Dell and JTG Daugherty: IoT Innovation Meets System Thinking

By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc.  April 12, 2017

The growing interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) seems both natural and real to me. In the former case, IoT represents an evolutionary step ahead for numerous technologies, including digital sensors, wireless gateways, cellular networks and data center systems. In the latter, businesses looking for a competitive edge increasingly recognize and appreciate the potential benefits of IoT solutions.

However, I also believe there are fundamental flaws in how people perceive IoT technologies and solutions. That’s largely due to how many IoT discussions are being driven and hyped by niche technologists and specialty vendors. While it’s true that they can provide valuable contributions to eventual solutions, their products often represent “micro” portions of offerings whose true impact requires taking a broader “macro” point of view.

In fact, the most fully realized IoT visions are those that leverage “system thinking” to develop solutions with closely knitted, strategically integrated component parts and services. That’s one reason that Dell EMC’s recently announced NASCAR sponsorship of JTG Daugherty Racing is so intriguing.

Dell EMC and JTG Daugherty – A natural IoT partnership

For those who don’t follow NASCAR, JTG Daugherty Racing is a professional stock car racing team owned by Tad and Jodi Geschickter and ESPN analyst Brad Daugherty that competes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The partnership with Dell EMC aims to help provide a competitive edge through the implementation of technologies that improve the team’s performance at the racetrack and in managing shop floor operations.

What sort of technologies and improvements?

  • Enhance productivity applications and power simulation workloads with Dell Precision 7510 Mobile Workstations
  • Gain real-time, track to server insights about timing and scoring with the Dell Edge Gateway 5000 Series
  • Enable onboard shock testing Dell Embedded Box PC 3000 Series
  • Improve tire matching via barcodes with Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet
  • Provide drivers an overview of speed and performance with Dell Latitude laptops.
  • Support predictive modeling to identify when critical race car parts are approaching end of life
  • Use Dell Precision 7510 mobile workstations and Dell Latitude 5000 Series laptops to run real-time software to support smarter, faster decision making trackside and in the garage
  • Use ruggedized Dell EMC PowerEdge servers to store vital information, thus streamlining operations in the shop, on the haulers transporting cars to the races and at the track

In other words, Dell EMC is providing JTG Daugherty Racing an IoT infrastructure that extends holistically from the shop to the race track, from set-up procedures to race day processes, from rugged sensors, gateways and tablets mounted in the team’s cars to servers supporting key analytical and operational processes.

Now that is system thinking.

Final analysis

Those who follow Dell EMC closely will recognize that while JTG Daugherty Racing is the company’s first NASCAR sponsorship, it is not its first racing venture. The company also supports Ducati Superbike, and prior to the completion of its acquisition by Dell, EMC worked with the Lotus F1 team on a variety of technological initiatives.

But sponsoring JTG Daugherty Racing should offer Dell EMC, and particularly its Global OEM and IoT Solutions group unique opportunities to highlight the company’s Internet of Things solutions and strategies. That’s substantially because of the wide range of IoT applications that JTG Daugherty Racing could put to practical use.

The effort required to compete in NASCAR events requires teams to be fully effective across a variety of locales and tasks and be capable of dealing with numerous expected and unexpected events. In events where drivers regularly hit top speeds of 200 MPH, gaining or losing advantages measured in fractions of a second can mean the difference between taking the checkered flag or being an also-ran.

No sponsorship can guarantee a racing team will be unbeaten. But partnering with Dell EMC should help JTG Daugherty Racing maximize its best qualities and minimize its mistakes. In IoT, as in NASCAR, that is often what it takes to win.

© 2017 Pund-IT, Inc. All rights reserved.