Published: May 9th, 2017

LAS VEGAS – At the first ever Dell EMC World conference, company founder and CEO Michael Dell told the audience that the new company believes its a multi-cloud world.

His next statement was a bit controversial. Michael Dell followed up his multi-cloud belief by saying public cloud may be non-competitive in the future as on-premise systems become more modernized and can deliver predictive workloads.

“Dell believes it might be more expensive in the long term for customers to stay on the public cloud,” he said.

These statements go against the narrative in the marketplace specific to public clouds. Michael Dell added that not all workloads should go to the public cloud.

Mike Sharun, the Dell EMC Canada Enterprise GM, told CDN that the company is not saying on-premise computing is making a comeback but more a discussion on workloads remaining on-premise and not being migrated over to the public cloud.

“People talk in absolutes. It’s this one or that one and it never stops in the middle. I think you will find the pendulum will swing back to the middle. There are workloads that are not good for the public cloud for security reasons and for reliability reasons. We want to accelerate the journey to the cloud, but it’s not an absolute,” Sharun said.

How Dell EMC Canada looks at is by basing it, for the most part, on workloads. If those workloads are predictable and there is heritage data would it be wise to put that on the public cloud? Dell EMC, at this conference, announced the Flex on Demand program that brings cloud-like subscription pricing to on-premise solutions in an attempt to make on-premise computing more palatable to customers.

Beyond multi-cloud and the future of all workloads on the public cloud, Michael Dell talked about many other topics at the show including how his parents wanted him to be a doctor.

The following are comments from Michael Dell.

…On the channel business.

The way we think about it is this way. Its direct and partner; not direct or partner. It’s direct and partner and we do $35 billion of our $75 billion through partners. We don’t think about it going up or down. We want to grow both. The partners are complimentary and they have access to customers. The partner reaction to the combination of Dell and EMC has been tremendous. The broader Dell EMC creation is super with customers who want to do more with fewer companies. It’s the same for the partners. It’s important to our success and it’s not the traditional partners only but SIs and with the expansion of Pivotal with Cognizant, we have an OEM business that is part of the partner business too.

…On the public cloud.

It’s a multi cloud world. If you talk to customers with their range of workloads they will say that some workloads are great for the public cloud or SaaS or on-premise. If you don’t modernize it should not go on-premise, but the predictable workload on-premise is quite important. There is a boomerang effect with customers thinking that cloud saves money, but in some cases, it is costing them twice as much in public cloud. We are not anti-public cloud. It will grow for sure, but it’s not right for all workloads. The reason is cost and security. The on-premise solution is still a great solution and we believe it will be a multi cloud world.

…On how humans interact with technology.

All new technology destroys old technology. I believe IT will only enhance human capacity. It does presents different challenges in how we update our skills and knowledge to make better use of new technology. We don’t have much of that bad science fiction predicted future anymore. We have a lot of great things happening as a result of technology.

…On Augment Reality and Virtual Reality.

If you think about video and visualization you can take in a lot of information with your eyes than any other way such as smell and touch. The VR and AR we have today is game like and not very high resolution or frame rate. It’s not great. As those technologies in 2k, 4k, 8k, 24 frames, 60 frames, 2D, 3D, 360VR it will be like teleportation as it improves. But, we are a long way off from that. If I take all those enhancements the data required is a hundred times from today. The 5G cell network is coming and that’s exciting for distributed computing. We look at AR and VR as having potential in business more than just the entertainment sector. AR and VR can be used for training the next generation medical student. We are at the beginning and it takes time.

…On PC-as-a-Service.

The average selling price of PCs are going up, not down. We’ve had 17 quarters in row of gaining share. We have invested in innovation and R&D and there is market consolidation and it’s going to give us scale. If you think about IoT, the parents of the IoT are PCs. We are learning from distributed computing and we learn from the client business and around the corner there is the 5G network that will connect hundreds of billions of devices together creating a new type of cloud. That will be amazing. And, it’s not talking on the phone fast, but about data. Not all that data will sit in one place and there will be even more distributed computing environments. If you look across the client business, it’s had a tremendous resurgence for us. The business is different and along with this the workplace becomes transformational. Customers have figured out it does not make sense to give people the cheapest, lowest-cost computer. To make them productive you need to give them great tools that will inspire them. That is one reason why average selling prices are going up and not down. Having said all that, the market is consolidating. But, it’s still a $170 billion market space and we are well positioned in that space to gain share.

…On being an entrepreneur instead of a doctor.

I was supposed to be a doctor. My parents told me to be one. Today all my brothers and my father-in-law are doctors. I’m the black sheep in the family by not being a doctor. The really interesting thing is we are seeing an incredible time in the medical profession because of technology with genetic information and sequencing. If you think forward to the future of medicine and how we better understand epigenetics there will be incredible advances with technology. I’m not a doctor but we do cool stuff to empower doctors.