The pandemic is over. Or at least there was no evidence of it in Las Vegas this week, as thousands of participants attended the first in-person Dell Technologies World since 2019.
This event is also the first since Dell spun off VMware Inc., and attendees were eager to hear about the company’s plans for the future.
“I’m impressed with their constant reinvention of the company, and the news hits all the cards,” said industry analyst John Furrier during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, at the end of “day one” at the Dell Technologies World event.
Highlights of DTW day one: Dell-Snowflake partnership and APEX product announcements
Spinning off VMware is a positive move for Dell, according to all three analysts. As well as the financial boost of wiping the VMware associated debt from its balance sheet, Dell will continue to benefit from the trust it has built with the VMware ecosystem, according to Vellante.
“They now have that muscle memory in place where they’ve earned that trust, and I think that will continue on past the spin. It was actually quite brilliant the way they’ve orchestrated that,” he said.
As far as announcements, the big news was Dell’s partnership with cloud data warehouse innovator Snowflake Inc. This is a masterful move, but one that brings an element of risk, according to Furrier.
“Snowflake can’t do what Dell Technologies does on-premises with storage, and Dell can’t do what Snowflake’s doing,” he said, describing how the partnership brings mutual short-term and medium-term benefits to both companies. But, the danger lies in Snowflake ultimately stealing the game away from Dell, or vice-versa.
“Whoever can develop the higher-level services in the cloud will ultimately be the winner,” Furrier said.
Dell’s APEX as-a-service portfolio also made the headlines on day one.
“Apex is the discussion,” said Vellante, noting that the topic had dominated sessions supposed to be focused on other themes. But while Dell is working hard on scaling engineering and figuring out the channel model for its APEX cloud services, it is not quite where it needs to be.
“I would say at this point you don’t quite have product market fit, and I think they’d admit that,” Vellante said.
Dell’s vision of building an abstraction layer is an indicator of the trend toward supercloud
One major trend that jumped out for Furrier during the day one sessions was “headless cloud.”
“Everyone that’s building digital transformation apps has to be their own SaaS,” he said.
Common in ecommerce, the practice is going to spread into enterprises allowing them to “have their cake and eat it too” by taking advantage of managed services where they don’t have expertise, according to Furrier.
Dell operations executives Chuck Whitten and Jeff Clarke talked about the vision of building an abstraction layer on top of the clouds that connects on-prem data centers across clouds, out to the edge, and hides the underlying complexity with managed services, Vellanted pointed out. This matches a concept that Vellante has been focused on recently: The rise of the supercloud.
“That’s their vision. It’s aspirational today, but that really is supercloud,” he stated.
Dell is successfully reinventing itself and is positioned with “all the piece parts” to compete in today’s complex cloud market, according to Furrier.
“I think Dell is going to continue to maintain itself in the front lines as a data center, enterprise, now cloud-edge player,” he said.
Here’s the complete analysis video, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Dell Technologies World event.
(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for Dell Technologies World. Neither Dell Technologies Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)