Cote and I discuss Dell World and our new Web|Tech Vertical

October 19, 2011

Last week we held Dell’s first Dell World event here in Austin, Texas.  The two-day event was targeted at CxOs and IT professionals and featured an expo, panels and speakers such as CEOs Mark Benioff, Paul Otellini, Steve Ballmer and Paul Maritz as well as former CIO of the United States, Vivek Kundra.  And of course, being Austin, it also featured a lot of great music and barbeque.

At the end of the first day Michael Cote grabbed sometime with me and we talked about the event.

Some of the ground I cover:

  • Dell World overview and our Modular Data Center
  • (3:35) Talking to press/analysts about our new Web|Tech vertical and our focus on developers
  • (6:00) The event’s attempt to up-level the conversation rather than diving into speeds, feeds and geeky demos.

The Dell Modular Data Center on the expo floor (photo: Yasushi Osonoi:@osonoi)

(double click to see full sized)

Extra Credit reading

Pau for now…


Cote’s first 10 days at Dell

August 25, 2011

A few weeks ago Michael Cote joined Dell from the excellent analyst firm, Redmonk which focuses on software and developers.  Cote who spent five plus years with Redmonk has joined Dell in our corporate strategy group, focusing on software.  I for one am very glad he’s here and feel that he’s joined at the right time in Dell’s trajectory to make a big impact.

I grabbed some time with him to get his initial thoughts and impressions.  Here are his thoughts both witty and wise.

[Note: So there’s no confusion, this Michael Cote is Dell’s second Michael Cote.  The first is the the former CEO of SecureWorks which Dell acquired.]

Some of the ground Cote covers:

  • Intro: Man is it hot, Cote’s background
  • (0:34) Why Cote made the move: going to the other side of the fence
  • (1:55) What is his new position and what will he be doing: his cloudy focus
  • (2:44) His first impressions: serious about solutions
  • (5:18) What his big goal is while at Dell

Extra-credit reading:


Dell’s Analyst Event – Summary of day 1 and feedback from Redmonk’s Michael Cote

May 3, 2011

Today at the W hotel in Austin, Dell held its bi-annual analyst summit.  Today’s event is the third in a series of analyst functions organized around the theme “Services and Solutions for the Virtual Era.”  The first event was held in San Francisco in March of last year and the second came six months later in Boston.

Today’s program

Today’s event was broken into three sections.  The first section featured presentations by

  • Karen Quintos, SVP and CMO
  • Dave Johnston, SVP Corporate Strategy
  • Brian Gladden, CFO
  • Steve Felice, President, Consumer, Small and Medium Business
  • Paul Bell, President, Public and Large enterprise

In the case of Steve and Paul they also each featured a couple of customers on stage.

The second section was a solutions panel moderated by Brad Anderson, SVP of Enterprise solutions and featured members of his team who manage strategy, storage, networking and computing platforms.  The final section of the day was also a panel.  This featured the GM of Dell China, the head of Dell’s OEM business, Dell’s GM of Public and Large Enterprise in Europe, Middle East and Africa, the head of Dell Channels and the GM of Dell Small and Medium business solutions.

How did we do?

To see how the event came across, I grabbed some time with Redmonk analyst Michael Cote and we sat down for a chat (I’m hoping to grab more analyst  feedback at day two tomorrow):

Some of the ground Michael covers:

  • What his clients ask him about Dell and what, as a result was he looking for today
  • Dell’s focus on solutions and de-emphasis on technology
  • Is Dell putting on its big boy pants?
  • The value of expanding on Dell’s success in select verticals

Pau for now…


Talking about Dell’s Cloud efforts

October 1, 2009

Last Friday I got together with Michael Cote of Red Monk and John Willis of Canonical for a podcast.  We met up at a nearby coffee shop and chatted about a whole bunch o’ stuff.

You can listen to the actual podcast on Cote’s blog.

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • What I’ll be doing at Dell as Cloud Evangelist.
  • Dell’s cloud building business, focused on a small group of hyper-scale customers (Azure and Facebook being a couple I can name), delivering a high volume of highly customized machines for these customers.
  • Some of the learnings we’ve gained with working with this group.
  • Our intent to take this effort to a much wider group of customers and offer complete cloud solutions made up of hardware, third party software, a reference architecture and services.
  • Dell’s other major cloud effort:  providing Support services as a service.
  • Recent industry events and upcoming cloud conferences.
  • And last, but not least, John and Cote introduce me to the wild and wonderful world of Pokens.

Pau for now..


Pics and Prose from Cloud Camp Austin ’09

April 27, 2009

Michael Cote of Redmonk welcomes us all. (credit Dave Nielsen)

Michael Cote of Redmonk welcomes us all. (credit Dave Nielsen)

This past Saturday, Cloud Camp Austin was held down on the UT campus.  There was a very healthy turnout and a lot of great discussions were generated.

Sequence of Events

After opening salutations, camp got underway with a series of six five-minute lightening talks delivered by the camp’s gold sponsors.

My lightening talk: Mapping Processes in the Cloud (credit: Dave Nielsen)

My lightening talk: Mapping Processes in the Cloud (credit: Dave Nielsen)

The Main Event

From there, Dave Nielsen, the man who originally developed the cloud camp format (and who took most of the pictures in this post — see them all), guided us through the process of coming up with topics for session discussions.  That process, appropriately enough given that this was an unconference, began with an “unpanel.”

The Unpannel: Splunk representative, not sure, Cote, Dustin from Canonical, myself (credit Dave Nielsen)

The Unpannel: Michael Wilde of Splunk, (not sure), Dustin from Canonical, Cote, myself (credit Dave Nielsen)

All Together Now

The way it worked was the room first brainstormed a list of topics they were interested in discussing/learning more about.  Anyone who thought they were an expert on one or more of these topics got to get up from their seats and form a five person panel at the front of the room.   Each member of the panel then answered two questions from the board and as the question was answered the audience was asked if the topic had been covered by the answer or if it warranted further discussion in an afternoon session

(L->R) Dave Nielsen leads us through our unconference set up.  Canonical's Dustin Kirkland and hero-for-hire John West lend a hand.

(L->R) Dave Nielsen leads us through our unconference set up. Canonical's Dustin Kirkland and hero-for-hire John West lend a hand.

A Schedule is Born

After the panel, as a group we all decided what the final sessions would be and who would lead them.  To lead a session you could either be knowledgeable in the area or completely clueless but wanted to learn about it.

The completed schedule:  three sessions ran at a time and there were three time slots (credit Dave Nielsen)

The completed schedule: three sessions ran at a time and there were three time slots (credit Dave Nielsen)

Coming Soon

While at camp I did a couple of video interviews, one with Dustin Kirkland of Canonical and one with Todd Morey of Mosso/Rackspace.  I should be posting those in the next few days.  I also found myself on the other end of the microphone being interviewed by Mr. Cote.  That should be appearing in the near distant future on his blog.

Update:

Pau for now…


The Sassy part of the Cloud

December 18, 2008

These days when people describe cloud computing you’ll often hear them dividing it into three basic groups:

  1. Application Clouds (aka Software as a Service or SaaS)
  2. Platform Clouds (aka Platform as a Service or PaaS)
  3. Infrastructure Clouds (aka Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS)

Besides self-interest (a cloud-based app helps me pay my bills), I find the first group above the most interesting as well as the most tangible for the average bear.

So what does the board think?

A couple of weeks ago the Data Center Advisory board over at Searchdatacenter.com was asked to weigh in with their thoughts on cloud computing.  RedMonk analyst Michael Cote offered up his SaaSy perspective as follows:

IT managers should be looking at converting their on-premise infrastructure to what we recently called “Software-as-a-Service” and now the bucket of “cloud computing.” If your email isn’t in the cloud already, there should be a fantastically good reason, like regulations that prevent off-premises email.

Can you host your instant messaging in the cloud? How about file sharing and basic intranet functions? Even things like SharePoint look attractive. Essentially, you want to inventory all of the low-priority items you have on your intranet and ask if it’s cheaper to move them off-premise.

Although I would have chosen a less pejorative term than “low-priority items,” I think Cote’s advice is spot on.  He then goes on, while warning against irrational cloud exuberance, to clearly list the key advantages of move apps to the cloud:

Top of the list tends to be cost (both up-front and ongoing, especially when it comes to upgrading and maintenance) but also flexibility and new functionality that come with cloud-based applications.

How cloudy is your IT set-up?

Pau for now…


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