INTERVIEW with Bradley Pulford (BP), executive director and general manager of Channel and Distribution of Dell Technologies South Africa.

 

Condensed and edited excerpts from the conversation follow:

(FC) What would you say are the major trends that are currently taking place in the market?

BP – We’re entering into what you could call the Cloud 2.0 period. It’s been around a decade since cloud technologies influenced the market. Over that time, more and more companies started to become digitally mature – a process we call digital transformation. They changed how they access and use technology, and this has influenced everything from software and business skills to how you’d build a network. Right now, the major trends are all defined by the confluence of those changes. For example, security is a big trend because we are more connected and we have more data moving around, both things that relate to the cloud. Working from home is the latest trend to stand on what the cloud family of technologies have made possible.

(FC) Is the cloud playing a role in enabling people to work from home?

BP – Absolutely. The cloud is a general word for many different technologies, all related to connectivity, integration and digital services. These are changing how much technology costs, how we access technology and what we can use it for. So without cloud technologies, working remotely would be much harder and, in many cases, not possible at all.

(FC) What is Dell Technologies’ role when it comes to the cloud?

BP – The nature of services has changed, but you still need systems to run those on. If the services changed, but not the stuff supporting them, we’d have gone nowhere fast. So the supporting technologies had to change and evolve too, and that is where Dell Technologies comes in. Twenty years ago you could fairly say we sold servers. But now we do much more. We provide the architecture – software and hardware – that makes the cloud possible and feasible. For example, Dell Technologies helped pioneer hyper-converged infrastructure, which is hardware and software combined and configured to offer secure and flexible networking, storage, security, virtualisation and more. We work with our partners, such as Intel, to drive innovation that also makes commercial sense. Our systems make the cloud possible.

(FC) What does it take to adopt the cloud?

BP – The cloud is one piece of a bigger picture, which we call digital transformation. This is when a company adds new digital technologies that help it work differently. Working from home is an excellent example – you can’t do that effectively without digital transformation putting the right tools and services in place. To get there, you must address what we call the four elements of transformation: modernising the business, protecting assets, empowering your workforce and automating IT operations. All the major market trends have something to do with one of these elements and often several of them. Cloud impacts all of them, so if you chase the four elements, you’ll gain the advantages of cloud and other modern technologies such as remote working, artificial intelligence and real-time business intelligence.

 (FC) You mentioned partners, why do you need partners to meet these trends?

BP – Partners are the companies we collaborate with to put the best elements together. Channel partners are integral to Dell Technologies’ overall success in delivering an excellent customer experience. The most important thing is that Dell Technologies Partners are technology experts who help understand and solve your business problems and will guide you in this new digital world.

You need a technology ally who has a view of the entire IT landscape because that’s how you stop the complexity from overwhelming you. By playing across the technology spectrum, we not only understand the different choices, but we are also able to select and support the best partners for any project. We also work closely with our customers, to ensure that we resolve their pain points and understand their business enough to create the right offers. Recently, Dell Financial Services announced new finance deals that make it a lot more affordable for our customers to modernise their operations. But we can’t do it all alone. Every Dell Technologies partner brings with them skills and insights that help bring our customers’ needs and our solutions closer together. The spirit of the digital era is of collaboration, and that includes how and why digital technologies are deployed. The right partners make all the difference.

No one brand can do it all. It’s all about the right partners, and we have one of the best partner networks in the world.


Content published in partnership with Dell Technologies. 

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