Dell Taking Pragmatic, Strategic Approaches to IoT

Company officials say the vendor is looking to see what organizations need now while planning for what they'll need as the Internet of things evolves.

Internet of things

Dell grabbed some headlines earlier this month when it joined Intel, Samsung and others in launching the Open Interconnect Consortium, the latest vendor-driven group aimed at creating an open standard for the burgeoning Internet of things.

Like the AllSeen Alliance, the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC)—which also includes Broadcom, Atmel and Intel subsidiary Wind River—wants to build an open framework that will serve as the foundation for the Internet of things and enable greater interoperability between the hundreds of billions of connected devices and systems that will make up the IoT.

"The explosion of the Internet of things is a transformation that will have a major impact on our power to do more through technology," Glen Robson, vice president and CTO for client solutions at Dell, said in a statement when the OIC was announced. "Having a connectivity framework that is open, secure and manageable is critical to delivering the foundational elements of that transformation. Consumers and businesses alike will need a strong base upon which to build the vast array of solutions enabled by a global Internet of things."

Robson said that "from our earliest days, Dell has embraced industry standards as a means to bring the best technology solutions to our customers, and the Open Interconnect Consortium is very much aligned with this model."

The Internet of things promises to be very big, and most tech vendors are building out their capabilities and partnerships to grow their roles in it. The growth in the number of open standards groups like AllSeen and the OIC shows the importance many are putting on interoperability, and some vendors, such as Intel and Cisco Systems, have created business units dedicated to the IoT. This makes sense, given the potential market the IoT represents. IDC analysts have said there will be as many as 212 connected "things" by 2020, and that revenues could reach as much as $7.1 trillion.

Those billions of things—from tablets, notebooks and smartphones to cars, home appliances, surveillance cameras, traffic lights and industrial systems—will be connected to the Internet and each other, communicating and trading data back and forth. It will bring greater efficiencies to businesses and impact how people work and live, according to analysts.

Dell is moving forward with an approach to IoT which is both pragmatic and strategic, according to Joyce Mullen, vice president and general manager of Dell's OEM Solutions group. Dell, which went private last year and over the past several years has spent billions of dollars to buy companies to build up its enterprise IT solutions capabilities—from storage and networking to security and software—has a wide range of assets that businesses can deploy to prepare them for the Internet of things. The company also has the expertise to advise organizations about reaching their goals, and the partnerships to ensure these businesses have everything they need, Mullen told eWEEK.

"The way we're approaching it right now is we're using services to stitch all of this together," she said.