How Dell Software is setting the pace for the new Dell

So what is new at Dell? Well today, Dell includes software and services, which are key to Dell’s strategy as a leading end-to-end solutions provider.  In a nutshell, the new Dell is moving beyond hardware to solutions – solutions that unlock greater business value and/or eliminate the risk in today’s changing and complex IT landscape.

And speaking of risk, over the last several months, I have visited many cities on different continents, and spoken to countless customers and prospects.  And the word that I hear most frequently is RISK.  What’s interesting is the paradox surrounding this word.  On the one hand, everyone wants to eliminate, or at least mitigate risk, but everyone has a different definition of what risk is.  For example, CISOs, as you can imagine, want to eliminate the risk of information-related security breaches, whether they come from inside or outside of the organization.  Leaders from the compliance organizations want to mitigate the risk of a failed audit, which generally foreshadows other types of serious business risks such as financial, legal or reputational.  The IT department wants to mitigate the risk of employee dissatisfaction, or the risk of negatively impacting employee productivity through a downed or poorly performing system.  To add complexity to risk mitigation, many of these groups are trying to deal with the new IT realities of cloud, big data and BYOD.  In general, I do not envy those who have to deal with risk challenges.

When I proceed to outline the new risk mitigating solutions we offer, I am met with this phrase quite often:  “I didn’t know you did that.”  This is both a positive and a negative for me.  It’s good to hear relief in our customer’s voice that someone can help relieve this pressure, but at the same time it stings that as a marketing leader, I still have a monumental amount of work to do to get the word out about the transformed Dell, which I’ll talk about in a second. 

One example of a great conversation that’s going on with our partners today, which wouldn’t have happened 18 months ago, is that of solving our customer’s information security challenges.  Can you imagine Dell being able to have this discussion?  Well today we can, and very effectively.  We can discuss our approach to embedding protection in all of our product and service offerings; we can discuss our ability to protect enterprises from security threats and attacks emanating from inside or outside of an organization before they occur, and, if they do happen to permeate the enterprise, we can discuss our ability to quickly and effectively detect and respond to them based on risk policies. 

But, besides all of these great independent capabilities we offer in terms of identities and related access; data protection and encryption; network security; email security; remote access; and cloud and mobile security, we firmly believe these currently independent security capabilities need to work together collectively.  We believe there needs to be linkages across the capabilities so context and information can be shared, and security made more intelligent.  We believe that managing security in silos has now become a threat in and of itself. It’s dangerous for our customers because it creates “blind spots” where predators can exploit. 

So, Dell believes in “Connected Security” and that connection must occur on a few levels to ensure maximum protection.  Our point of view and the actual research we are doing to “connect” our security IP, is what sets Dell apart in the Information Security space. Our customers will enjoy that holistic view of where risk exists across networks, data, applications and devices, giving them protection from end-point to datacenter to cloud.

Here are just a few examples of where Dell can help, today:

BYOD

As an example, let me tell you about some of our Identity and Access Management solutions that help eliminate risk.  First, it seems that for most organizations, BYOD is either the greatest thing to hit technology since the microchip, OR the zombie apocalypse.  If the foundational aspects of data security ─ including identity and access control ─ are in place, then 50 percent of the mobility battle has already been won. Whether access is gained from an on-premises, company-issued device, a personally owned device, or with an entirely unknown device, Dell IAM enables you to provide your employees, partners and customers easy access to your critical organizational data in a secure and controlled manner ─ exactly what you want and need it to be.  In addition to access control, Dell can secure the network, the device and the data on the device to ensure corporate data does not accidently or intentionally spill into the personal world of the user.  Having “connected” visibility and control of BYOD is what Dell can provide.

Cloud

Cloud is, in many respects, an even more complex challenge.  Organizations, or even just departments, often deal with public cloud independently of private cloud, and separately from hybrid needs, and this siloed approach is neither efficient nor secure. These instances are sometimes “in” the cloud while others are “for” the cloud. But controlling access to data and applications, complying with regulations, and simplifying access are the same, regardless. The Dell One Identity solution set is designed to take care of those IAM challenges for whatever cloud environment you are dealing with. Dell’s IAM solutions provide the same security, control and visibility whether you are dealing with security “for” the cloud, “in” the cloud, “from” the cloud, or some mix of them all. Security is security after all, and cloud should not stand in the way of what you need to get done. 

To address our customers’ desire – nay need – to connect their growing cloud infrastructure, we are releasing support for Azure and Workday within our Quick Connect family of products, this week. In addition to Azure and Workday, Quick Connect already supports Google apps, Salesforce, Google Postini Services, Microsfsoft Office 365 and ServiceNow.   And while I can’t give away any secrets, we have a new product ready to hit the shelves in October that will make many of our customers sigh with relief, as it will relieve many of their primary risk drivers for cloud computing.

But, beyond just cloud and BYOD, many organizations are still trying to tackle the Identity and Access Management basics, and Dell’s solutions can help.  Just check out this case study from Wake County, North Carolina.  If you need more proof on the success of our implementations, check out these quotes from customers.

Lastly, if you are interested in learning more about our security offerings, or our Identity and Access Management solutions specifically, check out our new e-book, Identity and Access Management for the Real World.  It was co-authored by two of our security and identity experts, and chapter one is available today.

Providing our customers with a connected view of security risks across the enterprise already sets us apart from other security vendors. So, when you think about risk mitigation, compliance controls, mobile or cloud security, think Dell.  We have transformed over the past four years to deliver end-to-end solutions to help you today, and well into the future. 

About the Author: Joanne Moretti