simple and easy may be substantially different concepts, but in the hands of a forward-thinking vendor like IBM, one can lead to the other.

© 2020 Pund-IT®. All rights reserved.

IBM’s Leadership Succession Strategy: Rometty to Krishna and Whitehurst

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  February 5, 2020

Executive succession is a commonplace business process that reflects elemental truths: market dynamics change, organizations evolve, social, political and economic factors shift. So do people. Executives who possess terrific skills for one business era may not be well-suited for another. When that happens, boards of directors look for new leaders who do.

But new leadership is usually a fact of life rather than a problem signal. Most senior executives successfully complete the jobs they were hired to perform, then move on to the next phases of their lives and careers. Such orderly comings and goings also highlight how companies can think further ahead, recognize the inevitability of organizational and individual evolution and fully understand the value of leaders who are best suited for those circumstances and challenges.

IBM offered an excellent example of dynamic with the recent announcement of CEO Ginni Rometty’s retirement and of the elevation of SVP Arvind Krishna to the chief executive role and SVP and Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst to president of IBM.

Let’s consider this process and how IBM’s succession process reflects its current condition and future-focused strategies. Continue reading

ServiceNow Launches Industry-Specific Workflow Solutions and Strategic Partnerships

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  January 29, 2020

Efficiently performing and managing business processes is a common goal for millions of businesses worldwide but it often harbors significant challenges. That’s especially true with repetitive tasks, but it is particularly fraught for organizations adopting and implementing next generation or essentially new technologies.

Why so? Because what might qualify as an inconvenient slip or simple mistake in more conventional circumstances can trigger significant setbacks in strategic rollouts. Not surprisingly, such results can negatively impact a company’s performance and, more importantly, erode its reputation and customer relationships.

That’s why workflow automation solutions, such as ServiceNow’s have become increasingly important. The company has risen to prominence with a range of offerings that help customers increase the efficiency of common tasks and the success of business outcomes. Its recently announced solutions for banking and telecommunications, along with related strategic partnerships offer intriguing examples of how a vendor can effectively explore and expand into new opportunities.

Let’s consider how ServiceNow is driving this process. Continue reading

IBM Announces Patent Successes and Strategies

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  January 15, 2020

Patents and patent applications play obvious roles in the development of successful products and services. How so? Because original or unique intellectual properties (IP) are among the most powerful tools companies have for differentiating their solutions in markets that are often crowded with similar offerings.

But the tangible value of IP also has a downside—inspiring the parasitic business model of so-called patent assertions entities (PAEs) or “patent trolls.” These are individuals and groups that assemble collections of patent rights, then demand payments from or threaten litigation against companies that are supposedly infringing on those rights.

Can organizations do anything to suppress or escape such IP predators? Absolutely. This week, IBM announced that along with its 8,500+ inventors and researchers receiving a record 9,262 U.S. patents in 2019 (marking the company’s 27th consecutive year of patent generation leadership), it has joined the LOT (License on Transfer) Network, a nonprofit organization that combats patent trolling by cross-licensing patents that fall into the hands of PAEs.

Let’s consider IBM’s patent success, its membership in the LOT Network and what that means for the company and IP development. Continue reading

Dell at CES 2020 – New Premium Latitude Line and XPS 13

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  January 8, 2020

Prior to the holidays, I published a commentary on a blog by Dell COO and co-chairman Jeff Clarke that expressed his thoughts on six trends that would shape the tech industry in 2020 and the coming decade. Among them was the emergence of increasingly intelligent devices that will change the way that people work and collaborate.

At CES 2020 this week in Las Vegas, Dell’s client computing organization demonstrated how the company will deliver on those trends with new and enhanced solutions that expand the boundaries of what businesses and consumers can expect from notebook PCs and peripherals, including devices that increasingly personalize users’ experience. Let’s consider two of the products Dell announced; the new premium Latitude 9000 line and an updated version of its popular XPS 13.

The evolution of outward-facing, internally enhanced endpoints

New technologies and features have long been panaceas in the IT industry since they emphasize the constant, continuing evolution of tech vendors, along with the material improvements their products provide to customers and end users.

But the rise of cloud and other remote services means that the inherent value of new PCs and other endpoint offerings increasingly depends on their ability to successfully access and collaborate with external sources. In many cases, this means tapping into public cloud platforms, like AWS and Azure, and SaaS solutions, from de facto standard platforms like Microsoft Office 365 to specialists such as ServiceNow to powerful business suites, including Salesforce.

However, vendors are developing powerful in-house solutions to amplify the value of their own solutions. For example, Dell has long offered automated software and firmware updates for its PCs and notebooks, but the solutions designed for its Latitude line highlight the critical importance of product flexibility and reliability for business customers.

Some of those features are tied closely into the company’s ProSupport services while others leverage optional partner technologies, such as Intel’s vPro remote management solutions. Other enhanced business user options, including custom configuration, deployment and management services are tied into the Unified Workspace lifecycle management and Technologies On Demand solutions that Dell debuted last year.

Latitude 9510 – Delivering increasingly “personalized” computing

The company’s new Latitude 9000 line highlighted at CES drives Dell’s premium business notebooks into both very familiar and substantial new directions. In the former case, the company continues to imbue Latitude solutions with features developed for its signature XPS notebooks, including better battery life and innovative designs that manage to fit ever larger Dell Infinity displays into ever thinner and lighter form factors.

In the case of the new Latitude 9510, that means squeezing a 15.6-inch, 16:9, 1920 x 1080 display into a 13.4 x 8.5 x 0.6~0.7-inch frame with weight starting at 3.2 pounds. Dell claims that the 9510 can deliver up to 30 hours of battery life. Along with featuring the latest 10th Gen Intel Core™ i7 processors, the company emphasized that the 9510 is both 5G ready and supports LTE options for users that need to stay connected wherever they go.

Also announced was the new Dell Optimizer which it calls an “industry first” built-in and automated AI-based optimization solution that enables system performance to be tuned according a user’s personal habits and preferences. Features include:

  • ExpressResponse which leverages user preferences and machine learning processes (supported by Intel Adaptix) to launch frequently used applications faster, switch quickly between applications and improve overall application performance to boost productivity.
  • ExpressCharge which utilizes AI and machine learning to improve battery life based on a user’s battery charge patterns and power usage habits. It also supports ExpressCharge Boost, which provides up to a 35% charge in 20 minutes to get systems up and running quickly.
  • ExpressSign-in senses a qualified user’s presence, enabling faster, secure log-in via Dell’s PC proximity sensor enabled by Intel Context Sensing and Microsoft Windows Hello.
  • Intelligent Audio allows users to hear and be heard better on conference calls by helping to eliminate echoes and background noise.

The Dell Latitude 9510 will be available globally on March 26th in both notebook and 2-in-1 configurations, starting at US $1,799.00. I plan to write an in-depth consideration of the 9510 in a future issue of the Pund-IT Review.

New XPS 13 9300 features a virtually borderless InfinityEdge display

Dell introduced QHD+ InfinityEdge displays in 2015 with the XPS 13 9343, a move that quickly drove competitors to develop notebooks with similarly thin bezels. The company has steadily improved InfinityEdge since then, most notably in last year’s XPS 13 9380 which positioned a new tiny webcam at the top of the display. Over time, Dell has incorporated InfinityEdge in other product lines, including Latitude and Inspiron notebooks, and its UltraSharp displays.

The new XPS 13 (9300) introduced at CES 2020 includes a larger 16:10 InfinityEdge display with narrow bezels on every side, further reducing its borders and enabling a smaller and thinner form factor than previous XPS solutions. Along with squeezing more premium display goodness into less and less space (this new model enables a 13.4-inch display to fit into an 11-inch frame), Dell’s innovations also have practical benefits: the new XPS 13 fits neatly on a standard airplane tray, a point that business travelers should appreciate.

XPS 13 customers will enjoy Intel’s latest (10th Gen) Core processors and the blend of power, performance and long battery life that executives, business owners, travelers and creatives have come to expect from Dell. The new system also offers significant new enhancements, including a larger touchpad, an edge-to-edge keyboard and one-handed opening function. Finally, the new XPS 13’s packaging continues Dell’s commitment to more sustainable materials, making it easier for customers to recycle.

Dell’s XPS 13 featuring Microsoft Windows 10 starts at US $999.99. It will be available in the U.S., Canada, Sweden, UK, Germany and France Jan. 7, and available globally in February. The XPS 13 Developer Edition featuring Ubuntu 18.04LTS starts at US $1,199.99, available in the U.S., Canada and select European countries on February 17.

Final analysis

Dell’s new Latitude 9510 and XPS 13 deliver both expected and unexpected benefits. The former solution is particularly impressive which is not surprising since it qualifies as the first iteration of a new line of premium business notebooks. While the Latitude 9510 continues the company’s history of successfully leveraging features developed in other product lines, the most significant innovations are “under the hood” in the Dell Optimizer’s AI- and machine learning-enabled functions. If these new technologies perform and succeed as the company intends, I expect they will eventually provide the foundation for ever more personalized solutions in other Dell products.

Some might consider the improvements in the new XPS 13 to be essentially incremental and cosmetic, but I believe that shortchanges what Dell has achieved with this standout product line. Simply put, the arrival of the first XPS 13 early in 2012 marked a commitment by Dell to expand its vision of personal computers and to explore and develop new technologies that would set it apart from individual competitors and the larger PC industry.

In some cases, those new features and functions mark substantial or even radical departures from what the company did before. In others, they simply serve to make life and work easier for consumer and business users. All reflect Dell’s technological excellence but also reveal the company’s insights into the needs of its customers’ requirements and needs. That should serve the company well as the market for increasingly intelligent devices grows, and Dell’s commitment to increasingly personalized computing continues.

© 2020 Pund-IT®. All rights reserved.

Dell’s Jeff Clarke Looks to 2020 and the “Next Data Decade”

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  December 18, 2019

Opinions aren’t exactly hard to come by in technology, especially in December when a veritable cottage industry arises around predictions for the coming year. That amps up a little further at a decade’s end, with pieces that look both fondly back and adventurously ahead. But the fact is that while opinions are (as usual) easy enough to find, insightful forecasts of longer-term trends tend to be pretty thin on the ground.

There are practical reasons for that: The tech industry doesn’t have much use for history; understanding context is hard and casting it forward is even harder; IT increasingly favors specialization which inhibits generalist viewpoints. Despite those issues, the industry is home to numerous deeply intelligent and experienced people whose opinions on current conditions and emerging trends are worthy of attention.

One of those is Jeff Clarke, Dell Technologies’ chief operating officer and vice chairman who is responsible for the company’s global supply chain and product organizations: Infrastructure Solutions Group and Client Solutions Group. Continue reading

IBM Cloud Pak for Security: Comprehensive Protection Wherever Data Resides

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  December 11, 2019

The routes that organizations are taking to cloud computing are pretty well set. Rather than flocking to individual public clouds as evangelists once envisioned, enterprises are instead maintaining data on premises in various systems and private clouds while also engaging with multiple public cloud platforms. A larger question remains in how and how well valuable data and application assets can be protected when they are widely dispersed in these hybrid multi-cloud environments. That issue is especially pointed considering the increasing frequency and sophistication of attacks by cyber-criminal and rogue states.

Fortunately for businesses, security vendors including IBM are pushing forward individually and in partnerships to address these challenges. IBM’s recently announced Cloud Pak for Security incorporates its own formidable assets and also integrates new open source security technologies developed by both the company and its strategic partners. The new platform is part of a family of six IBM Cloud Paks, one being IBM Cloud Pak for Data, a platform that enables customers to comprehensively explore, manage, analyze and govern myriad data assets across their organizations.

I’ll be writing more about IBM Cloud Paks, including the Cloud Pak for Data in the coming months. For now, let’s consider IBM Cloud Pak for Security and what it offers hybrid multi-cloud customers. Continue reading

Dell Technologies Summit – Balancing Today’s Achievements and Tomorrow’s Goals

By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc.  November 20, 2019

Tech vendors are so relentlessly focused on the future that it’s sometimes easy to forget the pragmatic demands that drive them. Sure, many customers and partners are curious about what vendors see on the horizon. But most are more concerned about the here and now and how vendors are helping them keep their organizations up, running and doing business.

Balancing daily requirements while cultivating future development is a challenge that some vendors are better at than others, and Dell is a case in point. Shortly after returning to the company’s CEO position in 2007, Michael Dell set out to transform Dell from a market leading PC maker into an end-to-end IT systems provider. In 2013, after taking the company private, Dell announced the 2020 Legacy of Good Plan – long term corporate, social and environmental goals designed to improve the company’s products, processes and communities and to help customers and partners improve theirs.

Last week at the Dell Technologies Summit in Austin, Michael Dell and his leadership team discussed the company’s latest achievements, including launching a new 2030 Progress Made Real plan detailing the ambitious goals that Dell plans to pursue during the coming decade. Let’s take a closer look. Continue reading